The Escape of Chedekki [Ŝumayu]
by Henry Solomon with Terry Glavin
Another rebel remained in custody. Chedekki was to be tried in New Westminster, where one of the Homathko survivors, Peter Petersen, was said to be capable of identifying him as one of the attackers. But on the way to New Westminster, Chedekki escaped.
…Henry recalls a warrior who was captured and later escaped, but that warrior was known as Ŝumayu, or something close to that pronunciation, which adds to the ever-present mystery about who exactly was who in the Chilcotin War, starting with the alleged war leader, Lhasas?in ("we don’t know who it is").
Ŝumayu is said to have walked all the way back into the Nemiah country, and he spent the rest of his days as a trapper in the Snow Mountains. His guardian spirit, or the animal from which he drew his power, was the magpie.
“He got away,” Henry said. “That’s the fella who came back all the way here. He live way back in there, maybe Yohetta, so people can’t find him. Only a few people know where he camp.”
By Henry’s account, he was pursued for a time as a fugitive, but nobody could catch him.
“That magpie, you know. That’s his witch doctor, like. Somebody coming towards him, he knows they’re coming. He just goes up a mountain, slides down a bluff. You can’t catch him. No way.”
When Ŝumayu, or Chedekki, grew old, he came back down from the mountains in to the Nemiah Valley and lived down where Marvin Baptiste’s house is now, and that where he’s buried.
Source: Henry Solomon, "The Escape of Chedekki [Ŝumayu] ," Nemiah: The Unconquered Country Terry Glavin (Vancouver: New Star Books, 1992), 109-112.
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