eyes blazed. "Perhaps it is too cold for you. But
it is not too cold for me. I am a Cree!"
sister swims and dives like an otter," Awasin interjected.
"But you are right, Jamie, it is too cold and too
rounded sharply on her brother.
you rather we all starve then? I tell you I can do it.
I will do it!" She turned to Peetyuk who had been
standing silent, undecided what to say. "Peetyuk.
You believe I can do it. Tell them I can do it!"
of admiration for her spirit, yet convinced that the
others were right, poor Peetyuk could do nothing but
mumble inarticulately. For a moment Angeline stared
at him coldly, then with a rapidity which left the boys
helpless to stop her she flung off the sleeping robe
and raced for the riverbank. Awasin gave an angry shout
and started after her but he was too late. For a moment
the girl stood slim and poised on the high cutbank,
then she dived cleanly into the river.
gone crazy!" Jamie yelled. "Grab the canoe,
Awasin standing impotently on the bank, Jamie and Peetyuk
flung themselves into the canoe and paddled frantically
toward the middle of the pool. They gained on the sleek
black head of the girl as she swam strongly for the
backwave, but as Peetyuk leaned over to grab her she
dived like a seal.
she broke surface a few seconds later she was right
under the lip of the falls. Before the boys could reach
her she took a great gulp of air and again disappeared.
was desperate. He had waded out thigh-deep into the
current and only Jamie's angry shout prevented him from
be a fool, Awasin. You'll drown too. I'm going in for
her ... Pete, steady the canoe ..."
had slipped off his moccasin rubbers and his jacket
when Peetyuk yelled:
up. Help me Jamie!"
capsizing the canoe, Jamie jumped to the bow. Peetyuk
had hold of the girl by one arm but was unable to haul
her up. Jamie leaned over and slipped his hands under
both her arms. Pulling together, the two boys eased
her up and over the gunwale. As she tumbled into the
canoe there was a heavy thump against the wooden ribs.
Clutched tightly in the girl's right hand was the missing
was almost unconscious and they had to pry the rifle
out of her hand, which was as cold as death. Minutes
later they had carried her to the fire and covered her
with sleeping robes, and Awasin was forcing hot tea
between her blue lips. Uncontrollable paroxysms of shivering
wracked her whole body. Nevertheless she managed to
force a small smile. Her voice was no more than a whisper
and the boys had to lean close to hear what she said.
Cree girl can do anything ... you see?"
Jamie nodded. But Peetyuk, his eyes glistening with
something deeper than admiration, leaned down and clumsily
took the girl's hand in his.
see very good," he muttered huskily. "And
I think we never forget what Cree girl, she can do."
Farley Mowat, "The Curse of the Viking Grave"
are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret
That would make your blood run
The Northern Lights have seen
But the queerest they ever did
Was that night on the marge of
I cremated Sam McGee."