The Eskimo Twins

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Author: Lucy Fitch Perkins

IV.

At last Kesshoo said, "Will you tell us, great Angakok, how you make these wonderful journeys?"

"Do you really wish to know?" asked the Angakok. "If you do, I will summon my guiding spirits to tell you, but they will speak only in the darkness."

Kesshoo took the lamp at once and put it out in the tunnel. Then he placed a thick musk-ox hide over the entrance, so that not a single ray of light came into the room. The darkness could almost be felt. Everybody sat very still and listened.

Soon a heavy body was heard to strike the floor with a dull thud, and a strange voice said, "Who calls me?"

Another voice said, "You are called, mighty spirits, to tell these children of the labors of their Angakok."

Then began all sorts of strange noises, as of different persons speaking. All the voices sounded much like the Angakok’s, and they all said what a great medicine man the Angakok was, and how every one in the village must be sure to do what he told them to!

At last the Angakok himself spoke, in his own voice. "I will tell you how I make these strange journeys," he said.

"My body is now lying on the floor at your feet. Now I begin to rise. You cannot see me. You cannot touch me. Now I am floating about your heads, now I am touching the roof! I can go wherever I please! Nothing can stop me! I know the secret places of the sun, moon, and stars. I can fly through the roof and go at once to the moon, if I wish to."

Then the voice was still. Nobody moved or spoke.

Monnie had gone to sleep in the corner of the bed, but Koko and Menie were still awake. They had listened to every word about the Old Woman of the Sea, and how the Angakok traveled to the moon.

You know I told you before that Koko was six. He wanted to know all about things. So he spoke right out in the dark, when every one else was still.

He said, "Mother, if the Angakok can go anywhere he wants to, why couldn’t he get out of the tunnel?"

Koko’s mother tried to hush him up. "Sh, sh," she said, and put her hand over his mouth. At least she thought she did, but she made a mistake in the dark and put her hand over Menie’s mouth instead!

Menie tried to say, "I never said a word," but he could only make queer sounds, because Koko’s mother’s hand was tight on his mouth.

Of course Koko didn’t know his mother was trying to keep him still, so he said again, "Why is it, mother?"

Koko’s mother heard Koko’s voice speaking just as plainly as ever though she was sure she had her hand over his mouth! She was frightened.

"Magic! magic!" she screamed. "Bring the light! Koko is bewitched! I have my hand over his mouth, yet you hear that he talks as plainly as ever!"

Koko tried to say, "Your hand isn’t over my mouth," and Menie tried to say, "It’s over mine!" but he could only say, "M-m-m," because she held on so tight!

Koko’s mother was making so much noise herself that she wouldn’t have heard what either one said anyway. The baby woke up and whimpered. Nip and Tup woke up and barked like everything.

Kesshoo got the light from the tunnel as quickly as he could, and set it on the bench. Then every one saw what was the matter! They all laughed -all but Menie and the Angakok. The Angakok said to Koko’s father, "You’d better look after that boy. He is disrespectful to me. That is a bad beginning!"

Koko’s father was ashamed of him. He said, "Koko is so small!"

But the Angakok said, "Koko is six. He is old enough to know better."

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Chicago: Lucy Fitch Perkins, "4," The Eskimo Twins, ed. Hawthorne, Julian, 1846-1934 in The Eskimo Twins (New York: Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, 1894), Original Sources, accessed September 20, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D92Q3X7QHT2JC3N.

MLA: Perkins, Lucy Fitch. "4." The Eskimo Twins, edited by Hawthorne, Julian, 1846-1934, in The Eskimo Twins, Vol. 22, New York, Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, 1894, Original Sources. 20 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D92Q3X7QHT2JC3N.

Harvard: Perkins, LF, '4' in The Eskimo Twins, ed. . cited in 1894, The Eskimo Twins, Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 20 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D92Q3X7QHT2JC3N.