Fall came early that year in the Sangre de Cristos.
The snow on the mountaintop gleamed in the moon cold and clear.
The 13th of August the sly full of geese heading homeward.
And the wolves ranged the lowlands stalking the young running deer.
In the corral that morning I was breaking the buckskin caballo.
The heat of his breath it smoked in the cold mountain air.
Consuela in the kitchen, baking bread for San Carlos Fiesta.
And in the sunlight by the doorway my little Carlito played there.
"Daddy, come quick! A big kitty, Que Gatito Grande!"
His little voice filled up with laughter as he called me once more.
Then a scream cut the hillside 'til the pinion nuts broke from the branches.
As the buckskin shied madly I raced down to my cabin door.
Consuela ran crying, her shawl streaming down the barranca.
The lion that took my Carlito, he crested the hill.
There he turned, there he dropped him and his snarl echoed round the montana.
He was gone in a heartbeat, but my treasure lay broken and still.
"How can a pine box so small hold so much of my sorrow?"
I asked Father Pedro as he stood by the grave next to me.
As he blessed the hard ground, oh Santa Maria, please forgive me.
His words were just babbling from somewhere far over the sea.
Consuela she lay in the darkness with eyes like the twilight
As I cleaned my old Springfield and polished the stock till it shone.
Not a word did she speak, but the old saddle groaned as I mounted.
She whispered his name in the dark as I rode of alone.
I picked up his trail on the hillside where the bloodstains were fading.
For 4 days and nights rode his track high above the snowline.
More than once I saw him, too far off, just watching me, waiting.
Till slowly his trail circled back to the scene of his crime.
On the 5th day at dawn on the hillside above my ranchita
I lifted my rifle and prayed that my aim would be true.
But in the gun sight his cold eyes they mocked,
"Man, why do you hunt me? For I've done no more Than the Lord made me able to do."
"Gato" I said, "There's no answer to what you have asked me.
But you took what was mine, and there's nothing but that you must die."
Then the sound of a shot, and the powder smoke billowed up past me.
I watched as the blood it drained slow from his cold laughing eye.
Consuela stood there not 10 paces from where he lay broken.
My old pistol in two hands it shook as she fired 5 more rounds.
But in my hands the rifle was cold. Not once had it spoken.
A faint little smile, and slowly she sank to the ground.
I carried her down the hill shivering that cold winter morning.
She carried her silence one year; spoke no more than a stone.
Till Fiesta San Carlos, in the bed a new man-child was born in,
She brushed back his forelock, and smiled as she named him...Leon!
Lyrics By: Lawrence Hammond
ALL SONGS MUSIC AND LYRICS COPYRIGHT
BY LAWRENCE HAMMOND
DESERT JEWEL SONGS BMI