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Falls Of St Anthony






Category: THE CENRAL STATES AND THE GREAT LAKES

Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Several of the Dakotas, who had been in camp near the site of St. Paul,
left their families and friends, when the hunting season opened, and went
into the north. On their arrival at another village of their tribe, they
stayed to rest for a little, and one of the men used the time to
ill-advantage, as it fell out, for he conceived an attachment for a girl
of this northern family, and on his way southward he wedded her and took
her home with him. Proper enough to do, if he had not been married
already. The first wife knew that any warrior might take a second, if he
could support both; but the woman was stronger than the savage in her
nature, and when her husband came back, with a red-cheeked woman walking
beside him, she felt that she should never know his love again. The man
was all attention to the young wife, whether the tribe tarried or
travelled. When they shifted camp the elder walked or rowed behind with
her boy, a likely lad of ten or twelve.

It was when they were returning down the river after a successful hunt
that the whole company was obliged to make a carry around the quick water
near the head of St. Anthony's Falls. While the others were packing the
boats and goods for transportation by hand to the foot of the cataract,
the forsaken wife chose a moment when none were watching to embark with
her boy in one of the canoes. Rowing out to an island, she put on all her
ornaments, and dressed the lad in beads and feathers as if he were a
warrior. Her husband, finding her absent from the party, looked anxiously
about for some time, and was horrified to see her put out from the island
into the rapid current. She had placed the child high in the boat, and
was rowing with a steady stroke down the stream. He called and beckoned
franticly. She did not seem to hear him, nor did she turn her head when
the others joined their cries to his. For a moment those who listened
heard her death-song, then the yeasty flood hid them from sight, and the
husband on the shore fell to the earth with a wail of anguish.





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