their way north from Old Mexico, up thernRio Grande treneh to the settlement atrnSanta Fe; following the river backwardrntoward its origins in the Sangre dc Christornmountains at the beginning of time,rntraveling in reverse direction to the Zunirnin their muddy pueblos whose bakedrnroofs Coronado’s scouts mistook forrngold, and behind them the Anasazi,rndoomed by an accommodation to theirrnhigh desert home that was too much aesthetic,rntoo little ecological. The Sandia,rnManzano, and Pino mountains, the SanrnMatcos and the Magdalenas, LadronernPeak and the volcanic necks west of Albuquerque:rnthese great natural landmarksrnremain unchanged, to humanrnsight at least, four centuries after thernSpanish caravans first traversed thernCamino Real and Apache braves raidedrnand killed along the Jornado del Muerte,rnand 134 years exactly after BrigadierrnGeneral George H. Siblev led a Confederaternforce north from El Paso to ambushrnand defeat by a volunteer army of trappersrnand miners at Glorieta Pass north ofrnAlbuquerque, then back to El Pasornagain, taking a detour west around thernSan Mateo mountains. As Sibley and hisrnmen retreated south they were flankedrnbv Union forces across the river, who skirmishedrnwith them outside the hamletrnof Los Lunas. Fifty miles farther southrnat Gontreras, Jim Catron recently unearthedrnthe metal frame of an 1858rnLIBERAL ARTSrnDIVERSITYrnDISCRIMINATIONrnAccording to an article cited in thernJanuary-March issue of Right Now!, arnjournal published in London bvrnDerek Turner, tlie Enfield Councilrnrejected requests for £500 for a localrn”BOYS’ Brigade” on grounds tliat thernorganization accepts onK bovs and isrntherefore “sexist.” At tlie same time,rntlic council decided to allocate £500rnto the Sisters of Islam aerobics class,rn£2,000 to the Nehanda Black Women’srnSupport Group, £2,000 to thernGreek and Greek Cypriot Women ofrnEnfield, £2,000 to the Somali Communitvrnand Cultural Association,rnand £L800 to the Bangladeshi WelfarernAssociation.rnRemington .44 caliber re’ol-er while reclaimingrnhis land from the salt eedarrnbreaks growing up from the rier bottom.rnCatron guessed from the empty cylinder,rnannealed bv rust to the frame, that thernweapon had been thrown away in desperationrnby its Union possessor, or that itrnhad fallen to the ground when he wasrnshot. One hundred and thirty-four yearsrnlater the War for Southern Independencernpersists, in other forms and guisesrnand with effects utterly different fromrnthose that Grant or Lee could possiblyrnhave envisioned at Appomattox Courthouse.rnI faced about and saw that the brownrnpall over Albuquerque had been sweptrnawa’ by gray storm clouds supported byrnan anil base cutting against the blue skv.rnSliding south the cloud built steadilyrnback from the mountains, overshadowingrnthe ‘alle’ and obscuring it with veilsrnof dust. Dust blew into m’ ees and nosernand tumbleweeds scraped under thernbarbed wire fencing and rolled across thernrailroad grade. The wind whistled in thernelectrical wires beside the track and onernof the Air Force’s old transport planesrnroared overhead, attempting to return tornbase in Albuquerque. I drew my hatrnbrim over mv face and pushed into thernfunnel of vellow dust along the servicernroad, past yuccas ibratinglike clumps ofrnwhirring green knixes. At Tierra Grandernthe screening express tress bent abovernthe tiled roofs of the houses. Inch-highrnwaxes swept the surface of the pond andrnwind rattled the swamp cooler on thernroof and banged the skylight as I wentrnfrom room to room in the house switchingrnon lights. The lights flickered severalrntimes, browned, and went out for good,rnand I brought candles from the cupboardrnand sat in the kitchen reading arnbook beside an iron candelabrum whilernoutside the dust clouds darkenedrnthrough shades of gray and purple tornblack. The- settled when the windrndropped and died, and a clear aftedightrnappeared in the sk- alDOe the mountainsrnas if the clouds had blotted the night andrncarried it with them to earth. I washedrnup b candlelight and went to bed withrnthe birds, leaing the old ear to expirernand the new one to be born in silencernand the dark.rnDeep in the night I awoke and lay inrndarkness listening for the sound that hadrnwakened me. I was nearly asleep againrnwhen I heard it: sharp, lonely, and defiant,rnunmistakable. Quietly I slippedrnfrom the bed, climbed the wooden staireasernto the loft, and looked downrnthrough an east window on the pond. Itsrnsurface was still and silver in the moonlight,rneclipsing the pale sand betweenrnthe clumps of sagebrush and grass. As Irnlooked the sound came a third time,rnundisguised and very close, drawing myrneyes to the right-angled figure terminatingrnin the pointed upraised muzzle. Thernlever-action varmint rifle stood proppedrnbehind me against the loft rail. Gentlyrnraising the window I felt the desert coldrnon my face and the warm interior air onrnthe back of my neck as it slipped past merninto the night. He was a big coyote,rnedged by moonlight in the ends of hisrnlong winter coat as he shifted his weightrnon his haunches and howled again, thernfree voice of the wild and the wild voicernof the free, past and present, forever andrnever. I watched him until mv face wasrnstiff with the cold and all the warmth ofrnthe house seemed to have flowed awayrnand dispersed itself in the night. Then Irnshut the window carefully not to interruptrnthe music, went downstairs, and gotrninto bed again among the parrots, mutteringrnand ruffling their feathers in therndarkness.rnI was up at dawn to make coffee andrnlight a fire in the stove, using the supplementaryrnsections of the three- and fourda’-rnold newspapers I had brought downrnfrom Salt Lake City and Cortez, Colorado,rnto get the flames started. Whenrnthe cedar logs were burning strongly Irnpoured coffee and drank the pot whilernI read the news sections. The sun got uprnbehind the Manzanos and a solitaryrnrobin arrived to drink at the margin of icernaround the rocky perimeter of the pond.rnThe air was still, the sky opalescentrnabove the dark mountains. It was goingrnto be a fine day, perhaps even a goodrnyear. I cut a green apple and fed it to thernparrots for their breakfast. Then I calledrnJim Catron in Contreras.rn”Are ou going over to Resere soon?”rn”The commission meets Monday. Dorn ou want to ride along?”rn”Of course.”rn”We’ll burn a couple of steaks whenrnwe get home. Or some other politicallyrnincorrect thing.”rn”It’s a good start anyway.”rn”And drink good whiske’.”rn”Even better.”rn”We’re going to win. Maybe not inrnour lifetime. But we are going to win.”rn”That will be good enough for me.”rn”Happy New ‘Vear to you.”rn”Yes. Happy New Year.” crn50/CHRONICLESrnrnrn