Patussorssuaq Who Killed His Uncle





There lived a woman at Kugkat, and she was very beautiful, and Alataq

was he who had her to wife. And at the same place lived Patussorssuaq,

and Alataq was his uncle. He also had a wife, but was yet fonder of

his uncle's wife than of his own.



But one day in the spring, Alataq was going out on a long hunting

journey, and made up his mind to take his wife with him. They were

standing at the edge of the ice, ready to start, when Patussorssuaq

came down to them.



"Are you going away?" he asked.



"Yes, both of us," answered Alataq.



But when Patussorssuaq heard thus, he fell upon his uncle and killed

him at once, for he could not bear to see the woman go away.



When Patussorssuaq's wife saw this, she snatched up her needle and

sewing ring, and fled away, following the shadow of the tent, over

the hills to the place where her parents lived. She had not even

time to put on her skin stockings, and therefore her feet grew sore

with treading the hills. On her way up inland she saw people running

about with their hoods loose on their heads, as is the manner of the

inland folk, but she had no dealings with them, for they fled away.



Then, coming near at last to her own place, she saw an old man,

and running up, she found it was her father, who was out in search

of birds. And the two went gladly back to his tent.



Now when Patussorssuaq had killed his uncle, he at once went up to

his own tent, thinking to kill his own wife, for he was already weary

of her. But she had fled away.



Inside the tent sat a boy, and Patussorssuaq fell upon him, crying:



"Where is she? Where is she gone?"



"I have seen nothing, for I was asleep," cried the boy, speaking

falsely because of his great fear. And so Patussorssuaq was forced

to desist from seeking out his wife.



And now he went down and took Alataq's wife and lived with her. But

after a little time, she died. And thus he had but little joy of the

woman he had won by misdeed. And he himself was soon to suffer in

another way.



At the beginning of the summer, many people were gathered at

Natsivilik, and among them was Patussorssuaq. One day a strange

thing happened to him, while he was out hunting: a fox snapped at

the fringe of his coat, and he, thinking it to be but a common fox,

struck out at it, but did not hit. And afterwards it was revealed

that this was the soul of dead Alataq, playing with him a little

before killing him outright. For Alataq's amulet was a fox.



And a little time after, he was bitten to death by the ghost of Alataq,

coming upon him in the shape of a bear. His daughter, who was outside

at that time, heard the cries, and went in to tell of what she had

heard, but just as she came into the house, behold, she had quite

forgotten all that she wished to say. And this was because that

vengeful spirit had by magic means called down forgetfulness upon her.



Afterwards she remembered it, but then it was too late. They found

Patussorssuaq torn to pieces, torn limb from limb; he had tried to

defend himself with great pieces of ice, as they could see, but all

in vain.



Thus punishment falls upon the man who kills.





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