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p. 103

The Death of Kutam Tawi

THERE LIVED in the pueblo of Potam a Yaqui captain named Tawachime'a. He had been a captain a long time when he married a very beautiful native girl with an enchanting appearance who was called Kuku Tosa, which means Dove Nest. From this marriage a very handsome little Yaqui boy resulted.

As soon as this little boy was born, the captain Tawachime'a called together all of those men who were wise, those who knew how to divine certain things. He had them come to his hut, and he asked them to tell him what the destiny of his son would be, what luck was he to expect during his life. Above all, what was going to cause the boy's death and how long was he going to live. All of this, Tawachime'a desired to know.

Well, these intelligent men were united there for three days in order to divine. On the third day an ancient Yaqui named Chikul, which means Rat, presented himself to the captain. "Do you truly wish to know?"

"Yes, Chikul," said the captain.

Then the old man, Chikul, seated himself on a log of cottonwood and he said, "Your son will be very intelligent but his destiny is bad. When he is fifteen years old, at midday, your son will die at the hands of a stranger."

Tawachime'a was studying in his mind how, in what manner, his only son might escape death. The son was called Kutam Tawi.

"However, continued Chikul, "this boy, if he is not dead at the age of fifteen, will live to the age of sixty-three."

The captain Tawachime'a gave credit to the

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ancient, for he knew that Chikul never told a lie. He brought out two bags. From one he took some native tobacco, hiakbeibam. He gave this to Chikul. From the other sack he took many discs of pure silver. And he said, "Chikul, take this little gift." And he gave Chikul the silver. Chikul took the gift and gave his thanks. Then the woman of Tawachime'a, Kuku Tosa, brought out an olla full of bee's honey and another full of wild seeds and a pair of tiger skins. She said to Chikul, "May Dios bless you."

"Many thanks," said the wise Chikul, and retired to his hut.

The young man, Kutam Tawi, grew. Eight days before he would be fifteen years of age, Tawachime'a and Kuku Tosa took him to the hill named Tohkobi 'iku. There they arrived, close to the foot of the sierra. Scratching the ground with his foot from side to side, Tawachime'a found a large flat stone. He took up the stone and they went down into a tunnel. An hour or so later Tawachime'a and Kuku Tosa came out again. They left Kutam Tawi there in order to save him from death.

But near-by a young Yaqui was hidden. He had just hidden there, filled with fear because of a struggle with some bad Yaquis. He had run away in order to escape sure death. The bad Yaquis were looking for him, saying, "Wherever you go, we'll get you out!" Thus the young Yaqui had come to hide close to the tunnel.

When Tawachime'a and Kuku Tosa had gone far away, the young man came out of his hiding place, opened the cave, entered and covered the entrance with the same stone. He presented

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himself to Kutam timidly, saying, "Please excuse me, brother, but I come here frightened. Some Yaquis want to kill me. Let me hide with you until I get over my fright and my enemies leave."

"Stay here with me," said Kutam Tawi. "My parents brought me here to stay until I am fifteen years old. It is foretold a stranger may kill me."

"And how many days until you are fifteen?"

"Six days," answered Kutam Tawi.

"Well, I must not stay here. I don't want to kill anyone."

"If you kill me, it would be the will of Dios. Stay here and be my companion until the day fixed for my death."

When the fatal day arrived, the boy Kutam Tawi was reposing on some lion skins. It was twelve minutes before twelve. He would die at twelve; thus was the prediction. Kutam Tawi, lying there, said to Kama Wiroa, "Will you bring me my spear.

The weapon was a piece of wood with a very fine point. Kama Wiroa picked up the spear. On coming up to Kutam Tawi, he tripped and fell. The weapon struck into the boy's heart, killing him instantly.

Kama Wiroa knelt on his knees and wept bitterly. He was weeping when Tawachime'a and Kuku Tosa arrived. They entered to find the young Yaqui kneeling and crying out loudly, "I have become a criminal without wishing it."

"Be it as Dios desires," they said.

They picked up the dead boy, and Kama Wiroa accompanied them to Potam where they buried him after a great fiesta and ceremony. Here ends this story.

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