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Page 408

CHAPTER XXIV - Malintzi

between the feet of Huitzilopochtli, and the everlasting light burning small and bluish beyond the statue of Quetzalcoatl.
At the foot of the altar, beside the chair of Huitzilopochtli, a third chair was placed.
`Sit in your throne of Malintzi,' he said to her.
They sat side by side, his hand holding her hand, in complete silence, looking down the dark church. He had placed tufts of greenish flowers, like thin, greenish lilac, above her chair, and their perfume was like a dream, strong, overpoweringly sweet on the darkness.
Strange how naive he was ! He was not like Ramon, rather ponderous and deliberate in his ceremonials. Cipriano in his own little deeds to-night with her, was naive like a child. She could hardly look at that bud of light which he said meant their united lives, without a catch at her heart. It burned so soft and round, and he had such an implicit, childish satisfaction in its symbol. It all gave him a certain wild, childish joy. The strange convulsions like flames of joy and gratification went over his face!
'Ah, God!' she thought. `There are more ways than one of becoming like a little child.'
The flaminess and the magnificence of the beginning: this was what Cipriano wanted to bring to his marriage. The reeling, powerful perfume of those invisible green flowers, that the peons call buena de noche: good by night.
Strange - that which he brought to marriage was something flamey and unabashed, forever virginal. Not, as she had always known in men, yearning and seeking his own ends. Naively bringing his flame to her flame.
As she sat in that darkened church in the intense perfume of flowers, in the seat of Malintzi, watching the bud of her life united with his, between the feet of the idol, and feeling his dark hand softly holding her own, with the soft, deep Indian heat, she felt her own childhood coming back on her. The years seemed to be reeling away in great circles, falling away from her.
Leaving her sitting there like a girl in her first adolescence. The Living Huitzilopochtli! Ah, easily he was the living Huitzilopochtli. More than anything. More than Cipriano, more

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