Chapter I


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‘‘Catiche.’’

‘‘Si signor,’’ replied a middle-aged woman, a half caste of Spanish and Moqui Indian blood.

‘‘Where is Manuelita?’’

‘‘She is reading with Senor Ramirez, I think, senor.’’

‘‘Please say to her that I would like to see her for a moment,’’ said Father Kino, looking up from a book which he held in his hand, the leaves of which he was cutting.

‘‘Buena dias mi bueno padre,’’ said a clear musical voice, as the door of the little sitting-room opened a moment later and a beautiful


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girl of twenty summers entered. ‘‘You left us so early this morning that we could not even wish you a 'buena viaje,'’’ and she crossed the room to where he sat and lightly touched his brow with her lips.

‘‘Yes, my daughter. Panchita grew rapidly worse during the night, and at sunrise they sent for me. Your little friend and playmate is no more, my child; she died about an hour ago. She asked me to give you this,’’ continued Father Kino, placing in Manuelita's hand a small shell box, which contained a few medals and a rosary. ‘‘She said that it made her happier to know that you would sometimes think of her when using the rosary that you had so often used together.’’

A tear coursed down the cheek of the tender-hearted priest as he placed the little legacy of her dead companion in his adopted child's hand. ‘‘Shallow judges of human nature,’’ says a modern novelist, who beautifully and pathetically portrays the passions of the


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human heart, ‘‘who think that tears misbecome the boy or man. Well did the sternest of Roman writers place the arch distinction of humanity aloft from all meaner of heaven's creatures in the prerogative of tears.’’

How tender and sympathetic this good priest's heart was! It was the secret of his great success in his mission work among these children of the American desert. ‘‘I reckon sympathy as the first principle of human virtue, as well as of religious duty,’’ he would say; ‘‘it brings with it that love of our fellow-being without which we cannot hope to do him much good. Love and labour should go hand in hand, and divide the life of man. Much of our work lacks a human side,’’ he would often say; ‘‘surely the tenant is worth more than the brick and mortar which shelters him. Cicero beautifully said that the man should be an ornament to his house, not his house an ornament to him.’’


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The above scene was in the pleasant little adobe home of Father Kino in the settlement, or rancheria, as they were then called, of San Xavier del Bac, the time A. D. 1719.

Father Kino, as the reader of the early history of Mexico well knows, was born at Trent, in the Austrian Tyrol, about the middle of the 17th century, just at the close of the "Thirty Years War," when the population of Germany had been reduced about one half, the universities had all been broken up and the nation completely demoralised; intellectual activity had become almost paralysed, and belief in demonology and witchcraft was universal, the whole nation seeming to live and breathe in an atmosphere of mysticism. Happily, when Father Kino was of an age to benefit by educational advantages, the public mind had awakened, and education and literature were again fostered and encouraged, and a strong effort made by scholars to direct


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attention to the grammar of the German language, which now began, especially in scientific subjects, to take the place of Latin; progress had begun in mathematical and physical discoveries at the Academy of Berlin, founded under the auspices of Liebnitz, and scientific and literary associations were formed everywhere, philologists and archæologists devoting themselves to the study of classical antiquity. Puffendorf expounded his theories of political history, Kepler of astronomy, Arnould of ecclesiastical history, and Liebnitz laid a basis for the scientific study of philosophy in Germany. Wolf shaped the theories of Liebnitz into a comprehensive system, and made them generally known by publishing them in the German tongue, which about this time became the language of instruction in all universities and schools. It required almost superhuman exertion to recover from the deep despondency, and paralyzed condition in which


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Germany found herself at the close of the "Thirty Years War," but she accomplished it brilliantly, and especially did she repair her intellectual losses, and advance to the rank held by the neighbouring western nations. Thus Father Kino enjoyed great advantages, and at the close of his university career accepted the chair of mathematics in the university of Ingoldstadt, Bavaria. Here a severe illness befell him, and attributing his recovery to the intercession of St. Francis Xavier he vowed to devote his life to the conversion of the American Indian.

His name was Eusebius Kuhn, but it was euphemised by the Spaniards into Eusebio Kino. He came to Mexico in 1680, and accompanied Admiral Otondo to California as cosmographer. He is thought to have entered the Jesuit order in California. Returning to Sonora he became the moving spirit of the mission work of this district: he brought to his work the steadfastness and devotion of his


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Tyrolean mountain life and training. So much was he beloved by the Pima Indians, that when, in 1691, he was made Provincial Superior of the Jesuits, and wished to accompany Salvatierra on his mission to California, so great was the distress manifested by this tribe that he was compelled to remain with them.

The home of the Pimas and other tribes closely connected with them was in what was known as Pimeria Alta, extending from Caborca east to Terrenata and San Ignacio, north to the Gila River.

Some historians say that the Pimas were here as early as the twelfth century. All the country north of the Yaqui river was at this time called Sonora.

The derivation of the musical name of Sonora seems to be singularly complicated, but the most plausible suggestion, and that supported by a greater number of authorities, is that it is derived from the Spanish word Senora.


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The northern portion of what was then known as Sonora is now Arizona.

Arizona was the name given by the natives to a locality on the northern frontier of Sonora, and was known about the middle of the 18th century as the name of a mining camp or district where the famous bolas de plata were found. A very pretty and poetic derivation for the name of Arizona is traced back to an old Aztec tradition, which says that, ‘‘the Earth is the offspring of the Sun;’’ that a race of giants once peopled it, and in their wanderings from the north to the south were all killed off or died, until only Arizunna, the beauteous maiden of the Sun remained. She fell asleep and slept for many months to find by her side, upon awakening, two lovely babes, a boy and a girl, whom she loved and tenderly cared for, and that they became the progenitors of their race.

As none of the ruins of the great sun temples are found north of Arizona, it is


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supposed to have been the scene of this Aztec tradition.

A less poetic, but more authentic derivation is found in the Mohave Indian word Ari, meaning the sun, holy, good or beautiful, and the Spanish word, Zona, zone,—the beautiful zone.

Its history as a separate province does not begin until 1846, although the records of exploring entradas establish the fact of its very early settlement. In 1530 Nuno Guzman, the President of New Spain, had in his service an Indian, who told him that when he was quite a boy his father used often to go far into the interior of the country, a distance of forty days travel, and would sell feathers to the people there, bringing back great quantities of gold and silver; that once he had gone with him, and had there seen the people working with these metals, but that they would be compelled to traverse a great desert to reach there. Guzman determining


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to investigate the matter, traversed this desert the following year and found much of the Indian's statement authentic: he found the country inhabited by a bold and warlike people, well armed, well clothed, and obstinate lovers of freedom, who for a long time resisted their settlement among them. He went as far as Cualiacan and colonized that province. We have every reason to believe that all this territory, from Cualiacan to Cibola on one side, and to the Rio Colorado on the other, was a succession of towns, villages, and prosperous people. Ten years later Coronado reached Chichilticale, which was inhabited, and entered Cibola as conqueror. The descriptions, in his accounts to Charles V. of Spain, of the country, climate, and people is similar to what is found among the Zunis of to-day. Here were the seven towns forming Cibola, whose inhabitants the Spaniards called Pintados, because their busts, arm and faces were so elaborately painted. The Pimas and


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Papagoes are their descendants, and still live in this same section, between the Santa Cruz and Gila rivers.

In 1569 a permanent settlement is said to have been made by the Spaniards on the small tract of land, about six miles square, around what is now Tucson, and its annals are a part of those of Pimeria Alta, or of Sonora, which also included Pimeria Baja.

The friendliness of these Pima tribes and their great desire to have missions established among them, together with the fertility and beauty of the Santa Cruz valley, leads writers to believe that the mission of San Xavier del Bac must have been established as early as 1692 or 1694 when the Jesuits, under Father Kino, visited the other tribes of the territory and built the missions on the Gila River.

Papago means "short hair," and indicated the tribes who had accepted Christianity, and


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had their hair cut at the time of their baptism. They have always been a quiet, peaceable tribe, and for two hundred years have been the friends of the whites and assisted in repelling the Apaches.

Trouble had existed for a long time between the Pimas, to whom Father Kino was so much attached, and the Spanish authorities, who committed many hostile and arbitrary acts against them, so that in 1699 Father Kino determined to leave the mission of Dolores, at the source of the river now known as San Miguel or Horcacites, which had been his headquarters for some years, and establish himself permanently at San Xavier del Bac.

An incident of this journey is very amusing to us of to-day, but was no doubt very portentous to the superstitious soldiers and guides who accompanied him. On the summit of a high hill, which they were compelled to traverse, the Spaniards found a


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white stone, so regular in shape as to suggest to them the possibility of its having been intended by some nomadic tribe of Indians for an idol: they at once overturned it, thus exposing a large hole in the ground. No sooner had they gone into camp for the night, at the foot of this hill, than a violent gale sprang up, and continued with such force during the night, that the native guides declared that the "home of the winds," had been opened; and they could not be quieted until they had been allowed to ascend the mountain and replace the stone.

So delighted were the Pimas when they learned that Father Kino was coming to San Xavier to live permanently among them that they at once built him a comfortable house adjoining the adobe church. The adobe used in the construction of these houses is made of the earth of the locality, and baked in the sun.

‘‘And now,’’ said Father Kino to Canoche,


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the chief of the Papagoes, ‘‘can you find me a good woman to keep my house?’’

‘‘Me know one, just the right one for the Senor Padre,’’ he replied. ‘‘Pacheco, Pima chief, give her me sure. The Apaches take her from the Moquis, Pacheco buy her. Moqui woman know much, she keep house good, cook good, wash good, all things do good. Me bring her three days,’’ he said, holding up three fingers to indicate the length of his absence.

Faithful to his promise, on the third day he returned, bringing Catiche with him.

‘‘She Pacheco's peonc, he give her to the Senor Padre,’’ said Canoche.

‘‘No,’’ replied Father Kino, ‘‘say to Pacheco that I prefer to buy her, and will give him what he paid for her.’’

Catiche's sad expression and gentle voice and manner won the good priest's sympathy at once.

‘‘I give you your freedom, my good woman,’’


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he said to her, ‘‘you are free to go where you would like to.’’

‘‘I have nowhere to go,’’ she replied looking appealingly at him, ‘‘husband, children, father—all are gone.’’

‘‘Would you then like to remain here with me?’’

Catiche looked at him earnestly a moment and said, ‘‘Yes, I will stay with you;’’ and during these twenty long years she had been the faithful friend and housekeeper of the good father, and the tender, loving foster-mother of Manuelita."

‘‘
Her heart had found a home; and freshly all
Its beautiful affections overgrew
Their strengthening props. As o'er some well
built wall—
Soft vine leaves open to the moistening dew.
’’

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