The Delight Makers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 557 pages of information about The Delight Makers.

This stillness might have lasted long; but now the noise and uproar arise again outside, and with full power the sounds of delight and mirth break into the dingy cell like mighty waves.  With the departure of life from the body, it is as if a barrier that forbade entrance to noise from the outer world had been drawn away, permitting the sounds of joy to come in triumphantly, now that the soul is free.  They find an echo inside, a dismal echo of lamentations and tears.  Mitsha cannot weep boisterously like the rest, neither can Okoya.  The two lean toward each other sobbing; the girl has grasped his arm with both hands, her head rests on his shoulder, and she weeps.

The lament below has been heard on the roof; it is a signal to rush down and join in it.  Soon the room is crowded with people; the women grasp their hair and pull it over their faces.  Dismal wailing fills the cell.  Among the others stands Shyuote, who has been told that his mother is dead.  He plants himself squarely with the rest, and howls at the top of his voice.  In front of the house the dance continues, and the monotonous chant and the dull drumming ascend to the sky; alongside of it the death-wail.

Tanos also crowd into the room; the throng is so great that the last comers must stand on the beam.  Suddenly they are pushed aside; a tall young man rushes down and makes room, regardless of the weeping and howling crowd.  Up to Okoya he forces his way; throws his left arm around him and Mitsha; his right hand seizes the hand of the youth and presses it against his breast.  It is Hayoue, who has come from the north at last,—­his heart guiding him to that friend whom he has so bravely, so unwearyingly sought.

Another Indian rashes down after Hayoue, his motions not less anxious, not less rapid and determined.  He makes his way to the body and falls down upon his knees, staring with heaving chest but tearless eyes into the placid, emaciated face.  It is Zashue Tihua.  With a tension akin to despair he searches for lingering life in the features of that wife whom he formerly neglected and afterward suspected, whom he at last anxiously sought, and now finds asleep in death.


After twenty-one long and it may be tedious chapters, no apology is required for a short one in conclusion.  I cannot take leave of the reader, however, without having made in his company a brief excursion through a portion of New Mexico in the direction of the Rito de los Frijoles, though not quite so far.

We start from Santa Fe, that “corner in the east” above which the Tano village stood many centuries ago.  We proceed to the Rio Grande valley, to the little settlement called Pena Blanca, and to the Queres village, or Pueblo of Cochiti.  There you will hear the language that was once spoken on the Rito; you will see the Indians with characteristic sidelocks, with collars of turquoises and shell beads,

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The Delight Makers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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