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Pemican and buffalo marrow, Haunch of deer and hump of bison, Yellow cakes of the Mondamin, And the wild rice of the river.

But the gracious Hiawatha,
And the lovely Laughing Water,
And the careful old Nokomis,
Tasted not the food before them,
Only waited on the others,
Only served their guests in silence.

And when all the guests had finished,
Old Nokomis, brisk and busy,
From an ample pouch of otter,
Filled the red-stone pipes for smoking
With tobacco from the South-land,
Mixed with bark of the red willow,
And with herbs and leaves of fragrance.

Then she said, "O Pau-Puk-Keewis, Dance for us your merry dances, Dance the Beggar's Dance to please us, That the feast may be more joyous, That the time may pass more gayly, And our guests be more contented!"

Then the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis, He the idle Yenadizze,

He the merry mischief-maker,
Whom the people called the Storm-Fool,
Rose among the guests assembled.

Skilled was he in sports and pastimes,
In the merry dance of snow-shoes,
In the play of quoits and ball-play;
Skilled was he in games of hazard,
In all games of skill and hazard,
Pugasaing, the Bowl and Counters,
Kuntassoo, the Game of plum-stones.

Though the warriors called him Faint-Heart,
Called him coward, Shaugodaya,
Idler, gambler, Yenadizze,
Little heeded he their jesting.
Little cared he for their insults,
For the women and the maidens
Loved the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis.

He was dressed in shirt of doeskin, White and soft, and fringed with ermine, All inwrought with beads of wampum; He was dressed in deer-skin leggings, Fringed with hedgehog quills and ermine And in moccasins of buck-skin, Thick with quills and beads embroidered. On his head were plumes of swan's down, On his heels were tails of foxes, In one hand a fan of feathers, And a pipe was in the other.

Barred with streaks of red and yellow, Streaks of blue and bright vermilion, Shone the face of Pau-Puk-Keewis. From his forehead fell his tresses, Smooth, and parted like a woman's, Shining bright with oil, and plaited, Hung with braids of scented grasses, As among the guests assembled, To the sound of flutes and singing To the sound of drums and voices, Rose the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis, And began his mystic dances.

First he danced a solemn measure, Very slow in step and gesture, In and out among the pine-trees, Through the shadows and the sunshine, Treading softly like a panther. Then more swiftly and still swifter, Whirling, spinning round in circles, Leaping o'er the guests assembled, Eddying round and round the wigwam, Till the leaves went whirling with him, Till the dust and wind together Swept in eddies round about him.

Then along the sandy margin Of the lake, the Big-Sea-Water, On he sped with frenzied gestures, Stamped upon the sand, and tossed it

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Sang in accents sweet and tender,
Sang in tones of deep emotion,
Songs of love and songs of longing;
Looking still at Hiawatha,
Looking at fair Laughing Water,
Sang he softly, sang in this wise:

"Onaway Awake, beloved! Thou the wild-flower of the forest! Thou the wild-bird of the prairie! Thou with eyes so soft and fawn-like! "If thou only lookest at me, I am happy, I am happy, As the lilies of the prairie,

When they feel the dew upon them!
"Sweet thy breath is as the fragrance
Of the wild-flowers in the morning,
As their fragrance is at evening,
In the Moon when leaves are falling.

"Does not all the blood within me Leap to meet thee, leap to meet thee, As the springs to meet the sunshine, In the Moon when nights are brightest?

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"Onaway! my heart sings to thee, Sings with joy when thou art near me, As the sighing, singing branches In the pleasant Moon of Strawberries! When thou art not pleased, beloved, Then my heart is sad and darkened, As the shining river darkens When the clouds drop shadows on it! "When thou smilest, my beloved, Then my troubled heart is brightened, As in sunshine gleam the ripples That the cold wind makes in rivers.

"Smiles the earth, and smile the waters,
Smile the cloudless skies above us,
But I lose the way of smiling
When thou art no longer near me!

"I myself, myself! behold me!
Blood of my beating heart, behold me!
O awake, awake, beloved !
Onaway awake, beloved!"

Thus the gentle Chibiabos
Sang his song of love and longing;
And Iagoo, the great boaster,
He the marvellous story-teller,
He the friend of old Nokomis,
Jealous of the sweet musician,
Jealous of the applause they gave him,
Saw in all the eyes around him,
Saw in all their looks and gestures,
That the wedding guests assembled
Longed to hear his pleasant stories,
His immeasurable falsehoods.

Very boastful was Lagoo; Never heard he an adventure But himself had met a greater; Never any deed of daring But himself had done a bolder;

Never any marvellous story
But himself could tell a stranger.

Would you listen to his boasting,
Would you only give him credence,
No one ever shot an arrow
Half so far and high as he had;
Ever caught so many fishes,
Ever killed so many reindeer,
Ever trapped so many beaver!

None could run so fast as he could,
None could dive so deep as he could,
None could swim so far as he could;
None had made so many journeys,
None had seen so many wonders,
As this wonderful Iagoo,
As this marvellous story-teller!

Thus his name became a by-word And a jest among the people; And whene'er a boastful hunter Praised his own address too highly, Or a warrior, home returning, Talked too much of his achievements, All his hearers cried, "Iagoo! Here's Iagoo come among us!"

He it was who carved the cradle Of the little Hiawatha, Carved its framework out of linden, Bound it strong with reindeer sinews; He it was who taught him later How to make his bows and arrows, How to make the bows of ash-tree, And the arrows of the oak-tree. So among the guests assembled At my Hiawatha's wedding Sat Iagoo, old and ugly, Sat the marvellous story-teller.

And they said, "O good Iagoo, Tell us now a tale of wonder, Tell us of some strange adventure, That the feast may be more joyous, That the time may pass more gayly, And our guests be more contented!"

And Iagoo answered straightway, "You shall hear a tale of wonder, You shall hear the strange adventures Of Osseo, the magician, From the Evening Star descended."

XII.

THE SON OF THE EVENING STAR.

CAN it be the sun descending
O'er the level plain of water?
Or the Red Swan floating, flying,
Wounded by the magic arrow,
Staining all the waves with crimson,
With the crimson of its life-blood,
Filling all the air with splendor,
With the splendor of its plumage?

Yes; it is the sun descending,
Sinking down into the water,
All the sky is stained with purple,
All the water flushed with crimson!
No; it is the Red Swan floating,
Diving down beneath the water;
To the sky its wings are lifted,
With its blood the waves are reddened!
Over it the Star of Evening
Melts and trembles through the purple,
Hangs suspended in the twilight.
No; it is a bead of wampum
On the robes of the Great Spirit,
As he passes through the twilight,
Walks in silence through the heavens.
This with joy beheld Iagoo
And he said in haste: "Behold it!
See the sacred Star of Evening!
You shall hear a tale of wonder,
Hear the story of Osseo,

Son of the Evening Star, Osseo!

..

Once, in days no more remembered, Ages nearer the beginning, When the heavens were closer to us, And the Gods were more familiar, In the North-land lived a hunter, With ten young and comely daughters, Tall and lithe as wands of willow; Only Oweenee, the youngest, She the willful and the wayward, She the silent, dreamy maiden, Was the fairest of the sisters.

"All these women married warriors, Married brave and haughty husbands; Only Oweenee, the youngest, Laughed and flouted all her lovers, All her young and handsome suitors, And then married old Osseo,

Old Osseo, poor and ugly,
Broken with age and weak with coughing,

Always coughing like a squirrel.

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Ah, but beautiful within him
Was the spirit of Osseo,
From the Evening Star descended,
Star of Evening, Star of Woman,
Star of tenderness and passion!
All its fire was in his bosom,
All its beauty in his spirit,
All its mystery in his being,
All its splendor in his language!

"And her lovers, the rejected,
Handsome men with belts of wampum,
Handsome men with paint and feathers,
Pointed at her in derision,
Followed her with jest and laughter.
But she said: 'I care not for you,
Care not for your belts of wampum,
Care not for your paint and feathers,
Care not for your jests and laughter:
I am happy with Osseo!'

"Once to some great feast invited,
Through the damp and dusk of evening
Walked together the ten sisters,
Walked together with their husbands;
Slowly followed old Osseo,
With fair Oweenee beside him;
All the others chatted gayly,
These two only walked in silence.

"At the western sky Osseo
Gazed intent, as if imploring,
Often stopped and gazed imploring
At the trembling Star of Evening.
At the tender Star of Woman;
And they heard him murmur softly,
Ah, showain nemeshin, Nosa!
Pity, pity me, my father!'

Listen! said the eldest sister,
'He is praying to his father!
What a pity that the old man
Does not stumble in the pathway,
Does not break his neck by falling!'
And they laughed till all the forest
Rang with their unseemly laughter.

"On their pathway through the woodlands Lay an oak, by storms uprooted, Lay the great trunk of an oak-tree, Buried half in leaves and mosses, Mouldering, crumbling, huge and hollow. And Osseo, when he saw it, Gave a shout, a cry of anguish, Leaped into its yawning cavern, At one end went in an old man, Wasted, wrinkled, old, and ugly; From the other came a young man, Tall and straight and strong and handsome. "Thus Osseo was transfigured,

Thus restored to youth and beauty; But, alas for good Osseo,

And for Oweenee, the faithful! Strangely, too, was she transfigured. Changed into a weak old woman,

With a staff she tottered onward, Wasted, wrinkled, old, and ugly! And the sisters and their husbands Laughed until the echoing forest Rang with their unseemly laughter.

But Osseo turned not from her, Walked with slower step beside her, Took her hand, as brown and withered As an oak-leaf is in Winter, Called her sweetheart, Nenemoosha, Soothed her with soft words of kindness, Till they reached the lodge of feasting, Till they sat down in the wigwam, Sacred to the Star of Evening, To the tender Star of Woman.

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'Wrapt in visions, lost in dreaming, At the banquet sat Osseo; All were merry, all were happy, All were joyous but Osseo. Neither food nor drink he tasted, Neither did he speak nor listen, But as one bewildered sat he, Looking dreamily and sadly, First at Oweenee, then upward At the gleaming sky above them. "Then a voice was heard, a whisper, Coming from the starry distance, Coming from the empty vastness, Low, and musical, and tender; And the voice said: 'O Osseo! O my son, my best beloved! Broken are the spells that bound you, All the charms of the magicians,

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It is blessed and enchanted,

It has magic virtues in it,
It will change you to a spirit.
All your bowls and all your kettles
Shall be wood and clay no longer;
But the bowls be changed to wampum,
And the kettles shall be silver;
They shall shine like shells of scarlet,
Like the fire shall gleam and glimmer.
And the women shall no longer
Bear the dreary doom of labor,
But be changed to birds, and glisten
With the beauty of the starlight,
Painted with the dusky splendors
Of the skies and clouds of evening!'
What Osseo heard as whispers,
What as words he comprehended,
Was but music to the others,
Music as of birds afar off,
Of the whippoorwill afar off,
Of the lonely Wawonaissa
Singing in the darksome forest.

..

Then the lodge began to tremble,
Straight began to shake and tremble,
And they felt it rising, rising,
Slowly through the air ascending,
From the darkness of the tree-tops
Forth into the dewy starlight,
Till it passed the topmost branches;
And behold! the wooden dishes
All were changed to shells of scarlet!
And behold! the earthen kettles
All were changed to bowls of silver!
And the roof-poles of the wigwam
Were as glittering rods of silver,
And the roof of bark upon them
As the shining shards of beetles.

"Then Osseo gazed around him,
And he saw the nine fair sisters,
All the sisters and their husbands,
Changed to birds of various plumage.
Some were jays and some were magpies,
Others thrushes, others blackbirds;
And they hopped, and sang, and twittered,
Perked and fluttered all their feathers,

..

Strutted in their shining plumage,
And their tails like fans unfolded.
Only Oweenee, the youngest,
Was not changed, but sat in silence,
Wasted, wrinkled, old, and ugly,
Looking sadly at the others;
Till Osseo, gazing upward,
Gave another cry of anguish,
Such a cry as he had uttered
By the oak-tree in the forest.

"Then returned her youth and beauty,
And her soiled and tattered garments
Were transformed to robes of ermine,
And her staff became a feather,
Yes, a shining silver feather!

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And again the wigwam trembled, Swayed and rushed through airy currents, Through transparent cloud and vapor, And amid celestial splendors

On the Evening Star alighted,
As a snow-flake falls on snow-flake,
As a leaf drops on a river,

As the thistle-down on water.

"Forth with cheerful words of welcome
Came the father of Osseo,
He with radiant locks of silver,
He with eyes serene and tender.
And he said: My son, Osseo,

Hang the cage of birds you bring there,
Hang the cage with rods of silver,
And the birds with glistening feathers,
At the doorway of my wigwam.'

"At the door he hung the bird-cage,
And they entered in, and gladly
Listened to Osseo's father,
Ruler of the Star of Evening,
As he said: O my Osseo!
I have had compassion on you,

Given you back your youth and beauty,
Into birds of various plumage

Changed your sisters and their husbands; Changed them thus because they mocked you In the figure of the old man,

In that aspect sad and wrinkled,
Could not see your heart of passion,
Could not see your youth immortal;
Only Oweenee, the faithful,
Saw your naked heart and loved you.

"In the lodge that glimmers yonder,
In the little star that twinkles
Through the vapors, on the left hand,
Lives the envious Evil Spirit,
The Wabeno, the magician,
Who transformed you to an old man.
Take heed lest his beams fall on you,
For the rays he darts around him
Are the power of his enchantment,
Are the arrows that he uses.'

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Many years, in peace and quiet, On the peaceful Star of Evening Dwelt Osseo with his father; Many years, in song and flutter, At the doorway of the wigwam, Hung the cage with rods of silver, And fair Oweenee, the faithful, Bore a son unto Osseo, With the beauty of his mother, With the courage of his father.

"And the boy grew up and prospered, And Osseo, to delight him, Made him little bows and arrows, Opened the great cage of silver, And let loose his aunts and uncles, All those birds with glossy feathers, For his little son to shoot at.

"Round and round they wheeled and darted,

Filled the Evening Star with music,
With their songs of joy and freedom;
Filled the Evening Star with splendor,
With the fluttering of their plumage;
Till the boy, the little hunter,

Bent his bow and shot an arrow,
Shot a swift and fatal arrow,
And a bird, with shining feathers,
At his feet fell wounded sorely.

"But, O wondrous transformation! "T was no bird he saw before him, "T was a beautiful young woman, With the arrow in her bosom !

"When her blood fell on the planet,
On the sacred Star of Evening,
Broken was the spell of magic,
Powerless was the strange enchantment,
And the youth, the fearless bowman,
Suddenly felt himself descending,
Held by unseen hands, but sinking
Downward through the empty spaces,
Downward through the clouds and vapors,
Till he rested on an island,
On an island, green and grassy,
Yonder in the Big-Sea-Water.

"After him he saw descending
All the birds with shining feathers,
Fluttering, falling, wafted downward,
Like the painted leaves of Autumn;
And the lodge with poles of silver,
With its roof like wings of beetles,
Like the shining shards of beetles,
By the winds of heaven uplifted,
Slowly sank upon the island,
Bringing back the good Osseo,
Bringing Oweenee, the faithful.

"Then the birds, again transfigured, Reassumed the shape of mortals, Took their shape, but not their stature; They remained as Little People, Like the pygmies, the Puk-Wudjies, And on pleasant nights of Summer, When the Evening Star was shining, Hand in hand they danced together On the island's craggy headlands, On the sand-beach low and level.

"Still their glittering lodge is seen there, On the tranquil Summer evenings, And upon the shore the fisher Sometimes hears their happy voices, Sees them dancing in the starlight!

When the story was completed, When the wondrous tale was ended, Looking round upon his listeners, Solemnly Iagoo added:

There are great men, I have known such,

Whom their people understand not,
Whom they even make a jest of,

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Scoff and jeer at in derision.
From the story of Osseo
Let us learn the fate of jesters!

All the wedding guests delighted Listened to the marvellous story, Listened laughing and applauding, And they whispered to each other: "Does he mean himself, I wonder? And are we the aunts and uncles?"

Then again sang Chibiabos,
Sang a song of love and longing,
In those accents sweet and tender,
In those tones of pensive sadness,
Sang a maiden's lamentation
For her lover, her Algonquin.

"When I think of my beloved,
Ah me! think of my beloved,
When my heart is thinking of him,
O my sweetheart, my Algonquin !
Ah me! when I parted from him,
Round my neck he hung the wampum,
As a pledge, the snow-white wampum,
O my sweetheart, my Algonquin !

**

"I will go with you, he whispered, Ah me! to your native country; Let me go with you, he whispered, O my sweetheart, my Algonquin ! Far away, away, I answered,

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Very far away, I answered,
Ah me! is my native country,
O my sweetheart, my Algonquin!

..

When I looked back to behold him, Where we parted, to behold him, After me he still was gazing, O my sweetheart, my Algonquin ! "By the tree he still was standing, By the falling tree was standing, That had dropped into the water, O my sweetheart, my Algonquin! "When I think of my beloved, Ah me! think of my beloved, When my heart is thinking of him, O my sweetheart, my Algonquin !" Such was Hiawatha's wedding, Such the dance of Pau-Puk-Keewis, Such the story of Iagoo, Such the songs of Chibiabos; Thus the wedding banquet ended, And the wedding guests departed, Leaving Hiawatha happy With the night and Minnehaha.

XIII.

BLESSING THE CORNFIELDS.

SING, O Song of Hiawatha,
Of the happy days that followed,
In the land of the Ojibways,
In the pleasant land and peaceful!
Sing the mysteries of Mondamin,
Sing the Blessing of the Cornfields!

Buried was the bloody hatchet, Buried was the dreadful war-club, Buried were all war-like weapons, And the war-cry was forgotten. There was peace among the nations; Unmolested roved the hunters, Built the birch canoe for sailing, O Caught the fish in lake and river, Shot the deer and trapped the beaver; Unmolested worked the women, Made their sugar from the maple, Gathered wild rice in the meadows, Dressed the skins of deer and beaver. All around the happy village Stood the maize-fields, green and shining, Waved the green plumes of Mondamin, Waved his soft and sunny tresses, Filling all the land with plenty. 'T was the women who in Spring-time Planted the broad fields and fruitful, Buried in the earth Mondamin; "I was the women who in Autumn Stripped the yellow husks of harvest, Stripped the garments from Mondamin, Even as Hiawatha taught them.

Once, when all the maize was planted, Hiawatha, wise and thoughtful, Spake and said to Minnehaha, To his wife the Laughing Water: "You shall bless to-night the cornfields, Draw a magic circle round them, To protect them from destruction, Blast of mildew, blight of insect, Wagemin, the thief of cornfields, Paimosaid, who steals the maize-ear!

"In the night, when all is silence, In the night, when all is darkness, When the Spirit of Sleep, Nepahwin, Shuts the doors of all the wigwams, So that not an ear can hear you, So that not an eye can see you, Rise up from your bed in silence, Lay aside your garments wholly, Walk around the fields you planted, Round the borders of the cornfields, Covered by your tresses only, Robed with darkness as a garment.

"Thus the fields shall be more fruitful,
And the passing of your footsteps
Draw a magic circle round them,
So that neither blight nor mildew,
Neither burrowing worm nor insect,
Shall pass o'er the magic circle;
Not the dragon-fly, Kwo-ne-she,
Nor the spider, Subbekashe,
Nor the grasshopper, Pah-puk-keena,
Nor the mighty caterpillar,
Way-muk-kwana, with the bear-skin,
King of all the caterpillars!"

On the tree-tops near the cornfields
Sat the hungry crows and ravens,
Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens,
With his band of black marauders.
And they laughed at Hiawatha,
Till the tree-tops shook with laughter,
With their melancholy laughter,
At the words of Hiawatha.

"Hear him!" said they; "hear the Wise Man, Hear the plots of Hiawatha!"

When the noiseless night descended
Broad and dark o'er field and forest,
When the mournful Wawonaissa,
Sorrowing sang among the hemlocks,
And the Spirit of Sleep, Nepahwin,
Shut the doors of all the wigwams,
From her bed rose Laughing Water,
Laid aside her garments wholly,
And with darkness clothed and guarded,
Unashamed and unaffrighted,
Walked securely round the cornfields,
Drew the sacred, magic circle
Of her footprints round the cornfields.
No one but the Midnight only
Saw her beauty in the darkness,
No one but the Wawonaissa
Heard the panting of her bosom ;
Guskewau, the darkness, wrapped her
Closely in his sacred mantle,
So that none might see her beauty,
So that none might boast, "I saw her!"
On the morrow, as the day dawned,
Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens,
Gathered all his black marauders,
Crows and blackbirds, jays and ravens,
Clamorous on the dusky tree-tops,
And descended, fast and fearless,
On the fields of Hiawatha,
On the grave of the Mondamin.

"We will drag Mondamin," said they,
"From the grave where he is buried,
Spite of all the magic circles
Laughing Water draws around it,
Spite of all the sacred footprints
Minnehaha stamps upon it!"

But the wary Hiawatha,

Ever thoughtful, careful, watchful,
Had o'erheard the scornful laughter,
When they mocked him from the tree-tops.
"Kaw!" he said, my friends the ravens !
Kahgahgee, my King of Ravens !
I will teach you all a lesson
That shall not be soon forgotten!"

He had risen before the daybreak,
He had spread o'er all the cornfields
Snares to catch the black marauders,
And was lying now in ambush

In the neighboring grove of pine-trees,
Waiting for the crows and blackbirds,
Waiting for the jays and ravens.

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Soon they came with caw and clamor,
Rush of wings and cry of voices,
To their work of devastation,
Settling down upon the cornfields,
Delving deep with beak and talon,
For the body of Mondamin.

And with all their craft and cunning,
All their skill in wiles of warfare,

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Only Kahgahgee, the leader, Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens, He alone was spared among them As a hostage for his people. With his prisoner-string he bound him, Led him captive to his wigwam, Tied him fast with cords of elm-bark To the ridge-pole of his wigwam.

"Kahgahgee, my raven!" said he, "You the leader of the robbers, You the plotter of this mischief, The contriver of this outrage, I will keep you, I will hold you, As a hostage for your people, As a pledge of good behavior!"

And he left him, grim and sulky, Sitting in the morning sunshine On the summit of the wigwam, Croaking fiercely his displeasure, Flapping his great sable pinions, Vainly struggling for his freedom, Vainly calling on his people!

Summer passed, and Shawondasse Breathed his sighs o'er all the landscape, From the South-land sent his ardors, Wafted kisses warm and tender; And the maize-field grew and ripened, Till it stood in all the splendor Of its garments green and yellow, Of its tassels and its plumage, And the maize-ears full and shining Gleamed from bursting sheaths of verdure. Then Nokomis, the old woman, Spake, and said to Minnehaha :

T is the Moon when leaves are falling; All the wild-rice has been gathered, And the maize is ripe and ready; Let us gather in the harvest, Let us wrestle with Mondamin, Strip him of his plumes and tassels, Of his garments green and yellow!"

And the merry Laughing Water Went rejoicing from the wigwam, With Nokomis, old and wrinkled, And they called the women round them, Called the young men and the maidens, To the harvest of the cornfields, To the husking of the maize-ear. On the border of the forest, Underneath the fragrant pine-trees, Sat the old men and the warriors Smoking in the pleasant shadow. In uninterrupted silence Looked they at the gamesome labor Of the young men and the women; Listened to their noisy talking,

To their laughter and their singing,
Heard them chattering like the magpies,
Heard them laughing like the blue-jays,
Heard them singing like the robins.

And whene'er some lucky maiden
Found a red ear in the husking,
Found a maize-ear red as blood is,
"Nushka!" cried they all together,

Nushka! you shall have a sweetheart,

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