He usually said little, but when he was in the mood he could keep a large company in a roar. This was especially the case whenever he met his brother-in-law, Tamedokah. It was a custom with us Indians to joke more particularly with our brothers- and sisters-in-law. But no one ever complained, or resented any of these jokes, however personal they might be.
The latter was holding on to the deer's tail with both hands and his knife was in his mouth, but it soon dropped out. 'Tamedokah, I shouted, 'haven't you got hold of the wrong animal? but as I spoke they disappeared into the woods. "In a minute they both appeared again, and then it was that I began to laugh. I could not stop. It almost killed me. The deer jumped the longest jumps I ever saw.
"It was a singular mishap," admitted Tamedokah. The pipe had been filled by Matogee and passed to Tamedokah good-naturedly, still with a broad smile on his face. "It must be acknowledged," he resumed, "that you have the strongest kind of a grip, for no one else could hold on as long as you did, and secure such a trophy besides. That tail will do for an eagle feather holder."
"Yes," Tamedokah quietly replied, "I thought I would do something to beat the story of the man who rode a young elk, and yelled frantically for help, crying like a woman." "Ugh! that was only a legend," retorted Matogee, for it was he who was the hero of this tale in his younger days. "But this is a fresh feat of to-day.
Tamedokah walked the longest paces and was very swift. His hair was whipping the trees as they went by. Water poured down his face. I stood bent forward because I could not straighten my back-bone, and was ready to fall when they again disappeared. "When they came out for the third time it seemed as if the woods and the meadow were moving too.
Again the chorus of appreciation from his hearers. "The strangest thing about this affair of mine," spoke up Tamedokah, "is that I dreamed the whole thing the night before." "There are some dreams come true, and I am a believer in dreams," one remarked. "Yes, certainly, so are we all. You know Hachah almost lost his life by believing in dreams," commented Matogee.
Since our ancestors hunted with stone knives and hatchets, I say, that has never been done." The fact was that Tamedokah had stunned a buck that day while hunting, and as he was about to dress him the animal got up and attempted to run, whereupon the Indian launched forth to secure his game.
"This is what I saw," the witness began. "I was tracking a buck and a doe. As I approached a small opening at the creek side 'boom! came a report of the mysterious iron. I remained in a stooping position, hoping to see a deer cross the opening. In this I was not disappointed, for immediately after the report a fine buck dashed forth with Tamedokah close behind him.
That would be an unpardonable breach of etiquette. "Tamedokah, I heard that you tried to capture a buck by holding on to his tail," said Matogee, laughing. "I believe that feat cannot be performed any more; at least, it never has been since the pale-face brought us the knife, the 'mysterious iron, and the pulverized coal that makes bullets fly.
Tamedokah skipped across the opening as if he were a grasshopper learning to hop. I fell down. "When I came to he was putting water on my face and head, but when I looked at him I fell again, and did not know anything until the sun had passed the mid-sky. "The company was kept roaring all the way through this account, while Tamedokah himself heartily joined in the mirth.