THE INDIANS





What will Nannie do now? Here in our New-England towns it would seem

hard enough to have one's house swept away before one's eyes; but then

you know you could take the next train of cars, and go to your aunt in

Boston, or your uncle in New York, to stay until a new house could be

prepared for you. But here is Nannie hundreds and thousands of miles

away from any such help; for there are not only no railroads to travel

upon, but not even common roads nor horses nor wagons; nevertheless,

there are neighbors who will bring help.



You remember reading in your history, how, when our great-great-

grandfathers came to this country to live, they found it occupied by

Indians. The Indians are all gone from our part of the country now; but

out in the far North-West, where Nannie lives, they still have their

wigwams and canoes, still dress in blankets, and wear feathers on their

heads, and in that particular part of the country lives a tribe called

the Flatheads. They take this odd name because of a fashion they have of

binding a board upon the top of a child's head, while he is yet very

young, in order that he may grow up with a flattened head, which is

considered a mark of beauty among these savages, just as small feet are

so considered among the Chinese, you know.



The Flatheads are Nannie's only neighbors, and perhaps you would

consider them rather undesirable friends; but when I tell you how they

came at once with blankets and food, and all sorts of friendly offers of

shelter and help, you will think that some white people might well take

a lesson from them.



They had been in the habit of bringing venison and salmon to the

settlement for sale; and when Nannie's mother tells them that she has no

longer any money to buy, they say, "Oh, no, it is a potlatch!" which in

their language mean a present.



Happily the warm weather is approaching; and a little girl who has lived

out of doors so much does not find it unsafe to sleep in the hammock

which Hunter has slung for her among the trees, or even on the ground,

rolled in an Indian blanket; and when her shoes wear out, she can safely

run barefooted in the woods or on the sand.



Before many weeks have passed, some of the tall fir-trees are cut down,

and a new house is built, this time safely perched on top of the cliff;

and, so far as I know, the Frost Giants have never succeeded in touching

it.





THE ICE-KING'S REIGN. THE JEALOUS COURTIERS facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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