Citation
The enchanted burro

Material Information

Title:
The enchanted burro stories of New Mexico and South America
Added title page title:
Enchanted burro
Added title page title:
Mummy miner
Added title page title:
Boy of the Andes
Added title page title:
Daughter of the Misti
Added title page title:
Witch-deer
Added title page title:
Andrés, the arriero
Added title page title:
Our yellow slave
Added title page title:
Peak of gold
Added title page title:
Candelaria's curse
Added title page title:
Habit of the fraile
Added title page title:
Great magician
Added title page title:
Balsa boy of LakeTiti-Caca
Creator:
Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928
Way & Williams ( Publisher )
Stromberg, Allen & Co ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
Chicago
Publisher:
Way and Williams
Manufacturer:
Stromber, Allen & Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
6 p., 1., 277, [1] p., [14] leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children's stories ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Voyages, Imaginary -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children -- Behavior -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Imagination -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Social life and customs -- Fiction -- New Mexico ( lcsh )
Social life and customs -- Fiction -- South America ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1897 ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1897 ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature -- 1897 ( rbgenr )
Bldn dy 1897
Genre:
Children's stories
Fantasy literature ( rbgenr )
Children's literature ( fast )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Title page printed in red and black.
General Note:
Pictorial front and back cover.
General Note:
"The illustrations are from drawings by Charles Abel Corwin after photographs by the author"--t.p. verso.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Charles F. Lummis.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026854612 ( ALEPH )
ALH3787 ( NOTIS )
02007040 ( OCLC )
07014505 ( LCCN )

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Full Text










Sth



The Enchanted Burro









| THE ENCHANTED
i'BURRO STORIES!
of NEW MEXICOand|
SOUTH AMERICA|









[AutHor oF The Land of Po
ico Tiempo, Strange Corners}
of Our Country, A Tramp}





GHICAGO,. WAY
[WEELIAMS,



1897]



COPYRIGHT, 1897, BY WAY & WILLIAMS

THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE FROM DRAWINGS BY CHARLES
ABEL CORWIN AFTER PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE AUTHOR



To
AMADO
and
AMADO

The name that stood for such a friend is tall
enough for two—

My oldest on the old frontier, my newest on the
new.

Nor is it on my heart to pray my baby’s feet be
spared

So rugged paths (companioned so) as once his
Sather fared.



Contents

PacE

Tur ENCHANTED Burro (New Mexico) 1

Toe Mummy-Miner (Peru) : 1225
A Boy or THE ANDES (Peru) . es)
A DAUGHTER OF THE Mistr (Peru) . 65
Tue Witco DEER (New Mexico) . 85
FELIPE’S SUGARING-OFF (Peru) eee
ANDRES, THE ARRIERO (Bolivia) . ll
Our YELLOW SLAVE . ; : «= 141

Tur Prax oF Gotp (New Mexico) . 161

Pasio’s DEER Hunt (New Mexico) . 179
CanpELarra’s CURSE (New Mexico) . 203
Tue HaBit OF THE FRAILE (Peru) . 219
THe Great MaGIcIAN : : . 241

THE Batsa Boy oF Lake Titicaca. 257
(Bolivia)



T is given unto many to know enough, by

a few days in a Pullman or a hotel (or
even a reference library at home), to make
a book about a country. But not unto me.
It has taken more than a dozen arduous,
costly years to beat into me what little I
hope I know about our frontier and Spanish-
America. ‘To learn new languages and
study innumerable old documents was but
one side of the task; everywhere, and
among many strange people, it was also.
necessary to become ‘‘one of the family,”
to share their speech and their ideas, their
pleasures and their hardships—in a word,
to live their life. One must do that to
know ; and some are too vain to write with-
out knowing, in this narrow world where
the blunderer is sure to be exposed. Our
notions are far more influenced, in the ag-
gregate, by the local color of fiction than by
the cold lines of monographs; so perhaps
even stories have a right to be honest work.

Most of those in this little book are epi-
sodes Iwas some part of; and all are truth-
ful. I hope that they are not, on this ac-
count, any duller than if they had been
guessed at.

Los ANGELES, CAL,



List of Illustrations

FRONTISPIECE—‘‘Lelo dropped his arms on
his hoe,’’ etc. . : _
Enchanted Burro.
‘““Clapped notch to bowstring,’’ etc.
Linchanted Burro.
“For it was not a stone at all.”’
The Mummy-Miner.
“The mules stopped suddenly,’’ etc
Boy of the Andes.

‘“‘Transita was left clinging to the broken

edge,’’ etc.
Daughter of the Misti.
“¢Run for yourself!’ cried Luis.’’
The Witch Deer.
“‘As if the fate of nations hung upon his eyes.”’
felipe’s Sugaring-off.
‘“‘There was a tremendous swoosh of wings
past him.’ : :
Andrés the Arviero.
“On the rough stone bench along the walls
sat five men.’’ : P
Andrés the Arriero.

“‘Paying no heed to the forlorn watcher on

the shore. ’’ a z : .
Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

‘*Blood, water of life, come back to the brook

of the heart.”’ . 5 :
Pablo’s Deer ‘Hunt.

““When Pablo toiled up the hill of ruins.’’
Pablo’s Deer a

‘*Pedro stepped out upon the log,”’
Candeléria’s Curse.
‘Vicente, in a flash of rage, flung himself
at his legs,”’ etc. 5 :
The Habit of the Fraile.
‘“‘A limp bundle, whose head aroonss on my

shoulder.’’
Balsa Boy of Lake Titi-Caca.

Pace

17
38

46

77
91

103

131

135

180

194
198

212

235

267



The Enchanted Burro



The Enchanted Burro.

Co

ELO dropped the point of his heavy irri-
gating hoe and stood with chin dented
upon the rude handle, looking intently to the
east. Around his bare ankles the rill from
the acéguia* eddied a moment and then
sucked through the gap in the little ridge of
earth which bounded the irrigating bed.
The early sun was yellow as gold upon the
crags of the mesaj—that league-long front
of ragged cliffs whose sandstones, black-
capped by the lava of the immemorial Year
of Fire, here wall the valley of the Rio
Grande on the west. Wherea spur of the
frowning Ktmai runs out is a little bay in
the cliffs; and here the outermost fields of
Isleta were turning green with spring. The
young wheat swayed and whispered to the
water, whose scouts stole about amid the
stalks, and came back and called their fel-
lows forward, and spread hither and yon,

* Ah-say-kee-ah. Irrigating ditch.
+ May-sah, Table land.



2 The Enchanted Burro.

till every green blade was drinking and the
tide began to creep up the low boundaries
at either side. Up at the sluice gateasmall
but eager stream was tumbling from the
big, placid ditch, and on it came tillit struck
the tiny dam which closed the furrow just
beyond Lelo, and, turning, stole past him
again to join the rest amid the wheat. The
irrigating bed, twenty feet square, filled
and filled, and suddenly the gathered pud-
dle broke down a barrier and came romp-
ing into the next bed without so much as
saying ‘‘By your leave.’”? And here it was
not so friendly; for, forgetting that it had
come only to bring a drink, it went stam-
peding about, knocking down the tender
blades and half covering them with mud.
At sound of this, Lelo seemed suddenly to
waken, and lifting with his hoe the few clods
which dammed the furrow, he dropped
them into the first gap, and jumping into
the second bed repaired its barrier also
with a few strokes. Then he let in a gen-
tler stream from the furrow.

“‘ Poco, and I should have lost a bed,”” he
said to himself, goodnaturedly. Blas always
took things easy, and I presume that is the
reason no one ever called him anything but
Lelo* — “‘ Slow-poke ’’ — for Indian boys are
"* Lay-lo.



The Enchanted Burro. 3

as given to nicknames as are any others, and
the mote had stuck to him ever since its in-
vention. He was rather slow —this big,
powerful boy, with a round, heavy chin and
a face less clear-cut than was common in
the pueblo. Old ’Lipe had taken to wife a
Navajo captive, and all could see that the
boy carried upon his father’s strong frame
the flatter, more stolid features of his
mother’s nomad people.

But now the face seemed not quite so
heavy; for again he was looking toward the
pueblo and bending his head as one who
listens for afar whisper. There it came
again —a faint, faint air which not one of
us could have heard, but to this Indian boy
it told of shouts and mingled wails.

‘““What will be?” cried Lelo, stamping
his hoe upon the barrier, and with unwonted
fire in his eyes. “For surely I hear the
voice of women lamenting, and there are
men’s shouts asinanger. Something heavy
it will be—and perhaps I am needed.”
Splashing up to the ditch, he shut the gate
and threw down his hoe, and a moment
later was running toward Isleta with the
long, heavy, tireless stride that was the
jest of the other boys in the rabbit hunt,
but left Lelo not so very far behind them
after all.



4 The Enchanted Burro.

In the pueblo was, indeed, excitement
enough. Little knots of the swart people
stood here and there, talking earnestly but
low; in the broad, flat plaza were many hur-
rying to and fro; and in the street beyond
was a great crowd about a house whence
arosé the long, wild wails of mourners.

“What is, zo Diego?”’ asked Lelo, stop-
ping where a number of men stood in
gloomy silence. ‘‘ What has befallen? For
even in the mzlpa* I heard the cries, and
came running to see.”

“Tt is ill,” answered the old man he had
addressed as uncle. ‘‘It seems that Those
Above are angry with us! For this morn-
ing the captain of war finds himself dead in
bed —and scalfed/ And no tracks of man
were about his door.”

“Ay, all is ill!” groaned a short, heavy-
set man, ina frayed blanket. ‘For yester-
day, coming from the ano} with my burro,t
I met a stranger—a bérbaro. And, blow-
ing upon Paloma, he bewitched the poor
beast so that it sprang off the trail and was
killed at the bottom of the cliff. It lacked
only that! Last month it was the raid of
the Cumanche; and, though we followed

* Meel-pah. Field. +L’yah-no. Plain.
The quaint little Spanish-American donkey. Pro-
nounced Boo-ro.



The Enchanted Burro. 5

and slew many of the robbers and got back
many animals, yet mine were not found,
and this was the very last that remained
to me.”

‘Pero, Don ’Colas!”’ cried Lelo, “your
burro I saw this very morning as I went to

the field before the sun. Paloma it was, _ Se57
with the white face and the white hind-foot

—for do I not know him well?’ He was
passing through the bushés under the cliffs
at the point, and turned to look at meas I
crossed the fields below.”

“Vaya!” cried Nicolas, angrily. ‘Did
I not see him, with these my eyes, jump the
cliff of two hundred feet yesterday, and
with these my hands feel him at the foot
that he was dead? Go, with your stories of
a stupid, for —~—”

But here the alguazil, who was one of the
group, interrupted: ‘Lelo has no fool’s
eyes, and this thing I shall look into. Since
this morning, many things look suspicious.
Come, show me where fell thy burro—for
to me all these doings are cousins one to
another.”’ :

Nicolas, with angry confidence, accom-
panied the broad-shouldered Indian sheriff,
and their companions followed silently.
Across the adobe-walled gardens they
trudged, and into the sandy “draw,” whose



6 The Enchanted Burro.

trail led along the cliff and up among the
jumble of fallen crags at one side.

“Yonder he jumped off,” said ’Colds,
“and fell——” But even then he rubbed
his eyes and turned pale. For where he
had left the limp, bleeding carcass of poor
Paloma only twenty-four hours before,
there was now nothing to be seen. Only,
upon a rock, were a few red blotches.

“What is this!”? demanded the alguazil,
sternly. “Hast thou hidden him away?
Claro that something fell here—for there is
blood and a tuft of hair upon yon stone.
But where is the burro?”

‘“‘How should I hide him, since he was
dead as the rocks? It is witchcraft, I tell
you—for see! There are no tracks of him
going away, even where the earth is soft.
And for the coyotes and wildcats— they
would have left his bones. The Gentile I
met— fe is the witch. First he gave the
evil eye to my poor beast, that it killed it
self; and now he has flown away inits shape
to do other ills.”

‘It can be so,” mused the sheriff, gravely;
“but in the meantime there is noremedy —
T have to answer to the Fathers of Medicine
for you who bring such stories of dead
burros, but cannot show them. For, I tell
you, this has something to say for the deed



The Enchanted Burro. 7

that was done in the pueblo this morning.
Al calaboz!”

Half an hour later, poor Nicol4s was
squatted disconsolately upon the bare floor
of the adobe jail—that simple prison from
which no one of the simple prisoners ever
thinks to dig out. It is not so much the
clay wall that holds them, as the authority
of law, which no Pueblo ever yet questioned.

‘°Colas’s burro’? was soon in every
mouth. The strange story of its death
and its reappearance to Lelo were not to be
mocked at. So it used to be, that the ani-
mals were as people; and every one knew
that there were witches still who took the
forms of brutes and flew by night to work
mischief. Perhaps it was some wizard of
the Cumanche who thus, by the aid of the
evil ones, was avenging the long-haired
horse-thieves who had fallen at Tajique.*
And now Pascual, returning from a ranch
across the river, made known that, sitting
upon his roof all night to think of the year,
he had been aware of a burro that passed
down the street even to the house of the
war captain; after which he had noticed it
nomore. Clearly, then!

Some even thought that Lelo should be
imprisoned, since he had seen the burro in

* Ta-hee-ke.



8 The Enchanted Burro.

the morning. And when, searching anew,
they found in a splinter of the captain’s
door a long, coarse, gray hair, every man
looked about him suspiciously. But there
was no other clew—save that Francisco,
the cleverest of hunters, called the officials
to a little corner of the street, where the
people had not crowded, and pointed to
some dim marks in the sand.

‘““ Que importa?” said the gray haired
governor, shrugging his shoulders, as he
leaned on his staff of office and looked close-

ly. ‘‘In Isleta there are two thousand bur-
ros, and their paths are everywhere.”’

“But see!’ persisted the trailer. ‘‘Are
they like this? For this brute was lame in
all the legs, so that his feet fell over to the
inside alittle, instead of coming flatly down.
It will be the Enchanted Burro!”

“Ahu!”’ cried Lelo, who stood by. ‘And
this morning when I passed the burro of
Don ’Colas in the bushes, I saw that it was
laming along as if its legs were stiff.”

By now no one doubted that there was
witchcraft afoot, and the officials whose place
it is were taking active measures to pre-
serve the pueblo. The cacique sat in his
closed house fasting and praying, with
ashes upon his head. ‘The Cum-pa-huit-la-
wen were running here and there with their



ee

The Enchanted Burro. 9

sacred bows and arrows, prying into every
corner, if haply they might find a witch. In
the house of mourning the Shamans were
blinding the eyes of the ghosts, that none
might follow the trail of the dead captain
and do him harm before he should reach
the safe other world. And in the medicine
house the Father of All Medicine was blow-
ing the slow smoke across the sacred bowl,
to read in that magic mirror the secrets of
the whole world.

But in spite of everything,a curse seemed
to have fallen upon the peaceful town. Lu-
cero, the third assistant war captain, did
not return with his flock, and when search-
ers went to the Mano, they found him lying
by a chapparo bush dead, and his sheep
gone. But worst of all, he was scalped, and
all the wisdom of that cunning head had
been carried away to enrich the mysterious
foe —for the soul and talents of an Indian
go with his hair, according to Indian belief.
And in a day or two came running Antonio
Peralta to the pueblo, gray as the dead and
without his blanket. Herding his father’s
horses back of the Accursed Hill, he sat
upon a block of lava to watch them. As
they grazed, a lame burro came around the
hill grazing toward them. And when it was
among them, they suddenly raised their



10 The Enchanted Burro.

heads in fear and snorted and turned to
run; but the burro, rising like a mountain
lion, sprang upon one of them and fastened
on its neck, and all the herd stampeded to
the west, the accursed burro still perched
upon its victim and tearing it. Ay! agray
burro, jovero,* and with a white foot behind.
Antonio had his musket, but he dared not
fire after this witch beast. And here were
twelve more good horses gone of what the
Cumanche robbers had left.
By now the whole pueblo was wrought to
.the highest tension. That frightful doubt ©
which seizes a people oppressed by super-
natural fears brooded everywhere. Noman
but was sure that the man he hated was
mixed up in the witchcraft; no man who
was disliked by any one but felt the finger
of suspicion pointing at him. People grew
dumb and moody, and looked at each other
from the corner of the eye as they passed
without even a kindly “ Hina-ki-p’wiu,
neighbor.” As for work, that was almost
forgotten, though the fields cried out for
care. No one dared take a flock to the ano,
and few went even to their gardens. There
were medicine makings every night to ex-
orcise the evil spirits, and the Shamans
worked wonders, and the medicine guards

*Ho-vay-ro. Blaze-face.



The Enchanted Burro. II

prowled high and low for witches. The
cacique sat always in his house, seeing no
one, nor eating, but torturing his flesh for
the safety of his people.

And still there was no salvation. Not a
night went by but some new outrage befell.
Now it was a swooping away of herds,
now some man of the wisest and bravest
was slain and scalped in his bed. And al-
ways there were no more tracks than those
of a burro, stiff-kneed, whose hoofs did not
strike squarely upon the ground. Many,
also, caught glimpses of the Enchanted
Burro as they peered at midnight from
their dark windows. Sometimes he plodded
mournfully along the uncertain streets, as
burros do; but some vowed that he came
down suddenly from the sky, as alighting
from a long flight. Without a doubt, old
Melo had seen the brute walk up the ladder
of Ambrésio’s house the very night Am-
brosio was found dead in the little lookout
room upon his own roof. And a burro
which could climb a ladder could certain-
ly fly.

On the fourth day Lelo could stand it no
longer. ‘Iam going to the field,” he said,
“before the wheat dies. For it is as well
to be eaten by the witches now as that we



12 The Enchanted Burro.

should starve to death next winter, when
there will be nothing to eat.”

“What folly is this?” cried the neigh-
bors. “Does Lelo think he is stronger than
the ghosts? Let him stay behind those
who are more men.”

But Lelo had another trait, quite as
marked as his slowness and good nature.
When his deliberate mind was made up
there was no turning him; and, though he
was as terrified as anyone by the awful
happenings of the week, he had decided to
attend to his field. So he only answered
the taunts with a stolid, respectful: ‘‘No,I
do not put myself against the ghosts. But
perhaps they will let me alone, knowing
that my mother has now no one else to feed
her.”

The flat-faced mother brought him two .
tortillas* for lunch; and putting her hands
upon his shoulders, looked at hima moment
from wet eyes, saying not a word. And
slinging over his shoulder the bow-case and
quiver, Lelo trudged away.

He plodded along the crooked meadow
road, white-patched here and there with
crystals of alkali; jumped the main irrigat-
ing ditch with a great bound, and took
“across lots’? over the adobe fences and

-* Tor-teel-yaz. Unleavened cakes of corn meal.



The Enchanted Burro. 13

through the vineyards and the orchards of
apple, peach and apricot.

In the farther edge of the last orchard
stood a tiny adobe house, where old Reyes
had lived in the summer-time to guard her
ripening fruits. Since her death it had been
abandoned, with the garden, and next sum-
mer the Indian congress could allot it to
any one who asked, since it would have
been left untilled for five years. The
house was half hidden from sight—over-
shadowed on one side by ancient pear trees
and on the other by the black cliffs of an
advance guard of the lava flow.

Ashe passed the ruined hut Lelo sud-
denly stooped and began looking anxiously
at a footprint in the softearth. “That was

from no moccasin of the Tee-wahn,’’ he
muttered to himself, ‘“‘for the sole is flatter
than ours. And it comes out of the house,
where no one ever goes, now that Grand-
mother Reyes is dead. But ¢hzs/ For in
three steps it is no more the foot of a man,
but of a beast—going even to the bushes
where I saw the Enchanted Burro that
morning”’—and all of a tremble, Lelo
leaned up against the wall of the house. It
was all he could do to keep from turning
and bolting for home—and you need not
laugh at him. The bow-case at his side



14 The Enchanted Burro.

was from the tawny mountain lion Lelo had
slain with his own hands in the cafions of
the Tetilla; and when Reftigio, the youngest
medicine-man, fell wounded in the fore-
front of the fight at Tajique, it was Lelo
who had lumbered forward and brought
him away in his arms, saving his life and
hair from the Cumanche knife. But it takes
a braver man to stand against his own
superstitions than to face wild beast or
wilder savage; and now, though Lelo did
not flee, his knees smote together and the
blood seemed to have left his head dry and
over-light. He sat down, so weak was he;
and, with back against the wall, he tried to
gather his scattered thoughts.

At that very moment, if Lelo had turned
his head a very little more to the left and
looked at one particular rift in the thorny
greasewoods that choked the foot of the
cliff, he might have seen two dark, hungry
eyes fixed upon him; but Lelo was not look-
ing that way so much as to the corner of
the cliff. There he would have to pass to
the field; and it was just around that cor-
ner that he had seen the Enchanted Burro.
“And there also I have seen the mouth of a
cave, where they say the ogres used to
live and where no one dares to enter’’—and
he shivered again, like one half frozen.



The Enchanted Burro. 15

Then he did look back to the left, but saw
nothing, for the eyes were no longer there.
Only, a few rods farther to the left, and
where Lelo could not see for the wall at his
back, the tall, white ears of a burro were
moving quietly along in the bushes, which
hid the rest of its body. Nowand then the
animal stopped and cocked up its ears, asif
to listen; and its eyes rose over the bush,
shining with a deep, strange light. Just
beyond was the low adobe wall which sep-
arated Reyes’s garden from the next—run-
ning from the foot of the cliff down past the
old house.

To goon to the field needed even more
courage than to keep from fleeing for home;
and stubborn as he was, Lelo was trying to
muster up legs and heart to proceed. He
even rose to his feet and drew back his

_elbows fiercely, straining the muscles of his

chest, where there seemed to be such a
weight. Just around the corner of the
house, at that same moment, a burro’s
head, with white ears and a blazed face,
rose noiselessly above the adobe fence, and
seeing nothing, a pair of black hoofs came
up, and in a swift bound the animal was
over the wall—so lightly that even the
sharp Indian ears not fifteen feet away
heard nothing of it.



16 The Enchanted Burro.

But if Lelo did not notice, a sharper
watcher did. ‘‘ Hay-eé-w’yoo!” cried a
complaining voice, and a brown bird with
broad wings and a big, round head went
fluttering from its perch on the roof. Lelo
started violently, and then smiled at him-
self. “It is only ¢ecoldte,” he muttered,
“the little owl that lives with the zzisas,*
and they say he is very wise. To see
where he went.”

The boy stole around the corner of the
house, but the owl was nowhere to be seen,
and he started back.

_ As he turned the angle again, he caught
sight of a burro’s head just peeping from ©
around the other corner; and Lelo felt the
blood sinking from his face. ‘The beast
gave a little start and then dropped its
head toa bunch of alfalfa that was green at
the corner. But this did not relieve Lelo’s
terror. It was Paloma—dead Paloma—
now the Witch Burro. There was no mis-
taking that jovero face. And plain it was,
too, that this was no longer burro-true, but
one of the accursed spirits in burro shape.
Those eyes! They seemed, in that swift
flash in which they had met Lelo’s, to be
sunk far, far into the skull; and he was
sure that deep in them he saw a dull gleam

* Prairie dogs.







ara

The Enchanted Burro. 17

ofred. Andtheearsand head — they were
touched with death, too! Their skin seemed
hard and ridgy as a rawhide, instead of fit-
ting as the skin does in life. So, also, was
the neck; but no more was to be seen for
the angle of the wall.

‘There are men who die at seventy with-
out having lived so long or suffered so much
as Lelo lived and suffered in those few sec-
onds. His breath refused to come, and his
muscles seemed paralyzed. This, then,
was the Enchanted Burro—the witch that
had slain the captain of war, and his lieu-
tenants, and many more. And now he was

. come for Lelo—for though he nosed the

alfalfa, one grim eye was always on the
boy. So, no doubt, he had watched his
other victims—but from behind, for not
one of them had ever moved. And with
that thought a sudden rush of blood came
pricking like needles in Lelo’s head.

‘““No one of them saw him, else they had
surely fought! And shall I give myself to
him like a sheep? Not if he were fen
witches!” And with the one swift motion
of all his life, the lad dropped on one knee,
even as hand and hand clapped notch to
bowstring, and, in a mighty tug, drew the
arrow to the head.



18 The Enchanted Burro.

Lightning-like as was his move, the burro
understood, and hastily reared back— but
a hair too late. The agate-tipped shaft
struck midway of its neck with a loud tap
as upon a drum, and bored through and
through till the feathers touched the skin.
The animal sprang high in air, with so
wild and hideous a scream as never came
from burro’s throat before, and fell back
amid the alfalfa, floundering and pawing at
its neck.

But Lelo had waited for no more. Al-
ready he was over the wall and running like
a scared mustang, the bow gripped in his
left hand, his right clutching the bow-case,
whose tawny tail leaped and fluttered be-
hind him. One-Eyed Quico could have
made it to the pueblo no faster than the
town slow-poke, who burst into the plaza
and the porch of the governor’s house,
gasping:

“The Enchanted Burro! I haye— killed
—him!”

Fifteen minutes later the new war cap-
tain, the medicine men, the governor, and
half the rest of the men of the pueblo were
entering Reyes’s garden, and Lelo'was al-
lowed to walk with the principales. All were
very grave, and some a little pale—for it
was no laughing matter to meddle with the





The Enchanted Burro. 19

fiend, even after he was dead. ‘There lay
the burro, motionless. No pool of blood was

around; but the white feathers of the ar-
row had turned red. Cautiously they ap-
proached, till suddenly Francisco, the shar p-
est eyed of trailers, dashed forward and
caught up the two hind legs from amid the
alfalfa, crying:

“Said I not that he tipped the hoofs?
With reason !”’

For from eachankle five dark, naked toes
projected through a slit in the hide.

“Ay, well bewitched!’? exclaimed the
war captain. ‘Pull me the other side!”
And at their tug the belly of the burro
parted lengthwise, showing only a stiff,
dried skin, and inside the cavity a swart
body stripped to the breech-clout. Along-
side lay arrows and a strong bow of buffalo
horn, with alight copper hatchet and a keen
scalping knife.

‘* Sdcalo!” ordered the war captain; but
it was easier said than done. They bent
the stubborn rawhide well apart; but not
until one had run his knife up the neck of
the skin and cut both ends of Lelo’s arrow
could they haul out the masquerader. The
shaft had passed through his throat from
side to side, pinning it to the rawhide, and
there he had died.



20 The Enchanted Burro.

When the slippery form was at last
dragged forth, and they saw its face, there
was a Startled. murmur through the crowd;
for even without the long scalp lockand the
vermilion face-paint, there were many there ©
who would have known the Cumanche med-
icine man, whose brother was the chief that
fell at Tajique. He, too, had been taken
prisoner, and had taunted his captors and
promised to pay them, and in the night had
escaped, leaving one sentinel dead ‘and an-
other wounded.

The Enchanted Burro was all very plain
“now. The plains conjurer, knowing well
by habit how to play on superstitious fears,
had used poor Paloma as the instrument of
his revenge — hiding the carcass and dry-
ing the skin quickly on a frame with hot
ashes, so that it stood perfectly in shape by
itself. ‘The bones of the fore legs he had
left in, to be managed with his hands; and
in the dark or amid grass, no one would
have noticed the peculiarity of the hind
legs. He had only to pry open the slit in
the belly and crawl in, and the stiff hide
closed after him. Thus he had wreaked the
vengeance for which, uncompanioned, he
had followed the Pueblos back to their vil-
lage. In the cave behind the greasewoods
were the scalps of his victims, drying on



The Enchanted Burro. 21

little willow hoops; but instead of going to
deck a Cumanche lodge in the great plains,
they were tenderly buried in the old church-
yard, restored to their proper owners.

After all these years there still are in the
pueblo many tales of the Enchanted Burro,
nothing lost by the re-telling. As for the
skin itself, it lies moth-eaten in the dark
storeroom of the man who has been first
assistant war captain for twenty years,
beginning his novitiate the very day he
finished a witch and a Cumanche with a
single arrow.









The Mummy Miner







The Mummy Miner.

$

i [ae oe was certainly nothing suggest-
ive of antiquity about Faquito’s ap-
pearance. His droll, brown face, his thick-
set boyish figure and the alarming tatters
of his scant apparel were all undignified as
his name — which had got to the most dis-
respectful distance possible from the state-
ly Francisco of the baptismal font. There
could be no worthier name for a boy of
Peru than that worn by the great conqutsta-
dor Pizarro. Butitis hard to live up tothe
dignity of the christening, and Francisco
degenerates into Francisquito, which is
fond; and then to Franco, which is familiar;
and finally to Faquito, which is positively
rude. Probably it never occurred to the
lad to be comforted with thinking that the
greatest conqueror of the Americas was
_ called Faquito, too, when he was herding
his pigs in Truxillo; and that if one Faquo

could grow up to be Don Francisco, so
25



26 The Mummy Miner.

mightanother. These consolations of phil-
osophy never do come to us until we are too
old to need them so much.

But perhaps you are thinking: ‘ Well,
why should a twelve-year-old cholo boy look
antiquated? Are lads of that age in Peru
expected to be ancient, any more than in
New York or Boston?”

N-no, not exactly that—though in the
quick tropics a boy zs older at twelve than
is one of the same years in the temperate
zone; bigger and more mature. But it was
Faquito’s occupation rather than his age

‘which made me think of him as rather para-
doxical. You will admit that to find this
irresponsible, twinkling face set in one of
the most century-worn frames on earth
might well seem incongruous, not to say
startling. The sight of this half Spanish,
half Indian* boy of to-day, playing with
lives and thoughts that were forgotten five
hundred years ago—aye, and some of them,
perhaps, that long before the Old World
dreamed there was a New—was enough
to make any explorer rub his eyes.

Doubtless we shall understand each other
better by a little translation. Huaco isa
word not found in the Spanish dictionaries,
for it belongs only to Peru. It is from the

* For that is what cholo means.



The Mummy Miner. 27

Quichua, or speech of the Incas, of whom
you have heard so many remarkable (and
not very accurate) stories; and as adopted
into the Spanish of Peru means specifically
a relic of the ancient Indian “ civilizations ”
which occupied this strange land before the
coming of Europeans. Hwuaguero is the
Spanish derivative to mean a digger of
these antiquities —in other words, a mum-
my miner. 'Thisis a regular profession in
Peru, just as much as gold mining. A
competent huaquero commands as good
wages as a skilled laborer in the marvelous ©
silver mountain of Cerro de Pasco; and, if
he works “fon his own hook,” may earn
much more. Peru is dotted everywhere
with the ruins of large towns of the Incas
and other tribes—some of them that we
have so long been taught to regard as
“kings”? and the like, while in fact they
were tribes very much like the Pueblo
Indians of New Mexico; remarkably ad-
vanced in some things, but still entirely
Indians socially, politically and mentally.
Some of these ruins have been deserted for »
uncounted centuries, and no man can say
who built them nor when they were aban-
doned. In fact, Peru is the American
Egypt in antiquity; and a more than Egypt
jn richness. It was in its time the richest



28 The Mummy Miner.

country in the world. Even before Euro-
peans came to tap its peaks of silver and
valleys of gold, the ancient Peruvians had
discovered a way to treat the precious
metals, and used them to adorn themselves
and their temples. Like the Indians they
were, they had the invariable Indian idea of
the next world; and always buried with their
dead the best clothing and other property, to
give the wanderer a handsome start beyond
the grave— precisely as our aborigines do
still. And as the dryness of the Peruvian
desert preserves mummies indefinitely
through the ages, you will begin to see how
mummy mining has become one of the im-
portant industries of Peru. There are
mummies everywhere; and each mummy
has still what was its wealth in life. The
gold and silver trinkets, the exquisite cloths
and potteries of these strange folk of old,
and all the other relics of their handiwork,
fetch high prices from museums and col-
lectors.

So that was Faquo’s business—and a very
hard and unpleasant business itis. Zazta*
Pedro should have provided for his family;
but zazia Pedro much preferred to lie
around the great sugar plantation in the
next valley beyond the arm of desert, and

* Papa.



The Mummy Miner. 20

keep his swarthy hide full of the cheap rum
which is the last and worst gift of the sugar
cane. He never came home to the little
cabin at Lurin—a hut of guincha, or wat-
tled bamboos plastered with adobe—except
toget money. Poor, fat Maria would have
had a very rough time caring for her fat
brood, if it had not been for Faquito. She
worked in the cane fields of the nearer ha-
cienda, and washed for the priest; but the
few reales she could earn would not have
been enough to put a cotton shirt on half
the backs she was responsible for, after
feeding all the mouths. Mariquita was a
perfect little woman for ten years old; but
she could only attend to the babies — which
was indeed contract enough for a much
older nurse. So it had been a great relief
when Faquo got big enough to be a pro-
ducer — with the equal good fortune that
the sandy headland only two miles away
was crowned by the mighty ruins of Pacha-
camac.

Every day, except Sundays and festas,
Faquito was early trudging the dusty road
to the ruins, his spade over his shoulder,
his fat face screwed up sometimes to whistle
a doleful yaravi (the only air he knew), or
as often equally twisted with munching
sugar cane. It was very convenient to



30 The Mummy Miner.

have one’s candy growing by the roadside
— particularly as there were no stores. All
a boy had to do was to clamber over the
adobe wall, cut a stalk of the cefa dulce
from amid its dense bristle of sword leaves,
and clamber back to chew upon this pithy
molasses candy at leisure. There was
generally a culm in Faquito’s hand as he
trudged across; and when he got tired of
chewing the obstinate fiber, he would rest
his jaws with whistling.

When he had crossed the flat, and waded
the shallow brook of Lurin, there was a
great scramble up the precipitous bluff
which is the jumping-off place of the desert;
and even Faquo was always puffing hard by
the time he came to the top. An ancient
wall was there; and under the long, morn-
ing shadow of this he used to sit down a
moment— partly for a bit of a rest, and
partly because he liked to gaze upon that
strange vista in the hot, level light. Behind
was the lovely valley, dense green with
tropic cane-fields and bananas and palms;
but in front was the great, gray desert, un-
spotted by one living blade. On the rolling
sand hills close before him was a wild, mys-
terious huddle of mighty walls, tall and
broken and gray in the sunlight, with black
shadows lurking in their angles — walls and



The Mummy Miner. 31

walls in a bewildering labyrinth. At his
left was the huge castle on its tall head-
land, boxed about with tier after tier of
walls thirty feet high; and in front of him
the central hill, crowned with an enormous
building. In a hollow at the foot of the
castle, fifty acres were thick-dotted with
dark, irregular holes, around which thou-
sands of white specks gleamed in the sun.
Momently, too, little puffs of dust flew up
hereand there. Castro and Juan and Pan-
cho, the grown-up huaqueros from Lima,
were already at work down there amid the
bleaching skulls, each at the bottom of his
dusty shaft, hoping at any moment to finda
rich tomb — perhaps even the ‘“‘ Big Fish”
of Peruvian folklore. That is what Faquito
was dreaming about, too. How many times
he had heard of the hundreds of man-loads
of gold that the Yuncas buried in Pacha-
camac when Hernando Pizarro came prick-
ing down from the mountains, every horse
of his cavalcade shod with silver!

If he could only find the Pez Grande! Or
even the tail of it! He got up from under
the wall with a sigh and started down the
dusty trail toward where the men were at
work. His ‘‘mine”’ was there too— where
he had dug a week without finding any but
the poorest graves.



32 The Mummy Miner.

Just then an owl—the little brown owl of
the desert—flew up almost at his very feet
and alighted upon a wall a few rods away.
How Mariquita would like it for a pet!
Faquo crept up behind the wall; but just
as he was about to clap his hat over the bird
it fluttered off a few rods farther.

It was so stupid with the sun that Faquo
felt sure he would get it this time, and
again he crept up. But stupid as the owl
was, it was just too smart for Faquo. A
dozen times it was almost in his hands; but
a dozen times, too, it fluttered away again—
until it had led him up the central hill,
through the great ruined building there, and
down the other side.

At the foot of an adobe wall sixty feet high
it settled upon the edge of some deep-
sunken rooms. Faquo scrambled down a
gap and stole out along the parapet; and
suddenly reaching up from this shelter
caught the astonished bird by the wing.
But he had forgotten the beak and claws,
which the very field-mice know. As they
hooked savagely into his brown fist he drew
back sharply—and just toofar. Theledge
was very narrow; and overbalanced by his
recoil, he fell sprawling twenty feet into the
great cell below.



The Mummy Miner. 33

Luckily there was at the bottom nothing
harder than the universal in-blown sand;
and though sadly shaken up by the fall
Faquo was not seriously hurt. For a few
moments he lay there half stunned; then
slowly gathered himself up and looked
about in a dazed way.

‘The owl was still in his hand—less by his
grasp than by the obstinate clenching of
its own curved claws, which now began to
hurtagain. He unhooked them painfully,
one by one, tore a tatter from his shirt and
tied it about those mischievous feet. A
rather stubborn boy, Faquo. It was very
hard to turn his attention from anything
upon which he had once started, until it was
finished.

At last, when his prize was safely
anchored to a clod of adobe, he was free to
think of more important matters. Pues!
He had walked into a bad trap. There
were no doors nor windows down here—
clearly the ancients had descended into
these cellar-like rooms by ladders, which
had long ago disappeared. And how was he
to get up that twenty feet? In this adobe
he could cut steps to the top; or even, in
time, burrow through the base of that
eight-foot wall—but his spade stood away



34 The Mummy Miner.

up there on the ledge, leaning against the
parapet where he had left it.

“Castro! Cas-tro-o!’’ he screamed at the
top of his lungs—but it seemed that his
voice did not rise at all out of the sunken
chamber. How buried and pent it was!
He shouted until he was hoarse; but knew
as well that the huaqueros did not hear him,
as if he could have seen them still digging
stolidly away, far down the other side of
the hill.

The place grew terrible tohim. Insuch
-a maze of ruins they might not find him
until too late. Maria would come to look,
surely, if he were not home by dark; but
how could she expect to find him so far from
where he always worked?

He knew well, this boy of the edge of the
desert, that one does not last long on such
a gridiron of thetropics. Without food one
may do for several days; but without water,
under that sun ! Already his mouth
was parched.

And that ma/dito owl—that was to blame
for it all! He started up angrily with a
clod of adobe.to throw at it. But his arm
dropped suddenly. ‘No! Vana says al-
ways that the birds, too, are children of
Taita Diés, and that He loves best those
who are good to them. So perhaps I am





The Mummy Miner. 35

punished for catching it. Pobrecito! For
now we both are caught.”

The owl did not seem to mind so much.
It sat bunched upon its tethered feet, blink-
ing back at Faquo. Itlooked so very grave,
so very wise! Quiza it knew very much
about the ruins; for here it had lived, and
its people, very longnow. Perhapsiteven
knew where was the Big Fish!

Even as Faquo looked at it with these
thoughts, the owl turned its head down on
one side, and looked at him soberly along
its shoulder. Some might have laughed at
this proceeding, but not so Faquito. He
was too good an Indian to despise the wis-
dom of them that talk not; and suddenly
heasked with greatearnestness: ‘Intruth
that thou dost know, friend owl! No?”

At this direct question the owl turnedits
head down upon the other shoulder, and
looked wiser than ever. Surely, he knew!

“But where?” cried the boy. ‘Tell me,
owl friend!”

But the bird said not a word. Only it
gazed at Faquo very seriously; and then,
turning its head as upon a pivot, began to
spruce up the feathers upon its back, as
much astosay: ‘Oh, that you must find
out for yourself, as I did.”

Such a wise bird, but so unspoken!
Really, how convenient it must be to be able



36 The Mummy Miner.

to turn one’s head square around that way,
and look straight back! It must be that he
can even see that spot on the wall just be-
hind him and above his head — that round
place where the adobe is yellower than the
rest. Probably the plaster was broken
there, and they patched it.

Faquo got up idly, and set the owl care-
fully to one side, and passed his hand over
the spot. It was somewhat larger than his
head — just a round patch of adobe plaster,
centuries old, yet evidently newer than the
- rest of the wall.

He picked aimlessly at its edge. A peb-
ble came out under his fingers, and showed,
behind, a small crevice—as if a deep hole
had been filled up, instead of a little break
in the wall plaster. Instantly the boy’s
eyes waked up, and a queer, professional
look settled upon his face.

“Tt will be a wall niche,” he said gravely.
““And sometimes they filled them up to
change the wall; but why did the owl sit by
this one, if that was all?”

He pried and pulled until his fingers
were sore, and pounded with his fist upon
the yellow patch; but the adobe was very
stubborn. How aggravating to have the
spade perched away up there, when he
wanted to open this niche! For by now he



The Mummy Miner. 37

had quite forgotten about getting out of his
prison, The strange fascination that all
miners know was upon him.

Plague take the spade! He picked up
again the strong lump of adobe which had
- fallen with him from the upper wall, and
flung it at the offending spade. It struck
the sandy shelf, and a little stream of sand
fell down with the missile. That gave him
a thought; and he picked up his clod and
threw it again and again and again.

Each time it fell back a little smaller, but
each time a little more sand sifted down.
‘Then the sand, thus started, began fritter-
ing down of its own accord, and the under-
mined shovel began to creep, stopped, slid
a little, and at last pitched down and fell at
Faquo’s feet.

He jabbed at the adobe with the corner
of his spade, and the hard lumps showered
down upon his bare toes. Inafew moments
a smooth-rimmed opening was revealed,
and he thrust in his arm.

It was not like any of the niches he knew
—the ones that have never been closed, but
remain as they were 500 years ago, when
the people of Pachaca4amac kept on these
odd shelves their ornaments and trinkets.
‘This one was like a nest of the ‘‘ God-give- |
you” bird—with asmall opening, but large



38 The Mummy Miner.

inside. In the big hollow was something
soft; and Faquo drew out his hand full of
beautiful yellow floss.

“The wool of the vicufia, only,” he mum-
bled, disappointedly, but with the expert’s
air. ‘But why should they ceil chat up?
Perhaps there is also cloth.”

In went the brown fist again; and rum-
maging down through the silken fleece, his
fingers met something firmer. Ina moment
he had it out —a long bundle of that match-
less weaving of old Peru; of cloth as soft
and strong as silk, woven with strange
figures of men and gods and beasts; such
fabrics as never unthinking loom has
woven, nor any machine less wondrous
than the fingers of a man.

“Ay! It will be worth twenty soles!”
cried Faquo softly. ‘But it is so heavy!
Perhaps they have wound it on a stone.”

Very tenderly he unrolled it, that none
of those bright threads — stronger than all
the centuries, but brittle to a careless touch
—might be broken. But when the last
fold came off, this very stupid Indian boy
fell down on his knees in the sand, and cried
and cried. For it was not a stone at all.

If you will go to the Lxgosicion in Lima,
among the bewildering collections of Peru-







The Mummy Miner. © 39

' vian antiquities, you can see two priceless
idols, each big as a large doll. They are
like human figures, excellently sculptured;
and the strangest thing about them is that
they are made of alternate zones of gold
and silver from feet to head, so that they
remind one of that great image we read of
in Revelations.

That is the nearest Faquito ever came to
finding the Pez Grande—and quite near
enough for one poor boy. And thatis what
took my breath away when I had wakened
and hauled up with my reata the little,
ragged cholo I accidentally spied in the
trap where he had cried himself to sleep
over something hugged in his arms.

When he had laid the precious images
and the spade on the broad top of the wall,
and told me all about it, he insisted on being
lowered again on the rope to get the owl,
which he loosed and let go, saying, in the
tone of an old man:

“ Tata Dids—God our Father —sends us
friends we know not. For the owl brought
me here and showed me the place, so that
now we are very rich. And even so, I
could have died there without the help of
you. Sol think your grace may be even as
wise as the owl, which knows where is the
Pez Grande.”









A Boy of the Andes









A Boy of the Andes.

$

ROBABLY they would not have seen
Ramon Ynga atall, but for the llamas,
There was enough else to look at. The
overpowering walls of the mountains on
both sides seemed to turn the eyes, even
as they turned the foaming Rimac, into a
channel from which there was no escape.
Up at the end of the cleft was such a sight
as no man can long hold his eyes from —
the black peak of Chin-chan, bent down with
its load of eternal winter. ‘There is some-
thing awful about the snow that never
melts — the great blank fields, the wrinkled
glaciers, the savage ice cornices, the black
rocks that peer out hopelessly here and
there. Itisso different from the friendly
white we know and welcome for its sleigh
rides and coastings, its snow men and snow-
ballings.
It was far up the summit of the Peruvian
cordillera, at the very foot of the last wild

peaks that stand 18,000 feet in the sky.
43



44 A Boy of the Andes.

Where the panting mules trudged, 3,000
feet below the peaks, was low, green herb-
age; and 500 feet lower yet the little tor-
rent, white as its mother snows, roared and
chuckled alternately to the uneven wind.
But up yonder all was so white and still;
their eyes kept lifting up to it, forgetful of
the dangerous trail—the mules could take
care of that. They, poor brutes, seemed
ill at ease. They breathed in short, loud
gasps; and every forty feet or so they
stopped and rested for a few moments, un-
mindful of the spur. ‘Then, when they
' were ready, they started up again of their
own accord, sighing heavily. ‘They would
not last much longer, at this rate.

“J think I’ll get off and walk awhile,”
said the younger of the two, a bronzed,
sinewy man of twenty-five. ‘It spoils even
this scenery for me, to see the suffering
of the mules. One wouldn’t think they ’d
play out so, on such a good trail.”

“Tt is not the grade,’ remarked the Pro-
fessor, quietly, ‘‘as perhaps you will learn.
Jam sorry for the mules, too; but it is bet-
ter to risk them than something more im-
portant.”

‘“Why, you speak as though there were
some danger about it!’’ said the younger
man, who was now striding sturdily along,

nn



_A Boy of the Andes. 45

leaving his animal to follow. Many atime
he had climbed Pike’s Peak and its brother
giants of Colorado, and once had stood on
the cone of Popocatépetl. A peak was
nothing to him; and as for this excellent
path— pooh! It was mere child’s play.

The Professor watched him without a
word, but with an expression half quizzical,
half grave. After a hundred yards he
spoke:

‘You don’t seem quite so springy, Bar-
ton. Inever saw you heavy-footed before.”

“Well, the truth is, Professor,” gasped
Barton, rather shamefacedly, ‘“‘I feel most
remarkably queer. My knees ache as they
never did before — though I wouldn’t mind
that somuch, ButIcannot seem to breathe
well. Here my heart and lungs are pound-
ing away, as if I’d been sprinting for the
220-yard record! It’s enough to make a
man ashamed of himself.”

‘““No cause at all for shame, my dear boy;
you are simply learning what everyone has
to learn who tempts great altitudes. Now
get on your mule.”

‘No, Ill wear this thing off!’’ cried the
athlete, impatiently. ‘I’m no puny boy, to
give up just because I feela little wrong.
I'll just keep at it, and beat it yet!”



46 A Boy of the Andes.

“Barton,” said the older man, in a tone
his companion had never heard him use
before, “you get on that mule, and let us
have no more nonsense. I like your pluck;
anditis because you have more real ‘sand’
(as they say in our West) than any young
man I know, that I picked you out for this
journey. But courage isa dangerous thing
unless you mix it with brains. You must
learn that there are some things pluck can-
not overcome—and this is one of them.
Mount, then!”’

Barton obeyed with rather an ill grace,
and promptly got angrier with himself at
realizing what a relief it was to be perched
again in the ridiculously comfortable Peru-
vian saddle. He could not get over a feel-
ing of shame that the muscles which had
borne the cruelest tests of the frontier
should now have ‘“‘ played the baby,” as he
put it; and he rode on somewhat sulkily.

It was here that Ramon Ynga stumbled
into their lives; and, as I have said, all by
the doing of the llamas. As the travelers
rounded a sharp turn in the trail the mules
stopped suddenly almost face to face with
the two strangest animals that Barton had
ever seen. Shabby, grotesque figures they
were, with splay feet, long, awkward legs,
and bodies looking like long tussocks of dry















A Boy of the Andes. 47

grass. But their necks were the worst —
talland ungainly as stovepipes covered with
hair. ‘Their backs were hardly so high as
those of the under-sized mules; but on these
unspeakable necks their heads were quite
ona level with Barton’s. And such heads!
They were disproportionately small and
ludicrously narrow, with pointed ears, ma-
lignant little faces, and lips wickedly drawn
back.

‘“Why, I never saw anything, except a
rattlesnake, look so vindictive!’ cried Bar-
ton. ‘¢ What on earth are they ?”’

“That is the national bird of Peru,” re-
plied the Professor roguishly. ‘‘We are
apt to see many up here. In fact, if we had
had any daylight in Casapalca you would
have noticed many hundreds of them; for
they bring all the ore to the stamp mills,
and do most of the freighting besides.
Lower than 10,000 feet you will hardly ever
find them; the llama* is a mountain animal,
and soon dies if taken to the coast.”

“So that is the llama! But I thought
that was called the ‘Peruvian sheep ;’ and
these look no more like sheep than my mule
does.”

“Tt got that foolish name from the closet
naturalists. Noone who ever saw a llama

* Pronounced ll-yah-mab.



48 A Boy of the Andes.

could fail to recognize it for a camel—
smaller and longer-haired than the Eastern
beast, and without a hump; but a true
camel.”

“Tt’s a funny-looking brute,’ laughed
Barton. ‘It seems to put inits time think-
ing what a grudge it has against everybody.
Hi! Get out of the way, you standing
grievances!”

The Professor and the young frontiers-
man had thus far enjoyed the pause of the
mules; but now the need of pushing on re-

_curred to their minds, and Barton’s excla-
mation was meant as a signal for advance.
But the llamas stood stolidly, blocking the
trail. He drummed his spurs against his
mule; whereat the animal took two steps
forward and stopped, bracing back, un-
mindful of the rowels. ‘The llamas did not
take a step. Only they seemed to drop
their bodies a little, upon those long legs.

“Why, they ’re not such fools as they
look!” cried Barton, whose sharp eye under-
stood the trifling motion. ‘See! They
are going to give us the edge!”’

‘The trail was two feet wide —an endless
thread of a shelf hewn along the mountain
wall. On the right, the great, dark slope
ran up to the very clouds; on the left, one



A Boy of the Andes. 49

could snap a pebble into the white torrent,
500 feet below.

‘“‘T have heard that they always take the
wall,’ the Professor rejoined, ‘‘and that
when two llama trains meet on one of these
trails it is almost impossible to make a
passing. Sometimes they even shove each
other off the cliff.”

“T guess we ’d better not force the right
of way —a tumble into the Rimac there is
more than I care for!’’ And Barton jumped
from his mule and advanced upon the block-
aders, waving his arms threateningly.

“Took out!” cried the Professor; but
before the words were fairly off his tongue,
the foremost llama opened its ugly mouth
and spat at Barton in fury. At this un-
pleasant salutation he retreated hastily.

“That is their weapon of defense.” said
the Professor. ‘‘And their saliva is won-
derfully acrid. It’s as well you didn’t get
it in the face. But I wish they would get
out of the way — we have notime to spare.”

Just then there was another surprise. A
figure hardly less remarkable than the
camels slid down from the overhanging
hillside, and stood in the path, looking at
the startled travelers. It was a dwarfish
creature, not four feet tall, with. a large,
round head, a broad, strong body, and very



50 A Boy of the Andes.

short legs, peculiarly bundled up in un-
familiar clothes. A boy — what in the world
was he doing on that impossible slope?
What a goat he must be!

“Hulloa!’’ cried Barton, as soon as he
cculd find a voice.

‘God give you good day, sirs,” answered
the lad gravely, in thick Spanish. ‘Wait
me so-little, and I will get you by.”

With this he called ‘‘ U-pa! ’’ to the llamas,
lifting his finger as if to point them up the
trail. Ordinarily they would have obeyed;
. but the aggressive manner of Barton had
roused their obstinacy, and they did not
budge. The boy put his shoulder to the
ribs of one, and heaved hard, but the brute
stood its ground.

“Well, it is to wait!” said nee and ran
about the path, gathering up very small
pebbles until his shabby hat was full. Then
he sat down ona boulder that jutted from
the bank, settling himself as if for a long
rest, and threw a mild and measured peb-
ble at each lama. They turned their heads
a little and wrinkled their disagreeable
noses. He waited a moment and then
pitched two more pebbles—which had the
same effect. So he sat, slowly and mechani-
cally tossing his harmless missiles upon the
dense hair of his charges. Evidently he



A Boy of the Andes. 5i

was in no hurry; and the two travelers, im-
patient as they were, had too much wisdom
of experience to try to push him. ‘They
sat quietly in their saddles, watching the
drollscene. It was very ridiculous to need
deliverance from two stupid beasts, and to
get it from such an owlish little tatterde-
malion. His ragged clothing was of very
thick, coarse cloth; and upon his feet were
the clumsy yanqguzs, or rawhide sandals of
mountain Peru, and he wore thick stockings
rising to his knees. Over his trousers was
a curious garment, half apron and half leg-
gings; and oversleeves of the same material,
hung with a cord about his neck, came up
over the elbows of his coat. ‘These two
garments were knit in very strange pat-
terns, amid which were square, brown
llamas wandering upand downa gray back-
ground. Around his waist was a woven
belt, now very old, but of beautiful colors
and workmanship. And his face—what a
brown, round riddle!

“How do you call yourself, friend?’
asked the Professor in Spanish. ‘‘And have
you ten years or a hundred?”’

“Ramon Ynga, sefior. And the other I
do not know. Ihave been here a long time
—ever since they built the mill at Casa-
palca.”’



52 A Boy of the Andes.

“You must be about fifteen, then. And
where do you live?”

‘There, above,’”’ answered Ramon, toss-
ing another pebble.

‘““A curious habit of the mountaineers,”
said the Professor. ‘These Indians, in-
stead of living in the valleys, climb to the
very tops of these peaks, and build there
their squalid stone hovels. They seem to
think nothing of the eternal clambering up
and down.”

An hour crawled by, and the stones in
Ramon’s hat were running low. Suddenly
the brown llama turned with a snort of dis-
gust, and strode off up the trail. The white
one hesitated a moment, snorted, and fol-
lowed. ‘That way they get tired, sirs,”
said the boy, emptying his hat and pulling
it down upon his thatch of black hair.

“Td take a good club to them!” growled
Barton, who had great confidence in the
Saxon way of forcing things.

“No, the boy is quite right. Itis another
case wherein you must not try to be smarter
than nature. The llama is the stubbornest
brute alive—a mule is vacillating compared
tohim. If you puta pound too much on his
load, he will lie down, and you might beat
him to death or build a fire beside him, but
he would not get up. | Nobody buta Peru-



A Boy of the Andes. 53

vian Indian can do anything. with a Peru-
vian camel, and Ramon has just shown us
the proper tactics. Hurt the animal, and
he only grows more sullen; but the pebbles
merely tease him until he can bear it no
longer. And really he repays patience; for
he is the only animal that can work effect-
ively at these altitudes, where horses and
mules are practically useless. But ade-
- dante! (forward !)”

“Ts your Excellency going to Cerro de
Pasco?’ asked the little Peruvian, running
alongside the mule and looking up at the
Professor with unusual animation in his
non-committal face. He had never spoken
with “‘ Yankees’”’ before, and indeed for
any stranger to notice him kindly was a
new experience. He liked these pale men;
and a dim little wish to please them warmed
inhis heart. That big young man—why,
he was taller than any Serrano in the
cordillera!— was good. Ramon had seen
money a few times; but that round, shiny
sol,* which the stranger had tossed him
when the llamas moved, was the first he
had ever held in his hand; and it was almost
a worry to besorich! But the other man,
with a little gray above his ears, who only
looked at him so, and spoke as if he knew

* The Peruvian silver dollar. Pronounced soul.



54 A Boy of the Andes.

him—he, surely, was very great; and it
was to him that the ragged boy had said
“ Exceléncia.’”? His face was kindly; and
there were little smiles at the edges of his
mouth, though he did not laugh.

“No, Azzto (little son),’? he answered,
“we are not bound to the mines. We are
going to climb the Chin-chan, to look at the
ice cornices and to measure them.”

Even Ramon looked astonished at this.
If a Serrano had said it, every one would
know he wascrazy. Orifit were the young

_man—well, what could you expect of one

who would giveaway a whole so/? But this
one— whatever fe did, it must be right.
He certainly was not crazy. Still ;

“But the Soroche, your Excellency,” ven-
tured the boy. ‘For all strangers have it;
and many die, even in crossing the slope.
Only we who were born here can go so
high.”

“We have to go, my boy; for I must look
at the snow fields and the cliffs of ice, and
measure them,’’ said the Professor, kindly.
“T know well of the mountain sickness, and
we will be very careful. Besides, we are
both very strong.”

“It is not always of the strong,” per- —
sisted Ramon. ‘‘Sometimes the sick cross
in safety, and those who are very large and





A Boy of the Andes. 55

red —even larger than your Excellency’s
friend—fall suddenly and never rise again;
for the Soroche is stronger than any.”

‘You are quite right, my wise friend.
It is terrible. But all do not fall victims,
and we must brave it.”

‘At the least, Excellency, let me go also!
For I know these hills very well, and per-
haps I could help. As for the llamas, my
brother Sancho comes even yonder, and he
will herd them.”

‘You won’t really take the little rat up
there, will you, Professor?’’ broke in Bar-
ton. ‘It would be the death of him.”

‘‘M-m! I only hope we may be as safe
as I know he will be! std bcen, my boy!
Vamos !’’*

At nine the next morning the three were
entering the edge of the snow fields. They
had camped for the night in a deserted
hovel at the head of the valley; and there
the mules could be seen grazing, pulling as
far down hill as their ropes would allow.
The hut was not a mile behind; but the
travelers had been ever since daylight com-
ing thus far. The Professor looked old;
and Barton’s big chest was heaving vio-
lently. As for Ramon, he clambered along

*“Allright. Come,”



56 A Boy of the Andes.

steadily and soberly, stopping only when he
saw the others had stopped.
By noon they were at the foot of the last

ridge, in a great rounding bay flanked by

two spurs of the upper peak. The curving
rim far overhead was a savage cliff of eter-
nal ice —a cliff of 1,500 feet sheer. At the
top a great white brow projected many
yards, overhanging the bluish precipice.

“Itis —a—noble— cornice,” gasped the
Professor, as they sank upon the snow to
rest for the hundredth time since morning.
“But I fear —we— made—a mistake. We
— should — not have — tried this — without
—waiting a—few weeks —in cae — palca
—to get —acclimated.”’

“It ’s awful!” groaned Barton, “My
head — feels —as if —it would — burst.
But I ll be hanged —ifI—give up!” And
the resolute young man fairly snatched
himself to erectness, and started toward
the spur. But with the third step his tall
form swung half around, and swayed an
instant, and fell asa dead pine falls in the
wind, and lay heavily upon the snow. His
face was black; and a bright red stream
trickled from each nostril as the Professor
sank on his knees beside him, crying husk-
ily, ‘““My—poor boy! I have—killed —
you!”



A Boy of the Andes. 57

The Professor’s face had a strange look,
too. His eyes were very red and swollen—
but that was from the merciless glare of
the snow—and in his cheeksa gray shadow
seemed to be struggling with the unnatural
purple. And he was so unlike the Profes-
sor of yesterday. He seemed so dull; even

stupid!
“Come, Excellency!” Ramon was shout-
ing in his ear. ‘It is the Soroche, the

mountain sickness, and none can fight it.
We must be gone from here, else very soon
you are both dead. Come!” The small
brown fist was tugging at the old man’s
shoulder, and in the quaint, boyish voice
was a strange thrill. ‘The Professor under-
stood. Dazed as he was, the way in which
Ramon said that one word ‘‘Come’’ roused
and cheered him like the far bugle call
which tells of reinforcements to the be-
sieged. He was notalone. Here was help
. —the helpofa dwarfed Indian boy of fifteen!
But that is often the very sort we need—
not muscle so much as the elbow-touch of a
staunch heart.
“But—Barton?”’ said the Professor. He
could no longer think clearly; and instinct-
ively he turned to Ramon as_ superior.
“Barton? We—cannot—leave—Barton!”



58 A Boy of the Andes.

The Serrano lad looked at the prostrate
figure and then at the Professor.

But even in those bloodshot eyes Ramon
read something that decided him. It was
' very hard, and it was more dangerous so;
but the Friend-man loved the other. The
other must be tried for too!

Ramon unwound his long woven belt and
passed it under Barton’s back. The ends
he drew up under the armpits and crossed
them at the back of the neck, giving one end
to the Professor and keeping one himself.
Then, when they pulled apart, the cross-
ing of the belt supported Barton’s head.
“Now!” cried Ramon; and pulling strongly
the two dragged the heavy form along the
snow to the edge of the steep slope. The
Professor’s face was purple, and drops of
blood beaded his finger tips.

“Tet me, sefior!’’ said the boy; and
taking both ends of the belt over his shoul-
der, he went plunging down the declivity,
Barton’s limp head bumping against his
legs, and Barton’s body and heels dragging
in the soft snow just enough to act as a
brake. As for the Professor, he stumbled
after as best he could, with vague eyes and
bursting veins and treacherouslegs. Some-
times he fell forward and plowed a rod in
the snow, and once he was beginning to



A Boy of the Andes. 59

roll, but Ramon leaped and stopped him
just in time.

And so at last they came to the end of the
snow. The boy laid his burden upon the
matted grass, with head up-hill, and piled a
little drift of snow about the head. ‘Put
it so, also, to your head,”’ said he, ‘“‘and I will
bring the mules.”

With that he was racing off down the hill
in knowing zigzags, though it looked too
steep for a goat.

In half an hour a very tired boy was get-
ting two helpless men upon two almost
helpless mules. Perhaps if the latter had
been able to object, he could not have suc-
ceeded. But by the help of the slope, and
hauling with his belt over the saddle from
the down-hill side, he presently had both
up. Barton’s feet he tied together under
the mule, and Barton’s hands around its
neck, The Professor could sit up, in a
stupid way, and Ramon tied only his feet.
‘Hold well!” he cried loudly and sternly,
but with the same little quiver in his voice;
and taking both bridle reins in one hand, he
plunged down the hill, his weight thrown
forward upon the hard bits, so that the re-
luctant mules had no choice but to follow.

The only one who remembers much of
that grim journey is Ramon, and as he is



60 A Boy of the Andes.

not much given to talking, no one knows
just what he does think of it. ‘The Profes-
sor’s clear recollection begins with finding
~ himself on board the train at Casapalca—a
train of that most wonderful railroad in the
world, the railroad above the clouds, that
clambers up and burrows through the cor-
dillera of Peru. Before that are only hazy
memories of a vast mountain wall leaning
over to crush him; a winding path in the
air; a queer, boy’s voice, coming from no-
where, with little Spanish words of cheer.
And now a round, brown face from the op-
posite seat was watching him seriously —
even tenderly, the Professor fancied —
while the burly conductor was saying:

“T never seen it come any closer! How
ever the boy got you in, beats my time.
And I saw he hated to leave you, so I says
to him, says I, ‘Just get in, sonny,’ ’n’ go
down to Lima with us, ’n’ Ill fetch you
back if I lose my job! He’s the right sort,
he is! An’ you ‘ll be all right, as soon as
you get down there — that’s the only medi-
cine for the S’rochy.”’

All right they were next day in the capi-
tal. Even Barton was able to sit up; and he

nodded weakly as the Professor said to
Ramon:



A Boy of the Andes. 61

““My boy, I would like you to go with us..
We have to travel much in Peru; and if you
willaccompany us you will earn good wages.
And you shall be as my son. For neither of
us would be alive now if we had not had a
little hero with us. Will you come?”

Joy flashed over Ramon’s face. But then
it faded, and tears started in his eyes as he
said simply:

“You are good, Excellency! I would go
anywhere with you. But in the Chin-chan
is my mother, with the babies; and since
father died, I must be the man, for Sancho
is too young. Adios/”

And he ran out, so that they should not
see him crying.







A Daughter of the Misti









A Daughter of the Misti.

$
OT the elder daughter, whom all the
world knows where she sits, white
upon her little green patch against the
hopeless desert, looking up with now and
then a shiver at the white-headed giant, her
father. No, the one I mean now is some-
thing like three hundred and fifty years
younger than the Misti’s first born and
favorite, and not white at all, nor over-
dignified, nor even given to much thought
as to when Zazfa* shall shrug again those
mighty shoulders and rattle the walls about
her ears. In fact, to look at the two— the
fat, brown, clumsy cholo girl and the shin-
ing city —I dare say you would never take
Transita and Arequipa{ for sisters at all.
But as bothare daughters of the Misti, Isee

no other way out of it.

What! You don’t know either of them?
Hm! Of course it could hardly be expected
that you should be acquainted with Tran-

* The Aymaré and Quichua Indian word for father.

+ Ah-re-kee-pa.
65



66 A Daughter of the Misti.

sita, for she lives on a back street on the
other side of the river and comes very sel-
dom tothe plaza. And probably you could
not talk with her, anyhow, since her speech
is only Spanish and Quichua. But not to
know Arequipa — why: that is to count out
the prettiest city in Peru, and one of the
oldestin America. And if you do not know
the daughter you have missed the father,
too, which is an even greater pity — for
he is one of the handsomest giants on earth,
though a baby in his own family. Well,
* well—the sooner I give you an introduc-
tion the better, then.

The Misti is an inactive but living vol-
cano, a hundred miles from the sea, in
southern Peru. As I have said, it ranks
small at home, being only 19,300 feet tall,
while some of its brother Andes tower to
26,000 feet.. But few of them are so hand-
some.. It stands alone and erect, with head
up and shoulders squared, while some of
them look asif the nurse had dropped them
in their babyhood and they had never got
their spines straight again. It is a huge
and very perfect cone, symmetrical as the.
sacred peak of Japan, but vastly higher.
So steep is it that the thick blanket of vol-
canic cinders would surely slip down from
its shoulders, except for the long brooches



A Daughter of the Misti. 67

of dead lava that pinitup. As forits head,
that is old with eternal snow.

For time unknown—since long before
history — the Misti has been the best known
mountain in Peru; and I do not much won-
der. It hasanobility of its own, such as its
mightier brethren do not all possess. Just
to its right vast Charchani climbs 20,000
feet into the sky, and a most majestic peak
itis. Just to its left towers the grand wall
of Pichu-pichu, itself taller than the greatest
mountain in the United States. But it is
always the lone, solemn Misti, to which
every one looks, of which every one speaks
—with a strange mixture of love and awe.
Meeting an Arequipefio abroad, you might
very likely fancy there were no other mount-
ains in sight of his home; but you will not
be left long in ignorance that there is a
Misti. Even before Europeans knew of
America, the remarkable Indians of Peru
half worshiped the Misti; and so Arequipa
gets its name, an Aymara word which
means “with the peak behind it.” Far up
its deadly sides they toiled to make their
sacrifices to Those Above; and even in the
elder crater I have counted the ruins of
aboriginal shrines. It is so isolated, so in-
dividual, so majestic in its awful stature;
and above all, while its neighbor brothers



68 A Daughter of the Misti.

are just mountains, it has a soul— the won-
drous fire-soul of the volcano.

A stern father is the Misti. His daugh:
ter is surely not undutiful, but many atime
he has punished her sorely. Many a time
he has sent her sprawling in the dust, and
turned her smiling whiteness to a genera:
tion of mourning. So, even as late as 1868
over half the buildings of Arequipa went
down in a mortal chaos of stone, killing as
many people as fall in an ordinary battle.

One might fancy that sucha parent would
get himself disliked; but his severity does
not seem to be laid up against him. Are-
quipa loves the Misti—and as for Transita,
she loved him even more than she did Are-
quipa. Their house faced south, but the first
thing in the morning Transita used to climb
to the stone-arched roof to look at the peak
black against the rising sun; and the last
thing at evening to watch the rosy west-
glow upon that venerable head. Andalways
she wondered the more, for now as she
grew taller, and the untaught soil had room
to swell, she saw more and more in that
great dark one with his elephant-wrinkled
hide and the lava scars on his white head,
and now and then, of a hushed dawn, the
ghost of a cloud floating plume-like from
his brow. Perhaps it was because he is so



A Daughter of the Misti. 69

incomprehensible a giant that she compre-
hended him—in that child way which is
more at home in some mysteries than we
older stupids are. At all events, she turned
to him for companionship and confidences,
and had a way of talking with him ever so
softly, that no one else should hear.

“Now, dazta,” she was whispering this
morning, “hast thou heard what is to be?
For they say that the Zzerto, the cross:
eyed, who oppressed us before, is to make
new revolution, that he may be president
again and rob himself still richer. And it
has always been in Arequipa that they
begin. Dost thou think it? And would
they kill Eugénio? For he is very loyal,
and is one of importance, being a corporal.
Do not let them hurt my brother—wilt
thou, tata?”

To all these questions and the adjuration
the giant answered never aword. His face
was grave with the morning shadows. To
look at him no one but Transita would
have dreamed he knew anything about it.

Nor do I really know that he did, though
he had the best of opportunities. From
that lookout in the sky, so overtopping the
town, he could see right into the high-walled
courtof Don Telesfor’s mansion. It wasa
flat old courtyard, paved with tipsy blocks of



70 A Daughter of the Misti.

stone and framed four-square with long
shadowy verandas of the white sz//ar.* In
the center was a long-forgotten fountain,
and at the middle of each side a quaint
staircase of the same white tufa ran up to
the cracked and precarious sz/lar roof. No
one was to be seen about the court. Only,
along the eastern orvtalt was a long ridge
o: fresh earth.

Don Telesfor was making repairs. A
great many people in Arequipa had long
- been free to say that he ought to mend his
ways, and the old place might certainly
count as away that should be mended. His
career as prefect, years before, had been
by no means free from charges of extor-
tion and thievery, and it was notorious that
he would be glad to see again in the presi-
dential chair the unscrupulous usurper who
had grown from pauper soldier to many-
times millionaire in one term. For this
reason Don Telesfor was as little beloved
as his old patron; and poor cholos, with
better love than understanding of free-
dom, took malicious pleasure in laying the
scourge to their two backs jointly. ‘Look
at the Cacerist!” they would growl audibly

*Seel-yar. Avery light volcanic stone quarried on the
side of the volcano. All Arequipa is built of it.
+Por-tal. The Spanish veranda.



A Daughter of the Misti. 71

when Don Telesfor thundered down the
reeling cobblestones on his silver trapped
horse. As for his house, I fancy not one of
them ever passed it after nightfall, with a
bit of chalk in his pocket (and chalk is the
last thing to be without in Peru during a
campaign), but he stopped and scrawled in
elastic Spanish upon the outer wall: ‘‘Death
to the tyrant and his leeches! Down with
the cross-eyed !”

But though he was unpopular in person
and politics, no one thought of taking Don
Telesfor very seriously. Like his patron,
he had turned tail when the Chilean wolves
came down on the fold; and unlike him, his
caution was greater than his greed. Every
one knew him for timorous. The unhappy
republic was torn and pale with fear of a
new usurpation; but in all the whisperings
and the glances over the shoulder, Don
Telesfor was quite forgotten. Since the
downfall of the pretender he had been
quietly cultivating his pretty chacra at
Yura, and now even thought to patch up
the old mansion in Arequipa, long tousled
and neglected since the terrible ¢emblor of
’68. ‘This was praiseworthy and reassur-
ing, teo. In those troublous times to think
rather of beautifying and restoring the
home was clearly a pledge of peace,



72 A Daughter of the Misti.

Sober burros, each laden with two big
white blocks of szd/ar, had been trudging
down from the lofty quarries, and the tot-
tering arches of the courtyard had been re-
built. Now, Don Telesfor was hauling rich
soil all the way from his plantation to make
flower beds in the fatio.* Some felt that
the soil of Arequipa ought to be good enough
for any flower; but if he chose to haul dirt
twelve miles instead of one, that was his
lookout. So the crazy wagons creaked
across the ancient stone bridge every after-
noon and bumped into the courtyard, and
-were relieved of their mules. Don Telesfor
was always on hand in person to attend to
the unloading —he and- his nephew, Don
Beltran, and two old peons—while the
drivers took their animals to the acéquza.
One would have thought that loam sacred,
by the care he took of it.

Just now the big gates were shut. ‘The
wagons would not be in from Yura for some
time yet. Along the east side of the Aatzo
was the long mound of soil, paling in the
hot sun; aside from that, one might have
thought the place abandoned.

But if one could have peered through the
heavy doors of the middle room of the north
portal one would have seen Don Telesfor

* Pah-tee-o; courtyard..-



A Daughter of the Misti. 73

and Don Beltran and halfa dozen strangers
talking low and earnestly. The windows
and even the skylight were shuttered, and
the one candle sent strange shadows
sprawling over a formidable row of long,
shallow, iron-bound boxes stained with
fresh earth.

“To-morrow night, then,’ said one of the
strangers, laying his hand on Don Teles-
for’s shoulder. ‘‘ Even so it will begin in
Lima on the eve of the new congress, and
all is set that the revolution burst in the
same hour in Truxillo, Cuzco, here and all
Peru. And carrying it off well here in the
south, who knows but Don Telesfor shall
earn a place in the new cabinet?”’

“Ojala!” sighed Don Telesfor, his mouth
twitching greedily. ‘At all events, this
endis safe. I promise you no one so much
as suspects us, and with the two hundred
men that will sleep here to-night hidden,
we can easily put down any resistance.
The gudrdias are the only danger; for,
being cholos* they all worship Piérola, and
it avails not the trying to buy them. The
only argument with such stupids is to rap
them the back of the head—and for that,
thirty secure men are appointed to hide
upon the beat and silence each his police-

*Indian half-breeds.



74 A Daughter of the Misti.

man. By midnight that should all be set-
tled without noise, and then we will fall
upon the barracks. A hundred soldiers,
asleep, have nothing to say with us; and in
the morning Arequipa will waken to find
herself in our ranks.”

“Nothing lacks, then?”

‘Nothing. All is understood. Forty
rifles are still to come, but they will be here
in an hour, or maybe two, for the carts
move slowly.”

“And then the flower beds will be done,
no?” chuckled the other with a wink.

‘Aye, and ready to bloom,’’ answered
Don Telesfor, smiling grimly at the jest.

“And, methinks, with enough thorns —
ay diés! What?”

For a deep, far roar crept through the
closed shutters; a Babel of howling curs
and crowing cocks and the jangle of church
bells. Before one could fairly turn to look
at his neighbor it was as if that whole room
of stone had suddenly been dropped twenty
feet, as one might drop a bird cage to the
floor. ‘The heavy boxes and the standing
men and the massive furniture were tossed
as feathers in a gust of air. The wide
stone vault overhead yawned and let ina
foot of sky, and shivered as if to fall, and
then as swiftly clapped its ragged teeth



A Daughter of the Mistt. 75

shut again, while a great dust filled the
room to choking. ‘Then all was still as the
grave, and for a few seconds nothing moved.
At last the men scrambled to their feet,
pale and hushed, and stood looking blankly
at one another. :

“Fal But like not your Arequipa tem-
perament,” faltered the tallest of the stran-
gers. ‘It is too impulsive. Not if you
gave me three Arequipas would I dwell
here!”

“ Pues, it is nothing,’? answered Don
Telesfor, coolly. ‘“‘Only in the being ac-
customed. ‘These femblores are fearsome,
but we think little of them. To the street,
when the shock comes, lest the walls thump
us on the heads; and then back into the
house, as if there had been nothing. As
for this one, it is a good omen. El Misti
gives us the hand that he is with us for an
overturning.”

Transita, sitting upon the stone coping of
her own roof, had a clearer view of the
earthquake, and her opinion certainly did
not coincide with that of Don Telesfor. It
was a perfect day, as most days in Are-
quipa are, but something in the air made
her nervous and ill at ease, and all the
morning she had been perched up there



76 A Daughter of the Misti.

confiding her fears to the great peak. Be.
low, the street was still echoing the rumble
of clumsy carts high heaped with earth.
She had paid little attention to them or their
clamor. Her thoughts were for Eugénio,
and her anxiety about him seemed to grow.
So groundlessly, too. The national unrest
was everywhere, but vague and undefined.
No one knew any specific cause for alarm,
and she least of all. Now, if her ears had
been sharp enough to hark across to that
barred room a mile away, where Don Teles-
for wasat that very momentsaying: “The
' only argument with such stupids is to rap
them the back of the head.” And “such
stupids”’ meant precisely Eugénio and his
fellow-soldiers, the military police of the
city.

Six wagons had already turned the cor-
ner toward the bridge and were out of sight.
As the straggling seventh and last trundled
past the house the teamster, seeing that
squat figure up there, tossed at it a pebble
from his load. Transita only shrugged her
shoulder at the tap. She was too busy with
her thoughts to so much as turn around.
‘“Much care of Eugénio,”’ she murmured.
“And if truly there be of these Cacerists
here, confound them, ¢azfa/” .







A Daughter of the Misti. 77

As she raised her eyes to the great peak
a swift chill ran through her. She was sure
the Misti nodded, as if he had heard her
words. Surely the giant moved! Far spurts
of dust rose from his shoulders, and dark
masses came leaping down, and the great
profile seemed to lose its sharpness. She
winked hard to be sure of her eyes, and now
the Misti moved no more. But from the
corrals roundabout rose a bedlam; and
Chopo ran out, barking frantically, and the
ancient cottonwoods up by the mill sudden-
ly bowed their heads as to a hurricane.
The acéguia bank split and the stream came
panicking out. The tall wall back of Eu-
sébio’s house was rent from top to bottom,
and two-foot blocks of s¢//ar flew all about.
‘The very roof on which she sat—a massive
arch of stone, as are nearly all the roofs of
Arequipa— went up and downas ifa heavy
wave had passed under it. ‘The coping
spilled into the street; and Trdnsita was
left clinging on the broken edge, her face
hanging over. ‘There were wild screams,
and every one stood, as by magic, in the
middle of the street, looking up at the tot-
tering walls. And in the self-same breath
it was all done,and no sign was left save the
shattered blocks of stone, the truant acéquia



78
and a tall cloud of yellow dust that went
bellying off toward Charchani.

Yes, one thing more. Trdnsita lay be-
wildered a moment, and then began to look
about, still without moving. Every one was
going back into the houses, laughing ner-
vously, a few children crying. In another
moment the street was deserted. It was as
if that thousand people had been a return-
ball, to pop one instant into sight, and in
another back with the recoil of the elastic.
But down by the empty hovels over the way
was a cart, broken across in halves. Two
dazed mules were trying clumsily to right
themselves with the forward end of the
wreck, while the rear half was tossed up on
the narrow sidewalk against the ruined
walls. The load of earth had been uncere-
moniously dumped into the gutter, and the
cholo driver, half overwhelmed by it, lay
motionless along the curb.

At that, Transita was upon her feet at
once, nor paused until she was tugging at
the teamster’s arms. The dirt was heaped
upon his legs, and he had fainted with the
pain, and such a dead weight she could not
budge. She dropped the limp shoulders and
began to claw the loose earth away. Ina
moment the left foot was free; but as she
dragged it out, the dirt slipped down and



A Daughter of the Misti. 79
revealed the corner of an iron-bound box
resting upon the other leg. A sudden im-
pulse led her to sweep back the soil until
the end of the case was uncovered. The
funny black marks there meant nothing to
Transita — indeed, if any one had spelled
out for her the ‘‘ M-a-double-n-l-i-c-h-e-r,”’ I
seriously doubt if that grewsome German
name would have made her any the wiser.
But if she did not know letters from ten-
penny nails, and was equally ignorant of
the inventions and the existence of Ger-
many, Transita was no fool. For amoment
her brown face looked more than usually
dull. Then a slow grayness crept into it,
and there was a hitch in her breath.

She looked up at the Misti appealingly,
and then down at the box, staring as if fas-
cinated. Presently the rather heavy jaw
set stubbornly. She lifted the corner of
the box an inch, by a violent effort, pried
her shin against the sharp edge to hold it,
and laboriously dragged out the imprisoned
foot. ‘Then she scraped the earth over
until the box was well hidden again, and
leaving the liberated but unconscious team-
ster where he lay, went racing down the
street like one gone daft.

“This is a pretty story to bring to the
cuartel, daughterling,” said Captain Yrri-



80 A Daughter of the Misti.

barri, fifteen minutes later. Corporal Eu-
génio had no sooner heard his sister’s
breathless message than he brought her
before the commanding officer, and there
she had rehearsed it all, unshaken by ques:
tionings and banter. ‘‘It has to be true,”’
she declared, over and over, ‘‘else mz ¢azta
Misti never would have showed me.”

‘‘A girl’s nonsense,” the grave officer
repeated. ‘And still— what do amy boxes,
thus hidden in loads of earth, and in these
times? I mind me, now, that Don Telesfor
has been hauling earth all the way from
’ Yura 'these many weeks, when there is
better at Carmen Alto. It is fit to be looked
into, and by the saints, if thy guess is true,
little one, thou shalt be corporal, or thy
brother sergeant! Oyes, Eugénio! With
a squad of thirty men surround Don Teles-
for’s house and hold it tight that it leak not,
while Pedro goes with five to verify the
cart and the box. If that is nothing, they
will report to you and you will return to
quarters with the tongue behind the teeth;
but if they shall find arms in the cart, keep
the house and warn me.”

For my own part, I do not overly love the
soldier-police of Arequipa, and have some-
times been angry enough to want to choke
them for murdering my sleep with their



A Daughter of the Misti. 81

abominable midnight whistles. But after
all, Iam glad that they were notall knocked
on the head the night after the earthquake;
for in spite of their ignorance and their skin
and their ear-piercing way of announcing
“All’s well,” they are a kindly, honest,
well meaning set, who could be much better
utilized than by clubbing. And particularly
Eugénio, who is a very good boy and likes
to talk with me, calling me “‘your grace.”
He has told me many interesting things,
and often sent a cholo to “‘tote’’ my heavy
camera around. Sergeant Eugénio now,
please —for Transita declined to be a cor- -
poral when the search revealed not only the
one case of Mannlicher rifles in the dirt
under the wrecked cart, but thirty cases
more in Don Telesfor’s house, along with
papers which left no doubt of his treason.
Some fellow-conspirator must have warned
him in time. of the wayside accident, for
though Eugénio and his men kept the house
fully surrounded until a report came from
the cart, when they broke in there was not
a soul to be found.

None of the other plotters were known,
and Don Telesfor eluded pursuit. It may
or may not be true,as I have been told, that
he took asylum in Bolivia and was after-
ward drowned in trying to ford the Choque-



82 A Daughter of the Misti.

yapu during a freshet; but, at all events,
he never came back to revive his nipped
revolution. :

As for Transita, you might just as well
try to tell her that the Misti is not there at
all as that “‘He’’ did not specially and in-
tentionally interpose to save the peace of
his daughters and the head of Eugénio. I
half believe her brother is secretly of the
same opinion, for the superstition of the
peak is very strong in Arequipa; though he
shrugs his shoulders in a deprecatory way
when put the direct question, and says eva-
sively:

““ Pues, who knows? So the women de-
clare. For me it is enough that he did it,
and in time, the same as if he knew.”



The Witch Deer









Full Text






Sth
The Enchanted Burro



| THE ENCHANTED
i'BURRO STORIES!
of NEW MEXICOand|
SOUTH AMERICA|









[AutHor oF The Land of Po
ico Tiempo, Strange Corners}
of Our Country, A Tramp}





GHICAGO,. WAY
[WEELIAMS,



1897]
COPYRIGHT, 1897, BY WAY & WILLIAMS

THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE FROM DRAWINGS BY CHARLES
ABEL CORWIN AFTER PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE AUTHOR
To
AMADO
and
AMADO

The name that stood for such a friend is tall
enough for two—

My oldest on the old frontier, my newest on the
new.

Nor is it on my heart to pray my baby’s feet be
spared

So rugged paths (companioned so) as once his
Sather fared.
Contents

PacE

Tur ENCHANTED Burro (New Mexico) 1

Toe Mummy-Miner (Peru) : 1225
A Boy or THE ANDES (Peru) . es)
A DAUGHTER OF THE Mistr (Peru) . 65
Tue Witco DEER (New Mexico) . 85
FELIPE’S SUGARING-OFF (Peru) eee
ANDRES, THE ARRIERO (Bolivia) . ll
Our YELLOW SLAVE . ; : «= 141

Tur Prax oF Gotp (New Mexico) . 161

Pasio’s DEER Hunt (New Mexico) . 179
CanpELarra’s CURSE (New Mexico) . 203
Tue HaBit OF THE FRAILE (Peru) . 219
THe Great MaGIcIAN : : . 241

THE Batsa Boy oF Lake Titicaca. 257
(Bolivia)
T is given unto many to know enough, by

a few days in a Pullman or a hotel (or
even a reference library at home), to make
a book about a country. But not unto me.
It has taken more than a dozen arduous,
costly years to beat into me what little I
hope I know about our frontier and Spanish-
America. ‘To learn new languages and
study innumerable old documents was but
one side of the task; everywhere, and
among many strange people, it was also.
necessary to become ‘‘one of the family,”
to share their speech and their ideas, their
pleasures and their hardships—in a word,
to live their life. One must do that to
know ; and some are too vain to write with-
out knowing, in this narrow world where
the blunderer is sure to be exposed. Our
notions are far more influenced, in the ag-
gregate, by the local color of fiction than by
the cold lines of monographs; so perhaps
even stories have a right to be honest work.

Most of those in this little book are epi-
sodes Iwas some part of; and all are truth-
ful. I hope that they are not, on this ac-
count, any duller than if they had been
guessed at.

Los ANGELES, CAL,
List of Illustrations

FRONTISPIECE—‘‘Lelo dropped his arms on
his hoe,’’ etc. . : _
Enchanted Burro.
‘““Clapped notch to bowstring,’’ etc.
Linchanted Burro.
“For it was not a stone at all.”’
The Mummy-Miner.
“The mules stopped suddenly,’’ etc
Boy of the Andes.

‘“‘Transita was left clinging to the broken

edge,’’ etc.
Daughter of the Misti.
“¢Run for yourself!’ cried Luis.’’
The Witch Deer.
“‘As if the fate of nations hung upon his eyes.”’
felipe’s Sugaring-off.
‘“‘There was a tremendous swoosh of wings
past him.’ : :
Andrés the Arviero.
“On the rough stone bench along the walls
sat five men.’’ : P
Andrés the Arriero.

“‘Paying no heed to the forlorn watcher on

the shore. ’’ a z : .
Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

‘*Blood, water of life, come back to the brook

of the heart.”’ . 5 :
Pablo’s Deer ‘Hunt.

““When Pablo toiled up the hill of ruins.’’
Pablo’s Deer a

‘*Pedro stepped out upon the log,”’
Candeléria’s Curse.
‘Vicente, in a flash of rage, flung himself
at his legs,”’ etc. 5 :
The Habit of the Fraile.
‘“‘A limp bundle, whose head aroonss on my

shoulder.’’
Balsa Boy of Lake Titi-Caca.

Pace

17
38

46

77
91

103

131

135

180

194
198

212

235

267
The Enchanted Burro
The Enchanted Burro.

Co

ELO dropped the point of his heavy irri-
gating hoe and stood with chin dented
upon the rude handle, looking intently to the
east. Around his bare ankles the rill from
the acéguia* eddied a moment and then
sucked through the gap in the little ridge of
earth which bounded the irrigating bed.
The early sun was yellow as gold upon the
crags of the mesaj—that league-long front
of ragged cliffs whose sandstones, black-
capped by the lava of the immemorial Year
of Fire, here wall the valley of the Rio
Grande on the west. Wherea spur of the
frowning Ktmai runs out is a little bay in
the cliffs; and here the outermost fields of
Isleta were turning green with spring. The
young wheat swayed and whispered to the
water, whose scouts stole about amid the
stalks, and came back and called their fel-
lows forward, and spread hither and yon,

* Ah-say-kee-ah. Irrigating ditch.
+ May-sah, Table land.
2 The Enchanted Burro.

till every green blade was drinking and the
tide began to creep up the low boundaries
at either side. Up at the sluice gateasmall
but eager stream was tumbling from the
big, placid ditch, and on it came tillit struck
the tiny dam which closed the furrow just
beyond Lelo, and, turning, stole past him
again to join the rest amid the wheat. The
irrigating bed, twenty feet square, filled
and filled, and suddenly the gathered pud-
dle broke down a barrier and came romp-
ing into the next bed without so much as
saying ‘‘By your leave.’”? And here it was
not so friendly; for, forgetting that it had
come only to bring a drink, it went stam-
peding about, knocking down the tender
blades and half covering them with mud.
At sound of this, Lelo seemed suddenly to
waken, and lifting with his hoe the few clods
which dammed the furrow, he dropped
them into the first gap, and jumping into
the second bed repaired its barrier also
with a few strokes. Then he let in a gen-
tler stream from the furrow.

“‘ Poco, and I should have lost a bed,”” he
said to himself, goodnaturedly. Blas always
took things easy, and I presume that is the
reason no one ever called him anything but
Lelo* — “‘ Slow-poke ’’ — for Indian boys are
"* Lay-lo.
The Enchanted Burro. 3

as given to nicknames as are any others, and
the mote had stuck to him ever since its in-
vention. He was rather slow —this big,
powerful boy, with a round, heavy chin and
a face less clear-cut than was common in
the pueblo. Old ’Lipe had taken to wife a
Navajo captive, and all could see that the
boy carried upon his father’s strong frame
the flatter, more stolid features of his
mother’s nomad people.

But now the face seemed not quite so
heavy; for again he was looking toward the
pueblo and bending his head as one who
listens for afar whisper. There it came
again —a faint, faint air which not one of
us could have heard, but to this Indian boy
it told of shouts and mingled wails.

‘““What will be?” cried Lelo, stamping
his hoe upon the barrier, and with unwonted
fire in his eyes. “For surely I hear the
voice of women lamenting, and there are
men’s shouts asinanger. Something heavy
it will be—and perhaps I am needed.”
Splashing up to the ditch, he shut the gate
and threw down his hoe, and a moment
later was running toward Isleta with the
long, heavy, tireless stride that was the
jest of the other boys in the rabbit hunt,
but left Lelo not so very far behind them
after all.
4 The Enchanted Burro.

In the pueblo was, indeed, excitement
enough. Little knots of the swart people
stood here and there, talking earnestly but
low; in the broad, flat plaza were many hur-
rying to and fro; and in the street beyond
was a great crowd about a house whence
arosé the long, wild wails of mourners.

“What is, zo Diego?”’ asked Lelo, stop-
ping where a number of men stood in
gloomy silence. ‘‘ What has befallen? For
even in the mzlpa* I heard the cries, and
came running to see.”

“Tt is ill,” answered the old man he had
addressed as uncle. ‘‘It seems that Those
Above are angry with us! For this morn-
ing the captain of war finds himself dead in
bed —and scalfed/ And no tracks of man
were about his door.”

“Ay, all is ill!” groaned a short, heavy-
set man, ina frayed blanket. ‘For yester-
day, coming from the ano} with my burro,t
I met a stranger—a bérbaro. And, blow-
ing upon Paloma, he bewitched the poor
beast so that it sprang off the trail and was
killed at the bottom of the cliff. It lacked
only that! Last month it was the raid of
the Cumanche; and, though we followed

* Meel-pah. Field. +L’yah-no. Plain.
The quaint little Spanish-American donkey. Pro-
nounced Boo-ro.
The Enchanted Burro. 5

and slew many of the robbers and got back
many animals, yet mine were not found,
and this was the very last that remained
to me.”

‘Pero, Don ’Colas!”’ cried Lelo, “your
burro I saw this very morning as I went to

the field before the sun. Paloma it was, _ Se57
with the white face and the white hind-foot

—for do I not know him well?’ He was
passing through the bushés under the cliffs
at the point, and turned to look at meas I
crossed the fields below.”

“Vaya!” cried Nicolas, angrily. ‘Did
I not see him, with these my eyes, jump the
cliff of two hundred feet yesterday, and
with these my hands feel him at the foot
that he was dead? Go, with your stories of
a stupid, for —~—”

But here the alguazil, who was one of the
group, interrupted: ‘Lelo has no fool’s
eyes, and this thing I shall look into. Since
this morning, many things look suspicious.
Come, show me where fell thy burro—for
to me all these doings are cousins one to
another.”’ :

Nicolas, with angry confidence, accom-
panied the broad-shouldered Indian sheriff,
and their companions followed silently.
Across the adobe-walled gardens they
trudged, and into the sandy “draw,” whose
6 The Enchanted Burro.

trail led along the cliff and up among the
jumble of fallen crags at one side.

“Yonder he jumped off,” said ’Colds,
“and fell——” But even then he rubbed
his eyes and turned pale. For where he
had left the limp, bleeding carcass of poor
Paloma only twenty-four hours before,
there was now nothing to be seen. Only,
upon a rock, were a few red blotches.

“What is this!”? demanded the alguazil,
sternly. “Hast thou hidden him away?
Claro that something fell here—for there is
blood and a tuft of hair upon yon stone.
But where is the burro?”

‘“‘How should I hide him, since he was
dead as the rocks? It is witchcraft, I tell
you—for see! There are no tracks of him
going away, even where the earth is soft.
And for the coyotes and wildcats— they
would have left his bones. The Gentile I
met— fe is the witch. First he gave the
evil eye to my poor beast, that it killed it
self; and now he has flown away inits shape
to do other ills.”

‘It can be so,” mused the sheriff, gravely;
“but in the meantime there is noremedy —
T have to answer to the Fathers of Medicine
for you who bring such stories of dead
burros, but cannot show them. For, I tell
you, this has something to say for the deed
The Enchanted Burro. 7

that was done in the pueblo this morning.
Al calaboz!”

Half an hour later, poor Nicol4s was
squatted disconsolately upon the bare floor
of the adobe jail—that simple prison from
which no one of the simple prisoners ever
thinks to dig out. It is not so much the
clay wall that holds them, as the authority
of law, which no Pueblo ever yet questioned.

‘°Colas’s burro’? was soon in every
mouth. The strange story of its death
and its reappearance to Lelo were not to be
mocked at. So it used to be, that the ani-
mals were as people; and every one knew
that there were witches still who took the
forms of brutes and flew by night to work
mischief. Perhaps it was some wizard of
the Cumanche who thus, by the aid of the
evil ones, was avenging the long-haired
horse-thieves who had fallen at Tajique.*
And now Pascual, returning from a ranch
across the river, made known that, sitting
upon his roof all night to think of the year,
he had been aware of a burro that passed
down the street even to the house of the
war captain; after which he had noticed it
nomore. Clearly, then!

Some even thought that Lelo should be
imprisoned, since he had seen the burro in

* Ta-hee-ke.
8 The Enchanted Burro.

the morning. And when, searching anew,
they found in a splinter of the captain’s
door a long, coarse, gray hair, every man
looked about him suspiciously. But there
was no other clew—save that Francisco,
the cleverest of hunters, called the officials
to a little corner of the street, where the
people had not crowded, and pointed to
some dim marks in the sand.

‘““ Que importa?” said the gray haired
governor, shrugging his shoulders, as he
leaned on his staff of office and looked close-

ly. ‘‘In Isleta there are two thousand bur-
ros, and their paths are everywhere.”’

“But see!’ persisted the trailer. ‘‘Are
they like this? For this brute was lame in
all the legs, so that his feet fell over to the
inside alittle, instead of coming flatly down.
It will be the Enchanted Burro!”

“Ahu!”’ cried Lelo, who stood by. ‘And
this morning when I passed the burro of
Don ’Colas in the bushes, I saw that it was
laming along as if its legs were stiff.”

By now no one doubted that there was
witchcraft afoot, and the officials whose place
it is were taking active measures to pre-
serve the pueblo. The cacique sat in his
closed house fasting and praying, with
ashes upon his head. ‘The Cum-pa-huit-la-
wen were running here and there with their
ee

The Enchanted Burro. 9

sacred bows and arrows, prying into every
corner, if haply they might find a witch. In
the house of mourning the Shamans were
blinding the eyes of the ghosts, that none
might follow the trail of the dead captain
and do him harm before he should reach
the safe other world. And in the medicine
house the Father of All Medicine was blow-
ing the slow smoke across the sacred bowl,
to read in that magic mirror the secrets of
the whole world.

But in spite of everything,a curse seemed
to have fallen upon the peaceful town. Lu-
cero, the third assistant war captain, did
not return with his flock, and when search-
ers went to the Mano, they found him lying
by a chapparo bush dead, and his sheep
gone. But worst of all, he was scalped, and
all the wisdom of that cunning head had
been carried away to enrich the mysterious
foe —for the soul and talents of an Indian
go with his hair, according to Indian belief.
And in a day or two came running Antonio
Peralta to the pueblo, gray as the dead and
without his blanket. Herding his father’s
horses back of the Accursed Hill, he sat
upon a block of lava to watch them. As
they grazed, a lame burro came around the
hill grazing toward them. And when it was
among them, they suddenly raised their
10 The Enchanted Burro.

heads in fear and snorted and turned to
run; but the burro, rising like a mountain
lion, sprang upon one of them and fastened
on its neck, and all the herd stampeded to
the west, the accursed burro still perched
upon its victim and tearing it. Ay! agray
burro, jovero,* and with a white foot behind.
Antonio had his musket, but he dared not
fire after this witch beast. And here were
twelve more good horses gone of what the
Cumanche robbers had left.
By now the whole pueblo was wrought to
.the highest tension. That frightful doubt ©
which seizes a people oppressed by super-
natural fears brooded everywhere. Noman
but was sure that the man he hated was
mixed up in the witchcraft; no man who
was disliked by any one but felt the finger
of suspicion pointing at him. People grew
dumb and moody, and looked at each other
from the corner of the eye as they passed
without even a kindly “ Hina-ki-p’wiu,
neighbor.” As for work, that was almost
forgotten, though the fields cried out for
care. No one dared take a flock to the ano,
and few went even to their gardens. There
were medicine makings every night to ex-
orcise the evil spirits, and the Shamans
worked wonders, and the medicine guards

*Ho-vay-ro. Blaze-face.
The Enchanted Burro. II

prowled high and low for witches. The
cacique sat always in his house, seeing no
one, nor eating, but torturing his flesh for
the safety of his people.

And still there was no salvation. Not a
night went by but some new outrage befell.
Now it was a swooping away of herds,
now some man of the wisest and bravest
was slain and scalped in his bed. And al-
ways there were no more tracks than those
of a burro, stiff-kneed, whose hoofs did not
strike squarely upon the ground. Many,
also, caught glimpses of the Enchanted
Burro as they peered at midnight from
their dark windows. Sometimes he plodded
mournfully along the uncertain streets, as
burros do; but some vowed that he came
down suddenly from the sky, as alighting
from a long flight. Without a doubt, old
Melo had seen the brute walk up the ladder
of Ambrésio’s house the very night Am-
brosio was found dead in the little lookout
room upon his own roof. And a burro
which could climb a ladder could certain-
ly fly.

On the fourth day Lelo could stand it no
longer. ‘Iam going to the field,” he said,
“before the wheat dies. For it is as well
to be eaten by the witches now as that we
12 The Enchanted Burro.

should starve to death next winter, when
there will be nothing to eat.”

“What folly is this?” cried the neigh-
bors. “Does Lelo think he is stronger than
the ghosts? Let him stay behind those
who are more men.”

But Lelo had another trait, quite as
marked as his slowness and good nature.
When his deliberate mind was made up
there was no turning him; and, though he
was as terrified as anyone by the awful
happenings of the week, he had decided to
attend to his field. So he only answered
the taunts with a stolid, respectful: ‘‘No,I
do not put myself against the ghosts. But
perhaps they will let me alone, knowing
that my mother has now no one else to feed
her.”

The flat-faced mother brought him two .
tortillas* for lunch; and putting her hands
upon his shoulders, looked at hima moment
from wet eyes, saying not a word. And
slinging over his shoulder the bow-case and
quiver, Lelo trudged away.

He plodded along the crooked meadow
road, white-patched here and there with
crystals of alkali; jumped the main irrigat-
ing ditch with a great bound, and took
“across lots’? over the adobe fences and

-* Tor-teel-yaz. Unleavened cakes of corn meal.
The Enchanted Burro. 13

through the vineyards and the orchards of
apple, peach and apricot.

In the farther edge of the last orchard
stood a tiny adobe house, where old Reyes
had lived in the summer-time to guard her
ripening fruits. Since her death it had been
abandoned, with the garden, and next sum-
mer the Indian congress could allot it to
any one who asked, since it would have
been left untilled for five years. The
house was half hidden from sight—over-
shadowed on one side by ancient pear trees
and on the other by the black cliffs of an
advance guard of the lava flow.

Ashe passed the ruined hut Lelo sud-
denly stooped and began looking anxiously
at a footprint in the softearth. “That was

from no moccasin of the Tee-wahn,’’ he
muttered to himself, ‘“‘for the sole is flatter
than ours. And it comes out of the house,
where no one ever goes, now that Grand-
mother Reyes is dead. But ¢hzs/ For in
three steps it is no more the foot of a man,
but of a beast—going even to the bushes
where I saw the Enchanted Burro that
morning”’—and all of a tremble, Lelo
leaned up against the wall of the house. It
was all he could do to keep from turning
and bolting for home—and you need not
laugh at him. The bow-case at his side
14 The Enchanted Burro.

was from the tawny mountain lion Lelo had
slain with his own hands in the cafions of
the Tetilla; and when Reftigio, the youngest
medicine-man, fell wounded in the fore-
front of the fight at Tajique, it was Lelo
who had lumbered forward and brought
him away in his arms, saving his life and
hair from the Cumanche knife. But it takes
a braver man to stand against his own
superstitions than to face wild beast or
wilder savage; and now, though Lelo did
not flee, his knees smote together and the
blood seemed to have left his head dry and
over-light. He sat down, so weak was he;
and, with back against the wall, he tried to
gather his scattered thoughts.

At that very moment, if Lelo had turned
his head a very little more to the left and
looked at one particular rift in the thorny
greasewoods that choked the foot of the
cliff, he might have seen two dark, hungry
eyes fixed upon him; but Lelo was not look-
ing that way so much as to the corner of
the cliff. There he would have to pass to
the field; and it was just around that cor-
ner that he had seen the Enchanted Burro.
“And there also I have seen the mouth of a
cave, where they say the ogres used to
live and where no one dares to enter’’—and
he shivered again, like one half frozen.
The Enchanted Burro. 15

Then he did look back to the left, but saw
nothing, for the eyes were no longer there.
Only, a few rods farther to the left, and
where Lelo could not see for the wall at his
back, the tall, white ears of a burro were
moving quietly along in the bushes, which
hid the rest of its body. Nowand then the
animal stopped and cocked up its ears, asif
to listen; and its eyes rose over the bush,
shining with a deep, strange light. Just
beyond was the low adobe wall which sep-
arated Reyes’s garden from the next—run-
ning from the foot of the cliff down past the
old house.

To goon to the field needed even more
courage than to keep from fleeing for home;
and stubborn as he was, Lelo was trying to
muster up legs and heart to proceed. He
even rose to his feet and drew back his

_elbows fiercely, straining the muscles of his

chest, where there seemed to be such a
weight. Just around the corner of the
house, at that same moment, a burro’s
head, with white ears and a blazed face,
rose noiselessly above the adobe fence, and
seeing nothing, a pair of black hoofs came
up, and in a swift bound the animal was
over the wall—so lightly that even the
sharp Indian ears not fifteen feet away
heard nothing of it.
16 The Enchanted Burro.

But if Lelo did not notice, a sharper
watcher did. ‘‘ Hay-eé-w’yoo!” cried a
complaining voice, and a brown bird with
broad wings and a big, round head went
fluttering from its perch on the roof. Lelo
started violently, and then smiled at him-
self. “It is only ¢ecoldte,” he muttered,
“the little owl that lives with the zzisas,*
and they say he is very wise. To see
where he went.”

The boy stole around the corner of the
house, but the owl was nowhere to be seen,
and he started back.

_ As he turned the angle again, he caught
sight of a burro’s head just peeping from ©
around the other corner; and Lelo felt the
blood sinking from his face. ‘The beast
gave a little start and then dropped its
head toa bunch of alfalfa that was green at
the corner. But this did not relieve Lelo’s
terror. It was Paloma—dead Paloma—
now the Witch Burro. There was no mis-
taking that jovero face. And plain it was,
too, that this was no longer burro-true, but
one of the accursed spirits in burro shape.
Those eyes! They seemed, in that swift
flash in which they had met Lelo’s, to be
sunk far, far into the skull; and he was
sure that deep in them he saw a dull gleam

* Prairie dogs.

ara

The Enchanted Burro. 17

ofred. Andtheearsand head — they were
touched with death, too! Their skin seemed
hard and ridgy as a rawhide, instead of fit-
ting as the skin does in life. So, also, was
the neck; but no more was to be seen for
the angle of the wall.

‘There are men who die at seventy with-
out having lived so long or suffered so much
as Lelo lived and suffered in those few sec-
onds. His breath refused to come, and his
muscles seemed paralyzed. This, then,
was the Enchanted Burro—the witch that
had slain the captain of war, and his lieu-
tenants, and many more. And now he was

. come for Lelo—for though he nosed the

alfalfa, one grim eye was always on the
boy. So, no doubt, he had watched his
other victims—but from behind, for not
one of them had ever moved. And with
that thought a sudden rush of blood came
pricking like needles in Lelo’s head.

‘““No one of them saw him, else they had
surely fought! And shall I give myself to
him like a sheep? Not if he were fen
witches!” And with the one swift motion
of all his life, the lad dropped on one knee,
even as hand and hand clapped notch to
bowstring, and, in a mighty tug, drew the
arrow to the head.
18 The Enchanted Burro.

Lightning-like as was his move, the burro
understood, and hastily reared back— but
a hair too late. The agate-tipped shaft
struck midway of its neck with a loud tap
as upon a drum, and bored through and
through till the feathers touched the skin.
The animal sprang high in air, with so
wild and hideous a scream as never came
from burro’s throat before, and fell back
amid the alfalfa, floundering and pawing at
its neck.

But Lelo had waited for no more. Al-
ready he was over the wall and running like
a scared mustang, the bow gripped in his
left hand, his right clutching the bow-case,
whose tawny tail leaped and fluttered be-
hind him. One-Eyed Quico could have
made it to the pueblo no faster than the
town slow-poke, who burst into the plaza
and the porch of the governor’s house,
gasping:

“The Enchanted Burro! I haye— killed
—him!”

Fifteen minutes later the new war cap-
tain, the medicine men, the governor, and
half the rest of the men of the pueblo were
entering Reyes’s garden, and Lelo'was al-
lowed to walk with the principales. All were
very grave, and some a little pale—for it
was no laughing matter to meddle with the


The Enchanted Burro. 19

fiend, even after he was dead. ‘There lay
the burro, motionless. No pool of blood was

around; but the white feathers of the ar-
row had turned red. Cautiously they ap-
proached, till suddenly Francisco, the shar p-
est eyed of trailers, dashed forward and
caught up the two hind legs from amid the
alfalfa, crying:

“Said I not that he tipped the hoofs?
With reason !”’

For from eachankle five dark, naked toes
projected through a slit in the hide.

“Ay, well bewitched!’? exclaimed the
war captain. ‘Pull me the other side!”
And at their tug the belly of the burro
parted lengthwise, showing only a stiff,
dried skin, and inside the cavity a swart
body stripped to the breech-clout. Along-
side lay arrows and a strong bow of buffalo
horn, with alight copper hatchet and a keen
scalping knife.

‘* Sdcalo!” ordered the war captain; but
it was easier said than done. They bent
the stubborn rawhide well apart; but not
until one had run his knife up the neck of
the skin and cut both ends of Lelo’s arrow
could they haul out the masquerader. The
shaft had passed through his throat from
side to side, pinning it to the rawhide, and
there he had died.
20 The Enchanted Burro.

When the slippery form was at last
dragged forth, and they saw its face, there
was a Startled. murmur through the crowd;
for even without the long scalp lockand the
vermilion face-paint, there were many there ©
who would have known the Cumanche med-
icine man, whose brother was the chief that
fell at Tajique. He, too, had been taken
prisoner, and had taunted his captors and
promised to pay them, and in the night had
escaped, leaving one sentinel dead ‘and an-
other wounded.

The Enchanted Burro was all very plain
“now. The plains conjurer, knowing well
by habit how to play on superstitious fears,
had used poor Paloma as the instrument of
his revenge — hiding the carcass and dry-
ing the skin quickly on a frame with hot
ashes, so that it stood perfectly in shape by
itself. ‘The bones of the fore legs he had
left in, to be managed with his hands; and
in the dark or amid grass, no one would
have noticed the peculiarity of the hind
legs. He had only to pry open the slit in
the belly and crawl in, and the stiff hide
closed after him. Thus he had wreaked the
vengeance for which, uncompanioned, he
had followed the Pueblos back to their vil-
lage. In the cave behind the greasewoods
were the scalps of his victims, drying on
The Enchanted Burro. 21

little willow hoops; but instead of going to
deck a Cumanche lodge in the great plains,
they were tenderly buried in the old church-
yard, restored to their proper owners.

After all these years there still are in the
pueblo many tales of the Enchanted Burro,
nothing lost by the re-telling. As for the
skin itself, it lies moth-eaten in the dark
storeroom of the man who has been first
assistant war captain for twenty years,
beginning his novitiate the very day he
finished a witch and a Cumanche with a
single arrow.



The Mummy Miner

The Mummy Miner.

$

i [ae oe was certainly nothing suggest-
ive of antiquity about Faquito’s ap-
pearance. His droll, brown face, his thick-
set boyish figure and the alarming tatters
of his scant apparel were all undignified as
his name — which had got to the most dis-
respectful distance possible from the state-
ly Francisco of the baptismal font. There
could be no worthier name for a boy of
Peru than that worn by the great conqutsta-
dor Pizarro. Butitis hard to live up tothe
dignity of the christening, and Francisco
degenerates into Francisquito, which is
fond; and then to Franco, which is familiar;
and finally to Faquito, which is positively
rude. Probably it never occurred to the
lad to be comforted with thinking that the
greatest conqueror of the Americas was
_ called Faquito, too, when he was herding
his pigs in Truxillo; and that if one Faquo

could grow up to be Don Francisco, so
25
26 The Mummy Miner.

mightanother. These consolations of phil-
osophy never do come to us until we are too
old to need them so much.

But perhaps you are thinking: ‘ Well,
why should a twelve-year-old cholo boy look
antiquated? Are lads of that age in Peru
expected to be ancient, any more than in
New York or Boston?”

N-no, not exactly that—though in the
quick tropics a boy zs older at twelve than
is one of the same years in the temperate
zone; bigger and more mature. But it was
Faquito’s occupation rather than his age

‘which made me think of him as rather para-
doxical. You will admit that to find this
irresponsible, twinkling face set in one of
the most century-worn frames on earth
might well seem incongruous, not to say
startling. The sight of this half Spanish,
half Indian* boy of to-day, playing with
lives and thoughts that were forgotten five
hundred years ago—aye, and some of them,
perhaps, that long before the Old World
dreamed there was a New—was enough
to make any explorer rub his eyes.

Doubtless we shall understand each other
better by a little translation. Huaco isa
word not found in the Spanish dictionaries,
for it belongs only to Peru. It is from the

* For that is what cholo means.
The Mummy Miner. 27

Quichua, or speech of the Incas, of whom
you have heard so many remarkable (and
not very accurate) stories; and as adopted
into the Spanish of Peru means specifically
a relic of the ancient Indian “ civilizations ”
which occupied this strange land before the
coming of Europeans. Hwuaguero is the
Spanish derivative to mean a digger of
these antiquities —in other words, a mum-
my miner. 'Thisis a regular profession in
Peru, just as much as gold mining. A
competent huaquero commands as good
wages as a skilled laborer in the marvelous ©
silver mountain of Cerro de Pasco; and, if
he works “fon his own hook,” may earn
much more. Peru is dotted everywhere
with the ruins of large towns of the Incas
and other tribes—some of them that we
have so long been taught to regard as
“kings”? and the like, while in fact they
were tribes very much like the Pueblo
Indians of New Mexico; remarkably ad-
vanced in some things, but still entirely
Indians socially, politically and mentally.
Some of these ruins have been deserted for »
uncounted centuries, and no man can say
who built them nor when they were aban-
doned. In fact, Peru is the American
Egypt in antiquity; and a more than Egypt
jn richness. It was in its time the richest
28 The Mummy Miner.

country in the world. Even before Euro-
peans came to tap its peaks of silver and
valleys of gold, the ancient Peruvians had
discovered a way to treat the precious
metals, and used them to adorn themselves
and their temples. Like the Indians they
were, they had the invariable Indian idea of
the next world; and always buried with their
dead the best clothing and other property, to
give the wanderer a handsome start beyond
the grave— precisely as our aborigines do
still. And as the dryness of the Peruvian
desert preserves mummies indefinitely
through the ages, you will begin to see how
mummy mining has become one of the im-
portant industries of Peru. There are
mummies everywhere; and each mummy
has still what was its wealth in life. The
gold and silver trinkets, the exquisite cloths
and potteries of these strange folk of old,
and all the other relics of their handiwork,
fetch high prices from museums and col-
lectors.

So that was Faquo’s business—and a very
hard and unpleasant business itis. Zazta*
Pedro should have provided for his family;
but zazia Pedro much preferred to lie
around the great sugar plantation in the
next valley beyond the arm of desert, and

* Papa.
The Mummy Miner. 20

keep his swarthy hide full of the cheap rum
which is the last and worst gift of the sugar
cane. He never came home to the little
cabin at Lurin—a hut of guincha, or wat-
tled bamboos plastered with adobe—except
toget money. Poor, fat Maria would have
had a very rough time caring for her fat
brood, if it had not been for Faquito. She
worked in the cane fields of the nearer ha-
cienda, and washed for the priest; but the
few reales she could earn would not have
been enough to put a cotton shirt on half
the backs she was responsible for, after
feeding all the mouths. Mariquita was a
perfect little woman for ten years old; but
she could only attend to the babies — which
was indeed contract enough for a much
older nurse. So it had been a great relief
when Faquo got big enough to be a pro-
ducer — with the equal good fortune that
the sandy headland only two miles away
was crowned by the mighty ruins of Pacha-
camac.

Every day, except Sundays and festas,
Faquito was early trudging the dusty road
to the ruins, his spade over his shoulder,
his fat face screwed up sometimes to whistle
a doleful yaravi (the only air he knew), or
as often equally twisted with munching
sugar cane. It was very convenient to
30 The Mummy Miner.

have one’s candy growing by the roadside
— particularly as there were no stores. All
a boy had to do was to clamber over the
adobe wall, cut a stalk of the cefa dulce
from amid its dense bristle of sword leaves,
and clamber back to chew upon this pithy
molasses candy at leisure. There was
generally a culm in Faquito’s hand as he
trudged across; and when he got tired of
chewing the obstinate fiber, he would rest
his jaws with whistling.

When he had crossed the flat, and waded
the shallow brook of Lurin, there was a
great scramble up the precipitous bluff
which is the jumping-off place of the desert;
and even Faquo was always puffing hard by
the time he came to the top. An ancient
wall was there; and under the long, morn-
ing shadow of this he used to sit down a
moment— partly for a bit of a rest, and
partly because he liked to gaze upon that
strange vista in the hot, level light. Behind
was the lovely valley, dense green with
tropic cane-fields and bananas and palms;
but in front was the great, gray desert, un-
spotted by one living blade. On the rolling
sand hills close before him was a wild, mys-
terious huddle of mighty walls, tall and
broken and gray in the sunlight, with black
shadows lurking in their angles — walls and
The Mummy Miner. 31

walls in a bewildering labyrinth. At his
left was the huge castle on its tall head-
land, boxed about with tier after tier of
walls thirty feet high; and in front of him
the central hill, crowned with an enormous
building. In a hollow at the foot of the
castle, fifty acres were thick-dotted with
dark, irregular holes, around which thou-
sands of white specks gleamed in the sun.
Momently, too, little puffs of dust flew up
hereand there. Castro and Juan and Pan-
cho, the grown-up huaqueros from Lima,
were already at work down there amid the
bleaching skulls, each at the bottom of his
dusty shaft, hoping at any moment to finda
rich tomb — perhaps even the ‘“‘ Big Fish”
of Peruvian folklore. That is what Faquito
was dreaming about, too. How many times
he had heard of the hundreds of man-loads
of gold that the Yuncas buried in Pacha-
camac when Hernando Pizarro came prick-
ing down from the mountains, every horse
of his cavalcade shod with silver!

If he could only find the Pez Grande! Or
even the tail of it! He got up from under
the wall with a sigh and started down the
dusty trail toward where the men were at
work. His ‘‘mine”’ was there too— where
he had dug a week without finding any but
the poorest graves.
32 The Mummy Miner.

Just then an owl—the little brown owl of
the desert—flew up almost at his very feet
and alighted upon a wall a few rods away.
How Mariquita would like it for a pet!
Faquo crept up behind the wall; but just
as he was about to clap his hat over the bird
it fluttered off a few rods farther.

It was so stupid with the sun that Faquo
felt sure he would get it this time, and
again he crept up. But stupid as the owl
was, it was just too smart for Faquo. A
dozen times it was almost in his hands; but
a dozen times, too, it fluttered away again—
until it had led him up the central hill,
through the great ruined building there, and
down the other side.

At the foot of an adobe wall sixty feet high
it settled upon the edge of some deep-
sunken rooms. Faquo scrambled down a
gap and stole out along the parapet; and
suddenly reaching up from this shelter
caught the astonished bird by the wing.
But he had forgotten the beak and claws,
which the very field-mice know. As they
hooked savagely into his brown fist he drew
back sharply—and just toofar. Theledge
was very narrow; and overbalanced by his
recoil, he fell sprawling twenty feet into the
great cell below.
The Mummy Miner. 33

Luckily there was at the bottom nothing
harder than the universal in-blown sand;
and though sadly shaken up by the fall
Faquo was not seriously hurt. For a few
moments he lay there half stunned; then
slowly gathered himself up and looked
about in a dazed way.

‘The owl was still in his hand—less by his
grasp than by the obstinate clenching of
its own curved claws, which now began to
hurtagain. He unhooked them painfully,
one by one, tore a tatter from his shirt and
tied it about those mischievous feet. A
rather stubborn boy, Faquo. It was very
hard to turn his attention from anything
upon which he had once started, until it was
finished.

At last, when his prize was safely
anchored to a clod of adobe, he was free to
think of more important matters. Pues!
He had walked into a bad trap. There
were no doors nor windows down here—
clearly the ancients had descended into
these cellar-like rooms by ladders, which
had long ago disappeared. And how was he
to get up that twenty feet? In this adobe
he could cut steps to the top; or even, in
time, burrow through the base of that
eight-foot wall—but his spade stood away
34 The Mummy Miner.

up there on the ledge, leaning against the
parapet where he had left it.

“Castro! Cas-tro-o!’’ he screamed at the
top of his lungs—but it seemed that his
voice did not rise at all out of the sunken
chamber. How buried and pent it was!
He shouted until he was hoarse; but knew
as well that the huaqueros did not hear him,
as if he could have seen them still digging
stolidly away, far down the other side of
the hill.

The place grew terrible tohim. Insuch
-a maze of ruins they might not find him
until too late. Maria would come to look,
surely, if he were not home by dark; but
how could she expect to find him so far from
where he always worked?

He knew well, this boy of the edge of the
desert, that one does not last long on such
a gridiron of thetropics. Without food one
may do for several days; but without water,
under that sun ! Already his mouth
was parched.

And that ma/dito owl—that was to blame
for it all! He started up angrily with a
clod of adobe.to throw at it. But his arm
dropped suddenly. ‘No! Vana says al-
ways that the birds, too, are children of
Taita Diés, and that He loves best those
who are good to them. So perhaps I am


The Mummy Miner. 35

punished for catching it. Pobrecito! For
now we both are caught.”

The owl did not seem to mind so much.
It sat bunched upon its tethered feet, blink-
ing back at Faquo. Itlooked so very grave,
so very wise! Quiza it knew very much
about the ruins; for here it had lived, and
its people, very longnow. Perhapsiteven
knew where was the Big Fish!

Even as Faquo looked at it with these
thoughts, the owl turned its head down on
one side, and looked at him soberly along
its shoulder. Some might have laughed at
this proceeding, but not so Faquito. He
was too good an Indian to despise the wis-
dom of them that talk not; and suddenly
heasked with greatearnestness: ‘Intruth
that thou dost know, friend owl! No?”

At this direct question the owl turnedits
head down upon the other shoulder, and
looked wiser than ever. Surely, he knew!

“But where?” cried the boy. ‘Tell me,
owl friend!”

But the bird said not a word. Only it
gazed at Faquo very seriously; and then,
turning its head as upon a pivot, began to
spruce up the feathers upon its back, as
much astosay: ‘Oh, that you must find
out for yourself, as I did.”

Such a wise bird, but so unspoken!
Really, how convenient it must be to be able
36 The Mummy Miner.

to turn one’s head square around that way,
and look straight back! It must be that he
can even see that spot on the wall just be-
hind him and above his head — that round
place where the adobe is yellower than the
rest. Probably the plaster was broken
there, and they patched it.

Faquo got up idly, and set the owl care-
fully to one side, and passed his hand over
the spot. It was somewhat larger than his
head — just a round patch of adobe plaster,
centuries old, yet evidently newer than the
- rest of the wall.

He picked aimlessly at its edge. A peb-
ble came out under his fingers, and showed,
behind, a small crevice—as if a deep hole
had been filled up, instead of a little break
in the wall plaster. Instantly the boy’s
eyes waked up, and a queer, professional
look settled upon his face.

“Tt will be a wall niche,” he said gravely.
““And sometimes they filled them up to
change the wall; but why did the owl sit by
this one, if that was all?”

He pried and pulled until his fingers
were sore, and pounded with his fist upon
the yellow patch; but the adobe was very
stubborn. How aggravating to have the
spade perched away up there, when he
wanted to open this niche! For by now he
The Mummy Miner. 37

had quite forgotten about getting out of his
prison, The strange fascination that all
miners know was upon him.

Plague take the spade! He picked up
again the strong lump of adobe which had
- fallen with him from the upper wall, and
flung it at the offending spade. It struck
the sandy shelf, and a little stream of sand
fell down with the missile. That gave him
a thought; and he picked up his clod and
threw it again and again and again.

Each time it fell back a little smaller, but
each time a little more sand sifted down.
‘Then the sand, thus started, began fritter-
ing down of its own accord, and the under-
mined shovel began to creep, stopped, slid
a little, and at last pitched down and fell at
Faquo’s feet.

He jabbed at the adobe with the corner
of his spade, and the hard lumps showered
down upon his bare toes. Inafew moments
a smooth-rimmed opening was revealed,
and he thrust in his arm.

It was not like any of the niches he knew
—the ones that have never been closed, but
remain as they were 500 years ago, when
the people of Pachaca4amac kept on these
odd shelves their ornaments and trinkets.
‘This one was like a nest of the ‘‘ God-give- |
you” bird—with asmall opening, but large
38 The Mummy Miner.

inside. In the big hollow was something
soft; and Faquo drew out his hand full of
beautiful yellow floss.

“The wool of the vicufia, only,” he mum-
bled, disappointedly, but with the expert’s
air. ‘But why should they ceil chat up?
Perhaps there is also cloth.”

In went the brown fist again; and rum-
maging down through the silken fleece, his
fingers met something firmer. Ina moment
he had it out —a long bundle of that match-
less weaving of old Peru; of cloth as soft
and strong as silk, woven with strange
figures of men and gods and beasts; such
fabrics as never unthinking loom has
woven, nor any machine less wondrous
than the fingers of a man.

“Ay! It will be worth twenty soles!”
cried Faquo softly. ‘But it is so heavy!
Perhaps they have wound it on a stone.”

Very tenderly he unrolled it, that none
of those bright threads — stronger than all
the centuries, but brittle to a careless touch
—might be broken. But when the last
fold came off, this very stupid Indian boy
fell down on his knees in the sand, and cried
and cried. For it was not a stone at all.

If you will go to the Lxgosicion in Lima,
among the bewildering collections of Peru-

The Mummy Miner. © 39

' vian antiquities, you can see two priceless
idols, each big as a large doll. They are
like human figures, excellently sculptured;
and the strangest thing about them is that
they are made of alternate zones of gold
and silver from feet to head, so that they
remind one of that great image we read of
in Revelations.

That is the nearest Faquito ever came to
finding the Pez Grande—and quite near
enough for one poor boy. And thatis what
took my breath away when I had wakened
and hauled up with my reata the little,
ragged cholo I accidentally spied in the
trap where he had cried himself to sleep
over something hugged in his arms.

When he had laid the precious images
and the spade on the broad top of the wall,
and told me all about it, he insisted on being
lowered again on the rope to get the owl,
which he loosed and let go, saying, in the
tone of an old man:

“ Tata Dids—God our Father —sends us
friends we know not. For the owl brought
me here and showed me the place, so that
now we are very rich. And even so, I
could have died there without the help of
you. Sol think your grace may be even as
wise as the owl, which knows where is the
Pez Grande.”



A Boy of the Andes



A Boy of the Andes.

$

ROBABLY they would not have seen
Ramon Ynga atall, but for the llamas,
There was enough else to look at. The
overpowering walls of the mountains on
both sides seemed to turn the eyes, even
as they turned the foaming Rimac, into a
channel from which there was no escape.
Up at the end of the cleft was such a sight
as no man can long hold his eyes from —
the black peak of Chin-chan, bent down with
its load of eternal winter. ‘There is some-
thing awful about the snow that never
melts — the great blank fields, the wrinkled
glaciers, the savage ice cornices, the black
rocks that peer out hopelessly here and
there. Itisso different from the friendly
white we know and welcome for its sleigh
rides and coastings, its snow men and snow-
ballings.
It was far up the summit of the Peruvian
cordillera, at the very foot of the last wild

peaks that stand 18,000 feet in the sky.
43
44 A Boy of the Andes.

Where the panting mules trudged, 3,000
feet below the peaks, was low, green herb-
age; and 500 feet lower yet the little tor-
rent, white as its mother snows, roared and
chuckled alternately to the uneven wind.
But up yonder all was so white and still;
their eyes kept lifting up to it, forgetful of
the dangerous trail—the mules could take
care of that. They, poor brutes, seemed
ill at ease. They breathed in short, loud
gasps; and every forty feet or so they
stopped and rested for a few moments, un-
mindful of the spur. ‘Then, when they
' were ready, they started up again of their
own accord, sighing heavily. ‘They would
not last much longer, at this rate.

“J think I’ll get off and walk awhile,”
said the younger of the two, a bronzed,
sinewy man of twenty-five. ‘It spoils even
this scenery for me, to see the suffering
of the mules. One wouldn’t think they ’d
play out so, on such a good trail.”

“Tt is not the grade,’ remarked the Pro-
fessor, quietly, ‘‘as perhaps you will learn.
Jam sorry for the mules, too; but it is bet-
ter to risk them than something more im-
portant.”

‘“Why, you speak as though there were
some danger about it!’’ said the younger
man, who was now striding sturdily along,

nn
_A Boy of the Andes. 45

leaving his animal to follow. Many atime
he had climbed Pike’s Peak and its brother
giants of Colorado, and once had stood on
the cone of Popocatépetl. A peak was
nothing to him; and as for this excellent
path— pooh! It was mere child’s play.

The Professor watched him without a
word, but with an expression half quizzical,
half grave. After a hundred yards he
spoke:

‘You don’t seem quite so springy, Bar-
ton. Inever saw you heavy-footed before.”

“Well, the truth is, Professor,” gasped
Barton, rather shamefacedly, ‘“‘I feel most
remarkably queer. My knees ache as they
never did before — though I wouldn’t mind
that somuch, ButIcannot seem to breathe
well. Here my heart and lungs are pound-
ing away, as if I’d been sprinting for the
220-yard record! It’s enough to make a
man ashamed of himself.”

‘““No cause at all for shame, my dear boy;
you are simply learning what everyone has
to learn who tempts great altitudes. Now
get on your mule.”

‘No, Ill wear this thing off!’’ cried the
athlete, impatiently. ‘I’m no puny boy, to
give up just because I feela little wrong.
I'll just keep at it, and beat it yet!”
46 A Boy of the Andes.

“Barton,” said the older man, in a tone
his companion had never heard him use
before, “you get on that mule, and let us
have no more nonsense. I like your pluck;
anditis because you have more real ‘sand’
(as they say in our West) than any young
man I know, that I picked you out for this
journey. But courage isa dangerous thing
unless you mix it with brains. You must
learn that there are some things pluck can-
not overcome—and this is one of them.
Mount, then!”’

Barton obeyed with rather an ill grace,
and promptly got angrier with himself at
realizing what a relief it was to be perched
again in the ridiculously comfortable Peru-
vian saddle. He could not get over a feel-
ing of shame that the muscles which had
borne the cruelest tests of the frontier
should now have ‘“‘ played the baby,” as he
put it; and he rode on somewhat sulkily.

It was here that Ramon Ynga stumbled
into their lives; and, as I have said, all by
the doing of the llamas. As the travelers
rounded a sharp turn in the trail the mules
stopped suddenly almost face to face with
the two strangest animals that Barton had
ever seen. Shabby, grotesque figures they
were, with splay feet, long, awkward legs,
and bodies looking like long tussocks of dry









A Boy of the Andes. 47

grass. But their necks were the worst —
talland ungainly as stovepipes covered with
hair. ‘Their backs were hardly so high as
those of the under-sized mules; but on these
unspeakable necks their heads were quite
ona level with Barton’s. And such heads!
They were disproportionately small and
ludicrously narrow, with pointed ears, ma-
lignant little faces, and lips wickedly drawn
back.

‘“Why, I never saw anything, except a
rattlesnake, look so vindictive!’ cried Bar-
ton. ‘¢ What on earth are they ?”’

“That is the national bird of Peru,” re-
plied the Professor roguishly. ‘‘We are
apt to see many up here. In fact, if we had
had any daylight in Casapalca you would
have noticed many hundreds of them; for
they bring all the ore to the stamp mills,
and do most of the freighting besides.
Lower than 10,000 feet you will hardly ever
find them; the llama* is a mountain animal,
and soon dies if taken to the coast.”

“So that is the llama! But I thought
that was called the ‘Peruvian sheep ;’ and
these look no more like sheep than my mule
does.”

“Tt got that foolish name from the closet
naturalists. Noone who ever saw a llama

* Pronounced ll-yah-mab.
48 A Boy of the Andes.

could fail to recognize it for a camel—
smaller and longer-haired than the Eastern
beast, and without a hump; but a true
camel.”

“Tt’s a funny-looking brute,’ laughed
Barton. ‘It seems to put inits time think-
ing what a grudge it has against everybody.
Hi! Get out of the way, you standing
grievances!”

The Professor and the young frontiers-
man had thus far enjoyed the pause of the
mules; but now the need of pushing on re-

_curred to their minds, and Barton’s excla-
mation was meant as a signal for advance.
But the llamas stood stolidly, blocking the
trail. He drummed his spurs against his
mule; whereat the animal took two steps
forward and stopped, bracing back, un-
mindful of the rowels. ‘The llamas did not
take a step. Only they seemed to drop
their bodies a little, upon those long legs.

“Why, they ’re not such fools as they
look!” cried Barton, whose sharp eye under-
stood the trifling motion. ‘See! They
are going to give us the edge!”’

‘The trail was two feet wide —an endless
thread of a shelf hewn along the mountain
wall. On the right, the great, dark slope
ran up to the very clouds; on the left, one
A Boy of the Andes. 49

could snap a pebble into the white torrent,
500 feet below.

‘“‘T have heard that they always take the
wall,’ the Professor rejoined, ‘‘and that
when two llama trains meet on one of these
trails it is almost impossible to make a
passing. Sometimes they even shove each
other off the cliff.”

“T guess we ’d better not force the right
of way —a tumble into the Rimac there is
more than I care for!’’ And Barton jumped
from his mule and advanced upon the block-
aders, waving his arms threateningly.

“Took out!” cried the Professor; but
before the words were fairly off his tongue,
the foremost llama opened its ugly mouth
and spat at Barton in fury. At this un-
pleasant salutation he retreated hastily.

“That is their weapon of defense.” said
the Professor. ‘‘And their saliva is won-
derfully acrid. It’s as well you didn’t get
it in the face. But I wish they would get
out of the way — we have notime to spare.”

Just then there was another surprise. A
figure hardly less remarkable than the
camels slid down from the overhanging
hillside, and stood in the path, looking at
the startled travelers. It was a dwarfish
creature, not four feet tall, with. a large,
round head, a broad, strong body, and very
50 A Boy of the Andes.

short legs, peculiarly bundled up in un-
familiar clothes. A boy — what in the world
was he doing on that impossible slope?
What a goat he must be!

“Hulloa!’’ cried Barton, as soon as he
cculd find a voice.

‘God give you good day, sirs,” answered
the lad gravely, in thick Spanish. ‘Wait
me so-little, and I will get you by.”

With this he called ‘‘ U-pa! ’’ to the llamas,
lifting his finger as if to point them up the
trail. Ordinarily they would have obeyed;
. but the aggressive manner of Barton had
roused their obstinacy, and they did not
budge. The boy put his shoulder to the
ribs of one, and heaved hard, but the brute
stood its ground.

“Well, it is to wait!” said nee and ran
about the path, gathering up very small
pebbles until his shabby hat was full. Then
he sat down ona boulder that jutted from
the bank, settling himself as if for a long
rest, and threw a mild and measured peb-
ble at each lama. They turned their heads
a little and wrinkled their disagreeable
noses. He waited a moment and then
pitched two more pebbles—which had the
same effect. So he sat, slowly and mechani-
cally tossing his harmless missiles upon the
dense hair of his charges. Evidently he
A Boy of the Andes. 5i

was in no hurry; and the two travelers, im-
patient as they were, had too much wisdom
of experience to try to push him. ‘They
sat quietly in their saddles, watching the
drollscene. It was very ridiculous to need
deliverance from two stupid beasts, and to
get it from such an owlish little tatterde-
malion. His ragged clothing was of very
thick, coarse cloth; and upon his feet were
the clumsy yanqguzs, or rawhide sandals of
mountain Peru, and he wore thick stockings
rising to his knees. Over his trousers was
a curious garment, half apron and half leg-
gings; and oversleeves of the same material,
hung with a cord about his neck, came up
over the elbows of his coat. ‘These two
garments were knit in very strange pat-
terns, amid which were square, brown
llamas wandering upand downa gray back-
ground. Around his waist was a woven
belt, now very old, but of beautiful colors
and workmanship. And his face—what a
brown, round riddle!

“How do you call yourself, friend?’
asked the Professor in Spanish. ‘‘And have
you ten years or a hundred?”’

“Ramon Ynga, sefior. And the other I
do not know. Ihave been here a long time
—ever since they built the mill at Casa-
palca.”’
52 A Boy of the Andes.

“You must be about fifteen, then. And
where do you live?”

‘There, above,’”’ answered Ramon, toss-
ing another pebble.

‘““A curious habit of the mountaineers,”
said the Professor. ‘These Indians, in-
stead of living in the valleys, climb to the
very tops of these peaks, and build there
their squalid stone hovels. They seem to
think nothing of the eternal clambering up
and down.”

An hour crawled by, and the stones in
Ramon’s hat were running low. Suddenly
the brown llama turned with a snort of dis-
gust, and strode off up the trail. The white
one hesitated a moment, snorted, and fol-
lowed. ‘That way they get tired, sirs,”
said the boy, emptying his hat and pulling
it down upon his thatch of black hair.

“Td take a good club to them!” growled
Barton, who had great confidence in the
Saxon way of forcing things.

“No, the boy is quite right. Itis another
case wherein you must not try to be smarter
than nature. The llama is the stubbornest
brute alive—a mule is vacillating compared
tohim. If you puta pound too much on his
load, he will lie down, and you might beat
him to death or build a fire beside him, but
he would not get up. | Nobody buta Peru-
A Boy of the Andes. 53

vian Indian can do anything. with a Peru-
vian camel, and Ramon has just shown us
the proper tactics. Hurt the animal, and
he only grows more sullen; but the pebbles
merely tease him until he can bear it no
longer. And really he repays patience; for
he is the only animal that can work effect-
ively at these altitudes, where horses and
mules are practically useless. But ade-
- dante! (forward !)”

“Ts your Excellency going to Cerro de
Pasco?’ asked the little Peruvian, running
alongside the mule and looking up at the
Professor with unusual animation in his
non-committal face. He had never spoken
with “‘ Yankees’”’ before, and indeed for
any stranger to notice him kindly was a
new experience. He liked these pale men;
and a dim little wish to please them warmed
inhis heart. That big young man—why,
he was taller than any Serrano in the
cordillera!— was good. Ramon had seen
money a few times; but that round, shiny
sol,* which the stranger had tossed him
when the llamas moved, was the first he
had ever held in his hand; and it was almost
a worry to besorich! But the other man,
with a little gray above his ears, who only
looked at him so, and spoke as if he knew

* The Peruvian silver dollar. Pronounced soul.
54 A Boy of the Andes.

him—he, surely, was very great; and it
was to him that the ragged boy had said
“ Exceléncia.’”? His face was kindly; and
there were little smiles at the edges of his
mouth, though he did not laugh.

“No, Azzto (little son),’? he answered,
“we are not bound to the mines. We are
going to climb the Chin-chan, to look at the
ice cornices and to measure them.”

Even Ramon looked astonished at this.
If a Serrano had said it, every one would
know he wascrazy. Orifit were the young

_man—well, what could you expect of one

who would giveaway a whole so/? But this
one— whatever fe did, it must be right.
He certainly was not crazy. Still ;

“But the Soroche, your Excellency,” ven-
tured the boy. ‘For all strangers have it;
and many die, even in crossing the slope.
Only we who were born here can go so
high.”

“We have to go, my boy; for I must look
at the snow fields and the cliffs of ice, and
measure them,’’ said the Professor, kindly.
“T know well of the mountain sickness, and
we will be very careful. Besides, we are
both very strong.”

“It is not always of the strong,” per- —
sisted Ramon. ‘‘Sometimes the sick cross
in safety, and those who are very large and


A Boy of the Andes. 55

red —even larger than your Excellency’s
friend—fall suddenly and never rise again;
for the Soroche is stronger than any.”

‘You are quite right, my wise friend.
It is terrible. But all do not fall victims,
and we must brave it.”

‘At the least, Excellency, let me go also!
For I know these hills very well, and per-
haps I could help. As for the llamas, my
brother Sancho comes even yonder, and he
will herd them.”

‘You won’t really take the little rat up
there, will you, Professor?’’ broke in Bar-
ton. ‘It would be the death of him.”

‘‘M-m! I only hope we may be as safe
as I know he will be! std bcen, my boy!
Vamos !’’*

At nine the next morning the three were
entering the edge of the snow fields. They
had camped for the night in a deserted
hovel at the head of the valley; and there
the mules could be seen grazing, pulling as
far down hill as their ropes would allow.
The hut was not a mile behind; but the
travelers had been ever since daylight com-
ing thus far. The Professor looked old;
and Barton’s big chest was heaving vio-
lently. As for Ramon, he clambered along

*“Allright. Come,”
56 A Boy of the Andes.

steadily and soberly, stopping only when he
saw the others had stopped.
By noon they were at the foot of the last

ridge, in a great rounding bay flanked by

two spurs of the upper peak. The curving
rim far overhead was a savage cliff of eter-
nal ice —a cliff of 1,500 feet sheer. At the
top a great white brow projected many
yards, overhanging the bluish precipice.

“Itis —a—noble— cornice,” gasped the
Professor, as they sank upon the snow to
rest for the hundredth time since morning.
“But I fear —we— made—a mistake. We
— should — not have — tried this — without
—waiting a—few weeks —in cae — palca
—to get —acclimated.”’

“It ’s awful!” groaned Barton, “My
head — feels —as if —it would — burst.
But I ll be hanged —ifI—give up!” And
the resolute young man fairly snatched
himself to erectness, and started toward
the spur. But with the third step his tall
form swung half around, and swayed an
instant, and fell asa dead pine falls in the
wind, and lay heavily upon the snow. His
face was black; and a bright red stream
trickled from each nostril as the Professor
sank on his knees beside him, crying husk-
ily, ‘““My—poor boy! I have—killed —
you!”
A Boy of the Andes. 57

The Professor’s face had a strange look,
too. His eyes were very red and swollen—
but that was from the merciless glare of
the snow—and in his cheeksa gray shadow
seemed to be struggling with the unnatural
purple. And he was so unlike the Profes-
sor of yesterday. He seemed so dull; even

stupid!
“Come, Excellency!” Ramon was shout-
ing in his ear. ‘It is the Soroche, the

mountain sickness, and none can fight it.
We must be gone from here, else very soon
you are both dead. Come!” The small
brown fist was tugging at the old man’s
shoulder, and in the quaint, boyish voice
was a strange thrill. ‘The Professor under-
stood. Dazed as he was, the way in which
Ramon said that one word ‘‘Come’’ roused
and cheered him like the far bugle call
which tells of reinforcements to the be-
sieged. He was notalone. Here was help
. —the helpofa dwarfed Indian boy of fifteen!
But that is often the very sort we need—
not muscle so much as the elbow-touch of a
staunch heart.
“But—Barton?”’ said the Professor. He
could no longer think clearly; and instinct-
ively he turned to Ramon as_ superior.
“Barton? We—cannot—leave—Barton!”
58 A Boy of the Andes.

The Serrano lad looked at the prostrate
figure and then at the Professor.

But even in those bloodshot eyes Ramon
read something that decided him. It was
' very hard, and it was more dangerous so;
but the Friend-man loved the other. The
other must be tried for too!

Ramon unwound his long woven belt and
passed it under Barton’s back. The ends
he drew up under the armpits and crossed
them at the back of the neck, giving one end
to the Professor and keeping one himself.
Then, when they pulled apart, the cross-
ing of the belt supported Barton’s head.
“Now!” cried Ramon; and pulling strongly
the two dragged the heavy form along the
snow to the edge of the steep slope. The
Professor’s face was purple, and drops of
blood beaded his finger tips.

“Tet me, sefior!’’ said the boy; and
taking both ends of the belt over his shoul-
der, he went plunging down the declivity,
Barton’s limp head bumping against his
legs, and Barton’s body and heels dragging
in the soft snow just enough to act as a
brake. As for the Professor, he stumbled
after as best he could, with vague eyes and
bursting veins and treacherouslegs. Some-
times he fell forward and plowed a rod in
the snow, and once he was beginning to
A Boy of the Andes. 59

roll, but Ramon leaped and stopped him
just in time.

And so at last they came to the end of the
snow. The boy laid his burden upon the
matted grass, with head up-hill, and piled a
little drift of snow about the head. ‘Put
it so, also, to your head,”’ said he, ‘“‘and I will
bring the mules.”

With that he was racing off down the hill
in knowing zigzags, though it looked too
steep for a goat.

In half an hour a very tired boy was get-
ting two helpless men upon two almost
helpless mules. Perhaps if the latter had
been able to object, he could not have suc-
ceeded. But by the help of the slope, and
hauling with his belt over the saddle from
the down-hill side, he presently had both
up. Barton’s feet he tied together under
the mule, and Barton’s hands around its
neck, The Professor could sit up, in a
stupid way, and Ramon tied only his feet.
‘Hold well!” he cried loudly and sternly,
but with the same little quiver in his voice;
and taking both bridle reins in one hand, he
plunged down the hill, his weight thrown
forward upon the hard bits, so that the re-
luctant mules had no choice but to follow.

The only one who remembers much of
that grim journey is Ramon, and as he is
60 A Boy of the Andes.

not much given to talking, no one knows
just what he does think of it. ‘The Profes-
sor’s clear recollection begins with finding
~ himself on board the train at Casapalca—a
train of that most wonderful railroad in the
world, the railroad above the clouds, that
clambers up and burrows through the cor-
dillera of Peru. Before that are only hazy
memories of a vast mountain wall leaning
over to crush him; a winding path in the
air; a queer, boy’s voice, coming from no-
where, with little Spanish words of cheer.
And now a round, brown face from the op-
posite seat was watching him seriously —
even tenderly, the Professor fancied —
while the burly conductor was saying:

“T never seen it come any closer! How
ever the boy got you in, beats my time.
And I saw he hated to leave you, so I says
to him, says I, ‘Just get in, sonny,’ ’n’ go
down to Lima with us, ’n’ Ill fetch you
back if I lose my job! He’s the right sort,
he is! An’ you ‘ll be all right, as soon as
you get down there — that’s the only medi-
cine for the S’rochy.”’

All right they were next day in the capi-
tal. Even Barton was able to sit up; and he

nodded weakly as the Professor said to
Ramon:
A Boy of the Andes. 61

““My boy, I would like you to go with us..
We have to travel much in Peru; and if you
willaccompany us you will earn good wages.
And you shall be as my son. For neither of
us would be alive now if we had not had a
little hero with us. Will you come?”

Joy flashed over Ramon’s face. But then
it faded, and tears started in his eyes as he
said simply:

“You are good, Excellency! I would go
anywhere with you. But in the Chin-chan
is my mother, with the babies; and since
father died, I must be the man, for Sancho
is too young. Adios/”

And he ran out, so that they should not
see him crying.

A Daughter of the Misti



A Daughter of the Misti.

$
OT the elder daughter, whom all the
world knows where she sits, white
upon her little green patch against the
hopeless desert, looking up with now and
then a shiver at the white-headed giant, her
father. No, the one I mean now is some-
thing like three hundred and fifty years
younger than the Misti’s first born and
favorite, and not white at all, nor over-
dignified, nor even given to much thought
as to when Zazfa* shall shrug again those
mighty shoulders and rattle the walls about
her ears. In fact, to look at the two— the
fat, brown, clumsy cholo girl and the shin-
ing city —I dare say you would never take
Transita and Arequipa{ for sisters at all.
But as bothare daughters of the Misti, Isee

no other way out of it.

What! You don’t know either of them?
Hm! Of course it could hardly be expected
that you should be acquainted with Tran-

* The Aymaré and Quichua Indian word for father.

+ Ah-re-kee-pa.
65
66 A Daughter of the Misti.

sita, for she lives on a back street on the
other side of the river and comes very sel-
dom tothe plaza. And probably you could
not talk with her, anyhow, since her speech
is only Spanish and Quichua. But not to
know Arequipa — why: that is to count out
the prettiest city in Peru, and one of the
oldestin America. And if you do not know
the daughter you have missed the father,
too, which is an even greater pity — for
he is one of the handsomest giants on earth,
though a baby in his own family. Well,
* well—the sooner I give you an introduc-
tion the better, then.

The Misti is an inactive but living vol-
cano, a hundred miles from the sea, in
southern Peru. As I have said, it ranks
small at home, being only 19,300 feet tall,
while some of its brother Andes tower to
26,000 feet.. But few of them are so hand-
some.. It stands alone and erect, with head
up and shoulders squared, while some of
them look asif the nurse had dropped them
in their babyhood and they had never got
their spines straight again. It is a huge
and very perfect cone, symmetrical as the.
sacred peak of Japan, but vastly higher.
So steep is it that the thick blanket of vol-
canic cinders would surely slip down from
its shoulders, except for the long brooches
A Daughter of the Misti. 67

of dead lava that pinitup. As forits head,
that is old with eternal snow.

For time unknown—since long before
history — the Misti has been the best known
mountain in Peru; and I do not much won-
der. It hasanobility of its own, such as its
mightier brethren do not all possess. Just
to its right vast Charchani climbs 20,000
feet into the sky, and a most majestic peak
itis. Just to its left towers the grand wall
of Pichu-pichu, itself taller than the greatest
mountain in the United States. But it is
always the lone, solemn Misti, to which
every one looks, of which every one speaks
—with a strange mixture of love and awe.
Meeting an Arequipefio abroad, you might
very likely fancy there were no other mount-
ains in sight of his home; but you will not
be left long in ignorance that there is a
Misti. Even before Europeans knew of
America, the remarkable Indians of Peru
half worshiped the Misti; and so Arequipa
gets its name, an Aymara word which
means “with the peak behind it.” Far up
its deadly sides they toiled to make their
sacrifices to Those Above; and even in the
elder crater I have counted the ruins of
aboriginal shrines. It is so isolated, so in-
dividual, so majestic in its awful stature;
and above all, while its neighbor brothers
68 A Daughter of the Misti.

are just mountains, it has a soul— the won-
drous fire-soul of the volcano.

A stern father is the Misti. His daugh:
ter is surely not undutiful, but many atime
he has punished her sorely. Many a time
he has sent her sprawling in the dust, and
turned her smiling whiteness to a genera:
tion of mourning. So, even as late as 1868
over half the buildings of Arequipa went
down in a mortal chaos of stone, killing as
many people as fall in an ordinary battle.

One might fancy that sucha parent would
get himself disliked; but his severity does
not seem to be laid up against him. Are-
quipa loves the Misti—and as for Transita,
she loved him even more than she did Are-
quipa. Their house faced south, but the first
thing in the morning Transita used to climb
to the stone-arched roof to look at the peak
black against the rising sun; and the last
thing at evening to watch the rosy west-
glow upon that venerable head. Andalways
she wondered the more, for now as she
grew taller, and the untaught soil had room
to swell, she saw more and more in that
great dark one with his elephant-wrinkled
hide and the lava scars on his white head,
and now and then, of a hushed dawn, the
ghost of a cloud floating plume-like from
his brow. Perhaps it was because he is so
A Daughter of the Misti. 69

incomprehensible a giant that she compre-
hended him—in that child way which is
more at home in some mysteries than we
older stupids are. At all events, she turned
to him for companionship and confidences,
and had a way of talking with him ever so
softly, that no one else should hear.

“Now, dazta,” she was whispering this
morning, “hast thou heard what is to be?
For they say that the Zzerto, the cross:
eyed, who oppressed us before, is to make
new revolution, that he may be president
again and rob himself still richer. And it
has always been in Arequipa that they
begin. Dost thou think it? And would
they kill Eugénio? For he is very loyal,
and is one of importance, being a corporal.
Do not let them hurt my brother—wilt
thou, tata?”

To all these questions and the adjuration
the giant answered never aword. His face
was grave with the morning shadows. To
look at him no one but Transita would
have dreamed he knew anything about it.

Nor do I really know that he did, though
he had the best of opportunities. From
that lookout in the sky, so overtopping the
town, he could see right into the high-walled
courtof Don Telesfor’s mansion. It wasa
flat old courtyard, paved with tipsy blocks of
70 A Daughter of the Misti.

stone and framed four-square with long
shadowy verandas of the white sz//ar.* In
the center was a long-forgotten fountain,
and at the middle of each side a quaint
staircase of the same white tufa ran up to
the cracked and precarious sz/lar roof. No
one was to be seen about the court. Only,
along the eastern orvtalt was a long ridge
o: fresh earth.

Don Telesfor was making repairs. A
great many people in Arequipa had long
- been free to say that he ought to mend his
ways, and the old place might certainly
count as away that should be mended. His
career as prefect, years before, had been
by no means free from charges of extor-
tion and thievery, and it was notorious that
he would be glad to see again in the presi-
dential chair the unscrupulous usurper who
had grown from pauper soldier to many-
times millionaire in one term. For this
reason Don Telesfor was as little beloved
as his old patron; and poor cholos, with
better love than understanding of free-
dom, took malicious pleasure in laying the
scourge to their two backs jointly. ‘Look
at the Cacerist!” they would growl audibly

*Seel-yar. Avery light volcanic stone quarried on the
side of the volcano. All Arequipa is built of it.
+Por-tal. The Spanish veranda.
A Daughter of the Misti. 71

when Don Telesfor thundered down the
reeling cobblestones on his silver trapped
horse. As for his house, I fancy not one of
them ever passed it after nightfall, with a
bit of chalk in his pocket (and chalk is the
last thing to be without in Peru during a
campaign), but he stopped and scrawled in
elastic Spanish upon the outer wall: ‘‘Death
to the tyrant and his leeches! Down with
the cross-eyed !”

But though he was unpopular in person
and politics, no one thought of taking Don
Telesfor very seriously. Like his patron,
he had turned tail when the Chilean wolves
came down on the fold; and unlike him, his
caution was greater than his greed. Every
one knew him for timorous. The unhappy
republic was torn and pale with fear of a
new usurpation; but in all the whisperings
and the glances over the shoulder, Don
Telesfor was quite forgotten. Since the
downfall of the pretender he had been
quietly cultivating his pretty chacra at
Yura, and now even thought to patch up
the old mansion in Arequipa, long tousled
and neglected since the terrible ¢emblor of
’68. ‘This was praiseworthy and reassur-
ing, teo. In those troublous times to think
rather of beautifying and restoring the
home was clearly a pledge of peace,
72 A Daughter of the Misti.

Sober burros, each laden with two big
white blocks of szd/ar, had been trudging
down from the lofty quarries, and the tot-
tering arches of the courtyard had been re-
built. Now, Don Telesfor was hauling rich
soil all the way from his plantation to make
flower beds in the fatio.* Some felt that
the soil of Arequipa ought to be good enough
for any flower; but if he chose to haul dirt
twelve miles instead of one, that was his
lookout. So the crazy wagons creaked
across the ancient stone bridge every after-
noon and bumped into the courtyard, and
-were relieved of their mules. Don Telesfor
was always on hand in person to attend to
the unloading —he and- his nephew, Don
Beltran, and two old peons—while the
drivers took their animals to the acéquza.
One would have thought that loam sacred,
by the care he took of it.

Just now the big gates were shut. ‘The
wagons would not be in from Yura for some
time yet. Along the east side of the Aatzo
was the long mound of soil, paling in the
hot sun; aside from that, one might have
thought the place abandoned.

But if one could have peered through the
heavy doors of the middle room of the north
portal one would have seen Don Telesfor

* Pah-tee-o; courtyard..-
A Daughter of the Misti. 73

and Don Beltran and halfa dozen strangers
talking low and earnestly. The windows
and even the skylight were shuttered, and
the one candle sent strange shadows
sprawling over a formidable row of long,
shallow, iron-bound boxes stained with
fresh earth.

“To-morrow night, then,’ said one of the
strangers, laying his hand on Don Teles-
for’s shoulder. ‘‘ Even so it will begin in
Lima on the eve of the new congress, and
all is set that the revolution burst in the
same hour in Truxillo, Cuzco, here and all
Peru. And carrying it off well here in the
south, who knows but Don Telesfor shall
earn a place in the new cabinet?”’

“Ojala!” sighed Don Telesfor, his mouth
twitching greedily. ‘At all events, this
endis safe. I promise you no one so much
as suspects us, and with the two hundred
men that will sleep here to-night hidden,
we can easily put down any resistance.
The gudrdias are the only danger; for,
being cholos* they all worship Piérola, and
it avails not the trying to buy them. The
only argument with such stupids is to rap
them the back of the head—and for that,
thirty secure men are appointed to hide
upon the beat and silence each his police-

*Indian half-breeds.
74 A Daughter of the Misti.

man. By midnight that should all be set-
tled without noise, and then we will fall
upon the barracks. A hundred soldiers,
asleep, have nothing to say with us; and in
the morning Arequipa will waken to find
herself in our ranks.”

“Nothing lacks, then?”

‘Nothing. All is understood. Forty
rifles are still to come, but they will be here
in an hour, or maybe two, for the carts
move slowly.”

“And then the flower beds will be done,
no?” chuckled the other with a wink.

‘Aye, and ready to bloom,’’ answered
Don Telesfor, smiling grimly at the jest.

“And, methinks, with enough thorns —
ay diés! What?”

For a deep, far roar crept through the
closed shutters; a Babel of howling curs
and crowing cocks and the jangle of church
bells. Before one could fairly turn to look
at his neighbor it was as if that whole room
of stone had suddenly been dropped twenty
feet, as one might drop a bird cage to the
floor. ‘The heavy boxes and the standing
men and the massive furniture were tossed
as feathers in a gust of air. The wide
stone vault overhead yawned and let ina
foot of sky, and shivered as if to fall, and
then as swiftly clapped its ragged teeth
A Daughter of the Mistt. 75

shut again, while a great dust filled the
room to choking. ‘Then all was still as the
grave, and for a few seconds nothing moved.
At last the men scrambled to their feet,
pale and hushed, and stood looking blankly
at one another. :

“Fal But like not your Arequipa tem-
perament,” faltered the tallest of the stran-
gers. ‘It is too impulsive. Not if you
gave me three Arequipas would I dwell
here!”

“ Pues, it is nothing,’? answered Don
Telesfor, coolly. ‘“‘Only in the being ac-
customed. ‘These femblores are fearsome,
but we think little of them. To the street,
when the shock comes, lest the walls thump
us on the heads; and then back into the
house, as if there had been nothing. As
for this one, it is a good omen. El Misti
gives us the hand that he is with us for an
overturning.”

Transita, sitting upon the stone coping of
her own roof, had a clearer view of the
earthquake, and her opinion certainly did
not coincide with that of Don Telesfor. It
was a perfect day, as most days in Are-
quipa are, but something in the air made
her nervous and ill at ease, and all the
morning she had been perched up there
76 A Daughter of the Misti.

confiding her fears to the great peak. Be.
low, the street was still echoing the rumble
of clumsy carts high heaped with earth.
She had paid little attention to them or their
clamor. Her thoughts were for Eugénio,
and her anxiety about him seemed to grow.
So groundlessly, too. The national unrest
was everywhere, but vague and undefined.
No one knew any specific cause for alarm,
and she least of all. Now, if her ears had
been sharp enough to hark across to that
barred room a mile away, where Don Teles-
for wasat that very momentsaying: “The
' only argument with such stupids is to rap
them the back of the head.” And “such
stupids”’ meant precisely Eugénio and his
fellow-soldiers, the military police of the
city.

Six wagons had already turned the cor-
ner toward the bridge and were out of sight.
As the straggling seventh and last trundled
past the house the teamster, seeing that
squat figure up there, tossed at it a pebble
from his load. Transita only shrugged her
shoulder at the tap. She was too busy with
her thoughts to so much as turn around.
‘“Much care of Eugénio,”’ she murmured.
“And if truly there be of these Cacerists
here, confound them, ¢azfa/” .

A Daughter of the Misti. 77

As she raised her eyes to the great peak
a swift chill ran through her. She was sure
the Misti nodded, as if he had heard her
words. Surely the giant moved! Far spurts
of dust rose from his shoulders, and dark
masses came leaping down, and the great
profile seemed to lose its sharpness. She
winked hard to be sure of her eyes, and now
the Misti moved no more. But from the
corrals roundabout rose a bedlam; and
Chopo ran out, barking frantically, and the
ancient cottonwoods up by the mill sudden-
ly bowed their heads as to a hurricane.
The acéguia bank split and the stream came
panicking out. The tall wall back of Eu-
sébio’s house was rent from top to bottom,
and two-foot blocks of s¢//ar flew all about.
‘The very roof on which she sat—a massive
arch of stone, as are nearly all the roofs of
Arequipa— went up and downas ifa heavy
wave had passed under it. ‘The coping
spilled into the street; and Trdnsita was
left clinging on the broken edge, her face
hanging over. ‘There were wild screams,
and every one stood, as by magic, in the
middle of the street, looking up at the tot-
tering walls. And in the self-same breath
it was all done,and no sign was left save the
shattered blocks of stone, the truant acéquia
78
and a tall cloud of yellow dust that went
bellying off toward Charchani.

Yes, one thing more. Trdnsita lay be-
wildered a moment, and then began to look
about, still without moving. Every one was
going back into the houses, laughing ner-
vously, a few children crying. In another
moment the street was deserted. It was as
if that thousand people had been a return-
ball, to pop one instant into sight, and in
another back with the recoil of the elastic.
But down by the empty hovels over the way
was a cart, broken across in halves. Two
dazed mules were trying clumsily to right
themselves with the forward end of the
wreck, while the rear half was tossed up on
the narrow sidewalk against the ruined
walls. The load of earth had been uncere-
moniously dumped into the gutter, and the
cholo driver, half overwhelmed by it, lay
motionless along the curb.

At that, Transita was upon her feet at
once, nor paused until she was tugging at
the teamster’s arms. The dirt was heaped
upon his legs, and he had fainted with the
pain, and such a dead weight she could not
budge. She dropped the limp shoulders and
began to claw the loose earth away. Ina
moment the left foot was free; but as she
dragged it out, the dirt slipped down and
A Daughter of the Misti. 79
revealed the corner of an iron-bound box
resting upon the other leg. A sudden im-
pulse led her to sweep back the soil until
the end of the case was uncovered. The
funny black marks there meant nothing to
Transita — indeed, if any one had spelled
out for her the ‘‘ M-a-double-n-l-i-c-h-e-r,”’ I
seriously doubt if that grewsome German
name would have made her any the wiser.
But if she did not know letters from ten-
penny nails, and was equally ignorant of
the inventions and the existence of Ger-
many, Transita was no fool. For amoment
her brown face looked more than usually
dull. Then a slow grayness crept into it,
and there was a hitch in her breath.

She looked up at the Misti appealingly,
and then down at the box, staring as if fas-
cinated. Presently the rather heavy jaw
set stubbornly. She lifted the corner of
the box an inch, by a violent effort, pried
her shin against the sharp edge to hold it,
and laboriously dragged out the imprisoned
foot. ‘Then she scraped the earth over
until the box was well hidden again, and
leaving the liberated but unconscious team-
ster where he lay, went racing down the
street like one gone daft.

“This is a pretty story to bring to the
cuartel, daughterling,” said Captain Yrri-
80 A Daughter of the Misti.

barri, fifteen minutes later. Corporal Eu-
génio had no sooner heard his sister’s
breathless message than he brought her
before the commanding officer, and there
she had rehearsed it all, unshaken by ques:
tionings and banter. ‘‘It has to be true,”’
she declared, over and over, ‘‘else mz ¢azta
Misti never would have showed me.”

‘‘A girl’s nonsense,” the grave officer
repeated. ‘And still— what do amy boxes,
thus hidden in loads of earth, and in these
times? I mind me, now, that Don Telesfor
has been hauling earth all the way from
’ Yura 'these many weeks, when there is
better at Carmen Alto. It is fit to be looked
into, and by the saints, if thy guess is true,
little one, thou shalt be corporal, or thy
brother sergeant! Oyes, Eugénio! With
a squad of thirty men surround Don Teles-
for’s house and hold it tight that it leak not,
while Pedro goes with five to verify the
cart and the box. If that is nothing, they
will report to you and you will return to
quarters with the tongue behind the teeth;
but if they shall find arms in the cart, keep
the house and warn me.”

For my own part, I do not overly love the
soldier-police of Arequipa, and have some-
times been angry enough to want to choke
them for murdering my sleep with their
A Daughter of the Misti. 81

abominable midnight whistles. But after
all, Iam glad that they were notall knocked
on the head the night after the earthquake;
for in spite of their ignorance and their skin
and their ear-piercing way of announcing
“All’s well,” they are a kindly, honest,
well meaning set, who could be much better
utilized than by clubbing. And particularly
Eugénio, who is a very good boy and likes
to talk with me, calling me “‘your grace.”
He has told me many interesting things,
and often sent a cholo to “‘tote’’ my heavy
camera around. Sergeant Eugénio now,
please —for Transita declined to be a cor- -
poral when the search revealed not only the
one case of Mannlicher rifles in the dirt
under the wrecked cart, but thirty cases
more in Don Telesfor’s house, along with
papers which left no doubt of his treason.
Some fellow-conspirator must have warned
him in time. of the wayside accident, for
though Eugénio and his men kept the house
fully surrounded until a report came from
the cart, when they broke in there was not
a soul to be found.

None of the other plotters were known,
and Don Telesfor eluded pursuit. It may
or may not be true,as I have been told, that
he took asylum in Bolivia and was after-
ward drowned in trying to ford the Choque-
82 A Daughter of the Misti.

yapu during a freshet; but, at all events,
he never came back to revive his nipped
revolution. :

As for Transita, you might just as well
try to tell her that the Misti is not there at
all as that “‘He’’ did not specially and in-
tentionally interpose to save the peace of
his daughters and the head of Eugénio. I
half believe her brother is secretly of the
same opinion, for the superstition of the
peak is very strong in Arequipa; though he
shrugs his shoulders in a deprecatory way
when put the direct question, and says eva-
sively:

““ Pues, who knows? So the women de-
clare. For me it is enough that he did it,
and in time, the same as if he knew.”
The Witch Deer



The Witch Deer.

$

66 CHU! ’sta-te!’? cried Josefa,*

straightening up from her work
and looking severely at a small brown
rogue who had climbed up to the little shelf
over the corner fireplace. The adobe floor
was spattered with big drops of water, to
lay the dust; and Josefa, bent half double
to reach it with the short wisp of broom
corn which serves in New Mexican homes,
was sweeping toward the door the fine
gray powder that works up daily from the
compact clay.

‘“‘Give me that little stone, zana,” begged
the boy. ‘The one ¢a/a carries in his
pouch when he goes to hunt.”

“Get away, quick, for that is the charm
of the Magic Deer! Much care! For if
ever thou touch that, thy grandfather will
see to thee!”’

Anastacio clambered down reluctantly
from the old chair, and went outside to play
with the burro. But the stone weighed on
+ Ho-say-fa. 85
86 The Witch Deer.

his mind. It was a very ordinary-looking
pebble, gray, light, porous, and without any
particular shape—looking, in fact, like one
of the pieces of pumice which were so com-
mon in the mountains. But somehow it
had a fascination for Anastdcio. And that
evening, when we all sat by the crackling
fire, he climbed on his grandfather’s knee
and said:

**Go, fata, tell me what is this stone of
the Magic Deer, that I may not play with
it.?

“To play with that?” exclaimed Don
José, in a tone of horror. “Child! That
little stone is very precious. For no other
hunter in New Mexico has the like; and if it
were lost or broken, we should be ruined,
since only with it is it possible to kill the
deer which are enchanted, as are many.
And to get that stone I passed a sad time.”

“How? Where? When? With the En-
chanted Deer? Tell me, ¢atita!”

“Yes, with the Vexado Encantado, and in
many ways.’’ And Don José, the luckiest
hunter in Rio Arriba, a gray-headed but
sharp-eyed Mexican— whom I count a
staunch friend and a brave man, even if he
does believe some things I do not — nodded
to me, as if for permission to tell the story.
I had often heard of the Witch Deer, and
The Witch Deer. 87

knew that a very large proportion of the
natives of New Mexico believe firmly in
this and in many other forms of witchcraft.
I knew, too, that Don José was a scrupu-
lously truthful man. The years of our ac-
quaintance had proved that beyond doubt.
Whatever in his story might be super-
natural would have to be charged to his
faith, and not to any intention of deceiving.

“‘You must know, Don Carlos,”’ said he,
‘“‘that while there are many witches here,
there is one kind that delights most to vex
hunters. Without doubt you also will have
seen the Enchanted Deer, as much as you
hunt.”

““No,’? lanswered. ‘I have never seen
one, but I have heard of them all over New
Mexico these five years.”

‘Sure! For there are many ; and many
have lost their lives thereby, for the Witch
Deer is more dangerous than bear or moun-
tain lion. Only when one has the stone
which they wear in the first fork of their
horns is it possible to conquer them, for
that makes one not to be seen.”

“But Ican see you, Don José,” I inter-
rupted, smiling, as he held up the magic
stone.

“But, friend, that is different! For itis
only inits use. Now I want you tosee me;
88 The Witch Deer.

but when I carry this no deer in the sierra
has eyes for me, and I could walk even up
to them, taking care only that they scented
me not.”

It is worse than useless to argue against
these beliefs. Don José would never be
convinced, and the incredulity of a friend
could only hurt his feelings, and, besides
being ill-mannered, further caviling would
lose me a story, sol said, simply:

“ All right, compadre, tell us all about it.”

“Well; then, thus it was, and you shall see
Iam right. It makes many years now, for
it was long before I married me with Josefa,
in the year of 67. Her father was Alcalde
of Abiquiu*; and there lived my parents
also. When I was a young man, already
grown, strong—as you may yet see—and
well taught inthe ways of hunting, I came
often to these mountains for game; and our
house was never without dried meat in
plenty. There was one that hunted with
me, and they always called him Cabezudo,
because of his strong head; but in truth he
was Luis Delgado, a cousin of me. In
heart we were as brothers, and either
would give his life for the other. Often the
old men of Abiquiu told us of the Witch
Deer, which could never be killed unless by

* Pronounced Abby-kew. : 7
The Witch Deer. 89

a hunter unseen; and Luis answered al:
ways: ‘Aha! When there is adeer too strong
for this rifle, let him eat me.’ For, you see,
he believed not in witches. This was the
only thing we ever quarreled about—that he
was without faith.

“Tt came that in October of the year ’60
we were together camped in the Valles, and
with much care, since the Navajos were
bad. We hada house of logs, very strong,
and in it already was a wonder of dried
meat of deer and bear. We went forth
always together, for fear of the Indians,
but by good luck they molested us not. As
for game, I think there was never such a
year.

‘‘One day, when the first snow was three
hours old, we came to a round mesa that
stood on the plateau, and near the foot of it
were tracks of a deer. But alas! I knew
then that it was no true deer, for its foot-
prints were great as those of ahorse. ‘It
will be the Venado Encantado,’ said I to
Luis. ‘Let us go the other way!’ But he
said: ‘What Enchanted Deer, nor yet what
mouse-traps? Get out! I thought theea
man! ‘Thou that only yesterday didst kill,
with dagger alone, the great she-bear, and
now wouldst run from a deer track!’ And
it was true; for since the bear, well
90 The Witch Deer.

wounded, was upon us before there was
room to reload, I had the luck to compose
her with my hunting-knife.

“Wrong of me it was, but I had shame
at the words of Luis, and followed him.
‘Truly this is grandfather of all the deer !’
he cried. ‘For never have I seen such
tracks. And his horns we will take to Abi-
quiu, though they shall weigh like a tree.
Come on!’

‘With that we pursued the tracks, won-
dering always at their greatness. They
wetit a little around the foot of the mesa,
and then upa steep way to its top. When
we came to the top, where was a cleft in the
rocks, so that one could get up, we found a
large level place, round, and with a rim of
cliffs below, so that nowhere else was it
possible to reach the summit. The trail
went away among the junipers, and we fol-
lowed it cautiously, knowing that the deer
must be here, since no tracks led down.
And of a sudden, crawling around a clump
of trees, we stood before him. Ay, sefior!
How great he was! Greatas a tall horse,
and upon his head the keys [horns] were as
the branches of a blasted cedar. There he
stood, a thing of fifty yards away, looking
at us with his head high, as if mocking.
My heart forgot its count; for truly he was

¢
The Witch Deer. gI

no thing of this earth—that beast with a
look so cunning and so terrible.

“What a beast!’ Luis whispered. ‘At
the throat, to break his neck. But save
thou thy fire, for in case’—and putting his
rifle firm as a rock, he fired. But as the
smoke blew by, there stood the deer, wag-
ging himself the head scornfully, for the
bullet had rebounded from him. So it is
with these beasts that are witches, for when
they see you, no ball will enter their hide.
And then, putting down his head till that
the horns lacked but a foot from the ground,
he came like a large rock leaping down the
mountain.

“Now I knew well that he was no mortal
thing, and that had no right toshoot. But
for sake of Luis, who was pouring new pow-
der in his rifle, I cared not even if I should
be accursed; and when the beast was very
close I sprang to one side and gave him the
ball, of an ounce weight, squarely upon the
side. But it could not enter him. Luis
jumped, too, and the brute passed between
us like a strong wind. In a moment he
turned and charged us again, and lam sure
I saw smoke come from his nose. As for
his eyes, they were pure fire. ‘Run for
yourself!’ cried Luis, and he made for the
tree, while I took the other way. Turning
92 The Witch Deer.

a juniper, I ran for the edge of the cliff; but
just as I came there, there was a scream,
and looking across my shoulder, I saw the
deer making with his horns as one does
with his spade upon hard ground.

“After that I could go no more to our
camp, but came straightway to Abiquiu.
When they heard what had been, all the
town mourned —for Luis was well beloved.
But none were surprised, for they said:
‘Always we told him of the Venado Encan-
tado, but he would not believe. And now

ithas come true. Poor headstrong Luis!’
' ‘As for me, I sickened, and was much
time in bed. And always I saw the deer
leaping upon Luis and tearing him, until it
was not to be borne. When at last I was
cured, I could think only to kill the Witch
Deer, and avenge my poor compajiero. I
asked of all the old men if there was how
to doit; but all said, ‘Beware, lest he tram-
ple thee also!’ And Josefa prayed me to
think no more of it, for she would never
marry one who put himself against the
witches. I know not how, Don Carlos, for
I too feared, but Luis would not let me rest.

“Twice I went alone to the mesa, for
no one would companion me. There was
always the deer; but I kept under the
rocks, where he could not reach me, and
The Witch Deer. 93

waited my turn. Once, when my aim was
true upon his heart, the rifle only snapped;
and when I went to prime with double care,
the flint was all in cracks, so that it would
not strike a spark. Andagain, whenI shot
him between the very eyes, from near, it
did him nothing. So I saw it was useless.

“From then all went ill, Even the wild
turkeys had no fear of me, for I could shoot
nothing. And in Abiquiu I was mocked,
for the young men had been jealous that
formerly I had killed more game than any,
and now they taunted me for ‘the starved
hunter.’

“At the last I thought me of one who
lived in the cafion of Juan Tafoya—a witch,
they say, very wise in such things—and to
himIwent. When he had heard my story,
he said: ‘But, man! knowest thou not that
this is the Venado Encantado? How dost
thou think to kill him? For he has in his
horns a stone of great power, having the
which he cannot be harmed. There is only
one way in which it could be done, and that
is to shoot him when he sees thee not. But
that, even the best hunter cannot do, for
the animal is very wise and of sharp sight.
Only having an invisible stone could one
do it.’
94 The Witch Deer.

‘“tAnd have other deer this stone?’ I
asked; and he replied: ‘There are some,
for this is not the only Witch Deer. But
none of them canst thou kill if they see
thee.’

“After that they saw me little in Abi-
quiu, for I was always hunting. For many
months I pursued the trail of every buck
deer, killing many. And at last, shooting
from ambush one that passed me unsus-
pecting, I found in the first fork of its
horns a stone like this, but not the half of it

.in size. ‘This I proved in many ways, and
clear it was that now my luck had changed.

‘Being satisfied of this, then, loaded my
rifle with great pains, and went one evening
in search of the Venado Encantado. Com-
ing to the mesa by night, I camped among
the rocks, without a fire, and in the morning,
before the sun, climbed up without a little
noise. In my pouch was the stone, and my
rifle was wellready. WhenIcame through
the cleft at the top, there stood the deer,
looking straight at me, not twenty yards
distant, and I threw my rifle to my shoulder, _
giving myself up for lost. But he moved
not, and watching him, I perceived that he
did not see me at all—the which is proof
that the stone makes one to be invisible.
At this I took heart, and with a true aim on
The Witch Deer. 95

his throat, fired. He leaped ¢hus high in
the air and fell dead; and coming to him, I
found that the ball had broken his neck.

“His meat I did not touch, for besides
being accursed, he had killed my Luis, whose
bones I brought away to Christian ground
in Abiquiu. But in the first fork of the
horns, which were taller than my head, I
found this stone which you see. Since I
have that, I kill whatsoever deer with ease,
because they cannot see me. What think
you, then?”

We sat for a few moments silent, watch-
ing the flames that licked and twisted about
the cedar sticks inthe fireplace. Anastacio
was voiceless, with an awe too strong even
for his boyish excitement; and as for me,
the story of Luis’s death had brought back
some vivid and uncanny memories. But
Don José, who really cared enough for me to
wish tolead me out of the darkness of error,
followed the matter up.

‘Do you not see, Don Carlos, that there
are Witch Deer? For look at his fierceness,
and that he could not be hurt until I hada
charm-stone like his own. And you know
that I tell you truth.”

“Yes, old fellow, I know you tell me the
truth as you see it. But it is nothing
strange for a buck to be bravo in the fall—
96 The Witch Deer.

that J myself have suffered by. And I
fancy you could have killed him before, if
you had not felt so sure that you couldn’t.”
Then I was rather ashamed to have said
even so much, and as gently as it could be
said, for Ido not admire the always-superior
person. But the old man understood, and
was not offended; only he shook his head
with real sadness, and said:

“Ah, that way was Luis. God keep you
from being taught as he was!”’
Felipe’s Sugaring-off



Felipe’s Sugaring-off.
e

HE great water-wheel was trundling

as fastas ever the white impulse from

the old stone aqueduct could kick it along.
The wheel, indeed, grumbled at so much
hard work; but the water only laughed and
danced as the big iron jaws of the trapzche*
chewed up the yellow culms of sugar cane
and spat to one side the useless pith, while
the sweet, dark sap crept sluggishly down
the iron conduit toward the sugar-house.
In front was a very mountain of cane
brought from the fields by bullock carts;
and half a dozen sinewy negroes were feed-
ing it,an armful at a time, between the rolls
of the mill. Behind it others with wooden
forks were spreading the crushed cane to
dry for a day, after which it would be used
as fuel to boil itsown plundered juice. Off
beyond the sugar building gleamed the
white Moorish walls of the tile-roofed chapel
and manor house, built three hundred years
ago, when Peru was the richest crown jewel



* Tra-pee-che. 99
100 Felipe’s. Sugaring-off.

of Spain. Everywhere else stretched the
great fields of cane — to the very foot of the
sandhills of the encroaching desert, to the
very rim of the blue Pacific. What an im-
mensity of sugar it all meant!

The same thought struck the grizzled
administrador* this morning as he stood on
a pier of the aqueduct—just where its
stream pounced upon the lazy wheel—and
swept the scene with those watchful old
eyes. “Of atruth,” he was saying to him-
self, ‘‘the world must be very large, as
. they say, and many must eat nothing else,
for here we make every day forty thousand
pounds of sugar, three hundred days of
the year, and there are many other sugar
haciendas in Peru, though maybe none so
big as Villa. Truly, I know not where it all
goes. Hola! Always that fellow!” and,
springing to the ground as lightly as a boy,
in two bounds he was at the mill.

There four of the negro laborers were in
sudden struggle with a newcomer from the
quarters—a huge black fellow, whose brut-
ish face was now distorted by drunken
rage. He was naked to the waist, and his
dark hide bulged with tremendous muscles,
as he swayed his four grapplers to and fro,
trying to free his right hand, which clasped

* Administrah-dore; overseer.
Felipe’s. Sugaring-off. IOI

a heavy machete. This murderous combi-
nation of sword and cleaver, which lopped
the stubborn cane at a blow, had found
worse employment now, for a red stain ran
down its broad blade, and on the ground lay
a man clenching a stump of arm. Old
Melito paused for no questions, but, pluck-
ing up a heavy bar of algorobo, smote so
strongly upon the desperado’s woolly pate
that the ironwood broke. The black giant
reeled and fell,and one of the men wrenched
away the mache/e and flung it into the pool
below the wheel.

“He came very drunk, and only because
Roque brushed against him with an armful
of cane he wanted to kill him,” said the men
as they knotted their grimy handkerchiefs
upon the wrists and ankles of the stunned
black.

“You did well to hold him,’ replied the
administrador. ‘Bring now the irons and
we will put him in the calaboz till to-mor-
row. ‘Then he shall go to Lima to the
prison, for we can have no fighting here,
nor men of trouble.”

A slender, big-eyed Spanish boy coming
out a few moments later from the great
castle arch of the manor house saw four
peons lugging away between them the long
102 Felipe’s Sugaring-off.

bulk of the prisoner, and stopped to ask
the trouble.

“Ah! That bad Coco. That he may
never come back from Lima,” said the
young Spaniard earnestly. ‘‘He is a terror
to all, and nowI fear he will kill Don Melite,
for Coco never forgets. I shall ask my
father to see the prefect, that they keep
him away. And the sugar?”

Felipe never tired of following all the
processes with a grave air, as if it all rested
upon his smallshoulders. A boy whonever
felt that he was ‘“‘helping’’—if such a very
helpless boy ever existed—has lost one of
the best things in all boyhood, and Felipe
could not have understood such a boy at all.
He went on now and joined Don Melito,
and the two stood together watching the
vat with professional eyes while two ne-
groes plied their plashing hoes. It was very
hot work even to watchit, buta good admin-
istrador would never trust this to the labor-
ers.

‘“Now you watch it a little,” said Don
Melito suddenly, with roguish gravity,
looking at the boy’s preoccupied face. ‘As
for me, I must see how are the faz/as,” and
he climbed the steps to the platform where
the caldrons were hissing with their new
supply of sap.
“po


Felipe’s Sugaring-off. 103

Felipe, thus left alone with the heaviest
responsibility he had ever borne, knit his
smooth brows very hard and peered into
the vat as if the fate of nations hung on
his eyes. For the first time he began to
doubt them. He wondered if it were not
worked enough—if he had not better stop
the hoes and get the molders to work. If
only Don Melito would come back and
decide for him!

But Don Melito was not here, and there
were no signs of his coming. Perhaps he
was leaving Felipe to find out the differ-
ence between knowing how some one else
does a thing and how to do it one’s self.
The boy fidgeted up and down and looked
at the vat first from one end and then from
the other, and grew more doubtful the more

' he looked.

“T don’t know, and I don’t know,’ he
cried to himself. ‘‘But sure it is that I
must do something, for he left me in charge
and perhaps is busy with other matters,
thinking I would not let it be spoiled. Put
it in the molds!”’

The menleaned their candied hoes against
the wall. The molders began ladling their
buckets full, and, in turn, filling the shallow
molds. ‘The color there darkened again as
sudden crystallization set in; but Felipe
104 Felipe’s Sugaring-off.

felt a great load lifted off his shoulders.
He was very sure now that it was a good
color—nota hint of the hateful underdone
black, but a soft, rich brown, shading to
gold at the thin edges.

Now he was free—the laborers could
attend to the rest, as usual—and he would
goand hunt for Don Melito. Heran up the
steps and along the platform—and half
way stopped short, as if he had run against
a wall.

The rusty irons should never have been
trusted with that giant’s strength! They
might do for common men, but for Coco—
aS soon as consciousness came back to him,
and with it the old rage, he had snapped
them, and, wrenching out the iron bars
from the window of the calaboz, had come
for his revenge. Even now he was shaking
his wrists, one still hooped with the iron
band, before the old administrador’s face,
and hissing: “You! You did me this! And
now I will boil you!”

Don Melito stood stilland gray asa stone,
looking up into Coco’s eyes. His hat was in
his hand on account of the heat; but now he
put it on as if scorning to stand uncovered
before the fellow — put it steadily upon the
curling gray hair that reached barely to the
level of those great naked chest muscles.
Felipe's Sugaring-off. 105

“IT did strike you down and ordered you
to be ironed, Coco,” he said quietly, ‘‘and I
would do soagain. Nowl am going to send
you to Lima. There is no place at Villa for
people like you.” :

But Coco leaped upon him like the black
jaguar, and clutched him with those long,
knotted arms. Melito was sinewy and lithe
as a cat, but he was no match for this huge
foe. He fought for life, but Coco with the
equal desperation of hate. Struggle as he
would, he was borne back and back until his
legs cringed from the glow of the az/a.
At this he made so wild a lunge that it bore
them back a few feet; but it was only for a
moment. Inch by inch the negro urged him
toward that bubbling roar which seemed to
drown all other sounds. And even now,
with a wild chuckle, the giant doubled him
backward against the edge of the faz/a,
with a black, resistless palm under his chin.

Only an instant had Felipe stopped,
frozen, at sight of Coco; in another he had
sprung to the rail, shrieking to the men be-
low: ‘“‘Juan! Sancho! Quico! Come!”’ And
then, rushing at the struggle, he flung him-
self as ferociously upon Coco as Coco had
attacked Don Melito. But it seemed as if
he were back in some dreadful dream. He
hammered with futile fists upon that bare
106 Felipe’s Sugaring-off.

and mighty back, and caught a fierce hold
about one of those gnarled legs and tugged
to trip it, and kicked it with crazy feet. But
it was all with the nightmare sense that he
was doing nothing by all his efforts. Indeed,
it is half doubtful if the infuriated Coco
knew at all of this attack in the rear. What
to him were the peckings of a twelve-year-
old boy?

Would the men never come? Felipe re-
doubled his kicks and blows, but with a
sickening fear. Don Melito was weaken-
ing—already his head was thrust back over
' the steam of the pazla. Only for his arms
locked about the giant’s waist, he would go
in. And now Coco’s huge hand came behind
him and wrenched at the old man’s slender
ones, tearing open finger by finger resist-
lessly. In another moment it would be too
late to think.

Aha, Mr. Coco! The boy sprang to the
second faz/a and snatched the long-handled
skimmer that leaned against it, and, dip-
ping it full from the caldron, flung the
molten sugar squarely upon Coco’s back.
Howling, the negro whirled about, dropping
the half-senseless administrador from him,
and sprang at Felipe. But the boy stood
stiff and very white, holding the ladle back
aloft. ‘This time in the eyes!” he cried,
Felipe’s Sugaring-off. 107

hoarsely. “If you touch Don Melito again,
or me, I will throw it in your face!”

Even Coco hesitated at this. He was not
too drunk with rage to know what boiling
sugar meant. Plainly, this little fool had the
advantage. He must be tricked —and then
——. But just then a wan smile flitted across
Felipe’s face, and, as Coco half turned his
head to see what pleasing thing could be be-
hind him, he got a glimpse of Pancho, the
horse-breaker, and something dark and
wavy inthe air. He ducked forward, but
a rope settled upon his broad shoulders,
tightening like iron, and he was jerked
backward to the ground, and a dozen men
were upon him.

Coco made no more trouble on the
hacienda of Villa. At Lima he found the
prompt justice which sometimes happens
in Peru. Don Melito was in bed several
days, for he had been roughly handled in
body and in nerves. The first day on which
he could sit up alittle, Felipe brought him
a cake of chancaca.

“Thank you,’ said the old man, laying
it on the coverlet. Sugar was an old story
to him.

‘But you must taste this, my admznistra-
dor, and see if it is all right.”
108 F elipe’s Sugaring-off.

“It is good,’ answered Melito, munching
submissively. And then, with a sudden
light: ‘It is very good—as good as I could
have made myself. Quite right. And I
think you sent it to the molds at just the
right time!”
Andrés, the Arriero



Andrés the Arrriero.

I.

66 OPA mula! Que familial”

The command was right enough,
for the beast barely moved,and any one who
ever had to do with mules may very likely
have cried out, with Andrés, ‘“What a
family !’? Butnoone but Andrés, Iam sure,
would have said it here. By the time you
get up to 16,000 feet in the Andes, if you
are not dead altogether, you certainly have
no breath to spare— not even so much as to
say, ‘This mouth is mine.” As for exhort-
ing a pack-mule to “get up”’ or trying to
make it ashamed of its blood relations, why,
you couldn’t if you would. If some one
were to stand at the head of the pass offer-
ing you a dollar a word for remarks, the
chances area hundred to one that you would
find yourself without either the ambition or
the lungs to earn a nickel. It is a very
strange thing, as well as a very frightful
one, how these great altitudes clutch you

Pronounced, An-drayce; and Arriero (arry-ay-ro), man
in charge of a pack train.
112 Andrés, the Arriero.

by the windpipe, and turn your heart’s
strong beat to the last flutter of a wounded
bird, and fill your eyes with strange red
threads and your ears with a dull tap! tap!
tap! sothat you can count your pulse simply
by listening. Worse still, how there seems
to have been turned somewherea sly faucet
which has let the last drop of strength drip
" away before you knew it. But very lucky
indeed are you if that is all. Many more
than escape with these unpleasant symp-
toms have worse. ‘There is a horrible
. Nausea, as much beyond seasickness as
that is beyond a plain stomach-ache, and
nearly every one gets it above a certain
height. Then come sudden hemorrhages
from nose, mouth, ears, eyes, finger-tips,
and so on to the last. These symptoms
and any of them mean, “Get down stairs
instanter.”” If you cannot get down fast
enough you will be carried down—too late
to do you any good. I have seen great,
powerful men fall there as an ox falls when
the ax is laid to its head, and never rise
again nor again be conscious. At less ele-
vations I have seen robust men go dead in
.twenty-four hours with no disease on earth
but the altitude. Only recently an acquaint-
ance of mine visiting a town but 12,500 feet
above the sea went to bed in perfect health
Andrés, the Arriero. 113

and—‘‘ woke up dead in the morning,” asa
Celtic mutual friend related inall sincerity.

Still, the only certain thing about it is
that if you go high enough you will pay the
penalty; but no one can tell you how high
that is, nor can you yourself learn finally,
even by experiment. You may start out
with a party from one of the inland towns
of Peru, say at an elevation of 7,000 to 8,000
feet—-and even there many are greatly
affected by the altitude. One of the party,
and perhaps the most robust looking, may
become so dangerously sick at 10,000 feet
that he will have to be sent back at once.
The rest may go on safely to 12,000 feet,
and there another succumb, and so on.
And you may (though it is very unlikely)
toil on even up to17,000 or 18,000 feet with-
out serious symptoms, and then a few days
later be so terribly affected at 10,000 feet
that only the most rapid removal to lower
levels will save your life. Myself, I have
never felt the mountain sickness. But then,
my constitution is a most extraordinarily
pig-headed one, which seems to butt against
almost any wall with impunity. I have
climbed and worked hard at considerably
over 19,000 feet, and for a long time lived
from 12,000 to 15,000 feet above the sea, and
never felt anything worse than room for an
II4 Andrés, the Arriero.

extra pair of lungs, there where is really
precious little air to breathe. But warning
was all around, so that I never felt quite
sure my turn would not come next.

‘There is much in habit, of course. You
all remember the Irishman’s horse which
learned to live on shavings—though un-
fortunately it died just as it was becom-
ing accustomed to this economical diet.
And lungs, too, can get used to living on
such shavings as the upper air —that is, if
there are lungs enough and you give them
_long enough. Many die in the learning, but
in centuriesa type is fixed. So with Andrés.
His fathers for a thousand years had
breathed no heavier air than that of the
great Bolivian plateau. He had been born
on one of the ‘little hills” beside Lake
Titi-caca, and brought upthere. Leadville
is the highest considerable town in North
America, and it is too elevated for a great
many people; but Andrés had never in his
life got so low as 11,000 feet. If he were
suddenly set down in New York his lungs
would be almost as much embarrassed
as would yours if you were so suddenly
snatched up to his skyward home. He
might almost call for an ax to break that
thick air up into breathing chunks! And
you, sitting with bloodshot eyes and open
Andrés, the Arriero. 115

mouth, would be wondering what skim-milk
atmosphere was this, that in ten min:
utes’ gasping you could not get as fair a fill
to your lungs as you now get with every
breath you draw.

‘The mule was a well-seasoned mule, born
in Punoand never any nearer sea level than
that 12,500-foot town. ‘True, it was now
some 4,000 feet nearer the sky, and barely
crawling up the pass. At every half-dozen
or dozen paces it paused to groan despair-
ingly, panting full five minutes before it
could go another step. But that wasa good
mule. If you wished to see what an ordin-
ary mule did in the pass, you had only to
look at either side of the trail almost any-
where. There were hundreds of bleached
skeletons lying just where they had fallen,
but white as the snowsupon the peaksabove.
Here and there were even the bones of the
. lama*—the highest-dwelling quadruped on
earth. As for horses, their. usefulness
ceases long before reaching such altitudes
as that of the Quimca-chata. I have seen
people who had an air of feeling that the
mule ought always to be begging pardon
for being alive, and that nature was in
pretty small business when she made him.

*Ll-yah-ma. Double 1 in Spanish always has the sound
that it has in our word ‘‘ million.”
116 Andrés, the Arriero.

But that, of course, is a notion of very unin-
formed folk. In fact, as all know who have
stirred out a little, the mule is the most
broadly useful animal in the service of man.
The horse can run faster, the elephant
carry heavier loads, the llama climb higher
above the clouds; but no other beast can
carry so much so far, so fast, so low and so
high as this unpretentious and maligned
big-ears; and wherever civilized man has
had to conquer the wilderness this has been
his best friend.

Something of this was in the thought of
the traveler sprawled beside the apacheta
at the head of the pass—watching now the
gasping saddle-mule near him, and now
the rest of his small caravan as it crept
upward. He was breathing with open
mouth, but otherwise showed no traces of
‘the hour’s climb since he left Andrés and
the pack-beast, and tramped on, driving
his own mule ahead rather than ride the
distressed beast.

“Yes,” he was saying (but to himself,
which called for no expenditure of breath),
“old Tom Moore, Crook’s chief packer, was
right when he used to say, ‘God made mules
a-purposel’ How they have been the right
hand of the pioneer in both Americas. Bien,
Andrés—so you got him up at last.”
Andrés, the Arriero. 117

Andrés took off his frowsy hat, leaving
upon his head the long-peaked knit cap of
vicufia* wool, removed from his mouth the
quid of coca leaves he had been chewing,
and flung the wad against the rough, up-
right stone, which was already pimpled all
over with similar offerings. No mount-
ain Indian of Bolivia would any more think
of passing such a monument at the crest of
a pass without making this sacrifice than
you would think of going into church with
your hat on.

SZ, viracocha,’’ he answered, with a slow,
good-natured smile; and went on in his
stumbling mixture of Spanish and Aymara.
“You ought to bite the coca, ps, viracocha,
that the sorojcht catch you not. For so do
we of the mountains, and by it we get our
strength. Take’’—and he drew from his
left-hand pouch a pinch of the dried leaves
and a bit of lime.

The American shook his head, with a
smile, as much as to say: ‘Thanks, but I
need it not.”” Then he rose, with a signifi-
cant glance at the clouds, and madea ges-
ture of haste, pointing to the trail which
from their feet dipped far downward to the
east.

* Vee-coon-ya. The Spanish letter fi has always the
sound of ny in “lanyard.”
118 | Andrés, the Arriero.

Andrés cinched up the sagging chipas on
the pack-mule, setting his bare foot against
its ribs and hauling at the hair rope with
main strength. The traveler likewise
tightened his saddle-girth and swung up.
Half an hour more, and they were some
miles down the slope, descending at a gait
which was decidedly smart compared with
the snail’s pace of the last few hours.
Through gaps in the foothills ahead came
now and then wondrous outlooks across the
upper Bolivian plateau. Off to the left was
the glorious blue of Titi-cdca, highest great
lake in the world; behind it, and stretching
far to the right, the still more glorious
white of the great Andes of Bolivia.

“There, ps, is Mururata, the Beheaded,”
said the arriero, pointing to a flat-topped
peak far lower than the rest, but still tall
enough to wear eternal snow. ‘The gods
cut off its head long ago, to punish pride,
and set it over yonder, where you will soon
see it smoke—for now it is a fire mount-
ain.’ Andrés trotted along, pointing,
chattering, smiling, as if breath were quite
the cheapest thing on earth.

Just then the traveler found alittle, too—
but not for the lost head of Mururata. He
was staring acrossa saddle in the hills with
very much stich a face of incredulity and
: Andrés, the Arriero. 119

bewilderment as one might wear at sight
of a ghost. f

‘‘Seest thou?” he demanded of the arri-
ero. ‘Confuse me, but I thought there
was no such thing as a wheel in the coun-
try, except the Chililaya stage.”

“Oh, sz, wiracocha—in La Paz are five
or six carriages! And yonder will be the
Jatiregui going to their chacra.’’*

A top buggy of most ancient pattern was
creeping up around the turn.at the heels of
four tired mules. In a few moments the
travelers were not far apart; and now An-
drés’s employer broke out afresh, but in a
lower tone:

‘“‘Oyez! But where is the feast to which
these maromeros go?”

They did look clown-like enough, to be
sure. The driver was clearly an Aymara
Indian, and showed nothing more peculiar
than the quaint garb of his people. But at
his left sat two tall and surprising figures
in long linen dusters and white peaked
caps. The latter were shaped something
like fools’ caps; but instead of ending at
the ears came down upon the shoulders,
over the whole head. Eyeand mouth holes
and a woven nose gave them a finish as
uncanny as it was strange.



* Chacra—a farm.
120 Andrés, the Arriero. «

“A Diés, caballero!” cried a muffled voice
in clearly well-bred Spanish; and the Indian
driver pulled the willing mules to a halt.
One of the masks leaned from the carriage,
and from behind the white yarn a pair of
keen, black eyes stared first at the pack-
mule and then at the American.

“Pardon the molesting, but you carry a
machine of the photograph, is it not?”

The tripod stretching along the pack-
beast from ears to tail, and the square,
leather boxes in the chépas were clear
enough, and the traveler replied politely:

“As you see, sir.”

“Good! And how much is worth a pic-
ture? Come, we will occupy you.”

“Infinite thanks, cavaliers, but I do not
sell. And pardon, for Iam in haste.”

“How not?” ‘There was an incredulous
flash in the ambushed eyes, and the voice
had lost the edge of its courtesy. ‘“‘ We
have money in hand, and we wish to take
out our pictures.”

“JT lament it, sirs; but you ask the im-
possible. ‘The government of Bolivia has
entered my materials free of duty, seeing
that I come on a scientific mission; and in
return, that your native artists shall not
have whereof to complain, I am pledged to
sell no pictures. It often pains me, know-

”
Andrés, the Arriero. 121

ing how one feels for a picture here where
artists are few. But in any event, I make
vistas only for the one purpose, and need all
the plates we brought.”’

‘The maskers evidently did not credit any
such absurd story. The gringo—he was
a gringo, of course, in spite of his comfort-
able Spanish — pues, he knew them for rich
and was holding off for a big offer.

“Well, we will give fifty bolivianos.* Get
in and we will carry you to the chacra.
There is your home. You shall stay so
much as you will; and there is much hunt-
ing and such views of Illimani as you have
not seen, Also, there are strange monu-
ments of the ancients. Eh? ‘Then one
hundred bokvianos!”

“TI give you the most expressive thanks,
gentlemen, and would willingly see your
chacra. But Iam bound for Tiahuanaco.
And, in any event, you must know that I
talk not lumber, but truth. I cannot make
your pictures.”

“Listen, then,’? muttered the Bolivian
angrily, turning to his fellow-mask, “how
hard-headed are these gringos! Come,”
addressing the traveler again, ‘‘you are
too dear. But we will say two hundred

* The Bolivian dollar.
122 Andrés, the Arriero.

bolivianos,” and he held up a huge roll of
small red bank bills.

By now there was a considerable wrinkle
in the traveler’s brow. ‘‘God give you
good evening, cavaliers,” he said, curtly.
‘Tam of one yes and one no. If you want
retratos | know no place nearer than La Paz
where youcangetthem. Adios.”

He set spurs to his mule and rode off
down hill. The two maskers looked blankly
at one another a moment, and then their
mules began to plod up the slope amid a _
volley of Spanish expletives. Andrés had
prodded the pack-beast to a lurching trot,
and ran easily at its heels.

“ Mps, viracocha,” he said, in a loud
whisper, taking off his hat again as he drew
alongside the traveler. ‘But those are the
Jatiregui, and it would be better to please
them. ‘They are most powerful, and very
hard-headed, too.”

“Then let them butt against a harder
head. Ican’t—Aola/ Vicufias, no?”

The frown had smoothed out, and he was
snatching the rifle from its holster strapped
along the saddle. Away over onan opposite
slope a little brown cloud was drifting.

“S7/ But they go!” cried Andrés.
Andrés, the Arriero. 123

The cloud was, indeed, breaking up ina
score of wee brown dots that scudded like
so many shadows.

“Too far! And I wanted some pelts for
a little girl I know. To try, anyhow!’ The
traveler jerked the rifle to his shoulder and
fired. ‘Nothing,’ he sighed. ‘‘Of course
not—it was a shot thrown away.” But
Andrés cried: ‘“ You touched! See yonder,
how he makes lame!”

“Your eyes for it—mine don’t reach so
far. But one does look to have fallen be-
hind. Too bad! Nowitisto run him down
—a man eveninahurry can’t leave the poor
wounded brute to be gouged piecemeal by
the condors. Go on thy best with the pack-
beast, Andrés, and I’ll catch thee at the
tambo, or sooner.”’

The arriero ambled on, with now and then
areminding cudgel to his charge. A funny
man, this—no? But, then, no doubt all
gringos were a little wrong in the head.
To refuse two hundred do/vianos for a pic-
ture, and then go ramping off to kill a
wounded vicufia! Smart are the Yanquis,
yes—but of reason, not much. As if the
condors were to blame if they could catch
a thing injured! And it can be that they
will have mule as well as vicufia for supper.
The vzracocha evidently forgets that he is
124 Andrés, the Arriero.

on the ground of the mountain sickness.
Pity if it should catch him—since he is
very good, unbrained though he be.

But at a turn in the trail Andrés found
other matters to be thought of than the
general follies and occasional virtues of the
Yanquis. Other ears than his had heard
the rifle,and other eyes noted the traveler’s
tangent; and now the young Indian gavea
start very like one of fear at the rattle of
wheels behind him and an imperious call of
6c Altol ” \

I.

Andrés glanced over his shoulder and
faced about in his tracks. It was only for
an instant that he thought of rubning. He
might make a break down the rough hill-
side, where the carriage could not follow,
yes. But the pack-mule, sagging under
those boxes, of which the vzracocha was so
tender! ‘The boy’s thick lips drew tight
across his large, white teeth. He would
stay. The instant he ceased to beset its
heels the fagged beast stopped too, and

there they stood like two shabby statues,
while the carriage drew alongside.

“So the gringo hunts, eh?’’ spoke one
of the maskers, briskly, stepping down
from the buggy. ‘But he is very high
Andrés, the Arriero. 125

priced, it seems—as much as unamiable.
Come, tell us how much he does get — for
in truth I thought we offered enough.”

“Who knows, your excellency?” stam-
mered Andrés. ‘It is a month that Iam
with him as arriero, and until now he pic-
tures only the monuments. And even of
those I have not yet seen the retratos, for
he says he is to finish them when we shall
reach LaPaz. Of people he always refuses
—as your excellency saw. Except that
once, in Copacabana, he pictured an an-
cient beggar at the gate, taking no money.”

‘““Ay, but these gringos are many sorts of
fools —and this one a// sorts. Come, then,
these vzstas he has made, they will bein the
chipas. To see them!”

The speaker’s air and tone were plainly
those of one who has no dream of not being
obeyed, and he fairly stiffened with aston-
ishment when the arriero, rather pale and
very much embarrassed, stammered:

‘“« P-pero, excellency, I—I—cannot!”’

“Mira! Another who ‘cannot!’ It is
contagious, then, this ‘xo puedo!’ Oyez!”
and now the command was sharp and stern,
‘‘Open me those boxes!”’

Andrés backed off a step. His brown
cheeks were unmistakably gray, and his
voice faltered as he replied, humbly, but
7

126 Andrés, the Arriero.

stolidly: ‘‘Donot shame me, Excellency.
This wiracocha hires me, treating me
kindly. For arriero, yes — but even more,
he has me to guard the machine when he is
not beside it. For so many wish to peep
in, and he has things in little flat boxes
which he opens only at night in a room
without candles, and not even smoking his
cigarro. He says that to let in a so-little
of light would destroy all. For that Iam
promised, that no one shall open them nor
touch them. Do not ask me, then, excel-
lency.”’

“ Ask thee, cannibal! A Jatreguiasking
thee? Vaya! Ilorderthee. And between
winks, too, lest thou taste the quirt!” He
snatched from his driver the short, leaden- -
butted bull whip.

Andrés backed away still farther, till he
ran up against the pack of his dejected
mule, which stood as if petrified there.

“Vo puedo, taita!”’ he repeated, with an
appealing glance. Then, as the man
reached forth to pluck the knot of the cinch
rope, Andrés extended his arm as a bar-
rier, crying, ‘‘Haniwa! Your excellency
must not!”

At this actual obstruction the personage
in the white hood clearly lost an already
ruffed temper. He drew the quirt whis-
Andrés, the Arriero. — 127

tling around those sturdy, bare calves, and
a blue welt stood up there. Another cut,
andanother. The stolid face changed little,
but the legs shifted uneasily.

“Haniwa, is it?” ‘The ambushed eyes
seemed fairly outside the mask now, so
angrily they shone. ‘‘Then we will see!
To beat a little more manners into that
thick skull.” He shifted the quirt in his
hand, clubbing the loaded end over An-
drés’s head. The arriero flung up his
hands. He wasa sinewy young man, very
probably much more powerful than his tall
assailant. Nor was he thinking of the odds
of those two more in the carriage. It was
tradition, not cowardice, that stayed his
hands—how could this arriero and son of
arrieros think to strikea don? For he was
born and bred in a country where there is
still such a thing as respect—sometimes
misapplied, as now; but broadly so honor-
able that I wish some reciprocity treaty
might enable us to import some of it for
northern use.

The leaden butt fell across his guard,
and one hand dropped to his side. The
other he drew before his eyes.

‘Come! Will thou open, or shall I crack
that foolish squash-head?”’
128 Andrés, the Arriero.

Andrés did not move. ‘ Haniwa!” he
muttered in the same slow, stupid way,
shutting his eyes as the club rose again.
But just then a voice called from the
carriage:

“To what use, brother? ‘They are no
more than clods. Beat one to death, and
you shall not change him. Let Pepe tie
him and then we can verify the boxes.”

The one with the quirt hesitated a mo-
ment. His blood was hot, and the brute in
him ached to beat away at this maddening
stupid. His hand dropped reluctantly, and
he growled:

“As thou wilt. Rope him then, Pepe.”

But if the arriero had stood dumb under
the lash of his superior, it was another page
in the almanac when a brown fellow of his
own blood and station caught him by the
arms and started to pass a reata around
him. Andrés doubled forward at the waist,
clumsily but resistlessly. His tousled head
struck Pepe on the mouth, and that too-
ready henchman rolled heavily in the road.
Andrés sprang upon him and flung fistfuls
of dust in his face, shaking him as a terrier
does a rat. :

“Pig! Who lent thee a candle in this
funeral? Thy master I could not fight.
But thou, barbarian dy


Andrés, the Arriero. 129

“ Socorro!” bawled Pepe, quite helpless
in the clutch of his exasperated rider.
“Take him off!”

“Tl take him off!” growled the master,
and he ran forward, swinging the club about
his head. Woeis me for thy skull, Andre-
sito, if that ounce of lead befall it squarely
from behind!

Il.

When the “gringo” and his laboring
mule pitched down the side of a very
considerable darranca, their quarry was
plainly visible four or five hundred yards
up the opposite hill, The rest of the flock
had long ago disappeared, and by now was
miles away —for they run almost like ante-
lope,these airy beauties of the Andes, the
tiniest camels in the world, and the only
graceful ones. But when mule and rider
strugeled up the farther bank, the wounded
vicufia was nowhere to be seen.

“Plague! But I must not kill ¢hee, in
trying to be merciful to him,’”’ muttered the
rider, and he sprang to the ground.. It was
high time. The mule stood gasping in his
tracks, head down, chin hanging and knees
quaking violently. The traveler looked up
and down him, remorsefully but critically.

“With a rest, thou ’rt all right. But I
ought to beg thy pardon for giving thee a
130 Andrés, the Arriero.

fool for a rider! Now, my legs for it— and
rest thou here.”’

The involuntary object of all this trouble
was certainly inconsiderate. Having been
so foolish as to go and get wounded, he
should have waited at least for the Sam-
aritan to come up and give him the blow of
mercy. But, instead, he hobbled bleating
on in pursuit of his fellows, even long after
they had vanished. It was astonishing how
this delicate, fawn-like creature could run
so far with a broken leg, and his well-mean-
ing pursuer began to find it more than as-
tonishing. Plague take the little imbecile
— he was bound to make it as hard as pos-
sible to do him a good turn! Itis odd how
our minds can contradict themselves—how
we sometimes start out on a thoroughly
praiseworthy errand, and fall into very un-
amiable moods by the way.

The pursuer was by now decidedly
angry —which is a very unwise luxury to
be indulged in, at least among the Andes.
His temper was by no means calculated to
soothe the stampeding gallop of his heart;
and to see him gasping up yonder cumbre,
with a purpling face and protruding tongue,
and a scowl on his brow, probably no stran-
ger would have dreamed that he was really
on a generous errand.

Andrés, the Arriero. ioe

‘“‘Belike the condors will have to have
thee!” he groaned inwardly — since not for
his life, now, could he have articulated the
words: ‘I’m done up! This one more
ridge and it must end.”

But as he reached the top of that last
ridge, there was a tremendous swoosh of
wings past him, and then, from the hollow
beyond, a scream almost human in its
agony. At that he plucked new vigor, and
went racing down the slope in a surprising
spurt. The truth was that, once started,
he had no longer the strength to stop on
that stiff pitch, and must keep on till he
should fall or fetch up against some obsta-
cle. His sight was blurred, his head roar-
ing, his legs numb, and where his heart
should be, a strange, suffocating emptiness
seemed to have come —and still he span on.
Then, in a reeling way, he swung the six-
shooter thrice, firing as fast as finger could
pull the trigger; in the same second, sprawl-
ing headlong in a confusion of bleats and
silken fur and beating wings. A tremen-
dous blow from one of the latter cut his
scalp clear across the occiput. ‘The revol-
ver blazed again, and, after a wild thrash-
ing, all was still.

It was some minutes before the hunter
sat up, gazing about him in a dazed way.
132 Andrés, the Arriero.

The rest and the chilly air and the loss of
blood were beginning to counteract the
effects of his imprudent chase.

‘““Well! The next time I shoot before I
think, I won’t shoot!’ he informed himself
without expense of breath, and with the
ghost ofa smile. ‘Wonder I hadn’t killed
myself with such a race, up here. But if
you start, finish!’ and he looked compla-
cently down at the little dead vicufia against
which he leaned; and not a rod away the
huge vulture sprawled upon its back, its
wings outstretched a full dozen feet, its feet
clenched in the empty air.

‘*He got only one swipe at thee, it seems.
It’s all right, so that I came in time to give
thee a more merciful death. So we won’t
grudge the breath it cost me. But the least
thanks thou canst give me is that precious
pelt.” Drawing his knife, the hunter soon
removed that very softest and most ex-

“quisite of all furs. Then with an uneasy
glance at the clouds he turned away, walk-
ing as briskly as his protesting lungs would
allow.

Good! There was the mule all right. It
had not budged a foot; and now, though still
in an attitude of utter dejection, was clearly
out of danger. Directly, master and mule
were jogging off toward the trail at a most
Andrés, the Arriero. 133

doleful gait—which doubtless would have
been mended, if they could have seen
through the rounded hill just ahead. But
the hill was opaque; as hills and circum-
stances ahead are so prone to be; and they
pottered along lazily, until, at a turn over
the ridge, the spurs went drumming such
an unexpected tattoo upon his echoing ribs
that the mule quite forgot himself, and went
pitching down the hill at a pace he had not
taken in a month.

IV.

Away down yonder, a superannuated
buggy and its team stood in the trail. few rods ahead of it, and just at the heels
of a wilted pack-mule, two men were scuf-
fling in the dust; and over them a hooded
figure was bringing down a heavy club.
At that instant the pack beast wakened
enough to turn his head interrogatively,
cocking one ear forward and the other back.
Even as he did so, his nigh hind leg could
be seen to gather itself and suddenly lunge
out behind. A long, linen-shrouded form,
white capped at one end, thereupon doubled
in half, and rose in the air and went whirl-
ing like a boomerang. It fell a full rod
away and did not rise. Then a similar
figure sprang from the buggy and rushed
134 _ Andrés, the Arriero.

at the wrestlers; but midway went down all
at once in a loose heap, as if struck by a
bullet. Nowonder the stranger up yonder
drummed with his heels, and jockeyed, and
whooped; and, finding his charger still too
slow, leaped from its back and came bound-
ing down the hillside like a loosened rock.

Andrés was sitting placidly astride his
prostrate foe, breathing rather hard, but
looking stupidly good-naturedas ever. One
of his fingers was broken, and blood from a
gash on his forehead trickled down his
nose.

““ Mps, viracocha,” he answered to the
breathless traveler’s glance of inquiry,
“the caballeros were set to see the inside of
your boxes, and because I refused they
went to beat me. But when this cannibal
here came upon me, then it was to fight.
The blows of a gentleman, yes — but not of
achuncho.* Solmeasured him, thus. And
when the gentleman went to crack me the
squash with his quirt, then did Big-Ears
here, forgetting respect to the powerful,
set heel to his stomach and lift him until
over yonder.”

“And this? I saw him fall as he ran at
you,”’ the vzracocha mustered breath to say.

*Choon-cho; literally, a ‘“‘cannibal’’—the word used
specifically of the man-eating tribes of the upper Amazon,
and in general as a term of reproach.


Andrés, the Arriero. 135

“He? Mbps, but it will be the sorojchi—
see you not how the blood falls from his
mouth? And you see, wiracocha, how
strong is the coca! Because I sacrificed at
the apacheta, as one should, to the spirits of
the high places, it has allcomeas the mouth
would ask. Without that, then, the gentle-
men would have left me hére, of no more
use to your grace, and the magic boxes
would be emptied in the light.”

When night came down on the Quimca-
chata, a gusty snowstorm, with howling
intervals of hail, beset the pass. It roared
at the hills, it swooped down the cafions as
ifin search of some living thing it might
turn toice before morning. But inside the
low, dirty tambo, they only. laughed at its
rage. The bald stone hut in a little nook
under the shoulder of a hill had neither
window nor chimney; and a heavy poncho
of llama hair was the temporary door. It
“was a fair type of the zaméos of the Andes
— those tenantless, cheerless wayside shel-
ters that save the traveler in those bleak
lands from perishing. On the sooty hearth
a faint blaze of teguz wavered, and the smoke
wandered out as best it could or made itself
at home in the bare room. Uponthe rough
stone bench along the walls sat five men,

1
136 Andrés, the. Arriero.

and in the farther corner six mules nosed
wistfully in a rubbish heap for casual
straws. Of the men two were Indians, and
both wore bandaged heads. The third
guest of this inn without a landlord ap-
peared to be an American, and he also had
ahandkerchief bound about hisskull. ‘The
two others were handsome, swarthy men in
costly vicufia ponchos. They sat on linen
dusters, from the pockets of which peeped
the tasseled ends of two white caps.

One member of the party cast now and
then a sly glance at these. So, instead of
clowns going to some feast, these were two
wealthy Bolivians. And those astonishing
head masks which had so mystified him
were merely to save their faces from that
trying mountain air—so Andrés had in-
formed him, with an evident effort not to
pity his ignorance. And looking at those
coffee complexions he had serious work to
keep from smiling at the thought of trying
to keep them from sunburn.

‘“* Pues, it is as well the zambo was near,
for none of us were in shape to go much
farther to-night, even forgetting the storm.
fa! But how it howls, as if disappointed!”

It- was the American who broke the si-
lence, though he spoke, of course,in Spanish
Andrés, the Arriero. 137

—the only common possession of the five
tongues.

“You have reason, caballero,”” answered
the taller of the two dons, courteously.
“And even more am I glad that we make
ourselves pardoned. Of a truth, we were
most ignorant that to open your cases would
spoil all; nor could we have thought to take
the liberty, but that we believed you a—a
seller baiting us for higher pay. But we
were well answered. Your so obstinate
arriero made me forget myself, and I give
youa caballero’s apology. But that mule—
ay de mt! I thought Illampu itself had
tumbled upon me!”

“Verily, sefior! I saw it from the hill,
and it was so prettily done as I never could
have believed. Why, sefior, he shut you at
the waist like a knife with a strong spring!”

The cavalier smiled a trifle weakly at the .

description, but he said frankly:
_ “He did but justice. I have shame to
think how I lost a gentleman’s temper.
And so little more and I could have broken
your man’s head. But since you have the
fineness to hold no malice, it is well.”

“‘Oh, I know curiosity and temper both.
Only that it is Andrés’s head and not mine.
But his need not be too sore — for you have
caused me to double his wages from to-day.
138 Andrés, the Arriero.

An arriero that will stand a broken head to
guard the amo’s load — well, I haven't found
him ery, abundantin Bolivia, nor anywhere
else.”

“You have reason always. And—er—
understood that — pues, you know that Don
Juan de Jatregui cannot say to an arriero,

‘pardon’! But in purity of truth, he is
faithful, and I would be glad to Bive him a
well paid position on the chacra.”

“Bh, Andrés? The cavalier offers justly.
What sayest thou?”

Andrés’s face beamed simply, and he
twisted his skull cap as he rose with a
clumsy bow.

“T shall be glad,” he stammered. ‘But
only if—until—when that the viracocha
shall have no more need of anarriero. For
while the magic boxes have to ride on the
ribs of a mule, it is safer that I be driver —
since the vzracocha has shown me, and I
know how they must betreated. ‘Gently!
Gently! And for the life of you, let no light
come into them!’”’
Our Yellow Slave



Our Yellow Slave.

$

HE only metal in the world that is

yellow is the most precious of them
all—gold. Brass is not a metal, but an
alloy, a compound. And the color which
gold shares with the sun has a great deal
to do with its value. I do not suppose it
would be possible that we should ever have
come to love and admire any metal so much
as to choose it for our highest currency and
our ornaments, no matter how rare or duc-
tile it might be, if it were of a dark, dull,
gloomy color. ‘The human eye never gets
too old to be pleased with very much the
same things which pleased it in childhood;
and no eye is insensible to that precious
yellow.

I like sometimes to think back to the first
man of all men that ever held that rock of
the sun in his savage hand, and to imagine
how he found it, and how it made his sharp
eyes twinkle, and how he wondered at its
weight, and pounded it with one smooth

rock upon another and found he could flat-
141
142 Our Yellow Slave.

tenit. Allthese things come by accident,
and gold was an accident that befell when
the world was very young. No doubt there
had been a great rain, that washed the
heavy lump from its nest in some gravelly
stream bank, and the prehistoric man, in
his tunic of skins, chanced that way and
found it. Mayhap it was the very rain of
the Flood itself, and the poor barbarian
who picked up the yellow nugget sank with
it still in his swarthy fist.

We do not even know the name of the
man who first discovered gold, nor where
he lived, nor when. But it was very, very
long ago. Before the time of Joseph and
the coat of many colors, gold had already
become not only a discovered fact, but a
part of the world. The early Egyptians
got their gold from Nubia, so very likely
the discovery was first made in Africa. At
all events, it dates back to the very child-
hood of the race; and before Cadmus had
found those more important nuggets of the
alphabet, mankind had achieved the pretti-
est plaything it ever found.

In the very first chapter of the first and
noblest of poems, Homer tells of the priest
who came withagolden ransom to the camp
of the Greeks before Troy, to buy his
daughter free; and the sunny metal figures
Our Yellow Slave. 143

everywhere in the oldest mythology we
know. You have all read—and I hope in
Hawthorne’s ‘“‘ Tanglewood Tales,’ where
the story is more beautifully told than it
was ever elsewhere—of Jason and the Ar-
gonauts, and of how they sailed to find the
Golden Fleece. That was a fabulous ram-
skin, whose locks were of pure gold. No
wonder the deadly dragon in the dark
groves of the Colchian king guarded it so
jealously. Of course the myth is only a
poetic form—as stories generally assume
in the folk-lore of an undeveloped race—of
saying that Jason and his bold fellow-sailors
of the Argo sailed to the gold fields of
Asia, and found them. The mines whose
fabled richness tempted them to that ad-
venturous voyage in their overgrown row-
boat of fifty oars, were in the Caucasus
mountains, and produced a great deal of
the gold which was used by the ancients.
They were doubtless among the first gold
mines in the world, and their product gilded
the splendor of many of the first great
monarchs of history. As late as 1875 an
attempt was made by Europeans to work
these mines, but nothing came of it.

“Rich as Croesus”’ has been for more than
two thousand years a proverb which is not
yet supplanted; and that last king of Lydia
144 Our Yellow Slave.

—and richest king of all time, according to
the ancient myths— got his wealth from
placer mines in the river Pactolus, whose
name has been as synonymous with gold
as Croeesus’s own. One of the strangest
and wisest of the folk-stories of ancient
Greece tells how that little river in Asia
Minor first gained its golden sands. Some
seven hundred years before Christ, there
was a king of Phrygia who had more gold
than Croesus ever dreamed of —so much
gold that it made him the poorest man in the
world! It was King Midas, son of Gordius,
who earned this strange distinction. He
had done a favor to Dionysus, and the god
said gratefully : ‘Wish one wish, whatever
thou wilt, and I will grant it.”” Now Midas
had already caught the most dangerous of
all ‘‘ yellow fevers’’—the fever for gold —
and he replied: ‘“‘Then let it be that all
things which I shall touch shall be turned
into gold.”

Dionysus promptly granted this foolish
prayer;and Midaswas very happy for alittle
time. He picked up stones from the ground,
and instantly they changed to great lumps
of gold. His staff was gold, and his very
clothing became yellow and so heavy that
he could barely stagger. under its weight.
This was very fine indeed! He touched the
Our Yellow Slave. 145

corner of his palace—and lo! the whole
building became a house of pure gold.
Splendid! He entered, and touched what
took his fancy; and furniture, and clothing,
and all, underwent the same magic change.
Better and better! ‘I’m the luckiest king
alive,” chuckled Midas, still looking about
for something new to transmute.

But even kings who have’ the golden
touch must sometimes eat, and presently
Midas grew hungry with so much wealth-
making. He clapped his hands, and the
servants spread the royal table. A touch
of the royal finger, and table and cloth and
dishes were yellow gold. This was some-
thing like! The exhilarated king sat down
and broke a piece of bread—but as he
lifted it, it was strangely heavy, and he saw
that it, too, was of the precious metal! A
doubt ran through his foolish head whether
even the golden touch might not have its
drawbacks; but he was very hungry, and
did not wait to weigh the question. If his
fingers turned the bread to gold, he would
take something from a spoon —and he lifted
a ladle of broth to his mouth. But the in-
stant it touched his lips, the broth turned
to a great yellow button, which dropped
ringing back upon the golden board.

7
146 Our Yellow Slave.

The disquieted king rose and walked out
of the palace. At the door he met his fair-
faced little daughter, who held up a bright
flower tohim. Midas laid his hand gently
upon her head, for he loved the child, foolish
as he was. And lo! his daughter stood mo-
tionless before him—a pitiful little statue
of shining gold!

How much longer this accursed power
tormented the miserable monarch the myth
does not tell us; but he wascured at last by
bathing in the river Pactolus, and the wash-
ing away of his magic power filled the sands
of the stream with golden grains.

The Midases are not dead yet—for the
one of ancient fable there are thousands to-
day, at whose very touch all turns to gold.
Their food does not become metal between
their lips — but often it might as well, for
all the joy they have of it. And the little
Phrygian princess was not the only child to
be changed and hardened forever by the
“Golden Touch.”

Gold figures largely through all the quaint
history-fables of the ancients; and history
itself is full of tales hardly less remarkable. |
The early history of America was made by
gold—or rather, by golden hopes which
achieved wonders for civilization, but very
little for the pockets of the most wonderful
Our Yellow Slave. 147

explorers the world has ever seen. Hadit
not been for the presence of gold here —
and the supposed presence of even more
than has yet been dug— the western hemis-
phere would be very much of a wilderness
still. It was the chase of the golden myths
which led to the astounding achievements
that opened the New World; and since then,
almost to this day, civilization has followed
with deliberate march only in the hasty
footprints of the gold seekers. No tale was
too wild to find credence with the early
adventurers.

The fabled ransom of Montezuma is alla
fable; but it is a fact that Atahualpa, the
head Inca of Peru, did pay to that marvel-
ous soldier Pizarro a ransom of golden ves-
sels sufficient to fill a room twenty-two by
seventeen feet to a height of nearly nine
feet above the floor! While gold was not
much in use in Mexico, there was a great
deal of it employed in Peru for sacred
utensils and idols and for personal orna-
ments; and to this day the ‘‘mummy
miners’’ are taking it out there. The
early Spanish discoveries of gold in North
America were unimportant, despite the
gilded myths which have surrounded them.
In Columbus’s time the gold fields of the -
known world were so ‘“‘worked out” that
148 Our Yellow Slave.

their product was barely enough to meet
the ‘‘wear and tear ”’ of the precious metal
in use; so there was crying need of new
finds. But they came slowly.

By 1580 there were vague rumors of gold
in what is now California. Loyola Casallo,
a visiting priest, saw placer gold there, and
tells of it in his book written in 1690. In
the last century Antonio Alcedo speaks of
lumps of California gold, weighing from five
to eight pounds. But though its presence
was known, and though the rocky ribs of
the Golden State hid far more millions
than were dreamed of —and perhaps than
are dreamed of yet— there was little min-
ing, and that little with scant success.

The first gold discovery in the American
-colonies was in Cabarrus county, North
Carolina, in 1799; and up to 1827 that state
was the only gold-producer in the Union.
In 1824 Cabarrus county sent the first
American gold to the mint in Philadelphia.
The Appalachian gold field, which embraces
part of Virginia, and stretches across North
Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, touch-
ing also parts of Tennessee and Alabama,
was once looked to for great things; but it
long ago dropped from all importance.

In 1828 the New Placers were discovered
in New Mexico, some fifty miles south of
Our Yellow Slave. 149

Santa Fé, and for a great many years pro-
duced richly. Even to this day they are far
from unproductive. Gold had been found
in New Mexico many generations before,
but never in quantities to come anywhere
near paying. A decade later, placer gold
was discovered in Santa Barbara county,
California, in the vast rancho of that gallant
old hidalgo whose home was described by
Mrs. Jackson as the home of ‘ Ramona.”
These placers have been worked steadily
though clumsily by Mexicans ever since;
and I havea waxy nugget which was washed
cut in Piru creek in 1838.

Within half a century the world’s supply
of gold had long been inadequate to the
growing demand. Russia was the chief
producer; and her mines—discovered about
1745— kept the nations from a “famine”
which would be most disastrous. There
were old mines in China, but little worked;
and though Japan’s gold output was large,
it was but a drop in the cosmopolitan
bucket. Russia at present, by the way,
produces an average of twenty millions of
gold a year.

The wonderful gold fields of Australia
were discovered in 1839 by Count Strzelcki;
but the priceless find was concealed, for a
curious reason. Australia was already
150 Our Yellow Slave.

England’s out-door prison; and it was
feared that if the golden news were known
the 45,000 desperate convicts there would
rise in rebellion and annihilate their keep-
ers—as they could well have done. So for
a dozen years the mighty secret was jeal-
ously guarded; and thousands walked un-
suspecting over the dumb gravel that held
a million fortunes. In 1848 Rev. W. B.
Clark again stumbled upon the dangerous
secret, but again the discovery was sup-
pressed; and it was not until California
had set the whole world on fire with excite-
ment which nothing could bottle up, that
Australia threw off her politic mask. In
1851 E. H. Hargreaves, who had just come
from the new mines of California, saw that
Australia was geologically a gold country ;
and his prospecting proved his surmises
correct. The news spread in spite of cau-
tious officials; and the wild epidemic of for-
tune seekers pitted the face of the island-
continent, and watered its thirsty sands
with blood. Even yet, Australia is produc-
ing over $45,000,000 gold a year.

The rich gold fields of New Zealand were
first found in 1842, but were not extensively
worked until 1856, when the swarming gold
hunters had overrun the Australian fields,
and the restless sought still easier wealth.
Our Yellow Slave. 151

As [have told you, gold was mined spas-
modically in California much more than two
centuries ago, and steadily mined for more
than a decade before the ‘‘great discovery”
which was to change the face of an empire
and bring about what was in many ways
the most remarkable migration in the whole
history of the human race. But these early
diggings of the precious metal made little
stir. The swarthy miners delved away
quietly, exchanged their glittering “dust”
for rough food and other rude necessaries,
and made no noise. They were very much
out of the world. The telegraph, the rail-
road and the printing press were far from
touch with them. There werea few “Amer-
icans”’ in California, and even one or two
newspapers, but neither paid attention to
the occasional rumors of gold, save to
ridicule them.

But on the ninth day of February, 1848,
alittle girl held in her unknowing hand the
key of the West—the wee yellow seed which
was to spring into one of the most won-
drous plants in history. On the American
fork of the Sacramento river, in what is
now El Dorado county, Cal., stood a shabby
little mill, owned by an American named
Sutter. (Californians, by the way, pro-
nounce the name ‘‘Soo’-ter.”’) The millrace
152 Our Yellow Slave.

became broken, and three men were hired
to repair it. ‘Two were Mormons, and the
third, the overseer, was named Marshall.
As the men worked, Marshall’s little daugh-
ter played about them—dreaming as littie
as did her elders that she was to upset a
continent.

A yellow pebble in an angle of the sluice
caught her eye, and picking the pretty trifle
from the wet sand, she ran to her father
with, ‘‘Papa! see the pitty stone.” It was
indeed a pretty stone, and Marshall at once
suspected its value. Tests proved that he
was right, and gold was really found. The
discovery made some little noise among the
few Americans in that lonely, far land, but
nothing was known of it to the world until
Rey. C. S. Lyman, who saw some of the
nuggets which further search yielded,
wrote a letter to the American Journal of
Science, in March, 1848. As soon as the
news was in type, it spread swiftly to the
four ends of the earth, and already by Au-
gust of the same year four thousand excited
men were tearing up the sands of the Amer-
ican Fork, and coaxing them to yield their
golden secrets. And well they succeeded,
for every day saw from $30,000 to $50,000
worth of gold washed out and transferred
to rude safes of bottles or buckskin sacks.
Our Yellow Slave. 153

How long and high that gold fever raged;
how it patted the fearful intervening des-
ert with the weary footprints of tens
of thousands of modern Jasons; how it
brought around the Horn a thousand
heavy ships for every one that sailed be-
fore; how it overturned and created anew
the money markets of the world; how it
turned a vast wilderness into the garden of
the world, and pulled the Union a thousand
miles over to the West, and caused the build-
ing of such enormous railway lines as man-
kind had never faintly dreamed of, and did
a thousand other wonders, you already
know—for it has made literature as well
as history. Our national history is crowded
with great achievements, but its chief ro-

mance was—
‘““The days of old,
The days of gold,
The days of 749,’

California produced $5,000,000 gold in
1848, and crazed the civilized world. The
output grew to $60,000,000 by 1852. To-day
the state yields between eleven and twelve
million dollars’ worth of gold a year, and it
creates no excitement whatever; for its peo-
ple are more occupied with mining the safer
gold of agriculture.

Of late years South Africa has entered
the field as one of the great gold countries.
154 Our Yellow Slave.

Its annual ‘crop’ is over forty millions.
‘There is a possibility that hereafter Alaska
will have to be added to the list. This
summer of 1897 between $3,000,000 and
$4,000,000 in “dust” and small nuggets came
out of the region generally and loosely called
“The Klondike.”? Isaw in the San Fran-
cisco mint 152,000 ounces the returning
miners poured out from their buckskin
bags. Over 3,000 people left California un-
der the excitement caused by the exhibition
of these treasures, in a “‘gold-rush”’ which
recalled the old days, by its fever and its
follies; but the Klondike rush will probably
be remembered, whatever its results in
gold, as the most disastrous in history.
Instead of the mild climates of California,
Australia and South Africa (and thousands
lost health and life even there) the gold
seekers upon the Klondike will have to do
with the cruel winters and inhospitable
wildernesses of a land almost under the
Arctic Circle.

Of the various methods of liberating our
Yellow Slave from the hard clutches of the
earth it would be too long to speak in detail
here; but they are broadly divided into two
classes, according to the surroundings of
the gold itself. Free or “placer” gold —
Our Yellow Slave. 155

which was for centuries the first known to -
mankind, and which was the sort that
started the great ‘“‘fever ”’ in California and
Australia—is found in beds of sand and
gravel, generally the present or former bed
ofastream. Itis extracted —this precious
needle from an enormous and worthless
haystack — by means of its own weight;
water being applied in various manners to
give that weight a chance to assert itself.
The mixed gravel is given up to the mer-
cies of running water, which wets it
through, and causes its heaviest parts to
sink to the bottom, where they are held by
artificial obstacles, while the lighter parti-
cles of sand are swept away by the natural
or artificial current. In this manner the
vast mass of soil is water-sifted until but
little is left; and from that little it is easy to
hunt out the coy yellow grains.

The placer gold was not formed in the
gravel banks where it is found, but came
there by the death of its mother rock. All
gold began in ‘‘ veins ”’ in the earth’s rocky
ribs; but Time, with his patient hammers
of wind and rain and frost, has pounded
vast areas of these rocks to sand; and the
gold, broken from great bands to lumps,
has drifted with the bones of the mountains
into the later heaps of gravel.
156 Our Yellow Slave.

The processes of mining gold which still
remains in its original home in the rocks
are far more complicated. There is a vast
amount of boring to be done into the flinty
hearts of the mountains, with diamond-
pointed drills and with blasting; and then
the rock, which is dotted with the precious
yellow flakes, has to be crushed between the
steel jaws of great mills. Much of the gold
that is mined, too, is so chemically changed
. that it does not look like gold at all, and re-
quires special chemical processes to coax
it out. In gold (and silver) mining mer-
cury is one of the most important factors.
It is the mineral sheriff, and swift to arrest
any fugitive fleck of gold that may come in
its way. The sluice boxes in extensive
placer mines, and the ‘‘sheets’’ in stamp
mills are all charged with quicksilver,
which saves a vast amount of the finer gold
dust that would be otherwise swept away
by the current of water—for water is
equally essential in both kinds of mining.

There is no such thing as pure gold,
often as we hear the phrase. Nature’s own
“virgin gold’ is always alloyed with silver;
and the very purest is but 98 or 97 per cent
gold. California gold averages about the
fineness of our American coin — 90 per cent
pure. As a general rule, the lighter the
Our Yellow Slave. 157

color the purer the gold. The beautiful red
gold gets its color from a large alloy of
copper.

It is an odd fact that the sea is full of
gold. No doubt at the bottom of that stu-
pendous basin which has received for all
time the washings of all the world, there
is an incalculable wealth of golden dust; but
the strange ocean mine is not all so deep
down as that. The sea water itself carries
gold in solution —a grain of gold to every
ton of water, as a famous chemist has
shown.

Among the historical big nuggets found
in various parts of the world, there have
been some wonderful yellow lumps. In
Cabarrus county, N. C., one was found in
1810 which weighed thirty-seven pounds
Troy. In 1842 the gold fields of Zlatoust,
in the Ural, gave a nugget of ninety-six
pounds Troy. The Victoria (Australia)
nugget weighed one hundred and forty-six
pounds and three pennyweights, of which
only six ounces was foreign rock; and the
Ballarat (Australia) nugget was thirty-nine
pounds heavier yet. The largest nugget
ever found was also dug in Australia — the
‘Sarah Sands,’’ named for a far-off loved
one. It reached the astonishing weight of
two hundred and thirty-three pounds and
158 Our Yellow Slave

four ounces Troy! I wonder what Miner
Sands felt when he stuck his pick into that
fortune in one lump!

The quality which makes gold commer-
cially the most valuable of the metals is its
docility. The cunning hammer of the smith
can ‘‘teach”’ it almostanything. The more
stubborn metals crumble after a certain
point; but gold can be hammered into asheet
so infinitely fine that 282,000 of them, piled
one upon the other, would be but an inch
thick! And a flake of gold tiny as a pin-

head can be drawn out, a finer thread than
ever man spun, toa length of five hundred
feet!

There is no end to the uses of gold.
They broaden every day. In some one of
its many forms our Yellow Slave helps us
in almost every art and walk of life. Ithas
become as indispensable as its red fellow-
slave, fire—and.like fire can be as bada
master as it should be a good servant.
The Peak of Gold



The Peak of Gold.

=e :

Ce most remarkable myths that ap-

pear in American history are those
which were so eagerly listened to by the
early Spanish conquerors, who overran
two-thirds of the two Americas long before
the Saxons so much as attempted a foot-
hold in the New World. There was the
famous myth of El Dorado in South America
—a living man covered from head to foot
with pure gold dust andnuggets. In Mex-
ico was the fable of Montezuma’s untold
tons of gold and bushels of precious stones,
and many other impossible things. Ponce
de Leon, the gallant conqueror of Puerto
Rico, paid with his life for the credulity
which led him to the first of our states ever
entered by a European, in quest of an
alleged fountain of perpetual youth —a but-
terfly which some of the world’s learned
doctors are still chasing under another
form. And all across the arid Southwest
the hot winds have scattered the dust of
brave but too-believing men who fell in the
desert through which they pursued some
162 The Peak of Gold.

glittering shape of the American golden
fleece. When Alvar Nufiez Cabeza de Vaca,
the first American traveler, walked across
this continent from ocean to ocean, over
three hundred and fifty years ago, he heard
from the Indians many gilded myths, and
chief of them were those concerning the
famous Seven Cities of Cibola. So enorm-
ously abundant was gold said to be in these
Indian cities, that it was put to the meanest
uses. When Vaca got to the Spanish settle-
ments in Mexico and told this wonderful
report it made a great commotion, and soon
afterward that great explorer, Francisco
Vasquez de Coronado, came to the Seven
Cities of Cibola—which surrounded the
site of the present Pueblo Indian town of
Zuni in the extreme west of New Mexico.
But instead of the dazzling cities he ex-
pected, Coronado found only seven adobe
towns, without an ounce of gold (or any
other metal, for that matter) — towns which
were wonderfully curious, but which sorely
disheartened the brave Spanish pioneers. A
little later Coronado heard equally astound-
ing tales of a still more golden aboriginal
city — the fabulous Gran Quivira—and set
out to find it. After a marvelous march
which took him almost to where Kansas
City now is, he found the Quivira-— but no
The Peak of Gold. 163

gold, of course. And it has been the same
ever since. Coronado’s footsore men ran
down their fables in 1541. Certainly not a
decade, and very likely not a year, has
passed since then in which some equally
proposterous story of incalculable treasures
has not been born and found followers in the
Southwest.

I know of but one thing in the world more
remarkable than that the Spaniards should
have believed such self-evident myths; and
that one thing is that so many, many Amer-
icans believe them to-day. Not long agoI
visited the most remote and inaccessible
ruins in the Southwest, and found there the
work of these sanguine dupes, who had
actually dug through solid rock in search of
buried treasure. And even while I write a
party is digging, a hundred miles to the
west, for a treasure as mythical, and as
palpably so, as that at the end of the rain-
bow. ‘The stories of golden mountains, of
buried millions and of mysterious “lost
mines ’?— far richer, of course, than those
which any one can find—in New Mexico
alone would fill a volume.

I had once the good fortune to run across
some old and fragmentary Spanish manu-
scripts of the last century and the begin-
ning of this, which are extremely interest-
164 The Peak of Gold.

ing. It is not often that we get so much
documentary evidence concerning the gold-
en will-o’-the-wisps which have lured so
many to disappointment and death. The
writings all bear the stamp of implicit be-
lief, and the old soldier, in particular, who
is the hero of the fragmentary story, is of-
ten unconsciously eloquent and sometimes
pathetic in his recital. I translate all the
documents literally.

The first manuscript is a certified copy
(certified in the City of Mexico, March 5,
1803), of the ‘‘relation ” and petition of Ber-
nardo de Castro, a copy for which the Span-
ish governor of New Mexico had sent.
Bernardo’s story and appeal are as follows,
rendering as closely as possible the quaint
language of the day:

“Most Excellent Sir: Bernardo de Cas-
tro, retired sergeant of the company of San
Carlos [St. Charles] of the government of
the City of Chihuahua, in the Provinces of
the Interior, admitted to citizenship in the
City of Santa Fé, capital of the kingdom of
New Mexico, and resident of this capital,
goes on and before Your Excellency says:
That having served our Royal Monarch for
the space of nine years and eight monthsas
sergeant of the said company in the count-
less combats at which I assisted against the
The Peak of Gold. 165

nations of the ynfidels [Indians], I came out
with a lance-thrust in one leg, of the which
it resulted that I was placed in the Ynvalid
corps by the Sir Commander Don Juan de
Ugalde. But considering that with time
and medicines I recovered and gained
strength to seek my subsistence free from
the hardships to which the frontier troop
is exposed from the Mecos [probably the
Apaches], I gave up for the benefit of the
royal exchequer my pay as invalid sergeant,
and have followed working in the same
kingdom of New Mexico.. There I have
suffered various fights —as it befell in the
past year of 1798, that while I was conduct-
ing a multitude of large cattle and other
effects, the whole valued at more than
$14,000, from New Mexico to El Paso del
Norte, the barbarous Mecos assailed me,
and after a long battle, in which flowed
much human blood, they carried off all I
had in the world. And we gave to God
thanks for having saved us even the life.

“This continual contact with the savages
has contracted me a friendship with the
Cumanche nation, which is at peace with
the Spaniards, and understanding their
idiom facilitates me in trading with them to
gain my livelihood.
166 The Peak of Gold.

“In the past year, 1798, larrived in Santa
Fé and presented myself to the Sir Gov-
ernor Don Fernando Chacon. His Lord-
ship informed me that there had come a
Frenchman and had shown him a piece of
metal of fine gold, assuring him he knew
the spot where it was produced, and that it
was a peak which the ynfidel nations called
Peak of the Gold, where there was such an
abundant breeding-place of this precious
metal that all the peak and even its sur-
roundings could with propriety be said to
be pure gold. -That he offered to show the
spot if his Lordship would guard him with
three hundred men of troops, and this he
was bound to grant for the benefit of our
monarch. That the distance, he consid-
ered, would be a matter of eight or nine
days’ journey. The faithful love to our
Sovereign animated the Sir Governor, and
he supplied the escort which had marched
two days before, and his said Lordship in-
formed me that if he had found me in the
city he would have made me one of the com-
manders. This offer inspired me, and I
offered to follow after the expedition, and
the love with which I have always served
my lord, the King, enabled me by the ut-
most exertion to overtake the expedition,
The Peak of Gold. 167

with which I incorporated myself on the
third day.

“And journeying on our course, on the
ninth day the French guide slipped away
from us, leaving us in the plains without
knowledge of the road to our desired peak.
At the which it was resolved by the leaders
of the expedition to return to Santa Fé.
But I, not suffering from the short march,
separated from the expedition and went on
alone to verify the report. And in the
rancherias [villages] of the Cumanches,
where I was entertained, when I told them
the trick and the mockery that the French-
man had put upon us, they assured me with
one accord that the said Frenchman did not
know the location of the peak at all, and
that he had never been there, for the gold
which he took to New Mexico they them-
selves had given him in exchange for vari-
ous trinkets of coral, belts. and other tri-
fles. But that they knew the peak of gold,
that was indeed with an abundance never
seen before, and if I would go with them
they would show me it, and I could pick up
all I wished, and if we met any other nation
[of Indians] I should not be harmed if with
them, for they were all friends.

“Indeed, most illustrious Sir, only by my
fidelity and obedience to my superior could
168 The Peak of Gold.

I contain myself not to march to the peak
without delay; and I told my friends the
Mecos Cumanches, that I was going to seek
permission of that Sir Governor of the New
Mexico, and with it would return. I ar-
rived in Santa Fé and sought that permis-
sion, but it was denied me. But continuing
my visits to the Mequeria [I find that] so
strong a desire have they formed for the
granting of that permission and the devel-
opment of this treasure, and the facility
there is that the Spaniards enjoy it and that
their Sovereign make heavy his royal cof-
fers, that I resolved to make a walk of more
than seven hundred leagues to seek the aid
and encouragement of Your Excellency.
[The brave sergeant so fully believed in his
Peak of Gold that he actually walked nearly
2,200 miles alone through a most dangerous
country to lay the matter before the Vice-
roy in Mexico.]

““My plan being approved, it is unde-
niable that the Royal treasury will be
swelled by the tithes and dues to the Royal
crown; new interest will animate men to
follow up the discovery, and there will be
civilized (with time and the friendship
which is contracted with the nations of the
Cumanches, Yutas and Navajosos) more
than three hundred leagues of virgin and
The Peak of Gold. 169

- powerful lands—that being reckoned the
distance from the city of Santa Fé to the
Peak of Gold. The inhabitants of the in-
ternal provinces, who now live under the
yoke of the assaults of the hostile Indians,
will revive; it will be easier for the Sov-
ereign to guard the frontiers of these his
vastdominions. Settlements will be made,
and insensibly will follow the conquest and
pacification of the ynfidels, who will easily
embrace the holy Gospel and come under
the faith of Jesus Christ. What results to
religion, to the monarch and to his vassals
are presented, even by this clumsy narra-
tion!

“T do not intend to burden the Royal
treasury with the slightest expense, nor do
I think to involve the Royal arms in actions
which might imperil the troops. My per-
son is declared past its usefulness for the
Royal service, and I count myself as a dead
man for entering matters of importance.
But my military spirit does not falter, and I
only desire to manifest, even at the foot of
the tomb, my love to my Sovereign. With
only one faithful companion I intend to go
among my friends, the Cumanches, and,
with the protection and guidance of them,
to enter and explore the land, silently, with-
out noise or preparation, to force a passage.
170 The Peak of Gold.

Quietness, the gray shadows of the night
and our own courage are the only prepara-
tions I make for the difficult undertaking,
and, above all, the divine aid. Having
found the desired Peak of Gold, charted
the roads to it, made the due surveys, and
gathered so much of the precious metal as”
we can transport without making danger
(and under the divine favor), I will present
myself again to Your Excellency, and by
your Superiority will be taken such stepsas
the state of the case demands.

“Under which considerations, and the
solid arguments which I have expressed, of
which Your Excellency can receive full con-
firmation from the most excellent Sefior
Don Pedro de Nava, commander-in-chief of
the interior provinces, and Don Joseph
Casiano Feaomil y Garay, lieutenant-captain
of dragoons of San Luis Potosi, I humbly
beg of Your Excellency that in use of your
Viceroyal powers, you deign to grant me
your superior permission to go in search of
the Peak of Gold; being kind enough to send
to the Sefior Don Fernando Chacon, actual
Governor of the New Mexico, that he put
no difficulty in my path, and giving orders
to the captains and chiefs of the friendly
nations—Cumanches, Yutas and Navajosos
The Peak of Gold. 171

— that they accompany and guide mein this
expedition.

‘And I respectfully say that my delay in
getting to this Capital [the City of Mexico]
was because I had to come nearly all the
way on foot, my horse having given out in
that great distance, and that now Iam sup-
ported here by alms, such is my great anx-
iety for the benefit of the monarch, and
beg that I be excused for this paper. [He
was too poor to buy the stamped and taxed
paper on which petitions to the Viceroy
must be addressed.]

“For so much I pray Your Excellency’s
favor. Bernarpo Castro.”

He had the real spirit of the Argonauts,
this crippled old soldier, to whom poverty.
and danger and 2,000-mile walks were trifles
when they stood between him and his Peak
of Gold.

The Viceroy evidently gave the desired
permission— without which, under the
strict Spanish laws, no such venture was to
be thought of—and there were one or more
expeditions, but unfortunately we have left
no account of them. It is clear that the
Viceroy ordered Governor Chacon, of New
Mexico, to assist Castro in his undertaking,
and that the matter aroused a good deal of
interest throughout the provinces of New
12 The Peak of Gold.

Spain. Don Nemecio Salcedo, military com-
mandant at Chihuahua, seems to have inter-
ested himself in the matter, for the next
document in this fragmentary series is a
draft of a reply to him from Governor
Chacon, as follows:

‘“‘ According to that which Your Lordship
advises me in communication of the 16th
of September of the current year, I repeat
that as to the expedition of Bernardo Castro
to the discovery of the Peak of Gold, I will
help him and the others who accompany
him, that they may have no difficulty with
the General of the Cumanches, whom, how-
ever, I have not yet seen, since he has not
yet returned with the ransom he offered me
when he was last in this capital.

“‘God, etc. Santa Fee, 25th of F ber, 1803.

“To Sefior Don Nemo. Salcedo.”

There was other correspondence be-
tween these two on the same matter, for
now we come to an original letter from
Commandant Salcedo to Governor Chacon,
replying toa late one of his. It says:

‘The communication of Your Lordship,
No. 36, of the 18th of last November, leaves
me informed of all the assistances you gave
Bernardo Castro, that he might undertake
the second journey [so he had already made
one] from that city, with the object to dis-
The Peak of Gold. 173

cover the Peak of Gold, which he has de-
scribed in the territory of that province.
And of the results I hope Your Lordship
will give me account.

“God guard Your Lordship many years.

‘* CHIHUAHUA, January 5, 1804.

““NEMECIO SALCEDO.

‘*T’o the Sir Governor of New Mexico.’

Poor brave, misguided Bernardo de Cas-
tro! I wish we might have more of the
documents about his venturesome wander-
ings in quest of the Peak of Gold. He
must have gone far out into the wastes of
Texas; and at last he, too, yielded up his
life, as did countless of his countrymen
before him, to that deadliest of yellow fe-
vers. We lose all track of him until Gov-
ernor Chaves writes from Santa Fé, in
1829, to his superior in the City of Mex-
ico, who had written to ask him about these
and other matters. His letter says:

“Most Excellent Sir: In compliance with
that which Your Excellency requests in
your official letter of the 19th of August
last, that I make the necessary verifications
upon the mineral reported by the Rey.
Father Custodian of these missions, Fray
Sevastian Alvares, to be found among the
gentile Comanches, I have investigated the
matter, and place in the knowledge of Your
174 The Peak of Gold.

Excellency that which various of the citi-
zens of this capital—and all of them most
veracious—say. ‘They all agree in that it
is a fact that Don Bernardo de Castro [the
old soldier had evidently won honorable rec-
ognition, else a Governor of New Mexico
would not speak of him by the respectful
title of ‘‘Don’’] entered this territory with
the object of seeking the said mineral ; that
he made various expeditions with this ob-
ject, until in one of them he was slain by
the heathen Apaches.

“Passing to information received from
' the travelers to that nation, all agree in the
statement that the Comanches offer to sell
them pouches filled with a metal which ap-
pears fine and of great weight, which they
say they get from the neighborhood of the
Ash peaks (which are very well known to
our people, but not explored or charted,
because they are distant from the trails).

“The citizen Pablo Martin has been he
who expressed himself most fully. He,
knowing that the said Don Bernardo de
Castro sought a mineral in the Comanche
nation, has procured them to look for the
said mineral. The only result was that
one Comanche named Pafio de Lienso
[‘Cloth of Linen’], who made himself his
companion, gave him information that be-
The Peak of Gold. 175

yond the Ash peaks, in some round hills,
were stones with much silver, whereof the
said Comanche had carried some to the
province of San Antonio de Bejar [Texas],
where they made buttons for him. Hewho
made the buttons charged the Comanche to
bring him a load [of that metal], but he did
not do so, because in that time came the
war of his people with that province. Other
Comanches also have told him [Pablo Mar-
tin] that in said spot were stones with
silver. :

‘This is all I have been able to find out
as the results of my investigations, the
which I place in the knowledge of Your Ex-
cellency, that you may put it to the use
which you deem best.

“Santa Fes, 30 of 8ber of 1829.

‘“ CHAVES.”’

And there, so far as we know it now, is
the story of the Peak of Gold.



Pablo’s Deer Hunt



Pablo’s Deer Hunt.
$e

A PUEBLO FAIRY TALE TOLD OVER.

HE yellow cottonwoods above the Rio
Grande shivered in the fresh Octo-
ber morning as the sun peeped over the
Eagle Feather mountain into the valley of
his people. Above the flat, gray pueblo of
Shee-eh-hufb-bak the bluish breath of five
hundred slender chimneys melted skyward
in tall spirals. Upon hereand therealevel
housetop a blanket-swathed figure stared
solemnly at the great, round, blinding

house of T’hoor-id-deh, the Sun Father.
Then a burro, heavy eared and slow of
pace, rattled the gravel on the high bluff,
gazed mournfully on the muddy eddies, and
broke out in stentorian brays. Apparently
Flojo* felt downcast. Across these treach-
erous quicksands the grass was still tall in
the vega —why did not Pablo take him over
too? And mustering up his ears, he trotted
almost briskly down the slope to the water’s
edge, where a swart young Apollo was just
stepping into the swift current. Tall,
sinewy, lithe as Keem-eé-deh, the mountain

* Flo-ho ue
180 Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

lion that lent its tawny hide for the bow-
case in his hand; his six feet of glowing
bronze broken only by a modest clout of
white at the supple waist, his dense black
hair falling straight upon broad, bare
shoulders, and his dark eyes watchful of
the swirling waters, the young Pueblo
strode sturdily in, paying no heed to the
forlorn watcher upon the shore. In a mo-
ment he was in the channel swimming
easily, one hand holding the bow-case above
the red bundle upon his jet crown. Sush-
sh! sush-sh! splosh! splash! splash! and
Flojo heaved a great sigh as his master
went spattering across the farther shoals,
and at last climbed the sandy eastern
bank.

Pablo unrolled the bundle from his head,
wriggled, wet-skinned, into the red. print
shirt and snowy calzoncillos, wrapped their
flapping folds about his calf with the buck-
skin leggings of rich maroon; belted these
at either knee with a wee, gay sash from
the looms of Moqui, fastened the moccasins
with their silver buttons, and, with the
tawny sheath of bow and arrows slung
across his back, started at a swift walk.
Once only he stopped, after a scramble up
the gravel hills that scalloped the plateau,
to look back a moment. The long ribbon
Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 181

of the valley, now faded from its summer
green, banded the bare brown world from
north to south, threaded with the errant
silver of the river, whose farthest shimmer
flashed back from under the purple mass of
the Mountain of the Thieves. Midway lay
the pueblo, dozing amid its orchards below
the black cone of the Kift-mai, and Pablo
_ shook his head sadly, as he turned again
and strode across the broad, high Zano.
“Tt is not well in the village,” he mut-
tered, ‘‘for it is full of them that have the
evil road. The Cum-pah-huit-lah-wen have
told me that the half of those of Shee-eh-
huib-bak are witches; but not all can be
punished. But it is in ill times for us.
Tio Lorenzo is twisted by the Bads so that
he cannot walk; and many die; and did not
Amparo and José Diego marry the prettiest
maidens of the Tee-wahn, only to find them
witches? How shall one take a wife when
so many areaccursed? Itis better to hunt
and forget the women, as do the warriors;
for we know not who are True Believers,
and who have to do with the ghosts.”
Across the wide, sandy plateau the young
Indian walked with undiminished pace; and
as the house of the Sun Father stood in the
middle of the sky, he entereda rocky cafion
of the Eagle Feather mountain and began
182 Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

to climb a spur of the great peak. The
huddled dry leaves under a live oak caught
his eye, and he turned them with deft foot.
‘““Here Pee-id-deh, the deer, slept last
night,’”’ he exclaimed, ‘“‘ for the fresh earth
clings to their under side. And here isa
hair, and here the footmark. If only Keem-
. eé-deh will help me.”

Kneeling by the tree, he broke off a twig
and stuck itin the earth in front of the foot-
print, the fork pointing backward, that
Pee-id-deh might trip and fall as it ran.
Then, drawing the Left-Hand Pouch from
his side, he opened it and reverently took
out a tiny parcel in buckskin, whose folds
soon disclosed a little image of the Mount-
ain Lion, chief of hunters, carved from
adamantine quartz. Its eyes were of the
sacred turquoise; and.in the center of the
belly was inlaid a turquoise heart over the
hollow which held a pinch of the holy corn
meal. On the right side was lashed a tiny
arrow-head of moss agate—one of the pre-
cious “thunder knives” which the Horned
Toad had made and had left for Pablo on
the plains of the Hollow Peak of Winds.
Putting the fetich to his mouth and inhal-
ing from the stone lips, the hunter prayed
aloud to Keem-eé-deh to give him true eyes
and ears, and swift feet to overtake; and
Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 183

rising, gave alow, far roar to terrify the
heart and loosen the knees of his prey.
Then, restoring the image to its pouch, with
bow in hand and three arrows held ready,
he pushed rapidly up hill, with keen eyes to
thedimtrail. Hereatrampled grass blade,
there a cut leaf or overturned pebble, and
again a faint scratch on the rocks, led him
on. At last, just where the flat top of the
mountain had been wrought toa vast arrow-
point by the Giant of the Caves, he sawa
sleek doe standing under a shabby aspen.
Down on his belly went Pablo, and with a
new breath-taking from the stone lips of the
prey-god, crawled snake-like forward. The
deer moved not, and within fifty yards Pa-
blo tugged an arrow to its agate head and
drove it whirring through Pee-id-deh’s
heart. The doe turned her great, soft eyes
toward him, sniffed the air and went bound-
ing up the rocky ledges asif unhurt. Yet
on the left side the grey feathers of the
shaft touched the skin; and once on the
right Pablo caught the sparkle of the gem
tip.

There was a curious ashen tint in the
bronze of his cheeks, as the hunter sprang
to his feet and began running in pursuit.
“Truly, that was to the life,” he whispered
to himself. ‘And why does she not fall?
184 Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

Will it be that they of the evil road have
given metheeye?’’ And stopping short, he
fished out a bit of corn husk and a pinch of
the sweet fce-én-hleh and rolled a cigarette,
lighting it from his flint and steel. The
first puff he blew slowly to the east, and
then one to the north, and one to the west,
and one south, one overhead, and one down-
ward, all about, that the evil spirits of the
Six Ways might be blinded and not see his
tracks. When the sacred weer was smoked,
he rose and took up the trail again. It was
easy to be followed, now, in the soft wood
soil of the mountain top; and in the very
edge of the farther grove of aspens he saw
the doe again, grazing in unconcern. Worm-
ing from tree to tree, Pablo came close, and
again sent a stone-tipped shaft. It struck
by the very side of the first, and drank as
deep; but the doe, pricking up her ears as
if she had but heard the whizz of the arrow,
trotted easily away and disappeared over
the eastern brow of the mountain, amid the
somber pines.

Pablo was very pale now, but not yet
daunted. He smoked again to the Six Ways
and prayed to all the Trues to help him,
and with another arrow on the string,
pushed forward.
Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 185

Where the tall pines dwindled to scrubby
cedars he came again to his quarry. But
now the doe was more alert and would not
let him within bowshot. Only she looked
back at him with big, sad eyes and trotted
just away from range. And soon Night
rolled down the mountain from behind him
and filled the whispering forest and drowned
the great, still plains beyond, and he lost
her altogether.

“This is no deer,” said Pablo, gloomily,
as he stretched himself under a twisted
savino for the night, ‘‘but one who has wahr,
the Power. And her eyes, how they are as
those of women sorrowing, large and wet!
But I will see the end, even though I die.”
And weary with the rugged forty miles of
the day, he was soon asleep.

As the blue flower of dawn bloomed from
the eastern gray, Pablo rose, and smoked
again the sacred smoke and inhaled the
-strengthful breath of Keem-eé-deh, and
started anew on his awesome hunt. Soon
he found the trail marked with dark
blotches, and all day long he followed it.
Just as the sun-house stood on the dark
western ridges he came to the foot ofa high
swell, on whose summit gleamed the gray
of strange, giant walls.
186 Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

‘Tt will be the bones of Ta-bi-ra,” thought
Pablo aloud, ‘“‘for my father often told me
of the great city of the Pi-ro that was be-
yond Cuaray in the First Times, before the
lakes of the plain were accursed to be salt,
before ‘Those-of-the-Old came to dwell on
the river that runs from the Dark Lake of
Tears. But how shall a deer come thus
into the plains, which are only of the prong-
horns?* Yet I have walked in her road all
day, and here are her marks, going ”’—and
he stopped, for his sharp ear caughta faint,

far-off chant. It seemed to come from the
ruins that crowned the hill; and, dropping
to the earth, Pablo began to crawl from
cedar to cedar, from rock to rock toward it.
At the very crest of the rounded ridge was
a long line of jumbled stone—the mound of
fallen fortress houses—and beyond, from
the gathering dusk, loomed the ragged,
lofty walls of a vast temple. Under the
shadows of the mound he crawled far
around to the rear end of the gray wall, and
then along the wall itself toward the huge
buttresses that proclaimed its front. The
chant was close at hand now—the singer
was evidently within the ruined temple.
But the tongue Pablo did not know. It was
not so musical as his soft Tee-wahn, nor

* Antelopes.
Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 187

was it like the guttural of the Quéres—for
that he knew also—and yet it was some
voice of the Children of the Sun, and not the
outlandish babble of the Americanoodeh,

nor of the Spanish Wet-Head. It was not,

then, some new Zontfo come to dig for the
fabled gold of Ta-bi-r4—whose shafts
yawned black in the gray bedrock and here
and there through the very base of the
great wall—but some Indian, and probably
a medicine man, for the song was not as
those of the careless. Pablo crouched in
the darkness against the eastern end of the
wall, listening, forgetful of the bewitched
deer and of all else. Once in a wild swell
of the song he thought he discerned a fa-
Jniliar word.

‘‘Hoo-mah-no?” he kept repeating to him-
self. ‘Surely, the grandfather Desidério
said me that word when he told of Them-
of-the-Old, when They-with-Striped-Faces
dwelt on yonder mesa. But they are all
dead these many years.”

A swift, short flash split the darkness,
and a growl of far thunder rolled across the
ruins. Pablo glanced at the heaven. It
was sown thick with the bright sky-seeds
that flew up when the Coyote disobeyed
the Trues and opened the sacred bag.
From horizon to horizon there was not a

‘
188 -Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

cloud; but again the flash came, and again
the mighty drum-beat of Those Above.
Pablo crept to a breach in the wall, and
peeped into the gloomy interior of the
temple. Even as he looked, the zig-zag
arrow of the Trues leaped again from
ghostly wall to wall; and its blinding flight
showed him that at which he caught his
breath. For squat by a corner in the wall
was a white-headed Indian waving his bare
arms; and facing him and Pablo a dusky
maiden, with drooping head. But her face
- was burned into his heart.

‘‘Surely, such are precious to the Trues!
For she is as the Evening Star, good to
see!” and Pablo craned forward eagerly.
“The wzejo will be a Shaman,” he added,
mentally, ‘‘for so our own Fathers make
the lightning come at the medicine dance.*
But she! If there were such in Shee-eh-
huib-bak, then one might take a wife — for
her face is no face of a witch!”

Just then there came another flash; and
then a soft, girlish cry. The magic light-
ning of the conjurer had betrayed Pablo;
and before he could spring away a heavy
hand was upon his shoulder.

*These artificial storms are a favorite illusion of the
Indian wizards of the Southwest. 3
Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 189

‘‘Et-ma-tu-ku-ch ?”’ demanded a deep voice
in an unknown tongue.

“ Nah Tee-wah,” said the abashed hunter,
trying in vain to shake off that strong
grasp.

“Tee-wah?” said the stranger, speaking
in Pablo’s own language. ‘I, too, have the
tongue of Shee-eh-huib-bak, for my wife
was of there. But now she has gone to
Shee-p’ah-podn, and there lives for me only
my child, and she is hurt. But what hast
thou here, peeping at our medicine?”

“It is by chance, Kah-bay-deh,” answered
Pablo. ‘For yesterday when the sun was
so, I wounded a deer, and unto here I have
followed it in vain. For, perhaps, it has the
Power, and I could not kill it, And when
I heard thy song I came, not knowing what
it was.”

‘Since yesterday when the sun was so,
thou hast followed the road of a wounded
deer? And how wounded?”

“In truth, I gave it two arrows through
the life, but it minded them not.”

“Come, then, and thou shalt see thy
hunting,” and he drew Pablo into the tem-
ple. Ina momenta dry arm of the entrafia
(which the Trues gave for the first candles)
was burning; and by its smoky, flaring
light Pablo could see his strange surround-
190 _ Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

ings. Beside him, that breakless hand still
on his shoulder, stood an aged Indian. His
hair was white as the snows of Shoo-p’ah-
toé-eh, and his undimmed eyes shone from
deep under snowy brows. He was naked
but for the breech-clout, and upon his left
arm was a great gauntlet from the forepaw
of Ku-ai-deh, the bear, with all its claws.
But at his wrinkled face Pablo stared in
affright, for all across it ran long, savage
knife-stripes, so old that they, too, were cut
with wrinkles. ‘“‘Aayado!” flashed through
the young hunter’s mind, ‘‘even as were
‘They-of-the-Old who dwelt in the mesa of
the Hoo-mah-no! But they are all dead since
long ago.”

But even his superstitious terror could
not keep his eyes from that modest figure
crouched in the angle of the strange wall.
Truly, she was good to look at. In the soft
olive of the cheeks a sweet, deep red was
spreading. Under the downcast eyes the
lashes drew dark lines across the translu-
cent skin. A flood of hair poured into her
lap, and from under its heavy waves peeped
a slender hand. It was plain from her dress
that she was none of the ddrbaros, but a
Pueblo. There was the same modest black
manta of his people, the same fat, boot-like
leg-wraps of snowy buckskin, the same
Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 191

dainty brown moccasins. Even the heavy
silver rosary was about her neck, and from
her ears hung strands of precious turquoise
beads from the white, blue-veined heart of
Mount Chalchihuitl. But even the white sil-
ver, and the stone that stole its color from
the sky were not precious beside that sweet
young face from which Pablo could not turn
away. a

And as he gazed with a strange warm
tickling at his heart strings, the long lashes
lifted timidly toward the handsome stran-
ger,and on a sudden the bright face turned
ashen, and the girl sank back upon a heap
of fallen stones. Pablo stared with wide
eyes,'and a dizziness ran from head to knee,
for there were dark drops upon the rocks,
and amid the flowing hair he sawthe notched
ends of two arrows — his very own, feath-
ered from the gray quills of Koor-nid-deh,
the crane. He reeled, to fall, but the strong
hand held him up and the strong voice said:

“Take the heart of a man, for it is not yet
too late. Thou hast done this, unknowing;
for the witches filled thine eyes with smoke,
to fool thee. But we will yet make medicine
to heal my daughter —for I am the wizard
T’bd-deh, the last of the Hoo-mah-no, and
precious to Those Above, who will help us.
But thou hast still arrows in the quiver —
192 Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

go, then, till thou come to the first cliff on
the west, and shoot three arrows strongly
into the sky. And bring to me that which
falls — for it needs that thou who hast shed
her blood shouldst bring it again. Nay,
tremble not, for the Trues will help thee;
and with this amulet of the striped stone
the witches cannot come nigh. Take the
heart of a man, and go!”

Pablo looked at the pitiful little heap in
the corner, and turning, manfully strode
out through the broad portal and went
stumbling westward in the darkness, over
mounds and hollows and fallen walls. Down
the long, steep ridge, across the undulant
plain, knee-deep in dry and whispering
grass, and up the western slope of the val-
ley he trudged; and at last in the darkness
ran up against a smooth, straight face of
‘rock. ‘“Itis the cliff,’? he shivered—for he
feared greatly. But plucking up his soul,
he backed away a few paces from the rock
and notched a shaft and drew it to the head
and sent it hurtling to the sky, and another
and another. For a long time he waited,
and then there was a soft whish/ and an
arrow stood in the earth at his feet. He
groped and found it and drew back his hand
quickly, for shaft and feathers were wet—
with that soft, warm, ticklish wetness that
Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 193

never came from water yet. Another arrow
fell and it was so, and so also was the third.

Shaken as are the leaves of the shivering
tree,* Pablo put to his lips the amulet of
the wizard and drew a long breath from it.
Then, gingerly plucking the standing ar-
rows one by one, he started running from
the haunted spot, not resting in his stum-
bling flight until he found himself at the foot
of the hill of Ta-bi-ra. In a few moments
he was groping along the great wall, and at
last stood again within the roofless temple.

Now there was a tiny fire there, and the
old man was squatted by it chanting and
snapping two long feathers together in
rhythm with his wild refrain. And in the
corner was the same dark, limp heap, which
seemed to drift near or farther away on the
waves of the firelight.

“It is well!” said the old man, rising;
“for already I have blown away the evil
ones, that we bealone. AndIsee that thou
hast brought blood from above to pay for
that which is lost.”

Taking from Pablo’s hand the arrows,
still red-wet, he broke one over the fire and
one he thrust upright in the hard earth at
the maiden’s feet. Then he rubbed his

* Aspen.
194 - Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

hands with ashes and laid them upon her
breast, chanting:
‘* Blood, water of life,

Come back in the brooks of the heart!

Blood, water of life,

Give it to drink again —

For the red field is dry

And nothing grows.”’

As he rubbed and sang the maiden stirred
and moved and sat up. And taking the
third arrow he put the notch to his lips and
the barb to her side and drew with a strong
breath, and the buried shaft grew long and
longer from her side, until it fell upon the
ground. So he drew the second shaft, and
it, too, came away and left her.* Then he
laid the arrow of power against her side
and the wounds were no more there; and
she rose and took the hand of Pablo to her
little mouth and breathed on it, and looked
up at him with timid eyes, but Pablo sank
down and knew nothing, for his strength
was done.

When he woke, the Sun-Father was high
- over the gray ruins. Pablo found himself
upon a bed of dry grass, in the shadow of
the wall; and near him sat the old man who
was last of the Hoo-mah-no, watching him
with clear eyes. A low, sweet voice was

*This ‘drawing’ of objects from the patient is another
stock trick of Pueblo ‘‘ medicine-making.”

Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 195

crooning a sleep-song in his own tongue;
and from behind a jutting wall peeped forth
a little moccasined foot.
a“ Sleep! Sleep! It is good!

Sleep the Moon-Mother gave —.

She that bought us the night,

Paying her sight to buy!

Sleep! For so She is glad!’’

Pablo sat up, bending forward if he
might see the singer; but there was only a
gleam of soft eyes around the wall, and
then they were gone. The old man eyed
him kindly. He was dressed now like
Pablo, with the garments of the Pueblos;
and the stern, quiet face, with its strange
scar-stripes, seemed after all very good.

“Thou hast slept well, son,” he said at
last, ‘‘for we have been here many hours.
But it is hard to fight them of the evil road,
and for that thou wast tired. But rise
now, eat and be strong, for other days
come.”’

As he spoke the maiden came bringing a
steaming earthen bowl and set it down tim-
idly before the stranger, at whom she dared
not look, and disappeared again in her nook.
The hot broth revived the young hunter,
and a new heart came in him and he was
strong. When he had eaten, the old man
said:
196 Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

‘““Now thou art a man again. Tell me
how goes with the village of the Tee-wahn?
For in fifty winters I have not seen Shee-
eh-huib-bak — since my wife had come from
there to P’ah-que-tod-ai, where I loved her.
Is it well with the town? Do they keep the
ways of the Old?”

“There are many True Believers,” an-
swered Pablo slowly, “but many have for-
gotten the ways of the Old and taken the
evil road, so that it is hard to know whoare
good, there are so many witches. For that,
the young men that believe in the Olds are
afraid to make nests, lest they find feathers
of the accursed birds therein—for many
that look to be snowbirdsare inwardly owls |
and woodpeckers.”

‘And thou hast no nest?” asked the old
man with a keen glance.

““In-déh-ah!” replied Pablo emphatically
—and from the corner he caught a bright
gleam of eyes.

“Itis well! For if the nest be bad, how
shall the young birds grow up clean? And
thy parents?”

‘“‘My father was War Captain of the Tee-
wahn,”’ said Pablo proudly, ‘‘and he taught
me the ways of men, and the sacred stories
of the Old. But one gave him the evil eye,
and he was slain by the Cumanche in war.
Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 197

My mother was a True Believer, and soon
she went after him, to make his house good
in Shee-p’ah-podn. So there is left only my
grandfather, who is cacique, and my uncle.
And with my uncle I live, for we are both
of the Hagle clan.”

“Tt is well! But now it is to stay here
for a time; for in this place is mighty power
of the Olds. But if thou wilt hunt for us,
that Deer-Maiden may eat well while I fast
and talk with Those Above, then we will
go with thee to Shee-eh-huib-bak; for my
people are no more and my child is lonely
to be with the people of her mother. But
show me the wahr with which thou huntest,
for perhaps the witches have blinded it.”

Pablo fished out the little stone image,
which he had never shown to man before,
and T’bd6-deh inhaled from its lips.

“It isso!” he said angrily; and prying
out the turquoise heart he showed the hun-
ter that from beneath it the sacred meal
was gone, and in its place a tiny black
feather. ‘‘Itis no wonder that thy hunting
was ill,’? he cried, ‘for the witches have
changed the heart of Keem-eé-deh! But I
will give thee a strong wahr that none can
kill,” and breaking the polluted image with
a rock, he covered the fragments with a
cloth and chanted a sacred song. In a mo-
198 Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

ment the cloth moved, and the wizard drew
from under it a bright. new Keem-eé-deh,
carved from the sunlight-stone, the yellow
topaz, and bound to its side was an arrow-
head of transparent emerald. Its heart was
turquoise and its eyes red garnets.

“Take it, son, and fear not,” said the aged
conjurer, “for it is stronger than the ghosts.
But now go and hunt, for there is no more
meat.”’

When Pablo toiled up the hill of ruins at
sundown a noble antelope was balanced
upon his shoulders and a fat wild turkey
dangled from his belt. He threw them down
proudly, and was paid with a shy glance
from the eyes that now lived in his heart,
and the old man said:

“The new wahris good! And thou art
a hunter like Keem-eé-deh himself. Verily
there will be no lack of meat in thy house.”
But at this the maiden ran away with a red
face, and Pablo’s heart was glad.

For three days they were there while the
old man made medicine; and every day
Pablo brought back much game. And every
day his eyes grew deeper and those of the
maiden drooped lower. On the fourth day
they started, the three, to the northeast;
and with three journeys they came to Shee-
eh-huib-bak. There Pablo brought the

Pablo’s Deer Hunt. 199

strangers to his grandfather, the cacique;
and when old Desidério knew that this was
the great wizard, the last of the Hoo-mah-
no, he was very glad, and gave him of the
common lands, that his home should be al-
ways there.

When the people of Shee-eh-huib-bak
were making clean for the Noche Buena,
Pablo came to the cacique, and said: ‘‘ Zaza,
there is another year, and I am tired to be
alone.”’

“But canst thou keep a wife?”’

“Thou knowest, Zaza, that none kill more
game. As for my fields, they are good, and
the careless-weed never grows there.”

‘““It is truth, my son. And who is good in
thine eyes?”’

“There is only one, ¢atzfa, and that is
Deer-Maiden, the child of the Hoo-mah-no.
She is very good.”

‘“T like her,’ answered the withered ca-
cique, slowly, ‘‘for her father has given
heragood heart, and they are both precious
to Those Above. Itis well.”

In four days the cacique and the Hoo-
mah-no brought Pabloand the Deer-Maiden
to the cacique’s house and gave them to eat
two ears of raw corn—to him a blue ear, .
but to her a white one, for a woman’s heart
is always whiter. Pablo looked at her as
200 Pablo’s Deer Hunt.

he ate, but she could not look. And when
both had proved themselves by eating the
last grain, the elders took them out to the
sacred running-place and put them side by
side, and marked the course, and gave them
the road. Then Pablo went running like a
strong antelope, but the girl like a scared
fawn; and up the sacred hill they flew, and
turned at the Stone of the Bell, and came
flying back. But now Pablo was slower,
for it is not well to surpass one’s bride in
the marrying race, as if one would rob her
of respect; and if they come in equal, there
is no marriage. So she was first; and all
the people blessed them, and they were one.
No witch could ever harm their house, for
He-that-Was-Striped gave them strong
wahr, and they were happy.

That is the story of Pablo’s Deer Hunt,
and it must be true, I know, for himself the
gray-haired grandson of Pablo and the
Deer-Maiden told me.
Candelaria’s Curse.



Candelaria’s Curse.

HAT a snip-click! snip-click! snip-

click! of the big steel shears, till the

corral rang like an exaggerated telegraph
office! Hoarse voices kept calling out
“ Numer uno!” “ dieziseis!” “veintetres!”
and tall, handsome Lorenzo, standing in a
corner with the tally card in his hand, pen-
ciled a mark opposite No. 1, No. 16, No. 23,
and so on as each man called out the num-
ber by which he was known. The calls
came fast, and for each one a shabby gray
shadow, looking like the ghost of a boy
with a home hair-cut, ‘“‘only more so,” went
scurrying into the ranks of his yet unshorn
fellows. The big corral was full asit could
hold. Fifteen hundred sheep were there,
so tightly packed that a mouse tossed ‘upon
their backs could hardly have found its way
tothe ground between them. Only in the
triangular corners of the fence (which was
built of logs laid up in zigzags) was there a
trifle of room; and it was from these that

all the noise came. In each was a fast-
203
204 Candelaria’s Curse.

swelling heap of dirty, gray wool, and just
in front of it the shearer. Each, as he
turned a victim loose, yelled out his num-
ber, to be tallied one, and running upon the
huddled mass of sheep, caught one by the
fleece with each hand, dragged it to his
corner, flopped it upon its side, knotted its
four sharp feet together with a dextrous
movement, and, snatching the shears from
his belt, fell instantly to work. It was a
scene to bewilder an Eastern sheep-grower.
There were no shearing tables. Each man
. bent over, as though there were a hinge in
his waist, until his hands were within six
inches of the ground, and thus worked all
day long. Holding and turning the sheep
with the left hand, with the right he drove
the sharp blades snipping through the wool
with startling rapidity — till, almost before
one knew it, the whole fleece rolled off to
one side, very much as if it had been an un-
broken pelt. As quick a motion freed the
feet again and the shorn creature scrambled
up and ran to hide his confusion, while the
shearer was already playing barber to the
“next gentleman.”

So it was no sleepy work, tallying for the
thirty-seven swart fellows who were doing
Don Roman’s fall shearing, and any one less
practiced than Lorenzo might have lost
Candelaria’s Curse. 205

count now and then. Every one seemed to
be working his best, but the two cries that
came oftenest of any were ‘“‘évece” and
“ diezistete.”? Number thirteen was a short,
thickset Mexican from Los Lunas, known
(because of his unusually dark complexion)
as Black Juan, and number seventeen was
that two-fisted Pedro of Cubero. They had
been for several years the two best shearers
in Valencia county, and therefore, very
naturally, rivals — though in some way they
had never come together before. But now
finding themselves, on the eve of the fall
clip of 50,000 sheep, face to face each with
a man he had never seen, but had disliked
for ten years, neither could refrain from a
slight curl of the lip. That fellow such a
guapo? Huh! He might make a noise
among the slowpokes down in the valley,
but beside a real shearer there wouldn’t be
enough of him to make ashadow! It was
not long before their thoughts came to
speech,and soon they had made a wager for
a sheep-shearing race on the morrow. The
ponies upon which they had come, their
tattered blankets and a large proportion of
their prospective wages were staked on
which should shear the more fleeces be-
tween sunrise and sunset.
206 Candelaria’s Curse.

For eleven hours, now, the race had been
in progress. Lorenzo had given the word
when the first rim of sun peered above the
yellow mesas. At noon the other shearers
had taken the usual half hour to swallow
the rude meal of tortillas and roasted sheep-
ribs, but Juan and Pedro had worked dog-
gedly on. The crunch of their shears
seemed never to stop, and against the num-
bers thirteen and seventeen the little slant-
ing marks (each fourth one crossed) had
crept clear across the tally card and Loren-
zo had to start a new line for each of them.

Five o’clock—five-thirty —six—and sud-
denly the timekeeper shouted “Va’std/”
The noise redoubled for a moment as each
man hurried to finish his present sheep,
and then stopped. Bent backs straightened
slowly amid a general sigh of relief. A
hard day, truly. Not a man in the corral,
even down to young Blea, who had not
sheared his sixty or seventy sheep. But
the rivals? All crowded around Lorenzo as
he began to count up.

“M —m—m—twenty-four, twenty-five
— twenty-five tallies and three. Pedro has
one hundred and twenty-eight sheep!”” And
Juan? ‘““M—m—m—twenty-seven tallies
and one—one hundred and thirty-six!
Candelaria’s Curse. 207

Bravo! Que guapol!” And the evening
air rang with shouts.

“Thou couldst not have done it fairly!”
growled Pedro, with rage in every line of
his dusty face.

‘““How, fairly, sleepyhead? Have I not.
worked openly before all?”

But Pedro went over the fence sullenly
and walked away, muttering to himself.
Only when a couple of other shearers
joined him at his camp-fire did he give
further vent to his feelings.

“Thrice fool that I was,’ he snarled, ‘‘to
makea bet against that! For clearly to-day
my shears were bewitched and would not
cut well. And you know well the why—it
is that old bruja of a Candelaria who has
given them the evil eye! For yesterday,
as she passed, my dog ran at her, whereat I
laughed, and in the act she turned and
cursed me.”’

“Thou didst ill,” said one of his compan-
ions. ‘All know that she is a witch, and
works all manner of evil to them that offend
her. Why, there was Marcelino, who re-
fused to give her meat when he killed a
sheep, and straightway she made a mouse
to steal into his stomach, so that it was near
to kill him.”
208 Candeldria’s Curse.

“But Iam not Marcelino, then, to go pay
a horse to another witch to cure me. No, I
will have-me-them with her. She shall pay
me for this loss and for the laughter they
have put upon me.”

“What is that, Pedro?’ said young
Alonzo, coming up just then and squatting
by the fire. ‘You wouldn’t hurt the poor
old woman?”

“Who gave youacandle in this funeral?”
snapped the defeated shearer. ‘That is
what I will do. There are too many of these

_ brujas putting spells on innocent folks, and
there’s only one way to cure them—the
way they did in San Mateo last year. We’ll
stone her for a witch. And much care thou,
that thou get not hurt also!”’

The two others made no serious opposi-
tion to Pedro’s plan. They had nothing
against the old woman themselves, but
every one knew that such witches were a
great pest to the community—perhaps it
would be a public service to put her out of
the way. Besides, they were rather used
to being led around by the nose by Pedro,
who, in addition to his prowess asa shearer,
was so powerful and reckless that he had
become the acknowledged leader of a cer-
tain class.
Candelaria’s Curse. 209

“ Pues, understood! We will go over
presently and give the old hag a shower of .
St. Peter’s tears! And thou ’’—turning to
Alonzo, who was rising to go—‘‘the less
tongue, the less sore bones, eh?”’

Candelaria lived across the arroyo in a
miserable little jacal of pifion* trunks
chinked with mud, right up against the side
of the great lava flow. She was a sorry-
looking hag; and, on seeing her, the first
thought of much better educated people
than Pedro would very likely have been:
‘‘ What an old witch!’? She was tall and
gaunt and incredibly wrinkled, but with
such keen black eyes that almost every one
shrank at her gaze.

Alonzo himself was certainly not fond of
her, and probably it would not be too much
to say that he was secretly a bit afraid of
this grim, dark figure in greasy tatters, de:
spite his year of school in the little mission
at San Rafael. But at thought of her be-
ing stoned to death he felt a sudden revul-
sion.

“But what to do?” he muttered to himself
as he slouched away from the camp-fire.
“Pedro is bad to meddle with, and no one
here will help me; even Don Roman is afraid
of the witches, and hates them. Ha/ Iwill

* Peen-yone.


210 Candeldria’s Curse.

go warn her, so she can hide till the shearers
have gone.”

It was already very dark as he stumbled
over the rocky ground and turned west
along the bank of the arroyo. ‘This was a
deep ravine plowed through the meadow by
the intermittent brook from the snows of
the Zufii mountains. Insummer there was
no stream, but here and there were pools
enough for the thirsty sheep and cattle.
Now there had been rains, and a narrow rill
connected the brimming pools. He found
the white, peeled log which served asa foot-
bridge from bank to bank, and started to
walk cautiously across it. Midway he
stopped suddenly with an audible chuckle,
turned, came back and shambled toward
the corrals. Something seemed to amuse
him mightily, for at every few steps he
paused to laugh softly. Camp-fires burned
all about the corral, and even far up the
rocky mesa, where the sheep were being
herded for the night; but Alonzo had eyes
for but one. Near anangle of the enclos-
ure stood a stout post, and not far from its
foot was a bed of embers surrounded with
sooty kettles and frying pans. It was Tel-
ango’s slaughter house and kitchen, where
that greasy gentleman turned twenty
Candeldria’s Curse. 211

sheep a day into soups and joints for the
shearers.

Telango was at the moment absent, and
when he returned to his post a kettle of
mutton tallow that had been trying out
over the embers was missing. That should
have made a pretty row, for the cook was
a touchy autocrat; but, supper being over,
Telango was so sleepy that he would scarce
have noticed it had his whole kitchen been
carried off. —

“ Well, are we ready?” asked Pedroina
low tone of his allies a little after 8 o’clock.
Every one else was asleep, apparently.
The camp-fires had all died down and no one
was moving. Pedro rose quietly and stole
off into the darkness, followed by Pepe and
’Lipe. ‘Close behind me,” he whispered,
‘Cand with care, for if she hears us she can
hide in the malpais, where no one could find
her.”

‘But perhaps she would not run,” broke
out ’Lipe uneasily, as they neared the ar-
royo. ‘Since she is a witch she might
rather throw a spell on us.”

‘Quiet you the mouth, stupid! We have
only to take care that she does not hear us.”

“But I have heard that they need not the
ears, for the evil spirits tell them.”
212 Candeldria’s Curse.

“Tet the evil one tell her, if he will!’’
growled Pedro. ‘I would like to see him
keep this from her,’”’ and he picked up a
jagged lava fragment over which he had
stumbled. ‘Be not sheep! Close behind
me, now.”’

Pedro stepped out upon the log whose
white length stretching into the gloom
seemed to rest upon nothing. His teguas
made no noise upon the wood, and he was
midway across when suddenly there came
a stifled oath. His feet flew right and left
and he dropped astride the log with a vio-
lence that shook the breath out of him, and
in the same instant began to slip to one
side. In vain he clutched at the log. It
gave no hold, and lurching over he dropped
twenty feet. There was a tremendous
splash; and then another and another.
Pepe and ’Lipe had followed their leader
downward without even stopping to sit
down first.

The shores here were steep and rocky,
cut deep in a lava flow millenniums older
than that whose jet black miles lay along
the pretty meadow. In the middle was a
long, deep pool wherein the few boys of
Alamitos were wont to swim in summer.
Just now it was not particularly attractive.
During the shearing several thousand sheep

Candelaria’s Curse. 213

were watered daily at the head of this pool
and at the shallower one above, and at such
times noone thought of bathing in the odor-
ous mess.

Any one listening might have heard for
some seconds after the splashes nothing
but a faint gurgle, as of bubbles breaking.
Then there were curious snorts and plash-
ings, as if that invisible black abyss had
suddenly become the home of a hippopota-
mus family, and then a laborious thrashing
about. Presently there was a rattle of
pebbles, mingled with coughs and angry
mutterings, as if some one were trying to
scale the banks.

“Why didn’t you come this side, stu-
pids?” Pedro whispered across when he
had done choking and sputtering. ‘The
bruja lives over here—not yonder. Va-
mos!”

“But man! We are not crazy! Seest
thou not that she has the power and so
easily has bewitched us? If we go further
we shall find worse.”

“Four times fools! It was only that I
slipped, and you, being scared, fell also.
Come on!”

“Thanks,” answered Pepe and ’Lipe in
a breath. ‘‘But even fools know better
than to defy the evil one.”
214 Candelaria’s Curse.

“Come over or you answer to me!”
snorted Pedro, forgetting his caution.
‘“‘Cowards that you are, I’ll show you,”
and he started back across the log to get in
arguing reach of the deserters.

But four steps from the bank his feet
again suddenly leaped out from under him
and the log smote him in the back with a
loud thump, and a wild splash flung a dirty
rain in the faces of his terrified companions.

“Uh, uh!” he gasped, coming to the sur-
face at last. ‘‘Kff! Tchoo!” for he had
swallowed a most unsavory pint.

“Ah, ha-ha!”? rang a weird, shrill laugh
from the southern bank. Pepe and ’Lipe
crossed themselves and took to their heels,
without thought of waiting for their leader.
It struck a chill through Pedro, too, as he
floundered to the shore and clambered up
the jagged rocks frantically, cutting his
hands and knees. But he hardly noticed
that — all he could think of was the mocking
laugh. Candelaria’s laugh! After all, she
was too strong! There was no use fighting
against these witches — just see how easily
she had undone his strength and wit! No
more witch hunts for him —and he scram:
bled up the bank in utter rout. Just then
a dark form reached out overhead. Pedro




Candeldria’s Curse. 215

did not see it; but in an instant came a
warm, suffocating avalanche which choked
his cry of terror and half blinded him.

“Murder!” he managed to sputter at last.
“ So-cor-r-r-ro /”’ and he fled to the camp like
one chased by wolves.

“So, thief! Shameless! It was thou that
stole my tallow, then!” roared Telango,
who had discovered his loss just now. ‘To
anoint that dirty head, eh? Then take
this!” and with a stout cudgel he belabored
the luckless Pedro till the latter broke away
and fled into further darkness. No wonder
Telango had found him out—his great
shock of hair and beard were matted ina
gray, greasy mask, like the runnings of a
cheap candle.

Pedro did not finish the shearing season.
Next morning he was missing from Alami-
tos, and a few dayslater news came that he
was in Cubero. His accomplices had no
explanations to offer for his disappearance
or for their wet clothing, and as for Alonzo,
he ‘‘told nothing to nobody.”’ Only at times
he was observed to drop his shears and
double up as though he had a pain in his
stomach, while his face would become suspi-
ciously red. Furthermore, he came care-
lessly up to Telango at noon with:
216 Candelaria’s Curse.

‘“‘Oh, here’s your lard bucket —I picked
itup by the arroyo. And say —if you want
to make candles, you ’d better go scrape the
foot-log. Somebody has greased the whole
middle of it!”

“What thing?” grumbled Telango. ‘“‘Of
the witches, no doubt. And guzzas the same
who anointed Pedro.”

“ Quizas,” answered Alonzo solemnly, and
he walked off without cracking a smile.
The Habit of the Fraile



The Habit of the Fraile.
I:

HE end drew near of the longest siege

that was ever in any of the three
Americas. More than a year ago the red
field of Ayacucho had crowned the triumph
of the rebel colonies. The mother-nation
that found the New World, and tamed it and
gave itto her sons,nolonger had sons there,
for the very last had disowned her. Mexi-
co, the first great Spanish kingdom in Amer-
ica, had turned republic; and so had the
neighbor provinces. South America had
followed suit; for the cry of “Independ-
ence,” premature as it was among these
peoples, then and still so unripe for self-
government, carried contagion, and Peru
itself, the gem of the conquest, the land of
riches and romance, had thrown off the
merciful ‘‘yoke” of home to stagger for
generations under the ten-fold worse yoke
of her own corrupt sons. Of allthe Ameri-
cas that had been Spain’s by discovery, by
conquest and by settlement, there now re-

mained to her on the continent only the
219
220 The Habit of the Fraile.

space boxed by the four walls of Callao* —
a space a mile and a half square. ‘There
the red-yellow-and-red flag still flaunted de-
fiance to the victorious insurgents; for there
Rodil,} ‘‘the second Leonidas,” was making’
the last heroic stand for Spain.

It was hopeless odds — this fiery loyalist
against all rebel South America. There
was no possibility of reinforcements from
anywhere; no chance of retreat. Cooped
up in what was then the largest fort in the
New World, he saw the land fenced with
the flushed armies of Bolivar,{ the bay
blocked by the allied fleets. For twenty-
one months he had repulsed their almost
daily attacks and outwitted their ceaseless
stratagems; and for twenty-one months,
too, had baffled the still more dangerous
foes within his walls. Of the two thousand
eight hundred men at his hand when the
siege began, March 1, 1824, over seven hun-
dred had been killed and more than twice
as many had died of the pestilence. Of the
eight thousand citizens first within the fort
—for all Callao was included by those huge
ramparts — two thousand four hundred had
been sent out to avoid famine, and over five

*'The proper pronunciation is Cal-yah-o. _t Ro-deel.

¢This is properly pronounced not Bollivar, but Bo-
lee-var. :
The Habit of the Fraile. 221

thousand had fallen by the plague. The
survivors had no heart left. Almost daily
some new plot to betray the fort was dis-
covered, and almost daily the ‘‘iron gen-
eral” gave a row of conspirators to the
musketeers. To war, disease and treach-
ery, famine added its terrors. Horse meat
and rats were already delicacies; and only
yesterday, a noble invalid had given a plate
heaped up with gold for three lemons.

It was New Year’s eve. ‘That, down
here, twelve degrees below the equator,
meanthighsummer. All day long the tropic
heat had beaten mercilessly upon Callao,
and now the wan defenders lay sprawled
along the ramparts beside their guns, drink-
ing the grateful dusk. Here and there
sounded the uneven tramp of the patrol
down the cobble-paved streets, and their
sharp challenge, ‘‘ Alto! Quien vive?” to
every one they met. It rang out now, and
the soldiers crossed their muskets before a
tall, gray-robed figure.

“It is I, my children,” was the quiet
answer. ‘Delay me not, for I go to the
sick.”

‘Pass, father,” said the sargento, and
all lifted their caps, stepping from the
narrow sidewalk to make room for the
priest.


222 The Habit of the Fraile.

“But what is this?’’ cried the officer,
suddenly thrusting out his long arm and
clutching something which was about to
fly right between them. It was a thin, pale
girl of ten, hooded in the black manta of
her people.

“ Que es esto?” repeated the sargento
more gently. ‘Dost thou not know the
orders that none shall move upon the street
after dark, since so many drop letters over
the walls to the rebels? Get thee in, for
even children are not exempt,’ and he
_ pushed her back into the doorway from
which she had just burst.

But the child made no motion to obey.
“The padre!’ she panted. ‘The padre!
For my brother is very sick.”

“Sz, pues? Well, go thou and catch the
fraile, then. But much eye that thou come
not near the walls.” And the kindly old
Spaniard led his men off down the street.

By this time the priest had turned the
corner; and when the child came flying to
that street, lo! he was far ahead. But she
kept running breathlessly and at last, where
the dark bulk of the castle of San Felipe
overhung them, she plucked the gray robe
from behind. Her bare feet had drawn no
noise from the stones, and the priest started
The Habit of the Fraile. 223

violently, choking back what sounded like
the beginning of a cry.

He wheeled sharply about with a stern
“What is this?’?— but his voice was
pinched.

“My brother—verysick— padre! Please,
your grace, come!”’ she panted.

“To the devils with your brother!” he
growled, flinging her off. “ Vdyate /” and
he was gone before the dumbfounded child
could speak again. She stood a moment
looking stupidly after him, and then, sob-
bing, limped wearily homeward.

I.

The house, like most of Callao in those
ill days, was little better than a wreck
after twenty-one months of the rebel can-
nonading. The dark stairway teetered and
groaned dismally as she scrambled up, and
overhead the Southern Cross blinked hazily
at her through a tattered frame — the in-
surgent shells had left little of the flimsy
roofs of the city where it never rains.
Long, ragged strips of bamboo lathing
dangled here and there, and at her childish
tread dribbles of the gravel covering came
pattering about her like uncanny footfalls.
She was trembling all over when she pushed
open a broken door and entered the room,
224 The Habit of the Fraile.

the rude Moorish balcony of which over-
hung the street. ‘There was a hole in the.
roof here, too, and the doors of the balcony
had been splintered by a cannon ball. A
twisted rag flared smokily in an iron plate
of grease on a broken chair, and where the
vagrant shadows began to stand their
ground against its feeble rays, some one
was bending over a tattered mattress upon
the floor.

‘No hay cuidado,” said a strange voice
as she stopped short, inalarm. “The sar-
gento bade me bring a cup of caldo for thy
brother, seeing thee so much a woman.
For now that there is nothing to eat, he
said, perhaps that would be the best medi-
cine.”

“God pay you!’ cried the child ner-
vously. ‘‘And my brother?”

“‘He drank the broth as one greedy, and
in a moment fell asleep. How many days
makes it that he is sick?”

““T'wo, sefior. Since four days there was
nothing to eat but two crusts of bread, and
those he made me eat.”’

‘““Pobrecito! He has no more than
hunger. To-morrow I will bring another
caldo —for even broth of horse gives
strength—that ye may not starve. But
have ye no fathers?”








The Habit of the Fraile. 225

‘“‘Papa fell in San Felipe; and our mother
was sent from the city with many. Butus
she hid in the house, saying that the enemy
had no mercy even to the weak. And so it
was; for the women that tried to pass to
Lima the zusurjentes fired upon. And sHe
never came back.”

“Dogs of rebels! But now I go, little
one. Have heart, for I will look to you.
Hasta luego.”

When he was gone the child crouched
down by her brother and slipped her trem-
bling hand into his. The shadows were so
crawly! They seemed to draw back and
then come stealing at her. And it was so
still—only the hail of the sentries, breaking
across such a silence as if they stood guard
over a city of the dead.

“ Que hay, little sister?’ said the boy,
starting up wide awake with the sudden-
ness of those that are fevered. ‘The
father? Couldst not find one? But it is all
the same, for God sent us a friend with
food.”

“ And he comes to-morrow also,’’ she
added eagerly. ‘Then she told how she had
followed the priest, but he had shaken her
off with rough words.
226 The Habit of the Fraile. |

“Ha? How is that? For the fathers
do not so. And how is it thou followedst
him even to the castillo?”

‘* Pues, for that he went very fast and I
.could not catch him. He was at the corner
even when the sargento let me pass; but
when I came running there he was almost
at the next cuadra, as if he too had run.”’

Vicente suddenly sat up on the squalid
mattress. The smoky wick flung deep
shadows in his hollow cheeks, and he looked
so pale and wild that Lina almost cried out
at him.

“T tell thee, ’manita,’’ he whispered earn-
estly, ‘‘I believe notin that priest! Running
so, and so rough to thee! And thou sayest
that at touch of thy hand to his robe he
started and was to call out? There is a
danger, I tell thee!’ he repeated vehem-
ently, striking his thin fist upon the floor
till the impish shadows danced again.
“‘ Allis crooked now, when they say the very
captains wait tosellour general. And if the
priests be traitors too 28

“But what to do?” asked the girl, inawe
of this fierce young brother.

“Ay! Whattodo? For we know noth-
ing. But something there zs, my heart tells
me. Oyez! Wouldst thou know the padre
again, seeing him?”


The Habit of the Fraile. 227

“Como no? For it was near the farol,
and I saw under the hood his eyes, how
shining they were.”

“And his voice, too—no? Come, then,
and we will see who is this father that
curses his children!” And the boy rose
eagerly, though his legs shook under him.

‘But how canst thou go out, hermano, be-
ing so sick?”

_ “No hay cuidado. For now it is for our
king against the rebels, and strength I shall
have for that. The ca/doalso gives me new
life. Vamos!”

Til.

Weak as he was, he drew her down the
tottering stairs and into the dark street;
and there they stood a moment, not
knowing whither to turn. ‘ Claro!” ex-
claimed Vicente, ‘‘we will follow as he went
—perchance we may meet him returning.”

But at the very corner some one turning
in hastily from the next street stumbled
fairly over them; and Vicente and Linaand
the stranger went down ina heap.

“Little animals!” snarled an angry
voice. ‘Are you blind? For a so-little I
would break your bones. Eh? Heis who?”
he hissed, catching them by the arms —
for he had heard Lina’s excited whisper,
“Fs él.”
228 The Habit of the Fraile.

“She says you are the priest that would
not go to her sick brother,” answered Vi-
cente in a steady voice, ‘‘and I believe it, for
you are rough to the weak. But we will find
a padre who is not so.”

‘“‘ Mdrchanse, brats!” said the stranger
in atone of relief. ‘But,’ he added, turn-
ing and shaking his finger at them, ‘no more
running after me, or I throw you over the
wall.”

“Have no care, sefior padre,” said Vi-
cente, with sarcastic politeness; and taking
Lina by the hand he hurried around the
corner. Ina moment he turned his head and
caught a glimpse of some dark object peer-
ing past the wall. ‘#s/” he whispered,
squeezing the slender fingers, and a fewrods
farther on drew Lina into a recess of the
wall. He was trembling all over.

“Hs!” he repeated. ‘Canst thou not see
that 4e is no fraile, though he wears the
habit? It is the voice of a soldier and not of
the church. And here! This fell to my
very hand when we all went to the ground
together ’’— and he held up a crumpled
paper. ‘‘But first it is to see whither goes
this father of rebels. Come so far as. the
house and there wait me, for it is better
that I go alone.”


The Habit of the Fraile. 229

“But, Vicente—I—I’m afraid of the
duéndes !”?

“Epa! Fear not, sisterling, for the gob-
lins touch not those that are true. Re-

-member, it is for Spain!” And pushing
her gently inside their own doorway, and
stooping to kiss her, he hurried down the
street.

Lina dared not climb the noisy stairs to
the deserted rooms. She crouched in the
hall, shivering, drawing the manta about
her shoulders as if with cold, but shutting
her teeth bravely. Theshuffle of Vicente’s
broken shoes had already died away; and
it seemed as if the whole world had slipped
past with him. Ages and ages she waited,
till ‘she was ready to scream with fear;
and then she sprang nervously to the door
at a sound in the street. It was only a
patrol shambling over the crazy cobble-
stones, but as it drew nigh she was seized
with a sudden access of fear. Between
them stumbled Vicente, a heavy hand on
either shoulder.

“Let him go!” she cried, rushing upon
the soldiersasif tostrike them down. ‘He
is my little brother, and has done nothing.
Only we found the —”’

‘“‘ Cdllete, Lina!’ spoke up Vicente
sharply. ‘‘If only the sefior official will be
230 The Habit of the Fraile.

so good as to take her with me to the gen-
eral — for she is quite alone, sefior.””

“It is well—come on, little Amazon!”’ said
the officer, from whom war and starvation
had not dried up all Andalusian humor.
“Snails! But I thought she was to capture
us! March!”

IV.

General Rodil pushed back his chair from
the table, and his grave face took on a puz-
zled look as the officer and his odd prison-
ers were ushered intotheroom. ‘The gen-
eral who never sleeps,” they called him—for
atiwhatever hour of day or night, he was
always appearing suddenly here, there,
everywhere. Well masked was the faint
heart into whose depths those gray eyes
did not bore; tiny indeed the slackness
that escaped them. Well might the ignor-
ant invest him with a superstitious terror
— this man who was really the garrison of
Callao.

‘ Que cosa?” he demanded ina low, clear
voice.

“Pues, sehor generdl,” said the officer,
still standing at “salute.” “This boy we
found in the Street of the Pelicans, as if
waiting for some one. And when we
searched him ¢h7zs was in his shirt.”
The Habit of the Fraile. 231

Rodil uncrumpled the paper and bent to
read it by the flickering candle. Suddenly
his haggard face turned even paler, and
then a dark flush rose as he sprang to
his feet and took two steps forward. As
suddenly he stopped, and threw at the
children a glance that seemed fairly to
burn them.

“ Are there none but traitors?” he cried,
with achoke. ‘Evento the babies! And
now, my Ponce de Leon!” for the smug-
gled note read:

‘“‘ Todo listo. No mas se espera al coman-
dante ribio. Arregla todo de San Rafael.”

[All ready. Only waiting the blonde
commander. Fix everything in the castle
of San Rafael.]

‘Phe “blonde commander ’’ could be none
other than Rodil’s dear friend and trusted
officer, in charge of one of the twin castles
—a man whom he had “made” in rankand
fortune. The general’s face seemed of stone
as he demanded:

“Boy! From where is this letter? ze

“ Vueséncia, I picked it up from a fraile
who fell over us in the street; and because
he had been rough to my little sister, I fol-
lowed to see where he would go.” |

“Carefully! For when it is between the
king’s honor and traitors, even youth counts
232 The Habit of the Fraile.

not! What should a fraile be doing with
letters of the insurgents? ’”’

“Wor chat, I think he was no fraile,” an-
swered Vicente sturdily, holding his head
erect, though his knees wavered; and he
told all the happenings of the evening,
while Lina nodded an earnest corrobora-
tion. Before he was done, something of
the hardness had faded from Rodil’s face.

“Your cuenta runs well,” he said at last.
“Give me proof and I will fill your hat with
gold. But if not —if you are old enough to
bea traitor, you are old enough to die one!”

Vicente’s ragged shoulders squared still
straighter. ‘When I ask you for money,
setior generdl!” he replied proudly. “We
are of Spain, and for thatI do it. He that
made as priest went not to the convento,
but into the house 74,Street of the Viceroy.”

“Hola! Seiior teniente, take twenty men
in the instant and round-up that house,
bringing hither all that are in it; and that
everything be searched. And send the
teniente Ochoa with another file to bring
hither prisoner the Comandante Ponce de
Leon. Corriendo!”

For twenty minutes ‘the sleepless gen-
eral” walked the room—sometimes ap-
parently unconscious of the children, and
suddenly flinging at them some question,
The Habit of the Fraile. 233

sharp and searching as a javelin. Then
there were reluctant feet upon the stairs.

“It has to report, yourExcellency,” said
Lieutenant Ochoa, ‘that the Sefior Coman-
dante Ponce de Leon is not to be found.
Since the first dusk no one has seen him.”

Rodil struck his forehead; but before he
seemed able to command his voice, there
was another commotion outside, and a group
of officers bustled into the room.

‘‘ What is this, 7 general?” cried one of
them angrily. ‘‘ Here we are dragged from
the house like criminals! What means this
rat-catcher of a lieutenant?”

“Little by little, gentlemen mine!” an-
swered Rodil in a suspiciously quiet tone.
“You will excuse the molestation for my
sake, since I ordered it. And now, I beg
you, have the goodness to tell me of a fraile
who entered your house half an hour ago.”

“‘ Fraile, setior general? No priest has
entered the house,’? answered the first
speaker, sharply. He was a tall, handsome
officer, upon whom even the shabbiness of a
uniform that had seen twenty-one months’
fighting sat becomingly. ‘I think your
Excellency might have asked the question
with less violence to us.”’

“Til it fits me to show discourtesy to
such loyal gentlemen,” Rodil replied, with
234 The Habit of the Fraile.

an added dryness. ‘‘And Iam glad tolearn
that no priest has been among you—for I
fancied, my Sefior Captain Baca, that he
might be converting you to the brother-
hood. You would half pass for a fraile
yourself, now that I see’’—and in spite of
himself the general’s voice rose ever so
little—‘“‘ the moustache which was the pride
of the company is shorn off since midday.”

“‘ Pues—your Excellency,” stammered
the tall captain. ‘‘For the heat—and —
and—since time hangs heavily on our
hands, I shaved for a joke.”

“Well edged is thy humor, captain
mine!’? The ironic respect had given
place to the contemptuous fw. ‘ Ojala we
had earlier guessed thy wit, to ease the
weariness of the siege. Tell me, boy—ds
this thy fraile?’’ "The question came like
a bullet.

“I know not, Excellency,” said Vicente,
hesitatingly. “Of that size he was, but his
face I saw not well.”

“But it is his voice!” cried Lina impetu-
ously. “And had he the hood, I would
know if it is his face—for the capucho
covered him well.”

“Little animals!” growled the captain,
starting as if to spring atthem. But then,
commanding himself, he said sullenly: “Un-

The Habit of the Fraile. 235

til what will your Excellency carry this
farce? Am I to be burlado by lying brats
of the street? With these gentlemen I
have passed the time since I came off duty.”
“Tt is true, sefior generdl,” declared the
others, who had nervously watched their
spokesman, the ranking officer among them.
“We have all been together since——”’
“Alto!” interrupted Rodilsternly. ‘You
must bring me better witnesses than your
tongues. For by my faith, I would see this
joke of the moustache played through. Sar-
gento, search this captain of the wits.”
“For pity, mc generdl! Shame me not
thus!’ And the officer fell on his knees.
For answer, Rodil only stretched his
lean finger grimly. The sergeant, awk-
ward at disrespectful approach to his su-
perior, laid his hand upon the arm of the
risen captain, and in another moment lay
sprawling upon the floor. Baca was a young
and muscular man; and almost in the same
motion with the blow he sprang at the win-
dow.
_ The dumbfounded privates had no time
toreach him; but Vicente, in a flash of rage,
flung himself at his legs, and the tall officer
crashed upon the floor. Before he could
rise a dozen soldiers were upon him, and
236 The Habit of the Fraile.

Rodil, his slender sword quivering at half-
arm, faced the four other officers.

‘There is nothing in his pockets, Excel-
lency,’ announced the sergeant.

“Claro! For he whochanges his face so
soon can as well change his clothing. In
his shoes, then.”

There was a renewed scuffle; but in a
moment a cry of exultation—and the ser-
geant dragged a thin, soiled paper from
Baca’s stocking.

“Still given to jests, capitan mio—that
you walk on the mines which are to blow
the rebels up at the next assault. Itisa
clever diagram, and Salom would have paid
thee well for it, I warrant. Mola!”

For the door let in four soldiers and their
petty officer; and over the arm of the latter
hung the long gray-brown habit of a Fran-
ciscan friar.

“It was between the mattresses of the
sefior capitan Baca,’’ announced the ser-
geant. ‘And as for these little ones, lam
their witness — for to my patrol passed first
a tall fraile, and soon came running this
womanling after him for her brother, who
was very sick.”’

‘And the boy is he to whom I carried a
cup of broth—and I found him well fe-
vered,’’ spoke up one of the soldiers, scared
The Habit of the Fraile. 237

at his own thick voice before the grim gen-
eral.

“Tt is enough,” interrupted Rodil. “I
give thanks to God that there are patriots
yet—and eyes in them, too. These chil-
dren stay with me. For the Sefior Captain
Baca, and for these gentlemen who ‘were
with him all the time,’ ’ he continued with
grim terseness, “sunrise against the wall
of San Felipe. Until then, your heads an-
swer for theirs!”

That is all there is to tell of the habit of
the fraile—except that it served for a
shroud to the traitor who had masqueraded
in it.

But already was the beginning of the end.
The desertion of the Comandante Ponce de
Leon, who had dropped over the wall and
fled to the enemy, gave to the insurgents
plans and information of fatal importance.
Then Riera, the other comandante, turned
traitor too, and delivered to the foe the
castle of San Rafael.

Resistance was no longer possible, even
to “the Spartanof Peru.” On the 11th of
January he entered into correspondence
which ended with the honorable and advan-
tageous capitulation of Callao, January 23,
1826. Of the original 2,800 soldiers only
238 The Habit of the Fraile.

three hundred and seventy-six remained,
and a scant seven hundred citizens of all
the former thousands. There was little
left save glory —but of that so proud a
share as was earned by no other man of
either side in the war of the colonial re-
bellion. For that matter, history has few
pages like the resistance of Spain’s last fort
in America.

When Rodil, in full uniform, boarded the
English frigate “Briton” to sail away to
the long years and high honors that awaited
_ him in Spain, he carried with the banners

of his favorite regiments a boy and girl
who seemed less embarrassed by their fine
new dress than by the attention which
everywhere greeted ‘the little orphans of
Callao.”
The Great Magician
=

ea




The Great Magician.

Â¥

EALLY know one? Well, I should

say so—better than I know any one

else alive. No, it was not Herrmann, nor
Signor Blitz before him; though each in
turn seemed to my young eyes the most
marvelous conjurer possible, and the latter
remained for yearsa haunting wonder. But
I was already getting acquainted with a
magician to whom both of these put to-
gether were a fool. For that matter, we
had always been neighbors; but for years
TI never really knew him well, nor was even
aware that he was in the conjuring business
at all. Had we boys realized that we were
growing up next door to the greatest living
prestidigitator, he doubtless would have
got a little more attention from us; but he
was very quiet, and not at all given to
“showing off;” and, to tell the truth, we
left him pretty much to himself. Even in
our games he was hardly ever asked to take

part; though I can see now where he could
zl
242 The Great Magician.

have given us a good many points on three-
old-cat and follow-my-leader, or any of our
other sports. It makes one feel cheap to
find that one has been living so long next
door to such a genius without ever getting
on intimate terms with him, or fairly dis-
covering who he is. It was not his fault,
either, for there was never anything stuck
up about him, despite his wonderful gifts.
With some people, it is true, he never was
known to associate; but that was merely
because he did not push himself. To any
one who gave him to understand that his
company was agreeable he was always cor-
’ dial. That I call downright obliging in one
who has got so high up in the world — for
he is known and respected everywhere, and
has been invited to appear before kings and
queens when even their prime ministers
were shut out. You see, he has been a
great traveler. Perhaps there is not a
place in the whole world that he does not
know. But, then, it’s easy to travel when
one has plenty of means and leisure, and a
free pass everywhere. Possibly he would
not get around quite so much if he had to
pay fare.
Though it took us so long to get ac-
quainted, we rather ‘“‘cottoned to”’ one an-
other after the ice was broken, and for the
The Great Magician. 243

last twenty years have been great chums.
In that time we have knocked about the
world a good bit together. Really, I mean,
not like our first travel. In the younger
days he used to drop in on me every now
and then with a serious air, and remark:

“Say, want to go to Shanghai this even-
ing? Well, shut your eyes. Presto!
change! here we are! Now, come around,
and we’ll see the sights.”’

And there we were in Shanghai, using
our eyes and holding our noses. But all
that, you understand, was one of his sleight-
of-hand tricks. It was very pleasant and
inexpensive travel, and I learned a good
deal from it; but the grind of it was that I
could not bring back any of the wonderful
things we sawin the bazars. I’d just about
as soon not travel as to be unable to col-
lect trophies from the country I am visit-
ing. It was really not his fault, of course.
He is the most accommodating fellow in the
world; but even jugglery has its limits;
and after a friend has given you a trip to
any part of the world you choose, and
brought you back safe and sound, and paid
all your expenses out of his own pocket,
no well bred guest could have the face to
ask him to bring also a cargo of all sorts of
truck. When I used to groan at coming
244 The Great Magician.

away empty-handed, he would say frankly:
“Sorry my boy, but it really can’t be
helped. I’m glad to take you anywhere,
and make it as pleasant for you as I can;
but my pass is for passengers only, and the
baggage business is strictly prohibited. It
is too bulky; and then think what trouble
I should get into with the customs officers
if we went to bringing in such cargoes out-
side the regular channels.”

In later years we have pretty thoroughly
made up for that aggravation; for nowa-
days I am the host, and wouldn’t think of
starting on a journey without inviting him
to come along; and we bring back all sorts
of interesting plunder from everywhere,
until the house we occupy together looks
more like a museum than anything else.
He himself admits that it’s a good deal
ahead of the old way; but even the delight
of collecting—and no boy or man half
knows what life is until he “collects” some-
thing, and earnestly —even that pleasure
would not compensate me for the loss of
his company. He is the very best travel-
ing companion I ever found; so ready to do
whatever you wish, so full of information,
so helpful in emergencies of any sort.
Some people who have traveled with him
have tried to tell me that he cowardly de-
The Great Magician. 245

serted them in time of danger; but there
must be two sides to this story, for I have
seen him ina great many tight pinches, and
he was clear-headed and quick as a wink to
do the right thing. To tell the truth, he
has saved my life a score of times, all by
his dexterity; so you may be sure that
when people talk of his running away and
leaving them in the lurch, I resent the impu-
tation, and conclude they were the ones
really to blame. In knocking about the
frontiers I have found a good many men, of
several different colors, who make you feel,
“Well, if it came to a fight for life, with my
back against a rock, that would be a good
fellow to have beside me.” But among all
those brave men—all of whom I admire,
and some of whom I love—I would rather
have him by me, ina pinch, than any other
one.

You must not think from this that my
friend is a desperado, or a professional
fighter, or anything of the sort. On the
contrary, his disposition is as peaceful as
his habits are quiet, and he hates any sort
ofarow. It is only in the crises which any
man may meet, and every man must some-
times meet who travels outside the beaten
tracks, when it is necessary and manful to
fight, that he suddenly turns combative and
246 The Great Magician.

pitches in. Ordinarily, he isa plain, prac-
tical business man, who, for his own part,
might have retired long ago, but remains
in the firm for the sake of the junior part-
ners. He works harder than any of them
—and then, when business hours are over,
diverts himself and his friends by little ex-
hibitions of his matchless skill as a con--
jurer. At such times he likes to forget
work and worry altogether, and to be jolly
and free of care and fullof pranks as a boy.
I have seen people so inconsiderate as to
insist on boring him by ‘talking shop ” out
of office hours, but he always resents it.
He is rather nervous and very impression-
able, apt to fall into the mood of those who
are with him; and he sometimes gets so
tired and confused as to show very little of
his usual wisdom. Indeed, I have seen him,
when very weary, make a flat failure of
some trick at magic, which ordinarily he
could do with astounding cleverness.
Undoubtedly his greatest claim to public
respect is in the quiet, every-day wisdom
of his practical career; but his gifts asa
magician are so brilliant and so fascinating
that one naturally thinks of them first.
And, in spite of his long business training,
there isn’t a mercenary streak in him.
Some of his most wonderful performances
The Great Magician. 247

are given gratis, and he even seems to pre-
fer an audience of one to what the managers
would call “a paying house.”

Eh? You would like to know what he
can do that isso much bigger than the tricks
of the wizards that get their $200 a night?
Well, if I were to tell you all I’ve seen him
do, we wouldn’t be done this side of 1900;
but here are some few things, and if youdo
not admit that Herrmann and all the rest
are mere greenhorns to him, I ‘ll agree
never to go near another of his perform-
ances.

Inever knew him to fry eggs in a stove-
pipe hat, nor to pick twenty-dollar gold
pieces out of people’s eyes, nor to chop off
a man’s head and then stickit on again, nor
any of those threadbare sensations, though
he sometimes practices simple illusions like
making things appear where they are not,
or causing them to seem not to be where
you really know they are. But those are
trifles, just to keep his hand in; his claim
as champion conjurer of the world rests on
very different accomplishments. For in-
stance, one of his favorite tricks is to
take a careless fly-away boy and turn him
into a strong, wise man—turn him ‘for
keeps,” too. I’ve seen him do that a hun-
dred times, and you will agree that that is
248 The Great Magician.

a very useful trick, as well as a very diffi-
cult one. When one sees how smoothly he
does it, one is doubly sorry that he doesn’t
get all the boys up on the stage and experi-
ment on them; but, of course, a complete
change of personality is a serious thing,
and he would not be justified in taking any
such liberties without the full consent of
the subject.

Analmost equally remarkable trick, and
one he is equally fond of, is to take a thor-
oughly homely girl and put a brand-new
face on her. Not exactly a beautiful face,
for he says that is none of his business, but
a face that every one likes to lookat. Yet
I know girls so foolish as to decline treat-
ment by this great specialist, and to think
cosmetics better.

My friend’s hobby for experimenting
upon young people, and his innate fondness
for them, as shown by his patience with their
frequently slighting treatment of him, made
me remark one evening: ‘How is it you
are so good-natured with these rattleheads?
Nobody else would have the patience. Even
when a fellow has snubbed you in the most
discourteous way you seem to bear no
grudge, but to be always ready to do hima
good turn if there is a chance.”

“Well,” said my friend, slowly, dropping
The Great Magician. 249

a new sleight-of-hand he was practicing,
‘you see, was once young and a fool my-
self, and had to grow and develop; and the
process was so tedious that I’m not apt to
forget. And, somehow, I feel as if I should
always keep young in spite of the years.
There is always something to interest me,
and that keeps me from growing old.”

“By the way,” I put in, “when did you |
begin conjuring? Such marvelous profi-
ciency as yours can have been attained only
by lifelong practice. Did you take it up
deliberately, or drift into it by chance?”

My friend gazed soberly for a moment at
the crackling cedar sticks in my adobe fire-
place — he had come out to visit me in New
Mexico— before replying.

“Do you know, this reminds me very
strongly of my own early life. These In-
dians who are your neighbors, this simple
way of life, recall old times. You might
not believe it, but my own folks were nomad
savages, and my infancy was passed among
scenes compared to which your surround-
ings here are highly civilized. Yes, I don’t
wonder you are astonished ; in sober earn-
est, you cannot imagine how brutal and
squalid were the surroundings. Nothing to
wear, very little to eat, and that little al-
ways raw; in fact, not one of the conven-
250 The Great Magician.

iences which even an Indian now deems
necessary to his existence. Why, we hadn’t
even a way to warm ourselves; and as for
houses or clothing, they were quite un-
known. Education? Nota bit more than
the monkeys have. I was nearly a grown
man before I learned to read and write.”

‘“ Why, you have risen even further than
from rail splitter to president!”

“Ah, Lincoln got as high as man can get.
We were very dear friends, and I believe I
helped him materially in the great crises
through which he was called upon to lead
the nation. At any rate, he always con-
sulted me before taking any important
step.”

Now in any one else, this would have
seemed the end of impudence and mendac-
ity, if not half blasphemy. But when my
friend the magician said it, I knew it must
be true. He went on in his quiet way:

“But we were talking of my youth. You
asked how and when I first took up conjur-
ing. Totell the truth, I can hardly remem-
ber. I was certainly very young, and the
discovery of my powers was quite acci-
dental. One of my first tricks was very
simple; but perhaps it was most important
of all. It lifted my people from a lower
plane than any savage now occupies, to high
The Great Magician. 251

civilization. Every person every day uses
that little invention of mine—and 99 per
cent of them without stopping to thank the
inventor. By simply taking two sticks and
rubbing them together —this way —I pro-
duced a substance which had never been
seen on earth before, but which is now the
first absolute necessity in every household.
If it were abolished, the world’s progress
would stop. It’s a very curious substance.
The materials of which it is composed are
invisible and intangible; but z¢ can be seen
further and felt more than anything else in
the world. You can’t touch it; and yet,
here, if you could not sometimes almost
touch it you would perish. You have to
feed itas carefully as you would a horse, and
much oftener; and, unlike any other laborer
I know of, it will never work between meals.
But while it eats, it will work like mad.
Another queer thing about itis that it would
live forever if you fed it forever; but it dies
as soon as it stops eating. But you can
bring it to life again in a minute, strong and
activeasever. It is terribly mischievous,
too; if you give it proper attention, it cuts
upno pranks; butif you are careless, itsome-
times sneaks off and does more damage in
one short romp than a hundred men could
replace bya lifetime’s earnings. Thenit’s
252 The Great Magician.

curious what a hatred it has for a still com-
moner substance which I didn’t invent.
Bring the two together and there is a noisy
and desperate fight, and one or other of the
combatants isannihilated. Yetif you place
them just near enough to each other, but
so confined that they cannot grapple, they
work together with an energy which I
saw move a hundred buildings once—
each building over thirty feet long. Ah,
you wonder more at some of my other
tricks, probably because you are less famil-
iar with them; but I tell you that is just
about the biggest single thing I ever did.
There would have been neither geography
nor history; we should never have heard of
Cesar or Napoleon or Washington or much
of anybody else, if I hadn’t stumbled on
that little secret of rubbing the sticks, while
I was still what you might well call agreen,
awkward boy.”

‘““Yes,”’ I admitted, ‘“‘I guess, after all,
your fire trick is about the greatest thing
of all—though I hadn’t just looked at it in
that light before. Really, about every sin-
gle thing we depend on depends on that.
And that was about your first turn in
magic?’?

‘“Ye-es, perhaps the first important one.
It was a great start, too, for after that I ad-
The Great Magician. 253

vanced pretty rapidly in proficiency, until]
became, as you know, able to do pretty
nearly whatever I try.”

That is not putting it too strongly — he
can do almost anything he seriously turns
his hand to. After what I have seen him
accomplish, there are few things I would
deem it hopeless for him to attempt. Our
stage magicians are at their wits’ end to
devise some new trick; but he invents a
thousand a day — the poorest more wonder-
ful than their masterpiece. Now there’s
his own life preserver, for instance — a ridi-
culous little affair in something like thirty
pieces; the simplest thing, yet of almost
infinite uses. It is, among many other re-
markable qualities, the greatest preserva-
tive known. An article so ephemeral that
a breath of air would whisk it away, so
perishable that not all the Arctic ice could
save it, can by this means be kept a thou-
sand years — aye, or ten thousand, for that
matter—as good as new. Yes, a man’s
very speech may become visible and eter-
nal—all because my friend once did a little
conjuring for a Greek, who raised most re-
markable harvests from seed our florists
never handle. I don’t know just where it
does come from nowadays — for we still see
that sort of crop once in a while. Perhaps
254 The Great Magician.

Cadmus himself was a politician, and the
dragon’s teeth are an heirloom in the family.

Those early conjurings are not more
astounding than the new ones he is con-
stantly devising. Nowadays he can sit
down in Washington or London or Berlin,
and, by a few taps on a table, turn a million
men into a machine for destruction. He
will take your ear in New York and hold it
to the lips of your friend in Chicago, and
then make it as easy for the Chicagoan to
hear what you say in reply. Your voice,
. which, so far as any ability of yours goes, is
lost forever as soon as spilled, he can bottle
up so perfectly that your great-grandchil-
dren’s great-grandchildren shall listen to
what you said two hundred years before
they were born, and hear it in your very
tones. You see, my friend is making lifea
good deal larger, and death a good deal
smaller —and he is not done yet!

ButI should be. There is simply no use
trying to enumerate his magic, for it has no
end. Besides, you can get a much better
notion of his powers by watching him than
thus at second hand from me. But howare
you going to find him, when he doesn’t ad-
vertise? Why, of course! How stupid of
me to have forgotten to tell you that his
name is — Thought.
The Balsa Boy of Lake Titi-Caca



The Balsa Boy of Lake Titi-Caca.
L

66 UT, homébrote, thou art a mouthful,

and the lake is brave. Of me it
counts not, but much eye to this box. That
is the far-looker that makes the pictures,
and if it went to the dogas or were even wet,
how couldst thou answer?”’

“There is no care, Excellency. More
than thatI am small, in this lake I was born,
and now I am made to it. I will not drown
your Excellency, nor more wet ye than
must be when the lake is so. Trust me,
viracocha, to put you to the island safely.
And if not then name me Bobo.”

Well, I had to getacross, and that was all
there was to it. ‘The island was there, I
here, the miles of angry water between, and
for bridge, only this twelve-year-old Aymara
boy with his water-logged balsa. I looked
out at the whitecaps, then at the unlikely
craft, then in Pablo’s eyes.

“‘ Ba-le, it is well. Thou hast the heart of

aman. Hold her level for the box.”
257
258 The Balsa Boy

I waded out through the mud and rushes,
waist-deep in the icy water, holding the
precious camera box on my head, and be-
tween us we got it safely stowed abaft the
beanpole mast. Then I scrambled aboard
as best might be, with Pablo’s helpful hand
in my collar, for the mud had a trap-like
clutch on my legs. Bidding me squat for-
ward, the boy settled back on his knees and
began to ply his pole. The loftiest great
lake in the world has no timber on its shores,
and with the mighty forests of the Yungas
five days off no one is going to think of pad-
dles. Plain contorted poles of the iron cupz
are far more easily brought over the Andean
passes, and they have to suffice.

Slowly, with Pablo poling into the mud
behind, the clumsy balsa slid through the
totora, whispering as it went with its brother
rushes—for itself was simply a great bun-
dle of ¢otora, totora bound, with fotora sail
and sheets. There was no other thing
about it; no nail nor cord nor wood, save
only the cupi mast. ‘The mossy tangle of
yachu, which feeds the cattle of Titicaca
that graze all day shoulder deep in the lake,
hampered the soggy prow and fastened
upon Pablo’s stick. Sometimes, with that
and the grasping mud, I looked to see him
dragged back overboard. But he wagged
of Lake Titi-Caca. 259

the pole sharply and held fast with his
knees, and always shook free. Decidedly
his eyes were right—the boy was no
mouse.

In ten minutes we pushed our nose
through the last doforal, and were in the
open. The wind butted the harder in our
face; the waves—no longer tamed by the
rushen breakwater of the inshore—came
running at us like astampede. The slow
prow kicked them and stumbled on them
and pounded them into a coarse rain that
pelted hard and icy. I wriggled out of my
coat of oiled horsehide and bound it over
the camera box to protect that from the
spray — for it had been well strained by a
fall of the pack mule in crossing the pass
of Sorata, and was no longer so waterproof
as might be wished. Pablo could now no
more touch bottom; and kneeling a little
higher and a little farther astern he kept
his pole ish-ishing through the water, pad-
dle fashion.

‘“‘Give me,’’ I said, after watching awhile
the play of the round boy-chest. “Thou
art too light.’’

But Pablo sent down his stick the harder
—so forcibly, indeed, that the effort pulled
that corner of his mouth awry—and
grunted:
260 The Balsa Boy

“No, veracocha; leave me. Your Excel-
lency knows the paddle — that I can see by
the way you sit. But this is different.
Only we of the lake know its ways, which
are tricky. See, pues/’’ he sputtered, asa
bucketful of water slapped us in the face
and left both gasping. ‘‘For here all the
winds quarrel from every way at once—as
if pushed by him who was once alcalde of
Paucarcolla.’? Pablo crossed himself, there-
by “dropping a stitch” in his paddling.

“What? The—er— him that the Inqui-
sition pursued?”

‘“S%, vtracocha, that same. And yonder
headland is where he disappeared in the
lake, for the which none care to tarry there,
sincé it is well known that he was the devil
in person,” and Pablo crossed himself
again.

As we cleared the Punta del Diablo the
wind smote us with renewed force, and with
every dip a fresh deluge drenched us tothe
bone. But for a few moments I did not
think much of that. With the recession of
the headland the long line of the Bolivian
Andes came marching into view, and I sup-
pose that just so wondrous a sight is no-
where else. Captained by the peak that
overhangs Sorata, the giant file stood mar-
shaled seemingly upon the very beach of
of Lake Titi-Caca.. 261

the vast blue lake, itself white with that
unspeakable whiteness such as befalls no
other thing on earth thana far peak of eter-
nal snow high upaclear sky. Sucha rank
of Titans —from incalculable Ilampu and
his 25,000 feet, off to where his rival, Illi-
mani, seemed soaring out of the lake a hun-
dred miles away! It was enough to make
one forget a wet skin —and even the pos-
sibility of a wet camera box. How they
possessed the firmanent, these sublimated
presences! And how the cumuli, puffing
up from the tropic forests of the Beni, tan-
gled about their feet and wreathed upward
and dulled when their snow-whiteness
lapped the whiter snow of those proud
crests!

A sharp “Umpss!” from Pablo recalled
me to shiver and to look back. A sudden
flaw in the wind had caught his stroke with
the full weight of the balsa, and the iron-
wood pole had snapped under the cross

_strain. Pablo looked anxious, but said very
evenly:

“© Pss!?? Wemust break it off, vzracocha,
and use each an end; for in this wind if we
keep not our head, evena balsa will not last.
Being angry, the lake pounds as one with
his fist.”

Indeed, it was more like that than any-
262 The Balsa Boy

thing else—and a most reiterant fist, too.
Nowhere else is there such a ‘‘chop” as on
Lake Titi-caca when the winds awake; and
I have seen those who have weathered every
seaand who laughed at the English channel
turned deathly seasick on one of the wallow-
ing little steamers that run from Puno to
Chililaya. Nowwe were kicked about with .
battering thumps that seemed like to pound
our bundle of rushes asunder. Pablo was
straining and twisting at the broken pole,
to part the wiry fibers. I chopped at it with
my heavy, keen bowie, and at last the stub-
born strands yielded; and so each had a
stick some five feet long. I knelt up and
drove mine fiercely down the side while
Pablo, astern, kept stroke. We were at it
none too soon. At one time I half fancied
that we never would get her head to the
wind, for the soggy craft answered slowly
to our efforts with these pitiful paddles.
For some minutes we tugged in silence.

At an altitude of 12,500 feet in Peru one,
needs all one’s breath for work—even the
Serrano lad did. I glanced over my shoul-
der at him now and then. His lips were
shut square, his serious dark eyes seemed
to be taking note of everything, and the
slender muscles of his arms and chest—
clear drawn on the drenched shirt—played
of Lake Titi-Caca. 263

smoothly. An athlete myself, and particu-
- larly taught in the paddle, I began to feel a
respect which was half awe for this manful
stripling who toiled so soberly and shrewdly
where only the best foreign lungs can en-
dure any exertion whatever. And, at last,
little as there was breath to spare, I could
not help grunting, ‘‘ Z’stas lo mas hombrote!”

Pablo’s big white teeth shone for an in-
stant in a sober smile.

“So must we,” heanswered calmly. ‘‘For
here is much to do, nor room for lazies—
for small though they be. When I was the
half of this, my father had me to help on the
balsa; and once, even then, I took it to
Puno, he being sick.”’

‘Then silence fell upon us again for a time,
and we poledaway doggedly. But presently
there seemed to me something wrong in
Pablo’s quiet, and I twisted my head to look.
His stick was going steadily as a machine,
but in his face was what made me call out
sharply, ‘What thing?”

He thrust out his chin toward Ilampu. I
looked thither, and then back at him, uncer-
tain.

“More wind,” he said, concisely, ‘‘ Either
to get to the island before it, or’? —and the
Spanish shrug said the rest for him.

We did not get to the island before it.
264 The Balsa Boy

Two hundred yards away the gale struck
us and flattened the balsa into the waves
and the waves into the level, and was like
to strip us bodily from our soaked craft.
After that nothing was very clear, for the
winds and waves washed us fore and aft,
and it was hard to say which was the colder
and more pitiless; and one saw ill for that
bitter pelting in the face, and the heart
reeled with overwork to feed the leaping
lungs. Bent forward till our heads almost
touched the balsa, our knees wedged hard
on the tiny roll which served for gunwale,
we dug away mechanically with those
nightmares of paddles that would carry
us nowhere. Once, when my heart would
work no more, I turned idly to Pablo. His
face was gray with effort, but so sweet and
composed that I shouted out, half petu-
lantly:

“Ea! Hast thou not fear, hzzto?”’

“How not?” he screamed back up the
wind. ‘‘AmJIa fool, not to fear? We shall
never come there, perhaps. Only if the
saints will! Promise a silver candlestick,
sefior!”’

But in my eyes were a blue eyed baby and
her mother, five thousand miles away, and
for that, my temper was more to fight, with
shut teeth, than to be vowing candlesticks.
of Lake Titi-Caca. 265

And just then it struck me to think, in that
silly maundering of the mind in stress,
how peaceful Pablo would look when they
should pick us up,and how they would add:
‘“‘ Umpss! But these gringos are of ill tem-
per, no?”

For half an hour, perhaps, we doubled to
our sticks, and still the gale smote us, and
still our marrow ached with the chill of the
spray. ‘There was no complaint of Pablo.
He accepted fate, but still worked like
a man—poised and steady in the face of
death. If we were to end there, he would
be found with the little chapped fists still
clenching the stick. Once a motion swept
on me to spring back and hug him and say:

“Son, it counts not. Let us meet it in

peace. Thou ’rt fit to die with!”
_ But then again the blue eyes came up in
the mist, and my fingers cracked on the
paddle and my teeth grated. And Pablo, as
if he understood, gave me a grave, sweet
nod. Further I noted that he drew some
small object from his pouch and seemed to
breathe on it.

It was so near! In a little eddy of the
wind I shook the water from my eyes and
peered ahead. ‘The northern point of the
island was not fifty yards away —and we
were drifting past. Itslipped and slipped,
266 The Balsa Boy

for all I dug savagely at the paddle and
Pablo quickened his stroke with the first
groan I had heard from him. Our tired
arms forgot their cramps, our lungs their
“stitches” in a wild strain —and still that
dark shore kept drawing to our right. Ah,
for the old paddle that used to spin the
birch canoe! These accursed sticks—
why, one might as well paddle witha poker!

“‘ Viracocha!”? ‘The boy’s shrill voice
split the wind like a fife. ‘‘ The sail!”

I stared at him stupidly an instant.
“Thou hastthe power,” hecried. ‘Break
it! Break it!”

Then I knew, and leaped upon the iron-
wood mast as a wolfat the throat of a fawn,
and clenched itand wrenched and beat, and
shoved and twisted and tugged, and with
arms and knees tore it loose from its step-
ping in the balsa. It well nigh racked the
rushen raft in twain, and we noticed that
the impact of the waves no longer shook
the balsa as a unit, but wabbled and see-
sawed it.

I caught the cupi under my left arm and
clinched tight the “sheets” of braided
totora around the /ofora sail, till that was
bound in shape something like a closed um-
brella, and springing forward to my station
stood and plied this new paddle with frantic

of Lake Titi-Caca. 267

energy. It was unwieldy and floppy, but
it had more resistance than the pole, and
slowly —so slowly that at first we dared not
believe it—the sullen craft began to an-
swer. New hope came in us, and we shouted
‘‘Arre! Drive!’ and bent till the muscles
creaked. Now, even in Pablo’s face, was
the fierce light of combat.

And so we made the shore. In the lee of
the point the water was so still that it
seemed a yard lower than its surrounding
level. A lone tuft of ¢ofora grew near the
shore, and when we came to it I fell on my
face along the balsa and clutched the pithy
stalks; and there we lay at that frail anchor-
age till heart and lungs came back in me.
Then, poling nearer, stepped over the side
and landed the camera; and came back and
gathered in my arms a limp bundle, whose
head drooped upon my shoulder, and so
waded heavily up the beach of Sicuya.

U.

There was nothing on the island for a
good fire — indeed, in all that vast plateau,
so lofty and so cold, one learns the art of
shivering to perfection, for fuel is enor-—
mously scarce. After an hour’s work I
had assembled a tiny heap of dry rushes
from the beach, and bunch grass and a few
268 The Balsa Boy

straggling bushlets. ‘The tinder, in its oil-
cloth pouch, with the flint and steel, was
dry, and presently we had a swift, ephem-
eral blaze. It was nothing to dry us, but
served briefly to toast our hands and feet
and take off a little of that ghastly chill.
The camera was all right, and I resumed
the horsehide coat, buttoning it to my chin
to pay for the woolen shirt which I had lent
Pablo. As the darkness came on our poor
little fire died away. We scraped a trough
in the gravel and lay down in it spoon
_ fashion, my arms around Pablo’s chest, and
so wore out the night.

We were chilled and stiff and half inani-
mate when the sluggard sun peeped over
the far peaks of Apolobamba, and got up
like old men. But even the light was cheer-
ing; and presently a soft glow began to
tame the bitter air and we ran clumsily and
danced about and swung our arms till the
blood went free again in its forgotten chan-
nels. Pablo was all right now—a boy is a
hard thing to kill, and particularly an out-
doors boy —and chatted leisurely and calm-
ly, as was his way.

“But to eat!’’ I broke in on one of his
stories, when we were fairly limbered up
in body and mind. ‘Is there gentle on the
island?”
of Lake Titi-Caca. 269

‘““Nobody. I think the Ancients were
here once, for up yonder I have seen a
strong wall. But none come here now—
not even seeking treasure, which must be
here.”

“Bother the treasure! What we want
now is food, even if it were only llama
meat; for in purity of truth I’m falling
with hunger. Let us hunt.”

“There will be ducks, dues, over in the
cove. Vamos!”

Ducks there were, by the hundred; and
mudhens, and dippers, and flamingoes, and
almost every other aquatic fowl, among the
rushes in the eastern cove. With the shot-
gun we could have mowed down a bushel of
them— but the shotgun was lying with my
sleeping bag and rawhide muleback trunks
over ina hut on the mainland. Well, with
the six-shooter we could count on one bird,
anyhow; and I drew it and began to rub
off last night’s rust.

“But wait me,” said the little balsero.
“It is better not to frighten them, for we
may need more than one. With this there
is no noise.”

As he spoke he unwound the braided
sling which bound his long black hair. It
was the immemorial weapon of his people
—even so I had taken it from the skulls of
270 The Balsa Boy

mummies of his ancestors far antedating
the Conquest. Pablo gathered some smooth
pebbles from the beach and began creeping
toward the cove, sheltering himself when-
ever a bunch of Zofora offered. ‘The water-
fowl began to edge out, and a few nervous
ducks rose. Butthe boy knew his business
and kept on at the same gait. Suddenly
straightening up, he whirled his right arm
thrice around, and even from where I was
I could hear a twang, and then the sh-oo-00
of the hurtling pebble.

‘There was a commotion among the birds,
and a great white swan stretched and half
rose from the water and dropped backina
shower of spray. Pablo was alreadyin the
water, keeping out of sight all but his head,
and in a couple of rods that also disap-
peared. ‘The swan suddenly redoubled its
struggles, beating one wing till the water
foamed, but without progress. Then it
began to drift shoreward, stillfighting; and
in a moment I sawa dark object rise just in
front of it. The swan saw, too, and aimed
a stunning blow with its wing. But the
head had already vanished and the scream-
ing bird kept moving shoreward despite
his struggles. Then I waited so long that
it seemed impossible that one should so en-
dure under water, when the swan’s violent


of Lake Titi-Caca. Dural

pecking at his breast relieved me. Pablo,
to keep out of the way of that heavy wing
and beak, was holding the great bird firmly
down upon the crown of his head, and when
it was needful to takea breath he could thus
get his nose out of water without seriously
exposing himself. It was when he should
come where the water was but a couple of
feet deep that trouble would begin, and al-
ready I judged that he was lying upon his
back and kicking along the mud. ‘Time
after time a dark fist came up to grapple
that snake-like neck, but the bird was too
smart and the captor got only savage bites
for his pains. I ran out to help, and the
swan met me with a peck that took a mor-
sel off my hand; but a back sweep of the
bowie sent the head flying twenty feet, and
after alittle more flopping the great fowl
felllimp. ‘The missile from the sling had
shattered his left wing.

Well, when Pablo had warmed himself in
the scorching sun, and we had gathered an-
other bunch of dry weeds and more or less
plucked the bird and half toasted thin strips
of it in the embers, and devoured each a
wolf’s share, we felt better. Perhaps we
swallowed quite as much ashes as meat,
and salt would have helped it — but it wasa
wonderful banquet, anyhow. We washed
272 The Balsa Boy

it down with drafts from the ill-tasting
lake, and I dried a brown-paper cigarette
ona sunny rock until it was smokable, and
for a while we wallowed in the hot sun and
watched the drift of shadows on Illampu,
which had snared all the clouds from the
sky.

“‘ Pues, the pictures. And then, to get
back to shore,” I said at last, getting up re-
luctantly. Pablo was greatly interested in
that wonderful glass in its shining tube, |
and marveled at the unkinking of the tripod
and how the whole artful box opened and

‘swelled ata touch. We carried it to the top
of the hill,and I made my pictures and
showed him the inverted gem of color on
the ground glass and explained it all to him
in the formula I learned long ago for Indian
friends, to whom one has to adapt one’s own
point of view. Then he took me to the ruin
—some fallen houses and a strong wall of
greatrocks wonderfully squared and carved,
and we made a picture there, with tattered
Pablo standing beside the noble handiwork
of his fathers. Unhappily, the plate fell
a victim to the abominable dampness of
Lima.

‘If we had but a spade,” sighed Pablo,
who went scuffing his toes in the rubbish of
the forgottenrooms. ‘What says the wira-
of Lake Titi-Caca. 273

cocha? Shall we come back one day and dig
here? For surely there will be treasure.
Over yonder, toward that island, is where
they say the Incas sunk the chain of Huas-
car, that the Spaniards might not find it.
And many have looked for it, and some even
talk to drain the lake.”

“T can see them draining Titi-caca! But
come, what was this chain of Huascar?”’ I
asked, as seriously as if this were all news
to me.

‘““ Mppss! It was of gold, then— pure
gold. For when Huascar Inca was born
his father, Huayna Capac, ordered made this
chain of gold, three hundred paces long and
the fatness of my thumb, that the people
might dance holding it. Ay, if one might
findit! Sometimes, looking over the balsa,
I have thought to see ¢hat shining on the
bottom, but then it was only a doga turning
to the sun.”

‘Ea, and what wouldst thou, /z/2Zo, find-
ing this chain of Huascar?”’

“Yo? Mbps, Vueséncia, | would — mppss
—I would buy the balsa of Jeraldo, which
is very good; and three pigs and a cow for
my mother, and a net; and —and —and —
boots like those of your Excellency 2

“Good! And I hope thou ’lt find it. I
mind me that an Inca, Don Garcilaso de la


274 The Balsa Boy

Vega, who wrote a book two hundred and
ninety years ago—sabes book? Well, it is
much paper tied together — much spoiled
paper, with words on it. And this Incasaid
that the chain of Huascar was thrown into
the little lake in the valley of Orcos, which
the Spaniards did indeed try todrain. But
Garcilaso said many things — particularly
in December when the days are long —and
I fancy thou ’rt as like to find the chain in
this lake as in any other.”

‘““But the paper, se’or, how can it tell
these things?”’

“ Pues, because we make paper that talks
—not out loud, but telling you things with-
outasound. And sometimes it knows how
to lie, just like people.”

“Perhaps it was not Don Garcilaso’s
fault, then —it can be that he got that kind
of paper. For I know the chain is in this
lake here, of Titi-caca, since my grand-
father told me, and he knew from very long
ago. He was taught in all the stories of our
fathers, and he gave me this auquz of old
fora charm. Perhaps for that we were not
swallowed by the lake.”

So saying, Pablo drew from his left-hand
pouch a precious little fetich of silver, ages
old, for there is no mistaking the prehistoric
handiwork of Peru. It was in rude human
of Lake Titi-Caca. 275

form, and not cast, but hollow, beaten out
and cupped and soldered so cleverly that
one could scarce find the joint.

“ola! He wasan abuelo worth having.
Come, I’ll give thee ten soles for it, for I
shall need an augui myself if 1am tostay in
these lands of ill luck.”’

But Pablo shook his head, though I am
positive he never had seen so much money
in one pile before as the ten silver dollars in
my hand.

‘“Ha-ni-wa/” he said. ‘For it is ill to
sell these things, which are sacred.”” He
breathed on the image and tucked it care-
fully back in his chuspa.

The balsa, still nodding at the rushen
cable, was soon repaired by Pablo’s apt
hands with a few withes of Zotora. We
stepped the mast again, as well as might be,
in its torn socket, hoisted the rush sail, and
drew slowly out ina light breeze. It wasa .
very different passage from that of yester-
day, and we sprawled lazily along the balsa,
looking back now to the vast white peaks,
and now to the weedy shore ahead. We
crept through the outer fringe of /otora,
passing far to the left of alittle stone hut
that seemed built upon the very water a
mile from shore. A few sad cattle lay about’
it, only their heads out of water; and nearer
276 The Balsa Boy

us, onasubmerged bar,agristly pig seemed
undecided whether he had better root or
swim. It was Pablo’s home, he told me—
a fair type of the pitiful swamp ranches of
the lake dwellers. In the shoals they build
their squalid huts and raise the unkempt
cattle which know no other pasturage—as
their owners no other world.

When we came to the head of the bay and
had waded ashore with the camera, we
stood a long time in the mud looking back
at the blue lake and the darkisland. Iwas
sore and hungry, and with much to do; but,
somehow, it was hard toturn away. Pablo
stood screwing his bare toes into the ooze, in
as little haste to be off.

“And will your Excellency come again?”
he said at last, catching my eye and then
turning away.

“Who knows, Azjtto 2? To-morrow I take
mule for the Desaguadero. Perhaps some
day. But much eye that thou have a new
balsa ready against then, for this is too old.
And here is wherewith to buy Jeraldo’s,
without waiting to find the chain of Huas-
car. Adios, then, and— umn abrazo!”

He reached up to my shoulders and laid
his head against me with a little tug, and
suddenly broke away and started for the
of Lake Titi-Caca. 277

balsa. Midway he stopped and turned and
came splashing back.

“Hear, viracocha,” he said, with a little
uncertainty in his voice. ‘I could not sell
the augut, for it is not honest to take money
for sacred things. But one who goes so far
as your Excellency, and in many dangers,
ought indeed to have one to keep harm
from him. And for that you—that— that
we were brothered in danger and you did
not despise me, now I give you.” And
flinging the precious figure at my feet, be-
fore I could gather my wits he was spatter-
ing out to the balsa. Nor would he return.
Ten minutes later, when I looked back from
the hut where my things were stored, the
drab patch of his sail had quite faded in the
totoral.
PRESS OF
STROMBERG, ALLEN & CO.
CHICAGO


ENCHANTED
~~ |



LUMMIS