Indian Mound in Big Woods (Location Key)


"Five miles . . . down the river from Major de Spain's camp," in a "wilder part of the river's jungle," is the topographical feature in "A Bear Hunt" that Ratliff calls "an Indian mound" - "the only elevation of any kind" in the "flat jungle of river bottom" (65). Many real earthen mounds, built at different times over almost two thousand years by the aboriginal peoples who once occupied Mississippi, still exist. The frame narrator calls the mound in this story, where he and a friend once spent a sleepless night as boys having an adventure, "profoundly and darkly enigmatic" (65), and indeed there are still unanswered questions about the origins and purposes of many of the mounds. Ultimately in this tale the "dark power" of this particular mound is used comically, as a great way to cure hiccups - or take revenge (65). (See also the entry in this index for Lucas' Hiding Place|Indian Mound.)

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Indian Mound in Big Woods