ONE day of August, 1888, in the teeth of a particular New Mexico sand-storm that whipped pebbles the size of a bean straight to your face, a ruddy, bronzed, middle-aged man, dusty but unweary with his sixty-mile tramp from Zuñi, walked into my solitary camp at Los Alamitos. Within the afternoon I knew that here was the most extraordinary mind I had met. There and then began the uncommon friendship which lasted till his death, a quarter of a century later; and a love and admiration which will be of my dearest memories so long as I shall live. I was at first suspicious of the "pigeon-hole memory" which could not only tell me some Queres word I was searching for, but add: "Policárpio explained that to me in Cochiti, November 23, 1881." But I discovered that this classified memory was an integral part of this extraordinary genius. The acid tests of life-long collaboration proved not only this but the judicial poise, the marvelous insight and the intellectual chastity of Bandelier's mind. I cannot conceive of anything in the world which would have made him trim his sails as a historian or a student for any advantage here or hereafter.
Aside from keen mutual interests of documentary and ethnologic study, we came to know one another humanly by the hard proof of the Frontier. Thousands
of miles of wilderness and desert we trudged side by side--camped, starved, shivered, learned and were Glad together. Our joint pursuits in comfort at our homes (in Santa Fé and Isleta, respectively) will always be memorable to me; but never so wonderful as that companioning in the hardships of what was, in our day, the really difficult fringe of the Southwest. There was not a decent road. We had no endowment, no vehicles. Bandelier was once loaned a horse; and after riding two miles, led it the rest of the thirty. So we went always by foot; my big camera and glass plates in the knapsack on my back, the heavy tripod under my arm; his aneroid, surveying instruments, and satchel of the almost microscopic notes which he kept fully and precisely every night by the camp-fire (even when I had to crouch over him and the precious paper with my water-proof focusing cloth) somehow bestowed about him. Up and down pathless cliffs, through tangled cañons, fording icy streams and ankle-deep sands, we travailed; no blankets, overcoats, or other shelter; and the only commissary a few cakes of sweet chocolate, and a small sack of parched popcorn meal. Our "lodging was the cold ground." When we could find a cave, a tree, or anything to temper the wind or keep off part of the rain, all right. If not, the Open. So I came to love him as well as revere. I had known many "scientists" and what happened when they really got Outdoors. He was in no way an athlete--nor even muscular. I was both--and not very long before had completed my thirty-five-hundred-mile "Tramp Across the Continent."[paragraph continues]
But I never had to "slow down" for him. Sometimes it was necessary to use laughing force to detain him at dark where we had water and a leaning cliff, instead of stumbling on through the trackless night to an unknown "Somewheres." He has always reminded me of John Muir, the only other man I have known intimately who was as insatiate a climber and inspiring a talker. But Bandelier had one advantage. He could find common ground with anyone. I have seen him with Presidents, diplomats, Irish section-hands, Mexican peons, Indians, authors, scientists and "society." Within an hour or so he was easily the Center. Not unconscious of his power, he had an extraordinary and sensitive modesty, which handicapped him through life among those who had the "gift of push." He never put himself forward either in person or in his writing. But something about him fascinated all these far-apart classes of people, when he spoke. His command of English, French, Spanish, and German might have been expected; but his facility in acquiring the "dialects" of railroad men and cowboys, or the language of an Indian tribe, was almost uncanny. When he first visited me, in Isleta, he knew just three words of Tigua. In ten days he could make himself understood by the hour with the Principales in their own unwritten tongue. Of course, this was one secret of his extraordinary success in learning the inner heart of the Indians.
I saw it proved again in our contact with the Quíchua and Aymará and other tribes of Peru and Bolivia.
I have known many scholars and some heroes-but they seldom come in the same original package. As I remember Bandelier with smallpox alone in the two-foot snows of the Manzanos; his tens of thousands of miles of tramping, exploring, measuring, describing, in the Southwest; his year afoot and alone in Northern Mexico, with no more weapon than a pen-knife, on the trails of raiding Apaches (where "scientific expeditions" ten years later, when the Apache was eliminated, needed armed convoys and pack-trains enough for a punitive expedition, and wrote pretentious books about what every scholar has known for three hundred years) I deeply wonder at the dual quality of his intellect. Among them all, I have never known such student and such explorer lodged in one tenement.
We were knit not only thus but in the very intimacies of life-sharing hopes and bereavements. My first son, named for him, should now be twenty-two. The old home in Santa Fé was as my own. The truly wonderful little woman he found in Peru for mate--who shared his hardships among the cannibals of the Amazonas and elsewhere, and so aided and still carries on his work--I met in her maiden home, and am glad I may still call her friend.
Naturally, among my dearest memories of our trampings together is that of the Rito, the Tyuonyi. It had never in any way been pictured before. We were the first students that ever explored it. He had discovered it, and was writing "The Delight Makers." What days those were! The weather was no friend
of ours, nor of the camera's. We were wet and half-fed, and cold by night, even in the ancient tiny caves. But the unforgettable glory of it all!
To-day thousands of people annually visit the Tyuonyi at ease, and camp for weeks in comfort. The School of American Archaeology has a summer session there; and its excavations verify Bandelier's surmises. Normal students and budding archaeologists sleep in the very caves (identified) of the Eagle People, the Turquoise, Snake and other clans. And in that enchanted valley we remember not only the Ancients, but the man who gave all this to the world.
During the six years I was Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, far later, no other out-of-print book on the Southwest was so eagerly sought as "The Delight Makers." We had great trouble in getting our own copy, which slept in the safe. The many students who wished copies of their very own were referred to dealers in Americana, who searched for this already rare volume; and many were proud to get it, at last, at ten, fifteen and even twenty times its original price. It will always be a standard--the most photographic story yet printed of the life of the prehistoric Americans.
CHARLES F. LUMMIS