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mind everywhere and in all races will scarcely account for the world-wide distribution of long and intricate mythical plots, of consecutive series of adroitly interwoven situations. In presence of these long romances, found among so many widely severed peoples, conjecture is, at present, almost idle. We do not know, in many instances, whether such stories were independently developed, or carried from a common centre, or borrowed by one race from another, and so handed on round the world.

This chapter may conclude with an example of a tale whose diffusion may be explained in divers ways, though its origin seems undoubtedly savage. If we turn to the Algonkins, a stock of Red Indians, we come on a popular tradition which really does give pause to the mythologist. Could this story, he asks himself, have been separately invented in widely different places, or could the Iroquois have borrowed from the Australian blacks or the Andaman Islanders? It is a common thing in most mythologies to find everything of value to man—fire, sun, water—in the keeping of some hostile power. The fire, or the sun, or the water is then stolen, or in other ways rescued from the enemy and restored to humanity. The Huron story (as far as water is concerned) is told by Father Paul Le Jeune, a Jesuit missionary, who lived among the Hurons about 1636. The myth begins with the usual opposition between two brothers, the Cain and Abel of savage legend. One of the brothers, named Ioskeha, slew the other, and became the father of mankind (as known to the Red Indians)