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The Wrath Of Manitou


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

The county called Kern, in California, lies mostly in a circular valley,
and long, long before the evil one had created the pale face it was the
home of a nation advanced in arts, who worshipped the Great Spirit in a
building with a lofty dome. But the bravery and wisdom of one of their
own people made them forget the Manitou and idolize the man who seemed
the most like him. They brought him to the temple and prayed and sang to
him, and held their sacred dances there, so angering God that he rent the
earth and swallowed them. Nothing was seen of this people for years
after, but their stone tools were left on neighboring hill-sides. Manitou
even poured water into the valley, and great creatures sported in the
inland sea.

But, ere long, he repented his anger, and, in a fit of impatience at what
he had done, he threw up quantities of earth that smoked with heat, and
thus created the Sierra Nevada, while he broke away the hills at the foot
of the lake, and the waters drained into the sea at the Golden Gate. This
again made dry land of the valley, and, opening the earth once more, he
released the captive tribe. The imprisoned people had not forgotten their
arts nor their boldness; they made the place blossom again; they
conquered other tribes, and Manitou declared them his chosen ones, from
whom alone he would accept sacrifice. But their chief became so ambitious
that he wanted to supplant the Manitou in the worship of the people, and
finally, in a lunacy of self-conceit, he challenged the god to single

Under pretence of accepting the challenge, the Great Spirit set the
offenders to wander through the desert until they reached a valley in the
Sierras, opposite Tehachapi, where he caused them to be exterminated by a
horde of savages from the Mojave desert. Then, in a fit of disgust at
refractory humanity, he evoked a whirlwind and stripped away every living
thing from the country of the savages, declaring that it should be empty
of human beings from that time forward. And it was so.

Next: The Spook Of Misery Hill

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