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ATZLAN, THE HIDDEN CITY.
fie could sec nothing in thc abyss below.
The beams of the morning snn ^iad
been slanting flown on the level plain
above Atzlan for an hour, but the city
was still in deep shadow a thousand or
more feet below. Rosy tints hovered
abont the vermilion edges of the great
cliff?,.mingling with yellow and gray
and saffron colored belts farther down,
throwing into ghostly relief the white;
castellated promontories of the majestic
sculptured, wall and deepening the
blackness of the dark recesses.
But there were people astir in the
streets and fields and on the housetops,
j for the storm that uad risen in fury
during the night had wrought some
damage to dwellings, and, it was feared,
to the flocks in the pastures.
But nc? eye was directed toward the
cliffs, for the sky was now clear, and no
9 farther disturbance was apprehended
. from that direction. Storms were few
and far between in Atzlan; they raged
on "the plains at frequent intervals in
springtime, but troubled not the dwell
ers in the deep canyon, who never took
the pains to climb the steep cliff sides.
Had curious eyes peered upward they
would perhaps have discerned a figure
outlined clearly against the sky, but they
could not have seen that it wore no Atz
lan garb, and that it surpassed, in height
any Atzlan man, or that it bent forward
and seemed to eagerly strive to pene
trate the darkness of the canyon. Each
early riser carried a torch and was too
intent upon his errantTto waste time gaz
ing aloft, or he might bare seen the fig
ure slowly clambering down an ancient,
rude pathway leading to the first terrace,
where ruined cliff houses and caves,
abandoned centuries ago, were the only
evidences of former human occupation.
But the man on the heights had seen
the moving torches, and up where a he
' was it was light enough to easily pick his
It was Eric Gilbert, and he was seeK
. ing a point of observation before rt grew
light in order-to ascertain what manner
of men these were who. carried the lights
'._ y far beneath him. Hostile Indians he
.? knew might in all reason be encountered
in those wilds, and he had escaped one
danger too narrowly ^to fall carelessly
into another. '
Events had crowded so quickly upon
him during the last few hours that he
was prepared for anything. Unaware
even in what state or territory in the
Union he had been thrown in the last
wild bound of the balloon, he did not
know what he might encounter, and
though the craving for water and food
began to assert itself he was resolved to
let his caution govern his necessity.
He had gathered the instruments,
Which he had thrown in a heap near the
edge of the cliff, and covered them with
a blanket. They consisted of a small
electric battery and lighting apparatus
(an invention of Pierce's), a lantern, a
thermometer and barometer, a camera
sud plate box holding a hundred instan
taneous plates, some medical instru
ments in a case, a quadrant and a few
He carried his Winchester rifle in his
left hand, a blanket thrown over his
arm, and a carrier pigeon, whose broken
wing hung limp and flapping, in his
': right hand, making his descent a matter
of care. The light was growing stronger
in the canyon when he reached a level
sT??lf or terrace edged with a rough
stone wall and lined with caves and cliff
dwellings; caves whose mouths were
built np in cyclopean masonry, leaving
a narrow entrance to be reached by a
ladder of rope or poles.
He felt the need of haste, although
even yet he could see nothing in the
abyss below, and finding a convenient
" opening into a cave close at hand, yet
where he could overlook the depths, he
laid down his burden and waited for the
light to fill the canyon.
The flutter of the wounded bird
aroused his pity, and he bound its wing
to its side with a strip of his handker
chief and laid it upon his blanket, feel
ing a sort of companionship in its pres
ence-a link with the outer world.
Resting as ho was from a long vigil and
along continued struggle, he stretched
himself beside the bird and fell asleep.
Long before the sun rose upon Atzlan
a figure stirred upon the top of the high
est building in the city, whence arose a
slim, blue column of smoke. The figure
moved with slow, hesitating steps from
one side of the low walled housetop to
the other, as if from habit, although the
burden of years had turned che exercise
into a toilsome journey.
He was Iklapel, the high priest of
Atzlan, watching before the sacred, inex
tinguishable fire of Kinchahan, the sun
god, which for centuries had burned
and would burn forever.
Even in the half light of the coming
dawn it could be seen that Iklapel was
old and blind, and though his figure
bowed many an inch before his only
master, Time, fine and tall, thin and
withered, it still showed the remains of
% powerful and graceful form. Now and
then he held his wasted hands over the
languid fire to measure its burning or
cast a few twigs of cedar upon it, mut
tering, as old men do, to himself the
while. As the sky grew brighter and
redder with the dawn he seemed to feel
it and know that the day was approach
ing, for he rapped sharply several times
upon the roof, as if in summons to an
In a moment a second figure appeared,
coming up through a trapdoor, and
stood before him in a respectful, yet
easy and familiar attitude. Then as the
aged Iklapel tottered it sprang to his
side and lovingly passed a strong arm
about him, leading him to a stone seat
Reside the altar and placing him ten
derly upon it. The old man reached
his hand, feeling; forthat-Of the
younger mau, ana placing ic -agauxau x
breast he held it there in silence. Aft
awhile he spoke, and his voice w
round and full, though now and then
quaver, a grace note as it were, bro!
ripon its even tones:
"Kuican, my son, the beating of n
heart grows feeble, and this day, tl
greatest, most sacred in the year, ipi
be my last. For a hundred and tv
years I have seen the san rise over tl
red cliffs, but tomorrow I may not s<
it. Thus i feel that now, while n
strengtb remains in me, I should lea1
you my last words of instruction ai
advice. You will succeed me as hig
priest, and there is no one more worth;
no one to whom I would leave the cari
and the honors of my sacred- office mo:
willingly nor more fearlessly. Toda:
as yon well know, I was to make tl
holy sacrifice to the sun, the sacrifice <
the Thirteenth Year, yet my strengt
fails me, and yon, my son, shall perfon
the sacred rite. No one but myself fe
eighty-five years has shed the blood <
the virgin sacrifice, and yet 'tis with
cheerful heart I lay the oflce down, i
noon put on the holy robe, and, as yo
alone have been instructed, perform th
rite that our people may be held t<
gother and their religion 1? preserved.
The hand against Iklapel's bosom wi
trembling, and Kulcan's figure shoo
with the ? motion he endeavored to BU]
press. For some moments he appeare
unable to reply. Then placing his han
upon the old man's shoulder he said:
"My father, you tell me to perfon
the rite that our people may be held tc
gether and their religion preserved
Why not say that the sun god may b
merciful to us and preserve our people?
His voice had a bitter, sarcastic ring
and the old man replied quickly:
"Oh, Kui can, you will not learn th
lesson I have striven so diligently t
teach. Know that the people are not. a
we are and cannot be lifted to the leve
of our knowledge. You, who have bee:
initiated into the mysteries and dwelt, ii
the higher atmosphere of lofty thought
do not realize the distance between thei
and our conception of religion. Arnon]
all the priests to you alone have I dare?
to reveal my inward thoughts and tm
beliefs, but it was because I saw in you
as in the dead governor, your father, th
spirit of philosophic reason, as well a
the tact to bow to popular prejudice i
religious matters. I have spoken to yoi
as to my own soul. You know that
despise the images of the god and wot
ship him, as I have taught you, withou
fires or feasts or sacrifices; but you knov
that the people require these signs an?
symbols to keep them frue to their obedi
euee; that 'tis thus we rule them and no
with reason* or philosophy. 'Tis tht
tribute they pay to intellect-the tribut*
they have paid for countless ages an(
must in some form continue to pay."
"But 'tis time,""impulsively interrupt
ed Kulcan, "that they were brought U
see that these cruel, inhuman sacrifice:
should be abolished. Something, I kn o v
not what, tells me that we are beyonc
and above them cow, and that the people
themselves will welcome the change ant
rejoice that their children no longer ma-3
be thrown to the senseless image of th<
fierce, bloodthirsty sun god! Oh, father,'
he cried, shuddering, "can we not devise,
bef?te it is forever too late, some means
to prevent this murder of Ai nee?"
"It is even now too late," answered
the aged priest coldly. "Can you not set
with what feverish impatience the peo
I pie await the.light of .this day? They
know their children are safe now that
the lot has fallen on the girl Ainee, and
. they thirst for the spectacle for which
they have waited thirteen years. Today
they believe Quetzalcoatl, with his dove
upon his hand,-will return, as on this
day for ages they have looked for him.
In vain will they look; he will not re
turn, but they must have their sacrifice,
or their wrath will turn upon the priests,
and we shall perish. Upon it rests our
very existence. Murmurs have already
been heard against us-we are called
idlers and bread eaters of the poor. It is
our only hope, and upon you it will rest
taday. Were it only a question of my
life or your life alone, I would willingly
die; but we cannot prevent the slaughter
by our deaths.
"Alas, my son" (the old man's voice
.softened and quivered), "time brings but
the same tale. Eighty long years ago 1,
too, loved a maiden as you, I know-nay,
start not-love Ainee; yet she was
chosen, and this withered hand plunged
the sacred knife into her throat. Her
eyes were on me as she fell upon my
breast-they are with me now I I killed
her, and when the day was done 1
climbed the cliff and wandered out upon
the desert plains which lie about the
city in search of some other land. For
days I roamed, returning for water and
food, and then starting anew in other
directions, as you, too, have done, in a
spirit of discovery, and finding, as yon
have done, that we are alone in the
world-a city in a desert-the remnants
of a once great people, ll returned to my
duties, and since that day I have been
the most zealous in guarding the tradi
tional customs of our religion."
"But, my father, we have the power,
if we will, to prevent this horrid sacri
fice todayl Some plausible excuse can
be offered to the credulous people, and
an animal perhaps be substituted for the
"It is too late, even were I willing,"
replied the aged priest. "As is the cus
tom when the feast of the Thirteenth
Year approaches, all prodigies in nature,
in the skies and on the earth, are eagerly
regarded as omens of good or evil. The
birth of the six horned calf has been ac
cepted by the priests and the people as
an evil sign, and the terrific storm of
last night will have wrought their fears
to a higher pitch. And now I will reveal
to you a causu of secret uneasiness and
great fear eve,i to me.
"Last nigh?, as the storm raged with
a fury I have .not often seen, there came
a blast that stook the temple, and there
seemed to swtep over my head a some
thing, I know not what, but I felt its
touch as thoi.gh long, slender threads
brushed by ?.ie, and out of the cloud
there came a l-jnd voice in wailing; then
it passed, bu? I heard the voice, and
others, too, rr. cst have h o aid its load
tones. Think Hot that I was dreaming,
or that it w?3 the vagary of a blind
man's mind. It is the truth. Long
have I preached signs and wonders, yet
this is the first I have myself witnessed
or believed ia. Were I to attempt to
prevent the sacrifice the envious priests
themselves will turn upon us, and we
will but add our own bodies to the offer
ing. I know it and it is impossible."
It had grown lighter while the two
talked, and the housetops were already
black with the forms of the people con
gregated there to greet the rising sun.
All were silent, waiting till the lumi
nary appeared over the edge of the cliffs.
Its beams already blazed upon the north
ern wallof the canyon and brought out
in strong relief the banded colors of the
lime, sands to. ie and slate. The sky was
all aflame, and a flood of sunlight
poured over into the abyss, and tho
glowing, radiant orb appeared. The
people raised a mighty shout, bowed
their heads before the god in prayer for
a few moments and disappeared -within
their houses. The day had began in
Kui can stood beside tho high priest,
neither of them joining in the welcoming
shouts nor the prayers of the populace
as the son rose. The eyes of the young
er man were so blinded with tears that
he saw nothing of the scene, while he en
deavored to control his emotions. Be
fore him stretched a canyon less than a
mile in width at its widest part and nar
rowing to a few feet in places, the eye
being lost in its sharp turns. Through
it ran a stream about forty feet wide,
with many shallow fords, making a carve
about the city and sinking into danger
ous quicksands at the western extrem
ity. The walls of the canyon, two thou
sand feet high above the city and sink
ing to seven hundred feet at the western
end, had been terraced by the floods into
huge steps, upon which the rained cliff
houses stood, one row above another.
Stairways and ladders were.carved in
the rocky walls, giving, access to the
heights above, although these were now
only used by venturesome urchins.
This city was built ia a hage circle
three thousand feet in diameter, form
ing, in fact, one continu?os structure,
with a large open court in the center foll
of fruit trees and garden plots. This
gigantic tenement contained nearly a
thousand rooms, having in its eastern ex
tremity seven stories of apartments. It
was built in a regular and beautiful al
ternation of large and small square cut
stones laid in white .mortar, or, more
strictly speaking, gypsum cement. There
had been in earlier tines no doors or
windows upon the ground floor, and the
entrance had been effected by ladders,'
hundreds of which leaned against the
walls and protruded from the roofs; bat
now a few large doorways opened into
the fields outside the city.
The successive stories were set back,
one behind the other, leaving the high
est tier a single Une of apartments, each
story being reached by short ladders.
The houses were three rooms deep, open
ing on the interior court, and connect
ing by trapdoors with the rooms below?
There were innumerable trapdoors in
the roofs, through which the ends of
the ladders appeared, pointing in every
direction, giving therity tho comical as
pect of a forest of leaning bean poles.
Up the ladders children and even dogs
ran with ease and agility. ,
On the western end of the.city the
houses were onJy one story in height,
imparting to the whole the appearance
sf an amphitheater or a vast fortress.
Within the court, toward the western
end, stood the temple, the highest build
ing of all, from the roof of which rose
the smoke of tho perpetual fire.
All about the outskirts, and also with
in the court, were pleasant gardens and
fields cultivated to a high degree by
irrigation, in places on the cliffs the
terraces had been converted into gardens,
walled and faced with neat masonry,
and with raised edges to hold water
upon the surface, to which the water
Through tho outer walls of the houses
projected for a foot or two the cedar
poles forming the floors, and in s om o in
stances they were carried out far enough
to form balconies, upon which grew
trailing plants with great scarlet flowers
blazing in the spring sunlight in riotous
rivalry of color with the barning cliffs.
In this great beehive dwelt two thou
sand souls, one family above another,
the roof of one forming the floor and
yard of the next above, the humblest
dwelling in the highest tiers, for the
nobles and wealthy citizens, as a matter
of coarse, were'averse to climbing and
preferred to be near the ground, where
opportunities for communion or display
All this lay before the yoong priest as
he stood and strove with his emotions,
and such was the scene that greeted Gil
bert's eyes in the depths belo whim when
he awoke from slumber.
THE FESTIVAL AND THE SACRIFICE.
She faced her lover with a confident t ten
der mile upon her face.
The smoke was rising and blowing
away in the fresh morning wind from
hundreds of round apertures in the roofs
as the people of Atzlan prepared their
morning meal hurriedly, for they were
anxious to be oat and preparing for the
greatest of their religious festivals. One
by one the.? emerged and clambered
quickly do wa the tall ladders until hun
dreds of than were gathered about rn
groups or busily arranging for the cere
monies of the day, gathering fruits and
flowers, maize cakes and pinon nuts for
tiie minor sacrifices, and decorating the
interior and front of the court and tem
ple. To each of the f oar great phratries
or divisions of the inhabitants, according
to kinship, was assigned particular du
ties connected with the festival.
While some were engaged in building
and decorating bowers others prepared
food in great quantities, while others ar
ranged for the games and dances which
followed the sacrifices. Others were
driving the animals devoted to sacrifice
into an inclosed field.
Gathered in front of the temple stood
a number of priests waiting to form in
the sacred procession and chatting mer
rily, with frequent jests, among them
selves. Their white dresses formed a
contrast with the brilliant coloring of
the costumes of the people, and the red
sons embroidered upon their breasts,
tho.emblem of their holy calling, showed
forth the more conspicuously.
Multitudes of little, stunted, wolfish
dogs ran in and ont between tho people's
legs, attesting by frequent howls a
pl?ntitude of well aimed kicks. The
houses emptied forth into the square
every inmate, for every living soul in
the city who was able to move or to be
moved was .obliged to be present at the
sacrifice-aud fe\v were loath to witness
the spectacle. Tts bloody delights were
eagerly awaited and long remembered.
Children were there to be held up to Bee
the rare sight and to have it impressed
upon their memories by many a re
minder in future years, and old women,
wagging their heads, told of many a
past scene of splendid slaughter, when
were killed not one bat a dozen beauti
ful virgiu's to at.
wrath in tiinea of fa
Kulcan stood upi
gazing down upon t
Dclapel, weary with
bering in the warm si:
hand restingan. the
whose fire seemed dy
young priest was not'
robes, but wore a lon
circled at the waist t _
turquoise squares se*
tened by a looped sei
he wore a feather 'ch
an eagle's plume-thi
ily. His legs were
shapely, muscular de
feet were clad in leat
kins, with heavy nt
They were fastened w
battons of the same rr
left wrist was coiled i
modeled like a serpent
-the rattlesnake of tb
yous-a sacred, myste
He was tall and w
face was browned by
burning suns of twei
Bot the narrow ?pen .
showed a skin beneath
With eyes of deep b
tawny yellow he resen
there, his lip'curled int
sneer, gazing fixedly
priests below, a viking
of the land of cold and
the bot arid desert. BD
.hin showed elements <
vacillation, and the blt
indecision and waverin.
that betrayed his chara*
He had already acquit
priest's decision. and rt
lessness of opposition. I
none of the staff of the
die defending the wpma:
dared he kill himself wit
slew her. No, he wonk
some miracle might >cc
lapel were wrong after a
conti should appear? Ai
question not only of se!
but of his religion, of h
and their fat livings and
leges. Though helovet
his heart, yet "he questi
one man's love to be set
teresta of a whole pri
them thpugh he did one
bottom of heart? . .
Then his thoughts j
hatred against them, ai
could do no bette^ha
whole system of lying
tense and jugglery.
. sure, even were he t
would be the result,
his thoughts, for he A
lapel to perform thal .
finally resolved to let :
course, weakly hoping
something' would inte
though he was as to Iii
still a ?tr??g taint of
tion iurootid_ iu bin
nature, ami t he prodi
Iklapcl rula ted it,
something at least u
He made his deci
rather to be made f<.
of circumstances a.*
awakening the high
ed the trapdoor b*
gether and attired
r [TO BR CC
A Lttrge Cn MUM I
Earth worms six
In Gippsland. Viet
barrows oa the slop
and are the larg e?t -
world. It must be
picks np the worm
troit Fra* Pws .
best remedy is
achit?s, la grippe,
croup, it is
iipt to Act
) to cure.
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A large must ra rod Cataloe
irthiHiM^umMiFH'Wft li?Hi? F
Moves und Baby Carriages will be
ninil.-J tree, if- von mention this
paper. I will sell you KUKXITVRB,
eic, just a? cheap ns yoa can buy
them In large cities, uud pay the
freight to your depot.
Hei? oro a fuw ?ampies:
A >?o. 7 Hat top Cooki ng stove-wlth
20 cooking utensils, delivered to any
depot, for 912 00
A 5-hole Cooking Range with 20
cooking utensils, delivered to any
depot, for 913 00.
Alarie line of Stoves In propor
tion. .Special ugent for Charter Oak
A nl(!e Parlor suit, upholstered in
?rood plush, fashionable colors, de
ll mud any where tor 930.00. A large
line of Parlor Suits to select lrom.
A Bedroom Suit, large glass, big
bedstead, enclosed washstand, full
suit 9 pieces; chairs have cane seats,
delivered nnywhure for 92200. .
Oilier Suits bulli cheaper and more
23 yds. of yd.-wide Carpet for 97 50.
1 pair Nottingham lAce Curtains,
pole, 2 chains, 2 hooks, 10 pins, all
A nice Window Shade, 7 ft. long, 3
a. wide,on spriug rollers,with fringe
lor 50 cents.
No freight pain on Shades and Cur
tains unless ordered In connection
with other goods. ?%
Send for Catalogne. Address
Xv. B\ PADGETT,
805 Broad Street, Augusta, Ga.
Richmond & Danville Rairoafl Co.
[SOUTH CAROLINA DIVISION.
Condensed Schedule, in effect January 17, iSyii
Trains run hy 75th Meridian Time.
Lv Aew ?ork.. 4.30PM 12.15nt 4.30PM
" Philadelphia 6.57 "
.* Baltimore... 9.45 "
? Washington.]2.00 "
*. Richmond... 3.20AM
" Greensboro.. 7.09 "
u Salisbury... S.2S "
Charlotte 9.35 "
3.50AM 6.57 "
6.50 " 9.45 "
11.10 " 11.20 "
10.25 " 10.20 *
2.00 " 1.30 '
"Rock Hill... 3.03"
" Chest .-. 3.44 "
"Win: ?boro. 4.40"
u Johnston. 8.12 "
" Trenton. 8.28 "
" Graniteville . 8.55 "
Ar Augusta. 9.30"
" Charleston. 11.20"
" Savannah. 6.30 "
" Augusta.. .
" Trenton -
" Rock Hill .
" Greensboro. 11.3?UM
Ar Richmond.. 7.40 "
.* Washington 10.25 "
" Baltimore.. 12.05PM
" Philacelpbia 2.20AM
" New York.. 4.50 a
10 60 "
8.36 "10.34 M
10.30 "12 00 u
9.46 M 8.88AM
1L35 " 10.08"
3.00 " 12.35 u
6.20 " 3,20 PM