[044] A Ghost Story

A Ghost Story



A great many persons went on the warpath. They were Ponca. As they approached the foe, they camped for the night. They kindled a fire. It was during the night. After kindling a bright fire, they sat down;they made the fire burn very brightly. Rejoicing greatly, they sat eating. Very suddenly a person sang.

"Keep quiet. Push the ashes over that fire. Seize your bow in silence!" said their leader. All took their bows. And they departed to surround him. They made the circle smaller and smaller, and commenced at once to come together. And still he stood singing; he did not stir at all. At length they went very near to the tree. And when they drew very near to it, the singer ceased his song. When they had reached the tree, bones lay there in a pile. Human bones were piled there at the foot of the tree. When persons die, the Dakotas usually suspend the bodies in trees.