The Trail Book
Mary Austin et al
Part 4 out of 4
comfortably on a nubbin of sandstone. "Of which of these who passed will
you hear?" He indicated the inscriptions on the rock, and then by way of
explanation he said to the children, "I am town-hatched myself. Lads of
Zuñi took my egg and hatched it under a turkey hen, at the Ant Hill.
They kept my wings clipped, but once they forgot, so I came away to the
ancient home of my people. But in the days of my captivity I learned
many tales and the best manner of telling them. Also the Tellings of my
own people who kept the Rock. They fit into one another like the arrow
point to the shaft. Look!"--he pointed to an inscription protected by a
little brow of sandstone, near the lone pine. "Juan de Oñate did that
when he passed to the discovery of the Sea of the South. He it was who
built the towns, even the chief town of Santa Fé.
"There signed with his sword, Vargas, who reconquered the pueblos after
the rebellion--yes, they rebelled again and again. On the other side of
the Rock you can read how Governor Nieto carried the faith to them. They
came and went, the Iron Shirts, through two hundred years. You can see
the marks of their iron hats on some of the rafters of Zuñi town to this
day, but small was the mark they left on the hearts of the Zuñis."
"Is that so!" said the Road-Runner, which is a polite way of saying that
you think the story worth going on with; and then cocking his eye at the
inscription, he hinted, "I have heard that the Long Gowns, the Padres
who came with them, were master-workers in hearts."
"It is so," said the Condor. "I remember the first of them who managed
to build a church here, Padre Francisco Letrado. Here!" He drew their
attention to an inscription almost weathered away, and looking more like
the native picture-writings than the signature of a Spanish gentleman.
"They passed on the 23d of March of 1832 years to the avenging of the
death of Father Letrado." It was signed simply "Lujan."
"There is a Telling of that passing and of that soldier which has to do
with the gold that was never found."
_"Sons eso,"_ said the Road-Runner, and they settled themselves to
"About the third of a man's life would have passed between the time when
Oñate came to the founding of Santa Fé, and the building of the first
church by Father Letrado. There were Padres before that, and many
baptizings. The Zuñis were always glad to learn new ways of persuading
the gods to be on their side, and they thought the prayers and
ceremonies of the Padres very good Medicine indeed. They thought the
Iron Shirts were gods themselves, and when they came received them with
sprinklings of sacred meal. But it was not until Father Letrado's time
that it began to be understood that the new religion was to take the
place of their own, for to the Indians there is but one spirit in
things, as there is one life in man. They thought their own prayers as
good as any that were taught them.
"But Father Letrado was zealous and he was old. He made a rule that all
should come to the service of his church and that they should obey him
and reverence him when they met, with bowings and kissings of his robe.
It is not easy to teach reverence to a free people, and the men of the
Ant Hill had been always free. But the worst of Father Letrado's rulings
was that there were to be no more prayers in the kivas, no dancings to
the gods nor scatterings of sacred pollen and planting of plumes.
Also--this is not known, I think--that the sacred places where the Sun
had planted the seed of itself should be told to the Padres."
"He means the places where the gold is found mixed with the earth and
the sand," explained the Road-Runner to Dorcas Jane and Oliver.
"In the days of the Ancients," said the Condor, "when such a place was
found, it was told to the Priests of the Bow, and kept in reverence by
the whole people. But since the Zuñis had discovered what things white
men will do for gold, there had been fewer and fewer who held the
secret. The Spaniards had burnt too many of those who were suspected of
knowing, for one thing, and they had a drink which, when they gave to
the Indians, let the truth out of their mouths as it would not have gone
when they were sober.
"At the time Father Letrado built his first chapel there was but one man
in Hawikuh who knew.
"He was a man of two natures. His mother had been a woman of the
Matsaki, and his father one of the Oñate's men, so that he was half of
the Sun and half of the Moon, as we say,--for the Zuñis called the first
half-white children, Moon-children,--and his heart was pulled two ways,
as I have heard the World Encompassing Water is pulled two ways by the
Sun and the Moon. Therefore, he was called Ho-tai the Two-Hearted.
"What finally pulled his heart out of his bosom was the love he had for
his wife. Flower-of-the-Maguey, she was called, and she was beautiful
beyond all naming. She was daughter to the Chief Priest of the Bow, and
young men from all the seven towns courted her. But though she was
lovely and quiet she was not as she seemed to be. She was a Passing
Being." The Condor thoughtfully stretched his wings as he considered how
to explain this to the children.
"Such there are," he said. "They are shaped from within outward by their
own wills. They have the power to take the human form and leave it. But
it was not until she had been with her mother to To-yalanne, the sacred
Thunder Mountain, as is the custom when maidens reach the marriageable
age, that her power came to her. She was weary with gathering the sacred
flower pollen; she lay under a maguey in the warm sun and felt the light
airs play over her. Her breath came evenly and the wind lifted her long
hair as it lay along her sides.
"Strangely she felt the pull of the wind on her hair, all along her
body. She looked and saw it turn short and tawny in the sun, and the
shape of her limbs fitted to the sandy hollows. Thus she understood that
she was become another being, Moke-iche, the puma. She bounded about in
the sun and chased the blue and yellow butterflies. After a time she
heard the voice of her mother calling, and it pulled at her heart. She
let her heart have way and became a maid again. But often she would
steal out after that, when the wind brought her the smell of the maguey,
or at night when the moon walked low over To-yalanne, and play as puma.
Her parents saw that she had power more than is common to maidens, but
she was wise and modest, and they loved her and said nothing.
"'Let her have a husband and children,' they said, 'and her strangeness
will pass.' But they were very much disappointed at what happened to all
the young men who came a-courting.
"This is the fashion of a Zuñi courting: The young man says to his Old
Ones, 'I have seen the daughter of the Priest of the Bow at the Middle
Ant Hill, what think ye?' And if they said, 'Be it well!' he gathered
his presents into a bundle and went to knock at the sky-hole of her
"'_She_!' he said, and '_Hai_!' they answered from within. 'Help me
down,' he would say, which was to tell them that he had a bundle with
him and it was a large one. Then the mother of the girl would know what
was afoot. She would rise and pull the bundle down through the
sky-hole--all pueblo houses are entered from the top, did you not know?"
asked the Condor.
The children nodded, not to interrupt; they had seen as they came along
the trail the high terraced houses with the ladders sticking out of the
"Then there was much politeness on both sides, politeness of food
offered and eaten and questions asked, until the girl's parents were
satisfied that the match would be a good one. Finally, the Old Ones
would stretch themselves out in their corners and begin to scrape their
nostrils with their breath--thus," said the Condor, making a gentle
sound of snoring; "for it was thought proper for the young people to
have a word or two together. The girl would set the young man a task, so
as not to seem too easily won, and to prove if he were the sort of man
she wished for a husband.
"'Only possibly you love me,' said the daughter of the Chief Priest of
the Bow. 'Go out with the light to-morrow to hunt and return with it,
bringing your kill, that I may see how much you can do for my sake.'
"But long before light the girl would go out herself as a puma and scare
the game away. Thus it happened every time that the young man would
return at evening empty-handed, or he would be so mortified that he did
not return at all, and the girl's parents would send the bundle back to
him. The Chief Priest and his wife began to be uneasy lest their
daughter should never marry at all.
"Finally Ho-tai of the pueblo of Matsaki heard of her, and said to his
mother, 'That is the wife for me.'
"'_Shoom_!' said his mother; 'what have you to offer her?' for they were
"'_Shoom_ yourself!' said Ho-tai. 'He that is poor in spirit as well as
in appearance, is poor indeed. It is plain she is not looking for a
bundle, but for a man.' So he took what presents he had to the house of
the Chief Priest of the Bow, and everything went as usual; except that
when Ho-tai asked them to help him in, the Chief Priest said, 'Be
yourself within,' for he was growing tired of courtings that came to
nothing. But when Ho-tai came cheerfully down the ladder with his gift,
the girl's heart was touched, for he was a fine gold color like a full
moon, and his high heart gave him a proud way of walking. So when she
had said, 'Only possibly you love me, but that I may know what manner of
husband I am getting, I pray you hunt for me one day,' and when they had
bidden each other 'wait happily until the morning,' she went out as a
puma and searched the hills for game that she might drive toward the
young man, instead of away from him. But because she could not take her
eyes off of him, she was not so careful as she should be not to let him
see her. Then she went home and put on all her best clothes, the white
buckskins, the turquoises and silver bracelets, and waited. At evening,
Ho-tai, the Two-Hearted, came with a fine buck on his shoulders, and a
stiff face. Without a word he gave the buck to the Priest's wife and
turned away, '_Hai_',' said the mother, 'when a young man wins a girl he
is permitted to say a few words to her!'--for she was pleased to think
that her daughter had got a husband at last.
"'I did not kill the buck by myself,' said Ho-tai; and he went off to
find the Chief Priest and tell him that he could not marry his daughter.
Flower-of-the-Maguey, who was in her room all this time peeking through
the curtain, took a water jar and went down to the spring where Ho-tai
could not help but pass her on his way back to his own village.
"'I did not bring back your bundle,' she said when she saw him; 'what is
a bundle to a woman when she has found a man?'
"Then his two hearts were sore in him, for she was lovely past all
naming. 'I do not take what I cannot win by my own labor,' said he;
'there was a puma drove up the game for me.'
"'Who knows,' said she, 'but Those Above sent it to try if you were
honest or a braggart?' After which he began to feel differently. And in
due course they were married, and Ho-tai came to live in the house of
the Chief Priest at Hawikuh, for her parents could not think of
parting with her,
"They were very happy," said the Condor, "for she was wisely slow as
well as beautiful, and she eased him of the struggle of his two hearts,
one against the other, and rested in her life as a woman."
"Does that mean she wasn't a puma any more?" asked Dorcas Jane.
The Condor nodded, turning over the Zuñi words in his mind for just the
right phrase. "Understanding of all her former states came to her with
the years. There was nothing she dreaded so much as being forced out of
this life into the dust and whirl of Becoming. That is one reason why
she feared and distrusted the Spanish missionaries when they came, as
they did about that time.
"One of her husband's two hearts pulled very strongly toward the
religion of the Spanish Padres. He was of the first that were baptized
by Father Letrado, and served the altar. He was also the first of those
upon whose mind the Padre began to work to persuade him that in taking
the new religion he must wholly give up the old.
"At the end of that trail, a day's journey," said the Condor, indicating
the narrow foot-tread in the sand, which showed from tree to tree of the
dark junipers, and seemed to turn and disappear at every one, "lies the
valley of Shiwina, which is Zuñi.
"It is a narrow valley, watered by a muddy river. Red walls of mesas
shut it in above the dark wood. To the north lies Thunder Mountain,
wall-sided and menacing. Dust devils rise up from the plains and veil
the crags. In the winter there are snows. In the summer great clouds
gather over Shiwina and grow dark with rain. White corn tassels are
waving, blue butterfly maidens flit among the blossoming beans.
"Day and night at midsummer, hardly the priests have their rattles out
of their hands. You hear them calling from the house-tops, and the beat
of bare feet on the dancing places. But the summer after Father Letrado
built his chapel of the Immaculate Virgin at Halona and the chapel and
parish house of the Immaculate Conception at Hawikuh, he set his face
against the Rain Dance, and especially against the Priests of the Rain.
Witchcraft and sorcery he called it, and in Zuñi to be accused of
witchcraft is death.
"The people did not know what to do. They prayed secretly where they
could. The Priests of the Rain went on with their preparations, and the
soldiers of Father Letrado--for he had a small detachment with
him--broke up the dance and profaned the sacred places. Those were hard
days for Ho-tai the Two-Hearted. The gods of the strangers were strong
gods, he said, let the people wait and see what they could do. The white
men had strong Medicine in their guns and their iron shirts and their
long-tailed, smoke-breathing beasts. They did not work as other gods.
Even if there was no rain, the white gods might have another way to save
"These were the things Father Letrado taught him to say, and the
daughter of the Chief Priest of the Bow feared that his heart would be
quite pulled away from the people of Zuñi. Then she went to her father
the Chief Priest, who was also the keeper of the secret of the Holy
Places of the Sun, and neared the dividing of the ways of life.
"'Let Ho-tai be chosen Keeper in your place,' she said, 'so all shall be
bound together, the Medicine of the white man and the brown.'
"'Be it well,' said the Priest of the Bow, for he was old, and had
respect for his daughter's wisdom. Feeling his feet go from him toward
the Spirit Road, he called together the Priests of the Bow, and
announced to them that Ho-tai would be Keeper in his stead.
"Though Two-Hearted was young for the honor, they did not question it,
for, like his wife, they were jealous of the part of him that was
white--which, for her, there was no becoming--and they thought of this
as a binding together. They were not altogether sure yet that the
Spaniards were not gods, or at the least Surpassing Beings.
"But as the rain did not come and the winter set in cold with a shortage
of corn, more and more they neglected the bowings and the reverences and
the service of the mass. Nights Father Letrado would hear the muffled
beat of the drums in the kivas where the old religion was being
observed, and because it was the only heart open to him, he twisted the
heart of Ho-tai to see if there was not some secret evil, some seed of
witchcraft at the bottom of it which he could pluck out."
"That was great foolishness," said the Road-Runner; "no white man yet
ever got to the bottom of the heart of an Indian."
"True," said the Condor, "but Ho-tai was half white, and the white part
of him answered to the Padre's hand. He was very miserable, and in fact,
nobody was very happy in those days in Hawikuh. Father Martin who passed
there in the moon of the Sun Returning, on his way to establish a
mission among the People of the Coarse Hanging Hair, reported to his
superior that Father Letrado was ripe for martyrdom.
"It came the following Sunday, when only Ho-tai and a few old women came
to mass. Sick at the sound of his own voice echoing in the empty chapel,
the Padre went out to the plaza of the town to scold the people into
services. He was met by the Priests of the Rain with their bows. Being
neither a coward nor a fool, he saw what was before him. Kneeling, he
clasped his arms, still holding the crucifix across his bosom, and they
transfixed him with their arrows.
"They went into the church after that and broke up the altar, and burned
the chapel. A party of bowmen followed the trail of Father Martin,
coming up with him after five days. That night with the help of some of
his own converts, they fell upon and killed him. There was a half-breed
among them, both whose hearts were black. He cut off the good Padre's
hand and scalped him."
"Oh," said Oliver, "I think he ought not to have done that!"
The Condor was thoughtful.
"The hand, no. It had been stretched forth only in kindness. But I think
white men do not understand about scalping. I have heard them talk
sometimes, and I know they do not understand. The scalp was taken in
order that they might have the scalp dance. The dance is to pacify the
spirit of the slain. It adopts and initiates him into the tribe of the
dead, and makes him one with them, so that he will not return as a
spirit and work harm on his slayers. Also it is a notice to the gods of
the enemy that theirs is the stronger god, and to beware. The scalp
dance is a protection to the tribe of the slayer; to omit one of its
observances is to put the tribe in peril of the dead. Thus I have heard;
thus the Old Ones have said. Even Two-Hearted, though he was sad for the
killing, danced for the scalp of Father Martin.
"Immediately it was all over, the Hawikuhkwe began to be afraid. They
gathered up their goods and fled to K'iakime, the Place of the Eagles,
on Thunder Mountain, where they had a stronghold. There were Iron Shirts
at Santa Fé and whole cities of them in the direction of the Salt
Containing Waters. Who knew what vengeance they might take for the
killing of the Padres? The Hawikuhkwe intrenched themselves, and for
nearly two years they waited and practiced their own religion in
their own way.
"Only two of them were unhappy. These were Ho-tai of the two hearts, and
his wife, who had been called Flower-of-the-Maguey. But her unhappiness
was not because the Padres had been killed. She had had her hand in that
business, though only among the women, dropping a word here and there
quietly, as one drops a stone into a deep well. She was unhappy because
she saw that the dead hand of Father Letrado was still heavy on her
"Not that Ho-tai feared what the soldiers from Santa Fé might do to the
slayer, but what the god of the Padre might do to the whole people. For
Padre Letrado had taught him to read in the Sacred Books, and he knew
that whole cities were burned with fire for their sins. He saw doom
hanging over K'iakime, and his wife could not comfort him. After awhile
it came into his mind that it was his own sin for which the people would
be punished, for the one thing he had kept from the Padre was the secret
of the gold.
"It is true," said the Condor, "that after the Indians had forgotten
them, white men rediscovered many of their sacred places, and many
others that were not known even to the Zuñis. But there is one place on
Thunder Mountain still where gold lies in the ground in lumps like pine
nuts. If Father Letrado could have found it, he would have hammered it
into cups for his altar, and immediately the land would have been
overrun with the Spaniards. And the more Ho-tai thought of it, the more
convinced he was that he should have told him.
"Toward the end of two years when it began to be rumored that soldiers
and new Padres were coming to K'iakime to deal with the killing of
Father Letrado, Ho-tai began to sleep more quietly at night. Then his
wife knew that he had made up his mind to tell, if it seemed necessary
to reconcile the Spaniards to his people, and it was a knife in
"It was her husband's honor, and the honor of her father, Chief Priest
of the Bow; and besides, she knew very well that if Ho-tai told, the
Priests of the Bow would kill him. She said to herself that her husband
was sick with the enchantments of the Padres, and she must do what she
could for him. She gave him seeds of forgetfulness."
"Was that a secret too?" asked Dorcas, for the Condor seemed not to
remember that the children were new to that country.
"It was _peyote_. Many know of it now, but in the days of Our Ancients
it was known only to a few Medicine men and women. It is a seed that
when eaten wipes out the past from a man's mind and gives him visions.
In time its influence will wear away, and it must be eaten anew, but if
eaten too often it steals a man's courage and his strength as well as
"When she had given her husband a little in his food,
Flower-of-the-Maguey found that he was like a child in her hands.
"'Sleep,' she would say, 'and dream thus, and so,' and that is the way
it would be with him. She wished him to forget both the secret of the
gold in the ground and the fear of the Padres.
"From the time that she heard that the Spaniards were on their way to
K'iakime, she fed him a little _peyote_ every day. To the others it
seemed that his mind walked with Those Above, and they were respectful
of him. That is how Zuñis think of any kind of madness. They were not
sure that the madness had not been sent for just this occasion when they
had need of the gods, and so, as it seemed to them, it proved.
"The Spaniards asked for parley, and the Caciques permitted the Padres
to come up into the council chambers, for they knew that the long gowns
covered no weapons. The Spaniards had learned wisdom, perhaps, and
perhaps they thought Father Letrado somewhat to blame. They asked
nothing but permission to reëstablish their missions, and to have the
man who had scalped Father Martin handed over to them for
"They sat around the wall of the kiva, with Ho-tai in his place, hearing
and seeing very little. But the parley was long, and, little by little,
the vision of his own gods which the _peyote_ had given him began to
wear away. One of the Padres rose in his place and began a long speech
about the sin of killing, and especially of killing priests. He quoted
his Sacred Books and talked of the sin in their hearts, and, little by
little, the talk laid hold on the wandering mind of Ho-tai. 'Thus, in
this killing, has the secret evil of your hearts come forth,' said the
Padre, and 'True, He speaks true,' said Ho-tai, upon which the Priests
of the Hawikuhkwe were astonished. They thought their gods spoke through
"Then the Padre began to exhort them to give up this evil man in their
midst and rid themselves of the consequences of sin, which he assured
them were most certain and as terrible as they were sure. Then the white
heart of Ho-tai remembered his own anguish, and spoke thickly, as a man
drunk with _peyote_ speaks.
"'He must be given up,' he said. It seemed to them that his voice came
from the under world.
"But there was a great difficulty. The half-breed who had done the
scalping had, at the first rumor of the soldiers coming, taken himself
away. If the Hawikuhkwe said this to the Spaniards, they knew very well
they would not be believed. But the mind of Ho-tai had begun to come
back to him, feebly as from a far journey.
"He remembered that he had done something displeasing to the Padre,
though he did not remember what, and on account of it there was doom
over the valley of the Shiwina. He rose staggering in his place.
"'Evil has been done, and the evil man must be cast out,' he said, and
for the first time the Padres noticed that he was half white. Not one of
them had ever seen the man who scalped Father Letrado, but it was known
that his father had been a soldier. This man was altogether such a one
as they expected. His cheeks were drawn, his hair hung matted over his
reddened eyes, as a man's might, tormented of the spirit. 'I am that
man,' said Ho-tai of the Two Hearts, and the Caciques put their hands
over their mouths with astonishment."
"But they never," cried Oliver,--"they never let him be taken?"
"A life for a life," said the Condor, "that is the law. It was necessary
that the Spaniards be pacified, and the slayer could not be found.
Besides, the people of Hawikuh thought Ho-tai's offer to go in his place
was from the gods. It agrees with all religions that a man may lay down
his life for his people."
"Couldn't his wife do anything?"
"What could she? He went of his own will and by consent of the Caciques.
But she tried what she could. She could give him _peyote_ enough so that
he should remember nothing and feel nothing of what the Spaniards should
do to him. But to do that she had to make friends with one of the
soldiers. She chose one Lujan, who had written his name on the Rock on
the way to K'iakime. By him she sent a cake to Ho-tai, and promised to
meet Lujan when she could slip away from the village unnoticed.
"Between here and Acoma," said the Condor, "is a short cut which may be
traveled on foot, but not on horseback. Returning with Ho-tai, manacled
and fast between two soldiers, the Spaniards meant to take that trail,
and it was there the wife of Ho-tai promised to meet Lujan at the end of
the second day's travel.
"She came in the twilight, hurrying as a puma, for her woman's heart was
too sore to endure her woman's body. Lujan had walked apart from the
camp to wait for her; smiling, he waited. She was still very beautiful,
and he thought she was in love with him. Therefore, when he saw the
long, hurrying stride of a puma in the trail, he thought it a pity so
beautiful a woman should be frightened. The arrow that he sped from his
cross-bow struck in the yellow flanks. 'Well shot,' said Lujan
cheerfully, but his voice was drowned by a scream that was strangely
like a woman's. He remembered it afterward in telling of the
extraordinary thing that had happened to him, for when he went to look,
where the great beast had leaped in air and fallen, there was nothing to
be found there. Nothing.
"If she had been in her form as a woman when he shot her," said the
Condor, "that is what he would have found. But she was a Passing Being,
not taking form from without as we do, of the outward touchings of
things, and her shape of a puma was as mist which vanishes in death as
mist does in the sun. Thus shortens my story."
"Come," said the Road-Runner, understanding that there would be no more
to the Telling. "The Seven Persons are out, and the trail is darkling."
The children looked up and saw the constellation which they knew as the
Dipper, shining in a deep blue heaven. The glow was gone from the high
cliffs of El Morro, and the junipers seemed to draw secretly together.
Without a word they took hands and began to run along the trail after
HOW THE MEDICINE OF THE ARROWS WAS BROKEN AT REPUBLICAN RIVER; TOLD BY
THE CHIEF OFFICER OF THE DOG SOLDIERS
This is the story the Dog Soldier told Oliver one evening in April, just
after school let out, while the sun was still warm and bright on the
young grass, and yet one somehow did not care about playing. Oliver had
slipped into the Indian room by the west entrance to look at the Dog
Dancers, for the teacher had just told them that our country was to join
the big war which had been going on so long on the other side of the
Atlantic, and the boy was feeling rather excited about it, and
The teacher had told them about the brave Frenchmen, who had stood up in
the way of the enemy saying, "They shall not pass," and they hadn't. It
made Oliver think of what he had read on the Dog Dancer's card--how in a
desperate fight the officer would stick an arrow or a lance through his
long scarf, where it trailed upon the ground, pinning himself to the
earth until he was dead or his side had won the victory.
Oliver thought that that was exactly the sort of thing that he would do
himself if he were a soldier, and when he read the card over again, he
sat on a bench with his back to the light looking at the Dog Dancers,
and feeling very friendly toward them. It had just occurred to him that
they, too, were Americans, and he liked to think of them as brave and
From where he sat he could see quite to the end of the east corridor
which was all of a quarter of a mile away. Nobody moved in it but a
solitary guard, looking small and flat like a toy man at that distance,
and the low sun made black and yellow bars across the floor. In a moment
more, while Oliver was wondering where that woodsy, smoky smell came
from, they were all around him, all the Dog Warriors, of the four
degrees, with their skin-covered lances curved like the beak of the
Thunder Bird, and the rattles of dew-claws that clashed pleasantly
together. Some of them were painted red all over, and some wore tall
headdresses of eagle feathers, and every officer had his trailing scarf
of buckskin worked in patterns of the Sacred Four. Around every neck was
the whistle made of the wing-bone of a turkey, and every man's forehead
glistened with the sweat of his dancing. The smell that Oliver had
noticed was the smoke of their fire and the spring scent of the young
sage. It grew knee-high, pale green along the level tops, stretching
away west to the Backbone-of-the-World, whose snowy tops seemed to float
upon the evening air. Off to the right there was a river dark with
cottonwoods and willows.
"But where are we?" Oliver wished to know, seeing them all pause in
their dancing to notice him in a friendly fashion.
"Cheyenne Country," said one of the oldest Indians. "Over there"--he
pointed to a white thread that dipped and sidled along the easy roll of
the hills--"is the Taos Trail. It joins the Santa Fe at the Rio Grande
and goes north to the Big Muddy. It crosses all the east-flowing rivers
near their source and skirts the Pawnee Country."
"And who are you--Cheyennes or Arapahoes?" Oliver could not be sure,
though their faces and their costumes were familiar.
"Cheyennes _and_ Arapahoes," said the oldest Dog Dancer, easing himself
down to the buffalo robe which one of the rank and file of the warriors
had spread for him. "Camp-mates and allies, though we do not call
ourselves Cheyennes, you know. That is a Sioux name for us,--Red Words,
it means;--what you call foreign-speaking, for the Sioux cannot speak
any language but their own. We call ourselves Tsis-tsis-tas, Our Folk."
He reached back for his pipe which a young man brought him and loosened
his tobacco pouch from his belt, smiling across at Oliver, "Have you
earned your smoke, my son?"
"I'm not allowed," said Oliver, eyeing the great pipe which he was
certain he had seen a few moments before in the Museum case.
"Good, good," said the old Cheyenne; "a youth should not smoke until he
has gathered the bark of the oak."
Oliver looked puzzled and the Dog Warrior smiled broadly, for gathering
oak bark is a poetic Indian way of speaking of a young warrior's
"He means you must not smoke until you have done something to prove you
are a man," explained one of the Arapahoes, who was painted bright red
all over and wore a fringe of scalps under his ceremonial belt. Pipes
came out all around the circle and some one threw a handful of
sweet-grass on the fire.
"What I should like to know," said Oliver, "is why you are called Dog
The painted man shook his head.
"All I know is that we are picked men, ripe with battles, and the Dog is
our totem. So it has been since the Fathers' Fathers." He blew two puffs
from his pipe straight up, murmuring, "O God, remember us on earth,"
after the fashion of ceremonial smoking.
"God and us," said the Cheyenne, pointing up with his pipe-stem; and
then to Oliver, "The Tsis-tsis-tas were saved by a dog once in the
country of the Ho-Hé. That is Assiniboine," he explained, following it
with a strong grunt of disgust which ran all around the circle as the
Dog Chief struck out with his foot and started a little spurt of dust
with his toe, throwing dirt on the name of his enemy. "They are called
Assiniboine, stone cookers, because they cook in holes in the ground
with hot stones, but to us they were the Ho-Hé. The first time we met we
fought them. That was in the old time, before we had guns or bows
either, but clubs and pointed sticks. That was by the Lake of the Woods
where we first met them."
"Lake of the Woods," said Oliver; "that's farther north than the
headwater of the Mississippi."
"We came from farther and from older time," said the Dog Soldier. "We
thought the guns were magic at first and fell upon our faces.
Nevertheless, we fought the Ho-Hé and took their guns away from them."
"So," said the officer of the Yellow Rope, as the long buckskin badge of
rank was called. "We fought with Blackfoot and Sioux. We fought with
Comanches and Crows, and expelled them from the Land. With Kiowas we
fought; we crossed the Big Muddy and long and bitter wars we had with
Shoshones and Pawnees. Later we fought the Utes. We are the Fighting
"That is how it is when a peaceful people are turned fighters. For we
are peaceful. We came from the East, for one of our wise men had
foretold that one day we should meet White Men and be conquered by them.
Therefore, we came away, seeking peace, and we did not know what to do
when the Ho-Hé fell upon us. At last we said, 'Evidently it is the
fashion of this country to fight. Now, let us fight everybody we meet,
so we shall become great.' That is what has happened. Is it not so?"
"It is so!" said the Dog Dancers. "Hi-hi-yi," breaking out all at once
in the long-drawn wolf howl which is the war-cry of the Cheyennes.
Oliver would have been frightened by it, but quite as suddenly they
returned to their pipes, and he saw the old Dog Chief looking at him
with a kindly twinkle.
"You were going to tell me why you are called Dog Soldiers," Oliver
"Dog is a good name among us," said the old Cheyenne, "but it is
forbidden to speak of the Mysteries. Perhaps when you have been admitted
to the Kit Foxes and have seen fighting--"
"We've got a war of our own, now," said Oliver hopefully.
The Indians were all greatly interested. The painted Arapahoe blew him a
puff from his pipe. "Send you good enemies," he said, trailing the smoke
about in whatever direction enemies might come from. "And a good fight!"
said the Yellow Rope Officer; "for men grow soft where there is no
"And in all cases," said the Dog Chief, "respect the Mysteries.
Otherwise, though you come safely through yourself, you may bring evil
on the Tribe. ... I remember a Telling ... No," he said, following the
little pause that always precedes a story; "since you are truly at war I
will tell a true tale. A tale of my own youth and the failure that came
on Our Folks because certain of our young men forgot that they were
fighting for the Tribe and thought only of themselves and their
He stuffed his pipe again with fine tobacco and bark of red willow and
"Of one mystery of the Cheyennes every man may speak a little--of the
Mystery of the Sacred Medicine Arrows. Four arrows there are with stone
heads painted in the four colors, four feathered with eagle plumes. They
give power to men and victory in battle. It is a man mystery; no woman
may so much as look at it. When we go out as a Tribe to war, the Arrows
go with us tied to the lance of the Arrow-Keeper.
"The Medicine of the Arrows depended on the Mysteries which are made in
the camp before the Arrows go out. But if any one goes out from the camp
toward the enemy before the Mysteries are completed, the protection of
the Arrows is destroyed. Thus it happened when the Potawatami helped the
Kitkahhahki, and the Cheyennes were defeated. This was my doing, mine
and Red Morning and a boy of the Suh-tai who had nobody belonging
"We three were like brothers, but I was the elder and leader. I waited
on War Bonnet when he went to the hunt, and learned war-craft from him.
That was how it was with us as we grew up,--we attached ourselves to
some warrior we admired; we brought back his arrows and rounded up his
ponies for him, or washed off the Medicine paint after battle, or
carried his pipe.
"War Bonnet I loved for the risks he would take. Red Morning followed
Mad Wolf, who was the best of the scouts; and where we two went the
Suh-tai was not missing. This was long after we had learned all the
tricks of the Ho-Hé by fighting them, after the Iron Shirts brought the
horse to us, and we had crossed the Big Muddy into this country.
"We were at war with the Pawnees that year. Not," said the Dog Chief
with a grin, "that we were ever at peace with them, but the year before
they had killed our man Alights-on-the-Cloud and taken our iron shirt."
"Had the Cheyennes iron shirts?" Oliver was astonished.
"Alights-on-the-Cloud had one. When he rode up and down in front of the
enemy with it under his blanket, they thought it great Medicine. There
were others I have heard of; they came into the country with the men who
had the first horses, but this was ours. It was all fine rings of iron
that came down to the knees and covered the arms and the head so that
his long hair was inside.
"It was the summer before we broke the Medicine of the Arrows that the
Tsis-tsis-tas had gone out against the Pawnees. Arapahoes, Sioux,
Kiowas, and Apaches, they went out with us.
"Twice in the year the Pawnees hunted the buffaloes, once in the winter
when the robes were good and the buffaloes fat, and once in the summer
for food. All the day before we had seen a great dust rising and all
night the ground shook with the buffaloes running. There was a mist on
the prairie, and when it rose our scouts found themselves almost in the
midst of the Pawnees who were riding about killing buffaloes.
"It was a running fight; from noon till level sun they fought, and in
the middle of it, Alights-on-the-Cloud came riding on a roan horse along
the enemy line, flashing a saber. As he rode the Pawnees gave back, for
the iron shirt came up over his head and their arrows did him no harm.
So he rode down our own line, and returning charged the Pawnees, but
this time there was one man who did not give back.
"Carrying-the-Shield-in-Front said to those around him: 'Let him come on,
and do you move away from me so he can come close. If he possesses great
Medicine, I shall not be able to kill him; but if he does not possess
it, perhaps I shall kill him.'
"So the others fell back, and when Alights-on-the-Cloud rode near enough
so that Carrying-the-Shield-in-Front could hear the clinking of the iron
rings, he loosed his arrow and struck Alights-on-the-Cloud in the eye.
"Our men charged the Pawnees, trying to get the body back, but in the
end they succeeded in cutting the iron shirt into little pieces, and
carrying it away. This was a shame to us, for Alights-on-the-Cloud was
well liked, and for a year there was very little talked of but how he
might be avenged.
"Early the next spring a pipe was carried. Little Robe carried it along
the Old North Trail to Crows and the Burnt Thigh Sioux and the Northern
Cheyennes. South also it went to Apaches and Arapahoes. And when the
grape was in leaf we came together at Republican River and swore that we
would drive out the Pawnees.
"As it turned out both Mad Wolf and War Bonnet were among the first
scouts chosen to go and locate the enemy, and though we had no business
there, we three, and two other young men of the Kiowas, slipped out of
the camp and followed. They should have turned us back as soon as we
were discovered, but Mad Wolf was good-natured, and they were pleased to
see us so keen for war.
"There was a young moon, and the buffalo bulls were running and fighting
in the brush. I remember one old bull with long streamers of grapevines
dragging from his horns who charged and scattered us. We killed a young
cow for meat, and along the next morning we saw wolves running away from
a freshly killed carcass. So we knew the Pawnees were out.
"Yellow Bear, an Arapahoe Dog Soldier, who was one of the scouts, began
to ride about in circles and sing his war-song, saying that we ought not
to go back without taking some scalps, or counting coup, and we
youngsters agreed with him. We were disappointed when the others decided
to go back at once and report. I remember how Mad Wolf, who was the
scout leader, sent the others all in to notify the camp, and how, as
they rode, from time to time they howled like wolves, then stopped and
turned their heads from side to side.
"There was a great ceremonial march when we came in, the Dog Soldiers,
the Crooked Lances, the Fox Soldiers, and all the societies. First there
were two men--the most brave in the society leading, and then all the
others in single file and two to close. The women, too--all the bright
blankets and the tall war bonnets--the war-cries and the songs and the
drums going like a man's heart in battle.
"Three days," said the Dog Chief, "the preparation lasted. Wolf Face and
Tall Bull were sent off to keep in touch with the enemy, and the women
and children dropped behind while the men unwrapped their Medicine
bundles and began the Mysteries of the _Issiwun_, the Buffalo Hat, and
_Mahuts_, the Arrows. It was a long ceremony, and we three, Red Morning,
the Suh-tai boy, and I, were on fire with the love of fighting. You may
believe that we made the other boys treat us handsomely because we had
been with the scouts, but after a while even that grew tame and we
wandered off toward the river. Who cared what three half-grown boys did,
while the elders were busy with their Mysteries.
"By and by, though we knew very well that no one should move toward the
enemy while the Arrows were uncovered, it came into our heads what a
fine thing it would be if we could go out after Wolf Face and Tall Bull,
and perhaps count coup on the Pawnees before our men came up with them.
I do not think we thought of any harm, and perhaps we thought the
Medicine of the Arrows was only for the members of the societies. But we
saw afterward that it was for the Tribe, and for our wrong the
"For a while we followed the trail of Tall Bull, toward the camp of
Pawnees. But we took to playing that the buffaloes were Pawnees and wore
out our horses charging them. Then we lost the trail, and when at last
we found a village the enemy had moved on following the hunt, leaving
only bones and ashes. I do not know what we should have done," said the
Dog Chief, "if we had come up with them: three boys armed with
hunting-knives and bows, and a lance which War Bonnet had thrown away
because it was too light for him. Red Morning had a club he had made,
with a flint set into the side. He kept throwing it up and catching it
as he rode, making a song about it.
"After leaving the deserted camp of the Pawnees, we rode about looking
for a trail, thinking we might come upon some small party. We had left
our own camp before finding out what Wolf Face and Tall Bull had come
back to tell them, that the enemy, instead of being the whole Nation of
Pawnees as we supposed, was really only the tribe of the Kitkahhahki,
helped out by a band of the Potawatami. The day before our men attacked
the Kitkahhahki, the Potawatami had separated from them and started up
one of the creeks, while the Pawnees kept on up the river. We boys
stumbled on the trail of the Potawatami and followed it.
"Now these Potawatami," said the Dog Chief, "had had guns a long time,
and better guns than ours. But being boys we did not know enough to turn
back. About midday we came to level country around the headwaters of the
creek, and there were four Potawatami skinning buffaloes. They had
bunched up their horses and tied them to a tree while they cut up the
kill. Red Morning said for us to run off the horses, and that would be
almost as good as a scalp-taking. We left our ponies in the ravine and
wriggled through the long grass. We had cut the horses loose and were
running them, before the Potawatami discovered it. One of them called
his own horse and it broke out of the bunch and ran toward him. In a
moment he was on his back, so we three each jumped on a horse and began
to whip them to a gallop. The Potawatami made for the Suh-tai, and rode
even with him. I think he saw it was only a boy, and neither of them had
a gun. But suddenly as their horses came neck and neck Suh-tai gave a
leap and landed on the Potawatami's horse behind the rider. It was a
trick of his with which he used to scare us. He would leap on and off
before you had time to think. As he clapped his legs to the horse's back
he stuck his knife into the Potawatami. The man threw up his arms and
Suh-tai tumbled him off the horse in an instant.
"This I saw because Red Morning's horse had been shot under him, and I
had stopped to take him up. By this time another man had caught a horse
and I had got my lance again which I had left leaning against a tree. I
faced him with it as he came on at a dead run, and for a moment I
thought it had gone clean through him, but really it had passed between
his arm and his body and he had twisted it out of my hand.
"Our horses were going too fast to stop, but Red Morning, from behind
me, struck at the head of the man's horse as it passed with his
knife-edged club, and we heard the man shout as he went down. I managed
to get my horse about in time to see Suh-tai, who had caught up with us,
trying to snatch the Potawatami's scalp, but his knife turned on one of
the silver plates through which his scalp-lock was pulled, and all the
Suh-tai got was a lock of the hair. In his excitement he thought it was
the scalp and went shaking it and shouting like a wild man.
"The Potawatami pulled himself free of his fallen horse as I came up,
and it did me good to see the blood flowing from under his arm where my
lance had scraped him. I rode straight at him, meaning to ride him down,
but the horse swerved a little and got a long wiping stroke from the
Potawatami's knife, from which, in a minute more, he began to stagger.
By this time the other men had got their guns and begun shooting.
Suh-tai's bow had been shot in two, and Red Morning had a graze that
laid his cheek open. So we got on our own ponies and rode away.
"We saw other men riding into the open, but they had all been chasing
buffaloes, and our ponies were fresh. It was not long before we left the
shooting behind. Once we thought we heard it break out again in a
different direction, but we were full of our own affairs, and anxious to
get back to the camp and brag about them. As we crossed the creek
Suh-tai made a line and said the words that made it Medicine. We felt
"It was our first fight, and each of us had counted coup. Suh-tai was
not sure but he had killed his man. Not for worlds would he have wiped
the blood from his knife until he had shown it to the camp. Two of us
had wounds, for my man had struck at me as he passed, though I had been
too excited to notice it at the time ... '_Eyah!_' said the Dog
Chief,--'a man's first scar ...!' We were very happy, and Red Morning
taught us his song as we rode home beside the Republican River.
"As we neared our own camp we were checked in our rejoicing; we heard
the wails of the women, and then we saw the warriors sitting around with
their heads in their blankets--as many as were left of them. My father
was gone, he was one of the first who was killed by the Potawatami."
The Dog Chief was silent a long time, puffing gently on his pipe, and
the Officer of the Yellow Rope began to sing to himself a strange,
Looking at him attentively Oliver saw an old faint scar running across
his face from nose to ear.
"Is your name Red Morning?" Oliver wished to know.
The man nodded, but he did not smile; they were all of them smoking
silently with their eyes upon the ground. Oliver understood that there
was more and turned back to the Dog Chief.
"Weren't they pleased with what you had done?" he asked.
"They were pleased when they had time to notice us," he said, "but they
didn't know--they didn't know that we had broken the Medicine of the
Arrows. It didn't occur to us to say anything about the time we had left
the camp, and nobody asked us. A young warrior, Big Head he was called,
had also gone out toward the enemy before the Mystery was over. They
laid it all to him.
"And at that time we didn't know ourselves, not till long afterward. You
see, we thought we had got away from the Potawatami because our ponies
were fresh and theirs had been running buffaloes. Rut the truth was they
had followed us until they heard the noise of the shooting where Our
Folks attacked the Kitkahhahki. It was the first they knew of the attack
and they went to the help of their friends. Until they came Our Folks
had all the advantage. But the Potawatami shoot to kill. They carry
sticks on which to rest the guns, and their horses are trained to stand
still. Our men charged them as they came, but the Potawatami came
forward by tens to shoot, and loaded while other tens took their places
... and the Medicine of the Arrows had been broken. The men of the
Potawatami took the hearts of our slain to make strong Medicine for
their bullets and when the Cheyennes saw what they were doing they
"But if we three had not broken the Medicine, the Potawatami would never
have been in that battle.
"Thus it is," said the Dog Soldier, putting his pipe in his belt and
gathering his robes about him, "that wars are lost and won, not only in
battle, but in the minds and the hearts of the people, and by the
keeping of those things that are sacred to the people, rather than by
seeking those things that are pleasing to one's self. Do you understand
this, my son?"
"I think so," said Oliver, remembering what he had heard at school. He
felt the hand of the Dog Chief on his shoulder, but when he looked up it
was only the Museum attendant come to tell him it was closing time.
GLOSSARY OF INDIAN AND SPANISH NAMES
THE BEGINNING OF THE TRAIL
The appendix is that part of a book in which you find the really
important things, put there to keep them from interfering with the
story. Without an appendix you might not discover that all of the
important things in this book really _are_ true.
All the main traveled roads in the United States began as animal or
Indian trails. There is no map that shows these roads as they originally
were, but the changes are not so many as you might think. Railways have
tunneled under passes where the buffalo went over, hills have been cut
away and swamps filled in, but the general direction and in many places
the actual grades covered by the great continental highways remain
THE BUFFALO COUNTRY
_Licks_ are places where deer and buffaloes went to lick the salt they
needed out of the ground. They were once salt springs or lakes
long dried up.
_Wallows_ were mudholes where the buffaloes covered themselves with mud
as a protection from mosquitoes and flies. They would lie down and work
themselves into the muddy water up to their eyes. Crossing the Great
Plains, you can still see round green places that were wallows in the
days of the buffalo.
The Pawnees are a roving tribe, in the region of the Platte and Kansas
Rivers. If they were just setting out on their journey when the children
heard them they would sing:--
"Dark against the sky, yonder distant line
Runs before us.
Trees we see, long the line of trees
Bending, swaying in the wind.
"Bright with flashing light, yonder distant line
Runs before us.
Swiftly runs, swift the river runs,
Winding, flowing through the land."
But if they happened to be crossing the river at the time they would be
singing to _Kawas_, their eagle god, to help them. They had a song for
coming up on the other side, and one for the mesas, with long,
flat-sounding lines, and a climbing song for the mountains.
You will find all these songs and some others in a book by Miss Fletcher
in the public library.
You will find the story of the Coyote and the Burning Mountain in my
book _The Basket Woman_.
The Tenasas were the Tennessee Mountains. Little River is on the map.
Flint Ridge is a great outcrop of flint stone in Ohio, near the town of
Zanesville. Sky-Blue-Water is Lake Superior.
Cahokia is the great mound near St. Louis, on the Illinois side of the
When the Lenni-Lenape speaks of a Telling of his Fathers about the
mastodon or the mammoth, he was probably thinking of the story that is
pictured on the Lenape stone, which seems to me to be the one told by
Arrumpa. Several Indian tribes had stories of a large extinct animal
which they called the Big Moose, or the Big Elk, because moose and elk
were the largest animals they knew.
I am not quite certain of the places mentioned in this story, because
the country has so greatly changed, but it must have been in Florida or
Georgia, probably about where the Savannah River is now. It is in that
part of the country we have the proof that man was here in America at
the same time as the mammoth.
Shell mounds occur all along the coast. No doubt the first permanent
trails led to them from the hunting-grounds. Every year the tribe went
down to gather sea-food, and left great piles of shells many feet deep,
sometimes covering several acres. It is from these mounds that we
discover the most that we know about early man in the United States.
There are three different opinions as to where the first men in America
came from. First, that they came from some place in the North that is
now covered with Arctic ice; second, that they came from Europe and
Africa by way of some islands that are now sunk beneath the Atlantic
Ocean; third, that they came from Asia across Behring Strait and the
The third theory seems the most reasonable. But also it is very likely
that some people did come from the lost islands in the Atlantic, and
left traces in South America and the West Indies. It may be that Dorcas
Jane and Oliver will yet meet somebody in the Museum country who can
tell them about it.
The Great Cold that Arrumpa speaks about must have been the Ice Age,
that geologists tell us once covered the continent of North America,
almost down to the Ohio River. It came and went slowly, and probably so
changed the climate that the elephants, tigers, camels, and other
animals that used to be found in the United States could no longer
live in it.
THE COYOTE'S STORY
_Tamal-Pyweack_--Wall-of-Shining-Rocks--is an Indian name for the Rocky
Mountains. _Backbone-of-the-World_ is another.
The Country of the Dry Washes is between the Rockies and the Sierra
Nevadas, toward the south. A dry wash is the bed of a river that runs
only in the rainy season. As such rivers usually run very swiftly, they
make great ragged gashes across a country.
There are several places in the Rockies called _Wind Trap_. The Crooked
Horn might have been Pike's Peak, as you can see by the pictures. The
white men had to rediscover this trail for themselves, for the Indians
seemed to have forgotten it, but the railroad that passes through the
Rockies, near Pike's Peak, follows the old trail of the Bighorn.
It is very likely that the Indian in America had the dog for his friend
as soon as he had fire, if not before it. Most of the Indian stories of
the origin of fire make the coyote the first discoverer and bringer of
fire to man. The words that Howkawanda said before he killed the Bighorn
were probably the same that every Indian hunter uses when he goes
hunting big game: "O brother, we are about to kill you, we hope that you
will understand and forgive us." Unless they say something like that the
spirit of the animal killed might do them some mischief.
THE CORN WOMAN'S STORY
Indian corn, _mahiz_, or maize, is supposed to have come originally from
Central America. But the strange thing about it is that no specimen of
the wild plant from which it might have developed has ever been found.
This would indicate that the development must have taken place a very
long time ago, and the parent corn may have belonged to the age of the
mastodon and other extinct creatures.
Different tribes probably brought it into the United States at different
times. Some of it came up the Atlantic Coast, across the West Indies.
The fragments of legend from which I made the story of the Corn Woman
were found among the Indians that were living in Virginia, Kentucky, and
Tennessee at the time the white men came.
Chihuahua is a province and city in Old Mexico, the trail that leads to
it one of the oldest lines of tribal migration on the continent.
To be given to the Sun meant to have your heart cut out on a sacrificial
stone, usually on the top of a hill, or other high place. The Aztecs
were an ancient Mexican people who practiced this kind of sacrifice as a
part of their religion. If it was from them the Corn Woman obtained the
seed, it must have been before they moved south to Mexico City, where
the Spaniards found them in the sixteenth century.
A _teocali_ was an Aztec temple.
A _tipi_ is the sort of tent used by the Plains Indians, made of tanned
skins. It is sometimes called a _lodge_, and the poles on which the
skins are hung are usually cut from the tree which for this reason is
called the lodge-pole pine. It is important to remember things like
this. By knowing the type of house used, you can tell more about the
kind of life lived by that tribe than by any other one thing. When the
poles were banked up with earth the house was called an _earth lodge_.
If thatched with brush and grass, a _wickiup_. In the eastern United
States, where huts were covered with bark, they were generally called
_wigwams_. In the desert, if the house was built of sticks and earth or
brush, it was called a _hogan_, and if of earth made into rude bricks,
The Queres Indians live all along the Rio Grande in pueblos, since there
is no need of their living now in the cliffs. You can read about them at
Ty-uonyi in "The Delight-Makers."
A _kiva_ is the underground chamber of the house, or if not underground,
at least without doors, entered from the top by means of a ladder.
_Shipapu_, the place from which the Queres and other pueblo Indians
came, means, in the Queres language, "Black Lake of Tears," and
according to the Zuñi, "Place of Encompassing Mist," neither of which
sounds like a pleasant place to live. Nevertheless, all the Queres
expect to go there when they die. It is the Underworld from which the
Twin Brothers led them when the mud of the earliest world was scarcely
dried, and they seem to have gone wandering about until they found
Ty-uonyi, where they settled.
The stone puma, which Moke-icha thought was carved in her honor, can
still be seen on the mesa back from the river, south of Tyuonyi. But the
Navajo need not have made fun of the Cliff-Dwellers for praying to a
puma, since the Navajos of to-day still say their prayers to the bear.
The Navajos are a wandering tribe, and pretend to despise all people who
live in fixed dwellings.
The "ghosts of prayer plumes," which Moke-icha saw in the sky, is the
Milky Way. The Queres pray by the use of small feathered sticks planted
in the ground or in crevices of the rocks in high and lonely places. As
the best feathers for this purpose are white, and as everything is
thought of by Indians as having a spirit, it was easy for them to think
of that wonderful drift of stars across the sky as the spirits of
prayers, traveling to Those Above. If ever you should think of making a
prayer plume for yourself, do not on any account use the feathers of owl
or crow, as these are black prayers and might get you accused of
The _Uakanyi_, to which Tse-tse wished to belong, were the Shamans of
War; they had all the secrets of strategy and spells to protect a man
from his enemies. There were also Shamans of hunting, of medicine and
It was while the Queres were on their way from Shipapu that the
Delight-Makers were sent to keep the people cheerful. The white mud with
which they daubed themselves is a symbol of light, and the corn leaves
tied in their hair signify fruitfulness, for the corn needs cheering up
also. There must be something in it, for you notice that clowns, whose
business it is to make people laugh, always daub themselves with white.
THE MOUND-BUILDER'S STORY
The Mound-Builders lived in the Mississippi Valley about a thousand
years ago. They built chiefly north of the Ohio River, until they were
driven out by the Lenni-Lenape about five hundred years before the
English and French began to settle that country. They went south and are
probably the same people we know as Creeks and Cherokees.
_Tallegewi_ is the only name for the Mound-Builders that has come down
to us, though some people insist that it ought to be _Allegewi_, and the
singular instead of being _Tallega_ should be _Allega_.
The _Lenni-Lenape_ are the tribes we know as Delawares. The name means
The _Mingwe_ or _Mingoes_ are the tribes that the French called
Iroquois, and the English, Five Nations. They called themselves "People
of the Long House." _Mingwe_ was the name by which they were known to
other tribes, and means "stealthy," "treacherous." All Indian tribes
have several names.
The _Onondaga_ were one of the five nations of the Iroquois. They lived
in western New York.
_Shinaki_ was somewhere in the great forest of Canada. _Namaesippu_
means "Fish River," and must have been that part of the St. Lawrence
between Lakes Erie and Huron.
The _Peace Mark_ was only one of the significant ways in which Indians
painted their faces. The marks always meant as much to other Indians as
the device on a knight's shield meant in the Middle Ages.
_Scioto_ means "long legs," in reference to the river's many branches.
_Wabashiki_ means "gleaming white," on account of the white limestone
along its upper course. _Maumee_ and _Miami_ are forms of the same word,
the name of the tribe that once lived along those waters.
_Kaskaskia_ is also the name of a tribe and means, "They scrape them
off," or something of that kind, referring to the manner in which they
get rid of their enemies, the Peorias.
The Indian word from which we take _Sandusky_ means "cold springs," or
"good water, here," or "water pools," according to the person who
You will find all these places on the map.
"_G'we_!" or "_Gowe_!" as it is sometimes written, was the war cry of
the Lenape and the Mingwe on their joint wars. At least that was the way
it sounded to the people who heard it. Along the eastern front of these
nations it was softened to "_Zowie_!" and in that form you can hear the
people of eastern New York and Vermont still using it as slang.
THE ONONDAGA'S STORY
The _Red Score_ of the Lenni-Lenape was a picture writing made in red
chalk on birch bark, telling how the tribe came down out of Shinaki and
drove out the Tallegewi in a hundred years' war. Several imperfect
copies of it are still in existence and one nearly perfect
interpretation made for the English colonists. It was in the nature of
short-hand memoranda of the most interesting items of their tribal
history, but unless Oliver and Dorcas Jane meet somebody in the Museum
country who knew the Tellings that went with the Red Score, it is
unlikely we shall ever know just what did happen.
Any early map of the Ohio Valley, or any good automobile map of the
country south and east of the Great Lakes, will give the
_Muskingham-Mahoning Trail_, which was much used by the first white
settlers in that country. The same is true of the old Iroquois Trade
Trail, as it is still a well-traveled country road through the heart of
New York State. _Muskingham_ means "Elk's Eye," and referred to the
clear brown color of the water. _Mahoning_ means "Salt Lick," or, more
literally, "There a Lick."
_Mohican-ittuck_, the old name for the Hudson River, means the river of
the Mohicans, whose hunting-grounds were along its upper reaches.
_Niagara_ probably means something in connection with the river at that
point, the narrows, or the neck. According to the old spelling it should
have been pronounced Nee-ä-gär'-ä, but it isn't.
_Adirondack_ means "Bark-Eaters," a local name for the tribe that once
lived there and in seasons of scarcity ate the inner bark of the
_Algonquian_ is a name for one of the great tribal groups, several
members of which occupied the New England country at the beginning of
our history. The name probably means "Place of the Fish-Spearing," in
reference to the prow of the canoe, which was occupied by the man with
the fish spear. The Eastern Algonquians were all canoers.
_Wabaniki_ means "Eastlanders," people living toward the East.
The American Indians, like all other people in the world, believed in
supernatural beings of many sorts, spirits of woods and rocks,
Underwater People and an Underworld. They had stories of ghosts and
flying heads and giants. Most of the tribes believed in animals that,
when they were alone, laid off their animal skins and thought and
behaved as men. Some of them thought of the moon and stars as other
worlds like ours, inhabited by people like us who occasionally came to
earth and took away with them mortals whom they loved. In the various
tribal legends can be found the elements of almost every sort of
European fairy tale.
_Shaman_ is not an Indian word at all, but has been generally adopted as
a term of respect to indicate men or women who became wise in the things
of the spirit. Sometimes a knowledge of healing herbs was included in
the Shaman's education, and often he gave advice on personal matters.
But the chief business of the Shaman was to keep man reconciled with the
spirit world, to persuade it to be on his side, or to prevent the
spirits from doing him harm. A Shaman was not a priest, nor was he
elected to office, and in some tribes he did not even go to war, but
stayed at home to protect the women and children. Any one could be a
Shaman who thought himself equal to it and could persuade people to
believe in him.
_Taryenya-wagon_ was the Great Spirit of the Five Nations, who was also
called "Holder of the Heavens."
Indian children always belong to the mother's side of the house. The
only way in which the Shaman's son could be born an Onondaga was for the
mother to be adopted into the tribe before the son was born. Adoptions
were very common, orphans, prisoners of war, and even white people being
made members of the tribe in this way.
THE SNOWY EGRET'S STORY
The Great Admiral was, of course, Christopher Columbus. You will find
all about him and the other Spanish gentlemen in the school history.
Something special deserves to be said about Panfilo de Narvaez, since it
was he who set the Spanish exploration of the territory of the United
States in motion. He landed on the west coast of Florida in 1548, and
after penetrating only a little way into the interior was driven out by
the Indians. But he left Juan Ortiz, one of his men, a prisoner among
them, who was afterward discovered by Soto and became his interpreter
There is no good English equivalent for Soto's title of _Adelantado_. It
means the officer in charge of a newly discovered country. _Cay_ is an
old Spanish word for islet. "Key" is an English version of the same
word. _Cay Verde_ is "Green Islet."
The pearls of _Cofachique_ were fresh-water pearls, very good ones, too,
such as are still found in many American rivers and creeks.
The Indians that Soto found were very likely descended from the earlier
Mound-Builders of the Ohio Valley. They showed a more advanced
civilization, which was natural, since it was four or five hundred years
after the Lenni-Lenape drove them south. Later they were called "Creeks"
by the English, on account of the great number of streams in
_Cacique_ and _Cacica_ were titles brought up by the Spaniards from
Mexico and applied to any sort of tribal rulers. They are used in all
the old manuscripts and have been adopted generally by modern writers,
since no one knows just what were the native words.
The reason the Egret gives for the bird dances--that it makes the world
work together better--she must have learned from an Indian, since there
is always some such reason back of every primitive dance. It makes the
corn grow or the rain fall or the heart of the enemy to weaken. The
Cofachiquans were not the only people who learned their dances from the
water birds, as the ancient Greeks had a very beautiful one which they
took from the cranes and another from goats leaping on the hills.
THE PRINCESS'S STORY
Hernando de Soto landed first at Tampa Bay in Florida, and after a short
excursion into the country, wintered at Ana-ica Apalache, an Indian town
on Apalachee Bay, the same at which Panfilo de Narvaez had beaten his
spurs into nails to make the boats in which he and most of his men
perished. It was between Tampa and Anaica Apalache that Soto met and
rescued Juan Ortiz, who had been all that time a prisoner and slave to
When the Princess says that Talimeco was a White Town, she means that it
was a Town of Refuge, a Peace Town, in which no killing could be done.
Several Indian tribes had these sanctuaries.
In an account of Soto's expedition, which was written sometime afterward
from the stories of survivors, it is said by one that the Princess went
with him of her own accord, and by another that she was a prisoner. The
truth probably is that if she had not gone willingly, she would have
been compelled. There is also mention of the man to whom she gave the
pearls for assisting at her escape, six pounds of them, as large as
hazel nuts, though the man himself would never tell where he got them.
The story of Soto's death, together with many other interesting things,
can be read in the translation of the original account made by Frederick
THE ROAD-RUNNER'S STORY
Cabeza de Vaca was one of Narvaez's men who was cast ashore in one of
the two boats ever heard from, on the coast of Texas. He wandered for
six years in that country before reaching the Spanish settlements in Old
Mexico, and it was his account of what he saw there and in Florida that
led to the later expeditions of both Soto and Coronado.
Francisco de Coronado brought his expedition up from Old Mexico in 1540,
and reached Wichita in the summer of 1541. His party was the first to
see and describe the buffalo. There is an account of the expedition
written by Castenada, one of his men, translated by Frederick Webb
Hodge, which is easy and interesting reading.
The Seven Cities were the pueblos of Old Zuñi, some of which are still
inhabited. Ruins of the others may be seen in the Valley of Zuñi in New
Mexico. The name is a Spanish corruption of _Ashiwi_, their own name for
themselves. We do not know why the early explorers called the
The Colorado River was first called _Rio del Tizón_, "River of the
Brand," by the Spaniards, on account of the local custom of carrying
fire in rolls of cedar bark. Coronado's men were the first to discover
the Grand Cañon.
_Pueblo_, the Spanish word for "town," is applied to all Indians living
in the terraced houses of the southwest. The Zuñis, Hopis, and Queres
are the principal pueblo tribes.
You will find _Tiguex_ on the map, somewhere between the Ty-uonyi and
the place where the Corn Woman crossed the Rio Grande. _Cicuye_ is on
the map as Pecos, in Texas.
The Pawnees at this time occupied the country around the Platte River.
Their name is derived from a word meaning "horn," and refers to their
method of dressing the scalplock with grease and paint so that it stood
up stiffly, ready to the enemy's hand. Their name for themselves is
Chahiksichi-hiks, "Men of men."
THE CONDOR'S STORY
The _Old Zuñi Trail_ may still be followed from the Rio Grande to the
Valley of Zuñi. _El Morro_, or "Inscription Rock," as it is called, is
between Acoma and the city of Old Zuñi which still goes by the name of
"Middle Ant Hill of the World."
In a book by Charles Lummis, entitled _Strange Corners of Our Country_,
there is an excellent description of the Rock and copies of the most
interesting inscriptions, with translations.
The Padres of Southwestern United States were Franciscan Friars who came
as missionaries to the Indians. They were not all of them so unwise as
_Peyote_, the dried fruit of a small cactus, the use of which was only
known in the old days to a few of the Medicine Men. The effect was like
that of opium, and gave the user visions.
THE DOG SOLDIER'S STORY
The Cheyenne Country, at the time of this story, was south of the
Pawnees, along the Taos Trail. All Plains Indians move about a great
deal, so that you will not always hear of them in the same neighborhood.
You can read how the Cheyennes were saved from the Hoh by a dog, in a
book by George Bird Grinnell, called the _Fighting Cheyennes_. There is
also an account in that book of how their Medicine Bundle was taken from
them by the Pawnees, and how, partly by force and partly by trickery,
three of the arrows were recovered.
The Medicine Bundle of the tribe is as sacred to them as our flag is to
us. It stands for something that cannot be expressed in any other way.
They feel sure of victory when it goes out with them, and think that if
anything is done by a member of the tribe that is contrary to the
Medicine of the Tribe, the whole tribe will suffer for it. This very
likely is the case with all national emblems; at any rate, it would
probably be safer while our tribe is at war not to do anything contrary
to what our flag stands for. All that is left of the Cheyenne Bundle is
now with the remnant of the tribe in Oklahoma. The fourth arrow is still
attached to the Morning Star Bundle of the Pawnees, where it may be seen
each year in the spring when the Medicine of the Bundle is renewed.
This is the song the Suh-tai boy--the Suh-tai are a sub-tribe of the
Cheyenne--made for his war club:--
"Hickory bough that the wind makes strong,--
I made it--
Bones of the earth, the granite stone,--
I made it--
Hide of the bull to bind them both,--
I made it--
Death to the foe who destroys our land,--
We make it!"
The line that the Suh-tai boy drew between himself and the pursuing
Potawatomi was probably a line of sacred meal, or tobacco dust, drawn
across the trail while saying, "Give me protection from my enemies; let
none of them pass this line. Shield my heart from them. Let not my life
be threatened." Unless the enemy possesses a stronger Medicine, this makes
GLOSSARY OF INDIAN AND SPANISH NAMES
[Transcribers Note: ASCII just doesn't contain all the characters
required for the Glossary. This is an _attempt_ at rendering the Glossary.]
ä sounds like a in father
a " " a " bay
a " " a " fat
á " " a " sofa
_e_ " " a " ace
e " " e " met
e " " e " me
e " " e " her
_i_ " " e " eve
i " " i " pin
i " " i " pine
o " " o " note
o " " o " not
u " " oo " food
u " " u " nut
Äl'-vär Nuñez (noon'-yath) Cä-b_e_'-zä (thä) d_e_ Vä'-cä
Cabeza de Vaca (cä-b_e_'-thä d_e_ Vä'-cä)
Frän-c_i_s'-co d_e_ Co-ro-nä'-do
Her-nän'-do d_e_ So'-to
Juan de Oñate (hwän d_e_ on-yä'-t_e_)
Juan Ortiz (hwän or'-t_i_z)
Lü'-cäs de Ayllon (Il'-yon)
Pän-f_i_'-lo de När-vä'-_e_z (_e_th)
Ponce (pón'-th_e_) d_e_ L_e_-on'
R_i'_-tó de los Frijoles (fr_í_-ho'-l_e_s)
Sons _e'_-só, ts_e'_-nä
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