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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tered in the synoptical tables, as preference is given to those which were published during a long series of years, or were issued very irregularly. The publication of the data contained in these tables was at one time abandoned on account of supposed typographical difficulties, but these have been overcome. The catalogue does not embrace transactions of learned societies, these being found in the admirable "Catalogue of Scientific Serials," by Mr. S. H. Scudder; but it does embrace every branch of applied science, including engineering, architecture, chemical technology, geography, ethnology, agriculture, horticulture, telegraphy, meteorology, etc. More than twenty languages are represented in the work, which it is hoped will be completed before the close of the year.

 

Sioux Superstitions.—Mr. H. C. Yarrow has communicated to the Anthropological Society of Washington, D. C, some observations by Mr. William E. Everett, a Government scout at Fort Custer, on some superstitions of the live Indians. The Sioux believe that when they die they go directly to the "Great Spirit's Big Village," having to cross a long divide, and perhaps fight the spirits of their dead enemies on the way; for this reason they want their best horses killed with them, and their arms put by their side. Reaching their paradise, they are received by their friends and relatives and escorted to a fine lodge, where they meet their wives and children that have gone before; all their war-horses that have been killed in battle reappear before them; if they have been maimed in war, their missing members immediately return to them; if they have mutilated themselves greatly for some friend or relative, that person comes to them and embraces them, and makes them large presents; and they find themselves encamped amid most delightful surroundings. Their idea of sickness is that a bad spirit of one of their enemies has entered the sick person, and must be driven out by noise; and a great uproar is made, while the invalid is made to inhale the smoke of sweet grasses and herbs to assist in the exorcism. Bad spirits are believed to be sometimes sent back to earth in the shape of some animal, and Indians often fancy that they can talk to their friends under such forms. Mr. Everett once saw Sitting Bull making motions with his hands, and talking to a large wolf, which apparently understood what he said, "for whenever he would make the sign for 'Do you understand?' the wolf would throw up his head and howl." The chief told Mr. Everett that he was making medicine to find where the main herd of buffalo were, and whether it would rain or snow before the hunters got back; and he said the wolf was the spirit of a great hunter, and always gave him warning whenever there was any danger close at hand, and told him where the buffalo were to be found. He also repeated some predictions the wolf had made to him, which seem to have been afterward exactly fulfilled. A remarkable superstition prevails with relation to the white-tailed deer, and is so strong that an Indian can seldom be induced to shoot one of those animals. They believe that the deer embodies the spirit of a woman, who, if it is killed, will appear before them and kill them, or make their life a torture. Mr. Everett is acquainted with several stories of Indians who started out, in spite of the superstition, to hunt the white-tailed deer and did not return, but who were afterward found, by their friends going out to search for them, lying by the side of a dead deer strangled, with the marks of a woman's hand on their throat, and a woman's feet on the ground. One grim story of this character, which he repeats with its particulars, relates to six young men who went out together and shot six deer, and were found strangled, with marks of fingers on their throats, and horrified looks, as if they had seen something awful. A curse was pronounced upon the spot where the tragedy happened, by the oldest man of the tribe, which was said by the Indians to have been fulfilled to the letter.

 

What are Sun-Spots?—Opinions respecting the nature of the sun-spots vary widely. Secchi thought they were clefts filled with metallic vapors; Weber and Kirchhoff, that they were clouds of smoke; Reis, that they were clouds of vaporized oxyhydrate of iron; and Faye, Zöllner, Gautier, Spiller, and Spörer, that they were a dross formed by a ccol-