Monday, October 22, 2012

When the meteor shower from Orion the Hunter reaches its zenith, that is the time that the Dutch Overns shall be burned out in the fiery forge of the RRCC as an offering to the Red Gods.

Afterward I sat under the arched live-oak limb by the fire with the pup, drinking coffee with a little whisky and honey in it, listening to the Morse dots and dashes of steam whistling out the end pores of a damp log.  That gets to be one of the river's symphonic sounds, like owls and the gurgle of snag-thwarted water and the eternal cries of herons and the chug of tractors in unseen bottom fields.  Whimsically I wondered if maybe the steam sounds might not be a code, the channeled voices of the ghosts of puritans and Comanches and horse thieves and, maybe, Gothic gingerbread fanciers.  It seemed as likely a way for communication between the worlds as table-tilting or those other phantasmakinetic manifestations...

Or maybe they were the Red Gods, sour because no offering had been laid on their altar.  Cleaning up, I took what scraps the pup wouldn't eat down to the gravel bar and threw them far out on the eddying moonlit surface of the river just above the old mill rapids, for catfish or Red Gods or whatever, but when I went back to the fire the whistle-voices were still gibbering. 

Goodbye to a River, p. 243.

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