Keel-A-Pie, the Chinuk Wawa operetta (sixth page)


(Image credit: Fanpop)

Today we have only English-language dialogue, so this is my chance to remark that the Chinuk Wawa names of the five Quileute enemies (‘Red’, ‘Black’, ‘Three/Third’, ‘Four(th)’, and ‘Afraid’) sure remind me of Disney’s 7 Dwarfs!

[…] “I am young — barely of age to commence pursuit of fortune, and for lack of property not eligible to be husband of the orphan maid I love, unless I have won her a prize. 

“Three days ago in yonder forest when the sun was beginning to cast morning light upon distant hills, I met Mihmy. In despair because of love that to me seemed hopeless, I was dumb; brightness of her smiling face belied contempt for me her words expressed. She ridiculed my sorrow and belittled me, and while singing in her sweet voice, taunted me, saying that only a brave man would she ever accept for a husband. 

“Five Quillayutes armed with spears emerged from the forest and seized both of us; her they muffled and two of them dragged her with them as they ran away, and before I could raise a hand to defend myself a violent blow felled me. My hands and feet were bound securely and I was left helpless. 

“Until by experience taught, man cannot know the effectiveness of stinging words to actuate dormant courage holding the latent power he possesses. As I lay upon the ground bound so that I could not rise, the anguish of my soul was accentuated by Mihmy’s vow that none but a brave man could be her husband, and by consciousness that in her time of peril I had missed opportunity to protect her. But anguish gave way to joy, for I heard a voice telling me that the opportunity was yet ahead of me. ‘Twas an inaudible thought conceived in my own mind and yet a real voice, for inspired thoughts are mediums whereby God speaks to us mortals. 

“About an hour passed while I was restrained. Then Sampson came and released me. I hastily told him that Mihmy had been captured, and by what means I was reduced to the predicament in which he found me, and I asked him to get weapons and go with me to rescue Mihmy. He said: ‘That would be impossible, and if we could overtake the five men both of us would be killed.’ And he didn’t have enough spirit to resent an insult when I called him a coward. 

“With two tomahawks and a knife I started alone in pursuit. Precious time was lost in finding the trail of the fugitives which led to the beaten path to Quilcene. Running four hours in that path brought me to the camp where I found Mihmy lashed to a tree, and the five men engaged in gambling. Four were playing, two against two, and the other man was seated intently watching the game. I glided to the tree: by one blow with a tomahawk I cut the rope that bound Mihmy, and I gave her a tomahawk with which she cracked the skull of the watcher — and in the same instant I killed one of the players, and told Mihmy to run. Then, as the others were reaching for their spears and sprang up, I killed another man, and stepped to the tree, using it for a back-shield. With spears in their hands the remaining two seemed to hesitate as if in doubt whether to attack or flee from me; I dared them to fight, using insulting words. They approached within spear’s length and aiming at my breast made a simultaneous lunge. I sidestepped, and the points of […]