The Mysterious Butte

A young man was once hunting and came to a steep hill. The east side

of the hill suddenly dropped off to a very steep bank. He stood on

this bank, and at the base he noticed a small opening. On going down to

examine it more closely, he found it was large enough to admit a horse

or buffalo. On either side of the door were figures of different animals

engraved into the wall.

He entered the opening and there
scattered about on the floor, lay many

bracelets, pipes and many other things of ornament, as though they had

been offerings to some great spirit. He passed through this first room

and on entering the second it was so dark that he could not see his

hands before his face, so becoming scared, he hurriedly left the place,

and returning home told what he had seen.

Upon hearing this the chief selected four of his most daring warriors to

go with this young man and investigate and ascertain whether the young

man was telling the truth or not. The five proceeded to the butte, and

at the entrance the young man refused to go inside, as the figures on

either side of the entrance had been changed.

The four entered and seeing that all in the first chamber was as the

young man had told, they went on to the next chamber and found it so

dark that they could not see anything. They continued on, however,

feeling their way along the walls. They finally found an entrance that

was so narrow that they had to squeeze into it sideways. They felt their

way around the walls and found another entrance, so low down that

they had to crawl on their hands and knees to go through into the next


On entering the last chamber they found a very sweet odor coming from

the opposite direction. Feeling around and crawling on their hands and

knees, they discovered a hole in the floor leading downward. From this

hole came up the sweet odor. They hurriedly held a council, and decided

to go no further, but return to the camp and report what they had found.

On getting to the first chamber one of the young men said: "I am going

to take these bracelets to show that we are telling the truth." "No,"

said the other three, "this being the abode of some Great Spirit, you

may have some accident befall you for taking what is not yours." "Ah!

You fellows are like old women," said he, taking a fine bracelet and

encircling his left wrist with it.

When they reached the village they reported what they had seen. The

young man exhibited the bracelet to prove that it was the truth they had


Shortly after this, these four young men were out fixing up traps for

wolves. They would raise one end of a heavy log and place a stick under,

bracing up the log. A large piece of meat was placed about five feet

away from the log and this space covered with poles and willows. At

the place where the upright stick was put, a hole was left open, large

enough to admit the body of a wolf. The wolf, scenting the meat and

unable to get at it through the poles and willows, would crowd into the

hole and working his body forward, in order to get the meat, would push

down the brace and the log thus released would hold the wolf fast under

its weight.

The young man with the bracelet was placing his bait under the log when

he released the log by knocking down the brace, and the log caught his

wrist on which he wore the bracelet. He could not release himself and

called loud and long for assistance. His friends, hearing his call, came

to his assistance, and on lifting the log found the young man's wrist

broken. "Now," said they, "you have been punished for taking the

wristlet out of the chamber of the mysterious butte."

Some time after this a young man went to the butte and saw engraved on

the wall a woman holding in her hand a pole, with which she was holding

up a large amount of beef which had been laid across another pole, which

had broken in two from the weight of so much meat.

He returned to the camp and reported what he had seen. All around the

figure he saw marks of buffalo hoofs, also marked upon the wall.

The next day an enormous herd of buffalo came near to the village, and

a great many were killed. The women were busy cutting up and drying the

meat. At one camp was more meat than at any other. The woman was hanging

meat upon a long tent pole, when the pole broke in two and she was

obliged to hold the meat up with another pole, just as the young man saw

on the mysterious butte.

Ever after that the Indians paid weekly visits to this butte, and

thereon would read the signs that were to govern their plans.

This butte was always considered the prophet of the tribe.