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sideration, have frightened him out of his life or into the performance of his duty. Thus, even with the aid of Why-Why, existence became too laborious for her strength, and she gradually pined away. As she lay in a half-fainting and almost dying state, Why-Why rushed out to find the most celebrated local medicine-man. In half an hour the chief medicine-man appeared, dressed in the skin of a wolf, tagged about with bones, skulls, dead lizards, and other ornaments of his official attire. You may see a picture of him in Mr. Catlin's book about the Mandans. Armed with a drum and a rattle, he leaped into the presence of the sick woman, uttering unearthly yells. His benevolent action was in accordance with the medical science of the time. He merely meant to frighten away the evil spirit which (according to the received hypothesis) was destroying the mother of Why-Why. What he succeeded in doing was to make Why-Why's mother give a faint scream, after which her jaw fell, and her eyes grew fixed and staring.
The grief of Why. Why was profound. Reckless of consequences, he declared publicly that the law which forbade a woman to see her own husband, and the medical science which frightened poor women to death were cruel and ridiculous. As Why-Why (though a promising child and an adept in torturing captives) was still under age, little notice was taken of remarks which were attributed to the petulance of youth. But when he went further, and transgressed the law which then forbade a brother to speak to his own sister, on pain of death, the general indignation was no longer repressed. In vain did Why-Why plead that if he neglected his sister no one else would comfort her. His life was spared, but the unfortunate little girl's bones were dug up by a German savant last year, in a condition which makes it only too certain that cannibalism was practised by the early natives of the Mediterranean coast. These incidents then, namely, the neglect of his unknown father, the death of his mother, and the execution of his sister, confirmed Why-Why in the belief that radical social reforms were desirable.
The coming of age of Why-Why was celebrated in the manner usual among primitive people. The ceremonies were not of a character to increase his pleasure in life, or his respect for constituted authority. When he was fourteen years of age, he was pinned, during his sleep, by four adult braves, who knocked out his front teeth, shaved his head with sharp chips of quartzite, cut off the first joint. of his little finger, and daubed his whole body over with clay. They then turned him loose, imposing on him his name of Why-Why; and when his shaven hair began to show through the clay daubing, the women of the tribe washed him, and painted him black and white. The indignation of Why-Why may readily be conceived. Why, he kept asking, should you shave a fellow's head, knock out his teeth, cut off his little finger, daub him with clay, and paint him like a pelican, because he is fourteen years old? To these radical questions, the braves (who had all lost their own front teeth) replied, that this was the custom of their fathers. They tried to console him, more
over, by pointing out that now he might eat oysters, and catch himself a bride from some hostile tribe, or give his sister in exchange for a wife. This was little comfort to Why-Why. He had eaten oysters already without supernatural punishment, and his sister, as we have seen, had suffered the extreme penalty of the law. Nor could our hero persuade himself that to carry off a hostile girl in the dark was the best way to win a loving wife. He remained single, and became a great eater of oysters.
THE MANHOOD OF WHY-WHY.
As time went on our hero developed into one of the most admired braves of his community. No one was more successful in battle, and it became almost a proverb that when Why-Why went on the war-path there was certain to be meat enough and to spare, even for the women. Why-Why, though a Radical, was not perfect, and he invariably complied with the usages of his time when they seemed rational and useful. If a little tattooing on the arm would have saved men from a horrible disease, he would have had all the tribe tattooed. He was no bigot. It was only when the ceremonious or superstitious ideas of his age and race appeared to him senseless and mischievous that he rebelled, or at least hinted his doubts and misgivings. This course of conduct made him feared and hated both by the medicine-men or clerical wizards and by the old women of the tribe. They naturally tried to take their revenge upon him in the usual way. A charge of heresy, of course, could not well be made, for in the infancy of our race there were neither Courts of Arches nor General Assemblies. But it was always possible to accuse Why-Why of malevolent witchcraft. The medicine-men had not long to wait for an opportunity. An old woman died, as old women will, and everyone was asking "Who sent the evil spirit that destroyed poor old Dada?' In Why-Why's time no other explanation of natural death by disease or age was entertained. The old woman's grave was dug, and all the wizards intently watched for the first worm or insect that should crawl out of the mould. The head-wizard soon detected a beetle, making, as he alleged, in the direction where Why-Why stood observing the proceedings. The wizard at once denounced our hero as the cause of the old woman's death. To have blenched for a moment would have been ruin. But Why-Why merely lifted his hand, and in a moment a spear flew from it which pinned his denouncer ignominiously to a pine tree. The funeral of the old woman was promptly converted into a free fight, in which there was more noise than bloodshed. After this event the medicine-men left WhyWhy to his own courses, and waited for a chance of turning public opinion against the sceptic.
The conduct of Why-Why was certainly calculated to outrage all conservative feeling. When on the war-path or in the excitement of the chase he had been known to address a tribesman by his name, as 'Old Cow,' or 'Flying Cloud,' or what not, instead of adopting
the orthodox nomenclature of the classificatory system, and saying, "Third cousin by the mother's side, thrice removed, will you lend me an arrow?' or whatever it might be. On tabu-days,' when the rest of the people in the cave were all silent, sedentary, and miserable (from some superstitious feeling which we can no longer understand), Why-Why would walk about whistling, or would chip his flints or set his nets. He ought to have been punished with death, but no one cared to interfere with him. At the great corroborees ' or religious dances of his people he would sit out' with a girl whose sad, romantic history became fatally interwoven with his own. In vain the medicine-men assured him that Pund-jel, the great spirit, was angry. Why-Why was indifferent to the thunder which was believed to be the voice of Pund-jel. His behaviour at the funeral of a celebrated brave actually caused what we would call a reformation in burial ceremonies. It was usual to lay the corpses of the famous dead in a cave, where certain of the tribesmen were sent to watch for forty days and nights the decaying body. This ghastly task was made more severe by the difficulty of obtaining food. Everything that the watchers were allowed to eat was cooked outside the cave with complicated ceremonies. If any part of the ritual was omitted, if a drop or a morsel were spilled, the whole rite had to be done over again from the beginning. This was not all. The chief medicine-man took a small portion of the meat in a long spoon, and entered the sepulchral cavern. In the dim light he approached one of the watchers of the dead, danced before him, uttered a mysterious formula of words, and made a shot at the hungry man's mouth with a long spoon. If the shot was straight, if the spoon did not touch the lips or nose or mouth, the watcher made ready to receive a fresh spoonful. But if the attempt failed, if the spoon did not go straight to the mark, the mourners were obliged to wait till all the cooking ceremonies were performed afresh, when the feeding began again. Now, Why-Why was a mourner whom the chief medicine-man was anxious to 'spite,' as children say, and at the end of three days' watching our hero had not received a morsel of food. The spoon had invariably chanced to miss him. On the fourth night Why-Why entertained his fellow-watchers with a harangue on the imbecility of the whole proceeding. He walked out of the cave, kicked the chief medicine-man into a ravine, seized the pot full of meat, brought it back with him, and made a hearty meal. The other mourners, half dead with fear, expected to see the corpse they were waking' arise, 'girn,' and take some horrible revenge. Nothing of the sort occurred, and the burials of the cave dwellers gradually came to be managed in a less irksome way.
THE LOVES OF VERVA AND WHY-WHY.
No man, however intrepid, can offend with impunity the most sacred laws of society. Why-Why proved no exception to this rule.
His decline and fall date, we may almost say, from the hour when he bought a fair-haired, blue-eyed female child from a member of a tribe 'that had wandered from the north. The tribe were about to cook poor little Verva because her mother was dead, and she seemed a bouche inutile. For the price of a pair of shell fish-hooks, a bone dagger, and a bundle of grass-string Why-Why (who had a tender heart) ransomed the child. In the cave she lived an unhappy life, as the other children maltreated and tortured her in the manner peculiar to pitiless infancy.
Such protection as a man can give to a child the unlucky little girl received from Why-Why. The cave people, like most savages, made it a rule never to punish their children. Why-Why got into many quarrels because he would occasionally box the ears of the mischievous imps who tormented poor Verva, the fair-haired and blueeyed captive from the north. There grew up a kind of friendship between Why-Why and the child. She would follow him with doglike fidelity and with a stealthy tread when he hunted the red deer in the forests of the Alpes Maritimes. She wove for him a belt of shells, strung on stout fibres of grass. In this belt Why-Why would attend the tribal corroborees, where, as has been said, he was inclined to sit out' with Verva and watch, rather than join in the grotesque dance performed as worship to the Bear. As Verva grew older and ceased to be persecuted by the children, she became beautiful in the unadorned manner of that early time. Her friendship with Why-Why began to embarrass the girl, and our hero himself felt a quite unusual shyness when he encountered the captive girl among the pines on the hill-side. Both these untutored hearts were strangely stirred, and neither Why-Why nor Verva could imagine wherefore they turned pale or blushed when they met, or even when either heard the other's voice. If Why-Why had not distrusted and indeed detested the chief medicine-man, he would have sought that worthy's professional advice. But he kept his symptoms to himself, and Verva also pined in secret. These artless persons were in love without knowing it. It is not surprising that they did not understand the nature of their complaint, for probably before Why-Why no one had ever been in love. Courtship had consisted in knocking a casual girl on the head in the dark, and the only marriage ceremony had been that of capture. Affection on the side of the bride was out of the question, for, as we have remarked, she was never allowed so much as to see her husband's face. Probably the institution of being in love has been evolved in, and has spread from, various early centres of human existence. Among the primitive Ligurian races, however, Why-Why and Verva must be held the inventors, and, alas! the protomartyrs of the passion. Love, like murder, 'will out,' and events revealed to Why-Why and Verva the true nature of their sentiments. It was a considerable exploit of Why-Why's that brought him and the northern captive to understand each other. The brother of Why-Why had died after partaking too freely of a member of a
hostile tribe. The cave people, of course, expected Why-Why to avenge his kinsman. The brother, they said, must have been destroyed by a boilya or vampire, and, as somebody must have sent that vampire against the lad, somebody must be speared for it. Such are primitive ideas of medicine and justice. An ordinary brave would have skulked about the dwellings of some neighbouring human groups till he got a chance of knocking over a child or an old woman, after which justice and honour would have been satisfied. But WhyWhy declared that, if he must spear somebody, he would spear a man of importance. The forms of a challenge were therefore. notched on a piece of stick, which was solemnly carried by heralds to the most renowned brave of a community settled in the neighbourhood of the modern San Remo. This hero might have been reasonably asked, 'Why should I spear Why-Why because his brother over-ate himself?' The laws of honour, however (which even at this period had long been established), forbade a gentleman when challenged to discuss the reasonableness of the proceeding.
The champions met on a sandy plain beside a little river near the modern Ventimiglia. An amphitheatre of rock surrounded them, and, far beyond, the valley was crowned by the ancient snow of an Alpine peak. The tribes of either party gathered in the rocky amphitheatre, and breathlessly watched the issue of the battle. Each warrior was equipped with a shield, a sheaf of spears, and a heavy, pointed club. At thirty paces distance they began throwing, and the spectators enjoyed a beautiful exposition of warlike skill. Both men threw with extreme force and deadly aim; while each defended himself cleverly with his shield. The spears were exhausted, and but one had pierced the thigh of Why-Why, while his opponent had two sticking in his neck and left arm. Then, like two meeting thunder-clouds, the champions dashed at each other with their clubs. The sand was whirled up around them as they spun in the wild dance of battle, and the clubs rattled incessantly on the heads and shields. Twice WhyWhy was down, but he rose with wonderful agility, and never dropped his shield. A third time he stooped beneath a tremendous whack, but when all seemed over, grasped a handful of sand, and flung it right in his enemy's eyes. The warrior reeled, blinded and confused, when Why-Why gave point with the club in his antagonist's throat; the blood leaped out, and both fell senseless on the plain.
When the slow mist cleared from before the eyes of Why-Why he found himself (he was doubtless the first hero of the many heroes who have occupied this romantic position) stretched on a grassy bed, and watched by the blue eyes of Verva. Where were the sand, the stream, the hostile warrior, the crowds of friends and foes? It was Verva's part to explain. The champion of the other tribe had. never breathed after he received the club-thrust, and the chief medicine-man had declared that Why-Why was also dead. He had suggested that both champions should be burned in the desolate spot.