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Amid the grandeur of the remote Pacific Northwest stands Kingcome, a village so ancient that, according to Kwakiutl myth, it was founded by the two brothers left on earth after the great flood. The Native Americans who still live there call it Quee, a place of such incredible natural richness that hunting and fishing remain primary food sources.

But the old culture of totems and potlatch is being replaces by a new culture of prefab housing and alcoholism. Kingcome’s younger generation is disenchanted and alienated from its heritage. And now, coming upriver is a young vicar, Mark Brian, on a journey of discovery that can teach him—and us—about life, death, and the transforming power of love.


(Paperback (Later Printing), 1993)
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ASIN: B007CHVHJC
ISBN: 9780440343691
EAN: 9780440343691

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Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven A bookthoughtful readers will surelyreturn to againand again It is hardtoimagine a more completeand fulfill ing book than this —The Times Literary Supplement London Moving though notsentimental the novel conveys well a vanishing way of life in a Northwest Pacific set ting Compelling —Library Journal Appealing to all ages a terrificjob theauthordraws heavily on the Indian lore of the Pacific Northwest —Bestsellers ** A moving statementofaconflict betweentwosocieties —New Statesman It will tug at your heartstrings —Hartford Courant You'll love it the book simply glows —The News Journal Wilmington

Also by Margaret Craven AGAIN CALLS THE OWL

ALLMYNAME MARGΛBEI OΪAVEN

This book is for the Tsawataineuk Tribe at Kingcome Village B C and for Eric Powell Published by Dell Publishing a division of Random House Inc 1540 Broadway New York New York 10036 If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property It was reported as unsold and destroyed to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any pay ment for this stripped book Copyright © 1973 by Margaret Craven All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or transmit ted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying recording or by any information storage and retrieval sys tem without the written permission of the Publisher except where per mitted by law For information address Doubίeday a division of Random House Inc New York N Y The trademark Dell® is registered in the U S Patent and Trademark Office ISBN 0 440 34369 0 Reprinted by arrangement with Doubleday a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Printed in the United States of America Published simultaneously in Canada January 1980 60 59 58 OPM

CONTENTS ϊ YES MY LORD—NO MY LORD 7 2 THE DEPTH OF SADNESS 59 3 CHE KWA LA 89 4 COME WOLF COME SWIMMER 129

PART ONE Yes my lord no my lord

The doctor said to the Bishop So you see my lord your young ordiαand can live no more than three years and doesn't know it Will you tell him and what will you do with him The Bishop said to the doctor Ύes Πl tell him but not yet If I tell him now heΈ try too hard How much time has he for an active life A little less than two years if he's lucky So short a time to learn so much It leaves me no choice I shall send him to my hardest parish I shall send him to Krngcome on patrol of the In dian villages Then I hope youTl pray for him my lord But the Bishop only answered gently that it was where he would wish to go if he were young again and in the ordinand's place

ONE He stood at the wheel watching the current stream and the bald eagles fishing for herring that waited until the boat was almost upon them to lift to drop the instant it had passed The tops of the islands were wreathed in cloud the sides fell steeply and the firs that covered them grew so precisely to the high tide line that now at slack the upcoast of British Columbia showed its bones in a straight selvage of wet dark rock There's the sign of an old village said the In dian boy who was his deckhand His eyes sought a beach from which long ago the big stones had been removed so that the war canoes could be pulled up stern first But there was no beach There was nothing but clean straight selvage and a scattered mound of some thing broken and white in the gray of rain against the green of spruce and he remembered the words Caleb had quoted him and he repeated them now • When you see clam shells know it is Indian country Leave it alone m Queen Victoria the Indian boy said quickly Some people didn't hear her Caleb had prepared him for this one the first he was to know He's been working for a year in a mill town and is eager to return to his village YouTl not take the boat out without him until you get your papers He could handle a boat when he was ten and he knows more about the coast than

ϊ HEABB TH3E OWX CAIΛ MY NAMX II you will ever learn You'll think he's shy and you'll be wrong When you shake his hand you'll know at once ifs a gesture he's learned which has no meaning In his eyes youll see a look that is in the eyes of all of them and it will be your job to figure out what it means and what you are going to do about it And he will watch you—they will all watch you—and in his own time he will accept or reject you * Caleb the old canon had come out of retire ment to acquaint him with all the endearing— and exasperating—little ways of the forty foot diesel launch upon which his life would depend Back up Go forward Up and down the straits In and out the lower inlets in a mild chop in a moderate chop in a gale The tide book open by the compass because you came with the tide you went with the tide you waited for the tide and sometimes you prayed for the tide Check the oil pressure and the shaft bearings Pump the bilge Watch for the drift logs Count the lights on the masts of the tug boats that showed the size of their booms Because Caleb was old the young man had thought of course he would be garrulous and full of reminiscence but he was wrong The talk had been entirely nautical Even in the galley over meals which the young man cooked Caleb had occasionally dropped what surely could not yet must be godly counsel Be sure to use the Victorian *we ' lad When you bury anybody remember to look in the box the very last minute Forty years ago up at Fort Rupert I burled the Ύgrong man and even now the RCMP has not forgotten it * TDon't call them cannibals It was never true literally No one alive has seen the famous dance

HEAHD THE OWI CALL MY NAME in which the young man maddened by the canni bal spirit returns to his village crying for flesh and carrying a body taken from a grave tree Then one evening they had tied up at the ma rina of Powell Eiver where the Indian boy had been working and Caleb lived *ΉeΉ be here early in the morning and hell help you load the organ the local church is send ing to Kingcome Village Don't be sorry for your self because you are going to so remote a parish Be sorry for the Indians* You know nothing and they must teach you and Caleb had blessed him and ambled off bare headed in the rain a man whose work on the coast was so legendary that it was said the Archbishop of Canterbury greeted him by his first name and a joke old between them 'Tell me Caleb how's your trap line Any poaching Then he was alone in the galley and sure of the look he would see in the Indian's eyes The tribes of the villages which would form his patrol be longed to a people that had never been at war with the white man They lived where they had always lived They fished as they had always fished known for their intelligence and a culture that was perhaps the most highly developed of any na tive band on the continent In the old days when a chief had given a great feast for his rivals he let the fire that burned in the center of his ceremonial house catch the roof beams until the red hot em bers fell knowing that until he gave the sign no guest dared move lest he admit the hosts fire had conquered him When he served his guests from the great ceremonial dishes he spilt hot grease on their bare arms to see if he could make them wince And sometimes he broke his own cop per—big as a shield its buying power as great as

HEABD THE OWX CAIX MT NAME 23 three thousand of the white man's dollars—broke it to show to his guests his disdain for his own wealth Surely the look would be one of arro gance In the morning he awakened early dressed put the coffee on to boil and went up tie ladder into the wheelhouse and out onto the deck* On the float waited thefirstone He waited patiently as if he had waited all his life as if he were part of time itself He was twenty seven perhaps which was the age of the young vicar He wore a fisherman's dark trousers and jacket a pair of gum boots hung over one shoulder Beside him were his belongings in a heavy cardboard box tied with string The young vicar jumped down on the float •Welcome aboard Γm Mark—Mark Brian * and he held out his hand Tm Jim Wallace the Indian said shyly and he took the hand with no answering pressure There was pride in his eyes without arrogance Behind the pride was a sadness so deep it seemed to stretch back into ancient mysteries Mark could not even imagine and he felt that small thrill of fear of anticipation which a man knows if he's lucky enough to meet and recognize his chal lenge He led the way aboard Eager to be off the two of them worked hard loading the organ onto the aft deck covering it with a canvas and lashing it tight Then they started north in a moderate swell and a driving rain past the fishing village of Lund past Cortes and Redonda through the Yuc ulta Rapids with Jim the Indian fighting the tide for the wheel Just before dark they came to a lonelyfloatin Shoal Bay

X4 I HEAStB THB OWL CAX 3ΠT HAMS ΈhaB we spend the nl^ht here Mark asked carefully* Shall we have supper Ill get it* Now* on the second afternoon in the twentieth hour of passage he stood at the wheel ap proaching the first village which was to be part of hie patrol Ήow soon now *Ύery soon now First you will see Ghost Island It is where the Indians of Gilford village once buried their dead I n the ground * *Ήo~~ in low sheds Most of them have fallen and broken If you go there now you stumble over skulls green with moss * He saw the small island lovely as a jade jewel and he slowed the boat and passed the village with its rare beach white with dam shells its stretch of cedar houses facing the water and four great cedar posts standing in the rain—all that was left of some ancient ceremonial house This is the same tribe as yours at Kingcome * *No but we're dose relatives Eada February we come here to dam« Once the Indian agent asked us to live here because he could step easily onto the big float without getting his feet wet 'And you refused TMo* Our old people said We are going to Hol lywood and we came We had some fine dancing the air filled with duck down We saw the famous blanket trimmed with a thousand eagle beaks and because we are not permitted to buy liquor to serve in our own homes the boys traded two masks for three cases of beer and we drank it very fast and got very drunk * And then Then we returned to our own village * Beyond the village inches above the high tide

HEABΏ THE OWL CAUL MY NΔMS 25 mark Mark saw two carved killer whales topped by a full moon I f s only the grave of Johnny Ray who was drowned Jim told him When you come here to marry to bury to hold church in the school house they will say to you 'Johnny's hiding in the bush and he steals things and scares our women WhatΊlwedo ' In Cramer Pass a school of porpoise refused to move out of the boafs way and watched the boat heads up headed straight for the boat and at the last moment leapt aside And in the late after noon they stopped to take on oil and water at the last point of contact with the outside world a store where the loggers and Indians came for mail and supplies built on a float cabled to the steep island side The young vicar introduced himself to the oil agent and handed him a list of groceries he wished filled Biggest order IΉ fill this week Newcomers don't buy here Theyfillup south where things are cheaper I know Caleb told me and the man's wife filled the order while he helped Jim with the oil Two small raccoons making a strange whirring sound begged Mark for bread and took it gently in their strange little hands When they were leav ing the wife of the oil agent gave Mark a bundle One of your pals left his duds here she said Caleb probably 9 and Mark opened the bundle to find a cassock its hem thick with dried mud Then they went on the young vicar preparing supper in the galley handing up plates of food and mugs of coffee The Indian ate standing at the wheel Mark perched on the high stool beside him

HEASB THE OWX* CAXX MY NAME No tug boat passed now no huge boom of mixed logs There was nothing but a lonely mag nificence of sea and Islands When they went through Pamphxeys Pass and into Kiαgcome In let which was the last Mark saw the dorsal fin of a killer whale cruising slowly down the far side Sometimes they rub against the boat * the In* dίan told him Sometimes they jump out of the water and come down flat with a terrific smash to knock off the barnacles that grow on the underside of their bodies Why are we slowing Because we're passing the float house of Ca lamity Bϋl 9 the hand logger See his shack there and his A frame If we go too fast the wake of our boat will knock the nails out of his float and hell come out shaking his fist and swearing He wears two sets of long legged underwear and he changes one The inside one I hope No—the outside one The other's part of his skin and when she knows you better the wife of the oil agent at the float store will ask you to help her get it off htm and into her washing machine* Oh no she won't* They slipped through a pass so narrow Mark was sure the boat would scrape on a huge rock shaped like a whale and covered with brown sea weed My people call it Whale Pass9 because long ago the gods turned a whale into that rock Now they could see the great mountains lifting into the sky On the far side of the inlet was a strip of bare granite like the ragged scar of some huge grizzly where a slide had peeled off every tree every bit of soil They could see the little falls that cascaded down cliffs green with moss

HBA D THE OWX CAIX M f NAME I The young vicar said to himself If man were to vanish from this planet tomorrows here he would leave no trace that he ever was 9 They moved up the twenty mile inlet with the dusk deepening into dark the raindrops glisten Ing failing slowly in the searchlight sn occa sional little fish darting through the white spumy wake o the bow And they came at last to the government float a third of a mile from the in~ lefs end and three and one half miles from the milage of Kingeome They tied up cm the inside of the float where the boat would not roll I n the morning how will we manage * *Ίn the morning we wϋl lower the speed boat and I will go first with your gear and food I wiH return with boys from the village and two of the thirty foot canoes and they wiE help load the or« gan and take it to the village 9 Up the river Ύes* On the cliffs before you reach the river you will see paintings of cattle sheep goats and coppers that mark the gifts given in a great tribal poΰatch There were so many that put end to end it is said they would have reached from the village three miles down the inlet * *The paintings are veirp old * ΊLess than thirty years The potlatch was in 1936 In the cabin under the bow the young vicar awakened in the night The rain had stopped Through the open porthole he could hear the wind murmuring in the firs and the distant mew ing of the gulls Somewhere in the dark night beyond the Inlet and up the river waited the village and he lay still ramembering all the Bishop had told him of the village when he had first asked him to come

28 2 HEARD THE OWL CAUL MY NAM3S *Ίt is an old village—nobody knows how old According to the myth after the great flood two brothers were the only human beings left alive in the world and they heard a voice speak and it said 'Come Wolf lend them your skin that they may go fleetly and find themselves a home And in the wolf's skin the brothers moved south until they came to a small and lovely valley on a river's edge surrounded by high mountains and here they returned the skin to their friend the wolf and they threw a magic stone to see which one would build his village here and Quelele the younger moved on and Khawadelugha the elder built his house and in his dances he moved right as even now the dancers move right because the wolf moved right and on his totem he carved a wolf as one of the crests of his tribe The Indian name of the village is Quee which means 'inside place 9 and according to the tribal history its site was chosen wisely because the river its access is treacherous and easily defend ed But the enemy was wise also and in the great tribal wars it came through a mountain pass and down the river and the spirit that lives in Whoop Szo the Noisy Mountain that is across the river and towers over the village heard the enemy coming and sent down a slide and buried it Now Kingcome is known as a compact Chris tian village and this means that to run smoothly the elected chief the vicar and the agent from the Indian Affairs Department must be co operative and wise and though I am sure the Lord could pass a small miracle and manage this He seldom does Once there was a chief who agreed with anyone on anything Once there was an agent

HEAJID THE OWL CALX MY NAME XQ who said there was no use educating the Indian because if you did you'd have to find him a job and he was bound to die off anyway And once the church sent a man to Kingcome who had never worked out well anywhere because it was sure here he could do no harm All were wrong and the village survived them The Indian knows his village and feels for his village as no white man for his country his town or even for his own bit of land His village is not the strip of land four miles long and three miles wide that is his as long as the sun rises and the moon sets The myths are the village and the winds and the rains The river is the village and the black and white killer whales that herd the fish to the end of the inlet the better to gobble them The village is the salmon who comes up the river to spawn the seal who follows the salmon and bites off his head the bluejay whose name is like the sound he makes—Έwίss kwiss ' The village is the talking bird the owl who calls the name of the man who is going to die and the silver tipped grizzly who ambles into the village and the little white speck that is the mountain goat on Whoop Szα *Thefifty foot totem by the church is the vil lage and the Cedar man who stands at the bot tom holding up the eagle the wolf and the ravenl And a voice said to the great cedar tree in Bond Sound 'Come forth Tzakamayi and be a man 9 and he came forth to be the Cedar man the first man god of the people and more powerful than aUothers And the Bishop had been silent for a moment before he added slowly This is the village If you go there from the time you tie up at the float in

2O X HEAKD THE OWL CAIX MY NAMS the inlet the village is you But there is one thing you must understand They will not thank you Even if you should leave a broken man they will not thank you There is no word for thank you in Kwέkwala

TWO The next morning the young vicar and his In dian deckhand were up at daylight After a hur ried breakfast in the galley they went up on deck and jumped down onto the float to survey the day The rain had stopped the wind had softened and the sky was blue flecked with cloud They swung out and lowered the small boat and they stowed in it the young vicar's gear and every thing that was to go to the village except the or gan Then Jim put on his gum boots undid the line climbed into the boat and started the out board motor and he was off to the mouth of the river without a word While he was gone the young vicar worked on the boat Already he had begun to think of the boat as he thought of his own arms and legs an extension of himself Caleb had told him how fre quently a fisherman lost a boat because he was too busy with the catch to check its bilge There is no more beautiful sight than a boat burning in the night Caleb had said dryly Mark went over the engine room slowly dou ble checking everything He washed the dishes in the galley placing them carefully behind the little racks that held them tight in a gale He checked the log put away the charts made up the berths cleaned the refrigerator and closed the portholes When he was done the sun was high in the sky and he went outon deck to await the canoes He heard them coming far down the inlet the

aa I HXABD THE OWL CAX MY NAME outboard motors sharp in the cedar air and then he saw them one black one green each thirty feet long and narrow* Jim had brought with him four young men of the village and to Mark they looked strangely alike with the same watchful waiting eyes Jim spoke to them In their own language and when they had maneuvered the canoes to the stern of the boat they lashed them together while he and Mark untied the organ and removed the canvas that covered it Now it occurred to Mark that every single thing that went to Kingcome had to be taken up the river and for the first time he knew the stolid stubborn indifference of the inanimate They moved the organ onto the gunwale of the aft deck They tugged prilled shoved and lifted—the young vicar trying awkwardly to help afraid the canoes would tip over and the organ end in the salt chuck At last the organ was bal anced on the canoes Mark locked the boat put on his gum boots and took his place on the narrow crosspiece which was the seat and they started up the inlet Even on this one of the last good days of fall it was cold the water calm and deep green from the shadow of the cedars The falls slipped down the mossy cliffs The mountains were snow tipped above the timber line When they passed the pot latch paintings and reached the muskeg near the mouth of the river the hand of the Welcome to tem rose above the trees and hundreds of small birds of ducks and geese rose at their passing They entered the river passed the snags and the log jam slowing now to seek the channels to avoid the sandbars where the water was shallow And up the river on the left Mark saw Whoop Szo

HEARD THE OWL CAUL MY NAME 2 3 the Noisy Mountain and the white barked alders that edged the bank and flying over them the sleek black ravens But on the right he saw only one thing the little white church of Saint George The Indians took the canoes close to the shore and stepped out into the icy river As carefully as they had placed the organ onto the canoes they lifted it and carried it onto the black sands of Xίxigcome and up the little path that led past the old vicarage to the church They carried it up the steps to the porch through the door and set it down inside the church Jim pulled over a bench sat down and pedaled vigorously Mark poked a key Nothing happened Oh nor It's a little damp It will dry out in time Then Mark walked slowly down the center aisle toward the hand carved altar and the great carved golden eagle which was the lectern its talons close together its head turned so that it looked most smugly down its beak its wings slightly parted to hold the Bible He saw the carved chair where the Bishop must sit when he came here and the life sized Indian painting of Christ holding a little lamb His face was the Indian's face His eyes the Indian's eyes and in them the depth of sadness He turned away slowly he was alone in the church He walked down the aisle to the door and saw Jim waiting on the steps No one else was vis ible not even a child or a dog Shall we go to the vicarage * Jim asked They walked back to the old vicarage on the lit tle path through the trees and as they drew near Mark heard a strange sound On the broken step of the vicarage sat an old

HEAEB THE OWL CALL MY NA3V5C Indian woman her face scratched and bleeding She was wailing loudly One of the professional mourners 5 * Jim told him There axe three When somebody dies they take turns wailing day and night *Ί did not see her when we passed the vicarage carrying the organ to the church She saw you and was afraid She hid * And why here Why does she wail at the vicarage Because the bodies are kept in the vicarage until burial As they approached the steps the old Indian woman scuttled into the trees Jim opened the door and they stepped inside On boards laid across two trestles was a small body covered with a plastic sheet Mark lifted the sheet and drew it back and he looked at what lay under it and put the sheet down carefully Who is he Th e weesa bedό—the little small boy He had a birth injury and did not grow like the others He was sailing a paper boat at the river's edge and fell in When they saw him floating on the water the other children thought he was a doll 9 * And why—why hasn't he been buried * Because no burial permit has been given The chief councillor went at once to the nearest radio telephone and summoned the RCMP but no one has come yet Then we had better call again The constable will come today The old men say so Ήow do they know * How did they know you were coming today They almost always know Besides it is the first good day and he will come soon now It is a five

HEABJD THE OWt CALL MY NAME 25 hour trip from Alert Bay and he will want to get back before night and he will be young and he will be hard How do you know he will be young * *An older man would not wait ten days * •Will you take me to the mother But when they had walked up the path through the trees and up the steps of one of the little cedar houses and knocked on the door and entered Mark did not know what to say to the woman who waited* She waited as if she had waited all her life as if she were part of time itself gently and patiently Did she remember that in the old days the Indian mother of the Kwakiutl band who lost a child kicked the small body three times and said to it Do not look back Do not turn your head Walk straight on You are going to the land of the owΓ He took her hands and spoke to her The old men say the constable will come soon Then we shall bury him and you can rest but in her soft dark eyes he found no response at all When he returned to the vicarage to wait he saw Jim and an older Indian no doubt the chief councillor walk down the path to the river and he heard the motor of a speed boat and watched it come and stop close to the beach The RCMP officer was young and it was obvi ous why he had been long in coming He had been waiting for a fair day because with him he had brought his girl He picked her up and carried her to the sands and Mark was sure he knew the words he spoke to her Look around as much as you want Don't go into any of the houses except the church This won't take long Then the RCMP officer talked to the chief coun cillor both voices loud and angry

2β X HEAltD THE OWI CAUL MY NAME *Ύou had no business to move him You know the rules In an accident the body must not be moved * We were not sure he was dead We thought we could revive him ' And when you couldn't you should have cov ered him and left him there O n the edge of the river with the tide coming in In the rain Where is the body now *lt is in the vicarage They came toward Mark followed by several Indian men T m Constable Pearson Who are you Mark Brian I am the new vicar in residence * And what do you know of this TSίothing I have just arrived Let's go in Πl want an autopsy * Tm afraid it is a little late for that* They entered the vicarage Constable Pearson plucked the sheet from the small body and leaned toward it Then he bolted from the room down the rickety steps and into the bush where he was very sick The Indians were delighted Laughter rose in their eyes higher and higher filling them and hovering there in tremulous balance Not a drop overflowed When Constable Pearson emerged from the bush all the eyes were sad again and all the faces solemn May I offer you a cup of tea asked the young vicar his voice excessively polite *Ί notice there is smoke coming from the chimneys of several of the houses I think we could manage a cup of tea Constable Pearson did not wish a cup of tea He wanted to give the burial permit and leave The forms must be filled out Was there a table

HEABD THE OWL CAXX MY NAME 27 somewhere Mark ledfriτηto the church and on the top of the organ that wouldn't play they made out the forms and the constable left Now said Jim *we can hold the service for the boy * n the church * *No—in the open air We have a new burial ground but it is a mile from the village and each time anyone dies the path must be cleared The chief wishes the weesa bedό to be buried in the old burial ground just beyond the end of the vil lage and the box is made and the grave is dug and already my people are gathering there ΎU get my things Til help you and they scrambled through Mark's gear that had been piled on the porch of the vicarage until they found a cassock and his Book of Common Prayer Then for the first time Mark walked the main path from one end of the village to the other past the cedar houses that faced the path the ceremo nial house the battered eagle poised on a slender shaft One totem pole was so old he could discern only the top figure a bear wearing at a most jaunty angle the lid of a garbage can to keep him from weathering further Beyond the village they entered the deep woods Jim walking quickly Mark holding his cassock out of the mud and trying not to slip off the small saplings that made a bridge across one swampy place where the trees were so thick the sun never penetrated At last they came into a glade and stopped and stared I t is only the grave trees In the old days each family had its own trees The lower limbs were cut off as protection against the animals and the boxes were hoisted by ropes and tied one above

HEABJD THE OWX* CAUL MY NAME another in the tops Many have fallen as you can see and the grave sheds that were built later have fallen and most of the old carvings Later Mark could never remember the details of his first burial Only parts remained clear The faces of the tribe which all looked alike lifted and waiting in the brooding woods But the words were the same simple words that have been said for the weesa bedόs of all men and It was as if they had been written for this place and this time When he spoke *Ί will lift up mine eyes unto the hills there were the moun tains rising above the great trees and when he read that small and lovely prayer * protect him all day long until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes * the sun had slipped beneath the mountain tops and the shadows were lengthening on the small grave at his feet When it was done he managed to find among all the faces the mother and this time it was she who touched his sleeve gently and thanked him with her eyes But the tribe did not disperse and he sensed there was something yet unfinished of which he had no part and he said H will go back to the vil lage now Jim TU go with you * On the way back Mark could hear an old man's voice speaking loudly in the burial glade almost shouting *Ίt is the eldest He is speaking the ancient Eliz abethan Kwάkwala which the young no longer know Where there is no written language any thing which must be remembered must be said When they reached the vicarage the trestle was gone Someone had made a fire in the old food stove and let the vicarage fill with the smoke

HEARD THE OWX CAIX MY NAME 2 9 of green cedar and let the breeze clear it Two places were set on the tattered oilcloth of the kitch en table a plate and a fork and in the center of the table was a board holding an unappetizing mess of something black and steaming We have had nothing to eat since breakfast Shall we have dinner * Jim asked I t is probably old Marta who brought it* •What is it * Seaweed and com It is called gluckaston Try it You'll like it * and the young vicar tried it and found it excellent 1 will not need you tomorrow Ill be busy here in the vicarage * Then HI go fishing Maybe 111 get drunk Do you want to know why 111 get drunk Because the weesa bedό was my relative When I was five which was his age my uncle gave a feast for me and I was given my third name and I danced I had practiced the steps in play* After the meal Jim helped carry the gear into the vicarage and when he left Mark walked with him onto the porch and watched him go up the path into the dark trees Then he went inside by himself into the sweet and spicy smell of death

THREE When dark came to the village there was a gentle cautious confabulation about the young vicar who bad come from the great outside world* The young women found an imminent need to ex change crochet patterns and they met like a hud dle of young hens and whispered about his looks bis manners even his clean fingernails CMef Eddy on his way to the social hall met Jim on the path and he asked Ήow does he seem to you * Ήe will be no good at hunting or fishing He knows little of boats All the time be says we Shall we have dinner now Shall we tie up here * Pretty soon he will say 'Shall we build a new vicarage 9 He will say we and he wiϋ mean us * and they both smiled In the social hall Chief Eddy found the old men waiting to play the ancient guessing game of La hell the benches in place the bones on the floor He sat down and the game began all the players waiting for T P Wallace the elder the orator of the tribe to mention the young vicar first T P* was the only one alive now whose broad brow showed that as an infant it had been tightly bound with cedar bands In his white shirt tie and best jacket he was as impressive as any Mon treal executive and cast in bronze his head would not have been out of place in that museum room reserved for the busts of the ancient Romans Ha was slow to speak*

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