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Native American Legends

Big Eagle Cave Mystery

A Winnebago (Hotcâk) Legend

Three boys went out hunting, but never returned. A war party was sent out to track them, and followed their tracks into a cave. As each member of the war party descended into the cave, he disappeared. The last man heard a death song coming from the cave, a melody that he had never before encountered.

Tcaxcepxedega, Big Eagle, chief of the tribe returned with many men, but every time his men descended, no matter what precautions were taken, the first man in line would always disappear at a certain point in the descent. The eerie song was once again heard.

One day a boy appeared leading a blind man who was completely white. The boy appeared to be one of those who was lost, but he claimed to have come from another tribe to the northwest. The man became noted as a great healer. At the request of the chief, he looked into the matter of the cave. He and the boy descended. As they disappeared, the song of death became louder. Finally
the man emerged alone, and embarked on a canoe that sailed away across the lake. Later some adventurers descended into the cave, despite its fearful reputation, and found there a chamber with a single giant empty throne, and laying about it face down, the bones of all the men who had descended into the cave.

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