The Silent Enemy

1
Introducing
       Chief Yellow Robe

            Chetoga, in
            THE SILENT ENEMY

2
HUNGER

3
Long before Columbus ....
 a small encampment of
the Ojibways, lingering in
the seductive haze of Indian
         summer.

4
Chetoga, Chief of the 
       tribe.

5
That very morning the
 Chief had given his son,
Cheeka, the ancient charm
from his once mighty bow -

6
To a people for whom
meat is the staff of life,
a great hunter is the epitome
of manly achievement. Such
   a hunter was Baluk.

7
"Where is Neewa? She
 has been gone since
      sunrise."

8
"Neewa went to the long
 lake - to snare partridges
     of the cliff --"

9
"The cliff trail is dangerous
 for your daughter! I will
 cross the lake and meet
           her."

10
"The cubs are for you,
       Cheeka."

11
Dagwan, the Medicine 
       Man.

12
"Dagwan has asked my
 father to give me to him!
 I am afraid - - he works
    fearful magic - -"

13
"Don't fear him, Neewa!
 His magic is false - -
 evil tricks to increase his
 power over the tribe - -"

14
"To the Earth - -"

15
"- - to the Sky - -"

16
"- - to the spirits of the
      Four Winds - -"

17
"My brothers, for nearly a
 moon we have hunted to
 kill one deer. It is time
 we sought new hunting 
        grounds."

18
"What is this talk of new
 hunting grounds? The
 Medicine Man has found
  plenty of game here!"

19
"A good hunter would
 need but half a day's
 journey to find meat
      for all."

20
"We have had six years of
 plenty - - but remember,
 in the days of our fore-
 fathers, the famines of
   the seventh year!"

21
"Go now - - into the forests
 to the South. Bring back
 stores of meat before the
 Great Cold. Baluk will
   summon you at dawn."

22
"No, Cheeka - - you can't
      come with us."

23
"I told you Baluk was not
 a wise hunter - - he has
 not even taken snow-
         shoes."

24
"Oka! Help me get my
 cubs in the canoe!"

25
"You must go back, 
 Cheeka -- your hunting
    days will come."

26
Earlier than ever came
 Keewatin, the North
Wind, howling his warning.

27
Then, suddenly, following
 the wild geese in their
flight, winter swept down
     on the forest.

28
"--since our great hunters
 do not return to feed us,
  I must take the trail."

29
"No - - those are my
        own!"

30
"The Medicine Man takes
     what he wants!"

31
"There's my kill - - proof
 of what I told you when
  you sent Baluk south!"

32
"There's too much work for
 my squaws - - now that I
 must find meat for your
 people. It is time I took
 another - strong, young -"

33
"You have asked for one
 squaw. There are three.
   Take your choice."

34
Another moon waxed
 and waned before
the hunters returned.

35
"There is no game in
 the forests to the
     southward."

36
"It is indeed the seventh
 year! The partridges and
 the rabbits are dying - -
 the deer are dying - - the
    famine is upon us!"

37
"I will call all the men of
  the tribe into Council."

38
"Let Dagwan laugh while
 he can - - one lucky kill
 doesn't make a great 
        hunter!"

39
"Brothers, we can delay no
 longer. The whole tribe
 must be swift to leave this
  land of coming hunger!"

40
"Many moccasins to the
 north is the crossing ground
 of the caribou. We must
 reach it before they pass!"

41
"Baluk speaks wisdom!
 From the very mouth of
 the North Wind come great
 herds of caribou - - food
  for twenty nations!"

42
"You have heard our great
 hunter. Again he brings
 you words -- but no meat!"

43
"Your stomachs have cried 
 out once against promises
 never fulfilled - - now will
 you follow him into the
      empty North?"

44
"Hear me! If the tribe
 suffers, Baluk alone must
    bear the blame!"

45
"I have heard you all, my
 children, and I have
 decided. Roll the bark of
 your teepees at sunrise.
 The Ojibways march
        north!"

46
Day after day - -

[dissolve to:]

47
- - through shortening
 hours of sunlight - -

[dissolve to:]

48
- - through silent, empty
       forests - -

[dissolve to:]

49
- - over frozen lakes
and windswept hills --

[dissolve to:]

50
- - into ever-increasing
       cold - -

51
At length, with one deer
 their only remaining
food, their dogs savage
with hunger, the Ojibways
        halted.

52
The killer of the
 forest - nine feet
 from tip to tip.

53
"The mountain lion is
 stealing our last meat!
 I told you to hang it up!"

54
Then, day after day, they
 visited widely scattered
traps set hopefully for small
         game - -

55
- - only to find that game
 had been trapped - - and
         stolen!

56
"The wolverine!"

57
"Baluk has brought us to
 a land where one traps
 only to feed the wolverine!"

58
"So - - the wolverine has
 more cunning than you?"

59
"Again we are finding game!
 And we will find enough to
 take us to the land of the
         caribou."

60
"Bah! Hungry stomachs
 are sick of your dreams
      of caribou!"

61
"Peace, my brothers!
 There is but one thing
        to do."

62
"Your Chief must go into
 the wilderness - - until the
 evil spirits are appeased."

63
"While Chetoga fasts, I will
 strike far into the North
 Wind. I will not return
 with an empty toboggan!"

64
"I shall pray for
   guidance - -"

65
"I shall pray for a
       sign!"

66
"My children, I go forth
 to seek the will of the 
      Great Spirit."

67
"Each day I will salute
 the sun - - when it rises
    and when it sets."

68
"Do not return for me,
 until you have good
      hunting!"

69
Day after day...a motionless
 figure...alone in the vast
 solitude of the North.

70
While far below the Medicine
 Man, trying to match his
craft against Baluk's skill --

71
A cache - - left late in
   autumn by some
south-wandering tribe.

72
The wolverine - - "Devil
 of the North" - - worst
enemy of the hunter.

73
Dagwan knew the law - -
 that no man may steal
another tribe's food. But
if he could manage a
revelation....a message
  from the Manitou....

74
Hiding the chunk of meat
 he had taken for himself,
and knowing that the fresh
storm would cover all traces
    of his visit - -

75
Anxious to carry out his
 plan before Baluk
returned Dagwan brought
the Chief down from his
lonely vigil - - revived him
 with an incantation - -

76
"My time stick!"

77
"By the marking here, it
 was on the seventh night
 that a vision came to
        me - -"

78
"The hoofs are indeed
 those of the caribou - -
 but the Sitting Fox is the
    symbol of death!"

79
"Your vision means this - -
 if our people press on
 after the caribou, they
  will die! Every one!"

80
"I too have had a vision.
 A cache of meat - -
 enough to carry us all
 back to our own hunting
       grounds!"

81
"As we go back I will
 share your burdens --
   with Neewa - -"

82
"When our stomachs are
 full....then we will talk
        of Neewa."

83
Scavenger as well as robber
 is the wolverine - -
befouling all meat he
finds, so that even starving
creatures of the forest will
     not touch it.

84
"The cache - just as I
 saw it in my Medicine
        Dream!"

85
"Once more we have been
 punished for leaving our
  own hunting grounds!"

86
Late that night, the howling
 of wolves broke the deep
silence around Baluk's far-off
        campfire.

87
Out of the dreaded North,
 Baluk had brought food
for at least three marches.
Again the old Chief ordered
 his weary people forward.

88
The old men were dying.
Women fell in the snow -
and did not rise. At length
the Chief could go no further.

89
"I have seen the Great
 Canoe! It is waiting - -
 to bear me across the
 Milky Way to the Happy
  Hunting Grounds - -"

90
"Baluk shall take my place
 as Chief. Go on, and you
 will feast on the caribou.
 Turn back -- and you will
   die the slow death!"

91
"My war-bonnet!"

92
"My battle-staff!"

93
"My medicine-bag!"

94
"Cease your mourning!
 Remember Chetoga's  last
 words - - to turn back is
 to die the slow death!"

95
"We will go forward - -
 and prepare for the
 crossing of the caribou!"

96
Forward into "the land of
  little sticks" - - the last
sub-Arctic foothold of the
   shrunken trees - -

97
And - - at last - -

98
    - the open, wind-swept
    barrens, land of the 
caribou.

99
No trace of life relieved
 their despair, yet Baluk
placed scouts far and wide
to signal the coming of the
           herd.

100
A broken people, their last
  faith wavering, gathered
 in the Medicine Lodge.

101
"You have reached the
 crossing ground - - but
 where are the caribou?"

102
"Your children are 
     starving!"

103
"Your fathers are dying!"

104
"For the last time, I will
 call upon the Great Spirit!
 You must obey His voice,
 or you will all die - -
       every one!"

105
No one has ever explained
 the Indian Medicine 
Man's weird and terrifying
command of elemental
    forces - -

106
"The Great Spirit spoke in
 the voice of the storm - -
 the earth trembled at His
        voice - -"

107
"I interpret the message
 of the Great Spirit...."

108
"There will be no crossing
 of the caribou until we
      appease Him!"

109
"The man who brought
 you here is to blame
 for all your suffering!"

110
"I have no answer to Dagwan
 now. I have failed. This is
         the end!"

111
"The Manitou orders us -"

112
"- - to sacrifice - -"

113
"- - Baluk!"

114
"Neewa, that is my death
         chant!"

115
"The Great Spirit has
 decreed that we must
 sacrifice our Chief."

116
"What shall be the manner
     of your death?"

117
"As a Chief should 
     die - -"

118
"- - by fire!"

119
"Have the squaws prepare
   the funeral pyre!"

120
"I had hoped to live until
 my teeth were worn with
 age, that I might lead you
      with wisdom...."

121
"But my race is run ....
 my course is finished."

122
"Hear me! I go not like
 a dog stuck in the ribs!
 I go like a Chief of the 
       Ojibways!"

123
"When you are a great
 hunter, Cheeka, you will
 smoke the Council Pipe
       of Baluk."

124
The signal fires!

125
"THE CARIBOU!"

126
"Baluk! Hear me! The
 caribou are coming!"

127
In the first light of dawn,
 every hunter rushed to
the station Baluk had
      appointed.

128
For six days and nights the
 stupendous horde rushed
on, through the ranks of
the weary and surfeited
      hunters ....

[dissolve to:]

129
.... thousands....hundreds of
thousands....an elemental
force which the feeble
efforts of man could not 
destroy nor delay nor turn
         aside.

130
Dagwan had played his
 game - - and lost. He
   awaited his fate.

131
"You have made false
 medicine in the name of
 the Great Spirit....You
 know the law of the
       tribe!"

132
"But you are not worthy
 the death of a brave.
 Yours will be the slow
       death - -"

133
"- - without weapons,
 without food, you will
 take the long trail into
      the barrens."

134
In their new village,
 made from skins of
the caribou, feasting
  followed famine.

135
"That is where I speared 
    the Bull Moose."

The 
    End


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