An Anasazi Story by Jeff Posey.
In the frenzied celebration sparked by the arrival of thirty enormous logs for new construction, each carried without touching the ground by dozens of men and helper women from three days’ walk to the west, Raana and Tootsa came face to face.
“You little …” Raana said, lunging to grab Tootsa. Like a rabbit, Tootsa darted through the barest gap between two log carriers. They lost their balance and shouted as Tootsa pushed through. Raana watched Tootsa and two other boys scurry into a snaggle-toothed gap in the wall of a ground-floor room under renovation.
Once inside, the boys climbed through passages and up ladders left by stonemasons who were adding a sixth level of rooms. On the roof of the third level, the three boys peeked over to watch the crowd, searching for Raana.
“There he is,” said one, pointing.
“Who is that?” asked Lightfoot.
“Raana, my uncle. I told you about him.”
“Oh, yeah. He helped the warriors when they massacred the villagers.”
“He wants to be a warrior himself.”
“What’s he doing here?”
“Up to no good, I’m sure,” said Tootsa.
They watched Raana scan the tops of the second and third levels, obviously looking for the boys. But then he turned to a nearby high-ranking warrior and approached him.
“Look,” said Lightfoot. “He’s giving up his secrets right now.”
Tootsa’s eyes darted from side to side as he thought of what they might do to stop him.
“What would he tell them?” asked Lightfoot.
“About Tuwa and the orphan army being here in the canyon,” said Tootsa.
“How can he know they’re here?”
“He knows this is where they were headed.”
“If Pok finds out they’re here and want to knock him off and the High Priest too, he’ll kill everybody …”
“Look,” said Tootsa. Raana followed the warrior toward the main courtyard entrance, and before he stepped around a wall, he scanned the roof lines again, his eyes seeming to lock onto where the boys were hidden. Then he stepped out of sight.
“I’ve got to tell Tuwa,” said Tootsa.
“And I’ll alert all our ears. Let’s meet in the burned-out kiva before orange light. You, come with me.” Lightfoot cuffed the other boy and they left.
Tootsa lingered a moment, expecting to see alarm among the warriors, search parties beginning to scour the place, but he saw only log carriers walking unsteadily from exhaustion or too much corn beer. Maybe they wouldn’t believe Raana, he thought. He turned and walked away, listening for anything unusual, and when he was clear of the bustle of the great house, he ran to find Tuwa.