in boughs and bunches of leaves, and when I asked her what she
meant by such nonsense, and snatched them away and threw them down,
she tittered and blushed. I had never seen a person titter
and blush before, and to me it seemed unbecoming and idiotic.
She said I would soon know how it was myself. This was correct.
Hungry as I was, I laid down the apple half-eaten–certainly the
best one I ever saw, considering the lateness of the season–
and arrayed myself in the discarded boughs and branches, and then
spoke to her with some severity and ordered her to go and get some
more and not make a spectacle or herself. She did it, and after this
we crept down to where the wild-beast battle had been, and collected
some skins, and I made her patch together a couple of suits proper
for public occasions. They are uncomfortable, it is true, but stylish,
and that is the main point about clothes. . . . I find she is a
good deal of a companion. I see I should be lonesome and depressed
without her, now that I have lost my property. Another thing,
she says it is ordered that we work for our living hereafter.
She will be useful. I will superintend.
TEN DAYS LATER.–She accuses ME of being the cause of our disaster!
She says, with apparent sincerity and truth, that the Serpent assured
her that the forbidden fruit was not apples, it was chestnuts.
I said I was innocent, then, for I had not eaten any chestnuts.
She said the Serpent informed her that “chestnut” was a figurative
term meaning an aged and moldy joke. I turned pale at that,
for I have made many jokes to pass the weary time, and some of them
could have been of that sort, though I had honestly supposed
that they were new when I made them. She asked me if I had made
one just at the time of the catastrophe. I was obliged to admit
that I had made one to myself, though not aloud. It was this.
I was thinking about the Falls, and I said to myself, “How wonderful
it is to see that vast body of water tumble down there!”
Then in an instant a bright thought flashed into my head, and I let
it fly, saying, “It would be a deal more wonderful to see it tumble
UP there!”–and I was just about to kill myself with laughing at
it when all nature broke loose in war and death and I had to flee
for my life. “There,” she said, with triumph, “that is just it;
the Serpent mentioned that very jest, and called it the First Chestnut,
and said it was coeval with the creation.” Alas, I am indeed
to blame. Would that I were not witty; oh, that I had never had
that radiant thought!
NEXT YEAR.–We have named it Cain. She caught it while I was up country
trapping on the North Shore of the Erie; caught it in the timber a
couple of miles from our dug-out–or it might have been four, she isn’t
certain which. It resembles us in some ways, and may be a relation.
That is what she thinks, but this is an error, in my judgment.
The difference in size warrants the conclusion that it is a different
and new kind of animal–a fish, perhaps, though when I put it in the
water to see, it sank, and she plunged in and snatched it out before
there was opportunity for the experiment to determine the matter.
I still think it is a fish, but she is indifferent about what it is,
and will not let me have it to try. I do not understand this.
The coming of the creature seems to have changed her whole nature
and made her unreasonable about experiments. She thinks more
of it than she does of any of the other animals, but is not able
to explain why. Her mind is disordered–everything shows it.
Sometimes she carries the fish in her arms half the night when it
complains and wants to get to the water. At such times the water
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