"I'll assume you have a basic understanding of the story of the Pahana," he said. Thomas doesn't so he looked to Josh to reply.
"It's basically a story of one of the Pahana twins finding a sacred tablet in the East, returning it here to Turtle Island and saving mankind," said Josh, to establish a base.
"Yes," he replied, glass in hand and wind in his sails. "But let me read this summary to you. I wrote it after months of combing through my grandfather's notes and needed to clarify exactly what it was that I knew." They put down the notebooks and lifted their glasses with zealous curiosity. Robert read from some papers:
"It is said in the Hopi ancient records, kept by the tribe assigned to keep the prophecies of the Red Man, that a messenger will arrive with the sacred stone from the East bringing with him words that will heal the broken spirits of mankind.
"It is said that The Book of Life will be the medicine for what ills Mother Earth during Koyaanisqatsi - when the world is out of balance during the Seventh Stage of Man.
"It is said that this divine wisdom would come at the beginning of time before the Tower of Babel.
"It is said that tribal leaders throughout Turtle Island were charged with knowing the Hopi Prophecies and understanding these ancient instructions.
"It is said that he who finds the Taponi Tablets will unite the four races of mankind.
"It is said that the Pahana will be of pure heart and will be given the ability to decipher the Taponi Tablets in its full meaning.
"It is said that the coming of the Pahana will set the four forces of Mesa (nature) in motion for the benefit of the sun.
"It is said that the Great Purification will be a time of the rising of the Phoenix when the old world clears away the old clutter to allow for new growth to restore the natural cycles of the planet.
"It is said that the Pahana will awaken the consciousness of all good-hearted people who will then collectively raise the sum of positive sentience affecting all peoples around the world.
"It is said that the stone tablets are the symbol of power and authority over all land and life to protect, guard and hold in trust until the Creator returns for them.
"It is said the Day of Purification will come when the Blue Star Kachina makes its appearance in the heavens.
"It is said that when the elder twin brother returns with the sacred stone and places it beside the other stone, that justice will descend on all those with a true spirit and will be awakened."
Robert Riel stopped reading, cleared his throat, promptly followed by a sip of brandy. Thomas's head spins with new pieces to the puzzle, trying to process and digest it all.
"Pure heart," said Josh. "I've thought about that and have come to the conclusion that only those without guile have a good heart."
"What about the brothers? Do you have anything about the brothers, like what they looked like or anything?"
"Let me see here... Ah, here. Okay." He gave them a nod before speaking.
"It is said that the two brothers are the sons of the Creator who are consigned by Fate to fulfill this final task of reuniting the ancient Taponi Tablets.
"It is said that after the elder brother has journeyed to the East, he is to return upon hearing the call from his younger brother.
"It is said that the elder brother will have light skin and dark hair and dress in red, and that he will be given the skills to decipher the tablets of its true meaning.
"It is said that he who dreams of the sacred story will be shown the way to the buried sacred tablet that contains the healing words of the Creator.
"It is said that the elder brother will transform into the Pahana when he returns with the sacred stone to Turtle Island, and will bring with him a new life plan that will lead to everlasting life."
He could feel Josh looking at him. He who dreams of the sacred story will be shown the way to the buried sacred tablet. When he recalled Grandfather's words describing the sketch as the sacred story, Thomas felt a fire burning on his forehead where the skin had been cut. But even more than this, it was the elder brother returning with the tablet from the East who will transform into the Pahana. That couldn't be right. He could sense Joshua's exasperation when he glanced at him with a solemn look. Robert Riel noticed.
"Sacred story?" Josh said. "What do you know about that?"
"I have looked for something about the sacred story but haven't seen a thing that refers to it explicitly. Why? What is it?"
Thomas took the sketch out of his pocket and unfolded it on the table in front of him.
"This morning Tommy told me of a dream he had last night and he sketched out on paper. It has Kokopelli and a ladder going behind the sun so we brought it to Grandfather who told us a lot more." Studying the sketch, Robert Riel's eyes widened.
"Is this it?"
"He said that he had seen this sketch before and referred to it as ‘the sacred story.'" Face red as if fire was engulfing him, all the heat focused in the welt on Thomas's forehead.
"The ladder goes to the House of God behind the sun," said the grandson of Louis Riel. "And this star overhead could be the Blue Star Kachina that is prophesized."
"And the steps on the conduit ladder to heaven are swirls moving upwards to the sun in what looks like a Fibinacci Sequence," added Josh, pointing at the ladder reaching behind the sun.
"That's where the empyrean is."
"Empyrean is the ‘heaven of heavens' where our ancestor spirits live."
"What sticks with me most from the dream was reaching out to the long straight line and getting a shock. I actually saw a spark. I actually felt the electricity. It was what had jolted me awake." Josh rubbed the welt on his forehead and grinned at his brother.
"Any idea what that could mean?" Robert Riel pulled at his moustache and poured himself another brandy.
"This may sound crazy, but I'm thinking that it symbolizes the way to the tablet in the East," said Josh.
"I think Tommy's dream was the telling of this sacred story. The sketch is a story. And if you were to follow that line straight all the way, where would you end up?" Joshua's finger followed the line coming down from the sun. "You would go through the earth to the other side of the world to somewhere in the Far East like China." Thomas was busy nibbling his bottom lip.
"Yes! That's what I'm thinking, except not China but Tibet." Both the brothers looked at him with eyes wide open.
"Tibet!" they said in unison.
"Sure. Tibet has a long and interesting history with many connections to the Red Man of Turtle Island."
"Isn't it the home of the Yellow Race?"
"It is," he replied, nodding at Josh. "Did you know that the Hopi word for love is the Tibetan word for hate? And that the Hopi word for hate is the Tibetan word for love? Or that the Tibetan word for sun is the Hopi word formoon, and the Hopi word for sun is the Tibetan word for moon?"
"How-" Josh didn't bother asking the question because he knew this man had studied.
"It is written that each of the four races of man originally had a sacred stone tablet. The Black Race had their tablet in Kilamanjaro kept by the Kukuyu Tribe but it was lost. The tablet held by the White Race was kept in Switzerland but it was destroyed in the wars of Europe. Only the tablet kept by the Yellow Race exists besides the one held by the Red Men in the Hopi compound where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming meet." He broke off for a moment trying to focus his recollection. "My grandfather believed that the tablet was in a monastery somewhere in Tibet guarded by monks." He walked over to a round globe on the table and located Tibet.
"See? It's way up in the Himalayas, isolated from the wars of man and likely buried in an old monastery built like a castle."
"But the Dalai Lama left Tibet when the Chinese invaded in 1950s," said Thomas.
"Yes. The Dalai Lama would likely be aware of the prophecy but he doesn't even live in Tibet anymore. He lives in India."
"So, the Chinese have it?" asked Josh, refilling each glass to keep them warm against the winds of the prairies howling at the leaded windowpanes.
"Wait, I seem to recall something in one of old Louis's notebooks about possible connections between Tibet and other areas where there is believed to be remnants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel." He searched from a row of about fifty yellowed notebooks on bookshelves that lined the wall.
"Ah! Here!" He opened to a page marked with a bookmark. "He has a map in here with some of his thoughts on the location of the tablet in Tibet. If I'm right, I seem to recall something about northern Burma." He rubbed his moustache with vigor.
"Burma?" Josh grunted in a skeptical tone of voice. Robert Riel placed the open notebook on the table, and pointed to the map where Louis had circled a monastery and written the name of a tribe named Manashe.
"It says here that the Burmese tribe of Manashe is from the tribe of Manasseh, one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. These mountain people call themselves Lusi, which means the Ten Tribe. Lu means tribe, and Simeans ten." Thomas could see a red line pointing overland to an area wedged between northern India and southwestern China in the mountains of northern Burma.
"Oh yeah, I remember now," said Robert Riel. "This is eerie. The Hopi Indians have something they call a Kachin Doll, similar to the Blue Star Kachina. So my grandfather looked up the words:
Kachin of Tibeto-Burmese origin; the lingua franca of Burma; the language of the Chingpaw people; and the language of the Tibetans.
Kachina a deified ancestral spirit believed among Hopis, [from Hopi qacina supernatural].
What he found was that there is a Kachin State in northern Burma and Kachin peoples. He thought they may be part of this Manashe tribe and connected in some way to the Hopi Indians.
"A connection to northern Burma?" said Josh. "It's reaching a bit don't you think?" But despite it's obvious unlikeliness, something about northern Burma tweaked Thomas's curiosity. There were too many connections to simply discount.
"It's not that far-fetched when you think about it," said Robert Riel as a rebuttal. "There are two theories about the origin of Native American Indians. Either they came in boats from Jerusalem after the Diaspora in 683BC as part of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, as the Mormons believe, and are descendents of the Lammanites and Nephites. Or they came from Asia via the Bering land bridge. But to me the Red Man doesn't look at all Chinese - their noses are too long and aquiline and they're simply so much bigger."
"The Bering Strait Theory has fallen into disrepute after finding Kennewick Man in Washington State. It's pretty much been debunked."
"So they could be from a root of the remnants from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel that landed in the area of northern Burma and northern India. Who knows? Records have been lost and peoples displaced, but maybeKachins still have a resemblance to Indians here?" I'm still busy biting my lip.
"Manashe. That's really quite a coincidence," said Thomas. "It even sounds like Manasseh. And it happens to be the one tribe of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel most associated with the settlement of the United States. The emblem on their shields according to the Bible was olive branches." All three of them were now shaking their heads in disbelief. It was Robert Riel who offers a toast.
"To the most sacred mission of the Métis: bringing the sacred Taponi Tablet back from the East to heal the hearts of man that have been led astray."
"And to fulfill the prophecy of the Second Coming of the Messiah," said Josh. Thomas raised his glass, feeling a new bond develop, not just between he and Josh but also with the grandson of the man who was the first leader of the Red-and-White Man in history.