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Louis L'Amour

“Destarte! How musical! What does it mean?" "You can't say it except in Mescalero. It means Morning, but that isn't what it means, either. Indian words are more than just that. They also mean the feel and the sound of the name. It means like Crack of Dawn, the first bronze light that makes the buttes stand out against the gray desert. It means the first sound you hear of a brook curling over some rocks-some trout jumping and a beaver crooning. It means the sound a stallion makes when he whistles at some mares just as the first puff of wind kicks up at daybreak. "It means like you get up in the first light and you and her go out of the wickiup, where it smells smoky and private and just you and her, and kind of safe with just the two of you there, and you stand outside and smell the first bite of the wind coming down from the high divide and promising the first snowfall. Well, you just can't say what it means in English. Anyway, that was her name. Destarte.”


Louis L'Amour, Hondo
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Hondo Hondo by Louis L'Amour
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