The Dalles, 1904: Corpse talks to undertaker
We’ve seen a Chinuk Wawa séance with the spirit of an executed Cayuse chief, but here a physical corpse talks Jargon.
“Startled” might be an understatement in this “man bites dog” episode…
This strange news item also comes from eastern Oregon:
CORPSE TALKS TO UNDERTAKER
THE DALLES, Or., Jan. 8. — It was reported that an Indian had died of smallpox at the settlement on Mill Creek in the lower part of town. Steps were taken at once by County Judge Blakely to have the corpse buries, and today an expressman was sent with a coffin and disinfectants to attend to the interment.
On entering the tepee, however, as he started to put chloride of lime on the body, the expressman was startled to see a pair of black eyes fastened on him, and the Indian began talking in the Chinook jargon. He was broken out with the disease, but not dead, as the Indians had reported. They were instructed to take good care of the sick man and the settlement is strictly quarantined.
— from the Walla Walla (WA) Evening Statesman of January 8, 1904, page 2, column 3