Full Online Books
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
Full Online Book HomePoemsHow The Man Of Two Hearts Kept The Secret Of The Holy Places
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
How The Man Of Two Hearts Kept The Secret Of The Holy Places Post by :Netbiz4i Category :Short Stories Author :Mary Hunter Austin Date :January 2011 Read :2471

Click below to download : How The Man Of Two Hearts Kept The Secret Of The Holy Places (Format : PDF)

How The Man Of Two Hearts Kept The Secret Of The Holy Places


"In the days of our Ancients," said the Road-Runner between short skimming runs, "this was the only trail from the river to the Middle Ant Hill of the World. The eastern end of it changed like the tip of a wild gourd vine as the towns moved up and down the river or the Queres crossed from Katzimo to the rock of Acoma; but always Zuni was the root, and the end of the first day's journey was the Rock."

Each time he took his runs afresh, like a kicking stick in a race, and waited for the children to catch up. The sands as they went changed from gray to gleaming pearl; on either side great islands of stone thinned and swelled like sails and took on rosy lights and lilac shadows.

They crossed a high plateau with somber cones of extinct volcanoes, crowding between rivers of block rock along its rim. Northward a wilderness of pines guarded the mesa; dark junipers, each one with a secret look, browsed wide apart. They thickened in the canons from which arose the white bastions of the Rock.

Closer up, El Morro showed as the wedge-shaped end of a high mesa, soaring into cliffs and pinnacles, on the very tip of which they could just make out the hunched figure of the great Condor.

"El Morro, 'the Castle,' the Spaniards called it," said the Road-Runner, casting himself along the laps of the trail like a feathered dart. "But to our Ancients it was always 'The Rock.' On winter journeys they camped on the south side to get the sun, and in summers they took the shade on the north. They carved names and messages for those that were to come after, with flint knives, with swords and Spanish daggers. Men are all very much alike," said the Road-Runner.

On the smooth sandstone cliffs the children could make out strange, weathered picture-writings, and twisty inscriptions in much abbreviated Spanish which they could not read.

The white sand at the foot of the Rock was strewn with flakes of charcoal from the fires of ancient camps. A little to the south of the cliff, that towered two hundred feet and more above them, shallow footholds were cut into the sandstone.

"There were pueblos at the top in the old days," said the Road-Runner, "facing across a deep divide, but nobody goes there now except owls that have their nests in the ruins, and the last of the Condors, who since old time have made their home in the pinnacles of the Rock. He'll have seen us coming." The children looked up as a sailing shadow began to circle about them on the evening-colored sands. "You can see by the frayed edges of his wing feathers that he has a long time for remembering," said the Road-Runner.

The great bird came slowly to earth, close by the lone pine that tasseled out against the south side of El Morro and the Road-Runner ducked several times politely.

"My children, how is it with you these days?" asked the Condor with great dignity.

"Happy, happy, Grandfather. And you?"

The Condor assured them that he was very happy, and seeing that no one made any other remark, he added, after an interval, looking pointedly at the children, "It is not thinking of nothing that strangers come to the house of a stranger."

"True, Grandfather," said the Road-Runner; "we are thinking of the gold, the seed of the Sun, that the Spaniards did not find. Is there left to you any of the remembrance of these things?"

"_Hai, hai_!" The Condor stretched his broad wings and settled himself comfortably on a nubbin of sandstone. "Of which of these who passed will you hear?" He indicated the inscriptions on the rock, and then by way of explanation he said to the children, "I am town-hatched myself. Lads of Zuni took my egg and hatched it under a turkey hen, at the Ant Hill. They kept my wings clipped, but once they forgot, so I came away to the ancient home of my people. But in the days of my captivity I learned many tales and the best manner of telling them. Also the Tellings of my own people who kept the Rock. They fit into one another like the arrow point to the shaft. Look!"--he pointed to an inscription protected by a little brow of sandstone, near the lone pine. "Juan de Onate did that when he passed to the discovery of the Sea of the South. He it was who built the towns, even the chief town of Santa Fe.

"There signed with his sword, Vargas, who reconquered the pueblos after the rebellion--yes, they rebelled again and again. On the other side of the Rock you can read how Governor Nieto carried the faith to them. They came and went, the Iron Shirts, through two hundred years. You can see the marks of their iron hats on some of the rafters of Zuni town to this day, but small was the mark they left on the hearts of the Zunis."

"Is that so!" said the Road-Runner, which is a polite way of saying that you think the story worth going on with; and then cocking his eye at the inscription, he hinted, "I have heard that the Long Gowns, the Padres who came with them, were master-workers in hearts."

"It is so," said the Condor. "I remember the first of them who managed to build a church here, Padre Francisco Letrado. Here!" He drew their attention to an inscription almost weathered away, and looking more like the native picture-writings than the signature of a Spanish gentleman. He read:--

"They passed on the 23d of March of 1832 years to the avenging of the death of Father Letrado." It was signed simply "Lujan."

"There is a Telling of that passing and of that soldier which has to do with the gold that was never found."

_"Sons eso,"_ said the Road-Runner, and they settled themselves to listen.

"About the third of a man's life would have passed between the time when Onate came to the founding of Santa Fe, and the building of the first church by Father Letrado. There were Padres before that, and many baptizings. The Zunis were always glad to learn new ways of persuading the gods to be on their side, and they thought the prayers and ceremonies of the Padres very good Medicine indeed. They thought the Iron Shirts were gods themselves, and when they came received them with sprinklings of sacred meal. But it was not until Father Letrado's time that it began to be understood that the new religion was to take the place of their own, for to the Indians there is but one spirit in things, as there is one life in man. They thought their own prayers as good as any that were taught them.

"But Father Letrado was zealous and he was old. He made a rule that all should come to the service of his church and that they should obey him and reverence him when they met, with bowings and kissings of his robe. It is not easy to teach reverence to a free people, and the men of the Ant Hill had been always free. But the worst of Father Letrado's rulings was that there were to be no more prayers in the kivas, no dancings to the gods nor scatterings of sacred pollen and planting of plumes. Also--this is not known, I think--that the sacred places where the Sun had planted the seed of itself should be told to the Padres."

"He means the places where the gold is found mixed with the earth and the sand," explained the Road-Runner to Dorcas Jane and Oliver.

"In the days of the Ancients," said the Condor, "when such a place was found, it was told to the Priests of the Bow, and kept in reverence by the whole people. But since the Zunis had discovered what things white men will do for gold, there had been fewer and fewer who held the secret. The Spaniards had burnt too many of those who were suspected of knowing, for one thing, and they had a drink which, when they gave to the Indians, let the truth out of their mouths as it would not have gone when they were sober.

"At the time Father Letrado built his first chapel there was but one man in Hawikuh who knew.

"He was a man of two natures. His mother had been a woman of the Matsaki, and his father one of the Onate's men, so that he was half of the Sun and half of the Moon, as we say,--for the Zunis called the first half-white children, Moon-children,--and his heart was pulled two ways, as I have heard the World Encompassing Water is pulled two ways by the Sun and the Moon. Therefore, he was called Ho-tai the Two-Hearted.

"What finally pulled his heart out of his bosom was the love he had for his wife. Flower-of-the-Maguey, she was called, and she was beautiful beyond all naming. She was daughter to the Chief Priest of the Bow, and young men from all the seven towns courted her. But though she was lovely and quiet she was not as she seemed to be. She was a Passing Being." The Condor thoughtfully stretched his wings as he considered how to explain this to the children.

"Such there are," he said. "They are shaped from within outward by their own wills. They have the power to take the human form and leave it. But it was not until she had been with her mother to To-yalanne, the sacred Thunder Mountain, as is the custom when maidens reach the marriageable age, that her power came to her. She was weary with gathering the sacred flower pollen; she lay under a maguey in the warm sun and felt the light airs play over her. Her breath came evenly and the wind lifted her long hair as it lay along her sides.

"Strangely she felt the pull of the wind on her hair, all along her body. She looked and saw it turn short and tawny in the sun, and the shape of her limbs fitted to the sandy hollows. Thus she understood that she was become another being, Moke-iche, the puma. She bounded about in the sun and chased the blue and yellow butterflies. After a time she heard the voice of her mother calling, and it pulled at her heart. She let her heart have way and became a maid again. But often she would steal out after that, when the wind brought her the smell of the maguey, or at night when the moon walked low over To-yalanne, and play as puma. Her parents saw that she had power more than is common to maidens, but she was wise and modest, and they loved her and said nothing.

"'Let her have a husband and children,' they said, 'and her strangeness will pass.' But they were very much disappointed at what happened to all the young men who came a-courting.

"This is the fashion of a Zuni courting: The young man says to his Old Ones, 'I have seen the daughter of the Priest of the Bow at the Middle Ant Hill, what think ye?' And if they said, 'Be it well!' he gathered his presents into a bundle and went to knock at the sky-hole of her father's house.

"'_She_!' he said, and '_Hai_!' they answered from within. 'Help me down,' he would say, which was to tell them that he had a bundle with him and it was a large one. Then the mother of the girl would know what was afoot. She would rise and pull the bundle down through the sky-hole--all pueblo houses are entered from the top, did you not know?" asked the Condor.

The children nodded, not to interrupt; they had seen as they came along the trail the high terraced houses with the ladders sticking out of the door-holes.

"Then there was much politeness on both sides, politeness of food offered and eaten and questions asked, until the girl's parents were satisfied that the match would be a good one. Finally, the Old Ones would stretch themselves out in their corners and begin to scrape their nostrils with their breath--thus," said the Condor, making a gentle sound of snoring; "for it was thought proper for the young people to have a word or two together. The girl would set the young man a task, so as not to seem too easily won, and to prove if he were the sort of man she wished for a husband.

"'Only possibly you love me,' said the daughter of the Chief Priest of the Bow. 'Go out with the light to-morrow to hunt and return with it, bringing your kill, that I may see how much you can do for my sake.'

"But long before light the girl would go out herself as a puma and scare the game away. Thus it happened every time that the young man would return at evening empty-handed, or he would be so mortified that he did not return at all, and the girl's parents would send the bundle back to him. The Chief Priest and his wife began to be uneasy lest their daughter should never marry at all.

"Finally Ho-tai of the pueblo of Matsaki heard of her, and said to his mother, 'That is the wife for me.'

"'_Shoom_!' said his mother; 'what have you to offer her?' for they were very poor.

"'_Shoom_ yourself!' said Ho-tai. 'He that is poor in spirit as well as in appearance, is poor indeed. It is plain she is not looking for a bundle, but for a man.' So he took what presents he had to the house of the Chief Priest of the Bow, and everything went as usual; except that when Ho-tai asked them to help him in, the Chief Priest said, 'Be yourself within,' for he was growing tired of courtings that came to nothing. But when Ho-tai came cheerfully down the ladder with his gift, the girl's heart was touched, for he was a fine gold color like a full moon, and his high heart gave him a proud way of walking. So when she had said, 'Only possibly you love me, but that I may know what manner of husband I am getting, I pray you hunt for me one day,' and when they had bidden each other 'wait happily until the morning,' she went out as a puma and searched the hills for game that she might drive toward the young man, instead of away from him. But because she could not take her eyes off of him, she was not so careful as she should be not to let him see her. Then she went home and put on all her best clothes, the white buckskins, the turquoises and silver bracelets, and waited. At evening, Ho-tai, the Two-Hearted, came with a fine buck on his shoulders, and a stiff face. Without a word he gave the buck to the Priest's wife and turned away, '_Hai_',' said the mother, 'when a young man wins a girl he is permitted to say a few words to her!'--for she was pleased to think that her daughter had got a husband at last.

"'I did not kill the buck by myself,' said Ho-tai; and he went off to find the Chief Priest and tell him that he could not marry his daughter. Flower-of-the-Maguey, who was in her room all this time peeking through the curtain, took a water jar and went down to the spring where Ho-tai could not help but pass her on his way back to his own village.

"'I did not bring back your bundle,' she said when she saw him; 'what is a bundle to a woman when she has found a man?'

"Then his two hearts were sore in him, for she was lovely past all naming. 'I do not take what I cannot win by my own labor,' said he; 'there was a puma drove up the game for me.'

"'Who knows,' said she, 'but Those Above sent it to try if you were honest or a braggart?' After which he began to feel differently. And in due course they were married, and Ho-tai came to live in the house of the Chief Priest at Hawikuh, for her parents could not think of parting with her,

"They were very happy," said the Condor, "for she was wisely slow as well as beautiful, and she eased him of the struggle of his two hearts, one against the other, and rested in her life as a woman."

"Does that mean she wasn't a puma any more?" asked Dorcas Jane.

The Condor nodded, turning over the Zuni words in his mind for just the right phrase. "Understanding of all her former states came to her with the years. There was nothing she dreaded so much as being forced out of this life into the dust and whirl of Becoming. That is one reason why she feared and distrusted the Spanish missionaries when they came, as they did about that time.

"One of her husband's two hearts pulled very strongly toward the religion of the Spanish Padres. He was of the first that were baptized by Father Letrado, and served the altar. He was also the first of those upon whose mind the Padre began to work to persuade him that in taking the new religion he must wholly give up the old.

"At the end of that trail, a day's journey," said the Condor, indicating the narrow foot-tread in the sand, which showed from tree to tree of the dark junipers, and seemed to turn and disappear at every one, "lies the valley of Shiwina, which is Zuni.

"It is a narrow valley, watered by a muddy river. Red walls of mesas shut it in above the dark wood. To the north lies Thunder Mountain, wall-sided and menacing. Dust devils rise up from the plains and veil the crags. In the winter there are snows. In the summer great clouds gather over Shiwina and grow dark with rain. White corn tassels are waving, blue butterfly maidens flit among the blossoming beans.

"Day and night at midsummer, hardly the priests have their rattles out of their hands. You hear them calling from the house-tops, and the beat of bare feet on the dancing places. But the summer after Father Letrado built his chapel of the Immaculate Virgin at Halona and the chapel and parish house of the Immaculate Conception at Hawikuh, he set his face against the Rain Dance, and especially against the Priests of the Rain. Witchcraft and sorcery he called it, and in Zuni to be accused of witchcraft is death.

"The people did not know what to do. They prayed secretly where they could. The Priests of the Rain went on with their preparations, and the soldiers of Father Letrado--for he had a small detachment with him--broke up the dance and profaned the sacred places. Those were hard days for Ho-tai the Two-Hearted. The gods of the strangers were strong gods, he said, let the people wait and see what they could do. The white men had strong Medicine in their guns and their iron shirts and their long-tailed, smoke-breathing beasts. They did not work as other gods. Even if there was no rain, the white gods might have another way to save the people.

"These were the things Father Letrado taught him to say, and the daughter of the Chief Priest of the Bow feared that his heart would be quite pulled away from the people of Zuni. Then she went to her father the Chief Priest, who was also the keeper of the secret of the Holy Places of the Sun, and neared the dividing of the ways of life.

"'Let Ho-tai be chosen Keeper in your place,' she said, 'so all shall be bound together, the Medicine of the white man and the brown.'

"'Be it well,' said the Priest of the Bow, for he was old, and had respect for his daughter's wisdom. Feeling his feet go from him toward the Spirit Road, he called together the Priests of the Bow, and announced to them that Ho-tai would be Keeper in his stead.

"Though Two-Hearted was young for the honor, they did not question it, for, like his wife, they were jealous of the part of him that was white--which, for her, there was no becoming--and they thought of this as a binding together. They were not altogether sure yet that the Spaniards were not gods, or at the least Surpassing Beings.

"But as the rain did not come and the winter set in cold with a shortage of corn, more and more they neglected the bowings and the reverences and the service of the mass. Nights Father Letrado would hear the muffled beat of the drums in the kivas where the old religion was being observed, and because it was the only heart open to him, he twisted the heart of Ho-tai to see if there was not some secret evil, some seed of witchcraft at the bottom of it which he could pluck out."

"That was great foolishness," said the Road-Runner; "no white man yet ever got to the bottom of the heart of an Indian."

"True," said the Condor, "but Ho-tai was half white, and the white part of him answered to the Padre's hand. He was very miserable, and in fact, nobody was very happy in those days in Hawikuh. Father Martin who passed there in the moon of the Sun Returning, on his way to establish a mission among the People of the Coarse Hanging Hair, reported to his superior that Father Letrado was ripe for martyrdom.

"It came the following Sunday, when only Ho-tai and a few old women came to mass. Sick at the sound of his own voice echoing in the empty chapel, the Padre went out to the plaza of the town to scold the people into services. He was met by the Priests of the Rain with their bows. Being neither a coward nor a fool, he saw what was before him. Kneeling, he clasped his arms, still holding the crucifix across his bosom, and they transfixed him with their arrows.

"They went into the church after that and broke up the altar, and burned the chapel. A party of bowmen followed the trail of Father Martin, coming up with him after five days. That night with the help of some of his own converts, they fell upon and killed him. There was a half-breed among them, both whose hearts were black. He cut off the good Padre's hand and scalped him."

"Oh," said Oliver, "I think he ought not to have done that!"

The Condor was thoughtful.

"The hand, no. It had been stretched forth only in kindness. But I think white men do not understand about scalping. I have heard them talk sometimes, and I know they do not understand. The scalp was taken in order that they might have the scalp dance. The dance is to pacify the spirit of the slain. It adopts and initiates him into the tribe of the dead, and makes him one with them, so that he will not return as a spirit and work harm on his slayers. Also it is a notice to the gods of the enemy that theirs is the stronger god, and to beware. The scalp dance is a protection to the tribe of the slayer; to omit one of its observances is to put the tribe in peril of the dead. Thus I have heard; thus the Old Ones have said. Even Two-Hearted, though he was sad for the killing, danced for the scalp of Father Martin.

"Immediately it was all over, the Hawikuhkwe began to be afraid. They gathered up their goods and fled to K'iakime, the Place of the Eagles, on Thunder Mountain, where they had a stronghold. There were Iron Shirts at Santa Fe and whole cities of them in the direction of the Salt Containing Waters. Who knew what vengeance they might take for the killing of the Padres? The Hawikuhkwe intrenched themselves, and for nearly two years they waited and practiced their own religion in their own way.

"Only two of them were unhappy. These were Ho-tai of the two hearts, and his wife, who had been called Flower-of-the-Maguey. But her unhappiness was not because the Padres had been killed. She had had her hand in that business, though only among the women, dropping a word here and there quietly, as one drops a stone into a deep well. She was unhappy because she saw that the dead hand of Father Letrado was still heavy on her husband's heart.

"Not that Ho-tai feared what the soldiers from Santa Fe might do to the slayer, but what the god of the Padre might do to the whole people. For Padre Letrado had taught him to read in the Sacred Books, and he knew that whole cities were burned with fire for their sins. He saw doom hanging over K'iakime, and his wife could not comfort him. After awhile it came into his mind that it was his own sin for which the people would be punished, for the one thing he had kept from the Padre was the secret of the gold.

"It is true," said the Condor, "that after the Indians had forgotten them, white men rediscovered many of their sacred places, and many others that were not known even to the Zunis. But there is one place on Thunder Mountain still where gold lies in the ground in lumps like pine nuts. If Father Letrado could have found it, he would have hammered it into cups for his altar, and immediately the land would have been overrun with the Spaniards. And the more Ho-tai thought of it, the more convinced he was that he should have told him.

"Toward the end of two years when it began to be rumored that soldiers and new Padres were coming to K'iakime to deal with the killing of Father Letrado, Ho-tai began to sleep more quietly at night. Then his wife knew that he had made up his mind to tell, if it seemed necessary to reconcile the Spaniards to his people, and it was a knife in her heart.

"It was her husband's honor, and the honor of her father, Chief Priest of the Bow; and besides, she knew very well that if Ho-tai told, the Priests of the Bow would kill him. She said to herself that her husband was sick with the enchantments of the Padres, and she must do what she could for him. She gave him seeds of forgetfulness."

"Was that a secret too?" asked Dorcas, for the Condor seemed not to remember that the children were new to that country.

"It was _peyote_. Many know of it now, but in the days of Our Ancients it was known only to a few Medicine men and women. It is a seed that when eaten wipes out the past from a man's mind and gives him visions. In time its influence will wear away, and it must be eaten anew, but if eaten too often it steals a man's courage and his strength as well as his memory.

"When she had given her husband a little in his food, Flower-of-the-Maguey found that he was like a child in her hands.

"'Sleep,' she would say, 'and dream thus, and so,' and that is the way it would be with him. She wished him to forget both the secret of the gold in the ground and the fear of the Padres.

"From the time that she heard that the Spaniards were on their way to K'iakime, she fed him a little _peyote_ every day. To the others it seemed that his mind walked with Those Above, and they were respectful of him. That is how Zunis think of any kind of madness. They were not sure that the madness had not been sent for just this occasion when they had need of the gods, and so, as it seemed to them, it proved.

"The Spaniards asked for parley, and the Caciques permitted the Padres to come up into the council chambers, for they knew that the long gowns covered no weapons. The Spaniards had learned wisdom, perhaps, and perhaps they thought Father Letrado somewhat to blame. They asked nothing but permission to reestablish their missions, and to have the man who had scalped Father Martin handed over to them for Spanish justice.

"They sat around the wall of the kiva, with Ho-tai in his place, hearing and seeing very little. But the parley was long, and, little by little, the vision of his own gods which the _peyote_ had given him began to wear away. One of the Padres rose in his place and began a long speech about the sin of killing, and especially of killing priests. He quoted his Sacred Books and talked of the sin in their hearts, and, little by little, the talk laid hold on the wandering mind of Ho-tai. 'Thus, in this killing, has the secret evil of your hearts come forth,' said the Padre, and 'True, He speaks true,' said Ho-tai, upon which the Priests of the Hawikuhkwe were astonished. They thought their gods spoke through his madness.

"Then the Padre began to exhort them to give up this evil man in their midst and rid themselves of the consequences of sin, which he assured them were most certain and as terrible as they were sure. Then the white heart of Ho-tai remembered his own anguish, and spoke thickly, as a man drunk with _peyote_ speaks.

"'He must be given up,' he said. It seemed to them that his voice came from the under world.

"But there was a great difficulty. The half-breed who had done the scalping had, at the first rumor of the soldiers coming, taken himself away. If the Hawikuhkwe said this to the Spaniards, they knew very well they would not be believed. But the mind of Ho-tai had begun to come back to him, feebly as from a far journey.

"He remembered that he had done something displeasing to the Padre, though he did not remember what, and on account of it there was doom over the valley of the Shiwina. He rose staggering in his place.

"'Evil has been done, and the evil man must be cast out,' he said, and for the first time the Padres noticed that he was half white. Not one of them had ever seen the man who scalped Father Letrado, but it was known that his father had been a soldier. This man was altogether such a one as they expected. His cheeks were drawn, his hair hung matted over his reddened eyes, as a man's might, tormented of the spirit. 'I am that man,' said Ho-tai of the Two Hearts, and the Caciques put their hands over their mouths with astonishment."

"But they never," cried Oliver,--"they never let him be taken?"

"A life for a life," said the Condor, "that is the law. It was necessary that the Spaniards be pacified, and the slayer could not be found. Besides, the people of Hawikuh thought Ho-tai's offer to go in his place was from the gods. It agrees with all religions that a man may lay down his life for his people."

"Couldn't his wife do anything?"

"What could she? He went of his own will and by consent of the Caciques. But she tried what she could. She could give him _peyote_ enough so that he should remember nothing and feel nothing of what the Spaniards should do to him. But to do that she had to make friends with one of the soldiers. She chose one Lujan, who had written his name on the Rock on the way to K'iakime. By him she sent a cake to Ho-tai, and promised to meet Lujan when she could slip away from the village unnoticed.

"Between here and Acoma," said the Condor, "is a short cut which may be traveled on foot, but not on horseback. Returning with Ho-tai, manacled and fast between two soldiers, the Spaniards meant to take that trail, and it was there the wife of Ho-tai promised to meet Lujan at the end of the second day's travel.

"She came in the twilight, hurrying as a puma, for her woman's heart was too sore to endure her woman's body. Lujan had walked apart from the camp to wait for her; smiling, he waited. She was still very beautiful, and he thought she was in love with him. Therefore, when he saw the long, hurrying stride of a puma in the trail, he thought it a pity so beautiful a woman should be frightened. The arrow that he sped from his cross-bow struck in the yellow flanks. 'Well shot,' said Lujan cheerfully, but his voice was drowned by a scream that was strangely like a woman's. He remembered it afterward in telling of the extraordinary thing that had happened to him, for when he went to look, where the great beast had leaped in air and fallen, there was nothing to be found there. Nothing.

"If she had been in her form as a woman when he shot her," said the Condor, "that is what he would have found. But she was a Passing Being, not taking form from without as we do, of the outward touchings of things, and her shape of a puma was as mist which vanishes in death as mist does in the sun. Thus shortens my story."

"Come," said the Road-Runner, understanding that there would be no more to the Telling. "The Seven Persons are out, and the trail is darkling."

The children looked up and saw the constellation which they knew as the Dipper, shining in a deep blue heaven. The glow was gone from the high cliffs of El Morro, and the junipers seemed to draw secretly together. Without a word they took hands and began to run along the trail after the Road-Runner.




The _Old Zuni Trail_ may still be followed from the Rio Grande to the Valley of Zuni. _El Morro_, or "Inscription Rock," as it is called, is between Acoma and the city of Old Zuni which still goes by the name of "Middle Ant Hill of the World."

In a book by Charles Lummis, entitled _Strange Corners of Our Country_, there is an excellent description of the Rock and copies of the most interesting inscriptions, with translations.

The Padres of Southwestern United States were Franciscan Friars who came as missionaries to the Indians. They were not all of them so unwise as Father Letrado.

_Peyote_, the dried fruit of a small cactus, the use of which was only known in the old days to a few of the Medicine Men. The effect was like that of opium, and gave the user visions.

(The end)
Mary Hunter Austin's short story: How The Man Of Two Hearts Kept The Secret Of The Holy Places

If you like this book please share to your friends :

How The Iron Shirts Came Looking For The Seven Cities Of Cibola How The Iron Shirts Came Looking For The Seven Cities Of Cibola

How The Iron Shirts Came Looking For The Seven Cities Of Cibola
TOLD BY THE ROAD-RUNNERFrom Cay Verde in the Bahamas to the desert of New Mexico, by the Museum trail, is around a corner and past two windows that look out upon the west. As the children stood waiting for the Road-Runner to notice them, they found the view not very different from the one they had just left. Unending, level sands ran into waves, and strange shapes of rocks loomed through the desert blueness like steep-shored islands. It was vast and terrifying like the sea, and yet a very pleasant furred and feathered life appeared to be going on there between

How The Medicine Of The Arrows Was Broken At Republican River How The Medicine Of The Arrows Was Broken At Republican River

How The Medicine Of The Arrows Was Broken At Republican River
TOLD BY THE CHIEF OFFICER OF THE DOG SOLDIERSThis is the story the Dog Soldier told Oliver one evening in April, just after school let out, while the sun was still warm and bright on the young grass, and yet one somehow did not care about playing. Oliver had slipped into the Indian room by the west entrance to look at the Dog Dancers, for the teacher had just told them that our country was to join the big war which had been going on so long on the other side of the Atlantic, and the boy was feeling rather excited