The Flute of the Gods
by Marah Ellis Ryan
CHAPTER I. THE
WOMAN FROM THE
CHAPTER II. THE
DAY OF THE SIGN
CHAPTER III. OF
THE JOURNEY OF
WHITE SEEKERS OF
CHAPTER VII. THE
THE STORY BY THE
CHAPTER IX. YAHN,
SHRINES OF THE
CHAPTER XI. THE
MAID OF DREAMS
COMING OF THE
CHAPTER XIII. A
PAGAN PRIEST IN
CHAPTER XIV. THE
COURIER AND THE
CHAPTER XV. THE
GIVING OF THE
CHAPTER XIV. THE
ON THE HEIGHTS
THE BATTLE ON
CHAPTER XIX. THE
CHAPTER XX. THE
CHOICE OF YAHN
CHAPTER XXI. THE
CALL OF THE
“AT THE TRAIL'S
THE PROPHECY OF
THE FLUTE OF THE GODS
MARAH ELLIS RYAN
New York Frederick A. Stokes Company Publishers
Copyright, 1909 By Frederick A. Stokes Company All rights reserved
THE FLUTE OF THE GODS
In romances of the aborigines of the so-called New World there is
usually presented savage man or woman modified as may be by the
influence of European mythologies in various authorized forms. But,
certain people of this New World possessed at least a semi-civilization
centuries before the coming of white conquerors.
When man ceases to be nomadic, builds houses of stone and mortar,
terrace upon terrace,walled and fortressed against the enemy,when
he has fields of growing grain, textile fabrics, decorated pottery, a
government that is a republic, a priesthood trained in complex ritual,
a well stocked pantheon, a certain understanding of astronomy and
psychic phenomena, he may withal be called barbarian, even as was
Abraham on Moriah barbaric when the altar of his god called for
sacrifice of his only son. But a people of such culture could not with
truth be called savage.
The tale told here has to do with these same historic barbarians.
That there is more of depth to the background of American Indian life
than is usually suggested by historians has been made clear of two
tribes by Dr. Le Plongeon in his Sacred Mysteries of the Mayas and
Quiches 11500 Years Ago. Similar mysteries and secret orders exist
to-day in the tribes of the Mexicos and Arizona. In certain instances
the names and meanings of offices identical with those of Yucatan
survive, to prove an ancient intercourse between the Mayan tribes and
those who now dwell in the valley of the Rio Grande. The Abbe Clavigero
left account of a thousand years of the history of one tribe as
transcribed by him from their own hieroglyphic records. Lord
Kingsborough may have been far astray with his theory that the people
of America were the Lost Tribes of Israel, but the researches embodied
in his remarkable Antiquities of Mexico, demonstrated the fact
that they were not a people of yesterday.
As to historic notes used in this tale of the more northern Sun
worshipers: Cabeza de Vaca, the first European to cross the land from
the Mississippi to Mexico (1528-1536), left record in Spanish archives
of Don Teo the Greek. Casteñada, historian for the Coronado expedition
(1540-1542), left reluctant testimony of the worse than weird night in
one Indian town of the Rio Grande, when impress was left on the native
mind that the strong god of the white conquerors demanded much of human
sacrifice. In that journal is record also of the devoted Fray Luis, of
whose end only the Indians know. In Soldiers of the Cross by
Archbishop Salpointe, there is an account of a god-offering made in
1680 (after almost a century of European influences), warranting the
chapter describing a similar sacrifice on the same shrine when the
pagan mind was yet supreme and the call of the primitive gods a vital
It is yet so vital that neither imported government nor imported
creeds have quite stamped it out. Only the death of the elders and the
breaking up of the clans can eradicate it. When that is done, the Latin
and the Anglo-Saxon will have swept from the heart of the land,
primitive, conservative cults ancient as the Druids.
With thanks to the Indian friends who have helped me, I desire
especially to express my obligation to Edward S. Curtis, whose
wonderful volumes of The North American Indian have been an
inspiration, and whose Indian pictures for this book of mine possess a
solid value in art and ethnology far beyond the mere illustration of
M. E. R.
BY THE ARROW I HAVE SAID IT! Frontispiece
THE ONE TOWN OF WÁLPI 3
THE PRAYER TOKEN 15
BLOOD-RED STARS IN THE GREEN OF HIS CROWN 19
TO DON RUY, A MESSAGE IN THE MOONLIGHT 65
THE PLACE OF THE PALMS 95
THE PRAYER OF YAHN TSYN-DEH 109
YAHN AT THE GRINDING STONE 113
THE SIGNAL FIRE TO THE MOUNTAIN GOD 125
AND REACHED HIS HANDS TO HIS BROTHERSTHE STARS 129
THE MAID OF DREAMS 131
STRAIGHT TO HIM DRIFTED THE BLUEBIRD'S WING 135
A LONELY FIGURE DESPITE HER TROPHIES 139
TAHN-TÉ STEPPED FORWARD 179
THE PAGE 199
INTO THE KIVA OF COUNCIL THEY DESCENDED 207
ONE GIRL WAITED AT THE PORTAL 245
IN CASTILIAN WAR DRESS HE STOOD 257
SHE LED HIM UP THE ANCIENT STAIRWAY 283
ONLY A WITCH LED TO DEATH 311
BACK! THING OF THE EVIL ONE! 325
TAHN-TÉ; THE OUTCAST 327
ONLY A TRAIL ACROSS THE DESERT SANDS 333
THE FLUTE OF THE GODS
CHAPTER I. THE WOMAN FROM THE SOUTH
Aliksai! In Tusayan the people were living! It was the year after
the year when the great star with the belt of fire reached across the
The desert land of the Hopi people stretched yellow and brown and
dead from mesa to mesa. The sage was the color of the dust, and the
brazen sky was as a shield made hard and dry by the will of the angry
gods. The Spirit People of the elements could not find their way past
that shield, and could not bear blessings to Earth children.
The rain did not walk on the earth in those days, and the corn stood
still, and old men of the mesa towns knew that the starving time was
close. In the kivas fasted the Hopi priests, the youth planted prayer
plumes by the shrines of the dying wells, and the woman danced dances
at sunrise, and all sang the prayers to the gods:and each day the
store of corn was lower, and the seed in the ground could not grow.
In the one town of Wálpi there were those who regretted the seed
wasted in the planting,it were better to have given it to the
children, and even yet they might find some of it if the sand was
Peace! said old Ho-tiwa, the Ancient of the village, and the chief
of Things of the Spirit. It is not yet so bad as when I was a boy. In
that starving time, the robes of rabbit skins were eaten when the corn
was gone. Yet you see we did live and have grown old! The good seed is
in the ground, and when the rain comes
When it comes! sighed one skepticWe wait one year now,how
many more until we die?
If it is that you diethe rain or the no rain makes no changeyou
die! reminded the old man. The reader of the stars and of the moon
says a change is to come. Tell the herald to call it from the
housetops. This night the moon is at the big circleit may bring with
it the smile of the glad god again. Tell the people!
And as the herald proclaimed at the sunset the hopeful words of the
priests who prayed in the kivas, old Ho-tiwa walked away from the
spirit of discontent, and down the trail to the ruins of Sik-yat-ki.
All the wells but that one of the ancient city were useless, green,
stagnant water now. And each day it was watched lest it also go back
into the sands, and at the shrine beside it many prayers were planted.
So that was the place where he went for prayer when his heart was
heavy with the woe of his people. And that was how he found that which
was waiting there to be found.
It was a girl, and she looked dead as she lay by the stones of the
old well. As he bent over to see if she lived, the round moon came like
a second sun into the soft glow of the twilight, and as it touched the
face of the girl, the old man felt the wind of the south pass over
them. Always to the day he died did he tell of how that south wind came
as if from swift wings!
[Illustration: THE ONE TOWN OF WÁLPI Page 1]
He called to some men who were going home from rabbit hunting in the
dusk, and they came and looked at the girl and at each other, and drew
We have our own women who may die soon, they said: Why take in a
stranger? Whence comes she?
No one had seen her come, but her trail was from the south. She wore
the dress of a pueblo girl, but she was not of their people. Her hair
was not cut, yet on her forehead she carried the mark of a soon-to-be
maternitythe sacred sign of the piñon gum seen by Ho-tiwa when he
went as a boy for the seed corn to the distant Te-hua people by the
river of the east.
I come here with prayer thoughts to the water, said the old man
noting their reluctance,and I find a work put by my feet. The reader
of the skies tells that a change is to come with the moon. It is as the
moon comes that I find her. The gods may not be glad with us if our
hearts are not good at this time.
But the corn
The corn I would eat can go to this girl for four days. I am old,
but for so long I will fast,and maybe then the gods will send the
So the girl was carried to his house, and the women shrank away, and
were afraidfor the clouds followed the wind swiftly from the south,
and the face of the moon was covered, and at the turn of the night was
heard the voice of a man childnew born of the strange girl found by
the well in the moonlight. Ho-tiwa in the outer room of the dwelling
heard the voiceand more than the child voice, for on the breath of
the wind across the desert the good rain came walking in beauty to the
fields, and the glad laughter of the people went up from the mesa, and
there was much patter of bare feet on the wet stone floor of the
heightsand glad calls of joy that the desert was to live again!
And within the room of the new birth the women stared in affright at
the child and at each other, for it was most wonderfully fairnot like
any child ever seen. This child had hair like the night, eyes like the
blue of the sky, and face like the dawn.
One man among them was very old, and in his youth had known the
Te-hua words. When the girl spoke he listened, and told the thing she
said, and the women shrank from her when it was told.
She must be a medicine-woman, for she knows these things, she
said, and these things are sacred to her people. She says that the
blade of a sacrifice must mark her child, for the boy will not be a
child as other children. And at the mention of the knife the people
stared at each other.
There is such a knife, said Ho-tiwa. It belongs to the Ancient
Days, and only the gods, and two men know it. It shall be as she says.
The god of the sky has brought the woman and has brought the child, and
on the face of the child is set the light of the moon that the Hopi
people will never again doubt that the gods can do these things.
And there was a council at which all the old men talked through the
night and the day. And while they talked, the rain poured in a flood
from the gray sky, until men said this might be magic, for the woman
might have brought witchcraft.
But the old chief said no evil craft could have brought the good
rain:The wind and the rain had come from the south as the girl had
come from the south, and the light on the face of the child was a
symbol that it was sacred.
Then one man, who had been an Apache prisoner, and found his way
back, told of a strange thing;that forty days to the south where the
birds of the green feathers were, a new people had come out of the
Eastern sea, and were white. The great kings made sacrifices for them,
and planted prayer plumes before themfor they were called the new
gods of the water and the sunrise.
And the girl had come from the south!
Yet another reminded the council that the words of the girl were
Te-hua words, and the Te-hua people lived East of Ci-bo-la and
Ah-kothe farthest east of the stone house building people.
Since these are her only words, the child shall be named in the way
of that people, said Ho-tiwa. The sacred fire was lit at the birth,
and on the fourth morning my woman will give the name in the Te-hua
way, and throw the fire to burn all evil from his path, and the sacred
corn will guard his sleep. Some of you younger men never have heard of
the great Te-hau god. Tell it to them, Atoki, then they will know why a
Te-hua never sends away a poor stranger who comes to them.
The man who knew Te-hua words, and had seen the wonderful Te-hua
valley in his youth, sent smoke from his ceremonial pipe to the four
ways of the gods, and then to the upper and nether worlds, and spoke:
Aliksai! I will tell of the Te-hua god as it was told to me
by the old man of Kah-po in the time of starving when I went with the
men for the sacred corn of the seed planting:
The thing I tell is the true thing!
It was time for a god to walk on the earth, and one was born of the
piñon tree and a virgin who rested under the shadow of its arms. The
girl was very poor, and her people were very poor; when the piñon nut
fell in her bosom, and the winds told her a son was sent to her to rest
beneath her heart, she was very sad, for there was no food.
But wonderful things happened. The Spirits of the Mountain brought
to her home new and strange food, and seeds to plant for harvest:new
seeds of the melon, and big seed of the corn:before that time the
seeds of the corn were little seeds. When the child was born, strange
things happened, and the eagles fly high above till the sky was alive
with wings. The boy was very poor, and so much a boy of dreams that he
was the one to be laughed at for the visions. But great wise thoughts
grew out of his mountain dreams, and he was so great a wizard that the
old men chose him for Po-Ahtun-ho, which means Ruler of Things from the
Beginning. And the dreamer who had been born of the maid and the piñon
tree was the Ruler. He governed even the boiling water from the heart
of the hills, and taught the people that the sickness was washed away
by it. His wisdom was beyond earth wisdom, and his visions were true.
The land of that people became a great land, and they had many blue
stones and shells. Then it was that they became proud. One day the god
came as a stranger to their village:a poor stranger, and they were
not kind to him! The proud hearts had grown to be hard hearts, and only
fine strangers would they talk with. He went away from that people
then. He said hard words to them and went away. He went to the South to
live in a great home in the sea. When he comes back they do not know,
but some day he comes back,or some night! He said he would come back
to the land when the stars mark the time when they repent, and one
night in seven the fire is lit on the hills by the villages, that the
earth-born god, Po-se-yemo, may see it if he should come, and may see
that his people are faithful and are waiting for him to come.
Because of the day when the god came, and they turned him away for
that his robe was poor, and his feet were bare;because of that day,
no poor person is turned hungry from the door of that people. And the
old men say this is because the god may come any day from the South,
and may come again as a poor man.
And this was told to us by the Te-hua men when we went for seed
corn in that starving time, and were not sent away empty. Aliksai!
The men drew long breaths of awe and approval when the story was
ended. The old man who had found the girl knew that the girl had found
But the mysterious coincidence of her coming as the rain cameand
from the southand the fair child!
Again the man who had been a prisoner with the Apaches was asked to
tell of the coming of the white gods in the south where the Mexic
people lived. He knew but little. No Apache had seen them, but Indian
traders of feathers had said it was so.
The men smoked in silence and then one said:Even if it be so,
could the girl come alone so far through the country of the hostile
There is High Magic to help sometimes, reminded the old chief.
When magic has been used only for sacred things it can do all things!
We can ask if she has known a white god such as the trader told of to
And the two oldest men went to the house of Ho-tiwa's wife, and
stood by the couch of the girl, and they sprinkled sacred meal, and sat
in prayer before they spoke.
And the girl said, My name is Mo-wa-thé (Flash Of Light) and the
name of my son is Tahn-té (Sunlight). We may stay while these seeds
grow into grain, and into trees, and bear harvest. But not always may
we be with you, for a God of the Sky may claim his son.
And she took three seeds from the fold of the girdle she had worn.
They were strange seeds of another land.
The old men looked at each other, and remembered that to the mother
of the Te-hua god, strange seeds had been given, and they trembled, and
the man of the Te-hau words spoke:
You come from the south where strange things may happen. On the
trail of that south, heard you or saw youthe white god?
And she drew the child close, and looked in its face, and said,
Yesa white god!the God of the Great Star.
And the old men sprinkled the sacred meal to the six points, and
told the council, and no one was allowed to question Mo-wa-thé ever
The seeds were planted near the well of Sik-yat-ki, and grew there.
One was the tree of the peach, another of the yellow pear, and the
grain was a grain of the wheat. The pear tree and the wheat could not
grow well in the sands of the desert, only enough to bring seed again,
but the peach grew in the shadow of the mesa, and the people had great
joy in it, and only the men of the council knew they came from the
And so it was in the beginning.
CHAPTER II. THE DAY OF THE SIGN
Mo-wa-thé,the mother of Tahn-té, drew with her brush of yucca
fibre the hair-like lines of black on the ceremonial bowl she was
decorating. Tahn-té, slender, and nude, watched closely the deft
manipulations of the crude tools;the medicine bowls for the sacred
rites were things of special interest to himfor never in the domestic
arrangement of the homes of the terraces did he see them used. He
thought the serrated edges better to look at than the smooth lines of
the home dishes.
Why can I not know what is that put into them? he demanded.
Only the Ancient Ruler and the medicine-men know the sacred thing
for 'Those Above.'
He wriggled like a beautiful bronze snake to the door and lay there,
his chin propped on his hands, staring out across the plainsix
hundred feet below their dooronly a narrow ledgescarcely the length
of the boy's body:divided the wall of their home from the edge of the
Mo-wa-thé glanced at him from time to time.
What thoughts do you think that you lie still like a kiva snake
with your eyes open? she said at last.
Yes, I think, he acknowledged with the gravity of a ceremonial
statement, These days I am thinking thoughtsand on a day I will tell
When a boy has but few summers his thoughts are not yet his own,
They are hereand here! his slender brown hand touched his head,
and heart,How does any other take them outwith a knife? Are they
Boy! The old men shall take you to the kiva where all the youth of
the clan must be taught how to grow straight and think straight.
Will they teach me there whose son I am? he demanded.
Her head bent lower over the sacred bowl, but she made no lines. He
saw it, and crept closer.
Am I an arrow to you? he askedsometimes your face goes strange
like that, and I feel like an arrow,I would rather be a bird with
only prayer feathers for you!
She smiled wistfully and shook her head.
You are a prayer;one prayer all alone, she said at last. I
cannot tell you that prayer, I only live for it.
Is it a white god prayer? he asked softly.
She put down the bowl and stared at him as at a witch or a
sorcerer;one who made her afraid.
I found at the shrine by the trail the head you made of the white
god, he whispered. No one knows who made it but me. I saw you. I am
telling not any one. I am thinking all days of that god.
Is it the great god Po-se-yemo, who went south? he whispered. Do
you make the prayer likeness that he may come back?
Yes, that he may come back!
My mother;you make him white!
She nodded her head.
I am whiter than the other boys;than all the boys!
She picked up the bowl again and tried to draw lines on it with her
And you talk more than all the boys, she observed.
Did the moon give me to you? he persisted. Old Mowa says I am
white because the moon brought me.
It is ill luck to talk with that womanshe has the witch charm.
When I am Ruler, the witches must live in the old dead cities if
you do not like them.
Mo-wa-thé smiled at that.
Yes, when you are Ruler. How will you make that happen?
All these days I have been thinking the thoughts how. If the moon
brought me to you, that means that my father was not like others;not
like mesa men.
Nonot like mesa men! she breathed softly.
Mo-wa-thé was very pretty and very slender. Tahn-té was always sure
no other mother was so pretty,and as she spoke now her dark eyes were
beautified by some memory,and the boy saw that he was momentarily
forgotten in some dream of her own.
No one but me shall gather the wood for the night fire to light
Po-se-yemo back from the south lands, he said as he rose to his feet
and stood straight and decided before his mother. The moon will help
me, and your white god will help me, and when he sees the blaze and
comes back, you will tell him it was his son who kept the fire!
He took from his girdle the downy feather of an eagle, stepped
outside to the edge of the mesa and with a breath sent it beyond him
into space. A current of air caught it and whirled it upwards in token
that the prayer was accepted by Those Above.
And inside the doorway, Mo-wa-thé, watching, let fall the medicine
bowl at this added evidence that an enchanted day had come to the life
of her son. Not anything he wanted to see could be hidden from him this
day! Powerless, she knelt with bent head over the fragments of the
sacred vesselpowerless against the gods who veil thingsand who
It was the next morning that Mo-wa-thé stood at the door of Ho-tiwa
the Ancient one;the spiritual head of the village.
Come within, he said, and she passed his daughters who were
grinding corn between the stones, and singing the grinding song of the
sunrise hour. They smiled at her as she passed, but with the smile was
a deference they did not show the ordinary neighbor of the mesas in
The old man motioned her to a seat, and in silence they were in the
prayer which belongs to Those Above when human things need counsel.
Through the prayer thoughts echoed the last thrilling notes of the
grinding songs at the triumph of the sun over the clouds of the dusk
and the night.
Mo-wa-thé smiled at the meaning of it. It was well that the prayer
had the music of gladness.
Yes, I come early, she said. I come to see you. The time is
The time when I go. Always we have known it would be some day. The
day is near. I take my son and go to his people.
My daughter:his people he does not know.
My father:no one but the winds have told himyet he knows much!
He has said to me the things by which I feel that he knows unseen
things. I told him long ago that the stars as they touch the far mesa
in the night are like the fires our people build to light our god back
from the south. Yesterday he tells me he wants to be the builder of
that fire and serve that god. My father in this strange land:my son
belongs to the clan whose duty it is to guard that fire! I never told
him. Those Above have told him. I have waited for a sign. The gods have
sent it to me through my sonwe are to go across the desert and find
It is a thing for council, decided her host. The way is far to
the big river,it is not good that you go alone. Men of Ah-ko will
come when they hear us stamp the foot for the time of the gathering of
the snakes. When they come, we will make a talk. If it is good that you
go, you will find brothers who will show the trail.
That is well; and Mo-wa-thé arose, and stood before him. You have
been my brother, and you have been my father, and my son shall stay and
see once more the rain ceremony of the Blue Flute people, and of the
Snake people, and when he goes to his own land, he can tell them of the
great rain magic of the Hopi Priests.
He can do more than that, said the Ancient. In council it has
been spoken. Your son can be one of us, and the men of the Snake Order
will be as brothers to him if ever he comes back to the mesa where the
Sun Father and the Moon Mother first looked on his face. In the days of
the Lost Others, all the people had Snake Power, as they had power of
silent speech with all the birds, and the four-foot brothers of the
forests. Only a few have not lost it, and the Trues send all their
Spirit People to work with that few. Your son may take back to your
people the faith they knew in the ancient days.
[Illustration: THE PRAYER TOKEN Page 13]
So it was that the boy watched the drama of the Flute people from
the mesa edge for the last time. The circle of praying priests at the
sacred well; virgins in white garments facing the path of the cloud
symbols that the rain might come;weird notes of the flute as the
chanters knelt facing the medicine bowl and the sacred corn; then the
coming of the racers from the far fields with the great green stalks of
corn on their shoulders, and the gold of the sunflowers in the twist of
reeds circling their brows. He did not know what the new land of his
mother's tribe would bring him, but he thought not any prayer could be
more beautiful than this glad prayer to the gods. Of that prayer he
talked to Mo-wa-thé.
Then eight suns from that day, he went from his mother's home to the
kiva of the Snake Priests, and he heard other prayers, and different
prayers, and when the sun was at the right height, for four days they
left the kiva in silence, and went to the desert for the creeping
brothers of the sands. To the four ways they went, with prayers, and
with digging-sticks. He had wondered in the other days why the men
never spoke as they left the kiva, and as they came back with their
serpent messengers for the gods. After the first snake was caught, and
held aloft for the blessing of the sun, he did not wonder.
He had shrunk, and thought it great magic when the brief public
ceremony of the Snake Order was given before the awe-struck people:It
had been a matter of amaze when he saw the men he knew as gentle, kind
men, holding the coiling snake of the rattles to their hearts and dance
with the flat heads pressed against their painted cheeks.
But the eight days and nights in the kiva with these nude, fasting,
praying men, had taught him much, and he learned that the most
wonderful thing in the taming of the serpents was not the thing to
which the people of the dance circle in the open were witness. He was
only a boy, yet he comprehended enough to be awed by the strong magic
And of that prayer of the serpents he talked not at all to
And the Ancient knew it, and said. It is well! May he be a great
From a sheath of painted serpent skin the Ruler drew a flute brown
and smooth with age.
Lé-lang-ûh, the God of the Flute sent me the vision of this when I
was a youth in prayer, he said gently. I found it as you see it long
after I had become a man. On an ancient shrine uncovered by the Four
Winds in a wilderness I found it. I have no son and I am old. I give it
to you. Strange white gods are coming to the earth in these days, and
in the south they have grown strong to master the people. I will be
with the Lost Others when you are a man, but my words here you will not
forget;the magic of the sacred flute has been for ages the music of
the growing things in the Desert. The God of the Flute is a god old as
the planting of fields, and a strong god of the desert places. It may
be that he is strong to lead you here once more to your brothers on
some day or some nightand we will be glad that you come again. For
this I give the flute of the vision to you. I have spoken. Lo-lo-mi!
CHAPTER III. OF THE JOURNEY OF
The journey of Tahn-té to his mother's land of the East was the
wonder journey of the world! There were medicine-men of Ah-ko for their
guides, and the people were many who went along, so no one was afraid
of the Navahu of the hill land.
And a new name was given to his mother. Ho-tiwa gave her the name,
and put on her head the water of the pagan baptism to wash away that
which had been. The new name was S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah and it meant the
Woman who has come out from the mists of a Shadow or Twilight Land.
And they all called her by that name, and the men of Ah-ko regarded her
with awe and with respect, and listened in silence when she spoke.
For the first time the boy saw beyond the sands of the desert, and
in the high lands touched the running water of living springs, and
scattered meal on it with his prayers, and bathed in the stream where
green stems of rushes grew, and braided for himself a wreath of the
Ai-ai! said his mother softly,to the people of my land
the pine is known as the first tree to come from the Mother Earth at
the edge of the ice robe on her bosom. So say the ancients, and for
that reason is it sacred to the godsand to the sacrifices of gods.
Have you, my son, woven a crown of sacrifice?
But Tahn-té laughed, and thrust in it the scarlet star blossom
growing in the timber lands of the Navahu.
If I am made sacrifice I will have a blood strong, living reason,
he said, with the gay insolence of a young god walking on the earth.
But the older men did not smile at the bright picture he made with
the blood-red stars in the green of his crown. They knew that even
untried youth may speak prophet words, and they made prayers that the
wise woman of the twilight land might not see the day when her son
became that which he had spoken.
He carried with him a strange burden:an urn or jar of ancient days
dug from one of the buried cities of the Hopi deserts. On it was the
circle of the plumed serpent, and the cross of red and of white. It was
borne on his back by a netted band of the yucca fibre around his brow,
and in it were young peach trees, and pear treesthe growing things of
the mystic seeds given to the medicine-men of the Hopi the day of the
Seeds also were being carried, but it was the wish of the mother
that her son carry the growing things into the great valley of the
Even into the great rift of the earth called Tzé-ye did he carry it,
where the cliff homes of the Ancient Others lined the sides of the
cañon and the medicine-men of Ah-ko spoke in hushed tones because of
the echoing walls, and of the strong gods who had dwelt there in the
days before men lived and died.
The dead of the Ancient ones are hidden in many hollow places of
the stone, explained one of the men who spoke the language of Te-hua
people. And it is good medicine for the man who can walk between these
walls where the Divine Ones of old made themselves strong. You do not
[Illustration: BLOOD-RED STARS IN THE GREEN OF HIS CROWN Page 18
I do not fear, said S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah, the woman of the twilight,
and my son does not fear. Before he was born to the light of the Sun
Father, I made the trail from the level land of the west where the snow
is, to the deep heart of the world where the plants have blossoms in
winter time, and the birds sing for summer. Beside it this deep step
down from the world above is like the thickness of your finger against
the height of a tall man.
The men stared at her in wonder, and Tahn-té listened, but could not
speak when the older men were silent.
There is such a place, said the oldest of the men. It is to the
sunset. The water comes strong there, and it is a place of the gods, as
this place is. And you have seen it with your eyes?
I have seen it, and the water that is so strong looks from the top
like this reed of this ancient dwelling place, said
S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah, and she pointed to the waving slender lattice grass
of the cañon.
I have heard of it, but our people do not cross it in these days,
said the old man. Our friends the Te-huas cross itand cross a desert
beyond when they go to the Love Dance of the Chinig-Chinik who live by
the sunset sea. In my youth I thought to go, but old age is here and I
have not yet seen it. Then after an interval of thoughtful silence he
said:You have crossed that river in the heart of the worldI did
not know that women went to the Love Dance.
I can not tell you. I also do not know, said S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah
quietly, and the boy saw that the eyes of all the men were directed
strangely to his mother. I do not belong to the Order from which the
people are sent to the Dance of Love or the Dance of Death. My eyes
have not seen the waters of the sunset sea.
Then you did not go beyond the river in the heart of the rocks?
asked the old man. You did not cross over?
I did cross over. I have seen the sands of that far desert of which
you speak. I have seen the trees of which one leaf will cover a man
from the sun, and more leaves will make a cover for a dwelling. I have
seen the water run there at the roots of those trees as this water runs
in the shadow of this rock, andai!ai-ah! I have seen it sink in the
sands when it was needed mostand have heard it gurgle its ghost laugh
beneath the hot trail where the desert lost one wandered.
Her head bent forward and her hands covered her eyes. The boy wanted
to ask where this place was of which he was hearing so much for the
first time. What was there in the wonderful journey of the wise woman
to make the tears come and her voice tremble? But the old Shaman of
Ah-ko reached out his hand and touched her bent head.
It is true, my daughter of the Te-hua, that the Snake priest of the
Hópitû told in council that high medicine was yours. Yet all he could
not tell me. You have lived much, oh woman! Yet your heart is not hard,
and your thoughts run clear as the snow water of the high hills. It is
well that you have come with us, and that you have talked with us. When
the hidden water mocks with laughter so far beneath the desert sand
that no man lives to reach it:then it is that men die beside the
place their bleeding hands dig deep. You have heard that laughter, and
have lived, and have brought back your child out of the sands of death.
It has given you the medicine for your son that is strong medicine. You
have lived to walk with us and that is well.
Yes, thanks this day, it is well, said the other men.
At Ah-ko, the city of the white rock, the silent, shy
Medicine-Woman of the Twilight and her son were feasted like visiting
rulers of a land.
To his wonder they sang songs of thanks that the gods had let her
come to them once again, and they asked that she make prayers with
The woman with whom the rain and the sweet fruit had come to the far
desert was a woman to be feasted and propitiatedall the more that she
disclaimed aught of the divine for herself; but when they spoke of her
son she was silent. His life was his own in which to prove what he
Here he saw no girls with the head bands for their burden of water
bottles as in Tusayan. He saw instead the beautifully poised vases on
the heads of the women while they paced evenly over the rock of the
mesa or the treacherous sand hills, and the great walled reservoir of
shining green water was a constant source of delight to him. Eight
times the height of a man was the depth of it, and at the very bottom
in an unseen crevice was the living spring pulsing out its heart for
the long line of women who brought their decorated jars to be filled.
The evening of their arrival he found his mother there in the shadow
of the high rock walls.
Are you sad, my mother, that you walk alone and sit in the shadow?
he asked, but she shook her head.
I come because this place of the deep water is precious to me, she
said. Make your prayer here, my son, make your prayer for the people
who thirst in the desert of this earth life. There are many deserts to
cross, and the enchanted hills and the enchanted wells of content are
but few on the trail.
He made the prayer, and scattered the sacred pollen of the corn to
the four ways, and again took up his query.
The enchanted mesa Kat-zi-mo I have seen and already the men have
told me its story, he said. But of this well there is no story except
that in the ages ago the water was brought high with the wall, and when
the Apache enemies came, the people could not starve for water even
while the fighters fought a long time. That is all the storythere is
no magic in that.
There is always magic in the waters of the desert, and the Woman
of the Twilight. One other time I drank of the water of this well. It
was enchanted that time, for every moving light and shadow on its face
have I remembered all the days and all the nights. Give me to drink of
it now with your own hands, and it will be then precious for two
He did as she said, and wanted to ask of that other time and could
Thanks this day, thanks for my son, she said and sprinkled water
to the four ways and drank. Not again shall I see youoh joy place in
the desert! Give your magic to my son that he may carry it to the free
running water of his own land!
In Tusayan his mother had been to him Mo-wa-thé, the pottery maker
who made the finest of all vessels, but on the wonder trail in the new
lands he found that she was strangely learned. And when she spoke of
the place of the well on the high mesa and said it was precious for
magic there, he walked silent and awed beside her, for the magic world
held the Great Mystery, and only through prayer must it be spoken.
He knew that his lot was more fortunate than that of any other boy
alive, an the long trail where each night around the camp fire the men
told tales of the Ancient days when gods walked on the earth and taught
wisdom to the people. Each tribe had its own sacred truths given by its
own gods, and he was learning of many. In the great cañon of
Tzé-yethe abiding place of the Navahu Divine Ones, he had heard with
awe of the warrior boy gods who were born of the Sun and of the Goddess
Estsan-atlehi and set out to slay the terrific giants of evil in the
world. But the medicine-men of Ah-ko were quite sure that the Ancient
Ones of their own race had proof that the Supreme Power is a master
mind in a woman's form. It is the thing which thinks and creates, and
her twin sister is the other mind which only remembers. Prayers must
not be said to the goddess who only remembersbut many prayers belong
to the goddess who creates. And the most belovéd of all is the goddess
E-yet-e-ko (Mother Earth) who nourishes them all their days. He learned
that they planted their corn and their cotton by the stars and the plum
blossoms, in the way his mother said they did by the river of her land,
also that the great bear of the stars was called by them the great
animal of cold weather, and that the Sun had eight children, or
wandering stars in the sky.
He heard many more things, but the wisdom of it was too deep for a
boy to know, and the words of the symbols were new, and not for his
understanding. How bighow very big the world of the Tusayan desert
had seemed to him as he stood on the mesa of Wálpi and looked to the
south where old Awatabi (the high place of the Bow) stood in its pride,
and rugged Mishongnavi with her younger sister Shupaulevi against the
sky, so beautiful, that the sacred mountain Dok-os-lid of the far away,
looks sometimes like a cloud back of those villages, and sometimes like
the shell of the big water from which its name was taken.
But all those wonderful Hopi mesas with their fortresses on each,
were within the running time of a morning, and not in any of them were
there forests or living streams, or strange new things. Only the clouds
and the shadow of the clouds on the sand,or the sun and the glory of
the sun on the world, made the heart leap with the beauty of the land
of the Hopi people. But here were new things each day.
When the boys of Ah-ko in friendly rivalry ran races and leaped
great spaces, and shot arrows into a melon with himand then ate the
melon!they asked how many years he had lived and he laughed and did
I had so many, he said holding up the fingers of both hands and
pointing to his eyes,When I followed your men down the trail from
Wálpi in Hopi land. But I have seen so much, and lived so much that I
must be very old now!
This the boys thought a great jest, and said since he was old he
could not run races, or see straight to shoot, and he must let himself
be beaten. But the boys who tried to beat him were laughed at by the
old men who watched, and he was given a very fine bow to take on his
journey, and never any boy crossed those lands so joyously as he who
carried all the way the growing sprouts of the new trees.
And at Ah-ko a little tree from the urn, and some of the seeds were
given, but the winter to come was a hard winter, and the ice killed
them, so the fruit from the strange far-off trails was not for Ah-ko.
They had rested, and were about to depart, when Tahn-té, watching
with other boys the war between two eagles poised high above the
enchanted mesa, saw on the plain far below the figure of an Indian
runner, his body a dark moving line against the yellow bloom spread
like a great blanket of flowers from Mount Spin-eh down and across the
He only watched because the man ran wellalmost as well as a
Hopiand did not see in the glistening bronze body the herald of a new
day in the land.
At the edge of the cliff they watched to see him appear and
disappear in the length of the great stairway of the fortress. Some day
each boy among them would also be a runner in his turn for ceremonial
reasons, and it is well to note how the trusted men make the finish.
It is not easy to run up the two hundred foot wall of Ah-ko at the
end of a long trail, but this man, conscious of watchers, leaped the
last few steps and stood among them. Only an instant he halted, in
surprise face to face with the boy Tahn-té who stood nude and fair
beside dark companions.
Tahn-té was accustomed to the curious regard of strangers who
visited the country of Tusayan. He had heard so often that he was a
child of the sky that this explanation of his fairer skin seemed to him
a very clear and logical explanation of the case.
But after the runner had been listened to by the governor and fed,
and a herald from the terraced housetop had called aloud the startling
message brought by him to the people of Ah-ko, the boy went away from
the other boys, and wrinkled his brows in boyish thought, and stared
across to the ancient crater of Se-po-chineh until his mother sought
him, and found him.
You are weary, my son, that you come alone from the others?
The others only talk yet tell nothing, he said gloomily, and of
that which the runner tells I wish to hear much. You hear what he says
of white men like gods who come from the south searching for the blue
stones and the stone of the sun fire, and taming strange beasts to
carry them on their way?
Yes, it is true, I hear, she said.
And you think it is magic? Is it that they are godsor demonsor
men like these men?
If they were gods would they not know where the stones of the
sunlight are hidden in the earth?
Are they children of the moon or the sun, or the stars that they
are white? he demanded.
It may be so, she said very lowly, conscious that his gloomy eyes
were trying to make her see what he felt, but she must not see, and she
spoke with averted head.
Then he rose and stood erect and stretched out his arms their widest
and surveyed himself with measuring gaze and a certain pride, but the
other thought came back with its gloom and he laughed shortly with
disdain of himself.
I have felt stronger than all the boysalways! Do you know why
that has been? I know now whyit was because I stood alone,I was the
only child of the light and I dreamed things of that. Now a man tells
us there are many such people, and their magic is great, and my
strength goes because of the many!
His mother stroked his hand reassuringly. Na-vin (my own), she
said steadily. I have felt your dreams, and I also dream them. Fear no
one born of the light or of the darkness, and when you are a man you
will have all your strengthand more than your own strength.
You say that, my mother?
She held her head erect now and looked straight and steadily into
the eyes of her son.
I say it!
And he remembered that it was more than his mother who spoke, it was
the Medicine Woman of the Twilight and of the strange places, and the
far off thoughts.
He lifted her hand and breathed on it. I am again Tahn-té, he
said, and smiled. You make me find myself!
CHAPTER IV. WHITE SEEKERS OF TREASURE
When Alvarado marched his band of adventurers into the pueblo
Ua-lano to the sound of tom-toms and flutes of welcome, an Indian woman
with a slender boy stood by the gate and watched the welcome of the
An exceedingly reckless, rakish lot they werethis flower of the
Mexican forces who the Viceroy was only too willing should explore all
lands, and seas, so they kept themselves away from the capitol.
The women and the children shrank back as the horses clattered in.
Some laughed to cover their fear, others threw prayer meal, and their
fright made the commander notice the blanketed figure of the woman
whose eyes alone shone above the draperies held close, and who stared
so keenly into each white face as they passed.
Who is the dame in the mask of the blanket? he asked of his host
Chief Bigotesthe courteous barbarian who had crossed seventy leagues
of the desert to ask that his village be honored by the god-like ones
from the south.
Bigotes looked at her, did not know, but after inquiring came back
It is a strange thing but it is true, said the interpreter, she
is called the One from the Twilight Land. She went as a girl from
Te-hua to Ah-ko for study with the medicine people of one order there.
One night it was as if she go into the earth, or up in the sky. No one
ever see her any more. It was the year of the fire of the star across
the sky. Now she comes from the west and so great a medicine woman is
she that leading men are sent to guard her on the trail to the Te-hua
peopleand to guard her son.
Faith! Your strangers are a handsome pair. The boy would make a
fine page in a civilized land. He is the fairest Indian I've seen.
The boy knew that his mother and himself were objects of query, and
stood stolid, erect and disdainful,the stranger should see that all
their clanking iron, their dominating swagger, and their trained
animals could not make him move an eyelash of wonder.
But to his mother he said:
They have much that we will need if we ever fight them; their
clanking clothes and shields can break many arrows.
Why do you talk of fighting?
I do not know why. It is all I thought of as I looked at them.
One thing interested him more than all else, and that was a man in a
grey robe who carried a book, and turned the pages in absorbed
meditation; sometimes his reading was half aloud, and Tahn-té slipped
near each time he could, for to him it looked as if the man talked to
the strange white paper.He thought it must be some sort of high
magic, and of all he saw in the new comers, he coveted most of the
contents of those pages,it was more wonderful than the clanging metal
of their equipment.
A tiny elf-like girl followed Tahn-té as a lost puppy would, until
he asked her name, and was told it was Yahnthat she lived in
Povi-whah by the big river and that her mother was visiting some
society of which she was a member,that she was in the kiva and could
not be seen for four days and nights, and in the coming of the beasts
and the strangers, her caretaker had lost her, and the home where she
had stayed last night she did not know.
She knew only she was lost, and some boys had told her that the new
kind of beasts ate little girls. She did not weep or call, but she
tried to keep her little nude body out of sight behind Tahn-té if a
horse or a mule turned its head in the direction she was.
So glad she was to be protected that she told him all her woes in
the strange town. The greatest was that a dog had taken from her hand
the roasted ear of corn she had been eating, and she wished Ka-yemo was
there, he would have maybe killed the dog.
Inquiry disclosed the fact that Ka-yemo was not her brother; he
lived in Provi-whah. Her own name was Yahn. No:it was not a Te-hua
name. It was Apache, for her mother was Apacheand the Te-hua men had
caught her when they were hunting, and always her mother had told Yahn
to stay close to the houses, for hunting enemies might bear her away
into slaveryand Yahn was not certain but these men on the beasts
might be hunters.
She was very tiny, and she spoke imperfectly, but shyness was not a
part of her small personality, and she insisted on making herself
understood. To Tahn-té she seemed like a boy rather than a girl, and he
called her Pa-ah-dé which is the Te-hna word for brotherand later
he gave her to his mother to keep her out of the way of the horses and
the strange men.
And thus it was that Tahn-té, and Apache Yahn saw together the
strange visitors from the south, and Yahn, though but a baby, thought
they might be hunters whom it would be as well to hide from, and
Tahn-té thought much of the coats of mail, and how lances could be made
to pierce the joints.
He heard the name of the man with the black robe and the magic thing
of white leaves from which he talkedor which talked to him!it was
Padrethere was also another name and it was Luis. It meant the
same as Father Ho-tiwa or Brother Tahn-té.
To the man from whom the rakish Spanish soldiers bent the knee and
removed the covering from the head, Tahn-té felt no antagonism as he
did for the men who carried the arquebus and swords. The man who is
called Father or the woman who is called Mother with the Indian
people, is a person to whom respect is due, and through Bigote he had
heardby keeping quiet as a desert snake against a wallthat the man
of the grey robe who was called Father was the great medicine-man of
the white tribe. Through him the god of the white man spoke. In the
leaves of the white book were recorded this god's laws, and even these
white men who were half gods, and had conquered worlds beyond the big
water of the South, and of the East, bent their knees when the man of
the robe spoke of the sacred things.
Of these things he spoke to his mother, and was amazed to learn that
she knew of the white man's gods, and the white men's goddess. Never
had she talked to him of this, and she did not talk to him much now.
She only told him that all she knew would belong to him when the time
came, and that the time seemed coming fastbut it was not yet. When he
was older he could know.
When he talked to her of the many white pages in which the white god
had written, she told him that much wisdomand strong magic must be
there. The white men had no doubt stolen for their earth-born god the
birth story of Po-se-yemo, the god of her own people. But his magic had
been great in that land across the seas and that people had written
words of the earth-born god as had certain tribes of Mexico, and all
that the god said and did had been written plainly as had been written
the records of Quetzel-coatle of the South, and it was not good that
their own tribe had not the written records of their gods.
It may be that the time has come to make such records, said
Tahn-té, our people should not be behind the other people.
We have no written words,said his mother;our head men who
govern have only the deerskin writings of Ki-pah the wise, who lived
long ago and did much for the people of Kah-po and Oj-ke, and the
people of the river.
Of him I have not heard, said Tahn-téwas he a god?
Nono god, but he lived and worked as a god. He came to this land
before the day of my grandfathers. When the time is come, the men of my
father's people will tell you the work he did in our valley, and what
he said. So will tell you the old men of Provi-whah and the old men of
Kah-po. He came to a land, not to one people, and on the deerskin he
painted things never seen but by the wise men who know how to read it.
The boy stared moodily into the sun swept court of Ua-lano. There
were so many things in the world of which no one had ever told him!
If I am very good, and say very many prayers, and wait on the gods
very carefully, will the wise men of the medicine orders tell me of the
deerskin records some day? he demanded.
Some dayit may be so, she conceded.
Good! I will think of that each day as the sun comes up! he
stated. And the magic of the white man's writings I will learn for
myself. It is a thing which is not kept for sacred places, and no
prayers are needed for that!
The woman of mystery regarded him strangely, yet spoke no word. The
magic of the white conquerors was wonderful magic to her, yet she could
not ask her son why he only spoke of them as ever beyond some wall
which they must not cross,and of their knowledge as strong knowledge,
yet not sacred knowledge.
Between the woman and her son there was often a wall of silence.
Even her love could not cross it. There were always spoken or unspoken
questions which she left without answers. He was only learning this in
the wonderful journey of the desert lands, and he asked fewer
questions,but looked at her more. And:she knew that also!
The man of the talking white leaves, and the grey gown set in the
center of the court a white cross, and all the soldiers knelt, and in
front of the dwellings the brown people knelt alsowhich the
Christians deemed a special dispensation that so many heathen had been
brought so quickly to their knees at the mere sight of the holy symbol.
And in the morning Father Luis decided he would baptize all of them,
and have a high mass for the salvation of their souls. The boy who
watched the book so closely, was, he felt sure, a convert at mere sight
of the white leaves, and the heathen mother would no doubt clamor also
But in the early dusk of the morning the boy and his mother were on
the trail for the home valley of the river P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé of which he
had dreamed. With them were people of Kah-po, and people of Provi-whah
and the Apache woman and her child Yahn. Yahn made some one carry her
most of the hard trails, and talked much, and asked many things of the
little growing trees in the old urn of ancient Tusayan.
And when they came in sight of the sacred mesa, Tuyo, a runner was
sent ahead to tell the governor and the head men of the strange new
people of the clanking iron at Ua-lano, and the wonderful and belated
home-coming of the lost woman of many years' mystery.
Because of this they were met at the edge of the mesa by many, and
the Woman of the Twilight knelt and touched the feet of the governor
and asked that the gate of the valley be open to her and to her son.
And Tahn-té knelt also and offered the growing things.
These are sacred things of which the Ruler must speak, said the
governor. I am but for one short summer and winter, but the Ruler is
for always. Of the new things to bear fruit we still speak in
council,also of the new people trading a new white god for blue
stones, and painted robes.
But Tahn-té knew that a welcome was theirs, for the governor would
not have come outside the walls except it had been so, and the old man
watched keenly the delight of the boy as the river of that land came
clear before him spread at the foot of the wide table land, and the
great plain below. Trees grew there, and between them the running water
shone in the sun. The Black Mesa Tuyo, Mesa of the Hearts, arose from
the water edge,a great dark monument of mystic rites, and wondrous
records of the time when it had been a breathing place for the Powers
in the heart of the earth. The rocks were burned so red it always
seemed that the fire was still under them. And south was the God-Maid
mesa:its outline as the face of a maid upturned to the sky.
Beyond the river stretched the yellow corn fieldsthe higher land
like a rugged red skeleton from which the soil had been washed,and
beyond that was the great uplift of the pine-clad mountains where the
springs never failed, and the deer were many.
Wild fowl fluttered and dove in the waters of the river, grey
pigeons flew in little groups from the trail; as they walked, two men
in canoes caught fish where a little stream joined the big water of
P[=o]-s[=o]n-géin every direction the boy was conscious of a richer,
fuller life than any he had yet seen. His mother was righther people
were a strong people! and their villages were many in the valleys of
In Povi-whah the clan of the Arrow Stone people welcomed the
Twilight Woman as their own, and the men and women who had journeyed
with her from Ua-lano looked glad to have journeyed with her,they had
to answer many questions.
Tahn-té also had much practise in the Te-hua words when he tried to
tell them what the peach was like, and what the pear was like, and the
youth were skeptical as to peaches big as six plums.
A boy larger than he flipped with a willow wand at the urn with the
little trees, and told him that in Provi-whah a boy was whipped if he
lied too often!
How many times may a boy lie and not be whipped? asked Tahn-té,
and the other boys laughed, and one stripling gave him a fillet of
otter skin in approval, and said his name was Po-tzah, and that their
clan was the same.
But the tiny Yahn who looked from face to face, and saw the anger in
the face of the boy of the willow wand, caught the switch and brought
it down with all the force of her two chubby arms on the nurslings
brought from Hopi land.
Tahn-té caught her and lifted her beyond reach of the urn.
I should have let the strange beasts of the iron men eat you, he
said. You shall go hungry for peaches if you kill the trees!
The others laughed as she wriggled clearand lisped threats even
while keeping out of range of his strong hands.
Always she is a little cat of the hills to fight for Ka-yemo, said
Po-tzah. Little Ka-yemo will some day grow enough to fight alone!
Ka-yemo scowled at them, and muttered things, and sauntered away. He
was the largest of all of them, but one boy does not fight six!
Yahn was in such a silent rage that she twitched and bent the willow
until it was no longer any thing but a limp wreck:she would break
That is the Apache! said Po-tzah. I think that baby does not
forget to fight even when she sleeps.
The little animal flung an epithet at him and ran after the sulky
Ka-yemo:evidently her hero and idol.
The mother of Tahn-té was called in council for things of which
Tahn-té was not to know. But he learned that she was of the society of
the Rulers:that from which the spiritual head was selected when the
Po-Ahtun-ho or Ruler no longer walked on the earth.
After the council sacred meal was sprinkled on the trees in the urn,
and the priests of the order of Po-Ahtun divided them between the
Winter people, and the Summer people, that it be proven which the care
of the new fruit would belong to for prayers, and each planted them by
their several signs in the sky. His mother spoke to him when alone and
told him he was now to do a boy's work in the village, and his training
must begin for the ceremonies of high orders into which the council
wished him to enter.
To serve our people?
Yes:it will be soto serve our people.
Since it is to be like that, may I also speak?he asked. May I
not speak to the men who decide? I have thought of this each day since
Ua-lano. At some time I must speak:is not this the time?
It may be the time, she assented. We will go to the old men of
the orders. It may be they will listen.
All night they listened, and all night they talked, and the old men
looked at the mother strangely that the son should speak the words of a
man in council.
Thanks that you let me speak, he said. Thanks! It is true what
you hear of the white gold-hunter's magic. It is strong. It is good
that we find out how it is strong. My mother tells you how the Snake
priests of Tusayan make me of their order, so that I can know that
magic for the rain ceremony. In my hands also was given the Flute of
Prayer to the desert gods, and to know Hopi prayers does not hurt me
for a Te-hua:it is Te-hua prayers my mother teaches me always! So it
will not hurt me to learn the magic of the men of iron. They are strong
and they will be hard to fight. The grey robe man is the man who
teaches of their gods. He teaches it from magic white leaves in his
hand, on the leaves there are wordsother iron men can talk from them,
but only the grey robe is the priest and teaches. He would teach me if
I would serve himthen I could have their magic with our own.
It may be evil magic, said one.
It tames the strange beasts as the Hopi prayers tame the snakes,
replied the boyand every day the beasts do work for these people.
The old men nodded assentit certainly must be strong magic to do
But a man of the Tain-tsain clan arose.
This woman has been gone many moons on a strange trail, he said.
The son she brings back to her clan speaks not as a youth speaks. It
is as if he has been very old and grows young again. It may be
magicand again it may be that he is half lost in his mind and dreams
the dreams of a man. It is a new thing that men listen to a child in
Then K[=a]-ye-fah the aged Po-Ahtun-ho made a sign for silence, and
sat with closed eyes, and it was very quiet in the council until he
You have brought a big thought out of the world of the Spirit
People, Phen-tza, he said. It has been given to you to say, and that
is well! It has been given to me to seeand I see with prayer. When
the God-thought is sent to earth people is it not true that the child
of dreams, or the man of dreams, is the first to hear or to feel that
thought? Was not the earth-born god, Po-se-yemo, called a youth that
was foolish? Was he not laughed at by the clans until he wept? Was he
not made ashamed until out of his pain there grew a wisdom greater than
earth-wisdom? Let us think of these things, and let us hear the words
of the child who dreams.
It is well, said another, even when half the mind is gone, it may
be gone only a little while on the twilight trail to the Great
The life music comes in many ways, said K[=a]-ye-fah, the Ruler.
Many reeds grow under the summer sun, but not in all of them do we
hear the call of the spirit people when the wild reed is fashioned for
the flute. The gods themselves grow the flutes of High Mystery. This
youth is only a reed by the river to-dayyet through such reed the
gods may send speech for our ears.
We will listen, said the others. Let us hear more of the men
whose blankets are made of the hard substance. And at this Tahn-té
again took courage and spoke.
These iron men say they are only on a hunting trailthey say they
will not trouble the peoplethat is what their men say who speak for
them! But if one boy, or one man, could talk as they talk, you men of
Povi-whah would know better if they speak straight. My mother has found
the trail to her people on the right day, and has brought me here. I
want to be the boy who learns that talk of the hunters of the blue
stones and sacred sun metal of the earth, and then I can come back and
tell it to the wise men of my mother's people.
But you may not come back.
I will ask all the Powers that I will come back. My mother will
pray also, and her prayers are strong.
I will pray also, said S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah.
The men smoked, and the boy watched them and waited until
That which the son of this wise woman says is to be well thought
of;it may be precious to us in days not yet born of the sun. You who
listen know that we are living now in a day that was told of by Ki-pah
in the years of our Lost Others, and Ki-pah spoke as the god Po-se-yemo
spoke:he was given great magic to see the years ahead of the years he
It is true, assented the governorIt was when the people yet
lived in the caves, and the water went into the sands in that
highlandthat is when he came to our Lost OthersKi-pahthe great
wisdom. He came from the south, and taught them to come down from the
caves and build houses by the great river, and to turn the water to the
fields here. All things worked with himand Kah-poand Oj-ke and
P[=o]-ho-gé were built and stand to this day where he said they must be
built. He knew all speech, and could tell magic things from a bowl of
clear water. It was in the water he saw men who were white, and who
would cover the land if we were not strong. These men are the men he
saw in the water. I think it is so, and that this is the time to be
CHAPTER V. TAHN-TÉ AMONG STRANGERS
The one thing to which the boy gave awed attention was that when the
time came for the villages to fighta leader would be born to themif
the people of the valley were true to their gods they would be strong
always, Ki-pah the prophet told them to remember always the war star in
the skythe star Po-se-yemo had told them of, when it moved, the time
to make war would be here.
And when the time came to fight, a leader would come to them, as he,
Ki-pah had come! Because of this thought was the heart of the boy
thrilled that he had been called a reed by the rivera reed through
which music of the desert gods might speak.
He was filled with wild fancies of mystic things born of these
prophecies. And the old men said that perhaps this was the time of
which Po-se-yemo, the god, and Ki-pah, the prophet, had told!
The vote of a Te-hua council has to be the agreement of every man,
and the star of the morning brought dawn to the valley before the last
reluctant decided it was well to send a messenger to learn of the
But as the sun rose Tahn-té bathed in the running water of the
river, and his prayer was of joy:for he was to go!
In joy, and with the light of exaltation in his face he said
farewell to boy thoughts, and walked lightly over the highlands and the
valleys to Ua-lano, and thence followed the adventurers to Ci-cu-yé and
bent the knee to Father Luis, and kissed the cross, and let water be
sprinkled over him, and did all the things shown him with so glad a
heart that the devoted priest gave praise for such a convert from the
pagan people. So pleased was he with the eagerness of Tahn-té to learn,
that he made him his own assistant at the ceremonies of the Holy Faith.
And after each one, the boy washed his hands in running water, and
scattered prayer meal to the gods of the elements, and to the Sun
Father God, and knew that in Provi-whah his mother was praying also
that he be not harmed by the god of the gold huntersand that he come
back strong with the white man's magic.
The boy Ka-yemo of the Tain-tsain clan was also sentbut neither
boy was told of the quest of the other. The old men decided it was
better so. Without pay they went with the Spanish adventurers, one
serving the men of arms and learning the ways of the strange animals,
and the other serving the priests and learning the symbols of the
strangers' creed of the one goddess, and two gods, and many
Go-h[=e]-yahs, called saints by the men of the iron clothes.
They both saw many strange things in Ci-cu-yé, and they saw the
strange Indian slave, whom the old men of Ci-cu-yé instructed to lead
the men of iron from their land with the romance of Quivera. And the
slave did it, and told the strangers of the mythic land of gold and
gems, and lost his life in the end by doing so, but the life of the
romance was more enduring than any other thing, and the spirit of that
treasure search still broods over the deserts and the mountains of that
But the stay of Ka-yemo was not even the length of the first winter
with the strangers. For in Tiguex where the great captain (Coronado)
wintered, and made his comfort by turning the natives out of their
houses, there was a season of grievous strife ere the Spring came, and
the two boys of Te-hua saw things unspeakable as two hundred Indians of
the valley, captured under truce, were burned at the stake by the
soldiers of the cross.
One of the reasons for the crusade to the north as written in the
chronicles of Christian Mexico was to save the souls of the heathen for
the one god,and his advocates were sending the said souls for
judgement as quickly as might be!
Tahn-té stood, pale and tense in the house where the chapel of Fray
Juan Padilla had been established,once it had been the house of the
governor of the village who might even now be among the victims of the
On the altar was a crucifix in gold on ebony, and the eyes of the
boy were not kindly as he regarded it.
They lie when they say you are a god of peace like our god
Po-se-yemo, he said. They lie when they say you are the god of the
red manyou are the white god of the white peopleand you will let
the red men hold not anything that your white children want!
He heard himself speak the words aloud there alone where the new
altar washe seemed to hear himself saying it over and over as if by
the sound of his own voice he could kill the sound of the tortured red
men in the court.
A blanketed figure ran in at the open door, halted at the sound of
Tahn-té's voiceand then flung himself forward. It was Ka-yemo and his
teeth were chattering at the thought of the inferno without.
It may be they will not look for us here, he said as he saw who it
was in the chapelPerhapsif one keeps nearto their strong god:
and you are close alsoand
I stay close because it is my work,said Tahn-té. Some of the
men tied to the stakes out there bent before their strong god and said
prayers there.Did it save them?
They will kill uswe will never see our peoplethey will kill
us! muttered Ka-yemo shaken with fear.
I do not think they want to kill us:they still need us for many
things. We are only boys, we have not wives that we refuse to give to
the white menif we had it might be different, who knows?
Is that the cause?
The white men will give a different onebut that is the cause! The
men of this valley think it is enough if they give their houses, and
their corn, and their woven blankets to their fine white brothers:the
red men are foolish men,so they burn at the stake out there!
Ka-yemo stared at him, and crouched in his blanket.
You say strange things, he muttered. I think when they get crazy
with the spirit to kill that they will kill us all. I do not stay to be
Tahn-té staring at the emblems of holiness on the altar scarcely
I go, Tahn-té,I go if I have to swim the river with the ice.Do
you stay here to be killed?
I am here to learn many thingsI learn but little yet, I cannot
Butif you die?
I think it is not yet that I die, said Tahn-téThere is much to
Andif I live to seeour people?
Tell my mother I am strongand I feel her prayers when the sun
comes up. Tell the governor I stay to learn what the white god does for
the red men; when I have things to tell the people I will come back to
But the ice of that winter melted, and the summer bore its fruit,
and the second spring time had come to the land before Tahn-té crossed
the mesas and stood at his mother's door.
Thanksthat you have come, she said, and wept, and he held her
hand and did not know the things to say, only:Thanks that our gods
have brought me back.
And the magic of the white man?
It is here, and he opened a bag made of buffalo skin, and in it
were books and papers covered with written words. She looked on them
with awe. Her son was only a boy but he had won that which was
precious, and earned honors from the men of her tribe and her clan.
Not to me must you tell it first, she saidThe Ruler will hear
you, and the governor,they will decide if it is to be known, or if it
is to be secret.
The old men sprinkled prayer mealand smoked medicine smoke over
the books to lift any lingering curses from the white men's god, and
then the boy opened the pages and made clear how the marks stood for
words, and the words put all together stood for the talk of the white
god. It was a thing of wonder to the council.
And it is a strong god? asked the Ruler.
It is strong for war:not for peace, said the boy.
Ka-yemo brought back the words of the medicine-man of the grey
blanket who talked of their god. All his talk was of peace and of love
in the heart. Is that true?
It is true. He was a good man. It may be that some men are born so
good that even the gods of the men of iron cannot make them evil. And
Padre Luis was born into the world like that.
We listen to you to hear of the moons and the suns since you went
The boy told of the fruitless search to the east for the wonderful
land of the slave's romance, where the natives used golden bowls
instead of earthen vessels for food, where each soldier was so sure of
gaining riches that the weight of provisions carried was small lest the
animals be not strong enough to carry all the gold and the food also.
The old men laughed much at this search for the symbol of the Sun
Father along the waters of the Mischipi, and commended the wise men of
Ci-cu-yé who had the foresight to plan the romance, and to send the
slave to lead the adventurers to the land of false dreams.
It was bad, however, that the strangers had not lost themselves in
the prairies, or were not killed by the fierce tribes of the north:it
was bad that they came back to the villages of the P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé
Then the boy told of the final despair of the conquerors, and their
disheartened retreat to the land of the south. For two years they had
terrorized the people of the landworse enemies than the Navahu or the
Comanche or the Apache fighter, then when they had made ruins where
towns and gardens had been, they said it was all of no use since the
yellow metal was not found in the ground.
Did the wise men of iron not know that where the yellow metal is in
the earth, that there is ever the symbol of the Sun Father, and that it
must be a thing sacred and a hidden place for prayer?
They did not know that:no man told them.
K[=a]-ye-fah, the ancient Ruler blew smoke from his pipe to the four
ways, and spoke.
Yet among the men they burned to ashes in the village square were
many who could have told them that, and three who could have told them
where such prayer places were hidden! It is well, my children, that
they did die, and not tell that which the Sun Father has hidden for his
own people:it is well!
It is well! echoed the others of the council.
We all die when the day or the night comes,continued the old
man. It is well that we die in bravery for the sake of the others who
have to live and walk the earth path. It is well that we have strong
hearts to think about. One day I shall go in the ground with my
fathers; I am old, and the trail has been long, and in my old days the
sunlight has been covered for me.
Tahn-té did not know what he meant, but the other men bent their
heads in sympathy.
It is twice four moons since my child K[=a]-ye-povi was carried
away in the darkness when we fought the Navahu in the hunting grounds
to the west,he continued. No one has found herno trader has
brought her back. When a woman, she will not know her own people, or
our own speech. I think of that, and grow weak. Our people have never
been slavesyet she will be a slave for our enemy the Navahu! So it is
that I grow old more quick, and the time may come soon to sleep on our
We wish that it comes not soon, said the governor, and the others
signified their assent.
Thanks, thanks that you wish it. I do not speak of it to give sad
hearts. I speak because of the days when I may be gone, and another
than me will hold the knowledge of a sacred place where the Sun Father
hides his symbol. It is good that I hear of the men who let themselves
go into ashes, and when if they had said once:'I know where it
isthe metal of the Sun!' all might have gone free and lived long
days. My children:it may be that some day one of you will hold a
secret of the sacred place where strong magic lives! If it be so, let
that man among you think in his heart of the twenty times ten men who
let themselves be burned into ashes by the white men of iron! Guard you
the sacred placesand let your ashes go into the sands, or be blown by
the winds to the four ways. But from the sacred things of the gods,
lift not the cover for the enemy!
The old man trembled with the intensity of the thought and the dread
of what the unborn years might bring.
After a moment of silence the governor spoke:
It may be that you live the longest of all! No one knows who will
guard the things not to be told. But no Te-hua can uncover that which
belongs to the Sun Father, and the Earth Mother.
It is true:thanks that it is true!said the other men, and
Tahn-té knew he was listening to things not told to boys.
Thanks that you speak so, said the Ruler. Now we have all spoken
of this matter. It is done. But the magic of the white hunters of gold,
we have not yet heard spoken. How is it, boy, that you have brought all
these signs of it:what made blind their eyes?
Not anything, said Tahn-té. It was a long time I was with them.
Some men had one book, or two, other men had papers that came in great
canoes from their land in Spain. Some had writings from their fathers
or their friends. These I heard read and talked of around the camp
fire. When they went away some things were thrown aside or given to the
padres who were to stay and talk of their gods. All I found I hid in
the earth. The people of Ci-bo-la killed Padre Juan, and I traded a
broken sword for his books and his papers. The sword I also had buried.
They were afraid of the books, I had learned to read them, and I was
And you came from Ci-bo-la alone? asked the governor,it is a
long trail to carry a load.
All was not carried from there. I came back to Ci-cu-yé to learn
more from Padre Luis who meant to live there. He did not live so long,
but while he lived he taught me.
The men of Ci-cu-yé killed him too?
They made him die when they said I must not take beans or meal to
him where he lived in a cave, and where he made prayers for their
You wanted that he should have food? asked the Ruler.
I wanted that he should live to teach me all the books before the
end came, said the boy simply. It is not all to be learned in two
winters and one summer.
That is true, said K[=a]-ya-fah the Ruler. All of a man's life is
needed to learn certain things of magic. It is time now that you come
back and begin the work of the Orders. You have earned the highest
right a boy has yet earned, and no doors will be closed for you on the
sacred things given to people.
We think that is so, said the governorno doors will be closed
for the son of S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah, the Woman of the Twilight.
This was the hour he had dreamed of through the months which had
seemed horrible as the white man's hell. One needs only to read the
several accounts of Coronado's quest for the golden land of the Gran
Quivera in 1540-42 to picture what the life of a little native page
must have been with the dissatisfied adventurers, by whom all Indians
were considered as slaves should their service be required.
Men had died beside him on the trailand there had been times when
he felt he too would die but for the thought of this hour when he could
come back, and the council could sayIt is well!
I thank you, and my mother will thank you, he said with his eyes
on the stones of the kiva lest the men see that his eyes were wet. My
mother said prayers with me always, and that helped me to come back.
The prayers of the Shadow Woman are high medicine, assented one of
the men. She brought back my son to live when the breath was gone
As a little child she had a wisdom not to be taught, affirmed the
Rulerand now it is her son who brings us the magic of the iron men.
Tell us how you left the people of Ci-cu-yé.
They were having glad dances that the Christians were gone, and
that the padres were dead as other men die. So long as they let me I
carried food and water to Padre Luis. Then they guarded me in the kiva,
and laughed at me, and when they let me go I knew it was because he was
no longer alive. No:they did not harm me. They were too pleased that
I could tell them of where their slave whom they called the 'Turk'led
the gold hunters searching for the Quivera of yellow metal and blue
stones. They had much delight to hear of the woeful time of the white
men. I could stay all my days at Ci-cu-yé and be precious to them, if I
would talk of the trouble trail to Quivera, but when I had seen that
the Padre was indeed gone to the Lost Others, my work was no more at
Ci-cu-yé. I took his books also for my ownand all these things I have
brought back at Povi-whah to make good my promise when I went away.
Some things in the books, I know, and that I can tell you. Of the rest
I will work until I do know, and then I can tell you that.
That is good, said K[=a]-ye-fah the Ruler. You shall be as my son
and in the long nights of the winter moons we will listen. The time
told of in the prophecies of Ki-pah is coming to us. He said also that
in each danger time would be born one to mark the way for the people to
followin each danger time so long as the Te-hua people were true to
Tahn-té breathed on the hand of the old men, and went up from the
kiva into the cool night of the early summer.
It was too wonderful a night for aught but to reach up in thought to
the height of the warm stars. They came so close he could feel their
radiance in his heart.
Twice had his name in council been linked to the prophecies of the
wise and mysterious prophet of the ancient days! Always he had known
that the Woman of the Twilight and he were not to live the life of the
others. He had not known why they were set apart for unusual
experiences, but to-night he dared to think. With the words of the wise
men still in his earsthe rulers who could make and unmakehe knew
that no other boy had ever heard the praise and promise he had heard.
He knew they thought they were giving words to one who would be a
leader in the years to comeand this first night under the peace of
the stars, he was filled with a triumph and an exaltation for which
there were no words.
He would be a leadernot of warnot of government for the daily
duties of village life, but of the Things of the Spirit which seemed
calling within him to highest endeavor. He knew as yet nothing of
Te-hua ceremonieshe had all to learn, yet he felt inspired to invent
some expression for the joy which was his.
The new moon seemed to rest on the very edge of the mesa above
him:the uplifted horn looked like a white flame rising from purple
A white flame!a white flame!
To the Indian mind all signs are symbolic,and the flame was
exactly above the point where the light was set ceremonially and
regularly to light the Indian god back to his own people!
A point of white flame above that shrine of centuries!
No eyes but his saw it at exactly that angleof course it was not
meant for other eyes. It was meant that it should be seen by him alone
on his first night with the people he meant to work for! With the
memory of the prophecies in his ears had he seen it. It could mean only
that the god himself set it there as a proof that the devotion of
Tahn-té was acceptableand that he had been born of his mother that
the prophecies might be fulfilled at the right timeand that the light
of the moon on his face had meant
His thought came so quickly that all the air of the night appeared
alive with the unseenand the unseen murmured in his ears, and his
memoriesand in his heart!
Suddenly he stretched his open hands high to the stars, and then ran
across the level to the foot of the bluff. It was high and very steep,
but wings seemed hishis heart was on the summit, and his body must
followmust get there before the white flame sank into the westmust
send his greeting to answer the greeting of the god!
In the pouch at his girdle was the fire flint, and a wisp of the
silky wild flax of tinder. Two sticks of dead scrub piñon was there; he
broke them in equal lengths and laid them in the cross which is the
symbol of the four ways, and of the four winds from which the sacred
breath is drawn for all that livesthe symbol also of union by which
all human life is perpetuated. All fires of sacrifices,or of magic
power, must commemorate these things which are sacred things, and
Tahn-té placed them and breathed upon them, and touched them with the
spark from the white flint, and then arose in joy and faced the moon
yet visible, knowing that the god had seen his answering flame on the
shrineand that it meant a dedication to the Things of the Spirit.
And as he stood there on the mesa's edge, exalted at the wonder of
the night, he did not speak, yet he heard the echo of words in his own
voice:No one but Tahn-té shall gather the woods for the fire to
light Po-se-yemo back;and when he sees the blaze, and comes back, you
will tell him it was his son who kept the fire!
Like a flash came the memory of that other time at the edge of that
other mesa in Hopi-land! He had said those words to his motherand had
forgotten them. He could never forget them again, for the god had sent
them back to him to remember. And Tahn-té trembled at the wondrous
signs given him this night, and sprinkled meal to the four ways, and
held prayer thoughts of exaltation in his heart.
And this was the last day of the boy years of Tahn-té.
He began then the years of the work for which his Other Self told
him he had been born on earth.
CHAPTER VI. TAHN-TÉTHE RULER
Summers of the Sun, and winters when the stars danced for the snow,
had passed over the valley of Povi-whah. New people had been born into
the world, and old people had died, but the oldest man in the council,
K[=a]-ye-fahthe Ruler of Things from the Beginning, had lived many
years after the time when he thought the shadow life must come to him.
And to the Woman of the Twilight he had said that it was her son who
kept him livingher son to whom he taught the ancient things of his
own youth. In the keen enthusiasms he had found such a son as he had
longed for. The lost daughter, K[=a]-ye-povi, he had never foundand
never forgotten. To Tahn-té he had talked of her until she almost lived
in their lives. The face of the god-maid on the south mesa had for
K[=a]-ye-fah the outline of chin and backward sweep of hair strangely
akin to the face of the lost child. He liked to think the god-maid
belonged more to his clan of Towa Toanthe High Mesa clanthan to
If she had not gone into the shadow land, her face would have
looked that way, he said.
And we could gather bright flowers for her hair,said the
boythey would be sweeter than the cold, far brightness of the stars
where the god-maid waits, and he pointed to where Antares gleamed from
the heart of the Scorpion above the dusk profile,I think of
K[=a]-ye-povi as the dream maid. She will be my always young
sweetheartmy only one.
That is good, said K[=a]-ye-fahvery good for the work of the
For the youth was to carry on the tribal prayers to the gods when
K[=a]-ye-fah no longer walked on earth. And his teaching must be
greater than all other teaching, for the Ruler was planning for the
work of the days to come.
And in a day of the early spring the work was made ready, for to
S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah he said:A week ago So-hoah-tza went under the
waters of the river and never breathed again. To him was given the
guard of the sacred place of the Sun Father. I have not yet made any
other the guardian. You are the woman of the order of the Po-AhtunI
give you the guard to keep. Call the governorbut call your son first.
You shall be guard as So-hoah-tza was guard, but Tahn-té shall be guard
as I have been! Lean lower, and let your ear listen and your heart keep
sacred the word. I go to our Lost Othersbut I leave you to guard.
The governor came, and all were sad, but no one thought that the
life was over. K[=a]-ye-fah talked and smiled as one who goes to a
But Tahn-té, standing tall and still by the couch said:It will be
over! This morning he wakened and said he would go with the sun to-day.
He has no other thought, and he will go!
And the women wept, and made ready the things of burial for the high
priest of the highest order. If Tahn-té said he would go into the
shadows at that timethe women knew that it would be so. Tahn-té, as
they knew him, joyous in the dances of the seasons,was never in their
minds apart from Tahn-té the prophet whose dreams even as a boy, had
been beyond the dreams of the others who sought visions.
And as the sun touched the black line of the pines on the western
mountain, the aged Ruler asked for his wand of office, and the governor
gave it to him, and with his own hand he gave it to Tahn-té, that even
when his own form was covered with the soil, his vote would be on
record in the minds of those who listenedand that vote gave to his
pupil in magic, the wand of powerThe youngest qualified member of the
Order of Spiritual things was thus acclaimed as the Po-Ahtun-ho, a
Ruler of Things from the Beginning.
Twenty-four years he had livedbut the time of life with the white
men had counted more than double. In magic of many kinds he was more
wise than the men of years, and the heart of his mother was glad with
the almost perfect gladness when Tahn-té stood in the place of the
Ancient Wisdom and listened as the ear of the god listens to the
recitation of many tribal prayers.
The Po-Ahtun-ho also listens at times to the individual appeals of
the things of every day lifeas a father listens to a child who seeks
advice. To the more ancient Rulers the younger people were often afraid
to govarious uncles of the village were appealed to instead. But
the youth of Tahn-té made all things differenteven the love of a man
for a maid, was not so small a thing that the new Ruler made the
suppliant feel how little it was.
And one of the first who came to him thuswho knelt and offered a
prayer to him, the prayer of a love, was the little Apache tigress who
had been first of his own village to greet him in Ua-lanoYahn
Tsyn-deh, who had grown so pretty that the men of the other villages
talked of her, and her mother had asked great gifts for her. But the
mother had died with the winter, and Yahn refused to be subject to the
Tain-tsain clan of her father, and there had been much trouble until
she threatened to go back to her mother's tribe, and many thought it
might come to that after allfor she was very strong of will.
But before Tahn-té the Po-Ahtun-ho she crouched, and sobs shook her,
and her hair covered her face as a veil.
If it is of the clan, Yahn, it is to the governor you should
speak: said Tahn-téfrom him it may come to me if he thinks best.
There are rules we must not break. Because I carried you, when little,
on my shoulder, is no reason to walk past the door of the governor and
bring his duties to me.
He spoke kindly, for his heart was kind towards the little fighter
of boyhood's days. Her alien blood was ever prompting her to reckless
daring beyond the customs of Te-hua maidens. In a different way, he
himself was an alien and it helped him to understand her. But this day
he saw another Yahnone he had not known could hide under the reckless
She tossed back her hair and faced him.
How should I speak with Phen-tza the governorhe is the uncle of
Ka-yemo! It is he who has helped do this thinghe would make me a
slave or have me whipped! How should I speak with him? Ka-yemo knows
that the governor his uncle, will
Ka-yemo! What has Ka-yemo done? What trouble does he make?
Ohno trouble! her words were bitter words,Only the governor
his uncle, has talked with the family of Tsa-fah and the marriage is
made with his daughter Koh-pé of the beads, and youknow, Tahn-téyou
Tahn-té did know, he regarded her in silence.
Speak!she pleaded. You are more than governoryou are the
Highest! Magic is yours to make and to unmake. Unmake this thing! With
your magic send him back to meto me!
Magic is not for that:it is for Those Above!
Again she flung herself at his feet and wept. The sobs hurt him, yet
he must not lift her. She begged for a charmfor a spellfor black
magic to strike dead the wearer of the red bears and the blue beads,
for all wild things a wild passion could suggest.
If you could see into the other years you would be content to have
it as it is, he said gentlythe years ahead may
I care nothing for the years ahead! I want the now!I
Listen! he said, and she fell silent with covered face. That
which you feel for Ka-yemo is not the love of marriage. A man takes a
wife for love of a wife and a home and children in the home. A man does
not chain himself to a tigress whose bite and whose blows he has felt.
A man would wish to be master:what man has been born who could be
master in your home?
You do not know. You have lived a different sort of life! I could
be more than another wifethan any other wife! I shall kill some
one! and she rose to her feetunless the magic comes I kill some
Then Phen-tza the governor will have me strangled, and they will
take me to my grave with ropes of raw hide and there will not any where
be a sad heart for Yahn Tsyn-deh.
You see how it ishe is precious to youas he always has been.
But your love is too great a love for happy days. Always it will bring
you the ache in the heart. No thing of earth should be given the love
like that:it is a fire to burn a whole forest in the days of its
summer, and in the winter snows there will be only ashes.
Good!then I, Yahn, will rather burn to the ashes in such summer
days, and be dead under the snows in the winter of the year!
And after that?
After that will not the Po-Ahtun-ho be Ruler always? Will he not
remember his friends who are precious in the Beyond as he remembers
this one to-day? she asked mockingly. K[=a]-ye-fah told the council
that you have lived a life no other man lives, and that no woman is
precious to you:when you find the woman who is yet to come, may a
viper poison her bloodmay a cat of the hills tear her flesh! May you
love until madness comesand may the woman find only death in your
armsand find it quickly!
When the Woman of the Twilight came in from the field with yellow
corn pollen for the sacred ceremonies, the lattice of reeds at the
outer door was yet shaking as from touch of a ruthless hand, or a
Who was it that cried here? she asked. Who has left you sad?
Perhaps a prophetess, my mother, answered Tahn-té, and sat
thoughtful where Yahn had left him. And after a long time he arose and
sought the governor.
But it was fated that the governor and the new Ruler were not to
talk of the love of a maid or the marriage of a man that day.
A runner had been sent to Povi-whah from Kat-yi-ti. He gave his
message, and stayed to eat while other runners took the trail, and
before the sun had moved the width of a hand across the sky, the
villages of Kah-po and Tsa-mah and Oj-ke were starting other runners to
Ui-la-ua and far Te-gat-ha and at Kah-po the head men gathered to talk
in great council over the word brought from the south.
For the word was that the men of the iron and the beards and the
white skins were again coming to the land of the People of the Sun.
They came in peace, and searched for the lost padres. A man of the gown
was with them for prayers, and a Te-hua man who had been caught by the
Navahu long winters ago and traded to the land of green birds. The
Te-hua man said the white people were good people, and he was guiding
them to the villages by the big river, P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé.
CHAPTER VII. THE SILKEN SCARF
Of the many godly enterprises set afoot for exploration and conquest
in New Spain of the sixteenth century, not all have chronicles
important enough for the historian to make much of. But there were
goings and comings of which no written record reached the archives.
Things forbidden did happen even under the iron heel of Castilian rule,
and one of the hidden enterprises grew to be a part of the life of the
P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé valley for a time.
Not that it was unchronicled, but there was a good reason why the
records were not published for the Spanish court.
It was a pretty romantic reason alsoand the usual one, if we may
trust the world's judgment of the foundation of all trouble. But a maid
tossing a blossom from a Mexic balcony could not know that the stranger
from Seville to whom it was thrown was the son of an Eminence, instead
of the simple gentleman named Don Ruy Sandoval in a royal letter to the
Viceroy. With him travelled his tutor whose tutelage was past, and the
position a difficult one for even the Viceroy to comprehend.
Since the youth rebelled at the habit of a monkhe had been given a
space for adventure under godly surveillance. The godly surveillance
limped a trifle at times. And because of this did Don Ruy walk again in
the moonlight under the balcony and this time more than a blossom came
to himabout the stem of a scarlet lily was a flutter of white! The
warm light of the Mexic moon helped him to decipher ita page from
Ariostothe romance of Doña Bradamanteand the mark of a pen under
words uttered by the warrior-maid herselfwords to warm a cooler youth
than this one from over seas:Why seek I one who flies from
me?Why implore one who deigns not to send me reply?
Whereupon there was no further delay as to replythere was found an
open gate to a garden where only stars gave light, where little hands
were held for a moment in hissoft whispers had answered his ownand
he was held in thrall by a lace wrapped señorita whose face he had not
even looked on in the light. All of Castile could give one no better
start in a week than he had found for himself in three days in the new
world of promise.
For there were promisesand they were sweet. They had to do with a
tryst two nights awaythen the lady, whom he called Doña Bradamante
because of the page torn from that romance, would enlighten him as to
her pressing need of the aid of a gentleman, and courage would be hers
to tell him why a marked line and a scarlet lily had been let fall in
his pathand why she had trusted his face at first sightthough he
had not yet seen her ownand why
It was the usual thingthe page of a poem and a silken scarf as a
guerdon of her trust.
He found the place of the tryst with ease for a stranger in the
Mexic streets, but a glimmer of white robe was all he saw of his
unknown Doña Bradamante. Others were at the tryst, and their staves
and arms lacked no strength. He heard a woman scream, then he heard her
try again to scream and fail because of a hand on her throat, and
beyond that he knew little for a night or two, and there was not much
of day between.
Monkly robes were the next thing in his range of visionone face in
particular, sallow and still with eyes glancing sideways, seeing all
things;divining much! soft steps, and bandages, and out of silence
the excited shrillness of Don Diego Maria Francisco Brancadori the
tutor:the shepherd who had lost track of his one rather ruffled lamb.
Pious ejaculationthanks to all the saints he could think
ofhorror that the son of an Eminence should be thus
abusedprophecies of the wrath to come when the duchess, his
motherAt this Don Ruy groped for a sword, and found a boot, and flung
it, with an unsanctified word or two, in the direction of the
You wail worse than a dog of a Lutheran under the yoke, he said in
as good a voice as he could muster with a cut in his lip. What matter
how much Eminence it took to make a father for meor how many
duchesses to make a mother? I am labelled as plain Ruy Sandoval and
shipped till called for. If you are to instruct my youth in the path it
should treadwhy not start in with a lesson on discretion?
At this hopeful sign of life from the bundle of bandages on the
monk's bed, Maestro Diego approached and looked over his illustrious
charge with a careful eye.
Discretion has limped far behindenterprise, else your highness
would cut a different figure by nowand
[Illustration: TO DON RUY, A MESSAGE IN THE MOONLIGHT Page 63
Choke back your infernal highnesses! growled the younger man. I
know well what your task is to be here in this new land:it is to send
back reports of duty each time I break a rule or get a broken head. Now
by the Blood, and the Cross, if you smother not your titles, and let me
range free, I tell you the thing I will do:I will send back a
complaint against you to Sevilleand to make sure that it goes, no
hand shall carry it but your own. Ere they can find another nurse maid
for my morals, I'll build me a ship and go sailing the South seas for
adventureand your court tricksters will have a weary time in the
chase! I like you better than many another godly spy who might have
been sent, and I promise myself much joy in the journal of strange
travels it is in your mind to write. But once for all, remember, we
never were born into the world until a week ago!
But your Excellency
By the Great Duke of Hell! Will you not bridle your tongue when the
damned monks are three deep at the key hole?
By which it will be seen that the travels of the pious Don Diego
were not all on paths of roses.
A little later the still faced priest of the stealthy glances came
in, and Don Ruy sat on the side of the bed, and looked him over.
You are the one who picked me upeh? And the gentlemen of the
streets had tossed me into a corner after discreetly starting my soul
on its travels! Warm trysts your dames give to a stranger in this
landwhen you next confess the darlings, whisper their ears to be less
bloodthirsty towards youth innocence!
The man in the robe smiled.
That unwise maid will make no more trysts, he said quietly,not
if she be one important enough to cause an assault on your Highness.
Nonoharm would not be done to her, but her destiny is without
doubt a convent. The men who spoiled your tryst earn no purses as guard
for girls of the street,sacred walls will save them that trouble for
a timewhether maid or wife I dare promise you that! It is as well you
know. Time is wasted seeking adventure placed beyond mortal reach.
Conventeh? Do your holy retreats teach the little tricks the lady
knew? And do they furnish their vestals with poems of romance and silks
and spices of Kathay?
He drew from an inner pocket a little scarf of apple green with
knotted fringes, and butterflies, various colored in dainty broidery.
As the folds fell apart an odor of sweetness stole into the shadowy
room of the monastery, and the priest was surprised into an ejaculation
at sight of such costly evidence, but he smothered it hastily in a
After that he listened to few of the stranger's gibes and quips, but
with a book of prayers on his knee he looked the youth over carefully,
recalled the outburst of Don Diego as to origin, and the adventurer's
own threat to build a ship and sail where chance pointed. Plainly, this
seeker of trysts, or any other thing promising adventure, had more of
resource than one might expect from a battered stranger lifted out of
the gutter for the last rites.
The priestwho looked a good soldier and who was called Padre
Vicente de los Chichimecos (of the wild tribes) read further in his
book of hours, and then spoke the thing in his mind.
For a matter of many years in this land of the Indies I have waited
for a man of discreet determination for a certain work. The virgin
herself led me to the gutter where you groaned in the dark, and I here
vow to build her a chapel if this thought of mine bears fruit.
Hump! My thanks to our Lady,and I myself will see to the building
of the chapel. But tell me of the tree you would plant, and we'll then
have a guess at the fruit. It may prove sour to the taste! Monkly
messes appealed to me little on the other side of the seas. I've yet to
test their flavor on this shore of adventure.
Padre Vicente ignored the none too respectful commentand took from
his pocket a bit of virgin gold strung on a thread of deer sinew.
Your name is Don Ruy Sandoval, he said. You are in this land for
adventure. You content yourself with the latticed window and the strife
of the streetswhy not look for the greater things? You have wealth
and power at your callwhy not search for an empire ofthis?
Then he showed the virgin gold worn smooth by much wearing.
Don Ruy blinked under the bandage and swore by Bradamante of the
adventure that he would search for it gladly if but the way was shown.
Where do we find this golden mistress of yours? he demanded, and
why have you waited long for a comrade?
The gold is in the north where none dare openly seek treasure, or
even souls, since Coronado came back broken and disgraced. I have
waited for the man of wealth who dared risk it, andat whose going the
Viceroy could wink.
Why wink at merather than another?
That is a secret knotted in the fringes of the silken scarf
there said Padre Vicente with a grim smile. Cannot a way be found
to clear either a convent or a palace of a trouble breeder, when the
church itself lends a hand? You were plainly a breeder of trouble, else
had you escaped the present need of bandages. For the first time I see
a way where Church and the government of the Indies can go with clasped
hands to this work. In gold and converts the work may prove mighty. How
mighty depends whether you come to the Indies to kill time until the
day you are recalledor improve that time by success where Coronado
And if we echo his failure?
None will be the wiser even then! You plan for a season of hunting
in the hills. I plan for a mission visit by the Sea of Cortez. Mine
will be the task to see how and where our helpers join each other and
all the provisioning of man and beast. Mine also to make it clear to
the Viceroy that you repent your
Hollo!Don Ruy interrupted with a grimace. You are about to say
I repent of follyor the enticing of a virginor that I fell victim
to the blandishments of some tricky dameI know all that cant by
rote!a man always repents until his broken head is mended, but all
that is apart from the real thingwhich is this:In what way does my
moment with a lady in the dark affect the Viceroy of the Indies? Why
should his Excellency trouble himself that Ruy Sandoval has a broken
headand a silken scarf?
Padre Vicente staredthen smiled. Ruy Sandoval had not his wits
smothered by the cotton wool of exalted pamperings.
I will be frank with you, he said at last. The Viceroy I have not
yet addressed on this matter. But such silken scarfs are fewthat one
would not be a heavy task to trace to its owner.
Ah!I suspected your eminence had been a gallant in your time,
remarked Don Ruy, amicablyIt is not easy to get out of the habit of
noticing alluring things:that is why I refused to do penance for my
birth by turning monk, and shrouding myself in the gown! Now cometell
me! You seem a good fellowtell me of the 'Doña Bradamante' of the
silks and the spices.
The destiny of that person is probably already decided, stated the
priest of the wild tribes, she is, if I mistake not, too close to the
charge of the Viceroy himself for that destiny to be questioned. The
mother, it is said, died insane, and the time has come when the
daughter also is watched with all care lest she harm herselfor her
attendants. So I hearthe maid I do not know, but the scarf I can
trace. Brieflythe evident place for such a wanton spitfire is the
convent. You can easily see the turmoil a woman like that can make as
each ship brings adventurersand she seeks a lover out of every
Jesus!and hell to come! Then I was only one of a sortall is
fish to the net of the love lorn lady! Maestro Diego would have had the
romance and the lily if he had walked ahead instead of behind me!and
he could have had the broken head as well! Then he sniffed again at
the bit of silk, and regarded the monk quizzically.
You have a good story, and you tell it well, holy father, he said
at last,and I am troubled in my mind to know how little of it may be
truth, and how much a godly lie. But the gold at least is true gold,
and whatever the trick of the lady may be, you say it will serve to win
for me the privilege to seek the mines without blare of trumpets.
Hum!it is a great favor for an unknown adventurer.
Unknown you may be to the people of the streets, and to your ship
mates, agreed the Padre. But be sure the Viceroy has more than a hint
that you are not of the rabble. The broils you may draw to yourself may
serve to disquiet him muchyet he would scarce send you to the stocks,
or the service of the roads. Be sure he would rather than all else bid
you god speed on a hunting journey.
But that you are so given to frankness I should look also for a
knife in the back to be included in his excellency's favors, commented
Don Ruy. Name of the Devil!what have I done since I entered the
town, but hold hands with one woman in the darkand be made to look as
if I had been laid across a butcher block on a busy day! Hell take such
a city to itself! I've no fancy for halting over long in a pit where a
gentleman's amusements are so little understood. If the Doña of the
scarf were aught but an amiable maniac the thing would be different. I
would stayand I would find her and together we would weave a new
romance for a new world poet! But as it is, gather your cut throats and
name the day, and we'll go scouring the land for heathen souls and
Padre Vicente de Bernaldez was known by his wonderful mission-work
to be an ecclesiastic of most adventurous disposition. Into wild lands
and beyond the Sea of Cortez had he gone alone to the wild tribesso
far had he gone that silence closed over his trail like a grave at
timesbut out of the Unknown had he come in safety!
His fame had reached beyond his orderand Ruy Sandoval knew that it
was no common man who spoke to him of the Indian gold.
Francisco de Coronado, stated this padre of the wilderness, came
back empty handed from the north land of the civilized Indians for the
reason that he knew not where to search. The gold is there. This is
witness. It came to me from a man whois dead! It was given him by a
woman of a certain tribe of sun worshippers. To her it was merely some
symbol of their pagan faithsome priestly circle dedicated to the
It sounds well, agreed Don Ruybut the trail? Who makes the way?
And what force is needed?
For a guide the Padre Vicente had a slave of that land, a man of
Te-hua baptized José, for five years the padre had studied the words
and the plans. The man would gladly go to his own land,he and his
wife. All that was required was a general with wealth for the conquest.
There were pagan souls to be saved, and there was wealth for the more
worldly minds. The padre asked only a tenth for godly reasons.
Thus between church and state was the expedition of his Excellency
Don Ruy Sandoval ignored except as a hunting journey to the North coast
of the Cortez Seaif he ranged farther afield, his own be the peril,
for no troops of state were sent as companions. The good father had
selected the menmost of them he had confessed at odd times and knew
their metal. All engaged as under special duty to the cross:it was to
be akin to a holy pilgrimage, and absolution for strange things was
granted to the men who would bear arms and hold the quest as secret.
Most of them thought the patron was to be Mother Church, and
regarded it as a certain entrance to Paradise. Don Ruy himself meekly
accepted a role of the least significance:a mere seeker of pleasure
adventures in the provinces! It would not be well that word of risk or
danger be sent across seasand the Viceroy could of course only say
god speed you to a gentleman going for a ride with his servants and
his major domo.
And thus:between a hair brained adventurer and a most extolled
priest, began the third attempt to reach the people called by New
Spain, the Pueblos:the strangely learned barbarians who dwelt in
walled townscultivating field by irrigation, and worshipping their
gods of the sun, or the moon, or the stars through rituals strange as
those of Pagan Egypt.
Word had reached Mexico of the martyrdom of Fray Juan Padilla at
Ci-bo-la, but in the far valley of the Rio Grande del Nortecalled by
the tribes the river P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé,Fray Luis de Escalona might be
yet alive carrying on the work of salvation of souls.
The young Spanish adventurer listened with special interest as the
devotion and sacrifices of Fray Luis were extolled in the recitals.
If he lives we will find that man, he determined. He was nobly
born, and of the province of my mother. I've heard the romance for
which he cloaked himself in the gray robe. He should be a prince of the
church instead of a wandering lay brotherwe will have a human thing
to search for in the world beyond the desertours will be a crusade to
rescue him from the infidel lands.
CHAPTER VIII. THE STORY BY THE
Don Diego marvelled much at the briskness of the plans for a season
of hunting ere his troublesome charge was well able to see out of both
eyes. But on being told that the range might be wide, he laid in a
goodly stock of quills and parchment, for every league of the land
would bring new things to his knowledge.
These records were to be entitled Relaciones of the New and
Wondrous Land of the Indian's Island and in those Relaciones the
accounts of Padre Vicente were to loom large. Among the pagan people
his war against the false gods had been ruthless. Maestro Diego was
destined to hear more of the padre's method than he dared hope in the
José, the Indian of the North whose Te-hua name was Khen-zah, went
with themalso his wifethe only woman, for without her the man would
not go in willingness. Two only were the members added by Don Ruy to
the cavalcadeone a stalwart fellow of many scars named Juan Gonzalvo
who had known service with Pizarro in the land of goldhad lost all
his coin in an unlucky game, and challenged the young stranger from
Seville for the loan of a stake to gamble with and win back his losses.
He looked good for three men in a fight. Instead of helping him in a
game, Don Ruy invited him on the hunting trip!
The other addition was as different as might be from the toughened,
gambling conquistadora mere lad, who brought a letter from the hand
of the Viceroy as a testimonial that the lad was a good scribe if it so
happened that his sanctity the padreor his Excellency Don Ruy, should
need such an addition in the new lands where their hunting camps were
to be. The boy was poor but for the learning given him by the
priests,his knowledge was of little save the knowledge of books. But
his willingness to learn was great, and he would prove of use as a
clerk or page as might be.
Padre Vicente was not present, and the cavalcade was already two
days on the trail, but Don Ruy read the letter, and looked the lad
Your name is
Manuel Lenaresand called 'Chico' because I am not yet so tall as
I may be.
It should be Manuella because you look not yet so manlike as you
may be, declared Ruy Sandoval,and laughed as the angry color swept
the face of the lad. By our Lady, I've known many a dame of high
degree would trade several of her virtues for such eyes and lips!
Tushboy! Have no shame to possess them since they will wear out in
their own time! I can think of no service you could be to meyetI
have another gentleman of the court with me holding a like officeName
of the Devil:it would be a fine jest to bestow upon him a helper for
the ponderous 'Relaciones'! and Don Ruy chuckled at the thought, while
the lad stood in sulky embarrassmentwilling to work, but not to be
He was dressed as might be in the discarded garments of
magnificence, well worn and visibly made over to fit his young figure.
His cloak of old scarlet, too large for him, covered a patched shirt
and jacket, and reached to his sandal straps of russet leather:scarce
the garb of a page of the Viceregal court, yet above that of the native
Again the face of the youth flushed, and he shrugged his shoulders
and replaced his velvet cap with its pert cock's feather.
I have more than enough Spanish blood to send me to the Christian
rack or stake if they caught me worshipping the pagan gods of my
grandmother, he stated briefly, and plainly had so little hope of
winning service that he was about to make his bow and depart in search
of the Padre.
But the retort caught Don Ruy, and he held the lad by the shoulder
Of all good things the saints could send, you are the best, he
decidedand by that swagger I'll be safe to swear your grandsire was
of the conquistadoresI thought so! Well Chico:you are engaged for
the service of secretary to Maestro Diego Maria Francisco Brancadori.
You work is seven days in the week except when your protector marks a
saint's day in red ink. On that day you will have only prayers to
record, on the other days you will assist at many duties concerning a
wondrous account of the adventures Don Diego hopes for in the heathen
Hopes for:your Excellency?
Hopes for so ardently that our comfort may rest in seeing that he
meets with little of disappointment on the trail.
For one instant the big black eyes of the lad flashed a shy
appreciation of Don Ruy's sober words and merry smile.
For it is plain to be seen, continued that gentlemanthat if Don
Diego finds nothing to make record of, your own wage will be a sad
trial and expense.
I understand, your Excellency.
You will receive the perquisites of a secretary if you have indeed
understanding, continued Don Ruy, but if there are no records to
chronicle you will get but the pay of a page and no gifts to look for.
Does it please you?
It is more than a poor lad who owns not even a bedding blanket
could have hoped for, señor, and I shall earn the wage of a secretary.
That of a page I could earn without leaving the streets and comfort.
Oho! And again the eyes of Don Ruy wandered over the ill garbed
figure and tried to fit it to the bit of swagger and confidence.I
guessed at your grandfathernow I'll have a turn at you:Is it a
runaway whom I am venturing to enroll in this respectable company of
Your Excellency! the lad hung his head yet watched the excellency
out of the corner of his eye, and took heart at the smile he sawit
is indeed true there are some people I did not call upon to say
farewell ere offering my services to you, but it is plain to see I
carried away not any one's wealth in goods and chattals.
That is easily to be perceived, said Don Ruy and this time he did
not laugh, for with all his light heart he was too true a gentleman to
make sport of poverty such as may come to the best of men. By our
Lady, I've a feeling of kinship for you in that you are a runaway
indeedthis note mentions the teaching of the priestsI'll warrant
they meant to make a monk of you.
If such hopes are with them, they must wait until I am born again,
decided the lad, and again Don Ruy laughed:the lad was plainly no
putty for the moulding, and there was chance of sport ahead with such a
helper to Maestro Diego.
It will be my charge to see that you are not over much troubled
with questions, said his employer, and handed back the letter of
commendation. None need know when you were engaged for this very
important work. José over there speaks Spanish as does Ysobel his wife.
Tell them you are to have a bed of good quality if it be in the
campand to take a blanket of my own outfit if other provisions fall
A muttered word of thanks was the only reply, and Don Ruy surmised
that the boy was made dumb by kindness when he had braced himself for
quips and cuffsknowing as he mustthat he was light of build for the
road of rough adventure.
Ho!Lad of mine! he called when the youth had gone a few
pacesI trust you understand that you travel with a company of
selected virtues?and that you are a lucky dog to be attached to the
most pious and godly tutor ever found for a boy in Spain.
It is to be called neighbor of these same virtues that I have come
begging a bed on the sand when I might have slept at home on a quilt of
feathers:the lad's tongue had found its use again when there was
chance for jest.
As to that pagan grandmother of whom you made mention:her
relationship need not be widely tooted through a horn on the
journeyyet of all things vital to the honorable Maestro Diego and his
'Relaciones,' I stand surety that not any one thing will be given so
much good room on paper as the things he learns of the heathen worship
of the false gods.
A nod is as good as a wink to a mule that is blind! called back
the lad in high glee. Happy am I to have your excellency's permission
to hold discourse with him concerning the church accursed lore of our
Then he joined José and Ysobel as instructed, and gave the message
as to bed and quarters. José said no word in reply, but proceeded to
secure blankets, one from the camp of Don Ruy. Ysobela Mexican
Indianwho had been made Christian by the padre ere she could be
included in the company, was building a fire for the evening meal.
Seeing that it burned indifferently the new page thrust under the twigs
the fine sheet of paper containing the signature of the Viceroy.
Ysobel made an exclamation of protestbut it was too lateit had
started the blaze in brave order.
Your letterif you should need itperhaps for the padre! she
Rest you easy, Nurse, said the lad and stretched himself to watch
the supper cooked. I have no further needs in life but supper and a
bed,see to it that José makes it near you own! I am in the employ of
Don Ruy Sandoval for a period indefinite. And he has promisedlaugh
not out loud Ysobel!that he will see to it I am not questioned as to
whence or why I came to seek service under his banner!even the holy
father is set aside by that promiseI tell you that laughter is not to
be allowed! If you let him see that you laugh, I will beat you when we
are alone, YsobelI will though you have found a dozen husbands to
Don Ruy did see the laughter of the woman, and was well pleased that
the lad could win smiles from all classes,such a one would lighten
He felt that he had done well by Maestro Diego. Plainly the quick
wit of the lad betokened good blood, let him prate ever so surely on
his heathen grandmother!
Don Diego felt much flattered at the consideration shown by Don Ruy
for the Relacionesin fact he had so pleased an interest in the
really clever young pen-man that the Padre took little heed of the
boyhe was of as much account as a pet puppy in the expeditionbut if
the would-be historian needed a secretaryor fancied he did,the lad
would be less trouble than an older man if circumstances should arise
to make trouble of any sort.
So it chanced that Juan Gonzalvo and Manuel Lenares, called Chico,
were the only two included in the company who had not been confessed
and enrolled by Padre Vicente himself.
It was the magic time of the year, when new leaves open to the sun,
and the moon, even in the bare desert stretches of the land, brought
dreams of Castile to more than one of the adventurers.
Good Father, said Don Ruy with feigned complaint, Think you not
that your rigid rules for the journey might have stopped short of
hopeless celibacy for all of us?Why a moon like that and Venus
ascendent unless to make love by?
The brightness of that same moon saved you nothing of a cracked
pate the hour of fortune when we first met, observed Padre Vicente
drily.Maids or matrons on the journey would have caused broken heads
in the desert as handily as in the city streets.
By the faithyour words are of wisdom and much to be valued by his
highness, agreed Don Diego. Make note of that thought for the
Relaciones Chico, my son. This pious quest may be a discipline of most
high import to all of us. Wifeless should we ride as rode the crusaders
of an older day.
Tum-a-tum-tum! Don Ruy trolled a fragment of love melody, and
laughed:I have no fancy for your penances. Must we all go without
sweethearts because you two have elected to be bachelors for the saving
of souls? Think you the Indian maids will clamor for such salvation? I
lay you a wager, good father, that I win as many converts with love
songs and a strip of moonlight, as do you both with bell and book!
Around the camp fires of the nights strange tales were toldand
strange traits of character unconsciously given to the light, and to
all the far seeing Padre gave note;in emergencies it is ever well to
know one's resources.
José the Te-hua slavecaught first by the Navahutraded to the
Apachesthence to neighbors of the southafter years of exile, was
the one who had but few words. All the queries of the adventurers as to
gold in the north gained little from himonly he remembered that fine
yellow grains were in some streams, and it was said that other yellow
metal was in secret places, but he did not profess to be a knower of
High Thingsand it was half a life time since his eyes had rested on
his own people.
He was a silent man whose words were in the main for his Ysobel and
the boy secretary. But the gold nugget worn smooth in the pocket of
Padre Vicente was as a charm to find its parent stock in all good time!
Men were with them who knew minerals in other lands!It would go hard
but that it should be found!
He willingly let the nugget pass from hand to hand:it was restful
as sleep to make the trail seem short. To Don Ruy he had told somewhat
of its finding, and the story in full was promised some day to the
And at Ah-ko where they restedthey had not halted at hostile
Ci-bo-la!At Ah-ko where the great pool on the high mesa made glad
their eyes, and the chiefs came to pay ceremonial visits, and the men
felt they were nearing the end;there, at the urging of Don Ruy who
deemed it worthy of the Relacionesthere was told the story of the
bit of gold, the Symbol of the Sun, as it had been told to Padre
Vicente years before.
YesI did mean to tell you of the finding of it, he announced
amiably. I have listened to all your discourses and romances on the
journeyand good ones there were among them! But mine would not have
been good to tell when seeking recruits, it might have lessened their
ardorfor a reason you will shortly perceive!
I plainly perceive already that the good father has saved us thus
far from a fright! decided Don Ruy.
Since a man lived through it you can perhaps endure the telling of
iteven here in the half darkness, said the priest, and noted that
Don Diego was sharpening a pen, and Chico taking an ink horn from his
pocket. The journal of the good gentleman had grown to be one of the
joyful things of the journey, and the more gay adventurers gave him
some wondrous tales to include.
It is not a pretty tale, but it may teach you somewhat of these
brown people of the stone housesand some of the meaning back of their
soft smiles! It is not a new tale of to-day:it goes back to the time
when the vessels of Narvaez went to the bottom and a few men found
their way westward to Mexico.
De Vaca and his men? said Don Diego. But the priest shook his
Earlier than that.
Earlier? Holy Father:how could that be when no others
Pardon me:you are about to say no others escaped, are you not?
Have you forgotten De Vaca's own statement as to two other men who went
ashore before the sinking of the vessels, and who were never heard of
I have heard of it with great special interest, announced Don
Ruyheard it in the monastery on the island of Rhodes where the white
man you speak of (for one of the lost ones was a negro) had as a boy
been trained in godly ways by the Knights of St. John. There the good
fathers also educated me as might be and tried with all zeal to make a
monk of me! Ever before my mind was held the evil end of the other
youth who fled from the consecrated robe,for he had made a scandal
for a pretty nun ere he became a free lance and joined hands with
Solyman the Magnificent against Christendom,ohmany and long were
the discourses I had to listen to of that heretic adventurer! He was a
Greek of a devout and exalted Christian family, and his name was Don
Juan Gonzalvocalled Capitan Gonzalvo in favor of his wide
experience and wise management of camp, had been resting idly on the
sands, but sat up, alert at that name.
Holy name of God: and his words were low and keen as though
bitten off between his teethis he then alive? Good Fatherwas it
he? and is he still alive?
While one might count ten, Padre Vicente looked in silence at the
tense, eager face of his questioner, and the others stared also, and
felt that a spark had touched powder there.
Yes:it is true. It was that man, said the priest at last. But
why do you, my son, wake up at the name? May it be that the Greek was
dear to you?
He should be dear should I find him, or any of his blood! But the
voice of the careless adventurer was changed and was not nice to hear.
All the gold the new land could give me would I barter but to look on
the face of Don Teo, the renegade Greek!
But not in friendship?
Juan Gonzalvo laughed, and Don Diego crossed himself at that
laugh,it had the mockery of hell in it, and the priest turned and
gave the heretofore careless fellow a keener attention than had
previously occurred to him. By so little a thing as a laugh had the
adventurer lifted himself from the level where he had been idly
You will not look on his face in this world, my son, said the
priest, and enmities should cease at the grave. The man is dead. You
could have been but a child when he left Spain, what evil could have
given him your hate?
My father was one of the Christian slaves chained by him to the
oars of Solyman the infidel Turk! Long days and horrible nights was he
witness to the lives of Solyman the magnificent, and Don Teodore the
fortunate. When the end came,when the magnificent patron began to set
spies on his favorite lady of the harem, the tricky Greek escaped one
dark night, and brought up in Barcelona as an escaped slave of the
Turk, pretending he had eluded the swords of the oppressor after
dreadful days of bondage.
I remember that time, said Don Diego. He was entertained by the
nobles, and plied with questions, and was offered a good office in the
next crusade against the unsanctified infidels.
So it was told to me, said Juan Gonzalvotold by a man whose
every scar spoke of the Greek wolf! I was told of them as other
children are told the stories of the blessed saints. My first toy sword
was dedicated to the cutting down of that thrice accursed infidel and
all his blood. God:God:how mad I was when I was told the savages of
the new world had done me wrong by sending him to hell before I could
even spell his name for curses!
My son! You are doing murder in your heart! and Padre Vicente held
up the crucifix with trembling hand.
That I am! agreed Gonzalvo and laughed, and laid himself down
again to rest on his saddle.Does it call for penance to kill a
A human soul! admonished the priest.
Then he came by such soul later in life than his record shows trace
of! declared Juan Gonzalvo, and this time the priest was silent.
In truth, report does stand by our friend in that, agreed Don
Diego. He lived as a Turk among the Turkish pirates, and was never so
much a Christian as are those who serve as devils, in the flames of the
pit. To slay the infidel is not to slay a soul, good father,orif
you are of that mind, he added with an attempt at lightness which sat
ill on himso stiff it was as he eyed the still priest warily,if
you are of that mind, we can never grow dull for argument in the desert
marches. In the Holy Office godly men of the Faith work daily and
nightly on that question even now in Christian Spain.
The priest shuddered, and fingered his beads. Well they knew in
those days the question and Holy office in Christian Spain. The
rack loomed large enough to cast its shadow even to the new found
shores at the other side of the world!
And plainly he read also that two otherwise genial gentlemen of the
cavalcade were equipped well for all fanatic labor where Holy Cross or
personal hates were to be defended. It is well to know one's comrades,
and the subject of the Greek had opened doors of strange revelation to
The mind which is of God and of the Holy Mother Church is the mind
for the judgments of souls, said Padre Vicente after a silence. We
may thank the saints that we are not called on to condemn utterly any
of God's children.
But what of the Devil's? asked Don Diego plainly not satisfied
with the evasive reply where he had least expected it. What of the
children of the darkness and the Evil One?
Padre Vicente, of the wild tribes, looked around the group and
smiled. Scarce a man of them without at least one lost life to his
recordand more than one with murders enough on his list to have won
him sainthood if all had been done for the Faith:which they were not!
Back of them crouched dusky Indians of the village, watching with eager
yet apparently kindly interest, this after supper talk of the strange
white men of the iron and the beasts, who had come again to their land.
The priest made a cigarrothen another one, lit both and passed the
first made to the oldest chiefthe Ruler of the Indian group. The
Indian accepted it with a breath of prayer on the hand of the reverend
father, and the latter sent out smoke in a white cloud ere speaking.
Every brown skin here is a worshipper of false gods, and is
therefore a son of Beelzebubyet to slaughter them for that won no
favors for the last Capitan-General who led an army across this land,
he remarked, and mine must not be the task to judge of their
infidelity to the Saints or to Christ the Son who has not yet spoken to
them! The words were uttered with an air of finality. Plainly he did
not mean to encourage blood lust unless necessary to the work in hand.
Don Diego sulkily made the sign of the cross at the Name, and Don Ruy
noted that the good father was good on the parryand if he could use a
blade as he did words, he would be a rare fencer for sport. One could
clang steel all day and no one be the bearer of a scratch!
Since the illustrious and much sought for Greek is without doubt
serving his master as a flame in hell, it would add sweetness to a fair
night if you would tell us how he fared at the hands of his brown
brothers, suggested Don Ruyand how the Devil found his own at last.
These others will be much entertained to hear what share he had in the
finding of the gold. Strange it is that I never thought to ask the name
of the manor you to tell it!
The priest hesitated ever so slightly. Was he of two minds how much
to tell these over eager adventurers? Especially that one of the
curses! But the truth, as he had told Don Ruy in part, was an easier
thing to maintain, and keep memory of, than a fiction dressed up for
the new man. And the man was watching him with compelling eyes, and the
boy Chico, with eyes agog, was also alert for his endless notes.
Yes, he had to do with the goldmuch! he said at last. He was
the only white man who had been told the secret of it.
Ah-la-la! murmured Don Ruy, plainly suggesting that such evidence
would be the better for a trusty witness.Padre Vicente heard him, and
puffed his cigarro, and half closed his eyes in his strange patient,
But it is true for all that! he insisted. And of all places we
have crossed since Culiacan was left behind us, none seems more fitting
than this for the telling of his story.
His eyes glanced over the men circled above the great pool. The
stars were making little points of light in the rock bound water. Far
below in the desert a coyote called to his intimates. Indians loitered
at the edge of the circle. And at the rim of of the mesa, and high
places of the natural fortress, armed sentinels paced;dusk figures
against the far sky. It was truly a place made for tales of adventure.
Whatever evil your much hated Greek was guilty of, there is one
question to ask:in monk's cell, or in the battles for the wrongleft
he the record of a coward?
No, acknowledged Don Diegobut his zeal was damnable in all
I ask because various things which he endured could scarcely be
understood if you put him in the list of the weak or the incapable.
Often the strength of the Evil One is a stupendous force for his
chosen people, agreed Don Diego. That is widely known in Europe
to-day when Paracelsus with infernal magic of the mind makes cures
which belong by every right to the saints alone!
And the people are truly cured of their illstruly healed?
Their bodies are truly healed for the life that is temporal, but
each soul is doomed for the life that is eternal. No Christian doubts
that the mental magic of the physician is donated by Beelzebub whose
tool he is.
He was a student of exceeding depth,agreed Padre Vicenteand
it may be he has found magic forbidden to man. But the Greek laid claim
to no such power as that, however much it is said that the devil loved
him! He had only a strong body, and the dislike to see it cut to pieces
for a heathen holiday.
De Soto, it is said, found a dirk of his when he crossed the land
of Apalache years later, seeking empire. But the tribes could or would
tell nothing of the lost Greek and the negro slave. The latter was
killed by the people called Natchez, and the Greek, who had been among
many things:a sailor, escaped by the water, leaving no trailnot
even the trail made by a white skin in a land of dusk people.
From the Turks he had learned a trick of using stain of barks and
herbs. His hair was of brown, but the eyebrows and lashes were heavy
and dark. After using such concoction, a mirror of clear water showed
him no trace of himself except the eyesthey were blue beyond hope,
but the heavy lashes were a help and a shadow.
With stolen arms of bow, hatchet, and a flint knife, the man went
northwading the river edge at night, and hiding by day until the land
of the Natchez was left behind. A strong river came from the westand
an old canoe gave him hope of finding New Spain by the water course.
That journey was a tedious thing of night prowlings, hidings, and,
sometimes starvings. Then the end of solitude came, and he was captured
by heathen rangers.
They were a large company and were travelling west. Later he
learned they were a war company and in a fight his master and most of
the others were killed. At the rejoicing of the victors, he sang
louder, and danced more wildly than all the others, so they did not
kill him. He was traded to other Indians further west for a painted
robe and some clay pots. This last move brought him to the villages of
the stream, named later by Coronado the Rio Grande, but called by the
Indians another name, the P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé.
The very villages where we are to go? demanded Don Ruy.
Possibly some of the same, said the priest. How many of you
remember the great comet of 1528?
Several did, and all remembered the dread and horror it spread in
Think you then what that same threat in the sky must have been to
these wild people who seek magic ever from the stars and even the
clouds. It was a threat and it called for some sacrifice propitiating
the angry gods.
Sacrifice? Do these infidels then practise such abominations?
asked Don Diego.
To look at the mild eyes and hear their soft voices of these our
guests it is not easy to think it, agreed Padre Vicente, but these
people are but the northern cousins of the men Cortez conqueredtheir
customs differ only in degree. To both Venus and Mars were human
god-offerings madethat day of sacrifice is not so long past, and in
that day it was done here.
And your lucky Greek was the one to be chosen! He was fed well as
one would fatten an ox for the knife. He had some knowledge of simple
remedies, and in brewing herbs for their sick he had also stolen the
opportunity for the further addition to his coat of color. He was to
them an Indian of an unknown tribe, yet, since he was to be offered to
the gods, he was made the very center of ceremonial dances, and
infernal heathenish customs.
Both men and women enter into certain sacredor infernal orders,
whose ceremonies are only known to those initiate. An inter-tribal
connection is kept up in such societies between villages speaking a
totally different language,even though the tribes be at war, there is
always a truce for these wild creatures who dance together for some
magic, or some prayer to their false gods.
And the truce is kept?
It would not be possible for a tribe to break truce of their
diabolical things of their spirits. At the ceremonies for the sacrifice
to the comet god was a girl of another tribe, and when the Greek noted
that her desire was not to see him destroyed, he had the first glimpse
of hope,the only other he had was to remove the stain in some way,
and convince them that their gods had made a miracle to save him.
The priest made a gesture towards the great sand drifts at every
side of rock wall and column.
To which of you would it occur, if hiding meant chance of lifeto
which of you would it occur to go under that sand for days so close to
the trail that the women with the water jars would pass you scores of
times in a day carrying water from this pool?
This pool?thisthe eyes of Don Ruy lightenedthis is then
that place of the great danger?
A man could not hide in the sand like thatnor deceive these wild
trailers of animals, decided Don Diegoand of a certainty it could
not be close to the trail!
So we would naturally think, decided Padre Vicente. But the
Indian girl was wiser than our wisdom, Señor, for she did aid his
escape, and she did hide him there. To get breath, his face was
touching a great wall of rock against which another was carelessly
laid. The place had been chosen with a knowledge that seemed
inspiredfor only close to the trail where the sand was like to be
disturbed by naked romping children,only there in all these deserts
could he have been hidden from their hunters.
Here?in this place? again said Don Ruy. Holy father it is a
good storyyet sounds a romance fantastic to fit this weird place of
the pool and the star shine of the night?
By the name of these people, the Queres, and the name of the
village Ah-ko, this should be the place of the sacrificial intentions,
said the priest. By the careful account given, this is the pool to
which the trail led, and it may even be that the ancient Cacique to
whom, but now, I gave the cigarro, was chief priest of the sacrifice in
A truly delectable neighbor for a help to pleasant fancy, said Don
Ruy and laughed. If the amiable devil should be moved to sacrifice
now, I would be the nearest to his handthink you he would make ill
use of my youth and tenderness?
His Sanctity, the padre was indeed wise that no word of this was
breathed in the viceregal ears of Mexico, said Don Diego with a
testiness not yet subdued over the question of utter damnation for the
souls unregenerate. Piety would carry me farbut no warrant is mine
to follow even the Highest where cannibals do wait for unholy
sustenance! and he arose and bowed to Don Ruy.
OhName of the Devil! said his noble ward, and laughed and
stretched his legs. I may not be so unholy as your words would
suggest. Give not a dog a bad name in the days of his youth!
And at this the scandalized and pious dignitary multiplied words to
make clear how far from such meaning were his devoted intentions. But
if wild tribes must be fed ere their souls could be reached,victims
could be found other than the heir of a duchess!
At which outburst Don Ruy suggested that he save his pious breath
and devote it to prayers, and to take some of his own medicine by
remembrance that soul of king and soul of peasant weighed the same
before high God.
After which devout exhortation from your servant, good father, we
again give ear to the tale of that devil's disciplethe Greek Teo, he
said, Did they find him in the sand? And did the merciful dame hide in
the sand also?if so the prison might not be without hope. Holy Saint
Damien!to think that the man walked these same stony heightsand
drank from that pool!
They never found him in the sand. The priest ignored the other
frivolous comment. They never found him anywhere, and a slave from the
Navahu people was made a sacrifice in his stead. The strange girl was a
Te-hua medicine maid or magic learner of things from the wise men of
Ah-ko. Her prayers were very many, and very long, and she made a shrine
for prayer on the sand beside the stone wall where he was hidden. Their
men set watch on her, she knew it, but not anything did they find but a
girl who made her prayers, and gave no heed to their shadowings.
When were ended her days of devotion to the false godsthen she
ate, and drank, and took the way to her own people; with moderate pace
she took that trail north, but when night came, she ran like the wild
thing she was, again to the south, crept unseen again into this
fortress, and led the rescued man as far to the west as might be until
the dawn came. With the coming of the sun, came also a sand storm of
great stress, and all trace of their steps were covered, and the
medicine maid saw in that a mystic meaning.
To Turk and Spaniard the refugee might be only Teo the Greek, a
fugitive from all high courts. But to the Indian he was a lost God of
the Great Star for whom even the desert winds did duty. When with
moistened yucca root he rubbed his hands that the white skin showed,
she bent her head to the sand, and was his slave until ... the end!
It moves well, and beautifully smooth:this tale of the outlaw,
agreed Don Ruybut it is that end we are eager forand the how it
was compassedthat she turned slaveor mistressor both in one, as
alas!has chanced to men ere our day!was the doom expected from the
earliest mention of the pitiful and most devout ladydevout to her
devils! But of the endthe end?
The end came to him long after they parted, and for one winter and
one summer were their wanderings to the west. Of the Firebrand river
deep between rock walls he had heard, and of the ocean far beyond, and
of Mexico to the south. To reach the river they crossed dry leagues of
desert and lived as other wild things lived. But the river was not a
thing for boats or journeys, and they went on beyond it seeking the
sea. Strange things and strange lives they passed on the way. His skin
had been stained many times and his beard was plucked out as it grew.
Enough of Indian words he learned to echo her own tale to the brown
savages, and the tale was, that they were medicine people of Te-hua in
the land of P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé, and that they travelled to the shores of
the sea for dances and prayers to the gods there. And sometimes food
was given themand some times prayers were sent in their keeping. Thus
was their journey, until in the south, in the heart of a desert they
found the place of the palms where the fruit was ripe, and the water
comes from warm springs, and looks a paradisebut is as a hell when
the sand storms come:and human devils live to the South and by the
Sea of Cortez.
They knew nothing of that, it was a place for rest, and a place of
food, and they rested there because of that, and gathered food for the
[Illustration: THE PLACE OF THE PALMS Page 94]
All medicine people of the tribes carry on their neck or in a pouch
at the belt, some sacred things of their magic practices, and under the
palms, when other amusement was not to be found, it pleased him to see
what his brown girl carried hidden even from her master. It took much
persuasions, for she felt that evil would happen if it was shown except
it be a matter of ceremony. Then she at last took from the pouch, salt
from a sacred lake, feather and claw and beak of a yellow bird, a blade
of sharpest flint, andthis!
He again held the piece of gold that they might see it. Even the
Indians leaned forward and looked at it and then eyed the white men and
each other in silence. To them it was medicine as the priest told the
adventurers it had been to the Te-hua girl.
Your Greek pirate of the good luck went close to madness at the
certain fact that for months he had been walking steadily away from the
place where this was found. To the girl it was a sacred thing hidden in
the earth of her land by the sunand only to be used for ceremonies.
The place where it grew was a special hidden place of prayer offering.
Faith!we all must learn prayers enough to get our share!if
prayer will do the work! said Don Ruy.Chico, it means that you get
an Indian primer,and that you find for me a brown enchantress. His
reverence will grant us all a special indulgence for hours of the
Señor Don Brancadori sat up very straight and shook his head at the
priest:so well assured was he that enough liberties would be taken
without the indulgences of holy church. Moreover it was not well to put
the deviltries of camp in the mind of so good a lad as Chico.
And the girl gave to him the gold and told him its hiding place?
We may say she gave itthought in truth she declared it could not
be givenit could only be made a barter of for other medicine, but it
must be strong medicine. The blade of flint was to guard her magic
symbols if need be, and the man, her master, saw in that moment that
the mind he had to deal with in this matter was an Indian mind, in
which there is not reason. And to find a 'medicine' potent for charms
was a task set for a man in the place of the palms.
Then a forgotten thing came into his mind. It had been a vow made
to an enticing creature of San Lucar. She was also devout as a young
nun. The vow was of a returnand no doubt of other meetings. The end
of it was that she gave him a rosary(his first captors coveted that
and took care of it). But also they ate together of fruit, and as both
ladies and gallants do strange things at strange times, the lady
divided the seeds, and counted them seeking a lucky number or some such
freakish quest. And by the rosary, and by his mother, she made him
swear that when he had found fortune and a plantation in the new world,
he would plant with his own hands the seeds there, and send for the
lady to come by ship as chatelaine! Failing the plantation, he was to
return, and her own relatives would find on land or sea an office fit
for his talents:only he was to faithfully guard the seed of the fruit
eaten in a happy hour, and her prayers would meet his own across the
It may be that women with prayers for him had not been
plentifulwhatever the vow was it was made and sealed with the prayer
of the lady. When the savages took her rosary they gave no heed to some
brown seeds in a leather pouchno more of them than you could count on
your fingers! A man alone for long in a wilderness gives meaning to
things he would not remember at happier times. And the training of the
Holy Church returns to even the most gardened men in their hours of
stress! So it was that the prayer of the willing dame kept him company,
as he looked on the seeds. They had become his rosaryand were the
last evidence of the nightly prayers promised by the lady.
Thus:because of their smallness had they been unnoted of his
several captors. Having slipped between the lining and the cover of the
pouch he had ceased to remember them after the Indian maid lessened his
loneliness. But he went searching for them noweven one peach seed was
still with themand some grains of the bearded wheatthat by a
special grace had fallen into a pocket on ship board while handling
grains, and as a jest on himself he had added it to the others for the
plantation to be made for the waiting dame.
He could truly say they were 'medicine' given with prayers. But
with forgetfulness of truth, he also added much as to their divine
originand the wondrous power they held.
Gladly the Indian girl let go the gold for the unknown seeds! She
further signified that now she could know always that he was a God, for
the gift of the seeds fitted some myth of her own landsome thing of
one of their false gods who brought seeds and fruits and great good to
In that way was made the exchange of medicine for medicine beside
some pool by the palms, and well it was it was made that day, else
never would we have this golden guide! For:it fell out that a day
later as he was hunting to the south, he was surrounded and taken
prisoner by the savages who range by the inland sea of California. The
gold had a hole as you see, he pulled hair from his head, tied the
nugget in the braid, and thus hid it for the next two years of his
life. The girl he never again heard of. She would die of a certainty
alone in the desert.
A missionary of our order found the man in the wilderness. They
were exiles, the two for the length of a winter, and the Greek listened
to the tales of the lost fleet on which Don Teo sought the new world,
and also of the royal order for his arrest following on the next ship.
For a prisoner of Solyman the Magnificent had escaped from the galleys
of the Turk, and wild tales were told of princes of the North who gave
aid to the traffic in Christian slaves. Don Teo was by all means to be
taken back to Spain that the Holy Office learn through him the names
and numbers of the offenders!
Good it is to hear that the varlet was not let sleep sound all the
night! decided Don Ruy.
It appears there were many nights when sleep kept from himto
judge by his confessions! said the priest. But to go into deeper hell
while he was yet alive did not march with his wishes, and while he half
inclined to the desert again, that he might die quietly there as any
other starved wild thing does die:a thing came which he had not
thought:the padre died of a serpent's sting, and he, Teo the Greek,
was alone, and apart from the world again!
It was the gown for which the savages had reverenceand he took
the consecrated robe from the dead padre and wore ithe had been
driven by misfortune back to Holy Church!
He lived under the name of the padre as a priest in holy orders.
His reports to his superior were well counterfeited as the writing of
the man he had buried. He held that mission as the extreme outpost for
three years. He died there of a fever, but not until I had found him,
and confessed him. The gold and the tale of his wanderings he gave to
me. Much of it he told me more than once, for when men are exiles as he
was for those several years, the things of the old life loom up big
with significance. He felt that he was the finder of the way, and that mayhaps, Mother Church, so long forgotten by him, would be
the richer that he had lived. Masses were said for the girl dead in the
desert. She had saved him, and for a little while of lifehe had given
He may have made a most righteous endsince it was no longer in
his power to do evil! commented Don RuyBut your pirate priest would
never have let go the nugget for masses if the breath of life had kept
Who knows!the high God does not give us to see in the heart of
the other man, said Padre VicenteIn the years of his trial he was
made to feel his sins against Holy Churchand when the girl died in
the desert, another life died with her. Even men of sin do give thought
to such matters.
But Juan Gonzalvo who hated him, swore at the ill luck of his escape
by death, and no one felt any pity for that first white pilgrim across
the Indian lands. All of them however gave speech of praise to the
priest's telling of the story. Don Ruy gave him leave to tell romances
in future rather than preach sermons.
The men were vastly interested to learn at last the exact region of
their destinationand that the province where the yellow metal had
been hidden by the sun was but a matter now of a few days more of
journeyingsince the people of Ah-ko had brother Queres in settlements
adjoining the settlements of the Te-huas.
So, seeing that the guard was good, and that each arquebus was near,
and in readiness if need be for dusky visitors, the company fell asleep
well content. Only Don Ruy strolled over the path through the sand and
tried to fancy how the girl and the Greek had managed the hiding there.
A little of the story had been told him in the monastery when the great
plan had been made, but no names were given, and the telling of it this
night had been a very different matterhe had so lately crossed the
desert where those two refugees had wandered, that the story had now a
life unknown before. Even the sand billows and the rock walls of the
mesa spoke as with tongues. The mate to this wonderful Ah-ko could not,
he thought, be in the world any where, and the romance of the young
priestess and the Greek adventurer fitted the place well and he felt
that the priest of the wild places had chosen rightly in keeping the
story until they had climbed to this place where the story of the gold
had its beginning.
As he retraced his steps, they took him past the sleeping place of
José and his wife of Mexico. Beside them was spread the blankets of
Chico, but the lad was not there,he was standing apart, at the edge
of the sheer cliff, looking out over the desert reaches where the sand
was blue grey in the star light.
Hollo!said Don Ruy and halted in surprise, do you select sentry
duty when you might sleep soft on the sand? Must I send you another
blanket to woo you to a bed?
Your Excellency has been most generous in the matter of the
blanketone has been enough to keep record of your kindly heart.
Then why not enjoy your sleep as a hearty lad should? Has this
place of wonder bewitched youor has the story of the Greek and the
gold stirred you into ambitions beyond repose?
The lad might have retorted by reminding Don Ruy that he also was
abroad while his company slept,usually a glib pertness would have
answered his employer, but the answer came not readily, and when it
did,his excellency saw in a surprised moment that the boy was not
such a child as the careless company fancied him.
I have thought nothing of the Greekand little of the gold, he
said. But the woman who followed the love and the man across the
desertsand who died alone somewhere in the sands like a starved
dogof her I was thinking! All the magic she had learned could not
save her from hell when that one man came in her path!
Butyou are only a lad and may not understand these things,said
Don RuyThe girl may have died like that, it is true, but the hell in
the life she perhaps never got glimpse of,since she loved the man!
But if the dead do know, would not a sort of hell be hers when she
learned she had given the magic medicine of her God for the idle
giftbestowed by another mistress?
Then the lad marched to his blankets and wrapped himself in them,
leaving Don Ruy the question to ponder.
CHAPTER IX. YAHN, THE APACHE
Brothers:you of the life
Of also the fire divine!
You of the mountains
Of also the Mother Mist!
Out of the mist is a voice.
It is not the voice afraid!
Out of the shadows,
Out of the forests,
Out of the deserts
It is born!
In a good hour it is born.
The wind of the Sun sends it breath!
Brothers:the Dawn drives the Darkness
And in the mountain strong
No one sings fear!
Out from far worlds it comes,
With the strong Dawn it comes
Brothers:be mountain strong
Sing not of fear!
The rising sun tipped the terraces with gold and rose, and the nude
brown men, and the men children, faced the east with hands lifted to
greet the coming of the Great Power. This was as it had been since the
time of most ancient days.
But the song chanted from the terrace by the Woman of the Twilight
was a new song, and the men made their prayers, and wondered at the
singer singing thus on the roof of her dwelling.
The dew of the hills was on her clothing and on her hair. She had
dreamed a dream and walked in the night until the words of the dream
had come to her lips, and when they came she sang them aloud and the
people listened, and the men went from their prayers and thought about
Many were conscious of secret thoughts of dread at the coming of the
strangers. The priestess had spoken of the thing no one had given voice
From the day when her son had been honored as Po-Ahtun-ho, the
strife of existence seemed ended for S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah. The thing she
had lived to see was now accomplished. Her days were now the gray days
of rest and of mystery. She made many prayers alone in the hills, and
forgot to eat.
She was not old, yet to Tahn-té she said, It is over:The time is
come when you stand alone to be strong. Your work is now the work of
the strong man, and I go to make prayers in the hills.
When she stayed over long, he sought her out lest ill should come to
her, and more than once he had walked into the village with his mother
in his arms as other people carried the little children. It was the
Woman of the Twilight, and no one laughed. At any other woman they
would have laughed to see her carried in the arms of a man.
And so, when she stood on her terrace and spoke of the voice of the
Dawn and the Mountain Mists, all listened. The men talked of it in the
kivas of each clan, and the women talked all together, and were glad.
They did not know quite what their fear had been, but it was no longer
with them since the woman of the God Thoughts said the voices sang no
Only Yahn Tsyn-deh on the terrace opposite, strung together claws of
birds for a necklace, and scoffed warily.
Only if you are mountain strong need you have no fear, she said.
The promise that her son is maybe the Voice and the Dawn is a good
promisebut the wise woman of the hill caves is double wise! Her song
has double thoughts. Be you all mountain strong, as gods are strong,
and no fear will come! But if the mountain strength waits not at your
doorwhat then happens?
No one knew, and the women looked at each other in question. The
peace of the wise woman's words was killed by the bitter laugh of
When the bitter mood touched the girl, the Te-hua people remembered
that her mother was of that wild Apache peopleenemy to all. At times
she could be a maid like other maidswith charm and laughtera very
bewitching Yahn who made herself a beauty barbaric with strings of gay
berries of the rose, or flat girdles of feathers dyed like the rainbow.
Her bare arms had bracelets of little shells. Into the weaving of her
garments she had put threads of crimson in strange patternsthey were
often the symbols of the Apache gods or spirit people, and when she
chose she made the other women feel fear with them. Her own mother who
told her of them, would not have worn them thusbut Yahn was more
Apache than her mother.
One woman shelling corn for the meal, suggested that if the Te-hua
people had not mountain strength it might mean war as the people to the
South had endured that other timewhen the men at Tiguex were burned
to ashes by the strangers.
Oh, wise Säh-pah! and Yahn laughed at the late thought,Has the
thing at last come to the mind of one of you?
I thought of it also, said one of the other women sulkily.
Ai:you all thoughtbut none of you dared say words while the new
Ruler and the wise governor kept silent to the people! she taunted
them. Of all the women I only can speak in the speech of the
Think you we will see them? asked one girl doubtfullywill we
not all be sent to the hills the days when they come?
In other villages they did so in that long ago daysome men never
let their women be seen of the white men who wore the iron.
I will not be sent to the hills, decided Yahn. From Ke-yemo and
from Tahn-té I know their words. I will talk for the strangers. I will
learn many things!
When was it you learn so much? asked Säh-pah jealously.
A littlelittle at a time all these years! declared Yahn in
triumph. Tahn-té wanted not to forget itso he said to me the
wordsnow they are mine.
The women regarded her with a wonder that was almost awe,there
might be something infernal and unlucky in talking two ways.
If it be war, think you Ka-yemo will be the war chief as he has
been made? queried Säh-pah. He will be made second if there is
fighting,think you not so?
Yahn apparently did not think, but she did listen.
We know how it was with his father Awh-we said one. In that day
of trial he failed that once in the battle with the Yutah. The old men
let him pull weeds in the corn when the next war came.
The strong fingers of Yahn broke the bird's claw, and she tossed it
from the terrace edge, and selected another.
But the new young wife Koh-pé may make the son of his father brave
for all that, and Säh-pah who was not young and not winsome, watched
Yahn, and felt content when she saw the Apache eyes grow narrow and the
teeth set. A wife with many robes and many strings of shells and blue
stones, makes a man strong to fight for them. Ka-yemo will be a strong
He is of my clanKa-yemo! said Yahn panting with pent up fury,
he can fight,all of our blood can fight!if the war is here we can
show you of the Panyoo clan how the Tain-tsain clan can fight with the
They all knew that Yahn Tsyn-deh could indeed fight, she wore eagle
feathers and had a right to wear them since a season of the hunt on the
Navahu border when a young warrior had stolen her for his lodge, and
with his own club set with flint blades, had she let his spirit go on
the shadow trail, and to her own village had she brought the scalp and
the club, also his robe and beads of blue and of green stoneand she
made the other women remember it at times.
Ho!and will it be you who bears a spear and a shield and a club
on that day? asked Säh-pah the skeptic.
I fight that dayor any day, as strong as the fight any man of
yours can ever make! This retort of Yahn was met with half frightened
giggles by the other women. Säh-pah had been unlucky in the matter of
men. Yet, her list of favorites had not been limited, and the sarcasm
of Yahn was understood.
It is good there is some one brave to meet the strangers! and the
smile of Säh-pah was not nice. Maybe you go to ask for a manmaybe it
is why you learn their wordsmaybe the Tain-tsain clan will ask for a
white man for you!
When I askI will not be made a laugh, and sent home with a
gift,and the other women squealed with shrill laughter and had great
joy over the quarrel. The eyes of Säh-pah blazed. She tried to speak
but her fury gave voice only in throaty growls, and an older woman than
all of them stepped between them in protest.
To your own housesall you who would fight! she decidedgo
fight your own men if they send you away with gifts, but by my door I
do not want panthers who scream!
Säh-pah sulkily obeyed, and Yahn laughed and continued her work.
It is not good to laugh when the bad fortune comes to any one,
said the old woman, but Yahn refused to be subdued.
It is true, mother she insisted(all elderly women are mothers
or aunts to village folk)it is true. When the dance of the corn was
here and the women made choice of their favoritesit is well known
that Säh-pah did follow Phen-tza a long ways. He laughed at her. Yahn
herself laughed as she told it,he laughed and he asked why she comes
so far aloneand he gives her his blanket and goes away! That is how
he takes her for favorite that day!he only laughs and let go his
blanket to Säh-pah!
The old woman put up her hand that her laugh be not heard. The humor
of primitive people is not a delicate thing, and that the blandishments
of Säh-pah had been of no useas was witness the blanket!had made
many laugh around the night fires. Yet the old mother thought it not
good that quarrels should grow out of it.
Is your heart so bright with happiness that you understand nothing
of the shame another woman may know, Yahn Tsyn-deh?she asked
seriously. Säh-pah is of the free womanand we are not of her clan to
Speak no words to me of a bright heart! said Yahn, and arose, and
went away. Across the roofs she went to the stairway of her dwelling,
where she had lived alone since the death of her mother. It was a good
room she entered, very white on the walls, and the floor white also,
with the works of her own fingers on the smoothness of it. In a niche
of the thick wall stood a bronze god, and a medicine bowl with serrated
edges, and a serpent winged and crowned painted in fine lines to
encircle it. On the wall was a deerskin of intricate ornamentation,
good and soft in the dressing, it was painted in many symbols of the
Apache gods and the prayer thoughts. From her mother Yahn had learned
them and had painted them in ceremonial colors. The great goddess of
the white shell thingsand white flowersand white cloudswas there,
and the sun god was also there, and the curve of the moon with the germ
of life in its heart. The morning star was thereand also the symbol
of the messengers from the gods. Circling all these sacred things was
the blue zig-zag of the sky lightening by which Those Above send their
decrees to earth children who know the signs, and at each corner the
symbols of the Spirit People were on guard.
[Illustration: THE PRAYER OF YAHN TSYN-DEH Page 109]
Säh-pah had said once that they might be devil things, and not god
things, and Yahn had watched her chance, and emptied a jar of dirty
water on her head for that, and no more women said things of the walls
of Yahn Tsyn-deh's house. But whether she deemed them holy or not holy,
she hung the necklace of birds' claws under the symbol of the Goddess
Stenaht-lihan, and then prostrated herself and lay in silence.
After a long time she spoke.
All this that the Apache blood be not lost in the flood of a shame!
All this that no Te-hua woman ever again sees that my heart has been
sickall this that a double curse of
But in the midst of her words of whispered prayer speech failed
herand tears choked her until she sobbed for breath. With all her
will she wished to curse some one whom all her woman's heart forbade
CHAPTER X. SHRINES OF THE SACRED
When new things cast shadows across the Indian mind, every cloud
touching the moon is watched at its birth and at its first hours of the
circle, also the stars. And for those other worlds,the planetsis it
their brotherhood to the earth that is sealed by a living sacrifice as
they come and as they pass again from the visible path in the sky?
The Reader of the Stars lives often above the mists of the earth
dews. The door of the high priest Po-Ahtun-ho faces the way of the
South that the shadows of the moon and the shadows also of the sun,
make reckonings for him of that which must be noted. So it has been
since ancient days.
But for the Reader of the Stars there is a door not like another
door; even to the stranger who runs as in a race, the house of the
stars is seen and noted, and known as the sacred place for high prayer,
and the record of the God things.
In Pu-yé the Ancientand the deserted through centuries, the
dwellings of high priests are marked beyond shadow of doubt, and each
Te-hua man knows as well the dwelling of the Ruler of five centuries
ago in Pu-yé, as he knows the door of his own brother across the court
of the village. And the door of the stars is still beautiful there in
Day time or night time the lines of ancient dwellings look
ghost-like in their whiteness. Only medicine men with prayer rites ever
sit alone in the deserted rooms. The men from the river villages on the
way for the pine of the hills used in their sacred dances, do halt to
scatter prayer meal at sacred places where the water once ran:there
is ever the hope that if prayers enough are thought, the springs in the
Mother Mountain may make fertile again the fields of the high
levels,for in the days of the carving of Pu-yé from the white cliffs
there were certainly many streams and wide harvests in the land that is
called now the desert lands.
And to the west is Tse-c[=o]me-u-piñ, the sacred mountain where the
lightning plays, and westward also, but not so far, is the Cave of the
Hunters where prayers are made to the Truesthe guardian spirits of
the Sacred Ways, and the wild things of the forest, symbolizing sacred
ways and sacred colors. These places of prayer and of sacrifices are
here to-dayand the way to them is marked by the symbols of stars and
of planetsmany eyes see thembut the readers of them are not so many
to-day. A Te-hua man will tell you they are the forgotten records of
the Lost Othersand will sprinkle prayer meal craftily to make amends
for the truth which is half a lie. The unspoken pagan gods of the Lost
Others have endless life, and eternal youth, in the land.
All is as it was in the ancient day, except that the dwellings have
changed from the ancient places, and the priests go over more ground to
reach the high places of prayer.
In the valley of the P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé many vigils were kept through
the nights of the Springtime, as messages from the south brought word
of the steady, and thus far, harmless advance of the white strangers.
The treachery at Tiguex in the day of Coronado was a keen memory. It
would take much wisdom to avoid war with the iron men of the white god,
yet keep their own wives and daughters for their own tribe.
Many arrows were madealso spears and shields. Men went hunting and
women dried the meat, pounding it into shreds for the war trail if need
be. From earliest dawn were heard the grinding songs as the corn of
yellow and blue and red and white was ground by the maidens keeping
time to the ancient carolsand ever above the head of the worker was
hung the sacred and unhusked ear, which, when resting, she
contemplated, kneeling, and the thought in her heart must be the
sacredness of the life-giving grain, and the prayer of thanks that it
was given by the gods to the people.
Tahn-té, going from the river bath of the dawn, crossed the terrace
of Yahn Tsyn-deh, and caught brief glance of her face thus lifted above
the grinding stone. The steadiness of the quiet prayer was contrast
decided, compared with the last wild prayer she had come to make at his
feet:begging for magic of any nature since the laws of the clans
forbade that she be wife to her cousin to whom she had given love.
Almost he halted, moved in his mind to speak to the girl who had
been more of comrade than had any other woman. But he remembered the
evil prayer she had spoken that day, and this was not a time to give to
thought of her anger. It was bad to have the evil wish of a woman, but
to the other man must go the cares of the village loves and hates. All
things had worked together to make him the wearer of the white robeto
place him outside the lines of village joys or sorrows,his every
demand was for vision of the strongly felt, yet unseen powers. Was he
the son of a god?as in the heart of him he still thought:then to
him belonged the fasting and the prayer of tribal penance, and the
loves and the hates of the children of Te-hua were luxuries not for
him. He was enemy to no manand he could be lover to no woman!
[Illustration: YAHN AT THE GRINDING STONE Page 112]
The old men of his own orders had taught him much of the strength of
magic which comes only to the priest who seeks no earthly mate. But the
ten years of study of the white man's magic as spoken in their books of
their gods, had taught him more. He had been witness that their gods
were strong for war, and for worldly power. His people had need of all
that power if the strangers came again and again like this into the
country of the P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé.
The picture of Yahn, kneeling by the fireplace on the terrace, her
eyes lifted to the sacred corn, brought quickly to him the memory of a
more childish Yahn who was not unhappy even in her wars.
And nowthrough the madness, which he was warned came to all
mennow she was a woman through that madness:and a forsaken woman
whom all Te-hua watched for the revenge she would take.
They knew Ka-yemo could not marry with the daughter of his uncle,
but they knew also that he could not be driven into taking the daughter
of another man as wife,and Yahn knew this also. Many robes, and blue
jewels had weighed down the love of a boyhood!
Tahn-té thought of this, and of the girl, as he passed through the
village to his own dwelling. Other maids greeted him, and followed him
with kindly eyes. By all women Tahn-té was told in many ways that the
wearer of the white robe need not live in a lonely house!
Yet he was not lonely, and when the marvels of the inviting eyes
turned towards him, he was always conscious of an ideal presence as if
the god-maid of the mesa had stepped between, and made harmless the
sorcery of the village daughters by which he might otherwise have been
Once, when he had confessed as much to the ancient Ruler who had
been his guide and guardian, the old man had voiced approval and
interpreted clearly for him the dream presence which was as a gift of
the gods, and clearly marked him for other loves than that of an earth
Butif the dreams came like a maid alsobut a maid so fine that
it was as a staror a floweror a prayer made humanthen
It is like that? asked the old man, and the boy answered:
Sometimes it seems like thatbut not when I awake. Only in my
sleep does she come close, yet that dream has kept guard for me many
days until the others laugh and say I have no eyes to see a woman, I do
That is wellit is best of all! said K[=a]-ye-fah, the Ruler. If
my own child had come back to me I might not have said it is well. My
heart would have wanted to see your children and the children of
K[=a]-ye-poviI dreamed of that through many harvestsbut it is over
now. She did not live. The trader of robes from the Yutah brought that
word, and it is better that way. I was dying because my daughter would
be slave to Navahu menand when word comes that she died as a little
child, then the sun is shining for me again, and I live again. But
always when I think that the little child could be a woman, then it is
good to think that your children could be her children. Since it is
soso let it be! The dream maid of the spirit flower, and of the star,
can be my K[=a]-ye-povi, and you will have the mate no other earth eyes
can ever see, and your nights and your days will not be lonely. Also it
will be that your prayers be double strong.
From that day of talk, the dream maid of Tahn-té had been a more
tangible presencenever a womannever quite that, but in the smile of
certain children he caught swift glimpse of her face and then music
rang in the rustle of the corn or the rush of the river. When the dream
vision was beyond all measure sweet, he was certain of the wisdom of
the Ancientfor the dream and the thoughts of prayer were double
They were double strong that morning as he came from the river bath,
and the face of Yahnand the thought of her lovebrought strangely
that dream face to him in which there was no madness such as the Apache
had shown him when at his feet in prayer.
The tombé sounded softly from a far terrace where special prayer was
being made for the growing things, gray doves fluttered home with food
to their young, and little brown childrennot so much clothed as the
birds!climbed ladders to look in the dove cotes on his roof, and see
the nurslings there lift clamoring mouths for worms or other treasure.
A woman weaving a blanket of twisted skins of rabbits worked in the
open with her primitive loom in an arbor before her door, beside her a
man whirled a distaff and spun the coarse hemp of which the warp was
made. Maids and mothers with water jars on their heads walked in
stately file from a spring near the river's edgeand above all the
serene accustomed life of that Indian village, could be heard the drone
of the grinding songsin the valley of P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé there was ever
corn for the grinding, and the time of hunger had come not often to
Tahn-té felt a certain consciousness of the great content to which
the grinding songs and the steady beat of the prayer drum made music.
He knew better than the others, the worth of that peace, and quiet
plenty, for to the south he had seen hunger stalk in the trail of the
white conquerors, and no woman weaving a robe could be sure that it
would ever keep her children from the cold. The men of iron had entered
doors as they chose and carried thence all manner of things pleasing to
But the life of Povi-whah was a different life, and Tahn-té was glad
often to know that it was his land. The great medicine Mesa of the
Hearts stood like a guardian straight to the east and at morning its
shadow touched the terraces.
Strange mystic rites belonged to that place where the Ancient Others
had made high sacrifice. Great medicine was there for the healing of
all the nationsand the secret of it was with the gods. He was glad as
he looked at it that it was so close to his own peopleif a day of
need should come they would have the sacred place more close than any
As he breathed a prayer and walked to his own door he met Po-tzah
who was the Feeder of the Wind that fanned the Wheat. He was the first
boy friend of Tahn-té in the valley and always their regard had been
This is a time of much striving and I am glad to see you, and see
you here at my door, said Tahn-té the Ruler. You come from the
ceremonial bath after a night of prayer. I go from the bath for the
making of many days and many nights of prayer. If my mother should
return before I come down from the mountains
She will be in the house of my wife, and she will be as our
mother, said Po-tzah his friend and clansman.
Thanks that it is so in your heart, and Tahn-té took the hand of
his friend and breathed upon it. My mother must not hear much talk of
any trouble to come. If she thought there was danger she would not go
from me, and in council it is decided that when the men of iron come
into the valley, the young wives and the little maids must live for a
season in the ruins of the wide fields of old, and my motherthe
'Woman of the Twilight' is to be the keeper of them there, and they
must not be seen of the strangers.
They take many wivesif they find themand are strongest? asked
Po-tzah thinking of his own wife of a year, and the little brown babe
in its cradle of willow wands swung from the ceiling of their home.
Tahn-té smiled mockingly.
Their priest will tell you they take but one. But their book where
their god speaks, gives to all his favorites many wives, and helps his
favorites to get them with fighting and much cunning, and in the days
when I was with the christian men who said prayers to that god, I saw
them always live as the book saidand not as Padre Luis said. That man
was a good mana better man than his bookHe was good enough to be
Indianfor that is what the Castilians call usand all our brother
They call us the same as the Apache or the Hopi people? asked
Po-tzah in wonder. Why do they that?
The Ancient Father in the Sky has not wished them to know who we
are. He has darkened their minds when they tried to see. They are very
proudthat people! All they saw that was good in the villages, they
argued long about. They are sure that some of their tribe in some older
day did find our fathers and teach our people,in what other way could
we know to spin and weave, and live in good houses!
The Priest of the prayers to the mighty Wind of the Four Ways
laughed at the very curious ideas of the white strangers.
Perhaps they taught our fathers also to eat when they were hungered
and take wives when the time came! he scoffed.
While they spoke, Ka-yemo crossed a terrace and halted to look at
them, and Po-tzah commented on the fine beads now worn by Ka-yemo since
he had taken a wifebut Po-tzah thought the wife very ugly and very
stupid, and he would rather see his own wife even if her father had
been a cripple and a poor man,and the girl have never a garment but a
poor one of her own making.
Ka-yemo is the most beautiful man in the village, said
Tahn-té,He has fine looks plenty for one house.
Tahn-téand his friend came more close and spoke softly, you are
Po-Ahtun-ho, and you know wise things and many things. Do you know
enough to care nothing that Ka-yemo and his friends are not your
[Illustration: KA-YEMO Page 118]
Why is it that you think in such a way? asked Tahn-té quietly.
He knows the white strangers will deal with one man of the tribe if
they come,and that will be honor for that man. He knows the words of
the strangers. If you were not the most wise he would be chosen to make
all talks, and he would be a great man. Not much has he said;but his
friends say things! Already they ask what magic touched the old men
when you were made ruler. They say the Po-Ahtun-ho for all time was
born in the place where he says prayers.
And I was not born in this place, said Tahn-té, as he looked at
the river valley, and remembered the desert sands of Tusayan, and the
island of rock on which he had lived and been happy once. It is true,
Po-tzah. But the people forget when they say no other Ruler was born
apart from his people. Po-se-yemo came from a cave in the cliff. He
came down from the mountain to the people. He taught them to listen to
mountain thoughts. I come from a rock in the desert, and the old men
say I brought the Sign that the god made my way. We are yet young,
Po-tzah, when we are older we will know whether the way of the gods is
the way for this people. I know the words of Ka-yemobut they are not
to be talked of. Alone I go to face the Ancient FatherSinde-hési. I
go to the mountain of the Stone FaceI go to dance the dance for
ancient wisdom. The old men know that the time has come for that.
Alone? No one in our day has danced alone before the faces! No one
has danced in that place since the time of the fire across the sky, and
that dancer did not live. You can dance thereTahn-té?
I can dance thereBy the arrow I have said it.
His friend looked at him with a strange new regard. Each knew what
it meant to be chosen for that dance of the ancient days.
There are two things a man may not do and have breath to live. The
sacred arrow is held aloft when an oath is made. If the thing which he
has told is a false thing the Sun Father gives lightening to the arrow,
and the man of the oath speaks no more, and lives no more. He dies
there in that place. All Te-hua men can tell you that is how it is. No
one asks another to make an oath.
Also no one asks a medicine man to dance before the ancient picture
of the stone in the hills. Only the unmated can dance there. It is the
dance to the Supreme Father who is named not often. He is that One who
gives earth creatures to the world without earth matings. Thus
Po-se-yemo, the mountain god, was given to a maid as her child, and
only the eagles and the shadow of the piñon tree knew. He also gave the
two sons of wonder to the Apache goddess who slept on the mountain
alone under the shadow of a rock reaching out. Water dripped from that
rock and brought the birth dream, and the dream came true there in
Apache land. Those two sons became the divine warriors. You can see
to-day the giants who were demons and who were slain by those two sons
who worked together for good on earth. The blood of the giants flowed
through long valleys and turned to stone, and the heads of the giants
are also stone now, and lie where they were severed from their bodies
in the land of Navahu. Thus it has always been when the Ancient Father
has sent the God-Thought to the earth. Only the Wind, or the Sun, or
the Mist of the Cloud has been mate to the mother. Yet the sons have
been strong for magic and works of wonder.
Thus there has been through the ages, one sacred place where men may
go for highest medicineif they go before it is not too late!
Not since these two men were born had a man danced there, and the
last man who did so had danced without the truth or the faith in his
heart. No one ever knew if he found great medicine dreams, for he died
there. After many days they wentand they found him dead.
Yes:it is so, said Tahn-té the Ruler as he met the eyes of his
friend. All may know that I go to the fast, and the dance, and that I
dance for them. It will be told from the house tops to-night, but when
it is told I will have reached the hills.
I may not dance, but I also will fast, and I will work with you,
said Po-tzah. Others will work with you when they know. Speak for our
children to the god!
Then he breathed on the hand of Tahn-té who was to do high work and
high penance for the tribe, and Tahn-té felt glad music in his heart
because of the words of his friend, and when he laid aside his white
robe and left his house, he spoke to no other man, but went silent to
the shrine on the mesa where the Arrow-Stone clan build the signal fire
to the mountain god in the night time. There he said the prayers which
were long prayers, and the people who had noted him as he passed (nude
but for the girdle and the downy breath feathers of the eagle) halted
at their work among the corn and the melon vines and watched him at the
shrine. From the terraced roofs also the women turned from their
weaving, or the shaping of pottery, and looked after the tall bronze
figure girded, and white plumed. They could see his wide-stretched
hands scatter the sacred meal of prayer, and then they saw only a brown
runner on the mesa outlined against the western sky. He had entered the
ceremonial run in which there is no moment of rest from the mesa of the
river to the mountains of the pine.
CHAPTER XI. THE MAID OF DREAMS
Indian prayer is not the placid acceptance of thoughts comforting.
The complete man is both mind and bodyand all of him must work when
the gods are called upon for work, and by fasting and exhaustion must
the spirit path be made clear for dreams.
The first day Tahn-té had sat in meditation before the sacred wall
of the stone face, chanting the songs to the clouds and the yellow
birds of the sun color, watching the pictured rock until the lines
moved when his body swayed to the chant, and a living thing seemed
before himthe accumulated faiths of all the devotees in that place
since the god was born!
As the sun went behind the mountain he knew the village herald was
telling the people, and the leaders of Povi-whah would fast that night
and send their thoughts to him. Po-tzah would fast although Po-tzah was
not called upon by his position to do so.
And Po-tzah had said, Speak for our children to the god.
He seemed to hear Po-tzah's voice, and the words repeat themselves
in the dusk, andstranger stillanother voice back of Po-tzah's! it
also spoke of childrenthrough the chanted prayer he heard
itbaffling yet insistent.
Then he knew it!
He knew it as the first shadow of the visions which the prayer was
bringing:it was the voice of the Ruler whose office he now heldthe
aged man who had once worn the white robe and saidIf she had not
diedher children would be your children!
The picture of Po-tzah's small brown babe came between him and the
sacred figure on the rock,a strange thing for the voice to suggest! A
little childin the duskandsheltering arms around it!
Come to me!
Grey ghostwhite ghost
Why is the false enchantment?
Grey ghost of darkness
White ghost of high hills
Make way for sacred magic,
Sink far your darkened spells!
O Indwelling God
Come to me!
In the dusk a shadowor it might have been a drooping bough of the
piñon treegave outline of a bent head above the outline of the
babeonly a strange trick of carving on the gray stone, and swaying
branches outlining a headthen the shouldersthen an arm about the
babe! To the mind of the mystic it was the visible temptation of a
black enchantment in the very presence of the god!The strongest the
opposing powers could send to man under vows of prayer and search for
the spirit medicine of the highest thought.
[Illustration: THE SIGNAL FIRE TO THE MOUNTAIN GOD Page 129]
Goddess of the stars
Youwho gives the life!
Why is there for me false magic?
Mother mine of the starry skirt
Why for me the darkened star?
I, Master of spells, call to you!
Ho:there! It is I!
Green and black spirit of power
Seek elsewhere your victims!
I seek the lightI find the light!
Mother mine of the starry skirt
I find the light!
IMaster of spells!
He was no longer merely a singer of prayers now. The dance before
the Ancient gods had begun as the first stars glimmered in the blue.
After many hours of the dance all the world drifts far. There is
nothing real left but the circle where the prayer is, and the space
where the feet touch in the dull pad-pad on the trail to the swoons
where visions come.
A lone figure chanting breathless things:not aloud now! The
utterance is only broken whispersonly a god could read the meaning of
But he did not feel alone. All the Lost Others were back of him
looking on from the dusk of the piñon boughs, and there to the right,
ever in shadow, was a Presence! It stood close to the rock wall. The
arms were folded, the line of the body strong and erect. The face was a
hidden face, but if heTahn-té, faltered in the lines of the
prayers,or sank in the dance before the timethen he felt that the
phantom there would become real, and the face would be seen, and that
strong Thing would come forwardit would dance for jealous ghosts the
dance of triumphit would wipe out in mockery the unfinished homage to
The dawn came, and Tahn-té danced the stars of morning into the glow
of the sun. The prayers had been all said, and the Watcher no longer
stood by the rock!
Tahn-té saw nothing now but the glare of the sun on the rock walla
spot of light in the circle of black piñon.
He no longer even whispered. His moving arms seemed no longer a part
of himit was as if numbness was there. His feet moved
mechanicallynot able to lift themselves more quicklyneither able to
cease by his own will.
The Trues were watching him now, waiting to help. There was the
white bear of the North and the mountain lion of the East. There was
the wildcat of the West, and the serpent of the South. There was the
eagle of the upper world, and the mystic creature of the earth home
which tells the weather wizards of the number of winter days.
They were all thereso the prayer had been a good prayer.
From some of them would come the medicine dreams!
The sun stood straight above,then little by little reached towards
the mountain. It made shadows, and as the shadow of the sacred rock
touched the blinded dancer, he sank to the earth.
As he fell he strove to echo the prayer thought:
I find the light
Imaster of spells!
But he did not speak it. Only the eagle of his dream repeated it
over and over as it lifted him from the place where he had fallen, and
bore him swiftly to the highest point of the mountain of
Tse-c[=o]me-u-piñ. It has been the Sacred Mountain since men first
spoke words in the land. When a man has climbed to the shrine of the
summit there, it is as if all the world is very far below.
And that makes it lonely for the dweller there.
* * * * *
The stars were again alight in the heavens when the devotee awoke
from his sleep of exhaustion. To his entranced senses the stars were as
the eyes of the gods who watched the shrine where few men had ever
danced and lived. The wind touched the pinesand he thought their
whispered movement was the rustle of the wings of the eagle who had
come in his vision.
For the eagle was now his medicine, and the place where the eagle
had carried him in the dream was the best of all good places for
medicine that was strong.
In the starlight he again faced the ancient diety of the Lost
Others:those Others who had carved the stone lions of Kat-yi-ti at
their entrance to the Under world, and had set the white stone bear of
the North on guard in the western hills. They did fine thingsthose
people who had perhaps first named the stars above. And this one
ancient cave god of the stone face was a linkso the wise old Ruler
had told himwith strange Mexic Brothers of the far southwho gave
worshipand gave human sacrifice, to a solitary mountain shrine,
called the shrine of the Sleeping Woman, where few men could danceor
even learn the prayers of that dance.
No awesome Presence now faced him in the shadow of the rock as he
chanted his prayer of farewell under the stars. He had danced all
adverse spirits out of the charméd circle. His way was clearly marked
now to follow the way of the eagle,there on the shrine of
Tse-c[=o]me-u-piñ he must say the final prayer. All of harmony and all
of hope was about him. Three days and three nights had he ran or
chanted prayers, or danced fasting, yet weariness was not with him as
he ended the ceremony which no man since his birth had made in this
Somewhere, he would perhaps fall on the trail, and the men of Kah-po
or of Povi-whah would find him, as fainting medicine men had been found
ere thisbut that must be after he had reached the shrine, and gave
prayers at the place of the eagle dream.
Past Pu-yé he wentscarce seeing the ghost walls of the older day;
in sight of Shufinne, the little island of forgotten dwellings on the
north mesathrough the pines to the cañon of Po-et-se where rocks of
weird shapes stood like gray and white giants to bar his way. He
thought at times voices sounded from the stone pillars, but it might be
the echo of his own.He knew evil spirits did lurk along his trailno
mortal could escape their shadows. Even the god who had lived in the
sun had been hurled to earth by them when the earth was new, and the
first treesthe pines, had begun to grow at the edges of the ice.
Since that time the Sun God only lived in the sky one half the time. In
the night he went to the Underworld, and the strands of his dark hair
covered his face. He must not let himself think that the adverse
spirits were less than men in strengthfor man needed all the medicine
of the gods to war against evil!
Thus he thoughtand muttered and stumbled blindly towards the
north. Into the stream of Po-eh-hin-cha he crept and drank,then
upup to Po-pe-kan-ehthe Place where the Water is Born, and from
there to the shrine of the Sacred Mountain, though his hands reached
for help from every tree and rock past which he staggered or crept.
[Illustration: AND REACHED HIS HANDS TO HIS BROTHERSTHE STARS
Only water and the smoke of the medicine pipe had been his portion.
One may not eat the food of man, yet commune with Those Above.
The first stars were above the hills as he fell, bleeding from many
hurtsand breathlessat the shrine.
Far above one lone eagle soared, and the weariness was forgotten in
the joy of Tahn-té. The sacred spark came quickly to the twigs crossed
ceremonially for the fire on the shrine, and into the blue above, the
slender trail of smoke led undeviatingly up where the great bird
drifted as if awaiting to witness his offering of fire. Had any other
found medicine like that? He knew now that his magic was to be strong
magic, for his faith had been greatand he had followed the faith, and
found the bird of the strong gods waiting his coming!
Time was lost to him in the trance of that which he had lived
through. The day was gone, and he stood alone on the heights and
reached his hands in ecstasy to his brothers the stars. He felt the
exultant strength of the mortal with whom the gods have worked!
And when the last mountain prayer had been whispered, a reeling,
staggering, nude figure walked, and sometimes ran and often fell down
the steep sides of Tse-c[=o]me-u-piñ, and when the great dark pines and
the slender aspens were reached, he used his hands as well as his feet
in making his way, reeling from tree to tree, but holding with
instinctive steadiness to the trail of the Navahuthe ancient way of
the enemy, where ambush and slaughter was often known. Many captives
had been driven between the high rock walls. Youths and maidens swept
from Te-hua corn fields, and Navahu captives as well, caught by Te-hua
hunters in the hunting grounds to the West,all came through the one
great passand the way of the trail was so narrow that to guard it was
not a hard thing in time of battle.
The rush of the swift water was always near as he went on and on in
the darkness. It had a lulling effect. The whispers of the pines also
spoke of rest. This was the fourth day of the fasting. He, Tahn-té, had
been strong as few men are strong, but suddenly in the night, earth and
sky seemed to meet, and putting out his hands he groped through a
thicket of the young pines, and fell there quite close to the dancing
waterand all the life of earth drifted far. He, Tahn-té, the devotee
of the Truesthe weaver of spells, and dancer of the Ancient Dance to
the God of the Stone, lay at last in the stupor beyond dreams, helpless
in the path of an enemy if any should trail him for battle.
His sleep was dreamless, and the length of it until the dawn seemed
but a hand's breadth on the path of the stars across the sky.
But with the dawn a vision came, and he knew it again as the actual
form of that which had been so often the vague dream-maid of charméd
There was the flash of water in the poola something distinct from
the steady murmur of its ripplesthat was the sign by which he was
wakened quite suddenly, without movement or even a breath that was
loud. Under the little pines at the very edge of the stream he was
veiled in still green shadows, and there before him was The Maid of
Dreams. Those Above had let her come to him that for once his eyes
should see and his heart keep her in the medicine visions of this
fasting time of prayer.
[Illustration: THE MAID OF DREAMS Page 130]
Not once did she turn her eyes towards him as she stood, dripping
with the water of the bath. Her slender figure was in shadow, and her
movements were shy and alert and quick.
To the dry sand she stepped, and lifted thence a white deerskin
robe. Two bluebird wings were in the white banda about her loosened
hair, very blue was the color of the wings as the light touched them,
and he thought of the wonderful Navahu Goddess Estsan-atlehi who was
created from an earth jewelthe turquoise, and who is the belovéd of
the Sun. If a maid could be moulded from any jewel of earth, Tahn-té
thought she would look like this spirit of the forest stream. Even
while held by the wonder and the beauty of the vision, he thought of
this, and recalled the bluebird feathers in the prayer plumes of
Tusayan:next to the eagle they were sacred feathers:the gods were
sending him strong thoughts for magic!
Suddenly the maid stood tense and erect as though listeningor was
it only the nearness of a mortal by which she was thrilled to
movement?for she clasped the trailing white skin to her breast, and
stepped into the deeper shadow where grew the fragrant thickets of the
young pine under the arms of the great pine mothers.
Without sound she moved. His eyes watched in strained eagerness for
the one turn of the head, or one look of the eyes towards him, but that
was not to be. To mortal all the joys cannot be given at one timeelse
all would be as gods!
He stared at the shadows into which she had blended herself, and he
stared at the pool from which she had arisen. It was again a mirror
reflecting only the coming day. Yet his heart leaped as he saw a sign
left there for him!
Drifting idly there in a circle was a bit of blue too vivid for the
echo of the sky of dawnit was the wing of a bluebird, and even as he
looked, it was caught in an eddy more swift, and moved on the surface
of the water straight to the edge of the bank nearest his place of
Staggering to his feet, he went to meet it. It was not an empty
vision as the maid had been, and it did not fade as he grasped it. The
visions of the night had been strong visions, but with the dawn had
come to Tahn-té the added medicine of the second gift of the Spirits of
the Air. Above the clouds must his thoughts be in their height. The
medicine of the eagle had made that plain to him, and the feathers of
prayer lay in his hand as a sign such as had come to no other man!
The Brothers of the Air were plainly to be his kindred!
This was the dawning of the fifth day on the prayer trail. A little
way he walked, and the world reeled about him,to escape from the
cloud of weakness he ran the way of the brook towards the far
riverand then as a brook falls into the shadows of a cavern place,
Tahn-té fell and lay where he fell. In the darkness closing over him he
heard the rustle of wingsthough another might have heard only the
whisper of the pines.
When the sun stood straight above, and the bush of the sage brooded
over its own shadow, it was then Po-tzah and the brothers of Po-tzah
found him. They wondered at the wing of the bluebird in his hand, but
carried him on a robe of the buffalo until they brought him to his own
home. Then the people of his order brought to him the foods and the
drinks allowed after the fasting time to the men who make many prayers.
When the strength had come back he spoke in secret council of the
vision of the eagle and the vision of the maid born from the waters of
the sacred mountain of prayer.
The old men debated wisely as to the visions and the meaning of the
visions. The dance was a great dance and plainly had the favor of
Sinde-hési since Tahn-té had come out of it alive;the Summer People
would hold a long feast to mark the time, and the boys who were taught
by the old men, would be told in the kivas of the ways in which a man
might grow strong in body and strong in spirit to face the god who
lives on high in the hills.
Of the visions of the eagles they were gladfor in his dream
Tahn-té had been carried by the eagle to the shrine of power, and that
was very great medicine. It was well he had kept strength to follow the
trail and meet the eagle there.
Of the maid-vision there was long talk. To dream of a maid was the
natural dream thought of a young man, and the wing of the bird could be
only the symbol for thoughts that fly very high.
The clan of his motherthe Arrow Stone People, thought the vision
by the pool meant that the time to choose a wife had come to Tahn-té.
He had proven himself for magic. It was now time that he think of
The elders agreed that it was so, and talked of likely maids, and
that was when the name of Yahn the Beautiful was spoken. But Tahn-té
heard part of the talk, and stopped it. He had read the books of the
white god, and out of them all he had found one strong thought. The
white god, and the prophets of that god, were strong for magic because
they did not take wives of the tribes about them. Because of that they
had been strong to conquer their world. He, Tahn-té, meant to work for
the red gods as the priests of the dark robe worked for the white gods.
He would work alone unless other men worked with him. It was not magic
in which a woman could help. But alone he fastened four feathers of a
bluebird to the Prayer Flute of the far desert, and in the dusks under
Venus and the young moon he breathed through it softly to bring back
the vision of the Maid of Dreams.
Not all this talk was spoken of outside the kiva:only the name of
Yahn had been saidand that Tahn-té would have no wife even when urged
by the old men. But Koh-pé, the wife of Ka-yemo did hear of italso
some other wives, and Yahn Tsyn-deh heard their laughter, and carried a
bitter heart in the days to follow. She had no love for Tahn-té,
yetto wed with the Highestwould be victory over a false lover!
For the feast made for Tahn-té the Po-Ahtun-ho, she would gather no
flowers and bake no bread, and when the dance in honor of Tahn-té was
danced, she put on her dress of a savage, brown deer skin fringed and
trimmed with tails of the ermine of the north. About her brows she
fastened a band on which were white shells and many beads in the
pattern of the lightening pathand on it was also the white of the
ermineand the warrior feathers of the eagle which she wore not
oftenbut this day she wore them!
[Illustration: STRAIGHT TO HIM DRIFTED THE BLUEBIRD'S WING Page
Also she took from an earthen jar the strands of beads of the
Navahu. With head held high she walked through the village and knew
well that she looked finer than all the dancers. Thus proudly she
walked to the sands by the river's edge, and held the beads against her
brow and bosomand twisted them about her round arms as she gazed at
her reflection in the water. But the pride and the defiance died out of
her face when there were no jealous eyes to watch, and a tear fell on
the still water, breaking the picture.
For a space she stooda lonely figure despite her trophiesand the
music of the dance came to her on the wind, and filled her with sullen
rage. A canoe was on the shore above; she pushed it into the water and
stepped in lifting the paddle of split ash wood and sending the craft
darting downwardsanywhere to be away from the voices of people.
And Koh-pé, of the red beads, laughed at a safe distance, and told
her comrades of the terraces that the Apache had gone fishing without a
netshe would come home empty!
CHAPTER XII. COMING OF THE
Because a runner from Kat-yi-ti had been killed on the trail by a
mountain lion, and because the village of Povi-whah had forgotten the
strangers from the south in the excitement of Tahn-té's return (for
many there were who thought never to see him again!)because of these
things it was that the men of iron rode unseen by the river, and the
alarm was called from sentry to sentry on the mesa where the workers in
flint shaped the arrow-points, and were guards as well for the village
There was no mistaking the glint of sunlight on steel and helmet,
and the beasts with strange strappings. The men of the beards were
indeed at the very edge of their planted fields!
And they saw more than that, for they saw a girl who ran from the
shore to meet them. So fleet was her running that her hair swept like a
dusk cloud behind her, and the soldier Gonzalvo stared at her with open
By the true cross, that looks better to me than the thimble full of
gold! he announced, and Don Ruy laughed and put his horse on the other
side of Don Diego as though to protect him from temptation.
You, and his reverence the padre, have the records and the prayers
to your share, he suggested,but eyes bright as thoseand lips as
The heathen wench does look like the seven deadly sins for
enticement, agreed Don Diego and made the sign of the cross.
A shameless wench, indeed, agreed Padre Vicentewith her bosom
bare, and little but her hair as a cloak!What is it she calls?Holy
God!did you hear?
All had halted now. Pretty women and girls had been hidden in the
villages of their trail. Even if they chanced to glimpse one it was by
chanceand among the wall-housed barbarians no dames bold as this one
had been seen:neither had one been seen so alluring.
Again her voice reached them and this time the tones were clear and
the words certain.
Greetings to youLordsCastilians!
A shout went up from the men. At last a land had been reached where
an interpreter was not needed for the woman. It put a different
complexion on the day. Tired men straightened in their saddles and Ruy
Sandoval laughed at the amaze on the face of Gonzalvothat hardy
soldier of many lands stared as if by a witch enthralled.
How call you yourself, mistress? inquired the priest coldly, and
is it the custom of the men of the P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé to send their wives
to greet men who travel?
Yahn Tsyn-deh I am,she saidand not wife.
Humph! the grunt of Maestro Diego was not polite. Even the desert
might not be a safe place to bring youth if damsels of this like grew
in the sage clumps. It is said to be a good luck sign when a man comes
first over the threshold on a New Year's day and on a Monday,it
starts the year and the week arightand how read you this of a female
crossing first for us the line of welcome in the new land of
treasure?read you good fortune here in all that would be ill fortune
Save your croaking since she is beautiful to a marvel! said Don
Ruy lightly. If they tell us truly that the world is round, who knows
that we may not be nicely balanced on an opposite to Seville, and all
things of life and portent to be reversed? There's a thought for your
'Relaciones!'treasure it, señor!treasure it!
I am not yet of a mind that the unsanctified globe theory is to be
accepted by true believers! announced Don Diego with decisionthat
you well know!and also you know that my scriptural evidence
Is as good as that of any man! agreed his charge who was more his
master and tormentor. But if we halt here while you make the maps of
Cosmo in the sand, we will miss the rest of the maids, for all my
looking shows me no others on the run to us.
Yahn was, meanwhile, with great unconcern, making braids of her
hair, and breathing with more ease, and using her eyes well the while.
The piercing look of the padre was the only one she faltered under, and
that of Gonzalvo she met in elusive coquetry.
I am alone, she said to Don Ruy. The others feast this day. I
know your words. I come alone; maybe you want that I talk for you.
It is true that we all want much talk from youand perhaps some
smileseh? But give not another to Juan Gonzalvohe looks like a
mooing calf from the last one he got,and I warn you that such special
[Illustration: A LONELY FIGURE DESPITE HER TROPHIES Page 135]
Peace! said the padre with impatient authority. The girl has
understanding, and it is best to move warily when the ground is new.
Are you the only one who speaks Castilian?
Notwo more. Ka-yemo the chief of warHe is of my clan. He learn
it with Capitan Coronado.
The men closed around listeningthis was the man they had heard of
at Ah-ko and at Kat-yi-ti.
He is the shaman who learned with Fray Luis, said the padre. We
have heard of him, and of his unsanctified devotion to the false gods.
We have come to save such souls for the true faith. And he is now
Ka-yemo is Capitannot shaman. He speaks your words
And the other one?
Other one!The face of Yahn darkened, her lips grew straight in a
hard lineher bosom heaved. Tahn-té had seen and known her
abasementalso her name had been among those put asidealways she
would hate Tahn-té,The other one is the man of the feast. He has
danced where other men fall dead in the dance. He does not fall
deadnot anything makes him dead! He holds snakes like other men hold
rabbits. (She was watching warily the faces of her listeners and saw
them shrink in distaste)her own face grew keen and bright with
cunning. It is truelike this he takes the snakeshe held a wand of
willow about her neck, and then held it in both hands above her
headlike thisand calls it 'brother of the sands.' He calls eagles
down from the clouds to himother birds, tooand her eyes took on a
look of fearand in dark nightsnoI can not say more words! It is
bad medicine to say words of witches while witches are yet alive.
He was taught by the padres to be Christian:yet turns back to the
false gods, andis a sorcerer? demanded Maestro Diego. You have your
work plainly cut out for you, Eminence! and he turned to Padre
VicenteA leader who has been granted the light, yet seeks darkness,
is but a burning brand for the pit!
Butsuggested the lad Chicowho spoke but rarely in the face of
the company, is there not white magic as well as the magic of the
darkness? Did not the saints of the church deal openly in the white
magic of their god? This pretty woman plainly has only hateor
fearof the sorcerer. Does the dame strike any of you as being so
saintly as to be above guile?
The men laughed at that, and Don Ruy clapped him on the shoulder.
Well reasoned, Chicoand frankly said! We will see the sorcerer at
his work before we pass judgement. But the lady will love you little!
The less ill luck to me for that!retorted the lad. Her eyes are
all for Juan Gonzalvoand for your Excellency!
I am sworn for my soul's sake to the troth of a silken scarf and a
mad woman somewhere in Mexico, decided Don Ruy whimsically. If I am
to live a celibate,as our good padre imposes, it is well to cheat
myself with a lady love across the border,even though she gave me no
favors beyond a poet's verse and a battered head.
A ladybeat you? queried Chico in amazement looking at the strong
figure of Don Ruyand though mad, you give to herfaithfulness?
A faithfulness enforced, lad! and his patron chuckled at the amaze
in the eyes of the youth. Since this crusade allows us no dames for
company it is an ill one among us cannot cheat himself into the thought
that a gracious doña awaits his return! It is the only protection
against such sirens as this one of the loosened braids. To be sure, my
goddess of Mexico(so says the padre)was only a mad womanand her
servants gave me a scratched skull. Yet, as I am weak and need
protection, I carry the scarf of the wench, and call her a goddess and
my 'Doña Bradamante'in my dreamsthat does no harm to any one, and
enables me to leave the ladies of the road to Gonzalvoand the others!
Oha dream woman is a great rest to the mind, lad,especially is she
so when she affects a wondrous perfume for her silks!
He drew the scarf from his pocket and sniffed at it, content to make
the lad laugh at the idle fancy, and while he jested thus, Padre
Vicente and Gonzalvo gathered much information from Yahn Tsyn-deh.
There was a feast, she told them, and all the village was merry, and
the time of the visit was a good time.
From the terraces of Kah-po and Povi-whah many eyes watched the
coming of the men of iron. But the women who watched were few,all the
maids and even the young wives, had started at once for the sanctuary
of the ancient dwellings of the place of Old Fields. There the Woman of
the Twilight was awaiting themmuch corn and dried meat and beans had
been stored there in the hills in waiting for this time. If fighting
was to be done, it should not be a quarrel for wivesas had happened
with Coronado's soldiers in Tiguex.
But the white adventurers gave every evidence of the desire to be
modest in their demands. They did not even enter the villagenor seek
to do so until the place of the camp had been decided upon. Even José
was not allowed to precede the others in search of kindred. He and his
wife Ysobel watched the terraces, and the courage of the latter grew
weak unto tears at the trials possibly behind the silent walls.
The boy Chico reassured her with jestings and occasional whisperings
until the woman smiled, though her eyes were wet.
I shall risk my own precious soul and body beside you, he
stated,since my master Don Diego makes me a proxy while we learn if
it is safe enough inside those walls for his own sacred bones. He will
say the prayers for us until our faces are shown to him again!
Then he threw himself on the green sward and laughed, and told
Ysobel what a fine thing it was to be carefree of a spouse and able to
kick up one's heels:If it had not been for love and a wedding day
you would be happily planting beans in the garden of the nuns instead
of following a foreign husband to his own people!
Don Ruy sauntered near enough to hear the fillip and see the woman
dry her eyes.
Why is it, Dame Ysobel, that you allow this lad to make sport of
serious things? he asked austerely. He is woefully light minded for
so portentous an expedition.
Ysobel stammered, and glanced at the lad, and dug her toe in the
soil, and was dumb.
You overwhelm her with your high and mighty notice, Excellency,
said the lad coming to her aid. I will tell you trulyYsobel has had
patience with me since I had the height of your kneeand it is now a
custom with her. She lived once in the house of myrelatives. We were
both youngerand she had no dreams of wedding a wild Indiannor I of
seeking adventure among savages. She is afraid now that her husband may
be blamedor sacrificed for bringing strangers herethe story of the
padre at the well of Ah-ko is not forgotten by her.
Whereupon Don Ruy told her there should be no harm to Joséif he
was treated without welcome by the Te-huas he should go back in safety
to Mexico to follow his own will in freedom.
The woman murmured thanks and was content, and his excellency
surveyed the secretary in silence a bit, until warm color crept into
the face of the boy to his own confusion.
So!Your independence was because you had a friend at court?he
observed. It is fool luck that you, with your girl's mouth, and velvet
cheeks, should get nearest the only woman in campand have a secret
with her! It is high time you went to confession!
Upon which he walked away, and left the two together, and Chico lay
on the grass and laughed until called to make records of all that might
occur between visiting Castilian and the Children of the Sun in their
Then, while the men set about the preparations for a resting place,
and supper Padre Vicente, with Don Ruy, Chico, Gonzalvo and the two
Indians walked quietly to the gate in the great wall.
Many eyes were watching them as they were well aware, and ere they
reached the gate, it opened, and the old governor Phen-tza, the war
capitan and several of the older men stood there with courteous
greeting of hand clasps and invitation.
For the first time since his marriage, Ka-yemo came face to face
with Yahn Tsyn-deh, and quick anger flamed in his eyes as he saw her
walk close to the side of Juan Gonzalvo who whispered to herand her
answer was a smile from provocative, half closed eyes.
Yahn!the voice of Ka-yemo was not loud, but hard and full of
angry meaning. The other women of your clan have gone to the hills!
Let them go, said the girl insolentlyI do not go! For these
strangers I make the talks to the old men, I am the one woman needful
in the valley of P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé!
It was the hour of her triumph, and Padre Vicente looked at the two
keenly. Here was a clash of two savage mindspotent for good or ill.
To the council I will talkI am of the people of your fatherI am
the nearest manI tell you I forbid you!
His words fell over each other in anger, and his uncle, the
governor, looked at him in reproachthis was not a moment for private
Are you so!the nearest? and Yahn showed her teeth. I do not see
it so. I stand near two other men, and am well content!
She stood between Gonzalvo and Chico, and smiled on the latter, who
frankly smiled a responseat that moment Yahn was happy in her
defiance. Ka-yemo need not think her forsaken! She had caught fish
without a net! To the governor José was speaking; at once there were
signs of delight among the listeners. One of the old men was of his
clanother of his people were aliveand all had thought never to look
on him again, it was a good day at Povi-whah!
José showed them his wife, who was greeted with joy, and all
proceeded to the court of the village, where, at the house of the
governor, they were given cooked corn of the feast, then rolls of
bread, and stew of deer meat.
José told of his days as a slave until he was traded into the land
of Padre Vicente, and of the great desire of Padre Vicente to bring him
back in some lucky year to his people, and also to see with his own
eyes the fine land of the Te-huas. He added also that the padre had
been very kind, and that he was near to the white god of the men of
iron, and strong in medicine of the spirit world.
We already know that the medicine of the men of iron is strong
medicineand that their gods listen, said the governor.
Also Tahn-té the Po-Ahtun-ho makes it seen that the mountain god of
this land, and the young god of the Castilian land, were maybe
brothers,said Po-tzah watching closely the faces of the strangers.
Only your god made talking leavesand our god gave us only the
sunshine to see things for ourselves.
Where is this man who tells you that books are made and that false
gods are brothers to the true? inquired Padre Vicente.
It is the Po-Ahtun-ho, said José before Yahn could speak. In
Castilian he would be called Cacique. The word in Maya for that ruler
is the same word as in Te-hua. It is a very old word. It is the head of
the highest order of the Spirit Things. It is what you call maybe Pope.
There are many priests, and many medicine men in each village. There is
only one Cacique at one time.
Which of these men may it be? inquired Padre Vicente. Yahn it was
The Cacique of Povi-whah is not seen by every stranger who walks by
the river, she said, and smiled scornfully. He has come out of the
mountain from the dance to the greatest of gods, and after that dance
it is not easy to talk to earth people!
Butwhen people come from the far lands of a strange king
That is the business of the governor and of the war capitan,
stated Yahn. He who is named Cacique in this land has not to do with
strangers in the valley. His mind is with the Spirit Things. These are
the heads of the village of Povi-whahhere also is the governor of
Kah-po. They will listen, and learn from your words, and answer you.
I know words, stated Ka-yemo looking at Don Ruy and the priest. I
can say wordsI teach it her,and he motioned to Yahn, who had
dwarfed them all with quick wit and glib speech. Woman not need in
council. Icaptain of war can make talk.
Is not the damsel enlisted as official interpreter for one of us?
queried Don Ruy. I hold it best that the bond be understood lest the
beauty be sent beyond reachand some of our best men squander time on
her trail! Since you, good father, have José,I will lay claim to this
Cleopatra who calls herself by another name,a fire brand should be
kept within vision. Your pardon, Eminenceand you to the head of the
council in all else!
The padre directed his conversation to Ka-yemo, while the secretary
set down the claiming of Yahn as the first official act in council of
His Excellency Don Ruy de Sandoval.
At the scratching of the quill, his excellency looked over the
shoulder of the lad, and read the words, and smiled with his eyes,
while his lips muttered dire threatseven to discharging him from
office if the records were kept in a manner detrimental.
Detrimental to whom, my lord? asked the lad, who saw well the
restrained smile. Your 'Doña Bradamante' of the scarf is not to set
eyes on these serious pages,and the Don Diego will certainly exact
that I keep record of how near our company falls in the wake of the
Capitan Coronado'stheir troubles began about a wifethus it is well
to keep count of fair favoritesand this one who tells you plainly she
is no wife, looks promising. Helena of Trois might have had no more
charms to her discredit!
Don Ruy said no more, for he saw that Yahn was straining her ears to
catch at their meaning, and they were all losing the words of council.
It appeared plain that all the chief men were quite willing that the
Po-Ahtun-ho should meet the men of iron as was the padre's wishbut
that no one could command it.
Through what power is one man more supreme than others?Yet you
say you have no king!
Nono king. The Governor is made so each year by the men in
councilonly one yearthen another manthe Governor gets no corn in
trade for his time,and no other thing, but honor, if he is good!
Tahn-té has talked to us in council of kings,thus we know what a king
does. We have no king.
But while a man is the governor does he not rule all the people?
Noit is not so. He works for the people. He has a right hand man,
and a left hand man to talk with of all things. But when it is a big
thing of trouble or of need, at that time the council is called, and
each man speaks, and in the end each man put a black bean or a white
bean in a jar to say for him 'yes' or to say for him 'no.' That is how
the law is made in all the villages of the P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé valley.
There is no king!
We are of a surety in a new world if rulers work only for
honorand get not any of that unless they are good! decided Don Ruy.
Make record of that novelty, Chicoour worthy Maestro Diego will find
no equal of that rule in all Europe!
It is well for civilization that it is so! decided Juan Gonzalvo.
Who is to advance the arts and knightly orders except there be Courts
of Pontiff and of Royalty?
And the royalty would be a weak stomached lot if they gained not
even extra corn for all their sceptre waving, and royal nods;eh? But
what of this Po-Ahtun-hothis man who is not kingyet who is
This query was interpreted by José, and after talk and deliberation
one of the oldest men made answer.
The Po-Ahtun is an order very ancient. When the earth was yet soft,
and the rocks wet, and the first people were taught words by the
mocking bird,in that time of our Ancient Fathers, gods spoke to
menand in that time the order of Po-Ahtun was made. It was made that
men could work together on earth for spirit good. When the Mountain
God, Po-se-yemo, lived as a man on the earth,he was the chief priest
of the Po-Ahtun order. Po-Ahtun means 'The Ruler of Things from the
Beginning.' Many men belong to the Po-Ahtun, and learn the prayers, and
the songs of the prayers. When the Po-Ahtun-ho walks no more on the
earthand his spirit goes on the twilight trail to Those Above, at
that time the brothers of the order name the man who is to be
Rulerand he rules also until he dies.
Then it seems your Cacique is really a king. You but call him by a
Noit is not so. Tahn-té has told the men of Povi-whah what a king
is. We have no king. A king fights with knife, and with spear, and he,
in his own village, punishes the one who does evil, and orders what men
work on the water canal for the fields:and what men make new a broken
wall, or what men clean the court which is the property of all. The
king and his men say how all these things then must be done. With the
people of Povi-whah the governor does these works and orders them done,
and has the man whipped if the work he does is bad work. The chief of
war does work as do other men, until the Navahu and the Yutahs have to
be driven away;then it is his work to fight themhe is a warrior,
but he does king work in war. These are the men who do king work. But
we have no king.
By our Lady!'tis a nice distinction, said Don Ruy as the old man
ceased, and the men of Te-hua nodded their appreciation of the old
man's statement. Save your quill scratching, Chicountil you are in
camp. Their eyes show little favor for the work.
The secretary obediently thrust in his pouch ink horn and quill, and
clearly Don Ruy was right, for the bronze faces brightened, and their
eyes regarded the young man with approvalthe magic of that black
water might prove potent and forbiddingnever before had it been seen
Padre Vicente had given a cigarro to each man, and while the ancient
speaker rested, and José interpreted, all smoked the wonderful smoke
from the south, and Chico took occasion to say low to Don Ruy:
Of all this there is little to make record that is new. Tribes of
Mexico have such rules of life. The legends of our people say they came
ages ago out of the far North. These are maybe but the children of
their brothers who the records say stopped on the way to plant corn, or
to hunt, or to rest from travel.
Records?Where are such records? asked Don Ruy derisively,in
the royal archives of some mud hut?
The eyes of Chico flashed fire for one instant; the amazed Spaniard
was scarce certain of the anger in the secretary's face when it
changed, and the boy shrugged his shoulders and lit a cigarro.
It is true, Excellency, that if any Tescucan manuscripts are yet
entire, it can be only because some pagan Indian his risked death and
torture to hide them in mud hut or cave in the hills. The first holy
archbishop of Mexico made bonfires of Indian books because the beauty
of them showed plainly they were the work of Satan. Without doubt the
act earned the bishop an extra jewel for his heavenly crown!
Chico! If you pursue such fancies with determination you may end by
being a logician and going to hell! remarked Don Ruy. I fear you lack
a true Christian spirit, my son. But the records?
Only stone carved ones are still visible in the land of Anhuac,
returned the boy. The good padres say that they deal with the studies
of the stars and planets, and other such speculation invented by
Satanic power. When I wanted to know about them I was told that my soul
was in danger of the pit.
And that frightened you?
Very much, Excellency:hence my running away.
Don Ruy was put to it to know whether or not the boy spoke truth.
But his odd freaks of thought had many times the effect of an April
sunlight on a day of storm. There was no way of calculating what the
next moment would bringbut the unexpected was at least a diversion.
The smoking of the men was half over before Padre Vicente again
asked José to state that the way of life of the Te-hua people was a
thing of interest to the great king whom the Castilians served, and it
would please him much to hear more of the Te-hua ruler who was Cacique.
But the old man was silent. He had talked much, he said.
He thinks said Yahn with quick divination,that he would like
to know of the strangers who are made welcome here:and why they come
far into a country not their own.
We come because we have heard fair things of these people, was the
reply. Our god tells us all men are brothers on the earthwe come to
find new brothers.
And if the Navahu come in the nightor the Yutah come many and
strong for the cornwhose brother would your god tell you to be at
that time? asked the governor of Kah-po, a tall shrewd faced old man
who had not spoken heretofore. Chico showed his teeth in a quickly
Our god would tell us, said Padre Vicente with slowness and duly
impressive speechthat our brothers must be the men who are friends
That is good, agreed the man from Kah-po, and the others said also
it was good. Brothers who wore iron coats would be good brothers to
have in the time of a war.
It is as Tahn-té told us of the priests of the white godthey are
wise in their thoughts, said the old man who had insisted there was no
king in Povi-whah, or any Te-hua villageall Tahn-té has told us were
He told us also, said the man from Kah-pothat the men of iron
were not friends to trust.
They were other men of iron, not these. These men Tahn-té has not
The Padre gave no hint that he knew enough of Te-hua words to catch
the meaning of their discourse. So long as might be, he would keep that
secret,much might depend upon it.
The name Tahn-té met him at every turnthis was the mysterious
Rulerthe hidden Cacique or Po-Ahtun-hothe one chief who gave them
Ask for me what the name meansthe name Tahn-té, he said.
José pointed to a ray of sunlight streaming through the shelter of
the vine trellis.
It means that.
And for what cause is a man called Light of the Sun?
José did not know, but when asked, the ancient man spoke.
For many reasons, Those Above put the thought of the Sun in the
heart of the mother of Tahn-té. Sunlight he was to Povi-whahyou shall
A little boy was carrying on his head a flat basket or tray of
reeds, and on it were rolls of bread, and small melons for the feast;
at a few words he set down the tray, and darted around a cornerit was
a day big in history for him. He was doing the work of his sister who
had been sent to the hillsbut for this day the work of a girl was
great workit took him so close to the men of iron that his hand could
have touched one of themif his courage had not failed!
He came back with a jar of shining black pottery, and placed it
beside the old man, who thrust his hand within and drew out a handful
of peaches, dried in the summer sun of a year before.
This fruit is gathered with prayer each year from the first tree
planted by the Summer People in this land, he said. To Tahn-té was
given by the gods, the trees, and the seeds of the trees. Since the
time when Po-se-yemo walked on earth, and brought seeds, no new seeds
have been born from blossoms here in the land of Te-hua people. When
the gods send a man, they also send a Sign. The sign of Tahn-té was the
Flute of the Gods, the trees of this fruit, and another fruit;also a
grain of which food is made. It is a good grain. For all of this we
make prayers each year when the fruit is gathered, and when the grain
is planted, and for all of this we see why the name of the Sun has been
given to Tahn-té. The old men of the Hopi desert say he was born of the
falling rain and the light of the moon. We do not know, but his mother
knew, and she is wiseand she named him as a child of the Sky would be
The Castilians listened with little enough belief in the god-given
Cacique. The peaches and the grain had, without doubt, been brought by
Coronado. Juan Gonzalvo said as much, and Yahn told it eagerly to the
council, but the old men shook their heads.
The trees were a year old from the seed when Tahn-té carried them on
his back from the heart of the desert, and Capitan Coronado had not yet
seen the villages of the P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé, called by him the Rio Grande.
Then: said Padre Vicenteit is because he found new seeds that
he is above the cares of the daily life? I can bring many strange seeds
from the gardens of Europe or Africa. For that would I be a son of the
moon and the stars?
May be so, said the old man,and maybe so the gods would not
need a son on that day. He inhaled the fragrant smoke and went on to
make clear to these people of outlands some little gleam of the
mysteries circling holy things,You must be born in a good yearand
a good time in that yearthe trail of the visitors of the sky must be
The trail of the visitors in the sky? The Padre looked with
quickness into the bronze faces.
He means the planetsthe wandering stars, said Chico. The
Mexican tribes also watch them when a child is born. A god lives in
each oneso they think!
Necromantic fancies devised by the Evil one! stated the priest and
crossed himself to ostracise such powers of the demon from the circle.
The rest devoutedly imitated him, and the Te-hua men watched with
interest the men of iron making their medicine against the celestial
bodies on the descending trail.That slight automatic gesture in
unison proved even a sort of bond between them and the dusky old
orator;he could plainly see that the signs in the heavens were
earnestly regarded by the white strangers. That showed they were wise
to read the true things; for that he could tell them more.
The maid who was mother to Tahn-té is named The Woman of the
Twilight. When little, the spirit of her broke in twoand she went
into the Land of Twilight. Her parents could not believe that she would
no more walk on the earth. They went to the Po-Ahtunthey sealed her
to that orderso it was, and the medicine prayer of the Po-Ahtun
brought back the breath to her. But when a spirit goes to the Land of
the Twilight, it does not come back at oncenot all at once! The gods
are strong and can do things. When they want to take her again and
teach her hidden thingsthey take her! One Star visitor in the sky
took her when she became woman, and hid her behind all the hills until
her child moved,then, in the far desert where the Sun Father is the
great god, there in that place she was laid on the sands beside a well
that the child be earth child like other men. That is how it was, and
she knows why the earth child was called the child of the Great Star,
and of the Sky.
Yahn listened eagerlyand with sulky frownNeither she or Ka-yemo
had ever before heard this account of the Woman of the Twilight and her
son. The magic of it made her feel sullenly helpless. This then was the
reason why no face smiled in scorn when Tahn-té would come sometimes
from mesa, or cañon, bearing his mother in his arms as one would bear a
little child:all the elders knew she had been seeking the trail to
the Land of Twilight where long ago she had found a god, and lost
And this woman tells to wise men a fable like thisand is given
their faith? asked Padre Vicente, while Juan Gonzalvo muttered that
the savages had stolen the truth of the Mother of God, and should be
made pay dear in good time, for the sacrilege!
The mouth of the woman was sealed, stated the narrator. But the
wise men of the desert sent men to tell the Te-hua people of the magic
of the woman. And the years and the work of her son made good the
stories of the Hopi men.
We have here no mere juggling pretender, remarked Padre
Vicentea Cacique whose mother establishes family connection with the
stars in the sky, could in truth have papal power among these heathen!
With all their wise looks, and careful speech, these old men are not
the influence we have to win for progress in this land:this man who
would place the false gods above the true God is the man to be won.
Or to be conquered! said Juan Gonzalvo whose wonder was that the
priest had patience with their maudlin tales of village officers, or
brats born of magic and the moon,If I might speakEminence?
These people have sent their women away, and have told your
reverence only of their own things of pride. Of their real king they
give us no sight. In the New Spain of the South these under-men would
be given few presents of value, and not so much of your gracious time.
He spoke rapidly with a wary eye on the interpreters,only José
could follow the swifter speech.
Capitan Gonzalvo gives the word of a soldier, Padre, remarked Don
Ruy, and it may be a true word. Why not give the gifts, and let us see
somewhat of the feast from which we have won these dignitaries?
Padre Vicente was agreed, and spoke a few words to José who departed
with his wife for the camp. The priest gave tobacco, and while the old
men smoked the new medicine, he talked to Ka-yemo of the one religion,
and the one God, and that the great new god gave the command to his
priests to go into the far lands and carry the light of the faith to
his children who live in darkness.
Ka-yemo interpreted, and the old men nodded their heads as if to say
that was all goodbut it was not told for the first time, and Don Ruy
could have sworn he saw the governor of Kah-po smile at another manas
one who would question whether they should be considered as children.
Don Ruy did not know that one man of Kah-po had been among the two
hundred human torches making the night bright at Tiguex by order of
advocates of that same new and holy god.
The summers and winters since that time had not made it all
forgotten in the land of the great river. To the Indian mind in
general, it was plain to be seen that the strong god of the men of iron
required that many victims be made sacrifice at one time. The gods of
the Te-hua people asked but one sacrifice at one time, and the knife of
flint was very sharp, and found quickly the heart, and the spirit self
was sent quickly and with prayers over the trail of the dusk to the
Light beyond the light.
Ka-yemo alone seemed enchained by the words of the priest, as he
heard again the words and phrases belonging to that time of which he
still dreamed in the night, and awoke startled and alert.
Yahn watched him with a little frown. She did not know that the
strongest power ever impressed on his boyish mind, had been the power
of the white conquerors. He had through the years grown away from its
influence, but at sight of the robe, and the cord, and the shiny black
beads, it all came back. He felt the honor of the fact that the priest
of that strong god was looking at, and talking only to him:Ka-yemo!
His pride made his eyes kindle and he was very handsome. Don Ruy
wondered why Yahn, his own official interpreter, looked at him sideways
José returned with his hands full of the gifts for which he had been
sent. There was one for each of the men in the group, and the people of
the village pressed close around the door to see them given away.
Then Padre Vicente stood up and offered to the governor of Povi-whah
a rosary like his own, but of brown beads.
They tell me that to you requests are made as prayers are made, and
that from you they are given again to the Cacique for decision. We
present our request and our gift. Tell him the gift is one kings have
been graciously pleased to wear, and that our request is that he meet
us at an early hour, that we may speak in kindness of many things.
Tahn-téyou call Caciqueis not yet speaking with people out of
his order, said Phen-tza, the governor. But this can go, and the
message can go, and on another day Tahn-té may ask you to go in his
Then there were clasping of hands, and friendly smiles and the
visitors were free to go or wander about the village, and watch the
greetings of José and the comrades of his boyhood. His wife Ysobel was
caressed and admired by the ancient women of the tribe, and a garland
of flowers placed on her head. At sun rise in the morning she was to
present herself at the door of her new relatives for the baptism of
adoption, and then she would be given also a Te-hua name.
Padre Vicente and the Castilians were offered an empty abode outside
the wall. Despite the scowls of the Ka-yemo Yahn delighted to linger
close as might be to Juan Gonzalvo while they all walked to inspect it.
Then the Castilian camp with its wondrous animals was to be visited by
the governor and other Te-hua men, and great good feeling prevailed.
The wise ecclesiastical head of the cavalcade had asked nothing but
gracious thoughts, and the gifts he brought had been good gifts.
Don Ruy with the secretary, let who might judge of the new camp,
while he wandered in some surprise past the door ways decked with feast
day garlandsand above certain ones were pendent bits of turquoise as
if for ceremonial marking of some order or some clan, and instead of
the blanket or arras there were long reeds strung, and at the end of
each string a beaten twist of copper twinkling like bells when stirred
by any one entering or leaving the dwelling.
The dwelling of the dove cotes had a tiny inside verandah, and one
of the curious robes woven of twisted rabbit skins was laid over a
beam. Great meal jars stood along the wall, and beside them were four
melons, four full grained heads of the bearded wheat, also four peaches
and four pears. They were arranged on a great tray of woven reeds, and
placed without the doorway to the right. The careful arrangement gave
all significance of an offering of the first fruits on an alter. All
the other homes had feasting and laughter and the sound of gaity and
much life; at every other door many smiling faces of old women and
children met them, and the rolls of feast bread were offered, or bowls
of cooked corn. But here all was silence, only the doves fluttering
above gave life to the place. The reeds at the entrance hung straight
and still. This entrance faced the south, but there was another towards
the east and the river. The mysterious island of stone called the Mesa
of the Hearts, loomed dark across the water and a beaten path led from
that east door to the water's edge. Don Ruy could see from the bank
that a canoe was there made from a log hollowed by careful burnings.
The silent corner where the doves fluttered, held his attention and
he returned to it. Chico it was who stepped close to the rabbit skin
robe, and saw beside the melons, the ears of wheat, and the yet green,
unripe fruit of the pears and the peaches.
The dried peaches in the jar shown them by the old Te-hua man had
not given either of them a second thought, but the two fruits grown
from trees, and the bearded wheat of the Mediterranean arranged in the
basket with the care given a sacred offering, was a different matter.
Don Ruy noted the staring eyes and parted lips of the boy, and silently
stepped nearer at a gesture.
Then they stared in each others eyes as men who look on death
unexpected, or witchcraftor some of the experiences of this life for
which there are no words, and Don Ruy laid his hand on the shoulder of
the lad, and drew him in silence out of the shadow of the roofed
It is good to be where the bright sun shows things as they are, he
decided. The shadows and silence of that place tied the tongue. How
feel you now, Lad, as to the story of Don Teo the Greek and the seeds
that were given to the maid as sacred medicine?
Butthe man diedso says the padreand the woman
Then they fell silent and each was thinking back over the trails of
the desert, and their company of thirty menand the care needed to
find the way alive with all the help of provisions and of beasts.
The woman had a greater journey and a more troublous one,said
Don Ruy. These are clearly the fruits of Spanish gardens, but in some
other way have they reached this land. It was made plain that the place
of the palms where he left her was unknown leagues towards the western
sea, and that the maid could only die in the desert.
He crossed this river in his travels before he saw the Indian maid
of medicine charms, reminded the secretary. Do you not recall the
journeys with the war people? He may have bestowed upon others the
seeds of other lands.
Don Ruy drew a long breath, and then laughed.
By our Lady!You bring joy with that thought! he said
heartily.I made sure the Devil was alive and was working ahead on
our trail when my eyes were startled by the offering of fruit and
grain! You looked as if it might be your own hair was rising to stand
alone! We are but children in the dark, Chico, and there come times
when we have fear. But your thought is the right thought, lad. Of a
certainty he crossed this country; that there is no record is not so
strange a thinghe was only another brown savage among many!
They spoke together of the strangeness of their findings in the
villageand its exceeding good arrangement with ladders to draw above
in case of attack, and only one housethat of the doves and the
fruitinto which one could walk from the court. All the others were as
in the other villagesterraces, and the first terrace had doors only
in the roof so that a blank adobe wall faced the court and the curious.
Each great house with rooms by the score, and its height from two to
five stories, was the home of many, and a fort in case of need.
While they commented on these things, two men came running swiftly
through the gate from the Castilian camp. One was José, and it was
Po-tzah who ran beside him. They went straight to the house of the dove
cote, and José waited without while, after a few eager hurried words,
the other slipped behind the twinkling arras of river reeds and shells.
What now? asked Don Ruy coming up, and José showed fear at first
and then spoke.
It is your own horse to which it has happened, Excellency, he
said. The padre say it is not the fault of any one, for the bush is
high there, and who could see through them? But it is the snakethe
one you say has the castanets in the tail, and it has put the poison in
the foot of your horse!
Don Ruy swore an oath that was half a prayer, and the pert secretary
did the first thing that was familiar since he was seen with the
companyhe laid his hand on Don Ruy's shoulder and felt that the horse
lost was as a brother lost, and Chico had a fancy of his own to caress
it, and even burnish the silver of his bridle.
Andwhy come you here to this house?
Here is the one man who knows the ways of the snakeif he is not
in prayer they think he may comebut not any man can know what the
Po-Ahtun-ho may doand the horse beautiful may die on our first day in
But the reeds with their copper and shell tassels tinkled, and Don
Ruy looked to see the old medicine man of spells and charms come forth.
He saw a man young as himself and more tall. Almost naked he was,
with only the white banda in which was a blue bird's featherthe
girdle and moccasins. One glance he gave Don Ruy and his companion,
bent his head ever so little in acknowledgement of their presence, and
then ran beside his friend Po-tzah with the easy stride of the trained
runner. Whatever his knowledge of the snake might be, he waited for no
words, but moved quickly.
Many men were about the animal and Don Diego had bound tightly a
cord of rawhide about the knee, and water was being poured on the foot.
But Te-hua and Castilian alike stood aside as the swift nude figure
came among themand without word or question went straight to the hurt
The other natives had approached the four-footed creatures with a
certain curiosityif not awe, and there had been more than a little
scattering of prayer meal when the mules were hobbled. The braying of
one of them had caused terror in the hearts of the older men.
But this man took no heed of the groups of men or of animals. He led
the injured steed out of the pool of water, and with a knife of the
black flint cut the bandageto the extreme distaste of Don Diego, who
had been chief surgeon.
Then, still without words to the people, he did a strange thing, for
he knelt there on the ground and leaned his shoulder against the leg of
the horse, and slipped slowly, slowly down until his cheek touched the
pastern, and his strong slender hands slid downward again and again
over the leg of the animal while his lips moved as though in whispered
speech to the ground itself.
No man spoke for a long time, but some of the elder men cast prayer
meal that it fell on the kneeling savage and on the horse, and the
animal reached down and rubbed its nose on his shoulder as if he had
been its well known and long belovéd master.
Curious were all the Castilians, but Juan Gonzalvo, who had spent
time in speech with Yahn Tsyn-deh, was more than curious. Like a tiger
cat above its prey he stood frowning at the silent medicine of the
naked worker in devilish arts.
Then the kneeling man arose and spoke in Castilian.
It is good, he said. It is done, but he did not lift his eyes
from the ground. The task of some prayer was yet unfinishedand he
turned again towards his home and walked swiftly and the horse followed
him until Juan Gonzalvo caught it and gave careful heed to the stricken
foot, and could see no sign where the swelling should be.
It is big medicine, said the Te-hua men. Now our brothers, the
strangers have seen that our god is strong and our men to work are
It is sorcery of the devil, said Juan Gonzalvo. Some medicine he
had in his handssome medicine we could not see. No physician in all
Europe has skill to cure by such magic. Is it like that a naked savage
should know more than the learned professors?
No:it is not to be believed, assented Don Ruybut thanks to
the Saints it is true for all that!and that silent youth is after all
Tahn-té the Cacique!
No said Padre Vicente with decisionthe sooner that office is
no longer his the sooner do we arrive at that which brought us here.
That is Tahn-té the worker in accursed red magicTahn-té the
CHAPTER XIII. A PAGAN PRIEST IN
Little else was spoken of in the camp of the Castilians, but the
witchcraft of the noble steed. The more pious picketed their own
animals at a respectful distance from the one healed by sorcery.
Don Diego took the healing as a sign that the Evil One walked openly
between the rows of the adobe dwellings, and that the field camp was a
safer haven than a house whose every corner was, without doubt, a
matter of unsanctified prayer in the building.
Others there were who had grown weary of drenchings of summer rains,
and Yahn, hearing their arguments, warned them that old Khen-yah the
rain priest was making medicine for more corn rainsthey could easily
hear his tombé if they but hearkened.
That we can easily do without any strain to our ears, agreed Don
Ruybut what of that? Is a piece of hide tied around a hollow log to
serve as thunder from which the rain must come, whether or no?
The girl did not grasp his raillery and liked it little. When Don
Ruy spoke to heror spoke of her, she felt she was being laughed at.
Only her determination to be in some way a power through these strange
people, kept her from betraying her anger.
The rain comes, she stated coldly. The drum of Khen-yah never
rests in quiet until it does come. One night and one day he has made
medicinesoon it must come.
Then I cast my vote for the cover of a solid roof, gentlemen,
decided Don Ruy. I've had one taste of their red magicit was speedy
and effectual. If the old magician should decide to send us a flood,
the sorcery would not be so much to my liking.
After some further discourse all agreed to accept the offered
dwelling, though Don Diego warned Don Ruy it was unwise to speak in so
light a manner of the power of the Evil One when it was rampant in the
land. Already he had taken up the valiant battle for converts. His
success was gratifying in that one woman had without understanding, yet
with pleasurable smiles listened to the credo, and had accepted with
equal gratification a string of blue beads of glass, and a rosary.It
was Säh-pah. She had found courage to slip alone into the camp while
Yahn talked in the village. After the little matter of the beads she at
once became as a shadow to Don Diego, who had great confidence of
leading her away from her false gods. When he stated his pious hope to
the official interpreter of Don Ruy, that damsel seemed little gifted
with the devout apprehension or sisterly affection so much to be
desired in females. She was angry because of the blue beads, and later,
when the sulkiness had departed enough that her tongue found again its
right usage, she stated that the pious Don Diego would find little
trouble in leading Säh-pah to any place he chosenor would any other
man who wanted a convert!
Whereupon the eager and pious gentleman gave thankslet the others
discuss civil or ecclesiastical rule among the savage peopleor even
risk their souls in dealings with sorcerers, but he had made the only
convert on this first day, and thus it was recorded by the secretary on
the first page of the Relaciones pertaining to the chapters of
Povi-whah, in that part of the Province of New Spain in the Indian
Island which is refreshed by the majestical stream called in the savage
language P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé, but the same called by the Castilians the Rio
Bravo and the Rio Grande del Norte.
Yahn Tsyn-deh took with all seriousness her office as an adjunct of
the Castilian camp, and Ka-yemo who also gave help in the tradings for
corn, and for wood, and the various needs of the camp, found her there
always except when she slept, and he went back and forth like a
tethered beast, and dared not command her. He had not thought about her
except to laugh in anger ever since a dawn when he had walked out of
her dwelling because of her witch's temper and her tongue of a
fiend:and that day he had gone straight as the ravens fly, to the
house of his oldest relative, and told him he wished to be married as
early as might be to Koh-pé, the daughter of Tsa-fah. Then to the
wilderness he had gone hunting, leaving all of trouble behind him while
the two clans made the marriage.When he came back again to his people
all was decidedand he laughed loud in the face of Yahnand passed
her by, and carried fresh killed rabbits to the door of Koh-pé.
That was how it had ended between them. Not once afterwards had he
spoken to her until he met her as she walked triumphant and very proud
beside the Castilians at the gateway. Triumphant and very proud did she
continue to walk, and insolent were her eyes when she let them rest on
the husband of Koh-pé. In vain he talked to the governor that she might
be banished with the other women who were young. Ka-yemo found himself
laughed at by the Te-hua men;was he angry because the Castilian
capitan of war could give the girl beads of red shell and bracelets of
white metalwhile heKa-yemohad not given her even meat from the
hunt all those summers and winters when she had been his love?
So the men laughedand told him each new gift given to the one
woman who knew Castilian wordsand he laughed also as one does who
cares little, but in his heart was growing rage such as he had never
known could be in him. The man who was sentinel of Povi-whah while the
stars shone was visited in the night by Ka-yemo the chief of war, and
the governor Phen-tsa was well pleased when he heard it. To be married
had, he thought, made a stronger man of Ka-yemo, for never before had
he watched with the sentinel through the night, except the nights of
the young moon when it was part of his work to watch, and to make
reports of the things in the sky to the Po-Ahtun-ho.
And no one guessed that while his visit to the sentinel on the
highest terrace had been briefhis walks past the dwelling of Yahn
Tsyn-deh had been many, and first and last had he halted and lay flat
on the roof and put his soul into his ears to know that she slept
Then, angry in his heart with everybodyhe went to the kiva of his
clan where all the boys and the men sleptand the sun was high and
even the youngest boy had gone out to eat before he wakened and looked
on the world. When he did so he found that many visitors were abroad.
From Po-ho-géand Oj-keand Na-im-be and even far Ui-la-ua were men
sent by council as if to a feast. The presence of all these men meant
that they burned to know why the men of iron had come to the North.
They all spoke first with the governor, as was courtesy, and then on
his good report of their good intentthey all approached the door of
the Castilians, where smiles and greetings were exchanged, and those
who breathed on the hand of the adventurers were asked also to kiss the
silver figure on the cross of the padre, which they did with all
courtesy since their hosts required it, and then with smoke to the
pagan gods of the four ways, they all entered into converse of great
intent, though the meanings at times were not so clearly understood
each by the other, for all the help of José and of Yahn.
To tell an Indian that the Sacred Four Ways means not anything to
the greatest of all gods, is a thing of confusion, more especially so
when told that a sacred three is the real combination by which entrance
to the paradise of an after life is made beyond all question a thing of
To the adventurer of the 16th century dire mishaps were to be
expected if the Faith was not thus clearly borne, and set plainly
before the heathen. Let him reject it if he choose, and die the
absolute death of body and soul for such rejection,let the search for
gold or jewel be postponed as may be, but the first duty under
authority civil or ecclesiastic must be the duty to the faith in the
One God and Him crucified:it opened the portal in a god-fearing,
orthodox manner to any traffic deemed of advantage to the adventurers
who bore the faith, and the cross;on the hilts of swords!
The visitors listened with ceremonial courtesy to the words of the
padreand heard of the glories of the great Castilian king, the chosen
of Godthe pure and undefiled, and, of the still greater monarch above
the skies, served by this king and by all righteous people to all ends
of the earth.
In reply to which godly disquisition, the spokesman of Na-im-be and
Te-tzo-ge invited the followers of the True God to a feast where only
strong men could come. The women of the dance in that feast were strong
and were young. Four days would the dance and the feast last. The padre
who spoke for the high god could choose which of his men could enter
the dance for that time.
The padre heard without special wonder, he had known many primitive
people; but Don Diego was lost in amaze as the details were spelled
clearly for his understanding.
It is worship of Pan driven out of Greek temples to find lodging in
this wilderness! and he crossed himself with persistence and energy,
and marvelled at the quiet of Padre Vicente. Or, it is the ancient
devils of Babylon to which these heathen give worshipSaint Dominec
hear them! They would instruct their very gods in creation!Blasphemy
most damnable!Blasphemy against the Ghost!
Whereupon he went in search of his secretary to make record of the
abomination, and found that youth witnessing the pagan baptism by which
Ysobel was made a daughter of her husband's claneach way he turned he
found primitive rites bewildering and endless! All work done was done
in prayer to their false gods. From the blessing of the seed corn laid
away in the husk, until the time when it was put in the earth,and the
first ear ready for the roasting fireat each and every stage he was
told of special ceremonies required,and as with the corn, so with the
human plantat each distinctive stage in the growth of a man or woman
child, open ceremonial thanks was given to their deities whose names
were too depraved for any Christian man to remember.
Where the pious Señor Brancedori had expected a virgin field for a
wondrous mission, he found an ancient province with ceremonies
complicated as any of ancient Hebrew or Greek tradition. Each little
toddler of the clan put forth a baby hand to touch the head of Ysobel
in sign of welcome, and one woman came whose brow was marked with piñon
gumand he was told that the sign was that of maternity;all who were
to be mothers must wear a prayer symbol to the Maiden Mother of the god
who was born of a dream in the shadow of the piñon tree!
Do I myself dream while wide awake, or do I hear this thing? he
demanded of José, in sore distress to divide the false from the true,
and impress the last on those well satisfied minds. Is it miracles as
well as sorcery their misled magicians make jugglery of? When did this
thing happen of which the shameless wenches parade the symbol?
Yahn asked of an aged Te-hua man the question, and the man squatted
in the sun and began ceremoniously:
Han-na-di Set-en-dah-nh! It was in the ancient day when the
people yet abode in the cliff dwellings of the high land. It was the
time of the year when the stars danced for the snow, and as the time of
the Maid-Mother came close, the sun hid his face a little more each
day, and the longest night of all the nights in the year was the time
of that birth of the god Po-se-yemo. The sun went away on the south
trail and would not look on the earth until the god-child was born, for
the Maid-Mother was much troubled, and the sun was sad because of her
trouble. That is how it was, and each year the people remember that
time, and make ready for the twilight trail if the god in the sun
should not come again from the south,but each time the sun god
listens to the prayers and comes back and all are very glad.
Maestro Diego seated himself in a disconsolate mood at this artifice
of Satan thus to engraft heathen rubbish on the childish minds of the
natives:for that they did lean on that faith the mark of the piñon
symbol was a witness before his eyes! It was a thing to dishearten even
a true believer, and he feared much that Padre Vicente passed over many
signs of the devil worship each hournot realizing that it must be dug
out, root and branch, ere the planting of the cross would mean aught
but the Ways of the Four Winds to these brown builders of stone and
mortar, and weavers of many clothes!
Juan Gonzalvo found him there disconsolate.
Not any wondrous thing of the Blessed Twelve can you recite to the
animals and win even a surprise, he lamented to this pious comrade in
the cause.To tell them that the eye of their creator watches them
from the skies is to bring only a retort that the great god has as many
eyes as the starsand sees through all of them at once! Their
deceitful visions are such that even the miracles make naught of wonder
in their darkened souls. They are not of doubting minds like to Thomas
the tardy!they accept all the records of the Faith as they would
accept a good dinnerand then tell you that the fair victuals in the
pot had been cooked by themselves time out of mind in a different, and
more seasonable way! Everything but Satan himself do they believe, him
they deny previous acquaintance with until told by me of his
reality!but in secret there is not any doubt that they do give him
worship since he of course inspires their devilish heresies. Padre
Vicente has the work of a saint facing him in this place, since only a
miracle can make them Christian men!
Gonzalvo was of the opinion that the good padre was disturbed over
temporal things requiring prayer and thought. Between their visitors of
the morning, discourse had been made of the fruitless quest of Capitan
Coronado for the smile of the sun which became yellow metal in the
earth. It was secret speech, for neither of the interpreters had
disclosed it. The quick ear of Padre Vicente had caught the meaning.
Also the visitors from other villages were plainly here to see what
action the Po-Ahtun-ho of Povi-whah was to take, and there were some
who deemed him too youthful to be a leaderwhich the padre gave
agreement to. Also it was clear to his reverence that the youthful
magician was the guardian of the gold, and must in some way be bought
While they talked, and weighed as might be the complications to be
met, a messenger from the governor came to them, and touched them with
a slender wand of office that they follow him. As they did so, José
came to them, and said that at last it was plain the Cacique meant to
see both red and white visitors in the kiva of the Po-Ahtun. No secret
things could be spoken to him,all must hear the talk with the
strangers! José was to go, and Ka-yemo the war chief, every one who
knew both Te-hua and Castilian wordsevery one was to go but the
damsel Yahn Tsyn-deh.
The governor and the Ka-yemo appeared dressed in their most gorgeous
robes of fur, feathers, and painted skins. Also Ka-yemo wore much of
the wealth of his wife in shell beads about his neck.
Taking a timely hint, Don Ruy appeared in unusual magnificence. He
carried the standard of Spain and walked beside the padre who bore the
cross. Behind them came Chico the secretary bearing the embroidered
vest and cap of Don Diego with which they made him grand when they
discovered him on the way.
Half the Castilians marched in order in the rear and formed for
guard at a respectful distance under Capitan Gonzalvo. Seeing that all
was well, he mounted the steps to the roof, and was the last to descend
into the sanctuary.
One Te-hua sentinel stood on guard for his people at the place of
council, and the serene life of the village went on as if no mail clad
men were within its walls, only the children who were small, and the
boys who were curious, loitered close and wondered of what the men of
the beards wove their armor, for the water bottles woven of reeds and
plastered with gum of the piñon had that same glazed surface. Strange
things must grow where these men grew!
In the circle of the council home it was an impressive line of men
who faced each other in silence. Chico half in earnest, announced in a
whisper to Don Ruy that the ladder of the entrance would be his choice
of a seat;so as to be nearest the outside world in case of trouble.
Shadowy it was in the great room where only the way of the sky gave
light, and the only seat was that built around the walland to Don Ruy
was like to pictures of the old Roman ruins. The walls were white, and
there were lines and strange symbols in pale green, and in yellow:the
colors of the Summer People. An altar of stone was directly under the
ladder, and the light from above fell on the terraced back of
ittypifying the world of valley, and mesa, and highest level. A
ceremonial bowl of red ware echoed this form on its four terraced
sides. It held white and yellow pollen, and the sacred corn of four
colors formed a cross with the bowl as a center;all this was placed
before the statue of a seated god carved from red stone. The arms were
folded and the pose was serenewaiting! But as fragrant bark was
tossed on the sacred fire below him,and a flame awoke for a moment,
the eyes reflected the light in a startling wayas though alive! Then
the strangers saw that the eyes were of iridescent shell set in the
carven stone,and more strange than all was the fact that the god of
the altar was a weeping god, and the tear under each eye was also of
the strange shell mosaic. It was the Earth-Born God who had been driven
out by the proud hearts of the Lost Others. Weeping, he waited the Sign
in the Sky by which he was to return. His name meant Dew of Heavenand
the Dew and the Sun must work together for the best life of growing
things, and of human things.
Among all the swart elderly faces it was an easy matter to pick the
man who had given back to him the steed. The eyes of Don Ruy sought him
eagerly, and more than ever wondered at the youth of him, and the
countenance fairer than many a Castilian of their land. The other
glimpses of him had been brief, and when kneeling by the horse, his
face had been all but hidden.
He wore no ceremonial festive garb as did the others. The white robe
of deerskin was folded about him, and he gave no heed to the different
visitors who entered. His eyes were on the floor as though in
meditation, and in silence he accepted the sacred smoke, and then
glanced towards the place where the governor sat always when in
council. After that one little look there was no longer silence. The
padre, watching the impassive young face, observed that one glance was
all that was required of command. And the governor of Povi-whah arose
He told to the brothers and neighbors of the coming, and the kindly
coming, of the Castilians to bring back in safety one Te-hua man who
had been carried far south as a slave. The man of the grey robe was the
priest of the Castilian god, and that god had sent him to say that all
men must be brothers, with the god in the sky for a father. These new
brothers brought good gifts and tokens from their king. The king said
his children would also help fight the wild Apache and Navahu and Yutah
in the day when they came to kill and take captives.
Smiles went over many faces in the circle. Nods of approval gave
good hope for the Castilian cause.
Then the governor of Kah-po arose.
This coming of the strange brothers was good, he agreed. It was much
for nothing. How many fields for corn would the Castilian brothers ask
for such help in battle?
The padre lifted the cross, and stood up, and the Castilians knelt
on the stone floor with heads low bowed.
Of fields of mortal man we ask no more than the corn we eat he
saidbut the great god decreed that each soul for salvation must be
written by the priest in the great record. Baptism must they
accept,and new prayers to the true god must they learn. Out of the
far land had the true god made the trail that the faith be carried to
the Te-hua people. Under the cross he wished to give the sacrament of
The kneeling Castilians impressed the pagan men more than might have
been hoped. They were strongyet they were as bidden children under
that Symbol. It was big medicine! Ka-yemo found his own head bowed
lower and lowerthe spell of the older days was working!when he
lifted his eyes, it was to see the brief glance of Tahn-té rest on him.
He sat erect again as though a spoken command was in that look. All
this saw Don Ruy, and all this saw the padre, and his teeth locked
close under his beard.
Many were the exchange of thought over faiths old and faiths new in
the land, also of the ancient republics, the Pueblos, and the interest
of the majestic ruler who was king of Spain and the Indies was made
manifest by his subjects. Of many things did they speak until all the
old men had spoken, and it was plain to be seen that the Castilians
were not unwelcome. The winning courtesy of Don Ruy made many friends,
and the wise brain of the padre made no mistakes. Yet of the one
central cause of the quest not any one had spoken, and the silent
Cacique had only designated by a glance or a motion of the hand who was
to be the next spokesman. He was the youngest of all, and he waited to
Then, when the smoke had been long, and silence had been long,
Tahn-té the wearer of the white robe arose. For a space he stood with
folded arms wrapped in the mantle of high office, and quietly let his
gaze rest on one after another of those in the circle, halting last at
Ka-yemo whose glance fell under his ownand whose head bent as under
[Illustration: TAHN-TÉ STEPPED FORWARD Page 179]
Tahn-té smiled, but it was not a glad smilehe had seen that the
old magic of the gray robe was holding the war chief in thrall to the
Then Tahn-té stepped forward from the seat of counciland threw
aside the white robe, and slender and nude as the Indian gods are nude
but for the girdle, and the medicine pouch, he stood erect, looking for
the first time direct and steadily into the eyes of Padre Vicente. The
circle of the council room might have been an arena and only those two
facing each other and measuring each other.
While one might count ten he stood thus silent, and Don Ruy could
hear his own heart beat, and Chico clutched at the embroidered doublet
of Don Diego, and wished for the sound of any man's voice.
Then Tahn-té smiled as the eyes of Padre Vicente wavered, as
Ka-yemo's had waveredthe boy who had tamed serpents felt the strength
of the hills with him. Always he felt strong when he stood alone!
From the medicine pouch he took the gift of the rosary, and held it
aloft that all might see, and the silver Christ on it caught the light
from the opening in the roof, and swung and circled like a thing alive.
Señoreshe said in Spanish though slowly, as one little used to
the speechone of those among you has done me the honor to send me a
gift and a message. I was making prayers at that time,I have not been
free to return thanks until now in the council. I do so, and I speak in
Spain's words as this is not a Te-hua matter. It is a gift from a
Christian to a Pagan, and the message told me a king would be proud to
wear this strand of carven beads. Señores:I am no king, kings give
royal bounties to each giver of a gift. I stand naked that you see with
your own eyes how little I can accept,since in return I can give not
anything! Take back your kingly gift, Señor Priest:I cannot exchange
for it evena soul!
He stepped lightly as a panther of the hills across the open space
and let fall the beads into the hands of Padre Vicente.
That you may save it for the king, Señor! he said gently, and
bowing with more of grace than a courtier who does homage, he returned
to his place.
Padre Vicente turned gray white under the tan. Don Diego crossed
himself and muttered a prayer. Juan Gonzalvo uttered an expletive and
half smothered it in a gasp as the face of Tahn-té caught the light for
Blood of Christ!he whisperedlook at his eyeshis eyes!
Don Ruy caught the arm of the man and pressed it for warning to
silence. When he turned a more composed face to the circle, the
secretary was looking at him and there was something like terror in the
face of the lad. Each knew the thought of the othereach remembered
the words of Juan Gonzalvo at Ah-ko,also the basket of the sacred
first fruit at the portal under the dove cotealso the blue eyes of
the Greekblue with lashes so long and so heavy that black might be
their color. The pagan priest would need all the help of his gods if
Juan Gonzalvo caught this thought of theirs!
Padre Vicente recovered himself, kissed the crucifix and slipped it
within his robe.
The words of this man are the words Satan is clever in coining when
the false gods speak and reject the true, he stated quietly. My
children, we must not hold this against the weak human brother. The
devils of necromancy and sorcery are stubbornbut ere this the
stubbornness has been broken, and the saints have rejoiced! It is plain
that devilish arts could not prosper where the Image remainedhence it
has been given back! Make no mistake my children, where the word of
God, and the Image rest,there the pagan powers must ever grow weak.
Thanks be that this is so! Remember itall of you when you pray!
Don Diego started his prayers at once, while Juan Gonzalvo leaned
forward and stared at the pagan sorcerer like a hound held in leash.
The Te-hua men had heard only gentle tones from Tahn-té and thought
little of the strange change in the faces of the Castilians.Tahn-té
many times said surprising thingsthat was all!
But Tahn-té, listening closely to the priestly admonition as Padre
Vicente grasped all the meaning of it. He was being branded as a worker
of evil magica sorcererthe most difficult accusation of all
to fight down in an Indian mind!
He looked from face to face of the strangershalted at the
secretary, but seeing there either fear or sympathyhis eyes sought
further, and rested on Don Ruy.
Then he drew from his medicine pouch a second rosary, a beautifully
wrought thing of ebony and gold.
Señor he said,if I mistake not, it was your animal I helped but
yesterday. Is it not so?
It was in truthand much am I in your debt for that help! said
Ruy Sandoval with heartinessit is no fault of mine that I am late in
rendering thanks. You deny that you are kingyet I have known majesty
easier to approach!
And the animal is now well, and shows no marks of the Christian's
Sound:every inch of him!
Thanks that you say so, and that you do not fear to say so, said
Tahn-té. Since it is so, it makes clear that the printed word, or the
graven image is no weight to True Magic, even when taught us by pagan
gods! For ten years I have read, day time and night time, all there is
to read in the books of your church left by Padre Luisalso all the
other books left by the men of Señor Coronado's company, and by Padre
Juan Padilla who died at Ci-bo-la. Side by side I have studied the
wisdom of these books, and the wisdom of our ancient people of the
Te-hua, as told to me by the old men. One has never held me from seeing
clear that which I read in the other, and the graven image has only the
Meaning and the Power which each man gives to it! It was with me when I
took away the sting of the Brother Snake. Padre Luis was a man who
would have been a good man in any religionthat is why I kept this
symbol of himnot for the crucified god on it! But for the sake of the
god, is it sacred to you because your heart tells you to think that
way. It is right to be what a man's heart tells him to be. I give you
the prayer beads. I give it to you because your horse helped me to show
your people that the pagan gods are strong, if the heart of the man is
In the Relaciones Don Diego wrote thatThe horrification of that
moment was a time men might live through but could not write of.For
myself I know well that only the invisible army of the angels kept the
beams of the roof from crushing us, as well as the poor pagans, who sat
themselves still in a circle with pleasant countenances!
Ruy Sandoval knew courage of any kind when he saw it, and he met
Tahn-té midway of the council and accepted the rosary of beauty from
My thanks to you, Señor Cacique, he saidthe more so for the
care given this relic. The Fray Luis de Escalona was known of my
motheralso was known the lady from whom this went to his hand. A
goldsmith of note fashioned it, and its history began in a
palace;strange that its end should be found here in the desert of the
The end has perhaps not yet been found, Señor,said the
Indian,thanks that you accept it.
Then he spoke in Te-hua to the people as if every personal incident
with the Castilians was forever closed.
You have listened to fair words from these menand to sweet words
of brother and brother. I have waited until all of you spoke that I
might know your hearts. You are proud that they come over all the
deserts and seek you for friends. Have you asked them why it is so?
No one had asked why all the other tribes were left behind, and why
the strangers had come to camp at the Rio Grande del Norte.
We are good people, stated one man, and the others thought that
was so, and a fair enough reason.
Tahn-té listened, and then spoke to the Castilians.
You have come far, Señores, and my people have not yet heard the
true reason of the honor you pay them. The priest always goesand the
tale told is that it is for souls(Father Luis truly did believe it
was for souls!) But your books tell plainly one thing, and the
Christian men I knew taught by their lives the same thing, and it was
this:For gold, for precious stones,or for womenare the real
things which your kings send out companies of men in search of. Women
you could find without crossing the desert. This Te-hua man who was
first captive, and then slave, would have come in gladness to his
people if let go free, yet for five summers and winters did the
Castilian priest hold him servant and at last comes with him to his
home. Is this because of love? His reverence, the padre, is wise in
much with men,but great love is not his; I cannot see him starving in
a cave, and blessing his tormentors as did Fray Luis. So, Señores, the
reason must be made more clear. Señor Coronado sought goldand full
freedom was given him to find goldif he could! Why is your desire to
fight for us against the Apache and the Yutahand what is the thing
you ask in exchange? Not yet have we had any plain word as from your
Don Ruy smiled at his logic. Here was no untutored savage such as
they had hoped to buy with glass beadsor perhaps a mule the worse for
the journey! However it ended, he was getting more of adventure than if
he had built a ship to sail the coasts!
Games have been won by Truth ere now even though Truth be not
popular, he said to the padre.
It is not fitting that his Reverence should make reply,put in
Don Diego with much anger. Holy Church is insulted in his person. If
this were but Madrid
To wish for Paradise takes no more of breath,suggested Don Ruy,
and if it is beneath the dignity of any else, perhaps I could
speakor Chico here.
But the latter silently disclaimed gift of logic or oratory,in
fact the turn of things was not toward gaity. Don Diego was shocked at
everything said. Gonzalvo and the padre were plainly furious, yet bound
to silence. Only Don Ruy could still smile. To him it was a game good
as a bull fightand much more novel.
I shall speak, though it be a task I elsewhere evade, he said, and
looked at the Caciquea solitary nude bronze body amidst all the gay
trappings of the assembly. Señor, it is not women we seekthough a
few of us might make room for a pretty one! It is true that the men in
armor would help guard your fields, for they have heard that you are
the Children of the Sun as were certain people of the south. In the
south the sun sent a sign to his childrenit was gold set in the
ledges of the rock, or the gravel of the stream. If these people of the
Rio Grande del Norte can show these signs that they be given as proof
to our kingthen men in armor of steel will come many as bees on the
blossom and guard your land that your corn and your women be ever safe
from the wild Indians who make devastation.
Tahn-té repeated this to the Te-hua men without comment of his own,
and the dark faces were watched by the Castilians. They could see no
eagernessonly a little wonderand from some a shrug or
smile,butnot from any of them anger or fierce looks!
The padre drew a quiet breath of content and leaned backthe game
was at least even. The Navahu had been bad for two yearsvery bad! The
appeal of Don Ruy might prove the right thing, and the simple thing. It
would take time, for the Indian mind was slow;the quickness of the
naked sorcerer proved nothing otherwise, for every god-fearing man
could see that he was more than mortal in satanic strength. Against
this one man alone must the battle for the Trinity be fought!
Together did the Te-hua men of council speak muchand to Ka-yemo
they turned more than once and asked of the Tiguex days of the other
Christian men. But between the devil of the padre and his symbols and
the deep sea of the eyes of Tahn-té, not much was to be remembered by a
man, and he could only say that his stay in the south was not
longthat he was only a boy, and without the understanding of things
done and seen.
I have spoken,said Tahn-té when the older men turned to him for
council as to the wisdom of throwing away so powerful a friend as the
men of iron. Some were concerned lest they should turn away and offer
help to their enemies!
In the land of the Yutah the yellow stones were found in the
streamalso in the heart of the Navahu desert. No people used these
stones because they were sacred to the sun, and strong for prayer,
butit was well to think what would happen if the men of iron were
brothers to the Navahu!
Never more could we sleep under our own roofor plant corn in our
own fields, said the man from Te-tzo-ge,our daughters would be
wives to the Navahu and mothers of Navahu, and the grass would grow
over the walls we have builded.
They smoked in silence over this thought, for it was a dark
thoughtand it could come true!
We could kill these few, and then sleep sound for a long time with
no trouble thoughts, suggested one, a patriarch from Ui-la-ua.
That is true, said Tahn-tébut if we do that way we would be no
better than these men of iron. Their god talks two ways for killing,
and their men live two ways. Our god when he taught our fathers, gave
them but one law for killing, it was this:'Go not to battle. A time
will come for you to fight, and the stars in the sky will mark that
time. When the star of the ice land movesthen the battle time will be
here! Until then live as brothers and make housesuse the spear only
when the enemy comes to break your walls.' That is the world of the
Great Ruler. To kill these men only holds the matter for your sons to
decide some other year.
What then is to do? demanded a man of Naim-bethey do not break
the walls, but they are beside the gates.
When the Yutah and the Navahu traders come with skin robes, what is
it you do? asked Tahn-té.
We trade them our corn and our melons and we get the robes.
And,added Tahn-téthe governor of each village gives them room
outside the walls when the night comes, and the chief of war sees that
the gate is closed, and that a guard never goes down from the roof! If
these men are precious to you, make of them brothers, and send prayer
thoughts on their trail, but never forget that they are traders, and
never forget that the watchers must be on the roof so long as they stay
in your land! They come for that which they can carry away, and once
they have it you will be in their hearts only as the grass of last year
on the hillsa forgotten thing over which they ride to new harvests!
You talk as one who has eaten always from the same bowl with the
strangers, spoke one man from Oj-keyet you are young, and some of
these men are not young.
Becausesaid Tahn-té catching the implied criticism of his
youth and his prominencebecause in the talking paper which their god
made, there is records of all their men since ancient days. They have
never changed. Their gods tell them to go out and kill and take all
that which the enemy will not give,to take also the maids for
slaves,that is their book of laws from the Beginning. Since I was a
boy I have studied all these laws. It was my work. By the god a man has
in his heart we can know the man! Their god is a good god for traders,
and a strong god for war. But the watchers of the night must never
leave the gate unguarded when they camp under the walls.
All this Padre Vicente heard, all this and much of it was
comprehended by him. Plainly it was not well to seek converts when the
pernicious tongue of the Cacique could speak in their ears.
It may be that we abide many days beside you, he said gently and
with manner politicalso it may be that we visit the wise men of the
other villages, and take to them the good will of our king. The things
said to-day we will think of kindly until that time. And in the end you
will all learn of the true god, and will know that we have come to be
your brothers if you are the children of the true god.
Upon which he held up the cross, and bent his head as in prayer, and
went first up the ladder into the light. He was pale and the sweat
stood on his face. It had been a hard hour.
The others followed in due order, but Don Diego eyed the wizard
Cacique with a curiosity great as was his horror.
Alone he has studied books without a tutorsacred bookssince his
boyhood! he said to Don Ruythink of that, and of the grief we had
to persuade you to the reading of even the saintly lives! There is
devilish art in thisthe angels guard us from further sorcerywithout
a tutor! A savage magician to study strange tongues without a tutor! It
is nothing short of infernal!
But despite all opinion, Don Ruy waited and approached the man of
the white robe and the cruel logic.
You have been my friend,he saidwill you not eat with me and
talk in quiet of these matters?
You do not fear then to be marked as the comrade of a sorcerer?
asked Tahn-té. You must be a man of strength in your own land,
Excellency, to dare offend your priest by such offer. Is the Holy
Office no longer supreme in Spain?
How do youan Indianknow of the office, of the duties of the
Two years of my life I lived in the camp of Coronado. To listen was
part of my work. Strange and true tales were told in the long nights.
They are still with me.
Butyou will come?
Tahn-té looked at him and smiledbut the smile held no gladness.
My thanks to you, Señor. To you I give the prayer beadsit is good
to give them to you. More than that is not for me to do. My work takes
me from where the feast songs are sung.
Then he wrapped about him the white robe made of deer skins, and it
was as if he had enshrouded himself in silence not to be broken.
With reluctance Don Ruy went up the ladder and left him there. The
sweetness of the outer air was good after the reek of many smokes in
the kivaand the adventurer stood on the terrace and drew great
breaths and gazed across the tree fringed water, and thought it all a
goodly sight well worth the jealousy of the pagan guardian.
Don Diego had accompanied the padre to their own quarters, but Juan
Gonzalvo was across the court speaking quietly to Yahn Tsyn-deh whose
vanity required some soothing that she had been shut out by Tahn-té
from council and her coveted official tasks.
At the wall of the terrace waited the secretary in some hesitation,
yet striving for boyish courage to speak the things outside the duty of
Your pardon, Excellency, he said lowly. It is not for me to
advise, but I heard some words of the two over theremay I speak?
Yes, my lad, and quickly as may be. Their two heads are over close
together for discretion. I fear I shall have the task and expense of
providing a duenna for my beauteous interpreter.
Little enough of love there is with that dame! commented the
other,it is hateyour Excellencyand for you to say whether their
private hates may not be a breeder of woe for all of us.
You mean?and Don Ruy motioned with his head towards the kiva.
Yes:it is the Cacique. The woman for some cause is bitter with
hate against him.Juan Gonzalvo is eager to listenhe is restless as
quicksilver already with suspicion of strange things. In the far south
he and his comrades made little odds of riding rough shod over the
nativeshere he would do the same at a word from the padre.
And that word we can ill afford when we are but a handful! decided
Don Ruy,Hum!for instant annihilation of the proud pagan we can
depend on Gonzalvo, the padre, and Maestro Diego, if it came to a
showing of hands. There must be no showing:Capitan Gonzalvo!
Gonzalvo crossed quickly to him, while Yahn stood sulkily watching
the three with lazy, half closed eyes.
You forget none of the pagan Cacique's wordsor his defiance of
His defiance of Holy God!Excellency, answered Gonzalvo
hotly,and that is not allI have heard thingsI am putting them
togetherYou saw his eyesscarcely Indian eyes! You heard his
accursed logic of heresynot all Indianthat! Indians may think like
that in their accursed hearts, but they do not find the quick words to
argue with their superiors as does this insolent dog! Listen, Don Ruy,
for I have found the clueand he belongs to methat man!
To me! You have listened to mad things of his birth and of his
clanthe girl of the twilight and the seed bearerwell, what I tell
you seems even more mad, but it will be true if ever we get to the end
of itthat story of the thrice accursed Teo the Greekyou recall
it?he did without doubt cross this river and saw the Pueblos,this
sorcerer is of his spawnhe and his medicine mother come back in good
time with their Star God story, and the seedsthe identical seeds of
the padre's story! See you not what it all leads to? He has the blood
of the Greek in him:in any Christian land he has enough of it to be
broken on the wheel for his damnable heresies!
Butsince we are not in a Christian land, and doubtless shall
never see him in a Christian land?
That narrows it down to man and man, Excellency! His father made a
slave of minemy earliest oath on the Cross and on the Faith, was
vengeance against the Greek and all his blood! God of Heaven!to think
that of all the priests of Mexico you chose the one who knew that
story!and that of all the Indian tribes, we have come to the one
where the half Greek sorcerer rules like a Turk! Don Ruyyou have led
me north to vengeancemy sword and my arm are forever to your cause.
Many thanks to you, Capitan, but in this case it is not your sword
I shall commandexcept to remain in its scabbard!but your speech I
must silence while we give this matter of the Cacique a season of
prayer and due consideration.
ExcellencyI do not understand
You understand at least all that a soldier need, Capitan, said Don
Ruy with smiling ease. Your commission comes from me,and I did not
bestow it for the furtherance of private quarrels. Until I give the
word, your speech must not again mention the thing you suspect
Least of all must the padre or Señor Brancedori hear even a whisper
of it! Neither private vengeance, nor religious war must be pursued
while the company is on our present quest.
You would have me break my oath on the crosssave a heretic alive
who belongs in the deepest pit?Excellency!
Gonzalvo's voice had much of pleading. He felt himself a man cheated
of his righteous dues.
Your holy vengeance will keep until our quest is overand the more
time to prepare your soul, suggested Don Ruy. Thenif the gold is
found, and all goes well, you two can have open fight before we take
the road to the south. But until that lucky hour, the first and the
last word for you issilence!
Gonzalvo stood, staring in baffled rage. It was to the padre he
should have gone first. He had played the wrong card in the game. Was
Don Ruy bewitched as well as his horse?
At least I shall have a double debt to pay when my time does come,
Excellencyhe said at last. His pagan discourse warrants him a
Christian knife, and will insure him a corner of hell when I send him
At a respectful distance the secretary had seated himself, and
rested with brow on fists.
How now?asked Don Ruy. You seem little heartened by all this
brave talk of righteousness. Think you the monk's life of cloister and
garden looks fair after all?
In truth, Señor, if you have the desire to despatch a lackey to
your lady love across the sands, you may choose me if you like! agreed
the lad. I have neither heart nor stomach for this contest of souls or
no soulsthe pagan blood for my far away grandmother unfits me for
judgementthis heretic of the white robe is fighting the same fight of
my own peoplebut he fights it like one inspired by the nahual of a
god. Yetthere is only one finish to it! Bulls-hide shields and arrows
stand not long before steel coats and leaden bulletsI would be
elsewhere when the finish comes, Señor.
The nahual of a god! repeated Don Ruy, now what may that mean in
In Christian speech it does not existthe church has spilled much
blood that it be washed from the pagan mind, said the lad. But the
nahual is the guardian angel or guardian devil born to earth with each
manit is like his shadow, yet unseen, it is part of the Great Mystery
from the other side of the dawn and the other side of the dark. Once
open worship was given to the Nahual, and their priests were strong.
Now if the worshippers do meet, it is in secret. This man has truly
drawn to himself a strong nahual and it should give him much of the
magic which the good padre tells us is accursed.
For a boy you have a fund of strange lore! commented Don
Ruy,too much for good company in the night time,small wonder that
you range abroad and dream under the stars! The monks never taught you
all of it. Come:tell me truly of your escapadewhat sent you to our
The lad flushed, then shrugged his shoulders and regarded the toes
of his sandals.
Excellencyif you require that I tell youI am most certain never
to get the commission to carry message to lady of yours! he said so
whimsically that the excellency laughed and promised him constant
employment on such embassies if fortune found him ladies.
Then:I must speak myself a failure! A damsel did trust me with
some such message to her cavalier and seeing that the love was all on
one sideand that side her ownI dared not go back and face hernot
even her guerdon could I by any means steal from him; brief:I saved
my neck by following you and leaving the land!
Was she so high in power?
Yes:andno, Excellency. She was, with all her estates, so close
under the guard of the Viceroy that she could win all favors
How? queried Don Ruy with wrinkled browhis thoughts travelling
fast to the converse of the gentle maniac as told him by the padre.
Has the Viceroy then a collection of pretty birds in cagesand must
they sing only for the viceregal ear?
I cannot tell as to other cages, Señor, but this one was meant to
sing only for a viceregal relative:if she proved heretic, then the
convent waited and her lands were otherwise disposed of.
Hum! Then even in the provinces such rulings work as swiftly as at
court! Well, what outer charge was there?
The strongest possible charge, Excellency. The mother of the girl
had Indian blood, and, despite the wealth and Christian teaching of her
husbandreturned to Indian worship at his death. For that she was
called mad, and ended her days in a Convent. The daughter of course
will also be mad if she refuses to be guided by the good friends who
select her husbandthat husband was her only gate to freedom, knowing
which the maid did certainly do some mad things:to strangers she
tried to speakfrom her duenna she slipped out in the night timeoh
there is no doubt that all the evidence will show plainly in court that
she is more mad than her mother
Chico!The hand of Don Ruy rested on the shoulder of the
ladYou are telling me the hidden part of a story to which I have
listened from other lipsand your eyes have tears in them!Tush!be
not ashamed lad. You yourself have heart for the lady?
Not in a way unseemly, retorted the lad, dashing the water from
his eyes,to think of the mother dead like that behind the bars is
not a cheery thing! As for the daughterI dare call myself her foster
brother, and I dare pray for her that she finds the chance to die in
What a little world it is! said the adventurer. Do you mean that
you did come with a messageand that your heart failed you as to
consequences? You failed the ladymy unknown lady of the tryst?
Excellency:the maid thought you a person of adventure, and she
dared hope to buy your servicesthenyou two know best what you
whispered in the dark!but she no longer thought of purchase money in
exchange for helping her escape to a ship;God knows what she thought
of, for you must not forget that she is called mad, Señor! But with all
her madness she would not have approached your highness with the same
freedom had she dreamed that your rank was high as the camp whispered
to me the day I came for speech with you! That rank told me a story I
could not go back and tell her, SeñorsoI used my forged letter
written on viceregal paper, and secured service with a man instead of a
And left her waiting?
I could do her no help by going backshe is no worse off than if I
had not come.
She sent you for the silken broidery?
She said if you could come to her service, the scarf or a certain
page of a certain book would serve as a sign:letters are difficult
thingsboys who carry them are tripped up at times and learn the might
of a lash. To send a jewelled bauble and ask for the silken scarf was a
less harmful thing for the messengers.
You imp of an Indian devil! a souvenir was sent meand a
messageand I am hearing no word of it until now in this pagan land!
Excellency:the message is of little moment nowit was only a
matter of a trystand you were too far on the journey! But the ardor
of the Capitan Gonzalvo may bring us all strange moments,and it may
be some graves! If mine should be among them, and you should live to go
back, you can take from my neck the bauble trusted to me by the lady.
It is one of the records of her madness. But you will not quite laugh
at it, Señorand you will forgive me that I could not give it to you
as she had dreamed in her madness that I could easily do.
Mad? By our Lady!there has been no madness from first to last but
my own when I was tricked away from her by lies pious and politic!
Ohoh!our padre was in it deep, and I have served their purpose! And
youyou girl-faced little devilwhat share is yours in all this?
Whose tool have you been from first to last?
Whose?the lad had regained his careless miensurely not that
of Dame Venus or her son, Master Cupid! It is well for me to find
employ in the wildernessnever again dare I seek service with lord or
Your lady lost her wits ere she made you ambassador on a love
Without doubt you speak truth, Excellency. I might add(had I not
been whipped into politeness to my superiors!) that the deluded maid
had lost her wits ere she fell into love with a face seen from a
balconyor with a voice whispering to her in the darkness of a rose
Don Ruy looked at him without much of sweetness in the glance.
I've two minds regarding you, he stated,and one of them is to
thresh you for faithlessness and a forward tongue!
Then I beg that you choose the other mind! said the secretary, on
his feet, alert, and ready to make a run if need be. Don Diego could
not well spare me in the midst of his struggles with the heathen, and
his desire that honest things be set down in the 'Relaciones.'
MoreoverExcellency, it would take many words to convince that pious
gentleman that I had been faithless in aughtto you!
There was a pitiful little quaver in the last words by which Don Ruy
was made ashamed of his threat, for despite his anger that the lad was
over close in the confidence of the unknown Mexican maid, yet the
stripling had been a source of joy as they rode side by side over the
desert reaches, and he knew that only for him had those Indian thoughts
been given that were heresy most rank for any other ears. In ways
numberless had the devotion of the lad been manifest.
[Illustration: THE PAGE Page 198]
But Don Ruy had little heart to discuss the matter, he was still
flushed with the annoying thought that the young cub had been let know
every whisper of the moment under the roses. He walked away without
And Yahn who was watching the two, was very glad in her heart. She
could plainly see that those two who had laughed at her sometimes, were
having a quarrel that was a trouble to each, for Don Ruy walked away
with an angry frown, and the page stood by the terrace steps a long
time, and looked across the river with no smile on his face.
CHAPTER XIV. THE COURIER AND THE
Ere the morning star saw its face in the sacred lake of the Na-im-be
mountains, Tahn-té, the Po-Ahtun-ho, had done a thing not of
custom:he was leaving the governor to hear the prayers of Povi-whah,
while he, for reasons politic, made the run to the most northern of
Much in the council of the strangers had shown him their power over
the old men whose minds were divided between dread of the savage
tribes, and wonder if the youth of Tahn-té gave him warrant for all the
knowledge expressed by him.
The governor of Te-gat-ha had sent no men to the council of
Povi-whah. From that fact had Tahn-té reasoned that Te-gat-ha meant to
show no favors to the white strangers. Te-gat-ha was of itself, very
strong, else it could not have held its walls against the Yutah and the
wild tribes of the north. Therefore would Te-gat-ha be a good comrade.
Twenty leagues it lay across the river and the mountain, but Tahn-té
had ere the dawn taken the bath in the living stream of the river:it
runs and never tires, and its virtues are borrowed by the bather who
lets it have its way with him while he whispers the prayers of the
stars of the morning.
He knew that this was the moon and the time of the moon, when the
summer ceremonies were made in Te-gat-ha to the God of Creations, and
because of a wonderful visitor in the sky, he knew that special
ceremonies would be held. The Ancient Star was near the zenithnever
must it depart without a life to strengthen it on the downward trail!
The Po-Ahtun-ho in his ceremonial person never leaves the region of
the sanctuary, any more than the pope across the seas dare go
adventuring. It was as Tahn-té the courier, that he carried the message
of the Po-Athun to the man of Te-gat-ha that no shadow of doubt be left
in his mind as to where they stood in the Pueblo brotherhood.
The mountain forest of Te-gat-ha, and the rose thickets close to the
brown walls make it a place of beauty. Through the open court between
the century old buildings, runs the mountain stream with its message
from the heights to the hidden river cutting deep down in the green
plain to the west.
The valley of Povi-whah was beautiful in itself as a garden is good
to look on when the spirits of the Growing Things have worked well with
the man who covers the seed, but Te-gat-ha brought thoughts of a
different beautyeven as did the memory of Wálpi in Tusayan.
Wálpi breathed the spirit of a tragic life, the last fortress of a
mysterious people. Te-gat-ha sat enthroned facing the setting sun.
Ancient, beautiful and insolentwith the insolence which refused to
grow old though she had been mistress of many centuries.
Tahn-té the dreamer,the student of mystic things, was subtly
conscious of that almost personalalmost feminine appeal of Te-gat-ha.
Strong in its beauty as in its battlesit yet retained a sensuous
atmosphere that was as the mingling of rose bloom and wild plum
blossom, of crushed mint grown in the shadows of the moist places, and
clinging feathery clematis, binding by its tendrils green thickets into
He could hear the beating of the tombé while yet out of sight of the
sentinel on the western wall of the terrace. Medicine was being made,
or dances were being danced.
While he ran through the forest his thoughts had drifted again and
again to the vision of the bluebird maid. Was she the earth form of the
God-Maid on the south mesa where the great star hung low? Was she the
Goddess Estsan-atlehi who wore for him the color of the blue earth
jewel sacred to her?was she the shadow of the dream-maid of all his
boy daysthe K[=a]-ye-povi who had gone from earth to the Light beyond
the light? All the wild places spoke of her, each stream he crossed
made him see the young limbs pictured in the pooleach bird song made
him remember the symbol sent to him by the visionthe world was a
sweeter place because of the vision.
It came even against his will between himself and the priest of the
robe who had called him Sorcererand who was the real general he
would have to do battle with in the near days. The others he scarcely
thought of, but that one of the wise tactful speech he must think of
Then while he told himself that the thought of the men of iron must
never be forgotten for even the sweetest of forest dreams;in that
same moment the rustling of the wind in the piñons made him thrill with
the closeness of the remembered vision as no sight of living maid had
ever made him thrill:might it be magic from Those Above to try his
strength? Might the memory of the maid and the pool, be akin to that
temptation of the babe and the arms of the mother outlined on the
shadows of the ancient graven stone?
That had plainly been false enchantmentand he had danced it away
in the prayer dance to the Ancient Father. It had not returned even in
his dreams. But the maid of the bluebird had not ever gone quite away.
So close she seemed at times that if he turned his head quickly in the
places of shadows he felt that he might see her again before the Spirit
People hid the body of beauty.
And thenas he ran, and turned where the trail circled a rugged
column of stone at the edge of the piñon woods,there a shadow flitted
as a bird past the great gray barrier. He turned from the trail almost
without volition of his own, and followed the flitting shadow, andthe
maid of the bluebird wing was again before him!
Not merging into the shadows as before. Against the grey wall of
rock she stood as a wild hunted thing at baybreathless, pantingbut
with head thrown back to look death in the face.
But death was not what she saw in his eyesonly a wonder great as
her ownand with the wonder fear,and something else than fear.
Plainly she had been bound by thongs of rawhide, for one yet hung
from her wrist. Much of her body was bare, her greatest garment was a
deerskin robe held in her hand as she ran.
Because of this, could he see that her body and her arms were
decorated with ceremonial symbols in the sacred colors, and the
painting of them was not complete. It was evident she had been chosen
for the forest dance of the maidens who were young. It was plain also
that she had resisted, and had in some way broken from the people.
At the something other than fear in his eyes, she gained courage,
and at the bluebird's wing in his head band, she stared and touched the
one in her own braids, and then touched her own breast.
Doli (Blue Bird)me! she said appealingly. Navahuthen she
held her hand out as though measuring the height of a
Te-hua!he caught her hand and knew that she was not a vision,
though he had first known of her in a vision. She was a living maid,
and twice on wilderness trails had she come to him!
Te-huayou? he half whispered, but in Te-hua words she could not
answer himonly begged rapidly in Navahu for protectionand motioned
with fear towards the villages where the tombé was sounding.
To give help to an escaped captive of Te-gat-ha while on the trail
to ask friendship of Te-gat-ha, was an act not known in Indian
ethicsbut as when he had been wakened by her in the cañon of the high
wallsso it was nowthe outer world drifted far, and the eyes of the
girlpleadingwere the only real things. In his hours on the trail
through the forest he had thought the ever-present picture of her in
his heart might be strange new magic for his undoing, but to hear her
tremulous girl voice:and to see the broken thong, and the symbols of
the most primitive of tribal dances, drove into forgetfulness the
thought of all magic that was false magic. The gods had sent the vision
of her in the dawn of the sacred mountain, that heTahn-témight know
her for his own when she crossed his trail for help. The Navahu goddess
of the earth jewel had surely sent herelse why the pair of blue wings
between them? The symbolism of it was conclusive to the Indian mind,
and he reached out his hand.
Come! he said gently. Little sister,come you with me!
* * * * *
When the sentinel on the wall of Te-gat-ha sighted a strange runner
who ran to them, and ran with swiftness, the word went to the governor,
and he sent his man of the right hand to the gate of the wall.
In times of feasts these two had met before the days when the
prayers were listened to by Tahn-té, and the greeting given to the
visitors was a greeting to a friend.
As they crossed the court, Tahn-té could see that confusion and
alarm was there. A woman who had been chidden was weeping, and the
governor of war had his scouts at the place in the wall where the water
ran under the bridge of the great logsthat was the only place where
one could creep through without passing the gates, where the sentinel
could always see.
She is a witch! wailed the woman who was in tearsThe painting
was being done on her,she would have been completeand then it was
the pot boiled over in the ashes:they blinded my eyes, and the child
was in the ashes also, and the body of him was burned. Could I see the
witch when my eyes were blind? Could I hear the witch when my child
screamed? Could I know she would cover herself with a deer skin and go
into the ground, or into the clouds? On no trail of earth can you find
her. She is a witch who brings bad luck to my house!
But the men, heeding not her words, went over the ground in ways
towards the mountains, and looked with keenness on all the tracks of
Beyond the words of the women, Tahn-té heard nothing more of the
person who was painted almost to completeness ere she went into the
clouds, or into the ground. It was not etiquette to make questions. The
wise old governor gave greeting to the visitor as if no thing had
happened more unusual than the rising or setting of the sun.
Tahn-té had been many times to Te-gat-ha when the Sun races were
made in the Moon of Yellow leaves. At that time the Sun Father grows
weak, and the races are made that he may look down and see the earth
children as they show strength, and the prayer of the race is that the
Sun Father goes not far away, but seeks strength also, and grows warm
again after a season.
Thus Tahn-té knew kindly the people, and the chief men were called
to hear why a runner had been sent at this time to the brothers of the
The head men wrapped themselves in the robes of ceremony, the
younger priests painted their bodies with the white, and into the kiva
of council they descended with their visitor of high office.
On the shrine there, Tahn-té placed a fragment of the sun symbol
taken from the pouch at his girdle. Before a white statue of the
weeping god he placed it, and the Keeper of the Sacred Fire there,
breathed on his hand, and threw fragrant dried herbs of magic on the
live coals, that all evil and all discord be driven out by the fumes,
and when the smoke drifted upwards and out by the way of the sky, the
talk was made.
With briefness Tahn-té stated all heard in the council of Povi-whah
concerning the wishes of the strangers from the South.
[Illustration: INTO THE KIVA OF COUNCIL THEY DESCENDED Page 206
The men smoked the sacred smoke of council and listened, and when
all was said, they nodded to each other.
That which you say is that which the tribes have always talked
about when the wild people came for war. In old days of our fathers, we
people of the houses and the fields did make compact with each other as
brothers. But always it has been broken, often it had to be broken. We
are far apart. When the Yutah comes from the north, and the Pawnee from
the eastand the Apache and the Navahu from every place, the men of
each village must look to their own women. He cannot go to his brother
to learn if he also is having war.
That is true, said Tahn-té. But the wild people fight and go away
again. If these strangers find the symbol of the sun in our land, they
will never go awaymore will comeand then more always! I have seen
the talking leaves of their people. If they get room for their feet,
they then ask the field; if the way of the door is opened to them, they
then take the house. They and their animals will ride us down as the
buffalo tramp under foot the grass on the wide lands.
That other year the white strangers came. They staid not long. This
time not so many comenext time not any ever comemaybe so!
Maybe so! echoed Tahn-té, but shook his head in sadness. Like the
men of his own village, these men had the hopefulness of children that
all would be made well.
If their god is so strong a godand they come with good gifts, is
it not well to make treaty and have them as brothers? asked the old
governor. With the thunder and the lightning given to them instead of
arrows, they could do good warrior work for those who were precious to
That is so, agreed Tahn-tébut the men of dark skins will never
be precious to the white men of the beardsexcept they make slaves who
obey,who carry the water, and bring wood for the fire.
Men carry the water?
They are not men when they become slavesthey are not people any
We did not hear that, said the governor. Do these men tell it
Nonot in that way. But talking leaves of their god tells them
that dark men of other gods than theirs must be ever as slaves to the
white men of iron and all of their kind. It has been like that always.
The talking leaves tell them how to make slavesand how to make war on
all people who refuse to say that their god must be the only god.
And that white god sends talking leaves of a spirit tree?
It is so, said Tahn-té:Many leaves! The spirit of that tree was
once a strong spirit, but the white people caught it with magic and
shut it in a book, and the spirit grows weak in the bookthe heart of
the Most Mysterious cannot be shut in a thing like that. They have
magic, but the heart does not sing to that magiconly the eyes see
Yet these strangers are wise, ventured one of the council, such
leaves might be good to instruct quickly the youth of the clans.
It is so, agreed Tahn-té again. But when the gods are caught in
the leaves of a book, is when they no longer speak in silence to the
hearts of men. On a day when we walk no more on the Earth Trail, the
names of our gods may also be written on the leaves of a spirit tree
that is dead. Think of this and warn your sons to think of this! The
youths of Povi-whah and of Kah-po hearken with joy to the trumpets of
the men of iron, but the music for the desert gods is the music of the
flutelet it not be silenced by trumpets of brass made by white men
Some of the men of the council looked at each other, and wondered in
their hearts if the youth of Tahn-té did not make him dream false
things and think them true. It was scarcely to be believed that one
people would fight because another people found the Great Mysteryand
prayed to It for strength to live welland to live longbut called It
by another Prayer Name!
They knew that in things of sacred magic Tahn-té was more wise than
any other;other youth were trained only in their own societiesbut
the son of the Woman of the Twilight reached out for the Thought back
of the outer thought in all orders, and in different tribes.
Yetthey doubted him now and for the first time! They did not think
that Tahn-té spoke with a crooked tongue, but some one had lied to him
in the days when he crossed the land with the man Coronado;or maybe
the talking leaves had lied on some dark night of magic!
But however that might be, the Great Mystery had never sent the word
to kill a people because of their prayers. The men of the council knew
that could not be. But they were respectful to the young Po-Ahtun-ho,
and they did not say so. That he had put aside his dignity of office,
and come himself to Tegat-ha for council, was a great honor for
And they smoked in silence, and did not say the thing they thought.
But Tahn-té the Ruler, read their hearts in their silence, and for
the first time his own heart grew sick. In Povi-whah there was the
jealousy of the war chiefand of the governor as well, and that, he
thought, made them blind to much. But these men had only honor in their
hearts for him and no jealousy. Yet to make them see motives of the
strangers, as he saw them, was not possible; and to tell them that the
men of iron gave worship to a jealous god was to brand himself for
always as foolish in their eyes! They had thought him wisebut not
again could they think him wise as to the foreign men, or the reading
of their books!
The early stars were alight in the sky when the men came up from the
council. In the house of the governor the evening meal was long ready.
From the place of the dance in the forest, men and maids were
coming:under the branches of the great trees they were coming, but
among them was not the maid of the thong and the unfinished paintings.
Tahn-té, seeing that it was so, ate with his hosts the rolls of
paper-like bread, and the roasted meat of the deer.
It was a silent meal, for it was his first day of failure. All other
things he had wonbut to win his brothers to brotherhood against the
strongest enemy they or their fathers had ever metwas a thing beyond
They had chosen to be blind, and for the blind, no one can see!
Standing on the terrace, the governor spoke alone to Tahn-té of the
thing which the men of iron soughtit was the same thing Alvarado had
asked of when he had come north from Coronado's camp. It was strange
that the sign of the Sun Father was a thing the white men sought ever
to carry from the land. It must be strong medicine and very precious to
It was not possible for Tahn-té to make clear that the virtue of the
yellow metal was not a sacred thingonly a thing of barter as shell
beads or robes might be.
Is it as they say,said his host after a smoke of silenceis it
as they say that the Order of the Snake is again made strong by you in
It is true, said Tahn-té. The help I have is not much. The Great
Snake they all revere for the sacred reasons, but only the very old men
know that with the Ancients the medicine of the wild brother snakes was
strong medicine for the hearts of men. Maybe I can live long enough to
teach the young men that the strong medicine is yet ours, and that the
wild brother snake can always help us prove to the gods that it is
It is true that it is ours, assented the old man,and it is good
when the visions come to show us how it is ours,then after a little,
he added:For the sleep you will stay with my clan? but Tahn-té,
standing on the terrace, shook his head and pointed to the south.
Thanks that you wish me, he said,but the work is there and the
watching is there. When the smoke is overI ask for your prayers
Steadily he ran on the trail past the thickets of the rose, and the
great rock by the trailsteadily under the stars a long way. Then out
of the many small night sounds of the wilderness he heard behind him
the long call of a night bird in flight. Only a little ways did he go
when again that little song of three descending notes came to him. It
was very close this time, but he neither halted nor made more haste.
For all the heed given it he might not have hearkened to it more than
to the cricket in the grass.
Yet it spoke clearly to his ears. He knew that sentinels had been
placed along his trail, and as he ran steadily, and alone, past each,
he knew that the watchers were keen of eye and ear, and that the last
two sent each other the signal All is well,also he knew that the
signal would be echoed back along the trail until each watcher would
know that their visitor was on the trail alone, and all was well, and
each could go back to Te-gat-ha and report to the war chief, and find
The watchfulness told him also that the maid they sought was one of
importance. The visitor in the sky, called by his people the Ancient
Star,and called by Fray Luis the planet Venus, gave special meaning
to a captive from the tribe of an enemy. It saved some clan from
devoting a son or a daughter to sacrifice.
He did not halt at once even after the last call was sent back into
the night, and he was far on the south trail ere he turned and more
slowly retraced his steps. No lingering watcher must be overtaken by
him on the trail.
So it was that Arcturus (the watcher of the night when the sun is
away) was high overhead when he came again to the place of the great
rock where as youths, he and his comrades climbed on each others'
shouldersand even then only the most agile and daring had scaled the
smooth wall, and lay hidden there in a water worn depression. Many
scouts might pass it without thought that a maid could be hidden there!
But the mere whisper of a whistle like the bluebird call brought her
head over the edge, and their eyes met in the starlight.
Half the day, and half the night, had she lain there waiting for his
call, hearing more than once the pad of the feet, or the panting breath
of scouts:she had even heard words of the sentinels sent from
Te-gat-ha ahead of Tahn-téeager as wolves they were in search of the
maidfor it was evil medicine most potent to lose a captive after the
symbols of ceremony had been drawn on the body!
But all her fear of them gave her no fear of Tahn-té. His first look
into her eyes had been the look which said strange things, and sweet
thingsit was as if he had spoken thanks that he had found her on the
And when he held up his arm to her in the night, she wrapped closely
the deerskin robe about her, and slipped downward into his embrace.
The wall was so high he had himself gone ahead and dragged her up by
help of the skin robe. And, strong though he was, the weight of her as
she slipped downward against him staggered him, and his arms went
tightly around her slender girl's body to save her, and to save
And in that moment one of the magical things came to pass in the
starlight, her young breasts were bare and held close to his own body.
Her heart beats were felt by him as she lay limp for a space in his
arms, and Tahn-té knew that for all other things in his life words
could be foundbut for the thrill of the touch of her body there were
no words. It was as if a star had slipped out of the sky and given its
glow and radiance to his lifethe music of existence had touched
himand the magic of it held him dumb and still.
And he knew that the magic of the maid was born of the Great
Mystery, and that a new life for him was born as each heard the heart
beats of the other.
It was as truly a new marking for the Life Trail as had been the
prayer made as a boy at the mesa shrine to answer the young moon
message of the God of the Wilderness.
The maid stirred in his clasp and drew herself shyly away from him.
At her first little movement, his arms grew tense about her, then they
fell away, and he watched her, while with head averted from him, she
arranged as well as might be her scant garb. There could be no words
between them, but his touch was tender as he took her hand and led her
out to the trail. He felt that she must know all he feltand all the
dreams into which the white shadow of her had enteredthe sacred
fourth shadow cast not by the body, but by the spirit, and linking
itself with kindred spirit even while the human body breathed and moved
and cast the black first shadow that all people may see.
The black first shadow all can see as a man moves or as he stands
still, and the two gray shadows many can see after a man is on the
death trail or when the breath has gone away. These remain with a man
because they are of his body, but the white shadow is the shadow of the
breath of the Great Mysteryit is as the perfume of the flower, the
song of the bird, and the love of the man.
Fear lent the girl fleetness as she ran beside him in the night, and
he marvelled at her.No pueblo girl could have kept that pace. It was
plain that she had lived with the rovers of the desert. All the long
hours had she been without food or drink, yet she ran like a boy, and
with the swiftness of a boy.
When the dawn broke, and the morning star showed each the face of
the other, they had reached the trail by the river. From the west came
black wind-swept clouds to meet the sun, and in the south the angered
God of Thunder spoke. Tahn-té looked at the girl whose eyes showed the
weariness of the long strainhis thoughts dwelt on the woes she must
have lived through ere he found her:plainly she could not run unfed
to the hills of his people, and plainly since the storm was meeting
them, the wise time to halt must be ere it swept the valley.
From the well known trail he had departed before the dawn, and the
way they went was a hard way across the heights where earth's
heart-fires had split the land and left great jagged monuments of
stone;and red ash as if even now scarcely free from the heat of
Into one of the great crevices,wide, and roofed by rockhe led
the strange maid. Water came from a break in the great grey wall, and
sand had drifted there on the wind, and the girl with a moan that was
of weariness sank down there where the sand was. Tahn-té felt himself
strangely hurt by that moan and wondered that it should be so.
She was only a maid after all, and the little woeful cry made him
think of a hurt child he would have lifted in his arms and carried home
to its mother. But the maid of the bluebird wing was far from mother
and from her people;no words had they exchanged in the long trail of
the night, he knew not anything but that she spoke Navahu, and would
have him think she wished to be Te-hua.
When she lay so very still that he could not see even the sign of
life in her face, he went close and touched herand then he saw that
the spirit of her had truly gone on the trail of the twilightshe was
no longer alive as other people are alive.
He lifted her to where the water ran, and with prayer let the cool
drops of the living spring touch her face until the life came back, and
her eyes opened wide with terror at sight of him bending above her, but
he whispered as to a childNa-vin (my own) and then
K[=a]-ye-poviwhich was to call her the Blossom of the Spirit, the
name had been always with him in the Love-maiden Dream;and this maid
was the dream come true!
He drew her back from that strange border land of life where the
strong gods of shadow wait;and then the whisper of the blossom name
took the fear from her dazed eyesshe clung to his hands and in a sort
of breathless joy repeated the name
She nodded assent. Yesit is sonow, she saidbut once when
little,she made the sign for the height of a childTe-hua, not
Thus it was Tahn-té found K[=a]-ye-povi after the many years, and
knew that the Great Mystery had set his foot on the trail to Te-gat-ha
that he, and not another, should find her!
From traders, and from an occasional Navahu prisoner, Tahn-té had
learned Navahu words, and Navahu god thoughts, and now he strove with
eagerness to speak their language, even though haltingly, and question
of her coming to himto him!
To a new master she had been sold by the old people who had owned
her long, and many of the Navahu had gone north for deerand perhaps
for buffalo, and she had been taken with them. So far had they
travelled that Tse-c[=o]me-u-piñ, the sacred, had been pointed out to
herand as a bird will seek its own place of nesting, had she sought
the Te-hua land by fleeing to the sacred mountain. In the night time
she had fled from her new master,from a tall pine where she had
climbed, had she seen them search the trail for her. In vain they had
searched, and alone she had wandered many days. Almost had she reached
the Te-hua towns of the river when some traders of Te-gat-ha had found
her in the forest. To their own town they had taken her and had traded
her for shell beads and for cornthe rest Tahn-té knew!
He strung his bow while he listened,and while the thunder shook
the earth he slipped through the crevices of the rock and lay hidden at
the edge of a mountain morass where the reeds grew tall, and wild
things fedahead of the storm small animals might cross the open there
to reach the shelter of the rock wallsand K[=a]-ye-povi must not go
A rabbit he killed and covered each track of his feet from the place
where he picked it up. When he took it to her it had been cleaned and
washed in a little cascade below the shelter he had found for her. With
him he took also dry twigs and dry piñon boughs, that the fire made
might not carry the odor of green wood.
The sheets of rain were flowing steadily towards them from the west,
the earth trembled as the God of Thunder spoke, and the lances of fire
were flung from the far sky and splintered on the rocks of the
The maid lay, wide eyed and still, where he had left her. That she
feared was plain to be seen, and at his coming tears of gladness shone
in her eyes.
To see that light in her face as he came back to her brought to him
a joy that was new and sweet. He did not speak to her. He made the fire
in silence, but at every crash of the storm he smiled at her, and made
prayers, and threw sacred white pollen to the four ways, and the
feeling that he was as guardian to the maid whose very name had been a
part of his boy dreams, was a sweet thought.
It was a wonderful thing that out of the dreams she had grown real,
and had covered the trails until she had reached him! It was sweet that
his hand had touched her and told him that the maid was a real maid of
pulsing heart and tremulous breath.
But with all the sweetness of it, there was a strange thought
fluttering over his mind like a moth or a butterfly. It did not find
lodgment there, but it did not go quite away, and ere he offered to her
the meat roasted in the red coals of the piñon wood, he scattered
prayer pollen between them as on a shrine.
The line of the white between them was as the threshold of a door
over which a man may not step. No man crosses threshold of another if
the wife of that man is alone there,and no brother goes into the
house where his sister is without other companion. This was the law
from the time of the ancient days, and belongs to many tribes.
To the Navahu it did not belong, and the maid knew only that the
white pollen meant prayer, and that she was circled by sacred things,
and by thought so sweet that her eyes rested on the sands when he gazed
So sweet did the thought grow that they no longer tried to speak as
at first, and compare words Navahu, and words Te-hua;her own
To whisper K[=a]-ye-povi was sweet, but to think Doli was
sweeterfor it had been the vision of the goddess of the blue he had
first seen in the pool of the hills;and to him had come her symbol
dancing on the ripples. He wore it in the banda about his head;and he
knew now that the image of her would never grow faint in his heart. Out
of the hand of the Great Mystery had she come to him that the last and
best gift of life should be known, and that the prayers to the gods be
double strong because of that knowing.
Without daring to look at her he sat in silence and thought these
things, and he felt that she must know what the thoughts were. The war
of the elements was as a background for strange harmonies, and the low
roaring clouds of darkness were but a blanket of mist under which the
fire glow of two hearts be felt to shine near and clear, and send to
each its signal.
Thenlike a monster let loose, there were broken all bonds of the
tornado on the river hills. A blackness as of night covered the earth
with wide spread wings. With the voice of thunder it came;and with
the strength of a god it came.
Earth and stone were hurled on the wind as if a rain of arrows or
spears had been hurled by some spirit of annihilation.
Even breath had to be fought for there,and the maid in terror
reached out her hands to the man across the sacred barrier and moaned
pitifully, and in the darkness the man drew her close until her head
rested on his breast, and his own bent head, and his body, sheltered
CHAPTER XV. THE GIVING OF THE SUN
Two nights had passed over the world, and the day star was shining
over the mountains of the east when the people of Povi-whah saw again
Tahn-té the Po-Ahtun-ho.
It was the sentinel on the terrace who saw him, and he was at the
ancient shrine at the mesa edge, and a flame was there to show that
prayers were being made to greet the god of the new day.
And when he came down from the mesa, and looked at the corn of the
fields torn and beaten low by the great storm, his face showed that he
carried a sad heart, and that he had gone from Te-gat-ha somewhere into
the hills for prayer.
And to his house went the old men, and they listened to that which
had been decided by the council of Te-gat-ha. A man had already arrived
from Te-gat-ha to tell them that same thing, and to tell them that an
evil spirit of the forest who spoke as a Navahu maid, had brought woe
on the valley.
Some said it was the Ancient Star calling on the voice of the wind
for sacrifice, and others said the tornado had come because the maid
had been let go with the sacred symbols of ceremony painted on her
body, and the gods of that ceremony called for her on the wind. But
whichever way was the true way, the maid was linked to spirits of evil,
and the corn of that year would be less than half of a full year, and
the Te-gat-ha men asked that any Te-hua man who found the evil maid
would send a runner to tell of it. Robes and blue beads would be given
for her:she belonged to the god of the star, or the god of the mad
winds, and on the altar with prayers must she be given to them, that
they be not angry.
Tahn-té listenedand when they said the anger of the sky had come
from the west, as the maid had come, he was silent.
His first day of failure in council had been the day when he
shielded the Dream Maid on the trail.The woman who had wept in
Te-gat-ha had said she was evil and a witch, and now the men pointed to
the killed corn as the work of her magic!
No word of his could undo these things or wipe them from the Indian
mind. In his own mind he knew that a weakness had come upon him. To
live alone for the gods had been an easy thing to think of in the other
days, but now it was not easy, and his heart trembled like a snared
bird at each plan made by the men for the undoing of the witchmaid if
she should be found.
The runner from Te-gat-ha looked strangely at Tahn-té as he walked
across the court, and to Ka-yemo, he said:
You men of Povi-whah are good runners always, and your Ruler of the
Spirit Things has left you all behind always in the race. Yet this
time, to come from Te-gat-ha, he stays two sleeps, and follows a trail
no man sees!
In the hills he has been for prayersso the old men say, replied
Ka-zemo. But Yahn, whose ears were ever open, gave stew of rabbit to
the Te-gat-ha runner and asked many things, and learned that the storm
had washed away all tracks of feet, but that the witch maid had
certainly run to the southevery other way was under the eyes of the
sentinel on the wall. By a little stream to the south had her tracks
been seen but not in any other place.
Tahn-té crossed over the trail, said Yahn and laughed. The priest
of the men of iron say that Tahn-té is a sorcerer,who knows that he
did not bury owl-feathers or raven-feathers on the way to hide her
trail? If the witch maid was a maid of beauty, is he not already a
The man laughed with her, but he had heard of the dance of Tahn-té
to the ancient stone god of the hills! The man who danced there was not
the man for the cat scratches of Yahn the Apache, and though he laughed
with her because she was pretty and a woman, he was not blind to her
malice, and the meaning of her words went by him on the wind.
But the thought once planted in the mind of Yahn did not die. The
face of Tahn-té held a trouble new and strange. He walked apart, and
the old men said he made many prayers that the Great Mystery send a
sign for the going of the white strangers.
In her heart Yahn thought as Tahn-té thought. The eyes of the man of
the priest gown went like arrows through her at timeshe looked like a
man who knew all things. To Ka-yemo he talked until she was wild with
desire to know the things said between them. It angered her that
Ka-yemo was flattered by such attention. Padre Vicente she hated for
his keen eyes and his plain speech of her. Don Ruy and the boyish
secretary had too many moments of laughter when her name was spoken of
to Juan Gonzalvoas it often was! Their gifts she took with both
hands, and did the talking for them as agreed, but she sulked at times
even under their compliments, and Don Diego instructed Säh-pah to
strive that the unruly beauty be brought within the Christian fold.
The success was not great, for Säh-pah was brave in a new gift of
silver spursworn on rawhide about her neck, for it was the time of
the Summer dance when the women choose companions, and love is very
free. If the man prefers not to share the love of the dame who makes
choice of himhe makes her a giftor she chooses one.
The pious Don Diego had the secretary give many lines in the
Relaciones of this strange custom where the fair fond ones offered
marriageor accepted a gift as memento. He even strutted a bit that
the poor heatheness offered to him what best she could afford in
exchange for the divine grace of a good sprinkling of holy water. But
Yahn said things of the baptism not good for ears polite, or for the
Relaciones, and Säh-pah scuttled back in fear to her new master, and
told him,and told Juan Gonzalvo, that the veins of Yahn Tsyn-deh must
be cut open to let out the Apache blood, before they could hope she
might be one of the heaven birds in their angel flock!
But Säh-pah did not tell them that the thing of torment awaking Yahn
to wrath had been the knowledge that Ka-yemo was somewhere across the
mesa, and the old people laughed that he could not stay longer from the
new wife, but had gone to seek her in the place of the old ruins.
After that, divine grace had not shielded Säh-pah from vituperation,
and when Juan Gonzalvo came wooing, Yahn told him that across the hills
was a woman waiting for a man, and dressed in fine skins and many
beads:when he or his men had won Koh-pé the daughter of Tsa-fah, to
come back and tell her. She did not mean to be won easier than the
other, and without a price!
Which was also a novel statement for the truthful record of the
adventurers, and the secretary, on a terrace above, heard it, and
rolled on the flat roof in laughter, and wrote it down most
conscientiously. By such light matters was the dreariness of waiting
For plainly the days were to be of waiting. All the good will of
gift-bought friends helped the strangers not at all to the finding of
the trail of gold. In the sands of the streams some fragments no larger
than seeds of the grass were found, and in the cañon of Po-et-se some
of the adventurers dug weary hours in the strange soil where the traces
are yet plain of black ashes, and charred cinders far beneath the
sagebrush growth of to-day.
But while the Te-hua men gave good will for their digging, yet more
than that they could not give, for the reason that no more than two
persons could hold in trust that secret of the Sun Father's symboland
only certain members of the Po-Ahtun order knew even the names of those
After much patient delving had Ka-yemo learned that this was so, for
the thing was not a tribal matter, but a thing of high medicine in the
Po-Ahtun order. Not even the governor knew who held the secret. When
the time came for certain religious ceremonies, some of the yellow
stone was placed on the shrine of the weeping god with other prayers,
but it was a sacred thing, as was the pollen of the corn, and no man
asked from whence it came. To be told meant that the person told was
made guardian until the death blankets wrapped him. It was a great
honor. No man could ask for it. A brother might not know that his
brother was the keeper of the trust. Only the head men of the secret
order of Spirit Things could know.
In vain Juan Gonzalvo swore, and Padre Vicente used diplomacy and
made wondrous fine impression as the ambassador for the king of all
Spain and the Indian Island!
Don Ruy took the secretary and Yahn Tsyn-deh, and went to the
governor of Kah-po where his reception was kindly, but the information
given him was slight.
That dignitary told him that his men of Mexico might dig great caves
if they chose in search for the yellow metal of the sun symbol, but
that to Povi-whah had been given the secret of the gold at the time
when Señor Coronado had burned the two hundred men at the stake in
Tiguex. All the old men knew that gold was the one thing the men of
iron searched for. Before that time all villages had men who knew where
it was hidden by the Sun Father. But a council of head men had been
called. It had been a great council and long. At the end of it, one
village was chosen, one order of that village, and two members of that
order, and in the ears of those two alone was whispered the hiding
place. No man could know who the two keepers of the secret might be,
for it had to do with sacred things and with strong magic, and in that
way did the villages decide to guard the secret of the High Sun.
No chance here for whispers of courtiers and king's counselors to
get abroad in the land, decided Don Ruy as they mounted their horses
for the home ride and Yahn lingered to gossip with neighbors. In the
south the conquerors could fight for gold and win itbut in this land
of silence with whom is one to fight?
Need you the gold so much that you must come between these poor
people and their god in the sky? asked the secretary doubtfully, for
the attitude of the two had been of extreme politeness and not so much
of comradeship since that morning of confession when the lad had owned
himself a deficient page in the bearing of love messages,Is the
finding of the gold a matter of life or of death?
It pays for most good things, stated Don Ruy. How know you that I
do not beggar myself on this expedition? And to go back with empty
hands would win little of favor for me from even the well-guarded Doña
of the Mexic tryst.
You forget, Excellency, said the lad and smiled, she is called
mad you knowand to a mad maid you might return in a cloak of woven
grasses, or of shredded bark, and lack nothing of welcome.
Humph! Only to a mad maid dare I return coatless, and find an open
gate? And suppose it be another than the gentle maniac whom I seek?a
cloak of grasses would be a sorry equipment to cover my failure.
There is one right good blanket at your disposal, said the lad
looking straight out across the river, yet feeling the color mount to
his hair as Don Ruy regarded him keenly and then clapped him on the
I'll claim half of the blanket when the day comes! he
declaredand in truth I'd not be so sorry to see the maid of your
discourse whether mad or of sanity. That ever restless Cacique who
strives to bar us out, shows me that more than one Indian may have gone
mad in the same struggle. Think you he must know the keepers of the
secret of gold?
It would not be strange, since he is the head of the magicians and
the worker of spirit things.
God send that Juan Gonzalvo gets not that idea strongly in his
mindit would be the cap sheaf to the stack of his grievances.
And it would be the one to weigh most heavily with his reverence
the padreadded Chico. His soul is set on treasure for the Holy
Brotherhoodand to win in secret where Coronado and the church failed
with all the blare of trumpets, means that no man in the Indies would
have a name written above that of the patient and devout Padre
You say things, lad, with a serious face;but with a mocking
voice, commented Don Ruy. Tell me truly if the life of a page in the
palace of the Viceroy teaches you so much of politics and holy orders
that you combine the two and grow skeptic to each?
A page sees more than he understands returned the lad, it was
the teaching of your mad Doña of the silken scarf who saw things as the
priests told her they were not to be seen,she it was who taught me to
laugh instead of doing penance.
And she it was also no doubt who taught you of magic Mexic things
in keeping with the fairy Melissa of Charlemagne's day, and Merlin the
magian of Britain?
Heigh-ho! It is precious magic those old romancers did tell of!
agreed the lad. Think how fine it would be if we had those enchanted
steeds and lances,and the fair daughter of the Khan of Kathay for
company through the wilderness!
She was too fickle, and too much the weeping fair, decided Don
Ruy. Bradamante the warrior maid is more to the fancyshe would fight
for the lover she lovedor against him as the case might be, yet give
love to him all the time! She was the very pole-star of those old
romancesbut they make no such maids except in books!
Not so much pity for that, commented the secretary. Since she was
too easily won for the hearth stone of a plain man. It is clearly set
down that she spoke with her pagan lover but once, and fell straightway
so deep in love that she would fight either Christian or Moor to find
the way to him. A maid like that looks well afar off, but it would take
a valiant man to house with her!
How know you aught of how many times eyes must meetor words be
said ere love comes? demanded Don RuyBantam that you are!Must a
man and a maid see summer and winter together ere the priest has work
Alasand saints guard us!we need not to live long to see denial
of that! said the secretary and shrugged and smiled. But since a maid
close to my own house throws lilies to strange cavaliers, it is not for
me to make discourse of ladies light-of-love!
Light-of-love!Jack-a-napes! You know not so much after all if you
get that thought cross wise in your skull! My 'Doña Bradamante' (for as
yet neither you or the padre have given a name to her!) the 'Doña
Bradamante' spoke no word the most rigid duenna could have frowned
down! If you are her foster brother you might have gathered that much
of wisdom to yourself!
Butyour Excellencyshe has never scattered wisdom broadcast on
any one of us! An elfish maid who needed guard of both duenna and
confessor:how was a mere friend to know that a love of a mad moment
would have made her a wonder of wisdom and discretion?
Whereupon Don Ruy suggested that he go to the devil and learn sense,
and added that if the famous magic steed, or ring of invisibility were
to be found in the desert regions of these Indian provinces, he would
use them for a peep into the palace of the Viceroy, or the nunnery of
the Doña of the Lily. No ambassador would he trust. For himself he
would see how much or how little of madness was back of the message of
the blossom, or the guerdon of the silken scarf.
If I were indeed a worthy page I would make a song of your
enchantedor demented Doña, and pipe it to you to the tombé of the
medicine workers on the roofs, declared the lad in high glee that Don
Ruy again spoke with frankness to him.
But his excellency put aside the offer, content to make his own
songs when there was a maid to listen.
Dame Yahn Tsyn-deh might listenand even make herself beautiful
The Dame Yahn is like enough to make trouble without the singing of
songs! Whether it is the Indian war capitan, or our own, I know not as
to the favorite. But some game she is playing, and I doubt if it is for
Juan Gonzalvo, despite his gifts.
Padre Vicente and José were walking apart under a group of the white
limbed cottonwoods, as the two riders drew near the village. Their
discourse was earnest, and the voice of the padre was heard in
That is how it must be, José he said. You have found the
way,the gold is as good as ours!
By the faith!said Don Ruy swinging from the saddle to join them;
if this be true let us fill wallets and break camp for Mexico!there
is a gentle maniac over there with whom I would fain hold hands once
morethis womanless paradise pleases me little!
The padre regarded him with tolerance, and never a blink of the eye
to denote remembrance of any gentle maniac in particular. Since the
dame had served a worthy purpose, forgotten was all the episode!
It is well you know the good tidings of José, he saidthough
there is no hint that the gold is piled in bars waiting for the lading.
It is a man of Ni-am-be, said José. He has been outcast for a
reason. He lives alone, and the fear of the alone is growing in him,
for he is old! He was one of the men who made medicine to forget where
the sign of the Sun Father hides in the earth. But the medicine was not
He does not forget?
He made a vow to the sky to forget, but the sky did not listen and
take the vow. He does not forget.
And he will show the place?
It may be he will show the place. He asks me if it is a good life
to live with your people, also if you would take him away when you go.
Ohho!he fears what would happen if he was left behind after
tellinghe fears they would kill him?
Not so much of the to kill is he afraid. He was a medicine man. He
knows what the other medicine men could do. He would wish for the to
die many times and they would not let death come near to his cave in
By their magic? asked Don Ruy.
By their magic, Excellency. Of all the head men is he afraid, but
of Tahn-té the Po-Ahtun-ho who has the sight of the dark is he much
The sight of the dark?
It is so, some men are born into the world with it. They know the
thought of the other man,they see the hidden things. Tahn-té has the
strong medicine and the eyes to see. He is much afraid of Tahn-té the
You see the power of these necromancers with their satanic arts?
said Padre Vicente. We must make it plain to these people that such
fear is to be driven out only by the true church and the power of its
If we wait for the gold until we teach them all that, the profit of
this journey will be to our heirs and not to ourselves, decided Don
Ruy. Pay the renegade for the secret he should have forgotten, take
him along with us, and convert him at your leisure. In all good time,
and with a larger guard of men, you can come for the further conversion
of the tribe.
There is wisdom in what you say, replied the padre, for converts
here will mean a waiting game. But once let us take to Mexico the
golden proof of the wealth in this province and there will be eager
troops and churchmen in plenty to cross the deserts and defend the
faith. But for that devil-possessed Po-Ahtun-ho the road to success
would be shorter.
It is not good luck to say things against the man of strong magic,
stated José. Ka-yemo, the war capitan would like if Tahn-té had never
come from the land of the Hópitûbut Ka-yemo says no evil words of
Tahn-téhe knows that Tahn-té has ears to hear far off, and eyes to
see in the dark.
Do you forget you are a Christian soul? demanded the padre. The
holy saints can kill the evil powers even in the sons of Satan! Let me
hear no more of the 'eyes of the dark;'pagan trickery!
José said no more, but it was easy to see that the veneer of foreign
ritual had made little impression on the Indian mind. He feared all the
devils of the Christian hell, and most of the gods of the pagan
pantheon. A policy of propitiation towards all the unseen powers is the
wise and instinctive attitude of the primitive mind. He slipped his
prayer beads through his fingers as taught for prayer, but to be quite
certain that evil be bribed to keep its distance, he stealthily
scattered prayer meal as he walked behind the others, and Yahn who was
coming behind them, saw him, and laughed. She was glad of heart to see
that the Te-hua, after years of the white man's religion, was still at
heart, a devotee of the Sun.
He says that Tahn-té the Ruler has not the strong magic, he said
lowly to Yahnbut no one else says so in this land.
Yahn did not care to discuss the power of Tahn-téit was a bitter
thing in her days.
And as the little group went on through the fragrant sage and the
yellow bloom, Tahn-té himself stood almost on their trail, but a little
to one side where a knoll was.
Still as a thing of stone he stood there. His hand shaded his eyes
while he gazed across the sage levelsacross the water of the river
and to the yellow and red sands beyond.
Even at their footsteps near, and their voices, he made no sign and
wavered not in his gaze. Don Ruy glancing at him saw that his
expression was keen, yet incredulous. So strange was it that Don Ruy
instinctively turned in his saddle to see the thing at which Tahn-té
looked and frowned.
At first he could see only the wavering lines of heat across the
leveland then he saw the thing, and with a word halted the others and
Out of the red and yellow sand and soft green patches of the desert
growth a group of men were outlined against the low hills. Indians with
lances and with shields.
That is a curious thing, said Don Ruy. They walk this way yet
their steps bring them not closer! Is it a war party?
Yahn gave one look, drew her breath sharply, and turned speechless
to Tahn-té. José after a long look crossed himself many times and
gripped the sleeve of the padre.
Navahu!he muttered, the terror of his ancient first captors
coming over him. Navahu to battle!
But Tahn-té made a little gesture to reassure the startled
You do not see men alive there, he said,these are not men, but
the shadows of men who will come.
Shadows?the tones of the padre were contemptuous.
Spirit people of the shadowsthese things do come to some eyes,
some days, in our land, stated Tahn-té quietly. This time you have
also been given to see that these things are.
Even as he spoke the mirage of the armed men faded in a whirl of
sand caught up by a wandering wind, and while the others still stared
at the place where it had been, Tahn-té passed them and ran with easy
stride across the levels to Povi-whah.
The Spanish crossed themselves, and even Yahn Tsyn-deh trembled.
Tahn-té had chosen to show the men of iron that his medicine was strong
to bring visions, and what was most wonderfulto bring them before the
eyes of other men!
José was shaking with fear.
All things he hears, he mutteredall things! Under the trees we
spoke wordsfar off they reached his ears! He waited to show us that
his eyes were for the dark or the dayorthe dead! The spirit
men were Navahu. Holy Father, he can bring all the men who ever died to
tramp us into the sand! Holy Father, my heart is very sick!
The others were silent. All were awed, and Padre Vicente was
thinking what was most wise to say. There were enough in the group for
strong witness that Tahn-té had shown them a thing which did not
exist;only a sorcerer could call up men out of the earth and send
them away on the wind!
In the sorcery we had no part, my children, he said at last. The
man who raised those demons fled, as you see, at the sign of the cross!
To-morrow morning we have a mass. It is well to walk in prayer, when
Satan works with his chosen helpers.
Don Ruy looked at him sharplyfor the mirage could not be a thing
of wonder for so travelled a man. But his was not the task to correct
eminence as to natural or infernal agencies, and the effect on the
minds of the two interpreters might prove a thing of grace!
Therefore he bent his head, and rode onward, and smiled at the
secretary, who was careful to ride close, and showed none too much of
courage at this glimpse of the magic of the barbarian who clasped hands
with the godsor the demons!
What dare be written in the 'Relaciones' of a thing like that? he
queried.You smile, Excellency, as if you carried a magic shield, or
enchanted sword lifted from pages of old romance, but what think you
Señor Brancadori will say to this thing of wonder? It does not belong
to the living world we know.
Let it not get into your dreams, suggested Don Ruyor if you do,
content yourself with the fancy that I indeed bear a magic shield and
am ever near enough for you to hide behind it.
I am not so much a coward! retorted the lad,to die for a good
cause in any human way is not a thing to fearbut these magical
Without doubt they do belong to the sorcery of Satan, said Don Ruy
soberly, yet with an eye on the padreand yon supple racer is of
course one of his heirs. Stay you close to me, lad, and forget not your
When they reached the camp, a herald was calling to the people from
the terraces. He was calling for all the men to prepare for battle. In
a vision of the bright day had Tahn-té seen the coming of the Navahu.
The medicine of Tahn-té was strong. Not at home would they wait for
battle. To steal women had the enemy taken the trail to the dwellings
of the Ancient ruins in the hills, and there must the warriors prepare
to meet them on the trail.
The names of men were called as scouts, and the response was quick,
as one after another ran to the kiva for orders, and then started on
the run towards mesa and forest.
Don Ruy looked after them with eyes perplexed.
Does the Cacique regard the mirage with earnestness? he said to
the padre who also watched and listened. The man has a quick, good
brain and marvellous understandings,but to prepare for battle because
of a sun picture in the sand is scarce what I looked for in him.
Padre Vicente smiled with his lips, and stroked his beard.
You have yet to learn that the Indian magic workers let no tricks
go by to prove their greatness,he said. That wench and José were
witness to the thingthus he must claim it as his own! When the scouts
find no Navahu warriors, be sure it will be for the reason that the
magic of the sorcerer caused them to turn back in weakness on the
That will but strengthen his power, if it be so, agreed the
younger man,and how will you surmount that fear of him, and win the
renegade of Ni-am-be to give the word we need?
Protection and a life of ease away from the Indian magicians is a
good bribe for an outcast,and it may be that fortune plays into our
hands. I could wish that the Cacique would follow the scouts with his
mummeries and incantations. You see how they have taught even José the
fear of him!
YesI do see, and but for the story that in this one village is
held the gold secret, I should say to move camp to some province where
bookish caciques hold no sway. How account you for the keen brain of
this wonder-worker? We have pampered and tutored numbskulls in Seville
who know not even their own creed so well as it is known by this
Without doubt it is the power of the Prince of Darkness, and Padre
Vicente gave the opinion with all due forcehaving in remembrance that
scene of the gift of the rosary in the kiva, and seeing clearly that
the Spanish adventurer had more than a little of admiration for the
unexpected daring of the pagan.Witchcraft and sorcery are of the
Devil, and both white men and savages do trade their souls for evil
knowledge. To strip him of his ill-gotten power would be a work of
grace for the Faithand it is a thing for which each Christian should
gladly say many prayers!
Don Ruy well knew that these ardent words were directed at his own
luke-warmness in regard to the young Ruler. Maestro Diego and Juan
Gonzalvo had distanced him in setting a good example to the men of the
A messenger from the kiva approached and spoke to Yahn, and she came
to the Spaniards with a message.
A council was in the kiva. It was about war if war came. The
Po-Ahtun-ho thought it was good that one of the white visitors be asked
to sit and listen; Don Ruy was invited to be that one. The man José was
Don Ruy speculated as to the cause of this courtesy. The Ruler
certainly did not desire the help of the white menthe message did not
even say as much. But it was plain that there were two parties on that
question, and Tahn-té meant to show no fear of his opponents. They
would see he gave them fair chances.
So he went, and José followed, and Yahn watched themto her great,
yet silent rage.
Ka-yemo only reached the village as the last scout was started for
the trail of the Po-et-se cañon. Ka-yemo was the official for the war
orders, yet the orders had been given without speech with him! Over his
head had it been done, and his protest to the governor, and to the old
men in council brought him little of pride or of comfort.
On the trail to see your wife you might have died, said one of the
old men,or on the way coming home. How could we know? If you die and
we have to fightwe have to fight without you. Before you were born we
fought without you.
I was not to see a wife! protested Ka-yemo. I can stay away like
other men. Some one has talked crooked! I was on the mesa talking with
the guardians who make the arrow heads. To the far away ones I talked.
The women send word to them that they are afraid. A ghost is at Pu-yé.
All the women but the Twilight Woman are much frightened. They want
Good! said the governor. The scouts are already on the trail. If
men are needed, each man is ready and each spear is waiting. To the
Po-Ahtun-ho has been shown a vision of the enemyit was not a time to
wait for council.
Ka-yemo's handsome face was still sulky. The vision of Tahn-té might
have waited. He had come down with a fine new story of a ghost seen in
the ruins of Pu-yé, and it was ignored because Tahn-té the Po-Athun-ho
had found a vision!
Tahn-té entered not at all into the discussion of the confiscated
rights of Ka-yemo. Even of the ghost frightening the women he asked no
question. Many things of war were talked of if the Navahu should come
to steal women or corn, and the dusk of the twilight crept after the
vanished sun when Tahn-té turned at last to the war chief.
Ka-yemo, with the men of iron you have spoken much and often, he
said quietly. Do you know who told them first that in Povi-whah was
held the secret of the yellow metal for which they search?
The tongue of Ka-yemo became stiff as all sat silent waiting for his
The padre asked me,he said at last,the padre always makes
people speakI told the padre that which I had heard.
There was a slight stir among the men, but Tahn-té quieted them with
The priest of the iron men has also been told one other thing, he
continuedand it is well for you all, brothers, that you hear this
thing. Oh-we-tahnh, the outcast of Ni-am-be, was a strong medicine man.
He used magic in a dark way for evil. His power was taken from him. He
was told by the council to forget the secret of the sun symbol.
Brothers, he has not forgotten! He has come to the camp of the men of
iron. He eats their food:last night he slept by their walls.
Our brothers of Ni-am-be will not be glad with us if we let this
be, stated one man. The evil magic must be outcast always.
Send some one and find the man, said Tahn-té. When the sun of
to-morrow comes, all who listen here may be on the war trail. It is not
good to leave a coyote loose to do harm when no one watches.
In a little while the outcast was brought into the circle. He
cringed with fear, and his eyes were restless as those of a trapped
wolf. The governor questioned him as to his presence there, reminding
him that the council of Ni-am-be had granted him life only if he take
that life out of sight of his kind. Why then did he come to Povi-whah
and stay in the camp of the strangers?
His only reply was that he would go now, and he would go quickly.
Nonot quickly, said Tahn-té. You will not go quickly any where
ever again. I am looking at you! I say so!
The man stared at Tahn-té like a bird that was under a charm. All
the others saw the steady gaze of Tahn-té, and saw also that the
outcast began to tremble.
Hold out your hand, said Tahn-té, and when it was done, Tahn-té
took from his medicine pouch some pieces of yellow gold. They were
heavy, he passed them around until all might see, then he put the gold
in the hand of the outcast.
Your clan was a proud clan and good, and you made them ashamed,
said Tahn-té. You had strong medicine and you used it for evil until
your name must not be spoken by your brothers. To these men of iron you
would trade that which is not yours: Without speech of council you
would do thisand to do it would be traitor! Because your heart wishes
to give the sun symbol to these strangers, I send you to them with what
your hand can hold. To the priest of the white god give it! Tell him I,
the Po-Ahtun-ho, send it, and no more than that will he ever see here
in Povi-whah. Tell him that the weight of it makes your hand shake and
your body shake. Tell him that the sickness is now in your blood, and
when the day comes again your tongue cannot make words to tell him
things. Tell him if his men put you in the saddle, or carry you to the
hidden place of the Sun Father, that the light of your eyes will go out
on the trail! I am looking at you!and you, who once had a name, and
were a worker of magic, know that I look on you with Power, and that it
will be as I say.
He stooped and drew in the ashes of the place of fire, the figure of
a man with hand stretched out, then, with a breath, he sent the ashes
in a little cloud and each line was obliterated.
To destroy you would not be good,he continued. It is better
that the boys and the young men see the fate given to a traitor. My
brothers,is this well?
It is well! said the men, but the voice of the war chief was not
loud, and his hands shook until he clasped them together and held them
Tahn-té looked around the circle as though undecided, and then
rested on Ka-yemo.
You speak the words of the Castilian man, and like to speak them,
he said quietly, so it will be well for you to make the words for this
man who carries to their priest the gift of the sun symbol. Forget no
thought of itfor all the words have meaning.
And this speech to Ka-yemo was in Castilian, and was plainly said,
and Ruy Sandoval knew then why the courtesy of the council had been
extended to him.
And the outcast, holding the nuggets in his trembling outstretched
hand shook so that he could not go alone up the ladder to the world
Ka-yemo, with a still, strange face of fear, put out his hand to
help the outcast, who looked as if Great King Death had called his
No more words were spoken, and the men in silence followed after.
They had seen a thing of strong medicine, and the Great Mystery had
sent power quickly. That palsy by which the man had been touched had
come with the swiftness of the wind when it whirls the leaves of the
cottonwood. They all knew that the tongue would be dumb, and the eyes
would be blind in the given time if need be.
And Don Ruy like the others, was touched with awe of the man who had
wrought the thing. As he went up the ladder he looked back at the Ruler
who sat stillgazing into the ashes of the place of sacred fire.
CHAPTER XIV. THE TRUE VISION
The sentinels on the terrace who watched the night in Povi-whah knew
these were nights when they did not watch alone. The Po-Ahtun-ho was
abroad in the night for prayer, and when they made reports in the
morning, they knew that he had not waited for such reports ere being
wise as to each shining path of a bright spirit sent earthward by the
Great Mystery,or each shadow passing over the Mother of the Starry
Skirt, or the nearness of the visiting Ancient Star to the
constellations on its trail to the twilight land of many days.
They knew he was watching the world overhead. With the Piñ-pe-yé,
that mystic compass of the Milky Way, was he balancing the fate of
things as written in the light of the Sky Mother whose starry skirt was
a garment to which departed souls cling. So many are the souls of earth
people that their trail makes luminous the white way of the sky, and
all the world, and all the people, can of course be seen from that
height of the sky, and when a dart of heat lightning sped earthward to
the west, the sentinels cast prayer meals and knew that Those Above
were sending messages to Tahn-té who prayed as no other prayed.
And on the heights were his prayers, for ever it was to the mesa and
beyond that his trail led since the mighty wrath of the wind by which
the corn was broken to earth. The darkness was often running from the
dawn ere he came downward from the hills into the valley.
A scout, speeding eastward from the mountains in the dawn saw him
coming down from the ancient place of the Reader of the Stars in
Pu-yéthe sacred place where no other reader of the Sky Things goes in
the night. The Lost Others are known to abide there, and mourn the
barren field of the older day.
At times strange magic circles the ancient dwellings of the cliff.
Before a storm, light flickers like fiery butterflies above the fallen
walls on the summit.
For this reason was it deemed holy, and for this reason were the
women of Shufinne much afraid when the ghost of a woman was seen
plainly there between the edge of the cliff, and the silver disk of the
The scout carried this word, and Tahn-té who had been seen coming
from prayers there, listened, but gave little heed;the women had seen
shadows, and the older men said they were only weary that the men were
so far across the mesas. Fire out of the sky, or out of the earth, had
often danced on those heights, but no woman had been there in a ghost
form ever in the memory of men.
Much more were they intent to know of any trace of warriors on the
hills, but only smoke had been seen far beyond the place of the boiling
water of the hill springs, and the smoke could easily be of Ua-lano
hunters. Other scouts were yet to come. They had made longer runs. This
man had been told to return at dawn of the day.
[Illustration: ONE GIRL WAITED AT THE PORTAL Page 288]
So the word went abroad, and in the Castilian camp, Don Diego gave
fervent thanks. He was none too well pleased that to secure records for
the Relaciones it might be necessary to carry a spear against the
heathen. It had been plainly understood in far off Mexico that the
people to be visited were not a hostile people. They were to be found
waiting for salvation, and with good gold to pay for it!
The offer of the padre to give aid in battle to their Indian
brethren, had been but a courteous pleasantry when uttered. It was a
different matter when scouts were sent abroad by the pagan Ruler to
seek trouble and bring it home to all of them!
Trouble enough was he brewing by that gift to the padre of the
sacred sun symbol. The pariah who brought it was under the curse
medicine of Tahn-té. Before their eyes he sat dumb, and the Castilians
crossed themselves with dread as they looked on him. He was the visible
warning of a doom awaiting any other who dared speak!
Not alone could he lift water to his own lips. The trembling of his
hand was now the trembling of his entire body. By order of Tahn-té he
was to be taken to one of the little cliff dwellings at the foot of the
mesa. Each seven suns, an old man and a group of boys were to have the
task of carrying to him food and water, and each visit the boys were to
be told by the Ancient why the medicine had been put upon the outcast.
Thus all youth would know that the Great Mystery sent power against
In vain Padre Vicente tried to scoff at the reality of it, or the
continuance of it. The men pointed to the palsied man, and prayers were
remembered by many who were not pious. Indian witchcraft was not to
Paracelsus with his necromancy has done nothing worse! declared
Don Diego. This barbarian priest lacks bowels in his devilish art! Had
he not sent the gift of gold, the aggravation would have been less
pointed. That insult from the heretic is not to be endured.
Yet the saints do give us strength for the endurance, Señor,
replied the secretary, and Don Ruy paces apart, and keeps key on his
thoughts since that council. Think you he fears magic of the
A good thing were it true! decided Don Diegoovermuch is he
inclined to countenance their pagan practices, and find likeness in
their mummeries to the mysteries of the Greekand even the Egyptian of
ancient days! The sorcerer has snared him with that ungodly learning of
books. But while we see it, and know it, Chico my son, it is as well
that the thought enters not into the 'Relaciones.' Don Ruy in the
desert is a good comrade, but his Excellency in Madrid could nip any
book in the budeven the most stupendous.
He is so great in power?
He isbut it is enough to know that he is the darling of princes,
and has not yet been ignored by their sisters! That which he wants in
Madrid comes easily to his hand,and this wild adventuring is
Not unprofitable shall it remain, decided Padre Vicente, who had
walked near enough to hear their converse, and whose interest was ever
alert to further knowledge of their patron.Let the heathen sorcerer
send what insolent message he will, it does not change the fact the
gold has been put into our hands. It is clear proof that the story of
the Indian mine was a story of truth.
Strange it is that the abhorred Teo the Greek should have been the
one to carry word of it out to the worldmused Don Diego. Write down
in the 'Relaciones,' Chico, that the ways of the saints are often
wondrous peculiar in the selection of evil instruments for pious
Yes, Señor, and shall I write down also that the piety has not, up
to this date, made so much progress as devout minds could have hoped?
You may do so, conceded Don Diegobut fail not to give the true
reason. Had these poor stubborn barbarians not sent their women away,
the padre would have won many souls for the faith ere this. Women are
the instruments through which religion reaches men. Not until the women
have been frightened back to their homes can we hope for a comforting
harvest of souls.
There is one soul waiting to be gathered with the harvest, said
the lad, pointing to the outcast. If Christian prayers could lift from
his shaking hands the pagan doom, it would not do more to make converts
here than wordy argument.
The governor and the head men approve of his sentence because the
man made camp here without the word of council, stated Padre Vicente.
It is not well to meddle with their Pueblo laws.
Yahn, who listened, saw the smile on Chico's face, and wondered why
the lad should be humorous because the priest did not venture to
measure saintly prayers with heathen medicine!
Glad enough she was that it was so, and eager she was that some one
should tell to Ka-yemo that his new friends had a weaker god than the
god of the Te-hua people,even the medicine of Tahn-téthe medicine
of one manmade them respectful!
But her own lips were sealed between anger and jealousy. Like a
sullen figure of fate she had brooded during the days of strange
changes. Sullen also she listened to speech of sorcery, and speech of
war if war came.
To go to battle was the one way by which Ka-yemo could dominate and
make the men of iron see there was another than Tahn-té in Povi-whah.
This thing she thought of by day, and dreamed of in the night.
She heard his name on the lips of the old women and of Säh-pah,
again they talked of the day when the father had been left behind by
the warriors to pull weeds in the corn!
Like a chained tigress she walked the terraces and heard their
laughter, but no word did she say. If once their laughing words had
been said to her, she felt she would kill Säh-pah!
And Ka-yemo gazed at her with burning eyes afar offyet looked the
other way if by chance they passed each other in the court of the
village. It was true he started over the mesa to Shufinne where the new
wife waited with the other young women and the girl children, but
midway on the trail the thought of Yahn and Juan Gonzalvo had come to
himand he had turned in his tracks, and the new wife of the many
robes, and wealth of shell beads, was not seen by him.
Phen-tza the governor said hard words to him that his actions made
laughter,and that he went about as in an angry dream, and that the
warriors asked who was to lead if the day vision of Tahn-té proved a
I did not see the vision of Tahn-té, retorted Ka-yemothe people
to whom he made it clear of sight, say it was across the river to the
sunrisewhy then does Tahn-té ask for scouts running to the sunset
hills? That is new medicine.
The council asked that thing while you were yet on the mesa, said
the governor patiently. The people who saw the vision of Tahn-té saw
only the spirit form of Navahu warriors, and the governor puffed smoke
from his pipe to the four ways to propitiate the gods for the mention
of those who belonged in the spirit land. But before the vision was
carried away by magic of the wind, Tahn-té saw more than the others, he
saw a dream mountain behind themand cliffs and a mountain pass that
is known to his eyes. Through that pass they were coming, and the pass
is beyond the sacred mountain to the land of the hunting ground of the
sunset. By that trail he knows they comeor they will come!
You think the vision of Tahn-té is clear, and his medicine good!
said Ka-yemoBut the men of iron are wise also. They call
It is not yet the time to say it aloud, warned the governor. This
is a time of strange things, and our eyes saw that which came to the
outcast who carried the sun symbol to the men of iron. The medicine of
the white men is strong, and they could be good brothers in
battle,but not yet has their man of sacred medicine shown magic like
that, and he pointed to the outcast waiting and shaking in the
sunshine against the wall of the village.
Ka-yemo knew by these words that even his own clan watched him
closelyTahn-té had made the jealous hearts afraid.
Yahn saw him go alone to the river's edge, and sit long alone; his
handsome head was bent in thought and to no one could the thought be
told. From the terrace Yahn watched. It was a time when the war chief
should call men and see that bows were strong, and lances ready. It was
not a time to walk apart and be unseen of the warriors. One man, who
fastened a scalp to his lance for good medicine, talked with Säh-pah,
and the woman laughed and asked who would pull weeds in the corn if all
men went seeking the Navahu!
When Yahn Tysn-deh heard that, she went down from the terrace into
her own dwelling, and made prayers to her own gods of her Apache
people. With a blade of obsidian she made scars until the blood dripped
from her braceletted arms. To the divinely created Woman Without
Parents, she chanted a song of prayer, and to the Twin Gods who slew
enemies, she let her blood drop by drop fall on the sacred meal of the
medicine bowl:all this that one man be given powerand all this that
a Te-hua clan be not ashamed in the sight of gods!
Through the words of her prayer she heard the hurry of feet, and the
shrill of voices, and past her dwelling tramped men of iron clanging
the metal of their arms, and the voice of Chico was heard calling her
name at the door, telling her the scouts had found the Navahu camp:to
come quickly to Don Diego. Tahn-té had read aright the magic of the
vision of the sand and the sun!
And Yahn Tsyn-deh slipped shell ornaments over the wounds on her
arms, and went out to make words for the Christians.
CHAPTER XVII. THINGS REVEALED ON THE
All the Castilians but Padre Vicente and Don Diego went with the
warriors to the western heights. For reasons of his own, the padre
preferred the pueblo when freed of the influence of Tahn-té, and Don
Diego preferred to bear him company,a secretary could well look after
the records of warfare, if it came to warfare, though for his own part
he believed not any of the heathen prophecy of the coming of warriors,
and wondered much that his eminence, the padre, showed patience with
their pagan mummeries. He assured the padre that it would be a wrong
against Holy Church to grant the sacraments to the pagan Cacique until
that doom of the outcast had been revoked;To take the power of high
God for the managing of pueblo matters was not a thing to grant
absolution for! And Padre Vicente, to quiet his anxiety on that score,
agreed that when the pagan Cacique came for absolution, he should be
reminded of his iniquity.
And while they settled this weighty matter, the young Ruler who had
prophesied, moved contrary to custom, with the leaders across the high
mesa, and was followed by the Castilian horsemen, in their shining
coats of mail, and on a mule led by Gonzalvo rode Yahn, unafraid, and
with proud looks.
And ever her eyes rested on Ka-yemo who held his place of chief, and
chanted a war song, and was so handsome a barbarian that Don Ruy made
mention of it, and told the secretary that he was worth an entire page
of the Relaciones, even though not a thing of war came in their
The great white cliff of a thousand homes of the past, filled the
Castilian mind with wonder. Generations had lived and died since the
ghost city of the other days had throbbed with life, still the stucco
of the walls was yet ivory white, and creamy yellow, and it looked from
the pine woods like a far reaching castle of dreams.
It was nearing the sunset, and a windless heat brooded over the
heights where usually the pines made whisperings, clouds of flame color
hung above the dark summits of the mountain, and the reflected light
turned the ghostly dwellings to a place of blood-tinged mystery. More
than one of the adventurers crossed themselves. Don Ruy said it looked,
in the lurid glow, like a place of enchantment.
But there are beautiful enchantments, said Chicoand this may be
one of them! Think you we might find walls pictured by Merlin the
magian if we but climb the steep? Magic that is beautiful should not be
hedged around by a mere ocean or two!
This is the place of the ghost woman, stated Yahn,and Shufinne,
where the women are afraid, is beyond.
Within sight was Shufinne, and there the Castilians had expected to
camp. But among the older Indians there had been talkand who can
gauge the heathen mind?
Two camps will we make, they decided. Here is most water for the
animals and here our white brothers can wait; at Shufinne will the
Te-hua guard be awake all the night, and give warning if the enemy
comes,other guards will watch the trail of the cañon. Thus we cover
much ground,no one can pass to the villages of the river;and
quickly can all camps help the one where the enemy comes.
Not so bad is the generalship in spreading their net, said Don
Nor in excluding the stranger from the hiding place of their pretty
maids, added Chico with amusement. Ysobelride you close to me. This
is the place where they herd their women, and guard them,and you are
not so ill favored in many ways as some I have seen.
Ysobel whimpered that it was not to follow war she had left Mexico
and her own people, and like Don Diego she could see no good reason to
search for trouble in the hills.
Then why not stay behind safe walls with the padre? asked Don Ruy,
and Ysobel went dumb and looked at Chicoand the lad shrugged and
Has she not married a man? he queried, and does not the boy Cupid
make women do things most wondrous strange in every land? José would
fare as well without her watchful eye, but no power could make her
think it,so come she would on a lop-eared mule despite all my fine
Youyourselfwould come! retorted Ysobel, so what
But Chico prodded the mule so that it went frisky and sent its heels
in the air, and but for Don Ruy the beast might have left the woman on
What imp possesses you to do mischief to the dame? he
demandedand why laugh that she follows her husband? When you have
more years you may perhaps learn what devotion may mean!
Never do I intend to strive for more knowledge of it than I possess
at this moment! declared Chicosee to what straits it has led that
poor girl, who, but for this matter of a man, would have been good and
safe working in a convent garden. Small profit this marriage business
A selfish Jack-a-napes might you be called, remarked Don Ruy, and
much I wonder that the woman bears patiently your quips. Give us ten
more years, and we'll see you mated and well paid for them!
Ten years!and the lad whistled,let me wait ten of my years
and I can wait the rest of them!
Name of the devil! laughed Don Ruyif you grow impatient for a
mate, we'll charge yon citadel and capture one for you!
Oh, my patience can keep step with your own will, Excellency,
retorted the lad. I've no fancy for halting the expedition, or of
making a winning through another man's arms.
Your conceit of yourself is quite up to your inches, observed his
patron. When you've had a few floutings you'll be glad to send signals
One flouting would be enough to my fancyI'd straightway borrow
myself a monk's robe.
We all think that with the first love affairor even the second
volunteered Don Ruybut after that, philosophy grows apace, and we
are willing to eat, drinkand remain mortal.
Ysobel giggled most unseemly, and Chico stared disapproval at her.
Why laugh since you know not anything of such philosophy, Dame
Ysobel? he asked. It is not given many to gather experience, and
philosophies such as come easily to the call of his Excellency.
The woman hung her head at the reproof, and his Excellency lifted
brows and smiled.
You have betimes a fine lordling's air with you, he observed. Why
chide a woman for a smile when women are none too plentiful?
But they had reached the place of the camp, and the secretary swung
from the saddle in silence. Don Ruy watching him, decided that the
Castilian grandfather must have been of rank, and the Indian
grandmother at least a princess. Even in a servant who was a friend
would the lad brook nothing of the familiar.
Tahn-té stood apart from the Spanish troop while camp was being
made, and a well dug deeper in a ravine where once the water had
rippled clear above the sand. The choice of camp had not been his. The
old men and the warriors had held up hands, and the men of iron were
not to see the women at Shufinne,so it had been voted.
The lurid glow of the sky was overcast and haste was needed ere the
night and perhaps the storm, came. Since it was voted that Pu-yé be the
shelter, Tahn-té exacted that only the north dwellings be usedthe
more sacred places were not to be peered into by strange eyes!
A Te-hua guard was stationed at the ancient dwelling of the
Po-Ahtun. Near there alien feet must not pass. Where the ruins of
ancient walls reached from edge to edge of the mesa's summit, there
Te-hua guards would watch through the night, and signal fires on
Shufinne mesa would carry the word quickly if help was needed.
A Navahu captive from Kah-po came with men of Kah-po, and was left
at Pu-yé. Juan Gonzalvo stationed his own guards, having no fancy for
sleep with only painted savages between his troop and danger. Ka-yemo
for no stated reason lingered near, and watched the Castilians, and
watched Yahn Tsyn-deh;so sullen and strong had grown his jealousy
that here in the hillsapart from the padre, he dared think what could
be made happen to the little cluster of white men if the Kah-po men
would join Povi-whah for battle,and if
Under the eyes of Padre Vicente no such thought would have dared
come to him,but he had brief wild desires to win by some stroke, a
power such as Tahn-té held without question. Let the Castilian whisper
sorcerer ever so loudly, yet the old men of Te-hua would give no heed
without proofsand who could make proofs against Tahn-té?
The words of the governor had cut deepand Yahn who was of the
Tain-tsain clan, would rage if the clan gained not credit by the war
chief,and Gonzalvo the man of iron,would then take her to
himselfandHe walked apart in rage. From the ancient dwelling of the
Po-Ahtun he could hear the chanting of a war song. Tahn-té was invoking
the spirits of battleTahn-té it was who had seen the vision of
warriors and started scouts to the hills;on every side was he
reminded that Tahn-té the priestwas looked upon as Tahn-té the
The Castilians would go back to their own land with that word to
their people, and to their king;and he, Ka-yemo,would have no
mention unless it should be of the weeds pulled in the corn!
His heart was so sick and so angry that he could almost hear the
laughter if he returned without honors:but one man should not
laugh!He did not know how it would happen that he could have the
Capitan Gonzalvo killedbut that man should not laugh with Yahn
[Illustration: IN CASTILIAN WAR DRESS HE STOOD Page 293]
In his sick rage he had brooded and walked far. Along the summit of
the mesa among the ruins had he walked to the east. The weird dead city
of the Ancient Days was made more weird by the strange brooding heat of
the dusk. No cool air of the twilight followed the setting sun this
night. Sounds carried far. No fires were lit in the camp belowyet
movements of the animals told him where the Castilians tethered their
wonderful comrades of the trail.
At any other time he would not have walked alone on the heights
where mystery touched each broken wall, and wrapped the mesa as in a
strange medicine blanket. But in his impotent rage he felt spirit
forces of destruction working against him, and the dread of them dulled
his senses as to the place where he wandered.
And then his heart jumped with a new fear as the form of a woman
arose from a crevice in the stone walldid the ghost of the ruin wait
for him there?
The figure halted uncertainly and then ran toward him with
It was Yahn Tsyn-deh, and she was half laughing and half sobbing,
and the barrier of anger was brushed aside as if it had never been.
Ka-yemo!Ka-yemo! she whisperedYou dare be highest now;and
Tahn-té will be under your feet, Ka-yemo!
She clasped her arms about him as she stumbled, breathless, at his
feet, and his hands clutched her in fierceness.
Is this a trick?he asked. Have I trapped you with a lover, and
you run to me with a new game?
Ohfool, you! she breathedThere was but one lover, and he went
blind, and walked away from me at a daybreak!
She would have said more, but he caught her up and held her too
close for speech, and she felt in triumph the trembling of his body.
The man Gonzalvo,he mutteredI was walking to find the way I
could kill him alone because you wear his gifts.
Fool! she whispered again. Shall I then go to a woman at Shufinne
and kill her because her gifts are with you? I let her live to see that
the gifts she brings are little beside my own! I bring you victory over
Tahn-té the sorcerer of Povi-whah! I bring you the trail to his witch
maid of the hills. With her he comes to make prayers in the night time!
For this he guards the dwellings of the star where she is hidden.
Tahn-té the sorcerer shall be under your feet! Ka-yemoI bring this to
And while they clung to each other, scarce daring to think that
union and triumph was again their own, Tahn-té the Ruler of magic sat
within the ancient dwelling where the symbols of the Po-Ahtun are
marked on the walls even in this day.
In a shadowed corner a tiny fire glimmered, and by its light he
studied the clear crystal of the sacred fire-stone. With prayer he
studied it long, and the things speaking in the milky depths held him
close, and the breath stopped in his body many times while he looked,
and the prayers said through the Flute of the Gods were prayers to the
Trues to which he sent all his spirit.
Then from his medicine pouch he took the seeds of the sacred by-otle
into which the dreams of the gods have ever grown as the blossom grows.
Darklings were these, gathered when the moon was at rest, and no
wandering stars swam high in the night sky. The dreams in these shut
out day knowledge, and the knowledge of earth life. For medicine dreams
they shut out all of a man but that which is Spirit, and the body
becomes as a dead body knowing not anything but dreamsfeeling neither
heat nor cold.
Of all medicine left on earth by the gods who once walked here, not
any medicine is so strong to lift the soul to the Giver of Life even
while the feet walk here over trails of thorns, or the whipping thongs
cut bare to the bone the dancing flesh of penitents.
When Tahn-té had listened to Padre Luis, and had read of the
grievous pain of that one Roman crucifixion of the founder of the
church of Padre Luis, the boy had not been impressed as the good priest
had hoped. Even then he had heard of the medicine drugs of different
tribes, and the Medicine Spirit granted to some, and as a man he knew
that the man to whom the gods give medicine gifts can make for himself
joy out of that which looks like pain. He knew well that the earth born
who drew to themselves God-power, do not die, and the man on the Roman
cross could not die if his medicine Power of the Spirit was strong. He
knew that he had only gone away as all the god-men and god-women have
gone away at times from earth places.
He knew that strong magic of the spirit could always do this for a
man if his heart was pure and steady, but not to another could he give
the spirit power, or the heart of knowledge.
He counted over the seeds of the By-otle and knew that there were
enough to make even a strong man dream of joy while under torture.
After that he dared look more closely into the shifting lights of
the sacred fire stone, and the Castilians in the camp below, and the
guards on the level above, and the plotting woman, and her regained
slave and master heard the call of the Flute, and intonings of sacred
songs from the century old dwelling of the Po-Ahtun.
The battle is here!
The battle of gods is here!
The flowers of shields have bloom,
The death flowers grow!
Among that bloom shall homes be made,
Among the bloom shall we build fair homes.
Brothers:drink deep of warrior wine,
For our enemies we build homes!
Eat:eat while there is bread.
Drinkdrink while there is water.
A day comes when the air darkens,
When a cloud shall darken the air,
When a mountain shall be lifted up,
When eyes shall be closed in death,
Eateat while there is bread,
Drinkdrink of warrior wine![A]
[A] Book of Chilan Balam.
CHAPTER XVIII. THE BATTLE ON THE
The stars had marked the middle of the night, and the Castilian camp
slept, save for the guards who paced quietly through the pine groves,
and the Te-hua sentinels on the summit above, who rested in silence at
the places where footholds carved by pre-historic Lost Others in the
face of the rock wall, afforded a trail for the enemy if the enemy
could find it.
Between the Castilians in the pine below, and the Te-hua sentinels
on the rock mesa of the ruins above, there stretched the line of cave
dwellings high in the rock wall. These needed no guardfor there the
Te-hua warriors slept, and Tahn-té read the fate of things in the
crystal, and made prayers.
But to the east where he had forbidden wandering feet, a man and
woman did crouch in a crevice, and watch while the shining ones
overhead travelled to the center of the sky and then towards the
mountains in the trail of the sun.
For Tahn-té they watchedand the watching was so long that the man
slept at intervals in the arms of the womanbut the woman did not
sleep! Victory was too nearand triumph beat in her blood, and like a
panther of the hills waiting for prey did she listen for the steps of
the man who had known her humiliation.
But when the steps did come, they came not from the Po-Ahtun-ho, nor
were they the steps of a man.
A woman crept lightly as a mountain squirrel from one to another of
the boulders on the eastern hill, and at last climbed to the dwellings
of the Ancient Ones, and reached the portal of the sacred place of the
This was the place where the wise men of old watched the coming of
the gods as they gazed upon earth through the mask of the glimmering
stars. It was not a place for women, for no woman had been Reader of
the Stars within known records of the Te-hua people. Yet it surely was
a woman who crept upwards in the night to the place where women feared
Yahn Tsyn-deh slipped like a snake from the crevice and watched from
the shadow of a rock, and was richly repaid. It was the Woman of the
Twilight who came to the place where Tahn-té had forbidden the
Castilians and warriors to walk, and against the sky Yahn could see the
outline of a water jar borne on her back by the head-band of woven
hemp. She halted for breath, and leaned, a frail, breathless ghost of a
woman, against the wall.
Then with a pebble she tapped on the portal of the star, four times
she made the signal ere another met her in the dusk, and took from her
the burden, and clung to her hand in dread.
In the dusk of the starlight they sat and whispered, for no fire
dare be lit within, and the girl of the bluebird wing ate the bread and
drank water, and breathed her gratitude while she strove to understand
the words of the mother of Tahn-té.
That there was danger she knew for she had seen the many men. Like
things enchanted had she seen themthe men who looked like part of the
animals they rode! In dread and fear had she waited for Tahn-té while
she watched the Ancient Star glowing like an eye of wrath in the
western heavens. It was looking back with an evil look because no gift
had been made to it on the altars of the valley people. Tahn-té had
told her that so long as it shone must she remain hidden. She did not
need to ask why. When with the Navahu savages she had been taunted at
times because the altars of her people knew well the blood of human
sacrifice which they offered with elaborate ceremony to propitiate the
gods of the stars in the sky.
Tahn-té? she whispered to the mother, but the mother shook her
head. Apart from all woman-kind must a priest live when times of stress
come. Tahn-té was fasting and making prayers. A girl hidden in the
caves must not go hungry, but the thought of her must not mingle with
thoughts of penance for the tribe. All heads of the spiritual orders do
penance and make prayers for clear vision when the evil days come.
And they are here? questioned the girl.
They are here. The land was smiling, the corn was good, all was
good. Then the Great Star cameand the men of iron camethe corn was
laid low by the God of the Winds. The Most Mysterious has sent signs to
his people, and the signs are evil and come quickly. My son, the
Po-Ahtun-ho, has seen these signs, and the gods have talked with him.
The maid knew that a mere stray creature could not find room in the
thoughts of so great a manat so great a time; and she sat silent, but
she reached out and held the hand of his mother. Since he could not
speak with her he had sent to her the woman most high and most dear. He
could not come, but he had not forgotten!
He will come again? she murmured, and some memory in the heart of
the Twilight Woman made her speech very gentle.
He will come again when the battle is over, and the days of the
purification are over. It is the work of the Po-Ahtun-ho to see that
the stranger is ever fed and covered with a shelter. So has he brought
you here, and so has he brought the lion skin robe to you here. When
the young moon has grown to the great circle, and the strangers have
gone again to the camp by the river, then will the Po-Ahtun-ho come to
you here in this place. He will come as the circle moon rises over
Na-im-be hills. Many prayers will be made ere that night time, and he
will come with wisdom to say the thing to be done. Until then the
strangers must not see you, and the young foolish men of our tribe must
not see you.
Not much of this was understood by the bewildered maid who must be
kept hidden in secret even in the land of her own people.
But Yahn Tsyn-deh, crouching in the sand outside the portal, heard
and understood, and her heart was glad with happiness, for a vengeance
would fall double strong on Tahn-té if it touched also the medicine god
woman, his mother!
From the broken, whispered sentenceshalf Navahuhalf Te-huadid
Yahn know that the hidden woman was indeed the Navahu witch maid by
whom evil spirits had been led from the west into the great valley.
It had been a wonder night in the life of Yahn Tsyn-deh. The love of
her wild heart had been given back to herand vengeance against his
rival had been put within reach of her hands! The heights of Pu-yé were
enchantedand the Ancient Star had shone on her with kindness. It was
a good time in her life and she must work in quickness ere the change
came, for the watchful gods of the sky do not stand still when the
signs are good signs.
And she crept back to the arms of her lover, and they watched
together the medicine shadow woman creep downward until the dark hid
Yahn counseled that at once they go to the governor and tell that
which they heard, but Ka-yema said no, for if the Navahu enemy did
come, the power of Tahn-té was needed by the Te-hua warriorsit was
not the time to kill the witch woman or kill the prayer thoughts.
You are strong to fight without Tahn-té, whispered the girl who
made herself as a vine in her clinging clasp of him.
But not to fight against Tahn-té and his secret powers of the sky,
answered Ka-yemo. The old men know he is strong in visions. When the
time comes that he fall low in their sight, there will be many days
that their hearts will be sick. We must not make these days come when
we have enemies to fight.
Do you fear? demanded the temptress petulantly. It irked her that
his first thought was of cautionwhile hers was of annihilation for
the man who loomed so large that no other man could be seen in the
If you think I fear would you find me here in this witch place with
you? he asked. It has been forbidden that any one comes hereyet
have I come!
Plainly he felt brave that he had defied the Po-Ahtun-ho in so much
as he had walked to the forbidden sacred places, and Yahn felt a storm
of rage sweep over her at the knowledge. But it had been a storm of
rage like that by which he had once been driven away from her! And she
smothered all the words she would have spoken, and clung to him, and
whispered of his greatness,and the pride he could bring to the clan
when Tahn-té, the lover of witches, no longer made laws in the land.
In her own heart she was making prayers that the alarm of the Navahu
warriors prove a false thing, and the vision of Tahn-té be laughed at
by the clans. To hear him laughed at would help much!
But that was not to be, for ere the dawn broke, came shouts from
Shufinneand signal fires, and the Te-hua men of Pu-yé ran swiftly to
guide their Castilian brothers in arms, and the savages who had hoped
to steal women in the darkness, found that thunder and lightning and
death fought for the Te-hua peopleand the men of iron rode them down
with the charméd animals and strange battle cries.
When the daylight came there were dead Navahu on the field south of
Shufinnethe flower of the shields had bloom! Two dead Te-hua men were
also there, and a wounded Navahu had been taken captive by Juan
Gonzalvo. Ka-yemo carried two fresh scalps, and Don Ruy lay huddled in
a little arroyo, where a lance thrust had struck him reeling from the
saddle, and Tahn-té had leaped forward to grapple with the Navahu who,
hidden on the edge of the steep bank, waited the coming of the horseman
and lunged at him as head and shoulders came above the level.
Where the breastplate ends at the throat he struck, and the blade of
volcanic glass cut through the flesh. At the savage yell of triumph the
horse swervedstumbled, and with a clatter of metals rolled down the
As the Navahu rushed downward with lifted axe and eager scalping
knife, an arrow from the bow of Tahn-té pierced the temple of the
savage, and with a grunt he whirled and fell dead beside the Castilian.
The horse had quickly regained his feet, but the rider lay still,
the blood pulsing from his throat and staining the yellow sand. With
dextrous fingers Tahn-té removed the helmet and breastplate that the
position of the body might be eased. With sinew of deer from his pouch,
and a bone awl of needle-like sharpness, he drew together the edges of
the wound, then turning to where the Navahu lay prone on his face in
the sand, he deftly cut a strip of the brown skin a finger's width
across, and in length from shoulder to girdle; this he took from the
yet warm body as he would take the bark from a willow tree, and bound
it about the throat with the flesh side to the wound.
Take my horse and follow, whispered Don Ruy, who had recovered
breath and speech,I am not yet so dead that I need the grave
diggeryou can ridetake my horse and follow.
Tahn-té had leaped to the saddle, when a cry at the edge of the
arroyo caused him to halt, it was so pitiful a cry, and tumbling down
through the sand and gravel came Master Chico with staring eyes of
fear, and lips that were pale and quivering. The flayed back of the
savage had he caught sight of, and the white face of Don Ruy who looked
dead enough for masses despite his own assertion to the contrary, and
the lad flung himself on his excellency with a wail that was far from
that of a warrior, and then slipped silently into unconsciousness.
With the thought that a death wound had struck the lad who had come
to die with his master, Tahn-té turned the face back until the head
rested on the arm of the Castilian, lightly he ran his hands over the
body, and then halted, his eyes on the face of Don Ruy, who gazed
strangely at the white face on his arm. The cap was gone, the eyes were
closed, and the open lips showed the white teeth. In every way the face
was more childish than it had ever appeared to himchildish and
Then Tahn-té, who held the wrist of Chico, laid it gently on the
hand of Don Ruy.
Only into the twilight land has she gone, Señor, he said
softlyeven now the heart beats on the trail to come backto you!
Don Ruy stared incredulously into the eyes of the Indian, and a
flush crept over his own pale face as he remembered many things.
Doña Bradamante! he murmured, and nodded to Tahn-té, who leaped on
the horse and rode where the yells of the victors sounded in the piñons
towards the hills. Beyond all the other horsemen he rode, and saw far
above in the scrubby growth, the enemy seeking footholds where the
four-footed animals could not follow. Then, when Ka-yemo had called the
names of the trailers who were to follow the enemy beyond the summit,
Tahn-té the Po-Athun-ho turned back and chanted the prayer of a prophet
to whom the god had sent true dreams.
The Castilians watched him as he came; so proudly did he carry
himself that the men swore an army of such horsemen would win half the
battle by merely showing themselves, and the old men of Te-hua knew as
they looked on him, and as they counted the slain and wounded, that
Tahn-té had indeed been given the gift of the god-sight to save the
women of the valley.
Juan Gonzalvo swore ugly oaths at sight of the horse of Don Ruy.
Since the pagan had taken it as his own, it was plain to be seen that
some woeful thing had chanced to his excellency.
But to their many questions Tahn-té led them to the arroyo where Don
Ruy was indeed wounded, and where a pale secretary was carrying water
in his hat to bathe his excellency's head, and his excellency let it be
done, and exchanged a long look of silence with Tahn-té, who
The ankle of Don Ruy had a twist making it of no use to stand upon.
The Po-Ahtun-ho made a gesture to Chico to hold the horse while he,
with a soldier to help, put it straight with a dextrous wrench, and the
secretary several paces away, turned white at the pain of it.
Then was his excellency helped again to his saddle, and the men from
Mexico marvelled at the surgery of the pagan priest who killed and
flayed one man to mend another with.
CHAPTER XIX. THE APACHE DEATH TRAP
When the runners carried the word to the river that the vision of
Tahn-té had been a true vision, the padre and Don Diego stared at each
other incredulous. It was a thing not to be believed by a Christian.
Yet the runners said that many Navahu scalps and two dead Te-hua men
witnessed the truth of it, and the men of iron had proven indeed
brothers in the time of battle. The governor made thanks to Don Ruy,
who was wounded, and his Excellency had sent the secretary back to camp
with Ysobel since there was not anything new to record. The Te-hua men
would dance the scalp dance when they came to the village, and two
clans mourned for men left dead on the mesa meadows.
The padre regretted that he had not gone with the troop. Since they
had won honor and thanks, it was the good time to work for the one
favor of the gold in return.
And Don Diego regretted the Te-hua men who had died without
The secretary stated that the clans of the dead men were clamoring
for the Navahu captive taken by Gonzalvo, and there was much talk about
it. Also that the Navahu said it was one maid they came searching
fora Navahu maid who wore bluebird wingsthey had not thought to
harm Te-hua women! Of course the Te-hua men thought that was a lie, for
the Navahu always wanted more women.
But the old men of the village to whom it was told looked at each
other with meaning.
It was a strange thing that the men of Te-gat-ha to the north, and
the men of Navahu from the west, took the trail to search for that one
maid of mystery. The ground over which she passed had reached far, and
the evil wrought by her had been great. The wise men of Te-gat-ha knew
that the tornado followed her trail, and the Navahu men who searched
for her, had found death and defeat. Prayers must be made against the
evil of her if her feet should cross the land of the Te-hua people.
And all through the long beautiful twilight the tombé sounded from
the terraces, and the mourners for the dead on the high mesas knew that
prayers were being made against new eviland that the medicine men
would in an early day demand penance and sacrifice of many if the cloud
of dread was not lifted from their hearts.
Four days of purification must be observed by the warriors ere
entering again their home village after a battle to the death. And Yahn
could not by any means approach Ka-yemo during that time, which did not
prevent her speech with other men. To Juan Gonzalvo she talked, and
Gonzalvo chafed under the restrictions of Don Ruy. Steadily in his mind
had grown that thought of the parentage of Tahn-té. He was unwilling to
think that the native mind could have the keenness and the logic of
this barbarian whose eyes were the color of the darkest blue violets,
and whose diabolic power made even the Castilians awe-struck, and sent
them to prayers more swiftly than did the sermons of the padre. If he
only dared hint it to the padreif by some god-given power he, the
insolent Cacique, could be delivered into their handsif as the son of
Teo the Greek, he could come within the law of the Inquisition for his
devilish heresiesthe all too lenient Inquisition demanded white blood
in its victimswhat a triumph it would be for the Faith to add the
sorcerer to the list! For such a triumph would Gonzalvo have been
willing to tread with bared feet all the sands of the trail to Mexico.
With such pious intent did he question much of Yahn, who knew
littleand was indeed afraid when the medicine god woman was asked of.
She had seen that which had come to the outcast of Na-im-be who would
have told tribal things, and she had no wish to grow dumb, or blind, or
a trembling wreck in the time of one sun across the sky.
But she did go with him to the place of the well in the sand at
Shufinne at the time when the Twilight Woman went for water. He waited
there and drew for her the water, and watched closely her face as he
spoke a Castilian word of greeting. If he had hope that she had ever
before heard such words his hopes were fruitless. She was so
indifferent to his presence that not even once did she lift her eyes
from the water jar or look in his face, and the fragile figure turned
from him and walked away as if Castilian warriors were seen daily on
the path to that well.
Yahn knew that all the other women wished greatly to be let go down
to the village that they might see and be spoken to by the great
strangers, and she hid in the brush to watch the medicine god woman and
even won courage to ask of her who had filled the water jar so quickly.
Was it not then the stranger who is your lover, Yahn Tsyn-deh?
asked the other, not as one who cares, but as one who states a
factthe man whom you give love to in these new days.
Who says I give love? demanded Yahn. Säh-pah the liar, or Koh-pé,
who knows not anything!
You walk together alone as lovers walk. The other women do not
think they lie.
They are foolsthe other women! stated Yahnalso they are
liars. They are glad if a man of the beard looks the way they
are,they would make a trail to follow if the men of iron whistled
them,they would be proud to make their own men ashamedthey!
For the first time the older woman looked in the face of the girl
with intentness, as though suddenly aroused to interest in the human
drama about her, and the actors in it.
Then you would not follow, Yahn Tsyn-deh? she asked. The others
say you laugh at the men of the tribe and give love to the
strangersthey say you pass Ka-yemo on the trail and your eyes never
see him any more because of the men of iron who give you gifts!
A jealous woman says that! stormed Yahn Tsyn-deh,a woman who
maybe lies to him when he will listen! You see this:and she picked
up a black water worn pebble with a vein of white through the heart of
itSometime when the Earth Mother was beginning with the work, these
two were maybe not together like this. They were apartmaybe it was
before the ice went from around our world and the mountains sent fire
to split the rocks. Look you nowyou are wise, but maybe you do not
know how this is, for you go into shadow lands, and men and women, and
the stones over which your feet walk, are all the same to youalso the
love of a man and a woman are not anything to your thoughts!
The other looked at her, and beyond her, and said nothing. The words
of Yahn were words of angry insistence on the thought she had never yet
been able to expressand to say it to even the god medicine woman who
sheltered a witch, was to speak it aloud, and have it forgotten!
You are wise in medicine craft but do you know how this grew?she
demandedI knowI feel that I know!the mountain fire or the
sky fire broke it that the white stone of fire could be shot like an
arrow into the heart of it. To keep some count it was made like that by
the Most Mysterious;and in the hand of the Mystery it was heldand
the hand was closed over it while the mountains came down to the
rivers, and the rivers made trails through rock walls. When the hand
was opened and the sun looked on it, it was grown into one;can you
with all high medicine put them apart?can you break the black and
leave the white not broke? Can you make two colors of the powder you
would grind from it between grinding stones?Yet the two colors are
there! Like the two colors are Ka-yemo and Yahn Tsyn-deh. One they were
made by some magic of the Great Mystery, and no woman and no man, and
no lies of women, can break them apart! When you hear them lie another
time, you can look at this stone, and know that I said it!
She had worked herself into such a passion that the long smothered
rage against the women who spoke her name lightly in the village spent
itself on the one woman of all who lived most apart from such speech.
But aloud had Yahn Tsyn-deh said once for all that her life was as the
life of Ka-yemo, and that no earth creature could make that different,
and for the saying of it aloud she was a happier woman.
And Gonzalvo who listened to her defiance, fancied that the silent
woman of mystery had given her chiding, and that Yahn was doing wordy
battle for the new Castilian friends.
All the more could he think so when Yahn joined him with her great
eyes shining like stars, and braided in her hair some flowers he had
plucked for herand walked back to the camp with him openly before all
And she said to him;I like only men who fight,men who are not
afraid. Tell your priest who does not like me that now is the time to
speak again to the council of the sun symbol and of brothers. The old
men have seen that your fighting was good, and that it saved them their
women. This will be the time to speak.
But their proud Cacique
It is a good time to speak she insistedelse will Tahn-té grow
so tall with prophecies that his shadow will cover the land, and the
men in the land,tell your priest that the shadow has grown too tall
now for one man. Other men have fought well and taken scalpsyet only
one name is heard in your campthe name of Tahn-té who sees visions in
He wondered at her mocking tone of the visions in the hills, for no
other Indian mocked at the visions of the sorcerer.
Don Ruy was well agreed to get back to the fair camp by the river,
and so pleased with them were their new comrades in arms, that he was
amused to see more than one dame of the village trudging homewards
across the mesa:they forgot to doubt the new allies who had helped
send the Navahu running to the hills. When he reached Povi-whah he
rallied Chico that he kept close to the camp and found so many
remembered records to put safely down the Relaciones, when there were
more than a few pairs of strange dark eyes peeping from the terraces.
But Chico had quite lost the swagger of the adventurous youth since
he tumbled down the arroyo bank almost on top of the flayed savage. The
fainting fit need not have caused him so much of shyness, since his
Excellency had also apparently indulged in the same weakness;for
Chico on awaking had carried two hats full of water and drenched his
highness completely ere he had opened his eyes and again looked on the
world. However, without doubt that fainting fit of Master Chico's had
taken away a fine lot of self confidence, for ink-horn and paper gave
all the excitement he craved. His audacity was gone, and so meek and
lowly was his spirit, that Don Diego had much pleasure in the thought
that the vocation of the lad was plainly the church, and that sight of
the dead, unconfessed barbarians, had awakened his conscience as to
human duties for the Faith.
This interesting fact he made mention of to Don Ruy, who bade him
god speed in making missionaries out of unexpected material,and got
more amusement out of the idea than one would expect, and Don Diego
hinted that it was unseemly to jest at serious matters of the saving of
souls when his own had stood so good a chance at escape through the
hole in his neck.
It may be that I found a soul through that same wound, said Don
Ruy, at least I gained enough to make amends for the scar to be left
by the wicked lance.
It is true that the knowledge gained of their savage surgery is a
thing of import for the 'Relaciones,' agreed Don Diego,but only the
infidel Cacique made practice of it, and his acts are scarcely the kind
to bring a blessing on any workI have been put to it to decide how
little space to give his name in these pages. It is not a seemly thing
that the most wicked should be the most exalted in the chronicles of
Whether exalted or not he must be again considered in this quest of
the gold, stated Padre Vicente, Gonzalvo brings me word that more
than one of the tribe would have joy in his downfall, and that it is
the good time to talk with the head men openly on this question. Our
men have helped fight their battles:thus matters have changed for us.
Many of the women are allowed to come homethey perceive we are as
brothers and are not afraid.
They also perceive that we have a Navahu war captive whom they
desire exceedingly for use on the altar of the Mesa of the
Hearts,observed Don Ruy. They are much disturbed for lack of a
sacrifice these days. They say the Ancient Star will send earth
troubles until such sacrifice is made, some of the clans must donate a
member unless the gods send a substitutetheir preference is for a
young and comely youth or maiden. They plainly hinted to Gonzalvo that
the Navahu has been given into our hands by the gods for that purpose.
Don Diego was emphatic in his horror, but the padre explained that
from the heathen point of view it was not so cruel as might be thought.
When the savages went to war they prepared themselves for such fate if
captured. More:the death was not torture. The ceremonies were
religious according to the pagan ideachants and prayers and garlands
of flowers and sacred pine were a part of the ritual. The blade of
sacrifice must be sharp, and the heart removed from the victim quickly
and held to the sun or the star behind which the angry god waited. When
it was a sacrifice of much high import, it was made on the Mesa of the
Hearts, and in remembrance a heart shaped stone was always left near
the shrine by one of the secondary priests:for that reason one could
find many heart shaped stones, large and small on that mesa. When a
medicine man found one, even in a far hunting ground, he brought it
home for that purpose.
And the body of the victim? asked Don RuyI have been on that
mesa and seen no boneswhat becomes of it?
If it is trouble of floods or storm or drouth, the victim is thrown
to the god of the river below. On the mesa to the west is an ancient
circle of stones with the entrance to the east. The ordinary sacrifice
is made there for good crops, and the body is divided until each clan
may have at least a portion which he consumes with many prayers.
Don Diego confessed that such ritual sat ill upon even a healthy
stomach, for his own part the open air seemed good and desirable, and
he was of a mind to return whence they had come, rather than risk
longer unauthorized visits among such smiling soft voiced savages.
Since his eminence had learned thus much of their horrors, who was to
know how many might be left untold?or how soon the tribes might have
a mind to circle the camp and offer every mother's son of the
Christians on some such devilish altar?
Even while he spoke a curious shock ran through the men, and they
stared at each other in amaze and question. Plainly the floor had
lifted under their feet as though some demon of the Underworld had
heaved himself upward in turning over in his sleep.
Screams and loud cries were heard from the terraces, men came
tumbling up the ladders from the kivas, and Master Chico let fall a
slender treasured volume of Señor Ariosto's romances and ran, white
faced and breathless to Don Ruy, who caught and held him while the
world swayed about them.
In truth he did not even release him so quickly as might be after
the tremor had passed, but no man had time or humor to note the care
with which he held the secretary, or that it was the lad himself who
drew, flushing red, from the embrace of very strong arms.
II feared you might not knowI came to tell you was the lame
explanation to which Don Ruy listened, and smiled while he listened.
I wonder what 'Doña Bradamante' would have done in all her bravery
of white armor if such an earth wave had shaken her tilting court? he
asked, but the secretary did not know, and with face still flushed, and
eyes on the ground, went to seek Yahn Tsyn-deh to hear if this was a
usual thing that walls lifted in wavy linesand that chimneys toppled
from Te-hua dwellings.
The old people said it was long since the earth had shaken itself,
and they watched closely the Mesa of the Hearts, and the mesa of the
god-maid face, and a mountain over towards Te-gat-ha. If the anger of
the earth was great against earth people, then smoke would come from
certain earth breathing places,and the sentinels kept watchand the
old men watched also.
And around the village went a murmur of dire importfor it was
plain that the Great Mystery was sending many signs to the Te-hua
people;the altars had been too long empty!
A strange foreboding filled the air, and the Castilians gathered in
little groups and talked. To send the Navahu captive to his death at
the hands of the tribe was not to their fancy, but if a member of a
Te-hua clan must be offered up, who could tell what vengeance that clan
might not take on the strangers?
Padre Vicente looked over all, and listened to much, and then talked
to the governor:was it not the time to take strong brothers that they
share both the evil and the good together?
The gods are certainly not well pleased with us, we make offerings
and we make prayersand the only good they let come to us has been our
brothers of the iron and thunder and the fire sticks, said Phen-tzah.
Yes, I think it is the time to take brothers of a strong god.
This was the word of the governor and it was the strongest word yet
given for union. But the governor made it plain that he did not belong
to the order holding secret of the sun symbol. The Po-Athun were the
people who must decide these spirit things. He thought the hearts of
the old men of that order were kind and soft for the strangers,
butthe head of that order was Tahn-té, the Po-Athun-ho!
This gave pause for thought, every man who chose to go contrary to
the will of Tahn-té, found himself well nigh helpless in the Indian
land, his infernal gods were so strong that the Castilians were none
too eager to flout them, only Yahn Tsyn-deh seeing the crisis of
things, crept to Juan Gonzalvo and whispered,
You hate the Po-Athun-hoand you say love words to me. You think
you want me?
Juan Gonzalvo was a blunt soldier who had never before been kept at
the distance of Tantalus by an Indian girl who took his gifts. On her
brown neck a silver necklace of his shone richly, and in her braided
hair corals of the sea gleamed red. While others had fled to the altars
for prayers,and sprinkled sacred pollen to the Go-hé-yahsthe
mediators between earth and spirit worldYahn had bathed in the river
and made herself beautiful with Castilian gifts and barbaric trinketry.
To the man who measured her with eager eyes, she looked beautiful as
the Te-hua goddess of whom she had told himTa-ah-quea who brings the
He told her so while he devoured her with his glances.
Good! she said. You give me love, and you hate the Po-Athun-ho.
You can have us both if your heart is brave this night.
His arms would have clasped her for that promise, but she eluded him
Your Don Ruy tells you the Po-Athun-ho must have no harm, she
whispered, but is there not among your men, one, maybe even three
soldiers who are master of the bow,and can destroy in silence?
Gonzalvo was himself a master bowmanand had some pride in knowing
it, also he could if need be, pick men of his company who had skill,
and could be trusted.
Could you send these men as if to hunt or to fish,could you have
them find the way past the Te-hua sentinels to the place where they
camped in the pines? and she made a gesture towards Pu-yé. Could you
secretly find your way there in the dark before the Mother Moon looks
full on the face of the earth?
I can do thisand I can do more than this.
Can you win for your people the good heart of the council that they
show you the sun symbol? she asked. Only Tahn-té closes the door to
you, and they fear Tahn-té. Tell me why your hate of him is strong.
His father was the Devil. Through the devil soul he learns magic
Good! You hear the wise men tell of a maid of evil who brought the
tornado and the battleand now brings this shake of the world?
The witch maid, and Gonzalvo crossed himselfYesthe men speak
of her in whispersand the Indians say a sacrifice must be made.
It must be made, said Yahn Tsyn-deh, and her white teeth shut
tight in decision. Maybe it happens that you can make it, and win the
Imake the sacrificeI?
Not where the altar is, soothed Yahn as he recoiled from the
thought. But listen you!maybe I dreambut listen!maybe the witch
maid is a human thing with the heart of magic like Tahn-té,maybe I
can find them together for you in the sacred place of the stars in
Pu-yé. Maybe the spirit of Tahn-té has been traded into her keeping,
and with the double strength of evil she will destroy the earth in this
place. The stars say so;a great evil is coming! The medicine men see
it in the sacred vessels of water and in the clear stone of the ancient
prophetsthey say so! You are a brave heartyou can save these people
and win the gold secret from the council. If you want Yahn Tsyn-deh for
love you will do this thing!
[Illustration: SHE LED HIM UP THE ANCIENT STAIRWAY Page 295]
Gonzalvo stared at her incredulous, she was crediting him with a
power that would place him high in the Castilian campif he could win!
And moreshe was to give him her own intense, glowing, restless self!
I also hate Tahn-té,that is why! she said frankly, and I love
only men who are brave above all other men. Your fire sticks of thunder
must not be heard on the heights of Pu-yé, but when Tahn-té and the
witch meet there in the night, your arrows must send them together to
the Afterworldnot one alonebut together! When the men of
Te-hua find the dead witch (for the men of Te-gat-ha and the Navahu can
witness that it is the one!) and when they find the lion robe of
Tahn-té on her body,and other gifts of Tahn-téand find them dead
the one beside the other, then the man who has made this happen will be
a great man! Even the men of Te-gat-ha will come with gifts, and the
men of Te-hua will give you honor, and will open the trail for you to
the sun symbol. There will be no Tahn-té to put evil magic on them for
doing so! When he is found dead with the witch maid they will see
clearly that his magic was evil magic, and they will have breath that
is deep and free again. Also IYahn Tsyn-dehwill walk beside you
where you choose.
Low and rapid was her speech there in the shadow of the adobe
walland so fair was the dream she made clear for him, that he felt
himself grow dazed with the glory of ityet he was a strong man!
If it was true that Tahn-té and the witch nested together in the
ruins of Pu-yé, he knew well that the day of the young Ruler was ended
in Povi-whah, or in any Te-hua council where it was known. But the
strange mental or spiritual power of Tahn-té made it a thing of danger
to let him live after accusal had been made. The way of Yahn seemed the
best of all ways. If he was found dead beside the maid accursed, the
evidence would be clear against himand the True Faith would have the
credit for such extermination!
He knew this was not a thing to speak of to Don Ruyand though the
padre was enemy to every thought of Tahn-téhe feared even the
padrethat strange man who knew so much that was hidden in Indian
life, would so clearly see that Yahn Tsyn-deh was as much the motive as
gain of the gold, or glory for Mother Church.
No,it was a thing to think out alone.
Yahn pressed his hand furtively and smiled on him as he left her,
and then entered her own dwelling and sprinkled prayer meal to the
spirits who carry messages to the gods.
Then she sent a child for Ka-yemo and gave the child some dried
peaches that he be content to stay with his fellows in the sunshine and
Ka-yemo entered her dwelling for the first time in many moons and
clasped her close, and then seated himself in the farthest corner from
the Apache god pictures while Yahn Tsyn-deh talked.
Her voice was low, and often she went to the opening to see that no
one listened, and Ka-yemo was wonder-struck at the greatness of the
thing she whispered.
You have won scalps in this battleyou have led the men in the
scalp dance, and the people know you are strong. If Tahn-té went out of
the world now, at this time, you would be strongest. This is the time
he must go!
But if the vengeance of the Castilians came heavy?
It will not come heavy. Don Ruy has forbidden Gonzalvo even to
speak words against Tahn-té to the padre. So it is that he would be
angry if Gonzalvo sent arrows into the Po-Ahtun-ho. You must not
do it, for his magic power might come heavy on your head. If you fear
to destroy the Castilian capitan you are foolish in your thoughtfor
it need never be known. Look!here are arrows of the Navahu, from the
place of battle I gathered many, these are the arrows for the work. Let
Gonzalvo risk the magic of Tahn-té, and the magic of the witch maid,
and destroy them, then you must alone, trail the Castilian, that he
comes not back alive to tell how it was done! The Navahu arrows will
take the blame from your headit will be plain that some Navahu men
stayed to take pay for their dead! So it will be, and you, Ka-yemo,
will stand high, and your clan will be proud that no man stands more
high. And IYahnwill be with you each step of the life trailand
each step we dare look down on all others and be proud. The songs you
sing can be proud songs!
The blood of Ka-yemo jumped in his veins at that picture of victory
as drawn by Yahn Tsyn-deh. Now, since she had asked him to destroy Juan
Gonzalvo was he at last content in the thought that her love had not
wandered from him, Ka-yemo! Even in the days of silence and anger had
he held her spirit;and to do that with a woman is proof that a man is
strong! It made him feel there in the dwelling of Yahn the Apache, that
he could do battle in the open for her with the Castilian capitan if
need be and have no fear;how much more then would he dare do the work
to be done in secret on the heights!
Thus did Yahn Tsyn-deh spin her web that Tahn-té and the maid of the
forest be caught in its meshes, and it seemed good to her that the men
of iron be killed when chance offered;especially must the Castilian
capitan not be let live to tell the clan of Tahn-té aught of how the
plan was made;and above all had she spoken truth to the Woman of the
Twilight by the path to the well:her life was as the life of
Ka-yemo;if the Castilian escaped and dared claim the price she
At that thought Yahn felt for the knife in her girdle, and had joy
that the edge of it was keen as the steel of the Castilians, and her
smile was a threat as she almost felt her hand thrust and twist it in
the flesh of the man of iron who had dared think himself the equal of
Some savage creatures of the wilderness there are who choose their
mates, and stand, to live or to die, against all foes who would break
the bond. The tigress will watch her mate do battle for her and then
follow his conqueror,but Yahn Tsyn-deh had not even so much as that
meekness of the tiger in her;her own share of the battle would she
fight that the mate she chose should remain unconquered. Proud she was
of his beauty and of his grace in the scalp dance,but more proud
would she be when no serene young Po-Athun-ho looked at her lover as if
from a high place of thought. It was, strangely enough, the unspoken
in Tahn-té against which she rebelled in bitterness. No word that was
not gentle had he ever spoken to herand to Ka-yemo no word that
lacked dignity. It was as if the man in his thoughts was enthroned on
the clouds:and at last she had found the way for that cloud to be
dragged low in the dust!
CHAPTER XX. THE CHOICE OF YAHN
And while Yahn Tsyn-deh laid the trap, and the medicine drums
sounded, and the women gathered the children close because of the
trembling earth, one girl robed in the skin of a mountain lion waited
alone at the portal of the star, and knelt in the shadow, and looked
with eyes of fear at the great pieces of severed cliff, or ancient wall
sent crashing downwards by the force of the earth shock.
Past her portal they had crashed until it seemed the roof must fall
also, and she gathered the robe of Tahn-té about her, and came as far
as might be into the openand watched with longing eyes the trail
across the mesa to the great river!for that trail was as the path of
the sun to her,or the rainbow in the sky!
The feet of Tahn-té had touched that trail, and when the night came,
and the moon rose in the great circle over the eastern hillsover that
trail would he come, and though the mountains themselves crashed
downwards to the mesa, he would hold her close, and the very spirits of
darkness could send no more fear!
She kept very still there waiting at the portal, for strange noises
were heard on the mesa, a dislodged stone rumbling down the long
slopeor a bit of loose clay falling from the ancient walls. At times
the smaller sounds suggested passing feetand above all things must
she remain hidden from people until he came for herhethe god-like
one who had brought her to this dwelling so akin to the dwellings of
the Divine Ones of the Navahu land in the place called Tsé-ye. The
difference was that the Tsé-ye dwellings were deep in the heart of the
worldwhile these dwellings were lifted high above the world.
But she knew without words that he indeed belonged to the Divine
Ones ere he brought her to the ancient dwellings. That her name had
been in his heart, and on his lips before she herself had told him, was
but a part of the strange sweet magic of the new life into which he had
Through the stormsand the dark nightsand the long days of
loneliness had she lived since he had hidden her first from the scouts
of Te-gat-habut they had passed over her as dreams of sweetness
pass.That the groves of pine, or the mesa of the river, hid him from
her sight, did not mean to her that he had quite gone away, the
wonderful magic wrought by him made it possible for her to feel his
arms about her even when she lay alone in the darkness of the dwelling
of the star. To be hidden like that, and to watch for his coming, was
to be granted much joy by the gods. That the gods exact payment for all
joys more than mortal, was one secret Tahn-té did not whisper to her,
though the thought had clouded his own eyes more than once as he
clasped her close to him.
What the gods would exact he did not know, but daily and nightly he
made prayers to the mediators of the spirit land, and hoped in his
heart that the god of his people prove not akin to the jealous god of
the men of iron;for a jealous god would, without doubt, take her from
him! Against men he could protect herbut if the gods awokeand were
And he remembered the fastings, and the penance, and the prayers by
which he had, unknown to all others, dedicated his life to the gods
But of this he said no wordonly held her more close in his
thoughtsbut ever a gray shadow moved beside himthe shadow of an
unknown fearand it was the same shadow by which he had been led to
count over the seeds of the sacred growththat he be sure it was in
his power to make the death sleep beautiful to her, if the death sleep
should shorten their trail together in the Earth Life.
She knew nothing of his fear, and watched each lengthening shadow
with delightsince the growing shadows were heralds of his coming!
Even the trembling of the earth was forgotten in that joyand she
scarcely noted that the air had grown strangely sultryalmost a thing
of weight it seemed;a brooding, waiting spirit, silencing even the
whisper of the pinesand the whisper of the pine was sacred music to
the Te-hua people;through all the ages it had whispered, until in a
good hour it had given voice to their earth-born god!
She knew not anything of the gods of her own people, and the ominous
silence of the pines meant not to her what they would mean to a girl of
the river villages. But the magic of the place did make itself felt to
her when her robe, as she touched it, sent out little snappings as of
fireflies' wings, and far across the land tiny flashes flamed from
earth to sky as the dusk grew. When she shook loose her hair that she
might arrange it more pleasing for his sight, she was startled by the
tiny crackling, like finest of twigs in a blazeand to smooth it into
braids silenced none of the strange magic;each time her hand touched
it, the little sparks flashedunder the heavy brooding atmosphere,
electric forces were at work in strange waysand on the heights of
Pu-yé they have for ages been proof of the magic in those mountains.
Therefore is it a place for prayer.
Startled by the strange earth breathings, the girl crept within the
portal for her waitingand the dusk was too deep for sight across the
rolling land of ancient field, and piñon wood far below.
Had she kept the watch she might have seen more than one figure
approach the heights from different waysonly a glimpse could be had,
but through the dusk of piñon groves certainly two figures moved
together, a man and a woman, and even before them one man stole alone
from the south, and halted often as if to plan the better way of
The man and woman skirted the foot of the mesa, and crept upward on
the side to the north.
It is the hard way to climb you have come, said the man, and the
strange heavy air caused them to stop for breath, and as she reached to
cling to the hand of the man, he drew back with a gasp of terror. As
their hands touched, a little electric shock ran through each,it was
plain they had reached the domain where the witch of evil powers held
It is not I whom you need fear, said Yahn Tsyn-deh,it is the
witch maid of Tahn-té, and we have come to see the killing.
And ifif Gonzalvo grows weak on the trailor if his men take
fear from this evil magic of the mesa of Pu-yé?
No other men come with himwe talkedwe two! Alone he will do
it:for me! she said proudly. He knows the strong bow, with it he
will send the arrow first to the man,that will be when they stand
clear in the moonlight. Then to the witch:that all people may see
they were near to each other. The arrows are good and the bow is good.
I saw that it was so;also I saw that no man of our people can use it
better than can Gonzalvo. By the river I watched him. He needs no fire
sticks to find the heart of an enemyalone he can do it with an
Ka-yemo looked at her sullenly,she was giving much of praise to
the man she would have him destroy!
How are you sure that he does not bring the thunder and lightning
stick also? he demanded,and how are you sure that it is not used
Ohfool you!who make fears out of shadowsyet are so big to
fight! she breathed softly. Why is it that the Navahu or the other
wild people do not make you fearyet the Castilians
They are truly men of iron. As a boy I saw the things they could
do, he answered.Not as men do I fear them, but it is their strong
god who tames their beasts.
Your arrows are good, said Yahn Tsyn-deh with conviction,when
you see him dead as other men die, you will know that our own gods are
The dark had fallen heavily, and only the Ancient Star gleamed
threatening as it waited for the moon. The smaller stars were not seen
and the shadows were very dense.
Because of this a strange thing came to them as they reached the
summit. Strong as was the heart of Yahn the Apache, she was struck by
terror, and Ka-yemo knew that the great god of the men of iron had sent
a threat for his eyes to see.
For, still and erect against a dark wall of the Lost Others, stood a
man outlined in fire. In Castilian war dress he stood, and little
flickering lines of fire ran along helmet and breastplate and lance. No
face could they see of the horror, which added to, rather than lessened
the terror of Ka-yemo. A living face he could meet and fightbut this
burning ghost of a man not yet dead!
He turned and stumbled downward blindly, and Yahn Tsyn-deh clung to
him and gripped his hand cruelly for silence, and when they sank at
last beside a great boulder, her arms were around him, as though that
clasp kept the solid world from crumbling beneath her feet.
Nonono! muttered Ka-yemo as though she had actually uttered
words of persuasion,it is what their padre said long ago. Their
strong god has an army of saints, and of angels,they stand
guard;all who go against them are swept into the flames of their
Underworld! It is what the Padre Luis saidand now it has been seen by
my eyes! Their altars are the stronger altars,we will go therewe
will both go;the fire of their hell will not reach us at their
altarthe medicine prayers of their padre are strong prayerswe will
go to him
The old fear of his boyhood had enveloped him as the unchained
electric force had enveloped the heights. Yahn Tsyn-deh put up her hand
to her throat;she felt herself strangle for breath as she listened.
It was some trick! she insistedthough she also had trembled with
aweListen to me!they have many tricksthese white men! Because of
a trick will you go to their altars, and be shamed in your clan? Their
priest is the head of all thingswill you follow the steps of another
when you can wear the feathers of a leader? Will you be laughed at by
the tribe? Hearoh hear!and let your heart listen! Never again will
the gods send you this chance to be greatthis is your day and your
Their devils keep guardthe flames of their hell no man can
Ka-yemo!I am holding you closeI give myself to you!one arrow
only must you send when the witch maid is killed, and Tahn-té is
killed,one arrow, and forever you are the highest, and I am your
slave to give you love! Ka-yemo!
The light of the moon was sending a glow above Na-im-be mountains.
The moon itself was not yet seen, but enough light was on the mesa for
the pleading girl to see the face of the man she adored.
The face was averted and turned from her. In terror he bent the
arrow shafts across his knee, and flung the bow far down into the
Ka-yemo!she moaned as the last vestige of her idol was
destroyed by his own hand;do you give me then to the Castilian? Must
I pay the debt?
Against the gods of their hell I will not send arrows, he
mutteredHe may not claim youthe sign sent to me here is a strong
signa god of fire is a strong godand I am only a man! It may be
that if we go to their padreand if we confess
She could see that he was blindly groping in his mind for some
chancesome little chance, to be forgivento be forgiven by the
Castilians whose feet would be on his neckand on hers!
It was his day and his night, and he had thrown it away! Never again
could the day dawn in joy for those two.
She drew him to her as the light grew, and looked in the face she
had loved from babyhood. It was a long look, and a strange one. She was
thinking of the archer above them who waited to send death to a man and
What is it? he asked as her fingers slipped from his shoulder
along his arm and clasped his hand with the closeness, the firmness of
It is that you have chosen, she said quietly. It is the right of
the man to choose;and it will be well. It is the right of the woman
to follow: and before the moon comes again from the blanket of the east
we will knowand the gods will know, that the choice is a good
She held his hand and led him upwards;steadily, yet without haste.
The edge of the moon showed red, and the moon was to be clear of the
mountains when Tahn-té came to the portal of the starthus had his
mother told the girl while Yahn listened like a coiled snake close to
To Ka-yemo, Yahn seemed again the adoring creature of love. She held
him close, and whispered endearing things. Never had Yahn, the Apache
tigress, let him see how completely her love could make her gentle and
make him master. The sweetness of it, and the absolute relief when the
arrows were destroyedgave him a sense of security;It would be easy
to confess to the padre;the Castilians would be glad of convertsand
Juan Gonzalvosomeway they could make words to Juan Gonzalvoand
padre would helpand
Holding closely his hand she led him up the ancient stairway, and
the little doorways of the cliff dwellings showed black, for the moon
had slipped above the far hills and shone, a dulled ball of fire
through the sultry haze. Enough light it threw on the white cliffs to
show any moving creature, and Ka-yemo glanced fearfully towards the
portal of the star, for surely a movement was there!
But Yahn Tsyn-deh at the head of the stairway looked straight ahead
where a man with a strong bow held himself close in the shadow of a
great rock. When the twang of the bow string sounded, she loosened not
her hand from that of Ka-yemo as he fell, but with her other hand she
pulled aside the robe from her breastalso the necklace of the white
metal, that not anything turn aside the point of the arrow which was to
And when it came she fell to her knees, and then over the huddled
body of the man she had loved and led to death.
She loosened not her hand, and only once she spoke.
It is a good choice, she whispered, but he had led the way into
the Twilight Landand she followed as she had said was the right of a
And the clan of Ka-yemo could chant songs of bravery all their days
and not know that Yahn the Apache had saved the pride of her father's
people, and had hidden the weakness of Ka-yemo on the heights of Pu-yé!
CHAPTER XXI. THE CALL OF THE ANCIENT
When the moon had scarce reached the center of the sky, a gray faced
man slipped through the corn fields of the river lands, and spoke to
the Spanish sentry who paced before the dwellings where the camp was
made outside the wall.
The sentry wondered who the woman was who had held him belated, for
many were now coming from Shufinne, and some of them were pretty.
But Capitan Gonzalvo laid himself down to dream of no woman. He
crept to the pallet of Padre Vicente. There were no words lest others
be aroused, but a pressure of a hand was enough to bring the padre to
his feet, the sleep of the man was ever light as that of one who does
sentry duty day time and night time.
Out into the open of the summer night they both passed, and in the
shadow of a wall where the Te-hua sentinel could not see, a man of iron
broke down and half sobbed a confession of horror.
The padre paced to and fro in the dusk of the night, and gave not
over much care to the shaken heart of the penitent.
A hundred Aves, and half as many rosaries,and candles for the
altar of San Juan when we return to Mexico. He tabulated the penance
on his fingers, with his mind clearly not on those details.
Take you courage now, and hark to me, he said brusquely. You say
you saw the maid and the man dead one on the other;and that you fled
across the mesa at sight of their faces. That pretty Apache devil told
you that the witch lived at that place, and that the Po-Ahtun-ho was
her lover. How know you that it was not indeed witchcraft you looked
upon? How know you that the infernal magic was not used to change the
faces of the two that you be sent home not knowing which are dead and
which are living? This may yet be turned to our advantage.
Juan Gonzalvo was past thinking. Not though gold was found as
plentiful as the white stones of Pu-yé would he again go to the witch
accursed spot! His own armor had been touched by the fire of hell in
that place until he had lain it aside while he waited for the coming of
the sorcerer, and the sorcerer had in some way kept hiddenmagic
spells had been worked to blind the eyes of Gonzalvo to the faces of
the otherseven though light was given for the arrows to speed true!
He would fight living Indians in the open:but no more would he trail
witches in the dark!
So he mumbled and made prayers and calmed himself somewhat at sight
of the calm, ever cool padre.
Go you to your rest, said his reverence at last,and forget all
the work of this night.
Forget?but they will be foundthey
I will see that they are found, but let it not trouble you, stated
Padre Vicente. We must meet trickery by trickery here. Go to your bed,
and sleep too sound for early waking.
Buthowbetween the shock and fear of the night, Gonzalvo
fairly clung to the quiet strength of the padre.
Take your sleep:and keep a still tongue forever! I have had a
dream or a vision this night, and the padre smiled grimly. I can as
well afford a vision as can the elect of the Po-Ahtun!and my vision
will send people of Ka-yemo's clan to search for dead friends on the
heights of Pu-yé!
And if they find there also?
Ah! and the padre nodded and smiled that the thought had
penetrated the shocked mind of Capitan Gonzalvo;If they find there
also the evidence that their high priest is the lover of a witchand
that he runs from council prayers to meet her in the night:is that
not the best of all things the saints could send us? You have done good
work for the cause this night, Juan Gonzalvo. Go now to your sleepand
when you hear of that which is found on Pu-yé, you hear it for the
The council of that night had been a late council because of the
quaking of the earth. Every one knew it was time that a sacrifice be
made to the visitor in the sky. All of evil was coming to the land
because this had not been done. One Yutah slave belonged to the Quan
clan, and a robe and shell beads must be given by the vote of the
council to that clan. It would be a better thing to use the new Navahu
who was made captive by the men of iron, but their new brothers would
not listen to this wisdom.
When the sun looked over the edge of the mountain in the new day the
sun must see the heart lifted high;and the body must go to the
murmuring riverthen only could hope come that the evil magic be
lifted from the land of the Te-hua people.
Thus the vote had been, and thus had Tahn-té been held in council
long after the time the Moon Mother came over Ni-am-be mountains.
Don Ruy was at that council, and asked to speak against the offering
of blood to the god whose eye was as the star. But Tahn-té listened and
Your own god of the book asks for sacrificeyour god of the book
accepted his own son as a sacrificeand that people prospered! Your
priests teach the blood atonement, and the death they gave the
earth-born god was a hard deathif he had really died there! Being a
god he could not die in that way;all medicine men who know strong
magic know that. But the blood was spilled and the spirit went away
from that placethe earth gods always go away like that while they are
young;never do they die. There are daysand there are nights, when
they come back! They speak in many ways to earth people. You men of
iron do not to-day make blood sacrifice to your gods;so you say! Yet
your people go out to battle and kill many people for your godalso
many of your own people are killed in such god warsyour tribes of
different names call these wars 'holy'. Our people do not think like
that. Even the wild tribes hold the Great Mystery sacred in their
hearts. They will fight for hunting ground, or to steal women or
cornbut to fight about the gods would bring evil magic on the
landthe old men could not be taught that it is a good thing! Also
your Holy Office has the torch, and the rack, and the long death of
torture for the man who cannot believe. The priests of your jealous god
do that work, and their magic is strong over men. You talk against our
altars, but on our altars there is not torture,there is one quick
painand the door of the Twilight Land is open and the spirit is
loose! This world where we live is a very ancient world, but it is not
yet finished. All the old men can tell you that. It may be in the
unborn days that earth creatures may see the world when it
finished,and when the gods come back, and speak in the sunlight to
men. In that time the sacrifice may be a different sacrifice. But in
this time we follow the ancient way for the gods have not shown us a
You have studied much in booksyou have learned much from men,
said Don RuyYou could change the minds of these people in this
Tahn-té looked kindly on him, but shook his head.
Not in the ages of ten men can you change the mind of the men you
called Indian, he said, in my one life I could not make them see this
as you see ityet am I called strong among them. Also I could not tell
them that the way of the white priest when he breaks the bones in
torture until the breath goes, is a better way than to take the heart
quickly for the god! That would be a lie if I said it, and true magic
does not come to the man who knows that he is himself a teller of
The men of the council went their separate ways to sleep in the
kivas, well content that the angry god was to be appeased at the rising
of the sun,and Don Ruy rolled himself in his blanket and lay near the
door where Ysobel and her husband lived apart from the camp, with only
the secretary inside their walls. But Don Ruy slept littleand cursed
the heathenish logic of Tahn-té, and wished him to the devil.
And stealthily as a serpent in the grasses,or a panther in the
hills, Tahn-té sped from the council of sacrifice, to the hills where
he knew a girl had waited long for his coming.
Little thought gave he to trailers. The night before had been the
night of the scalp danceand now the trembling earth, and the council,
had left the men weary for the rest of sleep. He ran swiftly and
steadily in the open as any courier to Shufinne might run.
But those of the Tain-tsain clan who followed, noted that he did not
go to Shufinne,he climbed instead the steeps where they were to
climb, and for that reason their coming was stealthy, and the cleverest
men were sent ahead, and all said prayers and cast prayer meal to the
gods,for this was a strange thing the white priest had seen in a
visionit was to be proven if he was of the prophets!
The two couriers of the clan knew it was proven when they saw the
two dead people near the head of the stone stairway. And when they
heard the sobs of a woman within the dwelling of the Reader of the
Stars in the ancient daysalso the soothing tones of a man,they
crept back into the shadows and told the leaders. And a circle of men
was made about the place, and in silence they waited.
Ere their hearts had ceased to beat quickly from the run, that which
they waited for stepped forth;a man to whom a creature clungher
face was hidden against his breast, and he led her with care lest she
see the dead people on the stairwayfor the Navahu shrinks more than
another from sight or touch of the dead!
There are other placesand safe places, he said to her and held
her close. Does not the bluebird find nesting place in the forest? And
does not her mate find her there in the summer nights?
And thenwith his arms around her, and his robe covering her, his
path was closed by a warrior who stood before him! His eyes turned
quickly on every side, but on every side was a circle of men,and the
men were all of the clan of Ka-yemo to whom Tahn-té had never been
precious since the days of boyhoodand the camp of Coronado.
And the younger men were for claiming the maid when they saw her
face, and the older men read triumph against Tahn-té for the work of
That which is meant for the gods is not to be given to men, they
said in chiding to the young men, and Tahn-té knew what they meant when
they said it.
It is the Navahu witch maid of Te-gat-ha, cried
anotherlookbrothers! This is a Navahu arrow through the eye of
Ka-yemo, and through the heart of Yahn Tsyn-deh. Alone here she has
destroyed them!and alone here would Tahn-té the Po-Ahtun-ho have
cherished her! The priest of the men of iron is a man of strong magic.
His vision has sent us to find the one who has made angry the gods of
Go you and gather pine for the altar, said the head of the clan,
and two youths ran joyously down the slope;for they were to aid in
driving evil magic from the valley!
This maid did not touch those dead people, said Tahn-té,for
that she must not suffer.
You Summer people are easily held by witches' craft, retorted one
of the men insolently,a day before he would only have addressed
Tahn-té with reverence.
Was she not marked for sacrifice at Te-gat-ha?Has she not
caused the killing of the corn? Did not the Navahu men come to
destroy us because of her? Is the earth not angry that she has hidden
in the sacred places?
These questions came thick and fast for Tahn-té to answer, and
Tahn-té held her hand and knew there was no answer to be made. And
Phent-zha, who was the oldest man there, looked at him keenly.
Are you also not more weak in magic for her coming, he asked,is
your heart not grown sick? The magic of the white priest is against
you;and it is strong! When we have taken the heart from this witch,
and you have again fasted in the hills, the sick land and the sick
people will be made better.
The maid looked from face to face in the glare of freshly lit
torches, and caught little of meaning from the rapid speech. But no one
touched her, and she looked with confidence into the eyes of Tahn-té.
He had not moved from his tracks, and he held himself proudly as he
faced the man who had long wished his humiliation.
When the time comes to fast in the hills, I will know it, he
said,and no hand touches the heart of this maid, butmy own!
It is at sunrise, said the governor, stilled by the look of the
Po-Ahtun-hoa runner has been sentthe council will be waiting for
the enchantress, and the women to prepare her will be waiting.
I will lead her, said Tahn-té and took her hand, and from the
medicine pouch he took one bead of the by-otle, and in Navahu he bade
her eat of it in secret, which she did wonderingly, and the men of the
Tain-tsain clan walked before and after them and held torches, and they
went down the steep of Pu-yé before the moon had touched the pines of
the western hills. And a runner was sent to Shufinne that the people
there might come and put Yahn Tsyn-deh and her lover under the earth
CHAPTER XXII. AT THE TRAIL'S END!
The morning stars were shining through the gray threatening sky,
when a slender blanket draped figure stepped from Ysobel's doorway into
the dusk, and came near putting foot on Don Ruy Sandoval who lay there
as if on guard.
There was a little gasp, and the blanket was clutched more closely.
Your Excellency! breathed Chico wonderinglyawake so
Awake so late, amended his excellency,and is this not a good
place to be?
In truth I am having doubts of my own, confessed the secretary
with attempted lightness. What with barbaric battles, and earth
quakings,and a night when the breath of volcanoes seemed abroad in
the land and strange lightenings came up from the earthit suggests no
dreams of paradise! Don Diego thinks it is because the expedition has
not been more eager for souls.
Has he not converted Säh-pah and won a ladylove? asked Don
Ruyhe is at least that much in advance of the rest of us. I've had
no luck, and you are as much of a bachelor as ever you were.
Chico contemplated the morning star in silence, and Don Ruy smiled.
If the enchanted ring of Señor Ariosta should fall at your feet
from yon star;or the lamp of Alladin would come out of the earth in
one of these quakings, what would you ask it to do with us all, since
this camp is not to your liking? he asked.
I would wish you safe in Mexico with no sorcerer to doctor your
wounds if you were bent on acquiring such pleasures.
No learned professor could have brought healing more quickly,
contended Don Ruy,and the sorcerer, if so he be, has given me food
for thought at least. Which reminds me that you are not to go to the
river mesa this morning in case you see the barbarians trooping that
way for ceremonies.
A runner came panting past them from towards the hills, and the gate
was opened for him and closed again, and a herald from the terrace
shouted aloud sentences arousing all who yet slept;not only arousing
them, but causing unexpected shrieks and cries of consternation from
many dwellings. There were the lamentations of the old women of the
Tain-tsain clan, and their wails sent the thrill of a mysterious dread
through the night that was dying, for the day had not yet come.
What is itwhat? asked the secretary in a whisper of dread. You
know what the thing is;tell me!
Not so nice a thing that you should trade a convent garden for it,
confessed Don Ruyif the wishing ring were mine you would be wafted
there before that star goes pale.
Oh!and the secretary strove to assume a lightness not to be
honestly felt in that chorus of wails. You would make me a messenger
to your lady of the trystand I would tell her that since luck with
the pagan maids has not been to your fancy, you may please to walk past
her balcony and again cast an eye in that direction!
And at the same time you might whisper to her that I would not now
need to glance at her the second time to know her, he added. Even the
armor of a Bradamante could not mask her eyes, or dull for me the music
of her voice.
It is a most strange place to make words for the wooing of a lady,
is it not?asked Don Ruy looking up at the slender form wrapped in
the blanket.But new worlds are in making when earth quakes
come,and our to-morrows may be strange ones, andsweetheart comrade,
I have lain at your door each night since your head rested on my
shoulder there in the arroyo.
Someway Don Ruy made his arm long enough to reach the blanket and
draw the hesitating figure to him, and rested his cheek against the
russet sandals, and then a very limp Master Chico was on the ground
beside him, and was hearing all the messages any lady of any balcony
would like Love to send her.
I cannot forgive you letting me carry all that water for a fainting
fitand there was no fainting fit! she protested at last,all these
days I've lived in terror;not quite certain!
Think you nothing of the uncertain weeks you have given me?he
retorted.I had my puzzled moments I do assure you! And now that I
think of itI'm in love with a lady whose actual name I have not been
Are we not equal in that? she whispered, and he laughed and held
her close as a bandaged throat would allow.
Ruy Sandoval is a good enough name to go to the priest with, he
said, and if 'Doña Bradamante' has no other I'll give her one if
she'll take it.
Despite the Indian grandmother, and the madness of longing for life
in the openand.
And the Viceroy and court of Spain to boot! he declared
recklessly. Sweetheart, I must have the right to guard you in a new
way if need be, for these are strange days.
Even while they spoke the stars were shot over by the green light of
a promised dawn, and against the faint sky line of the mesa a strange
procession came. Men carrying long fringes of the cedar such as grow in
the moist places in the cañons,also festoons of the ground pine, and
flowers of the sun with the brilliant petals like warm rays.
The bearers of these ran swiftly, but the others moved more
steadily, and Don Ruy called to José to learn for him the meanings of
things, and why Tahn-té, the Ruler, walked like that as if in prayer,
and clasped hands with a girl who smiled up in his face as a child on a
holiday, though all the older men looked as though walking to battle.
It is the witch maid who has brought evil magic on the land, said
José, who had heard the heraldalso she has enchanted the Po-Ahtun-ho
with devil's arts, and has killed Yahn Tsyn-deh and Ka-ye-mo with
Navahu arrows on Pu-yé. They say she laughs to show that no knife can
harm her, and she goes to the altar instead of the Yutah;for it is
she the earth groaned for.
Gosaid Don Ruy to his lately claimed Doña Bradamantekeep
within the house with Ysobel until we come again. There may be much to
do, Lady mine, but there are no records for you to keep this day.
And without protest or reply he was obeyed. There was something so
awful in the sight of the smiling maid of the bluebird wing, and the
wails of the women who mourned those she had destroyed, that one would
willingly flee the sight of their meeting.
But the Te-hua guards closed around the enchantress and the fanatics
of vengeance were barred out. Those meant for the Mesa of the Hearts
were not to be given to people!
Publicly the governor made thanks to the priest of the men of
iron;he it was who had smelled out the witchand sent the men where
her dead was found! Plain it was that their white brothers helped in
magic and in battle. Let the old men think wisely and well before they
let such brothers go from the land. For the angry gods, and the quaking
earth, the priest of the beard had found the cause;also the cure had
he found. Did not the sun symbol belong to this man for this work? Let
the old men think well of this thing!
Don Ruy held José at his side, and listened, and hearing all, he
faced the padre with the first anger they had seen in his reckless
For your own ends of the gold search you have done this thing? he
demanded. To a death on the altar have you sent that child-woman? Good
priest of the church, you make a man wonder if the saints indeed
listen, and God is above!
Ohimpious! groaned Don Diego, and crossed himself in horror. Oh
Excellencyyour words are apostateunsay them and tempt not Almighty
The padre turned pale with anger and shut his teeth close under the
dark beard. But he was not a coward, and the habit of domination
through special privileges was a habit of many years, and it served him
against the merely temporal power of even regal influences.
Of the witch creature I gave them no word, he saidit was their
thrice accursed sorcerer they were sent in search of. But the two
belong to each other, and the old men of the order know now that their
high priest is in league with devils. Never again will he be the Ruler.
His power is overthrown. He cannot save even his own witch-mate from
the vengeance of the clans. The thing we have crossed these deserts for
will be given to us since his voice against us is silenced. Is that a
thing to regret, Excellency? I thought it was for this we made entrance
to the landand for this you joined hands for the expedition!
He had recovered his ease of manner, and even a mocking tone crept
into the final words. Don Ruy looked around the faces of the Castilians
and Mexicans and saw no more of special emotion in the light of the
gray dawn than they had shown at the dance of the scalps in the glow of
torches so few hours ago.
To them all it was only a witch being led to death, and they had
seen that same thing in Christian lands. It was not a thing for special
wonder,except that this sorceress was young, and that she looked at
the young Indian Ruler, and smiled often, and little sounds like a mere
murmur of a song came sometimes from her lips.
[Illustration: ONLY A WITCH LED TO DEATH Page 310]
Just at daylight Doli calls
The bluebird has a voice
His voice melodious
That flows in gladness
Doli calls! Doli calls!
The guard shrank away from her as she began. The Navahu captive who
had been long a slave, said it was the song of the Dawn, and that it
was the last song of many songs which were part of the wonderful Night
Chant ceremony of his people,it was a ceremony to heal all things of
the ills of life.
But despite his words the Te-hua men shrank away, and the Te-hua
women had trembling hands as they stripped her, and crowned her with
the sacred pine, and fastened around her a girdle of the feathery young
cedar, and in the green of the crown they thrust the golden disks of
the flowers of the sun. She lifted the lion skin from the ground and
held it close as a garment, and stood alone against the terrace wall.
The people shrank and half feared to look at her lest the Dawn song be
a witch charm to enchant them.
Po-tzah had brought to Tahn-té the white robe of the priest who
makes sacrifice, and a long knife of white flint for which the sheath
was softest of deerskin, and the symbols painted on it were those of
the Father Sun and Mother Moon.
And while the maid held close the garment he had given her, and
chanted her Dawn song dreamily, Tahn-té lifted from the ground the wing
of the bluebird tossed aside by the medicine women who made her ready
for the sacrifice, and he placed it in the white band about his own
head so that he wore two instead of one, and then he lifted his voice
and spoke, and no other sound was heard but his voice, and the low song
of the witch maid.
Men of Te-hua, he said. If I speak not you will not know the
truth;and it may be that you will live many days ere you believe this
truth! The maid who has come down from the hills is not a stranger to
Povi-whahand has done no evil. The daughter of K[=a]-ye-fah is this
maid. She is K[=a]-ye-povi, the child who was lost. All you people know
of the years of the grieving of her father who was strong for that
which was good. His child has come back to find her own people. On the
trail she was lost, and evil magic of the men of iron have made hard
your hearts when she came to you. I have waited until all the people
were here to listen. Now I speak. To speak at Pu-yé to the clan of
Tain-tsain would not have been wise. They were sent by the vision of
the white priest to find a witch woman. It is the child of K[=a]-ye-fah
they find, and instead of glad hearts, and glad speech, she is given by
the Te-hua people only the crown of the sacred pine. Let her own clan
of the Towa Toan speak!
A thrill of wonder ran through the crowd, but no kind faces were
there, and Tahn-té took from his medicine pouch the last seed of the
sacred medicine given to man by the gods. There had been many seeds
when they left Pu-yé. He knew he was daring the gods, and that the
penalty would be heavy. But her fearless face, and the music of her
Dawn song was payment for much.
And to the gods he would answer!
The gray dawn was gone, and the green dawn was merging into the
yellow where the stars are lost.
The head of the Towa Toan clan spoke from a terrace.
We have heard the words of Tahn-té. The witch maid is not known by
our people, and our clan does not claim her! By evil magic has the song
of this maid blinded the eyes of Tahn-té,and by evil magic will she
make desolate the land if she is let live. The white priest has strong
medicineand good medicine of the gods. The men of Te-gat-ha and the
men of Navahu knew her as a witch, and sought her. They did not find
her because the men of iron were not their brothers. To us they are
brothers. I give thanks, and we think they should have that which they
seek with us. Their priest works also for our god, and the symbol of
the god is not to be hidden from him. Also the altar waits;and the
stars are going away!
Tahn-té touched the hand of the maid.
Come! he said gently, and as he touched her hand, he gave to her
the last seed from the fruit of the sacred plant,eat for the trail
you must walk over, and sing for me alone the song holy of the Navahu
Sun God; I take you to meet him on the Mesa of the Hearts.
Don Ruy tried to press through the guard, but the orders of the
heads of the clans had been strong orders. The Castilian brothers might
follow; but the stars were going away, and there was no time for words
after the crown was made. The flowers must not wither above a living
And the maid entered the canoe with the Po-Ahtun-ho and the Te-hua
boatmen plied the paddles so that the crossing was quick, and all the
others followed, and some men swam, and the Castilian horses and riders
went also. And a second priest of the Po-Ahtun went with a white robe,
and a good knife in his girdle. Tahn-té was called sorcerer by the
wise men of iron, and it was best to trust not entirely to the heart of
a sorcerer. He was plainly bewitched, and his heart might grow weak
when he looked on the altar, and looked on the maid!
Tahn-té pointed to the upturned face of the God-Maid on the bosom of
the south mesa.
That was my altar to you all the days of my boyhood, he said
softly, there I met the god thoughts; there were the serpents tamed.
It is the God-Maid of this valley and her face is ever to the sun. To
her was my love given while I waited for your face! Listen!and know
this is soand sing now the song of the Sun God and the earth's end.
With her eyes on his she chanted the words, and the Te-hua oarsmen
dared not look on her face for very terror. The words they did not
knowbut no victim had ever yet gone singing to that altar.
In my thoughts I approachI approach!
The Sun God approaches,
Earth's end he approaches.
In old age walking
The beautiful trail.
In my thoughts I approachI approach!
The Moon God approaches
Earth's end he approaches
The canoe touched the shore, and the maid clasped the hand of
Tahn-té and went over the sand lightly as a child who wanders through
flower fields to a festival. He looked in her eyes and knew that the
magic of the sacred seed was strong, and that the hand of no man could
Your trail is to the hills, he said.To the heart of the forest
you go. Where the bluebird builds her nestthere you build the nest
where we meet again. You see your wings in my hair? I wear both of them
that they lead me again to your trail when the time comes. When the
bluebird calls to her mate, I will hear your voice in that call. When
the anger of the gods has passed, I will find you again in the Light
beyond the light at the trail's end.
At the trail's end, she said as a child repeats a lessonI build
the nest for you, and sing the bluebird song for you at the trail's
Thanks to the gods that it will be so, he said, and sprinkled
prayer meal to the four ways.The Spirit People stand witness! The
gods will be good in that Afterworld;I will find you again.
They had reached the edge of the mesaand the pale yellow of the
sky had been covered with a weird murky red. For all the many
followers, a strange hush was on the height, and far in the south low
thunder was heard. The same still, heavy air of the night was brooding
over the world, and long rays of copper and dull red were flung like
banners to the zenith. Each man's eyes looked strange questions into
the eyes of his neighbor, and the Te-hua men came not close to the
witch maid, and the man at the altar.
The Sun God approachesapproaches!
Earth's end he approaches!
They could hear the low chant of her witch song, and they could see
Tahn-té offer prayer meal to the Spirit People of the four ways, and to
the upper and the nether world. At his word she laid herself on the
rock, and no other priest was asked to help, or to hold her, and that
was a sacrifice such as had never been seen in that place.
No hand but mine shall touch you:O Bird of my Wilderness! he
In the Light beyond the light I wait for you at the trail's end,
she said, and laughed that his hand rested on her breast.
And the sun, blood red, came over the edge of the world, and Don Ruy
cried aloud at the lifted hand of Tahn-té, and the gleam of the white
But the guard closed in, and one of his own men caught him, and
asked for pardon afterwards, and when he could again see the altar, the
knife was red, and a heart was held outward to the sun that looked like
the flame of burning worlds.
And a long, shivering, high keyed chant of the Te-hua people went
upwards to the sky, that the gods might know they were witness. But in
the midst of it the rumbling as of thunder was under their feet and the
earth rocked. Sulphurous fumes came upwards from the long closed
crevices of the solitary mesa; and to the south there was the crash as
of falling worlds, and the great mesa of The Face lifted before their
eyes, and settled again as a wave of the river lifts and breaks on the
The chant of the sacrifice was silenced on their lips, and they fled
downward at that sight, for the face of the God-Maid of the mesa no
longer looked upwards to the sun! The outline of the brow, and the
cheek, and the dainty woman's chin they could still see;but the face
was turned from themturned toward the southwhere the gods have ever
gone in an evil season!
And only Don Ruy Sandoval saw the heart put back in the breast of
the witch maid, and saw her wrapped in the white robe of the
Po-Ahtun-ho, and saw the crevice where the Powers of the Underworld had
opened a grave for her there on the Mesa of the Hearts.
And even he watched afar off; for there was that in the face of the
Indian priest not to be understood by the white man who felt both pity
But he waited at the foot of the mesa, and held the canoe while the
Po-Ahtun-ho, who had the logic of a white man, but the heart of an
Indian, came down and entered it in silence, and as they crossed the
river, stared as though scarcely seeing it, at The Face now turned
southwards on the mesa.
Youloved her? said Don Ruy at last and something of the tone of
a lover in the voice made Tahn-té close his eyes for a moment, and then
look at the Castilian. He did not need to speak.
Yetyou could dothat?
When the gods are angered against earth people, it is always the
most precious they demand in sacrifice, he said. When we make vows,
the gods watch that we keep the vowselse we pay, Señor,we paywe
CHAPTER XXIII. THE PROPHECY OF
Vague tremblings were still felt underfoot; the river was red with
the clay of fallen banks. Smoke came from an ancient crater to the
south, and also the east, and above the Mesa of the Hearts hung a cloud
of volcanic dust, or a puff of smoke escaped from the red ash-covered
fissures of the Underworld.
The women were gathered in terror in the court, but fled at the
sight of Tahn-té. The anger of the earth was a thing of fear; but he
was made see that there were worse things, and they covered the faces
of their children that his eyes might not rest on them.
At the door of the council house he paused and Don Ruy beside him.
There was much talk. All the leading men were there, also Padre Vicente
and Don Diego. They entered and there was silence.
No one offered to Tahn-té the pipe, and no one spoke to him.
The priest of the New God had told them thingshe knew men's
heartshe had confessed so many!He told them it was love for the
witch maid by which the hand of the sorcerer kept every other man from
touching her.Even to take the heart from her breast, was an easier
thing than to give her to the men of Te-gat-ha or of Povi-whah, who had
looked on her face and asked for her, also he had wrapped about her his
priestly robe of office before he laid her in the earth where Satan had
broken the rock to reach for her!
Their sorcerer had traded his robe of office for the evil love of an
enchantress:never again must a god be offended by sound of his
And no one offered him the pipe, and no one spoke to him. He sat
alone and looked with unseeing eyes at the weeping god on the altar.
Padre Vicente was seated in a place of honor. He looked at Tahn-té
across the circle, and it was plain that the ways had changed since
that other day of council when they had looked into each other's eyes,
and the pagan had been the Ruler!
The right hand man of the governor arose. He was the oldest man, and
While the earth has trembled we have talkedand the trembling has
grown little while we talked, he said. It is plain that the gods have
sent these signs that we may know our white brothers are indeed of the
sun, and the symbol of the sun should be given to their keeping.
Another man arose.
Also these new brothers will guard our fields from the Navahu and
the Apache, he said. We will have the tamed animals to ride, and our
enemies will run before the fire sticks our brothers will give us.
The governor arose.
Their god we are asked to take, and the god will do much for us if
the sun symbol is given to their keeping. To us that seems good. The
keepers of the sun symbol are two, and must be only two. Let it be for
the ancients of the Po-Ahtun to say which man of their order gives up
the secret, and makes medicine to forget it was ever in his keeping.
A man of the Po-Ahtun stood up and looked at Tahn-té.
A man and a woman hold that secret of the symbol of the god, he
said. In our own kiva must that be spoken of, and not in another
place. But the hearts of our people are gentle towards our new brothers
who smell out witches, and do not mate with them! Our order will surely
make medicine that the priest of the great king be given that secret to
keep for us, and the Sun God will smile again on our land.
It is wellit is very well, said all the council. And then there
was a long silence, and they looked at Tahn-té until he arose.
Not except I die for you, will you believe;and even then you will
not believe, he said in sadness. You, my people, will accept the god
of the gold hunters, and you will not see that it is only riches they
want at your hands! In other years you will see. When the men of Te-hua
work in chains for the men of Spainand for the masters of the men of
Spain!Then in that day will the men of Te-hua tell to their sons
these wordsthe words of the prophecy of Tahn-té!
We are much troubled, and our hearts are sad, said Po-tzah. The
magic of the white god is strongand their priest has let our people
see that it is strong. We do not want that magic against our children.
Against your children will the magic come in the unborn years!
said Tahn-té with decision. You will take the god of the white man
because one more god, or one more baptism hurts no man. You will be
trapped by fair words until I see the time when you can circle in the
half of a day all the fields you dare plant for your own! The Flute of
the Gods will be silenced in the land. Your Te-hua daughters will be
slaves for the men of the iron! The sacred places will be feeding lands
for their animals. The Te-hua priests will wait the word of the white
man ere they dare go to the groves of the sacred trees for the prayer
wreaths to the gods!
The sacred pine must be sacred to allalways! said Po-tzah.
Not anything is sacred to the white menI have looked in their
books;I, of all Te-hua men!
Padre Vicente saw that the old magic of the talking leaves was
potent;and he arose without waiting for formal interpretation.
He has looked in the books with the eyes of a sorcerer! he
declared, thus openly accusing Tahn-té before the council.He has
read crooked thingsand his words are the words of the man who mated
with the witch in the hills!
The council stared at this new sign that strong magic was with the
priest of the robehe was suddenly given knowledge of the tongue of
Te-hua! Don Diego stared in wonder and crossed himself many times.
It is a language infernal even to the people born to it, he
gaspedbut that it should be given to one of us on the day when we
are openly claimed as brothers is a special sign of grace. Thanks to
the saints who sent it your way instead of mine!
This man has brought evil on you until the earth groans and turns,
continued the Padre. His mother of the caves is called 'holy' and he
is called strong in the light of the sky:But the sky is angry, and
the Great God and his saints are angry that this sorcerer has cheated
you so long with enchantments of the devil! Be strong for the saving of
your own souls, and leave him to his witch mates and to his hell!
Even Don Ruy was astounded that the padre addressed the council in
their own wordstruly of all priests ever frocked he had found the one
most subtle for the work in hand, for having gained the councilas it
was easy to see he had gained themPadre Vicente spoke in Castilian to
Yet does my office exact absolution for you, if you but crave it
with a contrite heart, he said for the benefit of Don Ruy and Don
Diego who listened. You have worked for your devils, and they have
deserted you, and stripped you of power. Acknowledge the true God and
the saints will intercede for your favor.
Tahn-té looked at him, and his smile was strange.
There was a man named Judas in your holy book, he said, only
silver did he crave for his work. You are greater than Judas; you work
for the metal more precious. Is it thirty pieces you want ere you
crucify me utterly?
The figure of a woman darkened the entrancea slender fragile
figure who moved to him swiftly, and noted no others in the dusk of the
council house. In Shufinne the word had reached her of the horror of
Pu-yéand she had come quickly as might be, and the sound of his
living voice drew her breathless, but thankful to his side, and his arm
circled her in support and in tenderness as he looked over her head to
the Te-hua men of the council.
I see your thoughts, and I read them, he said. The men who seek
the gold have put a wall between you and me. That which you have you
can give them;but remember in your hearts that there are things which
belong to the unborn, and such things you have no power to give them.
Only so long as you keep your own religion, and your own gods, so long
will your tribe stand as a tribe;no longer! Step by step your
children will have to fight the strangers for that which is now your
own. Only your god-thoughts will bind you as brothers;the god of the
gold hunters will poison your blood, and will divide your clans, and
will divide your children, until your names are forgotten in the land!
The sorcerer who tells you this is the brother to the serpents in
the Desert! said Padre Vicente springing to his feet in angry
impatience;enough of words have been said of this.
A sound between a scream and a moan silenced the words on his lips,
and Don Ruy felt his blood run chill, as the drooping figure of the
Woman of the Twilight stood suddenly upright with lifted hand.
Teo!she murmured in utter gladness,and moved through the half
light of the room towards the Castilians. Teo!
Holy God! whispered Don Ruy, while the padre turned white. Don
Diego stared in horroronly one named Teo came in his mindthe Greek
who should belong to the Holy Office in Seville;the man whose word
even now was wanted as to the older days of Christian slave trade in
Don Teo! she was quite close to him now, and she spoke as a
trembling child who craves welcome,IMo-wa-théspeak! O
Spirit;you have come back from the Staryou have come.
The Te-hua men, and Tahn-té also, waited in wonder. Never before had
the Twilight Woman gone like that to a manand she was so close that
the man shrank from her against the wall of the room.
Back!he muttered, and he spoke Te-hua now, and his voice was
rough with rage and fear,This woman is evil, and brings evil power!
She is the Woman of the Twilightthe holy woman of the caves,
said a man of the Po-Ahtun, for Tahn-té could find no words for the
wonder she wakened.
She is an enchantress who fights against the true god and his
angels;a witch of evil magic!and the padre was white, and
breathing hard lest she touch him.
A witch!she echoed in horror.I?Teo.
She crept to him in abject supplication and reached out her hand,
touching the sleeve of his robe.
Back!he shouted in horrorand held the crucifix between
themThing of the Evil One! May your tongue be palsiedmay your
Tahn-té hurled him aside, and caught his mother as she fell; and the
padre leaned half fainting against the wall, with great beads of sweat
standing on his face, and the crucifix still lifted as a barrier or as
But the threat was useless to the slender creature of the caves.
TeoTeo! she whispered, and then Tahn-té, and then the breath
went, and her son laid her gently on the floor, while the padre
regarded him with a new horror! Don Ruy watching them both,
choked back an oath at the revelation in the white face.
[Illustration: BACK! THING OF THE EVIL ONE! Page 324]
The Te-hua men also drew away;even Po-tzah averted his face when
Tahn-té looked from one to the other!
Again had their eyes seen the strength of the white medicine god.
The holy Woman of the Twilight had been destroyed before their eyes. It
was the greatest magic they had yet seen!
Tahn-té saw it, and knew it; and felt as he had felt when a boy, and
he had stood alone and apartthe only child of the sky. He had come
again into his own! He was akin to none of earth's children.
Then the man of the Po-Ahtun spoke.
Two there were who held the secret of the sun symbol;Now there is
only one,she has taken it through the Twilight Land to the Light
beyond the light.
Two?said Don Ruyand this woman was one? And the other?
No one spoke, but Tahn-té looked at him; and again there was no need
Medicine can be made to make a man forget, said Tahn-té to the men
of Te-huabut no medicine can be made to make a man remember! One
keeper of the secret is dead by the magic of the white priest. Your
children's children will give thanks in the days to come that it was
not given to the men of iron.
It is a secret of the tribe! protested the man of the Po-Ahtun.
It is now the secret of the god who hid it in the earth, said
Tahn-té. By all earth people who knew itit has been forgotten!
Butwithout it we will lose our brothers of the new god!
Without it you will surely lose your brothers of the new god! he
assented. Each time you look on the God-Maid of the mesa who has
turned away her face, you will remember the prophecies of Tahn-té! Each
time the God of Young Winter paints leaves yellow for the sleep to
come, your children will see a sign on the mountain to tell them that
Tahn-té was indeed Brother to the Serpent as that man said in his
mocking!also that the prayers of Tahn-té do not end. Free I came from
the Desert to you, and I carried the Flute of the Gods, and fruit for
your children:free I go out from your dwellings and carry my 'witch
mother' to rest!
He gathered her in his arms, and looked once into the pallid face of
her accuser and destroyer. At that look from the pagan priest the white
priest shrank and covered his face with the cowl.
Yougo? said Po-tzah.
In the place of Povi-whah another will hear your prayers to the
gods, and ITahn-té the outcastI go!
No more words were spoken among the men of the council. In silence
they watched him as he walked with his burden up the trail of the mesa
where he had run so gladly to make his boy vow at the shrine.
No happy sign shone for him this time in the sky. It was as he said
to Don Ruy;those who make vows to the gods,and forget them for
earth people, payand pay prices that are heavy! But above him a bird
swept into the golden sky. He put up his hand to the wings in his
hairand heard plainly the words of the mate who would wait his call
at the trail's end.
And Don Ruy Sandoval watched the man called sorcerer out of sight,
and then went to the dwelling of José and gathered to his breast the
secretary who had adopted blanket draperies.
[Illustration: TAHN-TÉ; THE OUTCAST Page 326]
Sweetheart comrade, he said without proper prelude or
preparationThere is not anything in this weary world worth living
for but Love, and Love alone. Shall we take the homeward journey and go
where we can guard it?
There are tears in your eyes, said his Doña Bradamante,and
you look as if you make love to me, yet think of some other thing!
I have seen a man live through hell this day, he answered. Never
ask me, Sweetheartwhat the hell was. It is beyond belief that a man
could live it, and continue to live after it.
CHAPTER XXIV. THE BLUEBIRD'S CALL
Even in the long after years in stately Christian Spain, Don Ruy was
a silent man when his serene lady in stiff brocades and jewelled shoes
would mock at court pageantry and sigh for the reckless days when she
had worn the trappings of a page and followed his steps into the north
land of barbaric mysteries.
Mystery much of it had remained for her! The life of the final days
in the terraced village by the great river had been masked and cloaked
for her. Ysobel and José had been silent guards, and Don Ruy could not
be cajoled into speech!
But there had been a morning he suddenly became a very compelling
commander for all of them; and his will was that the cavalcade head for
the south and Mexico as quickly as might be, and that Padre Vicente de
Bernaldez separate from them all and seek converts where he would. A
horse and food was allowed to him, but no other thing.
Don Diego exclaimed with amazement at such arrangement, and warned
Don Ruy that the saints above, and Mother Church in Spain, would demand
account for such act on the part of even Don Ruy Sandoval!
Is it indeed so? asked Don Ruy, and smiled with a bitter meaning
as he looked on the padre:Will you, señor priest, tell this company
it is at your own will and request that you remain in this land of the
barbarians? Or is your mind changed, and do you fancy Seville as a
pleasant place for a journey?
But Padre Vicente turned the color of a corpse, and said openly
before them all, that he asked freedom to journey to other Indian
villages. Thus, white and silent he was let go. He went without
farewell. If he found other villages none can tell, but the men of a
great Order framed before the building of the Egyptian pyramids, do
know that the traces of a like Order is to-day in one of the villages
of that province of New Spain, and that there is legend of a white
priest who lived in their terraces of the mesa, and taught them certain
things of the strange outside world so long as they let him live. But
his name is not remembered by men.
What Don Ruy Sandoval said to the Viceroy of Mexico on his return,
was in private conference, but a royal galleon carried him, and carried
a strangely found Mexic bride, across the wide seas to Spain, where the
wonderful Relaciones were made the subject of much converse, but
never printed, and during the lifetime of the adventurer called Ruy
Sandoval, the province of New Spain along the Rio Grande del Norte was
locked and barred against the seeker of gold or of soulsit was the
closed land of mystery:the province of sorcerers, where Mother Earth
hid beneath her heart the symbol of the Sun Father.
But there are legends there in the valley of the Te-hua people to
tell of that time of trial three centuries ago. Also there are the
records written on mesa and mountain. In the time of that far away, the
Spirit People worked together on Na-im-be Mountain until of the
evergreen pine, a giant figure of a man grew there, and around him is
growing the white limbs and yellow leaves of the aspen groves. The
hands of that figure reach high overhead and are to the south, and they
hold the great Serpent whose body is as a strung bow in its arch, and
whose head is high on the hill where the enchanted lake, known by every
one, reflects the sky. Tahn-té, whose mother was the Woman of the
Twilight, said the God of Winter would send a sign that the people
might know the ancient worship of the creeping Brother was a true
thingand so it was doneall men can see it when the Spirit People
turn yellow the leaves.
Other things spoken by him have come true until the Te-hua priests
know that one born of a god did once live among them as a boy and as a
Like children bewildered did the clans of Povi-whah watch the silent
swift departure of their white brothers from whom they had hoped much.
They thought of many things and had trouble thoughts while they waited
until the mourning of Tahn-té in the hills would be over, and he would
come again to their councils. But when the waiting had been so long
that fear touched their hearts, then men of the highest medicine sought
for him in the hills, that his fasts be not too long, and he be
entreated to return:that turned-away face of the God-Maid on the mesa
made their hearts weak, and they needed the strong prayers of Tahn-té.
His name meant the Sunlight, and their minds were in shadow after his
With prayer words and prayer music they sought for him, and sacred
pollen was wafted to the four ways, and all the ways of the Spirit,
that the help of the Lost Others might come also.
They told each other of the promise of Po-se-yemo and of Ki-pah,
that in each time of stress a leader who was god-sent would come to the
Te-hua people so long as they were faithful to the Things of the
This had truly been a season of stress, and an appeal of new,
Tahn-té, the leader, had been born and had come to them; the Flute
of the Ancient Gods he had carried as the Sign!and as they whispered
it to each other, their eyes had a new terror, and they sought wildly
for reasons to justify themselves.
He had come. They had choice, and they chose the new white brothers,
and the new god promises!
He had come;and they had closed their hearts against his
wordsthey had driven him away as in other days the Ancient Fathers
had driven Po-se-yemo to the south:for the gods only live where the
hearts of men are true, and strong, and of faith!
These things they had been told by the Ancients, but they remembered
it now anew as they followed each other in silence to the hills, and to
the white walls of Pu-yéand to the tomb there newly built that the
Woman of the Twilight might rest where her people had lived in the lost
The portal of it was closed, and the sign of her order was cut in
the rock at the portal.
The priests made many prayers, but no trace of the lost Ruler could
they find. All was silence in that place of the dead, but for the song
of a bluebird flitting from one ancient dwelling to another.
Younger men went far to the west where the people of the Hopi mesas
had loved him;somewhere in the world he must be found!
But the Hopi people mourned also, for they had heard the strange
call of a flute across the sands in the night time, and had feared to
answer to the call, and in the morning there was no sound of the flute,
and no priest of the flute to be found:only a trail across the desert
sandand the trail led the way of the sun trail, and the Winds of the
Four Ways blew, and swept it from sightand they knew in their hearts
that Tahn-té had sent his good-bye call ere he went from the land of
men to the land of gods.
They knew also that he went alivefor the god-born do not die.
This word the couriers took back to the Te-hua people of the Rio
Grande, and fires were lit for him as they have been lighted for
centuries that the god Po-se-yemo might know that their faith in the
valley of the great river was yet strong for the ancient gods.
Three centuries of the religion of the white strangers have not made
dim the signal fires to those born of the sky!
The walls of Povi-whah have melted again into Mother Earth. Silent
are the groves where the Ancient Others carved their homes from the
rock walls of the heights. Wings of vivid blue flit in the sunlight
from the portal of the star to bough of the piñon treeand a brooding
silence rests over those high levels;only the wind whispers in the
pines, and the old Indians point to the bird of azure and tell of a
Demon-maid who came once from the land of the Navahu, and wore such
wings, and sang a song of the blue bird, and enchanted a god-born one
with her promise to build a nest and wait for himat the trail's end!
An ancient teller of Te-hua legends will add that the trail of
Tahn-té was covered by the sands of the Four Ways and no living people
ever again looked on his face,and that the Te-hua priests say the
strong god of the men of iron swept him into the Nothing because he
alone stood against the new faith in that time of trial.
[Illustration: ONLY A TRAIL ACROSS THE DESERT SANDS Page 332]
The teller of tales does not know if this be true or notall gods
can be made strong by people, and it is not good to battle against the
god of a strong people:they can send strange sorceries and wild
temptings, and the Navahu maid had such charm she was never forgotten
by men who looked upon her face. It is also well known that the
bluebird is a sacred bird for medicine, and does call at every dawn on
those heights, and the wings worn in the banda of Tahn-té might,
through strong love, have become a true charm;and might have led him
at last to the nest of the witch maid in some wilderness of the Far
Away;who can tell?
But all men know that the prophecies of Tahn-té are true to-day in
the valley of the Rio Grandeand that his vision was the vision of
that which was to be.
Alikasai! = Hopi ceremonial word for a story
telling, equivalent to Once upon
a time, or Thus it was.
Alvarado, Hernando de = A lieutenant of Coronado, 1540.
Atoki = The Crane.
Ah-ko = Acoma, N. M., a village of the Queres
Apache = A warrior tribe of Athapascan stock
Awh-we = Mountain Place.
By-otle (see Py-otle).
Chinig-Chinik = A Pacific coast tribe of Nature worshippers.
Chilan Balam = Indian priest and prophet. 16th Century.
Ci-bo-la = Zuni, N. M. The only surviving village
of the Seven Cities of Cibola
of the early Spanish, chronicles.
Ci-cu-yé = Indian village and river. Pecos, N. M.
Cabeza de Vaca; = Alvar Nunez:the first European
to cross the land and make record
of the natives of the Arizona region.
Dok-os-lid = Navaho sacred mountain of the west.
San Francisco Mt., Arizona.
Doli = The blue bird. (Navaho).
Estsan-atlehi = Navaho Earth Goddess.
Go-hé-yahs = Spirit People, or mediators between
earth people and the Sun Father.
Han-na-di = Te-hua ceremonial beginning of a
Set-en-dah-nh! legend or sacred myth story.
Hopi or Hópitû = The desert people of Tusayan, often
named Moki or Moqui by outsiders
or tribal enemies.
Ho-tiwa = Arrows (being) made.
Kat-yi-ti = Cochiti Pueblo, N. M.
Ka-yemo = Falling leaves.
Kah-po = Santa Clara Pueblo, N. M.
Ki-pah = A legendary civilizer and prophet of
Kat-yi-mo = The solitary Mesa Enchanted,
three miles north of Acoma.
K[=a]-ye-povi = Spirit Blossom.
K[=a]-ye-fah = Wings of the Spirits.
Koh-pé = Red shell beads.
Khen-yah = Shaking trail.
Lé-lang-ûh = The Spirit Leader of the Flute Ceremony
for rain in the desert. He
was the first to make prayers
through the reed to the Spirit People
of the Elements. The gods
granted the prayer, and the Sacred
Order of the Flute was instituted.
It exists to-day in Tusayan.
Lost Others. = Those who have gone from earth life
to the spirit land.
Lo-lo-mi, = A Hopi word indicating that all is
good or beautiful.A blessing.
Mo-wa-thé = Flash of Light.
Mother of the Starry = Milky Way.
Moon of the Yellow = September.
Navahu = Navaho, a nomadic tribe of Athapascan
stock in Arizona.
Na-im-be = Nambe Pueblo, N. M.
Nahual = Spirit Ministrant, or unexpressed
Oj-ke = San Juan Pueblo, N. M.
O-ye-tza = White Ice.
Oh-we-tahnh = Indian writing. (Pictographs)
P[=o]-s[=o]n-gé = The river that is great, Rio
Po-Ahtun = An esoteric cult known from N. M.
to Central America. The Lords of
the Water and the Four Winds.
Po-Ahtun-ho = The high priest of the order. The
Po-se-yemo = Dew of Heaven. The earth-born Te-hua Christ.
Povi-whah = Moving Blossom.
Po-tzah = White Water.
Po-pe-kan-eh = Where the water is born. Springs
at the foot of Tse-c[=o]me-[=u]-piñ.
Po-eh-hin-cha = Santa Clara creek, N. M.
Po-etse = Box Cañon, Santa Clara Creek.
Po-ho-gé = San Ildefonso Pueblo, N. M.
Phen-tza = Yellow Mountain.
Piñ-pe-yé = An instrument of grooved stone and
a reed, by which astronomical calculations
were made by the Milky Way and stars.
Pu-yé = A cliff dwelling on Santa Clara Reservation, N. M.
Py-otle = A powerful drug known by Indian
medicine men from the great lakes
Quetzal-coatl = A God of Light of Mexico.
Qui-ve ra = A mythic land of gold in the desert.
Queres = or Que-ran-na. An ancient house
building people of N. M. Their
principal pueblo is AcomaThe
sky dwellings of White.
Säh-pah = The Frost.
S[=aa]-hanh-que-ah = The Woman of the Twilight.
Sea of Cortez = Gulf of California.
Se-po-chineh = The Place of Ancient Fire, a sacred
mountain, Mt. Taylor, N. M.
Sik-yat-ki = A ruin in the Tusayan desert, near
Sten-ahtlihan = The supreme goddess of the Apache
Sinde-hési = The Ancient Father:the Power
back of the Sun.
Shufinne = A pre-historic cliff dwelling near
Pu-yé, N. M.
So-ho-dah-tsa = Dark Cloud.
Ta-ah-quea = The Goddess of the Young Summer.
Tahn-té = Light of the Sun.
Tain-tsain Clan = Antelope Clan.
Te-hua = Children of the Sun. A house
building people of the Tanoan
Group, Rio Grande valley, N. M.
Te-get-ha = Taos Pueblo, N. M. One of the best
examples of the terraced, five storied,
Tiguex = A ruin near Bermalillo, N. M., called
by the natives Po-ri-kun-neh:the
Place of the Butterflies.
Te-tzo-ge = Tesuque Pueblo, N. M.
Tsa-mah = A Te-hua village at the junction of
the Tsa-mah and Rio Grande, now
Chamita, N. M., interesting as the
site of the first colony of Spanish
pioneers in N. M. 1591.
Tsa-fah = Chicken Hawk.
Tsé-ye = Cañon de Chelle, Arizona. The home
of the Navaho Divine Ones.
Tse-c[=o]me-[=u]-piñ = A sacred mountain west of Pu-yé, N. M.
Towa Toan Clan = High Mesa Clan.
Tusayan = Province of. A territory in Northern
Arizona, now the Hopi Indian
Tuyo = The Black Mesa of San Ildefonso, N. M.
Ui-la-ua = Picuris Pueblo, N. M.
Ua-lano = Jemez Pueblo, N. M.
Wálpi = The ancient stone village of
First Mesa in Tusayan.
Yahn Tsyn-deh = Willow Bird.
Yutah = Ute, a Colorado tribe of the
sone linguistic stock.