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SOME

TESUQUE, June 29th. ble mode of address. Patrona!I OME of the Southwestern native smell a rat. Salomé has thought better

spirit has got into my blood. I of his sulking. . . Yes, he is asking should love to linger in the Santa Fe me to allow him to cut our wood. And Plaza on a fine summer morning. In his son, Pedro, would be useful if we stead, I tie my horse at the corner of needed an extra workman. the Governor's Palace and hurry through “We'll think about it.' the long brown colonnade.

Not one

Esta bueno, patrona. Muy bien.” So, look at the prehistoric pottery. José grinning back at me, he ambles on to needs nails, locks for the doors, hinges. barter his wood for groceries, I suppose, What a job it is to rebuild an adobe on the other side of the Plaza. casa!

This shady quadrangle-green space Buenos dias, patrona!"

in a burnt land, spot to gossip and trade No mistaking that voice. There in the and watch the muchachas walk by—is middle of the blazing street, his thin a straight Spanish inheritance, and legs astride a diminutive gray burro, sits seems still to belong to Salomé and his Salomé, our neighbor of Tesuque, two kind. A vaguely cowboyish artist comes pack animals laden with wood before out of the New Museum as I

pass.

I him. He lifts his hat, his little brown suppose he thinks he owns the Plaza. face spread over with a grin at his hum A long row of Ford trucks parked in

VOL. CXLIV.-No. 863.—74

front of the new movie theater (adobe ing. I'll walk by..

ing. I'll walk by. ... Yes, I guessed towers can be overdone); of course, the right! The word that resounds is confident American farmers think they “Bursum." are its lords and masters. But so far as My politicians are the same type as I can see, every single Plaza bench is the men Gertrude and I employ for the occupied by tawny furrowed persons repairs to our mud house. Fifty years who smell of a long, dusty road from a ago their grandfathers were peons, to all tawny furrowed cañon. Our Mexican intents and purposes slaves of the big neighbors of Tesuque never say, “I am Spanish landowners of the old Territory. going to town"; they always go “to the Yet now these humble descendants Plaza." I am just beginning to under wield the controlling vote in New stand the symbolism, the lure it has Mexico. It is fashionable to call them kept from the pioneer days for the scat "a race in decay.” If so, decadence tered ranches and villages of the Santa does not imply subservience to the Fe region.

American or Spanish-American ranchers As I approach the Capital City Bank who have gradually replaced the Spana wagon with a round canvas top like a ish overlords. That I have already displump white sausage drives up to the covered. I met a descendant of the curb. On its seat two dark men in som Conquistadores last year who winced breros; behind, on a pile of alfalfa, a visibly at the word “Mexican” and dark woman wearing over her head a called too often on the memory of his black shawl with heavy knotted fringe. ancestors. The “dominant American” The woman climbs down, shakes out her had trodden rather brutally on his toes. purple-satin skirt, adjusts her shawl in But I wonder whether the native culture the manner of Seville, and starts for the of the peasant Spaniard has not been cathedral. One of the men descends fortified rather than transformed by also, lights a cigarette, looks easily "American influences." Neither sageabout, spies a crony, and lounges with brush nor piñon seems more tenacious. him to the Plaza bench, violently gestur We note, to be sure, a few signs of mod

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ernism: Matias knows that New York that goes on inside one's head to the jog is on the Atlantic Ocean; Josephine trot of a horse, with the sun burning Alarid, our serving maid at our lodgings down on hard white road and piñonin town, would rather die than wear her dotted distance, can be called thought. mother's black shawl to mass, though it About as intellectual as the

purr

of a cat is wondrously becoming to her clear behind the stove, this sense of physical brown skin. But Salomé? I doubt if he well-being that fills me. Yet there is is especially different from his great- nothing really lulling and comatose grandfather. For instance, he builds a about the New Mexico sun and heat. new well, but continues to dip water That's where the Southwest is different from the irrigation

from the South. ditch for drinking.

One's senses are alAnd he calls no

ways keen, one's woman patrona in

mind is always his heart. Isn't

awake, thanks to his adobe casa as

the fillip of altitude good as or better

in the air and the than ours? And

extraordinary he has what we

stimulus that have not-a burro

comes from mere or two, several

vision. cows and pigs,

Vision is never some fields of al

twice alike. Tofalfa and chili, and

day, as I reach the a long, long hour,

top of the rise that after he trades his

commands the vast wood, to discuss

view of the Rio the disposition of

Grande Valley, I his valuable vote

seem to be looking in the Plaza of the

down into a giant state capital.

contour map-or

perhaps from some Reflections on

high-poised planet the country and

into the mountains people string them

of the moon. These selves along the six

loose, sandy wastes miles to Tesuque

were lifted, æons (Gertrude is car

ago,
into

queer penter hunting and

ridgy.whorls by a tiI ride on ahead to

tanic blast of wind, see that José does

and then abannot do irreparable

doned to silence harm to the living-room floor). An hour's and immobility. ... Yesterday the colorsolitary ride is a rather pleasant oasis in a ing was pure joyous color—yellow, red, day that begins and ends with the sociabil- purple, blue—no line, no detail. The day ities of the Camino del Monte Sol, and before it was all geometrical patterncontinues through the midday heat with long horizontal sweeps of mesa, sharp the acute conflicts of Tesuque building. slants of aspiring mountain, with nothing It is impossible to describe the vortex of but cerulean space swimming between. activity in which we are whirled from To-morrow, every rock stratum, every cockcrow to sunset. But here at least I flat roof, will stand out with microscopic can gather my thoughts—if the process clarity. No, the land is never twice alike

[graphic]

ALVINA AND LUCIANA READY

TO PLASTER

a floor.

.

save in that magnitude and that majesty is a comfort to get away from repairs which give a stretch to the soul-or and Mexicans for an hour to the cool make it feel like a needle point in eter adobe in the apple orchard below. An nity. I can't be sure yet what the coun adobe under a desert hill is capable, we try does to my soul, but I know it keeps discover, of having within an air of my eyes in such a state of bedazzlement Middle Western comfort, even to polthat I have difficulty, once arrived at our

ished oak and brass bedsteads. devastated hilltop,

The telephone in focusing them on

rings while we are at table. Mrs. Harsh,

a young woman still, Here is a speci

dark, and burnt men of the conver

darker by the sun, sation that ensues:

jumps up to answer: I: “José, that

“Yes, it sure is. board is five inches

No, I didn't short of the wall."

get to go to town J. (with a hen

to-day. ...

Why, pecked sigh): Pard

I use

Swansdown ner (he means

for my cake. ... my friend Ger

Sure I'll give it to trude) “he not like

you—three cups of knot holes.”

flour, four eggs ..." I: “But you

It seemed to me should save the

at first that farm boards with knot

life in the Southholes for the roof.”

west does not differ J. (shrugging his

greatly from farm shoulders): "Matias

life in New England. he choose bad

Yet it differs in one lumber.”

essential at least. It I (firmly): “José,

is founded on hope, take up that board

not on despair; on and use another.”

action, not on inJ. (bending his lit

hibition. No setting tle black head crossly over the board and your teeth to meet the hard and grim in ripping it away so roughly that it splits in Tesuque; the world looks sunny. The two): “That fél-low" (now he is trying children's faces show it. Edith's — a to shift the blame to Steffanson, our late lovely, fresh young face below a crown Swedish carpenter) "he no sabe how of brown-gold hair-somehow reveals lay two by four.”

that at nineteen she can fully and What is one to do with such a work- freely choose her woman's destiny in man? All Latin peoples are not, alas! this underfeminized land. And fourgifted for craftsmanship. Anything less teen-year-old Frank, without a comlike French technic than Mexican tech- plex to impede, wants, with an opennic can hardly be imagined. Another

Another hearted smile, "to go East to college window frame gauged during the time and be an engineer." His father and we spent at dinner at the Harshes' just mother smile more soberly. They have now.

neither of them seen the Atlantic or the An excellent farmhouse dinner it was. Pacific. Our sketchy and increasingly dusty Conversation is chiefly agricultural. lunches by the acequia are over and it Few apples this year. But the first cut

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THE WALL THAT BUCKLED

ting of alfalfa is just fine, and two more locomotion but walking, from Mr. to come before summer ends.

Harsh's milk truck to José's old buggy. “I have the water to-morrow,” says So we are delighted when the two friends the rancher, with satisfaction.

who share our town popotte decide to “But can't anyone draw on the irri ride out to join us instead, at the incomgation ditch when he pleases?” asks parable sunset hour. Gertrude.

Nan Mitchell gravitates naturally Far from it. “The water” so essential toward the view and the frying pan. She to all Southwestern farming is appor loves great spaces and, after her experitioned in turns by a potentate called the ence in Serbia and devastated France, “Mayordomo o-a Mexican potentate has a tendency to do more than her whose decisions are

share of hard work. not always popular

Katharine, the with the “Ameri

artist, is fascinated canos.”

by the details of “You'll meet him

building and decorasoon enough. Aone

tion; she moves ineyed fellow." Mr.

stinctively toward Harsh finds Mexi

our paint pots-not cans to be “folks

to mention our you can get on with

acequia, into which if you treat 'em

she plunges almost right. No reason

before she gets off why they'd be your

“Old Blue.” She slaves." His wife

chooses a secluded joins in, “The peo

mint-bordered ple cround here are

where all good people.” I

body but one of the needn't be afraid to

little Salomés, herdlive alone when Ger

ing calves and cows

down from the hills This pair has a rare

for the night, could poise and kindness

be a witness. Kathand a humorous

arine fits, as no other tolerance of our ten

Easterner does, into derfootedness.

the New Mexican They never offer a

scene. Her thin, suggestion, but are

sinewy figure, her ready with a gen

fascinating little DEMOLISHING THE KITCHEN WALL erous and helpful

dark face, her mop one when we ask for

of black bobbed hair, it. Whatever our Mexican neighbors her bright-colored clothes, might have a may prove, we are extraordinarily lucky Spanish derivation. All the Mexicans in our American neighbors.

adore her-even our neighbor readily

lends a coffee pot at her behest. Even TESUQUE, July 2d. his snooping poodle licks her hand. She We are cooking supper to-night on the insists we misunderstand them both. ridge, over a fire built of odds and ends To-night we look with new feelings on of lumber. It is a chore to get to the the triangular field with the group of other side of Santa Fe in time for an cottonwoods at its apex which stretches evening meal after a day of Tesuque from the acequia back to Salomé's corlabors. We have tried every form of ral. It belongs by rights to this estate

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curve

no

trude goes.

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