Old Indian Face
Category: THE HUDSON AND ITS HILLS
Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land
On Lower Ausable Pond is a large, ruddy rock showing a huge profile, with
another, resembling a pappoose, below it. When the Tahawi ruled this
region their sachem lived here at the Dark Cup, as they called this
lake, a man renowned for virtue and remarkable, in his age, for
gentleness. When his children had died and his manly grandson, who was
the old man's hope, had followed them to the land of the cloud mountains,
Adota's heart withered within him, and standing beneath this rock, he
addressed his people, recounting what he had done for them, how he had
swept their enemies from the Lakes of the Clustered Stars (the Lower
Saranac) and Silver Sky (Upper Saranac) to the Lake of Wandah, gaining a
land where they might hunt and fish in peace. The little one, the Star,
had been ravished away to crown the brow of the thunder god, who, even
now, was advancing across the peaks, bending the woods and lighting the
valleys with his jagged torches.
Life was nothing to him longer; he resigned it.
As he spoke these words he fell back, and the breath passed out of him.
Then came the thunder god, and with an appalling burst of fire sent the
people cowering. The roar that followed seemed to shake the earth, but
the medicine-man of the tribe stood still, listening to the speech of the
god in the clouds. Tribe of the Tahawi, he translated, Adota treads
the star-path to the happy hunting-grounds, and the sun is shining on his
heart. He will never walk among you again, but the god loves both him and
you, and he will set his face on the mountains. Look! And, raising their
eyes, they beheld the likeness of Adota and of his beloved child, the
Star, graven by lightning-stroke on the cliff. There they buried the body
of Adota and held their solemn festivals until the white men drove them
out of the country.
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