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Chapter Twenty-one 


Though the Monkey is in a Hurry, the Olive Branch is Not


After paying the man, Thomas walked towards the rain-worn bell tower with his hand in his pocket feeling the newly acquired booty. The large gray tower looked more like a castle rampart than a bell tower with its crenellated edges. Finding refuge in the church he sat alone and began to feel secure again. The piece of paper was stained from moisture so he placed it on his lap and unfolded it slowly. It was another Kachin Proverb:



Closing his eyes and feeling the infinite abyss of helplessness for a moment, he knew inertia could be slippery when trying to stop. Turning it over he came across more Latin:


He cursed himself  under his breath he never took Latin at school when he had the chance.

The metal object was a grandfather key, an iron key for old doors and treasures chests.

After sitting for a while fighting off the butterflies and trying to see the wisdom of the tree branch, he explored the church, plain in its design, but didn't see anything. Outside, surrounded by dry, scorched vegetation indigenous to these parts, he couldn't find the cornerstone but he found the same thriteen olive branches on a worn patch of pewtered lead on the side of the church, so he walked around to the back where he saw two massive teak trees with long branches towering over the church.

"Don't be a monkey," he muttered to himself. "Be an olive branch." For a moment he was at a loss in the dreaded still of the afternoon, then walked around the corner where he saw an open door. Bold with betel juice, he poked his head through.

"Oh! I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to startle you." A man behind a desk had the collar of a reverend and the smiled creases around the edges of his mouth of a good-hearted person. His eyes penetrated the dusty lenses of his eyeglasses.

"Please come in," he said, waving his hand. "You're not disturbing me." With a very respectful gait, Thomas half-bowed his head, entered the low-ceilinged room and introduced himself. The pastor, who looked like he was in his sixties, kept his eyes on Thomas, watchful, showing subtle appreciation for the bow.

"I am Pastor Ko Pauk. Welcome to my church." White shirt stained with dirt around the collar hanging off his shoulders as if it was two sizes too big. The wooden furniture was ancient and cobwebs hung from the wooden rafters overhead.

"Yes, I've been inside. It is a beautiful church." The Pastor gave him a friendly nod.

"It is modest but has history." Thomas felt uneasy and impatient, but he kept the second proverb in mind.

"How old is the church?" The Pastor put his hands together in front of his frayed white collar.

"The church was built in 1858 by that man." He pointed to the corner of the room where there was a dusty portrait of Eugenio Kin Caid. Thomas was drawn to the portrait. It read:





As he stared at the American missionary on the wall, with his Cherokee cheekbones and strong hairline, he wondered if he knew of the connection between the Red Man and the Kachin people. Was that why he had built communities here, like the stone building that he was standing in? Did he follow a truth when others had no idea why?

"Did you ever meet him?" The Pastor smiled and then was briefly lost in reveries in his recollections.

"No. He was before my time. But he was the minister when my father was a boy." He took out a photograph from a drawer in his desk. "This is my father and Reverend Kin Caid right before he departed. My father is second from the right." It was a group photo with a number of small boys with a few American missionaries.

"Who is this man here?" Thomas pointed at a young man directly beside Eugenio, both standing at a slight angle towards one another. Pastor Ko Pauk put on his glasses.

"That is Pastor William Crow. He was his favorite and most devoted student of Reverend Kin Kaid. I knew him well when I was younger. A very honorable man. Paster Crow preached in Upper Burma his whole life and died here. He founded the Methodist Church in Myskyina." There was something about Pastor Crow that intrigued him.

"Did he spend most of his life at the church in Myskyina? Or did he preach at other churches in the country?"

"He sometimes preached in other churches but he made his home in Myskyina. He was very passionate about the Kachin people. So was Pastor Kin Kaid. They had a lot in common. They believed the Kachin people were related to the original Americans. It was their area of interest that brought them to Burma." Thomas knew he was speaking to the one person who could give him the irection he needed.

"Please excuse my ignorance Pastor Ko Pauk, but how would they be related to the Kachin people?"

"They believed - and they weren't the only ones - that the American Indian originally came from Tibet and Kachin State in Upper Burma. They did much research in Kachin and Tibet." His mind busy with questions, he took a moment.

"So would that would mean that they themselves were part Native American Indian then?"

"That's correct. I think they said that most of the pure Kachin people have intermarried with other races so it is difficult to find tall Kachin people with a straight nose and high forehead like the pure-blooded American Indian." Thomas was biting his lip. "But they believed they came from the same root."

"Did they visit Tibet to look for Kachin people?" Geckoes darted across the wall moving like little golf pencils on wheels.

"Yes. Particularly Pastor Crow. He believed Tibetans were the most like the American Indian. He said that there were connections between both peoples that are very old."

"Do you remember what kind of connections?"

"William, or excuse me, Pastor Crow thought there was an ancient relationship. He believed that both people came from the same original source but that there was a migration east across the Bering Ocean to America. He detailed the correlations in ancient animist belief systems between the Tibetans, the Kachin people and the American Indians. He was adamant that the peoples who crossed the Bering Strait were not Chinese at all. They were from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel spoken about in the Book of Genesis."

"Do you know what happened to all that research he did? Was there a library or archive that he left it to? Or to his family?" Pastor Ko Pauk looked in the corner of the room for a moment, as if he had just remembered something.

"I'm sorry but you have just reminded me of something I have been meaning to do for some time now." He walked to some boxes in the corner of the room. "I hope you don't think I'm rude, but if I don't do it now then I will surely forget." Pastor Ko Pauk lifted the top box off and then proceeded to dig through a stack of papers and files. A moment later he removed a thin book, a notebook and some papers in his hand.

"Here," he said, handing Thomas the thin book. "I recall a passage from Reverend Hanson who preached here years ago. Please read it. You may find it of interest." It was titled Glimpses of Kachin Traditions and Customs. Thomas read the underlined passage:

Many are found with complexion and features remarkably like the American Indians, while others might hail from southern Europe. Some measure close to six feet and present a fine physique. The women are somewhat smaller, but most of them are strongly built, and they are able to endure a great deal of hardship.

"Thomas' eyes widened in exasperation. 

"Reverend Crow used to like to call the Kachins by their real name: The Chingpaws."

"What does it mean?"

"Chingpaw means man and it is believed to have originated from Tibet."

"Chingpaw even sounds like a Red Indian word," he said. "Like Chippewa. Or Choctaw."

"These are some of my old notes that I took when I was younger. You see, my father was also interested in this connection and through his own readings started believing in a very real common source." He flipped through some papers. "Yes, here it is. Reverend Kin Caid, upon his departure, left his research to his apprentice Revered Crow. But you see, Reverend Crow died here in Myanmar and there was some confusion as to where his papers would go." Pastor Ko Pauk put the paper down and took off his eyeglasses.

"Was he married? Did he have a family?"

"He married near the end of his life before he was killed. This added to the confusion I believe." Thomas recalled Crow's death was in 1965.

"I hope you don't mind me asking, but you said he was killed. How did he die?" It was when he asked the question that he had a good idea of why William Lewis Crow was killed.

"That is also unclear, at least the details of it. But it seems as if he was murdered by mercenaries for being accused of trafficking stolen property and artifacts from the Kingdom of Tibet. But you see, those were sketchy times. The Chinese had invaded Tibet and there was a lot of dispersion of peoples and many things were lost. And many misunderstandings arose. I don't think it was ever fully explained. What we know for sure is that his body was found in Mandalay after an extended tour in Upper Burma and Tibet. The Chinese accused him of stealing items that were rightfully part of the Chinese empire. But most of this is second-hand information. I really cannot be certain." Cheeks flushed, beads of sweat stung the unhealed cut on his forehead.

"How was he murdered?"

"His body was found in the moat of Mandalay Fort. He had been strangled and tortured before he had been thrown into the water there." A sad shaking of the head.

"But he was what? 84?"

"Yes, but he was strong and active his whole life. I'm sorry to say all this. It's all very sordid."

"To me it's important because it helps me understand. Was there anything about him that you remember that you may regard as special or unique? Did he have any pronounced idiosyncrasies or aspects of his personality that defined him as a person?" Pastor Ko Pauk smiled at this question, looking as if he enjoyed remembering Reverend Crow's personality.

"Certainly Thomas. It could be said that he truly had an all-around personality. He spoke many different languages. He understood humanity and got along with all people with a good soul. There is one thing he loved though, and that was proverbs. He was like a walking book of proverbs. I was always amazed at that." Thomas took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment.

"Any more questions?" The whirling of the overhead fan like a tuneless record player filled the air.

"Actually, yes. Did Reverend Crow ever talk about identical twins at all?" Pastor Ko Pauk's expression changed. He folded his hands and leaned forward, studying the short-bearded man in front of him.

"Are you an identical twin Thomas?" He knew something had changed.

"Yes I am. I have twin brother in Canada who studies with a Cree medicine man and who told me about the Hopi Prophecies." The Pastor stood up, walked around his desk and offered his hand.

"I want to shake your hand because I was told to expect a twin from North America one day around the turn of the century. And look at this! It's 1999 and here you are!" He shook his head. "I didn't believe it all but of course you make a promise to someone you respect under the witness of God and you must have faith."

"He told you to expect a twin from North America?"

"Yes, and that would be you."

"Are you sure?"

"Believe me, we don't get many people from North America here. It does sound incredible but there it is. I was very young when I was told about this by Pastor Crow but I recall him being very serious about it. In fact he made me promise with my hand on the Bible."

"What did you promise?" He lifted his finger in the air. "Ah!" Walking to the door, he closed it and waved at Thomas to follow him. "I have something I'm supposed to show you."

Through an old wooden door they entered a darkened room to the side of the alter and lectern of the church, not where the priest changes vestaments but where there were shelves carved into the wall made of wood. He unlocked a drawer along the top shelf and removed a yellowed envelope.

"Are you part Native American like Reverend Kin Kaid and Revrend Crow?"

"Yes. My brother and I are Metis."

"I don't-"

"We're part Ojibwa."

"Okay, this is for you." The paper had an image of a red bird and the word Palongawhoya handwritten on it.

"It's a bit dark in here."

"Yes, shall we return to my office." There, with the better light, Thomas carefully opened the letter. It read:

Man is an axis in medictate signi. Fulfill the Israelite prophecy of La Merica, and bring the Taponi Tablet back to the place beyond the sea. Honor the Lammanites for their victory over the unworthy Nephites and reunite the stones, but beware. There are those who know of its existence and are waiting for a Métis twin to arrive during the Seventh Sun and remove it from their country. Trust no one but your brother Poqanghoya. Become part of history My Son, and remember the olive branch is the Thirteen tribe, but be prepared to undergo a transformation and rebirth. For you have been chosen for this holy task, so follow your intuition and you shall fulfill the prophecy kept by the Hopis and believed by many throughout the centuries of our God-given civilization.

Thomas put his hand over his pocket to feel the grandfather key.

"Speaking to you has been great, Pastor Ko Pauk."

"Does it make any sense to you Thomas?"

"Yes it does. But I do have one more question before I go. In your opinion, where do you think Reverend Crow's research and papers are? For example, do you think it his work is still in Burma?" He looked at the cobwebbed corner near Eugenio Kin Kaid's portrait.

"If I were to give you my honest opinion, I think everything is still here in the country. I would say that it would be in his church in Myskyina. He was there for a very long time, and that is where his wife remained after his death. Incidentally I believe she was a twin." Thomas stood, straightened his own collar, and offered his hand to Pastor Ko Pauk.

"I'm very grateful to you for having me into you office and taking the time to chat with me. I am truly honored. Thank you sir." The Pastor smiled with genuine warmth.

"It has been a pleasure Thomas. I've enjoyed talking to you too." They walked together to the front gate and said good-bye. Overloaded with information to digest, Thomas decided to follow his compass and walk back to the guesthouse by the river.



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Part One - Canada
1.      The Twin From the East Returns  
2.      The Sundancer  
3.      Waxing Gibbous 
4.      The Second Coming of the Messiah 
5.      The Sacred Twin Story 
6.      The Sign of the Pahana 
7.      Palongawhoya and Poqanghoya 
8.      Rainbow Thunderbird and Red Phoenix 
9.      The True White Brother 
10.    The Lost Louis Riel Notebooks 
Part Two - Hong Kong
11.    A Mixture of Revulsion and Pity 
12.    A Classroom of Scallywags 
13.    Illegitimati non Carborundum 
14.    The Distant Fire of Empyrean
Part Three - Burma
15.    The Monastery of Sacred Tablets 
16.    The Outpost of Tyranny 
17.    When the 12th Moon Comes 
18.    The Pigeon Left & the Crow Took His Place 
19.    Go North and Find Your People 
20.    Finding Orwell 
21.    Though the Monkey is in a Hurry, the Tree Branch is Not 
22.    The Castle at God's Toes 
23.    The General and Sergeant Betel Nut 
24.    The Tattooed Station Master 
25.    Reverend Crow's Life's Work 
26.    Yield Not to Adversity, But Press on More Bravely 
27.    A Bitter Cuppa Tea 
28.    The Thirteenth Tribe 
29.    When a Lamp is Lit You Must Expect Insects 
30.    John the Christian 
31.    A Guardian Angel Named Hanna 
32.    The Bar Car & Betel Nut 
33.    The Son of Light 
34.    Slipping the Karmic Knot
Part Four - Hong Kong
35.    The Tonsure Warning 
36.    The Phoenix Reborn 
37.    Touching the Empyrean 
38.    Joshua the Gatekeeper 
Part Five - Canada
39.    Lapsit Exillis 
40.    Thunderstones 
41.    The Time of Great Purification  

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