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INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES                69
tween every tenth and eleventh stone there must be an opening of four or five inches. These openings must face the north, east, south and west; they are spoken of as "rivers." The flat stone is placed in the middle of the circle.
Each player has a marker, a small stick or twig, which is called his "horse." As many can take part in the game as conveniently can seat themselves around the pa-tol house.
The following description of the game is given by Dr. Charles F. Lummis and quoted by Dr. Culin (Ibid., pp. 191, 192): "When the players have seated them­selves, the first takes the pa-tol sticks tightly in his right hand, lifts them about as high as his chin and, bringing them down with a smart vertical thrust as if to harpoon the center stone, lets go of them when they are within some six inches of it. The three sticks strike the stone as one, hitting on their ends squarely, and, rebounding several inches, fall back into the circle. The manner in which they fall decides the denomination of the throw, and the different values are shown in the diagram. Although at first flush this might seem to make it a game of chance, nothing could be farther from the truth. . . . An expert pa-tol player will throw the number he desires with almost unfailing certainty by his arrangement of the sticks in his hand and the manner and force with which he strikes them down. It is a dexterity which any one may acquire by sufficient prac­tice, and only thus. The five throw is deemed very much the hardest of all, and I have certainly found it so. [See diagram.]
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III