From Skabalko at Arlington to Klatsko (Jim Creek) on
the Achalitch (South Fork) was the home of the
Achalitchamish (people). They hunted and fished over a
lot of good country. The last well known man of this
tribe was Stiabalth, son of Stadahahlt. At Klatsko at
one time lived a woman who became the great, great
grandmother of nearly all the people of the Stolouck and
Achalitch. A great hunter of Klatsko traveled all the
way to Chemacum before he found the right one. He
brought her home and she was honored by his tribe.
Along the river there was a camp where lived many
birds. They lived on land and in the trees, and eat
berries, bugs, and worms. Sometimes they talked about
others who did not live as they did, and said things
about them. About Kingfisher they said: "He is a
careless bird, flying away from home all the time. He
surely can't take care of his family." One day-
Kingfisher heard this and he stopped and said: "You only
feed yourself; see, I bring home a fish every day for my
wife and family, and never have trouble at home. That is
my way of living."
S'beau (The Fox) and Su-Adu (The Salmon)
Spose you like to hear something about
fish. Yes, Indian all over this whulge (Sound) country,
he know much about fish. Some way this river people all
over. S'Beau, hees best friend for Su-adu; he make
bargain with salmon this way: He run up rivers and
creeks all the time and look for place salmon can stay
when he lay eggs. When salmon come up S'Beau he maybe
see salmon run in bad place where he will get struck and
die if water go down. S'Beau he run out and chase salmon
and holler: "Hey, you, come out of there quick; this no
good place for you." For this S'Beau get one nice fish
(Shweetlai and Quaguilch)
Once goat was brown and deer was white.
They both had much trouble avoiding their enemies,
because brown goat on white snow could be so easily
seen, also white deer in dark woods.
One day they met and talked over a plan to make it
better for both. Both all of a sudden said: "Suppose we
try to trade coats and see how it goes." They did and
after that they had very little trouble in avoiding
their enemies. Goat was hard to see near gray rocks or
white snow, and deer was hard to see in the woods.
The Indian had no law books. He had the
unwritten law. It worked. For instance a man accused of
adultery was tried by members of the tribe and if found
guilty, he was publicly flogged. If the crime was,
repeated he was given a heavier dose and the third time
The methods of dealing with law violators varied greatly
among the different tribes.
Up near Big Lake in Skagit county stand
the big rocks. They can be seen from the highway. Have
you experienced a strange feeling when you passed them?
Well this is why.
They are the soul thieves Jid-was the largest,
Dsa-kokd-suk, the next in size, and a couple of smaller
These rocks, malicious and crafty, stood in waiting to
rob Indians of their souls. If man or woman were not in
good health when they passed these rocks, they were in
grave danger. Now and then, perhaps once in 5 years,
some person would turn up crazy. Some would all of
sudden run wild, dash right into the brush and stop all
worn out. Others would jump around and sing senseless
songs. Those who saw them knew what had happened, and
immediately sent for the best tamanois (doctor) who
would go to the rocks to recapture the victim's soul.
It tools extreme skill and cunning to do this, because
the rocks began throwing the souls back and forth
between them. But a good doctor of strong tamanois can
When the soul was brought back and entered its owner the
Many an Indian feeling week or timid traveled a long
ways around to avoid the rocks.
Those who knew best the power of the rocky were the
Tsil-ahlibs, the tribe of the Hatchu (Lakes).
About a mile above Hat Slough (To Toluqe)
lived Ku-kwil Khaedib, a big man in councils, well known
and respected among his people. From the To Toluque
country to Toll Dachub (the Pilchuck) he and his family
could fish, hunt and pick berries without interfering
with any one's else rights. His house (Alhal) was big
and long, and could shelter many people, which was quite
necessary because there were held councils and many men
came to talk over important matters together. Around the
big house lived many relatives in small houses. Along
the river banks and across country were trails. The
camps were not far apart and runners could run from one
camp to the other in relays to carry news, or warn each
other in case of danger.
Ku-kwil Khaedib had many blankets and many canoes.
Tlai's (shovelnose) for the river and Stie Wathl for the
Whinge (Sound). He, with crews of paddlers, made long
journeys on the Sound. One of his chief assistants on
these journeys was his nephew, Da-quashkid (Splitlip
Jim), at that time a young man. They made trips to
Seattle and Nishqually. On these trips they heard of and
attended the big potlatches up and down the Sound, and
extended invitations to their own.
At Port Susan, near Warm Beach, were held at long
intervals potlatches or Sque-ques, lasting several days,
with feasting, barbecue and clambake, singing, dancing
and merry-making. Usually some of the wealthiest people
would bring a lot of goods to give away, and with due
ceremony would give away canoes, blankets and other
valuables from the potlatch pile. Those who gave the
most were regarded as the most honorable people.
Ku-kwil Khaedib gave much, and for this and other good
qualities was for many years big man of the