The Snoring Of Swunksus

: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

The original proprietor of Deer Isle, off the coast of Maine--at least,

the one who was in possession one hundred and thirty years ago--had the

liquid name of Swunksus. His name was not the only liquid thing in the

neighborhood, however, for, wherever Swunksus was, fire-water was not

far. Shortly before the Revolution a renegade from Boston, one Conary,

moved up to the island and helped himself to as much of it as he chose,
r /> but the longer he lived there the more he wanted. Swunksus was willing

enough to divide his domain with the white intruder, but Conary was not

satisfied with half. He did not need it all; he just wanted it. Moreover,

he grew quarrelsome and was continually nagging poor Swunksus, until at

last he forced the Indian to accept a challenge, not to immediate combat,

but to fight to the death should they meet thereafter.

The red man retired to his half of the island and hid among the bushes

near his home to await the white man, but in this little fastness he

discovered a jug of whiskey that either fate or Conary had placed there.

Before an hour was over he was as full and mellow as a harvest moon,

and it was then that his enemy appeared. There was no trouble in finding

Swunksus, for he was snoring like a fog horn, and walking boldly up to

him, Conary blew his head off with a load of slugs. Then he took

possession of the place and lived happily ever after. Swunksus takes his

deposition easily, for, although he has more than once paraded along the

beaches, his ghost spends most of the time in slumber, and terrific

snores have been heard proceeding from the woods in daylight.