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Title: The Delight Makers
Author: Bandelier, Adolph Francis Alphonse, 1840-1914
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Delight Makers" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Transcriber's note:

      The symbol [=a] is used to denote the sound of a in "hare,"
      which was originally represented in the text using the
      letter "a" with a macron.

      Other punctuation has been normalized to contemporary standards.



THE DELIGHT MAKERS

by

ADOLF F. BANDELIER

With an Introduction by Charles F. Lummis

Illustrated



[Illustration: Portrait of the Author]



New York Dodd, Mead and Company
Publishers
Copyright, 1890
by Dodd, Mead and Company
Copyright, 1916
by Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc.
Copyright, 1918
by Mrs. Fanny R. Bandelier
Printed In U. S. A.



PREFACE

This story is the result of eight years spent in ethnological and
archæological study among the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. The first
chapters were written more than six years ago at the Pueblo of Cochiti.
The greater part was composed in 1885, at Santa Fé, after I had bestowed
upon the Tehuas the same interest and attention I had previously paid to
their neighbours the Queres. I was prompted to perform the work by a
conviction that however scientific works may tell the truth about the
Indian, they exercise always a limited influence upon the general
public; and to that public, in our country as well as abroad, the Indian
has remained as good as unknown. By clothing sober facts in the garb of
romance I have hoped to make the "Truth about the Pueblo Indians" more
accessible and perhaps more acceptable to the public in general.

The sober facts which I desire to convey may be divided into three
classes,--geographical, ethnological, and archæological. The
descriptions of the country and of its nature are real. The descriptions
of manners and customs, of creed and rites, are from actual observations
by myself and other ethnologists, from the statements of trustworthy
Indians, and from a great number of Spanish sources of old date, in
which the Pueblo Indian is represented as he lived when still unchanged
by contact with European civilization.

The descriptions of architecture are based upon investigations of ruins
still in existence on the sites where they are placed in the story.

The plot is my own. But most of the scenes described I have witnessed;
and there is a basis for it in a dim tradition preserved by the Queres
of Cochiti that their ancestors dwelt on the Rito de los Frijoles a
number of centuries ago, and in a similar tradition among the Tehuas of
the Pueblo of Santa Clara in regard to the cave-dwellings of the Puye.

A word to the linguist. The dialect spoken by the actors is that of
Cochiti for the Queres, that of San Juan for the Tehuas. In order to
avoid the complicated orthography latterly adopted by scientists for
Indian dialects, I have written Indian words and phrases as they would
be pronounced in continental languages. The letter [=a] is used to
denote the sound of a in "hare."

To those who have so kindly assisted me,--in particular to Rev. E. W.
Meany of Santa Fé, and to Dr. Norton B. Strong, of the United States
Army,--I herewith tender my heartfelt thanks.

                                                     AD. F. BANDELIER

SANTA FÉ, NEW MEXICO.

       *       *       *       *       *


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

The aim of our good and lamented friend in writing this book was to
place before the public, in novelistic garb, an account of the life and
activities of the Pueblo Indians before the coming of white men. The
information on which it is based was the result of his personal
observations during many years of study among the sedentary tribes of
New Mexico and in Spanish archives pertaining thereto in connection with
his researches for the Archæological Institute of America. He spent
months in continuous study at the Tehua pueblo of San Juan and the
Queres pueblo of Cochití, and the regard in which he was held by the
simple folk of those and other native villages was sincerely
affectionate. Bandelier's labors in his chosen field were commenced at a
time when a battle with hardship was a part of the daily routine, and
his method of performing the tasks before him was of the kind that
produced important results often at the expense of great suffering,
which on more than one occasion almost shut out his life.

Because not understood, _The Delight Makers_ was not received at first
with enthusiastic favor. It seemed unlike the great student of technical
problems deliberately to write a book the layman might read with
interest and profit; but his object once comprehended, the volume was
received in the spirit in which the venture was initiated and for a long
while search for a copy has often been in vain.

Bandelier has come unto his own. More than one serious student of the
ethno-history of our Southwest has frankly declared that the basis of
future investigation of the kind that Bandelier inaugurated will always
be the writings of that eminent man. Had he been permitted to live and
labor, nothing would have given him greater satisfaction than the
knowledge that the people among whom he spent so many years are of those
who fully appreciate the breadth of his learning and who have been
instrumental in the creation, by proclamation of the President, of the
"Bandelier National Monument," for the purpose of preserving for future
generations some of the archæological remains he was the first to
observe and describe.

                                                           F. W. HODGE.

        SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION,
             WASHINGTON, D. C.,
           _September 25, 1916._

       *       *       *       *       *


NOTE

A SPECIAL interest attaches to the illustrations, now first included in
this edition. Many of them are from photographs made by Chas. F. Lummis
in 1890, under the supervision of Bandelier, and with special reference
to "The Delight Makers," then being written. These two friends were the
first students to explore the Tyuonyi and its neighborhood. In rain and
shine, afoot, without blankets or overcoats, with no more provision than
a little _atole_ (popcorn meal) and sweet chocolate, they climbed the
cliffs, threaded the cañons, slept in caves or under trees, measured,
mapped and photographed the ruins and landscapes with a 40-pound camera,
and laid the basis-notes for part of Bandelier's monumental "Final
Report" to the Archæological Institute of America.

A few later photographs from the same hand show part of the excavation
done in the Tyuonyi by the School of American Archæology--through whose
loving and grateful efforts this cañon has been set apart as a National
Monument bearing the name of its discoverer and chronicler,

                        ADOLF F. BANDELIER.

Thanks are due also to Hon. Frederick C. Hicks, M.C., for six very
interesting photographs of the Zuñis and their country.

       *       *       *       *       *


IN MEMORY

One day of August, 1888, in the teeth of a particular New Mexico
sand-storm that whipped pebbles the size of a bean straight to your
face, a ruddy, bronzed, middle-aged man, dusty but unweary with his
sixty-mile tramp from Zuñi, walked into my solitary camp at Los
Alamitos. Within the afternoon I knew that here was the most
extraordinary mind I had met. There and then began the uncommon
friendship which lasted till his death, a quarter of a century later;
and a love and admiration which will be of my dearest memories so long
as I shall live. I was at first suspicious of the "pigeon-hole memory"
which could not only tell me some Queres word I was searching for, but
add: "Policárpio explained that to me in Cochití, November 23, 1881."
But I discovered that this classified memory was an integral part of
this extraordinary genius. The acid tests of life-long collaboration
proved not only this but the judicial poise, the marvelous insight and
the intellectual chastity of Bandelier's mind. I cannot conceive of
anything in the world which would have made him trim his sails as a
historian or a student for any advantage here or hereafter.

Aside from keen mutual interests of documentary and ethnologic study, we
came to know one another humanly by the hard proof of the Frontier.
Thousands of miles of wilderness and desert we trudged side by
side--camped, starved, shivered, learned and were Glad together. Our
joint pursuits in comfort at our homes (in Santa Fé and Isleta,
respectively) will always be memorable to me; but never so wonderful as
that companioning in the hardships of what was, in our day, the really
difficult fringe of the Southwest. There was not a decent road. We had
no endowment, no vehicles. Bandelier was once loaned a horse; and after
riding two miles, led it the rest of the thirty. So we went always by
foot; my big camera and glass plates in the knapsack on my back, the
heavy tripod under my arm; his aneroid, surveying instruments, and
satchel of the almost microscopic notes which he kept fully and
precisely every night by the camp-fire (even when I had to crouch over
him and the precious paper with my water-proof focusing cloth) somehow
bestowed about him. Up and down pathless cliffs, through tangled cañons,
fording icy streams and ankle-deep sands, we travailed; no blankets,
overcoats, or other shelter; and the only commissary a few cakes of
sweet chocolate, and a small sack of parched popcorn meal. Our "lodging
was the cold ground." When we could find a cave, a tree, or anything to
temper the wind or keep off part of the rain, all right. If not, the
Open. So I came to love him as well as revere. I had known many
"scientists" and what happened when they really got Outdoors. He was in
no way an athlete--nor even muscular. I was both--and not very long
before had completed my thirty-five-hundred-mile "Tramp Across the
Continent." But I never had to "slow down" for him. Sometimes it was
necessary to use laughing force to detain him at dark where we had water
and a leaning cliff, instead of stumbling on through the trackless night
to an unknown "Somewheres." He has always reminded me of John Muir, the
only other man I have known intimately who was as insatiate a climber
and inspiring a talker. But Bandelier had one advantage. He could find
common ground with _anyone_. I have seen him with Presidents, diplomats,
Irish section-hands, Mexican peons, Indians, authors, scientists and
"society." Within an hour or so he was easily the Center. Not
unconscious of his power, he had an extraordinary and sensitive modesty,
which handicapped him through life among those who had the "gift of
push." He never put himself forward either in person or in his writing.
But something about him fascinated all these far-apart classes of
people, when he spoke. His command of English, French, Spanish, and
German might have been expected; but his facility in acquiring the
"dialects" of railroad men and cowboys, or the language of an Indian
tribe, was almost uncanny. When he first visited me, in Isleta, he knew
just three words of Tigua. In ten days he could make himself understood
by the hour with the Principales in their own unwritten tongue. Of
course, this was one secret of his extraordinary success in learning the
inner heart of the Indians.

I saw it proved again in our contact with the Quíchua and Aymará and
other tribes of Peru and Bolivia.

I have known many scholars and some heroes--but they seldom come in the
same original package. As I remember Bandelier with smallpox alone in
the two-foot snows of the Manzanos; his tens of thousands of miles of
tramping, exploring, measuring, describing, in the Southwest; his year
afoot and alone in Northern Mexico, with no more weapon than a
pen-knife, on the trails of raiding Apaches (where "scientific
expeditions" ten years later, when the Apache was eliminated, needed
armed convoys and pack-trains enough for a punitive expedition, and
wrote pretentious books about what every scholar has known for three
hundred years) I deeply wonder at the dual quality of his intellect.
Among them all, I have never known such student and such explorer lodged
in one tenement.

We were knit not only thus but in the very intimacies of life--sharing
hopes and bereavements. My first son, named for him, should now be
twenty-two. The old home in Santa Fé was as my own. The truly wonderful
little woman he found in Peru for mate--who shared his hardships among
the cannibals of the Amazonas and elsewhere, and so aided and still
carries on his work--I met in her maiden home, and am glad I may still
call her friend.

Naturally, among my dearest memories of our trampings together is that
of the Rito, the Tyuonyi. It had never in any way been pictured before.
We were the first students that ever explored it. He had discovered it,
and was writing "The Delight Makers." What days those were! The weather
was no friend of ours, nor of the camera's. We were wet and half-fed,
and cold by night, even in the ancient tiny caves. But the unforgettable
glory of it all!

To-day thousands of people annually visit the Tyuonyi at ease, and camp
for weeks in comfort. The School of American Archæology has a summer
session there; and its excavations verify Bandelier's surmises. Normal
students and budding archæologists sleep in the very caves (identified)
of the Eagle People, the Turquoise, Snake and other clans. And in that
enchanted valley we remember not only the Ancients, but the man who gave
all this to the world.

During the six years I was Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library,
far later, no other out-of-print book on the Southwest was so eagerly
sought as "The Delight Makers." We had great trouble in getting our own
copy, which slept in the safe. The many students who wished copies of
their very own were referred to dealers in Americana, who searched for
this already rare volume; and many were proud to get it, at last, at
ten, fifteen and even twenty times its original price. It will always be
a standard--the most photographic story yet printed of the life of the
prehistoric Americans.

                                                     CHARLES F. LUMMIS.

       *       *       *       *       *


ILLUSTRATIONS

Portrait of the Author                          _Frontispiece_
                                                   FACING PAGE
The East End of the Cañon of the Tyuonyi                     8
A Modern Indian Dance                                       18
An Estufa                                                   18
Rito de los Frijoles: Cavate Rooms in Cliff; Ruins
of Talus Pueblo at the Foot of Cliff                        38
A Westerly Cliff of the Habitations of the Tyuonyi,
Showing Second and Third Story Caves, and
Some High Lookout Caves                                     70
A Navajo Hogan                                              88
The Heart of the Tyuonyi: The Excavated Lower
Story of the Great Terraced Communal House                  88
Rito de los Frijoles: A Cliff Estufa of the Snake-Clan     116
The Dance of the Ayash Tyucotz                             140
Indian Pueblo Dances of To-day: Lining Up for the
Dance; The "Clowns"                                        164
Type of Old Indian Woman                                   186
Juanico: A Member of the Modern Village-Council            224
The Hishtanyi Chayan, or Chief Medicine Man                256
Looking Out from One of the Weathered Cave-Rooms
of the Snake-Clan                                          320
Rito de los Frijoles: Looking Out from the Ceremonial
Cave                                                       384
Ruins of an Ancient Pueblo                                 472
A Modern Pueblo                                            486

       *       *       *       *       *



THE DELIGHT MAKERS

CHAPTER I.


The mountain ranges skirting the Rio Grande del Norte on the west,
nearly opposite the town of Santa Fé, in the Territory of New Mexico,
are to-day but little known. The interior of the chain, the Sierra de
los Valles, is as yet imperfectly explored. Still, these bald-crested
mountains, dark and forbidding as they appear from a distance, conceal
and shelter in their deep gorges and clefts many a spot of great natural
beauty, surprisingly picturesque, but difficult of access. From the
river these cañons, as they are called in New Mexico, can be reached
only by dint of toilsome climbing and clambering; for their western
openings are either narrow gaps, or access to them is barred by colossal
walls and pillars of volcanic rocks. The entire formation of the chain,
as far as it faces the Rio Grande, is volcanic, the walls of the gorges
consisting generally of a friable white or yellowish tufa containing
nodules of black, translucent obsidian. The rock is so soft that in many
places it can be scooped out or detached with the most primitive tools,
or even with the fingers alone. Owing to this peculiarity the slopes
exposed to the south and east, whence most of the heavy rains strike
them, are invariably abrupt, and often even perpendicular; whereas the
opposite declivities, though steep, still afford room for scanty
vegetation. The gorges run from west to east,--that is, they descend
from the mountain crests to the Rio Grande, cutting the long and narrow
pedestal on which the high summits are resting.

Through some but not all of these gorges run never-failing streams of
clear water. In a few instances the gorge expands and takes the
proportions of a narrow vale. Then the high timber that usually skirts
the rivulets shrinks to detached groves, and patches of clear land
appear, which, if cultivated, would afford scanty support to one or two
modern families. To the village Indian such tillable spots were of the
greatest value. The deep ravine afforded shelter not only against the
climate but against roving enemies, and the land was sufficient for his
modest crops; since his wants were limited, and game was abundant.

The material of which the walls of these cañons are composed, suggested
in times past to the house-building Indian the idea of using them as a
home. The tufa and pumice-stone are so friable that, as we have said,
the rock can be dug or burrowed with the most primitive implements. It
was easier, in fact, to excavate dwellings than to pile up walls in the
open air.

Therefore the northern sides of these secluded gorges are perforated in
many places by openings similar in appearance to pigeon-holes. These
openings are the points of exit and entrance of artificial caves, dug
out by sedentary aborigines in times long past. They are met with in
clusters of as many as several hundred; more frequently, however, the
groups are small. Sometimes two or more tiers of caves are superimposed.
From the objects scattered about and in the cells, and from the size and
disposition of the latter, it becomes evident that the people who
excavated and inhabited them were on the same level of culture as the
so-called Pueblo Indians of New Mexico.

It is not surprising, therefore, that some traditions and myths are
preserved to-day among the Pueblos concerning these cave-villages. Thus
the Tehua Indians of the pueblo of Santa Clara assert that the
artificial grottos of what they call the Puiye and the Shufinne, west of
their present abodes, were the homes of their ancestors at one time. The
Queres of Cochiti in turn declare that the tribe to which they belong,
occupied, many centuries before the first coming of Europeans to New
Mexico, the cluster of cave-dwellings, visible at this day although
abandoned and in ruins, in that romantic and picturesquely secluded
gorge called in the Queres dialect Tyuonyi, and in Spanish "El Rito de
los Frijoles."

The Rito is a beautiful spot. Situated in a direct line not over twenty
miles west of Santa Fé, it can still be reached only after a long day's
tedious travel. It is a narrow valley, nowhere broader than half a mile;
and from where it begins in the west to where it closes in a dark and
gloomy entrance, scarcely wide enough for two men to pass abreast, in
the east, its length does not exceed six miles. Its southern rim is
formed by the slope of a timbered mesa, and that slope is partly
overgrown by shrubbery. The northern border constitutes a line of
vertical cliffs of yellowish and white pumice, projecting and
re-entering like decorations of a stage,--now perpendicular and smooth
for some distance, now sweeping back in the shape of an arched segment.
These cliffs vary in height, although nowhere are they less than two
hundred feet. Their tops rise in huge pillars, in crags and pinnacles.
Brushwood and pine timber crown the mesa of which these fantastic
projections are but the shaggy border.

Through the vale itself rustles the clear and cool brook to which the
name of Rito de los Frijoles is applied. It meanders on, hugging the
southern slope, partly through open spaces, partly through groves of
timber, and again past tall stately pine-trees standing isolated in the
valley willows, cherry-trees, cottonwoods, and elders form small
thickets along its banks. The Rito is a permanent streamlet
notwithstanding its small size. Its water freezes in winter, but it
never dries up completely during the summer months.

Bunches of tall grass, low shrubbery, and cactus grow in the open spaces
between rocky débris fallen from above. They also cover in part low
mounds of rubbish, and ruins of a large pentagonal building erected
formerly at the foot of a slope leading to the cliffs. In the cliffs
themselves, for a distance of about two miles, numerous caves dug out by
the hand of man are visible. Some of these are yet perfect; others have
wholly crumbled away except the rear wall. From a distance the
port-holes and indentations appear like so many pigeons' nests in the
naked rock. Together with the cavities formed by amygdaloid chambers and
crevices caused by erosion, they give the cliffs the appearance of a
huge, irregular honeycomb.

These ruins, inside as well as outside the northern walls of the cañon
of the Rito, bear testimony to the tradition still current among the
Queres Indians of New Mexico that the Rito, or Tyuonyi, was once
inhabited by people of their kind, nay, even of their own stock. But the
time when those people wooed and wed, lived and died, in that secluded
vale is past long, long ago. Centuries previous to the advent of the
Spaniards, the Rito was already deserted. Nothing remains but the ruins
of former abodes and the memory of their inhabitants among their
descendants. These ancient people of the Rito are the actors in the
story which is now to be told; the stage in the main is the Rito itself.
The language of the actors is the Queres dialect, and the time when the
events occurred is much anterior to the discovery of America, to the
invention of gunpowder and the printing-press in Europe. Still the Rito
must have appeared then much as it appears now,--a quiet, lovely,
picturesque retreat, peaceful when basking in the sunlight, wonderfully
quiet when the stars sparkled over it, or the moon shed its floods of
silver on the cliffs and on the murmuring brook below.

In the lower or western part of its course the Tyuonyi rushes in places
through thickets and small groves, out of which rise tall pine-trees. It
is very still on the banks of the brook when, on a warm June day,
noon-time is just past and no breeze fans the air; not a sound is heard
beyond the rippling of the water; the birds are asleep, and the noise of
human activity does not reach there from the cliffs. Still, on the day
of which we are now speaking, a voice arose from the thicket, calling
aloud,--

"Umo,--'grandfather!'"[1]

"To ima satyumishe,--'come hither, my brother,'" another voice replied
in the same dialect, adding, "See what a big fish I have caught."

It sounded as though this second voice had issued from the very waters
of the streamlet.

Pine boughs rustled, branches bent, and leaves shook. A step scarcely
audible was followed by a noiseless leap. On a boulder around which
flowed streams of limpid water there alighted a young Indian.

He was of medium height and well-proportioned. His hands and feet were
rather small and delicate. He carried his head erect with ease and
freedom. Jet-black hair, slightly waving, streamed loose over temples
and cheeks, and was gathered at the back in a short thick knot. In front
it parted naturally, leaving exposed a narrow strip of the brow. The
features of the face, though not regular, were still attractive, for
large black eyes, almond-shaped, shone bright from underneath heavy
lashes. The complexion was dusky, and the skin had a velvety gloss.
Form, carriage, and face together betokened a youth of about eighteen
years.

His costume was very plain. A garment of unbleached cotton, coarsely
woven, covered the body as low as the knee. This garment, sleeveless and
soiled by wear, was tied over the right shoulder. A reddish-brown scarf
or belt of the same material fastened it around the waist. Feet, arms,
and the left shoulder were bare. Primitive as was this costume, there
was, nevertheless, an attempt here and there at decoration. The belt was
ornamented with black and white stitches; from each ear hung a turquoise
suspended by a cotton thread, and a necklace of coloured pebbles strung
on yucca fibre encircled the neck.

Like a statue of light-coloured bronze decked with scanty drapery, and
adorned with crude trinkets, holding a bow in the right hand, while the
left clenched a few untipped arrows, the youth stood on the boulder
outlined against the shrubbery, immovable above the running brook. His
gaze was fixed on the opposite bank, where a youngster was kneeling.

The latter was a boy of perhaps nine years. A dirty wrap hung loosely
over shoulders and back, and no necklace or ear-pendants decorated his
body. But the childish features were enlivened by a broad grin of
satisfaction, and his eyes sparkled like coals just igniting, while he
pointed to a large mountain trout which he pressed against a stone with
both hands. He looked at the older youth with an expression not merely
of pleasure, but of familiar intimacy also. It was clear that both boys
were children of the same parents.

The younger one spoke first,--

"See here, Okoya," he began, grinning; "while you are older than I, and
bigger and stronger, I am more cunning than you. Ever since the sun came
out you have followed the turkeys, and what have you? Nothing! Your
hands are empty! I have just come down from the field, and look! I
caught this fish in the water. Shall we fry and eat it here, or carry it
home to the mother?"

The older brother did not relish the taunt; his lips curled. He replied
scornfully,--

"Any child may catch a fish, but only men can follow turkeys. The tzina
is shy and wary; it knows how sure my aim is, therefore it hides when I
go out to hunt."

The little one replied to this pompous explanation with a clear mocking
laugh.

"Turkeys care nothing about you," he retorted. "It is nothing to them
whether you go out or not!"

"Shyuote," his brother scolded, "stop prating about things of which you
do not know. It is true I am not one of the order of hunters, Shyayak,
but I may become so soon." He stopped, as if a sudden thought had struck
him, and then exclaimed: "Now I know why luck has failed me this
morning! When I left our houses I should have scattered meal, and placed
a pebble on the heap beside the trail, and offered a plume to our Mother
Above. All this I neglected. Now I am punished for it by the birds
concealing themselves. For had they come out--"

"You would have missed them," tauntingly replied the other. "If you want
to kill turkeys join the Koshare. Then you will catch them with roots
and flowers."

Okoya grew angry.

"Hush! foolish boy," he retorted, "what are the Koshare to me? Don't
speak about such things here. Come, take your fish, and let us go home."

With this Okoya leaped over the brook. Shyuote whispered audibly to him,
"Yes; you are very fond of the Koshare." But the sarcastic remark was
not heeded by the elder lad, who turned to go, Shyuote following him.
Proudly the little boy tossed his fish from one hand to the other.

Beyond the straight and lofty pine trunks a whitish glare soon appeared.
Brilliant sunlight broke through the tree-tops, and played around the
dark needles, turning them into a brighter, lighter, emerald green. A
background of yellow and cream-coloured rocks, visible now through
openings in the shrubbery, showed that the boys were approaching a clear
space.

Here the elder one suddenly stopped, turned to his brother, looked
straight at him, and asked,--

"Shyuote, what have you heard about the Koshare?"

Instead of answering the child looked down, indifferent and silent, as
if he had not heard the query.

"What have you heard, boy?" continued the other.

Shyuote shrugged his shoulders. He had no inclination to reply.

"Why don't you answer?" Okoya persisted.

His brother looked up, cast a furtive glance at the interlocutor, then
stared vacantly, but with head erect, before him. His eyes were glassy
and without any expression.

[Illustration: The east end of the Cañon of the Tyuonyi]

Whenever the Indian does not wish to speak on any subject, whatever it
be, no power on earth can compel him to break silence. Okoya, as an
Indian, felt rather than understood this; and the child's refusal to
answer a very simple question aroused his suspicions. He looked at the
stubborn boy for a moment, undecided whether he would not resort to
force. The child's taunts had mortified his pride in the first place;
now that child's reticence bred misgivings. He nevertheless restrained
both anger and curiosity for the present, not because of indifference
but for policy's sake, and turned to go. Shyuote looked for a moment as
if he wished to confess to his brother all that the latter inquired
about, but soon pouted, shrugged his shoulders, and set out after Okoya
in a lively fox-trot again.

The valley lay before them; they had reached the end of the grove.

Smiling in the warm glow of a June day, with a sky of deepest azure, the
vale of the Rito expanded between the spot which the boys had reached
and the rocky gateways in the west, where that valley seemed to begin.
Fields, small and covered with young, bushy maize-plants, skirted the
brook, whose silvery thread was seen here and there as its meanderings
carried it beneath the shadow of shrubs and trees, or exposed it to the
full light of the dazzling sun. In the plantations human forms appeared,
now erect, now bent down over their work. A ditch of medium size
bordered the fields on the north, carrying water from the brook for
purposes of irrigation. Still north of the ditch, and between it and the
cliffs, arose a tall building, which from a distance looked like a high
clumsy pile of clay or reddish earth.

This pile was irregularly terraced. Human beings stood on the terraces
or moved along them. Now and then one was seen to rise from the interior
of the pile to one of the terraced roofs, or another slowly sank from
sight, as if descending into the interior of the earthy heap. On the
outside, beams leaned against it, and on them people went up and down,
as if climbing ladders. Thin films of smoke quivered in the air from
imperceptible flues.

The cliffs themselves extended north of this building and east and west
as far as the range of view permitted, like a yellowish ribbon of
towering height with innumerable flexures and alternations of light and
shade. Their base was enlivened by the bustle of those who dwelt in
caves all along the foot of the imposing rocky wall. Where to-day only
vacant holes stare at the visitor, at the hour on the day when our story
begins, human eyes peered through. Other doors were closed by deer-hides
or robes. Sometimes a man, a woman, or a child, would creep out of one
of these openings, and climbing upward, disappear in the entrance of an
upper tier of cave-dwellings. Others would descend the slope from the
cliffs to the fields, while still others returned from the banks of the
ditch or of the brook. At the distance from which the boys viewed the
landscape all passed noiselessly; no human voice, no clamour disturbed
the stillness of the scene.

Peaceful as Nature appeared, neither of the youth were in the least
struck by its charms or influenced by the spell which such a tranquil
and cheerful landscape is likely to exercise upon thinking and feeling
man. With both it was indifference; for the Indian views Nature with the
eyes of a materially interested spectator only. But the elder brother
had another reason for not noticing the beauty of the scene. He was not
only troubled, he was seriously embarrassed. The hint thrown out by his
little brother about the Koshare had struck him; for it led to the
inference that the child had knowledge of secret arts and occult
practices of which even he, Okoya, although on the verge of manhood, had
never received any intimation. Far more yet than this knowledge, which
Shyuote might have obtained through mere accident, the hint at
unpleasant relations between Okoya and the Koshare startled the latter.

It was perfectly true that he not only disliked but even hated the
cluster of men to which the name of Koshare was given in the tribe; but
he had concealed his feelings as carefully as possible until now. Only
once, as far as he could remember, had he spoken of his aversion; and
then it was during an absolutely confidential conversation with his own
mother, who seemed to entertain like sentiments.

To his father he had never uttered a word; because his father was
himself a Koshare. Whatever Shyuote knew, he could only have gathered by
overhearing a conversation of the Koshare among themselves, in which it
was mentioned that he, Okoya, harboured ill-feelings toward that
brotherhood. In that case he might be exposed to serious danger, since,
as he believed, those people were in possession of knowledge of a higher
order, and practised arts of an occult nature. Against danger arising
from such a source, Okoya considered himself utterly defenceless.

The more he tried to think over these matters, the more troubled his
mind became. Only one thought appeared logical and probable and that was
that the boy had overheard one or other of the Koshare's intimate
conversations. But how came it that the Koshare knew about Okoya's
aversion toward them? Who could have told them? Only his mother knew the
secret! Had she, perhaps, she--The thought was like a spark which glowed
for a while, grew to a flame, flared and flickered unsteadily within his
heart, then began to shrink. No, no; it was impossible! it could not be!
His mother would never betray her child! The flame died out, the spark
remained fast dying. Suddenly it blazed up again as if some breath had
fanned it.

With renewed insistence, it struck Okoya that even if Shyuote had merely
overheard a conversation and the child's knowledge was derived from that
source, the most extraordinary part of the information could only have
come from one source,--the person in whom he had confided, his mother!
She alone could have told the Koshare that Okoya hated them. The spark
flared up anew; it burst out in a wild flame of suspicion. It singed
the heart and smothered feeling as well as reason. It so completely
absorbed his thoughts, that Okoya forgot everything else. Instead of
walking along at a quiet easy gait, he rushed fast and faster, wrapped
in dismal despair and in wild impotent wrath. Heedless of his little
companion he ran, panting with agitation, until Shyuote, unable to keep
pace and startled at his wild gait, pulled his garment and begged him to
stop.

"Brother," he cried, "why do you go so fast? I cannot follow you!"

Okoya came to a sudden halt, and turned toward the boy like one aroused
from a sinister dream. Shyuote stared at him with surprise akin to
fright. How changed was his appearance! Never before had he seen him
with a countenance so haggard, with eyes hollow and yet burning with a
lurid glow. Loose hair hung down over forehead and cheeks, perspiration
stood on the brow in big drops. The child involuntarily shrunk back, and
Okoya, noticing it, gasped,--

"You are right, the day is long yet and the houses near. We will go
slower."

Bowing his head again he went on at a slower gait.

Shyuote followed in silence. Although surprised at the change in his
brother's looks, he did not for a moment entertain the thought or desire
of inquiring into the cause of it. He was fully satisfied that as long
as Okoya did not see fit to speak of the matter, he had no right to ask
about it: in short, that it was none of his business.

Meanwhile dark and dismal thoughts were chasing each other within the
elder brother's soul. Doubt and suspicion became more and more crushing.
He was tempted to break the spell and interrogate Shyuote once more,
even to wrench from him, if needs be, a full explanation. The boy was
old enough to enjoy that great and often disagreeable quality of the
American Indian, reticence. Furthermore, he might have been forbidden to
speak.

If the Indian is not an ideal being, he is still less a stolid mentally
squalid brute. He is not reticent out of imbecility or mental weakness.
He fails properly to understand much of what takes place around him,
especially what happens within the circle of our modern civilization,
but withal he is far from indifferent toward his surroundings. He
observes, compares, thinks, reasons, upon whatever he sees or hears, and
forms opinions from the basis of his own peculiar culture. His senses
are very acute for natural phenomena; his memory is excellent, as often
as he sees fit to make use of it. There is no difference between him and
the Caucasian in original faculties, and the reticence peculiar to him
under certain circumstances is not due to lack of mental aptitude.

He does not practise that reticence alike toward all. A great number of
examples seems to establish the fact that the Indian has developed a
system of casuistry, based upon a remarkably thorough knowledge of human
nature. Certain matters are kept concealed from some people, whereas
they are freely discussed with others, and _vice versa_. The Indian
hardly ever keeps a secret to himself alone; it is nearly always shared
by others whom the matter directly concerns. It may be said of the red
man that he keeps secrets in the same manner that he lives,--namely, in
groups or clusters. The reason is that with him individualism, or the
mental and moral independence of the individual, has not attained the
high degree of development which prevails among white races.

When Europeans began to colonize America in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, the social organization of its inhabitants presented a
picture such as had disappeared long before on the continent of Europe.
Everywhere there prevailed linguistic segregation,--divisions into
autonomous groups called tribes or stocks, and within each of these,
equally autonomous clusters, whose mutual alliance for purposes of
sustenance and defence constituted the basis of tribal society. The
latter clusters were the clans, and they originated during the
beginnings of the human family. Every clan formed a group of supposed
blood-relatives, looking back to a mythical or traditional common
ancestor. Descent from the mother being always plain, the clan claimed
descent in the female line even if every recollection of the female
ancestor were lost, and theoretically all the members of one clan were
so many brothers and sisters. This organization still exists in the
majority of tribes; the members of one clan cannot intermarry, and, if
all the women of a clan die, that clan dies out also, since there is
nobody left to perpetuate it. The tribe is in reality but a league; the
clan is the unit. At the time we speak of, the affairs of each tribe
were administered by an assembly of delegates from all its clans who at
the same time arbitrated inevitable disputes between the several
blood-relations.

Each clan managed its own affairs, of which no one outside of its
members needed to know anything. Since the husbands always belonged to a
different consanguine group from their wives, and the children followed
their mother's line of descent, the family was permanently divided.
There was really no family in our sense of the word. The Indian has an
individual name only. He is, in addition, distinguished by the name of
his clan, which in turn has its proper cognomen. The affairs of the
father's clan did not concern his wife or his children, whereas a
neighbour might be his confidant on such matters. The mother, son, and
daughter spoke among themselves of matters of which the father was not
entitled to know, and about which he scarcely ever felt enough curiosity
to inquire. Consequently there grew a habit of not caring about other
people's affairs unless they affected one's own, and of confiding
secrets to those only whom they could concern, and who were entitled to
know them. In the course of time the habit became a rule of education.
Reticence, secrecy, discretion, are therefore no virtues with the
Indian; they are simply the result of training.

Okoya too had been under the influence of such training, and he knew
that Shyuote, young as he was, had already similar seeds planted within
him. But uncertainty was insufferable; it weighed too heavily upon him,
he could no longer bear it.

"Umo," he burst out, turning abruptly and looking at the boy in an
almost threatening manner, "how do you know that I dislike the Koshare?"

Shyuote cast his eyes to the ground, and remained silent. His brother
repeated the query; the little fellow only shrugged his shoulders. With
greater insistence the elder proceeded,--

"Shyuote Tihua, who told you that the Delight Makers are not precious to
me, nor I to them?"

Shyuote shook his head, pouted, and stared vacantly to one side. He
manifestly refused to answer.

Cold perspiration stood on the brow of the elder brother; his body
quivered in anguish; he realized the truth of his suspicions. Unable any
longer to control himself he cried,--

"It is my mother who told them!"

Trembling, with clenched hands and gnashing teeth, he gazed at the child
unconsciously. Shyuote, frightened at his wild and menacing attitude,
and ignorant of the real cause of his brother's excitement, raised his
hand to his forehead and began to sob.

A shout coming from the immediate vicinity aroused and startled Okoya. A
voice called out to him,--

"Umo!"

He looked around in surprise. They were standing close to the cultivated
plots, and a man loomed up from between the maize-plants. He it was who
called, and as soon as Okoya turned toward him he beckoned the youth to
come nearer. Okoya's face darkened; he reluctantly complied, leaped over
the ditch, walked up to the interlocutor, and stood still before him in
the attitude of quiet expectancy with downcast eyes. Shyuote had dropped
to the ground; the call did not interfere with his sobs; he pouted
rather than grieved.

Okoya's interlocutor was a man of strong build, apparently in the
forties. His features, although somewhat flat and broad, created a
favourable impression at first; upon closer scrutiny, however, the eyes
modified that impression. They were small, and their look piercing
rather than bright. His costume was limited to a tattered breech-clout of
buckskin. A collar of small white shells encircled the neck, and from
this necklace dangled a triangular piece of alabaster, flat, and with a
carving on it suggesting the shape of a dragon-fly. His hair streamed
loose over the left ear, where there was fastened to the black coarse
strands a tuft of grayish down.

This individual eyed Okoya in silence for a moment, as if inspecting his
person; then he inquired,--

"Where do you come from?"

The young fellow looked up and replied,--

"From below," pointing to the lower end of the gorge.

"What did you hunt?" the other continued, glancing at the bow and arrows
of the boy.

"Tzina;" and with perceptible embarrassment Okoya added, "but I killed
nothing."

The man seemed not to heed the humiliation which this confession
entailed, and asked,--

"Have you seen tracks of the mountain-sheep down yonder?"

"Not one; but I saw at a distance on the slope two bears very large and
strong."

The other shook his head.

"Then there are no mountain sheep toward that end of the Tyuonyi," he
said, waving his left hand toward the southeast, "thank you, boy," at
the same time extending his right to the youth. Okoya grasped it, and
breathed on the outside of the hand. Then he said, "hoa umo," and turned
and sauntered back to where his little brother was still squatting and
pouting, morose and silent.

The man had also turned around, bent down, and gone on weeding the corn.
Withal he did not lose sight of the boys; on the contrary, an occasional
stealthy glance from his half-closed eyes shot over where they met.

Shyuote rose from the ground. His eyes were dry, but he glanced at his
brother with misgivings as well as with curiosity. The latter felt a
sudden pang upon beholding the childish features. The short
interruption, though annoying at first, had diverted him from gloomy
thoughts. Now, everything came back to his mind with renewed force,--the
same anguish, the feeling of utter helplessness in case of impending
danger, indignation at what he believed to have been base treason on the
part of his mother,--all this rushed upon him with fearful force, and he
stood again motionless, a picture of wild perplexity. His face betokened
the state of his mind. Shyuote did not dare to inquire of him further
than to ask a very insignificant question,--namely, who the man was that
had called.

Okoya answered readily, for this query was almost a relief,--a diversion
which enabled him to subdue his agitation. "Tyope Tihua," he said
hastily, "wanted to know if I had seen any mountain sheep. I told him
that I had only seen bear-tracks. Let him follow those," he growled.
"Come on, satyumishe, it is getting late."

While this conversation had been carried on, the boys, now hurrying and
now slackening their pace, had arrived within a short distance of the
tall clay-pile, which was seen to be a high polygonal building,
apparently closed on all sides. Between them and this edifice there was
still another lower one, not unlike an irregular honeycomb. About forty
cells, separated from each other by walls of earth, carried up from the
ground to a few inches above the terraced roof, constituted a
ground-floor on which rested a group of not more than a dozen similar
cells. The walls of this structure were of stones, irregularly broken
and clumsily piled, but they were covered by a thick coating of clay so
that nothing of the rough core remained visible. Instead of doors or
entrances, air-holes, round or oval, perforated these walls.

The house appeared empty. No smoke flitted over the flat roof; the
coating was so recent that many places were hardly dry.

[Illustration: (Upper picture) A modern Indian Dance]

[Illustration: (Lower picture) An estufa]

North of this building, a circular structure thirty feet in diameter
rose a few feet only above the soil, like the upper part of a sunken
cylinder. Its top was flat, and large flags of stone formed a rough
staircase leading to its roof. In the centre, a square opening appeared,
out of which a tall beam, notched at regular intervals like a primitive
ladder, protruded, and down which also the beam disappeared as if
extended into the bowels of the earth. This edifice, half underground,
half above the soil, was what to-day is called in New Mexico an
_estufa_.[2] This Spanish word has become a technical term, and we shall
hereafter use it in the course of the story as well as the designations
_tshikia_ and _kaaptsh_ of the Queres Indians.

The estufas were more numerous in a single pueblo formerly than they are
now. Nor are they always sunken. At the Rito there were at least ten,
five of which were circular chambers in the rock of the cliffs. These
chambers or halls were, in the times we speak of, gathering places for
men exclusively. No woman was permitted to enter, unless for the purpose
of carrying food to the inmates. Each clan had its own estufa, and the
young men slept in it under the surveillance of one or more of the aged
principals, until they married, and frequently even afterward.

There the young men became acquainted with the affairs of their
individual connections, and little by little also with the business of
the tribe. There, during the long evenings of winter, old men taught
them the songs and prayers embodying traditions and myths, first of
their own clan, then of the tribe.[3] The estufa was school, club-house,
nay, armory to a certain extent. It was more. Many of the prominent
religious exercises took place in it. The estufa on special occasions
became transformed into a temple for the clan who had reared it.

From the depths of this structure there came a series of
dull sounds like beats of a drum. The youngsters stopped short, and
looked at each other in surprise.

"The new house," whispered Okoya, "which the Corn clan have built here
is empty, yet there is somebody in its estufa. What may this mean?"

"Let us look into it," eagerly suggested Shyuote.

"Go you alone!" directed the elder brother. "I will walk on, and you can
overtake me by-and-by."

That suited Shyuote. He crept stealthily toward the round building.
There was an air-hole in the rim which rose above the ground. Crouching
like a cat, the boy cautiously peered through this opening, but quickly
withdrew with an expression of disappointment. The underground chamber
was not even finished; its walls were dark and raw, the floor rough, and
on this floor a half-dozen young fellows in every stage of dress or
undress were lounging. One of them mechanically touched a small drum
with a stick, while two or three of the others were humming a monotonous
tune to the rhythm of his rappings. Shyuote stole away in evident
discontent; his curiosity was satisfied, but at the expense of his
expectations.

Loud laughter, screams, and animated talking diverted his attention, and
caused him to run in the direction of the new house of the Corn clan. He
heard the voice of his brother, but at the same time women's voices
also, and as soon as he turned the farther corner of the building, he
saw what was plainly a playful encounter between Okoya and a pair of
young girls.

The former had his bow in hand ready to shoot, and he pointed the arrow
at the maidens alternately; they, utterly unconcerned about his weapon,
were pressing him with weapons of their own, which he was much more
anxious to avoid than they his missiles. These were two pairs of very
dirty hands filled and covered with liquid mud with which the damsels
attempted to decorate his person. Okoya was clearly on the defensive,
and the advantage so far seemed on the side of his aggressors. Shyuote
flew to his assistance. Rushing to a large vessel of burnt clay,
standing alongside the wall and filled with water, he plunged both hands
into it, and began to bespatter the assailants with the not very clean
liquid. Forthwith one of the girls turned against the new enemy. She was
older and taller than Shyuote. Seizing his raven locks she pulled him to
the ground on his face, knelt on the prostrate form, and then and there
gave the boy a series of energetic cuffs against which the youngster
struggled and wriggled in the most desperate but absolutely ineffectual
manner. The fair sex held the balance of power and wielded it. At every
attempt of Shyuote to rise or to roll over, she pushed his face back
into the moist ground, she pulled his hair, thumped his shoulders, and
boxed his ears. She was in earnest, and Shyuote was powerless in her
firm grasp. He could not even scream, for a thick coating of soil had
fastened itself to his features, had penetrated into eye, mouth, and
nostrils. His fate was as melancholy as it was ludicrous; it brought
about a truce between Okoya and the other maiden. They dropped, he the
weapon, she her muddy arms, and looked at the other set of combatants
with surprise and with immoderate laughter. The Indian is not
tender-hearted on such occasions. When the victorious beauty at last
arose, suffering her victim to turn over again, the merriment became
uproarious, for Shyuote presented the appearance of a blowing, spitting,
coughing, statue of dirt. His looks were in no manner improved by his
frenzy after the boy had rubbed his eyes, and recovered his breath.
Tears of rage rolled down his cheeks over patches of sand and mud, and
when he noticed the mirth of the others Shyuote's fury knew no bounds.
He rushed madly at the triumphant lass, who did not shrink from the
hostile approach. The contest was threatening to assume serious
proportions, when another person appeared upon the scene, at the sight
of whom even Shyuote temporarily stayed all demonstrations, while Okoya
seemed both startled and embarrassed. The new-comer was a young girl
too; she carried on her head a vessel of burnt clay similar to a flat
urn, decorated with black and red designs on cream-coloured ground, and
filled with water.

To understand this scene we must know that the two girls had been
engaged in putting on the last coat of plaster to the walls of the abode
of the Corn people, when Okoya suddenly came upon them. At a glance they
saw that he had been on a hunt, and also that he had hunted in vain.
Here was a welcome opportunity for jeering and mockery. They interrupted
their plastic labour, and turned against him with such merciless
allusions to his ill-success, that unable any longer to reply to their
sarcasm Okoya threatened them, in jest of course, with his bow. Instead
of desisting, the girls at once moved upon him with muddy hands. The one
who last appeared upon the scene, although assistant to the others,
inasmuch as she carried the water needed in the preparation of the mud
for plastering, had not seen the engagement just fought. She looked at
the group in blank surprise, stood still without lifting the bowl from
her head, and presented thus the appearance of a handsome statue, dusky
and graceful, whose lustrous black eyes alone moved, glancing from one
of the members of the group to the other. Those large expressive eyes
plainly asked, "What does all this mean?"

The antagonists of Okoya and Shyuote were buxom lasses, rather short,
thick-waisted, full-chested, with flat faces, prominent cheek-bones, and
bright eyes. The third maiden was taller and much more graceful: her
features were less coarse, less prominently distinctive. The nose was
well-proportioned, the mouth also, although the lips were rather heavy.
The eyes were large and beaming, soft yet not without an intelligent
expression. All three girls were dressed nearly alike. A dark-blue
cotton garment descended as far as the knees; it was tied over the left
shoulder, and the right was exposed. A red-tinged scarf served as belt
around the waist. Arms and feet were bare. The long black hair streamed
loosely. Two of them wore heavy necklaces of green stones, red pebbles,
and shell beads. The last comer carried only a single string of shell
beads with an iridescent conch fastened to it in front. Ear-pendants of
turquoises hung from the ears of all three.

The attention of the girl with the urn on her head soon rested on
Shyuote, and she was the first to break the silence by a hearty peal of
laughter. This started her companions again, and the one nearest to
Okoya exclaimed,--

"Mitsha help us throw the water in your urn over the head of the boy.
Okoya began it all, give it to him, too. You are strong enough."

At the mention of Okoya's name the maiden addressed as Mitsha started.
She threw a quick glance like a flash at him. Her face quivered and
coloured slightly. Turning away, she deposited the water-urn at the foot
of the wall, and remained standing, her eyes directed to the cliffs, her
lithe fingers carelessly playing with the beads of her necklace. She was
disinclined to take any part in the fray, and her behaviour acted as a
damper on the buoyancy of the others. Okoya hastily gathered up his
arrows, and called Shyuote to his side. But the boy did not care to
obey. Thirst for revenge held him to the spot of his defeat; he shook
his fists at the girls, clenched his teeth, and began to threaten
vengeance, and to shower uncomplimentary expressions upon them. As soon,
however, as the one who had so effectually routed him showed again a
decided movement toward his raven locks, he beat a hasty retreat to his
elder brother. This change of base excited new hilarity, and under a
shower of jokes and sarcasms the two boys departed. Okoya walked along
at a steady gait; but Shyuote, as soon as he considered the distance
safe enough, turned around, making grimaces at the belligerent damsels,
vowing vengeance, and uttering opprobrious epithets of the choicest
kind. He noticed that the two returned his compliments without reserve,
whereas Mitsha stood in silence leaning against the house-wall. One
single look, one earnest almost sad glance, she sent after the
disappearing form of Shyuote's elder brother.

The main building was now close at hand. It was an irregular pentagon,
and at places two, at others three stories high. With one single
exception these stories formed terraces, retreating successively from
the ground to the top like so many steps of a staircase. Nowhere did
there appear any entrance. Notched beams led up to trapdoors in the
roofs, similar beams penetrated into the interior below. Absolute
stillness reigned about the edifice. Some women scoured scanty clothing
in the ditch running past the structure; on the terraces not a soul
appeared. The lads directed their course toward that side where the
three stories presented a perpendicular wall, and as they neared it an
entrance, or doorway, high enough for a man and wide enough for four
abreast appeared in the vertical front. It led them through a dark
passage into an interior court which was fairly clean and contained
three estufas. Its diameter did not exceed one hundred and fifty feet.

Toward this court, or yard, the stories of the building descended in
terraces also; but though everywhere beams leaned up as ladders, access
to the ground-floor was also afforded by narrow doorways closed with
hides or mats. It was hot and quiet in this yard; the sun shed glaring
light into it and over the roofs. Naked urchins played and squirmed
below, whereas above, an old woman or some aged man would cower
motionless, shading their blear eyes with one hand and warming their
cold frames in the heat. Okoya went directly to one of the ground-floor
openings, lifted the deerskin that hung over it, and called out the
usual greeting,--

"Guatzena!"

"Opona,--'come in,'" responded a woman's voice. Both lads obeyed the
summons. At first the room seemed dark on account of the sudden contrast
with the glare outside, but as soon as this first impression was
overcome, it appeared moderately lighted. It was a chamber about
fourteen feet long and ten feet wide, and its walls were whitewashed
with burnt gypsum. Deer-hides and a mat plaited of yucca-leaves lay
rolled up in one corner. A niche contained a small earthen bowl, painted
white with black symbolic figures. A doorway to the right led into
another compartment which seemed darker than the first. As soon as the
boys entered the room, a woman appeared in this side doorway. She was
small, slender, and apparently thirty-five years of age. Her features,
notwithstanding the high cheek-bones, were attractive though wan and
thin. An air of physical suffering lay over them like a thin cloudy
veil. At the sight of this woman, Okoya's heart began to throb again;
for she it was whom he so direly suspected, nay, accused of treachery
and deceit. This woman was his mother.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: The word "umo" properly signifies "grandfather;" but it is
used indiscriminately for all ages and sexes in calling. An old man, for
instance, will call his grandchild "umo;" so will a wife her husband, a
brother his sister, etc.]

[Footnote 2: _Estufa_ properly means a stove, and the name was applied
to those semi-subterranean places by the Spaniards on account of their
comfortable temperature in winter. They recalled to them the
_temaz-calli_, or sweat-houses, of Mexico.]

[Footnote 3: The preservation of traditions is much systematized among
the Pueblo Indians. Certain societies know hardly any other but the
folk-tales relating to their own particular origin. To obtain correct
tradition it is necessary to gain the confidence of men high in degree.
That is mostly very difficult.]



CHAPTER II.


The homes of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, especially as regards the
size and disposition of the rooms, are to-day slightly modified from
what they were in former times. An advance has been made, inasmuch as
the buildings are not any longer the vast and ill-ventilated honeycombs
composed of hundreds of dingy shells, which they were centuries ago. The
houses, while large and many-storied, are comparatively less extensive,
and the apartments less roomy than at the time when the Queres lived in
the Rito de los Frijoles.

The two rooms where we left the lads and their mother at the close of
the preceding chapter formed such a home. In the front one the family
slept at night, with the exception of Okoya who was obliged to join the
other youths in the estufa of his clan. The husband was not always at
home after sunset. But the mother, Shyuote, and a little girl four years
old invariably took their nightly rest there. To the little girl we have
not yet been introduced. When the boys returned she was in the
court-yard at play, and in the usual state of complete undress which is
the regular condition of Indian children of her age.

The inner cell was kitchen and storeroom, and there the family partook
of their meals.

Among the Pueblos the house was in charge of the women exclusively,
everything within the walls of the house, the men's clothing and weapons
excepted, belonging to the housekeeper. Even the crops if once housed
were controlled by her. As long as they were in the field, the husband
or masculine head of the family could dispose of them. Afterward he must
consult the woman, and he could not sell an ear of corn without her
consent. It is still so to-day in many villages. Formerly all the
field-products were gathered and stored in the granaries of the several
clans whence each household drew its supplies. Even the proceeds of
communal hunts and fisheries were treated in this manner. Only where the
husband, son, or brother killed game while out alone, could he do with
it as he pleased.

Not many centuries ago the members of each clan, or rather the women,
their offspring, and aged people who were taken care of by their
children, lived together. They occupied a certain section of the great
hive which the communal dwelling represented, and such a section was not
unappropriately called in Spanish a _quartel_ or quarter. The husband
also stayed with his wife and the younger children, but he had no rights
as owner, or proprietor, to his abode. Since it was the custom for women
to raise the walls of buildings, and to finish the house inside and
outside, they owned it also. The man was only tolerated. His home was
properly with his clan, whither he must return in case his spouse
departed this life before him.

It was different in regard to the fields. Each clan had its particular
holding, and since the field-work devolved upon the men, the cultivated
plots belonged to them alone. Within each allotment every member who was
of age, or so situated as to have to support himself or a family, owned
and tilled a certain plot which was his by common consent, although in
no manner determined by metes or bounds. The condition of ownership was
regular improvement of the plot, and if that condition was not complied
with, any other member of the same clan could step in and work it for
his own benefit. In case of death the field reverted to the maternal
relative of its owner, whereas the widow and children fell back for
support upon the resources of their own clan. Hence the singular feature
that each household got its livelihood from two distinct groups of
blood-relatives. The home which we have entered belonged to the quarters
of the Gourd people, or clan Tanyi hanutsh, from which the mother
descended; and Okoya had slept at night in the estufa of that cluster
ever since his thirteenth year. But the cultivated patch which the
father tilled pertained to the fields of his clan, that of Water, Tzitz
hanutsh. Though the Water people were his relatives, the crop raised by
him found its way into the storeroom of Tanyi for the support of the
family which he claimed as his own.

Okoya's mother scanned her boys with a sober glance, and turned back
into the kitchen without uttering a word.

Soon a grating sound issued from that apartment, indicating that toasted
corn was being ground on the flat slab called in Queres, _yakkat_, and
now usually termed _metate_ in New Mexico. The boys meanwhile had
approached a niche in the wall. Each one took a pinch of yellow cornmeal
from the painted bowl, and scattered it successively to the north, west,
south, east; then threw a little of it up in the air and to the ground
before him. During this performance their lips moved as if in prayer.
Then they separated, for the spirits had been appealed to, and their
entrance into their home was under the special protection of Those
Above. Shyuote, whose trout had been ruined during the combat with the
girls, threw himself on the roll in the corner, there to mourn over his
defeat. Okoya went out into the court-yard. Both expected an early meal,
for the fire crackled in the dark kitchen, and a clapping of hands gave
evidence that corn-cakes were being moulded to appease their hungry
stomachs.

The court-yard had become very quiet. Even the children had gone to rest
in a shady place, where they slept in a promiscuous heap, a conglomerate
of human bodies, heads, and limbs, intermingled. The form of an old man
rose out of a hatchway in the ground-floor, and a tall figure, slightly
stooping, clad in a garment, and with a head of iron gray hair, stood on
the flat roof. He walked toward a beam leading down into the court,
seized its upper end and descended with his face toward the wall, but
without faltering. A few steps along the house brought him in front of
Okoya, who had squatted near the doorway of his mother's dwelling. The
youth was so absorbed in gloomy thoughts that the man's appearance was
unexpected. Starting in surprise and hastily rising, Okoya called into
the house,--

"Yaya, sa umo,--'Mother, my grandfather!'"

The old man gave a friendly nod to his grandchild, and crossed the
threshold, stooping low. Still lower the tall form had to bend while
entering the kitchen door. He announced his coming to the inmate in a
husky voice and the common formula,--

"Guatzena!"

"Raua,--'good,'" the woman replied.

Her father squatted close to the fire and fixed his gaze on his
daughter. She knelt on the floor busy spreading dough or thick batter on
a heated slab over the fire. She was baking corn-cakes,--the well-known
_tortillas_ as they are called to-day.

After a short pause the old man quietly inquired,--

"My child, where is your husband?"

"Zashue Tihua," the woman answered, without looking up or interrupting
her work, "is in the fields."

"When will he come?"

The woman raised her right hand, and pointed to the hole in the wall,
whence light came in from the outside. The wall faced the west, and the
height of the loophole corresponded to that of the sun about one hour
before sunset.

"Give food to the children," directed the old man. "When they have eaten
and are gone I shall speak to you."

The fire crackled and blazed, and ruddy flashes shot across the features
of the woman. Was it a mere reflection of the fire, or had her features
quivered and coloured? The old man scanned those features with a cold,
steady look.

She removed from the fire the sooty pot of clay in which venison cut in
small pieces was stewing together with corn, dark beans, and a few roots
and herbs as seasoning. Then she called out,--

"Shyuote, come and eat! Where is Okoya?"

The latter alone heard the invitation, for Shyuote had gone to sleep on
the hides. The elder brother shook him, and went into the kitchen. He
was followed by the child who staggered from drowsiness. The mother
meanwhile had placed on the floor a pile of corn-cakes. Beside it, in an
earthen bowl decorated inside and out with geometrical lines, steamed
the stew. Dinner was ready; the table spread.

To enjoy this meal both lads squatted, but Shyuote, still half asleep,
lost his balance and tumbled over. Angry at the merriment which this
created, the boy hastily grabbed the food, but his mother interfered.

"Don't be so greedy, uak,--'urchin.' Remember Those Above," she said;
and Shyuote, imitating the example of Okoya, crossly muttered a prayer,
and scattered crumbs before him. Then only, both fell to eating.

This was done by simply folding a slice of the cake to form a primitive
ladle, and dipping the contents of the stew out with it. Thus they
swallowed meat, broth, and finally the ladle also. Okoya arose first,
uttering a plainly audible hoa. Shyuote ate longer; at last he wiped his
mouth with the seam of his wrap, grumbled something intended for
thanksgiving, and strolled back to his resting place in the front room.
Okoya went out into the court-yard to be alone with his forebodings. The
sight of his mother seemed oppressive to him.

After the boys had gone the woman emptied the remainder of the stew back
into the pot, filled the painted bowl with water, and put both vessels
in a corner. Then she sat down, leaning against the wall, looking
directly toward her father. Her face was thin and wan, her cheeks were
hollow, and her eyes had a suppressed look of uneasiness.

The old man remained quietly indifferent as long as the meal lasted;
then he rose, peeped cautiously into the outer apartment, resumed his
seat, and spoke in a low tone,--

"Is it true that you have listened to kamonyitza,--'black corn'?"

The woman started. "Who says so?" she answered with sudden haste.

"The Koshare," replied the old man, looking at her with a cold steady
gaze.

"What do I care for them," exclaimed his daughter. Her lips curled with
an air of disdain.

"It may be," spoke her father, in measured tones, "that you do not wish
to hear from them; but I know that they care for your doings."

"Let them do as they please."

"Woman," he warned, "speak not thus. Their disposition toward you is not
a matter for indifference."

"What reason have they to follow my path? I am a woman like many others
in the tribe, nothing more or less. I stay with my husband," she went on
with greater animation. "I do my duty. What have the Delight Makers to
say that might not be for my good?"

"And yet, you are not precious to them--"

"Neither are they precious to me," she cried. Her eyes sparkled.

Her father heaved a deep sigh. He shook his head and said in a husky
tone,--

"Woman, your ways are wrong. I know it, and the Koshare know it also.
They may know more, much more than I could wish," he added, and looked
into her eyes with a searching sorrowful glance. An awful suspicion lay
in this penetrating look. Her face flushed, she bent her head to avoid
his gaze.

To the gloomy talk succeeded a still more gloomy silence. Then the woman
lifted her head, and began entreatingly,--

"My father, I do not ask you to tell me how you come to know all this;
but tell me, umo, what are these Delight Makers, the Koshare? At every
dance they appear and always make merry. The people feel glad when they
see them. They must be very wise. They know of everything going on, and
drag it before the people to excite their mirth at the expense of
others. How is it that they know so much? I am but a woman, and the ways
of the men are not mine," she raised her face and her eyes flamed; "but
since I hear that the Delight Makers wish me no good, I want to know at
least what those enemies of mine are."

The old man lowered his glance and sighed.

"My child," he began softly, "when I was young and a boy like your son
Okoya, I cared little about the Koshare. Now I have learned more." He
leaned his head against the wall, pressed his lips firmly together, and
continued, "The holders of the paths of our lives, those who can close
them when the time comes for us to go to Shipapu, where there is neither
sorrow nor pain, have many agents among us. P[=a]yatyama our Father, and
Sanashtyaya our Mother saw that the world existed ere there was light,
and so the tribe lived in the dark. Four are the wombs in which people
grew up and lived, ere Maseua and Oyoy[=a]u[=a] his brother led them to
where we are now, and this world which is round like a shield is the
fourth womb."

The woman listened with childlike eagerness. Her parted lips and
sparkling eyes testified that everything was new to her.

"Father," she interrupted, "I knew nothing of this. You are very wise.
But why are women never told such things?"

"Don't cut off my speech," he said. "Because women are so forward, that
is why many things are concealed from them."

"But," she continued, heedless of his rebuke, "where are the other three
worlds?"

"This question I shall answer," he said, "for it is wise in you to speak
so. Haatze the earth is round and flat, but it is also thick like a
cake. The other three wombs are down below inside, one beneath the
other. At Shipapu the people came out upon this world which is the
fourth womb, but it was cold and dark. Then the great sun rose in the
heavens above. In it P[=a]yatyama dwells, and on it he rides around the
world in one day and one night to see everything which happens. It is
day and light, night and dark. We have also summer and heat, winter and
cold. For this reason there are summer-people and winter-people, some
who like to live when it is cold and others who enjoy the heat. Every
tribe, every clan, has some of both kinds. Thus they came out of the
third world, and thus they have remained until this day. It was cold at
Shipapu when the people came out on the surface, and Those Above saw
that they felt weak. Toward the south it was warm and bright, so Maseua
and his brother said to their children, the men of our tribe, 'Go you
where there is more light;' and the summer people they directed to go
along the Rio Grande; the winter people they sent south also but far
around by the east over the plains where the great buffalo is roaming,
where the wind blows and it is cold and dry. To both kinds of men they
said, besides, 'Come together in the mountains and live there in peace,
each one getting food for himself and others as you are wont to do.'
But, lest the people might get weary on their long journey, Maseua and
his brother commanded that from Shipapu there should come forth a man
whose body was painted white and black, and who carried on his head
dried corn-leaves instead of feathers. This man began at once to dance,
to jump, and to tumble, so that the people laughed and their hearts
became glad. This man led the summer-men southward, and as often as they
grew tired he danced again and made jests; and the tribe followed him
until they came to where we are now, and all met again. The
summer-people never suffered hunger in all their wanderings, for their
leader was precious, and wherever they went he caused the fruits to be
ripe. That man was the Koshare.[4] Since that time there have been
Koshare in every tribe. Their task it is to keep the people happy and
merry; but they must also fast, mortify themselves, and pray to Those
Above that every kind of fruit may ripen in its time, even the fruit in
woman's womb. To them is given the yellow flower from the fertile
bottoms which makes the hearts of men glad. Now you know what the
Koshare are and," he added emphatically, "why you should not laugh and
make merry when you are not precious to them."

The woman had listened with breathless attention. At the close, however,
she hung her head and sighed. The old man gazed at her in silence. In
the outer room the regular breathings of the sleeping boy were heard,
otherwise all was as still as a grave.

At last she lifted her face again.

"Father," she asked, "are those who are precious to the holders of our
paths, are they always good?"

"I need not tell you about this," he replied, fixing upon her a
penetrating glance.

"I know of nothing evil," she stammered, "unless it be bad men."

"And yet you have used owl's feathers!"

Her face grew pale. She asked hoarsely,--

"Where should I keep them?"

"The Koshare know it," was the equally husky reply.

She started, her eyes gleamed like living coals.

"Have the Koshare sent you here, father?"

"No," was the gloomy answer; "but if the old men come to me and say,
'kill the witch,' I must do it. For you know I am Maseua,
head-war-chief, and whatever the principals command I must do, even if
it takes the life of my only child!"

The woman rose to her feet; her attitude was one of defiance.

"Let the Koshare speak, and do you as you are commanded. The time must
come when I shall have to die. The sooner it comes, the sooner shall I
find rest and peace with our mother at Shipapu."

Her father also had risen, he clutched his cotton garment as if a sudden
chill went through his body. Without a word he turned and went off
dejected, stooping, with a heavy sigh.

The woman dropped to the floor beside the hearth with a plaintive moan.
She drew her hair over her face, weep she could not. The embers on the
hearth glowed again, casting a dull light over the chamber.

Say Koitza, as this wretched woman was called, was the only child of him
with whom she had just had this dismal interview. His name was
Topanashka Tihua, and he was maseua, or head-war-chief, of the tribe. In
times of peace the maseua is subordinate to the tapop, or civil
governor, and as often as the latter communicates to him any decision of
the tribal council he is bound to execute it. Otherwise the maseua is
really a superior functionary, for he stands in direct relation to the
religious powers of which we shall hereafter speak, and these in reality
guide and command through oracles and prophetic utterances. In war the
maseua has supreme command, and the civil chief and the diviners, or
medicine-men, must obey him implicitly as soon as any campaign is
started.

Topanashka was a man of great physical vigour notwithstanding his age.
He was highly respected for his skill and bravery, and for his stern
rectitude and obedience to strict duty. He feared nothing except the
supernatural powers of evil. There is nothing the Indian fears, nay
hates, so much as sorcery. Topanashka could scarcely believe that his
daughter had tampered with magic by causing the dark-coloured corn to
speak, and keeping owl's feathers in her possession. Still, if such were
really the case, he knew of no other course to pursue but to execute the
penalty which according to Indian ideas she deserved, and which the
leading men of the tribe composing its council would undoubtedly mete
out to her,--death; a cruel, terrible death. But she was his only child,
and ere he placed faith in the suspicion communicated to him in secret
by one of the shamans in the tribe, he wanted to satisfy himself from
her own behaviour whether it was true or not. To his deepest sorrow Say
Koitza's behaviour seemed to prove that she was not falsely accused. It
was a terrible blow to the old man, who for the first time in his life
rose from a task bewildered and hopeless. Duty was to him paramount, and
yet he could not utterly stifle the longing to save his only child from
a cruel and ignominious fate.

His daughter too felt utterly wretched, and despondent in the highest
degree. For the accusation against her was true. She had practised the
dread art; and yet, strange to say, while conscious of guilt, in the
bottom of her heart she felt herself innocent. Let us recall the past
life of the unhappy being to see whether there is in it anything to
explain this apparent anomaly.

When Say Koitza was fourteen years of age her husband Zashue Tihua began
to pay her his first attentions. He called at her mother's home oftener
than any other youth of her tribe, and one afternoon, when she was
returning from the brook with a jar filled with water on her head, he
stopped her, dipped some water out of the urn, drank it, and whispered
something to which she gave no reply, hurrying home as rapidly as
possible. She could not speak to her mother about this, for her mother
was hopelessly deaf, and it would not have been proper to consult her
father, since the father belonged of course to another clan. A whole
night and one full day Say pondered over the case; at last her mind was
made up. The girl took a dish filled with corn-cakes and rolls of sweet
paste of the yucca-fruit, and placed it on her head. With this load she
climbed up the rugged slope leading to the dwellings of the Water clan,
to which Zashue belonged. The lad was sitting in the cave inhabited by
his family, busying himself with straightening arrow shafts over the
fire, when the girl, pushing before her the loaded tray, crept through
the port-hole. Silently she placed the food before him, and went out
again without a word. This was her affirmative reply to his wooing.
Thereafter, Zashue visited the quarters of the Gourd people at the big
house every night. Along the foot of the cliffs, in soft ground, and in
a lonely sheltered spot, he meanwhile planted four stakes connected by
cross-poles. From end to end cotton threads were drawn lengthwise, and
here Zashue wove a cotton wrap day after day. The girl would steal out
to this place also, carrying food to the young artisan. She would
cleanse his hair while they chatted quietly, shyly at first, about the
present and the future. When the mantle was done and it looked white and
firm, Zashue brought it to Say Koitza's mother, who forthwith understood
the intention of his gift, and felt gratified at the prospect of
securing a son-in-law who possessed cotton. The plant was not cultivated
near the upper Rio Grande at that time, and had to be obtained from the
far south by barter. Many journeys distant, Pueblo Indians lived also,
and thither the Queres went at long intervals to trade and to hunt the
buffalo on the southwestern plains.

Topanashka also was pleased with the suitor. In due course of time
Zashue Tihua and Say Koitza, therefore, became man and wife.

[Illustration: Rito de los Frijoles

A cliff estufa of the Snake-Clan]

Zashue proved to be a good husband, according to Indian ideas. He worked
and hunted dutifully, providing the storerooms of Tanyi Hanutsh with
supplies of which his wife, and through her he also, enjoyed the
benefit. He spun cotton and wove it into wraps, scarfs, and sashes.
Furthermore, he was always good-natured and merry. He did not spend too
many nights out of his wife's home, either. They had three children,
Okoya, Shyuote, and a little girl. Of these Shyuote became the father's
favourite, for when the child was yet small it happened that his father
made a vow to make a Koshare of him. Zashue was a Delight Maker
himself, and one of the merriest of that singular crew. Among them he
was perhaps the most popular; for while good-looking, his strength and
agility enabled him to perform in a conspicuous manner, and his ready
wit and quick conception of everything ludicrous caused him to shine as
a great light among that society of official jesters.

So the two lived in quiet and sober content. Zashue was pleased with his
spouse. She kept her looks well with advancing years, and while there is
never among Indians that complete intimacy between man and wife which
engenders fidelity under all circumstances, while a certain freedom of
action is always permitted to the man toward the other sex, Say had
natural tact enough to never pry into such matters. She, in turn, did
her duty. Always at home, she faithfully fulfilled her obligations as
head of the house, and naturally shrank from all society but that of her
own sex and such men as were allied to her by near ties of relationship.
When she told her father in that sad interview that she was faithful to
her husband, Say had told the truth. And yet there was something that
caused her to plead guilty.

The family had lived contentedly, and no cloud appeared to hang over
them until, a few years previous to the date of our story, Say Koitza
fell ill from want of proper care. Mountain fever is not infrequently
fatal, and it was mountain fever that had seized upon the delicate frame
of the little woman. This fever is often tenacious and intermittent;
sometimes it is congestive. Indian medicine may cure a slight attack,
and prevent too frequent returns of more violent ones; but if the case
is a serious one, Indian remedies are of no avail. Say suffered from a
slight attack at first, and recovered from it. A primitive cold-water
treatment was effective for the time being; but in the year ensuing
fever set in again, and no sudorific was of any use. She tried a
decoction of willow bark, but it did her no good. She took the root of
the yucca, or soapweed, and drank the froth produced by whipping water
with it, but gained no relief. The poor woman did not know that these
remedies are not employed by the Indians in a case like hers, but only
for toothache and, in the case of soapweed, for consumption.

Thus it went on for three years. During the dry seasons there were no
signs of the illness; but as soon as, in July or August, thunderstorms
shed their moisture over the mountains, and chilly nights alternated
with warm sunshine, the fever made its appearance. Two years before the
rainy season had lasted unusually long, and it was followed immediately
by snow-falls. The attacks from the disease were therefore unusually
violent, and by November Say Koitza thought herself dying from weakness
and exhaustion. Her condition was such that her husband felt alarmed,
and every effort was made to relieve her by the aid of such arts as the
Indian believes in. The chief medicine-man, or great shaman, of the
tribe had to come and see the patient, pray by her side, and then go
home to fast and mortify himself for four consecutive days. His efforts
had no effect whatever. Every indigenous medicine that was thought of
had been already used, and none had been of any avail.

At last the shaman, encouraged by the many blue and green stones, cotton
wraps, and quantities of corn meal which Zashue Tihua contributed in
reward of his juggleries, resolved to make a final trial by submitting
himself and his associates to the dangerous ordeal of fire-eating for
the invalid's sake. This ceremony was always performed by a certain
group of medicine-men, called therefore Hakanyi Chayani, or Fire
Shamans. The Hishtanyi Chayan was their official head, and he, with the
four others belonging to the fire-eating crew, fasted rigorously for
four days and nights. Then they went to the house of Say Koitza, and in
her presence sang the powerful song, while each one of them in turn
waved a burning bunch of long dry grass to the six sacred regions, and
each time bit off a piece of the burning weed and chewed it. When all
had gone through the performances, and their mouths were well filled
with ashes, each one gravely stepped up to the invalid, and spat the
contents of his mouth in her face. Then they departed as quietly as they
had come, and went home to await the results of the wonderful remedy.[5]
It was a last, a supreme effort.

The condition of Say could not fail to arouse the sympathies of her own
sex, even outside of her clan. Many were the calls from compassionate
women. They would drop in, squat down, tender their services, suggest
remedies, and gossip. Only one woman made herself directly useful, and
that was Shotaye, a member of the Water clan. Shotaye was a strange
woman. Nobody liked her, and yet many applied to her for relief in
secret; for Shotaye possessed great knowledge of plants and other
remedies, and she had a keen practical sense. But people dreaded her;
she lived alone in her cave among the abodes of the Water people, and
nobody knew but she might know more than the official medicine-men
themselves. In short, the majority of the tribe believed that Shotaye
was a witch; but the woman was so wary that nobody could prove her to be
one.

Shotaye was not an old woman. Her appearance was not in the least
repulsive, on the contrary. The men knew that the woman showed no
objections to occasional attentions, even to intimacy. For this reason,
also, she was not popular among her own sex.

Shotaye had had a husband once; but he had left her and was living with
another woman. That husband was called Tyope, badger, a man of strong
physique and one averse to monotony in conjugal life. Tyope was a
scheming man, cunning and unscrupulous in the highest degree; Shotaye an
energetic woman, endowed with a powerful will of her own. Had there not
been the little cloud of marital inconstancy on both sides, the pair
would have been well-assorted for good as well as for evil. Tyope was a
Koshare rather than an agriculturist, he spent his time mostly in other
people's homes and in the estufa of the Delight Makers, leaving his wife
to provide for herself and for him also, whenever he chose to remain at
her house. In short there were flaws on both sides, and Shotaye being
the house-mistress held the main power. One fine evening when Tyope
presented himself in the grotto occupied by his wife, she refused to
recognize him any longer. He protested, he stormed, he menaced her; it
was of no avail. Shotaye told him to go, and he left. Henceforth the two
were mortal enemies. The woman said little; but he was bent upon her
destruction by every possible means. She kept on the defensive, avoided
all conflicts, and was very careful not to give any cause for a direct
accusation of sorcery. She cured people incidentally, never asking any
compensation for it. She lived alone, and thus earned enough to be
independent of her own clan if need be.

This woman called on Say occasionally, but only between the periods of
the attacks of fever. On such visits she would assist the patient, do
the housework, and arrange the hides or covers for her. Say harboured a
wish to consult her about her disease; but Shotaye studiously avoided
any opportunity for confidential talk. One day, however, when the two
were alone in the kitchen, and the invalid felt somewhat relieved, she
opened her heart to her visitor. Shotaye listened very attentively, and
when Say had concluded, instead of asking for further details, she
abruptly asked whether Say had no suspicion of being bewitched.

If such a question were put to us, we should doubt the sanity of the
questioner. Not so the Indian. Say felt like one from whose eyes thick
scales are suddenly removed. Indeed, she thought this was the cause of
her evil, this alone could explain the tenacity of the disease, its
mysterious intermittence. She told her interlocutor that she must be
right, or else why these regular returns and always during the season of
rain? Shotaye listened and listened; every word she heard was in
confirmation of her own thoughts. Say must be under the influence of
some evil charm, and unless counteracted by magic, it was clear to her
that the poor woman must succumb to its workings.

Whatever there is in nature which the Indian cannot grasp at once, he
attributes to mysterious supernatural agencies. He believes that nature
is pervaded by spiritual essence individualized into an infinite number
of distinct powers. Everything in nature has a soul according to him,
and it is that soul which causes it to move or to act upon its
surroundings in general. Thus the medical properties of animals, of
plants, or minerals, are due to spiritual manifestations. His medical
art therefore does not consist merely in eliminating the physical cause
of disease. As soon as any disease is stubborn there must be at the
bottom of it some spiritual source, and this source can be discovered
and removed only by magic.

Incantations therefore form an important part of Indian medicine. The
formulas therefor are the special property of the medicine-men, whom we
shall hereafter designate with the much more appropriate name of
Shamans. The shaman is wizard and physician at the same time. He is
also a prophet, augur, and oracle. His duty it is not only to protect
from evil, but to counteract it. He has charms and incantations which he
offers for the production of beneficial natural phenomena.

Magic for such purposes is regarded by the Indian as essential to the
existence of man. Magic, however, as a black art is the most heinous
crime which he can conceive. The difference between the two consists
mainly in their purpose; the manipulations are substantially the same,
so are the objects. To know those details is one of the attributes of
the shamans.

The latter constitute a circle of their own,--a cluster of adepts,
nominally in the arts of healing, but really in the arts of magic. That
circle is wide, and whoever stands outside of it has no right to
infringe upon the duties of its members by attempting to follow their
example. It is an institution, and its origin dates from untold
centuries. It is subdivided into groups, each of which practises charms,
incantations, or magic, relating to certain human interests. The Shyayak
are in possession of the spell which charms game, in other words they
are the shamans of the hunt. The Uakanyi practise magic in warfare, they
are the shamans of war. The Chayani are physicians who combine with the
knowledge of medicine proper, the knowledge of magic curative powers.
They are the shamans of medicine. Lastly the Yaya combine a knowledge of
all these different branches in their essence. They are the prophets and
priests. These groups may be described as, in a certain sense, guilds.
But they are secret societies also, inasmuch as the arts and practices
of each are special property which is kept secret from the others, and
from the uninitiated members in the tribe. In order to become a member
of a society of that kind secrecy is required and long apprenticeship.
The novice rises slowly from one degree of knowledge to another, and
only few attain the higher positions.

The members of these secret societies are therefore magicians or
wizards, and when any one dreads danger from evil sorcery it is his duty
to consult the proper shaman for relief, unless he should be sure of the
person of the sorcerer, in which case he may kill him outright without
even mentioning the deed. In the present instance Say could not resort
to such a summary expedient. It was therefore the duty of Shotaye, who
was better informed on institutions and customs, to direct her sick
friend to a shaman. But Shotaye was not on good terms with the official
wizards, particularly the Chayani, those who cured, and still less with
the highest religious powers, the Yaya. It suited her pride to attempt
the experiment at her own risk, conscious all the while that it was
dangerous,--dangerous for herself, as well as for her patient. For it
entailed performances which only the shaman can undertake, and should
they be detected, the very crime of sorcery, against which their
experiments were directed, would be charged against them.

Shotaye had still another reason for not encouraging her friend to speak
to the higher chayani. The fever coincided with the rainy season. As
soon as this was over it subsided. Natural as this was, both women
attributed it to a mysterious cause; and Shotaye, suspicious and
vindictive even, thought she had discovered a clew to the guilty party.

The rainy season in New Mexico is of course essential to the growth of
the chief staple of the Indian,--maize or Indian corn. When, therefore,
in July daily showers should occur, the principal shamans of each tribe
and the yaya must pray, fast, and mortify themselves, in order that
Those Above may send the needed rain. The hishtanyi chayan scatters the
powder of the white flower to the winds, meanwhile murmuring
incantations. At night he imitates thunder, by whirling a flint knife
attached to the end of a long string, and draws brilliant flashes
from pebbles which he strikes together in a peculiar manner. For the
Indian reasons that since rain is preceded in summer by lightning
and thunder, man by imitating those heralds is calling the desired
precipitation,--beckoning it to come.

This is the time of the year when the Koshare perform their chief work.
Four days and four nights, sometimes longer, they must fast and pray in
order that the crops may obtain the moisture indispensable for ripening.
The people look upon the Delight Makers with a degree of respect akin to
fear at all times, for they are regarded as powerful intermediaries in
matters of life and death to the tribe; but during that particular time
they are considered as specially precious to the higher powers. Shotaye
hated the Koshare. They in turn disliked the woman, and gave vent to
their dislike by turning her into ridicule at public dances as often as
possible. This she resented greatly; but she was powerless to retaliate,
since the Delight Makers enjoy special privileges on festive days. The
medicine-woman's hatred was still increased by the fact that her former
husband, Tyope, was a leading Koshare. To his influence she attributed
the insults which the jesters offered her, and she saw in the whole
group but a crowd of willing tools handled by her personal enemy.

Since Say's illness coincided with the beginning of the rainy season,
the principal activity of the Koshare immediately preceded the outbreak
of the fever. Urged by hate and desire for revenge, Shotaye combined the
two facts in her mind, and drew the conclusion that the disease was due
to the magic power of the Koshare, directed against Say for some unknown
reason and purpose.

If the Koshare were guilty, it was not only useless, it was dangerous
even, to call upon any chayan for relief. The Delight Makers were the
chief assistants of the shamans in any public ceremony, and
indispensable to them in many ways. Beside, Say Koitza could not have
applied to a chayan without her husband's knowledge, and that husband
was a Koshare.

So after explaining to the invalid her suspicions and inferences, she
suggested direct inquiry about the principals in the supposed evil
actions against her. That inquiry could be conducted only through
sorcery itself, and Say at first trembled. She feared, and not without
good cause, an appeal to evil powers. Still Shotaye spoke so plausibly;
she assured so strongly her friend of her own discretion and fidelity,
and was so insistent upon her constant success in everything she had
undertaken as yet,--that the woman yielded at last against her own
convictions. Something within her seemed to speak and say, "Do not tread
forbidden paths, speak to your husband first." But the arguments on the
other side were too strong, her own physical condition too weak; she
grasped the expected relief regardless of the warnings of her
conscience.

Among the objects connected with evil magic, a certain kind of maize had
the power of speech attributed to it. It is the dark-coloured variety,
called in the Queres language _ka monyi tza_. Ears of this corn
belonging to a witch are said to speak in the absence of their owner,
and to tell of her whereabouts and doings. Shotaye knew this, and
herself but indifferently versed in the black art, concluded that the
black corn would also reveal, if properly handled, the agent whose
manipulations caused Say Koitza's sufferings. She hoped also that by
combining the dreaded grain with another more powerful implement of
sorcery, owl's plumage, she would succeed in eliciting from the former
all the information desired. The woman was quite ignorant of the evil
ways in which she was about to wander; but she was bold and daring, and
the hope of injuring her enemies was a greater inducement than the
desire to relieve her friend. The proposed manipulation was directed in
fact much more against her former husband than against the disease.

But how to obtain the necessary objects! How to secure black corn, and
how and where to get the feathers of an owl! Both were so well known and
so generally tabooed that inquiry after them would forthwith arouse
suspicion. Black maize might be procured on the sly; but the other could
be found by chance only,--by meeting with the body of a dead owl on the
heights surrounding the Tyuonyi.

Shotaye was in the habit of strolling alone all around the Rito, over
the timbered mesa as well as through the gorges which descend from the
mountains. On such excursions the woman observed the most minute
precautions, for there was danger,--danger from roaming Indians of the
Navajo or Dinne tribe, and danger from spies of her own tribe.
Frequently people had followed stealthily in the hope of surprising her
at some illicit practice, but she had been lucky enough to notice them
in time. Of what is called to-day the mesa del Rito, the high table-land
bordering the Tyuonyi on the south, Shotaye knew every inch of ground,
every tree and shrub.

On a clear, cool November day she strolled again in that direction,
climbing the heights and penetrating into the scrubby timber,
interspersed with tall pines, which covers the plateau for miles. To her
delight she discovered the remains of an owl at no great distance from
the declivity of the Rito beneath a rotten pine. Instead of picking up
the carcass she kicked it aside disdainfully, but took good care to
notice whither so as to remember the place. It landed on a juniper-bush
and remained suspended from its branches. Shotaye went onward
carelessly. She looked for herbs and plants, picking up a handful here,
pulling out a root there, until she had made a long circuit, which
however brought her back to the place where the dead owl was. Here she
stopped, listening, all the while looking out for plants. As if by
accident she neared the bush on which the carcass was still hanging, and
after assuring herself that the body had not been disturbed, she brushed
past so as to cause it to drop to the ground. She hastily plucked a few
feathers, put them with the herbs and roots already gathered, and turned
homeward. Everything was quiet and still around her, only at a short
distance two crows flew up croaking.

Say Koitza was not strong enough to walk up to the cliffs; therefore
Shotaye, when she came to announce to her friend that the necessary
material was at last secured, suggested that the incantation be
performed at the home of the invalid. A certain evening when Zashue was
sure to be absent, owing to a gathering of the Koshare, was appointed
for the purpose. On that evening the two women sat alone in the kitchen.
Okoya was away in the estufa of Tanyi hanutsh. The two younger children
were fast asleep in the outer room. It was a cold night, but the fire on
the hearth had almost completely subsided, only a few embers remaining.
Through the loophole in the wall an occasional draught of chilly air
entered. Say Koitza clung to her friend's shoulder, shivering and
trembling from fear as well as from cold.

In the centre of the dark room Shotaye had placed a few ears of black
corn, and on them two bundles of owl's feathers, each tied to a chip of
obsidian. She had also brought along some bark of the red willow; this
she pulverized in the hand, and made into two cigarettes with corn
husks. At that time tobacco was unknown to the Pueblos, and red
willow-bark was the only thing used for smoking, while smoking itself
was not a relish but exclusively a sacrifice.

Handing one of the cigarettes to her friend, Shotaye directed her to
light it and then puff the smoke successively to the six mythical
regions. After this she was to cast the glowing stub on the pile of corn
and feathers. With a shudder Say Koitza obeyed these instructions; her
teeth chattered while the cave-woman recited an invocation. Then both
huddled together to listen. Even Shotaye felt afraid of the
consequences. For a long time everything was silent; the cold draught
from the outside had stopped; the women sat in breathless silence; they
listened and listened. Nothing moved. Not a sound was heard.

Shotaye overcame her first anxiety and repeated the dread formula. All
was silent. Suddenly a cold blast pervaded the room again. It fanned the
embers to renewed life; they shed a faint glimmer over the chamber. The
women started; there was a crackling heard; the feathers moved; the ears
of corn seemed to change position. One of the feather bunches rolled on
the floor. They nearly screamed in terror, for their excited imagination
caused them to hear ghostly sounds,--disconnected, uncomprehended words.
It was clear that the black corn had spoken. What it said neither could
tell; but the fact of having heard the noise was sufficient to convince
them that Say was under the influence of an evil charm, and Shotaye took
care to add that that charm was exercised by the Koshare or by some one
belonging to their society.

So powerful was the effect of this incantation scene upon Say that she
fainted. After a while she recovered and Shotaye led her back to the
outer room, where, after some time, she began to slumber from sheer
exhaustion. Then the medicine-woman returned to the caves, taking with
her every vestige of the conjuration.

It was wise on her part, for as soon as Say awoke from feverish and
anxious dreams, her first thought was about the dismal objects.
Everything was quiet. Zashue had returned, and was quietly asleep by her
side. She arose and glided into the kitchen, noiselessly, stealthily.
The floor was clean. She felt around; not a trace of the objectionable
pile could be noticed. Unspeakable was the feeling of relief with which
she returned to her husband's side and extended herself on the hides
again; sound sleep came to her, and when she awoke it was daylight. She
felt stronger, brighter. Yet thereafter, as often as Zashue approached
her in his harmless, bantering manner, she experienced a strange, sudden
pang. She was reminded of having done wrong in not having been open with
him. The Indian's conscience is hemmed in by bonds arising from his
social and religious organization; why, for instance, should she have
told her spouse? He was neither of her clan nor of her party. He
belonged to the summer people, she to those of winter. She stood outside
of all secret associations, whereas he was a Koshare.

The winter following proved to be mild and dry. Say recovered slowly.
Shotaye kept aloof after the conjuration, for a long time at least. All
of a sudden she made her appearance at the home of her convalescent
friend. It was in order to remind her that the first step was only a
preliminary, and that it could not effect a radical cure. All that had
been achieved was to prove that an evil charm existed, and that the
Koshare were the wrongdoers. It remained now to remove the spell by
breaking the charm. This, she represented, had to be attempted when the
Koshare were in their greatest power, and could only be effected by
means of the owl's feathers. By burying these feathers near the place
where the Delight Makers used to assemble, Shotaye asserted that not
only would the disease be eliminated forever, but the guilty one be
punished according to the measure of his crime.

Say would not listen to any such proposals. She saw no necessity for
going any further in forbidden tracks. Now that her health was restored,
why should she attempt to harm a cluster of men to which her husband
belonged, and thus perhaps imperil his life? Shotaye met this objection
with the assurance that the remedy was directed against the guilty ones
only, and that she herself did not for a moment think that Zashue had
participated in the evil manipulations against his wife; that
consequently he was in no manner exposed to danger. Say finally told her
visitor that she would wait and see, and then decide.

Winter went and spring came. Warm summer followed with a dark-blue sky
and sporadic thunderclouds. All the crops were planted, irrigated, and
scantily weeded. Now they awaited the rains in order to complete growth
and prepare for maturity. The great chayani had gone through their
official fasts, they had made their sacrificial offerings in the sacred
bowls dedicated to rain-medicine. Every day clouds loomed up in the
west, distant thunder rumbled, but not a drop of rain fell in the Rito
and the people began to look gloomy. The Koshare were therefore required
to go to work earlier than usual. They were to fast four consecutive
days between two full moons.

The estufa in which the Delight Makers used to assemble is situated at
the eastern end of the cliffs, and its access is difficult to-day. It is
a circular chamber in the rock twenty feet in diameter. At present the
outer wall has fallen in, but a crease in the floor indicates the place
where a little port-hole led into the cave. The cave lies high, so that
from it a view of the whole valley presents itself, and at its feet
opens a narrow chasm of considerable depth. This is a mere fissure, so
narrow that cross-beams were fastened into its sides like the rounds of
a step-ladder; and on these the people ascended to a narrow trail
leading up to the entrance. Other cave-dwellings were scattered along
this trail and farther below. They were inhabited by the people of the
Turquoise clan.

All the Koshare had retired to this secluded spot, and the first day of
fasting was nearly over when Shotaye called once more at the home of
Say. The latter guessed the object of her coming and felt afraid.
Without preamble, in a sober, matter-of-fact way, the cave-woman stated
that the time had come for a decisive step; and with this she placed
three bunches of owl's feathers on the floor. In vain Say Koitza
protested, affirming that her health was fully restored. Shotaye would
not listen to refusal or excuse. Now or never, she commanded. She
repeated her former assertion that the charm could not hurt Zashue as
long as he was not guilty. For a long while the women sat arguing the
matter; at last Say Koitza yielded, and promised to comply.

Night came, and the people of the Rito went to rest. The moon rose
behind the lava-ridge of the Tetilla; the rocky battlements of the
cliffs shone brightly above the gorge, whose depths rested in dark
shadow. A tiny figure crept out of the big building and hurried down the
vale along the fields. When she reached the grove where we met Okoya and
his little brother for the first time, she crouched beneath a tree,
covered her head, and sobbed aloud. It was a dire task for Say Koitza,
this errand out of which harm might arise to the whole cluster to which
her husband belonged. If the charm which she clutched with trembling
fingers should work against him, then he was the guilty party. So
Shotaye had insinuated, and the word had stung her like the bite of a
serpent. It came back to her mind as she hurried to perform the deed,
and caused her to start. She rose hastily and turned toward the cliffs.

The uppermost rocks glistened fairly in the light of the moon; and where
the sharp line of the shadows commenced, the ruddy glow of a fire burst
from an oblong aperture. There was the estufa of the Koshare. From it
issued the sound of hollow drumming intermingled with the cadence of a
chorus of hoarse voices. A thrill went through Say, she stopped again
and listened. Was not her husband's voice among them? Certainly he was
there, doing his duty with the rest. And if he was as guilty toward her
as the others? That monstrous thought rose again, it pushed her onward.
She crawled ahead slowly, scarcely conscious of the danger attending her
mission. Large blocks of débris, tent-shaped erosive hillocks, impeded
her progress; they crowded along the foot of the cliffs like protecting
bulwarks, and the trail wound around them on a higher plane. But this
trail she dared not follow, there was not enough darkness on it. She
crept along the base, the sense of danger coming to her with the
increasing obscurity, until suddenly she stood before a cleft of almost
inky hue. Here she remembered was the ascent to the estufa, here she had
to perform the work, and here overpowered by emotion and excitement she
dropped behind an angular block of stone unconscious.

When she recovered, the chorus sounded directly above her, and the chant
seemed to soar away like voices from an upper world. She glanced up the
dark fissure as through a flume. The cross-beams were faintly visible.
Over the cleft rested a moonlit sky, but to the rocks clung the figure
of a man. That man stood there a moment only, then shouting a few words
as if calling to somebody within, he disappeared. The song was hushed.
Say recognized the speaker; it was Tyope, Shotaye's former husband, and
the one whom the woman suspected of having done her harm. Resolutely she
went at her task.

Taking a bundle of owl's feathers from her wrap, she presented it
successively to the six regions, and then buried it carefully in the
sand, below where the first cross-beam traversed the fissure. Again she
listened and spied, and creeping forward concealed the second bunch in
another place near by. Then she whispered the sinister prayer which was
to give to the feathers the power to do harm. At the close the drum
rumbled again within the cliffs above her, and the chant rose strong and
rude. Covering her head, shaking and shivering with sudden fear, Say
Koitza rushed from the spot. Ere day broke she had reached home again,
and extended her weary frame by the side of her sleeping children.

Say slept for the remainder of the night a long sleep of exhaustion. The
next morning her first task was to bury the last bunch of owl's feathers
in the kitchen, close to the fireplace, where it was to protect her from
the inroads of enemies. She felt weak but rather comfortable. Her only
anxiety was now the return of her husband.

Zashue came home at last, good-humoured as ever, but with a lively
appetite akin to hunger. His wife received him in a subdued manner
bordering on obsequiousness; she was more than ever bent on anticipating
any desire on his part. All the while afraid of detection, every kind
word spoken to her caused remorse, every joke pained her in secret. It
recalled what she had done to his companions, perhaps to him also.

The incantations of the chayani and the fasts of the Koshare seemed to
have no effect whatever upon the course of the rain-clouds. The heavens
clouded regularly every day; they shed their moisture all around the
Tyuonyi, but not a drop fell in the valley-gorge. Now the three chief
penitents of the tribe, the Hotshanyi, the shaykatze, and the uishtyaka,
were called upon to use their means of intercession with Those Above.
They fasted, prayed, and made sacrifices alternately for an entire moon;
still it rained not. In New Mexico local droughts are sometimes very
pertinacious. Plants withered, the corn and beans suffered, languished,
and died. The tribe looked forward to a winter without vegetable food.
But Say Koitza was secretly glad, for drought killed her disease. She
felt stronger every day, and worked zealously, anxious to please her
husband and to remove every suspicion. Shotaye called on her frequently;
she, too, felt proud of the success of her cure, sure of the revenge she
had taken upon her enemies.

When a few rains swept at last down upon the vale, it was too late for
the crops. Only the few stores kept in reserve and the proceeds of the
hunt could save the tribe from a famine. Women and children put on red
wristbands to comfort their hearts in the prospective distress, for a
winter without vegetable supplies was until then an unknown disaster.
Say Koitza also placed strips of red buckskin around her arms.
Ostensibly she mourned for her tribe; in reality it was to relieve her
heart from the reproaches of her own conscience.

But when winter set in and the fever had not put in its appearance, her
mind gradually changed. She lost all fear of discovery, and finally felt
proud of what she had done. Had she not preserved herself for her own
husband, for her children? Instead of performing a crime, it was a
meritorious act. Shotaye encouraged her in such thoughts. To her it was
less the recovery of her friend than the blow dealt the Koshare,
particularly her former husband, that excited her satisfaction and
tickled her pride.

Say thus felt happy and at rest, but that fatal interview with her
father suddenly dispelled all her fond dreams. The old man's revelations
annihilated everything at one fell blow. No hope was left; her life was
gone, her doom sealed. As if lightning had struck her she lay down by
the hearth, motionless, for a long while. She heard nothing; she stared
vacantly; her thoughts came and went like nebulous phantoms. At last
somebody entered the outer room, but the woman noticed him not. Three
times the new-comer called her name; she gave no reply. At the fourth
call, "Koitza!" she started at last, and faintly answered,--

"Opona."

Zashue, her husband, entered the kitchen and good-naturedly inquired,--

"Are you ill?"

She raised herself hastily and replied,--

"No; but I was asleep."

"The sun is resting on the western mountains," said Zashue; "give me
something to eat, I am tired."

She stirred the fire, and when dry brush flamed over the hearth she
placed the stew-pot on it. The remainder of the cornmeal she stirred
with water, and began to mix cakes in the usual way. Her husband watched
her pleasantly.

Zashue was indeed a good-looking Indian. Lithe and of a fair height,
with black hair and large bright eyes, he appeared the picture of vigour
and mirth. He chatted with the utmost nonchalance, telling his wife
about the insignificant happenings of the day, the prospects of the
crops, what such and such a one had said to him, and what he had told
the other in return. It was innocent gossip, intimate chat, such as a
contented husband may tell a wife in whom he places entire confidence.
How happy she felt at the harmless chatter, and yet how intensely
miserable. His inquiry, "Are you ill?" rang in her ears with a sickening
clang, like some overwhelming reproach. Why, oh why, had she not spoken
to him in time? He was so good to her. Now it was too late; and beside,
why anticipate the fatal hour when he must know all? Why not improve the
few moments of respite granted ere death came?

Say Koitza suffered him to continue, and listened with increasing
interest to the talk of her husband. It might be the last time. Little
by little, as he went on, with harmless, sometimes very clumsy, jokes
and jests, she became oblivious of her wretched prospects, and her soul
rested in the present. She began to smile shyly at first, then she even
laughed. As Zashue ate he praised her cooking; and that gratified her,
although it filled her with remorse and anguish. The children came also
and squatted around the hearth, Okoya alone keeping at a distance and
eyeing his mother suspiciously. Could she in his presence really feel as
merry as she acted? Was it not evidence of the basest deception on her
part? So the boy reasoned from his own standpoint, and went out into the
court-yard in disgust.

The sun set, and a calm, still night sank down on the Rito de los
Frijoles. As the sky darkened, evidences of life and mirth began to show
themselves at the bottom of the gorge as well as along the cliffs.
Monotonous singing sounded from the roofs of the big house, from caves,
and from slopes leading up to them. Noisy talking, clear, ringing
laughter, rose into the night. Old as well as young seemed to enjoy the
balmy evening. Few remained indoors. Among these were Zashue and his
wife. The woman leaned against him, and often looked up to his face with
a smile. She felt happy by the side of her husband, and however
harrowing the thought of her future seemed to be, the present was
blissful to her.

After a while Zashue rose, and his spouse followed him anxiously to the
door, trembling lest he should leave her alone for the night. She
grasped his hand, and he stood for a while in the outer doorway gazing
at the sky. Every sound was hushed except the rushing of the brook. The
canopy of heaven sparkled in wonderful splendour. Its stars blazed,
shedding peace upon earth and good-will to man. The woman's hand
quivered in that of her spouse. He turned and retired with her to the
interior of the dwelling.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 4: This tradition was told me by Tehua Indians, and some
friends among the Queres subsequently confirmed it.]

[Footnote 5: This fire-cure was still practised by the Queres not very
long ago.]



CHAPTER III.


We must now return to the fields of the Rito, and to the spot where, in
the first chapter of our story, Okoya had been hailed by a man whom he
afterward designated as Tyope Tihua. That individual was, as we have
since found, the former husband of Shotaye, Say's ill-chosen friend.
After the boys had left, Tyope had continued to weed his corn, not with
any pretence of activity or haste, but in the slow, persistent way
peculiar to the sedentary Indian, which makes of him a steady though not
a very profitable worker. Tyope's only implement was a piece of basalt
resembling a knife, and he weeded on without interruption until the
shadows of the plants extended from row to row. Then he straightened
himself and scanned quietly the whole valley as far as visible, like one
who is tired and is taking a last survey of the scene of his daily toil.

The fields were deserted. Everybody had left them except himself. Tyope
pushed aside the stone implement and turned to go. After leaving the
corn he turned to the right, and gradually stooping went toward a grove
of low pines. Into that grove he penetrated slowly, cautiously, avoiding
the least noise. It was clearly his intention to conceal himself. Once
inside of the thicket of pine boughs he cowered, and after listening
again and satisfying himself that nobody was around, he plunged his
right arm beneath the branches that drooped down to the surface. When he
withdrew it his hand grasped a bow. He placed this bow near his feet and
dived a second time under the branches, pulling out another object,
which proved to be a quiver made of panther-skin filled with arrows. He
examined each of these arrows carefully, trying their heads of flint and
obsidian, and replaced them in such a manner that the feathered ends
projected from the quiver. A third time he ransacked the hiding-place,
and produced from beneath the boughs a short wooden war-club. His last
essay brought to light a cap of buffalo-hide thick enough to repel an
arrow fired at short range, and so fashioned as to protect the forehead
to the eyebrows, while behind, it descended low upon the neck. This cap,
or helmet, he forthwith placed upon his head. Then he slung the quiver
across his shoulders, wound the thong of the club around his right
wrist, grasped the bow with the left hand, and rose to his feet.

Daylight was gone. Only a flat golden segment blazed above the western
peaks. The peaks themselves, with the mountains, formed a huge mass of
dark purple. Over the valley night hovered already, but a streak of mist
trailing here and there like a thin veil marked the course of the little
brook. It was so dark that Tyope could move without any fear of being
seen. He nevertheless maintained a stooping position as long as he was
on open ground. Once in the corn he followed its rows instead of
traversing them, as if afraid of injuring the plants. He also examined
carefully the edge of the brook before crossing it to the south side.
Once on the declivity leading up to the mesa, he climbed nimbly and with
greater unconcern, for there the shadow was so dense that nobody could
notice him from below.

From the brink of the table-land Tyope looked back upon the Rito. He
stopped not so much in order to see, for it was too dark, but in order
to listen. Everything was quiet. A bear snarled far away, but this did
not concern the listener. He strolled on through the scrubby timber of
the mesa until he arrived at a place where tall pines towered up into
the starry sky, when he stopped again and remained for quite a while
looking up at the heavens. The great bear--the seven stars, as the
Pueblos term it--sparkled near the northern horizon, and Tyope seemed to
watch that constellation with unusual interest. Now a hoarse dismal
yelping struck his ear, the barking of the coyote, or prairie wolf.
Twice, three times, the howl was repeated in the distance; then Tyope
replied to it, imitating its cry. All was still again.

Suddenly the barking sounded much nearer, and Tyope moved toward the
place whence the sound issued, brushing past the shrubs. Reaching a
clear space, he saw before him the form of a big wolf. The animal was
standing immovable, his tail drooping, his head horizontal.

"Are you alone?" Tyope whispered. The apparition or beast, whatever it
might be, seemed not to excite the least apprehension. The wolf bent its
head in reply without uttering a sound.

"Where are the Dinne?" Tyope continued.

A hollow chuckle seemed to proceed from the skull of the animal; it
turned and disappeared in the darkness, but a rustling of boughs and
creaking of branches made known the direction. Tyope followed.

The wolf moved swiftly. From time to time its husky barkings were heard;
and the Indian from the Rito, guided by these signals, followed as
rapidly as possible. At last he saw the outlines of a juniper-bush
against a faint glow. Behind it sounded the crackling of freshly ignited
brushwood, and soon a light spread over the surrounding neighbourhood.
Stepping into the illuminated circle Tyope stood before a man squatting
by the fire.

The man was heaping wood on the fire which he had just started. By his
side lay the skin of a large wolf. He seemed not to notice Tyope,
although his face was directed toward him, for his eyes disappeared
below projecting brows, so projecting that only now and then a sudden
flash, quick as lightning, broke out from beneath their shadow. His form
indicated strength and endurance; he was of stronger build than the man
from the Tyuonyi. A kilt of deer-hide was his only dress. His hair was
wound around his skull like a turban. As ornaments the stranger wore a
necklace of panther claws. A bow and some arrows were lying on the
wolf's skin beside him.[6]

Without a word Tyope squatted down near the fire, facing the other
Indian. It had turned cold, and both men held their hands up to the
flame. The former glanced at the latter furtively from time to time, but
neither uttered a word. The fire was beginning to decline; its light
grew faint. At last the other Indian said,--

"When will the Koshare go into the round house?"

"As soon as the moon gives light," Tyope carelessly replied.

"How many are there of you?"

"Why do you want to know this?" inquired the man from the Rito, in a
husky voice.

His companion chuckled again and said nothing. He had put an imprudent
question. He turned away carelessly, placed more wood on the fire, and
poked the embers. Tyope looked up at the sky, and thus the vivid,
scornful glance the other threw on his figure escaped him.

So far the conversation had been carried on in the Queres language; now
the stranger suddenly spoke in another dialect and in a more imperious
tone.

"Art thou afraid of the Dinne?"

"Why should I be afraid of them?" responded Tyope in his native tongue.

"Speak the tongue of the Dinne," the other sternly commanded, and a
flash burst from beneath his eyebrows, almost as savage as that of a
wolf. "Thou hast courted the people of my tribe. They have not sought
after thee. Thou knowest their language. Speak it, therefore, and then
we shall see." He straightened himself, displaying a youthful figure
full of strength and elasticity.

Tyope took this change of manner very composedly. He answered quietly in
the same dialect,--

"If thou wilt, Nacaytzusle, I can speak like thy people also. It is true
I came for them, but what I wanted"--he emphasized the word--"was as
much for their benefit as my own. Thou, first of all, wast to gain by my
scheme." His eyes closed, and the glance became as sharp as that of a
rattlesnake.

Nacaytzusle poked the embers with a dry stick as if thinking over the
speech of the other. Then he asked,--

"Thou sayest thou hast wanted. Wantest thou no more?"

"Not so much as hitherto," Tyope stated positively.

"What shall it be now?" inquired the Dinne.

"I will speak to thee so as to be understood," explained the man from
the Rito, "but thou shalt tell thy people only so much of it as I shall
allow thee to say. Thou art Dinne, it is true, and their tongue is thy
language, but many a time hast thou seen the sun set and rise while the
houses wherein we dwell on the brook were thy home. When they brought
thee to us after the day on which Topanashka slaughtered thy people
beyond the mountains, thou didst not remain with us long. The moon has
not been bright often since thou left us to join thy people. Is it not
so, Nacaytzusle? Answer me."

The Navajo shrugged his shoulders.

"It is true," he said, "but I have nothing in common with the House
people."

"It may be so now, but if thou dost not care for the men, the women are
not without interest to thee. Is it not thus?"

"The tzane on the brook," replied the Navajo, disdainfully, "amount to
nothing."

"In that case"--Tyope flared up and grasped his club, speaking in the
Queres language and with a vibrating tone--"why don't you look for a
companion in your own tribe? Mitsha Koitza does not care for a husband
who sneaks around in the timber like a wolf, and whose only feat
consists in frightening the old women of the Tyuonyi!"

The Navajo stared before him with apparent stolidity. Tyope continued,--

"You pretend to despise us now, yet enough has remained within your
heart, from the time when you lived at the Tyuonyi and slept in the
estufa of Shyuamo hanutsh, to make my daughter appear in your eyes
better, more handsome, and more useful, than the girls of the Dinne!"

The features of the Dinne did not move; he kept silent. But his right
hand played with the string of the bow that lay on the wolf's skin.

"Nacaytzusle," the other began again, "I promised to assist you to
obtain the girl against her will. Mind! Mitsha, my daughter, will never
go to a home of the Dinne of her own accord, but I would have stolen her
for your sake. Now I say to you that I have promised you this child of
mine, and I have promised your people all the green stones of my tribe.
The first promise I shall fulfil if you wish. The other, you may tell
your tribe, I will not hold to longer."

The Navajo looked at him in a strange, doubtful way and replied,--

"You have asked me to be around the Tyuonyi day after day, night after
night, to watch every tree, every shrub, merely in order to find out
what your former wife, Shotaye, was doing, and to kill her if I could.
You have demanded," he continued, raising his voice, while he bent
forward and darted at the Indian from the Rito a look of suppressed
rage, "that the Dinne should come down upon the Tyuonyi at the time when
the Koshare should fast and pray, and should kill Topanashka, the great
warrior, so that you might become maseua in his place! Now I tell you
that I shall not do either!"

The eyes of the young savage flamed like living coals.

"Then you shall not have my child!" exclaimed Tyope.

"I will get her. You may help me or not!"

"I dare you to do it," Tyope hissed.

Nacaytzusle looked straight at him.

"Do you believe," he hissed in turn, "that if I were to go down to the
brook and tell the tapop what you have urged me and my people to do
against your kin that he would not reward me?"

Tyope Tihua became very quiet; his features lost the threatening tension
which they had displayed, his eyes opened, and he said in a softer
tone,--

"That is just what I want you to do. But I want this from you alone. Go
and see the tapop. Tell him not the small talk about this and that, but
what you have seen with your own eyes about Shotaye, that witch, that
snake,--of her dark ways, how she sneaked through the brush on the mesa,
and how she found and gathered the plumage of the accursed owl. Tell him
all, and I will carry Mitsha to your lodges, tied and gagged if needs
be."

"Why don't you send the girl out alone? I will wait for her wherever you
say."

"Do you think that I would be so silly?" the Pueblo retorted with a
scornful laugh. "Do you really believe I would do such a thing? No,
Dinne, you and your people may be much more cunning than mine in many
ways, but we are not so stupid as that. If I were to do that, you would
rob me of my handsome maiden and that would be the last of it. No,
Dinne, I do not need you to such an extent, I am not obliged to have
you. But if you go to the Tyuonyi and accuse the witch, then you shall
go out free, and Mitsha must follow you to the hogans of your people,
whether she will or not. Do what I tell you, and I will do as I promise.
If you will not neither will I, for mind, I do not need you any longer."

Tyope glanced at the stars with an air of the utmost indifference.
Nacaytzusle had listened quietly. Now he said without raising his
eyes,--

"Tyope, you ask me to do all this, and do not even give me a pledge. You
are wise, Tyope, much wiser than we people of the hogans. Give me some
token that you also will do what you have said when I have performed my
part. Give me"--he pointed to the alabaster tablet hanging on Tyope's
necklace--"that okpanyi on your neck."

It was so dark that Nacaytzusle in extending his arm involuntarily
touched the other's chest. Tyope drew back at the touch and replied,
rather excitedly,--

"No, I will not give you any pledge!"

"Nothing at all?" asked the Navajo. A slight rustling noise was heard at
the same time.

"Nothing!" Tyope exclaimed hoarsely.

The savage thrust his arm out at the Pueblo with the rapidity of
lightning. A dull thud followed, his arm dropped, and something fell to
the ground. It was an arrow, whose head of flint falling on the ashes
caused the embers to glow for an instant. Both men sprang in opposite
directions, like snakes darting through the grass. Each one concealed
himself behind a bush. The branches rustled and cracked for a short
space. The place around the fire was vacant; nothing remained but a dim
streak of ruddy light.

Tyope, after repelling the assault upon him, had taken refuge behind a
low juniper-bush. When the Navajo thrust a pointed arrow at his chest he
had numbed the arm of the savage by a blow from his club, and then both
men, like true Indians, hurriedly placed themselves under cover, whence
each listened eagerly to discover the movements of his foe. Tyope could
have killed the Navajo while close to him, for he had the advantage in
weapons; but, although he really had no further use for the young man,
he was not so angry as to take his life.

Still, under the circumstances, the greater the caution displayed the
better. Intimately acquainted with the character of the Dinne Indians,
and that of Nacaytzusle in particular, Tyope had gone on this errand
well armed. Open hostility had resulted from the interview; it was
useless to make any attempt at conciliation. Speedy return to the Rito
was the only thing left. This return might become not only difficult,
but dangerous, with the young Navajo concealed on the mesa. Tyope had
known Nacaytzusle thoroughly from childhood.

Twenty years before, the Dinne had killed an old woman from the Tyuonyi.
The murder took place near the gorge, on the mesa north of it, whither
she had gone to collect the edible fruit of the piñon tree. When the
corpse was discovered the scalp had been taken; and this, rather than
the killing, demanded speedy revenge. A number of able-bodied men of the
clan to which the grandmother belonged gathered in order to fast and
make the usual sacrifices preliminary to the formation of a war party.
On the last night of their fast a delegate from the hishtanyi chayani
appeared in their midst, and performed the customary incantations. He
painted their bodies with the black lustrous powder of iron and
manganese ore which is believed to strike terror into the hearts of
enemies. He selected their leader, invested him with the office, and
blessed the war-fetiches. To the leader he gave a little bag of buckskin
filled with the powder of the yerba del manso, which still further
produces dismay among the foe. That leader was Topanashka Tihua, then in
the full vigour of manhood.

On the following morning Topanashka left before daybreak with five
picked men in the hideous garb of Indian braves. They penetrated
cautiously the mountain labyrinth west of the Rito, concealing
themselves during the day and travelling at night. On the morning of the
fifth day they discovered a few huts of the Navajo. Whether or no their
inmates had participated in the murder of the old woman they did not
stop to inquire, but pounced upon the people who were still asleep. The
results of the surprise were nine scalps and one captive. This captive
was a little boy, and that boy was Nacaytzusle.

Although barely three years old, he was dragged to the Rito and had to
take part in the solemn dance, during which the scalps of his parents
were triumphantly waved by those who had killed them. Afterward he was
adopted into the Turquoise clan, for the people of the Eagle clan
refused to receive him, the privilege of so doing being theirs.
Topanashka disliked the appearance of the child, and his counsels
weighed heavily. Thus Nacaytzusle became an adopted son of the Queres,
but it did not change his nature. His physique at once indicated foreign
origin; he grew up to be taller, more raw-boned, than the youth of the
House people, and his dark, wolfish look and the angular cut of his
features betrayed his Dinne blood.

Like all the other youth, he received the rude education which was
imparted at the estufas. He showed considerable aptitude for mastering
songs and prayers, after once acquiring the language of his captors. He
also watched the wizards as often as opportunity was afforded, and
learned many a trick of jugglery. Tyope was struck by the youth's
aptitude for such arts and practices. It revealed natural tendencies,
and confirmed Tyope in the belief that the Navajos were born wizards,
that their juggleries and performances, some of which are indeed
startling, revealed the possession of higher powers. The Pueblos hold
the Navajos in quite superstitious respect. Tyope therefore looked upon
the young fellow as one who in course of time might become an invaluable
assistant. He observed the boy's ways, and became intimately acquainted
with all his traits, bad and good.

[Illustration: A westerly cliff of the habitations of the Tyuonyi,
showing second and third story caves, and some high lookout caves]

Nacaytzusle was a successful hunter; he was very nimble, quick, and
exceedingly persevering, in everything he undertook. But he was also a
natural lounger and idler, whenever he was not busy with preparations
for the hunt or repairing his own scanty clothing. Work in the fields he
avoided. He even showed marked contempt for the people of the Rito,
because the men performed toil which he regarded as degrading. Keeping
aloof from the men's society to a certain extent, he was more attracted
by the women. It was especially Mitsha Koitza, Tyope's good-looking
daughter, who attracted him; and he began to pay attentions to her in a
manner in keeping with his wild temperament. Tyope, strange to say, was
pleased to notice this. He would have been happy to have given his child
to the savage, but he had no right to interfere in the matter of
marriage, for this belonged to the girl's own clan to arrange. The clan
was that of the Eagle, and Topanashka was its most influential member,
its leading spirit. Mitsha avoided the Navajo; and when Nacaytzusle
attempted to press his suit, the girl repelled his addresses in a
manner that showed her aversion to him beyond any possible question.

Had Mitsha been less positive in her behaviour, it is quite likely that
the character of the young captive might have changed,--that he might
have softened little by little, entering into the path traced by the
customs of sedentary Indians. As it was, his hatred to them increased,
and with it the desire to recover his independence by returning to his
kindred.

About a year before, then, Nacaytzusle disappeared from the Tyuonyi.
Shortly afterward Tyope was suddenly accosted by him while hunting on
the mesa, and a secret intercourse began, which led to the negotiations
of which we have just heard the main purport. These negotiations were
now broken, and in a manner that made a return to the Rito rather
dangerous. The very qualities which had fascinated Tyope--the wariness,
agility, and persistency of the Navajo, his physical strength, and above
all his supposed natural faculties for magic, coupled with his thorough
knowledge of the country--caused Tyope to ponder upon his means of
escape.

The blow which he dealt the savage was sufficient to teach him that a
hand-to-hand encounter would not result favourably to him. At the same
time this slight injury could not fail to exasperate the Navajo, and
Tyope knew that the savage would lie in wait for him at some point which
he had to pass on his return. For the present, Nacaytzusle was very
likely concealed in the vicinity, in the same manner and for the same
reasons as the Pueblo Indian himself; but he was sure to leave his
hiding-place and make some movement toward preparing either an ambush or
a sudden surprise. Tyope remained motionless for a while. He glanced
across the space where the fire had been burning; but every spark was
gone, and it was too dark to discern anything. He finally rose to his
knees slowly and cautiously, and turned his eyes in the opposite
direction. There also was an open space, and the dim starlight enabled
him to discover that between his station and the nearest tree something
similar to a rock or ledge protruded. He peered and listened, then
turned around on his knees and flattening his body on the ground began
to creep toward the tree. As soon as he reached its foot he rose to full
height, leaned against the trunk, and glanced at the stars. They
indicated that it was past midnight, and Tyope felt uneasy. In case he
should be delayed, and reach the Rito after daylight, it might excite
suspicions. Yet his only safety lay in making a wide circuit.

The dismal yelping of a prairie wolf struck his ear, and to his alarm
there was at once a reply near where the interview had taken place, but
slightly to the east and more toward the deep gorge in which the Rio
Grande flows. He concluded that Nacaytzusle had shifted his position, by
placing himself on Tyope's supposed line of retreat. But it was also
manifest that the boy had not come to the meeting alone,--that at least
one more Navajo lurked in the vicinity. At least one, perhaps more.

Another wolf now howled in the direction of the south. A fourth one was
heard farther off, and both voices united in a plaintive wail. Any one
unacquainted with the remarkable perfection with which the Navajos
imitate the nocturnal chant of the so-called coyote, would have been
deceived, and have taken the sounds for the voices of the animals
themselves; but Tyope recognized them as signals through which four
Navajo Indians prowling around him informed each other of their
positions and movements. This made his own situation exceedingly
critical. The only mitigating circumstance was that the four were
dispersed, and only one of them could as yet have an idea of his
whereabouts.

The Indian from the Rito braced himself against the tree, and taking off
his helmet laid it carefully beside him on the ground. Then he took off
the quiver, emptied it, and tied the strap to which it was fastened
around his waist. To this belt he tied both the quiver and the helmet,
distributing them in such a manner that in the prevailing darkness they
appeared like one of the ragged kilts of deerskin which formed the main
part of a Navajo's costume. Next Tyope untied the knot which held his
hair on the back of the head, divided the long strands into switches,
and began to wind those around his skull. Necklace, fetich, and the
plume that adorned his sidelock, he put in the quiver. He was now so far
transformed that any one, Nacaytzusle excepted, might have taken him in
the night for a Navajo warrior. This metamorphosis was performed
rapidly, but without anxious haste or confusion. The howls had meanwhile
been repeated. They sounded nearer than before from the east, the south,
and the southeast. Nacaytzusle alone, to judge from the signals which he
gave, remained stationary.

Tyope, abandoning his position at the foot of the tree, glided to the
nearest shrub. Thence he struck northward in the direction of the Rito.
He walked erect, but scrupulously avoided everything that might create
noise. When near the fireplace he stood still and listened. A wolf
yelped to the right of where the Dinne of whom Tyope was most afraid
seemed to be listening, about two hundred steps from him, on the
swelling of the mesa. He manifestly expected the Queres to return the
same way he came. It was not a sign of much wisdom, but the boy was
young and inexperienced in the stratagems of Indian warfare. Tyope felt
relieved.

Suddenly loud barking sounded directly in front of him, and at no great
distance. Tyope dropped on the ground and began to glide like a snake
toward the place whence this last signal came. He crouched behind a flat
rock and raised his eyes. It was in vain; nothing could be seen in the
obscurity. He felt puzzled. Was this last signal the voice of another
enemy who had hitherto remained silent, or was it Nacaytzusle who had
changed his position? At all events it was safer to rise and go directly
toward the spot, rather than approach it in a creeping posture. He
walked deliberately onward, at the same time calling out in a low
tone,--

"Nacaytzusle!"

Nothing moved.

He advanced a few steps and repeated,--

"Nacaytzusle! Hast thou seen anything?"

"No," said a hollow voice near by, and a human form arose as if from
beneath the surface. The man stepped up to Tyope; and to the latter's
unpeakable relief, he looked stouter and shorter than Nacaytzusle. The
Indian was unknown to him, and Tyope said eagerly,--

"The badger must be hiding near where the fire is. We should cut off his
trail to the north. Nacaytzusle went too far east; there"--he pointed
toward the northeast--"is where he ought to stand."

Tyope spoke the Navajo language fluently.

"Thou art right," said the other; "go thither, and we will be closer
together."

Tyope felt loath to follow this advice, for it would have brought him
uncomfortably near his most dangerous foe; yet, under the circumstances
and to avoid all suspicion he accepted the suggestion, and was about to
turn in the direction indicated when the signals sounded again and
simultaneously from every quarter. The strange Indian held him back,
asking,--

"How is this? We are five, and four have shouted now. Who art thou, and
where dost thou come from?"

"I came from above," Tyope replied, with affected composure.

They stood so close together that the Navajo could notice some details
of Tyope's accoutrements. Grasping the cap of buffalo hide which dangled
from the belt of the Queres, he inquired,--

"What dost thou carry here?"

All was lost, for the Navajos were well acquainted with this garment,
peculiar to the war dress of the Pueblos. Tyope saw that only the most
reckless act could save him. So he dropped all his arrows, which until
now he had carried in his right hand, and thrust his club like a
slung-shot into the other's face. With a yell of pain and surprise the
Navajo tumbled backward into a bush, while Tyope darted forward in the
direction of the Rito. Behind him sounded the hoarse cries of the
wounded man, loud yells answering. They came from four sides; all the
pursuers were running at full speed to the assistance of their
companion.

Madly, like a deer pursued by wolves, Tyope bounded onward. But soon his
speed slackened; he believed that he was safe, and there was no use in
tiring himself. His movements were no longer noiseless as before. During
his first run he had made so much noise as to lead the pursuers directly
on his trail. These pursuers had suddenly become silent. Nevertheless,
from time to time, rustling sounds struck the ear of Tyope, and proved
that the pursuit was carried on unrelentingly. He noticed a suspicious
twittering and cracking, not behind him, but at one side; and it
approached.

He comprehended at once that one of the Navajos, instead of rushing to
the rescue of the one whom Tyope had struck down, had taken a direction
diagonal to his own, with the hope of intercepting him near the brink of
the declivity leading down into the Rito, or perhaps sooner. A change in
his line of flight was thereby rendered necessary, but in what
direction? The warning sounds were heard directly north of him; then
everything became quiet. The same stillness reigned all around; and this
proved that the pursuers, while certainly approaching with the greatest
possible alacrity, were anxious to cover their movements. Tyope stood
still, undecided what to do. The sound of a breaking or bending twig,
faint though audible, caused him to crouch behind a cedar bush again. He
held his breath, listened, and peered through the branches. Soon a man
appeared,--a Navajo; but whether it was Nacaytzusle or not, he could not
discover. The Indian glided across the open space as noiselessly as a
spectre, and disappeared in a northerly direction. Tyope remained in his
concealment for a while, and as nothing more was heard or seen, he
crawled to the nearest shrub to the west. There he again listened and
watched, then rose to his feet and moved in a westerly direction.

The moon had risen, and its crescent shed a glimmer over the tree-tops.
For some time Tyope walked on. Frequently he halted to listen;
everything was still. From this he inferred that his enemies had passed
him, and were now stationed along the brink of the gorge in order to
intercept him, and that he had gone far enough to risk a descent from
where he stood. It did not seem likely that the Navajos had posted
themselves so far up the brink, since he knew it to be beyond the
highest cave-dwellings. Turning to the north, therefore, he soon found
himself under the last trees of the mesa. Beyond opened a whitish chasm,
and the northern cliffs of the Rito rose like dim gigantic phantoms.
Here he knew the descent had to be made, but here also the most imminent
danger was lurking.

The brink of the Rito on the south side is lined by shrubbery, with high
timber interspersed; but ledges of friable volcanic rocks advance in
places beyond this shade, crowning the heights like irregular
battlements. Their surface is bare, and anything moving on them might
become visible to a watchful eye, notwithstanding the dimness of the
moonlight.

Tyope lay down, and began to glide like a snake. He moved slowly,
pushing his body into every depression, hugging closely every
protuberance. Thus he succeeded in crossing the open space between the
woods and the rim of the declivity. Now he could overlook the valley
beneath and glance down the slope. It was not very steep, and thickets
covered it in places. But between him and the nearest brush a bare ledge
had yet to be crossed. He crept into a wide fissure, and then down. The
crags were not high, scarcely ten feet. Then he pushed cautiously on to
the open space. When near the middle of it he raised his head to look
around. Immediately a twang sounded from the heights above him, and a
whiz followed. Tyope bounded to his feet, reeled for a moment; another
twang and another whizzing,--an arrow struck the ground where he had
lain; but already the Queres was away, leaping from rock to rock,
tearing through shrubbery and thickets like a frightened mountain sheep.
Stones rolled from above; somebody was hastening down in pursuit; arrow
upon arrow sped after the fugitive. But Tyope was safely out of reach
and in the bottom, whither the Navajo did not dare to follow. A
drizzling noise, like that of pebbles dropping from a height, told that
the pursuer had withdrawn to the woods again; then all was still.

Down below on the edge of the brook lay Tyope, panting from exhaustion.
His life was safe and he felt unhurt, but he was overcome by emotion and
effort. As long as the excitement had lasted his physical strength had
held out. Now that all was over he felt tired and weak. Yet he could not
think of rest, for daybreak was close at hand. He dipped some water from
the brook and moistened his parched lips, taking care not to touch his
face or body with the liquid. Tyope was tired and worn out, but at the
same time angry; and when the Indian suffers or when he is angry he
neither washes nor bathes. Physical or mental pain, disappointment, and
wrath, are with him compatible only with lack of cleanliness, and since
he becomes wrathful or disappointed or sick quite as often as we do, his
bodily condition is frequently far from pleasant.

Tyope felt angry and disappointed at himself. The failure in regard to
Nacaytzusle was not the cause of his disappointment. What angered him
was that he had not killed the Navajo whom he struck down on the mesa,
and taken his scalp. There would have been ample time, and he could have
concealed the trophy, returning for it in the daytime. He had already
taken one scalp in his life, but to have missed this opportunity of
securing a second one was an unpardonable failure. It was this which
caused him to avoid the cooling waters and forget the demands of
cleanliness.

He rose and walked on. The valley opened before him; the dim light of a
waning moon shone into it, allowing a practised eye to discern grotto
after grotto in the cliffs. As Tyope proceeded down the gorge, following
the brook's course, he glanced at the caves. They were those of the
Water clan. He frowned and clenched his fist in anger. There lived his
enemy, Shotaye, his former spouse. There was her den, the abode of the
hated witch. How often had she crossed his path, how often warned those
whom he had planned to injure! Yes, she was a sorceress, for she knew
too much about his ways. But now his time would come, for he too knew
something concerning her that must ruin her forever. He had known it for
some time, but only now was it possible to accuse her. He shook his fist
at the cliffs in silent rage; the thought of taking revenge filled his
heart with sinister joy, and made him forget the fatigue and
disappointment of the past hours.

He soon stood in front of the place where the cliffs form a
perpendicular wall, and where instead of excavating dwellings the people
of the Eagle clan had built their quarters outside, using the smooth
surface of the rock as a rear wall. A row of terraced houses, some
three, some two stories high, others with a ground-floor only, extended
along the base of the rocks, looking like a shapeless ruin in the faint
glow of the moon. Toward this edifice Tyope walked. All was silent, for
nobody had as yet risen from sleep. He climbed on the roof of a
one-story house and stooped over the hatchway to listen. It was dark
inside, and only the sound of regular breathings could be heard.
Tyope descended into the room. Two persons lay on the floor fast
asleep. They were his wife and daughter. Concealing his weapons and
war-accoutrements, he stretched himself at full length beside the
others. The rushing of the brook was but faintly heard; a cold blast
entered through the loophole in the wall. Tyope heaved a deep sigh of
relief and closed his weary eyes. The night was nearly over, but he had
reached home before the dawn of day.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 6: This custom of taking the disguise of a wolf is or has been
used by the Navajos frequently in order to surprise herds of cattle and
horses.]



CHAPTER IV.


A bright morning followed the night on which Tyope underwent his
adventures. He slept long, but it attracted no undue attention and
called forth no remarks on the part of his wife and daughter. They were
wont to see him come and go at any hour of the night. It was very near
noon when he awoke at last, and after disposing of his late breakfast,
_à la mode du pays_, sauntered off to parts unknown to the others. The
day was one of remarkable beauty. No dim foggy city sun cast a sullen
glance at the landscape. The sun stood in the zenith of a sky of the
deepest azure, like a flaming, sparkling, dazzling meteor. Still its
heat was not oppressive.

On the mesa above the Rito a fresh wind was blowing. The shrubbery was
gently moved by the breeze. A faint rushing sound was heard, like
distant waves surging back and forth. In the gorge a zephyr only fanned
the tops of the tallest pines; a quietness reigned, a stillness, like
that which the poets of old ascribe to the Elysian fields.

There is not much bustle about the big house on the Tyuonyi. The men are
out and at work, and the children have retired to the court-yard, A
group of girls alone enlivens the space between the main building and
the new home of the Corn people. They are gathered in a throng while
they talk, laugh, and chatter, pointing at the fresh coat of clay which
they have finished applying to the outside of the new building. Their
hands are yet filled with the liquid material used for plastering, and
they taunt each other as to the relative merits of their work.

One of the maidens, a plump little thing with a pair of lively eyes,
calls out to another, pointing at a spot where the plaster appears less
smooth and even,--

"See there, Aistshie, you did that! You were too lazy to go over it
again. Look at my work; how even it is compared with yours!"

The other girl shrugged her shoulders and retorted,--

"It may be, but it is not my fault, it is yours, Sayap. You did it
yesterday when we beat off the boys. You pushed Shyuote against the wall
and he thumped his head here. See, this is the mark where he struck the
clay. You did this, Sayap, not I."

Sayap laughed, and her buxom form shook.

"You are right; I did it, I served the urchin right. It was good, was it
not, Aistshie? How I punished the brat, and how he looked afterward with
his face all one mud-patch!"

"Yes," Aistshie objected, "but I did more. I faced Okoya, despite his
bow and arrows. That was more than you did."

The other girls interrupted the scornful reply which Sayap was on the
point of giving. They crowded around the two with a number of eager
questions.

"What was it?" queried one.

"What happened yesterday?" another.

"Did you have a quarrel with boys," a third; and so on. All pressed
around begging and coaxing them to tell the story of yesterday's
adventure. The heroines themselves looked at each other in
embarrassment. At last Aistshie broke out,--

"You tell it, Sayap."

"Well," began the latter, "it was yesterday afternoon and we were just
putting on the last touches of the coating, when Okoya and little
Shyuote his brother--"

A clod, skilfully hurled, struck her right ear, filling it with sand and
cutting off the thread of her narrative rather abruptly. Sayap wheeled
around to see whence the blow had come. The other girls all laughed, but
she was angry. Her wrath was raised to the highest pitch however, when
she discovered that Shyuote was the aggressor. On a little eminence near
by stood the scamp, dancing, cutting capers, and yelling triumphantly.

"Shyuote is small, but he knows how to throw."

"Fiend," cried Sayap in reply. She picked up a stone, raised it in the
awkward manner in which most girls handle missiles, and running toward
the boy hurled it at him. It fell far short of its mark, of course, and
Shyuote only laughed, danced, and grimaced so much the more. As Sayap
kept advancing and the other girls followed, he threw a second clod,
which struck her squarely in the face, and so sharply that blood flowed
from her nose and mouth. At the same time the rogue shouted at the top
of his voice,--

"Come on! All of you! I am not afraid. You will never catch me!"

And as the majority of his pursuers came on, while two or three remained
behind soothing and consoling Sayap, who stood still, crying and
bleeding, he thrust out his tongue at them its full length, performed a
number of odious grimaces, and then nimbly clambered up between a group
of erosive cones that lay in front of the cliff. He turned around once
more to yell defiance and scorn at his pursuers, and disappeared on the
other side. Farther pursuit being hopeless, the girls clustered around
the weeping Sayap and held a council of war. They vowed dire vengeance
on the lad, and promised their injured sister to improve the first
opportunity that should present itself.

Shyuote, on the other hand, felt proud of his success. His revenge was,
he felt, a glorious one. Still he was careful not to forget the counsels
of prudence, and instead of returning to the house by a direct route,
which might have carried him too near the enraged damsels, he sauntered
along, hugging the cliffs for some distance, and then cautiously sneaked
into the fields below the new homes of the Maize clan. Once in the corn
he felt safe, and was about to cross the brook to the south side, when
the willows bordering the streamlet rustled and tossed, and a voice
called to him from the thicket,--

"Where are you going, uak?"

Shyuote stopped, and looked around for the speaker; but nobody was
visible. Again the boughs rustled and shook, and there emerged from the
willows an old man of low stature, with iron-gray hair and shrivelled
features. He wore no ornaments at all; his wrap was without belt and
very dirty. In his left hand he held a plant which he had pulled up by
the roots. He stepped up to Shyuote, stood close by his side, and
growled at him rather than spoke.

"I asked you where you were going. Why don't you answer?"

Shyuote was frightened, and stammered in reply,--

"To see my father."

"Who is your father?"

"Zashue Tihua."

The features of the interlocutor took on a singular expression. It was
not one of pleasure, neither did it betoken anger; if anything, it
denoted a sort of grim satisfaction.

"If Zashue is your father," continued he, and his eyes twinkled
strangely, "Say Koitza must be your mother."

"Of course," retorted the boy, to whom this interrogatory seemed
ludicrous.

"And Okoya your brother," the old man persisted.

"Why do you ask all this?" inquired the child, laughingly.

A look, piercing and venomous, darted from the eyes of the questioning
man. He snarled angrily,--

"Because I ask it. I ask, and you shall answer me without inquiring why
and wherefore. Do you hear, uak?"

Shyuote hung his head; he felt afraid.

"I forbid you to say anything about what I say to you to your mother,"
continued the other, grasping the left arm of the boy.

Shyuote shook off the grip, and also shook his head in token of refusal.
The old man seized the arm again and clutched it so firmly with his bony
fingers that the lad screamed from pain.

"Let me go!" he cried. "You hurt me, let me go!"

"Will you do as I bid you?" asked his tormentor.

"Yes," sobbed the child. "I will obey. My mother shall not know
anything. Let me go, you hurt!"

The man loosened his grip slightly.

"To your father you shall say that I, the Koshare Naua,"--the boy looked
up at him at these words in astonishment,--"send word to him through you
to come to my house on the night after the one that will follow this
day, when the new moon sets behind the mountains. Do you hear me, boy?"

Shyuote stared at the interlocutor with mouth wide open, and with an
expression of fear and surprise that evidently amused the other. He gave
him a last look, a sharp, threatening, penetrating glance; then his
features became less stern.

"Have no fear," he said in a milder tone. "I will not do you any harm;
but you must do as I say. Go to your nashtio now, and tell him what I
said." With this he wheeled about and left the boy as abruptly as he
had appeared. Shyuote stood gaping and perplexed.

He felt very much like crying. His arm still ached from the grip of the
old man, and while he was rubbing the sore spot his anger rose at the
harsh and cruel treatment he had suffered. He thought of rushing home to
his mother forthwith and telling her all about the bad old man, and how
he had forbidden him to say anything to her. Still, the Koshare Naua was
not to be trifled with, and Shyuote, young and childish as he was, had
some misgivings about betraying his confidence. His father had told him
that the Naua, or chief leader of the Koshare, was a very wise and
therefore a very powerful man. Zashue, who as soon as Shyuote was born
had pledged the child to become one of the Delight Makers, was educating
the lad gradually in his duties; and Shyuote had already imbibed enough
of that discipline to feel a tremendous respect for the leader of the
society to which he was pledged to belong. He suppressed the thoughts of
rebellion that had arisen, and strolled on, crossing the creek and
hunting for his father among the corn-patches on the other side. But his
good-humour had left him. Instead of being triumphantly buoyant, he felt
morose and humiliated.

Zashue Tihua was at work in the fields of the Water clan, on the
southern border of the cultivated plots. He was not alone; another young
man kept him company. It was his younger brother, Hayoue. They were
weeding side by side, and exchanging remarks while the work went on.
Zashue looked up, and his handsome face brightened when he discovered
Shyuote coming toward them through the maize. A visit from his favourite
child, although by no means an unusual occurrence, was always a source
of pleasure. He liked to have Shyuote around him when he was at work.

Throwing a small, sharp stone-splinter toward the boy, he called out to
him,--

"Come, take this okpanyi and begin weeding where you stand. Weed toward
us until we meet, and we will go home together to the yaya."

This was still further a source of displeasure to Shyuote, who above all
things disliked work. He had not come down to the fields to toil. What
he sought for was a friendly chat with his father, a few hours of
lounging and loafing near him. Disappointed and pouting, he bent over
the work assigned, while the two men went on with their task as well as
with their conversation.

Hayoue was taller than his brother, and a strikingly handsome young
Indian. His eyes had a more serious and less mischievous expression than
those of Zashue. He was yet unmarried; but, notwithstanding, a marked
predilection for the fair sex formed one of his characteristics. He was
held in high esteem by the leading men of the tribe, Tyope and his
adherents excepted, for his sagacity, good judgment, and personal
valour.

"I tell you," Zashue spoke up, "Shyuote will become a good one."

Hayoue shrugged his shoulders and replied,--

"You should know your own children better than I, yet I tell you Okoya
also is good; besides, he is wise and reserved."

"Yes; but he is too much with the women, and his mother stands nearer to
him than his father. He never follows me to the fields unless I tell
him. Look at the little one, on the other hand. He will be a man."

While his brother spoke Hayoue had quietly observed Shyuote; and the
slow, loitering way in which the boy performed his work had not escaped
his observation. He said,--

"It may be. To-day he certainly acts rather like an old woman. See how
loath he is to weed the plants."

"You always prefer Okoya," replied Zashue. "You like him because he
never opens his mouth unless an arrow is forced between his teeth."

"And you prefer Shyuote because you are making a Koshare of him," Hayoue
answered, with great composure.

"He surely will become a good one, a better one than I am."

"If he becomes as good a Delight Maker as you are, Zashue, we may be
satisfied. Shall you soon retire to the estufa?" he inquired, changing
the subject of the conversation.

"I don't know; the Naua has not said anything as yet, but the time is
near at hand when we should begin to work. Before going into the round
house in the rocks, we ought to be sure that there are no Navajos in the
neighbourhood. You are Kauanyi, a member of the order of warriors," he
added with a side-glance at his brother, "do you know anything of the
sneaking wolves in the mountains?"

Hayoue denied any knowledge concerning the Navajos, adding,--

"I did not like it when that fellow Nacaytzusle ran away from us. He
knew too much of our ways."

"He can do no harm. He is glad to stay among his people."

"Still I don't trust him," Hayoue muttered.

"Neither would I, if I were in your place," Zashue taunted, and a
good-natured though mischievous smile lit up his features. "If I were
you I would keep still better guard over Mitsha Koitza."

"What have I to do with the child of Tyope," exclaimed the other, rather
contemptuously.

"Indeed?" queried Zashue, "so you, too, are against Tyope? What has he
done to you?"

"Nothing, but I mistrust him as much as I do the Navajo."

These last words were uttered in such a positive manner--they were so
earnestly emphasized--that they cut off the conversation. It was plain
that Hayoue had made up his mind on the subject, and that he did not
wish to have it broached again.

"Sa nashtio," called Shyuote over to where the brothers were weeding in
silence, "come over here; I must tell you something, but I must tell it
to you alone."

Hayoue at once turned away, while Zashue called the lad to him. But
Shyuote protested, saying that only his father was to hear his
communication, and Zashue at last went where the boy was standing. It
vexed him, and he inquired rather gruffly what he had to say. Shyuote
made a very wise and important face, placed a finger to his lips, and
whispered,--

"The Koshare Naua told me to tell you that you should go to see him, not
to-morrow, but the day after, when the moon goes behind the mountains."

"Is that all!" exclaimed Zashue, disappointed and angry,--"is that all
you had to say? That much you might have shouted to me. There was no
need of being so secret about it, and"--he glanced at the insignificant
and careless work the boy had performed--"is that all you have done
since you came? You are lazy, uak! Go home. Go home at once to your
mother and tell her that I shall not return for the evening, but will
stay with Hayoue in the caves." And as Shyuote, dismayed and troubled,
appeared loath to go, Zashue turned to him again, commanding in a very
angry tone,--

"Go home! Go home at once!"

[Illustration: (Upper picture) A Navajo Hogan]

[Illustration: (Lower picture) The Heart of the Tyuonyi: The
excavated lower story of the great terraced Communal House]

Shyuote left in haste; he felt very much like crying. Hayoue said to his
brother,--

"Didn't I tell you that Shyuote was lazy? Okoya is far, far more
useful."

"Let me alone about Okoya," growled Zashue; and both went on with the
work as before.

Shyuote stumbled across the patches of corn, rather than walked through
them. He felt sad, dejected, and very wrathful. All the buoyancy with
which his victory over the girls had inspired him was gone. Since that
heroic feat nothing but ill-luck had crossed his path. He was angry at
his father for scolding him and driving him home, in the presence of
Hayoue, for whom the boy had as great a dislike as his uncle had for
him. Why, it was worse than the threats and cuffs of the old Naua! It
was not only an injustice, it was an insult! So the lad reasoned, and
began to brood over vengeance. He was going to show his father that he,
the ten-year-old boy, was not to be trifled with. Yes, he would show his
teeth by refusing to become a Koshare. Would not that be a glorious
revenge! The little fellow did not know that he was pledged to the
Delight Makers by a sacred vow of his parent which it was not in his
power to break. After a while his thoughts changed, and he concluded
that it might be better to say nothing and to go home and ask for
something to eat. But never, never again would he favour his father with
a friendly call in the corn-patch. This latter resolve appeared to him
so satisfactory, the revenge so ample for the injury received, that he
forgot the past and fairly danced through the fields, hopping sometimes
on one foot and sometimes on the other. He crossed the brook and reached
the large house almost to his own surprise.

It was noon, and the full blaze of the sun flooded the valley with
light. Not a breeze fanned the air, nothing stirred. No vibrations
troubled the picture which the cliffs, the caves, the buildings,
presented in the dazzling glare. The cliffs had lost their yellowish hue
and appeared white, with every protuberance, every indentation, or
cavity, marked by intense shadows. The houses inhabited by the Eagle
clan along the foot of the rocks were like a row of irregularly piled
cubes and prisms; each beam leaning against them cast a jet-black streak
of shadow on the ground. Below the projecting beams of the roofs a short
black line descended along the wall, and the towering rocks jutted in
and out from dark recesses like monsters. So strong were the contrasts
between shadow and light that even Shyuote was struck by it. He stood
still and stared.

Something indefinite, a vague feeling of awe, crept over him. For the
real grandeur of the scenery he had no sense of appreciation, and yet it
seemed to him as if everything about were new and strange. Thousands of
times had he gazed at the cliffs of his valley home, but never had they
appeared to him as they did now. So strong was this impression, and so
sudden, too, that he shrank from the sight in amazement; then he turned
his eyes away and walked rapidly toward home. He was afraid to look at
the colossal pillars and walls; they appeared to him like giants
threatening to move. All his plans for revenge, every thought of wrath
and indignation, had vanished.

Suddenly his left knee was struck by a stone hurled with such force that
Shyuote bounded and screamed. At the same time six or seven boys, some
apparently of his age while others were taller and older, rushed from
the bushes skirting the ditch. Two of them ran directly in front of him.
They were armed with sticks and short clubs, and the largest, who seemed
to be of the same age as Okoya, shouted,--

"You have injured Sayap, and caused her blood to flow. You rotten
squash, you shall suffer for it."

Shyuote took in the situation at a glance. He saw that only desperate
running would save him from being roughly handled. He darted off like an
arrow toward the cave-dwellings in front of him. Unfortunately these
were the quarters of the Corn people who had not yet moved into their
new homes. To them belonged Sayap and the boys that were assailing
Shyuote; and as the fugitive approached the slope, he saw it occupied by
other youth ready and eager to give him a warm reception. At the same
time the tallest of his pursuers was gaining on him rapidly; rocks flew
past his head; a stone struck him between the ribs, stopping his breath
almost. In despair he turned to the left, and making a last effort flew
towards the houses of the Eagle clan. Panting, blinded by exertion and
by pain, he reached one of the beams leading to a roof, rushed upward
along it, and was about to take refuge in the room below, when a young
girl came up the primitive ladder down which he had intended to
precipitate himself. Issuing from the hatchway she quietly pushed the
lad to one side; then, as in that moment one of his pursuers appeared on
the roof, she stepped between him and Shyuote.

"Get out of the way, Mitsha! Let me get at the wren!" cried the youth
who had just climbed the roof. Shyuote fled to the very wall of the
rock; he gave up all hope and thought himself lost. But the girl quietly
asked,--

"What do you want with the boy?"

"He has hurt Sayap, our sister," the tall youngster answered. "He threw
a stone at her and caused her to bleed. Now I am going to pay him for
it."

"So will I!" shouted another one from below.

"I too!" "And I!" "He shall get it from all of us!" yelled a number of
youthful voices, and in an instant the roof was crowded with boys.

Mitsha had placed herself so as to shield the trembling lad with her own
body. Very quietly she said,--

"Don't you see that he also is bleeding? Let him go now, it is enough."
A stone had indeed grazed Shyuote's scalp, and blood was trickling down
his cheek.

"It is not enough!" shouted one of the older boys, angrily. "Get out of
the way, Mitsha!"

"You shall not hurt him on this roof," replied Mitsha, in a calm but
very positive tone.

"Do you intend to protect him?" cried the tallest one of the pursuers,
and another one exclaimed,--

"How does it concern you? You have nothing to do here." All turned
against the girl. A little fellow, who carried several large pebbles in
his hand for the occasion, endeavoured to steal a march around Mitsha in
order to reach Shyuote; but she noticed it, and grasped his arm and
pulled him back so vigourously that he reeled and fell at full length on
the roof. Then she ordered them all to leave forthwith.

"You belong to the Corn clan," she said, "and have nothing to do here on
the houses of the Eagle clan. Go down! Get away at once or I will call
our men. As long as I am here you shall not touch the uak."

"So you take his part?" cried the biggest one of the invaders. He raised
a stick to strike her.

"Lay down your club, you dirty ear of corn," replied the maiden, "or you
will fare badly." With this she drew from under her wrap a heavy
war-club; it was the same weapon which Tyope had used the night
previous.

The boy's arm remained uplifted, but still the attitude of the girl, her
threatening look and resolute appearance, checked the assailants. Mitsha
stood with apparent composure, but her eyes sparkled and the expression
of her face denoted the utmost determination. Besides she was fully as
tall as most of her opponents, and the weapon she was holding in
readiness looked quite formidable. But the superior number of her
assailants exercised a certain pressure on these assailants themselves,
and the Indian under such circumstances has no thought of chivalrous
feeling. A dozen boys stood before the solitary maiden on the roof, and
they were not to be intimidated by her. For an instant only neither said
a word; then a threatening murmur arose. One of the lads called out to
the tallest of the crowd,--

"Strike her down, Shohona!"

A stone was thrown at her but missed its aim. At this moment the boys
nearest the brink of the roof were suddenly thrust aside right and left,
the one who had threatened Mitsha with his stick was pulled back and
jerked to one side violently, and before the astonished girl stood
Okoya. Pale with emotion, breathless, with heaving chest, and quivering
from excitement, he gasped to her,--

"Go down into the room; I will protect my brother." Then he turned to
face the assailants.

The scene on the roof had attracted a large number of spectators, who
had gathered below and were exchanging surmises and advice on the merits
of a case about which none of them really knew anything. Now a woman's
voice rose from amid this gaping and chattering crowd,--the sharp and
screechy voice of an angry woman. She shouted to those who were on the
roof,--

"Get down from my house! Get down, you scoundrels! If you want to kill
each other do it elsewhere, and not on my home!" With this the woman
climbed on to the roof. She seized the boy nearest to her by the hair
and pulled him fairly to the ground, so that the poor fellow howled
from pain. With the other hand she dealt blows and cuffs, and scratched
and punched indiscriminately among the youngsters, so that a sudden
panic broke out among these would-be heroes. Each sought to get out of
her reach with the greatest alacrity. She at last released her hold on
the first victim and reached out for another; but the last of the young
Corn people was just tumbling down from the roof, and her clutch at his
leg came too late. In an instant the roof was cleared. The young braves
from the Maize clan were ungraciously received below. A number of their
parents had assembled, and when the woman began to expostulate, they
looked at the matter from her point of view. They saw that it was an
infringement, a trespass, upon the territory and rights of another clan,
and treated their pugnacious sons to another instalment of bodily
punishment as fast as they came tumbling from above. The final result
for the incipient warriors of the Corn people was that they were
ignominiously driven home.

While peace was thus restored upon the ground it still looked quite
stormy on the roof. The woman who had so energetically interfered at
last discovered Okoya, who was looking in blank amazement at this sudden
change of affairs. Forthwith she made a vicious grab at his ebony locks,
with the pointed remark,--

"Down with you, you stinking weed!"

But Mitsha interfered.

"Mother," she said gently, "do not harm him. He was defending his
brother and me. He is none of the others."

"What!" the woman screamed, "was it you whom they were about to strike,
these night-owls made of black corn? You, my child? Let me tell them
again what they are," and she ran to the brink of the roof, raised
handfuls of dust from it, and hurled them in the direction of the caves
of the offenders. She stamped, she spat; she raved, and heaped upon the
heads of the Corn people, their ancestors, and their descendants, every
invective the Queres language contains. To those below this appeared
decidedly entertaining; the men especially enjoyed the performance, but
Mitsha felt sorry,--she disliked to see her mother display such frenzy
and to hear her use such vulgar language. She pulled her wrap, saying,--

"It is enough now, sanaya. Don't you see that those who wanted to hurt
me are gone? Their fathers and mothers are not guilty. Be quiet, mother;
it is all over now."

Her mother at last yielded to these gentle remonstrances, turned away
from the brink, and surveyed the roof. She saw Okoya standing before
weeping Shyuote, and scolding him.

"What are you doing to this child?" asked Mitsha's mother, still under
the pressure of her former excitement. She was ready for another fray.

"He is my brother, and the cause of the whole trouble," Okoya explained
to her. "I chide him for it, as it is my duty to do. Nevertheless, they
had no right to kill him, still less to hurt the girl."

The woman had at last had time to scrutinize the looks of the young man.
She herself was not old, and when not under the influence of passion was
rather comely. Okoya's handsome figure attracted her attention, and she
stepped nearer, eyeing him closely.

"Where do you belong?" she inquired in a quieter tone.

"I am Tanyi."

"Who is your father?"

"Zashue Tihua."

The woman smiled; she moved still nearer to the young man and
continued,--

"I know your father well. He is one of us, a Koshare." Her eyes remained
fastened on his features; she was manifestly more and more pleased with
his appearance. But at the same time she occasionally glanced toward her
daughter Mitsha, and it struck her forcibly that Mitsha, too, was
handsome.

"I know who you are," she said smilingly. "You are Okoya Tihua, your
little brother is called Shyuote, and Say Koitza is your mother's name.
She is a good woman, but"--and she shrugged her shoulders--"always sick.
Have you any cotton?" she suddenly asked, looking squarely into the eyes
of the boy.

"No," he replied, and his features coloured visibly, "but I have some
handsome skins."

Mitsha too seemed embarrassed; she started to go into the room below,
but her mother called her back.

"Sa uishe," she coaxed, "won't you give the mot[=a]tza something to
eat?"

The faces of both young people became fiery red. He stood like a statue,
and yet his chest heaved. He cast his eyes to the ground. Mitsha had
turned her face away; her whole body was trembling like a leaf. Her
mother persisted.

"Take him down into the room and feed him," she repeated, and smiled.

"I have nothing," murmured Mitsha.

"If such is the case I shall go and see myself." With these words the
woman descended the beam into the room below, leaving the two alone on
the roof, standing motionless, neither daring to look at the other.

While the colloquy between Okoya and Mitsha's mother was going on,
Shyuote had recovered somewhat from his fright and grief and had sneaked
off. Once on the ground he walked--still trembling and suspiciously
scanning the cliff wherein the Corn people had their abodes--as
straight as possible toward the big house. Nobody interfered with him;
not even his two defenders noticed that he had gone; they both remained
standing silent, with hearts beating anxiously.

"Okoya," the woman called from below, "come and eat. Mitsha, come down
and give sa uishe something to eat."

A thrill went through Okoya's whole frame. She had called him _sa
uishe_,--"my child." He ventured to cast a furtive glance at the maiden.
Mitsha had recovered her self-control; she returned his shy glance with
an open, free, but sweet look, and said,--

"Come and partake of the food." There was no resisting an invitation
from her. He smiled; she returned the smile in a timid way, as shy and
embarrassed as his own.

She descended first and Okoya followed. On the floor of the room, the
same chamber where Tyope had taken rest the night before, stood the
usual meal; and Okoya partook of it modestly, said his prayer of thanks,
and uttered a plain, sincere hoya at the end. But instead of rising, as
he would have done at home, he remained squatting, glancing at the two
women.

While he ate, the mother watched him eagerly; her cunning eyes moved
from his face toward that of her daughter like sparks; and gradually an
expression of satisfaction mingled with that of a settled resolve
appeared on her features. There was no doubt that the two would be a
handsome pair. They seemed, as the vulgar saying goes, made for each
other; and there was something besides that told that they were fond of
each other also. Okoya had never before entered this dwelling; but the
woman thought that they had met before, nay, that her desire had been
anticipated, inasmuch as the young people already stood to each other,
if not in an intimate, in a more than merely friendly, relation.

"Why do you never come to see us?" asked the woman, after Okoya had
finished his meal.

"I stay at the estufa during the night," was the modest reply.

"You need have no fear," she answered pleasantly, "Tyope and your father
are good friends. You should become a Koshare!" she exclaimed.

Okoya's face clouded; he did not like the suggestion, but nevertheless
asked,--

"Is she," looking at Mitsha, "a Koshare also?"

"No. We had another child, a boy. He was to have become a Delight Maker,
but he died some time ago." The woman had it on her lips to say, "Do you
become one in his place as our child," but she checked herself in time;
it would have been too bold a proposal.

Okoya glanced at the daughter and said timidly,--

"If you like, I shall come again to see you;" and Mitsha's face
displayed a happy smile at the words, while her mother eagerly nodded.

"Come as often as you can," she replied. "We"--emphasizing the word
strongly--"like it. It is well."

"Then I will go now," said Okoya, rising. His face was radiant. "I must
go home lest Shyuote get into more trouble. He is so mischievous and
awkward. Good-bye." He grasped the woman's hand and breathed on it; gave
a smiling look to the girl, who nodded at him with a happy face; and
returned to the roof again. Thence he climbed down to the ground. How
happy he felt! The sun seemed to shine twice as brightly as before; the
air felt purer; all around him breathed life, hope, and bliss. At the
foot of the slope he turned back once more to gaze at the house where so
much joy had come to him. A pair of lustrous eyes appeared in the little
air-hole of the wall. They were those of the maiden, which were
following him on his homeward way.

Tyope's wife was right in supposing that her daughter and Okoya were not
strangers to each other. And yet not a single word had passed between
them before beyond a casual greeting. As often as they had met he had
said "guatzena," and she had responded with "raua." But at every meeting
his voice was softer, and hers more timid and trembling. Each felt happy
at the sight of the other, but neither thought of speaking, still less
of making any advances. Okoya was aware of the fact--which he felt
deeply and keenly--that a wide breach, a seemingly impassable chasm,
existed between him and the girl. That gap was the relation in which he
stood toward Tyope, the girl's father. Or rather the relation in which
he fancied himself to stand toward him. For Tyope had hardly ever spoken
to him, still less done him any wrong. But Okoya's mother had spoken of
Tyope as a bad man, as a dangerous man, as one whom it was Okoya's duty
to avoid. And so her son feared Tyope, and dared not think of the bad
man's daughter as his future companion through life. Now everything was
changed.

Mitsha's mother had said that Tyope was a friend of his father, and that
Tyope would not be angry if Okoya came to her house. Then he was not,
after all, the fiend that Say Koitza had pictured him. On the contrary
he appeared to Okoya, since the last interview, in the light of an
important personage. Okoya's faith in his mother was shaken before; now
he began to think that Tyope after all, while he was certainly to him an
important man, was not as bad as represented. The Koshare also appeared
to him in a new and more favourable light. The adroit suggestion made by
the woman that he should join the society bore its fruits. Okoya felt
not only relieved but happy; he felt elated over his success. He was
well trained in the religious discipline of the Indians; and now that he
saw hope before him, his next thought was one of gratitude toward that
mother of all who, though dwelling at the bottom of the lagune of
Shipapu at times, and then again in the silvery moon, was still watching
over the destinies of her children on earth, and to whose loving
guidance he felt his bright prospects due.

He had no prayer-plumes with him. These painted sticks--to which
feathers or down of various birds, according to the nature of the prayer
they are to signify, are attached--the aborigine deposits wherever and
whenever he feels like addressing himself to the higher powers, be it
for a request, in adoration only, or for thanksgiving. In a certain way
the prayer-plume or plume-stick is a substitute for prayer, inasmuch as
he who has not time may deposit it hurriedly as a votive offering. The
paint which covers the piece of stick to which the feather is attached
becomes appropriately significant through its colours, the feather
itself is the symbol of human thought, flitting as one set adrift in the
air toward heaven, where dwell Those Above. But as in the present
instance, the Indian has not always a prayer-plume with him. So he has
recourse to an expedient, simple and primitive.

Two little sticks or twigs, placed crosswise and held to their place by
a rock or stone, serve the same purpose in case of emergency. Such
accumulations of rocks, little stone-heaps, are plentiful around Indian
villages; and they represent votive offerings, symbolizing as many
prayers. There were a number of them at the Rito around the big house,
along the fields, and on the trails leading up to the mesa. Okoya went
to the nearest one and placed two twigs crosswise on it, poising them
with a stone. Then he scattered sacred meal, which he always carried
with him in a small leather wallet, and thanked the Sanashtyaya, our
mother, with an earnest ho-a-a, ho-a-a.

Then he turned homeward. The very thought of that home, however, made
his heart heavy and sad. For more and more he became convinced that his
mother was false to him. The assertion made by Tyope's wife that he was
welcome in her house, and that Tyope would not object to his visiting
there, worked another breach in the faith he was wont to place in his
mother's words. Not that the invitation to join the Koshare had
exercised any influence upon his opinion regarding that society of men
and women. He mistrusted, he hated, he feared them as much as ever, but
toward Tyope personally he felt differently. His thoughts were carried
back to the gloomy subject; one by one his doubts and misgivings
returned with them, and a longing after some friend to whom he might
communicate his fears and whom he might consult with absolute
confidence. As he was thus pondering and walking on, slowly and more
slowly, he saw at some distance two men climbing up toward where the
cave-dwellings of the Water clan lay. One of them was his father; he
recognized him at once. Who was his companion? He stopped and looked. It
was his father's brother, Hayoue; and with this it seemed as if a veil
had suddenly dropped from his eyes. The tall, slender young man yonder,
who was advancing up the declivity at such an easy gait, was the friend
upon whom he could fully rely, the adviser who would not, at least
purposely, lead him astray. Hayoue was but a few years older than Okoya.
The relations between the two were those of two brothers and chums,
rather than those of uncle and nephew. Hayoue was not a member of his
clan, consequently not exposed to any influence which his mother,
through her father, Topanashka, might attempt to exert. Hayoue, he knew,
disliked the Koshare as much as he disliked them himself, and Hayoue was
thoroughly trustworthy and discreet, though very outspoken if
necessary, and fearless. Yes, Hayoue was the friend in need he so
anxiously desired to find, and now that he had found him he resolved to
seize upon the first opportunity of consulting him on the subject that
so seriously troubled his mind. He was so delighted at this sudden
discovery, as it might be called, that he attributed it to an
inspiration from above, and stood for a moment in doubt whether he
should not return to the stone-heap and offer another prayer of thanks
to the mother above, for what he considered to have been a gift of her
goodness to him. But the house was too near, and he bethought himself of
Shyuote and what the mischievous urchin might have done since he had
left him. He entered the front room of his mother's dwelling with a
lighter and easier mind than the day before, and what he saw at once
diverted his thoughts into another widely different channel.

Shyuote sat in a corner, and his eyes were red from crying. Beside him
stood Say, agitated and angry. Without giving her elder son time to
speak, she asked,--

"Who sent the boy to the fields?"

"I don't know," replied Okoya, in astonishment. He knew nothing of
Shyuote's morning rambles. "He must know; how could I tell?"

"He says that they drove him from the corn because he threw mud at a
girl," added the mother.

"That is quite likely," rejoined his elder brother. "That is why the
lads of the Corn clan intended to beat him, I presume."

"Why did you not stay with your father?" cried Say.

"Because,"--he held his arm up to his eyes and commenced to
sob,--"because my father drove me off."

"Why did he drive you away?"

"Because--" He stopped, then raised his head as if a sudden and wicked
thought had flashed across his mind.

His eyes sparkled. "I dare not tell." He cast his eyes to the ground,
and a bitter smile passed over his lips.

"Why dare you not tell?" both Say and Okoya inquired. "Has sa nashtio
told you not to say anything about it?"

"Not he, but the Koshare Naua." It was like an explosion. Say Koitza
felt a terrible pang; she stared vacantly at the wicked lad for a
moment, and then turned and went into the kitchen. Shyuote wept aloud;
his brother looked down upon him with an expression of mingled
compassion and curiosity.

The doorway was suddenly darkened by a human form, and with the usual
_guatzena_ the grandfather, Topanashka, entered the apartment. Okoya
stood up quickly and replied,--

"Raua opona."

"What is the boy crying for?" inquired the old man.

"The Corn people tried to hurt him because he threw something at one of
their girls," Okoya explained.

"Is that all? I heard scolding and crying going on here, and so I
thought I would come and see what was the matter. Where is your yaya?"

Say, when she heard her father's voice, came out and leaned against the
entrance to the kitchen. Her face was convulsed, her eyes glassy.
Topanashka scanned her features quietly and then said in a cold tone,--

"Guatzena."

She understood the meaning of his cold, searching gaze, and gathered all
her strength to meet it with composure.

"Shyuote cries also," she said, "because his father sent him home from
the fields."

"Why did Zashue do that?"

"This he dare not tell, for the Koshare Naua"--her voice trembled at the
mention of the name--"forbade him to say anything about it." Her eyes
clung to the features of her father. Topanashka turned away slowly and
quietly, and she followed him to the door. As he was crossing the
threshold he whispered to her,--

"There is nothing new as yet."



CHAPTER V.


The people of the Water clan dwelt at the western end of the cliffs
which border the Tyuonyi on the north. They occupied some twenty caves
scooped out along the base of the rock, and an upper tier of a dozen
more, separated from the lower by a thickness of rock averaging not over
three feet. This group of cave-dwellings--and vestiges thereof are still
visible at this day--lay in a re-entering angle formed by the cliffs,
which overhang in such a manner as to form a sheltered nook open to the
south. Ascent to their base is quite steep, and great heaps of débris
cover the slope. The gorge is narrow, a dense thicket interspersed with
pine-trees lines the course of the brook, and the declivity forming the
southern border of the Rito approaches the bottom in rocky steps,
traversed laterally by ledges overgrown with scrubby vegetation.

Vestiges of former occupancy are still scattered about the caves. Some
of these furnish a clew to the manner in which the dwellings were formed
by scraping and burrowing. Splinters of obsidian and of basalt--sharp
fragments, resembling clumsy chisels or knives--served to dig an oblong
hole in the soft pumice or tufa of the cliff. After this narrow cavity
had penetrated a depth of one or two feet, the artisan began to enlarge
it inside, until a room was formed for which the tunnelled entrance
served as a doorway. The room, or cell, was gradually finished in a
quadrangular or polygonal shape, with a ceiling high enough to permit a
person of average size to stand erect. Not unfrequently side rooms were
excavated connecting with the first by low apertures, to pass through
which it was necessary to stoop, or even to creep on all fours. These
passages were too low for doorways, too short to deserve the name of
tunnels. Into the front apartment light and air were admitted through
the entrance, and sometimes through small window-like apertures. The
side cells were utterly dark except where excavated parallel to the face
of the rock, when sometimes another entrance was opened to the front,
sometimes an air-hole only admitted light and air.

If on the afternoon of the day when Shyuote had his perilous adventure
with the young people of the Corn clan, we had been able to peep into
the third one of the ground-floor caves, counting from the west end of
the group inhabited by the Water people, we should have found the
apartment empty; that is, as far as human occupancy was concerned. But
not deserted; for while its owner was not there, ample signs of his
presence only a short time before could be detected everywhere. In the
fireplace wood was smouldering, and a faint smoke rising from this found
egress through a crude chimney. This was built over the hearth, with two
vertical side slabs of pumice supporting a perforated square flag, over
which a primitive flue, made of rubble cemented by mud, led to a
circular opening in the front wall of the cave. In a corner stood the
frame for the grinding-slabs, or _metates_, and in it the three plates
of lava on which the Indian crushes and pulverizes his maize were placed
in the convenient slanting position. Not only the prismatic
crushing-pins, but freshly ground meal also, lay in the stone casings of
the primitive mill, and on these the plates themselves. Deerskins and
cotton wraps were rolled in a bundle in another corner. Others hung on a
line made of rawhide and stretched across one end of the room, fastened
to wooden pins driven into the soft rock. On the floor--to which a thick
coating of mud, washed with blood and smoothed, gave a black, glossy
appearance--there were beside, here a few stone axes with handles, there
some black sooty pots, painted bowls, and finally the inevitable
water-urn with wide body and narrow top, decorated in the usual style
with geometrical and symbolical figures painted in red and black on
whitish ground. The walls of the cave were burnished with burnt gypsum;
the ceiling was covered by a thick coat of soot; and a band of yellow
ochre, like wainscoting, ran along the base of the sides.

The owner of this troglodytic home, however, is not to be seen; but in a
side chamber, which communicates with this apartment through one of the
dark and low passages just described, a rustling sound is heard, as of
some one rummaging about in darkness. After a while a woman's head peeps
through the passage into the outer room, and little by little the whole
body emerges, forcing itself through the narrow opening. She rises and
stands erect in front of the hearth, and the sunbeam which still enters
the apartment by the round hole above the fireplace strikes her features
full and enables us to scan them. The woman into whose dwelling we have
pryed, and who stands now in the dim chamber as sole occupant and owner,
is Shotaye, Tyope's former wife, and the friend who has given Say Koitza
such ill advice.

If Shotaye be a witch, she certainly is far from displaying the hag-like
appearance often attributed to the female sorcerer. There is even
something decidedly fascinating about her. Shotaye, although near the
forties, is for an Indian woman undoubtedly good-looking. No wonder some
other women of the tribe are afraid of her. She is tall and well
rounded, and her chest is of that fulnesss that develops at an early age
in the women of the Pueblos. Her face is even pretty,--her lips are
pouting and sensual, the nose small and shaped like a short, pointed
beak, the cheek-bones high, while the chin indicates remarkable
determination. Magnificent black hair streams down her back. It is as
full as a wave, as lustrous as polished obsidian.

Her dress consists of a buckskin wrap without girdle, embroidered at the
lower end with multi-coloured porcupine-quills. Bracelets of white
shells, a necklace of feldspar crystals and turquoises, and strings of
yellow cotton threads around her ankles complete the costume. Such is
the woman who has played and still plays an ominous part in the history
of Okoya's mother, and in the history of the people at the Rito de los
Frijoles. Now that we have seen her home and her person, let us proceed
with the tale of her doings on the afternoon to which the close of the
preceding chapter has been devoted.

Shotaye had been rummaging about in the inner cell of her rocky house in
search of some medicinal plant, for that cell was her storeroom,
laboratory, and workshop. But as the room was without light at all, she
had entered it with a lighted stick in her hand; and just as she had
begun her search the flame had died out. So after a vain attempt by
groping in darkness, she crawled back to the exterior apartment and
knelt down in front of the hearth to fan the coals with her breath and
thus obtain another torch for her explorations. At that moment the
deerskin robe closing the entrance to her grotto was timidly lifted, and
a feeble voice called the usual greeting. "Opona," replied Shotaye,
turning toward the doorway. A lithe figure crept into the cave. When
near the fireplace it stood still, enabling the mistress of the dwelling
to recognize the features of Say, her friend and now fully recovered
patient.

But how different was Say's appearance from what it was when Shotaye a
few days ago saw her last? How changed,--how thin and wan her cheeks,
how sunken her eyes, how sallow and sickly her complexion! Her face
seemed to bear the seal of approaching death, for the eyes stared
expressionless, the mouth twitched without speaking. But one thought
seized Shotaye, that her friend must be ill, very, very ill,--that the
old disease had returned in full force and had clutched her anew with
perhaps irresistible power. Anxiously she rose to her feet, and scanned
the face of the invalid.

"What ails you, my sister," she inquired tenderly. "Has disease come on
you again? Speak, sa uishe, speak to me that I may know."

Her visitor only shook her head and glanced about as if seeking a place
to rest herself. The medicine-woman gathered hurriedly a few robes,
folded them so as to make a cushion near the hearth, and then gently
urged Say to sit down on this soft and easy seat. She yielded, and then
remained motionless, her glassy eyes staring vacantly at the floor.

"Sister," Shotaye reiterated, "sister, what ails you? Speak, and I will
do all I can for you." But the other merely shook her head and began to
shiver. Shotaye noticed the wristbands of red leather on her arms, and
it startled her. She asked eagerly,--

"Why do you wear in trouble the colour that should make our hearts glad?
What has happened to you that causes you to seek relief for your
distress?" The tone of her voice sounded no longer like entreaty; it was
an anxious, nay stern, command. Okoya's mother raised her eyes with an
expression of intense misery; she threw toward her questioner a look
imploring relief and protection, and finally gasped,--

"They know everything!" Then her head dropped on her knees, she grasped
her hair, covered her face and chest with it, and broke out in
convulsive sobs.

"They know everything!" Shotaye repeated, "Who know everything?"
Suddenly the truth seemed to flash upon her mind.

"What, the Koshare?" she cried in terror.

Convulsive sobs and groans were the only reply to her exclamation. They
amply confirmed her worst apprehensions. "The Koshare know all."
Unconsciously the cave-dweller uttered these words while staring into
the remnant of gleaming coals on the hearth; then she became silent.
Neither could Say Koitza utter a word; only from time to time her
spasmodic sobs broke the stillness of the room. The bright disk which
the light from the outside painted on the wall opposite was fading
little by little, a sign of approaching sunset.

Shotaye's features displayed few signs of the terror which her friend's
disclosures had produced. Soon her face betokened that fear could not
retain its hold long on her resolute mind, that intense reflection had
superseded dismay. She turned to her visitor and asked,--

"Tell me, sister, how you came to know that the Delight Makers are
acquainted with your doings? Tell me, and do not weep." And as Say
remained silent and immovable she crouched beside her, removed her hair
gently from her face, then raised her head and placed it so as to rest
on her bosom. Then she looked deep into the eyes of the poor woman. They
were glassy and almost lifeless. While thus gazing intently at Say,
Shotaye's features changed and became sad and dejected.

It was for a moment only. Soon the expression of hopelessness vanished
and the lines of her face became resolute, hard, and determined.
Surprise had yielded to reflection, reflection to pity and remorse. Now
remorse in turn gave way to determination. Shotaye felt that she, much
rather than her friend, was lost, irretrievably lost; but her energetic
nature demanded that she should see the situation clearly. Although the
spasmodic hints of Say, her broken words, spoke enough, she wanted more.
Her mind craved the full truth, however terrible it might prove.

Say Koitza had slowly recovered from her stupor. She became quieter and
quieter. In the arms of her resolute and sympathizing friend
consciousness returned; she sobbed no more, and from time to time would
raise her eyes with a look that besought pity, mercy, and assistance.
The medicine-woman eagerly watched these changes and repeated her
previous query.

"How do you know that the Koshare are aware of it?"

"Sa nashtio told me," moaned the poor woman.

Shotaye sighed. This was bad news indeed. She muttered,--

"This is bad, very bad. If the maseua knows it, then the tapop will not
be long without notice."

"The tapop knows nothing," breathed Say.

"But how can the maseua have been informed without the knowledge of the
other?" Shotaye asked with surprise.

"He is my father," replied Say, and wept aloud. "He is my father, and
yet"--she started to rise and grasped her hair with both hands,
screaming--"he has to kill me with his own hands!"

So loud and piercing was her shriek that Shotaye was seized with sudden
fright. Rising quickly, she ran to the doorway and peeped outside to see
if the scream had attracted attention. But there appeared to be nobody
about, except a few children who were playing and romping in front of
the caves and whose cries had drowned the shriek. Reassured she returned
to Say, who was lying with her face on the floor, tearing her hair and
uttering low convulsive groans. Shotaye grew frightened, and brought
water in a gourd. She moistened her forehead and hands with the liquid,
rubbed her face, and thus finally brought her back to some composure.
After drinking some water Say sat on the robes again, shivering and
gasping. Her mind seemed entirely gone, the expression of her features
was akin to idiocy. The room had grown darker, night was approaching.

As soon as she appeared to be quiet, Shotaye felt tempted to resume her
questionings. But she bethought herself of the late hour, and of the
suspicion which might arise in case Say Koitza should not be home in
time. Still, she must ask some questions; her positive mind required
some additional knowledge which must be gained ere she could afford to
let her visitor return home. Shotaye returned to the entrance, looked
stealthily outside, and listened. Dusk had set in, and the bottom of the
gorge was wrapped in twilight. The shrubbery along the brook appeared
dim and pale, the lofty pines looked like black monuments. On the
southern declivity all detail had vanished, but the top of the southern
mesa glistened yet like a golden seam. In the recess formed by the angle
of the cliffs which contained her home, the usual bustle of the evening
hours prevailed; and laughter, merry and boisterous, issued from a cave
opposite that where Shotaye, concealed by folds of the half-lifted
curtain, stood watching with eye and ear. In those caves fronting hers
dwelt the family of Zashue, Say's husband. Thence sounded the merriment,
and the woman recognized familiar voices. Surely enough Hayoue was
there; and there could be no mistake, that clear good-natured laugh was
from Zashue himself. Shotaye dropped the curtain and turned back
considerably relieved. If Zashue was at his mother's and brother's
home, she reasoned, he would not return to the big house that night; and
since he was so gay, so merry, it was not likely that he knew anything
of the terrible accusation against his wife and her. If that were the
case there was no immediate danger, since all the Koshare were not
informed of the matter. Returning to the hearth she poked the embers,
placed on them another stick of pitchy wood, and fanned it with her
breath until the flames burst forth, lively and bright. Until then Say
had remained motionless in her seat. She had taken no notice of her
friend's movements; but when the wood flamed and a warm glow began to
spread over the apartment, she started like one whose dreams are
suddenly disturbed and began to speak.

"I must go," she exclaimed anxiously. "I must go home. I must cook for
Zashue! He is looking for me! I must go," and she attempted to rise.

Shotaye tried to quell her sudden apprehension, but she kept on with
growing excitement,--

"I must! Let me go! Let me go! For he is looking for me."

"He is not," assured the other. "Be quiet. He is yonder with his people
in the cave. There he sits and there he will stay till late."

A sudden tremor seized the body of Say. Her hands shook like aspen
leaves. "Is he there?" she gasped. "Then he is coming after me. Is he
not a Koshare?" Her eyes glistened with that peculiar glare which
betokens aberration of the mind.

Any ordinary Indian woman would have concluded from the appearance and
utterances of Say that she was hopelessly insane, and would either have
resorted to incantations or left her in terror. Shotaye, although very
much frightened, did not think of desertion, but only of relief. With
keen self-possession she said in a decided and convincing tone,--

"Fear nothing, sa tao; he will not come, for he knows nothing."

"Nothing?" inquired Say, looking at her with the shy and sly glance of a
doubting maniac.

"Nothing at all!" Shotaye exclaimed, firmly. She had recovered her
ascendency. She directed her glance, commanding and convincing, straight
at the wavering gaze of the excited woman, whose look became dim and
finally meek. Shotaye took advantage of the change.

"Zashue knows nothing at all," she asserted, "and that is very, very
good; for it gives us hope."

"But if they tell him!" and the anxious look came back to her face.

"Let them tell, if they choose," defiantly exclaimed the other;
"afterward we shall see."

Say shook her head in doubt.

"But how did the Koshare come to know about it?" Shotaye again pressed
the main question.

"I do not know," sighed Say; and she again stared into the fire, and her
face quivered suspiciously. The cave-dweller quickly interjected,--

"What do the Delight Makers really know about us?"

"They know--they know that I spoke to the dark-coloured corn."

"Is that all?"

"No--yes--no. They know more." She spoke with greater vivacity, and in a
natural tone of voice; "they know about the owl's feathers, too." A deep
sigh followed this reply, and tears came to her eyes. Say was herself
again.

Shotaye also heaved a deep sigh of relief. Her friend's mind was
restored, and she had gained the much-desired information. But it would
have been dangerous to proceed further in this conversation, lest the
cloud which had threatened Say's mental powers should return and settle
permanently. So, after a short silence, she turned to her friend, and
said in a positive tone,--

"Sister, go home now and rest easy. Nothing is lost as yet. Go home, be
quiet, and attend to your work as usual. I shall be on the watch."

"But the Koshare!" Say anxiously exclaimed.

"Leave them to me," the other answered; and so powerful was her
influence on the timid mind of her visitor, so unbounded the confidence
which the latter had in her abilities and her faithfulness, that Say
rose without a word, and like an obedient child, covering her head with
one corner of her wrap, went out and meekly strolled home. It was night,
and nobody noticed her. Okoya was already at the estufa; Shyuote and the
little girl were asleep. Say lay down beside her sleeping children and
soon sank into a heavy slumber. Her body, weak from over-strain,
compelled a rest which the mind might have denied to her.

In her dark chamber in the rock, Shotaye sat alone before the fire on
the hearth. It began to flame lustily, for the woman fed it well. She
wanted the glow, first in order to cook her food, next in order to
brighten the room; for with the dark and tangled subject on her mind,
she felt the need of light and warmth as her companions in musing. When
the flames rustled and crackled, Shotaye squatted down in front of them,
folded her arms around her knees, and began to think.

She felt far from being as reassured about the outlook as she had
pretended to be when she sent Say Koitza home with soothing and
comforting words. But the preservation of her friend's mental powers was
an imperative necessity. Had Say been permitted to fall a prey to her
momentary excitement, everything would have been lost for Shotaye. Had
Say's mind given way permanently, the cause of that calamity would have
been attributed to her, and she would have been charged with her
friend's insanity in addition to the charge of witchcraft already being
formulated.

These thoughts, however, came to her now in the stillness of the night
and by the fireside. So long as her poor friend was with her she had
acted almost instinctively, with the quick grasp of an active intellect
and under the good impulses of compassion and attachment. Now that she
was alone the time had come to ponder, and Shotaye weighed in her mind
the liabilities and assets of her situation. She began to calculate the
probabilities for and against.

It was not difficult for her to escape; but this was only possible when
attempted alone. With Say Koitza flight was next to impossible. Beside,
it appeared very unlikely to her that the woman would flee from her
children.

[Illustration: Rito de los Frijoles

A cliff estufa of the Snake-Clan]

As for Shotaye, the case was different; she might leave her cave and her
scanty effects at any time, provided she knew where to go. This was not
so easy to determine. The Navajos, or Dinne, haunted the country around
the Tyuonyi; and in case she fell in with one or more of their number,
it became a matter of life or death. The Moshome, or enemies of her
tribe, might take a fancy to the woman and spare her; but they might
feel wicked and kill her. Death appeared, after all, not such a terrible
misfortune; for under present circumstances what else could she expect
at the Rito but a horrible and atrocious death? But Shotaye was intent
upon living, not so much for the sake of life itself--although it had
many sensual charms for her--as out of a spirit of combativeness
resulting from her resolute character, as well as from the constant
struggles which she had undergone during the time of her separation from
her husband. She felt inclined to live, if possible, in spite of her
enemies. To endure the lot of a captive among the Navajos was repulsive
to her instincts; she hated to be a drudge. Admitting that she succeeded
in eluding those enemies, whither was she to direct her flight? That
there were village communities similar to her own at a remote distance
was known to her; but she was aware of only one in which she might be
received, and that belonged to the Tehuas, of whom she knew that a
branch dwelt in the mountains west of the river, inhabiting caves
somewhere in the rocks at one day's journey, more or less, from the
Rito. Between these Tehuas and the Queres of the Tyuonyi there was
occasional intercourse, and a fairly beaten trail led from one place to
the other; but this intercourse was so much interrupted by hostilities,
and the Navajos rendered the trail so insecure beside, that she had
never paid much attention to it. Still, there was no doubt in her mind
that if she reached the habitations of the Tehuas, above where the
pueblo of Santa Clara now stands, a hospitable reception would be
extended to her. But could she leave Say alone to her dismal fate?

After all, death was not such a fearful thing, so long as no torture
preceded or accompanied it. Death must come to her once, at all events,
and then what of it? There need be no care for the hereafter, according
to her creed. The Pueblo Indian knows of no atonement after dying; all
sins, all crimes, are punished during this life. When the soul is
released from the thralls of this body and its surrounding nature, it
goes to Shipapu, at the bottom of the lagune, where there is eternal
dancing and feasting, and where everything goes on as here upon earth,
but with less pain, care, anguish, and danger. Why therefore shun death?
Shotaye was in what we should call a philosophic mood.

Such careless philosophy may temporarily ease the mind, since it stifles
for a moment the pangs of apprehension and dread. But with the
temporary relief which Shotaye felt, the demands of physical nature grew
more apparent. In other words she felt hungry, and the more so as, being
now almost resolved to suffer death with resignation, it was imperative
to live, and consequently to eat, until Death should knock at her door.
She poured a good portion of the now boiling stew into a smaller bowl
and began to fish out the morsels with her fingers, while between times
she drank of the broth. The warm food comforted her, gave her strength,
and aroused her vital powers, which arduous thinking had almost put to
sleep.

She placed the pot with the stew in a corner and sat down again, leaning
against the wall. No sleepiness affected her. There was too much to
think of as yet. Her thoughts returned to the absorbing subject of the
day, and with these thoughts, random at first, a pale, wan figure rose
before her inner eye,--a form well, only too well, known to her; that of
Say Koitza. She saw that figure as she had seen it not long
ago,--crouching before that very fire in bitterest despair, bewailing
her own lot, lamenting her imminent untimely death, and yet without one
single word of reproach for her who had beguiled her into doing what now
might result in the destruction of both. Was not that thin, trembling
woman her victim? Was she not the one who had led Say astray? The Indian
knows not what conscience is, but he feels it all the same; and Shotaye,
ignorant of the nature of remorse, nevertheless grew sad.

Indeed she it was who had beguiled the poor frail creature,--she it was
who had caused her to perform an act which, however immaterial in fact,
still entailed punishment of the severest kind according to Indian
notions and creed. She was the real culprit, not Say,--poor, innocent,
weak-minded Say. Shotaye felt that she had done wrong, and that she
alone deserved to suffer. But would her punishment save the other?
Hardly, according to Indian ideas. Therefore, while it dawned upon her
that by accusing herself boldly and publicly she might perhaps ward off
the blow from the head of her meek and gentle accomplice, that thought
was quickly stifled by the other, that it was impracticable. Again a
voice within her spoke boldly, Save yourself regardless of the other.

Yet she discarded that advice. She could not forsake her victim. For in
addition to the legitimate motives of sympathy, another and stronger
reason prevailed,--the dread of the very powers whom she thought to have
invoked in Say's behalf, and to whose dark realm she fancied that she
would be fettered and still faster riveted by committing an action which
she regarded as worse than all her other deeds. Dismissing every thought
of self she resolved to remain true to Say, happen what might. Shotaye
had almost become--

                    "part of the power that still
        Produceth good, whilst ever scheming ill."

She believed that death stood plainly at her door. Nevertheless she
hated to die. The philosophy of careless, frivolous resignation could
not satisfy her strong vitality, still less her stronger feelings of
hatred against her enemies. She felt that there might be a bare
possibility of saving her companion; and the wish to save herself at the
same time, and in the very teeth as it were of the Koshare, grew
stronger and stronger. It waxed to an intense longing for life and
revenge. But what was to be done? There was the riddle, and to solve it
she thought and thought. Shotaye became oblivious of all around her,
completely absorbed in her musings.

It thus escaped her notice that the curtain over the doorway had been
cautiously lifted several times, and that a human face had peered into
the apartment. She even failed to hear the shuffling step of two men
who stealthily entered the room. Only when they stood quite near her did
the woman start and look up. Both men broke out into roaring laughter at
her surprise. Shotaye grew angry.

"Why do you come in so unceremoniously," she cried. "Why do you sneak in
here like a Moshome, or like a prairie wolf after carrion? Cannot you
speak, you bear?" she scolded without rising.

Her anger increased the merriment of the intruders. One of them threw
himself down by her side, forced his head into her lap, attempting to
stroke her cheeks. She pushed him from her, and recognized in him the
gallant Zashue, Say Koitza's husband. He grasped both her hands. This
she allowed; but continued scolding.

"Go away, you hare, let me alone." He again reached toward her face, but
she avoided him. "Go home to your woman; I have no use for you."

The men laughed and laughed; and the other one knelt down before her,
looking straight into her face with immoderate merriment. Then she
became seriously angry.

"What do you want here," she cried; and when the first one attempted to
encircle her waist she pushed him from her with such force that he fell
aside. Then she rose to her feet and Zashue followed.

"Be not angry, sister," he said good-naturedly, rubbing his sore
shoulder; "we mean you no harm."

"Go home and be good to your woman."

"Later on I will," he continued, "but first we want to see you."

"And talk to you," said Hayoue, for he was Zashue's companion;
"afterward I shall go." He emphasized the "I" and grinned.

"Yes, you are likely to go home," she exclaimed. "To Mitsha you will go,
not to your mother's dwelling."

"Mitsha is a good girl," replied the young man, "but I never go to see
her."

His brother meanwhile attempted to approach the woman again, but she
forbade it.

"Go away, Zashue, I tell you for the last time." Her speech and manner
of action were very positive.

"Why do you drive us away?" he said in a tone of good-natured
disappointment.

"I do not drive you away," replied Shotaye. "You may stay here a while.
But then both of you must leave me." Her eyes nevertheless gazed at the
two handsome forms with evident pleasure, but soon another thought
arose.

"Sit down," she added quietly, as she grasped after the stew-pot, placed
it on the fire, and sat down so that she was in the shadow, whereas she
could plainly see the features of both men. The visitors had squatted
also; they feared to arouse the woman's anger, and the surprise they had
planned had failed.

Hayoue spoke up first,--

"You are good, sanaya, you give us food."

"Indeed," she remonstrated, "when I am not willing to do as you want,
you call me mother and make an old woman of me." She looked at the young
man, smiling, and winked at him.

"You are not very young after all," he teased; "you might easily be my
mother."

"What! I your mother? The mother of such an elk? You have one mother
already, and if you need another, go to Mitsha's mother." With these
words she fixed her gaze on the youth searchingly and inquiringly. As
her face was in the shadow Hayoue could not well notice its expression.
But he said again, and very emphatically,--

"I tell you once more, koitza, that I will not have anything to do with
the girl; she is all right, but--" he stopped and shrugged his
shoulders. Zashue interjected,--

"Why not? Tyope would then be your nashtio."

"For that very reason I do not want his daughter," Hayoue exclaimed,
looking straight at his brother. He was in earnest about this matter,
and whenever Hayoue grew serious it was best not to tease him too much.

Shotaye had treasured every word, noticed every look and gesture. Of
course she, as Tyope's former wife, took care not to take part in the
conversation as far as Tyope was concerned.

Zashue turned to her with the query,--

"Sam[=a]m, have you any feathers?"

Shotaye was startled; what might be the import of this suspicious
inquiry? Did he know about her affair and come only as a spy? She
withheld her answer for a moment, just time enough for reflection. It
was better to seem unconcerned, so she replied quietly,--

"I have."

"If you have hawk's feathers, will you give me some?"

The mention of hawk's feathers reassured Shotaye. At the same time it
indicated to her a prospective trade, and the woman had always an eye to
business. So she placed both elbows on her knees, looked straight at
Zashue, and inquired,--

"What will you give me for them?"

"Nothing," replied Zashue, with a laugh.

"Promise her the next owl that you may find," Hayoue taunted.

"Be still, you crow," scolded Shotaye, with well-feigned indignation;
"you need owl's eyes that you may sneak about in the dark after the
girls. There is not a single maiden safe when you are at the Tyuonyi."

"And no man is safe from you," retorted the young man.

"You are safe, at any rate."

"When you call me a turkey-buzzard you say the truth," he answered,
"else I would not have come to you."

Shotaye understood the venomous allusion and was going to retort, but
bethought herself in time and only said in a contemptuous tone,--

"Why should I quarrel with you, uak." Then turning to Zashue and
changing the subject,--

"How many feathers do you want, and what will you give me for them?"

"Four, but they must be long ones."

"What will you give me for them?"

"Let me see the feathers." With this he rose.

Without replying Shotaye poured out two little bowls of broth, placed
them before her visitors, said "eat," took a lighted stick from the
hearth, and crawled into the dark passage leading to her magazine. Soon
she was heard to rummage about in that apartment, and a faint glow
illuminated the low tunnel.

While the woman was busy searching for the feathers, the two men partook
of the food she had set before them sparingly, as it was a mere matter
of etiquette. But while eating they exchanged sly glances and winks,
like bad boys bent upon some mischief. At last, as Shotaye did not
return, Zashue stealthily arose, removed one of the heavy
grinding-plates from its frame, and placed it across the mouth of the
gangway. Then he stretched himself at full length on the floor with his
back leaning against the slab. Hayoue watched him and chuckled.

The light of the torch shone through the space which the slab could not
cover; the mistress of the cave was coming back. Very soon however the
light disappeared and all grew silent. The firebrand had been
extinguished; the woman was inside, but kept perfectly still, giving no
signs of impatience or disappointment. The mischievous men looked at
each other in astonishment; they had not expected that.

They waited and waited. Nothing stirred in the inner room; it grew late
and later. Hayoue had intended to make other calls, and Zashue also
became impatient to go. So he called into the dark passage,--

"Shotaye." No reply.

"Shotaye."

"Shotaye sam[=a]m!"

All was as silent as the grave. They sat in expectation for a while;
then he again shouted,--

"Shotaye sam[=a]m! Come out!"

Nothing was heard. He noisily removed the grinding-slab from the
entrance and cried,--

"Shotaye, we must go. Bring the feathers."

"Let me alone and go," sounded the dull reply at last.

"Give me the feathers first," Zashue demanded.

"Come and get them yourself," replied the voice inside.

This was rather an awkward invitation, for both men, like almost
everybody else at the Rito, were afraid of the medicine-woman's private
room.

"Do bring them," Zashue begged.

"Go! I will not come out any more," growled the voice within.

"Shotaye, sister, bring me the feathers. I will give you a fine deerskin
for them," implored the husband of Say.

"What do you want them for?"

"For the dance."

"You lie! There is no dance now."

Anxiously and eagerly Zashue cried,--

"There will certainly be a dance. Three days hence we shall dance the
ayash tyucotz!"

And Hayoue, who until then had quietly enjoyed the dialogue, now
interjected emphatically,--

"Certainly, sanaya, in three days."

"What will you give me if I bring them?" came the dull query again from
within.

"A hide."

"Go! I will keep my feathers."

"I will give you two turquoises."

"Give me four," demanded the cave-dweller.

"It is too much," cried both men at once.

No reply followed. Shotaye remained silent. The trade was broken off.
Still the younger brother felt disinclined to give up. He went to the
mouth of the passage and said aloud,--

"If you give us the feathers you shall have two green stones and one
deerskin."

"Is it true; do both of you promise it?" asked the woman, after a while.

"Yes! yes!" cried both men together.

"Then put the things near the hearth and sit down," she commanded.

"We have them not with us."

"Go and get them."

"We cannot to-night."

"Then I will keep my feathers until you bring what you have promised;"
and with these words Shotaye crept smiling out of the passage and
planted herself before the discomfited men.

"Go home, now, children," she said. "I am tired. I am sleepy."

They attempted to beg, they pleaded and implored; but she was firm. All
they finally obtained was her promise to deliver the feathers on the
next day, provided the price agreed upon was paid. With this the two men
had to be satisfied, and their exit was as crestfallen and disappointed
as their entrance had been mischievous and buoyant.

They had been completely outwitted and foiled by the wily woman.
Nevertheless, they never thought for a moment of obtaining by force what
she so positively refused. It would have been easy for the two strong
men to overpower her; but both were afraid of the supernatural powers
attributed to Shotaye. For the same reason they were anxious to obtain
the feathers. An object coming from her and having been in her
possession was suspected of having acquired thereby virtues which it did
not possess before. But these virtues were thought to be beneficial only
as long as the object was obtained from her in a legitimate way, and
with her own free will and kind consent. In the opposite case, the bad
will of the woman went with the feathers, and was thought to work harm
to their new owner. It was easy to taunt or to tease Shotaye, but to
arouse her anger appeared a dangerous undertaking; and as for harming
her person, none but the shamans would have attempted it.

After her guests' departure Shotaye felt wide awake. She had dismissed
them, not in order to go to rest, but in order to be once more alone
with her thoughts. For during the bantering conversation with the
brothers, she had learned several important facts that changed
materially her plans. In order to ponder carefully over the different
aspect of matters, she poked the fire again and sat down by the hearth
in the same position as before the interruption, and mused.

In the first place, it had become clear to her that Zashue was utterly
ignorant of the accusation against his wife.

Next, she was convinced that Hayoue was far from being Tyope's friend;
on the contrary, he seemed to dislike him thoroughly. Hayoue was known
to be very outspoken in matters of sympathy and antipathy, and if he
were not fond of Tyope, the latter certainly had come to feel it in some
way or other. Then, for she knew Tyope well, he doubtless hated Hayoue
cordially, and would have shown his enmity in the dark, underhand way
peculiar to himself. If Hayoue, on the other hand, was not favourably
inclined toward Tyope, it was quite certain that he, being Cuirana,
nursed feelings of dislike toward the Koshare in general. Any
accusation, therefore, which the Delight Makers would bring against Say
Koitza was sure to meet at first with decided incredulity on the part of
the young man, and this incredulity might possibly be converted, through
adroit management, into active opposition.

But the most valuable piece of news she had heard from the intruders was
that three days hence a solemn dance, the ayash tyucotz, was to be
performed at the Rito. These ceremonies, which are always of a religious
nature, are proposed generally by the principal shamans to the civil
chiefs,--in council or privately,--either on the strength of some
presage or dream, or as a public necessity. The proposal agreed to, as
it usually is, the time is set; but no publication is made either of the
performance or of the hour until the day on which it is to occur or the
evening previous. But the matter is talked about at home, in the circle
of friends, and thus it gradually becomes known to everybody as a public
secret, and everybody has time to prepare for it. Shotaye mixed very
little with the people at the Rito; she hardly ever went to see any one,
and such as came to see her had other matters to talk about. It was no
surprise to her to learn that an important dance was near at hand; but
it was a source of much gratification nevertheless. For until the dance
was over nothing could or would be undertaken against Say and herself.
After the performance, it was equally sure that several days would
elapse ere the council could meet in full, as the religious heads of the
tribe had yet to go through ceremonies of a private nature. At all
events, it proved to her that there was no immediate danger, and that
she still had time before her. With time, so the resolute and wary woman
reasoned, there was hope.

Thus musing and speculating, she sat for a long while. The fire went
out, but she did not notice it. At last she arose, unfolded several
robes and mantles, which she easily found in the dark, and spread them
out on the floor for her couch. Shotaye could go to sleep; for at last
she saw, or thought she saw, her way clearly. She had fully determined
upon her plan of action.



CHAPTER VI.


"Hu-Hu-Hu-Hu-Hu-Hu-Hu-Hu-Hu-o-o-o-o!"

Shrill cries, succeeding one another in quick succession, ending in a
prolonged shout, proceed from the outer exit of the gallery that opens
upon the court-yard of the large building.

The final whoop, caught up by the cliffs of the Tyuonyi, echoes and
re-echoes, a prolonged howl dying out in a wail. Men's voices, hoarse
and untrained, are now heard chanting in rhythmic and monotonous chorus.
They approach slowly, moving with measured regularity; and now strange
figures begin to emerge from the passage-way, and as they file into the
court-yard the chant grows louder and louder. A refrain--

        "Ho-[=a]-[=a]! Heiti-na! Ho-[=a]-[=a]! Heiti-na!"

breaks clearly and distinctly upon the ear, mingled with the discordant
rumblings of a drum. The fantastic procession advances, forming a double
column, composed of men and women side by side. The former are stamping
and the latter tripping lightly, but all are keeping time. They
certainly present a weird appearance, tricked out in their gaudy apparel
and ornamented with flashy trinkets. The hair of the men is worn loose;
tufts of green and yellow feathers flutter over the forehead, while
around their necks and dangling over their naked chests are seen strings
of porcupine quills, shell beads, turquoises, bright pebbles, feldspar,
apatite,--anything in short that glitters and shines. Bunches of similar
material glisten in their ears. Fastened about the waist, and reaching
as low as the knee, a rude kilt-like garment composed of white cotton
cloth or of deerskin hangs and flaps. It is ornamented with an
embroidery of red and black threads, and quills of the porcupine. Below
the knee, garters of buckskin, tinged red and yellow, form a fringe to
which are attached tortoise-shell rattles and bunches of elk-hoofs. The
ankles are encased with strips of the white and black fur of the skunk,
and from the waist a fox-skin hangs, fastened to the back and reaching
almost as far as the heel. Each man carries a tuft of hawk's feathers in
his left hand, while the right grasps a rattle fashioned from a gourd
and filled with pebbles.

The women wear their ordinary dress, emphasized however with a profusion
of necklaces, wristbands, and ear pendants, while in each hand is borne
a bunch of pine twigs wagging from side to side as they move. But by far
the most striking feature of their costume is their headdress. It
consists of a piece of buffalo-hide scraped and flattened like a board,
about fifteen inches long and seven inches wide, one end of which is cut
square. The other terminates in what resembles a triple turret, squarely
notched. This is painted green, and decorated with symbolic figures in
red and yellow. White feathers flutter from each of the three
turret-shaped projections, and this peculiar headgear is held in place
by strips of buckskin attached to the squared end, and knotted about
meshes of the dark, streaming hair.

The faces of both sexes are generously daubed with white clay, in
addition to which the men have their naked chests, upper arms, and hands
also decorated with stripes and blotches of the same substance.

The procession is a long one; couple follows couple, the men gravely
stamping, the women gracefully tripping. At the head are the tallest and
most robust youths, the best developed and most buxom girls. Following
these, the dancers are less and less carefully assorted and matched,
while boys and old women, little girls and old men, bring up the rear.

As the last couple emerges, the chorus bursts out in full force, the
choristers themselves issuing from the dark passage-way. These are
twelve in number, all men, dressed or undressed as each one's fancy
dictates, their faces whitened like the dancers'. Their rude chant or
rhythmic shouting is in the minor key. They advance in a body, keeping
time with their feet, gesticulating in a manner intended to convey the
meaning of their song. In their midst goes the drum-beater, an aged man
adorned with an eagle's feather behind each ear. Like the rest, his face
is daubed with white paint; his drum, which he thumps incessantly with a
single stick, being manufactured from a hollow tree. Both ends of it are
covered with rawhide, and the whole instrument is painted yellow. We
recognize easily in this musician the head of the Koshare, Shyuote's
late tormentor.

At no great distance from the exit, the chorus comes to a halt, but the
singing, gesticulation and beating of the drum proceed. The dancers
meanwhile move about the whole court to the same step, but the couples
separate and change places; man steps beside man, woman joins woman, all
turning and passing each other, suggesting by their movements the
flexures of a closely folded ribbon. The couples then re-form, the
double rank strings out as at first, tramping and tripping in a wide
circle to the rhythm and measure of the monotonous music.

This solemn perambulation and primitive concert is witnessed by numerous
interested spectators, and listened to by a large and attentive
audience. The Rito's entire population is assembled, eagerly, at times
almost devoutly, gazing and listening. The assemblage crowds the roofs
and lines the walls below, all confusedly gathered together. There is
every imaginable posture, costume, or lack of costume,--men, women,
children clothed in bright wraps or embroidered skins, scantily covered
with dirty rags, or rejoicing in the freedom of undress. The several
roofs of the large house, rising in successive terraces three stories
high, form an irregular amphitheatre filled with humanity of all sizes,
shapes, ages, clothing, in glaring contrast with one another. In the
arena formed by the court-yard, form and colour intermingle with more
order and regularity; and at the same time greater brilliancy is
exhibited. The fantastic headdresses of the women nod and vibrate like
waving plants of Indian corn; the lustrous hair and the gaudy costumes
glisten and sparkle in the sunlight, fox pelts wag back and forth,
plumes and feathers flit and dance, the monotonous chanting, the dull
thumping and drumming rise into the deep blue sky, re-echoing from the
towering cliffs, whose pinnacles look down upon the weird scene from
heights far above the uppermost tier of spectators.

Among those looking on we may recognize some of our acquaintances.
Seated upon one of the terraces, his chin resting on his hand, is
Topanashka, who looks down upon the actors with a grave, cold, seemingly
indifferent gaze. Say Koitza stands in the doorway of her dwelling, her
wan face wearing an immobile expression. Her little girl, elegantly
arrayed in a breech-clout and turquoise necklace, clings to her mother's
wrap with one hand while the other disappears in her gaping mouth. The
child is half afraid, half curious; and has an anxious, troubled look.
Shyuote, however, evinces no sign of embarrassment or humility. Planted
solidly on his feet, with legs well apart and both arms arched, he gapes
and stares at everybody and everything, occasionally fixing his glance
upon the resplendent sky overhead. In vain we search for Zashue and his
elder son, Okoya.

The mass of spectators--hundreds are here already and more are coming
constantly--do not content themselves with devout and reverent
admiration. Criticism is going on, and it is exercised with the most
unlimited freedom. Should any one attract attention to himself, either
by the perfection or imperfection of his dress measured by the standard
of the critic, he is not only mentioned by name and his garb audibly
criticised, but pointed at approvingly or derisively. The men are made
the butt of their own sex among the audience; while the women praise or
depreciate, according as the occasion may seem to require, the female
members of the procession. Frequently, when the costume of some dusky
beauty in the arena is the object of publicly expressed admiration, some
other within hearing may be seen casting a covert glance of
disappointment at her own less successful apparel. Or she fixes her eyes
upon her gorgeous necklace with evident gratification, satisfied that
her own get-up is handsomer than the one that the others so much admire,
while she soothes her injured vanity with haughty contempt for the taste
of those who see so much in her rival to admire.

The beat of the drum ceases, the wild song is hushed, and the dancers
break rank, seeking rest. They collect in groups or mingle with the
bystanders, chatting, laughing, panting. Their violent exercise has
played sad havoc with the paint upon their faces and bodies, rendering
them less fantastic but more ludicrous. The drummer occasionally raps
his instrument to satisfy himself that it is in order, otherwise there
is a lull of which all avail themselves to take part in the general
conversation. Children resume their sports in the court-yard.

Suddenly loud peals of laughter are heard on every side, and all eyes
turn simultaneously toward the passage-way whence are issuing half a
dozen strange-looking creatures. They do not walk into the polygon, but
rather tumble into it, running, hopping, stumbling, cutting capers, like
a troop of clumsy, ill-trained clowns. When they have reached the centre
of the open space, laughter becomes louder and more boisterous all
around. Such expressions of mirth do not merely signify amusement, but
are meant as demonstrations of applause. The Indian does not applaud by
clapping his hands or stamping his feet, but evinces his approbation by
laughter and smirks.

The appearance of the six men who have just tumbled into the arena is
not merely strange, it is positively disgusting. They are covered with
white paint, and with the exception of tattered breech-clouts are
absolutely naked. Their mouths and eyes are encircled with black rings;
their hair is gathered in knots upon the tops of their heads, from which
rise bunches of corn husks; a string of deer-hoofs dangles from each
wrist; fragments of fossil wood hang from the loins; and to the knees
are fastened tortoise-shells. Nothing is worn with a view to ornament.
These seeming monstrosities, frightful in their ugliness, move about
quite nimbly, and are boldly impudent to a degree approaching sublimity.
Notwithstanding their uncouth figures and mountebank tricks their
movements at times are undoubtedly graceful, and they appear to exercise
a certain authority over the entire pageant.

White is the symbolic paint of the Koshare; hence all the actors who
have performed their several parts, including the coarse jesters, make
up and represent the society of the Delight Makers, whose office it is
to open the ayash tyucotz. The association whose name has been selected
as the title of our story is now before us fully represented, arrayed in
its appropriate dress and engaged in the discharge of some of its
official duties. The clowns, too, the most agile and sprightly, in a
word the most amusing of the company, are only an exaggeration of the
rest, whose joint task it is to diffuse mirth, joy, buoyancy, delight,
throughout the whole tribe. The jesters are also the heralds and
marshals of the celebration. They gather together in the centre of the
court and carry on a boisterous conversation accompanied with
extravagant gestures. No one interrupts their noisy garrulity, but the
entire assemblage listens eagerly, hailing their clumsy attempts at a
joke and their coarse sallies of wit with shrieks of laughter. Their
jests are necessarily of the coarsest; nevertheless excellent local hits
are made and satiric personalities of considerable pungency are not
infrequently indulged in. One of the clowns has tumbled down; he lies on
his back, feet in the air; another takes hold of his legs and drags him
around in the dust. The peals of laughter that greet this effort give
testimony to the estimation in which it is held by the lookers-on. If
one of the spectators has the misfortune to display immoderate
enthusiasm, forthwith he is made the target of merciless jeering. One of
the merrymakers goes up to him and mimics his manner and actions in the
crudest possible way. The people on the terraced roofs exhibit their joy
by showering down corn-cakes from their perches, which the performers
greedily devour. These things are delightful according to Indian
notions, and are well fitted to show how much of a child he still is,--a
child however, it must be remembered, endowed with the physical
strength, passions, and appetites of adult mankind.

The jesters scatter. One of their number runs up to Say Koitza, who
shrinks at his approach. Nevertheless he plants himself squarely in
front of her, bends his knees sidewise so as to describe a lozenge with
his legs, and thrusts out his tongue to its fullest possible extent.
Upon this the woman laughs, for in the grimacing abomination she has
discovered her own husband, Zashue, who thus pleasantly makes himself
known. The hit is simply magnificent in the judgment of his audience.
Meanwhile one of his colleagues is astride a beam and endeavouring to
crawl up it; a third is actually on the roof and scatters the shrieking
girls everywhere by his impudent addresses; another bursts from a room
on the ground-floor holding ears of corn in each hand, and throwing
himself upon the earth begins to gnaw them as a dog would a bone, while
one of his companions leaps on him, and together they give a faithful
representation of two prairie wolves fighting over carrion. The greatest
uproar prevails all about; the Koshare are outdoing themselves; they
scatter delirious joy, pleasure, delight, broadcast among the people.

The rumblings of the drum are heard again; the men and women dancers
take their places; once more the chorus surround the musicians. The
clowns hush at once, and squat or lie down along the walls, sober and
dignified. The strange _corps de ballet_ re-forms in four lines, the
second and third facing each other, and the first and fourth fronting in
opposite directions; men and women alternate. Loud whoops and yells
startle the air; the drum rolls and thunders; each dancer brandishes his
rattle. Softly and gently, at first, the chant begins,--

        "Ho-[=a]-[=a], Heiti-na, Heiti-na."

Gradually it increases in power, the dancers marking time. Livelier
become the motions, stronger and stronger the chanting, its text
distinct and clearly enunciated,--

        "Misho-homa Shi-pap, Na-ya Ha-te Ma-a-a-se-ua,
        U[=a]-tir-anyi, Tya-au-era-nyi,
        Shoto Ha-ya Ma-a-a-se-ua,
        Nat-yu-o-o, Nat-yu-o-o, Ma-a-a-se-ua,
        Heiti-na, Heiti-na, Ho-[=a]-[=a], Ho-[=a]-[=a]."

The dancers intermingle; those in the front shift to the rear rank; then
all together utter a piercing shriek and dart back to their former
positions. The ceremony continues for upward of half an hour, during
which the same words are sung, the same figures repeated. Then there is
again a pause, and the actors disband to rest and recuperate. The clowns
forget their dignity and set to work with redoubled energy, growing
bolder and bolder. A party of them has penetrated into a ground-floor
apartment, and are throwing the scanty furniture through the doorway.
Now they spread robes and mats in the open court, lie down on them,
crack jokes, and make faces at the audience. A specially gifted member
of the fraternity hurries down a beam with a baby in his clutches, which
he has powdered with ashes. He dances about with it, and exhibits the
squalling brat in every attitude as a potential Koshare. The people
scream and shout with unmixed pleasure. Now they point at a pair of
monsters, one stamping and the other tripping daintily, who effectually
mimic the late partners of the dance in the most heartless manner.
Another of these hideous creatures is sitting down, his head covered
with a dirty rag, staring, stuttering, and mumbling, like an imbecile.
His pantomime is recognized at once as a cruel mimicry of the chief
penitent while at prayer, and it is universally pronounced to be a
superb performance. To the Koshare nothing is sacred; all things are
permitted, so long as they contribute delight to the tribe.

Topanashka appeared to be lonesome in his exalted seat upon the roof. He
arose quietly; and the bystanders made room for the tall man as with
eyes fixed on an opposite terrace, he slowly descended and walked along
the houses without deigning to take any notice of the gambols of the
Koshare. He brushed past Say Koitza, and without looking at her or
moving a feature muttered so that she alone could hear,--

"Watch, lest they discover the feathers."

Passing to the other side of the court he seated himself near a small,
slender man, somewhat younger than himself. This was the tapop, or chief
civil officer at the Rito.

The woman was greatly frightened by her father's words. It flashed upon
her that should the Delight Makers raid her household and upset it, as
they had others, the owl's feathers might be detected. In the troubled
state of her mind she had failed to destroy or even remove them.
Nevertheless, she could not immediately leave her post, through fear of
awakening suspicion; she must wait until the dance should begin and the
goblins become quiescent. Then? What then?

The feathers lay buried in the earthen floor of the inner room. Their
removal must be accomplished with great care, in such a manner as to
leave no signs of the earth having been recently disturbed.[7] There was
no choice; they must be removed at all hazards. There would be ample
time if she could only afterward obliterate all traces of her work.
Luckily the kitchen was very dark, and the hearth covered with ashes.
Water was there also, but she dare not use it lest the moistened spot
betray her. Her mind was made up, however, and the attempt would be made
as soon as the dance was renewed.

Singing and drumming are heard once more; the dancers fall into line;
and when the chorus was shouting the second verse,--

        "Na-ya, Ha-te Oyo-y[=a]-u[=a],
        U[=a]-tir-anyi Tya-au-era-nyi,"--

and the jokers had dispersed, Say slowly retreated within the room,
cowered down by the hearth, a sharp stone-splinter in her hand and her
eyes fixed upon the door, watching lest anybody should appear. She
listened with throbbing heart to discover whether there was any
shuffling sound to betray the approach of one of the Koshare. She saw
nothing, and no sound was heard except the beats of the drum and the
monotonous rhythm,--

        "Heiti-na, Heiti-na,
        Nat-yu-o-o, Nat-yu-o-o, Ma-a-a-se-e-e-ua."

The woman began to dig. She dug with feverish haste. The dance lacked
interest for her; time and again had she witnessed it, and well knew the
figures now being performed. She made the hole as small as possible,
digging and digging, anxiously listening, eagerly looking up now and
then at the doorway, and starting timidly at the least sound.

At last her instrument struck a resisting though elastic object; it was
the feathers.

Cautiously she pulled, pulled them up until she had drawn them to the
top of the hole, then peered about her, intently listening. Nothing!
Outside the uproar went on, the chorus shouting at the top of their
voices,--

        "Ei-ni-a-ha, Ei-ni-a-ha-ay,
        Tu-ua Se-na-si Tyit-i-na,
        Tyit-i-na-a-a, Ma-a-a-se-ua."

Wrenching the bundle from its hiding-place, she concealed it in her
bosom; then carefully replaced the earth and clay; put ashes on this,
then clay; rubbed the latter with a stone; threw on more ashes and more
clay; and finally stamped this with her feet,--all the while listening,
and glancing into the outer room. At last, when it seemed to her that
the most rigid search could detect no trace of her labours, she brushed
the ashes from her wrap and went out under the doorway again.

She appeared composed and more cheerful, but her heart was palpitating
terribly; and at every pulsation she felt the dangerous bundle concealed
beneath her clothing, and she tightened still more the belt encircling
her waist.

The third act of the dance soon ended, and the jesters went to work once
more,--women and girls now became the objects of their attentions. The
screams and shrieks from the roof terraces when a Koshare is tearing
about amongst the women, loud as they are, are drowned by the uproarious
laughter of the men, who enjoy hugely the disgust and terror of the
other sex.

From some of the houses the white painted horrors have taken out the
grinding-slabs. Kneeling behind them, they heap dirt on their flat
surfaces, moisten it with water, and grind the mud as the housewife does
the corn, yelping and wailing the while in mimicry of the woman and her
song while similarly engaged. The pranks of these fellows are simply
silly and ugly; the folly borders on imbecility and the ugliness is
disgusting, and yet nobody is shocked; everybody endures it and laughs.

[Illustration: The Dance of the Ayash Tyucotz]

Say Koitza herself enjoyed seeing her sex made a butt by coarse and
vulgar satyrs. Suddenly two of the beasts stand before her, and one of
them attempts an embrace. With a loud shriek she pushes him away, steps
nimbly aside, and so saves the treacherous bundle from his grasp. Both
the monsters storm into the house, where a terrific uproar begins. Corn
is thrown about, grinding-slabs are disturbed, pots and bowls, robes and
mats, are dragged hither and thither; they thump, scratch, and pound
every corner of her little house. Gasping for breath, quaking from
terror and distress, she leans against the wall, for in the fellow who
sought to embrace her she recognizes Tyope.

All at once he darts out of the house, rushing past her with a large ear
of corn in each hand which he forthwith hurls at the head of one of his
comrades. This provokes intense merriment, increased still more by his
lying down and rolling over several times. The climax of his humour is
attained, and exhibits itself in his squatting on the ground close to
one of the clay-grinding artists, where he begins to feed very eagerly
upon the liquid mud, literally eating dirt. But a terrible weight has
been lifted from the breast of the poor woman, for the dangerous man
has, so she must conclude from his actions, discovered nothing.

Meanwhile the other Koshare had stepped out of the house with
well-filled hands. Say is unconscious of his approach, and as he passes
her he empties his treasures, fine ashes, upon her devoted head. So
sudden is his disappearance and so loud the laughter which this display
of subtle humour excites among the bystanders, that Say Koitza fails to
recognize its author, Zashue, her own husband.

She feels much relieved, and her heart has grown light now that the
immediate danger is past. And intently she tries to catch her father's
eye, but the old man is quietly seated and does not look toward her.

The drum beats to signal the close of the intermission. The clowns are
becoming too impudent, too troublesome, so that an end must be made to
their pranks. The society of the Koshare will appear now for the last
time, as after the next dance they retire. While this is at its height,
Topanashka rises and returns to his former place.

Walking slowly past his daughter, he looks at her. She meets his gaze
cheerfully, and with a slight nod of approbation he moves onward.

The dance is over, and the Koshare depart to scatter beyond the large
house and to rest. On the disappearance of the last of their number,
including the jesters, whoops and shouts fill the air again from
without, and a second procession similar to the former marches into the
court-yard. It is composed of different persons similarly costumed,
except that their paint is bluish instead of white. No clowns accompany
them. They go through a similar performance, and sing the same songs;
but everything is done with gravity and even solemnity. This band is
more numerous by at least ten couples, and as a consequence the
spectacle is more striking on account of a greater variety of dress and
finery. A tall, slender young man opens the march. It is Hayoue. His
partner is a buxom lass from the Bear clan, Kohayo hanutsh, a strong,
thick-waisted creature, not so good-looking for a girl as he is for a
man, yet of such proportion and figure as strike the Indian fancy. They
pay each other little attention. During the pauses each one follows his
own bent, and when the time calls they meet again.

In an Indian dance there is no need of engaging partners, though it is
not unusual for such as fancy one another to seize the opportunity of so
doing. The mere fact of a certain boy stamping the earth beside a
certain girl on a certain occasion, or a certain maiden tripping by the
side of a particular youth, does not call for that active gossiping
which would result if a couple were to dance with one another alone at
one of our balls. A civilized ball is professedly for enjoyment alone;
an Indian dance is a religious act, a public duty.

The society who are now exercising their calisthenics in the court has
much similarity to the Koshare, yet their main functions are distinct.
They are called the Cuirana.

If, during the conversation in which Topanashka informed his daughter
as to the origin of the Koshare and the ideas underlying their rôle in
Indian society, Say Koitza had inquired of him about the Cuirana he
might have given her very similar information.

With this marked distinction, however, that whereas the former consider
themselves summer people, the latter are regarded as winter men. While
the Koshare are specially charged with the duty of furthering the
ripening of the fruit, the Cuirana assist the sprouting of the seed.

The main work of the Koshare is therefore to be done in the summer and
autumn, that of the Cuirana in the spring; and, moreover, while on
certain occasions the latter are masters of ceremonies also, they never
act as clowns or official jesters. Their special dance is never obscene,
like that of the Delight Makers.

During their performance, therefore, the public did not exhibit the
unbounded hilarity which marked that of their predecessors. The audience
looked on quietly, and even with stolidity. There was nothing to excite
laughter, and since the figures were slavish repetitions, it became
monotonous. Some of the spectators withdrew to their houses, and those
who remained belonged to the cliffs, whence they had come to witness the
rite, as a serious and even sacred duty.

While the dance of the Cuirana is in progress, two of the white painted
clowns are standing outside of the big building, and at some distance
from the new house of Yakka hanutsh, in earnest conversation. Heat and
exercise have partially effaced the paint, so that the features of Tyope
Tihua, and of Zashue, the husband of Say, can be easily recognized.

"I tell you, satyumishe," asserts the latter, "you are mistaken, or
words have been spoken to you that are not true. This wife of mine is
good. She has nothing to do with evil, nor has she tampered with it.
You have done her wrong, Tyope, and that is not right." His features,
already distorted by the paint, took on an expression of anger.

The other responded hastily, "And I tell you, Zashue Tihua, that I saw
your wife sitting by the hearth with Shotaye,"--his voice trembled at
the mention of her name,--"and I heard when that mean, low aniehna"--his
eyes flashed, giving a terrible expression to his already monstrously
disfigured countenance--"spoke to the yellow corn!"

"Did you understand what she said?" Zashue interjected.

"No, but can any one ask aught of the yellow corn but evil? I know, too,
that this shuatyam picked up the body of an owl on the mesa"--he pointed
to the southern heights--"and carried its feathers back to her foul hole
in the rocks."

"But you did not see Say with them?" Her husband looked in the eyes of
the other inquiringly, and at the same time threateningly.

"That is the truth, but why does she go with the witch, and for what
purpose does that female skunk need owl's plumage, if not to harm the
tribe? She has done harm, too,"--he stamped his foot angrily,--"she is
the cause of our having no rain last summer. She destroyed the
maize-plant ere it could bring forth ears. She did it, and your wife
helped her." Furious, and with flaming eyes, Tyope turned his head and
stared into space.

"Are you sure that Shotaye has done this, and that it is not
P[=a]yatyama's will?"

"Did we not fast and mortify ourselves while it was yet time, all of us
from the Hotshanyi down to the youngest Koshare?" exclaimed Tyope. "Was
it of any use? No, for that base woman had power over us in order to
destroy the tribe."

"I am not defending her," Zashue muttered, "but it is not certain that
she is guilty, nor is it proven that she is the cause of the hunger we
suffered last winter."

His companion threw at him a glance of intense rage. The other's
incredulity exasperated Tyope, but he suppressed his feeling and spoke
in a quieter tone.

"Come, satyumishe, the Naua is expecting us, and in his presence we
shall speak further. Our father is wise and will teach our hearts."

Say Koitza's husband stood motionless, looking away from his friend.

"Come," Tyope urged, placing his hand on the other's shoulder. Zashue at
last turned around and reluctantly followed him. Both went toward the
new estufa of the Maize clan.

From this circular building faint sounds, as of a drum beaten by a weak
or lazy hand, were issuing. The principal Koshare and the Naua had
retired thither for recuperation after the dance. Although the old man
was not of the cluster to whom the estufa belonged, he had obtained
permission from Yakka hanutsh to use the room on this occasion as a
meeting and dressing place for himself and his associates. The
club-house of the Corn people thus served to-day a twofold purpose, and
was used by two distinct groups of the inhabitants of the Rito.

At this hour the Koshare Naua was its sole occupant. He sat on the
floor, holding the drum in his lap and touching the instrument lightly
from time to time. His vacant gaze was fixed upon a small heap of dying
embers, nearly in the centre of the room and beneath the hatchway.
Occasionally he raised his head to glance at the wall opposite him. The
interior of the estufa appeared quite different from what it did on the
day when Shyuote's peep into it was so poorly rewarded. Its walls had
been whitened, and were in addition covered with strange-looking
paintings. The floor was partly occupied by a remarkable display of
equally strange objects.

The painting in front of which the old man sat, and at which he gazed
from time to time, represented in the first place a green disk
surrounded by short red rays, which three white squares, bordered with
black, converted into something like the rude semblance of a human face.
This disk stood for a picture of the sun. Below it was the symbol of the
moon's white disk, encircled by a black and red ring, and provided also
with square eyes and mouth. Still lower were painted two crosses, a red
one and a white one, both with black border.

Above the sun there appeared a form intended to be human, painted in
very gaudy colours. This was P[=a]yatyama, the sun-father. On each side
of him rose a terraced pyramid painted green, and from the top of one of
these pyramids to that of the other there spanned or stretched a
tri-coloured arch, red, yellow, and blue, over the sun-father's head. On
each side of sun and moon was the crudely executed picture of an
animal,--the one on the right, being intended for a bear, painted green;
the one on the left, for a panther, painted red. The heads of these
beasts were turned toward the central figures. Still farther, beyond
these beasts of prey, two gigantic green serpents with horned heads
swept over the remainder of the wall, leaving but a narrow space facing
the sun, where four maize-plants, two green ones and two of a
reddish-brown hue, were painted.

Below the central figures and not quite reaching up to them, an arch of
wood, painted green with a yellow middle stripe, was held aloft by two
poles driven into the floor of the estufa. Under this arch stood a
wooden screen, green and black with a yellow border at the bottom, while
the upper edge was carved into four terraced pyramids surmounted by as
many black arches. Both right and left of the screen, pine-branches
resembling Christmas-trees of to-day were stuck into the floor. This
strange decoration expresses symbolically a meaning similar to that
intended to be conveyed by the dance of the ayash tyucotz.

The sun-father, soaring above the sun, moon, and stars,--for the red
cross is the star of morning, the white the evening star,--is surrounded
by the symbols of the principal phenomena in nature that are regarded as
essentially beneficent to mankind. Thus the terraced pyramids are the
clouds, for the clouds appear to the Indian as staircases leading to
heaven, and they in turn support the rainbow. The two principal beasts
of prey, who feed upon game, like man, and whose strength, agility, and
acute senses man hopes to acquire, are represented as the bear in the
colour symbolic of the east, and the panther in that of the south.
Farther away from the sun-father are the two monstrous water-snakes,
genii of the fish-bearing and crop-irrigating water-courses. The
sun-father stands surrounded by all these elements and beings; he fixes
his blissful magic gaze upon the nourishing maize-plants, that they may
grow and that their ripe fruit may sustain the tribe. Thus much for the
allegory on the wall.

But in order that the wish and hope which this allegoric painting
expresses on the part of man may become realized, invocation rises
before the picture in the shape of the screen, denoting an altar on
which the rainbow has again settled down as a messenger from above. Both
are green, since it is summer; and the summer sun, or summer home of the
sun-father, is green also, like the earth, covered with luxuriant
vegetation.

Invocation alone does not suffice to incline the hearts of Those Above
kindly toward mankind; gratitude is required as an earnest of sincere
worship. But this gratitude can be expressed by words as well as by
deeds, and prayers must precede, accompany, or follow the offering. In
front of the altar a row of bunches artistically composed of snow-white
down are placed on the floor. Each of these delicate fabrics has sacred
meal scattered about its base, and each of them symbolizes the soul of
one household. They are what the Queres Indian calls the _yaya_, or
mother, dedicated to the moon-mother, who specially protects every
Indian home. All these stand below the altar in token of the many
prayers that each household sends up to the moon, painted above, that
the mother of all, who dwells in the silvery orb, may thank her husband
in the sun for all the good received, and implore him to further shed
his blessings on their children. Between these feather-bushes and the
embers, a great number of other objects are placed,--fetiches of stone,
animal figures, prayer-plumes, sacrificial bowls painted with symbolic
devices and surmounted by terraced prongs, and wooden images of
household gods decorated with feathers. Sacred meal is in or about all
of them, and all stand for so many intercessors praying for the good of
the people, giving thanks in the name of the people and offering their
vows in token of gratitude.

Similar to this estufa of the Corn clan are to-day all the other estufas
on the Tyuonyi. They contain similar pictures, and similar objects are
grouped on the floors in front of them. Before the altars the swan-white
mother-souls glisten and flutter. The estufas are without human
occupants, their entrances alone are watched by old men or women outside
to prevent the work of invocation and gratitude performed inside by
symbolic advocates from being desecrated by rude or thoughtless
intruders.

While this work is going on thus silently and without direct
intervention of man, man himself performs a similar duty in the open
air through the ceremonies of the great dance.

In this dance the Koshare came first, for their request was one of
immediate importance. That the fruit may ripen is the object of their
sacramental performances,--"even the fruit in woman's womb," Topanashka
had explained. To this end man must contribute with delight and work
with love. Whoever mourns or harbours ill-will cannot expect his task to
prosper. In this manner even the obscene performances of the Koshare are
symbolic, and their part in the great dance is above all an invocation.

Next the Cuirana came. Their labours are over; the germs which they were
to protect with incantations have sprouted long ago, and the plants are
ready for maturing. For these results of their work they give thanks to
the sun-father,--thanks loud and emphatic, so that he may hear and see
how grateful his children are. Their performance to-day is a testimonial
of gratitude.

To close the dance, both societies will finally appear together, and
with them representatives of the tribe at large. All together they will
go through the same succession of ceremonies, in token that all
acquiesce in the sentiments of the Koshare and the Cuirana,--that each
individual for himself and in behalf of all the others joins in giving
thanks for the past and praying for the future.

This is the signification of the ayash tyucotz when performed about the
time of the summer solstice. However clumsy and meaningless it may seem,
it is still a solemn performance. It gives public expression, under very
strange forms, to the idea that has found its most perfect utterance in
the German philosopher's[8] definition of "abject reliance upon God;"
whereas in its lowest form it is still "a vague and awful feeling about
unity in the powers of nature, an unconscious acknowledgment of the
mysterious link connecting the material world with a realm beyond it."

Seated comfortably and alone, surrounded by the symbols of his creed,
the old leader of the Koshare was tapping his drum and humming softly a
prayer. On a sudden the hatchway above him became darkened, and as he
looked up he saw the legs of a man appearing on the uppermost rounds of
the ladder leading down into the subterranean chamber. As that man
continued to descend, the body, and finally the head, of Tyope appeared.
Then followed Zashue Tihua. When both men were below, they went to the
nearest sacrificial bowl, each one took from it a pinch of yellow
cornmeal and scattered it in front of the altar. Then they turned to the
old man, but he did not take any notice of either of them. Tyope
squatted by his side, while Zashue remained erect.

"Sa nashtio," began the former, "we have not found anything."

"There is nothing," added Zashue, rather excitedly; "my wife is
innocent."

The Naua raised his eyes with an expression of astonishment and
surprise, as if failing to understand.

"What is it that you have not found?" he asked, rather dreamily.

"No coco--" Tyope stopped and looked at the pictures on the wall. It is
improper to mention the names of evil powers or agencies in presence of
the symbols of Those Above. So he corrected himself and said,--

"No hapi."

"Hapi?" the Naua inquired with a vacant stare, "what sort of hapi? Where
did you look for them?" He bent his head, as if trying to remember.

"Hapi," exclaimed Tyope, "in the house of Say Koitza, this mot[=a]tza's
wife;" and he pointed at his companion.

"Yes, indeed;" the chief of the Koshare now recollected. "I know; I
recollect well." His eyes suddenly brightened; they assumed an
expression of cunning as well as of suspicion. His quick glance moved
back and forth from one of his visitors to the other. "So you found
nothing? Then there is nothing! You were right, Zashue; your wife is
good." He gave a chuckle which he intended for a benevolent smile.

"See," Say's husband exclaimed, turning to Tyope; "the Naua believes as
I do. My wife is no--" the evil word he suppressed in time. He stopped,
biting his lips in embarrassment.

Tyope's features moved not. He spoke to the chief of the Delight Makers
as quietly and calmly as possible,--

"I believe as you do, nashtio; but while Say may be guiltless, Shotaye
is not."

"Hush!" the Naua sternly interrupted; "think of those here." He pointed
toward the symbols. "Don't you know that they must not hear the name of
that woman?"

Tyope replied hastily, and eager to drown the reprimand his chief had
given him,--

"What shall we do, Naua?"

The old man became impatient. "Don't you see that I am at work? I am
busy. Those here," he again nodded at the idols, "leave me no peace. I
must be with them until the last otshanyi begins. In three days we go to
the kaaptsh,--you, he, all our brethren,--and then we may speak. Now
leave me alone. Go! Leave me! Go! Go!" he cried, and waved his hand
upward. He was not to be spoken to any longer; he began to beat his drum
and took up the low chant again. Zashue hurriedly climbed out of the
estufa, and Tyope followed with an angry face. When the latter was on
the open ground again, Zashue stepped up to him and said in a very
decided tone,--

"You see now, satyumishe, that Say is innocent. Hereafter, Tyope, leave
her alone." Turning about, he walked toward the large house. Tyope cast
after him a look less of anger than of bitter disappointment.

The last act of the great ceremony began. A tremendous shout sounded
from the outer entrance to the gallery leading into the court-yard of
the great house. The chant arose stronger and louder than ever before,
and several drums rumbled at once. Again were the terraces filled with
people, the walls below lined with spectators. Topanashka sat on the
roof, cold and impassable. Say Koitza leaned in the doorway of her home,
with a quiet, almost smiling, countenance.

A long array of couples, dressed as before but painted red, opened the
procession; then came the Cuirana, and last the Koshare. Topanashka
arose and joined the dancers; the Tapop stood beside him, and both
stamped along, keeping time as if they were young once more. The singers
were reinforced by several aged men with snow-white hair, three of whom
wore dark wraps, sleeveless and covered with red embroidery. These were
the chief penitents; those without badges or distinctive dress, the
principal shamans of the tribe. A thrill of excitement ran through the
spectators; children on the roofs gathered in groups, moving in harmony
with the strong rhythmic noise below. The jesters had become very quiet;
they went about gravely keeping order, for the court was now filled with
performers. The green headdresses waved like reeds before the wind, and
the whole space looked like a rhythmically wafted cornfield. When the
dancers were executing the beautiful figure of the planting of
maize,--man and woman bending outward simultaneously, each one to his
side, and all the rattles sounding as if upon command,--everything
around was hushed; everybody looked on in respectful silence, so
correct were the motions, so well-timed and so impressive the sight. Say
also felt genuine delight. She thought of times long past when she, too,
had joined in the dance. Now, alas, she could not. With all the relief
this day had brought her, there still remained a dull weight in her
bosom, and an inner voice forbade her to mingle with those so sincerely
engaged in rites of thanksgiving to the powers of good and happiness.

While she stood and gazed around, her attention was directed to a young
couple passing in front of her. The handsome lad with the dark,
streaming hair was Okoya, and she recognized him proudly as the
best-looking youth on the ground, Hayoue perhaps excepted. But then, was
not Hayoue, Okoya's father's brother? But who was the girl by Okoya's
side? That slender figure of medium height, that earnest, thoughtful
expression of the face, those lustrous eyes,--whose were they? The two
were manifestly a handsome pair, and the longer she watched them the
more she became satisfied that they were the prettiest couple in the
dance. They were certainly well matched; her son's partner was the
handsomest girl of the tribe; of this she was convinced, and she felt
proud of it. Motherly pride caused her heart to flutter, and the
instinct of woman made her eager to know who the maiden was who appeared
such a fitting partner for her own good-looking son. Say Koitza
determined to improve the first opportunity that might present itself
for ascertaining who the girl was and where she belonged.

The day was drawing to a close, a day of joyful excitement for the
people of the Tyuonyi. The dance terminated. As the sun went down the
dancers crowded out of the passage-way; so did the visitors; it grew
quieter and quieter on and about the large house. The swarm of people
leaving it scattered toward the cliffs in little bands and thin
streams, separating and diverging from each other like the branches of
an open fan. And yet, after night had come and the moon had risen in a
cloudless sky, there was still bustle everywhere. Households ravaged by
the visitations of the Koshare were being restored to order, the
exhausted dancers were being feasted, and the estufas were being cleared
of everything bearing a sacred character. Young men and boys still
loitered in groups, repeating with hoarse voices the songs and chants
they had lately addressed to the ruler of day.

On the terrace roof of the home of Tyope's wife a young girl stood quite
alone, gazing at that moon where the mother of all mankind, the
Sanatyaya, is supposed to reside. It was Mitsha Koitza, who had just
returned from the estufa of her clan with the mother-soul of her own
home, and who still lingered here holding in her hands the cluster of
snowy, delicate feathers. She thinks, while her nimble fingers play with
it, of the young man who has been her partner the whole day, who has
danced beside her so quiet, modest, and yet so handsome, and who once
appeared to her on this same roof brave and resolute in her defence.
While she thus stands, gazes, and dreams, a flake of down becomes
detached and quivers upward into the calm, still air. Involuntarily the
maiden fastens her glance on the plumelet, which flits upward and upward
in the direction of the moon's silvery orb. Such a flitting and floating
plume is the symbol of prayer. Mitsha's whole heart goes anxiously with
the feather. It rises and rises, and at last disappears as if absorbed
by moonlight. The features of the maiden, which till now have carried an
anxious, pleading look, brighten with a soft and happy smile. The mother
above has listened to her entreaty, for the symbol of her thoughts, the
feather, has gone to rest on the bosom of her who watches over every
house, who feels with every loving and praying heart.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 7: It was natural for her to think of removing the feathers,
as they would in all probability be looked for just where she had put
them; that is, under the floor. Such was the case at Nambé in March,
1855, when owl's feathers were found buried at several places in the
Pueblo. The result of the discovery at Nambé was the slaughter of three
men and one woman for alleged witchcraft by the infuriated mob of
Indians.]

[Footnote 8: Schleiermacher.]



CHAPTER VII.


Among Indians any great feast, like the dance of the ayash tyucotz
described in the preceding chapter, is not followed by the blue Monday
with which modern civilization is often afflicted. Intoxicating drinks
were unknown to the sedentary inhabitants of New Mexico previous to the
advent of Europeans. If it happened, however, that one or other of the
feasters overloaded his stomach with the good things set before him,
after the ceremony was over a decoction made from juniper-twigs afforded
prompt and energetic relief. Among the younger men it was not rare for
some to remain in company with the fair sex until the small hours of
morning, in which case the rising sun found them somewhat out of sleep.
But the majority were glad to retire to their habitual quarters for a
good rest after the day's exertions, and these woke up the following
morning bright and active, as if nothing had happened to divert them
from the duties and occupations of every-day life. To this majority
belonged Okoya.

After the dance was over he had loitered and lounged about for a time
with some companions of his own age, but as soon as the moon rose he had
sauntered home. His mother was busy putting things into shape, for the
Delight Makers had left behind a fearful disorder. Shyuote was there,
too; he was careful not to assist his mother, but to stand in her way as
much as possible, which action on his part called forth some very active
scolding. But it struck Okoya that she appeared more cheerful than
before. Her motions were brisker, her step more elastic. Say Koitza
placed the usual food before her eldest son, and at this moment Zashue
came in also. He felt exceedingly proud of his exploits as a jester, and
was jollier than ever before. Okoya listened for a while to the clumsy
and not always chaste jokes of his parent, and then retired to the
estufa. The next morning, bright and refreshed, he strolled back to the
house for breakfast, expecting to meet his father, who would assign him
his day's work.

Zashue had gone already. Nobody asked where, but it was taken for
granted that he had gone to see the old chief of the Delight Makers
about the approaching days of penitential retirement. His mother was up;
and she addressed her son in a pleasant manner, set food before him, and
then inquired,--

"Sa uishe, who was the girl that danced by your side?"

"It was Mitsha Koitza," Okoya replied without looking up.

"Mitsha Koitza," she repeated, "where does she belong?"

"Tyame hanutsh."

"Who is her father?"

"Tyope Tihua. Do you like her?" and he looked at his mother pleadingly,
as if asking her forgiveness and her consent to his choice.

The woman's brow clouded at the mention of a name so hateful to her. She
looked hard at her son and said in a tone of bitter reproach,--

"And you go with that girl?"

"Why not!" His face darkened also.

"Have I not told you what kind of man Tyope is?"

"The girl is no Koshare," he answered evasively.

"But her mother is, and he."

Both became silent. Okoya stared before him; his appetite was gone; he
was angry, and could not eat any more.

What right had this woman, although she was his mother, to reprove him
because he was fond of a girl whose father she did not like! Was the
girl responsible for the deeds of her parents? No! So he reasoned at
once, and then his temper overcame him. How could his mother dare to
speak one single word against the Koshare! Had she not betrayed him to
them? In his thoughts the hatred which she pretended to display against
the Koshare appeared no longer sincere; it seemed to him hypocrisy,
duplicity, deception. Such deceit could mean only the darkest, the most
dangerous, designs. With the Indian the superlative of depravity is
witchcraft. Okoya revolved in his mind whether his mother was not
perhaps his most dangerous enemy.

On the other hand, Say Koitza, when she began to question her son, had
in view a certain object. She was anxious to find out who the maiden was
whose looks had at once charmed her. Next she was curious to know
whether the meeting of the two was accidental or not. Therefore the
leading question, "And you go with that girl?" Under ordinary
circumstances his affirmative reply might have filled her motherly heart
with joy, for Mitsha's appearance had struck her fancy; but now it
filled her with dismay. Nothing good to her could result from a union
between her child and the daughter of Tyope. That union would be sure to
lead Okoya over to the home of his betrothed, which was the home of her
mother, where he could not fail to gradually succumb to the influence
which that mother of Mitsha, a sensual, cunning, sly woman utterly
subservient to her husband, would undoubtedly exert upon him. It was not
maternal jealousy that beset her now and filled her with flaming
passion, it was fear for her own personal safety. Under the influence of
sudden displeasure human thought runs sometimes astray with terrific
swiftness. Say Koitza saw her son already going to the house of that
fiend, Tyope, night after night, whereas in reality he had never called
there as yet. She fancied that she heard him in conversation with this
girl, confiding in her little by little, just as Zashue used, before he
and she became man and wife. But what could Okoya tell after all that
might prove of harm to her? He was a mere child as yet. At this stage of
her reasoning, a cloud rose within her bosom and spread like wildfire.
Was it not strange that the discovery of the owl's feathers, the
betrayal of that dread secret, almost coincided with Okoya's open
relations with the daughter of the man who, she felt sure, was at the
bottom of the accusation against her? A ghastly suspicion flashed up and
soon became so vivid that no doubt could arise,--her own son must
accidentally have discovered the fatal feathers; he himself without
intending any harm must have mentioned them to the girl, perhaps even in
the presence of her mother.

Say became satisfied that she held the key to her betrayal. The riddle
was solved. That solution dissipated all hopes of salvation, for if her
own son was to be witness against her in the dreaded hour when the
tribal council had to determine for or against her guilt, there could be
no doubting his testimony. And Tyope would have that testimony in any
case, for if Okoya should deny, Okoya's own betrothed might be brought
face to face with him as a witness. Thus she reasoned in much less time
than it can be written, and these conclusions overwhelmed her to such a
degree that she turned away from her favourite child in bitter passion,
with the conviction that her son in whom she had trusted was her
destroying angel. She hid her face from him in anger and grief.

Okoya noticed his mother's feelings. Her anger was inexplicable to him,
unless it meant disappointment in relation to some of her own supposed
dark designs. It made him angrier still, for Say's bitterness against
the Koshare was in his opinion only feigned. Persuaded that his mother
was false to him, and that she was even harbouring evil designs, he rose
abruptly and left the house in silence.

He could no longer refuse to believe that she was planning his
destruction. Otherwise, why did she oppose what to him appeared the
prelude to a happy future? And why that apparent duplicity on her
part,--condemning the Koshare to his face, and, as he thought, being in
secret understanding with them? Only one explanation was reasonable, the
only one within reach of the Indian mind,--that Say Koitza was in some
connection with evil powers which she, for some reason unknown to him,
was courting for the purpose of his destruction; in other words, that
Say Koitza, his own mother, was a witch!

Nothing more detestable or more dangerous than witchcraft is conceivable
to the Indian. To a young and untrained mind like Okoya's the thought of
being exposed to danger from such a source is crushing. The boy felt
bewildered, dazed. He leaned against the wall of the great house for
support, staring at the huge cliffs without seeing them; he looked at
people passing to and fro without taking any notice of their presence.
He could not even think any more, but merely felt,--felt unutterably
miserable.

If only he knew of somebody who might help him! This was his first
thought after recovering strength and self-control. Why not speak to
Hayoue? The idea was like the recollection of a happy dream, and indeed
he had harboured it before. It roused him to such a degree that he tore
himself away from the wall against which he had leaned as on a last
staff, and straightening himself he walked deliberately toward the
upper end of the Rito, where the cave-dwellings of the Water clan were
situated.

Hayoue might be at home, still it was more than likely that the Don Juan
of the Rito had been spending the last night elsewhere. If at home, so
much the better; if not, there was nothing left but to wait until he
came. The prospect of waiting and resting was not an unpleasant one for
Okoya, who felt exhausted after the shock of disappointment and disgust
he had just experienced. As he slowly approached the recess wherein the
grottoes of the Water clan lay, he halted for a moment to catch breath,
and just then descried Shotaye, who was coming down toward him. The
woman had been quite a favourite of his ever since she became so kind to
his sick mother. Nevertheless he had always felt afraid of her on
account of her reputation as a doubtful character. Now the sight of her
made him angry, for she was his mother's friend and a witch also! So he
resumed his walk and passed her with a short, sulky _guatzena_. Shotaye
noticed his surly manner and looked straight at him, returning the
morose greeting with a loud _raua_ that sounded almost like a challenge.
Then she went on with a smile of scorn and amusement on her lips. She
was not afraid of the young fellow, for she attributed his surly ways to
sitting up late.

Okoya was glad to get out of the woman's reach, and he did not stop
until at the entrance to the caves which Hayoue and his folk occupied.
There was no necessity of announcing himself; he merely lifted the
curtain of rawhide that hung over the doorway, and peeped in.

His youthful uncle--so much he saw at a glance--was not in. Another
young gentleman of the tribe lay on the floor beside the other members
of the family. All were sound asleep yet, and Okoya dropped the curtain
quietly and turned toward the brook. On its banks he selected a spot
where, unseen to others, he could look down the valley. Here he threw
himself on the ground to watch, and await Hayoue's coming.

Although deeply anxious to meet his uncle, Okoya entertained no thought
of impatience. He had to wait, that was all. Beside, his heart was so
heavy, so full of grief and despair, that not even his surroundings
could divert him from gloomy thoughts. The brook murmured and rustled
softly by his side, its waters looked clear and limpid; he neither heard
nor saw them. He only longed to be alone, completely alone, until his
uncle should come. Okoya had not performed his morning ablutions, but
there was no thought of them; for he was in deep sorrow, and when the
Indian's heart is heavy he is very careful not to wash.

Flat on his stomach, with chin resting on both hands, indifferent to the
peculiar scenery before him, he nevertheless scanned the cliffs as far
as they were visible. The grottoes of Tzitz hanutsh opened right in
front of him; lower down, the entrances of a few of the caves of Kohaio
hanutsh could be seen, for the rocks jutted out like towering pillars.
They completely shut out from his gaze the eastern cave-dwellings of
Tzina hanutsh. Farther to the east, the wall of cliffs swept around to
the southeast, showing the houses of the Eagle clan built against its
base, the caverns of Yakka hanutsh opening along a semicircle
terminating in a sharp point of massive rocks. In that promontory the
port-holes of some of the dwellings of the Cottonwood people were
visible. Beyond, all detail became undistinguishable through the
distance, for the north side of the Rito turned into a dim yellowish
wall crowned by dark pine-timber.

Okoya lay there, scanning, watching every doorway back and forth the
whole length of the view; hours went by; there were no signs of Hayoue.
Yet Okoya did not rise in anger and pace the ground with impatience, he
did not scratch his head or stamp, he did not even think of
swearing,--he simply waited. And his patient waiting proved of comfort
to him, for he gradually cooled off, and freed from the effects of his
violent impressions, began to think what he could do. Nothing,
absolutely nothing, at least until he had seen Hayoue. To wait for the
latter was a necessity, if it took him the whole day. But to wait in the
same posture for hours was rather tiresome, so he rolled over on his
back, and folding his arms under his head began to gaze on the skies.

Bright and cloudless as they had appeared at sunrise, a change had come
over them since which attracted even Okoya's attention. Instead of the
usual deep azure, the heavens had assumed a dingy hue, and long white
streamers traversed them like arches. Had the boy looked in the west he
would have seen shredded clouds looming up behind the mountains, a sure
sign of approaching rain. But he had become fascinated by what was
directly above him, and so he watched with increasing interest the white
arches overhead. Slowly, imperceptibly, they pushed up, crossing the
zenith and approaching the eastern horizon, toward which the boy's face
was turned. And while they shifted they grew in width and density.
Delicate filaments appeared between and connected bow with bow,
gradually thickening, until the zenith was but one vault of pale gray.
The boy watched this process with increased eagerness; it caused him to
forget his troubles. He saw that rain--one of the great blessings for
which he and his people had so fervently prayed, chanted, and danced
yesterday--was coming on, and his heart became glad. The spirits--the
Shiuana--he thought, were kindly disposed toward his people; and this
caused him to wonder what the Shiuana might really be, and why they
acted so and so, and not otherwise. The Shiuana, he had been taught,
dwelt in the clouds, and they were good; why, then, was it that from one
and the same cloud the beneficial rain descended, which caused the food
of mankind to grow, and also the destructive hail and the deadly
thunderbolt?[9]

A faint, muttering sound, deep and prolonged, struck his ear. He
started, for it was distant thunder. The Shiuana, he believed, had read
his thoughts, and they reminded him that their doings were beyond the
reach of his mind. Turning away from the sights above, he looked again
down the valley. There, at last, came the long-expected Hayoue, slowly,
drowsily, like one who has slept rather late than long. Hayoue, indeed,
was so sleepy yet that his nephew had to call him thrice. After the
third _umo_, however, he glanced around, saw Okoya beckoning to him, and
came down to the brook. Yawning and rubbing his eyes he sat down, and
Okoya said,--

"Satyumishe, I want to speak to you. Will you listen to my speech?"

Hayoue smiled good-naturedly, but looked rather indifferent or
absent-minded as he replied,--

"I will; what is it about? Surely about Mitsha, your girl. Well, she is
good," he emphatically added; "but Tyope is not good, not good," he
exclaimed, looking up with an expression of strong disgust and blowing
through his teeth. It was clear that the young man was no friend to
Tyope.

Okoya moved uneasily, and continued in a muffled tone of voice,--

"You are not right, nashtio; it is not concerning Mitsha that I want to
speak to you."

"About what else, then?" Hayoue looked up in surprise, as if unable to
comprehend how a boy of the age of Okoya could think of anything else
than of some girl.

His brother's son took from his neck the little satchel containing
sacred meal. Without a word he opened it, and scattered the flour in the
usual way to the six regions. Then he pointed to the clouds and
whispered, "The Shiuana are good," at the same time handing the bag to
his uncle. The latter's astonishment had reached its maximum; the boy's
actions were utterly incomprehensive to him.

Again the sound of distant thunder vibrated from the west, and the
cliffs sighed in return.

"They are calling us," Okoya whispered.

Hayoue became suddenly very sober. He performed the sacrifice in
silence, and then assumed the position of an earnest and attentive
listener.

"Do you like the Koshare?" began Okoya, in a whisper.

"No. But why do you ask this?"

"Because I don't like them either."

"Is that all you had to tell me? I could have told you that in their own
presence." Hayoue seemed to be disappointed and vexed.

"That is not why I called you, umo," Okoya continued; "it is because the
Koshare know that I dislike them."

"What if they do know it?"

"But they might harm me!"

"They cannot. Otherwise I should have been harmed by them long ago. But
I don't care for them."

[Illustration: Indian Pueblo Dances of To-day

(Upper picture) Lining up for the dance

(Lower picture) The "Clowns"]

Okoya shook his head and muttered,--

"I am afraid of the Koshare."

The other shrugged his shoulders.

"I am not," he said. "Men can do harm with their hands and with their
weapons; and against those you have your fist and the shield. Those
Above"--he pointed at the skies--"can harm us; they can kill us. But
men--why, we can defend ourselves."

Okoya felt shocked at words which sounded to him like sacrilegious talk.
Timidly and morosely he objected,--

"Don't you know that there are witches!"

"Witches! There are no witches."

Again there was a mutter from the west, a hollow, solemn warning; and
the cliffs responded with a plaintive moan. Even incredulous Hayoue
started, and Okoya sighed.

"I will tell you why I ask all this," said he, and he went on to
explain. Beginning with the incident provoked by Shyuote, he confessed
to the suspicions which it had aroused in his mind, and laid the whole
process of his reasoning bare before his listener. His speech was
picturesque, but not consciously poetic; for the Indian speaks like a
child, using figures of speech, not in order to embellish, but because
he lacks abstract terms and is compelled to borrow equivalents from
comparisons with surrounding nature. Hayoue listened attentively;
occasionally, however, he smiled. At last Okoya stopped and looked at
his friend in expectation. The latter cast at the boy a humorous glance;
he felt manifestly amused by his talk.

"Mot[=a]tza," he began, "in what you have told me there is not more
substance than in the clouds above, when the Shiuana do not dwell in
them. It is colour, white colour. It is nothing. You have been painting;
the picture is done, but no spirit is there. Shyuote is a lazy, idle
brat; he shirks work; but when you say to him, Sit down and eat, then he
all at once becomes active. In this way he sneaks around from house to
house. He may have overheard something said about you and your ways, he
may even have surprised the Koshare while talking among themselves. But
it is quite as likely that the toad has invented the whole story just in
order to anger you, for he always finds time to sneak, to lounge, and to
hatch lies, the lazy, good-for-nothing eavesdropper! I tell you what it
is, that boy is fit for nothing but a Koshare, and a real good one will
he become."

"But," Okoya rejoined, "if the Delight Makers have spoken about the yaya
and me, there must be some cause for it."

"Don't you know that these shutzuna always find some occasion for
gossip?" Hayoue cried. "Don't they run into every house? Don't their
women stick their noses into every bowl, in order to find out what the
people cook and eat? Rest easy, satyumishe, your mother is good, she has
nothing in common with the Koshare."

"But is not the nashtio one of them? Your brother, my father? Is he like
the rest of them?"

Hayoue replied, assuming an important mien,--

"It is true that brother is, and I don't like it; but we can't change
it. It was so ordained long ago, for my father himself was Koshare.
Beside, let me tell you that not all that the Koshare do is wrong. If
there were no Koshare, it would not be good for the people. They must
see that Those Above assist us when the corn ripens, and inasmuch as
they perform their duties, they are necessary to us. It is also well
that they should bring joy and mirth among the tribe, but"--he raised
his hand and his eyes flashed--"they must not go beyond their duty.
Their leader shall not presume to be more than the Hotshanyi, who has to
suffer and bear for our sake and for our good. They shall do their duty
and no more. It is not their duty to make people believe that they are
wiser than the chayani and to induce the people to give them bowl after
bowl full of meal, feathers, shells, and whatever else may be good and
precious. For it is not to the Koshare as a body that all these things
are distributed; it is only their naua who gets them, and through him
his hanutsh, at the expense of all the other clans. Neither shall the
Koshare alone enjoy our makatza, pretending that it pleases Those
Above!"

It thundered again, louder and longer than before. Hayoue stopped, and
then went on.

"Zashue fails to see all this. He is Koshare, and follows in the tracks
of the others like a blind man. But we, the Cuirana,--we see it. I am
not a principal, I cannot sit in council and speak, but withal I have
noticed these doings for a long time. I tell you, mot[=a]tza, that if
the Delight Makers, the old fiend who rules them, and Tyope are not
restrained very soon, there will be sorrow in the tribe; the people will
become weak because they will be discontented, and finally the Moshome
may come and destroy us all."

"But if the Koshare are so powerful," retorted Okoya, "must I not be on
my guard?"

"With some of them, to be sure. Beware of Tyope and of the old rogue;
they are base and dangerous men. Avoid Shtiranyi, avoid Ture Tihua,
Pesana, and the like of them. But your father, Zashue, and Shiape, your
grandfather's brother,--do you believe they would forsake you? Mind,
boy, even if the Koshare be against you, you are not lost. There is your
umo, Topanashka, and he has great weight with the old men, with the
council, and with the people. There is your clan, Tanyi, and in fine I
and my people are here too." He uttered these words proudly, looking at
his nephew encouragingly. But Okoya was not fully reassured; his doubts
were not removed. There was one thing yet that he held in reserve for
the last, and that was his dread of witchcraft and the suspicion that
such a danger threatened him from his own mother. He resolved to tell
his friend all, including the scene of the morning and the conclusions
he had drawn from it.

"Hayoue," said he, "you are good and wise, much wiser than I; still,
listen to me once more."

Louder and nearer sounded the thunder. Hayoue bent over toward Okoya, a
close, attentive, sympathizing listener. The young man related
everything,--his relations with Mitsha, how he had quarrelled with his
mother, and the conclusions at which he had arrived touching his
mother's evil designs and practices. At this point Hayoue began to
laugh, and laughed till he coughed.

"And you really believe this!" he cried. But at once he grew very
serious and even stern. "Mot[=a]tza, it is not right in you to think
thus of your mother. Say Koitza is good; she is better than most women
at the Tyuonyi, far too good for my brother Zashue, and better than I or
you. I know her well, and even if there should be witches, which I do
not believe--"

A loud thunderpeal caused the mountains to tremble. Hayoue started,
shook his head, and muttered,--

"They call loudly. It may be that there are witches. At all events"--he
raised his voice again--"if there are such women, your mother does not
belong to them. It is not right, brother, for you to think such things
of your mother. You have done her a great wrong, for I tell you again
she is good and she is your best friend. Where do you belong? Whose
blood is yours? Is it your father's? Are the Water people your people?
No, Tanyi is your hanutsh. Your mother's clan are your kindred. Mind,
satyumishe, our life is in our blood, and it is the blood of her who
gave you life that flows in your veins. When you say aught against your
mother, you tarnish your own life."

"But why does she not want me to go with Mitsha?" Okoya asked, and
pouted.

"Don't you see why, satyumishe? Don't you understand it? Say knows
Tyope; she mistrusts him and is even afraid of him. Mitsha is a good
girl, and your mother has nothing against her; but she is her mother's
daughter, and that mother is Tyope's wife. If Mitsha becomes your wife
you will go and live with her, until Tyame hanutsh has a house ready for
Mitsha. You will even have to stay at the home of Tyope's wife. Now I
cannot say that Hannay, the wife of Tyope, is really bad; she is not
nearly as bad as he, but then Hannay is silly and allows him to make her
his tool. Everything that concerns her clan--things that he of course is
not entitled to know--she tattles to him; and she tells him everything
else that she sees, hears, or imagines. I know it to be so. Now, your
mother is afraid lest through Mitsha's mother, first Mitsha, afterward
through her you, might become entangled in the coils of that sand-viper
Tyope. For I tell you, mot[=a]tza,"--his eyes flashed, and he shook his
clenched fist toward the houses of the Eagle clan,--"that man is a bad
man; he is bad from head to foot, and he thinks of nothing but injury to
others for the sake of his own benefit."

"But what has Tyope done? How do you know that he is such a bad man?"

"That's just it. He never acts openly. Like the badger, after which he
is named, he burrows and burrows in darkness and covers up his ways; and
when the earth caves in beneath those who walk over his trap and they
fall, he is already far away, and looks as innocent and bland as a
badger on top of the ground. But if you follow him, then he will turn
around and snap at you, like a real tyope. Your mother is right in
fearing him; perhaps not so much on her account as for your sake. You
and Mitsha are both very young, and that man knows how to entrap such
little rabbits."

Okoya could not deny the truth of his uncle's speech. He felt that he
had wronged his mother, had misinterpreted her motives; and now he was
ashamed of himself. Nevertheless Indian nature is exceedingly wary and
suspicious in all important matters, and it struck him that Hayoue was
trying to dissuade him from his project of union with Mitsha. Knowing
the propensities of his gallant uncle in the matter of women, he began
to suspect that the latter might wish to estrange him from the girl or
frighten him off in order to step into his shoes. So he assumed an air
of quiet indifference and said,--

"I think it is better, after all, not to see Mitsha any more." With this
he attempted to rise; but Hayoue held him back, and spoke very
earnestly,--

"No; it would not be well. You are fit for each other, and you must come
together. I will help you all I can."

"Can you help me?" Okoya exclaimed, delightfully surprised.

"Perhaps I can, perhaps not. I will talk to your mother and get her to
be in your favour; but there is one thing you must promise me
faithfully, and that is to be very, very careful. When you go to the
house of Tyope's wife and you are asked about anything, say nothing;
reveal nothing in regard to matters of our clans but what you might
shout over the housetops with perfect impunity. Otherwise"--and his
voice sounded like an impressive warning--"you may do great injury to
the tribe."

"But if Mitsha herself inquires of me?"

"You must be wise, brother, wiser than she is; for women are seldom
wise,--only forward, curious, and inquisitive. Wisdom"--and the dandy of
the Rito shrugged his shoulders--"is a gift to man, never to woman.
When you and Mitsha are together alone, be wise. Don't ask her anything
that does not concern you; and if she begins to pry into your matters,
you will have a right to say to her, 'I don't pry into your affairs, so
don't ask me about those of my people.' I am sure that she will let you
alone thereafter, for Mitsha is a good girl. Nevertheless, be careful,
for it is as certain as that the brook runs through here that they will
attempt to draw you out. Tyope will say to his wife, 'Find out this or
that from him.' He may even tell her why he wants to know it. The woman
goes to her daughter, and bids her ask the boy about such and such a
thing. But she is careful not to let out why, and that Tyope is at the
bottom of the inquiry. The girl suspects nothing wrong and asks you, and
you tell her all you know. In this manner precious things get little by
little into evil hands, and the end of it is evil. If you will promise
me that you will be very cautious, I will speak to Say Koitza such words
that she will feel glad to see you and Mitsha become one."

Okoya seized the hand of his friend, breathed on it, then clasped it
with both hands, lifting it up to heaven. He could not utter a word; joy
and hope deprived him of the power of speech. Hayoue suffered him to go
through this ceremony; he also felt glad.

The storm was drawing nearer; dense clouds hovered over the Rito, but
they did not notice them. Louder and louder the thunders rolled, and in
quicker succession came the peals; they heeded not. From the heights in
the west there was a sound of gushing rain; they paid no attention to
it.

Hayoue spoke again,--

"Something I have yet to tell you. Although Mitsha may like you, and
even if her mother be in your favour,--perhaps as much for her own sake
as on her daughter's account," he added, with a scornful smile,--"it is
by no means certain that Tyope will give his consent. If you become his
tool, if you let him wield you as a hand wields flint or stone, then he
will be in your favour; if not, he will not be. He knows very well how
precious Mitsha is, and with the aid of her mother and of that mother's
clan he hopes to sell his pretty girl to his own best advantage. Unless
you are willing to let him use you to grind his corn as a woman grinds
it on the yanyi, you have no chance; he will barter away Mitsha to a
Navajo, if thereby he reaches his ends."

Okoya started, horrified. "Is Tyope as bad as that?" he asked.

"Do you recollect Nacaytzusle, the savage stranger boy?" Hayoue inquired
in return.

"I do; but he has left us."

"It does not matter; for to that wild wolf he would rather give Mitsha
than let her be your wife. There is no danger of my obtaining her," he
added, with a grim smile, "for he hates me like a water-mole. True it is
that I, too, detest him as I do a spider."

Okoya felt bewildered.

"Why should he give Mitsha to a Moshome?" he timidly inquired. "What
would he gain by it?"

"I don't know; and nobody knows, except perhaps the young Navajo, that
fiend. But sure it is, and it bodes no good for us at the Tyuonyi."

A violent crash of thunder was followed by a few drops of rain. Hayoue
looked up and said,--

"Kaatsh is coming; let us go."

Both rose and walked toward the caves for shelter. On the high mesa
above, the wind roared through the timber; in the valley, it was yet
quiet. Lightning flashed through the clouds. Hayoue stood still, grasped
the arm of his companion, and pointed at the southern heights.

"If you ever go up there," he warned, "be very careful." Okoya failed to
understand, and only stared.

"Be careful," the other insisted, "and if possible never go alone." He
turned, and Okoya followed. What he had heard and learned went beyond
his comprehension.

Ere they could reach the caves a fiery dart shot from the clouds that
shrouded the mountain-crests; it sped across the sky and buried itself
in the forest above the Rito. A clinking and crackling followed, as if a
mass of scoria were shattered, then a deafening peal shook the cliffs to
the very foundations. A strong gust of wind swept down the gorge. It
caused the tall pines to shake, and the shrubbery surged in the blast.
In the nooks and angles of the cliffs the wind whirled, raising clouds
of dust and sand. Raindrops began to fall, large and sparse at first,
afterward smaller but thick and fast. The first rain of the season
poured down upon the Rito de los Frijoles.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 9: A clear definition of the Shiuana is not easy to give. In a
general sense, they might be called the "spirits of the Fetiches." As
everything strange, unusual, or inexplicable is attributed to spiritual
origin, the numbers of the Shiuana are very great. Even the pictures of
the sun-father, of the moon-mother, etc., are Shiuana, in the sense of
their supposed spiritual connection with the deified beings they
represent.]



CHAPTER VIII.


Shotaye had taken no part in the great dance, and no one had missed her.
It was known that whenever the Koshare appeared in public she was
certain to stay at home. In point of fact she seldom left her cell,
unless it was to ascend one of the mesas for the purpose of gathering
medicinal herbs. Shotaye enjoyed the reputation of being a strange and
even mysterious being; and so long as her services were not absolutely
required, nobody cared to intrude upon her. Nevertheless, she often
received visitors of the male sex. She despised men most thoroughly, but
accepted their attentions if profitable.

On the day following the ayash tyucotz Shotaye left her cave in quest of
vegetable medicaments. We have seen how she met Okoya, and how they
greeted one another. The boy's sullen manner amused her; she attributed
his morose ways to the effects of an over-lively night. Onward she went,
down to the edge of the brook, then turned to the right up the course of
the streamlet. That the skies threatened to become overcast and that
rain might overtake her during the day mattered little. Whenever the
Indian is bent upon the performance of some task, sunshine or rain,
moonlight or snow, are matters of indifference. Shotaye strolled on
regardless of things above or below. People were of as little interest
to her as the clouds. The latter could do her errand no harm, and that
errand everybody might know if they chose to follow her.

Wandering up the gorge of the Rito and along its northern limit, the
woman soon reached the upper part, where the cliffs crowd the water's
edge, where the southern slopes become more rugged and the valley
terminates. There a series of gigantic steps, formed by high and
beetling rocks, closes the Rito to the west. Down that mass of ledges
the brook trickles from its source, and a trail, formerly much used by
the Navajos on their raids, creeps up, meandering over and between
crags, ledges, and shelves of bare rock. This trail was seldom trodden
at that time, and then only by armed men, for it was regarded as
dangerous. Notwithstanding the proximity of the settlement at the Rito,
the Navajos--Dinne, or Moshome--lurked here quite often, and many an
unfortunate had lost his life while ascending the trail alone.

Shotaye was therefore travelling an exceedingly hazardous road, but she
did not think of danger. Many a time before had she clambered up and
down this rocky labyrinth, and while the Dinne fairly swarmed, nothing
had ever happened to her. It is true that she was exceedingly wary, and
had in her innumerable excursions gathered quite as much knowledge of
the tricks of war as the most experienced scout, so that she felt almost
intuitively the approach of danger. She had gradually become imbued with
the idea that she was invulnerable. To-day, therefore, she moved along
this dangerous trail with the greatest apparent _nonchalance_.
Furthermore her thoughts so completely absorbed her that while ascending
from the level of the Rito she unconsciously went on thinking of nothing
else but of what Say Koitza had told her in the cave, and of the plans
for relief which she had begun to devise, or at least to revolve in her
mind.

The trail is not only rough and long, it is very steep in places; and
the woman stopped for rest, sitting on a ledge of rocks. Below her the
vale was no longer visible; a dark chasm yawned at her feet; out of it
the cliffs of the Tyuonyi rose like the heads of giants.

One more difficult stretch had to be overcome before Shotaye could reach
the timber crowning the plateau on the northern cliffs of the Rito.
Massive benches or ledges, abrupt and high, seemed to render farther
ascent impracticable. But Shotaye kept on after a short stop without the
slightest hesitation. The trail wound its way upward. It crept from
rocky step to rocky step, led her from crags to narrow bands skirting
dizzy cliffs, until she came to a level where the timber of the northern
mesa was easily reached. Once in the shade of pines she looked around;
the original object of her expedition returned to her mind, and she
scanned with particular care the underbrush in hope of finding there the
herbs on which she based the efficacy of her cures. It thundered
audibly, but that was nothing to her.

There, close to a juniper-bush, grew one of the coveted plants. She went
to it, knelt down, and began to pull it up by the roots.

Suddenly she felt both of her upper arms seized with irresistible power.
Her body was jerked backward. Ere she could think of resistance, she was
lying on the ground. Not a shriek, however, escaped her mouth, for
although surprised, the woman had presence of mind enough to think that
either Tyope or some Navajo must have attacked her. In either case it
was useless to scream, for in either case she was lost. As soon however
as she was able to glance at her captor her worst fears were dispelled.

The man, or being, whatever he might be, loosened his grip and stood
erect. He looked down into her face and grinned. That grin did not in
the least beautify his already horrible features. The creature was
indeed a man, but so disfigured by paint and accoutrements that any one
unaccustomed to the appearance of Indian warriors in full dress must
necessarily have taken him for some fiend or demon from the nether
world. He was of robust build, his muscular chest was naked to the
waist, a kilt of deer-hide covered his thighs, and his feet rested on
small hoops laid horizontally and tied to them like sandals. Face and
body were painted with a black metallic powder; under each eye there was
a red dash. Out of this sinister face the eyes gleamed like living
coals; and the smile, though intended for a friendly token, appeared
more like a beastly leer. A close-fitting cap covered the skull to the
ears, giving it the appearance of ghastly baldness. From under this
protection coarse locks of black hair protruded.

Shotaye looked up at the monster, and, strange to say, returned his
horrid grin with a smile and with encouraging winks. But the man did not
move; he only let go her arms. So she rose. Thereupon he touched her
right arm with his left hand, pointed at himself with the right, and
uttered in a strange dialect, "Tehua." Afterward he pointed at her,
adding, "tema quio," and accompanied these words by most significant
gestures.

Shotaye did not understand the language, but the signs were clear to
her.

"Koitza," she replied, imitating his motions; "Tehua hachshtze;" and
with a wink, "amoshko."

The Indian shook his head; he dropped the arm of the woman, made with
both hands the motion of stringing a bow, and exclaimed,--

"Uan save." Grasping the war-club that hung from his wrist he struck two
or three blows with it at random, repeated the words "uan save," and
looked askance.

This was beyond Shotaye's powers of comprehension. She again pointed at
herself, saying,--

"Tyuonyi koitza," then in the direction of the Rito, made the
gesture-sign for killing, and looked at the stranger inquiringly and
with an anxious face.

Now the Indian understood her. His eyes sparkled; he shook his head
emphatically, uttering,--

"Nyo nyo tema, uan save, uan save;" at the same time he pointed to the
west and brandished his war-club.

It became clear to the woman that the warrior was on an expedition
against the Navajos, and not after the scalps of her own people; but it
was equally plain to her that, being on the war-path, any kind of
enjoyment was prohibited to him. This was a disappointment, and the
strange dialogue came therefore to a stand-still. Each eyed the other in
silence. All at once the stranger stepped up to her, and extending his
arms to the west, asked,--

"Uan save?"

She shrugged her shoulders in silence.

"Quio," he said now, and grasped her hand; "tupoge," pointing toward the
Rito. "Quio," he beckoned her to go with him. "Puye," waving his hand to
the north. Lastly he grinned and whispered, "cuinda?"

There was no possibility of misunderstanding the smile and the motions,
although the words, of course, were beyond Shotaye's comprehension. In
return she pointed to the west again, made the conventional sign for
night and sleep, and began to count her fingers. As she bent the eighth
digit the Tehua stopped her, held up every finger of the right hand and
three of the left, described, as if in confirmation eight times, an arch
from east to west, and concluded by pointing to the north, exclaiming
very emphatically,--

"Puye!" He looked at her and laughed aloud, as the Indian does when he
feels delighted, pressed both hands against his chest, and uttered
proudly,--

"Cayamo."

"Shotaye," she eagerly replied.

The black-painted hero burst out in immoderate laughter.

"Shotaye, Shotaye," he repeated, caught hold of one of her hands,
caressed his chest with it, and danced about merrily, exclaiming,--

"Cuindae, Cayamo, cuindae, Shotaye, cuinda!" He counted the number eight
several times, and then suddenly bent down. One of his sandals had
become loose.

These sandals consisted, as mentioned before, of wooden hoops covered by
strips of rabbit-skin and tied to the naked foot with bands of the same
material. The wearer stood on them as on wheels lying flat on the
ground; he was able to walk and even to run at a moderate speed, and the
prints which he made, being circular, gave a pursuing enemy no clew to
the direction of his going or coming.

While the man was stooping and fastening the leather thongs, Shotaye
scanned his appearance thoroughly. She perceived on his back, aside from
a bow and the usual quiver filled with war-arrows, a shield. The
painting on that shield she examined with particular care. The target
was painted white, with a black rim; and in the centre was a green
crescent, with four red crosses. Such figures have no heraldic
signification; they are but the creation of fancy or taste, and recall
the designs of the ancient Teutons which Tacitus describes, "Scuta
tantum lectissimis coloribus distinguunt."

Shotaye evidently took an interest in the stranger. He, on the other
hand, looked up to her from time to time with a terrific grin that was
intended for a sweet smile. As often as he turned his face toward her
she sought to decipher his real features, which the war-paint rendered
utterly unrecognizable.

At last the sandal was fastened again, and the Tehua stood erect. He
waved his hand to the west and north, repeated the words, "Cayamo,
cuinda," and placed a finger on his lips. She nodded, raised eight
fingers, softly uttered "raua, raua, Shotaye," and pointed to the north
also. Thereupon he moved away stealthily; but before disappearing in the
timber, he turned around once more and waved his hand northward. The
woman replied with affirmative nods, and after his form had disappeared
she also turned to go. Her eyes sparkled; a gleam of intense
satisfaction illumined her features, as with head erect and heedless of
the plants she had come to gather, she penetrated deeper into the
forest. She now went due east, in a direction opposite to the one the
Tehua had taken.

This had been a very remarkable meeting indeed. More than ever, Shotaye
believed that she was invulnerable. The Queres of the Rito and the
Tehuas, living north of them on the other side of savage
mountain-fastnesses, and more than a day's journey distant, were not
always on the best of terms. There was no regular intercourse between
the tribes, for the speech of one differed from that of the other.
Barter and traffic took place at long intervals; but as not a soul at
the Tyuonyi spoke Tehua, and no one at the Puye understood Queres, such
attempts at commercial intercourse usually terminated in a fracas, in
bloodshed even, and the party offended sought to make things even
afterward by waylaying and murdering such of the other side as might
chance to wander in the neighbourhood of their abodes. Actual warfare
had taken place between the tribes within the time of Shotaye's
recollection, and engagements were fought; one party got worsted and ran
home, the other went home, too, and that settled the matter for the time
being. It was, therefore, not at all safe for an Indian from the Rito to
meet one from the Puye, and _vice versa_. Women made an exception,
inasmuch as they were exposed only to capture and adoption in the tribe
to which their captors belonged. Such compulsory adoption was rendered
very easy by the fact that nearly the same clans existed among all the
Pueblos. But the Eagle clan, for instance, which the Queres called Tyame
hanutsh in their dialect, bore in the Tehua language the name of Tzedoa.

As soon as Shotaye saw into whose hands she had fallen, she felt
completely reassured. Even if she were carried off a prisoner, it was no
misfortune. When, moreover, she discovered that the stranger had not
even such an object in view, but was after the scalp of some Navajo, she
experienced a feeling of delight. When at last the Indian readily
understood her suggestions, and went so far as to indicate a day when
she should come to him at the Puye, her gladness knew no bounds. In the
accidental meeting, all her hopes for relief had been realized. She was
now able to save herself by flight to the other tribe, but enough time
was left her to provide for the safety of her companion in peril.

She had no hope or thought of becoming the wife of her new acquaintance.
He was probably married; but marriage, as we have seen, was no obstacle
to temporary outside friendships. She could take refuge at the Puye
without hesitation, and claim the protection of her warrior. In case she
afterward felt like tying herself to one man only, there was no doubt in
her mind that a domestic animal of the _genus_ husband could easily be
found. How often could she have been married at the Rito, had the men
not looked upon her as a witch!

The friend whom she had now secured among the Tehuas called himself
Cayamo. Thus much she had guessed, and guessed rightly. But would she be
able to recognize him after his face was washed and the military undress
exchanged for that of civil life? Never mind, she had noted the
paintings on his shield, and that was enough. There are no two shields
alike in one village; and by uttering the name Cayamo and describing the
white escutcheon with a green crescent and four red crosses--a thing
easy for Indian sign-language--she could not fail to identify him. That
Cayamo would recognize her and acknowledge her acquaintance she did not
doubt for a moment. She even hoped to meet him half way on the trail to
the village of his tribe, provided the Navajos did not kill the hero.
While she sincerely hoped that he would return safe and in possession of
many scalps, there was still a possibility of his own scalp being taken
by the enemy. The Navajos were very cunning, and their arrows were
tipped with very sharp flint. With all her feelings for her knight, and
the reliance she placed on his broad shoulders, heavy neck, strong arms,
and well-turned legs, accidents remained possible. In case Cayamo should
never return to his native village, what then? Well, he was not the only
man among the Tehuas, and that consoled her.

There seemed to be but one dark point in the otherwise bright outlook.
Would she have time to put her plans in execution? Would the Koshare,
would Tyope, leave her sufficient respite? Things might have taken place
during and after the dance that changed the face of matters and
precipitated them beyond remedy. In case, for instance, that the Delight
Makers had overturned Say's household as they were wont to overturn
others, and had discovered the feathers, was not all hope gone? Shotaye
suddenly recollected how Okoya had greeted her that morning,--how surly
his glance, how gruff and unfriendly his call. Was that significant?
Still, if the secret had been disclosed, there would surely have been
some noise about it the night before. On the other hand, it might be
that the council had the case in hand and preferred not to make anything
public for the present. What if the council were in deliberation at the
very moment, discussing her fate and that of her accomplice? Would it
not be safer, instead of returning to the Rito, to follow the tracks of
her new friend, Cayamo, and join him on his dangerous errand?

Yes, it would have been safer, provided Cayamo would have tolerated the
companionship of a woman. But this he was not allowed to enjoy, and
furthermore, what would then become of that accomplice of hers? The
latter thought staggered her.

Shotaye was a very strange woman. She was heartless, cold-blooded,
merciless, remorseless, in everything that concerned her relations to
others. One person only she excepted in her selfish calculations, and
that was her accomplice and victim, Say Koitza. Happen what might, she
could not forsake Say. She must at all hazards go back to the Tyuonyi,
call at her house, and find out from her whether or not anything had
occurred that might jeopardize her plans and designs. In case matters
were unchanged, she intended to tell her friend the occurrence of the
day, giving her at the same time directions for the future.

Shotaye quickened her step, for the road was long. It was not advisable
to return by the trail she had taken in coming, for she needed a pretext
for running into the abode of Say Koitza as if by chance. At last she
noticed the change in the weather and the approaching shower, and
thought it a good plan to regulate her gait so as to reach the valley
and the big house when the storm broke. She might then seek shelter
under her friend's roof and avoid suspicion.

Crashing thunder roared in the high Sierra, and as Shotaye looked around
she saw the rain-streaks that swept down on the mesas in advance of the
shower. The Sierra de la Jara had vanished in the clouds, and gray
fleeces whirled about the flanks of the Sierra de San Miguel. She stood
on the brink above the eastern end of the Rito, and began to descend
over boulders and crags, and through bushes. Only a part of the valley
was visible; in the corn-fields not a living soul appeared. Faster and
faster Shotaye ran, regardless of rocks and shrubbery. The western
mountains were completely shrouded, lightning tore the clouds, thunder
bellowed nearer and stronger. At last she reached the bottom and turned
toward the houses, panting, perspiring, but untired. As she passed the
new house of the Corn clan, the first angry blast of the storm met her,
and she had to stop. It filled her with lively satisfaction, however, to
see how accurately she had regulated her movements. She might get into
the big house almost unnoticed, for the rain began to fall.

At the moment when Hayoue and Okoya found shelter in the caves of the
Water clan, Shotaye dashed through the gangway of the building. A
tremendous shower was falling, and as soon as she entered the court she
was drenched from head to foot, to the great delight of those who, well
protected themselves, were standing in the doorways of their quarters.
One single voice called to her to come in, but she took no notice of it.
Blinded by the torrents of falling water, she groped her way along the
walls, and finally stumbled into the open door of Say Koitza's home. Not
a single thread of her scanty clothing was dry; her hair, soaked and
dripping, clung to her forehead and cheeks as if glued to the skin;
water filled her eyes, nostrils, and ears. She removed the hair from her
brow, shook herself, coughed, sneezed, and looked around. The room was
empty, but in the inner cell a fire crackled on the hearth; and Say came
out. At the sight of her friend she burst into a hearty laugh, and
asked,--

"Where do you come from?"

"Tziro kauash." Shotaye coughed, then in a whisper she inquired,--

"Are you alone?"

Say's brow clouded, and a deadly pang seized her. What meant this query,
this call so unusual, so mysterious? In a low, hollow tone she
replied,--

"We are alone," and turned back into the kitchen. Her friend's question
sounded like a prelude to dismal tidings.

Both women squatted close to the fire. Not a word was spoken. The
new-comer was busy drying herself, and the mistress of the house was
struck by her rather cheerful looks. Possibly her sad presentiment was
wrong. It was almost impossible to talk, except in a very loud tone; for
the rain fairly roared, peals of thunder followed each other in quick
succession, flashes of yellow lightning quivered outside of the little
port-hole. The room itself was very dark.

How often had the two women sat here years ago in anxious doubt, but
hopeful at last! How often had Say Koitza complained to her friend on
this very spot,--complained of her illness, of the sad outlook before
her; and when she began to recuperate how often she told Shotaye about
her plans for the future. Now that future had come, and in what shape!

The roaring outside diminished gradually, the thunder sounded more
remote. Through the roof of mud and brush rivulets of water began to
burst, forming little puddles on the mud floor and dripping on the heads
of the two women. Shotaye took no notice of it, but Say moved to avoid
the moisture. The roof seemed a sieve, the floor became a lagune.

Shotaye inquired,--

"Have the Koshare been here?"

"They have," the other said, "and they turned everything upside down,
but found nothing."

Shotaye drew a long breath, exclaiming,--

"Then everything is right, all right; and you are safe!"

But the wife of Zashue Tihua shook her head mournfully. "No, sa tao,"
she replied, "it cannot save me. I am lost, lost beyond hope."

"Rest easy, sister. Believe me," the medicine-woman assured her, "you
are saved; they can do you no harm."

It rained softly in the court-yard; inside of the room it went on, pat,
pat, pat, pat, dripping through the ceiling.

Shotaye resumed the conversation.

"Speak, sa tao," she said; "speak, and tell me what you think. Why is it
that you still believe that bad men will be able to do you harm? Don't
you know, sister, that you are safe from them now, and that they cannot
injure you any more?"

Say Koitza shook her head gloomily and replied, pointing to her ear and
eye,--

"Sanaya, what the ear hears and the eye sees, the heart must fain
believe."

"Then speak to me; tell me, sa uishe, what it is that your ear has
heard, your eye has seen, that makes your heart so sad." The woman spoke
softly, entreatingly, as if she was soothing a sick child. But the
object of her sympathy sighed, and continued, in the same tone of utter
despondency,--

"Sister, had you been present at the ayash tyucotz, when all the people
danced and sang, your eyes would have seen what the heart could not
approve. I saw my son Okoya Tihua, the child of Tanyi hanutsh, dancing
beside Mitsha Koitza, the girl from Tyame; and she is the daughter of
our base enemy."

[Illustration: Type of old Indian woman]

"Is that all that causes you trouble, koya?" Shotaye very placidly
asked. "Listen to me further, yaya," Say entreated. "This morning I
took the boy to task for it, and then I found out that Mitsha is near to
him,--nearer than his own mother. I discovered that he goes to see her,
and thus gets to the house of the woman of whom they say that she is
Tyope's ear and eye, tongue and mouth. What do you say to that, sa tao?"

Shotaye smiled. "Have you ever spoken to Mitsha?"

"Never!" exclaimed Say. "How could I speak to one whose mother is a
sand-viper, and whose father a carrion crow?"

"Is that all?"

"You know," Say cried, "how mean Tyope is! If my child goes to see his
child, is it not easy for the young serpent to ask this and that of my
son? Then she will go and tell the old sand-viper, her mother, who will
whisper it to Tyope himself. Don't you see it, sister?"

The argument was forcible, and Shotaye felt the truth of it. The other
proceeded,--

"Okoya may have been going with the girl for a long while; and I knew
nothing of it. Have you found out, sister,"--she leaned forward and
looked at her guest with a very earnest expression,--"how the Koshare
have learned about the owl's feathers in my house?"

The other shook her head and shrugged her shoulders.

"Neither have I," continued Say; "but might not Okoya--" The hand of her
friend closed her lips.

"Hush!" cried the medicine-woman, imperatively; "speak not, believe not,
think not, such a thing! Okoya is good; I, too, know the boy. He will
never do what you suspect."

But Say was too excited to listen to her. She drew Shotaye's hand away
from her mouth and exclaimed,--

"Remember that it is but a short time that the Koshare have known about
the feathers."

"And remember, you, that Okoya is of your own blood!"

"He is young, and the makatza has great power over him, for he likes
her. When Zashue"--her voice trembled and she turned her face away with
a suppressed sigh--"came to me and I went to him, he often told me
things about your people,--things that your hanutsh would not have
liked, had they known that I knew of them."

"Hush! I tell you again. Hush, koitza!" the other commanded. "Hush! or I
will never listen to you any more. You loathe your own flesh, the very
entrails that have given birth to the mot[=a]tza! I tell you again,
Okoya is good. He is far better than his father! Thus much I know, and
know it well." She looked hard at the wife of Zashue, while her lips
disdainfully curled. Say cast her eyes to the ground; she did not care
to learn about her husband's outside affairs.

It was very still in the dark room. Even the rain was scarcely heard;
and from the ceiling it dripped in one place only,--the very spot where
the owl's feathers had lain buried. It seemed as if the waters from
heaven were eager to assist in obliterating every trace of the fatal
tuft. Shotaye turned away from her friend indignantly; the mere thought
of a mother accusing her child, and such a son as Okoya, was revolting
to her. Say hung her head and pouted; and yet she felt that Shotaye was
right, after all. And then it was so gratifying to hear from Shotaye's
own lips how good her son was.

"Sanaya," she asked after a while, timidly, "tell me for what you came."

"No," the other curtly answered.

Say started. "Be not angry with me," she pleaded. "I do not mean
anything wrong."

"And yet you slander your best child."

Say Koitza began to sob.

Shotaye continued, angrily,--

"You may well weep! Whoever speaks ill of his own blood, as you do,
ought to be sad and shed tears forever. Listen to me, koitza. Okoya is
good; he will not betray anybody, and least of all his mother. And hear
my words,--Mitsha also is good; as good as her father is bad, as wise as
her mother is foolish. Even if Okoya had found the feathers, and had
told makatza of it, she would keep it to herself, and the secret would
lie buried within her heart as deep as if it rested beneath the
nethermost rock on which the Tetilla stands. And in the end let me tell
you,"--she raised her head defiantly and her eyes flashed,--"if Okoya
likes the girl and she wants him, they are sure to come together. You
cannot prevent it; neither can Tyope, the tapop, the Hotshanyi,--not
even the whole tribe! Those on high hold the paths of our lives; they
alone can do and undo, make and unmake."

Say wept no more. She was convinced, and lifted her eyes again.

"Mother,"--it was Shyuote's voice which called into the outer room from
the court-yard,--"mother, come out and look at the fine rainbow." With
this he dashed into the inner door and stood there, the very incarnation
of dirt. He had been playing at Delight Makers in the mud-puddles
outside with some of his comrades, and was covered with splashes of mud
from head to foot. Say bounded from her seat and pushed back the forward
youngster.

"Who is with you, sanaya?" he inquired, while retreating.

"Nobody, you water-mole! I want to be alone. I have no time to look at
your rainbow. Get away!" and she hustled him outside and quickly
returned to the kitchen.

But Shyuote, not satisfied with his mother's statement, rushed to the
port-hole to see for himself. This Shotaye had expected; and as soon as
his dirty face darkened the opening, it received a splash of muddy
rain-water that caused the boy to desist from further prying.

After Say had resumed her seat by the hearth, Shotaye bent toward her
and whispered,--

"Mark me, the Shiuana are with us; the rainbow stands in the skies.
Those Above know that what I speak to you is the truth." Okoya's mother
nodded; she was fully convinced.

The cave-dweller took up the former subject again.

"Do not misunderstand me, sister," she said; "I do not say that it is
well that Okoya should go to the house of the girl's mother. There is
danger in it. But your son is careful and wise, and Mitsha is good, as
good as our mother on high. Therefore don't cross his path; let him go
as he pleases; and if Mitsha should come to you, be kind to her, for she
deserves it. All this, however,"--the tone of her voice changed
suddenly,--"is not what I came to see you for. What I have to tell you
concerns me and you alone. Keep it precious, as precious as the green
stone hidden in the heart of the yaya; and whatever may happen, be
silent about it, as silent as the mountain. Keep your lips closed
against everybody until the time comes when we must speak."

Say nodded eagerly, and Shotaye was fully satisfied with the mute
pledge, for she knew that the woman dared not betray her.

"Believe me," she continued, "your life is safe. You will not, you
cannot, be harmed."

Say Koitza looked at her in surprise; she could not realize the truth of
these hopeful tidings.

"They found nothing in your house," resumed the other, "because, I
presume, you removed the feathers in time, and in this you were wise. If
Tyope says that he saw you holding owl's feathers in your hands, and you
have not kept them, who can speak against you at the council? Rest
assured of one thing. Tyope is at the bottom of all our troubles, and
unless he or somebody else watched you while you buried the hapi at the
foot of the beams on which the Koshare go up to their cave, nobody will
believe him when he rises against you. Are you sure," she added, "that
nobody saw you?"

"They were all up there, so Zashue himself told me."

"Tyope, also?"

"Tyope," Say replied with animation,--"I saw Tyope. He was outside,
clinging to the rock on high like a squirrel to a tree. But he could not
see me."

"Then, child, you are safe; let them do as they please."

"But if he comes and says, 'I saw Say and Shotaye with black corn, and
owl's feathers on it; and I heard them ask of the evil corn to speak to
them'?"

"Then everybody will say, 'Shotaye is a witch, Say only her tool; we
must punish Shotaye, she must be killed,' and that will be the end of
it."

She brought her face so close to that of her friend that the latter,
while unable to see her features, clearly felt her breath. The last
words of the medicine-woman shocked Say. She stood toward Shotaye almost
in the relation of a helpless child, and the thought of seeing her
friend exposed to death produced a feeling of dismay and sadness.

"But, sanaya," she asked, "how can they harm you and let me go free? Am
I not as guilty as you? What you did, was it not for me, for my good?
Why may I not go along if they send you to our mother at Shipapu?"

"Hush, sa uishe," the other retorted. "Do not speak thus. I have led you
to do things which those on high do not like, so I alone must suffer.
Nevertheless"--she laid her hand on the other's lap--"rest easy; I shall
not die."

In her simplicity, Say, when Shotaye mentioned the probability of her
suffering capital punishment, had not thought of her children and of the
consequences that would arise in case she herself were to share that
fate. She felt greatly relieved upon hearing the cave-woman speak so
hopefully of her own case, for she bethought herself of those whom she
would leave motherless. But her curiosity was raised to the highest
pitch. Eager and anxious to learn upon what grounds Shotaye based her
assurance of safety, Say nestled close to her side in order not to lose
a syllable of the talk. It was necessary, for Shotaye proceeded in a
slow solemn whisper,--

"Sister, I shall be accused and you will be accused also. If you are
brought before the council, and they ask you about our doings, deny
everything, say no to everything, except when the black corn is spoken
of. That you may confess. They will inquire of you why we used the evil
cobs. Answer, and mark well my words, that you did not understand what I
was doing, that you only did what I told you to do. Lay all the blame on
me."

"But it is not true," the little woman objected.

"Never mind, provided you go free."

"They, then, will kill you!" Say cried.

"Be not concerned about me; I will save myself."

"How can you?"

"That is my secret; still this I will confide to you;" her whisper
became scarcely audible as she added, "I shall flee!"

"Whither?" gasped Say in surprise.

"To the Tehuas! But, sa tao, be silent, as silent as the stone, as quiet
as kohaio when in winter he is asleep. Whatever you may hear, heed it
not; what you may see, do not notice. Deny everything you can deny, and
what you have to confess lay on me. Do as I tell you, sa uishe," she
insisted, as Say moved uneasily, "and trust to me for the rest."

Shotaye arose, shook her wet garments, and stepped into the outer room.
There she turned around once more, and repeated in a low but impressive
voice,--

"Sa tao, trust in me, and believe also that Okoya is good, and Mitsha
better yet. Be kind to both and be silent."

She stepped into the court-yard, and Say Koitza remained standing in the
doorway.

The rain had ceased; the sky was clear again, all ablaze with the
richest golden hues over the crest of the big houses. It was near
sunset. Say watched her friend as she went to the entrance; and as
Shotaye's form vanished in the dark passage Okoya emerged from it,
coming toward his mother, slowly, shyly, but with a smile on his
countenance. That was surely a good omen, and she anticipated the timid
"guatzena" with which he was about to greet her by a warm and pleasant
"raua opona."



CHAPTER IX.


The interview between Okoya and Hayoue, which took place at almost the
same time that Shotaye fell in with the Tehua Indian on the mesa, had
completely changed the mind of Say Koitza's eldest son, and turned his
thoughts into another channel. He saw clearly now to what extent he had
been led astray by mere imagination,--to what sinister depths his
reasoning had carried him. Since Hayoue's talk, Okoya felt like another
man. The world of his thoughts, limited as it was still, appeared now in
rosy hues, hope-inspiring and encouraging in spite of all obstacles.
These obstacles he saw in their true light, and the last warning of
Hayoue had made a deep impression. But obstacles clearly understood are
half surmounted already, and "threatened people live long."

It is not good for man to be alone. Okoya had felt the truth of it
bitterly. Now that he knew that he was not forsaken, he was filled with
strength and vigour. On the whole, an Indian is much less exposed to
isolation than a white man, for his clan and, in a wider range, his
tribe, stand by him against outside danger; but when that danger arises
within the narrow circle of constant surroundings there is imminent
peril. Okoya had fancied that such peril threatened his own existence,
and that he stood alone and unsupported. Now he saw that in any event he
would be neither abandoned nor forsaken, and this imparted to his spirit
a degree of buoyancy which he had never experienced before.

When he issued from the cave where both his uncle and he had found
shelter, the storm was over, and nature had assumed a different aspect.
A heavy shower in the mountains of New Mexico is often followed by
illuminations of peculiar beauty. So it happened then. The west, where
the sun had already descended behind the mountains, was crossed by a
series of arches displaying successively from below upward the most
resplendent gold, bright orange, green, and finally deep blue colours.
In the eastern skies the storm-king hovered still in a mass of inky
clouds above the horizon, but these clouds had receded beyond the
graceful cone of the Tetilla, which stood out in front of the dark mass
of the storm sharply defined, with a rosy hue cast over every detail of
its slopes. The air was of wonderful transparency, and every tint of the
brilliant heavens above and in the west seemed to reproduce itself with
increased intensity, on the dark, cloudy bank in the east, in the
dazzling arch of a magnificent rainbow. The rays of the setting sun no
longer penetrated the depths of the vale, they only grazed the
moisture-dripping tops of the tallest pines, changing them into pyramids
of sparkling light.

Okoya looked at the scenery before him, but its beauty was not what
caused him to gaze and to smile. The Indian is quite indifferent to the
sights of nature, except from the standpoint of strictest and plainest
utilitarianism. The rainbow fascinated the boy, not through its
brilliancy and the perfection of the arch, but because the rainbow was
in his conception Shiuana, and a messenger from Those Above.[10] Where
the ends of the luminous arch appear to rest, a message from heaven is
said to be deposited. No more favourable token could have greeted him,
for although the message was not for him, since the brilliant bow
seemed to stand far off from the Rito, still the Shiuana, the spirits,
graced the sky with their presence. They appeared clad in the brightest
hues, and what is bright and handsome is to the Indian a harbinger of
good.

No wonder, therefore, that the boy greeted his mother with a happy face
and a pleasant smile. He had passed Shotaye in the entrance, and his
salutation to her was widely different from the gruff notice he had
taken of her in the morning. When, afterward, he met his mother's gaze
and saw how kindly she looked at him, how warm her invitation to come in
sounded, his heart bounded with delight, and he obeyed her summons with
a deep sigh of relief. His appearance was not very prepossessing, for
between the caves and the big house a number of newly created
mud-puddles and rivulets had crossed his path. His scanty clothing was
profusely bespattered, and broad cakes of mud clung to the soles of his
naked feet. Before entering the house he carelessly shook off and
scraped away the heaviest flakes, and then went in and sat down on the
bundle of skins. Say Koitza offered him no change of clothing; she did
not bring a pair of slippers, warm and dry, for his wet feet. No, she
simply went into the kitchen and let him alone. Such is the Indian
custom. But in the kitchen she began to move about. She was cooking, and
that proved beyond a doubt that everything must be right again. After a
while she squatted in the inner doorway and inquired,--

"Where were you while it was raining?"

"With Hayoue."

"How late did he come home?" She laughed; he chimed in and answered,--

"Late enough; I had to wait a long time before he came, and so sleepy
was he,--as tired and sleepy as a bear in spring."

"Do you know where he spent the night?" The tone of the conversation
sounded easy and pleasant.

"I don't know the name of the makatza,"--here Okoya laughed again and
his mother caught the contagion,--"but she must belong to Oshatsh. He
did not say much, for he was tired from yesterday."

"Was she a short, stumpy girl?"

"I don't know. It must have been the same one with whom he was at the
dance. I paid no attention to her."

"It is Haatze; I know her. She is a strong girl and tall."

"Do you think he goes to see her?" Okoya asked.

"It may be, and it may be not. Hayoue goes to every one; he is like a
fly,--he sits down everywhere and stops nowhere."

Okoya enjoyed hugely his mother's joke. The latter with some hesitancy
continued,--

"Does he also visit Mitsha Koitza?"

Okoya bent down to avoid her glance, then he resolutely replied,--

"No."

"Are you sure of it?"

"I am sure." He cast a furtive glance at his mother.

"Did Mitsha tell you?"

Not in the harsh tone of an inquisitor were these words uttered. Say
spoke them softly, gently; and Okoya was comforted. He was moved by the
question.

"No," he replied in the same manner; "Hayoue spoke to me about it."

Say felt a decided relief. It was clear to her now where Okoya had spent
the day, and how he had spent it. She liked her husband's younger
brother and trusted him. Although very fond of the other sex, Hayoue was
still honest and trustworthy in everything else. Her son had evidently
spoken to his uncle about Mitsha, and in Say's estimation he could not
have chosen a better person in whom to confide. Hayoue, she knew,
harboured toward Tyope sentiments akin to her own. His advice to Okoya
must therefore have been sound. On the other hand she was herself, since
the talk with Shotaye, greatly drawn toward Mitsha. This made her
anxious to find out what Hayoue thought of the girl. So she put the
direct question,--

"You spoke with your nashtio about Mitsha?"

"I did."

"What says he of the makatza?"

Had the room been better lighted Say would have seen how flushed Okoya's
face became, notwithstanding the tawny colour of his complexion. The boy
saw at once that he had confessed much more than he had intended,--that
the secret of his interview of the morning was divulged. Recede he could
not; neither could he conceal his embarrassment. He began to twist the
end of his wrap, and stammered,--

"He says not much." And then he stared at the doorway with that stolid
air which the Indian assumes when he is in trouble.

"Does he speak good or ill?" Say insisted.

"Good," muttered Okoya, casting his eyes to the ground. The mild, soft
smile which played over his mother's features as he uttered the word
escaped him. When he raised his eyes again her looks were serious,
though not stern. He was completely bewildered. What had occurred to
cause his mother to speak in this manner? Had she changed her mind since
morning, and why so suddenly? He had, of course, no thought of
attributing to Shotaye and to her influence this surprisingly favourable
change, for he did not know the intimate relations existing between her
and his mother. So he remained silent, staring, wrapped in his own
musings. His mother looked at him in silence also, but with a
half-suppressed smile.

At last she asked,--

"Sa uishe, will you eat?"

"Yes," he replied, considerably relived by this turn in the
conversation. He rose and moved briskly toward the entrance to the
cooking apartment; but Say held him back.

"Tell me, but tell me the truth; did Hayoue say it was well for you to
go with Mitsha?"

Okoya was so embarrassed by this direct query that he could not answer
at once. He stood still and hung his head.

"Tell me, child," Say insisted.

"He said"--the words were scarcely audible--"that it was well."

"Did he also say it was good for you to listen to the words of Tyope and
his woman?"

Now light began to dawn upon the boy. He felt a presentiment of
something favourable. "No," he exclaimed, "he said that I must beware of
Tyope and of his koitza; but that Mitsha I could trust."

"Then it is well, sa uishe," replied the mother; "come in and eat."

Okoya could hardly believe his senses. Had his mother really said, "It
is well?" Was it possible that she was satisfied and in sympathy with
his feeling toward Mitsha? Such was his surprise that he performed his
prayers before squatting down to the meal without a thought of the
kopishtai, to whom he scattered crumbs mechanically. He forgot to eat,
and stared like a blind man with eyes wide open, heedless of the food,
heedless of everything around him.

"Eat," said Say to him. Twice she repeated the invitation ere he came to
himself and reached out for the first morsel. Aware of his mute
astonishment and conscious of his perplexity, his mother finally
asked,--

"What is the matter with you, mot[=a]tza?"

He merely shook his head and stared.

Very few young Indians in Okoya's condition would have placed so much
stress on their mother's consent or dissent. All or nearly all of them
would simply have left the old home and would have joined their
betrothed at her mother's house; and only the clan, and not the family,
could have interfered with their action. In the case of Okoya it was
different, and unusual circumstances complicated the matter. Mitsha's
clan was that of Topanashka, his own maternal grandfather; and if he
spoke against the union matters would be desperate. His mother,
therefore, held the key to the situation, inasmuch as through her both
the Eagle clan, to which Mitsha belonged, and Tanyi hanutsh, his own
consanguine cluster, could be favourably or unfavourably influenced. As
things appeared now, all seemed most promising. Even his mother--who a
short time ago had expressed herself so bitterly against his choice--was
now favourable to it. What could Tyope do under such circumstances?
Nothing at all. So the boy reasoned unconsciously; but beside, he felt
glad, he felt happy, because his mother approved of him. He was fond of
his mother at the bottom of his heart, as fond as any Indian can be.

Say Koitza approved his choice. There was no doubt about it, and still
she had not spoken plainly as yet. At any other time he would have
maintained a prudent reserve and waited his time to inquire. To-day he
felt so surprised, so completely stupefied, that only one course was
left him, and that was to learn her real feelings by asking his mother
directly for an explanation of her inexplicable demeanour.

When, therefore, Say asked again, "What ails you, mot[=a]tza, why don't
you eat?" he turned to her with a heavy sigh, placed both hands on his
knees, and replied,--

"I cannot eat until I have asked a question of you. Tell me, yaya, how
it is that this morning, when I said to you that I was going with Mitsha
Koitza, you grew angry at me, and now you say it is right? Tell me,
sanaya, how it comes about that you like the girl in the evening,
whereas in the morning she was not precious to you?"

His mother smiled. She sat down beside him, and her face almost touched
his own. The glare of the fire illuminated her features, so that their
expression became fully visible to him. Then she spoke softly,--

"Umo, have I not often said to you, 'Beware of Tyope'? Is it not so, sa
uishe?"

Okoya nodded affirmatively.

"Can you suppose that I should feel easy at heart, if you go to the
house where dwells the woman of that man?"

Okoya trembled. This was a discouraging beginning. Had he mistaken his
mother's views? In a faltering voice he replied,--

"No."

Say continued, "When for the first time you said, 'Mitsha and I see each
other,' I felt afraid. My heart spoke to me and said, Your child is
lost; and then sa nashka became angry. This was early in the morning;
but afterward, when I was sitting alone here and the Shiuana called
loudly above during the storm, it seemed to me as if some kopishtai
whispered, 'Mitsha is good,--she is as good as Okoya; she will belong to
him, and not to her mother, much less to her father.' And as I was
thinking, I heard the kopishtai again, saying to me, 'Okoya is good; he
is your child, and Mitsha will become your daughter, for she is of your
father's own blood.' And as the kopishtai thus spoke, the Shiuana
thundered louder and more loud. Then I thought it must be right and good
for the mot[=a]tza to go to the girl, and I was no longer angry. And
then you came, and I asked you what I wanted to know, and you told me
what Hayoue had said. So it is well, and thus it shall remain."

The sigh of relief heaved by Okoya at hearing these words was as sincere
as it was deep. He had barely strength to ask in the meekest manner
possible,--

"Then you have nothing against my going to Mitsha?"

"Nothing; I like to see you go, for Mitsha is good and"--her voice
became a whisper--"the Shiuana have thus disposed it. But"--she spoke
louder again--"hear me, go to Mitsha, and to her alone."

"But I cannot disown her mother and father."

"You need do nothing of the kind unless you wish. Be pleasant to the
man, as behooves you, but be careful. Never say sanaya is doing this or
that, or to-day they speak so or so at the estufa. If Tyope queries what
is your yaya doing, answer, her usual work. If he inquires about what is
going on in the estufa of Tanyi hanutsh, reply to him, 'Nashtio, I am
only a boy, and do not know what the men talk about.' To Tyope's wife
say nothing but what even Shyuote might hear. To the makatza you can
say, 'Let us be together and live for each other and talk as is right.
What concerns your hanutsh shall be hidden from me, and I will be silent
on anything that concerns mine.' If you will do thus, sa uishe, then you
can go to see Mitsha; and I myself would like to see the girl who is to
become my child."

This was too much for Okoya. He grasped with both his hands the hand of
his mother, carried it to his lips, and breathed on it. Then he gave
back the hand, and said with an effort,--

"You are good, yaya, and I will do as you say. Hayoue said to me the
same things you have."

"Hayoue is a true friend. His tongue is like his heart, and you did
right in taking his advice."

A tall figure stepped into the apartment with a shuffling step. His loud
greeting, "guatzena," cut off further talk for a moment. Both mother and
son, taken by surprise, answered,--

"Raua [=A]."

It was Hayoue himself who thus suddenly appeared. He complied with the
request to sit down, and afterward with the customary invitation to eat.
But he seemed as much surprised as the inmates themselves; for while
eating, his glance flitted inquiringly from mother to son, as if he were
astonished to see them together. When he had finished, he asked,--

"When will Zashue be here?"

"I do not know," replied Say.

Hayoue turned to his nephew,--

"Okoya, will you let me speak to your yaya alone?" These words he
accompanied with a knowing wink at the young man. It amused Okoya to see
that his uncle came so decidedly _post festum_ in the matter, but he at
once rose and went out.

In the court-yard it was still very damp, and hardly anybody was outside
of the dwellings; but from the estufas there sounded merry talking,
singing, and the beating of drums. Okoya stood a while in the doorway,
undecided whether he ought not to go to Mitsha at once. He wavered, but
at last the impressions received during the day, especially the warnings
about Mitsha's mother, prevailed, and he concluded not to go at this
time. He was afraid as yet to cross the threshold of that woman's home.
So he crept into the estufa of Tanyi hanutsh, sat down beside the
others, and soon joined in the chorus of discordant voices in the
everlasting refrain,--

        "Ho-[=a]-[=a]! Heiti-na! Ho-[=a]-[=a]! Heiti-na!"

In the meantime Hayoue had drawn closer to Say in the kitchen, saying,--

"Sister-in-law, I have come to speak to you concerning Okoya."

She motioned to him to remain where he was, and said, half in jest, half
in earnest,--

"Stay where you are, I hear you. You talk loud enough for me."

"Rest easy, sam[=a]n," he replied, with a peal of laughter that fairly
shook his tall and slender form. "Have no fear, I am tired out after
yesterday. But I must talk to you about the mot[=a]tza." He patted his
knees and looked straight into her face. "Are you aware that your child
goes with the child of Tyope?"

"I am," said Say, with a smile.

"What do you think of it?"

"Good," was the simple reply. "And you?"

"Good, yes, in one way, and not good in another."

"What do you think of the girl?" the woman inquired.

"Very, very good!" Hayoue emphatically exclaimed. "But her mother and
her father,"--he hissed through his teeth and shook his head with every
sign of disgust,--"they are very, very bad."

"I think as you do," said Okoya's mother, "and yet I know that the boy
is good and the girl is good. Why should they not go together?"

"I say the same, but how comes it that you believe so now?"

"I presume the mot[=a]tza has told you a different story?" Say
suggested, with a smile.

Hayoue nodded.

"I thought differently," she explained, "but now my heart has changed."

"You are right," the young man said approvingly, adding, "but he must
avoid the snares which that turkey-buzzard Tyope may set for him, and we
must preserve him from them."

"I warned him."

"So have I, and he promised to be wise."

"Had we not better speak to Zashue?" suggested Say Koitza.

Hayoue remained thoughtful for a while; then he said,--

"I dislike to say aught against my own brother, but in this matter I
dislike to speak to him."

"He is Okoya's father," objected Say.

"True, but he is Koshare, and completely under Tyope's influence.
Nevertheless do as you like, for you know him better than I do."

"He ought to come soon," Say said, and rose.

She went out. A noise of quarrelling children was approaching the door.
Soon she clearly distinguished the voice of Shyuote scolding.

"Come with me, worm! Go home, frog!" he yelled, and mournful cries
succeeded to his kind invitation. At the same time his young sister,
propelled by a violent push of his fist, stumbled into the outer room
and grasped the dress of her mother for protection.

"Satyumishe is beating me," whined the little one, glancing anxiously
toward the entrance. In the doorway appeared Shyuote himself, a solid
lump of mud from head to foot. His black eyes stared out of the dirty
coating that covered his face, like living coals. The appearance of his
mother put an end to his hostile actions,--he felt uncertain about the
manner in which they would be viewed by his parent. Say quickly changed
his forebodings into absolute certainty.

"Are you not ashamed of yourself, you big, ugly uak," she scolded, "to
beat your poor little sister?"

"She would not come home."

"Neither would you, lazy brat, else you would have been here a long
while ago! Do not cry, my heart,"--she turned to the weeping child,--"do
not weep. He will not hurt you any more, the bad, bad mocking-bird. Weep
not." She took the crying child into her arms in order to carry her into
the kitchen, but on the way she turned back and called,--

"Shyuote!"

"What do you want," growled the boy, and stumbled after her.

"Do you know where your nashtio is?"

"He is coming."

"Go and tell him to come. Say that Hayoue is here, and that he wants to
see him."

"Did I not tell you that he was coming?" muttered the unruly lad. This
answer was too much for Hayoue, who until now had been a mere listener.
He said in a peculiar tone of command,--

"Will you go or not, you silly, lazy, good-for-nothing whelp! Go at
once, or I will lead you where your father is;" and he pretended to
rise.

Shyuote had not noticed the presence of his uncle. His sudden appearance
upon the scene was to him an unwelcome sight, and he sped away with
unusual and commendable alacrity. Hayoue was greatly amused and laughed
aloud.

"That urchin," he said, "is more afraid of me than of Zashue and you
together. The brat is no good, and will never do for anything but a
Koshare. How different is Okoya!"

Say had again squatted near the hearth. She gathered the crying child
into her arms. The little girl continued to sob for a while, and at
first refused to eat. Finally Say persuaded her to take one of the
corn-cakes, and still sobbing, she pushed the greater portion of it
gradually into her little mouth. Thus chewing, sobbing, and resting on
the lap of her mother, the child forgot all fear, and ultimately forgot
herself and fell asleep.

"Umo," Say began again, "I think it is better to speak to Zashue about
it. Not that he has anything to do in the matter, but then you know how
it is. Sooner or later he must hear of it, and if we tell him first he
may perhaps assist us in teaching Okoya and advising him about the
future. All the boy needs is counsel, for we cannot prevent him from
going to live with the people of Tyame hanutsh with this girl."

"The people of Tyame," Hayoue remarked, "are good. It is only that woman
of Tyope's who is bad, and after all she is not all-powerful."

"How would it do," suggested Say, "to call sa nashtio?"

Hayoue looked at her like one to whom has come a sudden revelation.

"Topanashka, the maseua," he said; "you are right, koya, this is a wise
thought. Nashtio is very wise. He will give us counsel that we can
trust, but do you think he is here?"

"He was in his cell while it rained."

Hayoue rose. "I will go and call him," he said. "He can help us. Zashue
listens to the talk of the old man, and what he says goes far with my
brother." With this Hayoue, ere Say could interpose a word, went out and
left her alone with the sleeping child.

She felt happy. For years past she had not enjoyed the feeling of
contentment, of quiet bliss, that filled her now. It seemed as if the
danger that threatened her so direly had vanished. Her thoughts were all
with the future of the child whom only a few hours ago she had so
bitterly accused. Shotaye had worked wonders.

But it was not the influence of Shotaye alone that produced such a great
change in the mind of Say Koitza. It was the fact that at the same time,
and through the unwelcome interruption by Shyuote, the Shiuana--so she
believed--had sent her a message confirmatory of the woman's admonition.
Say did not, she could not, reason as we should under similar
circumstances. The rainbow of whose presence the awkward boy informed
her appeared to her, not in the natural order of phenomena, but, in the
light of her creed, as a messenger specially sent by one or more of the
innumerable spirits which surround man in nature, whose call she had to
obey implicitly. This implicit, slavish obedience to signs and tokens of
a natural order to which a supernatural origin is assigned, is the
Indian's religion. The life of the Indian is therefore merely a
succession of religious acts called forth by utterances of what he
supposes to be higher powers surrounding him, and accompanying him on
every step from the cradle to the grave. The Indian is a child whose
life is ruled by a feeling of complete dependence, by a desire to
accommodate every action to the wills and decrees of countless
supernatural beings.

In the eyes of Say Koitza, the whole afternoon appeared now like an
uninterrupted chain of dispensations from Those Above. She was, of
course, convinced that the rain had come in response to the prayers and
ceremonies of yesterday's dance. That same rain had driven Shotaye to
shelter under her roof, had given the medicine-woman an opportunity to
clear the mind of Say of many a dismal fear, many a distressing
apprehension and suspicion. The rainbow, in her eyes, was a token that
what the cave-dweller said was true; it was also the messenger through
whose agency Okoya, and later on Hayoue, had drifted into her home with
cheering tidings. Even Shyuote had arrived at the right moment, in time
to be sent after the husband and father. So happy felt Say, that in view
of Shyuote's opportune coming, she almost regretted having scolded the
boy.

An intense feeling of gratitude toward the powers above filled her
heart. Among these powers there are two that appear not so much superior
to the rest as more intimately connected with the fate of man,--as more
directly influencing his weal and woe. These are the prominent figures
of the sun-father and his spouse the moon-mother. It is principally the
latter that moves the hearts of men, and with whom mankind is in most
constant relations. Say Koitza felt eager to thank the Mother Above for
all she had received that day. She went to the recess in the kitchen
wall where the yaya, that fabric of snow-white down tied into a graceful
bunch of drooping plumage, was carefully stored away, wrapped in a cover
of deerskin. She took out the plumage and placed it before her on the
floor, scattered sacred meal around it, and whispered a prayer of
thanks. Hardly had she replaced it, when the sound of voices approached
the outer doorway. It was Zashue and Shyuote, who were coming home
together.

Zashue seemed vexed at being called home. He looked around with a scowl,
for Hayoue, whom he had expected to meet, was not there.

"Why did you call me, koitza?" he grumbled, "satyumishe is not here.
Give me something to eat!" He threw himself down on the floor. Shyuote
nestled by his side, proud of being under his father's immediate
protection. Zashue said to him,--

"Have you eaten, sa uishe?"

"Not yet."

"Why don't you feed Shyuote?" Zashue asked his wife. "Surely Okoya had
his stomach full long ago, whereas this poor little frog here--"

"This toad, you ought to call him," Say interrupted her husband, in a
tone of indignation. "He has been away from home all day, as he is wont
to be. Besides, when he came home at last, he beat his little sister.
Okoya was here early, therefore Okoya got what belonged to him." She
placed the food on the floor before her husband, and proceeded in a dry
tone,--

"Hayoue has gone to call sa nashtio. I want the maseua to hear what we
have to say to you."

Zashue was surprised at his wife's manner. She spoke in a way that
betokened more resolution than he was wont to see her display. But he
was in her house, and had to accept the situation. So he fell to eating,
careful all the while to supply his favourite child with the best
morsels. At the close of the meal Hayoue returned, saying,--

"Sa nashtio is coming soon." Turning to his brother he asked,--

"Where have you been all day, satyumishe?"

"With the naua," was the short reply. "And you?"

"At home; I felt tired from yesterday."

"And from kenayte!" Zashue taunted, laughing. Say joined in the laugh.

"I don't ask you where you were last night."

"At home." Say confirmed it.

"Surely?"

"Certainly."

"Then you are better than people say."

"Sh--sh--!" the woman cried, pointing to Shyuote, "you need not speak
thus. Sa uishe,"--she turned to the boy,--"go to rest."

"I won't!" growled the disobedient child, "I want to hear what you say."

"That is just what you shall not," commanded the woman. "Go out at once.
Lie down on the hides."

Even the father became impatient now, for he saw that nothing would be
said in the boy's presence. So he ordered him to leave. Slowly and
reluctantly Shyuote obeyed; but when his sullen glance accidentally met
the eye of Hayoue he accelerated his motions. His uncle was not a
favourite of his.

"Well, what do you want? Why did you call me?" This query Zashue
negligently addressed to his brother, as if expecting the latter to
inform him of the object of the interview. But it was Say Koitza who
undertook the task of replying. In earnest and measured tones she
said,--

"Umo, we have called and sent for you in order to tell you that Okoya,
my child, your son, is going with the girl of Tyope. Now we wish to
ascertain what you think of it, and what you have to say."

"Is that all?"

"Okoya is your child as well as mine," Say emphatically stated; "it
cannot be immaterial to you whom he selects for his wife."

"I don't bother about that," he yawned, "The mot[=a]tza is old enough to
care for himself. It is his business and yours, koitza. It does not
concern me, and still less you," turning to his brother.

"Neither do I take part in it without request from Okoya," answered
Hayoue, sharply. "But Okoya has spoken to me about it and begged me to
see his mother in his behalf. I have therefore a right to be here and to
speak."

"We expect sa nashtio also," the woman remarked.

"Nashtio! Who? Tyope?" Zashue looked at his wife in surprise.

"Tyope!" Say exclaimed, "he shall never cross my threshold. I mean
Topanashka; he shall give his speech; him we want and expect."

"In that case you do not need me," replied Zashue, attempting to rise.
"I go to my people." Hayoue touched his arm.

"Satyumishe," he said gravely, "it is not well for you to leave us now.
We must speak with you more."

"It is none of my business," growled the elder brother.

"And yet you must hear about it, for Mitsha is a daughter of the
Koshare."

"She is not Koshare herself, her mother only and Tyame hanutsh are
entitled to speak." Zashue was becoming impatient.

"Hachshtze," Say interfered, "I know that you are not fond of Okoya.
Still he is good."

"Far better than Shyuote," interjected the younger brother.

She continued,--

"But mark my words; is it right that our child should go to the house
where dwells the wife of a man who for a long time past has sought to
torment me, who harbours ill-will toward my hanutsh and your hanutsh,
and who, notwithstanding that you believe him to be your friend and are
more attached to him than you are to your wife and child, is not your
friend at all?"

Zashue was visibly impressed by these words of his wife. Was she perhaps
aware of the secret motives of the upturning of her household, which he
and Tyope had performed yesterday? He could hardly imagine that she
could know anything about it, and yet her utterances intimated some
occurrence of the past that had opened a wide breach forever between
her and Tyope. Might not that occurrence have prompted the latter to his
accusation against Say? This was an entirely new idea to him, and, while
he felt ashamed of having yielded to Tyope against his own wife, he now
began to suspect the real motives which inspired the man in his
denunciations. He replied hastily,--

"I am not with Tyope."

"He is your best friend," Hayoue objected.

"That is not true."

"Hachshtze," Say said in a tone of serious reminder, "speak not thus. I
know that you and Tyope are good to each other. I know that he gives you
advice, and I know too"--her voice rose and grew solemn--"that you have
told him many things which neither Tzitz hanutsh nor Tanyi hanutsh like
him to know."

"Tyope is wise."

"And he is also very bad," the younger brother exclaimed. This made
Zashue angry.

"If he is such a bad man why do you want to throw away Okoya, that
jewel," he said with a grin of irony, "on that bad man's daughter? It
seems that you have called me in, only in order to slander the best of
my brethren. I am Koshare, and will remain Koshare, whether it pleases
you, koitza, or not. The mot[=a]tza here," alluding to Hayoue, "has
still less to say about it. He is Cuirana and has his people; I am
Koshare and have my people. Okoya may do as he pleases. If he thinks
that his father's brother is nearer to him than his father himself, let
him believe it forever. Now let me alone; and as to his makatza, do as
you please. I will return to my brethren!" He rose angrily and went out.

Hayoue shook his head and looked sad; Say drew a suppressed sigh and
stared before her in silence. After a while she rose and fed the fire,
and a more vivid glow spread over the room where both sat again
motionless, absorbed by their own thoughts.

A shuffling sound was heard outside, a muffled step in the outer room.
Then the woman's father entered the kitchen with the usual salutation,
spoken in a hoarse voice.

"Guatzena." He sat down near the hearth, where his daughter had placed a
deerskin for him.

Holding both hands up to the fire, his quick glance shot from one of
those present to the other, scanning the expression of their features.
Then he asked quietly,--

"Where is Zashue?"

"He went to the Koshare," Hayoue explained.

"Why did you call me?"

Say answered in a meek, submissive manner,--

"We wished to speak to you, nashtio, for Okoya, my child, has told me
something that may be good, although it may also not be good. It is
something I like to see, and yet it also makes my heart heavy. He has
spoken about it to satyumishe, too,"--she nodded at Hayoue,--"before he
said anything to me. Therefore Hayoue came to see me, and we thought it
would be well to seek your advice. For, umo, you are wise and we are
foolish; you are old and we are but children. Therefore listen to our
speech kindly, and then open our hearts with your speech as a father
should with his children."

The old man was flattered by this address from his daughter, and glanced
at Hayoue with the air of one who feels proud of the achievements of his
child. The young man, too, bowed in approbation. Topanashka turned to
Say, and said in an affable tone,--

"Speak, sa uishe; I am glad to listen."

"Sa nashtio," she began, "Okoya is young, but he is no longer a child.
His eyes have seen a girl and that girl has pleased his heart. So he
has gone to that girl and may be with her at present. I hold this to be
good, umo. What do you think?"

"It is well, and it is good for him and for the tribe," the old man
asserted.

"Afterward he came and said, 'Sanaya, I am going with that makatza; does
she please you?' I believe that was right also?"

"It was right."

The woman omitted the incident of her quarrel with Okoya as well as her
interview with Shotaye, and said,--

"He also went to Hayoue and told him to speak to me for him. Was that
right, sa nashtio?"

The old man remained thoughtful for a while, and then declared,--

"It was right."

"Should he not have said to his father, 'sa nashtio, do you speak to the
yaya for me'?"

The reply was very positive,--

"No."

"Why not, sa umo?" Hayoue interjected.

"I will explain this to you later on," Topanashka answered. Turning to
his daughter again he inquired,--

"Who is the makatza, and to which hanutsh does she belong?"

"She belongs to your people."

"To Tyame? Who is her mother, and what is the name of the girl?"

"She is called Mitsha Koitza; Tyope Tihua is her father, and her mother
you know too. Is all that good also?"

The maseua pressed his lips together firmly, energetically, lowered his
eyelids, and gazed before him in silence. The others exchanged a rapid
glance, and then both looked at the ground, remaining thus in
expectation of the old man's reply. He kept silent for a long while. At
last he inquired of the woman,--

"Do you know the child?"

"I have seen her, but have never spoken to her."

"Do you know her?" He turned to Hayoue.

"Why not?" replied Hayoue, with a smile. "I know everybody who wears a
petticoat."

"Have you been to see her?"

"No."

"Never?" Topanashka looked at him suspiciously.

"No!"

"How can you know her, then?"

"As I know all the others,--by meeting them out of doors, talking, and
playing with them. I know them all,--all!" And the beau of the Rito
yawned complacently, and stretched himself.

"Is she a good girl?" continued Topanashka.

"She is," the youth replied emphatically.

"Does she talk much?"

"No."

"Is she easily angered?"

"That I don't know. I have never teased her."

"Is she a good worker?"

"So they say."

"Good-looking?"

"Raua, raua!" Hayoue exclaimed.

"Tall?"

"Yes."

"Strong?"

"I believe so."

Topanashka became silent again, and both Say and Hayoue observed the
proper decorum by fastening their glances on the floor in silence. Then
the old man raised his head, and spoke slowly and in solemn tones,--

"It is well; all you have said to me is well, my children. The daughter
of my hanutsh is a good girl, she is a handsome girl, she is a strong
girl. Therefore she is as a woman ought to be. Okoya is like her; they
belong to each other; and it is wise for a son of Tanyi to wed a
daughter of Tyame. The body must be as the heart; each must suit the
heart and the body of the other, and since the two go with each other it
is a sign that they are fitted to live together. But the hearts of men
must abide by what Those Above"--he pointed upward--"command, and before
we decide we should ascertain how the Shiuana are disposed."

Here Say interrupted him, and suggested,--

"When he was coming to speak to me the rainbow stood in the skies. Is
not that a sign that the Shiuana are with my child?"

Topanashka smiled a kind, benignant smile, and said,--

"It is right to think thus, sa uishe, but remember that the rainbow is a
messenger to a great many and for many purposes. As long as we have not
asked the Shiuana themselves, we cannot say; we do not know whether they
approve or not. I shall therefore go to the yaya of our tribe and ask
them to pray to Those Above that they may let them know if what we now
treat of is good or not. For as long as P[=a]yatyama himself does not
connect the paths of the two young people all our doings are in vain. In
the meantime do not hinder Okoya from seeing the girl; and when I come
to you with the answer from Those Above, and that answer is favourable,
then, Say, go you to the people of the Eagle and say to them, 'My son
asks for your daughter in order that your numbers may be increased.' I
myself like to see the blood of my children flow in that of mine own."

Hayoue and his sister-in-law looked at each other in mute admiration at
this speech, which to them appeared so wise, so thoroughly appropriate.

Topanashka went on,--

"You have told me that Mitsha is the child of Tyope. That, it is true,
is not good. But if Okoya is strong and if Mitsha is true to him what
can Tyope do? He belongs to his hanutsh, his daughter to hers; and the
people of Tyame have no faith in those of Shyuamo, for they mistrust
them. But warn the mot[=a]tza; tell him to be prudent; for Tyope is
cunning,--as cunning as shutzuna and as treacherous as the wildcat, and
my grandson is young. But let them go together, for I am glad to see
Tyame and Tanyi become one often."

"[=A]-[=a]!" was the admiring and affirmative ejaculation of both his
listeners. Every word he had spoken was according to their convictions,
and besides, whatever he said was law to them. Hayoue rose, breathed on
the hand of the old man, said "tro uashatze, umo," and left. After his
departure Topanashka also rose, but before crossing the threshold he
whispered to Say,--

"They found nothing?"

"Nothing."

"Was Tyope along?"

"He was."

"In that case they may accuse you as much as they please, they cannot do
you any harm."

"But who could have told them?"

"That I do not know and cannot know; but rest easy, you are safe." With
these words he left the dwelling and returned to his own abode, where
his deaf consort was already asleep. The fire had gone out; it was dark
in his humble home; still Topanashka did not go to rest, but sat down in
a corner and mused. He felt happy in the thought that Okoya and Mitsha
might become united; it caused him pleasure that his grandson should
wed a child of his own clan. Still with his strong attachment to the
faith, or creed, in which he was born, he would not yield to his own
wishes until the will of the higher powers was ascertained. To that end
he was resolved to apply to the leading shamans of the tribe. In order,
however, that the Shiuana might look favourably upon his request, he
determined upon doing penance himself during four consecutive days.
Until this was performed he would not even speak to the medicine-men.
The self-sacrifice he thus imposed was to be light, and not a formal
fast. It limited itself to a much less substantial nourishment, and to a
shorter rest during the hours of night.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 10: In the symbolical paintings of the Pueblos, the rainbow is
represented usually as a tri-coloured arch with a head and arms at one
end and with feet at the other. It is a female deity.]



CHAPTER X.


At the time of which we are speaking, the chief civil officer of the
tribe at the Rito,--its tapop, or as he is now called, governor,--was an
Indian whose name was Hoshkanyi Tihua.

Hoshkanyi Tihua was a man of small stature; his head was nearly round,
or rather pear-shaped, for the lower jaw appeared to be broader than the
forehead. The lips were thin and the mouth firmly set, the nose small
and aquiline. The eyes had usually a pleasant expression, but when the
little man got excited they sparkled in a manner that denoted not merely
an irascible temper, but a disposition to become extremely venomous in
speech and utterance. Hoshkanyi Tihua was nimble, and a good hunter. He
seldom returned from a hunt without a supply of game. On such occasions
he was always suitably welcomed by his wife, who suffered him to skin
the animal and cut up the body. When that was performed she allowed her
husband to go to rest, but not before; for Koay, Hoshkanyi's wife, was
not so much his companion in life as his home-tyrant; and however
valiant the little fellow might try to appear outside of his home, once
under the immediate influence of that home's particular mistress he
became as meek as a lamb. Koay was an unusually tall woman for an
Indian,--she overtopped her husband by nearly a head; and the result of
this anomalous difference in size was that Hoshkanyi felt very much
afraid of her. Koay had a temper of her own, besides, which temper she
occasionally displayed at the expense of the little tapop's bodily
comfort. Among the Pueblo Indians the wife is by no means the slave only
of the lord of creation.

Koshkanyi had somehow or other acquired the reputation of being an
experienced warrior. Whether he really deserved that reputation or not
was never accurately ascertained. At all events, he was the lucky
possessor of one scalp, and that gave him prestige. There is no doubt
that he acquired the trophy in a legitimate way; that is, he had not
stolen it. Once upon a time a war-party of Navajos infested the avenues
to the Rito. They succeeded in killing a defenceless Indian, who had
wandered from the bottom of the gorge, and whom they found on the mesas
somewhere wending his way back to the homes of his tribe. After the fact
became known, a party went out to take revenge, and it so happened that
there was deep snow, and the murderers could easily be trailed. On the
top of what to-day is called the Potrero Viejo the avengers surprised
the Navajos fast asleep. It was bitterly cold, and evil tongues affirmed
that the Navajo whose scalp Hoshkanyi Tihua brought home had been frozen
to death previous to the arrival of the hero from the Tyuonyi. However
that may be, our governor returned with one scalp; and he was declared
to be manslayer, and henceforth counted among the influential braves of
his community.

Hoshkanyi Tihua was by no means silly. He possessed the valuable faculty
of keeping his mouth closed and of holding his tongue under
circumstances when it would be disadvantageous to him to speak. This
faculty had been inculcated after long and earnest training by his great
wife. Whenever there was no danger, Hoshkanyi proved very outspoken; but
as soon as there was the slightest sign of active opposition he became
extremely wise, and shrouded his views in a cloud of dignified gravity.

In addition to these qualities Hoshkanyi was the happy owner of an
unlimited amount of personal vanity. His ambition had no definite
object, provided some external authority was associated with his person.
After having for a long time fulfilled the rather insignificant office
of assistant to the governor of the tribe, his ambition at last became
gratified with the announcement that after the governor's demise the
Hotshanyi, or chief penitent, and his associates had designated him as
the incumbent of the office. So Hoshkanyi Tihua rose suddenly to the
rank of one of the chief dignitaries of his commonwealth.

The choice thus made by the religious heads of the Queres did not
satisfy everybody, but everybody was convinced that Those Above had
spoken through the mediums to whose care the relations between mankind
and the higher powers were specially committed. Everybody therefore
accepted the nomination, and the council confirmed it at once. The
majority of the clans opposed Hoshkanyi because he belonged to the
Turquoise people, who were rendering themselves obnoxious to many by
pretensions which they upheld by means of their number, and by their
connection with the leader of the Koshare. The Turquoise clan was
beginning to assert in tribal affairs an unusual influence,--one that
really amounted to a pressure. Tyame and Tanyi particularly felt this
growing power of Shyuamo at the expense of their influence. Of all the
less numerous groups, Tzitz hanutsh was almost the only one who took the
side of Tanyi under all circumstances, and this was due exclusively to
the fact that the marriage of Zashue with Say Koitza bound the two clans
together. Topanashka himself was a member of the Eagle clan, and through
him the Water clan, feeble in numbers, enjoyed the support not only of
Tanyi but also of Tyame hanutsh.

In proposing for the vacant position of tapop a member of the Turquoise
people, the chief penitents had in a measure acted discreetly. They
certainly acted very impartially, or they considered that already one
important office,--the office of maseua, or war-captain,--was held by a
member of one of the most numerous hanutsh, Tyame. It appeared unwise to
them to refuse to as large a cluster as Shyuamo an adequate
representation in the executive powers of the community. So they chose
Hoshkanyi, as a member of the Turquoise clan, and proposed him for the
office of tapop, or civil chief. That more opposition was not made to
this selection was due to two facts,--first, to the tacit acknowledgment
on the part of all that it seemed fair to give Shyuamo a share in the
tribal government, and second, to the equally tacit conviction that
Hoshkanyi, while in appearance a man of determination and perspicacity,
was in fact but a pompous and weak individual, ambitious and vain, and
without the faculty of doing harm. In both these points public opinion
at the Rito was right.

It will be seen from what has been said that there prevailed a strong
desire on the part of the chief religious authorities to preserve a
certain equilibrium between the components of the tribe. That anxiety to
maintain an even balance of power was in itself evidence of danger that
this equilibrium might be disturbed. The great penitents,--or as they
are erroneously called to-day, caciques,--had not and could not have any
clear conception of the condition of affairs in the government of their
people. Men old, even prematurely old from the effects of the life of
constant abnegation and self-sacrifice to which they had to resign
themselves, excluded from listening to anything that was or might
indicate strife and contention, they knew not what was going on under
cover of apparent harmony. Theoretically and from the standpoint of
their duty, which consisted in praying and suffering for the peace and
happiness of the community, and thus securing these boons by means of
more direct intercourse with Those Above, their choice was excellent.
Practically, it was the most dangerous step that could have been
suggested and carried out.

They did not consider that instead of giving to Shyuamo a legitimate
share in the government of the tribe, they virtually gave the Turquoise
people a majority. For the latter had already two representatives of
great influence. Tyope was delegate to the council, where he represented
his clan; and the Koshare Naua, who also was a member of Shyuamo, not
only belonged to the leading councilmen but was one of the religious
heads! By adding Hoshkanyi as tapop it gave the Turquoise clan an unfair
preponderance. For while Hoshkanyi was a weak man,--while he was
mortally afraid of his inflexibly honest colleague, the maseua
Topanashka, he was dependent upon Tyope and upon the chief of the
Delight Makers, because both belonged to his clan. He very soon began to
display an utter flexibility to the desires of the two last-mentioned
individuals, to the disadvantage of those who did not coincide with
their views.

This marked preponderance of Shyuamo in tribal affairs aroused
apprehensions on the part of the other strong clans; it also caused the
greater number of the weaker clusters to gravitate toward the growing
element of power held by the Turquoise people. A schism was slowly and
imperceptibly preparing itself among the people of the Rito. That schism
was not the work of circumstances, it was being systematically prepared
by two crafty men,--Tyope and the Koshare Naua.

[Illustration: Juanico: A member of the modern village-council]

In working at such a division these two men had in view well-defined
objects. Their aim in itself was not absolutely illegitimate, since it
foreshadowed what would be an inevitable necessity in the course of
time. What rendered their doings reprehensible and positively odious
were the means employed to hasten events. Their object was nothing less
than to expel a part of the people, for the exclusive benefit of the
remainder.

The extent of land that can be cultivated in the gorge of the Rito is
small, and the tribe was growing in numbers. The time was sure to come
when the crops would no longer be adequate for all. Furthermore, a
positive danger threatened the people in their dwellings. The rock,
being extremely friable, crumbled constantly; and now and then inhabited
caves were falling a prey to the wear and tear of the material in which
they had been excavated. As this slow decay was sure to continue, it was
logical to expect that room must be found for the houseless outside.
Already the Corn clan had been compelled to build a house in the bottom
of the valley. All this further tended to curtail the space for
agriculture, and rendered a diminution of numbers prospectively
imperative.

These facts had been recognized by Tyope, and he had talked with the
Koshare Naua about them for some time past. They were the only persons
who had thought of them, not so much deploring the necessity arising
therefrom in the future as hailing them as welcome pretexts for their
immediate personal aims. Neither Tyope nor the Naua had such high
ambition as to aspire to a change of the basis of social organization.
Neither of them had any conception of government but what was purely
tribal, but they both aspired to offices and dignities such as tribal
organization alone knows. These seemed unattainable for them as long as
there were other powerful clans at the Rito besides their own, whereas
in case some of the former were expelled, it would leave vacant and at
their disposal the positions which they coveted.

Tyope, for instance, looked forward to the dignity of head war-chief,
or maseua; but as long as Topanashka lived he saw no chance for himself.
He therefore concocted with the young Navajo the sinister plan of
murdering the old man. It was even uncertain, in presence of the two
powerful clans of Tanyi and Tyame, whether after the death of Topanashka
it would be possible for him to secure the succession. For the chief
penitents, who selected officially the new incumbent, while they were in
no manner accessible to outside influence, might consider the general
tendency of affairs, and for the same reasons that they chose Hoshkanyi
Tihua for tapop might determine upon appointing some member of Tanyi or
Tyame as maseua. Tyope had foreseen such a contingency, and had
therefore suggested to Nacaytzusle the propriety of converting the
isolated murder into a butchery of the adult men as far as possible. His
suggestion to surprise the Rito while the Koshare were at work in their
estufa had a double aim,--in the first place it made it less dangerous
for the Navajos, in the second it appointed a time when most of the men
of the Turquoise clan were out of reach of an enemy. The blow must then
fall upon the males of other clans, for the majority of the Koshare were
from the people of Shyuamo. This plan was out of the question since the
night when his negotiations with Nacaytzusle had come to such a
disastrous termination. But Tyope had laid his wires in other directions
also. Seeing that he could not reduce the numbers of the tribe by one
fell blow, or that at least his endeavours might not succeed, he was
devising in his peculiar underhand way means to create a disunion, and
trying to secure for the time of the crisis a commanding position for
his own clan.

As he could never have attempted all this alone, he needed an associate,
an accomplice. That accomplice he readily found in the old Koshare Naua.
In the same manner that Tyope aspired to the position of war-chief, the
chief of the Delight Makers was coveting the rank of leading shaman, or
medicine-man. Not the dignity of cacique,--for that position entailed
too many personal sacrifices, and carried with it a life of seclusion
and retirement that presented no redeeming features,--but the office of
hishtanyi chayan, or principal medicine-man, was what the Naua desired
to obtain. That position did not entail greater privations than the one
which the old schemer occupied, but it secured for its incumbent much
greater sway over the people, and placed him in the position to exert a
degree of influence which was beyond the pale of Koshare magic. The Naua
was working toward his end by ways and with means different from those
employed by Tyope. His machinations were directed against the religious
heads of the tribe, and he persisted in securing for the society of
Delight Makers a prominence that lay outside of their real attributes.
Therefore Hayoue did not speak amiss when, in his interview with Okoya,
he accused the Koshare, and principally their leader, of attempting to
usurp functions and rights belonging properly to the main official
shamans, and thus secure for themselves undue advantages.

Tyope and the old Naua had found each other, in accordance with the
proverb about birds of a feather. Their understanding was perfect,
although it had been brought about gradually and without the formality
of a conspiracy. Each worked in his own line and with his own means, and
neither had any thought of going beyond what the tribal organization
could give them. There was no idea of revolutionizing or even reforming
the organization. Had one of them entertained such a thought the other
would have become his bitterest enemy, for both were deeply imbued with
the principles on which rested the existence of the society in which
they had been born. All they aspired to was to eliminate a certain
number of men or people, in order to secure with greater ease certain
advantages. It was the survival of the fittest, as primitive society
understands it and as refined society attempts to enact, though with
more refined means.

The stumbling-blocks in the path of these intriguers were the chief
penitents,--the cacique, or as their titles run, the Hotshanyi, or
principal cacique, and his two assistants, the uishtyaka and the
shaykatze. These men, selected for the purpose of doing penance for all
and thus obtaining readier access to the ear of the immortal ones, were
the official keepers of peace among the tribe. For the Indian feels that
a house divided against itself cannot stand, and that the maintenance of
harmony through a constant appeal to the higher powers is the most
important feature in the life of his tribe. To discredit in an underhand
way the caciques was the special aim of the Koshare Naua, and to direct
the eyes of the people to his own achievements in religious magic,--in
one word to place the power of the Koshare and their specific medicine
on a higher plane than all that the official penitents might achieve. To
do this was a very slow piece of work, and it had to be brought about in
such a manner that nobody could suspect his object. But both Tyope and
the aged scoundrel were working their plans with the utmost caution, and
the religious heads of the tribe had not the slightest suspicion of what
was going on against them.

The Tyuonyi, therefore, was quiet on the surface, but there were
occasional ripples of that placid brook which earnest and thoughtful
observers could not fail to notice. Hayoue, although very young, was one
of these observers; but none saw more and penetrated deeper into the
real state of affairs than Topanashka. He and the Hishtanyi Chayan, who
to some extent was his trusty friend, felt that a tempest was coming.
Both saw that the disturbing powers were rooted in the society of the
Koshare, that Tyope and the Naua must be the leading spirits. But how
and to what ultimate end the machinations were intended escaped their
penetration. For the same reason they could not come actively to the
relief of the situation, as no overt action had as yet been committed
which would justify an official movement against the conspirators.

Topanashka had for several days been keeping the informal fast upon
which he had determined for the benefit of his grandson's wooing. It was
a warm, pleasant afternoon. Since the rain which followed upon the ayash
tyucotz the sky had been blue again as before; the season for daily
showers had not yet commenced, and the people were in the corn-patches
as busy as possible, improving the bright days in weeding and putting
the ground in order. The bottom of the gorge therefore presented an
active appearance. Men and women moved about the houses, in and out of
the cave-dwellings, and in the fields. From the tasselled corn that grew
in these plots a tall figure emerged; it was Topanashka himself, and he
directed his steps toward the cliffs at the lower end, where the
Turquoise people dwelt. The old man moved as usual with a silent,
measured step which would have appeared stately had not his head leaned
forward. He was clad in a wrap of unbleached cotton, and a leather belt
girded his loins. Around his neck a string of crystals of feldspar was
negligently thrown; and a fetich of white alabaster, representing rudely
the form of a panther, depended from the necklace hanging upon his
breast.

The people of the Turquoise or Shyuamo resided on the lower range of
cliffs, and formed the most easterly group of cave-dwellings on the
Rito. Here the rocks are no longer absolutely perpendicular; they form
steps; and the slope leading to them is overgrown with shrubbery,
except where erosive action of wind, as well as of water or frost, has
scooped out strange formations in advance of the main wall. These
erosions are mostly regular cones, tent-shaped, between and behind which
open chasms and deep rents like the one above which, as we recollect,
lies the estufa of the Koshare. Topanashka walked toward the upper part
of the cluster of dwellings of Shyuamo, where the ascending slope was
sparsely covered with brush. In front of one of the caves sat a woman.
She was unusually tall for an Indian, and neither young nor old. She
appeared to be busy extracting the filaments from shrivelled leaves of
the yucca, which had been dried by roasting, and afterward had been
buried to allow the texture to decay. So engrossed was the woman by her
task that only when the old man stood by her side, and asked, "Where is
the tapop?" did she notice his presence.

Koay, for it was she, the towering consort of the governor of the
Tyuonyi, did not condescend to reply in words to the inquiry of the
war-captain. She resorted to a lazy pantomime by gathering her two lips
to a snout-like projection and thrusting this protuberance forward in
the direction of the doorway before which she was squatting. Then she
resumed her occupation.

The visitor paid no further attention to the uncivil woman. He passed in
front of her unceremoniously, and entered the cave. The apartment was
like those we have previously described, with the single difference that
it was better lighted, somewhat larger, and that the household effects
scattered and hung around were of a different character. Implements of
warfare,--a bow and a quiver with arrows, a shield--convex and painted
red, with a yellow disk, and several green lines in the centre,--were
suspended from the wall. The niches contained small vessels of burnt
clay and a few plume-sticks. A low doorway led from this room into
another, and beyond that there was even a third cell, so that Hoshkanyi
Tihua, the civil chief of the Queres, enjoyed the luxury of occupying
three apartments.

Still this was not the dwelling which he commonly inhabited. His wife
descended from the Bear clan; and her home, and consequently his also,
was higher up the gorge, among the caves belonging to the people of the
Bear. But as his father had recently departed this life, and his mother
was left alone, she had begged her only son to remain with her until one
or the other of her brothers or sisters might be ready to take her in
charge, either by moving into her abode or by her going to them.
Hoshkanyi, therefore, had temporarily gone to live with his mother, but
his portly consort was careful not to let him go alone. They had no
children, and she felt constrained to keep an eye upon the little man.

In the room which Topanashka had entered, his executive colleague was
sitting on a round piece of wood, a low upright cylinder, whose upper
surface was slightly hollowed out. Such were the chairs of the Pueblos
in olden times. With the exception of that well-known garment peculiar
to Indians and babies, and called breech-clout, the governor's manly
form was not concealed by any vestment whatever. But while he evidently
thought that at home the necessities of costume might be dispensed with,
he had not abandoned the luxuries of ornamentation. He wore on his naked
body a necklace of wolves' teeth, ear pendants of black and green
stones, and wristbands of red leather. The latter he carried in order to
relieve his heart, still heavy under the severe blow that he had
experienced through the death of his father.

The tapop was also at work. By means of the well-known fire-drill he was
attempting to perforate a diminutive shell disk and thus transform it
into the shell bead so essential to the Indian. So intent was he upon
this arduous task that he failed to notice the coming of Topanashka; and
the latter stood beside him for a little while, an impassive observer.
At last Hoshkanyi Tihua looked up, and the visitor said to him,--

"Umo, you have sent for me and I have come. But if you are engaged, or
have no time now, I do not mind returning again."

There was a decided irony in the manner in which the old man uttered
these words, and Hoskanyi felt it. He rose quickly, gathered a few
robes, and spread them on the ground. In short he was as pleasant and
accommodating, all at once, as he and his wife had been careless in the
beginning. Topanashka settled down on the hides, and in the meantime the
woman also entered the room and quite unceremoniously squatted beside
the men. Hoshkanyi said to her,--

"We have to talk together, the maseua and I." He fastened on his spouse
a look timid and imploring; it was plain that he did not venture to send
her out directly,--that he was afraid of her. Koay looked at him
carelessly, and said in a very cool manner,--

"I want to hear that talk."

"But I will not allow it," interposed Topanashka; and his cold, piercing
eye rested on the woman's face. She cast hers to the ground, and he
proceeded,--

"As long as you are here, the tapop and I cannot speak."

She lifted her head angrily, with the manifest intention of rebelling,
but as soon as her eyes met the cold, determined glance of the
war-chief, she felt a chill, rose, and left the room. Hoshkanyi Tihua
drew a sigh of relief; he was grateful to his visitor for having so
summarily despatched his formidable spouse. Then he said,--

"Umo, I have sent for you because a speech has been spoken here in this
house, which belongs to my mother. That speech may be good and it may
not be good, and I cared not to tell my thoughts until I had spoken to
you, nashtio. The matters of which it treated belong before the council,
but I do not know whether to say to you, the nashtio of the Zaashtesh,
Call them together, or not." He was manifestly troubled, and fastened an
uncertain glance upon the face of the other.

Topanashka very composedly answered,--

"You are as wise as I, umo; you know what your duties are. Whenever you
say to me, Go and call together the council, I shall do it. If you do
not tell me to do so, I shall not."

Hoshkanyi moved in his seat; the reply did not suit him. After some
hesitation he continued,--

"I know, father, that you do as the customs of the Zaashtesh
require,"--he held himself erect with an attempt at pride, for he felt
that in the present instance his personality and word represented
customs which were law,--"but I do not know that I shall tell you so or
not. Do you understand me, umo?"

"I understand your words, Tapop, but you know that I have only to act,
whereas it is your office to speak."

The cool reply exasperated the little man. He retorted sharply,--

"And yet you have often spoken in the council, when your hanutsh wanted
something!"

Topanashka lifted his eyes and gazed fully, calmly, at the other; he
even suppressed a smile.

"Then it is your hanutsh, Shyuamo, that wants something this time?"

Hoshkanyi felt, as the saying is, very cheap. His secret was out; and
his plan to obtain an expression of opinion from the maseua ere he came
to a conclusion himself, a total failure. The latter added in a
deprecating way,--

"If you do not know what to do, ask the Hotshanyi. He will give you good
advice." This was just what the governor wished to avoid, but he knew
that when Topanashka had once expressed his opinion it was useless to
attempt to dissuade him.

After an interval of silence the civil chief looked up and said,--

"Come, let us go to the Hotshanyi."

Topanashka thought over this proposal for a moment. "It is well," he at
last assented; "I will go." With this he rose. The governor rose also,
but was so embarrassed and excited that he would have run out as he was,
in almost complete undress, had not the maseua reminded him by saying,--

"Remember that we are going to the Shiuana," adding, "take some meal
along."

"Have you any with you?" inquired Hoshkanyi, with a venomous look. The
other responded quietly,--

"I do not need any. You are seeking their advice, not I." That settled
the matter.

As both went out, Koay, who had been sitting as close by the doorway as
possible, snappishly asked her husband,--

"Where are you going, hachshtze?"

Topanashka took the trouble of satisfying her curiosity by dryly
answering,--

"About our own business." The icy look with which he accompanied his
retort subdued the woman.

The Hotshanyi, or chief penitent, lived with the people of the
Prairie-wolf clan. His abode consisted of two caves on the lower and one
on the upper tier. The two officers of the tribe wandered slowly along
the cliffs, past the abodes of the Sun clan, Topanashka walking as
usual,--erect, with his head bent slightly forward,--Hoshkanyi with a
pompous air, glad to display himself in company with his much more
respected colleague, to whom all the pleasant greetings which the two
received on their peregrination were really directed. When they reached
the cave wherein the cacique resided, Hoshkanyi entered first.

Close to the fireplace, which was one of those primitive chimneys like
the one we have seen in the home of Shotaye, an old man was seated on
the floor. His age was certainly greater than Topanashka's; he was of
middle height, lean and even emaciated. His eyes were dim, and he
received the greetings of his visitors with an air of indifference or
timidity; it was difficult to determine which. Pointing to the floor he
said,--

"What brings you to my house, children!" and he coughed a hollow, hectic
cough.

The tapop began,--

"We wish--"

"Do not say we," the maseua corrected him, "you wish, not I."

Hoshkanyi bit his lips and began anew,--

"I and my brother here have come because I want to ask you something.
But if you are at work, grandfather, then we will go."

"I am not working, sa uishe," said the cacique. "Speak; I listen. What
is it you wish?"

"Can I see the kopishtai?" Hoshkanyi whispered anxiously.

The eyes of the Hotshanyi brightened. His look suddenly became clear and
firm. With surprising alacrity he rose, as if he had become younger at
once. His whole figure, although bent, attained vigour and elasticity.
Before leaving the cave he looked inquiringly at Topanashka, who only
shook his head and said in a low tone,--

"I have nothing to ask."

The two left the room. The place where Those Above were thought to be
accessible to the intercession of man was the cave adjoining, but there
was no communication between the two chambers.

Presently the cacique crept back to where they had left Topanashka
alone, and Hoshkanyi followed. The former resumed his seat by the
hearth, whereas the tapop cowered in front of him. He looked anxiously
in the old man's face, and at the same time shot an occasional quick
glance over toward the maseua. In a hollow voice the Hotshanyi said,--

"You may speak now, sa uishe; the kopishtai know that you are here."

"Sa umo Hotshanyi," the tapop commenced, "I have listened to a speech.
Things have been said to me that concern the tribe." He stopped short
and fastened his eyes on the floor.

"This is well," the cacique said encouragingly; "you must hear what the
children of P[=a]yatyama and Sanatyaya are doing; you are their father."

Hoshkanyi sighed, and appeared to be much embarrassed.

"Speak, mot[=a]tza," urged the old man.

"I don't know what to do," the little man stuttered.

"Have you been asked to do anything?"

"Yes, they have--" He stopped, sighed again, and then proceeded hastily
and with an expression of anguish in his face, "Shyuamo hanutsh asks
that Tzitz hanutsh--"

The Hotshanyi commanded him to desist.

"Stay, stay, Hoshkanyi Tihua!" he hoarsely exclaimed. "You know that we,
the mothers of the tribe, will not listen to anything that divides our
children among themselves or that might cause division among them. You
ask for advice from me. This advice you shall receive, but only on
things that I can know of and which I dare to hear. If you speak to me
of strife and dispute, I shall not listen to it. Speak of yourself, not
of others."

Topanashka was an attentive listener, but not a muscle in his face
moved; whereas the little tapop was manifestly in great trouble. He
coughed, hemmed and hawed, twisted his body, moved uneasily in his seat,
and at last continued in a faltering manner,--

"I do not know whether or not I ought to call the council together."

"Were you asked to do it?"

"Yes."

"Then you must do it; it is your duty," replied the Hotshanyi. He spoke
imperatively, and with remarkable dignity of manner. Thus the first
point was settled. And the tapop with growing uneasiness proceeded to
his next.

"It has been said to me that I should send my brother here," pointing at
Topanashka, "to call together the fathers. Now is it well to do so, or
shall I send the assistant civil chieftain to the men?" Hoshkanyi spoke
like a schoolboy who was delivering a disagreeable message.

The matter in itself seemed of no consequence at all, but the manner in
which the governor spoke and acted looked extremely suspicious. Both of
his listeners became attentive; the cacique displayed no signs of
surprise, but he looked at the speaker fixedly, and inquired of him,
speaking very slowly,--

"Is my brother the maseua willing to go?"

"I have not asked him as yet."

"Then ask him," sternly commanded the old man.

Almost trembling, the tapop turned to Topanashka, who was sitting
immovable, with lips firmly set and sparkling eyes.

"Will you call the council together, nashtio?"

"No!" exclaimed the maseua.

"You have heard what your brother says," coldly proceeded the cacique;
"you know now what you are to do. My brother will not go, and you can
only command him if the council orders you to do so. Therefore send the
assistant; he is your messenger. Do your duty and nothing else, for it
is not good to attempt anything new unless P[=a]yatyama has so
directed." The words were spoken in a tone of solemn warning, and even
Topanashka was startled, for never before had he heard the Hotshanyi
speak thus. The old man had always been very meek and mild in his
utterances, but now his voice sounded almost prophetic. Was he inspired
by Those Above? Did the Shiuana speak through him? Was there danger for
the tribe?

At all events the conference had come to a close, for the cacique had
bent his head, and spoke no more.

"Trouashatze, sa umo," said Topanashka, and left the room. Hoshkanyi
followed hurriedly. The cacique took no notice of their departure.

When both men stood outside, Topanashka turned to the tapop coldly,
asking,--

"Are you going to call the council?"

"I will," whined the little man.

"For what day?"

"I don't know yet."

"But I want to know," sternly, almost menacingly, insisted the other. "I
want to know, for I shall be present!"

"Four days from now," cried Hoshkanyi, trembling.

"What time?"

"I don't know yet. When the moon rises," he added in despair, as the
cold, determined gaze of Topanashka met his eye. Without a further word
the war-chieftain turned and went off.

Hoshkanyi was utterly annihilated. He had made a total failure, and as
he stood there like a child that has just been thoroughly whipped he
began to curse the weakness that had caused him to yield to the advice
and the demands of Tyope. For it was Tyope who had brought him to act
the part in which the unfortunate governor had so disgracefully failed.
Tyope, when as representative of the clan Shyuamo he asked the tapop to
call together the council for a matter wherein the Turquoise people were
interested, had artfully told him that as one of their number it would
be better if the maseua would issue the call. He knew very well that
this was an innovation; but the deceiver made it apparent that if
Topanashka should yield, and commit the desired misstep, the blame would
of course fall upon the war-chief, and the civil chief would profit by
the other's mistake, and would gain in the opinion of the people at the
expense of the maseua.

But Tyope, cunning as he was, had underrated the firmness and
perspicacity of Topanashka as much as he had overrated the abilities of
Hoshkanyi. As soon as the latter saw the rigidity of his colleague in a
matter of duty, he felt completely at sea; he lost sight of everything
that Tyope had recommended, tumbled from one mistake to another, and
finally exposed himself to grave suspicions. As the popular saying is,
he let the cat out of the bag, and made an absolute, miserable fiasco.
All this he saw clearly, and he cursed Tyope, and cursed himself for
having become his tool. More than that, he trembled when he thought of
what Tyope would say, and also what his own energetic wife would call
him, and even perhaps do to him, if he went home. For Koay was sure to
exact a full report of what had occurred; and to save himself, nothing
remained but to tell her lies. This he finally determined upon. But to
Tyope he could not lie; to Tyope he must tell the truth; and then?
Hoshkanyi Tihua wended his way home wrapped in thoughts of a very
unsatisfactory nature.

While the governor of the Queres was thus agitated by unpleasant
forebodings, the mind of the war-chief was not less occupied by gloomy
thoughts. Of all the leading men of the tribe, Topanashka saw perhaps
most clearly the sinister machinations of some of the Turquoise people.
Still he had not discovered, and could not even surmise, the real object
of their intrigues. Of an intention to divide the tribe he had no idea.
Personal ambition, greed, and thirst for influence was all he could
think of; and he felt sure that they would not prevail, for to personal
ambition the tribal system afforded little, if any, opportunity. It was
manifest however from what Hoshkanyi had involuntarily divulged, that
the clan Shyuamo intended to press some claim against the small Water
clan, which besides was so distantly located from the abodes and the
lands of the Turquoise that he could see no just reason for a claim. It
was equally impossible for him to imagine the nature of the claim.
Quarrels between clans are always most dangerous for the existence of a
tribe, for disruption and consequent weakening is likely to result from
them. The old man felt the gravest apprehensions; he saw imminent danger
for his people; and still he could not arrive at any conclusion before
the threatening storm had broken. There was no possibility of averting
the peril, for he could not even mention its approach to any one.

Topanashka was calm and absolutely brave. His life was nothing to him
except as indispensable for the performance of his duty. He knew long
ago that the leaders of the movement for which the Turquoise people were
used as battering-rams hated him, that he was a thorn in their flesh, a
stone in their crooked paths. If the revelations of Hoshkanyi created
deep apprehensions in him, it was out of no personal fear; in the
present instance it was clear that a trap had been set for the purpose
of decoying him into a false move. It was the first time that anything
of the kind had been attempted; and Topanashka looked upon it as very
serious, not for his individual sake, but because it showed that it was
undertaken jointly with a move that was sure to bring about internal
disturbances, and was probably a part of that move itself, and because
it exhibited a degree of boldness on the part of the schemers which
proved that their plans were nearly, if not absolutely, mature. A crisis
was near at hand; he saw it, but it could not be prevented. A deep gloom
settled on the heart of the old maseua, and something like despondency
crept over him at times. It caused him to forget the matter of his
grandson's wooing and his proposed appeal to the Shiuana in behalf of
Okoya, and to look forward to the momentous time, four days hence, when
his mind would become enlightened on the impending danger. All his
thoughts were henceforth with the council and the object for which it
was to be held. He looked forward to it with sadness and even with fear.
It was clear to him that the hour of that council must become an evil
hour in the annals of his people.



CHAPTER XI.


The four days at the expiration of which the council was to take place
were drawing to a close, for it was the night of the fourth, that on
which the uuityam was to meet. It was a beautiful night; the full moon
shone down into the gorge in its greatest splendour, and only along the
cliffs was it possible to walk in the shadow. The air was cool and
balmy; not a breeze stirred; and the population of the Rito seemed to
enjoy the luminous, still, and refreshing hours that followed upon a
warm and busy day. Laughter, singing, shouting, came from the roofs and
the vicinity of the houses, as well as from the caves and their
approaches. The people felt happy; few if any suspected that a momentous
question agitated the minds of some of their number.

Two men were walking along the cliffs toward the group of cave-dwellings
which the Prairie-wolf clan inhabited. They hugged the rocks so closely
that most of the time their figures disappeared in the inky shadows of
projecting or beetling cliffs and pillars. One of these men asked in a
low tone,--

"Are you going to the uuityam?"

"I am," replied the other.

The words were spoken in a tone sufficiently loud to enable any one
acquainted with the inhabitants of the Tyuonyi to recognize in the first
speaker Tyame Tihua, the delegate or councilman from the Eagle clan, in
the other, our old friend Topanashka. After exchanging these few words
both continued their walk in silence.

The round chamber in which the meetings of the tribal council were
usually held exists to-day as a semicircular indentation in the cliffs,
the rudely arched ceiling of which is still covered with a thick coating
of soot. The front wall has crumbled long ago. At the time we speak of
it was entire, and the apartment formed a nearly circular hall of more
than usual size, with a low entrance in front and two small air-holes on
each side of the doorway.

As the two men approached the place, they noticed that a number of
others were already congregated in front of it, but that no light issued
from the interior. It was a sign that the council was not yet assembled,
and especially that the religious chiefs had not made their appearance.
Those who were present assumed any posture imaginable, provided it gave
them comfort. They talked and conversed about very unimportant matters,
and laughed and joked. There was no division into separate groups,
foreshadowing the drift of opinions and of interests; for no lobbying
was going on. Every one seemed to be as free and easy as in his own home
or in the estufa among his companions, and the greatest apparent harmony
prevailed. One man only had retired to a rocky recess where he sat aloof
from the others in the darkest shadow of the already shadowy spot. It
was the old chief of the Delight Makers, the Koshare Naua.

When the last two comers reached the group and offered the usual
greeting, the conversation--in which the delegate from Tzitz hanutsh, a
short, stout man, and his colleague from Oshatsh had been the loudest
participants--came to a sudden stop. The subject of the discussion was
not a reason for its abrupt breaking off, for it was merely the
all-absorbing topic as to whether two summers ago it had rained as
early as this year. It was out of respect for the maseua, out of
deference to his presence, that the other clan representatives became
silent, all except one. That one was Tyope, who continued the subject,
as if he intended to display greater independence than the rest.
Nevertheless, as no one paid attention to his speech, he felt at last
constrained to drop into silence. Not for a long time, however, for as
if he wished to atone for his lack of civility he called out to
Topanashka,--

"You are late, sa nashtio!"

"Early enough yet, satyumishe," replied the old man quietly, and Tyame
remarked,--

"Shyuamo dwells nearer to the uuityam than we. The Turquoise men have
everything close at hand,--the tapop, the place, everything, and
everybody. All we have is the maseua," he added laughing, "and he is
very old."

The laughter became general, and Tyope said in a tone of flattery,--

"Our nashtio is old, but he is still stronger than you, Tyame. He is
also wiser than all of us together. Our father is very strong, runs like
a deer, and his eye is that of an eagle."

There was something like irony in this speech, but Topanashka took no
notice of it. He was looking for the tapop, a difficult task in the
darkness, where a number of men are grouped in all kinds of postures.
Finally he inquired,--

"Where is Hoshkanyi?"

"Not here," came a reply from several voices.

"And the yaya?"

"Tza yaya," was the negative answer.

"Then we are not too late," said the war-chief, turning to Tyame. He sat
down among the rest, and the talk went on as before his arrival.

At last the governor came. He offered a short greeting and received a
careless reply. Then he crawled into the cave, and his assistant
followed him. Soon a rustling noise was heard inside, a grating like
that of a drill followed, and everybody outside became silent. The tapop
was starting the council-fire, and he used for the purpose that
venerable implement of primitive times, the fire-drill. It was a sacred
performance, therefore the sudden silence of all within hearing of the
process. Little by little a glimmer of light illuminated the entrance of
the cave; the fire had started, which was a favourable omen. Now the
conversation might be resumed, but nobody entered the room. The fire was
burning, and its light shone vividly through doorway and port-holes, and
the men outside were beginning to move and to yawn, and some had even
fallen asleep, but no one gave a sign of impatience. Stillness
prevailed; it was so late that all noise and bustle had ceased, and the
rippling and rushing of the brook alone pervaded the night.

Several more men approached from various directions; their steps were
almost inaudible, and when they reached the company each invariably
uttered a hoarse "guatzena, sa uishe." One by one the new-comers glided
into the estufa, until six of them had entered. Then a metallic sound
was heard within, as if two plates of very hard material were beaten
against each other. All rose at once; those who had fallen asleep were
shaken and pulled until they woke; and one after another filed into the
chamber, Topanashka being the last. The metallic sound produced by two
plates of basalt had been the call to council.

The interior of the estufa was as brightly illuminated as a small fire
could make it, the smoke of which found egress through the door and the
two air-holes, or rose to the low ceiling, where it floated like a
grayish cloud. The air was heavy and stifling, and the odour of burning
pitch proceeded from the pine wood with which the flames were fed in the
centre of the room. Close to the fire the tapop had squatted, with three
aged men by his side in the same posture. All three wore short, black
wraps with red stripes. We recognize in one of these men, who sit with
humble, downcast looks, the chief penitent, or Hotshanyi; the other two
are his assistants, the shaykatze and the uishtyaka. In their immediate
neighbourhood sat three others, whose hair also was turning gray; but
they sat upright and looked around with freedom and assurance. Their
dress had nothing particular or distinctive about it, but each carried
on his head feathers of a certain kind. One, with a tall, spare figure,
an intelligent face, and dark complexion, wore behind each ear one blue
and one yellow feather. He was the Hishtanyi Chayan, the principal
medicine-man of the tribe. Next to him was the Shkuy Chayan, or great
shaman for the hunt, equally tall, slender, and with a thin face and
quick, unsteady glance. The third, or Shikama Chayan, was an individual
of ordinary looks and coarse features, who was decorated by a single
upright feather. The leaders of the societies of the Koshare and Cuirana
had squatted among the central group, while a projection that ran around
the whole room served as a bench, or settee, for the representatives of
the clans.

This arrangement corresponded closely to the degree of importance of the
various officers, or rather to their assumed proximity to the higher
powers under whose protection the tribe believed itself to be placed.
The tapop, as chairman of the meeting, occupied the middle, together
with the principal religious functionaries,--the yaya, or mothers of the
tribe. On the outer circumference were placed the nashtio, or fathers,
the delegates of the clans. The Koshare Naua and his colleague of the
Cuirana held an intermediate position. Topanashka, as military head,
and the assistant governor, who had neither voice nor vote, sat beside
the entrance, guarding it. A lieutenant of the maseua crouched outside
to prevent the approach of eavesdroppers.

As soon as the rustling noise occasioned by so many people taking their
seats in a small room had subsided, the Hishtanyi Chayan again seized
the two basalt plates and caused them to ring. When the metallic sound
was heard, everybody became very quiet; and not one of the twenty-three
men that composed the meeting moved. All maintained the deepest silence,
fastening their eyes on the ground. The shaman scattered sacred meal to
the six regions, then he raised his eyes to the ceiling, and finally
turned to the three caciques with the formal greeting, "Guatzena, yaya!"
then to the others, with "Guatzena, nashtio!"

Raising both hands upward, he pronounced the following prayer:--

     "Raua P[=a]yatyama our father, Sanatyaya our mother, Maseua,
     Oyoy[=a]u[=a]! You all, the Shiuana all, the Kopishtai all,--all,
     raua! Hear what we shall speak, witness all our deeds. Make wise
     the heart, cunning the ear, bright the eyes, and strong the arm.
     Give us wisdom and goodness, that our hearts may listen ere we say
     'yes,' 'no,' or 'perhaps.' Assist your children, help the
     Zaashtesh, that they may remain united among themselves, wise,
     far-seeing, and strong. We call upon you, the Shiuana, the
     kopishtai; whisper to us good thoughts and guide us to the right.
     To you, P[=a]yatyama, Sanatyaya, Maseua,--to all of you we pray.
     Raua, raua! Ho-[=a], ho-[=a], raua!"

Again the speaker scattered yellow meal in front of the principal
penitent, who only bowed in a dignified manner in response. The
remainder of the assembly uttered an affirmative "[=A], [=a]," and one
after the other rose and deposited sacrificial meal before the cacique.
When each of them had resumed his seat, the Hishtanyi Chayan turned to
the tapop and looked inquiringly.

Hoshkanyi Tihua assumed an air of solemn importance, for he was to play
a prominent rôle. He glanced around the circle pompously; but when his
eye caught the cold gaze of Topanashka he felt almost a chill, and
shrank to natural and more modest proportions. He looked quickly in the
direction where Tyope was sitting; but the delegate from Shyuamo hanutsh
held his face covered with both hands, and did not notice the pleading
look of the little governor. So the latter began in an unsteady tone,--

"Hotshanyi, shaykatze, uishtyaka, and you, the mothers of the tribe,
hear me! Hear me also, you who are our fathers,"--his voice grew
stronger; he was recovering assurance. "I have called you together to
listen to what I say." He crowed the last words rather than spoke them.

"My brother, the nashtio of Shyuamo hanutsh," continued he, "has spoken
to me and said,"--he stopped and shot a glance of inquiry over toward
Tyope, but Tyope failed to note it,--"satyumishe has said, 'Tapop, my
hanutsh is numerous and has many children, but only very little maize;
the mot[=a]tza and the makatza are many, but of beans there are few, and
the field we are tilling is small.'" Hoshkanyi Tihua was manifestly
pleased with his own eloquence, for he again looked around the room for
marks of admiration. Only the icy look of Topanashka met his gaze, and
he proceeded more modestly,--

"My brother from Shyuamo then said to me, 'See here, nashtio Tapop,
there are the people from Tzitz; they are the least in numbers on the
Tyuonyi, and yet they have as much ground as we; and they raised as much
maize and even more beans, for they are higher up than we, and get more
water than we. Now, therefore, call them together, all the yaya and the
fathers, and say to them, "Shyuamo hanutsh demands from Tzitz hanutsh
that it should share its field with us, for where there are two mouths
of Shyuamo there is only one of Tzitz; but when Tzitz raises one ear of
corn, Shyuamo grows not more than one."'"

He had spoken, and drew a heavy sigh of relief. The most profound
silence reigned. Tyope remained with his head bowed and his face covered
with both hands. Topanashka sat rigidly immovable, his cold piercing
gaze fastened on the tapop. The representative of the Water clan made a
very wry face and looked at the fire.

The tapop had yet to perform one duty ere discussion could begin. He
turned to the Hotshanyi and addressed him,--

"Sa umo, you and your brethren the shaykatze and the uishtyaka, I
address; what do you say to what Shyuamo is asking? Speak, yaya; we are
your children; we listen. You are old and wise, we are young and weak."

The old cacique raised his dim eyes to the speaker and replied in a
hoarse voice,--

"I thank you, sa uishe,--I thank you for myself and for my brethren here
that you have put this question to us. But"--the voice grew more steady
and strong--"you know that it is our duty to pray, to fast, and to
watch, that peace may rule among the Zaashtesh and that nothing may
disturb it. We cannot listen to anything that calls forth two kinds of
words, and that may bring strife,"--he emphasized strongly the latter
word; "we cannot therefore remain. May the Shiuana enlighten your
hearts. We shall pray that they will counsel you to do good only."

The old Hotshanyi rose and went toward the doorway. His form was bent,
his step faltering. His two associates followed. Not one of those
present dared to look at them. None of them noticed the deeply,
mournfully significant glance which the cacique, while he crept through
the door, exchanged with Topanashka.

The address which the governor had directed to the official penitents
was a mere formality, but a formality that could not be dispensed with.
It was an act of courtesy toward those who in the tribe as well as in
the council represented the higher powers. But as these powers are
conceived as being good, it is not allowed to speak in their presence of
anything that might, in the remotest manner even, bear evil consequences
such as disunion and strife. Therefore the caciques, as soon as they had
been informed of the subject, could not stay at the meeting, but had to
retire.

This happens at every discussion of a similar nature, and their
departure was merely in the ordinary routine of business. Nobody felt
shocked or even surprised at it. But everybody, on the other hand,
noticed the reply given by the aged Hotshanyi, felt it like some dread
warning,--the foreboding of some momentous question of danger to the
people. An uneasy feeling crept over many of the assistants who were
not, like Tyope and the Koshare Naua, in the secrets of the case. After
the departure of the caciques, therefore, the same dead silence
prevailed as before.

The tapop broke the silence by turning officially to the principal
shaman and asking him,--

"Sa umo yaya, what do you hold concerning the demand of our children
from Shyuamo?"

The Chayan raised his face, his eyes sparkled. He gave his reply in a
positive tone,--

"I hold it is well, provided Tzitz hanutsh is satisfied." He bent his
head again in token that he had said as much as he cared to say for the
present.

Hoshkanyi Tihua then interrogated the Shkuy Chayan, who very pointedly
answered,--

"It is good."

His colleague, the Shikama Chayan, remained non-committal, saying,--

"It may be good, it may not be good; I do not know. My hanutsh is
Shutzuna,"--he cast a rapid glance to where the delegate of the
Prairie-wolf people was sitting,--"and we have enough land for
ourselves."

The governor now addressed the same question successively to the Koshare
Naua and to the leader of the Cuirana. The dim eyes of the former began
to gleam; his shrivelled features assumed a hideous, wolfish expression
as he spoke in a voice trembling yet clear,--

"It is well. Our brethren deserve what they demand. If the crops ripen,
my children from Shyuamo are those who pray and fast most of all. My
hanutsh alone counts more Koshare than all the others together. If they
get more land they will fast and pray so much the more, and this they do
not for themselves only, but for the benefit of all who dwell on the
Tyuonyi."

The Cuirana Naua, on the other hand, gave a confused and unsatisfactory
reply. In his opinion it would be well if both clans could agree.

It was next the turn of the clan delegates to be called up. They were
those most directly interested, but until now they had, out of deference
for their religious leaders, maintained an absolutely passive attitude.
After the Cuirana Naua had spoken, however, many raised their faces,
changed their positions; some looked at the tapop with an air of
expectancy, others glanced around, still others seemed to denote by
their demeanour that they were anxious and eager to speak. Tyope and
Topanashka, alone, did not change their attitudes. The former remained
with his head bent and his face covered with both hands; the latter, who
happened almost directly to face Tyope, with head erect and an
expression of calm watchfulness on his features.

It was of course impossible to foretell the general feeling among the
members of the council in regard to the demands of the Turquoise people.
The Shkuy Chayan and the Koshare Naua had declared themselves favourable
to their pretensions, but on the other hand the Hishtanyi Chayan--and
his word had greater weight than their speeches--had made a very
significant suggestion by reminding the governor in his reply that the
matter did not properly come before the tribal council, but should be
settled between the two clans directly interested. Hoshkanyi Tihua
should have taken the hint; but Hoshkanyi Tihua had not the slightest
tact; and besides, as a member of the clan Shyuamo, he felt too much
interested in the matter not to be eager to press it at once, however
imprudent and out of place such action might be. He was, moreover,
utterly unconscious of the fact that he was nothing but a tool which
both Tyope and the Naua wielded to further their perfidious designs.

The tapop therefore called upon the delegate of the Sun clan to speak.
He dwelt not far from the Turquoise people, and he expressed himself
strongly in their favour.

"It is true," said he, "and I know it to be so, that my friends of
Shyuamo are hungry. I know it, and it is true also, that the Water
people have too much ground. It is right, therefore, for Shyuamo to ask
for a share of what they have in excess. How much it shall be, they must
settle among themselves."

Everybody did not appear to be satisfied with this; but when the tapop
summoned the representative of the Bear clan to give his opinion, the
speech of the latter was not only stronger, it was even offensive to the
Water people. He accused them of having done wrong in not sharing their
fields with the clan of the Turquoise some time before, since it was the
duty of those who had too much to divide with those who were poorer. He
said that it was wrong on the part of Tzitz to have remained silent when
they knew how much Shyuamo did for the tribe, while at the same time
they had not enough for their own existence. He charged the tapop, in
the name of the council, with delinquency in not having required the
Water people to share their superabundance with those of the Turquoise.
The delegate of Kohaio was not only aggressive in his speech, but his
manner of delivering it was brusque and violent, and created quite a
stir; and many of the members cast glances at him which were not of a
friendly nature.

It was now the turn of the delegate of the Water people; and much
depended upon what he would say, for he was, besides the members from
Shyuamo, the party most interested in the proceedings. Kauaitshe, as he
was called, was not, unfortunately, the man for the situation. Short and
clumsy in figure, extremely good-natured and correspondingly slow in
thought and action, he was intellectually heavy and dull. When the
demand upon his clan was first formulated, he listened to it like one
whom it does not concern, and only gradually came to the conception that
the matter was after all of prime importance to him and to those whose
interests he had been selected to defend. Kauaitshe was thunderstruck
upon arriving at full comprehension; he was bewildered, and would much
rather have run away from the council. But that was impossible. He heard
the men speak one by one, and--what to him caused most anxiety--he saw
the moment approaching when he also would be called upon; and the
prospect filled him with dismay. What should he say! What could he say!
The injustice intended toward his constituents, the necessity of
undertaking a task for which he felt himself incapable, terrified him
at first and soon drove him to utter despair; and as all weak and lazy
natures, when they see themselves driven to the wall, become frenzied,
Kauaitshe, when the tapop turned to him, exploded like a loaded weapon,
venting his wrath upon the governor instead of calmly discussing the
matter itself. He saw in the governor not only a member of the clan
whose plans were detrimental to the interests of his kinsmen, but
chiefly the instrument by means of which he was placed in the present
difficult position. His face turned dark, then yellow. His eyes glowed
like embers. Bounding from his seat, he advanced toward the chairman and
hissed,--

"I have heard. Yes,"--his voice became louder,--"I have heard enough.
Enough!" he screamed. "You want to take from us what is ours! You want
to rob us, to steal from my people in order that your people may prosper
and we may suffer! That is what you want," and he shook his clenched
fist in the face of the tapop. The latter started up like an irate
turkey, and screamed,--

"You lie! what we want from you is right! You are only a few people, and
you are lazy; whereas we are many and thrifty; you are a liar!"

"Hush! hush!" sounded the voice of the principal shaman, between the
shouts and screams of the disputing parties.

"No! no!" shrieked Kauaitshe, "I will not hush. I will speak! I will
tell these friends--"

"Water-mole!" yelled the tapop in response; and both the Koshare Naua
and Tyope cried at once,--

"We are Shyuamo, not shuatyam." Their voices sounded like the
threatening snarls of wild beasts.

"Hush! hush!" the Hishtanyi Chayan now sternly commanded. Rising, he
grasped the little governor by the shoulder, pulled him back to his
place on the floor, and warningly raised his hand toward Kauaitshe,
whose mouth one of his colleagues had already closed by force.

"If you hope for light from Those Above," the medicine-man warned the
delegate from Tzitz, "you must not name in their presence the powers of
darkness." To the tapop he said,--

"Do your duty, but do it as it ought to be done!"

Kauaitshe reeled back to his place, where he sat down in sullen silence.
It happened to him as it always does to any one who loses his temper at
the wrong time and in the wrong place; after the flurry is over, they
find that they have wasted all their energies, and remain henceforth
incapable of any effort. The delegate of the Water people was _hors du
combat_ for the remainder of the evening.

The incident had made an impression on the assembly. Nearly everybody
shared more or less in the excitement. Now that quiet was restored,
apparent calmness seemed to prevail in their minds again. The men stared
as motionless as before; but their faces were dark, and many an eye
displayed a spark of passionate fire. Topanashka had not moved during
the quarrel, and Tyope hid his face in his hands as before.

Hoshkanyi's voice still trembled as he called upon the representative of
Tanyi hanutsh. The latter replied,--

"There is more land yet at the Tyuonyi; let Shyuamo increase their
ground from some waste tract."

"There is no room for it," growled the Koshare Naua.

"I say there is," defiantly retorted the other.

The delegate of the Prairie-wolf people was not only of the same opinion
as his predecessor, he even mentioned a tract of waste land that lay
east of the cultivated plots, from which Shyuamo might take what they
needed. The speaker of Tzina hanutsh, however, was of an adverse
opinion. He remarked that it was always better for a smaller clan to
divide their ground with a more powerful one, as in that case larger
crops would be raised. As matters stood, he added, only a portion of the
land belonging to the Water people was tilled. This the member from
Huashpa denied, and reminded him that the Hishtanyi Chayan had suggested
that the whole matter should be settled by the two clans privately. Both
the Cuirana Naua and Tyame, the delegate of the Eagle clan, could not
refrain from expressing their approval in an audible manner by the
customary "[=A]-[=a]," and the Shikama Chayan slightly nodded assent.

It was already late, but nobody thought of the hour. On such occasions
the Indian can sit up whole nights without ever thinking of rest. Not
only was everybody interested, but the excitement, although barely
visible on the surface, was rapidly growing; and personal ill-feeling
and spite cropped out more and more.

Tyame having expressed himself in favour of the opinion of the delegate
from Huashpa hanutsh, the tapop could not refrain from going out of the
ordinary routine in order to slight him, and to give the floor to the
member from Hiits Hanyi. This flattered the popular delegate, and he
accordingly spoke so strongly in favour of the claim presented by
Shyuamo that at the close of his speech several voices at once grunted
assent. Both parties were growing decidedly bitter.

Tyame noticed the intended slight; so when Hoshkanyi called him up he
opened his talk with the remark,--

"One can see that you are Shyuamo."

"That is what I am," the little fellow bragged.

"But you are tapop also," Tyame objected.

"Why do you speak thus? Are you angry that you could not be used for the
place?" venomously inquired the governor.

[Illustration: The Hishtanyi Chayan, or Chief Medicine Man]

"If I were in your place," retorted the Eagle, "I should do as is
customary, and call upon each one in turn."

"You have time enough left to speak against Shyuamo," said the chief of
the Delight Makers in a wicked manner.

"That I shall do, most assuredly," exclaimed Tyame. "I am against giving
Shyuamo any more ground than they have at present. You have enough for
yourselves, for your women, and for all your children. Do more work in
the field and do less penance; be shyayak rather than Koshare!" He rose
and turned toward Tyope. "Your woman belongs to our hanutsh, and I know
that it is not you who feed her; and so you are, all of you. You live
from other people's crops!"

Tyope looked up, and his eyes flashed; but in a quiet tone he
answered,--

"Your woman is Shyuamo; you know best how it is." The other continued
with growing passion,--

"And when your wife was from Tzitz everybody knew that it was not you
who supported her, but that she maintained you!"

Loud murmurs arose, and the Shkuy Chayan called Tyame to order, so that
Tyope did not have time for a reply to this insulting insinuation.

Of all the clans represented three had yet to express their views. These
were the clans of Yakka, of the Panther, and Shyuamo. The delegate of
the Corn people was no friend of Tyame's, therefore he spoke directly
against what the Eagle had intimated. He emphasized how detrimental it
might become for a small cluster to own too much tillable land while a
large and important clan was suffering for the lack of vegetable food.
With notable shrewdness, he exposed to the meeting the danger for the
whole tribe in case one of its principal components should begin to
decrease in numbers. He wound up by saying,--

"The strong hanutsh are those who maintain the tribe, for they are those
who give us the most people that do penance for the welfare of all, be
they Koshare or Cuirana. They also have the greatest number of warriors
and hunters. If they have nothing to eat, they cannot watch, pray, and
fast in honour of Those Above! So the Shiuana and the Kopishtai become
dissatisfied with us, and withdraw their protection from their children;
and we become lost through suffering those to starve who are most
useful." But he omitted altogether the important fact that there was
still waste land in the gorge, and that it was far preferable to redeem
such tracts than to create dissension.

Still it must be acknowledged that the clearing of timbered expanses,
such as those on the eastern end of the valley mostly were, opposed
great difficulties to the Indian. At the time when the Rito was settled,
the native had only stone implements. To cut down trees, to clear brush
even, was a tedious and protracted undertaking when it had to be
performed with stone axes and hatchets. Fire was the most effective
agent, but fire in such proximity to the dwellings was a dangerous
servant. On the western end there was no tillable land beyond the
patches of the Water clan. Still, if there had been any disposition on
the part of Shyuamo to be reasonable, they would have remained satisfied
with extending their field slowly and gradually toward the east; but
neither Tyope nor the Naua really wanted more land; what they desired
was strife, disunion, an irremediable breach in the tribe.

The Panther clan, whose representative had to speak now, was a cluster
which belonged neither to the larger nor to the smaller groups.
Occupying, as was the case, a section of the big house, the Panther
people were consequently near neighbours of Tanyi, and they sympathized
generally with the latter. Their delegate, however, was Koshare, and he
leaned not so much toward the Turquoise as toward what seemed to be the
desire of the leading Delight Makers,--the Naua and Tyope. He therefore
expressed himself bluntly in favour of Tzitz hanutsh giving up a certain
quantity of land to the clan Shyuamo, without stating his opinion or
suggesting in the least how it ought to be done.

Every member of the council, Tyope and Topanashka excepted, had spoken.
The majority of votes seemed in favour of the claim represented, but it
is not plurality of votes which decides, but unanimity of opinion and
conviction; and finally and in the last instance, the utterances of
those who speak in the name of the powers above. The shamans had given
their opinions, the Shkuy was manifestly favourable to Shyuamo, but his
colleague, the Hishtanyi Chayan, had spoken in a manner that restricted
the point at issue to a discussion among the clans directly interested.
The Histanyi Chayan was a personage of great authority, and many of
those who were on the side of the Turquoise people thought his word to
be law in the end. They had shown themselves friendly toward their
brethren of Shyuamo, willing, however, to abide by what the closing
discussion would bring to light. That discussion was yet to commence,
and the opening was to be the speech of Tyope himself. Much stress also
was laid upon what Topanashka would say, for he too was to take part.
Some had their misgivings concerning the real object of the move which
every one felt certain Tyope and the Koshare Naua had set on foot; and
when the tapop summoned Tyope to speak at last, there was something like
a subdued flutter among the audience. Many turned their heads in the
direction of the speaker, others displayed in their features the marks
of unusual attention.

Tyope rose slowly from his seat. He looked around quietly; there was a
sardonic smile on his lips. His eyes almost closed; he spoke in a
muffled voice, slowly and very distinctly. He was evidently master of
his subject, and a natural orator.

"Yaya, nashtio, Tapop, I have heard what you have all said, and it is
well, for it is well for each one of you to have spoken his thoughts, in
order that the people be pleased and delight come into their hearts. For
there are many of us, the fathers of the tribe, and each one has his own
thoughts; and thoughts are like faces, never two alike. For this reason
did I speak to our father the tapop that he should call in the uuityam,
in order that all might hear and that nobody could say
afterward,--'Shyuamo hanutsh has taken from Tzitz hanutsh what belonged
to the Water people, and behold we knew nothing about it!' Shyuamo
hanutsh"--he raised his voice and glanced around with flashing
eyes--"has many people; Shyuamo is strong! But the men of the Turquoise
are just! They go about in daylight and speak loudly, and are not like
the water that roars at night and drops into silence as soon as oshatsh
brightens the world." After this fling at the delegate of the Water
clan, Tyope paused a moment; he seemed to wait for a reply, but none
came, the explanation of his action in carrying the matter before the
council appearing to satisfy all. "Shyuamo hanutsh," he proceeded, "is
great in numbers but weak in strength, for its people have no food for
themselves, and what they raise is barely enough for their koitza, their
makatza, and the little ones. They themselves must starve," he cried,
"in order that other clans may increase through the children which my
men beget with their daughters!"

The most profound silence followed these words. The speaker paused again
and looked around as if challenging an answer. He felt very sure of his
point.

"We have worked, worked as hard as any one on the Tyuonyi, but our
numbers have grown faster than our crops. Go and look at the field of
Shyuamo and you will see how many are the corn-plants, and how large the
ears of corn, but the field is too small! We have not more land than the
Turkey people, and not as much as the Water clan! When during last
summer no rain fell, notwithstanding all our fasting, prayer, and
sacrifice, when yamunyi dried up and kaname shrivelled, Tzitz hanutsh
still had enough to eat, and its men grew fat!" This hint at the stout
representative of the Water clan created great hilarity. Her
representative growled,--

"You are not lean either."

Without noticing this interruption, Tyope proceeded,--

"Its women and its children are well! But we, at the lower end of the
cliffs,"--he extended his arm to the east,--"starve in order that your
daughters and the little ones whom we have begotten to the other clans
shall not perish. We had no more than food enough to pray for, to fast
for, in order that the Shiuana might not let our brethren be lost." Here
the Koshare Naua, as well as the representative of the Panther clan,
uttered an audible "[=A]-[=a];" and even the Shkuy Chayan nodded. "How
many Koshare are there in Tzitz hanutsh? How many in Tanyi? How many in
Tyame who would sacrifice themselves for the ripening of fruit? How many
in Huashpa? Shyuamo alone has as many Delight Makers as the remainder of
the Zaashtesh. One single clan as many as eleven others together!
And"--he drew himself up to his full height and fastened on the delegate
of the Water clan a glance of strange fierceness, as he cried--"while
your Koshare feed themselves well between the fasts, ours starve to
regain strength after they have watched, prayed, and starved!"

This explosion of bitter reproach was again followed by deep silence.
Tyope was indeed a fascinating speaker. The maseua and the Hishtanyi
Chayan were the only ones whom his oratorical talent could not lead
astray. He proceeded in a quieter tone,--

"We need more land. Some of our fathers have suggested that we should
extend our territory to the eastward and open the soil there. They mean
well; but there is not enough, and the pines are too near. Shall we go
as far as Cuapa, where there is enough soil, or where the kauaush
descends to the painted cave? Shall we go and live where the Moshome
would surround us and howl about like hungry wolves? No! Ere we do this
we have thought to say to our brethren, 'Tzitz has more land than it
needs; Tzitz is our brother; and we will ask them, "Satyumishe, give us
some of that of which you have too much, so that we may not be lost."'
But not to the Water people alone did we wish to speak; no, to all of
you, to the yaya nashtio and the tapop, that you all may know it and
assist us in our need. For rather than starve we shall leave the Tyuonyi
and look for another place. And then," he concluded, "you will become
weak and we shall be weak; and the Moshome, the Tehuas, and the Puyatye
will be stronger than the Queres, for we shall be divided!"

He resumed his seat in token that his speech was ended. From all sides
sounded the affirmative grunt "[=A]-[=a]-[=a];" the Shkuy Chayan and the
Cuirana Naua even nodded. Tyope had spoken very well.

Hoshkanyi Tihua was delighted with the talk of his clan-brother.
Forgetful of his position as chairman he looked around the circle
proudly, as if to say, "He can do it better than any one of you." The
stillness that followed was suddenly broken by the voice of the
Hishtanyi Chayan, who called out in a dry, business-like manner,--

"Our brother Tyope has spoken well, and all the others have spoken as
their hearts directed them to speak; but my brother"--he emphasized the
_my_--"the maseua has not yet said what he thinks. My brother is very
wise. Let him open his heart to us."

There was a slight commotion among the assembled parties. The speech of
Tyope had so monopolized their attention that none of them had thought
of the maseua. Now they were reminded of his presence through the
principal medicine-man himself, and that reminder acted like a reproach.
The eyes of all, Tyope and the Koshare Naua excepted, turned toward the
doorway, where Topanashka was quietly sitting. The two men from Shyuamo
affected to pay no further attention to what was going on.

Topanashka Tihua remained sitting. He directed his sharp, keen glance to
the Hishtanyi Chayan, as if to him alone he condescended to speak. Then
he said,--

"I believe as you do, nashtio yaya, but I also believe as you, Tyope,
have spoken." So great was the surprise caused by this that Tyope lifted
his face and looked at the old man in blank astonishment. Kauaitshe
stared at Topanashka like one suddenly aroused by a wondrous piece of
news.

"Tyope is right," continued the maseua; "Shyuamo has not soil enough. He
is also right in saying that there is not room enough on the Tyuonyi for
making new plantations."

"[=A]-[=a]," the delegate from the Turquoise interjected.

"It is true our brethren are suffering for want of land whereon to grow
their corn. It is equally true that Tzitz hanutsh has more land than it
needs, and it is well that Shyuamo should ask for what it wants and not
leave the Zaashtesh forever. Tyope has well spoken."

Nothing can describe the effect of this speech. Even the chief of the
Delight Makers smiled approvingly a hideous, satanic grin of pleasure.
He felt like loving the speaker; that is, provided the schemer had been
capable of liking anybody but himself. The eyes of Tyope sparkled with
grim delight. Kauaitshe and Tyame hung their heads, and reckoned
themselves lost forever. The maseua continued, still addressing the
principal shaman,--

"But you are right also, nashtio yaya, when you say that it is Tzitz
hanutsh who shall decide whether or not it wishes to part with some of
its fields for the benefit of the Turquoise people." Both Tyope and the
Koshare Naua grew very serious at these words. "We cannot compel the
Water people to give up any of their soil."

"No," the Shikama Chayan audibly whispered.

"But if Shyuamo hanutsh says to Tzitz hanutsh, 'We will give you such
and such things that are precious to you if you give us the land,' and
does it,--then I am in favour of compelling Tzitz hanutsh to give it;
for it is better thus than that the tribe should be divided and each
part go adrift. These are my thoughts, sa nashtio yaya."

The Hishtanyi Chayan actively nodded assent, and all around the circle
approving grunts were heard. The old man's speech satisfied the majority
of the council, with the sole exception of those who represented the
clan Shyuamo; it was now their turn to become excited, and the Koshare
was the first one to display his dissatisfaction.

"What shall we give?" he muttered. "We are poor, we have nothing. Why
should we give anything for that which does not help the others? It will
help us, but only us and nobody else. We give nothing because we have
nothing," he hissed at last, and looked at Tyope as if urging him to be
firm and not to promise anything under any circumstances. Tyope remained
mute; the words of the maseua appeared to leave him unmoved. But Tyame,
the man of the Eagles, became incensed at this refusal on the part of
the Turquoise people. He shouted to the Koshare Naua,--

"What! you will give nothing? Why are you Koshare, then? Why are you
their chief? Do you never receive anything for what you do? You are
wealthy, you have green stones, red jewels from the water; you have and
you get from the people everything that is precious and makes the heart
glad. You alone have more precious things than all the rest of us
together!"

"It is not true!" exclaimed Tyope.

"We are poor!" screeched the Koshare Naua.

Kauaitshe now interfered; he had recovered from his stupor and yelled,
"You have much, you are wealthy!" Turning against Tyope he shouted to
him,--

"Why should we, before all the others, give you the soil that you want?
Why should we, before all the others, give it to you for nothing? You
are thieves, you are Moshome, shutzuna, tiatiu! No!" He stamped his foot
on the ground. "No! we will give you nothing, nothing at all, even if
you give us everything that the Koshare have schemed and stolen from the
people!"

The commanding voice of the Hishtanyi sounded through the
tumult,--"Hush! Hush!" but it was of no avail; passions were aroused,
and both sides were embittered in the highest degree.

The delegate from Tanyi jumped up, yelling, "Why do you want the ground
from Tzitz alone? Why not our field also;" and he placed himself
defiantly in front of Tyope.

The member from Huashpa cried,--

"Are the Water people perhaps to blame for the drought of last year?"

"They are!" screamed the Koshare Naua, rising; "Tapop, I want to speak;
make order!"

"Silence!" ordered the little governor, but nobody paid any attention.

"Satyumishe Maseua," now shouted the principal shaman, "keep order, the
nashtio Koshare wants to speak!"

The tall man rose calmly; he went toward the cluster of wrangling men
and grasped Kauaitshe by the shoulder.

"Be quiet," he ordered.

Nobody withstood his determined mien. All became silent. Topanashka
leaned back against the wall, his gaze fixed on the Koshare. Everybody
was in suspense, in expectation of what the Naua might say. He coughed,
and began addressing the leading shaman,--

"Yaya Hishtanyi, you hear that the Water people refuse to give us the
land that we so much need. They ask of us that we should give them all
we have for a small part of theirs. The mot[=a]tza from the hanutsh
Huashpa has asked whether Tzitz hanutsh is perhaps the cause that the
crops failed last year. I say it is the cause of it!"

"How so?" cried Tyame.

"Through Shotaye, their sister," replied the old man, slowly.

It was not silence alone that followed this utterance. A stillness
ensued so sudden, so dismal, and so awful that it seemed worse than a
grave. Every face grew sinister, every one felt that some dread
revelation was coming. Tyope held his head erect, watching the face of
the old maseua. Topanashka's features had not moved; he was looking at
the Koshare Naua with an air of utter unconcern. The Hishtanyi Chayan,
on the contrary, raised his head; and the expression of his features
became sharp, like those of an anxious inquisitor. In the eye of the
Shkuy Chayan a sinister glow appeared. He also had raised his head and
bent the upper part of his body forward. The Shikama Chayan assumed a
dark, threatening look. The name of Shotaye had aroused dark suspicions
among the medicine-men. Their chief now asked slowly, measuredly,--

"You accuse a woman of having done harm to the tribe?" Henceforward he
and his two colleagues were the pivots around which the further
proceedings were to revolve. The tapop was forgotten; nobody paid
attention to him any longer.

"I do; I say that Shotaye, the woman belonging to Tzitz hanutsh, has
carried destruction to the tribe."

"In what way?"

"In preventing the rain from falling in season."

"And she has succeeded!" ejaculated Tyope, in a low voice,--so low that
it was not heard by all.

The Shkuy Chayan continued the interrogatory. Nobody else uttered a
word; not even the Hishtanyi spoke for the present. The latter disliked
the woman as much as any of his colleagues; but he mistrusted her
accusers as well, and preferred, after having taken the initiatory
steps, to remain an attentive listener and observer, leaving it to his
associates to proceed with the case. The Shkuy, on the other hand, was
eager to develop matters; he had been secretly informed some time ago of
what was known concerning the witchcraft proceedings of Shotaye, and he
hated the woman more bitterly than any of his colleagues did; and as the
charge was the preventing of rain-fall, it very directly affected his
own functions,--not more than those of the Hishtanyi, who is ex-officio
rain-maker, but quite as much.

For drought not only affects the crops; it exerts quite as baneful an
influence upon game; and game, as food for man, is under the special
care of the Shkuy Chayan. He is the great medicine-man of the hunt.
Drought artificially produced, as the Indian is convinced it can be
through witchcraft, is one of the greatest calamities that can be
brought upon a tribe. As a crime, it is worse than murder, for it is an
attempt at wholesale though slow extermination. The sorcerer or the
witch who deliberately attempts to prevent rain-fall becomes the object
of intense hatred on the part of all. The whole cluster of men assembled
felt the gravity of the charge. Horror-stricken, they sat in mute
silence, awaiting the result of the investigation which the Shkuy Chayan
proceeded to carry on.

"How do you know that the aniehna"--he emphasized the untranslatable
word of insult, and his voice trembled with passion--"has worked such
evil to the people?" The query was directed to the Koshare Naua. The
latter turned to Tyope, saying,--

"Speak, satyumishe nashtio." He squatted again.

The eyes of all, Topanashka's excepted, who did not for a moment divert
his gaze from the chief of the Delight Makers, were fixed on Tyope. He
rose and dryly said,--

"I saw when Shotaye Koitza and Say Koitza, the daughter of our father
the maseua,"--everybody now looked at the war-chief in astonishment,
dismay, or sorrow; but he remained completely impassive,--"who lives in
the abodes of Tanyi hanutsh, caused the black corn to answer their
questions. And there were owl's feathers along with the corn. It was
night, and I could not hear what they said. It was in the beginning of
winter; not last winter, but the winter before."

"Is that all?" inquired the Hishtanyi Chayan in turn. It displeased him
to hear that Tyope had been eavesdropping in the dark,--the man had no
business in the big house at night.

"I know also," continued Tyope, "that Shotaye gathered the feathers
herself on the kauash toward the south."

"Did you see her?"

"Yes," boldly asserted Tyope. He lied, for he dared not tell the truth;
namely, that the young Navajo was his informant.

"Is that all?" queried the Hishtanyi again.

"After we, the Koshare, had prayed and done penance in our own kaaptsh I
at one time went back to the timbers on which we climb up to the cave.
At their foot, below the rocks, I found this!"

He drew from beneath his wrap a little bundle, and handed it to the
shaman, who examined it closely and gave it to his colleagues, who
subjected the object to an equally thorough investigation. Those sitting
along the wall bent forward curiously, until at last the bundle was
turned over to them also. So it went from hand to hand, each one passing
it to the next with sighs and marks of thorough disgust. The bundle was
composed of owl's feathers tied to a flake of black obsidian.

"I found a second one," quietly said Tyope, pulling forth a similar
bunch. Now the council gave demonstrations not only of amazement but of
violent indignation; the shamans and Topanashka alone remained calm.
Both bunches were given to the tapop, who placed them on the floor
before him.

The Hishtanyi Chayan inquired further,--

"Where did you find the feathers? Say it once more."

"At the foot of the rocks, where we ascend to our estufa on
cross-timbers."

"Did you see who put them there?"

"No."

"When do you think they were placed there?"

"While the Koshare were at work in the estufa."

"Do you know more?"

"Nothing more." Tyope sat down, and the interrogatory was over.

It was as still as a grave in the dingy, ill-lighted chamber. No one
dared even to look up, for the matter was in the hands of the yaya, and
they were still thinking over it. The demands of Shyuamo hanutsh were
completely forgotten. The owl's feathers had monopolized the attention
and the thoughts of every one in the room.

At last the Hishtanyi Chayan rose. He threw a glance at his colleagues,
who understood it, and rose also. Then the great medicine-man spoke in a
hollow tone,--

"We will go now. We shall speak to our father the Hotshanyi, that he may
help us to consult Those Above. Four days hence we shall know what the
Shiuana think, and on the night following"--he turned to the tapop--"we
will tell you here what to do. In the meantime,"--he uttered these words
like a solemn warning,--"hush! let none of you exchange one word on what
we have heard or seen to-night. Let none of you say at home, 'I know of
something evil,' or to a friend, 'bad things are going on in the tribe.'
Be silent, so that no one suspect the least thing, and that the sentence
of the Shiuana be not interfered with. Nasha!" he concluded, and went
toward the exit. Ere leaving the room, however, he turned once more,
adding,--

"And you go also. Each one for himself and alone. Let no one of you
utter words, but all of you pray and do penance, keep open your ears,
wide awake your eye, and closed your lips."

With this the shamans filed out, one after the other. Their muffled
steps were heard for a moment as they grated on the bare rock. One by
one the other members of the council left the chamber in silence, each
wending his way homeward with gloomy thoughts. Dismal anticipations and
dread apprehension filled the hearts of every one.



CHAPTER XII.


At the time when the tribal council of the Queres was holding the stormy
session which we have described in the preceding chapter, quite a
different scene was taking place at the home of the wife of Tyope. That
home, we know, belonged to Hannay, the woman with whom Tyope had
consorted after his separation from Shotaye; and it was also the
dwelling in which he resided when other matters did not keep him away.
The tie that bound Tyope to his second wife was of rather a sensual
nature. Hannay was a very sensual woman, but in addition to this she
possessed qualities that made her valuable to her husband. She was
extremely inquisitive, listened well, knew how to inquire, and was an
active reporter. On her side there was no real affection for Tyope; but
her admiration for his intellectual qualities, so far as she was able to
appreciate them, knew no bounds. It amounted almost to awe. Their
connection was consequently a partnership rather than anything else,--a
partnership based on physical affinities, on mutual interest, and on
habit. Of the higher sort of sympathy there was no trace. Neither had
room for it among the many occupations which their mode of life and
manner of intercourse called forth.

If Tyope was shrewd and cunning, and if he made of his own woman his
eye, ear, and mouth, as has been said in one of the previous chapters,
Hannay was not a fool. She did not of course understand anything of his
plans and schemes, and he never thought it necessary to inform her; but
she knew how to manage him whenever anything aroused her curiosity. She
contrived to gratify this sometimes in a way that her husband failed to
detect,--by drawing from his talk inferences that were exceedingly
correct and which he had no thought of furnishing. For Tyope knew his
wife's weakness; he knew that if her ears and her eyes were sharp, her
tongue was correspondingly swift; and he tried to be as guarded as
possible toward her on any topic which he did not wish to become public
property. Nevertheless Hannay succeeded in outwitting her husband more
than once, and in guessing with considerable accuracy things that he did
not regard as belonging within the field of her knowledge. So, for
instance, while he had carefully avoided stating to her the object of
the council, she nevertheless had put together in her own mind a number
of minor points and hints to which he attached no importance, and had
thus framed for herself a probable purpose of the meeting that fell not
much short of the real truth.

The main desire that occupied Hannay's mind for the present was the
union between Okoya and her daughter Mitsha. Okoya had, unknown to
himself, no stronger ally than the mother of the girl. The motive that
actuated her in this matter was simply the apparent physical fitness of
the match and the momentary advantages that she, considering her own age
and the loose nature of Indian marriages, might eventually derive from
the daily presence of Okoya at her home. In other words, she desired the
good-looking youth as much for herself as for her child, and saw nothing
wrong in this. From the day when Okoya for the first time trod the roof
of her dwelling in order to protect Mitsha, she had set her cap for him.
But she knew that there was no love on the part of Tyope for the
relatives of Okoya, paternal or maternal, and she was too much afraid
of him to venture open consent to a union that might be against his
wishes. In her mind Tyope was the only stumbling-block in the path of
the two young people; that is, in the way of her own desires.

She had consequently set to work with a great deal of tact and prudence
in approaching Tyope about the matter. After a number of preparatory
skirmishes, she at last ventured to tell him of it. To her astonishment
he took it quite composedly, saying neither yes nor no, and displaying
no feeling at all. He saw not the least objection to having Okoya visit
her house as often as he might please; in fact, he treated the matter
with great indifference. This was a decided relief to her, and she
anxiously waited for Okoya's first visit to impress him most favourably
regarding not merely herself but her husband.

Tyope indeed did not attach the slightest importance to Okoya
personally. The youth had no value for him at present; he did not
dislike him; he did not notice him at all. The boy was as
unobjectionable to him as any one else whom he did not need for his
purposes. But there were points connected with the union that affected
Tyope's designs very materially, and these would come out in course of
time, although he foresaw them already. In the first place,
intermarriage between the clans of Tanyi and Tyame was not favourable to
his scheme, which consisted in expelling gradually or violently four
clusters,--Tanyi, Tyame, Huashpa, and Tzitz, from the Rito. The
last-named cluster he wanted to get rid of on account of Shotaye, whom
he feared as much as he hated; the other three he wished to dispossess
of their houses, which were the best secured against decay on the
Tyuonyi, in order to lodge therein his own relatives and their
partisans. Had Okoya aspired to the hand of a daughter of the Turquoise
clan, Tyope would have been in favour of his pretensions at once.

On the other hand, Okoya was very young; he might be flexible if
properly handled; and in case the boy, whose father was already a
Koshare and completely under Tyope's influence, could be induced to join
the society of the Delight Makers, it would be a gain fully compensating
for the other disadvantages of the situation. One more Koshare in Tanyi,
and one who would dwell with Tyame, besides, after marriage, was a gain.
It would facilitate the realization of the plan of a disruption of
tribal ties by creating disunion among the clans most powerful, after
Shyuamo. Tyope did not care for the expulsion of certain special
clusters as a whole, provided a certain number and a certain kind of
people were removed. But the matter of making a Koshare out of Okoya was
a delicate undertaking. His wife had already suggested as much to him,
and he had insinuated to her that she might try, cautioning her at the
same time against undue precipitation. Finally he left the whole matter
in her hands without uttering either assent or dissent, and went about
his own more important and much more intricate affairs.

Hannay awaited Okoya with impatience, but the youth had not appeared
again. He was afraid of Tyope and also afraid of her. The warnings of
his mother and Hayoue he had treasured deeply, and these warnings kept
him away from the home of Mitsha. Still he longed to go there. Every
evening since the one on which Say encouraged him to go, he had
determined to pay the first regular visit, but as often as the time came
his courage had abandoned him and he had not gone. And yet he must
either go or give up; this he realized plainly. There might be a
possibility of some other youth attempting the same, and then he would
be too late, perhaps. There was no thought on his part of giving up; he
felt committed; and yet he was more afraid of going to call on the
maiden than he would have been of encountering some wild beast. Not on
Mitsha's account, oh no! He longed to meet her at her own home, but he
feared both her parents.

Say Koitza instinctively noticed her son's trouble, and she became
apprehensive lest out of timidity he might suffer to escape him what she
now more and more regarded as a golden opportunity. At last, on the
evening when the council was to meet, a fact that was well known to all,
she said to her son,--

"I hear that sa nashtio maseua is going to the uuityam to-night; in that
case Tyope will be there also." More she did not say, but Okoya
treasured the hint, and made no remark about it, but at once thought
that the time had come to pay a visit to the maiden. After the sun had
gone down he went out and leaned against the northern wall of the big
house, gazing steadily at the dwellings of the Eagle clan. There were
too many people about yet for him to attempt the call, and furthermore
it was so early that the council could hardly have assembled. By the
light of the moon he saw clearly the movements of the people, although
it was impossible to recognize individuals at any distance. The boy sat
down and waited. From where he rested he could not fail to notice when
the delegates of the clans that inhabited the big house left for the
council, and that would be the signal for his own starting. His heart
beat; he felt happy and yet anxious; hope and doubt both agitated his
mind.

One of his comrades stealthily approached Okoya, sat down on the ground
beside him, threw one arm around his shoulders, and began to sing
loudly. Okoya chimed in, and the two shouted at the top of their
untrained voices into the clear still night. Such is the custom in
Indian villages. A third one joined them, finally a fourth. The latter
lay down on his stomach, rested his elbows on the ground, his chin in
both hands, and sang in company with the others. Soon after, two men
issued from the gangway and walked down the valley; at last another went
in the same direction. These were the members of the council, and now it
was time for Okoya. As soon as the song reached a pause, he stood up,
said "sha," and turned to go. One of his companions seized him by the
ankles, saying, "It is too early for you to go to see the girls;" and
all together added, laughing, "Don't go yet, later on we will all go
together."

But Okoya stepped firmly on the arm of him who attempted to hold him
back, so that the boy loosened his grip; then he jumped into the
passage, where they could not see him. He disliked to have any one
notice that he went to see Mitsha. Waiting in the dark passage for a
short time, he glided out at last on the side farthest from where the
boys were still sitting and singing, crossed the ditch into the high
corn, and went through the latter upward until opposite the western end
of the building. Crossing the ditch again, he reached the slope that led
to the buildings occupied by the people of the Eagle. In order to
mislead his comrades, in case they should be on the lookout, he went
higher up along the cliffs till he reached the caves of Tzina hanutsh.
Here he looked back. The three boys were singing lustily the same
monotonous rhyme at the same place where he had left them.

From the rock dwellings of the Turkey people there was a gentle
declivity to the houses which the clan Tyame had constructed against the
perpendicular wall of the cliffs. Okoya walked rapidly; now that he had
started, he longed to reach Mitsha's home. Children still romped before
the houses; on the roofs entire families were gathered, loudly talking,
laughing, or singing. Some of them had even built small fires and
cooked their evening meal in the wonderfully cool and invigourating air.
The terrace of the abode whither Okoya directed his steps was deserted,
but a ray of light passed through the opening in the front wall. Nothing
seemed to stir inside when the boy approached.

Had Okoya glanced at that little opening he might have discerned a
woman's face, which looked out of it for a moment and then disappeared
within. Had he stepped closer to the wall he might have heard a woman's
voice inside calling out in a low tone,--"Mitsha, he is coming!" But he
neither looked nor listened; he was barely able to think. His feelings
overpowered him completely; wrapped in them he stood still, lost in
conflicting sentiments, a human statue flooded by the silvery moonlight.

Somebody coughed within the house, but he did not hear it. Again the
face appeared in the small, round air-hole. Okoya had his face turned to
the east and away from the wall of the house. At last the spectator
within thought that the boy's musings were of a rather long duration,
and she called out,--

"Sa uishe, opona!"

He started and looked toward the dwelling, but saw only two black points
peeping through the port-hole. Again the voice spoke,--

"Why don't you come in, mot[=a]tza?" Now he became conscious that Hannay
was calling him into her home.

His first impulse was to run away, but that was only a passing thought;
and it became clear to him that he had reached the place whither he was
going, and furthermore that the women were alone. Without a word of
reply he climbed the roof and nimbly down into the apartment. He was
still on the ladder when Hannay repeated the invitation,--

"Opona, sa uishe."

His greeting was responded to by a loud and warm "Raua, raua" from the
mother, and a faint, slightly tremulous "Raua [=a]" from another voice,
which from its softness could only be that of Mitsha. The room was dark,
for the fire was about to go out; but beside the hearth cowered a female
figure who had placed fresh wood on the embers and was fanning them with
her breath. It was Mitsha. At the entrance of the visitor, she quickly
stroked back the hair that streamed over her cheeks and turned her face
half around. But this was for a moment only; as soon as the wood caught
fire and light began to spread over the room she again blew into the
flames with all her might. It was quite unnecessary, for the fire burned
lustily.

Hannay stood in the middle of the floor, wiping her mouth with the back
of her hand. Stepping up to the boy she said,--

"You have not been here for a long time, mot[=a]tza." It sounded like a
friendly reproach. He modestly grasped her fingers, breathed on her
hand, and replied,--

"I could not come."

"You did not want to come," said the woman, smiling.

"I could not," he reiterated.

"You could had you wished, I know it; and I know also why you did not
come." She added, "Well, now you are here at last, and it is well.
Mitsha, give your friend something to eat."

The significant word "friend" fell on fertile soil. It eased Okoya at
once. He sat down closer to the hearth, where the maiden was very busy
in a rather confused manner, her face turned from him. Still as often as
the strands of hair accidentally parted on the left cheek, she shot
quick side-glances at him. Okoya, balancing himself on his heels,
quietly observed her. It was impossible to devote to her his whole
attention, for her mother had already taken her seat close by him and
was claiming his ear. She offered slight attraction to the eye, for her
squatting figure was not beautiful. Okoya grew lively, much more lively
than he had been on his first visit.

"Why should I not have wanted to see you?" he good-naturedly asked.

"I will tell you," Hannay chuckled; "because you were afraid."

"Afraid?" he cried, "afraid? Of whom?" But within himself he thought the
woman was right. Hannay smiled.

"Of Mitsha," she said; adding, "she is naughty and strong." A peal of
coarse laughter accompanied this stroke of wit. The girl was
embarrassed; she hid her face on her lap. Okoya replied,--

"Mitsha does not bite."

"She certainly will not bite you," the mother answered, causing the
maiden to turn her face away.

"Does she bite others?" Okoya asked. Again Hannay laughed aloud, and
from the corner whither Mitsha had retreated there sounded something
like a suppressed laugh also. It amused her to think that she might bite
people. Her mother, however, explained,--

"No, Mitsha does not bite; but if other boys should come to see her she
might perhaps strike them. But you, sa uishe,"--the woman moved closer
to him,--"you, I am sure, she will not send away. Is it not so, Mitsha?
Okoya may come to see you, may he not?"

The poor girl was terribly embarrassed by this more than direct
question, and Okoya himself hung his head in confusion. He pitied the
maiden for having such a mother. As Mitsha gave no answer, Hannay
repeated,--

"Speak, sa uishe; will you send this mot[=a]tza away as you do the
others?"

"No," breathed the poor creature thus sorely pressed. A thrill went
through the frame of Okoya; he looked up, and his eyes beamed in the
reflex of the fire. The woman had watched him with the closest
attention, and nothing escaped her notice. Her eyes also sparkled with
pleasure, for she felt sure of him.

"Well, why don't you give the mot[=a]tza some food?" she asked her
daughter again. "On your account he has walked the long way from the big
house. Is it not so, Okoya?"

"Yes," the boy replied innocently.

Quick as thought Mitsha turned around, and her eyes beamed on him for an
instant. He did not notice it, and she forthwith stepped up to the
hearth. Even though she lacked evening toilette, Mitsha presented a
handsome picture; and her friend became absorbed in contemplation of the
lithe, graceful form. She lifted the pot from the fire, placed the
customary share of its contents before Okoya, and retired to a corner,
whence she soon returned with a piece of dried yucca-preserve, regarded
as a great treat by the Indians, because it has a sweet taste. As she
was placing the dessert on the floor, the boy extended his hand, and she
laid the sweetmeat in it instead of depositing it where she had
originally intended. Okoya's hand closed, grasping hers and holding it
fast. Mitsha tried to extricate her fingers, but he clutched them in
his. Stepping back, she made a lunge at his upper arm which caused him
to let go her hand at once. Laughing, she then sat down between him and
her mother. The ice was broken.

"You are very strong," Okoya assured her, rubbing the sore limb.

"She is strong, indeed," her mother confirmed; "she can work well, too."

"Have you any green paint?" the girl asked.

"No, but I know a place where it is found. Do you want any?"

"I would like to have some."

"For what do you use the green stone?"

"Next year I want to paint and burn bowls and pots." Mitsha had no
thought of the inferences that he would draw from her simple
explanation. He interpreted her words as very encouraging for him, not
only because the girl understood the art of making pottery, but he drew
the conclusion that she was thinking of furnishing a household of her
own.

Hannay improved the opportunity to still further praise her child. She
said,--

"Mitsha does not only know how to paint; she can also shape the
uashtanyi, the atash, and the asa." With this she rose, went to the
wall, and began to rummage about in some recess. Okoya had meanwhile
taken one of the girl's hands in his playing with her dainty fingers
which she suffered him to do.

"See here," the woman cried and turned around. He dropped the girl's
hand and Hannay handed something to him.

"Mitsha made this." Then she sat down again.

The object which Okoya had received from her was a little bowl of clay,
round, and decorated on its upper rim with four truncated and graded
pyramids that rose like prongs at nearly equal intervals. The vessel was
neatly finished, smooth, white, and painted with black symbolic designs.
There was nothing artistic in it according to our ideas, but it was
original and quaint. Okoya gazed at the bowl with genuine admiration,
placed it on the floor, and took it up again, holding it so that the
light of the fire struck the inside also. He shook his head in
astonishment and pleasure. Mitsha moved closer to him. With innocent
pride she saw his beaming looks, and heard the admiring exclamations
with which he pointed at the various figures painted on the white
surface. Then she began to explain to him.

"Lightning," said she, indicating with her finger a sinuous black line
that issued from one side of the arches resting on a heavy black dash.

"Cloud," he added, referring to the arches.

"Rain," concluded the maiden, pointing at several black streaks which
descended from the figure of the clouds. Both broke out in a hearty
laugh. His merriment arose from sincere admiration, hers from equally
sincere joy at his approbation of her work. The mother laughed also; it
amused her to see how much Okoya praised her daughter's skill. She was
overjoyed at seeing the two become more familiar.

Okoya returned to his former position, placing the vessel on the floor
with tender care; and Mitsha resumed her sitting posture, only she sat
much nearer the boy than before. He still examined the bowl with wonder.

"Who taught you to make such nice things?" he asked at last.

"An old woman from Mokatsh. Look," and she took up the vessel again,
pointing to its outside, where near the base she had painted two horned
serpents encircling the foot of the bowl.

"Tzitz shruy," she laughed merrily. The youth laughed, so did the women,
all three enjoying themselves like big, happy children.

"For whom did you make this?" Okoya now inquired.

"For my father," Mitsha proudly replied.

"What may Tyope want with it?" asked the boy. "I have seen uashtanyi
like this, but they stood before the altar and there was meal in them.
It was when the Shiuana appeared on the wall. What may sa nashtio use
this for?"

"I don't know," Mitsha replied, and her eye turned to her mother timidly
askance and with an expression of doubt.

Hannay saw here an excellent pretext to put in a word of her own which
she had wished to say long before.

"I will tell you, sa uishe; I will speak to you as I would to my own
child." The artful flattery had its desired effect. Okoya became very
attentive; he moved closer apparently to the mother,--in reality, to the
daughter.

"You know Tyope is a Koshare, and I am Koshare too; and he is very wise,
a great man among those who create delight. Now it may be that you know
also what we have to do."

"You have to make rain," said the youth; for such was the common belief
among the younger people about the duties of the society.

Hannay and Mitsha looked at each other smiling, the simple-mindedness of
the boy amused them.

"You are right," the woman informed him. "After we have prayed, fasted,
and done penance, it ought to rain, in order that yamunyi may grow to
koatshit, and koatshit ripen to yakka." In these words she artfully
shrouded the true objects of the Koshare. It enhanced their importance
in the eyes of the uninitiated listener by making him believe that the
making of rain was also an attribute of theirs. "See, uak," she
proceeded, "on this bowl you see everything painted that produces rain."
One after the other she pointed out the various figures. "Here you see
the tadpole, here the frog, here the dragon-fly and the fish; they, as
they stand here, pray for rain; for some of them cry for it, when the
time comes others live in the water, which is fed from the clouds, or
they flit above the pools in summer. Here is the cloud and lightning,
and"--she turned the vessel bottom side up--"here are the Shiuana
themselves," pointing at the two horned serpents. "These live
everywhere where Tzitz is running or standing. In this uashtanyi we keep
meal in order to do sacrifice at the time when rain ought to fall. The
pictures of the Shiuana call the Shiuana themselves! So you see what the
Koshare want with this thing."

Okoya's lips had slowly parted in growing astonishment; and Mitsha, to
whom the explanation was not altogether new, watched the expression of
his features with genuine delight.

"And when you pray and scatter meal out of this,"--pointing to the
bowl,--"does the rain always come?"

"Always."

"Why, then, did it not rain last summer?"

"That I cannot tell you," said the woman. "Only the Shiuana know.
Besides, there are bad people who stop the rain from coming."

"How can they do that?" cried both Okoya and Mitsha in surprise, neither
of them having heard as yet of such a thing.

"I must not tell you that," said Hannay, with a mysterious and important
air; "you are too young to know it. Tell me, Okoya,"--her voice changed
with the change of the subject,--"does Shotaye Koitza often come to see
your mother?"

This question was highly imprudent. But Hannay was often imprudent.
Smart and sly in a certain way, she was equally thoughtless in other
matters. The query so sudden, so abrupt, and so uncalled for must, she
ought to have foreseen, look extremely suspicious. And yet Okoya was on
the point of answering, "She was at our home a few days ago." In time,
however, he bethought himself of the warnings she had received, and
replied in an unsteady tone,--

"I don't know."

Hannay noticed his embarrassed manner, and saw at a glance that he was
forewarned. The "no" of the boy told her "yes." The discovery, however,
that Okoya was on his guard was rather disagreeable; it angered her so
much that her first impulse was to send him away. But she soon changed
her mind. The youth was obedient; and if now he obeyed the counsels of
his people, why might he not later on become accustomed to submission to
his wife's people also? At all events he was good-natured, and according
to Hannay's conceptions, good-natured folk were always silly. That smart
but ill-natured persons might also prove extremely silly on occasions
was far from her thoughts, and yet the very question she had imprudently
put to Okoya was an instance of it.

It did not occur to her that it might yet be problematic whether Okoya
would ever become a traitor to his own people. She could not conceive
how anybody might be different from her and from Tyope, and of course
she had no doubt concerning his ultimate pliability. And she relied also
upon the influence Mitsha would exert upon her future husband, taking it
for granted that her child had the same low standards as her parents.
That child Hannay regarded merely as a resource,--as valuable property,
marketable and to be disposed of to the most suitable bidder. In her
eyes Okoya appeared as a very desirable one.

She saw that the courtship, if thus it may be called, was advancing most
favourably; and thought it proper, now that the ball was in motion, to
allow it to roll alone for a short time,--in other words, to leave the
house under some pretext, abandoning the young folk to themselves. After
her return she intended to sound Okoya again, though in a more skilful
manner. So she replaced the bowl in its niche and went toward the
ladder. Before ascending it she turned and said,--

"I will be back soon."

The youth smiled, and she gave him a knowing, significant wink, climbed
on the roof and down to the ground, and remained standing outside for a
while, until she thought that the young people had forgotten about her.
Then she glided noiselessly to the air-hole and peeped in. They still
sat by the hearth, examining together some object the nature of which
she could not discover; and Mitsha was explaining something to the boy.
Evidently the girl was showing him another piece of her handiwork. She
heard them laugh merrily and innocently. They were like children at
play. Satisfied with the outlook, Hannay crept off to a neighbour's
dwelling where the whole family was gathered on the house-top. She took
her seat by the old folk and joined in the conversation. That
conversation was nothing more nor less than the merest gossip,--Indian
gossip, as genuine as any that is spoken in modern society; with this
difference only, that the circle of facts and ideas accessible to the
Indian mind is exceedingly narrow, and that the gossip applies itself
therefore to a much smaller number of persons and things. But it is as
venomous, the backbiting as severe and merciless among Indians as among
us; and there is the same disposition to criticise everything that does
not strictly pertain to us and to our favourites, the same propensity to
slander the absent and to be of the same opinion as those present so
long as they are within hearing distance.

Gossip has a magic power. It fascinates more than any other kind of
conversation. It fascinated Hannay, and time rolled on without her
noticing it. The night was so beautiful, so still, so placid, and it
felt so comfortable outside on this terrace, whereon the moon shone so
brightly, that Hannay sat and sat, listened and talked, until she had
forgotten the young folk at home.

Suddenly a dark shadow covered the roof; the change was so abrupt that
everybody looked around. What a moment ago was plunged in the silvery
bath of the moon's rays was now wrapped in transparent darkness. But the
valley below and the slope in front were as softly radiant as before.
The moon had disappeared behind one of the cliffs, and the shadow of the
rocks was now cast over the houses of the Eagle. It reminded the talkers
that it was late, and it also reminded Hannay of her visitor. She
clambered hurriedly off and hastened home. Again she looked through the
circular vent. It was dark inside, and still. After listening a while
she distinguished regular breathings. It was easy to recognize them as
those of Mitsha, who was soundly, peacefully asleep. Hannay, as soon as
she reached the floor of the apartment, called out,--

"Sa uishe!" No reply.

"Sa uishe!" No answer.

She groped about in the dark until her hands touched the sleeping form.
She pulled the girl's dress and shook her by the arm until she sighed
and moved, and then asked,--

"Sa uishe, has your father come?"

"No," murmured the still dreaming child.

"Where is Okoya?"

"He has left."

"Will he come again?"

"Oh, yes," breathed Mitsha softly; then she turned over, sighed, and
spoke no more.

Hannay was happy. The boy would return! That was all she cared for. She
really liked him, for he was so candid, so good, and so simple-minded.
With such a son-in-law much was possible, she thought. Okoya could
certainly be moulded to become a very useful tool to her as well as to
Tyope. The woman felt elated over the results of the evening; she felt
sure that notwithstanding one egregious mistake, of which of course she
would be careful not to speak, her husband would be pleased with her
management of affairs. It was long after midnight when that husband
returned to the roof of his wife, and Hannay was already fast asleep.

Okoya had gone long before Hannay thought of returning. He went home
happy, and satisfied that Mitsha henceforth belonged to him. And yet
after all there was a cloud on his mind,--not a very threatening one,
yet a cloud such as accompanies us everywhere, marring our perfect
happiness whenever we fancy we have attained it. Mitsha had said to him,
while they were alone,--

"If you were only Koshare, the sanaya would give me to you."

Okoya thereupon imagined that without Hannay's consent he could never
obtain the maiden. On the other hand, the idea of joining the Delight
Makers did not at all suit him. He feared in that case the opposition of
his mother. After he had returned to the estufa and lain down among the
other boys, who were mostly asleep, he revolved the matter in his mind
for a long time without arriving at any conclusion whatever. Had he been
less sincere and less attached to his mother, such scruples would hardly
have troubled him; had he owned more experience he would have known that
his apprehensions were groundless, and that Hannay could not, if she
wished, prevent him from becoming Mitsha's husband.



CHAPTER XIII.


When, at the close of the eventful meeting of the council at which the
accusation against Shotaye and Say Koitza had fallen like a thunderbolt
upon the minds of all present, the principal shamans warned the members
of that council to keep strict silence and to fast or pray, that
reminder was not to be understood as imposing on them the obligation of
rigid penitence. Secrecy alone was obligatory; it remained optional with
each how far he would carry his contrition. The three caciques, however,
and the chief medicine-men had to retire and begin rigorous penitential
ceremonies. Therefore the Hishtanyi Chayan had said that he was going to
speak to the leading penitents at once.

Some of the fathers of the tribe, however, took the matter so much to
heart that they obeyed the injunction of the great medicine-men
literally, and took to sackcloth and ashes as soon as they reached home.
Their motives were extremely laudable, but their action was by no means
wise. They lost sight of what the shaman had strongly insisted upon;
namely, that none of them should, by displaying particular sadness or by
dropping mysterious hints, attract attention, and thus lead the people
to surmise or suspect something of grave import. The shaman knew the
human heart well, at least the hearts of his tribe; but with all his
well-intended shrewdness he overlooked the fact that the very
recommendations he gave had fallen on too fertile ground, and
consequently worked more harm than good. For the majority of the
councilmen were so horror-stricken by the disclosures of Tyope and of
the Koshare Naua, that they went to do penance with a zeal that could
not fail to draw the attention of everybody around them. Thus Kauaitshe,
the delegate of the Water clan, and Tyame, he of the Eagles, and several
others considered it their duty to fast. Not a word concerning the
meeting passed their lips; but when on the following morning each one of
them retired to a secluded chamber or sat down in a corner of his room,
his arms folded around his knees, speechless, motionless; when he
refused to partake of the food which his wife or daughter presented to
him,--when he persisted in this attitude quietly and solemnly, it could
not fail to attract attention. The father, brother, or husband fasted!
Whenever the Indian does penance it is because he has something heavy on
his mind. In the present instance, as it happened immediately after the
council, it necessarily led to the inference that at that council
momentous questions must have been discussed, and also that these
questions had not been solved. Otherwise, why should the councilmen
fast?

Penitence, with the Indian, is akin to sacrifice; the body is tormented
because the soul is beyond human reach. The fasting is done in order to
render the body more accessible to the influence of the mind. Often,
too, one fasts in order to weaken the body, in order to free the soul
from its thralls and bring it into a closer relation with the powers
regarded as supernatural. At all events, fasting and purifications were
a sure sign that serious affairs were in process of development, and
such proceedings on the part of some of the nashtio could not fail to
produce results the opposite of what the shaman had intended.

It would have been different had the yaya alone retired for penitential
performances; nobody would have been struck by that, for everybody was
accustomed to see them at work, as such voluntary sacrifice on their
part is usually called; it was their business. But since the nashtio
also, at least in part, performed similar acts, it could not help
producing, slowly and gradually but surely, a tremendous amount of
gossip and a corresponding number of speculations of a rather gloomy
nature.

That gossip was started in the cave-dwellings of Tzina hanutsh. The
stout representative of the Water clan had married into that cluster,
and lived consequently among them with his wife. He returned home wildly
excited; he did not go to rest at all; and when his family awoke they
saw him sitting in a corner. As soon as he declined to eat, remaining
there in morose silence, they all knew that he was grieving and
chastising himself. Everybody thought, "The nashtio of Tzitz since his
return from the council is doing penance. What can have happened last
night!"

Owing to the custom which compels a man to marry outside of his own
clan, the abodes of the women of each clan were frequented by their
husbands. They of course belonged to different clans. Their natural
confidants were not their wives, still less their children, but their
clan-brothers and clan-sisters. During the day that followed the
council, a man whose wife was from the Turkey people, but who himself
belonged to Shyuamo, went down to the caves of the latter. There he was
received with the remark,--

"The nashtio of the Eagles, Tyame, who lives with us, is fasting."

He replied in surprise, "And Kauaitshe is also doing penance."

A third, whose wife belonged to the Bear clan, was within hearing; and
he quickly added, "The delegate from Hiit-shanyi dwells with Kohaio; he,
too, is fasting!" It was strange! People said nothing, but they shook
their heads and separated.

Similar things occurred in the houses of the Tanyi. There the
representative of the Bear clan was in retirement. In the big house news
circulated faster than anywhere else on the Tyuonyi, and in a very short
time it became known that not only the nashtio from Kohaio, but
especially that the Hishtanyi Chayan and the Cuirana Naua were secluding
themselves. Step by step the news got abroad and went from clan to clan,
while the people compared notes without expressing opinions. At sunset
it was known all over the Rito that since the council at least six of
the clan delegates were fasting, besides the three shamans. When at last
news came that a woman had gone to see the wife of the chief penitent,
and had heard from her that her husband was working, things began to
look not only strange but portentous.

In an Indian village, gossip about public affairs comes to a stand-still
as soon as the outlook seems very grave. A sullen quiet sets in; the
hanutsh recede from each other, and only such as are very intimate
venture to interchange opinions, and even they only with the utmost
caution. For any event that concerns the welfare of the community is, in
the mind of the aborigine, intimately connected with the doings of Those
Above. And if the Shiuana were to hear an irrelevant or unpleasant
utterance on the part of their children, things might go wrong. There
is, beside, the barrier between clan and clan,--the mistrust which one
connection feels always more or less strongly toward the others. Instead
of the excitement and display of passion that too often accompany the
preliminaries of great events in civilized communities, and which too
often also unduly precipitate them, among the Indians there is
reticence. They do not run to headquarters for information; they make no
effort at interviewing the officers; they simply and sullenly wait.

This patient waiting, however, is only on the surface. In strictly
intimate circles apprehensions are sometimes uttered and opinions
exchanged. But this is done in the clan, and rarely in the family.

In the present case it was not reticence alone that prevailed. The
conviction that great things might be brought to light soon, caused
uneasiness rather than anything else. Apprehensions were increased by
the fact that only a part of the dignitaries of the tribe were doing
penance. The Koshare Naua was not fasting, neither was Topanashka; and
Tyope went about with the utmost unconcern. Members of the clans whose
delegates kept secluded became suspicious of the fact that their nashtio
appealed more particularly to the higher powers, and hence that his
constituents--such was their conclusion--were in danger of something as
yet concealed from the people. Suspicion led to envy, and finally to
wrath against such as appeared to be free from the necessity of
intercession. Tyope had thrown a firebrand among the tribe, and the fire
was smouldering yet. But it was merely a question of time for the flames
to burst forth. It was even easy to guess when it must occur, for no
such fast can last longer than four days. At their expiration, if not
before, all doubts must be dispelled. With this absolute certainty the
people rested, not content, but submitting to the inevitable.

Only two men among the Queres knew the whole truth of the matter, and
these were Tyope and the old Koshare Naua. They watched with apparent
calmness, but with the greatest attention, the approach of the storm
which they had prepared. Everything went on to their hearts' content.
They did not need to do penance, for their sinister plans were advancing
satisfactorily.

And a third at the Rito, although unknown to them, also began to see the
truth gradually with a distinctness that was fearful, that was crushing
to him. That man was the head war-chief, Topanashka Tihua. A series of
logical deductions brought him to ravel step by step the game that was
being played. He saw now why Tzitz hanutsh had been made to bear the
first assault. It was on account of Shotaye. But as the demand was put,
it involved ultimately the question of residence, and consequently an
expulsion of the Water people. This could never have been merely on
account of one woman and in order to get rid of her, since it was so
easy to put Shotaye out of the way by the mere accusation of witchcraft.
That accusation itself appeared to the old man to be a mere pretext and
nothing else. To expel the small Water clan alone was not their object
either. His daughter, the child of Tanyi, was also implicated, and with
this thought came a flash of light. Not one clan alone, but several,
were to be removed, and as he now saw plainly, mostly the clans
occupying houses which were not exposed to the dangers which threatened
the cave-dwellers from the crumbling rock. Tzitz had only served as an
entering-wedge for their design that the house-dwellers should make room
for the others. The more Topanashka thought over it, the more he felt
convinced that he was right. And the stronger his convictions the more
he saw that the plans of the two fiends, Tyope and the Naua, were likely
to succeed. They were bad men, they were dangerous men; but they
certainly had a pair of very subtle minds.

Was it possible to defeat their object? Other men, differently
constituted from Topanashka, might have come to the conclusion that it
was best to leave the Rito with their people at once, without any
further wrangling, and make room peaceably. To this he could never
consent. None of his relatives or their friends should be sacrificed to
the intrigues of the Turquoise people. Rather than yield he was firmly
determined that the Turquoise people themselves should go. But only
after they had done their worst. It was true, as Tyope had said, that a
division of the tribe entailed a dangerous weakening of both fragments;
but then if it must be, what else could be done? Still he was in hopes
that the Shiuana would not consent to a separation, and in his firm
belief in the goodness of Those Above he resolved, when the time came,
to do his utmost for the preservation of peace and unity. But it was a
crushing weight to him. Not a soul had he with whom to communicate, for
his lips were sealed; not one whom he might enlighten and prepare for
the hour of the crisis. And he felt unconsciously that he was the pillar
on which rested the safety of his people,--he and the Shiuana! The
feeling was no source of pride; it was a terrible load, which he longed
in vain to share with some one else. Topanashka did not attempt to do
penance externally; he was too shrewd for that; but he prayed as much as
any one,--prayed for light from above, for the immense courage to keep
silent, to hope, and to wait.

The news that Kauaitshe, the delegate from Tzitz hanutsh, was fasting
had reached the cave-dwellings of his cluster late in the afternoon.
Zashue had carried it thither, communicating the intelligence secretly
to his mother and sister. They were speaking of it, the old woman with
apprehensions, and Zashue in his usual frivolous manner, when Hayoue
entered.

"Do you know," said he, "that the nashtio of Tyame is doing penance?"

"So does ours," remarked Zashue, growing serious. He began to see
matters in a different light.

"What may this all be about?" wondered the younger brother.

The elder brother shrugged his shoulders, sighed, and rubbed his eyes;
and all four kept silent.

"Is it perhaps from the uuityam?" asked Hayoue; and his mother
exclaimed,--

"Surely it is."

"Then something must have occurred," continued Hayoue; and with a
side-glance at his brother, "I wonder if Tyope is fasting also?"

Zashue denied it positively, and added, "The Naua is out of doors."

"In that case it is our people again who have to suffer." His passion
was aroused; he cried, rather than spoke "The Shyuamo never suffer
anything. Who knows but the shuatyam, Tyope, and the old one have again
done something to harm us!" Ere Zashue could reply to this sally the
young man had left the cave.

When Hayoue stood outside he noticed Shotaye sitting on her doorstep.

"Guatzena, sam[=a]m," he called over to her.

"Raua A," the woman answered, extending her hand toward him as if she
wished to give him something.

He went over to her, took the object, and looked at it. It was the
rattle of a snake.

"Where did you get this?" he asked.

"I found it above, where a rattlesnake had been eaten. Do you want it?"

He shook the rattle and inquired,--

"Will you give it to me?"

"Yes."

"It is well; and now I will tell you something that you don't know yet.
Our father, Kauaitshe, is fasting."

"He is right," Shotaye remarked; "it will make him leaner."

Both laughed, but Hayoue said with greater earnestness,

"Tyame is doing penance also."

"Then he is with his woman from Shyuamo," flippantly observed Shotaye;
"it will make Turquoises cheaper." She turned away with an indifferent
air. Her careless manner struck the young man, and when he saw that she
would not speak, but only gazed at the sky, he went off with the present
he had received. He felt differently; he took the matter very seriously.
He directed his steps toward the tall building where it might be
possible to ascertain something else. Hayoue was afraid of the Turquoise
people and their designs.

Shotaye was far from indifferent to the piece of news which Hayoue had
brought to her. But neither was she surprised. She expected as much. It
was therefore easy for her to appear perfectly calm and unconcerned. She
was fully convinced that her case had been the subject of last night's
discussion in the council, but the fact that the delegates were doing
penance proved that the matter was still pending, and that no conclusion
had been reached. There was consequently time before her still, and the
reprieve amounted to about four days. She had time to reflect and to
prepare her course of action. The sooner she was alone and left to her
own musings the better, and that was why she turned away so abruptly
from the young man. Hayoue drew from her manner the inference that the
woman busied herself with thoughts entirely foreign to his own, and did
not wish to be disturbed. But as soon as he turned to go she watched him
through one corner of her eye. When he was far enough away, she rose,
and slowly crept back into her dwelling.

We need not follow the train of thought that occupied Shotaye.

It was in the main the same that had filled her mind during the last
week. One thing was certain, she was not silly enough to fast. She would
not commit such a blunder. Neither would she call on Say Koitza. She
regarded her companion in danger as sufficiently advised, and felt sure
that the wife of Zashue was prepared for any event. Why then disturb
her? It might only lead her into committing some disastrous blunder.
Without Shotaye's direct knowledge Say was sure to do nothing at all,
and that was the best for both. For the present, all that could be done
was to remain absolutely quiet and to wait.

Hayoue, on the other hand, was not so philosophical. As he strolled down
the valley, his mind was deeply agitated. It seemed clear to him that a
grave question had been propounded at the council, and it could only
have originated through some deviltry on the part of the evil spirits of
the Turquoise clan, Tyope and the old Naua. This made him very angry,
and he vowed within himself that when the time came he would take a very
active part in the proceedings.

He would rather have commenced the fray at once by slaughtering Tyope
and his accomplice; but then, it was not altogether the thing to do.
Neither would it do to go about and inquire at random. Nothing was left
to him but to have patience and wait.

Waiting, however, did not interfere with his disposition to talk. With a
nature as outspoken as that of Hayoue, it was impossible to wait without
saying something to somebody about it. But to whom? At home he could not
speak, for there was Zashue, and he was never impartial when any one of
the Koshare was concerned. Okoya would be far preferable, and he
determined upon looking him up. His nephew was not in the big house, and
Hayoue went out to the corn-patches. The Indian goes to his field
frequently, not in order to work, but simply to lounge, to seek company,
or to watch the growing crops. Okoya was in his father's plot, sitting
comfortably among the corn; but it was not the plantation that occupied
his thoughts, they were with Mitsha; and he pondered over what she had
told him the night before, and how he might succeed in making her his
beyond cavil. Looking up accidentally he discerned the form of his uncle
coming toward him, and his face brightened. He motioned Hayoue to come,
and this time Hayoue was eager to meet Okoya.

The uncle wore a gloomy face, and the nephew noticed it at once. But he
thought that if his friend intended to confide in him he would do so
spontaneously. He had not long to wait. Hayoue sat down alongside of him
and began,--

"Do you know where sa umo is,--the maseua?"

"He is at home, I think. At least he was there when I went away."

"Is he doing penance?"

Okoya stared at Hayoue in astonishment.

"No, he ate with us. Why should he fast?"

"Do you know," Hayoue continued to inquire, "that the nashtio of Tzitz
and the nashtio of Tyame are fasting?"

"I did not, but I know that the Hishtanyi Chayan is at work."

Hayoue extended his neck and pricked up his ears. "What," said he, "the
yaya also?"

"Indeed, the Cuirana Naua also. Did not you know it? You are a nice
Cuirana."

The uncle shook his head.

"That is bad, very bad indeed," muttered he. Okoya was perplexed. At
last his curiosity overcame all diffidence and he asked,--

"What is it, satyumishe nashtio? Do you know of anything evil?"

Hayoue looked at him and said,--

"Okoya, you and I are alike. When your heart is heavy you come to me and
say, 'My heart is sad; help me to make it light again;' and when I feel
sorrow I go to you and tell you of it. When you came to me up
there"--he pointed to the west--"it was dark in your heart. To-day it is
night in mine."

The speech both astonished and pleased the boy. He felt pride in the
elder's confidence, but was too modest to express it. So he merely
replied,--

"Nashtio, I am very young, and you are much wiser than I. How can I
speak so that your heart may be relieved? You know how I must speak, and
when you tell me I will try and do it."

He gazed into Hayoue's features with a timid, doubting look; he could
hardly conceive that his uncle really needed advice from him.

It was Hayoue's turn to sigh to-day. Slowly he said,--

"Last night the uuityam was together, and to-day the yaya and the
nashtio are fasting."

Okoya innocently asked,--

"Why do they fast?"

"That is just what I want to know," Hayoue impatiently exclaimed, "but
surely it bodes nothing good."

"Why should the wise men want something that is evil?" said the other,
in surprise.

"You are young, mot[=a]tza, you are like a child, else you would not ask
such a question. The wise men are doing penance, not because they intend
harm, but in order to prevent the people from being harmed. Do you
understand me now?"

It began to dawn on Okoya's mind; still he had not fully grasped his
uncle's meaning.

"Who is going to do evil things to us? Are there Moshome about?"

Hayoue was struck by the remark. He had not thought of this possibility.
It might be that the older men had learned something of the approach or
presence of Navajos. A few moments of reflection, however, convinced
him of the utter improbability of the suggestion. If there were danger
of this the warriors, to whom he belonged,--that is, the special group
of war magicians,--would have been the first to be informed of it; and
they would all be now in the estufa preparing themselves for duty, and
the maseua first of all. Instead of it the old man was up and about as
usual. No, it could not be; and he accordingly said,--

"It may be that some sneaking wolf is lurking about, but I do not
believe it. See here, satyumishe, I belong to those who know of war, and
I should certainly have heard if there were any signs of the Dinne. And
our father the maseua would not have remained about the big house. No,
umo, it is not on account of the Moshome that the yaya and nashtio take
no food."

"But if there are no Moshome about, whence could there come danger to
us?"

"From there;" and Hayoue pointed to distant cliffs where some of the
cave-dwellings of Shyuamo were visible at the diminutive openings in the
rock.

"Why from there?"

"From Shyuamo hanutsh."

"What can Shyuamo want to do harm for?"

Hayoue grew really impatient.

"You think of nothing else but your girl," he grumbled. "Have you
forgotten already what I told you of Tyope and of that old sand-viper,
the Naua?"

It thundered in the distance; a shower was falling south of the Rito,
and its thunder sounded like low, subterranean mutterings. Hayoue called
out,--

"Do you hear the Shiuana? They remind you of what I said."

The parts were reversed. It was now the uncle who reminded the nephew
of the voices from the higher world. Okoya hung his head.

"Listen to me," continued Hayoue; "I know that you do not like it that I
speak against Tyope, but I am right nevertheless. He is a bad man and a
base man; he only looks at what he desires and to the welfare of his
hanutsh. Toward others he is ill-disposed; and his companion is worse
yet, the old fiend."

"Yes, but what can they gain by doing evil to others?" Okoya asked.

"I don't know."

"How can I know it, then? I am much younger, much less wise than you."

Hayoue saw the candour of the boy and it troubled him. It was true;
Okoya was too young yet, too inexperienced; he could not fully
understand what Hayoue was suspecting, and could not give him any light
or advice. It was useless to press him any further. But one thing Hayoue
had achieved, at all events. He had enjoyed an opportunity to vent his
feelings in full confidence, and that alone afforded him some relief.
After musing a while he spoke again,--

"Let it be what it may, I tell you this much, brother: be careful, and
now especially. Speak to nobody of what I have told you; and should you
go to see Mitsha, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. I cannot find
anybody to speak to except you and the maseua, but our father I dare not
ask, for when the others are fasting Topanashka's lips are closed until
the time comes to act. Meanwhile, brother, we must wait. I am going back
to the katityam, for it is not good to run about and pry. Nobody knows
anything but the yaya and the nashtio, and these do not speak to us."
With these words he rose and left Okoya alone.

Much as the latter was attached to his father's brother, he was still
glad to see him go. The sinister hints which Hayoue had dropped were as
good as incomprehensible to him. That the Zaashtesh could be damaged
through some of its own people he could not conceive; still he believed
it, for Hayoue had said so and it must be true. But it was equally true
that Okoya's thoughts were with his own affairs exclusively, and his
uncle's talk affected him mainly on that score. It increased his already
uneasy feelings. The fear that Mitsha would be given him only on
condition that he became Koshare was now stronger than ever, and his
prospects appeared still further complicated in the light of Hayoue's
disclosures. Nevertheless, nothing was absolutely certain so far; and he
could not precipitate matters. In his case, too, there was nothing left
but to wait.

The shower, which was sending floods of moisture into the valleys
farther south, only grazed the Rito, sending a short and light rain upon
its growing crops. It surprised Zashue upon his return to the big house,
and drove him to shelter at his own, that is, his wife's home. He did
not really care to go there, for since the time when he and Tyope had
searched the rooms, Zashue had kept rather away from his spouse.

He did not suspect her any longer; but the very conviction on his part
that she was innocent, and that consequently he had wronged her, kept
him away from her presence. The weaker a man is, the less he likes to
acknowledge guilt. He feels ashamed of himself, but will not acknowledge
it. The Indian in this respect is as tough as other people, if not
tougher. To beg pardon for an offence committed is to him a very
difficult task. He is a child, and children rarely make atonement unless
compelled. They conceal their guilt, and so does the Indian. If he has
wronged any one, the redman persists in acting as if nothing had
happened, or he pouts, or avoids the party offended. Zashue did not
pout, but he avoided his wife's dwelling as much as possible, and felt
embarrassed when there, or as had been the case a few days ago, when the
matter of Okoya's wooing was discussed, he availed himself of the first
pretext to take leave. To-day it was different; he had to go there for
shelter. Say received him in her usual way, almost without a word, but
with a look that was at once friendly, searching, and unsteady. It was
dark in the inner room, and Zashue failed to notice his wife's glance.

Say also had heard of the fasts and penitence to which some of the
officers of the tribe had submitted; and she rightly surmised that the
accusation against Shotaye, and against herself perhaps, had at last
been made, and was the cause of such unusual proceedings. But Shotaye
had judged her well when she decided upon not troubling Say with a
visit. It was unnecessary, for Say took everything calmly and with
perfect composure. The positive assurance of Shotaye that she was safe,
and still more the words of her father to the same effect, had
completely reassured the woman. She looked forward to coming events with
anxious curiosity rather than with apprehension. Still as her husband
unexpectedly entered her dwelling, she could not resist the temptation
to sound him, and to find out, if possible, what he thought about
affairs. While kneading the corn-cakes she therefore asked, in a quiet,
cool manner,--

"Hachshtze, do you know that the nashtio are fasting?"

"All of them?"

"I don't know," she replied, going on with her work, "and yet I know
this much,--that sa nashtio does not fast. He ate with us and is going
about as usual."

"What may it all mean?" he inquired of her.

She shrugged her shoulders, and asked,--

"Does Tyope do penance?"

In view of the intimate relations existing between Tyope and Zashue this
was a very natural question, and yet it stung Zashue. He interpreted it
as a covert thrust. But as he bethought himself of the charges which
Hayoue had uttered against the delegate from Shyuamo, a whole series of
ideas rose within him so suddenly, and so far from pleasant or
comforting to himself, that he forgot the conversation and inclined his
head in thought.

Say Koitza was too much absorbed by her work to notice the change in her
husband's manner at once. After a few moments of silence she reiterated
her question. Zashue appeared to wake up; he started, saying,--

"I don't know; but why do you ask this?"

The woman realized that her inquiry might have been imprudent, but with
great assurance explained,--

"Because he is nashtio, and a great one at that. Shyuamo is a strong
hanutsh, and what it wants will be done. It alone can do more than Tzitz
and Tanyi together."

The quick, bold, apparently unpremeditated reply relieved Zashue of an
undefined feeling of suspicion that had arisen within him. During his
moment of thoughtfulness he had been led from the accusations of Hayoue
against Tyope unconsciously to the accusation which Tyope had launched
before against Shotaye and his own wife. Quick as lightning it flashed
upon his mind that that accusation had perhaps been formulated again,
and this time officially before the council. And if Say were innocent,
as he still believed, why did she inquire about him who was the
originator of it? He did not attribute her query to a guilty conscience,
for the Indian has but a very dim notion about human conscience, if he
thinks of it at all. He would have gone further and have seen in the
utterance of his wife the evidence of some positive knowledge. Did Say
know anything about the real object of the stormy visit which he and
Tyope paid to her home during the dance of the ayash tyucotz? Her ready
reply to his mistrustful inquiry had allayed suspicions as to her guilt
for the time being, but on the other hand he felt strong misgivings that
she had found out something, either of what the Koshare said or thought
concerning her, or about the attempt which Tyope and he had failed in.
One thing, however, grew to be more and more certain in his judgment;
namely, that a charge proffered against Shotaye was probably the cause
of the extraordinary fastings going on among the tribal heads. More he
could not surmise, still less find out. But he determined upon being
very guarded toward his wife hereafter. Say, on her side, had a similar
feeling toward him. The breach which social customs already established
between man and wife was gradually but surely widening.

Still they continued to talk quietly. No one seeing them together in the
dingy kitchen would have suspected a lack of harmony, or discontent,
much less the sinister preoccupations lurking in the heart of each. Both
felt that it was useless, that they must abide their time, avoid
imprudent words and queries, conceal from each other their misgivings,
and wait.



CHAPTER XIV.


More than eight days had elapsed since the one on which Shotaye had
pledged her new friend, the Tehua warrior, to meet him at the homes of
his tribe. She had not redeemed that pledge. In appearance she was
unfaithful to Cayamo, as her knight was called; and yet her lack of
compliance with her promise was not intentional. She calculated that her
case would have come up by that time; and until this occurred, the
energetic woman had no intention of leaving the Rito, much less of
forsaking her friend Say Koitza. Now that her case had been delayed, the
eight days had grown to nearly ten. The chayani and the caciques were
fasting still, as well as some of the clan delegates.

Twelve days had passed, and it was the last day of official penance.
That evening something was sure to occur to relieve the situation. So
everybody thought at the Tyuonyi; so Shotaye thought herself. But she
felt more than usually excited and worn out. It was not fear; it was the
natural longing of a soul replete with energy and activity to see a
matter ended that kept her in suspense. In regard to Say Koitza she felt
perfectly reassured; the woman had not shown herself at her cave, and
must feel quiet, cautious, and careful.

When the sun rose on the fourth day, it found Shotaye just about to take
her morning meal. That was soon over, for there was no coffee, no hot
rolls, no butter. It consisted merely of cold corn-cakes. When she had
satisfied her appetite, she rose, shook the crumbs from her wrap, and
went out. She had made a full toilet; that is, she had rubbed her face
with her moistened hands and dried it with a deerskin, whereby a little
more dust was added to her cheeks. She felt _pro forma_ clean.

It was yet so early that hardly any one showed himself out of doors. The
sun peeped up behind the volcanic heights in the east, casting a glow
over the summits and crests that rise above the Rio Grande in that
direction. The Tetilla stood out boldly, crowning the black ridges with
its slender, graceful cone.

Shotaye strolled down the Rito. A few people were about; but regardless
of these and what they might think or say, she wandered along past the
dwellings of the Eagle clan. What if Tyope should see her? "Let him see
me," she thought; "let him become convinced that I know nothing, that I
rest easy, without any suspicion whatever of the dreadful fate he has
prepared for me. Later on he may find out that his former wife is more
than a match for him."

She went on and on, and passed the big house. A few men stood on the
roofs, gazing motionless in the direction where the sun rose like a mass
of melted ore. Farther she went, always down stream, quietly and with
the greatest apparent unconcern. A girl from Yakka hanutsh greeted her
in a friendly voice; she returned the greeting cheerfully. The cliffs
wherein Oshatsh, Shutzuna, and lastly Shyuamo resided were to her left
as she passed the grove where Okoya and Shyuote had had their first
discussion. Here she turned to the north, in the direction of the spot
where she had met the Tehua Indian. Even on this upward trail, rocky as
it was and overgrown with shrubbery, her form was plainly
distinguishable from below. But Shotaye scorned to conceal herself, she
walked without haste or hurry; her errand was perfectly legitimate and
everybody might see her undertake it.

Everybody might indeed witness her doings as far as these could be seen.
She simply took a walk on the mesa of the Bird, Ziro kauash. She hoped
also to gather some useful plants,--such as the shkoa, a spinach-like
vegetable; asclepias; apotz, a fever-medicine of the genus _artemesia_,
and many other medicinal herbs known to the Indian and used by him. For
it had sprinkled if not rained every day of late, and last night's rain
was still visible in the drops that covered the leaves. The ground was
soft, and her step left plainly distinguishable tracks. Not only might
every one see her; she almost invited people to follow her on her
wanderings. Tyope, the Koshare Naua, the Chayani, might trail and spy
out her movements as much and as long as they pleased, step by step if
they wished; for the real object of her stroll they would never be able
to guess.

After reaching the top of the plateau, Shotaye sat down on a protruding
rock, from which she might look over the whole valley beneath. She cared
little for this; her main object was to rest and to think. What she now
undertook was a step preliminary to the last act. A trail almost
indistinguishable, so little was it used of late, led from the Rito to
the north, where the Tehuas dwelt in caves in the rock which they name
Puye. This trail was the object of Shotaye's search. We know of her
intention to take refuge among the northern tribe of village Indians,
but she had meanwhile determined upon something else. She not only
wanted to go but had determined upon returning! Yes, she would return,
though not alone. With armed men from the Puye she intended to return in
the stillness of the night. She would hide her companions at the
approaches to the Tyuonyi, and lie in wait for Tyope and the old Delight
Maker, for the Chayani also if possible. The Tehuas would reap many
scalps; she would have had her revenge; and the deed could be so
performed as to make those at the Rito believe that the Navajos were the
perpetrators. This was her plan, and she did not feel the slightest
scruple or compunction. For years she had been, among her own people,
the butt of numberless insults and mortifications. Now it had gone so
far that her life even was in imminent peril. Ere this should be lost,
she would prove to her enemies that she was alive, and terribly alive!

To reconnoitre the ground, to study every detail of it, to store her
memory with everything that might be useful or valuable in the lay of
the land, was what she had come for now. After she felt thoroughly
rested she rose, and continued her walk. Where she had been sitting, the
trail was plain, for there it descended into the gorge. So she only
noticed the place and then went into the shrubbery to seek for plants.
She gathered a few leaves of the dark-green shiutui, sauntered from
juniper-bush to juniper-bush, glanced from time to time upward into the
tops of pines to see whether they bore edible nuts of the kind now
called piñons, or threw stones at the noisy birds that fluttered about.

Again she came upon the trail, and her trained eye could follow it for
some distance until it disappeared in the timber. So far she felt sure
of her impressions for the future and turned away to the right,
penetrating deeper into the forest. She could find her way even at
night, for the moon shone still. Besides, once acquainted with the spot
whence she had to start, it mattered little whether there was any path
or not. The Indian needs only two points to guide himself,--the place of
departure and the spot where he wants to arrive. Moreover, for her
flight it was better not to follow the trail at all. She felt sure of
meeting some one of the Tehuas in the vicinity of the Puye.

The topographical details attracted the woman's attention much more than
the path. She studied them carefully, pretending to hunt for plants.
Unconsciously she went farther and farther, regardless of time, for it
was yet early. The surface of the Ziro kauash is slightly undulated, as
well as the mesa to the south of the Tyuonyi; the timber is relatively
sparse; the pines are grouped together at intervals; and juniper and
cedar bushes cover it uniformly like an extensive, irregular plantation.

Such is the topography of the mesas west of the Rio Grande, from the
Rito until one is beyond, and opposite to San Ildefonso. They are
traversed and cut by deep ravines and cañons, which run generally from
west to east, emptying their waters after storms into the valley of the
river through narrow gaps, or terminating before reaching the stream
against a towering wall of volcanic rock. Ere Shotaye noticed it, the
shrubbery had begun to grow thinner, until she noticed in front
something like a vacant space, indicating a gap; beyond that gap there
was timber again. This told her that she had reached the brink of the
first cañon north of the Rito.

In these solitudes game is not by any means so plentiful as might be
supposed. This is particularly the case in the vicinity of Indian
settlements. The merciless methods of communal hunting either
exterminate or frighten away most of the larger animals. Roaming tribes
send parties of men, hunters or warriors, long distances away; and these
not only slaughter but frighten the deer, the mountain sheep, and the
mountain goat, driving them into regions less accessible to man. The
turkey alone, that noble bird, with its dark, iridescent plumage,
remains everywhere; and Shotaye had already heard their loud cackling
and calling before she entered the high timber. Several gobblers as well
as hens had run away on her approach; at last they rose into the air
one after the other, flapping their wings until they settled down on a
tall piñon that was visible from where the woman stood. There were four
birds on the tree. With necks extended and eyelids alternately opening
and shutting, they peered down on her, ready to soar away at the least
suspicious motion. Shotaye could not resist glancing at them. It seemed
as if something was creeping up the tree very slowly. Like a grayish
streak, a long body flattened itself against the trunk. Shotaye grew
attentive, and the more so as the suspicious object all at once
disappeared below the nethermost branches. The turkeys themselves were
so occupied with the appearance of the woman that they lost thought of
everything else. One of them, a gobbler, braced himself up, his breast
bulged out, his head and neck drawn in; then quickly thrusting them
forward, sent out a loud cackle. At this moment the pine-branches were
violently tossed about. With noisy flapping of their wings the hens rose
into the air; their companion flapped his wings but once or twice, and
disappeared in the tree-top. For a moment the twigs and branches rustled
and rattled; then all was still. A panther had surprised them and
secured one for his breakfast. A long distance off might be heard the
cackling of another gobbler; the forest was full of turkeys.

Shotaye burst out laughing. The panther had done well. He had enough to
satisfy his appetite, besides, and there was no danger of her being
attacked. The American panther is not dangerous to man; but he carries a
mouthful of very sharp teeth, and his claws are long; he is a powerful
animal, agile and large. Nobody can foretell what might happen in case
he should be ill-humoured. The woman began to scan the landscape around;
it was a clear space, and she could see the bushes from their tops down
to the ground. The base of one of these bushes attracted her attention.
Almost level with the soil, something black appeared beneath its
branches. As she examined it more closely she saw that it was not really
black, but of a grayish brown, like the colour of the soil. It was
neither a plant nor was it a part of the earth itself, nor a stone. It
might be some animal. The more she looked the more she became satisfied
that it was neither animal's skin nor fur. The object was hairless. Only
the skin of a human being could appear so smooth. Her first impulse was
to hide; but before she could execute her purpose the object moved
slightly, and something white appeared above the black. It was
disk-like, and on it there was some object of a red colour. The eyes of
Shotaye sparkled; she abandoned all thoughts of concealment or of
flight, and fastened her gaze on the strange thing beneath the shrub. It
became clearer and clearer to her that it was a human form, and that on
its back was a white shield decorated with red. That shield she knew to
be Cayamo's.

But what could Cayamo be doing here? Or was it perhaps not he, but some
Navajo who had vanquished the proud warrior and was carrying home his
weapons in triumph? The latter appeared rather improbable, and yet who
could tell? At all events the man was alive, for he had moved. It was
equally certain that he had not seen her. In order to clear up all doubt
Shotaye looked around for shelter, and saw near by a bush that afforded
a scanty hiding-place. She glided to it noiselessly; and changing her
position, got nearer to him, and was even able to see more of his body
and dress. The first glance satisfied her that he was not a Navajo, but
a village Indian, and indeed her friend Cayamo.

Every trace of fear disappeared. Shotaye left the shelter of the bush
and stepped up toward him rather noisily, at the same time calling his
name. He did not reply; and as she came nearer, the regular breathing
and the heaving of his chest showed the cause of his silence; the great
warrior from the Puye was fast asleep! Under different circumstances she
would have left him and quietly retired, but now she could not; the
opportunity was too favourable, matters too threatening for her. She
must be recognized by him once more, must show to him that she still
counted on his pledge, on his friendship, his protection. Yet she did
not wake him, but went close to his prostrate form and bent over it,
even holding her breath for a while.

He slept profoundly. The war-paint on his face was sorely blurred; the
campaign had not improved his appearance,--the face with closed eyes
resembled a lump of dirt rather than a human head, his kilt was
tattered, and his legs covered with scars and scratches. The circular
sandals, much dilapidated, were tied to the belt; and close to them was
another object, which Shotaye began to examine attentively, while her
eyes flashed at the sight of it. It was a piece of human skin covered
with gore and straight hair partly plaited. Her heart began to pulsate
proudly and in delight, for she saw that Cayamo had secured a scalp, the
scalp of a Navajo! Cayamo was a great warrior! Shotaye was careful not
to touch the trophy, for no woman is allowed to handle the sacred token
until after its taking has been duly celebrated in the great dance of
the tribe. But lest the hero might wake up prematurely and notice her
presence in too close proximity to the repulsive laurels which he had
won, Shotaye quietly withdrew and sat down at some distance from him,
where he could easily see her, and quietly awaited his rising from the
slumbers of fatigue.

In point of fact it was not proper for her to remain so close to him.
The scalp-crowned warrior must keep aloof from the other sex until he
has been purified and has danced. Shotaye relied upon the extraordinary
circumstances, and upon his interpretation of her presence as having run
after him, to obtain his forgiveness. Furthermore they were alone; and a
few moments spent in the practice of sign-language could not, she
trusted, deprive the scalp of the magic qualities attributed to it. Had
it been a warrior from the Rito she would have left him long ago.

Cayamo was manifestly tired, for he slept hard. The sun stood close to
the zenith, and still he dozed. The luminary of day did not only
illuminate, but its heat was scorching; the shadows under cover of which
Cayamo had retreated were moving gradually, and the unkempt head of the
hero became exposed to the most direct rays. The heat began to disturb
him; he groaned, stretched himself, moved uneasily, and attempted to
turn over. In this he bent his shield, and the hard leather struck him
in the ribs. Cayamo woke up! He opened his eyes and yawned, closed them
again, then opened the lids a second time, when his look became suddenly
a stare of surprise. Lightning-like he rose to a sitting posture, and
grasped the bow as well as his war-club. In this position he stared at
the woman, who smiled, winking and placing a finger on her lips. As soon
as she whispered "Shotaye," the threatening flash in his eye vanished;
he dropped both weapons and threw his features into a repulsive, hideous
grin intended for a soft smile. Then he rose. It was very plain that he
felt overjoyed, and that he would fain have expressed his delight to the
woman through some clumsy caress, but he restrained his feelings and
became serious.

Extending his arm to the west, he shook his head in a warning manner,
pointed to himself, made the sign indicating the act of men coming, and
said, "Uan save;" then he waved his hand northward, afterward at the
sun; and finally he pointed at Shotaye, uttering,--

"Uiye tha, 'two days!'"

She could not fully comprehend. Until better informed she drew the
conclusion that the Navajos were in pursuit of him, but more she failed
to understand. To ascertain his meaning she pointed at him, then at
herself, raised four of her fingers, and asked,--

"Tehua?"

Cayamo shook his head, counted two on his fingers, accompanying the
gestures with the words,--

"Tema quio Puye," pointing to the north at the same time. Now her doubts
were cleared. Shotaye saw that two days hence she would be expected
among the Tehuas. She nodded eagerly and rose. If the Navajos, as she
rightly concluded, were on her warrior's trail, it was unsafe for both
of them to remain here long; but neither could she insinuate to Cayamo
that she would like to go with him at once. To her surprise the man bent
down and with his fingers drew a line on the ground which ran in the
direction where the cave-dwellings of the Tehuas were situated. The
woman bent over him with great curiosity.

"Tupoge," said Cayamo, indicating the southern end of the line and
looking askance. Shotaye nodded that she understood, and he slowly moved
his fingers along the line to the north, uttering,--

"Tema quio."

The northern terminus of the streak he designated as Puye. Finally he
made a mark across the middle of the line, saying very positively,--

"Uiye tha Shotaye Teanyi." These words he accompanied successively with
the signs for the number two, for male Indian, and for the meeting of
two persons.

Nothing could be clearer. Two days hence Shotaye was to leave the Rito
for the Puye; and as Cayamo himself would be unable to meet her, owing
to the ceremonies which he had to perform in honour of the scalp, some
male friend of his, called Teayni, would meet her half-way and conduct
her safely to the abode of his people. With a radiant face the woman
nodded assent, and made other gestures expressive of delight and
agreement. Cayamo took advantage of his cowering posture to fasten the
war-sandals to his naked feet, and then rose and took the trail towards
the north, but Shotaye held him back in token of misgivings. He
understood her motive, but pointed to his circular foot-gear and smiled.
It was clear that he trusted to the round tracks left by that
contrivance for safety. So he went on toward the brink of the gorge that
lay before them. As soon as his form had sunk below it, Shotaye also
turned, this time in the direction of the Rito.

Everything was right at last! She felt safe, completely safe; for the
road was clear to her, and furthermore Cayamo, of whose attachment she
was now fully convinced, would provide for a guide during the second
half of the journey, which was utterly unknown to her. Everything was
moving to her fullest satisfaction, provided she could escape from the
Rito.

In regard to that matter she had scarcely any doubt, unless--and this
thought came to her while she was wending her way slowly homeward--some
one should have followed her and witnessed the strange meeting between
her and Cayamo. In that case everything might be lost. But there were
not the slightest marks of human presence about. Nature, even, seemed to
slumber in the heat of the day; an occasional lizard rustled through the
dried twigs and fallen pine needles, a crow sat on a dry limb, and high
up in the air an eagle soared below the mares' tails that streamed over
the sky. It would have been very disagreeable, to say the least, if one
or other of the Navajos who were in pursuit of Cayamo should cross her
path; but of this she had little fear. She was already too near the
Rito for that. Soon the gorge opened at her feet, showing a placid,
lovely picture,--the little valley down below, huge pines raising their
dark columns by the side of light-green corn-patches, and the tall pile
of the big houses looming up like an enormous round tower. But Shotaye
was not affected by scenery. Walking along the brink to the west she at
last reached the upper end, where twelve days ago she had ascended, and
where the brook, swollen by late rains, now gushed down the ledges in a
series of murmuring cascades. Here she began her descent, and as the sun
disappeared behind threatening clouds over the western mountains, she
entered her home again. Shotaye had spent nearly the whole day on the
mesa, had spent it profitably, and was--so she fancied--in complete
security as regarded her ultimate designs.

And yet had the woman, after taking leave of the strange Indian and
after the latter had gone out of sight, peered into the shadow of the
pines on one of which the panther had so nimbly captured the
unsuspecting turkey, she might have noticed something that would have
greatly modified her ideas on this point. For behind one of them there
stood, all the while she and the Tehua were carrying on their pantomime,
a human figure intently watching them. Pressed against the trunk of a
tree there was, motionless, quiet, calm, not a common spy, but a cool
observer of her doings, whose presence was accidental, but who not only
watched but at the same time judged and passed sentence on her actions.

A short time after Shotaye had set out on her walk, Topanashka Tihua
also started in the same direction. With all the self-control he had
maintained, inward agitation and sorrow nearly overcame him. The nearer
the hour came when the momentous question that was going to shake the
existence of the tribe to its very foundations would be taken in hand,
the more conscious he became that he was carrying a terrible load, and
that upon his action depended nearly everything. The feeling of
responsibility was crushing. He had, of course, ascertained nothing new;
neither had he thought of making notes of what met his gaze. But on this
last day he felt the necessity of being alone ere the dread moment came.
Others could not help; he was alone with his thoughts, and yet, as he
did no fasting, not alone in the proper use of the word. On that last
day, therefore, he resolved upon retiring to some solitude. It would
attract no undue attention, and he would have done according to the
spirit of the shaman's instructions. After leaving the Rito he climbed
to the northern mesa, and instead of resting on its brink as Shotaye
had, he strolled into the timber perfectly at random, hardly conscious
whither he directed his steps, and content to be for once alone with his
dismal thoughts.

However much he speculated and reflected upon the matter, he drew not
the slightest comfort from it. The main factor he lacked; namely, a
knowledge of the judgment which Those Above would render. This the
chayani alone knew, and they alone would proclaim it at the council. If
the case of Shotaye only had been before the meeting, his position would
have been very simple. All he had to do was to kill her if found guilty,
and he was ready to do this at any time. He did not especially hate the
woman, and all he cared for in such an event was to perform his duty. In
regard to his daughter Say he no longer entertained any apprehension.
Matters, however, had degenerated into a venomous contention between two
clans, amounting almost to a schism in the tribe. If now the Chayani in
the name of the Shiuana proclaimed that Shyuamo was right, and the
others, his own clan included, resisted, what then? He had to obey, he
had to execute what Those Above decreed; for that purpose was he called
maseua, like him who bears the same name and is the most active among
all the deities on high. What the Shiuana determined was right always.

The old man sat down under a tree and attempted to ponder over this
little query of "always." But he did it in vain. It was a problem
perhaps not beyond the reach of his intelligence, if it had been
properly cultivated, but far beyond the limits which training and custom
had set to the working powers of that intelligence. He staggered from
doubt to doubt, and finally gave it up. No other conclusion could he
reach than to wait. But waiting alone gives no light, does not comfort,
gives neither strength nor wisdom. Strength and wisdom, so the Indian
believes, are gifts from above, and can be obtained by prayer.
Topanashka came to the conclusion that he would pray. He picked up a
stone, and was searching his memory for one of the many formulas that
the Indian has in his rituals, when a faint pattering sound attracted
his attention.

[Illustration: Looking out from one of the weathered Cave-Rooms of the
Snake-Clan]

It was as if something glided through brushwood. He forgot to pray, and
listened. Now it sounded again, at a greater distance from him. Only
some animal could have produced the noise; a human being would either
have come up to him if a friend, or kept absolutely still if a foe. He
looked and looked, and at last caught a glimpse of the panther's
yellowish fur gliding along the ground. When a cat glides stealthily she
is on the hunt. His curiosity was fully aroused; he longed to see what
the animal was hunting and how he would succeed. Furthermore the panther
is in the eyes of the Pueblo Indian the symbol of the greatest physical
power. A feeling overcame the old man as if this symbol was presenting
itself to him at the very time when he needed the greatest moral
strength himself; and the animal appeared like a living fetich, a hint
from Those Above. He followed the movements of the puma eagerly. The
tree where the turkeys sat stood near; he had heard their gobblings long
ago without paying any attention to them. But now they explained the
movements of the gigantic cat; he was creeping up to the birds. The puma
approached the tree noiselessly; at its foot he laid down his head, and
raised his tail, sweeping the ground with nervous force. Now the beast
of prey began to climb the trunk of the pine carefully and noiselessly.
He reached the lower branches and disappeared within their maze. Then
followed his spring; and the turkeys flew away, all but one. With a
tremendous leap the cat broke through the tree-top and down on the
ground, with the wriggling bird in his jaws, and trotted off howling.

Topanashka had witnessed the performance with interest and with genuine
pleasure. He admired the strength and the swiftness of the animal
hunter. Unconsciously his thought turned back to the intended prayer,
and he earnestly addressed it now to Those Above, that they might give
to his heart the strength which the panther had shown in his limbs.
Placing two sticks on the ground before him and a stone over them, he
rose to go. But another sight met his eyes, and he stood still as if
rooted to the soil, gazed and gazed. His eyes opened wide, then his
expression became dark and almost fierce.

On the clear space beyond the pines on which the puma had caught his
prey, a woman sat near a cedar-bush; and in the shade of the bush a man
rested. The first glance convinced Topanashka that the man wore paint,
and carried the accoutrements and weapons of a warrior. It was not a
warrior from the Rito; he was positive it could not be. Nor was it a
Navajo. He undoubtedly belonged to some foreign tribe of village
Indians, in all probability to the Tehuas. What was he here for? And
what business had the woman in his company? Indians in war-paint do not
associate with women. Topanashka strained his eyes, and recognized to
his astonishment and dismay the woman Shotaye.

He could not contain himself any longer. Like a shadow he moved forward
and hid behind the trunk of a pine, whence he could see more and better.
From there he witnessed the strange pantomime of Shotaye and Cayamo. He
was too far off to hear the words, but the gestures spoke plainly
enough. As they pointed and gesticulated to the west, north, and south,
he thought that they were planning some murderous surprise for the
Queres,--that Shotaye was betraying her own people and conspiring with
an enemy of her own stock. Fierce wrath filled his heart. Yes, Tyope's
charge was true; the woman was a witch, and had Topanashka been armed he
would have sought to kill her on the spot. But though he had no weapons,
his hand clutched a stone, raised it from the ground, and held it in
readiness. The interview ended, the Tehua disappeared, and Shotaye went
in the direction of the Rito. Topanashka felt tempted to follow her at
once, to overtake her if possible and secure her person, or even to
execute summary justice; but she was sure not to escape him. She had
evidently not noticed his presence and had gone back to her den in the
cliffs in complete security. There, on this very evening, he would seize
her, drag her before the uuityam, disclose her shameless and dangerous
plots, and doom her to the horrible death she deserved to suffer.

Whither was her accomplice, the Tehua, going meanwhile? He was probably
returning to his people to report, and to lead back those in whose
company he intended to carry out the projected assault. The old man
could not stop him, being himself unarmed: but he could follow at a
distance, cautiously and without exposing himself to danger. For it was
possible that the hellish plot had developed much further, and that the
warriors from the north were lurking already near by to pounce upon the
Queres at daybreak. It was not only from the instinct of the old warrior
scout, it was out of a sense of duty as head war-chief that he
determined at once upon following the Tehua. As soon as Shotaye, too,
was out of sight, he went over to the spot where the interview had taken
place and examined the soil carefully. The round impression made by a
war-sandal struck his eye; it proved to him beyond any possibility of
doubt that his inferences were correct. The old man straightened himself
to his full height. His piercing glance went in the direction whither
the Tehua had gone. He bent forward again and followed the same line
toward the north.

       *       *       *       *       *

The sun had just set over the Rito. It disappeared behind dense clouds;
a storm was gathering in the west. Its wings were spreading like
tentacles; they pushed on to meet the moon, whose light was just rising
in the east as a dim whitish arch. The orb itself still remained below
the horizon. Gusts of wind whirled up the gorge from the east at
intervals, causing the pines to sigh, the willows and poplars to rustle.
The corn whispered and tinkled. The usual bustle prevailed about the
houses and in front of the caves.

Before the grotto where the council was to meet that night, men were
standing, sitting, or lounging. They were the delegates who had come to
listen at last to the oracle which was to be revealed to them through
the mouth of the great shaman. Their number was not yet complete; the
Tapop, Tyope, the Koshare Naua were there, but neither the Caciques nor
the Chayani nor the Maseua had put in an appearance. Everybody was
silent, hardly a word was heard from time to time, seldom a whisper. The
men were in part exhausted by long penitence, but mostly depressed as if
some nightmare was still weighing upon them. The obligation to be silent
imposed by the medicine-man was yet in force.

One by one those who were lacking came. The medicine-men appeared at
last, and only the yaya and the maseua were missing. The tapop, prompted
by a wink of the Hishtanyi Chayan, went into the cave and prepared the
council-fire. It burned well, but nobody came.

Distant thunder rolled through the clouds; lightning flashed from them
in fiery red tongues. The wind continued to blow in gusts, but at long
intervals only. Between gust and gust it grew dismally, anxiously,
still. The singing, shouting, laughing of the people had almost ceased.
Now the wind again whirled up the valley stronger than before, and as
its noise ceased, a plaintive sound, a distant howling, floated on the
air. It waxed in strength and power till it rose into the night shrill
and heart-rending. The men listened in surprise. Sobs, cries, shrieks,
from time to time a piercing scream, were the dismal sounds that struck
upon their ears. All came from the large building; it was a lament by
many voices, the sad, soul-rending lament over the dead!

Breathlessly they listened. Hurried footsteps rushed toward them,
several men came running up the slope. When the foremost of them reached
the group he asked, panting,--

"Where is the tapop?"

Hoshkanyi Tihua stepped forward and inquired,--

"What has happened? What do you want?"

"Our father the maseua," gasped the man, "is dead! He was killed on the
Ziro kauash!"

"Who killed him?" demanded the principal chayan, placing himself in
front of the speaker.

The Indian raised his arm on high; from it depended a circular object.
As the pale light of the rising moon fell on it, it was plainly
distinguishable as a circular war-sandal!



CHAPTER XV.


"Did you find that?" asked the shaman.

"Yes, I found it. I and Hayash Tihua together."

"Where?"

"On the kauash, on the trail that leads to the north."

"Who killed sa nashtio?" the chayan further inquired. He alone carried
on the investigation; Hoshkanyi Tihua had mingled with the rest again,
and stood there silent and speechless over the terrible news. Neither
did any of the others utter a single word, but from time to time one or
the other shook his head and sighed deeply.

"We don't know," replied the Indian, "for we did not find anything
else."

"Have you looked for more?" emphasized the medicine-man.

The other hung his head as if he felt the reproach. "No," he said in a
low tone.

"Why not?"

"Because we were afraid that other Tehuas might be around."

"How do you know that the people from the north have killed our
nashtio?"

"Because the Moshome Dinne never wear such." He pointed to the sandal,
which he had handed to the tapop.

"Did the shoe lie where our father died?"

"No, we found it closer to the Tyuonyi."

A flutter went through the group,--a movement of surprise and of terror.
Many persons had collected, and the steps of more were heard coming up.
In the valley the wind sighed. Louder than its plaintive moaning sounded
the howling wail that continued in the great house with undiminished
power. The Hishtanyi continued,--

"How did the shuatyam kill our father?" His voice trembled as he uttered
these words.

"With arrows."

"Have you brought them along?"

"Yes."

"How many?"

"One."

"Where is the corpse?"

"At the house of Tanyi hanutsh."

The shaman turned around. "Tyame," he called to the delegate of the
Eagle clan, "do your duty. And you, too, Tapop."

The group was about to disperse when the Shikama Chayan called back the
men who had brought the news. All stood still and listened.

"Is the head entire?" asked the medicine-man.

"The scalp is not on it."

A murmur of indignation arose. The chayan turned away and walked slowly
along the foot of the cliffs toward his dwelling. Every one set out for
the great house, talking together excitedly, but in low voices. The
tapop, Tyame, and the two men who had found the body took the lead. The
Hishtanyi Chayan and the Shkuy Chayan came last.

The nearer they came to the great building, the louder and more dismal
sounded the lamentations.

The storm was approaching with threatening speed. One dense mass of inky
clouds shrouded the west. From time to time it seemed to open, and
sheets of fire would fill the gap. To this threatening sky the
death-wail ascended tremulously and plaintively, like a timid appeal for
redress. In response the heavens shot angry lightning and thunderpeals.
The cliffs on the Tyuonyi trembled, and re-echoed the voices from above,
which seemed to tell feeble humanity below, "We come!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It was long before sunset when the old war-chief of the Queres, after
having thoroughly examined the spot where the interview between Shotaye
and the Tehua Indian took place, began to follow on the tracks of the
latter. He was undertaking a difficult, an extremely dangerous task. It
is not easy for a man well provided with weapons to pursue an armed
Indian, but to attempt it unarmed is foolhardiness. The Indian is most
dangerous when retreating, for then he enjoys the best opportunities to
display his main tactics in warfare, which are hiding and patient
lurking. He has every opportunity to prepare his favourite ambush, and
woe unto him who runs after an Indian on the retreat, unless the pursuer
is thoroughly prepared and well acquainted with the war-tricks of the
redman. The annals of western warfare give sad evidence of the
disastrous results. The mountaineers among the Indian tribes are those
who are best skilled in the murderous hide-and-seek game. Indians of the
plains have less occasion to cultivate it.

Topanashka Tihua was aware that if he followed the Tehua he was risking
his own life. But it was not the first time he had attempted such
dangerous undertakings, and so far he had never failed. With the
configuration of the ground and the landmarks in vegetation and scenery
he was far better acquainted than the Tehua. Furthermore, he enjoyed the
material advantage that the latter could not have noticed him.
Everything depended on ascertaining unseen as much as possible about the
enemy's movements.

From some of Shotaye's gesticulations the maseua had concluded that the
Tehua would proceed on the old trail leading from the Rito to the Puye,
or at least keep himself very near that trail. He was confirmed in it by
the direction which the friend of the woman took after leaving her.
Topanashka maintained, therefore, the same course, going slowly and with
the greatest caution. He kept on the alert for the least noise that
struck him as suspicious, or for which he could not at once account.

In consequence of the heat of the day, the forest was remarkably still.
Not a breeze sighed through the tops of the pines, for the wind that
blows toward a coming storm and heralds its approach rises later in the
day. The distant gobbling of turkeys was a sound that awakened no
suspicions, the more so as it grew fainter and fainter, receding in the
direction of the higher crests and peaks. Neither were the numerous
crows a source of uneasiness to him. On every clearing these birds
gravely promenaded by half-dozens together, and his cautious gliding
across such exposed places did not in the least discommode the dusky
company. As soon as Topanashka came in sight of the trail again he kept
near it, but to its left, gliding from tree to tree or creeping across
clear expanses from shrub to shrub. He therefore moved more slowly than
the Tehua whom he was pursuing.

In this manner he had advanced for quite a while, always keeping an eye
on the trail to his right, when he caught sight of a suspicious object
lying directly in the path, where the latter was barely more than a
faint streak across the thin grass that grows sometimes on the plateaus
in bunches. At once the old man stopped, cowered behind a juniper, and
waited.

A novice on the war-path, or an inexperienced white man, would have gone
to examine the strange object more closely, but the old scout takes
such unexpected finds in the light of serious warning. Nothing appears
more suspicious to him than something which seems to have been
accidentally dropped on a trail over which hostile Indians are
retreating. He forthwith thinks of a decoy, and is careful not to
approach. For Topanashka it was doubly significant, for had the object
purposely been placed there, it led to the disagreeable inference that
the Tehua was aware of his pursuit. In that case he was sure to lie in
wait for him, and upon nearer approach he could expect an arrow-shot
without the least doubt. That shot might miss him, but at all events the
lurking enemy would find out that his pursuer was an unarmed man, and
that there was no danger in attacking him openly. Then the situation
would become desperate.

Still, as the old man had always kept to the right of the trail, it was
possible that the enemy had not so far noticed him. But somewhere in the
neighbourhood of the suspicious object that enemy must be hidden; of
that he felt sure. It was a very serious moment, for any awkward
movement or the least noise might bring about his destruction. Under
such circumstances many a one sends a short prayer to Heaven for
assistance in his hour of need. Not so the Indian; he has only formulas
and ritualistic performances, and there was no time to remember the
former or to think of the latter. Topanashka strained his eyes to the
utmost to find out the nature of the suspicious object that lay not far
from his hiding-place, but he could arrive at no satisfactory result. It
appeared to be round, like a flat disk; but of what material it was made
and for what purpose it had been manufactured, he could not discover. At
last it flashed upon him that it might be one of the circular
war-sandals of the Tehua, whose tracks he had noticed from time to time,
which the owner might have taken off and deposited here. There was no
doubt that the enemy must be close at hand.

Topanashka had no thought of turning back. Flight was very difficult,
since he did not know where the foe lurked. To wait was the only thing
to be done,--wait until night came, and then improve the darkness to
return to the Rito in safety. But what of the all-important
council-meeting, at which he was compelled to assist? Crouched behind
the juniper-bush, cautiously peering out from behind it now and then,
the old warrior pondered over the situation. At last he saw what to do.

Slowly extending his feet and legs backward, he little by little
succeeded in laying himself flat on his stomach. He had noticed that not
far behind him there was another and much taller bush. Toward this bush
he crept, but like a crawfish, feet foremost. Had his enemy stood
otherwise than in a line with the first shelter which Topanashka had
made use of, he would surely have sent an arrow during this retrograde
performance. He continued to crawfish until the tall bush was between
him and the smaller one. Once covered by the former, he raised his head
and looked around.

A peculiar stillness reigned. Not a breeze stirred, the sun was blazing
hot, notwithstanding the long, trailing clouds that traversed the sky.

"Kuawk, kuawk, kuawk!" sounded the cries of several crows, as they flew
from a neighbouring tree. They went in the very direction where
Topanashka suspected the Tehua to be, and alighted on a piñon in that
neighbourhood. The old man glanced, not at the birds, but at the trunk
above which the crows were sitting. It was not thick enough to conceal
the body of a man, and about it the ground was bare. If there had been
anybody hiding there, the cunning and mistrustful birds would never have
alighted. The maseua took this into consideration, and began to doubt
the correctness of his former conclusions. Yet it was wiser not to
attempt a close examination of the sandal; such curiosity might still
lead to fatal results.

Like an old fox, Topanashka determined to circumvent the dangerous spot,
by describing a wide arc around it. He would thus meet the trail farther
north, and be able to judge from signs there whether or not the Tehua
was close upon the Rito. First he would have to crawl backward until he
was at a sufficient distance to be out of sight altogether.

This movement he began to execute in his usual slow and deliberate
manner, crawfishing until he felt sure that he could not be seen from
the point where the crows had taken their position. Once during his
retreat the birds fluttered upward, croaking, but alighted again on the
same spot. Something must have disturbed them.

Topanashka arose, straightened himself, and moved ahead as noiselessly
as possible. He maintained a course parallel to the trail.

The old man considered himself now as being in the country of the enemy
and on hostile ground. For whereas he was in reality not far from the
Rito, still, possibly, he had an enemy in his rear. It is the custom of
a warrior of high rank in the esoteric cluster of the war magicians, ere
the trailing of an enemy begins, to pronounce a short prayer, and
Topanashka had neglected it. His indignation at the discovery of
Shotaye's misdeed was the cause of this neglect. Now it came to his
mind.

"Kuawk, kuawk, kuawk!"

A crow flew overhead. It came from the tree where the others had been
sitting, or at least from that direction.

To the Indian the crow is a bird of ill omen. Its discordant voice is,
next to the cry of the owl, regarded as the most dismal forewarning.
The use of its plumage in magic is strongly condemned. Was it not
strange that those harbingers of misfortune so persistently followed
him, and that their repulsive croaking always interrupted his thoughts?
Topanashka resolved to make good on the spot what he had omitted, and
ere he moved, to pray.

In place of the formula which the warrior recites when he is on the
track of an enemy, Topanashka selected another one, spoken upon entering
dangerous ground where enemies may be lurking. It seemed to him that the
latter was better adapted to the occasion, since he was unarmed and
therefore unable to fight in case of necessity. He still carried with
him the same fetich, a rude alabaster figure of the panther, which we
saw dangling from his necklace on the day he went to visit the tapop.
But the necklace he had left at home this time, and he carried the
amulet in a leather satchel concealed under his wrap. He took out the
wallet and removed the fetich from it. To the back of the figure was
fastened a small arrow-head, on the sides a turquoise and a few shells
were tied with strings of yucca fibre.

The old man squatted on the ground, took from the same satchel a pinch
of sacred meal, and scattered it to the six regions. Then he
whispered,--

"[=A]-[=a]. Nashtio, Shiuana, Kopishtai! Make me precious this day, even
if the land be full of enemies. Let not my life be threatened by them.
Protect me from them. Let none of the Moshome go across this line," he
drew a line in the sand with the arrow-point, "give me protection from
them! Mokatsh, Tyame, Shiuana, shield my heart from the enemy."

While pronouncing the latter words he drew three more lines, breathed on
the fetich, placed it in the satchel again, and rose. He felt
strengthened, for he had performed his duty toward the Shiuana, had
satisfied Those Above.

"Kuawk, kuawk, kuawk!" The crow soared back over his head. The ugly,
ill-voiced bird! Topanashka's eyelids twitched angrily; he was amazed.

He resumed his walk, or rather his cautious, gliding gait, his head bent
forward, all his faculties strained to see, to hear, and to detect.
Frequently he would stop, hide himself, and listen. All was quiet around
him, for even the crows kept silent or were heard in the distance only.

The glare of the sunlight was less vivid, the afternoon was on the wane.
The late hour was not alone the cause of the diminution of light; the
sun was shrouded by heavy masses of clouds. With the waning daylight it
grew cooler, a faint breeze being wafted over from the Rio Grande.

The old man rightly supposed that he was approaching the trail again and
would soon strike it. The cañon near which he had surprised Shotaye and
her ally lay some distance in his rear and to the right, for the old
trail crosses it at its upper end, and the cañon bends to the north.
Topanashka intended to reach this upper terminus. He expected in case
other Tehuas should be about, that they would be hidden in that
vicinity. He wanted to strike the path first, and survey it, if from a
distance only, then keep on again in a line parallel to its course until
it crossed the ravine. Afterward he would go back to the Tyuonyi, if
possible, with the sandal as corroborative evidence.

He almost chided himself now for not having picked up the foot-gear. The
more he reflected, the more he became convinced that his suspicions
about some ambush having been prepared by means of the sandal were
groundless. The crows especially seemed to be a sure sign of it. That
bird is very bold, but also very sly; and had a warrior or any human
being been in concealment, would never have selected his vicinity for a
place of comfortable rest. Had they not flown away as soon as he
approached their roosting-place? And yet he moved very slowly and
noiselessly.

But why did the crows so persistently follow him? What signified their
restlessness, their loud and repeated cries? It boded nothing good. The
black pursuivants either foretold or intended evil. Were they real
crows?

The Indian is so imbued with the notion of sorcery that any animal that
behaves unusually appears to him either as a human being changed into an
animal, or some spirit which has assumed the form for a purpose. That
purpose is either good or bad. Owls, crows, and turkey-buzzards, also
the coyote, are regarded as forms assumed by evil spirits, or by men
under the influence of evil charms. The more Topanashka reflected upon
the conduct of the birds, the more superstitious he became concerning
them. They certainly meant harm. Either they sought to allure him into
danger, or they indicated the presence of imminent peril.

Whatever that danger might be and wherever it might lurk, the man
thought of nothing but to do his duty under all circumstances. He was,
after all, glad that he had not taken up the sandal. It had brought him
as far as he was now, and he considered it his duty to go to the bitter
end, and find out everything if possible. That he exposed himself more
than was really necessary did not enter his mind. He failed to consider
that if he were killed, nobody would be able to give timely warning at
the Rito, and that the very search for him might expose his people to
the danger which he was striving to avert. Death had little terror for
him; it was nothing but the end of all pain and trouble.

As soon as Topanashka believed that he had come again into proximity of
the path, he resumed his previous methods of locomotion; that is, he
began to crawl on hands and feet. The timber was of greater density
here, for it was nearer the foot of the mountains.

In proportion as the trees become taller and as they stand closer
together, the ground below is freer from shrubbery, and may be scanned
from a certain distance with greater ease. Nevertheless the soil is more
rocky, ledges crop out on the surface, isolated blocks appear, boulders,
and sometimes low, dyke-like protuberances.

When Topanashka felt certain of the proximity of the trail, he scanned
the ground very carefully. It was still flat, notwithstanding some rocky
patches. The shade was deep, and as far as the eye reached, nothing
moved; nothing suspicious was seen, nay, nothing that bore life, except
the sombre vegetation. The wind increased in force; the pines faintly
murmured from time to time; a blast penetrated beneath them to the
surface of the soil, chasing the dry needles in fitful whirls or playing
with the tall bunch-grasses that were growing profusely here.

If any man was about he certainly kept outside the range of vision. So
the old man reasoned, and he began to creep toward a place where the
smoothness of the rocks indicated the wear and tear of human feet. It
was the only trace of the trail, and barely visible. As he approached
the place he knew that he must be seen, but he relied upon the fact that
a man lying flat on the ground is very difficult to hit. An arrow could
scarcely strike him, and in no case could the wound be other than
slight, for the shot must come from a distance, as there was, he felt
certain, no one near by.

He glided like a snake, or rather like a huge lizard, which crawls over
obstacles, and whose body adapts itself to depressions instead of
crossing or bridging them over. His cautious progress scarcely caused a
leaf to rustle or a stone to rattle, and these noises were perceptible
only in the vicinity of where they were produced. So he pushed himself
gradually close up to a ledge, which, while of indifferent height,
still protected his body somewhat. On this ledge he expected to notice
scratches which indicated that the trail passed over it.

It was as he suspected,--the rock was slightly worn by human feet; but
of fresh tracks there could of course be no trace here, for only long
and constant wear and tear, and not an occasional hurried tread, can
leave marks behind. But Topanashka noticed a few fragments of rock and
little bits of stone that lay alongside the old worn-out channel.
Without lifting his head, he extended his arm, grasped some of the
fragments, and began to examine them.

Loose rocks or stones that have been lying on the ground undisturbed for
some time, always have their lower surface moist, while the upper dries
rapidly. When the yellowish tufa of these regions becomes wet, it
changes colour and grows of a darker hue. Topanashka had noticed that
some among the stones which he was examining were darker than the
others. The Indian, when he examines anything, looks at it very
carefully. One of the fragments was darker on the surface; of this he
felt sure, as when he removed them he was careful to keep them as they
lay. Below, the piece had its natural colour, that of dry stone. He
assured himself that the darker shade really proceeded from humidity; it
was still moist. The fragment, therefore, must have been turned over;
and that, too, a very short time ago. Only a large animal or a man could
have done this. He looked closely to see whether there were any
scratches indicative of the passage of deer-hoofs or bear-claws, but
there were none except those that appeared so large as to show plainly
from a distance. There was every likelihood, therefore, that some human
being had but very lately moved the stones, and not only since the rain
of last night but since the surface had had time to dry again; that is,
in the course of the afternoon.

He moved his body forward where he could examine the soil alongside the
ledge. The grass was nowhere bent and broken, still that was no
sufficient indication. There at last was a plain human track, the
impression of a naked foot with its toe-marks to the north, and the
impression was fresh! But the Tehua walked on round sandals. Had he not
lost one of them? It was very uncomfortable walking on one of the
circular disks only. Topanashka rose on hands and feet and crept
farther, regardless of what might be behind him. His eyes were directed
northward and he relied upon his ear to warn him of danger in the rear.

The trail lay before him quite distinct for a short distance. Close to
it some grasses were bent, and on the sandy place near by there was a
print as if from a small hoop, but the impression was old and partly
blurred. In vain did the old warrior search for other marks; the rain
had obliterated everything except this faint trace that might originally
have been plainer because deeper. It looked as if the wearer of the
sandal had stepped on the grass-bunch with the fore part of his foot,
slipped back lightly, and thus pressed the hind part of the hoop deeper
into the soil. In that case some trace of the heel-print might still be
found. And indeed a very slight concavity appeared behind the impression
of the sandal. The heel was turned from the north, consequently the man
was going to, not coming from the Rito. The tracks were surely old ones.

Everything was plain now. The Tehua had lost one of his sandals and was
returning on his bare feet. But why should he leave it? Why did he not
take it along? Even that Topanashka could easily explain. People from
the Rito frequently roamed over the northern mesa, close to the Tyuonyi.
He might have noticed the presence of some of them, and have fled in
haste, leaving his foot-gear behind. Most likely the ties or thongs had
given way, and he had no time to mend them. That was an evidence also
that the man was alone, else he would not have fled with such
precipitation. Neither was he in this vicinity any longer. Topanashka
felt that his task was done; he could not gain anything by proceeding
farther.

"Kuawk, kuawk, kuawk!" sounded overhead. A crow had been sitting quietly
on the tree above him, but now it flew off again, the unlucky bird! Its
cry startled the old man, and he raised his head to look after the
herald of evil, following him with his eye. All was still. Then he rose
to his knees.

A sharp humming twang, a hissing sound, and a thud followed in
lightning-like succession. Topanashka bends over, and at the same time
tumbles forward on his face. There he lies, the left cheek and shoulder
on the ground. The left arm, with which he has sought to support the
body, has slipped; and it now lies fully extended partly below the head,
the prostrate head. The chest is heaving painfully, as if under
extraordinary pressure. Face and neck are colouring; the lips part; the
throat makes a convulsive effort to swallow. The eyes are starting; they
denote suffocation and terrible pain. The legs twitch; they seem
struggling to come to the rescue of the body's upper half.

From the back of the old man there protrudes an arrowshaft. It has
pierced it close to the spine, between it and the right shoulder-blade,
penetrating into the lungs, where it now stabs and smarts.

From a distant tree-top there sounds the hoarse "kuawk, kuawk" of the
crow. Otherwise all is still.

The wounded man coughs; with the cough blood comes to his lips,--light
red blood. The thighs begin to struggle, as if formication was going on
in the muscles. It is an impotent movement, and yet is done
consciously; for the trunk of the body, which was beginning more and
more to yield, now begins to turn clumsily backward; the left hand
clutches the soil; the arm is trying to heave, to lift. But the weight
is too heavy, the shaft inside too firmly and too deeply rooted.
Nevertheless the hips succeed in rising; the trunk follows; then it
tumbles over on the back, contracts with a moan of pain and suffering,
and lies there trembling with spasmodic shivers.

Topanashka has made this superhuman effort for a purpose. He feels that
his wound is severe, that his strength is gone; his senses are darkened
and his thoughts confused. Still there is a spark of life left, and that
spark demands that he should attempt to see whence came the arrow that
so terribly lacerates his breast. But as he has fallen over heavily, the
point of the arrow has been pressed deeper. Flint--an arrow-head of
flint with notched edges--tears; the muscles do not close about the
intruder. The blood flows into the chest; it fills the lungs; he
suffocates. Yet all consciousness has not vanished, although pain and
oppression overwhelm the physical instruments of consciousness, and
deprive the will of its connection with its tools. The will longs to see
him who has destroyed its abode, but it no longer controls the shattered
tissues; the nerves shiver like the broken springs of clockwork ere they
come to a stand-still forever. The eye still distinguishes light
occasionally, but it cannot see any longer.

Weaker and weaker become the breathings. On both sides of the mouth a
fold begins to form over the blood that has curdled and dried; new
fillets stream to the lips from within. The legs still twitch
convulsively.

Now a stream of blood gushes from the open mouth; wave after wave rushes
up with such swiftness that bubbles and froth form between the lips and
remain there. A chill pervades the whole body; it is the last nervous
tremor; the lower jaw hangs down, showing with fearful distinctness the
folds, the ghastly folds, of death.

All is still. Through the tops of the pines comes a humming sound like a
chant, a last lay to the brave and dutiful man. Still, stark, and stiff
he lies in his gore. His career is ended; his soul has gone to rest.

And thus all remained quiet for a short time. Then the grass was waved
and shaken in the direction to which the old man had turned his back in
the last hapless moment. The grass seemed to grow, to suddenly rise; and
a figure appeared which had been lying flat behind a projecting rocky
ledge. As this figure straightened itself, bunches of grass dropped from
its back to the ground. It was the figure of a man.

But it is not the Tehua Indian who stands there motionless, with bow
half drawn and an arrow in readiness, who gazes over to the corpse to
see whether it is really a corpse, or whether it will need a second
shaft to despatch it forever. The man is of middle height, raw-boned and
spare. Shaggy hair bristles from under the strands that surround his
head like a turban. He wears nothing but a kilt of deerskin; from his
shoulders hangs a quiver; a flint knife depends from the belt. This man
is no village Indian, notwithstanding that dark paint on his body. It is
one of the hereditary foes of the sedentary aborigines,--a Navajo!

He is eying the dead body suspiciously. If it is surely dead the second
arrow may be saved. Those glassy eyes; that sallow face; and the fold,
the ghastly fold that runs on both sides of the mouth, of that mouth
filled with blood now clotting,--they show that life is gone.

Still the savage keeps his bow well in hand, as with head and neck
extended he steals forward slowly, mistrustfully approaching his victim.
When he is close to the body his eyes sparkle with delight and pride,
and his face gleams with the triumph of some hellish spirit.

He touches the corpse. It is warm, but surely lifeless. He grasps at the
wrap; it is of no value to him, although made of cotton. Beneath,
however, there must be something that attracts his attention, for he
quickly tears off the scanty dress and fumbles about the chest of the
victim. A horrible grin of delight distorts his features, already
hideously begrimed, for he has found the little bag and takes from it
the fetich of the dead man. That fetich is a prize, for with it the
magic power that was subservient to the victim while alive now becomes
the victor's. He handles the amulet carefully, almost tenderly, breathes
on it, and puts it back into the bag. Then he detaches his stone knife,
grasps it with the right hand, and with the left clutches the gray hair
of the dead man and with a sudden jerk pulls the head up. Then he begins
to cut the scalp with his shaggy knife-blade of flint.

A faint whistling sound, as of some one hissing near him, is heard; and
ere he looks up a male voice by his side has said,--

"That is good, very good!" The words are spoken in the Dinne language.

The murderer looks up, staying his work of mutilation. By his side there
stands another Navajo, dressed, painted, and armed like himself.

A short time after he had risen from his hiding-place and was stealing
over toward the body of his victim, this other Navajo had appeared in
sight. He watched from the distance his companion's proceedings, and as
he recognized that he was busying himself with some dead body,
approached rapidly, though without the least noise. He discovered the
dead, stood still, fastened a piercing glance on the prostrate form, and
heaved a great sigh of relief. Notwithstanding the paint on his face it
was easy to see how delighted he was at the sight. He again advanced,
not unlike a cat which is afraid to go too near another that is playing
with a mouse, for fear of being scratched or bitten by her. But when
unobserved he had reached the Navajo, he could not withhold a joyful
exclamation that startled and interrupted the murderer. He asked,--

"Dost thou know who that is?"

The other shrugged his shoulders.

"That is Topanashka, the strong and wise warrior. That is very, very
good!"

Navajo number two looked closely at the corpse; then he grasped the hair
again and resumed the cutting. Number one touched his arm.

"Why do you do this?" he asked.

The other chuckled.

"Dost thou not see it, Nacaytzusle," said he; "the people of the houses
know that we only take a lock of the hair. If now they find the body and
see that this"--he pointed to the skin--"is gone, they will think it is
one of those up here"--waving his hand to the north--"that has done it."

Nacaytzusle, for he was indeed the second Navajo, nodded approvingly and
suffered the other to go on.

Cutting, scraping, tearing, and pulling, he at last succeeded in making
a deep incision around the skull. Blood flowed over his fingers and
hands. Then he grasped the gray hair, planted himself with both feet on
the neck, and pulled until the scalp was wrenched off and dangled in his
fist. Over the bare skull numberless fillets of blood began to trickle,
at once changing the face and neck of the dead into a red mass. Then he
turned to the other, nodded, and said,--

"It is well."

Nacaytzusle turned his eyes upon the dead, and replied in a hoarse
voice,--

"It is well."

He scanned the surroundings suspiciously.

"Thou hast done well, very well," he said to the murderer. "Thou art
strong and cunning. This one"--he touched the body with his toes--"was
strong and wise also, but now he is so no longer. Now," he hissed, "we
can go down into the Tu Atzissi and get what we want."

"What dost thou mean, Nacaytzusle?" inquired the victorious Navajo.

"Go thou back to the hogan," whispered Nacaytzusle to him, "and tell the
men to be there," pointing southwestward, "four days from now. I will be
there and will speak to them."

The other nodded.

"Let us go," said he.

They moved off in silence without casting another glance at the dead.
Their direction was southwest. They carefully avoided making the least
noise; they spied and peered cautiously in every direction, shy,
suspicious. Thus they vanished in the forest like wolves sneaking
through timber.

       *       *       *       *       *

Evening had set in. Stronger blew the wind, and the top of the pines
shook occasionally with a solemn rushing sound that resembled distant
thunder. The breeze swayed the grass, the blades nodded and bowed beside
the remains of the brave man as if they were asking his forgiveness for
the bloody deed of which they had been the innocent witnesses. A crow
came up, flapping her wings, and alighted on a tree which stood near the
corpse, and peered down upon the body. Then she croaked hoarsely, jumped
to a lower limb, and peered again. Thus the bird continued to descend
from one branch to another, croaking and chuckling as it were to
herself. At last she fluttered down to the ground, a few paces from the
body, peeped slyly over to where it lay, and walked toward it with slow,
stately steps and eager nods. But something rattled in the distance; the
bird's head turned to the east, and as quick as lightning she rose in
the air and flew off with a loud, angry, "kuawk, kuawk, kuawk!"

Two men are coming toward the spot. They are Indians from Tyuonyi who
came up in the course of the afternoon with bows and arrows. They
perceive the body, and the blood on it and around it. Both stand still,
terrified at the sight. At last one of them exclaims,--

"It is one from the Zaashtesh!"

They run together to the spot, heedless of the danger which may yet be
lurking about. They bend over the dead, then look at each other
speechless, confused. At last they find words, and exclaim
simultaneously,--

"It is our father, Topanashka Tihua!"

"It is sa nashtio maseua!"

Both men are young yet, they weep. Their sorrow is so great, in presence
of the loss sustained by them and by all, that they forget all caution.
Had the Navajos been about still, two more of the house-dwellers would
have fallen.

They attempt to decide what is to be done; their thoughts become
confused, for the terrible discovery distracts them. Little by little
they become conscious that it is impossible to leave the body here, a
prey to the wolves and carrion crows; that it must be brought home, down
into the valley where he was so beloved, so worshipped almost, by
everybody. Nothing else can be done.

With sighs and sobs, stifled groans and tears, the body is raised up,
one supporting the head, the other the feet. Thus they drag and carry it
along on the old trail to the Rito. Blood clings to their hands and to
their dress. Never mind. Is it not the blood of a good man, and may not
with that blood some of his good qualities perhaps pass into them? Not a
word is spoken, not even when they lay down the corpse to rest
themselves a while. In such moments they stand motionless, one by the
mutilated head, the other at the feet. They look neither at each other
nor at it, for if they should attempt it tears would be sure to come to
their eyes. Without a word they lift up the body again, tenderly as if
it were a child's, and on they go, slowly, painfully, and silently.

It is night now, and the forest is more full of life. The dread voices
of the darkness are heard around them; coyotes howl and whine; in the
distance owls hiss and shriek and flit from tree to tree, as the panting
men approach. They think not of danger, not even of those who so
ruthlessly slaughtered their great and good maseua; on they go as fast
as the heavy load permits and as their heavy hearts afford them
strength.

Now one of them stumbles and falls, and as he rises he notices that the
object over which he has tripped is still clinging to his foot. He
cannot see what it is, but grasping it, discovers a round war-sandal,
over which he has stumbled, whose thongs have remained between his toes.
This discovery he communicates to his companion. With fresh vigour they
resume their dismal march. It is dark, so dark that nothing more can be
seen; nothing more is heard save distant thunder and the discordant
voices of the night in the forest. Slowly and silently they proceed
homeward with their gory but precious burden.



CHAPTER XVI.


Lamentations over a dead body are everywhere a sad and sickening
performance to witness and to hear. Among the aborigines of New
Mexico--among the sedentary tribes at least--the official death-wail is
carried on for four days. The number four plays a conspicuous rôle in
the lives of those people. And it is natural that it should. Four are
the cardinal points, four the seasons, four times five digits depend
from hands and feet. The Queres has not even a distinct term for finger
or for toe. He designates the former as one above the hand, the latter
as one above the foot. Four days the redman fasts or does penance; four
days he mourns, for that is the time required by the soul to travel from
the place where it has been liberated from the thralls of earthly life
to the place of eternal felicity. At the time of which we are speaking,
the body was still cremated, and with it everything that made up the
personal effects of the deceased.[11] If a man, his clothes, his
weapons, his loom, in case he had practised the art of weaving, were
burned; if a woman, the cooking utensils were "killed;" that is, either
perforated at the bottom or broken over the funeral pyre and afterward
consumed. In this manner the deceased was accompanied by his worldly
goods, in the shape of smoke and steam, through that air in which the
soul travelled toward Shipapu, in the far-distant mythical North. The
road must be long to Shipapu, else it would not require four entire days
to reach it; and there are neither eating-places nor half-way houses on
the way, where the dead may stop for refreshments. Therefore the
survivors placed on the spot where the body had rested for the last time
an effigy of the dead, a wooden carving, and covered it with a piece of
cloth; while by the side of this effigy they deposited food and water,
in order that neither cold, hunger, nor thirst might cause the
travelling spirit to suffer. But the road is not only long, it is also
dangerous; evil spirits lie in wait for the deceased to capture him if
possible, and hamper his ultimate felicity. To protect himself against
them a small war-club is added to the other necessaries, and to render
the journey safe beyond a doubt a magic circle is drawn, encompassing
the statuette with a circle of cruciform marks, imitating the footprints
of the shashka, or road-runner. As these crosses point in all four
directions, it is supposed that evil spirits will become bewildered and
unable to pursue the soul in its transit. At the end of the fourth day,
with many prayers and ceremonies, the circle is obliterated, and the
other objects, including the effigy, are taken away by the shamans to be
disposed of in a manner known to them alone.

During the period of official mourning the loud wail was carried on
incessantly, or at least at frequent intervals; fasting was practised;
the women wept, sobbed, screamed, and yelled. Both sexes gathered daily
around the place where the effigy lay, praying loudly for the safe
journey and arrival at Shipapu of the defunct. The women alone shed
tears on such occasions, the men only stared with a gloomy face and
thoughtful mien. They recalled and remembered the dead. What the great
master of historical composition has said of the ancient Germans may be
applied here also: "Feminis lugere honestum est, viris meminisse."

In the humble abode where Topanashka Tihua had dwelt with his deaf old
wife, and where his bloody remains had rested previous to being borne to
the funeral pyre, his effigy lay covered by the handsomest piece of
cotton cloth that could be found among the homes of the Rito, and a
quaintly painted and decorated specimen of pottery contained the
drinking-water for his soul. It was dusky in the room, for the window as
well as the hatchway afforded little light. Subdued voices sounded from
the apartment, monotonous recitals, which the loud refrain, "Heiti-na,
Heiti-na," at times interrupted. The poor deaf widow sat with tearful
eyes in a corner; her lips moved, but no sound came from them; only,
when the leader of the choir broke out with appropriate gesticulations,
she chimed in loudly. When at such a signal the other women present
began to tear their hair, she did the same, and shouted at the top of
her voice like the others, "Heiti-na, Heiti-na!"

Group after group of mourners visited the room, until both clans, Tanyi
and Tyame, had performed their duty. Hannay, too, had made her
appearance; she had shed tears like a rain-cloud, had howled and whined
more than any one else. Her grief was surely assumed, for when Tyope
asked her in the evening she told him everything in detail that she had
noticed,--how this one had looked, how such and such a one had
yelled,--plainly showing that the flood of tears had in no manner
impeded her faculties of perception, the sighs and sobs around her in no
manner deafened her attentive ear. Tyope listened with apparent
indifference, and said nothing. She attended to the weeping part, he not
so much to the duty of pious recollection as to that of deep thinking
over the new phase which matters had entered upon in consequence of the
bloody event.

For this sudden death of the maseua was for his designs a most fortunate
occurrence. The only man who in the prospective strife between the clans
might have taken an attitude dangerous, perhaps disastrous, to his
purposes, was now dead; and the office which that man held had become
vacant. There was but one individual left in the tribe who might yet
prove a stumbling-block to him; that was the Hishtanyi Chayan. But the
great medicine-man was not so much a man of action as a man of words,
and the force of his oracular utterances Tyope hoped to destroy through
the powerful speeches of the Koshare Naua and the strong medicine of the
Shkuy Chayan. The plans of Tyope had been immensely furthered by the
terrible accident; they had advanced so much that he felt it
indispensable to modify them to some extent. Terror and dismay were
great at the Rito, and the council had been adjourned _sine die_. There
could be no thought of a fresh accusation against Shotaye until the four
days of official mourning were past, and the campaign against the enemy,
which the bloody outrage imperatively called for.

The murder by the Tehuas, as Tyope and the others believed, of the
principal war-chief of the tribe, at a time when the two tribes were
without any communication with each other, was too great an outrage not
to demand immediate revenge. The murder could not have been the result
of a misunderstanding or accident, else the scalp would not have been
taken by the murderer. It was premeditated, an act of deliberate
hostility, a declaration of war on the part of the Tehuas. The dead
man's scalp had certainly wandered over to the caves of the northern
tribe; it was certainly paraded there in the solemn scalp-dance by which
the Tehuas, beyond all doubt, publicly honoured and rewarded the
murderer.

Tyope knew that the Queres were of one mind and that the official
mourning alone kept them from replying to this act of unjustifiable
hostility by an attack upon the Puye, but he also knew that as soon as
the four days were past a campaign against the Tehuas would be set on
foot. The Hishtanyi Chayan had retired to work, and that meant war! He
and the Shikama Chayan fasted and mourned together; their mourning was
not only on account of the great loss suffered by the tribe in the
person of the deceased; they bewailed a loss of power. That power had
gone over into the enemy's ranks with the scalp of the murdered man.

Although the death of Topanashka was for Tyope an event of incalculable
benefit, he had exhibited tokens of regret and sorrow. His manner was
dignified; he did not mourn in any extravagant fashion, but conducted
himself so that nobody could suspect the death of the old man to be
anything else than a source of regret to him. Furthermore, he intended
by his own example to foster the idea among his tribal brethren that the
outrage was so grave that it demanded immediate and prompt redress. The
carrying out of this redress was of the greatest importance to him. The
sooner it was executed the better it would suit his plans.

During the last interview of Tyope with the young Navajo, the latter had
charged him with having asked the Dinne to kill the old maseua during an
incursion which his tribe were to make into the valley of the Rito. It
was true that Tyope had suggested it, but he had not told the Navajo all
that he designed through this act of treachery. His object was not
merely to rid himself of the person of Topanashka; he sought an
opportunity of becoming the ostensible saviour of his tribe in the hour
of need. If the Dinne had made the premeditated onslaught, he would,
after he had given them time to perform the murder, have appeared upon
the scene, driven off the assailants, and thus recommended himself to
the people for the vacant position of war-chief. The game was a double
one on his part; first he was to betray his kinsfolk to the Navajos, and
secondly to turn against the Navajos in defense of the betrayed ones.
Tyope realized that it was a very dangerous game, and he had therefore
desisted and even gone so far as to repel the young Navajo at the risk
of his own life.

As matters stood, all had gone far better than he ever hoped for.
Without complicity on his part, Topanashka had been put out of his way;
and the office coveted by Tyope was vacant. An important military
enterprise was to follow at once. Tyope intended to go on this campaign
at all hazards, in order to distinguish himself as much as possible.
This he was able to do, for he possessed all the physical qualities
necessary for a powerful Indian warrior, and he was very crafty,
cunning, bold and experienced. He belonged to the society of war
magicians, and held in his possession most of the charms and fetiches
used for securing invincibility. There was no doubt in his mind that he
would return from the war-path crowned with glory and with scalps,
provided he was not killed. Should he return alive, then the time would
come for him to set the Koshare Naua to work to secure him the desired
position. Once made maseua he would resume his former plans, push the
case against Shotaye to the bitter end, and try to divide the tribe. For
the present the two objects had to be set aside. The expedition against
the Tehuas must take the lead of everything else.

While Tyope was prompted, by the grief and mourning that prevailed, to
display fresh activity and resort to new intrigues; while at the same
time his wife improved the occasion for her customary prying, listening,
and gossip,--their daughter, Mitsha, on the other hand, really mourned
sincerely and grieved bitterly. She mourned for the dead with the
candour of a child and the feeling of a woman. When she, too, had gone
to the house of the dead to pray, her tears flowed abundantly; and they
were genuine. The girl did not weep merely on account of the deceased,
for she could not know his real worth and merits; she grieved quite as
much on Okoya's account. The boy had been to see her every evening of
late. He was there on the night when the corpse was brought home, and
they heard the wail and rushed out on the roof. At that moment Hannay
had returned, full to the brim with the dismal news. Okoya forgot
everything and returned home, and Mitsha went back to the room and wept.
While her mother proceeded in her account with noisy volubility, Mitsha
cried; for Okoya had often spoken of his grandfather, telling her how
wise, strong, and good sa umo maseua was. She felt that the young man
looked up to him as to an ideal, and she wept quite as much because of
her feeling for Okoya as for the murdered main-stay of her people.

While she thus mourned from the bottom of her heart, the thought came to
her how she would feel in case her father was brought home in the same
way. Mitsha was a good child, and Tyope had always treated her not only
with affection but with kindness. He gave her many precious things, as
the Indian calls the bright-coloured pebbles, shell beads, base
turquoises, crystals, etc., with which he decorates his body. He liked
to see his daughter shine among the daughters of the tribe. With him it
was speculation, not affection; but Mitsha knew nothing of this, and
felt that in case her parent should ever be borne back to this house
dead, and placed on the floor before her covered with gore, she must
feel just as Okoya felt now. And yet the dead man was only his
grandparent. No, it was not possible for him to be as sad as she would
be in case Tyope should meet with such a fate. And then she wondered
whether the whole tribe would regret her father's death as much as they
regretted the loss of Topanashka. Something within her told that it
would not. She had already noticed that Tyope was not liked; but why,
she knew not. Okoya himself had intimated as much. She knew that the boy
shunned her father; and her attachment to Okoya had become so deep that
his utterances began to modify her feelings toward her own parents.

If she would sorrow and grieve for her father's loss, if Okoya was
mourning over his grandfather's demise, how must the child of the
murdered man, of such a man as Topanashka, feel? His only child was a
woman like herself. A true woman always feels for her sex and
sympathizes with other women's grief; and besides, that woman was the
mother of the youth who had won her heart. Okoya had told her a great
deal about his mother,--how good she was and how content she was to see
him and her become one. The girl was anxious to know his mother, but a
visit to a prospective mother-in-law is by no means an unimportant step.
If it is accompanied by a present it bears the character of an official
acceptance of courtship. That step Mitsha was afraid as yet to take; it
was too early; there were too many contingencies in the way.

Still she longed to go to Say Koitza now. But visits of condolence are
not in vogue among Indians as long as there is loud mourning, except at
the house where the mourning is going on. How much Mitsha would have
given to be permitted to go to Say, sit down quietly in a corner, and
modestly and without speaking a word, weep in her company. At the same
time she felt another longing. Since the night of the murder Okoya had
of course not been to see her, and she naturally longed to meet him also
in this hour of sadness and trial. Once when she had gone to the brook
for water, Zashue had crossed her path; but he looked so dark and
frowning that she did not venture even to greet him.

It was the last day of mourning, and nearly everybody at the Rito who
could or ought had paid his respects to the dead. The Chayani of lesser
rank alone returned from time to time to perform specially strong
incantations in aid of the still travelling soul. Mitsha had gone down
to the brook to get water. It occurred only once a day during these
days, for the people of Tyame fasted, taking but one frugal meal daily.
Everybody was very careful also not to wash, and Mitsha herself was as
unkempt as any one else of her clan.

Bearing the huashtanyi on her head, she was returning, when as she
passed the corner of the big house her eyes discovered a man standing
with his back turned to her, gazing at the cliffs. He seemed to face the
dwellings of the Eagle clan. As the girl approached, the noise of her
step caused him to turn, and she recognized Okoya.

The youth stepped up to her; his eyes were hollow, and now they became
moist. He attempted to control himself, to restrain the tears that were
coming to his eyes at the sight of her; but he sobbed convulsively. When
she saw it tears came to her eyes at once. The two children stood there,
he struggling to hide his grief, for it was unmanly to weep, and yet he
was young and could not control his feelings; she, as a woman, feeling
at liberty to weep. She wept, but silently and modestly. It grieved her
to see him shed tears.

He, too, felt for her; but it was soothing to his own grief that Mitsha
mourned. He too was longing to meet her; the four days of separation had
been very long to him.

"He was so good," Okoya at last succeeded in saying. Fresh tears came to
his eyes.

Mitsha merely nodded and covered her face with a corner of her wrap.

"Have you been to him?" he asked.

She nodded; Okoya continued,--

"To-morrow I will come again."

Eager nods, mingled with sobs and accompanied by rubbing of the eyes,
were her reply. The nodding proved that his call would be very, very
welcome. She uncovered her face, her eyes beamed through tears, and she
smiled. As sincerely as she felt her grief, the announcement that he
would return as soon as the mourning-time was over made her happy, and
her features expressed it. She went her way quietly, Okoya following her
with his eyes.

He longed to say to her, "Come with me, and let us go together to my
mother; she weeps so much." But it could not be; it was useless to
mention it. About his mother Okoya felt deeply concerned, for she did
not bear her grief as the others bore theirs. She was not noisy like the
rest. Utterly oblivious of her daily task, she neither cooked nor baked
nor cared for anything. Her husband and children had to go hungry, while
she sat in a corner sobbing and weeping. It was indeed a blessing for
her that she was able to weep; otherwise her reason might have given way
under the terrible and crushing blow. With the loss of her father she
felt as if lost forever, as if her only support, her only hope, had
gone. The past came back to her, not like an ugly dream, but as a
fearful reality threatening sure destruction. Between her and the
accusation which she felt certain had been fulminated against her before
the council, there stood henceforth no one, and at the end of the
mourning she expected to be dragged before the council at once and
condemned to death! And what sort of death? Exposed to public wrath as a
witch, bound and gagged, tied to a tree, with the rough bark lacerating
her breast, and then beaten, beaten to a jelly, rib broken after rib,
limb after limb, until the soul left the body's wreck under the curses
of bystanders. Oh, if she could only die now a swift, an honourable
death like that of her father!

If she could only have seen Shotaye! She expected the cave-woman surely
to come down to cheer her up. She felt a longing for her friend, a
desire to see her, to hear her voice. But day after day ran on, night
after night followed, and Shotaye did not come. It did not surprise her
that Shotaye did not appear on the first day, but on the evening of the
second she began to tremble. When the night of the third came, her
apprehensions became distressing. On the fourth, Shotaye must surely
come; expectation, and finally disappointment, almost tortured to death
the poor woman, for Shotaye came not.

Everything seemed to conspire to render her hopelessly miserable. She
lost sight of her surroundings, grew speechless, and almost devoid of
feeling. The others explained her state as one of profound and very
natural grief, and let her alone. But it was uncomfortable in the house
when the mistress took no notice of anything, and did not even provide
the most necessary things, not even drinking-water. Therefore Zashue, as
well as Okoya, preferred to go out of doors, there to await the
termination of the disagreeable period of mourning at the end of which
they confidently expected Say to return to her normal condition.

After he had separated from Mitsha, Okoya sauntered, without really
knowing whither, up the gorge and down the northern side of the
cultivated plots. He gradually neared the cliffs, and found himself
beyond the dwellings of the Water clan, and therefore beyond the
uppermost caves that were inhabited. The gorge, narrow and covered
mostly with underbrush and pines, afforded to his sight but a single
conspicuous object, and toward this he turned at once.

To his right lay some caves that had been long ago forsaken, and whose
front wall had partly crumbled. Below the short slope leading up to them
are the traces of an old round estufa. A plain concavity in the ground
indicates its site to-day. At the time when Okoya strolled about, the
roofing alone was destroyed, and part of the interior was filled with
blocks of stone that had tumbled from the cliffs, crushing the roof.
Okoya, from where he stood, had the interior of the ruin open before
him, and he saw in it, partly sitting and partly reclining, the figure
of his friend Hayoue. It was a welcome discovery.

He had not met Hayoue since the death of his grandfather, for the
brother of Zashue had avoided the great house and its inmates on
purpose. He mourned earnestly and sincerely, and wished to be alone with
his thoughts. But Okoya was not disposed to let him alone. He knew that
if his uncle spoke to any one he would speak to him, and that if he felt
indisposed to enter into any conversation he would say so at once.
Hayoue was very outspoken.

The boy jumped down from block to block noisily, for he wanted to
attract his uncle's attention beforehand. The latter looked up. As soon
as he saw who the disturber of his musings was, he waved his hand,
beckoning him to come. Okoya obeyed with alacrity, for he saw that
Hayoue felt disposed to talk. Throwing himself down beside him he waited
patiently until the other saw fit to open the conversation. They both
remained for a while in silence, until Hayoue heaved a deep sigh and
said,--

"Does Zashue, my brother, mourn also?"

"Not as we do," replied Okoya; "yet he is sad."

"It is well. He is right to feel sad. Sad for himself, for you, for all
of us."

"Sa umo was so good," whispered the boy, and tears came to him again;
but he controlled his feelings and swallowed his sobs. He did not wish
the other to see him weep.

"Indeed sa umo maseua was good," Hayoue emphasized, "better than any of
us, truer than any of us! None of us at the Tyuonyi is as strong and
wise as he was."

"How could the Moshome kill him, if he was such a great warrior," Okoya
naïvely inquired.

"See, satyumishe, he was struck from behind. In this way a Moshome may
kill a bear, and so yai shruy destroys the strongest mokatsh. Sa umo had
no weapons, neither bow nor arrow nor club. He did not suppose that
there were any Moshome lurking about as tiatui lies in wait for the
deer. Had sa nashtio gone south or toward the west, he would have
carried what was right, but over there,"--he pointed northward,--"who
would have believed the people over there to be so mean as these
shuatyam of Tehuas now prove to be? Destruction come upon them!" He
spoke very excitedly, his eyes flashed, and he gnashed his teeth.
Shaking his clenched fist at the north, he hissed, "And destruction will
come upon them soon! We shall go to Kapo and come back with many scalps.
We will not get one only, and crawl back, as shutzuna does after he has
stolen a turkey. We shall go soon, very soon!"

Okoya yielded to the excitement which the latter part of his friend's
speech bespoke. His eyes sparkled also, and his chest heaved at the
mention of blood.

"Satyumishe," he exclaimed, "let us go, I and you together. Let us go
and get what may please our father's heart!"

Hayoue looked at him; it was an earnest and significant look.

"You are right, brother. You are wise and you are good. You also know
how to hit with an arrow, but you are not uakanyi."

"But I shall be one, if I go with you," boldly uttered the boy.

His uncle shook his head, and smiled.

"Don't you know, sa uishe, that every one cannot go with the warriors,
when they go on the war-path? Every one cannot say, 'I am going,' and
then go as he pleases and when he pleases. Every one cannot think, 'I am
strong and wise, and I will follow the enemy.' If the Shiuana do not
help him, the strongest is weak, and the wisest is a child before the
foe. See, satyumishe, I am as good a uakanyi as any one, but I do not
know whether, when the Hishtanyi Chayan says in the uuityam which men
shall go and take from the Tehuas what is proper, I may go with them.
Perhaps I shall have to stay, and some other one will go in my stead."

"Must not all go?" Okoya asked; he was astonished.

"Every one must go whom the maseua chooses." With a sad expression he
added, "Our maseua is no more, and ere the Hotshanyi has spoken to the
yaya and nashtio, and said to them, 'such and such a one shall be
maseua,' it is the Hishtanyi Chayan who decides who shall go and who
shall stay at home."

His nephew comprehended; he nodded and inquired,--

"Does not the Hishtanyi Chayan fast and do penance now?"

"Our nashtio _yaya_," Hayoue replied with an important and mysterious
mien, "has much work at present."

"Do you know what he is working?" naïvely asked Okoya.

"He is with Those Above."

The reply closed the conversation on that subject. Okoya changed the
topic, asking,--

"Satyumishe, you are not much older than I. How comes it that you are
uakanyi already?"

Hayoue felt quite flattered. He was indeed very young for a war
magician, and he felt not a little pride on account of it. Assuming a
self-satisfied and important air, he turned to his nephew with the
query,--

"When you go out hunting, what is the first thing you do?"

"I take my bow and arrow and leave the house," readily answered the boy.

"This is not what I ask for," growled Hayoue. "What kind of work do you
do ere you rise to the kauash?"

The boy understood at last.

"I place the stone, and speak to Those Above."

"If before you go hunting you do not speak to them, are you lucky?"

"No," Okoya mumbled. He recalled the unlucky turkey-hunt of some time
ago, when he had forgotten to say his prayers before starting, of which
we have spoken in the first chapter.

"Why have you no luck?" Hayoue further asked.

"Because the Shiuana are not satisfied," replied the other. His uncle
nodded.

"Are you a hunter?" he asked.

"Not yet, I am only learning."

"Why do you learn?"

"In order to know."

"When you once know, what can you do then?"

"I can--" Okoya was embarrassed. "I can make the Shiuana help me."

"That is it!" Hayoue exclaimed. "If the Shiuana do not help, you can do
nothing; no matter how swift you run, how far you see, and how sure your
aim is. But of the Shiuana there are many, as many as grains of sand on
the shore of the great river below here, and when we do not know them we
cannot speak to them and beg for assistance. Just as there are Shiuana
who assist the hunter, there are those who help us, that we may strike
the enemy and take away from him what makes him strong, that it may
strengthen us. Look at Tyame, the nashtio of Tzitz hanutsh; he is swift
and strong, but he knows not how to call to Those Above and around to
help him take the scalp of the Moshome. We must be wise, and listen to
what those speak who know how to address the Shiuana, and what to give
them. We must learn in order to act. I have learned, and thus I have
become uakanyi. And he who will soon be where in time we also shall find
rest,--he taught me many things. He was good and wise, very good, our
father the maseua," he added, sighing deeply.

"Will you help me to learn and become uakanyi?" Okoya turned to him now
with flashing eyes.

"I will, surely I will. You shall become one of us. But you know,
brother, that you must be silent and keep your tongue tied. You must not
say to this or that one, 'I am learning, I have learned such and such
things, for I am going to become uakanyi.'"

Okoya of course assented. Then he asked,--

"I am not uakanyi, and can the Hishtanyi Chayan tell me to go along too
with the men to strike the Tehuas?"

"Certainly, for there are not many of us, and in the Zaashtesh all must
stand up for each, and each for all. But when many go on the war-path
there are always some of us with them in order that the Shiuana be in
our favour."

"Do the Shiuana help the Tehuas also? For the Tehuas are people like
ourselves, are they not?"

"They are indeed Zaashtesh, like the Queres. But I do not know how the
Shiuana feel toward them. Old men who knew told me that the Moshome
Tehua prayed to Those Above and around us, and that they call them Ohua.
Whether they are the same as ours I cannot tell; but I cannot believe
them to be; for the kopishtai who dwell over there must be good to their
people, whereas the kopishtai here are good to us. Only those who hold
in their hands the paths of our lives help those who do right and give
them what is due, wherever and whoever they be."

"How soon shall we go against the Tehuas?"

"The Yaya Chayan and the uishtyaka perhaps alone know that. As soon as
the Hishtanyi has done his work he will call the uuityam, and then those
shall go that must. Perhaps I may go, perhaps not. It may be that both
of us will be sent along. But we will go soon," he fiercely muttered,
"soon, to take from the Tehuas what is precious to the heart of our
father, who now goes toward Shipapu."

Okoya felt wildly excited and could barely restrain himself. Thirst for
revenge joined the intense wish to become a warrior. But Hayoue's placed
a damper on his enthusiasm, else he might have left that night alone,
with bow and arrow and a stone knife, to hover about the Puye until some
luckless Tehua fell into his hands. He saw, however, that nothing could
be done without the consent and support of the higher powers, and that
he must curb his martial ardour and abide by the decisions of Those
Above. The present topic of conversation being exhausted, both sat in
silence for a while, each following his own train of thoughts. Okoya was
the first to speak again.

"Does your hanutsh mourn?"

"The women have gone to weep with the dead," replied Hayoue. "I too am
mourning," he added sorrowfully; "but I mourn as is becoming to a man.
Crying and weeping belong only to women."

"I have cried," whispered Okoya timidly, as he looked at his friend with
a doubting glance. He was ashamed of the confession, and yet could not
restrain himself from making it. Hayoue shrugged his shoulders.

"You are young, satyumishe, and your heart is young. It is like the
heart of a girl. When you have seen many dead men and many dying, you
will do as I do,--you will not cry any more." He coughed, and his face
twitched nervously; with all his affectation of stoicism he had to
struggle against tears. In order to suppress them completely he spoke
very loudly at once,--

"Tzitz hanutsh has nothing to do with the dead, and yet the women lament
and its men think over the loss that the tribe has sustained. I tell
you, Okoya, we have lost much; we are like children without their
mother, like a drove of turkeys whose gobbler tiatui or mokatsh have
killed. Now,"--his eyes flashed again and he gnashed his teeth,--"now
Tyope and the old Naua are uppermost. Just wait until the men have
returned from the war-path, and you will see. Evil is coming to us. Did
you notice, satyumishe, on the night when they carried sa nashtio maseua
back to the Tyuonyi how angry the Shiuana were; how the lightning flamed
through the clouds and killed the trees on the mesa? I tell you,
brother, evil is coming to our people, for a good man has gone from us
to Shipapu, but the bad ones have been spared."

Okoya shuddered involuntarily. He recollected well that awful night.
Never before had a storm raged on the Rito with such fury. Frightful had
been the roar of the thunder, prolonged like some tremendous
subterranean noise. Incessant lightning had for hours converted night
into day, and many were the lofty pines that had been shattered or
consumed by the fiery bolts from above. The wind, which seldom does any
damage at such places, had swept through the gorge and over the mesas
with tremendous force, and lastly the peaceful, lovely brook, swollen by
the waters that gushed from the mountains in torrents, as well as by the
rain falling in sheets, had waxed into a roaring, turbid stream. It had
flooded the fields, destroying crops and spreading masses of rocky
débris over the tillable soil. Yes, the heavens had come upon the Rito
in their full wrath, as swift and terrible avengers. Both of them
remembered well that awful night, and dropped into moody silence at the
dismal recollection.

"Are there any other bad men at the Tyuonyi?" Okoya asked; but low, as
if he were afraid of the answer.

"There may be others," Hayoue muttered, "but those two are certainly the
worst."

Okoya felt disappointed; Tyope, he saw, must indeed be a bad creature.

"Do you know whether Tyope is mourning?" asked his uncle.

"I have not seen him," grumbled the other.

"I am sure he will look as if his mother had died," scolded Hayoue. "He
is a great liar, worse than a Navajo. He puts on a good face and keeps
the bad one inside. I would like to know what the Shiuana think of that
bad man."

"Have we any bad women among us?" Okoya said, to change the
conversation.

"Hannay is bad!" his uncle cried.

A pang went through the heart of the other youth. His prospective father
and mother in-law appeared really a pair of exquisite scoundrels.

"Are there any others?"

"I don't know, still I have heard." Hayoue looked about as if afraid of
some eavesdropper,--"what I tell you now is only for yourself,--that
Shotaye is bad, very bad! After being Tyope's wife for a while, I should
not be surprised if--"

"Does she speak to those that can do us harm?" Okoya interrupted in a
timid whisper.

"It may be. There is no doubt but she is a harlot; I know it myself, and
every man on the Tyuonyi knows it. Other women are also spoken of, but
nobody says it aloud. It is not right to speak thus of people when we do
not know positively. I have not seen Shotaye since our father died. She
is mourning perhaps, for her cave is shut and the deerskin hangs over
the doorway. She is likely to be inside in quiet until the trouble is
over and the men can go to her again."

Okoya rose to go.

"Are you coming along?" he asked his uncle.

Hayoue shook his head; he still wished to remain alone.

"It may be," he said, "that we shall have to leave in two days against
the Tehuas, and I shall remain so that I may be ready when the tapop
calls upon us. You rely upon it, satyumishe, we shall go soon, and when
it so happens that we both must go you shall come with me that I may
teach you how the scalp is taken."

Thus dismissed, Okoya sauntered back down the valley.

When opposite the caves of the Water clan he furtively glanced over to
the one inhabited by Shotaye. The deerskin, as Hayoue had stated, hung
over the opening, and no smoke issued from the hole that served as vent
and smoke-escape. The woman must be mourning very deeply, or else she
was gone. She did not often enter his thoughts, and yet he wished
Shotaye might come now and see his mother. He was convinced, without
knowing why, that his mother would have been glad to see her.

At all events the dismal period of mourning was drawing rapidly to a
close, and with it official sadness would vanish. He could hardly await
the morrow. On that day he hoped that the question would be decided when
the great work of revenge should commence and whether he would be
permitted to take part in it. The words of his uncle had opened an
entirely new perspective to Okoya. To become uakanyi was now his aim,
his intense ambition. As warrior, and as successful warrior, he
confidently expected that no one would dare refuse him Mitsha. This hope
overcame the grief he had harboured during the days that elapsed, for
that grief belonged to the past; and as the past now appeared to him, it
seemed only a stepping-stone to a proud and happy future.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 11: I borrow these facts from Spanish sources. Both Castañeda
and Mota Padilla mention cremation as being practised in the sixteenth
century by the Pueblos. The latter author even gives a detailed
description. Withal, the fact that the Pueblos also buried the body is
more than abundantly established. Both modes of burial were resorted to,
and contemporaneously even, according to the nature of the country and
soil. There is comparatively little soil at the Rito. The mourning
ceremonies, etc., I have witnessed myself.]



CHAPTER XVII.


Okoya had been correct in his surmise that Shotaye was gone. In vain Say
Koitza pined; her friend had left never to return.

When the news of Topanashka's death reached her, which it did on the
very night of the occurrence, she saw at a glance that henceforth her
presence among the Queres was an impossibility, for she knew that the
deceased was the only one who could interpose himself between Say Koitza
and her enemies, and thus wield an influence indirectly favourable to
herself. She recognized that henceforth Tyope was free to act as he
pleased in the matter, for the medicine-men would be on his side. And
she saw that the days of mourning that were sure to follow afforded her
a capital opportunity for leaving the Rito unobserved, and executing her
flight to the Tehuas of the Puye.

Shotaye could not believe that Cayamo was the slayer of Topanashka. Her
warrior from the north was in too great a hurry to get out of the way of
pursuing Navajos. He was too anxious to save the scalp he had taken.
Even in case Topanashka had overtaken him, which seemed impossible, the
Tehua would have avoided rather than attacked the unarmed old man. And
if the maseua surprised their interview and followed her knight, the
latter had too much vantage-ground to be ever overtaken by his aged and
unarmed pursuer. The fact that the sandal had been found, Shotaye
interpreted as evidence of Cayamo's precipitate flight. From her
standpoint she reached the very correct conclusion that the Navajos who
followed in Cayamo's tracks, and not the Tehua, must have killed the
father of her friend Say.

But she saw that her people would fall into error as to the manner of
Topanashka's death. She saw that they could not have reached a different
conclusion, and also that the error must call forth extraordinary
measures of revenge. She heard enough and saw enough, during the
commotion prevailing at the Rito when the dead body was brought in, to
become convinced that as soon as the mourning ceremonies were over the
Queres would take the war-path against the supposed murderers of their
war-chief. She took care not to disabuse the minds of any of her tribal
brethren, and said nothing, but felt glad at the opportunity which the
proposed campaign would give her for revenge.

Flight to the Tehuas was not only very easy, it could be executed under
circumstances that would give her among the other tribe a position of
considerable importance. It was almost needless to avail herself of the
understanding with Cayamo; she had far more important things to
communicate. By informing the Tehuas of the movement on foot against
them, she appeared as a deserter from the enemy, as a timely friend. If
afterward, as she confidently believed, Tyope should come up with the
warriors against the Tehuas, he would find everything prepared for a
disastrous reception. Matters looked exceedingly promising for her
plans.

For all that, she did not forget Say Koitza; but she had been to some
extent forewarned, and as soon as Say heard of Shotaye's absence she
must suspect the truth. After all, Say was in no real danger. Until the
campaign was over, there was no time to think of her case, and during
that campaign Shotaye would provide for the Queres such a rough
handling that no thoughts of witchcraft trials would trouble them for
some time to come. For there should be mourning, sadness, grief,
howling, and gnashing of teeth on the Rito on a very large scale.

Still she did not lose sight of the possibility that her absence might
be noticed at an early day, and might arouse suspicion. It was possible,
though not at all likely. As long as people mourned, nobody would care
for her. After the official mourning was over the council would be
convened and the campaign announced. Thereupon all the men who had to
take part would have to retire for the customary fasts and
purifications, and the Yaya and the Chayani would have to work heavily.
Her home was not likely to be visited by any one for a number of days,
and when the warriors of the Queres were on the march nobody would call
them back because she had disappeared from the Rito.

Perfectly at rest in regard to her own future, reassured as to the fate
of Say Koitza, Shotaye had, on the night of the second day after the
murder of Topanashka, left her home and climbed to the northern mesa
without meeting any obstacle. When the sun rose, she found herself quite
near the place which Cayamo, as far as she understood, had designated as
the spot where his friend Teanyi would wait for her. Unacquainted with
the real distance that separates the Rito from the cave-dwellings above
Santa Clara, she had underrated it; and it was only at noon, after she
had spent hours walking through the pine timber and in fruitless
waiting, that a man stepped up to her from behind a tree and called
out,--

"Teanyi!" Then he added, "Cayamo," and inquired, "Shotaye?"

He was the looked-for and longed-for delegate; and when the sun stood
at its height, the two were travelling toward the Puye together.

Shotaye attempted to convey the idea to her companion that the Queres
were upon the point of moving upon the Tehuas in force. Her excited
gesticulations and broken sentences only succeeded in making him believe
that she was herself the object of lively pursuit by a considerable
number of men. Therefore when the pair reached the isolated, castle-like
rock called Puye, which dominates the country far around, and along the
base of which the dwellings of the Tehuas were excavated in friable
white pumice-stone, in the same manner as are those of the Rito, Teanyi
left her standing before the entrance to his own cave-home, went in, and
called his wife to take care of the new-comer while he ran to the tuyo,
as the governor is called among the Tehuas. The wife of Teanyi had not
been informed of the nature of Shotaye's call, and as she took her into
her quarters she eyed her curiously and suspiciously, for it was
probably the first time she had seen a human being that spoke a language
different from her own. She gave her no food, but waited her husband's
return. Shotaye, on her side, cast the quick glance of her lively eyes
at everything. From time to time she attempted a word of conversation;
she smiled and gesticulated, but the only response was a shaking of the
head and facial expressions that denoted suspicion rather than
friendship.

Teanyi had informed the tuyo that he had met a woman from the Rito de
los Frijoles and had taken her to his home, or rather to that of his
wife; that the woman was gesticulating in an unintelligible manner; and
that all he could surmise was that there might be Queres approaching the
Puye with hostile intentions. He said nothing about Cayamo and his
relations toward Shotaye, for Cayamo had enjoined absolute secrecy.

The governor of the Tehuas was a different man from the pompous little
tapop of the Queres. The latter would at once have called the council
and done everything to surround the event and his own person with as
much noise as possible. Not so the tuyo of the Puye. He only said, "I
will go with you," and went to the room of Teanyi's wife to see Shotaye
and investigate for himself.

The gesticulations began again, and the woman used every effort to make
herself understood. The governor did his best to understand her, but no
progress was made toward comprehension. She even followed Cayamo's
precedent in drawing a line on the floor from north to south,
designating the southern end as Tupoge, the northern end as Puye, for
thus much she had kept in memory. Then she pointed out on that line the
spot where Topanashka had been killed, and said, "Uan save," and made
the gesture-sign for killing. Lastly she tried to convey the idea that
the Queres were in arms against the Tehuas.

The governor displayed much coolness, and paid close attention during
this strange and almost comic interview. He thought he understood that a
man from the Rito, probably called Topanashka, had been murdered by the
Dinnes on the trail leading to the Puye from the south. He also thought
that the Queres were on the war-path to avenge the murder. In what
manner this was connected with the excited state of the woman he could
not clearly see, unless she was perhaps the widow of the murdered man.
In that event she might have become insane from fright and despair! Her
violent gesticulations and the expression of passion and agitation on
her features confirmed his suspicion that Shotaye was distracted.

A growing coldness in his manner at last showed the woman what sort of
an impression she had been creating, and she felt very uneasy. Not that
her life became endangered thereby; on the contrary, the Indian is very
considerate and charitable toward such unfortunates. But from the moment
that the Tehuas were convinced of her insanity they would attach no
longer any importance to her warnings, and a precious lapse of time that
should be improved for immediate preparations for defence was
irretrievably lost. The Queres might be allowed to approach, and their
onslaught would find the Tehuas utterly unprepared. If only Cayamo had
been present! But he dared not approach a woman now, for he was at work
purifying himself and fasting, in anticipation of the great day when the
scalp which he had taken would be feasted over, danced over, prayed at,
and sung to. Shotaye found herself in a most painful situation. She
noticed how complacently the tuyo smiled, the more she attempted to
insist. At last he turned to Teanyi and said a few words to the latter.
Teanyi shook his head, and Shotaye followed the discussion that ensued
between the two men with eager eyes and ears.

It soon became clear to her that they were of different opinions, and
that each one persisted in his own. Finally Teanyi spoke alone, and for
quite a while in a low voice; and the governor listened attentively and
with growing interest. Though Teanyi's voice was muffled, Shotaye still
overheard the word Cayamo several times. Straining her sense of hearing,
she caught the words tupoge, tema quio, finally Shotaye also. The tuyo
listened, smiled, winked slyly, and at last laughed aloud. At the same
time he turned his face to her and nodded most pleasantly; thereupon he
said a few words to Teanyi aloud, and the latter turned to his family,
which had little by little congregated in the room, and repeated, as
appeared to Shotaye, his statements. At the close of his talk all broke
out in a joyful laugh. The housewife, who until then had rather frowned
at the visitor, now smiled and nodded too, repeating the words,--

"Not Queres; Tehua woman, wife of Cayamo."

All laughed, and the governor exclaimed,--

"It is well."

The case was clear to all. Cayamo, on his expedition to secure scalps,
had picked up a sweetheart. Food was placed before Shotaye, and the
woman caressed her, inviting her to eat.

In the mean time, one of the boys had left the room. Shotaye was still
eating when he returned in company with an elderly man of low stature,
whose greeting was answered with the usual reply.

This man cowered down among the rest, and listened with the closest
attention to a long speech of the governor. At the close of it he sat
for a while scrutinizing the woman's appearance, but when she looked up
at him he addressed her in her own dialect, and with the words,--

"Where do you come from?"

A heavy load fell from Shotaye's heart. The ice was broken; henceforth
she could explain herself in her own tongue, and inform the Tehuas of
everything that was so important to them, so momentous to her. But her
first impression, on hearing her tongue spoken by one who was certainly
not of her stock, was almost one of fright. People who spoke more than
one language were excessively rare at those times; and those who
happened to learn the speech of another tribe kept it secret, as Tyope,
for instance, concealed his knowledge of the Navajo language from the
people of the Rito. The knowledge of more than one tongue was a
suspicious and therefore a dangerous gift. The man who now conversed
with Shotaye in the Queres dialect was not a native of the Puye. He
belonged to the linguistic group of the Tehuas, but to the southern
branch, the Tanos, who inhabited several villages west of the Rio Grande
and in the country where the city of Santa Fé now stands. Between the
Tanos and the Queres there was limited commercial intercourse, for the
Tanos claimed the veins of turquoise that abound on the heights near
some of their villages, and the Queres went thither at rare intervals to
trade for the gems which they were unable to obtain by force.

Through this rare and limited traffic the Tano had become acquainted
with some of the men of the Rito, and many years ago had even
accompanied them to their home in the mountain gorge. Such visits were
literally great affairs at the time, and they lasted long. Extensive
formalities were required to ascertain first how far the Shiuana
appeared favourable to the new-comer, and how he should make himself
understood to them. The medicine-men had to make strenuous efforts in
behalf of the visitor. Equally long formalities preceded his departure,
and our Tano had in this manner, between reception, residence, and
leave-taking, spent more than a year at the Rito de los Frijoles. During
that time he had acquired a knowledge of the Queres language, and spoke
it therefore not fluently, but still intelligibly.

As Shotaye had appeared excited and agitated as long as she felt
helpless in matters of speech, so now she became free, easy, and above
all, calm and clear in her utterances, when she could make herself
understood. The Tano began to question her in a methodical, and even in
an argumentative manner. He spoke slowly and brokenly; but she
understood him, and he comprehended fully her replies, for they were
given to the same categoric way. Each of her sentences he translated
into Tehua, turning to the tuyo at the end of every one of her answers.
Shotaye told him everything, with the exception of the matter of the
owl's feathers, for these would have been as dangerous among the Tehuas
as among the Queres. She explained the misunderstanding that lay at the
bottom of the hostility displayed by the Queres, and finally she
insisted that there was no time to clear up that misunderstanding; and
since the Queres were already on the march, she urged speedy preparation
to repel the assault. She strained the truth on the latter point, but
the tuyo forgave her this manifest exaggeration. He knew that there must
be at least five days' delay before the prospective campaign. The
further the woman proceeded in her exposition of facts, the more she
observed, through her quick and scrutinizing glance, that her listeners
became deeply interested, and that thoroughly startled, they at last
displayed marks of indignation. That indignation, it was plain, was
against the Queres; and Shotaye felt that she had gained her point. The
breach between the tribes was now widened to such an extent that it
could never be healed. At the close of the interrogatory, which had
frequently been interrupted by exclamations of surprise and anger, the
mistress of the house caressed Shotaye, calling her sister. The tuyo,
however, merely nodded to her kindly, uttered in a commanding tone a few
words to those present, and went out to attend to his duties of
convening the council. But the Tano Indian remained with Shotaye until
late in the night. He pretended to keep her company, and to contribute
toward dispelling the feeling of loneliness that might overcome her in
the midst of people with whom she could not converse. But in reality he
remained as a spy, to cross-examine in a covert way. Shotaye was wary,
and not one contradiction, not one misstatement, could he detect during
their talk. Then he went where the council had gathered, reporting that
according to his conviction the woman was not only sincere, but
exceedingly well-informed.

It would be superfluous to enter into details concerning the
proceedings of the council. Its composition and the formalities were in
the main similar to those of the council of the Queres. One point was
earnestly discussed,--the propriety of sending a messenger to the Queres
to clear up, if possible, the misunderstanding. But the thought was
finally discarded, on the ground that it was not the Tehuas who should
make overtures of peace,--because they were absolutely innocent,--but
the Queres, for it was they who, ere proceeding to hostile
demonstrations, should have called on the Tehuas for explanation. Had
the two tribes been on friendly terms, it might have been different; but
there existed a breach between them already, and if the Queres chose to
still further widen it, the Tehuas felt ready for any emergency. It was
resolved to prepare for war at once, to call to arms the entire male
population, send ahead the necessary spies, and thus prepared, to wait.
With this the matter went into the hands of the great medicine-man and
the head war-chief. The former was almost an equivalent to the Hishtanyi
Chayan among the Queres, the latter the exact equivalent of the maseua.

The castle-like rock of the Puye, along whose base the numerous
cave-dwellings are burrowed out of a very friable and almost snow-white
tufa, is situated about ten miles west of the Rio Grande, and not two
miles south of the picturesque cañon of Santa Clara. The cliff is over
one half mile long, and it dominates the mesa on which it stands. For
many miles there are groves of timber surrounding the foot of the high
and rugged slope that leads up to the cave-dwellings. While the Queres
at the Rito dwelt at the bottom of a secluded gorge, the Tehuas occupied
a picturesque citadel rising from a high and level plateau. Northeast of
the Puye, and separated from it by the cañon of Santa Clara, there rises
a similar rock, equally bold and striking, and higher still, but not as
extensive. This is called by the Tehuas, Shu Finne. Its lower rim is
also perforated by cave-dwellings, and these were inhabited by a portion
of the same tribe. During the night runners were sent to the Shu Finne,
calling upon its people for assistance; and videttes were placed on the
mountains and on the little mesa capping the cliff. The Tehuas were more
numerous than the Queres of the Rito, and might well wait calmly and
with dignity until the latter either sought to negotiate or broke out in
unjustifiable warfare.

The five days which, as the tuyo had correctly inferred, would be spent
by the people of the Tyuonyi in mourning and in warlike preparations,
passed; and no messenger of peace came to the Tehuas. The Queres
remained in perfect confidence that those whom they intended to surprise
were in absolute ignorance of any evil intentions on their part. But
when the night of the fifth day had shrouded the landscape in purple
darkness, Tehua warriors began to stream down the slopes from the cliff
and its cave-dwellings. The deepest silence was observed, instructions
having been given beforehand, and the bands of armed men moved
noiselessly forward. The plan was not to await the attack at home, but
to advance into the more timbered country south of the barren mesa where
the cliff rises, and to surprise the enemy on their approach. From
reports of spies it was known that no Queres were as yet scouring the
heights north of the Rito; and the Tehuas, moving swiftly, were able to
place themselves in ambush in the rocky wilderness where, later on,
their descendants built and inhabited the now ruined village of the
Pueblo of the Bird. One half day's journey would bring the Queres easily
to that point, where they certainly would not expect to be met by armed
foes. There is water in the vicinity, and the ground is broken with
pine groves. It could be foretold with reasonable certainty that the
enemy would move in the direction of this place, for it is the
straightest course, though not the easiest, from the Rito northward. In
this region the Tehua hosts spread out, scouts preceding even as far as
the Ziro kauash. The Queres might come, for everything was as ready as
Shotaye's fondest hopes could have wished.

During these warlike preparations Shotaye found ample time and
opportunity to become initiated into the life of her new home. The old
interpreter proved a very useful guide, and she improved his willingness
to talk and to advise. He informed her that Cayamo was free, and that as
soon as the story of their meeting had become known among the people of
the Puye, everybody began to look upon her as his future wife. Shortly
before the beginning of the campaign, the time of his retirement
expired; the ceremonies on the scalp matter had to be postponed on
account of the all-important measures of war, and Cayamo was able to
present himself to his future spouse in the natural colour of his skin
and in his usual costume. Their meeting was not in the least
sentimental. Both laughed aloud and joyfully; they exchanged gestures
and signs plainly indicating their future duties and probable results.
Those present laughed in token of approval and applause. At a hint from
Teanyi's wife, Shotaye placed some corn-cakes before Cayamo. He ate a
few morsels, the courtship formalities were fulfilled, and the
bridegroom returned to his duty as a warrior.

The Tano had informed the woman that Cayamo belonged to the clan of the
Sun. In return she communicated that the Water people were her kindred.
What the Queres called Tzitz hanutsh the Tehuas named P'ho doa, and the
members of the clan P'ho were therefore officially requested to take
their new sister in charge. Some of the old men of the cluster came
over to the dwellings of the Turquoise clan, where the wife of Teanyi
lived. In their company came several women, who escorted Shotaye to her
new quarters. On the way to the caves of P'ho doa one of the women
lightly touched Shotaye's breast, then her own, and whispered,--

"Oyike P'ho."

It was her name, and Shotaye communicated her own in reply. The woman
shook her head, whispering,--

"Nyo Shotaye, nyo Tema, 'not Shotaye, not Queres.' Tehua quio." Then she
grasped her hand and breathed into Shotaye's ear,--

"Aua P'ho Quio."

Shotaye easily understood the meaning of this confidential
communication. With her change of abode her name was to change also.
Henceforth she was to be a Tehua woman, and Aua P'ho Quio was to be her
name.

The Tano continued his visits as heretofore. He plied the woman with
questions, sometimes of the most complex nature. His conduct in this
respect was characteristic of the suspicious nature of the Indian
generally. The leaders of the Tehuas mistrusted Shotaye still,
notwithstanding her clear and positive talk; and they had instructed the
Tano to keep her company and to probe her sincerity and veracity still
further. But she was more than a match for all of them. She saw through
the maze of the very confused and bewildering interrogatory, and her
replies were such as to absolutely confirm the Tehuas in the good
opinion they had conceived of her. Whatever the interpreter reported to
the tuyo that was of any value to the military operations impending, was
immediately communicated to the war-chief through a special runner, for
that functionary was in the field already with his men.

Shotaye made use of her conversations with the Tano Indian to direct the
attention of the Tehuas toward Tyope. She described him as the leading
warrior and the most influential man on the Rito, as the pivot around
which everything revolved and on whose life much would depend. But she
was artful enough not to depict Tyope as a bad man, lest the Tehuas
might infer her real purpose. She spoke of him as a man dangerous
through his good qualities, and as a formidable adversary. In short her
words produced such an effect that the governor himself came to
interrogate her on the subject, and even caused the war-chief to return
from the field on the fourth day, and had him visit Shotaye in company
with the interpreter and secure a detailed and accurate description of
this dangerous individual. Then they went to the medicine-man and
consulted him about the propriety of taking Shotaye along into the
field, that she might point out the great warrior who, so they had
become convinced, must be killed at all hazards in order to insure
success. On the evening of the sixth day, therefore, Shotaye wandered
over to Tzirege in company with the commander himself.

Shortly after their arrival among the group of warriors where the
war-chief had taken his position, runners came from the south with news
that they had detected several Queres in full war-paint creeping
northward from the brink of the Rito. These runners were at once ordered
back, with strict injunctions to the scouts not to impede the enemy's
movements, but to suffer them to advance. The Tehuas were quite
scattered, particularly in the front, as is usually the case with bodies
of Indians on the war-path. The main bodies concealed themselves between
the Tzirege and a deep and broad ravine farther south, called to-day
Cañada Ancha. They kept in the woods toward the mountains, expecting
their foes to approach on a line closer to the river. The plan was to
allow the Queres to come up undisturbed as far as the north side of the
Cañada. As the men from the Rito advanced, the Tehua scouts were to
close in from the rear and follow them cautiously, until the enemies
were all gathered on the desired spot, with the woods to their left and
rugged, barren cliffs and peaks to their right. Then the trap would be
sprung; and if the Queres took to those bleak fastnesses for defence it
would be easy to surround them, cut them off from water, and thus
exterminate them completely.

Night had fallen when another message came, to the effect that the
numbers of the enemy were increasing, and beginning to spread over the
timber in small groups. The war-chief sent a messenger to the Puye, and
after midnight the great medicine-man of war appeared in person. The
shaman was, like all the others, painted black; a tall plume taken from
an eagle rose behind each ear; the left hand carried a rattle; and a
little drum was suspended from his shoulder. As soon as he arrived, one
of the warriors retired to a spot which was almost hedged in by several
bushy cedar-trees. There he built a fire, and as soon as it burned he
covered it in such a manner that only a thin film of smoke arose from
it. To this smouldering heap the shaman proceeded alone and sat down.
There he spent the night, muttering incantations and prayers, shaking
his rattle, and striking the drum softly from time to time.

The sounds that proceeded from his discordant music were so faint that
they could be heard only in close proximity. They were besides the only
human sound in this wilderness. Animal voices occasionally disturbed the
quietness of the night. Nobody would have supposed that between the Rito
and the mesas opposite San Ildefonso of to-day several hundred Indian
warriors were hidden, patiently waiting or slowly moving forward. It was
a quiet, still night, cool, as the nights mostly are in the rainy
season, and dark. The sky was partly overcast; but the clouds did not
drift, they formed and dissolved overhead; and the stars appeared and
disappeared alternately as the nebulous fleeces disclosed or shrouded
them. Behind the mountain, thunderclouds rested, and occasional flashes
of lightning illuminated the crests, and faint thunder muttered in the
distance. It had no threatening sound, and the lightning did not seem
like prophetic writing on the sombre clouds. It was a pleasant night and
an excellent one for Indian warfare.

The scouts of the Tehuas had reported in the last instance that the bulk
of the war-party from the Rito must now be on the move, for no fresh
additions were coming up from the gorge. So careless and unconcerned
were the Queres, so absolutely sure of the enemy's ignorance of their
designs, that they never thought of sending scouts to the upper end of
the northern mesa. From there a few Tehuas had comfortably observed
everything that happened in the gorge during the day, and as evening
came they could report even the numbers of the warriors who took part in
the campaign. As soon as these warriors were all on the Ziro kauash, the
Tehua spies, after warning those behind them, crept cautiously into the
rear of the advancing foe.

All the able-bodied men from the Tyuonyi had not been permitted to join
the expedition. Hayoue was not among them, neither was Okoya. It was a
sad disappointment to the boy, and yet was he not staying at home in
defence of his mother and of Mitsha? Say Koitza had ceased to weep, but
the persistent neglect which she thought she suffered from Shotaye
grieved her. At last she asked Okoya whether he had seen anything of the
cave-woman. His reply, that he thought she had gone, explained
everything. She recollected the confident words that Shotaye had spoken
to her, and concluded that the woman had carried out her plan of taking
refuge with the Tehuas. That quelled her apprehensions and allayed her
fears. Shotaye knew what she was and had to do; and Shotaye--of this Say
felt convinced--was true to her. In order to be quite sure of the fact,
however, she strolled up to the cave in the course of an afternoon. The
rooms were empty, and Say turned back. One of Shotaye's neighbours
stopped her to ask where the medicine-woman might be. Say carelessly
replied that she was probably on the heights above, gathering herbs. The
wily fugitive had left her household as if she were about to return
soon. With the exception of the mother of Okoya nobody noticed her
absence. She was known to disappear occasionally for several days; and
furthermore, the excitement and bustle incident upon the prospective
expedition against the Tehuas engaged everybody's attention.

Say Koitza could not help wondering whether Shotaye would inform the
Tehuas of the impending attack. Perhaps she might, perhaps not. At all
events she felt relieved upon hearing that neither her son nor her
husband nor even Hayoue were to go with the warriors. The enterprise
aroused within her vague apprehensions; why, she could not tell. But it
pleased her to learn that Tyope was going,--going as the leader, the
war-captain of the party.

[Illustration: Rito de los Frijoles

Looking out from the Ceremonial Cave]

Tyope had worked incessantly and with brilliant results. The Shkuy
Chayan and the Koshare Naua had succeeded in so inveigling the principal
shaman that he ordered that all the men from the Water clan, and those
from Shyuamo with few exceptions, should stay at home for the protection
of the women and children. That included Hayoue, of whose abilities and
popularity Tyope was afraid, and saved the Turquoise people from the
casualties of war. Tyope went so far as to praise Hayoue in the council,
suggesting that the young man should be intrusted with authority as
war-chief _ad interim_. The suggestion was carried out at once, and
afterward the Hishtanyi Chayan appointed Tyope as commander-in-chief of
the forces marching out. He himself accompanied the body of warriors as
adviser and spiritual guide to the captain. Nothing could suit Tyope
better. The man was old and not very strong, and people are often killed
in war.

After sunset the medicine-man made his appearance on the northern mesa
and performed his incantations. Tyope and most of the others breathed on
their war-fetiches, and then group after group stealthily moved onward.
The plan, which had been communicated to every one in its main points,
consisted in reaching before sunrise the very ground which the Tehuas
had selected for their operations; passing the following day in the
woods of that vicinity in concealment, and creeping up to the Puye the
following night; then, after sunrise, when the Tehuas would begin to
scatter, unarmed and unsuspecting, pouncing upon them and making a
general slaughter. Tyope had under his direction more than two hundred
men, and they extended over a wide front. About twenty experienced
warriors, mostly uakanyi, glided in advance as scouts. Behind them came
at a suitable distance either single warriors or small bands. The main
body came last. It was divided into several groups. Near the centre were
Tyope and the shaman.

Every one knew that his duty for the present consisted in searching for
traces of the enemy without exposing himself to discovery. Should a
single Tehua be observed, and it became possible for a scout to
overpower and kill him without noise, he might do it. In case a number
of foes were noticed, the spy was to give quiet warning to the man
nearest to him, that one to those in his rear; and they were to send a
runner to inform Tyope. In the mean time all were to halt until orders
came to move in a new direction. For Tyope, although he did not in the
least suspect that the Tehuas were forewarned, and still less on the
alert so close by the Rito, used every possible precaution in order that
the surprise might be complete and the blow as crushing as possible.

It was dark in the timber, and the main body of the Queres approached
the brink of the first cañon north of the Rito while the advance were
cautiously descending into the bottom and the scouts were already
farther on. Tyope and the medicine-man were standing a short distance
from the descent of the south side and listening to the news which a
runner had just brought in from the front.

"Are you sure you have noticed a man?" the Chayan asked in a whisper.

"I am sure of it. He crouched at the foot of a juniper-bush," replied
the messenger, positively.

"Has he seen you?" demanded Tyope.

"I believe not."

"When you left was he there still?"

"I could not see any more of him."

"How far is it from here? Where stands the tree?" the Chayan asked.

"It is on the other side of the ravine, near the border to the left."

Tyope pondered a while; then he said to the shaman,--

"Nashtio yaya, I think we should go more toward the east. What do you
say?"

"It is well," muttered the medicine-man.

"Satyumishe," Tyope said to the runner, "go and tell the men to go along
the ravine toward the Rio Grande until the trees become smaller. Thence
they may go to the north again, but slowly and carefully. Ziua," he
called to one of the bystanders, "go and tell those toward the left to
come where I stand. Ohotika," calling another, "run to the right and
command those there to wait until we join them."

The runners left in the directions indicated.

The information which had just been conveyed to Tyope was most
disagreeable. The presence of one human being at the time and place
indicated looked very suspicious. If the man had seen his warriors he
would certainly run home and give the alarm. All Tyope could do now was
to keep as close as possible to the Rio Grande, push up parallel with
the river as cautiously as possible, and thus sneak beyond the enemy, in
case, as he still could not believe, the latter were in anything like a
considerable force. He would thus eventually place himself between them
and their village.

After a while the warriors from the left came on hastily, stumbling
through the darkness. All together now went down in an easterly
direction, where the right wing, if this term can be used, was halting.
Thence Tyope despatched runners ahead to inquire whether everything was
quiet in front, to repeat the order of slow marching, and to direct them
to halt on the northern brink of the Cañada Ancha.

When the runners left, the march was resumed in the usual scattering
manner, as if all were skirmishers. Tyope and the shaman remained
together. Neither uttered a word. The commander looked up to the stars
from time to time. They were peeping out more and more, for the clouds
were dispersing. Only from the southwest distant thunder sounded and
lightning flashed occasionally. A shower was falling in that direction.

It was past midnight when the main body came up with the advance guard
after crossing the Cañada Ancha. Tyope found everything in order, and he
directed a farther advance. Tyope was angry. The circuit which he had
felt obliged to make made a serious delay, and there was danger that
with the early sunrise of the summer months he might be behind to such
an extent as to be unable to reach the cover of the woods in time. If
the Tehuas were informed of his approach they would either prepare for
his coming at the Puye--and the result of an open attack would be to say
the least extremely doubtful,--or they would come out in force, and
desultory fighting would ensue. In this those who were nearest water and
supplies always had the advantage. His idea of striking a sudden blow
appeared very much endangered by the presence of Tehuas in the forest.
He thought and thought without arriving at any satisfactory conclusion.
Return to the Rito he could not, for such a retreat was worse than
disaster. Neither could he decide alone; the Hishtanyi Chayan was by his
side and he had to consult him. So he stood still and turned to the
shaman, saying,--

"Nashtio yaya, the night will soon be over, and the sun may come out
from behind the mountain in the east."

"Ko," grunted the medicine-man.

"It is far yet to the houses of the Moshome Tehua."

The Chayan stood still.

"Sa uishe nashtio," said he, "the Shiuana direct us to go on a different
road. I saw an owl fly toward the moon. Let us go away from the river
into the kote to rest and to hide until the sun goes down again and we
may go farther toward the katityam of the enemy."

This was just as Tyope wanted. He disliked the idea of passing a day
concealed under cliffs and crags where a torrid sun shone, and where
there was water only in the river beneath and at a great depth. But he
wanted to be sure of what Those Above intended, so he asked again,--

"Yaya Chayan, do the Shiuana"--he emphasized the term--"say that we
should go to the west?"

"The spirits say that we should go where there is shade and water! Let
us go to the mountains; there we shall find both."

"They are right!" Tyope exclaimed. "I believe it is better to stay
there until the sun has risen. I will send word to the men to turn to
the left, and we will sleep in the shade of the trees until the time
comes to advance."

"You are right, brother," the Chayan assented; "do as you have said."

The two men had lagged behind the others during this conversation. Tyope
imitated the cry of an owl. Soon several warriors came up to him. He
directed them to go to the front, to the right, and to the left, and
give orders that all should move to the westward a short distance, far
enough to reach high timber. Then all should halt and prepare to pass
the night. He himself moved a short distance only in that direction, in
company with the shaman, and selected a spot where the mesa was covered
with the usual underbrush and where taller trees already began to
appear. Here he lay down to rest with eyes wide open, ready for any
emergency. Not far away the medicine-man found a secluded spot where he
sat down without fire, occasionally touching the drum and reciting his
prayers and incantations. They were the same as those which the shaman
of the Tehuas was directing to Those Above at the same time and not far
from him, but in a different tongue, for the success of his people and
the destruction of those for whom the Hishtanyi Chayan was praying.

The decision of Tyope to penetrate into the forest to the west brought
the Queres into the very position which the Tehuas desired. The scouts
of the latter had obeyed punctually and diligently the orders which they
had received, following step by step the advancing foe and reporting to
headquarters any notable move. They possessed the immense advantage of
knowing every movement the Queres made from the very beginning, and were
thus able to observe them unseen. As soon as Tyope had concentrated his
forces on the northern brink of the Cañada Ancha, the main body of the
Tehuas receded slightly to the west. As soon as the Queres began to
ascend in that direction, the retrograde movement of the others
continued in the centre; whereas the left wing spread out, and the right
slightly advanced to the east along the brink of the ravine. The scouts
were called in with all haste and reinforced, especially the body that
faced the Queres in the north. At the time Tyope lay down to rest, his
forces were surrounded everywhere except on the east. Everything was
ready for the Tehuas to begin their attack upon the unsuspecting foe at
daybreak.



CHAPTER XVIII.


The change from night to daylight in New Mexico is by no means sudden.
Darkness yields slowly to the illumination streaming from the east; and
when the moon is shining, one remains in doubt for quite a while whether
the growing brightness is due to the mistress of night or to the lord of
day.

Nowhere is this more perceptible than on high plateaus covered by sparse
timber. Suddenly awaking, one is in doubt at first whether it is sunrise
or the full moon that illuminates the landscape. The shadows are
weakened, but objects are not much more distinct; a glow pervades the
air rather than a positive light.

When the Indian is on the war-path he sleeps but little, and never long.
He prefers the day to the night for rest, as he can conceal his
movements better in the darkness. Tyope had halted his little army just
before daybreak because he felt afraid of going any farther, and because
he had arrived close to the place where he desired to remain during the
day without exposing his forces to the chance of discovery. None of his
men slept; none of them dozed, even. They had all been warned of the
possible presence of foes, and although there seemed not the slightest
evidence of those foes being aware of their coming, yet the mere
apprehension caused uneasiness. There was therefore increased
watchfulness on their part.

Every one among the Queres was looking forward with anxiety to the hour
when there would be sufficient light to investigate the situation more
closely. The sky had cleared; the air became cooler, and the morning
star shone brightly, in spite of the luminous crescent of a waning moon.
The Hishtanyi Chayan was sitting at the same place where he had retired
a few hours before, but he no longer prayed; he stared motionless. Tyope
lay on his back behind a juniper-bush. He was watching the sky and the
approach of dawn. A number of warriors had lain down in the vicinity,
awaiting the signal to move.

One of these had placed himself in such a position that he could glance
at the forest, which loomed up before him like a mass of dense shadows
with rays of moonlight between. He peered into that maze of darkness and
light for hours. But nothing appeared in it worthy of note. So the
Queres warrior turned around on his back in order to change position. He
saw the moon rise to the zenith and the corona borealis disappear below
the western horizon. He noticed also how the stars grew dimmer and
dimmer, how the shadows commenced to wane. Finally he fixed his gaze on
the east.

Owing to the shrubbery it was not possible to see distinctly, yet
anything lying on the ground could be discerned. From the place where he
lay, the Queres Indian looked through a lane bordered on both sides by
bushes of cedar and juniper. At the end of that lane he discovered a
dark spot. That spot disappeared while he was still gazing at it. He
strained his eyes to find the spot again, but it had really vanished.

The man from the Rito became suspicious. Again he looked, but the spot
or object, whatever it might be, had gone out of sight altogether. He
crawled over to the man nearest him, told him what had occurred, and
returned to his post. The dark speck or thing had not reappeared; but on
the right side of the gallery formed by the trees it seemed as if,
somewhat nearer to his own position, something black became apparent and
disappeared in an instant. The scout strained both ear and eye. Nothing
could be heard, and nothing else of a suspicious character met his gaze.

Meanwhile his companion had crept over to where Tyope was lying, and had
reported to the commander the strange apparition. Tyope turned over so
as to face the east and said,--

"It is well."

He also began to scan the network of shadows and illuminated patches
extending in that direction. The Indian who had spoken to him went back
to his post, but very soon returned, whispering,--

"Somebody has crossed over from one tree to another."

"Where?" Tyope asked in a subdued voice.

"There," replied the scout, pointing with his hand toward a group of
bushes.

"It is well," said the leader; "go back and keep your eyes open."

The Indian crawled off. Tyope rose to his knees, seized two branches of
the tree behind which he had been reclining, and bent them asunder. In
this manner he was able to overlook the ground to the east at a greater
height than before. The light had increased, but it would have been
impossible to discern any object at a distance.

Daylight was growing on the waning night. Had Tyope stood up and looked
toward the east, he would have seen the dark, sinuous line which the
mountains east of Santa Fé trace along that part of the horizon. Their
uppermost snow-fields were beginning to glisten in the light streaming
up from beyond.

On Tyope's left a rustling sound was heard; he turned around. One of his
men was cautiously approaching.

"There are Moshome in front of us."

"I know it," replied the commander. "How many have you seen?"

"Two."

"And you saw them clearly?"

"Yes, but they sneaked off."

"Did they seem to come toward us?"

"They crept behind a juniper, and after that I could see nothing more."

"Do the others know it?"

"Not yet. Shall I tell them?"

"Go tell them. Afterward return here to me."

Tyope felt embarrassed. It was clear to him that several Tehuas were
lurking in the direction whence he had come, and that they were moving
toward him. It indicated that their numbers were strong enough to engage
him. That looked very, very ominous! If he only knew how matters stood
elsewhere, and whether the enemy had shown himself at other points!
Tyope grew very uneasy.

Tactics in Indian warfare reduce themselves to a game of hide-and-seek.
He who must show himself first is sure of suffering the greater loss.
Tyope knew that in case the Tehuas had actually surrounded him they had
the greater advantage at their disposal. They might wait much longer
than he and his men. They might even wait for days, keeping the Queres
penned up in uncertainty, and then break out as soon as the latter were
sufficiently exhausted.

The same scout approached again. He crawled like a mole.

"Nashtio," he whispered, "there are Moshome to the left of us."

"Many?" Tyope inquired hastily.

"Six of them have been noticed."

That was exceedingly alarming. He directed the man to stay on the spot,
while he glided through the bushes to where the Hishtanyi Chayan had
spent the night. The medicine-man was awake, and looked at the captain
in astonishment. Tyope placed a finger on his lips and shook his head.
The shaman asked,--

"Sa uishe, what is it?"

"Tzatze raua! Tzatze raua!" Tyope exclaimed in a low tone. "The Tehuas
are sneaking about us like shutzuna. There are many of them, and they
come up from the east. What shall we do, yaya? Speak."

"Tzatze raua," the shaman repeated, shaking his head. "As you say, the
Moshome come up behind us?"

"I thought," Tyope suggested, "of sending word to the men in front to
come back, and as soon as we could see anything, striking the enemies in
our rear. What do you think of it, sa nashtio?"

"Many will go to Shipapu to-day," the Chayan muttered.

"What shall I do? Speak!" Tyope insisted. The last words of the shaman
frightened him.

The Chayan gave no immediate reply, but sat musing in a manner
indicating that his thoughts were with Those Above. At last he raised
his head and replied,--

"We must wait until the sun stands in the sky."

Tyope suppressed a sigh. However much he attributed this answer of the
shaman to inspiration from those on high, it appeared to him dangerous.
Tyope felt very uneasy, but he was no coward. In case the worst had
really happened, if the Tehuas had anticipated and surrounded him, he
still inclined to the conviction that concentration of his forces and a
rapid onslaught on the foes in his rear would not only save him, but
secure a reasonable number of coveted trophies. If this could be
speedily effected, the less important would be his loss in attaining it;
for as long as the light was faint and dim, the enemy's missiles could
not be discharged with certain aim. He had hoped that the Chayan would
assent to this suggestion. Now on the contrary, the oracle spoke in a
manner that plainly indicated that the Shiuana ordered him to wait until
daylight. It was sure destruction, he felt it; but the Shiuana spoke
through the medium of the old man, and the Shiuana were of course right.
He could not complain or even grumble.

But he might at least prepare everything in advance, so that as soon as
the medicine-man gave the signal, his favourite move might be executed
with a promptness and alacrity that would surprise the enemy. So Tyope
crept back to the juniper-bush in whose neighbourhood his men were
grouped.

Dawn was coming on, and the shadows were beginning to assume definite
shapes and directions. Tyope sighed when he noticed the approach of
sunlight; precious time was being irretrievably lost.

He relieved the warrior whom he had left at his post. The latter
whispered to him that nothing suspicious had turned up. Suddenly Tyope
started and pressed his ear to the ground; then he darted up, rising to
his knees, and listened, straining every nerve, his head turned to the
southwest.

In that direction arose loud yells. They were followed by piercing
cries. Soon the sounds mingled, so as to create a noise like that which
a struggle between men and wolves might produce. These sounds told Tyope
that a severe engagement had commenced in that direction. At the same
time it struck him that the main body of the Tehuas were probably south
and east of his forces, and that consequently by moving swiftly westward
he could interpose himself between the Tehuas and their homes, cut off
their warriors from their village, and secure complete triumph. But
before he could order such a change of tactics he ought to know
something definite from the quarter where the fight had begun. To send a
runner seemed unadvisable, for he thought it unsafe to lessen the forces
around him, if only by a man. Several of his companions had approached,
startled by the sudden noise. He motioned them to return to their posts.

The noise of the battle diminished; then it broke out anew and sounded
nearer. It seemed to extend to the east. In the west and north
everything remained quiet; the enemy appeared to be entirely southwest
and east of the little army which Tyope commanded. He felt relieved, and
a grim satisfaction crept over his mind. He thought, surely the Tehuas
have committed a grave mistake.

If only his people would report to him! Now at last! The bushes rattled,
and a man stepped up. In a tone of intense agitation he said,--

"Where is the war-chief?"

"I am here," replied Tyope in a muffled voice, motioning the warrior to
lie down. The latter either failed to notice the gesture or
misunderstood it, and walked on upright. Something whizzed through the
branches of the shrubs; the messenger bent as if suddenly folded up; he
grasped at his stomach with his hand, and tumbled to the ground. Tyope
stood by his side in the twinkling of an eye. The shaft of an arrow was
sticking in his body, and in vain did the wounded man try to pluck it
out. Regardless of the horrible pain the unfortunate one was suffering,
bent upon catching the drift of his message before the soul could escape
the tortured body, Tyope almost lay down on the groaning man.

"What news do you bring? Speak!" he hissed into his ear.

The wounded warrior moaned, moaned again. Tyope grew wild.

"Speak!" he growled, and shook him by the shoulder so rudely that the
other screamed.

"The Moshome," he gasped, "they--they--have come on to us." A chill went
through his body; he lay there gasping, incapable of speech.

Tyope was frenzied; he again shook the dying man ruthlessly.

"Where have they attacked?" he roared.

"West."

"Have they killed any of our people?"

"I--don't--know," breathed the poor fellow. His head was swaying; it
rolled back and forth on the ground. Tyope could not obtain any further
reply. So he crawled back and left him to die. The Moor had done his
duty; the Moor might go to Shipapu.

Tyope had been so eager to secure from the dying man any information the
latter might still be able to impart, that he paid no immediate
attention to the noise and uproar which had arisen in his own vicinity.
Almost at the very moment when the Queres warrior was mortally wounded,
one of Tyope's companions despatched one of his arrows at a Tehua whom
he had distinctly seen in front. This shot he accompanied by a loud
yell. The foe replied to the challenge in the same manner; arrows
whizzed and hissed through the air, crossing each other and tearing
through the shrubbery or penetrating the trunks of trees with dull
thuds. The fight had begun here too, but little if any damage was done
as yet by either side. Most of the arrows were shot at random, and both
parties whooped and yelled. Their purpose was manifestly to frighten the
adversary by creating an exaggerated impression of their own numbers and
strength.

All this did not make an unfavourable impression upon Tyope. On the
contrary, as soon as he saw that the engagement had broken out in his
rear also, he felt a thrill of pleasure and changed his plans at once.
He believed now, in presence of the attacks made by the Tehuas, that the
latter had indeed placed all their men between him and the Rito, and
that consequently the road to the Puye lay open, and he could rush up,
capture the women and children, and hold them for ransom. But he must
move swiftly and energetically, leaving the fight to go on as best it
might. By advancing with a part of his forces, first to the west and
then straight to the north, Tyope might execute his plan of leaving
enough men behind to make a desperate stand against the Tehuas here.
Without the consent of the Hishtanyi Chayan, however, he felt
unauthorized to adopt decisive measures. So he again crept over to the
shaman and communicated his plans to him. To his delight the old man
rose and said,--

"It is well. Let us go."

It was daylight now, and everything could be plainly seen. The extended
skirmishing went on with less ardour than before, neither party pressing
the other very closely.

Tyope glided back to one of his men. An arrow well directed struck the
ground very near. Whispering into his ear the change of programme, Tyope
took off his shield, turned it toward the enemy, and rose on his right
knee. Fastened to the left arm and resting on the ground with its lower
rim, the shield covered the kneeling man almost completely. The left
hand held the bow, and the weapon slightly protruded from behind the
protecting target. Tyope then pushed his body forward from behind the
bush where he had been crouching.

Hardly was the shield visible when its owner felt a sudden blow against
it, and the point of an arrow came through the hide. The shot must have
come from a short distance, or it would not have pierced the shield. Ere
Tyope discovered whence it came, his companion had discharged his bow,
and with a loud whoop hurled himself forward, where he fell headlong
behind a little tree. Wild yells sounded from the Tehuas, and several of
their warriors rushed up to the spot; branches rattled and bushes shook
as the men brushed past them. Tyope had an arrow ready, and he
despatched it at one of his foes. He pulled another from the quiver
without looking to see whether the first had struck a mark or not,
darted up, and with a shout bounded ahead to encounter the enemy. A shot
grazed his right hand, scratching the wrist and causing him to drop his
arrow. For a time the arm was numb, but Tyope heeded it not. Where the
man who had stood beside him had fallen, a number of warriors from both
sides were wrangling. A Queres lay dead on the dead body of a Tehua
whose scalp he had intended to secure. Two of his brethren were
defending his corpse against half a dozen Tehuas. Tyope's right wrist
had been paralyzed by the arrow-shot, but he raised his arm and flung
the war-club that dangled from it against the head of the nearest foe.
The blow was too feeble, and Tyope grabbed the man's hair. Arrows
whizzed and shrieked past the fighting group; shrill yells and wild
howling sounded from every quarter. The contending parties exchanged
insulting cries and abusive words in both languages.

The Tehua whom Tyope had grabbed by the hair made desperate lunges at
him from below with a sharply pointed arrow. He succeeded in slightly
wounding him in several places. Tyope kicked him in the abdomen, causing
him to double up at once. Regardless of the pain in the right hand Tyope
succeeded in grasping the war-club at last. With it he directed several
blows at the head of the enemy, but they were so weak that only at the
third stroke did the Tehua fall. At this juncture an arrow grazed
Tyope's temple. He looked up, and saw that he had been very imprudent
in yielding so far to ardour and excitement as to mingle with his men in
a strife for the possession of a single scalp, and thus expose unduly
his own person. He began to think of withdrawal into the neighbourhood
of the Hishtanyi Chayan, but it was not easy to extricate himself.
Warding off a blow aimed at his skull, with his shield he pushed it into
the face of the new assailant with sufficient force to cause the man to
stagger. Then he shouted a few words to his own men, turned around, and
rushed back to his tree, where he fell down at full length, exhausted
and bleeding. The other Queres, two in number, followed his example, and
the Tehuas did not pursue. The result was so far favourable to the
Queres that they lost but one man and the Tehuas two; but the scalp of
the dead man from the Rito remained with the enemy.

When Tyope had recovered his breath, he sneaked back to where he had
left the shaman. As he approached the spot he heard the medicine-man
singing and beating his drum. It was a very good sign to see the shaman
at work with such enthusiasm; still Tyope must disturb him.

"Sa nashtio," he cried, "we must go."

"Heiti-na! Heiti-na!" shouted the praying shaman, drumming incessantly.
He was in ecstasies. His uplifted eyes sparkled; he paid no attention to
what was around him.

"Sa nashtio yaya," Tyope anxiously insisted.

"Do not disturb me, let me alone! Heiti-na! Heiti-na!" cried the
Hishtanyi Chayan aloud.

Tyope was in despair. Arrow after arrow was flying past him, rending
twigs and shattering branches. The Tehuas shot faster than the Queres.
They must have a large supply of missiles. Every shot was accompanied by
triumphant yells; the enemy was growing bolder.

Again the leader tried to rouse the medicine-man to decisive action, but
the latter only shook his head in an irritated manner and proceeded with
his song louder and louder. At last he dropped his drum, jumped to his
feet, and began to dance and to stamp, shaking his rattle and wildly
yelling,--

"Raua, raua! Ho-[=a]-[=a], Heiti-na! Ho-[=a]-[=a], Heiti-na!" Then he
stood still, and looked around as if aroused from a dream. At the sight
of Tyope he remembered, and spoke, panting still,--

"It is well. They are good, Those Above! We will do as you said!"
Heedless of missiles he walked on into the forest. Tyope heaved a great
sigh of relief.

A small whistle made of bone depended from Tyope's neck. He raised it to
his lips and blew a shrill, piercing blast. The warriors in his
neighbourhood turned their faces toward him. He beckoned to one of them
to approach. To this man he gave directions in a low tone. They were to
the effect that they should offer the most determined resistance to the
enemy, while at the same time they were to retire gradually but slowly
from the actual position, as if yielding to pressure. Their sturdy
resistance was to cover the movements of the main body.

Tyope now stealthily crept away from the line of the fight. Soon he met
a group of his people who, outside of the range of missiles, were
waiting to be called into action. He sent the majority of them to the
front to reinforce the others. Two runners were despatched to the south
and southwest with orders. With the remainder he set out slowly,
penetrating deeper into the timber. He thus collected, one after
another, the various groups into a fairly compact body, always sending a
few men back to reinforce the fighting portions. Over one hundred men
were now engaged with the Tehuas. The remainder moved, as Tyope
confidently hoped, upon the cave-dwellings of the unprotected Puye by a
detour which would enable the Queres to avoid the rather exposed site of
Tzirege.

A tremendous noise from the south indicated that a hand-to-hand
encounter was going on there. The noise lasted but a short time, then it
subsided. Shortly afterward a warrior rushed panting up to Tyope.

"Nashtio," he said, "the Moshome have taken five scalps."

"Where?" Tyope snorted.

"There;" he pointed southward.

"And we?"

"Three."

"Have the people gone back?"

"A little."

"It is well. Tell the men to come still farther this way, but very
slowly."

He ordered five of his own men to go back with the runner to replace the
five whom the Tehuas had killed. With the rest he pushed forward. He
kept beside the Hishtanyi Chayan, and both walked almost at the head of
their little troupe. Only a few scouts preceded them, so completely safe
did Tyope feel about the west and northwest.

The action in the rear seemed to lag. A wild uproar broke out in the
southwest but no messenger came with evil tidings. The Queres maintained
themselves. All was well.

The engagement had lasted two hours already, and it might continue in
this way for hours more without coming to a crisis in the mean time.
Tyope would creep up to the women and children of the Tehuas. In case
the rear-guard should be ultimately destroyed by the enemy it mattered
little, for by capturing the non-combatants the Queres still remained
masters of the situation. Tyope was explaining all this to the
Hishtanyi Chayan; and the two, in consequence of their conversation, had
remained behind the foremost skirmish-line. The shaman was listening,
and from time to time grunting assent to Tyope's explanations.

Suddenly the shrubbery in front rattled, and moved violently, as though
deer were endeavouring to tear through it at full speed. At the same
time there arose in that very west which had been so still, and close
upon the two men, a fearful war-whoop uttered by many voices. Like
wildfire this threatening howl spread to the west; it seemed to run
along an arc of a circle from the northwest to the south. The warriors
in front came running back in dismay. Many of them were already wounded.
One reached the spot where the commander and the shaman were standing
spell-bound. There he fell to the ground headlong, blood flowing from
his mouth. His body had been shot through and through.

However great his surprise at that completely unexpected attack, and
however disastrous it must be to all his plans, Tyope not only did not
lose his head, but rather seemed to grow cool and self-possessed, and an
expression of sinister quiet settled on his features. Yet he was
internally far from being at ease or hopeful. He blew his whistle.
Without regard to his office the old shaman crouched behind a shrub,
where, placing his shield before him, he listened and spied. The
medicine-man had imitated Tyope's example; the magician was now turned
into a warrior!

The signal given by the war-chief was heard by very few only, for the
yells of the Tehuas drowned every other noise. The enemy this time
rushed up without any preliminary skirmishing, and the surprise was so
sudden that the Queres were running back in every direction with their
foes in close pursuit. They had no time to gather or to hide. Ere Tyope
knew it, his men were far away in his rear, as well as a number of his
enemies also. To his left he noticed one of his tribe lying on the
ground dead, and a Tehua standing with both feet on his back, cutting
and jerking at the scalp of the dead man. Tyope was alone, for the
medicine-man had fled. The Tehua was so intent upon securing the trophy
that he had not seen Tyope, and he could easily have killed him. But
hurried footsteps, many voices, and the shaking of bushes in front
showed plainly that quite a numerous body of Tehuas was rapidly coming
toward him. His own life was too precious in this hour of terrible need
to permit exposure for the sake of killing one enemy, so he turned about
softly on his knees. The Tehua still did not pay any attention to him,
and now the temptation was too great; he quickly placed an arrow on the
string and sent the shaft, thanks to the short distance, between the
ribs of the unsuspecting foe. Then with a yell of triumph and defiance
he darted off in the direction whither his men had scattered.

He had been noticed by some of the Tehuas who were coming up from the
west, and without delay they followed in pursuit. But it was not easy to
overtake a man like Tyope when fleeing for life. The powerful onslaught
of the Tehuas had scattered the Queres in such a manner that friend and
foe were intermingled in the forest, and it was not safe for the
pursuers to shoot at the fugitives, who were only occasionally visible
between tree-trunks and bushes, for the arrow might have struck a
friend.

Tyope ran so fast that he soon left his pursuers far behind him. When he
noticed that their shouting sounded more distant, he stopped, crouched
under a bush that grew near the foot of a large tree, and listened and
peered again. He was breathless from the rapid flight, and his heart
throbbed so violently at first that he could not clearly distinguish
sound from sound. At last he grew quiet, and now heard the din that
seemed to fill the entire forest in every direction except the north. It
was nearest toward the east and south, and there the fight seemed to
concentrate. Above the shouting, yelling, whooping, sounded the piercing
war-whistle. There could be no thought of still winning anything like
success, for the day was irretrievably, disastrously lost. To save as
many of the survivors as possible was all that could be done. Tyope
would have raved, had it been of any avail. This terrible failure, he
saw clearly, ruined his prospects forever. He wished to die, and despair
began for the first time in his life to fill his heart.

The noise of the battle was now approaching rapidly from the east and
south. The Tehuas were forcing his men into a confused mass; it was no
longer an action, it was becoming a slaughter, a butchery of the
vanquished. Tyope felt as if chills and fever were alternately running
through him; his people were without head, for the Hishtanyi Chayan was
useless as a leader. He must try to get through, and as it was
impossible to force a passage, he determined to steal through at all
hazards.

A number of Tehuas had passed without seeing him, in their eagerness to
reach the slaughter-pen into which the timbered plateau above the Cañada
Ancha was converted. Tyope improved the opportunity to slip from one
tree to another, toward where the greatest uproar was heard. Voices
sounded quite near, and he cowered down between two cedars. The voices
came nearer, and the more he listened the more he became convinced that
his own tongue was spoken. He was on the point of rising and going up to
the parties who spoke Queres, for they must be friends. He distinctly
heard his name. He looked, and looked anxiously, for he preferred to
find out who they were ere addressing them. As they came closer he
thought he recognized a woman's voice.

Nearer and nearer came the voices, and at last a group of men stood out
between the trees. They were warriors of the Tehuas, and in their midst
was a woman. She was speaking to one of them in the language of the
Rito, and all around her seemed to be attentively listening. He stared
at her,--stared, his eye-balls starting from their sockets, his face
colouring and then becoming almost black. Had any one seen Tyope at that
moment he must have taken him for some baffled and terrified demon from
the nether world.

He felt neither indignation nor passion. His heart stood still; so
wonderful was the discovery he was making that he was benumbed, body and
soul! For that woman who so confidently stood in the midst of the
enemies of her tribe, and who spoke to them with an air of assurance
bordering upon authority, uttering his own name time and again, was
Shotaye!

Once more his passion came back, and delirious with rage and frenzied
with fury he lifted the bow with the ready arrow. But so monstrous was
the sight to his eyes that his hand dropped paralyzed, and he was unable
to speed the shaft. He stood disarmed, and stared, gaping like a fiend
in despair who does not venture to oppose his master. He understood now
the connection of events, the unexpected ambush. He saw that it could
not have happened otherwise. He saw it clearly, to his shame! The woman
whom he had persecuted for years, and whom he was certain that he should
destroy utterly at the end of this campaign, had outwitted him and
destroyed his plans and hopes forever. Then let her suffer for it! He
raised his bow, dropped it again and stared. It was not pity that
fettered his otherwise ruthless hand; it was superstitious fear. That
Shotaye could have divined all his secret moves and could have saved
herself at the right moment filled him with astonishment and gradually
with invincible dread. She was no common witch! Such wonderful insight,
such clear perception of the means to save herself and at the same time
destroy him, were not human. Rage and passion disappeared; a chill went
through his frame and his lower jaw hung down like that of a corpse, as
he stared motionless, powerless to act and unable to move.

A change came over Tyope,--a change so sudden and so complete that he
was henceforth another man. Hope, ambition, revenge, vanished from his
thoughts, and with them all energy left him. The appearance of that
woman crushed him utterly. Shotaye appeared to him by the side of the
great war shaman of his enemies like some fiend, to be sure, but a fiend
of so much higher rank than his own that it was futile to cope with her.
The Indian believes in evil spirits, but even they are subjected to the
power of deities of a higher order beneficial to mankind. As such a
shuatyam the woman appeared to Tyope,--as one whom the Shiuana had
directed to accomplish his ruin. Those Above, not Shotaye, not the
Tehuas, had vanquished him; and against them it was useless to strive.

With a ghastly look of terror on his countenance, his eyes staring in
uncontrollable fright, Tyope slowly receded. Mentally crushed, shivering
and shuddering, he at last turned about and fled.

The conviction that he was henceforth utterly powerless had seized upon
him. Like an utter coward, unmindful of his rank and duties, and bent
only upon saving his life, Tyope ran and ran until he found himself in
the midst of the slaughter. He had mechanically warded off some arrows
which the enemy had shot at his rapidly approaching figure; but he
passed in among friends and foes, heedless of both, until his mad career
was stayed by the brink of the Cañada Ancha. In the course of the
massacre the Queres had succeeded in breaking partly through the enemy,
and gathering on the south, thus securing a line of retreat, or at least
escape from the bloody trap. Tyope had reached that point without
knowing well whither he was fleeing. The sight of the ravine at his feet
stopped him; he looked around absent-mindedly at first, then little by
little self-control returned.

A man came up to him. He was covered with blood. A drum was suspended
from his shoulder. It was the Hishtanyi Chayan.

"How is everything?" Tyope gasped.

"Where have you been?" the shaman asked in a tone of stern reproach.

"I was cut off and had to hide," Tyope flared up; the manner of the
questioner irritated him, and with his anger a portion of his former
energy seemed to return.

"Do you not know that the war-chief should carry the life of his men
upon his own heart, and care for them more than for himself? That he
should not hunt for scalps in the rear of the enemy, as shutzuna follows
a herd of buffaloes to eat a fallen calf?" the Chayan hissed.

"And you," Tyope roared, "do you not know that you should speak the
truth to the people? Not say that the Shiuana are good, that they say it
is well, while the kopishtai and the shuatyam go over to the enemy
together to help him! You are a liar! You lie like a Dinne; you are
foolish like a prairie dog when shutzuna plays before him!" It was
Tyope's last effort at passion. He nearly cried from rage as he
brandished his war-club in the face of the shaman. The latter remained
calm and spoke not a word, merely fastening on the maddened, raving man
a cold, stern glance. Heedless of his threats and insults he
commanded,--

"Hush, Tyope, hush! If the evil ones are about us it is because they
have followed along from the Tyuonyi! Hush, I say, do your duty at
last. At the Tyuonyi, if we ever get there, we shall see further."

At this moment several Queres burst from the timber. One of them cried
to Tyope,--

"Nashtio, the Moshome are too strong, they are coming to kill you and
all of us. We must away into the karitya!" And with this he leaped from
the brink. He had selected a spot where the rim was precipitous for a
short distance. Over he went! A cry of anguish and of helpless despair
was heard; then followed a series of thuds, as though a heavy body were
falling from step to step. From the depths below a faint moaning arose.
Then all was still. The din and noise of the battle was drawing nearer
and nearer; soon more of the Queres rushed out and would in their
precipitate flight have followed the example of their comrade had not
others coming up behind them held them back. Regardless of the danger,
they clustered together on the brink, and gazed at the shattered,
mangled, gory mass beneath, which was once the body of one of their
companions. The words of the shaman fell upon Tyope like another blow
from above. They cowed him. To avoid the gaze which the old man fastened
upon him still, he turned to fly, no longer a warrior, no longer the
commander. He was partly imbecile and absolutely cowed. He trembled, but
the shaman seized his arm and restrained him. Pointing to the men he
said,--

"Save these if you can."

Tyope obeyed, for he had no longer a will of his own. He cast a vacant
glance about, but arrows whistled from the timber; the Tehuas were
coming. Panic-stricken, the Queres ran along the brink to look for a
descent. There was no stopping them, no possibility of restoring order;
every one looked out for himself. Tyope cast a pleading glance at the
old man by his side, and the Chayan felt that he must henceforth do
what was yet to be done. Seeing the Queres clambering down into the
gorge in wild haste, and that others were still rushing out of the
thickets, he caught Tyope by the shoulder and drew him along, saying in
a milder tone,--

"Follow me, sa uishe." He pitied the crestfallen man.

Henceforth it was the medicine-man who assumed the lead, Tyope gathering
energy enough to act as his lieutenant. The shaman was but a mediocre
warrior; still in this dismal hour he was the only salvation of the
remaining Queres.

Not one half of their number succeeded in reaching the bottom of the
Cañada Ancha and taking shelter in the groves of tall pines that dot the
vale. It was an anxious time for those who had already found safety
behind trees, when they saw the stragglers rush down the rugged slope
and tear through the thickets, followed by the Tehuas, who crowded along
the brink in greatly superior numbers, yelling, shooting arrows, and
waving triumphantly the many, many scalps they had taken. A few of their
skirmishers descended some distance, but the main pursuit was stayed by
strict orders from the Tehua war-chief. As soon as the first group of
fugitives, among them Hishtanyi and Tyope, had reached the bottom of the
Cañada, the shaman arrested their farther flight, prevailing upon them
to make a stand.

Their position was temporarily a good one. No approach was possible
without exposing the assailant to arrow-shots, whereas the defenders
were thoroughly protected.

As their numbers increased by accessions from those who had also been
able to extricate themselves, their courage returned, and they willingly
remained until the time came when the shaman, and Tyope by his command,
should direct farther retreat. The leaders of the Tehuas saw this and
desisted from an attempt at complete extermination. It would have cost
them dearly, and would only have increased the number of their
trophies. So the Tehuas remained above the gorge, displaying a
threatening front, while in reality the majority of them returned home,
and with them Shotaye.

Great was the exultation of the woman when she saw the triumph of her
new friends over her own people. She was proud of this result of her
craftiness and her skill. When, the engagement over, she scanned the
field, looking at the dead and searching for Tyope among them in vain,
her disappointment was fearful. Corpse after corpse she scrutinized,
turning over the ghastly bodies, peering into the lifeless features,
raising the mutilated heads to see more closely, more distinctly. In
vain; Tyope was not among them, Tyope had escaped. Her revenge was
sterile; it had fallen on the least guilty. She, too, felt that a higher
hand must have interfered and made her triumph next to worthless. As she
scanned the bloody, distorted features of the men of her tribe, in the
expectation of gloating over those of him against whom she had schemed,
she recognized more than one of whose company she had agreeable
recollections, more than one whom in her cold-blooded, calculating way,
she had made her tool for a time. Something like regret arose within
her,--regret at her treason. She went back to the Puye with a sting in
her heart forever. Outwardly she led a contented life as the consort of
Cayamo, and the Tehuas looked upon her as a useful accession, if not as
one who had at one time become the saviour of their tribe; but she could
never think of the Rito nor hear it mentioned without feeling a pang. It
was remorse, but she did not know it. Never again was she seen by any of
her former people.

       *       *       *       *       *

The position in which the Queres had taken refuge was tenable only for a
short time, because the Cañada Ancha has no permanent water-supply.
There were a few pools, however, containing remnants of the rain that
had lately fallen. But that was not enough. To abandon the groves, in
which they felt comparatively safe in presence of the foe, would have
been reckless; so the Queres remained during the whole day, while the
Tehuas kept guard over them, observing their movements from the cover of
the timber on the mesa. As night set in, the Hishtanyi Chayan ordered a
slow, noiseless retreat down the Cañada toward the Rio Grande. Tyope
passively did what the shaman told him; he had no longer a will of his
own. He who had always judged others from the standpoint of their
usefulness to him as his tools, was now reduced mentally to be a blind
instrument of the man of whom he expected to rid himself on this very
campaign. All of Tyope's authority was gone; the men did not reproach
him, did not scorn; they simply ignored him, except when he spoke in the
name and by direction of the Hishtanyi Chayan. The latter saw more and
more the mental downfall of the war-chief, and took pity on him, making
him his lieutenant. When morning dawned, the little troop halted on the
Ziro kauash. They had made a long detour, and now were in dread lest the
Tehuas had prepared an ambush near home. Tyope himself was still further
concerned. He who had boldly attempted to carry out the most daring
schemes, was afraid of returning to his people, now that these schemes
had failed. He feared, like a child, reproach and punishment. The spirit
of the man was utterly crushed.

When a war-party returns, it never enters the village directly, but
halts at some distance and sends a messenger to inform the people of its
approach. The Queres halted on the Ziro kauash, and some of them scoured
the woods, but no trace of the enemy appeared. The dreaded ambush had
not been laid; the Tehuas had certainly returned content with victory
and their trophies. A runner was sent to the Rito, and the men waited
and waited. Even the Hishtanyi Chayan became startled at the long delay.
Tyope squatted at the foot of a tree; he was thinking of the reception
that might be in reserve for him. Everything manly and strong had left
his heart; nothing of it remained but a languidly putrid core, whose
former fermentation had produced the effervescence that took the shape
of energy, shrewdness, and daring.

At last toward evening a man approached the silent group. He came,
accompanied by the runner, and every one recognized the features of
Kauaitshe, the delegate from the Water clan. He went straight to Tyope;
and the latter looked at him timidly, almost tremblingly. Kauaitshe's
face looked sad and mournful, but not wrathful. He grasped the hand of
Tyope, breathed on it, lifted it upward with both his hands, and said in
a tone of intense sorrow,--

"Satyumishe, Those Above are not kind to us."

A terrible pang flashed through Tyope's heart, for he had experienced
how little the Shiuana liked him.

Kauaitshe continued in a low voice,--artless, but the more impressive
for its natural sadness,--

"While you went to strike the Tehuas with our men, the Moshome Dinne
came upon us."

A shriek of dismay, of terror, issued from every one present, Tyope
excepted. He only groaned, and sinking shrivelled, pressed down his
chest against his knees, as if suffering intense physical pain. He
recalled his intrigues with the young Navajo. This last blow to the
tribe was his work also.

In a monotonous voice the messenger of evil tidings proceeded,--

"My hanutsh is no more. Tanyi hanutsh is dispersed, scattered, fleeing
through the timber. Of Mokatsh hanutsh only one girl has remained
alive. Of Tyame a few women, but your wife, satyumishe, is dead; your
child Mitsha the Moshome have carried away, or else she hides in the
timber and starves. The great house is empty, and fire comes out from
its roof. Your people can have the field of Tzitz hanutsh," he added
with trembling voice; "we need it no longer. But your clan has land
enough now, for many of the men of Shyuamo have gone over to Shipapu!"
He dropped Tyope's hand, wiped away the tears that were forcing
themselves to his eyes, and stood in silence. Not one of the bystanders
moved; the Hishtanyi Chayan lifted his eyes to the sky, Tyope stared
vacantly. He seemed to stagger. The delegate from the Water clan grasped
his hand again, and said,--

"Come and see how the Shiuana have visited the Tyuonyi."



CHAPTER XIX.


It is contrary to the custom of the Indians for a war-party to enter
their village at once upon returning. For at least one day the warriors
must wait at some distance from the pueblo. They are provided with the
necessaries of life, and afterward are conducted to the village in
triumph. In the present case all these formalities were neglected, but
not through spite or disapproval; the terrible visitation which the Rito
had suffered changed everything; the survivors of the Queres were
anxious to have their numbers increased by the returning warriors.

Mechanically Tyope accompanied his guide. The warriors followed in
sullen silence, the Hishtanyi Chayan alone holding his head erect. The
visitation from above affected him least of all. No one asked about the
details of the Navajos' attack, but all feared the moment when their
valley homes should come in sight. As they neared the brink of the gorge
many lagged behind.

Tyope was filled with thoughts of the most dismal nature. He felt
wretched, crushed, almost distracted! The news brought by Kauaitshe
weighed him down in a manner that allowed neither hope or quietude. His
plans had become realized, but how? The loss of his wife he hardly felt,
so much the more did he regret Mitsha's disappearance. But far above all
this loomed up the terrible consequences, less of the defeat than of the
blow which the Navajos, following the instructions he had once given
Nacaytzusle, had struck during his absence. He had done most toward
bringing about the expedition to the Puye; therefore he had led the
flower of the tribe into perdition. During his absence and that of the
majority of its defenders the Navajos had executed the fatal surprise.
He had often been reproached with his intimacy with the young Dinne, and
while the savage remained at the Rito everybody knew that the boy was a
favourite of his. What else could the caciques, the leading shamans,
infer but that the savage had been able to select his time, and that he,
Tyope, had betrayed the tribe to the Dinne? And the worst of it was, it
was true! He had at one time suggested the plan and had abandoned it
afterward as too dangerous. He had suggested it with the view of
furthering his personal ends. Now its execution took place when he least
expected it, and when the very event which he had prepared for his
benefit struck the most crushing blow he could ever have imagined
possible for him to have suffered.

Had Tyope returned from the campaign victorious, it might have been
different; but now the Shiuana bore down upon him with crushing power;
there was no hope nor thought of his ever rising again. The best he
could expect was to be set aside forever as a broken, useless
unfortunate.

But the Koshare still remained, and they would not forsake him in the
hour of need. The Naua, if alive, would certainly not permit his utter
ruin. The two conspirators had prevailed upon the Hishtanyi so that only
a few of the Delight Makers accompanied the war-party. Of these, two or
three had escaped. How had the majority fared,--that majority which
remained at the Rito for prudence's sake? Tyope dared not ask questions;
he went along mutely as if in a dream.

The Hishtanyi Chayan stopped Kauaitshe, and asked him,--

"Have any of my brethren the yaya suffered?"

Tyope's heart throbbed, and he turned his face away, so fearful was he
of the reply.

"The Shkuy Chayan," replied Kauaitshe, in his simple manner, "is dead.
An arrow entered his eye."

Tyope shivered; misfortune crowded upon misfortune. He could no longer
resist inquiring. Panting, he asked,--

"Is our father the Naua still alive?"

"He lives and mourns. After you were gone with the people, he retired to
the place in the cliffs with the Koshare; and when the Moshome came,
nearly all the men were up there."

Tyope's head was swimming. Everything he had prepared for the
destruction of others and the security of his own tools had come about
as he had schemed, but the results had been fatal to him and his. The
Shiuana allowed him to apparently succeed in everything, but they
reserved for themselves the final results. It was terrible; all was
lost; he was forever undone.

Still if the Koshare had been at their estufa, they were out of harm's
way.

"Satyumishe," he asked, faltering, "have many of my brethren perished?"

"Nearly all," was the plain answer. "When the Dinne came upon us, the
Koshare rushed out after bows and arrows; but the Moshome met them
before they could reach the houses, and killed many before they could
get into the cave."

The poor man had to cling to a tree for support; then he slipped down
along its trunk to the ground.

"I am very tired," he murmured. It was not fatigue, however; it was the
ghastly tidings which were poured on his head, so slowly, so surely,
with such deadly effect. Kauaitshe looked at him with genuine pity. The
Hishtanyi said nothing; he was in his thoughts with Those Above, and
hardly listened to the conversation. Kauaitshe extended his hand to
Tyope.

"We are not far from the brink," said he, kindly; "come, satyumishe, a
few steps only, and you may rest, and I will tell you all,--how the
attack came, and how Hayoue saved the Zaashtesh from being all driven
into the woods. Hayoue is a mighty warrior; he is wise and very strong.
As soon as our mourning is over, the Hotshanyi will make him maseua in
place of our father Topanashka. The Shiuana have left us Hayoue; had he
gone with you not one of us would be alive."

Even that! Hayoue! Hayoue, whom Tyope had left behind in order to
deprive him of all opportunity to distinguish himself! Hayoue had reaped
laurels, whereas he had harvested only shame, disgrace, destruction.
Hayoue was a great warrior. He had averted a part at least of the
disaster which Tyope had secretly prepared for the tribe. The hand of
Those Above weighed heavily upon him; all he cared for henceforth, all
he could hope for, was not to suffer the rightful doom which he had
intended for Shotaye.

That Kauaitshe, the poor simple man whom he so disdainfully rebuked at
the council, had been selected to communicate to Tyope all this crushing
news, the latter did not interpret as an intentional cruelty. The Indian
is not malicious. He will insult and exult over the vanquished foe in
the heat of passion; but he will take the scalp and keep it very
carefully, respect it, and to a certain extent the memory of the slain.
But to sneer at and taunt a fallen adversary in the hour of sadness, and
in the condition in which Tyope was, is not the Indian's way. That was
not what made Tyope suffer. What overpowered his faculties, darkened his
mind, and deprived him of energy for all time to come, were the results
that crowded upon him so wonderfully, so completely at variance with his
own intentions. And yet they were strictly the consequences of what he
had schemed and done. Everything he had thought of and planned had taken
place, but the results did not coincide with his expectations. Those
Above alone could have directed the course of events; they were against
his doings; he was a doomed man.

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader will forgive a digression. We will leave Tyope and his
companions on the brink of the Rito, and abandon them for a while to
their sombre thoughts; nay, we will leave the Rito even, and transport
ourselves to our own day. I desire to relate a story, an Indian
folk-lore tale of modern origin, which is authentic in so far that it
was told me by an Indian friend years ago at the village of Cochiti,
where the descendants of those who once upon a time inhabited the caves
on the Rito de los Frijoles now live. My object in rehearsing this tale
is to explain something I have neglected; namely, the real conception
underlying the custom of taking the scalp of an enemy.

The Indian friend of whom I am speaking, and whose home I inhabited for
quite a while, came over to the little dingy room I was occupying one
winter evening. The fire was burning in a chimney not much better than
the one Shotaye possessed at the Tyuonyi. He squatted down on his folded
blanket, rolled a cigarette, and looked at me wistfully. I felt that he
was disposed for a long talk, and returned his glance with one of eager
expectation. Casting his eyes to the ground, he asked me,--

"You know that the Navajos have done us much harm?"

"Yes, you and your brother Shtiranyi have told me so."

He curled his lip at the reference to his brother's knowledge, and said
sneeringly,--

"Shtiranyi is young; he does not know much."

"Still he told me a great deal about the wars you had with the Moshome
Dinne."

"Did he ever tell you of the hard times the people of Cochiti suffered
three generations ago?"

"Never."

"He knows nothing of them. He is too young. I,"--he assumed an air of
solemn importance,--"I will tell you something; something true,
something that you can believe; for the old men, those from a long time
ago, tell it, and what they say is so. The Mexicans never hear of it,
and to the Americans we don't tell such things, for they think they are
too smart, and laugh at what we say."

"Is the story really true?" I inquired, for I saw that something
interesting was coming.

"As true as if I had seen it myself. But I was not born when it
happened. Cochiti was larger then, a big village, twice as big as it is
to-day. But the Navajos were very powerful. They attacked us in the
daytime in the fields. They killed the men who went to gather firewood,
and they stole our cattle. At night they would come to the Zaashtesh and
carry off the women and the girls. There lived at the time a young
koitza who had recently married, and she liked her husband. One evening
after dark this woman went to the corral. There the Moshome seized her,
closed her mouth with their hands, dragged her from the village, tied
and gagged her, and placed her on a horse; then they rode off as fast as
they could, far, far away to the northwest and the hogans of their
people. The young woman cried bitterly, but it availed her nothing; she
had to live with one of the Navajos, had to cook for him and work his
corn-patch like other women. Soon the koitza saw that it was useless to
weep, so she put on a contented look in the daytime, while at night she
was thinking and scheming how she might escape from the enemy. Women are
sometimes wiser than we are ourselves. Is it not so, sa ukinyi?"

"Certainly."

"It was springtime when she was captured. She suffered summer to pass,
worked well, and appeared satisfied. The Moshome began to trust and even
to like her. It began to turn cool; the time came when the piñons are
ready for gathering, and the captive thought of flight. One morning she
said to a young woman of the Navajos, 'Let us go and gather piñon!' Both
women went to work and prepared food for several days, then they went
out into the timber far away until they came to a place where there were
many piñon-trees. There they gathered nuts, and placed them on the
blankets; and as noon-time came on, and it became warm, the young Navajo
woman grew sleepy. So the koitza from Cochiti said, 'Sister, lay your
head on my lap, I will cleanse your hair.' As the other was lying thus
and the Queres woman cleansed her head, she fell asleep. Thereupon the
captive took a large stone, crushed her skull with it, and killed her.
Was not that very wise?"

"Indeed," I uttered, but thought to myself that the action was not very
praiseworthy from our point of view.

"Then our koitza took a knife, scalped the dead, and concealed the scalp
under her skirt. It was now toward evening. All at once the woman heard
a voice calling to her, 'Sister!' She was frightened, and looked about,
but saw nobody. She lay down. Again a voice spoke close to her, 'Sister,
stay here no longer, they are uneasy!' Nothing was to be seen, and the
woman began to feel afraid. For the third time the same voice said, 'Do
not fear, sister; it is I, the ahtzeta, which speaks to thee. Go now,
for the men are saddling their horses to look for us.' The captive
gathered hastily as much food as she could carry with ease; and as the
sun went down the scalp spoke again, 'It is time to go, for my people
are on their way hither, and it is far to Cochiti.' So she ran and ran
all the night long, and always straight toward our pueblo. Toward
morning she felt tired, and the scalp spoke, 'Lie down to rest, it is
far yet to your people.' She slept, but soon woke again feeling fresh
and bright. Then the ahtzeta said to her, 'Let us go now, for soon the
Dinne will be where you took me and where I became yours.' On she ran,
eating piñons as she went. At noon the scalp was heard to say, 'My men
have found the place, and are searching for your tracks. You must go
faster.' When the sun set the ahtzeta spoke again, 'Run, sister, they
have found the trail and follow it on horseback.' Thus she went all
night long, and the nearer she came to Cochiti the more the scalp urged
her to quicken her speed, for the Navajos were coming nearer and nearer.
You know," asked he, "where the sand-hills are, a little this side of
Cuapa?"

I assented; that whole track is nothing but sand and drift, but which
particular hills he meant I could not of course imagine. Still, the
Indian knows every foot of the country, and he supposed that I, having
been over the trail two or three times, recollected every detail of it
as well as he did himself.

"You know also that there are junipers right there."

Such was indeed the case. Not only there, but all over the country.

"Well, there, about two leagues from Cochiti, the scalp spoke, 'Sister,
they are quite near; hide yourself.' The woman looked around, but she
saw no other hiding-place except the junipers. You know them, they are
to the left of the trail."

I nodded of course. There are a great many to the left of the trail.

"Then the scalp told her, 'Crawl into a rabbit-hole under the tree.' You
know the hole, don't you?"

I said yes to this query also. Around Cochiti there are perhaps hundreds
of rabbit-burrows; and it might have been one of those, although after a
full century a rabbit's hole is not supposed to be apparent. The
narrator was satisfied, nevertheless, for I had assented.

"It is well; but as the woman looked at that hole she was frightened and
replied, 'It is too small.' 'Creep into it,' ordered the scalp. 'I
cannot even get my head into it,' objected the koitza from Cochiti.
'Creep in quick, they come!' the scalp cried. The woman tried, and the
opening became larger and larger. First she found room for her head,
afterward for her shoulders; lastly her whole body was inside. As soon
as she was within, the hole closed again and appeared as small as
before. Was not that wonderful?"

I thought it was strange indeed, exceedingly wonderful. I could not
refrain from asking my friend,--

"But was it really so?"

"So the old men are telling, those from many years ago. It must be true.
Therefore don't disturb me in my speech, and listen. The Navajos came
on. They saw that the tracks stopped. They jumped from their horses, and
the woman heard them go about searching, complaining, howling, scolding.
At last they mounted their horses again and rode off. When all was quiet
the scalp spoke, 'Sister, they have gone; get out now and let us return
to your people.' With this the hole opened; the woman crept out and ran
and ran as fast as she could. When she reached the Cañada de la Peralta,
the scalp spoke for the last time, saying to her, 'Sister, now you are
safe; henceforth I shall speak no more.' And so it was. On the other
side of the ravine stood her own husband. He recognized her at once.
They went together to the houses, where she lived for many years."

He paused and looked at me, scanning my face to see the impression made
by his tale. Then he continued,--

"You see now, sa uishe, how the scalp saved her to whom it belonged.
Therefore we take ahtzeta, for as long as the spirit is not at Shipapu
it follows him who has taken the scalp, and serves and helps him. And
the strength, wisdom, and knowledge of him whose scalp has been taken,
hereafter belong to the man who took it; they increase his power and
make the tribe more powerful."

       *       *       *       *       *

The appearance of the Rito from above presented at first sight nothing
startling. From the tall building thin films of smoke arose, but no
flames were visible. The house of the Corn clan seemed inhabited, for
people stood on its roof. As the returning warriors grouped themselves
on the brink to look down into the valley, those below stood still,
gazing at them. Then they broke out into a plaintive wail; the women
tore their hair, shrieked, screamed, and wept. The men above gazed and
listened in silence. Very few men were seen in the vale. The tribe of
the Queres seemed divided into two parties, the women lamenting below,
the men, like dark, blood-stained statues, standing high above them,
posted on yellowish rocks among the shrubbery.

Kauaitshe told Tyope to rest, and he willingly complied. His figure
appeared less conspicuous when he sat down. Around the two the others
gathered, except the Hishtanyi, who was slowly descending the slope
alone, eager to hear the story of the people's misfortunes. Kauaitshe
began,--

"It was yesterday, and the sun had not yet come up." He heaved a deep
sigh. "All the Koshare were in the estufa over there," he pointed at
the cliffs to his right; "the makatza and our koitza were grinding corn;
many also had gone to the brook to wash away sadness and grief. Most of
them, mainly those of Tanyi, Huashpa, and our women, bathed higher up
beyond the fields; some farther down. Shotaye was not among them; nobody
knows what has become of her."

Tyope twitched nervously. He knew where the woman had gone.

"Hayoue," the man from Tzitz proceeded, "was the only one who carried
weapons. He had gone out very early with Okoya, the youth from Tanyi who
is his brother's child. They had started while it was yet night,
following the tshinaya up to the top of the rocks. As soon as it became
light they noticed tracks and heard sounds that told them that there
were Moshome about. They went around by the south, and as it began to
dawn they stood there;" he pointed to a spot on the southern mesa
directly opposite the big house and facing the latter. "That saved us,"
he cried; "if Hayoue had not stood there to watch, we should all have
died!"

Tyope could not help contrasting the watchfulness of Hayoue with his own
supercilious negligence. Yes indeed, it was all over with him; he was
good for nothing any more.

"I was in the katityam," Kauaitshe went on, "when I heard the yells of
the savages in the corn below. They had concealed themselves there over
night, and as soon as the people came forth from their homes unarmed,
not thinking of any danger, they rushed upon them and into the big
house. I grasped uishtyak and the club, and ran for the stream. There
everybody was screaming; some were running this way, others fled that
way, but none could get back to the cliffs, none into the houses, for
the Moshome stood between them and their homes. They fled toward the
south into the kote as a mountain sheep runs from the panther. But as
tyame shoots down upon a hind, so the enemies flew after them,
scattering them in every direction. All this happened so quickly,
brother, that I was not half way down when it was over, and a few of the
Dinne rushed up to kill me. They were going to the caves to slaughter
the people. I ran back and hid myself, and as they came up I shot at one
of them so that he died. The Cuirana Naua killed another; the others ran
away. We took their ahtzeta and kept guard over the caves, but for what?
There was nobody left of Tzitz hanutsh except a few old women and Ciay
Tihua, the little boy. Go down we could not, for below was such a
noise,--such fighting, struggling, shouting, and wailing! The Moshome
tore the firebrands from the hearths, set fire to the beams, dragged the
cloth and the hides into the court-yard and burned them there. Fire came
out of the big house, and great was the smoke and black! In the smoke we
could see how the shuatyam were dancing on the roofs, and how they threw
the dead down upon the ground so that their bodies rattled and the blood
spurted and spattered everywhere. Satyumishe, it was sad, very sad; but
I could not help, nor could the Naua, for we were alone. Still I have
one scalp," he added with simple satisfaction. "Hayoue has many, many!
How many have you brought home?"

Tyope cast his eyes to the ground.

"None," he breathed; he could not conceal his contrition and shame.
Kauaitshe made no remark. He was not malicious.

"From the great house they ran into that of Tyame hanutsh. There they
killed your wife."

"And Mitsha, my daughter?" Tyope asked at last.

"Mitsha was at the brook, and fled with the others. Nacaytzusle, the
fiend, was after her to catch her, but he caught her not. Hayoue told us
afterward that Okoya Tihua killed the savage just as he had overtaken
the girl. Okoya is strong and good; he will become a great warrior, like
sa umo the maseua. That is, if he still live."

At last a ray of light seemed to penetrate the darkness that shrouded
Tyope's heart. Nacaytzusle was dead! The dangerous accomplice, the only
one who might have told about Tyope's attempted conspiracy with the
Navajos, was forever silenced. He felt relieved also to think that
Mitsha had not become a prey to the savage, and it pleased him to hear
Okoya praised. If the youth had still been at the Rito he might have
become a support for him.

"Where is Okoya?" he anxiously inquired.

"In the mountains or dead," was the reply. "When the women fled up to
the mesa, Hayoue and Okoya ran to meet them. But the Moshome were too
many, and the two became separated. Okoya killed the shuatyam, the
Navajo boy. He went close to him and struck him with his club till he
died. So Hayoue says. Hayoue remained behind; he kept back the Dinne and
then came down through the enemy--how I do not know--and protected the
katityam, helping the Koshare. All the Moshome who entered the house of
the Eagles--twelve of them--were killed inside; their scalps are with
us. And when the others saw it they ran out of the big house; but Hayoue
and the men followed and killed nine ere they could hide on the Kauash."

"So you have taken many ahtzeta?" one of the bystanders asked.

Kauaitshe began to count, "Eleven--two--twelve--nine; thirty-four," he
concluded, adding, "without those that Okoya may have if he be alive."

An exclamation of admiration and a grunt of satisfaction sounded from
the lips of those present. But they became silent and sad again at
once, for they, the warriors, had only eight or nine all told.

Kauaitshe's pride and exultation could not last long. He bethought
himself of the losses, and continued in a tone of sadness,--

"But we have lost many, many. Nearly one hundred of our people have gone
over to Shipapu, and twice as many are now in the woods, hungry and
forlorn, or the Moshome have taken them with them. Luckily, they are
mostly women. Hardly more than twenty of the men can have died, for it
may be that Okoya is still alive. Of these, sixteen were Koshare; and
the Shkuy Chayan is no more." He cast a glance of sincere pity at Tyope.
The latter said nothing, and all the others stared in mournful silence.

The lamentations below had gone on uninterruptedly. Corpses might be
seen lying on the roofs, others partly hanging down over the walls. Two
men were carrying a dead body toward the caves of the Turquoise people.
In the distance a group was seen dragging another corpse up the gorge.
Below the house of Yakka hanutsh there stood a group of men, their faces
turned toward the brink of the mesa.

The nashtio of the Water clan rose, and pointed at the group.

"There stand Hayoue, the Shikama Chayan, the three Yaya, the Hotshanyi,
Shaykatze, and Uishtyaka; and see, the Hishtanyi Chayan is down on the
Tyuonyi already, and goes up to them. Let us go now, and"--he turned to
Tyope--"you, brother, tell us what you have achieved and how you all
have fared. We cannot receive you as it behooves us; there is too much
mourning on the Tyuonyi. The Shiuana have punished us so that we cannot
be merry and glad. Therefore I have been sent to receive you, for the
men are few in the vale and"--he looked around as if counting the
bystanders--"of those that went out to avenge the death of our father
not many have come back either."

In dreary silence they began to move downward. Not a shout, not a whoop,
heralded their coming; not a scalp was waved on high in triumph. In dead
silence those below watched the sombre forms as they descended slowly,
clambering over rocks, rustling through bushes, and coming nearer and
nearer. From the caves issued plaintive wails; from the big house moans
and subdued crying ascended,--the lament over the dead on the Rito.

       *       *       *       *       *

More than a week has elapsed since the return of the discomfited
war-party to their desolate and ravished homes. It is August, and the
rains have fallen abundantly. What little was left of the growing crops,
what the torrent has not destroyed and the Navajos did not lay waste,
looks promising. But this remainder is slight, and there is anxiety lest
the surviving inhabitants may starve in the dreary winter. The
formalities of mourning have therefore been performed hastily and
superficially. The remaining Koshare have retired into the round grotto,
there to fast and to pray for the safe maturity of the scanty crops. But
Tyope is not among them. His accomplice, the Naua, has forsaken him. He,
too, has become convinced that everything is lost for them, and he has
thrown away Tyope like a blunt and useless tool. Hereafter the Naua
attends strictly to his official duties, and to nothing beyond his
duties. For the Shkuy Chayan is dead, the Shikama Chayan has no love for
him, and the old Hishtanyi, who has seen more of the real nature of
events than any on the Rito, went over to the cave of the old sinner and
spake to him a few words. The "old sinner" comprehended; he has gone
back to his duties and attends to them exclusively.

Afterward the Chayan called upon the chief penitent, or Hotshanyi, and
spoke to him long and earnestly; after him to the shaykatze and the
uishtyaka; lastly with all three yaya together. Then the yaya went into
retirement, all three in the same place. They are fasting, doing
penance, mercilessly mortifying themselves, in order that Those Above
may forgive the tribe and suffer it to prosper again.

All this has taken place in silence and secret, and nothing has come to
the surface. The only thing that has become public is a general council,
not merely of the delegates of clans with the yaya, but of the tribe.
Hayoue assisted, with Zashue his brother. Tyope was present also, but he
said nothing, and nobody requested him to speak. He was not outlawed; no
punishment was dealt to him; he was simply suffered to remain on that
lower level to which he had naturally dropped.

The principal question agitating the council was the nomination of a
maseua, or head war-chief. The caciques intimated that Hayoue would be
their choice, and all concurred in the selection. But Hayoue positively
declined, insisting that his clan had virtually ceased to exist on the
Rito, and that it was his duty to follow his people in their distress.
Zashue also spoke to the same effect. His wife Say Koitza and his
children had disappeared, even to the little girl, whose brains were
still clinging to the walls of the big house, against which the enemy
had dashed her head. However much the people insisted, Hayoue remained
firm in his resolve to go after the fugitives and to save them if
possible. Most of the people thought them lost, dead, or captives; but
both young men were of the opinion that there were too many of them, and
that at least some must have escaped. It was consequently the duty of
the two youngest survivors to trace them if possible.

The Hishtanyi Chayan was the first to accede to Hayoue's demands, but
conditionally. He insisted that when their duties were fulfilled Hayoue
and his brother should return to the Rito with the rescued. But Hayoue
refused to consent even to this. The grounds given by him were obvious,
though hard to listen to. In case they found a few, he promised to
return; but should there be many yet alive he was determined upon
founding a new settlement. He reproached the council bitterly for having
allowed the lack of arable soil to have been taken as a pretext for
depriving his own small clan of its allotment in order to give it to a
larger one. That small clan should not come back and again be in the way
of the others. "Tzitz hanutsh," said he in closing, alluding to his own
performances, "has saved the tribe; it has done its duty. Now we will go
and see whether our brethren and sisters are still alive; and in case we
find them, seek for another spot where there will be sufficient room for
all."

Every one present did not understand these words; but the members of the
council knew to what the young man was alluding, and they bowed their
heads in shame. Even the Hishtanyi Chayan felt the reproach, for he knew
that it was partly his fault, since had he followed the hint dropped by
Topanashka, and his own first impressions, all might have taken a
different turn. He did not therefore insist any longer, and did not even
think it advisable to invoke the will of Those Above in aid of his
personal desire. His silence determined the people of the Rito, for they
took it for granted that the higher powers approved of Hayoue's
resolution to leave.

It may seem strange that the Chayan did not insist upon consulting the
Shiuana first, for Hayoue would have been compelled to abide by their
final decision. Here the question arises how far the Indian shaman is
sincere in his oracular utterances,--how much of his decisions is
honest error, and how much of his official acts may be deception or
mere jugglery.

In most cases of importance the shaman is honest. He really believes
that what he says is the echo from a higher world. This firm belief is
the fruit of training; and the voices he hears, the sights he sees when
alone with Those Above are the products of honest hallucination. His
training and the long and painful discipline he undergoes in rising from
degree of knowledge to degree of knowledge, the constant privations and
bodily and mental tortures, prepare him for a dreamy state in which he
becomes thoroughly convinced that he really is a medium. As such he
speaks in council, and he is most thoroughly satisfied that what he says
is the truth. Of course there are among them some who are rogues, who
profit by the credulity of others, and who even invent tricks in order
to fasten their authority upon the people in an illegitimate manner.
These tricks themselves are not performed in the majority of cases as
conscious sleight of hand. They may have been such at their inception,
but their origin has been forgotten by subsequent generations, and
nothing has remained but the bare wonderful, inexplicable fact of their
performance. Thus they have become in course of time hallowed; and the
shaman who causes lightning to flash through a dark room, or corn to
grow and mature in the course of one day, honestly believes in the
supernatural origin of the trick. Such men are often very punctilious,
and while they will go to the direst extremity in what they regard as
their duties and privileges, will with equal scruple avoid going a
single step beyond. Imbued with an idea that they are the mouth-pieces
of Those Above, they listen anxiously to everything that is striking and
strange, and attribute to inspiration forcible arguments as well as
their own speeches and actions. So it was with the Hishtanyi Chayan. The
refusal of Hayoue to accept an honourable charge struck him as being an
expression of the will of the Shiuana, against which it was his duty not
to protest. When the young man brought forward such strong arguments he
was still further confirmed in his belief, and bowed to the inevitable
in respectful silence.

At the close of the council the Koshare retired to the estufa, the
caciques followed their example, and the Chayan came next. But before he
withdrew into privacy, the great medicine-man had a long talk with
Hayoue, his object being to strengthen the tie which united the young
man with the people of the Rito, and to engage him not to forsake
altogether the abode of the spirits of his tribe. Hayoue made no
definite promise beyond what he had already pledged himself to at the
general meeting.

Hayoue and Zashue had taken leave of the invisible ones as well as of
the inhabitants of the Tyuonyi, and ascended to the brink of the
southern mesa above the Rito. Here they turned around to look back upon
the home to which neither of them was any longer strongly attached. The
sun was setting, and they wished to improve the night, for fear that
Navajos might still be prowling about on the mesas. At the bottom of the
gorge there was little life, compared with the bustle that prevailed in
former days. On the plateau the evening breeze fanned the trees; in the
east, distant lightning played about sombre clouds.

"The corn-plant is good," Zashue remarked to his brother; "the Zaashtesh
will not starve this winter. We have called loudly to Those Above."

"It is well," said the other in a tone of authority, which since his
achievements he was wont to assume toward his elder brother; "when the
Koshare perform their duty they are precious to the people."

"Without the Cuirana," the elder replied, "the sprouting corn cannot
grow." Zashue had conceived a very high opinion of Hayoue, and his
weaker mind gladly leaned upon the strong will of the youth. Hayoue
started; it was as if a sudden thought struck him. "Look, see how good
the Shiuana are! We are leaving the Tyuonyi; and behold, if we find our
people there can be no lack of food wherever we dwell. I am Cuirana, you
are Koshare. I pray and fast for the growing corn, you do the same for
the ripening of the grain. It will be well."

"If Shyuote is alive he will help me." Zashue uttered these words
timidly.

"Okoya will help me;" Hayoue spoke with great assurance. "In that case
we shall be four already. How often have I told you, satyumishe, that
Okoya is good. He is a man; I saw it when he struck Nacaytzusle, the
young Moshome."

The elder brother said nothing. He acknowledged the wrong he had done
his eldest child. In case Say Koitza, in case Shyuote were still alive,
it would be owing to that elder son of his. And his wife, Say Koitza, he
longed for now as never before. For her sake he had left
everything,--his home, his field. Willingly he abandoned his whole past
in order to find her. He regretted all that he had done in that
past,--his suspicions, his neglect, his carelessness to her. The fearful
visitations of the latter days had changed him completely.

All these thoughts he gathered in one exclamation,--

"If we only find them!"

"Let us go and search," said Hayoue, turning to go. His brother followed
him into the woods.

Henceforth we shall have to follow the two adventurers, for a while at
least. Therefore we also must take leave of the Rito de los Frijoles. Of
its inhabitants nothing striking can hereafter be told. They lived and
died in the seclusion of their valley gorge, and neither the Tehuas nor
the Navajos molested them in the years following. Tyope continued to
vegetate, anxiously taking care to give no occasion for recalling his
former conduct. The Naua soon died. The subsequent fate of the tribe is
faintly delineated by dim historical traditions, stating that they
gradually emigrated from the Rito in various bands, which little by
little, in course of time, built the villages inhabited by the Queres
Indians of to-day. Long before the advent of the Spaniards, in the
sixteenth century of our era, the Rito was deserted and forgotten. The
big house, the houses of the Eagles and of the Corn clan, are now
reduced to mere heaps of rubbish, overgrown by cactus and bunches of low
grass. Most of the cave-dwellings have crumbled also. But the Rito
always remains a beautiful spot, lovely in its solitude, picturesque and
grand. About its ruins there hovers a charm which binds man to the place
where untold centuries ago man lived, loved, suffered, and died as
present generations live, suffer, and die in the course of human
history.



CHAPTER XX.


Sunshine and showers! A dingy blue sky is traversed by white, fleecy
clouds, long mares' tails, on whose border giant thunderclouds loom up,
sometimes drifting majestically along the horizon, or crowding upward to
spread, dissolve, and disappear in the zenith.

It is the rainy season in New Mexico, with its sporadic showers, its
peculiar sunlight, moments of scorching heat, and blasts of cool winds,
with thunder overhead. To the right and left rain falls in streaks, but
without sultriness, and with no danger from violent wind-storms or
cyclones. We are in the beginning of the month of September. It is warm,
but not oppressive, and the spot from which we view the scenery around
is high, open, and commands a wide extent of country.

We stand on a barren plateau. Lava-blocks are scattered about in
confusion, while tall arborescent cacti rise between them like
skeletons, and bunches of grass point upward here and there. North of us
the mesa expands in monotonous risings and swellings to the foot of a
tall, exceedingly graceful cone, whose slopes are dotted with bushes of
cedar and juniper. Beyond it are dark humps, denoting by their shape
that they are extinct craters. In the distance, west of that beautiful
cone, which to-day is called, and very appropriately, the Tetilla, the
sinuous profile of a mountain-chain just peeps over the bleak line
formed by the mesa and its various corrugations. Nestling within its
bosom rests the Rito de los Frijoles.

In the south, dense thunderclouds overhang massive peaks. Only the base
of the Sierra de Sandia, of the Old Placeres, and the numerous ranges
beyond, is visible, for a heavy shower falls in that direction. In the
east a plain sweeps into view, dotted by black specks looming up from a
reddish soil. This plain rises gently to the eastward, and abuts against
a tall mountain-range whose summits also are shrouded in massive clouds.

We stand on the bleak and wide mesa that interposes itself between the
town of Santa Fé and the valley of the Rio Grande. Not a living object,
with the exception of wasps and beetles, can be seen; everything appears
dull and dead. The thunder roars in the distance.

And yet there is life of a higher order. Two ravens stalk about in an
earnest, dignified manner. The birds look exceedingly and comically
serious. Their plumage glistens in the subdued light of the sun. They
look out for themselves, and care nothing for the remainder of creation.
So deeply are they imbued with a sentiment of their own exceptional
position in the realm of nature, that they pay no attention to another
phase of life that shows itself near by, though not conspicuously.

Over the surface of the mesa are seen here and there almost
imperceptible elevations destitute of vegetation. In these slight
swellings, apertures are visible. Out of the latter the head of a small
animal occasionally protrudes, disappears again, or rises displaying a
pair of shovel-like front teeth. Then a worm-like body pushes up from
below, and a yellowish figure, half squirrel, half marmot, stands erect
on the hillock, and utters a sharp, squealing bark. This barking is
answered from a neighbouring protuberance. From each hillock one of
these little animals crawls down; and meeting one another half-way, they
stand up facing each other, scratch and bite for a moment, then
separate and return to their respective cave-dwellings. Other similar
creatures wriggle about in the vicinity; the shrill barking sounds far
and near. A colony of so-called prairie dogs dwells in the
neighbourhood.

To this exhibition of animal life the ravens pay no attention whatever.
It is beneath their notice; their aims are of a higher order than those
of beings who live upon roots and who burrow for their abode. They live
on prey that is far above the simple products of animal industry.
Carrion is what they aspire to. Therefore they aspire with a lofty mien,
prying and peering in every direction for something fallen. They are not
far from the eastern brink of the mesa, where the volcanic flow breaks
off suddenly in short, abrupt palisades. Who knows what their keen eyes
may have espied along that brink?

Another actor appears upon the scene, a prairie wolf, or coyote;
consequently a rival, a competitor of the ravens; for he is in the same
business. But he belongs to a higher order; for while the ravens are
scavengers, the coyote is a hunter as well. He would even prey upon the
birds themselves. As he approaches, with tail drooping and ears erect,
and stops to sniff the air and glance about slyly, the ravens hop off
sidewise away from the dangerous neighbour. Still they are loath to go,
for the wolf may discover something the leavings of which they may
perhaps enjoy. But the coyote lies down, with his head between his
forepaws, and in this attitude pushes his body forward, almost
imperceptibly. Such motions are very suspicious; the scavengers flap
their wings, rise into the air, and soar away to some more secure spot.

The coyote, however, seems in no wise disappointed at the departure of
the ravens. He pays no attention to their flight, but moves on toward
the lava-blocks that indicate the rim of the plateau. There he has
noticed something; an object that lies motionless like a corpse. It may
be a corpse, and therefore something to prey upon. Nearer the coyote
glides. The object is long or elongated. Its colour is lighter than that
of the lava-blocks surrounding it, but its farther end is dark. Now that
end moves, and the head of an Indian, a village Indian of New Mexico,
looms up above the boulders. The coyote has seen enough, for the man is
alive, and not carrion. Away the beast trots, with drooping tail and
ears.

The Indian, who has been lying there with his face turned to the east,
rises to his knees and faces about. His features are those of a man on
the threshold of mature age. We know this man! We have seen him before!
And yet it cannot be, for how thin, how wan, how hollow the cheeks, how
sunken the eyes! The face, notwithstanding the red paint, appears
sallow. Still it is an old acquaintance, although since we saw him last
he has sadly changed. Now he turns his face to the south, and we catch a
glimpse of his profile. It is Zashue Tihua, the Indian from the Rito de
los Frijoles, husband of Say Koitza, and father to Okoya and Shyuote.

What is he doing here? It is now more than three weeks since he and his
brother Hayoue took leave of the Tyuonyi in order to search for their
lost people. They went forth into that limited, yet for the Indian
immensely vast, world to-day called central New Mexico. In a month a
travelling Indian may easily be hundreds of miles away if unimpeded in
his march. But we find him here, barely a day's journey from the Rito. A
strong man cannot have spent all this time in going such a little
distance. He must have wandered far, strayed back and forth, up and
down, perhaps into the western mountains, where the Navajos lurk,--the
bad men who frightened his wife and children away from their homes, or
who perhaps captured or killed them. Or he may have gone to the south,
where the black cloud is hanging, and where it thunders, and the
rain-streaks hang like long black veils of mourning. He has perchance
tramped down the Rio Grande valley, through sand, by groves of
poplar-trees, and where the sand-storms howl and wail. Now he comes
back, unrequited for all his labour and sufferings, for those whom he
sought are not with him!

His gaze was not directed to the north when the wolf espied him, but to
the east. He may be on the homeward stretch, but he has not given up all
hope. His eyes look for those whom he has lost; he is loath to give up
the search, loath to return alone to the home which the enemy has soiled
with the lifeblood of his youngest child. He is changed in appearance,
lean, and with hollow burning eyes he gazes at the clouds as if there he
might find his missing wife and children.

As he kneels and gazes, another Indian rises from amidst the shaggy
blocks of lava a short distance off, stands up, and then sits down upon
a rock. He turns his head to the east. He too is gaunt and thin, his
features are pale, and his eyes lie deep in their sockets. On his back
hangs a shield; but it is soiled, beaten, and perforated. To his arm is
fastened a war-club, and the quiver on his back is half-filled with
newly made arrows. As this Indian turns his face to the north we
recognize him also. It is Hayoue, Hayoue as emaciated and careworn as
his brother Zashue. They are alone. Neither has found anything yet.

Zashue rises to go where his brother is sitting. As the latter perceives
him he points with his arm to the east. There at the farthest end of the
plain, at the foot of the high cloud-veiled mountains, a long row of
foot-hills recedes in an angle. To this angle Hayoue is pointing. An
untrained eye would have seen nothing but cedar-clad hills and the lower
end of slopes dark and frowning, above which seething clouds
occasionally disclose higher folds of mountains whose tops are shrouded
in mist. But Zashue has no untrained eye; he gazes and gazes; at last he
turns around to his brother with an approving nod and says,--

"Fire."

"Puyatye Zaashtesh," Hayoue replies; and each looks at the other
inquiringly.

Where we might have seen but the usual dim haze veiling distant objects,
they have discovered a bluish tint capping the hills like a pale streak.
It denotes the presence of smoke, therefore fire. Not a burning forest,
for there is no high timber on that range of foot-hills, but smoke
arising from a place where people are dwelling. The roaming mountain
Indians, the Apaches or Navajos, settle nowhere permanently. The smoke
has not been produced by their straggling camp-fires; it indicates the
location of a permanent village. Those village Indians that dwell east
of the Rio Grande are Tanos, and the Queres call them Puyatye. There
must be a Tano village in that corner far away where the bluish film
hovers. Hayoue is right, a Puyatye Zaashtesh stands where to-day lies
the capital of New Mexico,--the old Spanish settlement of Santa Fé.

The brothers cast their eyes to the ground; both seem to be in doubt,
Zashue is the first to speak.

"Do you suppose that our people might be at that Zaashtesh?"

Hayoue shrugged his shoulders.

"It may be, I don't know."

"Will it be safe for us to go to the Puyatye?" the other inquired
doubtfully.

The younger sighs and answers,--

"They have never done wrong to us."

"Still they speak the tongue of the people of Karo."

"It is true, but they live nearer to us."

"But they are Tehuas too, like the people of the north, and--"

Hayoue interrupts him, saying,--

"Our folk have gone to them as often as they wished buffalo-hides, and
the Puyatye have received them well, giving them what was right. Why
should they now be hard toward us?"

"Still if the Tehuas have gone to see them, saying, 'The Queres from the
Tyuonyi came to strike us like Moshome over night; look and see that
they do not hurt you also,' and now we come with shield, bow, and arrow,
what can the Puyatye think other than that we are Moshome Queres?"

Hayoue feels the weight of this observation; he casts his eye to the
ground and remains silent. Zashue continues,--

"It is true that the Moshome Dinne cannot have killed all our people.
This we found out on the R[=a]tye," pointing to the Sierra de San
Miguel; "ere I killed the old man to take ahtzeta from him, he lifted
all of his fingers four times and pointed over here. Do you not think,
satyumishe, that he meant to tell me thereby that forty of our people
escaped and fled to Hanyi?"

"I do; and that is the reason why I believe we shall find them in
Hashyuko,"--the eastern corner, the Queres name for the place where
Santa Fé stands,--replied the other, very positively. "Behold,
satyumishe, we have searched everywhere we could, have followed every
trail we could follow. Nearly all the tracks were those of our people,
of that I am sure, and how far have we not gone after them? Ten days at
least we were in the mountains on the tracks of the Moshome Dinne. We
fought them and took ahtzeta. At last we learned that many of our women
and children had been taken by those shuatyam and that we never any more
could obtain them, also that Okoya was probably not still alive. Then we
went south and saw tracks,--small tracks of children, larger ones of
women, and a few that were those of men. We went toward Cuame until we
could not see the tracks because it had rained, and the rain had washed
them away. To go farther was useless, for whither should we go?"

"There are other Zaashtesh farther down the Rio Grande, so the Naua told
me," replied Zashue; "but these dwell far, far away,"--he waved his hand
to the south,--"where it is very warm and where there are a great many
Moshome."

"Those are too far off," Hayoue said, shaking his head; "our people did
not go so far without resting. We must have overtaken them, for we
rested not."

The elder brother nodded; he was fully conscious that they had never
rested on the journey. He felt it now.

"Therefore, brother," Hayoue went on, "I believe that those whom we look
for are there," pointing to the east. "In the Sierra del Valle are only
those whom the Moshome have captured; the others must have turned back
along the river, crossing it to go to the Puyatye; for there are no
Moshome over here, and if the Puyatye speak like the Tehuas, their
hearts are different and more like ours. I think we should go to the
Zaashtesh yonder, at the foot of the big kote where the snow is hanging.
If we do not find them there, then I think we should go farther, as far
as where the buffaloes are feeding. There are villages there, too, I
have been told, and there our people will be. If we once know which of
them are alive and free, we shall also know those who are among the
Moshome, and can see what to do for them."

"It strikes me," Zashue still objected, "that if the koitza and the
little ones were on this side of the river we must have seen their
tracks."

"But it rains, brother," Hayoue replied, looking up at the sky. "The
Shiuana send us rain every night and often during the day, and it washes
away the footprints. Besides, we have merely followed the river thus
far, and our people may have turned inland. There is so much sand on the
banks that the rain destroys all foot-marks."

Zashue looked up; a thought had struck him like a flash.

"Have you seen the ravine below here?" He pointed to the south. "How
would it do for us to look there? The ravine comes from the river."

"You are right," Hayoue assented, rising and moving slowly on. The
strong young man was tired, almost exhausted from endless roaming,
searching, spying, and from hunger and thirst combined. Zashue took a
more southeasterly direction, so that both struck the brink of the
ravine at some distance apart.

From the brink they looked down into a deep cleft, at the bottom of
which the little Rio de Santa Fé winds its course toward the Rio Grande.
This cleft is the gorge which to-day is called Cañon de las Bocas. South
of it the plateaus continue with barren undulations and whitish hills.
They rise gradually to the base of a sombre mountain cluster, the bulk
of which was wrapped in clouds, as well as the huge mass of the Sandia
chain to its right. Still farther to the right the Rio Grande valley
opened. Sand-whirls chased along that valley to meet a shower which was
sending rain-streaks into it. A cloud had meanwhile gathered over the
heads of the wanderers, thunder reverberated, and the raindrops began to
fall. The men paid no attention; they gazed down at the little torrent
beneath, at the groups of poplar-trees on its banks, and at the
scattered patches of open ground along its course. Their desire was to
descend into the gorge to search for traces of those whom they longed
for.

The descent was impracticable from where they had stopped. A rim of
vertical cliffs of lava and trap formed the upper border of the cleft.
Suddenly Hayoue exclaimed,--

"Umo, they are not down here, or we should see them from above. Let us
go farther, where there are no rocks, and where the stream enters the
gorge. If our people have come through here we must find their tracks at
the outlet."

"It is well," replied Zashue.

The shower drizzled out; its main force was spent on the southern
plateaus, and cool gusts of wind blew across to the north side. When the
brothers had clambered down the rugged slope covered with scattered
lava-blocks to the sandy nook where now stands the hamlet of the
"Ciéné-quilla," clouds had again lifted over Hashyuko, and on the slope
of the high Sierra the bluish cloudlet swam clear and distinct.

Much water ran in the bed of the river at the mouth of the Bocas, and
there was no hope of finding any tracks there.

The men staggered up and down, and at last Zashue stood still, bent
over, and appeared to examine something. Then he called aloud,--

"Come over here!" With this he raised something from the ground. Hayoue
went over to him, and both looked at the object carefully. It was a
piece of cloth made of cotton dyed black, of the size of a hand, torn
off but recently, and soiled by mud and moisture. Hayoue nodded; the
find pleased him.

"That is from our women," said he.

"The women from the Puyatye," Zashue said doubtingly, "wear skirts like
our koitza."

"It is so, but the women from Hashyuko do not go so far from their homes
now. Nothing is ripe,--neither cactus, figs, nor yucca fruit. What
should they come out here for? When do our women ever go so far from the
Zaashtesh?"

"Shotaye used to go farther," objected the elder.

"Shotaye," Hayoue muttered, "Shotaye was--you know what she was! There
is none like her in the world. What she may be doing in case she is
alive, nobody can tell."

"I wish I knew her to be with Say Koitza now," Zashue sighed.

"Shotaye is dead," his brother asserted. "But I believe that this rag is
from our people, and you were right in coming hither. Look!" pointing to
the entrance of the Bocas, "they came through there and from the west.
Even if we find no trace of them I still believe that they went to
Hashyuko and that we shall find them there. Let us go ere it is too
late!"

The last words were uttered in such a positive tone that Zashue yielded,
and followed his brother, who since their discovery again moved with
vigorous strides. Since the last evening neither of them had eaten
anything, and their meal then had been scanty enough. The discovery had
infused new strength into their exhausted bodies, and the brothers
walked on, side by side, as if they were well fed and thoroughly rested.
Zashue still remained in doubt; he would rather have made further
researches. He knew from the talk of old men that the Tanos inhabited
villages farther south, and it was possible that the fugitives, afraid
of the dispositions of the Puyatye that lived closer to the Tehuas, had
avoided them in order to take refuge at a greater distance from the
people of the Puye. But above all, Zashue felt strong misgivings in
regard to the reception which he and his brother, both armed as they
were, might find at Hashyuko.

Under different circumstances he would have gone to the Tanos without
any fear, and would have entered the village as a guest. Now, since the
Queres of the Rito and the Tehuas had come to blows, it was possible
that the latter had informed their relatives in the southeast of what
occurred and thus made them suspicious of the Queres. He and his brother
carried the implements of war, but they were not in war-paint. That
looked very suspicious, and they might be taken for spies; and as soon
as they should be noticed some of the Tanos might lie in wait for them
with evil intentions. If on the other hand Hayoue was right, then all
would be right. But he could not agree with his brother on that point. A
certain instinct told him that the fugitives had wandered south instead
of east. Nevertheless he yielded willingly to the superior energy and
determination of Hayoue. Zashue was a weak man, and glad to lean upon a
stronger arm, a more determined will.

Hayoue on his part was fully convinced of the correctness of his views.
He had no thought of danger. He reflected, and Zashue had overlooked
this important point, that, in case the Tehuas notified the Tanos of
recent occurrences, they would not fail to boast of their signal
triumph, and to represent the defeat of the Queres as akin to complete
destruction. Therefore in what light could he and his brother appear to
the people of Hashyuko than as fugitives from a tribe well nigh
exterminated? Fugitives of that class are always, even by savages,
received and treated as guests. Finally, should it come to blows, Hayoue
was ready for them also, to give as well as take.

The distance which separated the two men from their place of destination
was about twelve English miles. The plain between the upper, or eastern
mouth of the Cañon of the Bocas and the foot of the Santa Fé
mountain-range rises gradually, and in even but extensive undulations.
It is closed to the north by a broad sandy ridge, which skirts the
northern bank of the little Santa Fé stream. That ridge extends from the
east, where Santa Fé stands, to the volcanic mesa through which the
cleft of the Bocas meanders in the west; and the plain lies south of it,
dipping in that direction as well as to the west also. Several ravines
with sloping borders run through it from east to west; the nearest one
south of the Santa Fé river is called Arroyo Hondo. These gorges or
channels are dry except in the rainy season, when torrents of water gush
down them for a few hours after some exceedingly violent shower in the
mountains. The vegetation of the plain consists mainly of bunch-grass,
juniper, and tall, arborescent cacti.

Hayoue took the direction to the northeast, keeping between the Santa Fé
Creek on their left and the Arroyo Hondo on the right. As often happens
during the afternoon, the sky had begun to clear; and as evening
approached, the tall Santa Fé Sierra shone out majestically, free from
clouds, the top of "Baldy" covered with snow. The high timber on the
lower ridges appeared distinct, and the folds of the mountain-sides
clothed in vivid green alternated with black yet luminous shadows. A
cool wind blew from the south in gusts, and the wanderers hastened their
steps lest night should overtake them ere they could reach the village,
now distinguishable below the blue cloud of smoke as a reddish
protuberance on a bleak hill.

Zashue stood still, and beckoned his brother to do the same and listen.
From the direction they were going came faint cries; the brothers looked
at each other.

"There are Puyatye over there," said Hayoue.

"Ko!" assented Zashue, then as if making a discovery he added, "They are
hunting rabbits and hares."

"You are right, surely they hunt rabbits," said Hayoue, his eyes
brightening at the suggestion.

"What shall we do?" Zashue asked.

"We will go to them at once," said the other. "That is very good, very
good for us indeed, for if they hunt rabbits all their yaya and nashtio
will be there too."

One of the broad swellings which traverse the Santa Fé plain lay between
the young men and the place whence the sounds came; it concealed the
hunters from their gaze, but the manner in which the cries seemed to
shift proved that they were swiftly moving to and fro. Zashue felt
greatly relieved, for his explanation that the Tanos might be on a
general hunt for rabbits was probably true, and it was a very good sign.
The rabbit-hunt is usually a prelude to solemn dances, therefore it was
not likely that the Tanos suspected danger or had any knowledge of
events at the Puye.

The great rabbit-hunt, still practised by all the Pueblos several times
during each year, is a communal undertaking, a religious ceremony, in
which not only the men take part, but the women and children also. The
object is to obtain the skins which the chief penitents use for some
sacramental purpose. It is also a feast and a day of rejoicing and
merriment for the whole village. The hunt is under the direction of the
principal war captain, and the leading dignitaries share the sport. Long
prayers around a fire which is started outside of the pueblo opens the
performance. The game is hunted and killed with clubs, and a lively and
sometimes amusing rivalry is displayed by both sexes in securing the
rabbits, which often gives rise to very ludicrous scenes. Sometimes the
hunt is continued for several days in succession.

When the brothers reached the crest of the undulation, they witnessed
sights that to a stranger would have been nearly incomprehensible. Men,
women, and children were running back and forth in every direction, no
longer chasing game, but playing, laughing, romping, with loud and
boisterous talk. Small groups were already going home loaded with game,
others with empty hands, to the great amusement and merciless jeering of
the successful hunters. Among the former were men dressed in the costume
of women, while with the lucky ones women in male attire paraded
proudly. It was an animated picture spread over a wide expanse, but it
was moving back to the village in the east; and when the Indians from
the Rito stood still to observe, there remained in their immediate
vicinity only a few men in female garb. Beyond them stood a group of
five or six persons, laughing and jesting.

Over the broad plain there rested a mild, subdued glow of pleasant
twilight; the highest summits of the Sierra glistened in fiery hues.

Hayoue stepped up boldly, his brother keeping alongside watchfully. He
was ready, not to flee, but to hide, and use the bow in case of
necessity. They were noticed by those standing nearest. The men in
women's garb were busy breaking twigs and branches, or cutting them off
with stone implements. At the sight of strangers, they suspended work
and stared. Hayoue laid aside his bow and quiver, and extended his right
hand, calling out,--

"Queres Tyuonyi!"

No answer came. Zashue could not control his mirth at the sight of the
men in such guise; he broke out in a ringing laugh, pointed at them, and
shouted, "Puyatye!" then to himself with the exclamation, "Koshare!"

The salutations called forth no reply. The Tanos continued to stare. It
was not merely astonishment which caused them to remain motionless;
there was quite as much embarrassment on their part. For these men in
women's wraps had had to assume the costumes as a punishment, because
they had allowed women to outwit or out-hunt them in the joint pursuit
of the same animal. Whenever a man and a woman, during one of these
ceremonial hunts, chase the same rabbit, and the woman succeeds in
slaying it, then her male competitor must exchange his dress for that of
the successful woman, who in turn proudly, amidst applause and jeerings,
assumes the garb of the male. The man thereafter has to go on hunting
until he kills a rabbit himself, and can by offering it to the woman
reclaim his clothing. All are not lucky enough to succeed, and it
happens sometimes that the hunt is over before their efforts are
successful. Such unfortunates are required to gather a load of firewood
as big as they can carry, and bring it to the house of the woman holding
their clothes in pledge. Thereupon the dresses are exchanged, and the
night passes in the usual childish amusements for the many, in religious
rites for the religious functionaries.

The men first seen by the brothers betrayed by their dress and
occupation that they belonged to the unlucky ones. They saw at a glance
that the new-comers were village Indians; they also recognized from
their behaviour that they came with friendly intentions. This increased
their embarrassment, for they knew, or at least supposed, that the
strangers would see at once the cause of their strange appearance. So
great was their uneasiness, that one of them crouched behind a bush to
hide.

Meanwhile all the Tehuas, who had been standing some distance off, came
running up, with the exception of one, who was seen going toward the
pueblo at full speed. The others held their wooden clubs ready, in case
of trouble. Hayoue advanced toward them in his usual unconcerned way,
and saluted them with--

"Guatzena, Puyatye!"

Zashue had remained behind, keeping an eye on the weapons which both of
them had laid on the ground.

The Tanos whispered and whispered. They evidently guessed at the
meaning of Hayoue's words, for one of them stepped up, and replied with
the usual compliment in Tehua,--

"Senggerehu."

Each grasped the other's hand. Hayoue uttered "Queres," and pointing to
the west, "Tyuonyi."

To this speech the other replied by pointing at himself and at his
comrades with the word "Tano;" then at the village, which was still
dimly visible in the twilight, "Oga P' Hoge."[12] Thereupon he made the
gesture-sign for sleep, and breathed on Hayoue's hand. The latter
responded to the compliment and gave Zashue a signal to come nearer.
When Zashue rejoined the group they all greeted the Queres in the same
manner, and the one who was still holding Hayoue's hand began to pull
him along, urging him to go to the village with them. The adventurers
from the Rito felt that they might be welcome. Zashue even made an
eccentric, clownish jump, exclaiming,--

"Koshare raua! Raua Koshare!"

Boisterous laughter broke out. One of the Tanos threw his arm around
Zashue's neck, shouting at the top of his voice,--

"Hiuonde tema kosare!" He pressed him to his breast, whispering,--

"Oga P' Hoge Pare!"

No mistake was possible; the Tano was a brother, a Koshare like Zashue,
and delighted to meet another from the far-distant west. More and more
lively the men became on both sides; clumsy attempts at explanation were
made; words, signs, gestures passed between them, while walking briskly
on; and all were merry and in good spirits.

It was night. Behind the gigantic wall of mountains in the east a
whitish glare arose, the light of the rising moon. The group had reached
the banks of the Rio de Santa Fé, near where now stands the church of
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Before them lay a dusky wilderness,
abutting against steep hills. On the highest of those, which overlooks
the present town in the north, a terraced mound could be distinguished,
and from its sides luminous points twinkled in ruddy light. The thumping
of drums, shrill flutes, and an undefined noise rhythmic in its
character, in which human voices and numerous rattles were confusedly
mingled, issued from a quarter above which a glow arose like that of a
fire burning within. That irregular pile was the pueblo of Oga P' Hoge;
it stood where Fort Marcy was subsequently erected by the United States
troops.

The moon had risen and rested on the higher crests of the mountains. Its
light penetrated the basin in which now the town of Santa Fé extends, on
both banks of the little stream and south of it. When to-day the moon
thus stands over the heights, and looks down the turrets and cupolas of
the capitol, hospitals and seminaries glisten in phosphorescent light,
and the towers of the cathedral loom up solemnly, casting on the ground
before it jet-black shadows. Over elegant dwellings, over modest flat
roofs of adobe houses, over military buildings, institutes for the
education of those of all races and creeds, the moonlight rests
peacefully. Brilliant music sounds in the plaza from the heights; in the
northwest a spark rushes down in serpentine windings nearer and
nearer,--the approaching railway train! From the south a shrill whistle
is heard,--another iron horse sweeping up with people and news from the
outside world. Shade-trees rustle in the evening breeze, and their
leaves dance, alternately plunged in silvery brightness and transparent
night.

To-day the heights of Fort Marcy are deserted, bleak by daylight, pale
and yet frowning when shines the moon. Since the seventeenth century
life has sprung up at its base. At the time when Hayoue and Zashue
lived, life was above, and looked down upon a wilderness beneath. To-day
the hills are wild. Formerly juniper-bushes, cedar, and cactus alone
peopled the banks of the river, growing along the rills and on the
drift-heaps formed by the torrent.

The group of men, with Hayoue and Zashue in their midst, halted on the
south bank. This did not suit Zashue; it struck him as rather unfriendly
or at least as suspicious. Their companions were evidently waiting for
orders, ere they crossed the river.

A man came splashing through the water and called out something, which
the Queres of course did not understand. At once all conversation
ceased, and the Tanos became silent and grave. The new-comer spoke
first; he spoke rapidly and in a low voice, then grasped Hayoue's hand
to breathe on it, and held it fast. Zashue's hands as well had been
seized by two Tanos. His bow and quiver had been removed from him under
some friendly pretext. They were disarmed. Then all moved on, forded the
stream, and took a trail that led directly to the foot of the hill where
stood the pueblo. All sounds of merriment above were hushed, nothing
moved but the men and the night wind rustling through the shrubbery. At
the foot of the high hill other Indians came up; these were armed, and
they followed the group.

All this looked ominous. They were no longer treated as guests; they
were prisoners! Zashue was not so much surprised as Hayoue, for he had
always mistrusted. Hayoue inwardly raved. He reproached himself for not
having listened to his brother's warnings, for having allowed his
rashness, his conceit, his over-confidence, to prevail to such an extent
as to fall into a trap which he felt sure the Tanos had artfully laid
and cunningly sprung upon them. Still all his indignation and rage were
of no avail. Even if he were able to free himself from the grasp of his
guards, and to escape the arrow-shots that would be aimed at the
fugitive, he saw no chance for him in the relentless chase that would
follow. All advantages would be on the side of the Tanos, who knew the
country, whereas he was a total stranger. Nothing was left him but to
resign himself to his fate and to await the course of events. It was
hard for the proud, self-glorious young warrior; it was not only hard
but if he took into consideration his overbearing manner toward Zashue,
a punishment justly merited. Hayoue hung his head, crestfallen and in
bitter wrath.

At last some one came down the steep hill, muttered a few words, and the
ascent began. Nobody turned back to glance at the moonlit expanse that
was unfolding itself more and more beneath. A dismal yelping sounded
from below, the voice of a coyote from the banks of the stream. The wolf
had followed the returning hunters. He licked the blood trickling from
the dead game and called his comrades. Other voices answered in the
neighbourhood; from various parts of the basin the barking died away in
a mournful, dismal wail mingled with shrieks, sobs, and fiendish
laughter. It rose from the depths, filling the air, re-echoing from the
hills, and changing its modulations, a horrible chorus of moans and
groans alternating with exclamations of hellish triumph. A shiver passed
through both the prisoners; their entrance into Oga P' Hoge took place
with dismal prognostications.

The pueblo was built in the shape of a rectangle. The north and east
sides of it formed a continuous structure; narrow alleys separated them
from the south and the west sides, and between the two there was also an
alley of entrance and exit. Through the latter therefore, on the
southwest corner, the Tanos entered an open space like a large
court-yard, surrounded by the terraced buildings composing the village.

At the approach of the group, human forms had appeared on the flat roofs
and peered down upon the prisoners with curious eyes. As soon as the
captives entered the square, the number of spectators increased; they
came out from the interior, from lower stories, down from the upper
tier, men, women, and children. They descended into the square, and the
whole population of the village, about four hundred souls, gathered
around the strangers and their guard. All the able-bodied men were not
among them. A dozen videttes were distributed on the flat roofs, and
nearly fifty warriors, hastily armed and equipped, had scattered at some
distance from the buildings along the hills throughout the basin, to
intercept a possible flight, as well as to guard approaches in case the
two prisoners should be merely advance scouts of a larger body of
enemies. Of all this Hayoue and Zashue knew nothing, of course; but they
noticed that the throng about them was not friendly, that an ominous
silence prevailed. Hardly a whisper was heard; a few women only
gesticulated wildly.

The Tanos dropped the hands of their captives, but they remained around
them still. For a long while they were left to stand; nobody brought
them food, nobody offered them water to allay their thirst. The
whispering grew louder; it sounded like murmured threats.

At last the hands of the strangers were again seized and they were led
across the square to the northeastern corner. The throng opened in front
of them as they advanced, closing in behind, and all following like
children after a procession. Some ran along the walls, eager to be near
and on hand when the strangers came up. Their curiosity was soon
gratified, for the square was small. At the foot of one of the notched
beams another halt was made. Two of the guards climbed up and exchanged
a few words with an Indian sitting on the roof. Then Hayoue was
signalled to follow. A Tano came behind him; after him Zashue, and then
two armed men. The crowd had meanwhile closed up against the wall,
pressing eye and ear against the air-holes, out of which the firelight
shone. Nobody attempted to climb the roof, but all remained below, a
moving, wrangling crowd of people illuminated by the placid light of the
moon.

Another delay occurred on the roof. The wanderers heard loud talking
beneath their feet, and concluded that the council sat in a room below,
and that they would be led before that august body. There was some
consolation in this fact, for it showed at least that they would not be
slaughtered at once. But how should they defend themselves? Nobody
understood their language, any more than they understood that of the
Tanos! The situation seemed desperate. Hayoue, as well as Zashue, felt
helpless; but they had to submit to the inevitable. After all, death
would put an end to everything; it is beautiful at Shipapu,--there is
constant dancing and singing; the girls are always young and the women
never too old.

Hayoue's hand was again grasped by one of the guards, and he was
motioned to descend into the apartment below. Zashue had to follow. They
found themselves in a long room, whose whitewashed walls reflected the
light of a small fire burning on a rude hearth. Close to the hearth sat
a man whom the prisoners at once supposed to be the puyo, or governor.
By his side sat another, a small figure, somewhat wrinkled. He wore
nothing but a breech-clout of buckskin, for it was summer. Several aged
men were gathered in the neighbourhood of the fire. Although none of
them wore either ornaments or badges, it was easy to surmise that they
were the principal shamans. Along the wall sat, lounged, or squatted the
clan delegates, so that all in all there were present about eighteen
persons, including the prisoners. Outside, the faces and eyes of
listeners appeared from time to time through the air-holes.

The man whom the two Queres rightly took to be the civil chief, motioned
them, adding, "Sit down."

They obeyed, and remained sitting with downcast looks. The councilmen
glanced at them furtively from time to time. None of them spoke. At last
a whisper was heard, and now a voice said in the Queres dialect,--

"Whither are you going?"

Hayoue started, and stared about in the room, looking for the man who in
this foreign country spoke his own language. When he finally discovered
that it was the small old man sitting by the side of the governor, he
gaped at him with lips parted, and an expression akin to fright. He had
acquired a dim knowledge of the fact that it might be possible for one
man to know more than one language, but he had never met such a prodigy
as yet. After the first surprise was over, he still stared at the
speaker with inquisitive glances, eager to see whether it was possible
to speak two dialects with one and the same tongue. Zashue was less
startled. He knew that there were people who had learned a speech
different from the one to which they were born. Therefore he replied to
the query,--

"We are searching for our women, our daughters, and our children."

"Why do you look for them here? We have them not," said the old man.

"Because we have hunted for them everywhere else and have not found
them."

"Are you alone?" continued his interlocutor.

"I and my brother are alone," Zashue asserted.

"Why did your koitza and makatza leave you?"

"The Moshome drove them off."

"The Moshome?" The inquisitor criticised his words.

Hayoue had recovered from his surprise. He interjected in a loud, blunt
voice,--

"While the men went out to strike the Tehuas, the Moshome Dinne came
upon us. We were only a few, and the shuatyam laid waste our corn, and
killed many women. Many more, however, fled; we do not know whither.
These we have gone out to find; we are looking for them this day here
among you, but you have taken us captives. You have treated us, not as
it is customary between the Zaashtesh, but as the Moshome are wont to do
when strangers come to their hogans." He looked down again, angry.
Zashue endeavoured to give him a warning sign, but Hayoue saw it not.

The old man smiled. Afterward he translated to the Tanos what had been
said. His communication excited considerable attention. At the close of
his speech, one of the medicine-men replied in a few words. The
interpreter turned again to the Queres, asking,--

"Why did the people of the Tyuonyi come upon our brethren in the north
by night, like shutzuna? The men from the Puye had done them no harm."

"No harm?" Hayoue broke out. "Did they not murder the best, the bravest,
the wisest man, our father the maseua? Was it not enough? If you do not
call that a bad, a base deed, then you and all of you are as bad and as
base as the Tehuas."

The old man's features remained placid. He replied in a quiet tone, but
his manner was cool and measured,--

"I know that you believe that the Tehuas killed your maseua. I know it
well; for Shotaye, who now is called Aua P'ho Quio, and who lives with
Cayamo in the homes at the Puye, came to warn the Tehuas that the Queres
were coming over against them. But it is not true. It was not our
brethren from the north, it was the Moshome Dinne." He uttered the name
with marked emphasis. "They killed the maseua of your tribe."

We recognize in the interpreter the same old man who served the Tehuas
in their first interviews with Shotaye. The Tehuas had despatched him to
the Tanos, in order to inform the latter of their signal triumph, and to
put them on their guard against the Queres. It was a lucky hour for
Hayoue and Zashue, especially for the former, when the old man reached
the Tanos.

The two adventurers were thunderstruck. Speechless, with heads bowed,
they sat in utter amazement at what they were being told. Everything was
so completely new to them, and yet it explained so much, that they were
unable to collect their minds at once. The Tanos saw their confusion.
What the interpreter told them of the replies of the prisoners had
already created much interest, and now their embarrassed state attracted
still greater attention. The interpreter, therefore, was prompted to
further question them.

"When the Queres moved against the Tehuas, were you along?"

"No," Zashue replied sullenly.

"Have many of your people returned from the north?"

"Enough to hold their own against all who speak your language," Hayoue
retorted.

The old man blinked; he had put an imprudent question. After a short
pause, he asked again,--

"Why did you alone go out to seek for your people?"

"Because," Hayoue indignantly retorted, "the others had to remain at
home to protect the weak ones, in case the Moshome Tehua came for the
leavings of the Moshome Dinne." He accompanied these already insulting
words with looks of defiance, glancing around with eyes flashing, and
lips scornfully curled. His wrath was raised to the highest pitch; he
could not control himself.

Fortunately for him the Tanos did not understand his words, and the
interpreter was shrewd enough to see that the young man thought himself
justly angry, and withheld his insulting speech from his listeners. He
comprehended the position of the strangers, and understood what their
feelings must be. He had no doubt in regard to their sincerity and
truthfulness. An important point which he realized was the present
weakened condition of the Queres tribe. He turned to the meeting and
spoke long and earnestly. His speech was followed with the closest
attention, and Zashue, who felt more composed than his younger brother,
noticed that the words fell on ready ears. A short discussion followed,
in which every one participated in turn; at last all seemed unanimous,
and the interpreter, avoiding Hayoue, who sat with eyes gleaming like a
loaded electric battery ready to send off flying and burning sparks,
turned to Zashue with the query,--

"Have you any trace of your people?"

Zashue related everything in a simple and truthful manner,--how they
came to the determination to visit the village, with the intention in
case there should be none of the fugitives here to turn southward and
continue their search among the southern pueblos. Every word he said was
afterward translated to the council; the tuyo delivered a short address;
and the interpreter spoke to the two young men in a solemn, dignified
manner, as follows:--

"It is well! My brethren say that you are welcome. They also say that
you should forgive them for having suspected you. The people on the
Tyuonyi wronged those at the Puye, and that was not good! But now, since
the hand of Those Above has stricken the Queres, we will no longer be
Moshome, but brethren, and will forget what has come between us. Are we
not all one, we who wear the hair in sidelocks,--one from the beginning;
and have we not all come forth at the same place? You are welcome!"

The speaker paused, glancing at the governor. The latter rose, went over
to Zashue, took his hand, breathed on it, and lifted it upward. He did
the same to Hayoue; then he returned to his seat and gave a sign to the
interpreter, who went on,--

"Those whom you long for are not here. But it may be that as you say,
brother,"--he directed these words to Zashue--"they went to our people
farther south. In a few days I will have to go thither, and will be your
guide. Meanwhile eat the food and drink the water offered you by those
who speak a tongue different from yours, but whose hearts are like your
heart, and who like you pray to Those Above. He who dwells up there is
our father and your father; she who has her home on high is our mother
and your mother. Therefore the mothers and fathers of the Tanos say to
you through me that it is well that you should stay here. Be welcome!"

Involuntarily Zashue uttered a deeply felt "Ho[=a]" of relief. Hayoue
nodded, and sighed as if breathing freer again. The great medicine-man
arose, scattered sacred meal, and uttered a prayer to which all the
others listened in deep silence. Then he went to greet the strangers in
the customary manner. One by one the others followed,--the second
medicine-man, the other chief officials, finally the delegates of the
clans. Every one grasped their hands and went through the same
ceremonies. The council was ended, and to every one's satisfaction.

Last came the old interpreter, and greeted them, saying,--

"I am Chang Doa, what you call Mokatsh hanutsh, 'panther clan.' Where do
you belong?"

"Tzitz hanutsh," Zashue quickly responded.

The old man turned to one of the delegates.

"Father," he called to him in his language, "our sons belong to your
people. Will you take them with you, or shall they go to the summer
cacique?"

The other reflected a short while, then he replied,--

"The summer cacique is busy; let the brethren come with me. I will lead
them to the homes of P'ho Doa."

News of the happy result of the council had already spread outside. When
the prisoners of a few hours ago, now transformed into honoured guests,
stepped down into the square, every one looked at them pleasantly. The
throng dispersed, but many followed them into the houses of the Water
clan, where they were treated to the primitive food of those times. Soon
they retired to rest on simple couches, there to forget the hardships
and dangers they had suffered during the day.

Outside, the deepest silence reigned. The pueblo on the steep hill and
the desert plain below shone in the rays of the moon, peacefully, as
though they too would slumber. From the thickets along the little stream
arose a faint twitter; louder and louder it sounded, and rose heavenward
in full, melodious strains, soaring on high through the stillness of the
night; it was the mocking-birds' greeting to the hour of rest.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 12: "Oga P' Hoge" is the name given to Santa Fé by the Tehuas
of Santa Clara. The Tehuas of San Juan call it "Cua P' Hoge," the place
or village of the shell beads, or of the shells (Olivilla) from which
they make the beads which they so highly prize. In the sixteenth century
that pueblo was already deserted.]



CHAPTER XXI.


Autumn in New Mexico, as well as in many other parts of the world, is
the most beautiful time of the year. The rains are over, and vegetation
is refreshed and has developed. Yellow flowers cover the slopes of the
higher ranges; the summits are crowned with glistening snow again; the
days are pleasant and the nights calm, clear, and wonderfully cool.
Nature in autumn seems to display its greatest charms to allure mankind
into placid submission to the approach of rigid winter.

Autumn has come, and the two adventurers of whose reception we have
spoken in the last chapter are still guests, kindly treated and waiting
for the guide to give the signal of departure for the south. A few days
the old man had said,--in a few days he would himself go to the southern
pueblos of his tribe. But upon the rabbit-hunts there followed
ceremonial dances which lasted for days, and Hayoue and Zashue could not
leave until they were over. Then it required several days to rest and to
perform certain rites, and Zashue and Hayoue could not leave on that
account. Furthermore, Zashue being Koshare, the Koshare of the Tanos
held him back for certain performances of their own, and Hayoue could
not or would not start alone. Afterward, Hayoue being Cuirana, the
Cuirana held something in store for him, and Zashue did not care to
start without his brother. And when all that was finished the old man
was not ready; and so they are waiting and waiting, and autumn is here
in all its beauty, and Hayoue and Zashue, Zashue as well as Hayoue,
begin to chafe; but it is of no avail; they must wait.

While they are thus waiting until it pleases their friend to start, we
shall precede them to that south which is their objective point, in
order to anticipate if possible the cravings of the two adventurous
young men. They may overtake us there, perhaps when we least expect it.

       *       *       *       *       *

About thirty miles south of Santa Fé, the southern rim of the so-called
Basin of Galisteo is bounded by a low and shaggy ridge running from east
to west, whose crest is formed of trap-dyke sharply though irregularly
dentated. In Spanish this ridge and another similar one which traverses
the plain several miles north of it, running parallel to the former, is
called very appropriately El Creston, for if seen from a distance and
edgewise it strikingly resembles the crest of an antique helmet. The
plain of Galisteo expands between _crestones_, and on the edges of it
stand several villages of the Tanos. Of the Galisteo Basin a Spanish
report from the sixteenth century says: "There they have no stream;
neither are there any running brooks nor any springs which the people
could use."

The mountain clusters of the Real de Dolores and Sierra de San
Francisco, and beyond these the high Sandia chain, divide the Galisteo
country from the valley of the Rio Grande in the west. To the south
there extends a dreary plain as far as the salt marshes of the Manzano;
eastward spread the wooded slopes of the plateau; above the Pecos border
upon the basin. To the north the plain rises gradually, traversed only
by the northern _creston_, until it merges into the plain of Santa Fé.

On the southwestern corner of the Galisteo Basin a broad channel
discharges its waters into it, passing between the San Francisco range
and the mountains of Dolores. The channel is arid. Mountain torrents
rush through it only in the season of thunderstorms, and they have
burrowed and ploughed through its surface, scarring it with deep furrows
and shifting waterfalls. Near the mouth of the pass and at no great
distance from the plain, one of these arroyos has cut through an ancient
village, exposing on both banks the lower walls and rooms of its
buildings, visible on the surface only as irregular lines and
quadrangles of rubbish. The village must have been quite large for an
Indian settlement, since seven rectangles with wing-like additions can
still be traced. This village in ruins is called to-day the Pueblo
Largo, and the name is not inappropriate.

At the time of which we speak, the Pueblo Largo was inhabited, and in as
high a state of prosperity as Indian pueblos ever attain unto. It
contained, as the ruins attest, nearly fifteen hundred people of the
Tanos tribe. Its name was Hishi. The name is well known to-day to the
remnants of the Tanos, for they have piously preserved the recollections
of their former abodes.

Hishi is not on a beautiful site. It lies in a wide ditch rather than in
a valley. No view opens from it, and sombre mountains loom up in close
proximity both to the north and west. In the rear of the village, the
soil rises gradually to a low series of ridges, from the top of which,
at some distance from Hishi, the eye ranges far off toward the plains
and the basin of the salt lakes. These ridges are convenient posts of
observation. Scouts placed there can descry the approach of hostile
Apaches. The latter roam up and down the plains, following the immense
herds of buffalo, and prey upon the village Indians whenever the latter
present any opportunity for a successful surprise.

The buffalo himself not infrequently comes to graze within a short
distance of Hishi. South of the present ruins lies the buffalo spring.
When the dark masses of this greatest of American quadrupeds are
descried from the heights above the village, the Tanos go out with bow
and arrow; and woe to the straggling steer or calf that lags behind.
Like the wolf, the Indian rarely attacked any but isolated animals. Only
when a communal hunt was organized, and a whole village sallied forth to
make war upon the mighty king of the prairies,--only then, previous to
the introduction of fire-arms, could the redman venture to assault even
a small herd or the rear-guard of a numerous column.

September is drawing to a close, and the autumnal sky is as cloudless
and as pure over Hishi as it is over most of the other portions of New
Mexico. But in the hollow where the village is situated the sun is
scorching, as Hishi lies much lower than the "corner in the east" and
lower than the Rito. The chaparro flowers, in dense masses of deep
yellow, carpet the earth; and the dark pine forests on the
mountain-slopes stare, while yellow streaks sweep up among the dusky
timber. In the distance we catch a glimpse of the eastern slope of the
Sandia range glistening in the bright yellow hue of the flowers that
cover miles of its slanting surface.

On the ridges south of Hishi human figures stand. They are scattered,
watching and spying attentively. They are videttes,--outposts, placed to
scan the plains and the slopes of the mountains, lest some enemy sneak
up and pounce upon the defenceless village. For at the time of which we
are speaking the Tanos, or Hishi, are not only defenceless, but
singularly unsuspecting and heedless of danger. They would be at the
mercy of an enemy, were it not for these guards and scouts, who watch
and pry, straining every organ of perception that their people at home
may be without care while singing, praying, and making merry. Is not
the dance now going on at the village danced, prayed, and sung for their
benefit also?

Whenever these outposts turn toward their pueblo they see clouds of dust
rising from it, hear loud rhythmic shouting, whoops and yells, beating
of drums, and the shrill sounds of flutes. A haze seems to cover the
tall and long terraced buildings quite distinct from the vertical
columns of sand-whirls that drift over the plain of Galisteo, in calm
weather rising above the horizon like thin films of smoke.

It is a great day at Hishi. A dance is performed, songs are sung, and
prayers and sacrifices are offered that shall be powerful with Those
Above. The people make merry over the fruits of the soil that have now
matured. They are grateful, and they wish to be precious to the higher
powers in years to come. The great harvest dance is performed to-day. A
long procession perambulates the long village. The Koshare trot ahead.
They are the same black and white goblins with whom we are already
acquainted, but their bodies are decorated now with ripe fruit, with
small squashes and ears of corn, all strung to cords of fibre or
buckskin, and hung over their shoulders like wreaths. Wild sunflowers
adorn their heads. They are followed by the Cuirana, whose bodies are
daubed over with bluish clay. Then the general public tramp along. The
procession is divided into four sections, the faces of all being painted
_ad libitum_. The first detachment is led by an old man whose snow-white
hair supports a wreath of yellow blossoms. He is the so-called summer
cacique.

The winter cacique leads on the second group. Behind each ear he wears a
tall plume from the wings of the eagle, and around his neck are strung
rows upon rows of sacred shell beads, turquoises, and gaudy pebbles. The
third is preceded by the great shaman of the hunt. His dress is a
tight-fitting suit of buckskin; long fringes depend from his sleeves,
and the front and shoulders of his jacket are profusely embroidered with
porcupine-quills. A small plumelet of eagle-down dances over his head.
The last section is led by the highest shaman. His head is also
decorated with yellow flowers, and a green and a yellow plume stand
erect behind each ear. The war shaman is not to be seen; the spirits of
strife have nothing to do with the feast of peace. The war captain and
his assistants accompany the procession to keep order and clear the way.

This long, long pageant winds on, meandering through the pueblo to the
sound of drums, of flutes, and of monotonous chants; the white satyrs go
ahead, then follow the blue ones, then come in single file the men,
vigorously stamping, and behind each a woman, tripping lightly.

Every man is loaded with fruit of some kind, and carries corn and
squashes also in each hand. Every woman or girl bears on her head a
basket of willows or yucca filled with corn-cakes, yucca preserve, and
other delicacies, products of the vegetable kingdom. It is a procession
of baskets filing through Hishi, solemn and sober, and in the main
extremely monotonous. At intervals the Koshare break ranks to cut a few
capers, but to-day the Delight Makers of the Tehuas are remarkably
decent, for they are those, par excellence, who say grace. Since their
labours have been rewarded, and the crops are now ripe, and the people
have sufficient food, they are merry in the prospects of an easy winter,
and there is no need of any artificial delight-making.

The procession has passed through the entire village and returned to one
of its main squares. The end of the pageant is still on the march when
the Koshare break ranks again and cluster in the centre of the square.
From every side bystanders come up with fruits, scattering them over the
ground where the Delight Makers are waiting; and when the soil is well
covered with squash, corn, and other vegetables, the white satyrs begin
to dance with the most serious faces, singing and lifting their hands to
the skies. Gradually the whole of the offering is crushed, and at last
pounded into the earth by the feet of the dancing clowns. The earth has
brought forth the necessaries of life to man; now man, in token of
gratitude, returns a tribute to the earth.

As soon as this part of the ceremony is over, there arises a great shout
from all sides. Ears of corn, gourds, cakes of corn meal, pieces of
dried preserve, ripe fruits of the yucca, are thrown up into the air;
the baskets are emptied, and bystanders run home to replenish them.
Whoever can catch anything proceeds to devour it at once. The whole
tribe displays its gratitude by throwing heavenward the food which
heaven has enabled it to raise. Man intercepts and enjoys it after the
will and the deed have satisfied the invisible powers on high.

The usual mass of spectators are gathered on the roofs and along the
walls of the houses. When the noisy distribution of offerings begins,
many run to get their share. But it is not those who are most eager that
are most considered; it seems that the bulk of the food thrown into the
air is showering down upon a row of houses on whose terraces stands a
group of men, women, and children who seem no part of the inhabitants of
Hishi, manifesting this not so much in dress as from their distant and
timid deportment. All of them are very poorly clad, the children mostly
naked; and yet here and there a girl among them wears a new hide, and
some old woman a new white cotton wrap. Their pieces of clothing appear
like new mendings on old rags, or like a substantial shawl thrown over
scanty vestments. The older members of this peculiar group look down
upon the merry spectacle below with grave and melancholy eyes; the
younger would fain be merry also, but sadness lurks in their smiles.
The children alone yield fully to the excitement and happiness of the
hour. As the gifts fall down from above the older ones do not attempt to
seize them; the girls and younger women gather what they can and place
them carefully in a heap. What the children do not succeed in devouring
at once is taken away from them and placed with the rest. They are
improving the opportunity to lay in stores, and the Tanos lend them a
willing hand. Spectators below turn over to them what has fallen to
their share, others place what they have secured with the little hoard
the strangers are accumulating. For these people, so poorly clad and
looking so needy, must be strangers in the village of Hishi. Strangers,
yes; but strangers in need; and could there be any sacrifice, any
offering, more agreeable to those on high than the feeding of people
whom they allow to live by thrusting them on the charity of
fellow-beings? These strangers are after all but children of the same
spiritual parents from the upper world, and as such they are brothers,
sisters, and relatives.

That the strangers are village Indians can easily be seen. It is proved
by the cut of the hair, and by the rags which still protect their bodies
from absolute nakedness. But the tongue they speak is different from
that spoken by the people of Hishi. To us, however, it is not new. We
have heard that dialect before. It is the Queres language, the language
of the Rito. The strangers are the lost ones whom Hayoue and Zashue have
sought so anxiously and with so much suffering, and for the sake of whom
they have exposed their lives a hundred times perhaps, in vain. Zashue
was right, the fugitives had turned south from the Bocas; and had Hayoue
been less self-sufficient they would have found them ere now.

Still we miss among that little band of Queres fugitives those with whom
we have become more closely acquainted.

[Illustration: Ruins of an Ancient Pueblo]

In vain we look for Say Koitza, for Mitsha, for Okoya. Can it be true,
as Hayoue surmised, that his bosom friend, Zashue's eldest son, is dead?

The throwing about of fruit has ceased; the dance is resumed, and new
figures may appear. Everybody hushes, and fastens his gaze on the
performance.

The dancers have formed a wide ring. Men and women hold each other by
the hands, and dance in a circle around the place which has been covered
with objects of sacrifice. One after the other, the Koshare, the
Cuirana, after them each one of the four sections, step within the
circle, stamping down the fruits spread out there. Two or three of the
Delight Makers improve the occasion to cut some of their usual capers,
and the spectators laugh to their heart's content. Laughter is
contagious, it captures even the melancholy group of Queres; the old
among them smile, the young chuckle, the children shout and yell from
sheer delight. One boy in particular is very conspicuous from the
intense interest he takes in everything the Koshare are doing. He is
about ten years of age. A dirty breech-clout constitutes his only
vestment, but a necklace of multi-coloured pebbles adorns his neck; and
as often as a Koshare grimaces, or makes an extraordinary gesture, or
displays his tongue to the public, this boy jumps up, screams and
shouts, and screeches in delirious joy. His whole heart is with the
Koshare; he imitates their movements, improves on their gestures to such
a degree that those around him smile, exchanging winks of approval as if
saying, "He will be a good one."

The head of a girl slowly rises through a hatchway; and as her face
turns toward us, we recognize the soft, beaming eyes of Mitsha Koitza.
The maiden looks thinner, her features sharper. She remains standing on
the notched beam serving as a ladder, and calls out,--

"Shyuote!"

No reply is made to the call. The din and noise of the dance drown her
voice, and all are so occupied by the sights that none pay any attention
to her. The youngster who has been devoting all his time to the pranks
of the Delight Makers jumps forward in his enthusiasm, and would have
tumbled sheer over the low parapet encircling the roof had not one of
the men standing near grasped his hair and pulled him back. It saved the
boy's life, but the urchin is highly displeased at the informal manner
in which he is restrained. He screams and struggles to free himself.
Again the voice of the maiden is heard; this time it is louder and the
tone commanding.

"Shyuote!"

"She is calling you, uak," the man says who has saved the brat.

"I won't go," retorts our old friend Shyuote, for he it is who attempts
to play at Koshare here.

"Shyuote, come to sanaya!" again calls the maiden.

The mention of his mother creates a stir among the bystanders. They
forget the dance and turn toward Mitsha. Shyuote still refuses to obey,
but the others push him forcibly to the hatchway. Several of the women
approach Mitsha, and one inquires of her in a subdued voice,--

"How goes it below?"

The girl's eyes fill with tears. At last she whispers,--

"It goes--to Shipapu." She turns around and disappears beneath, sobbing.
Shyuote is sent after her.

The people stand and shake their heads. The news wanders from lip to
lip, "She is dying." All the pleasure, every interest in the
performance, has vanished. Indifferent to the celebration, the Queres
hang their heads in sadness; yet no complaint is heard, not a tear
glistens in those mournful eyes. She is only dying, not dead.

But who is dying? The query cannot be answered up here. Let us go down
and follow Mitsha.

In the dingy room of an Indian home, where light and air penetrate
through a single diminutive air-hole, sit and crouch half a dozen
people. They surround at some distance a human being whose head rests on
a bundle of skins, the body on a buffalo-robe. The knees are drawn up,
and cotton mantles cover the lower extremities. The chest, scantily
covered with a ragged, dark-coloured wrap, heaves at long intervals; the
extremities begin to stretch; the face is devoid of expression; the eyes
are wide open, staring, glassy; the lips parted; and on each side of the
mouth-corners ominous wrinkles begin to form. The sufferer is a woman,
and as we look closer we recognize her as Say Koitza, the wife of
Zashue. He must hasten his steps if he wishes to find her upon earth,
for she is dying!

It is very still in the room. The prayers which the medicine-man of the
Tanos has been reciting are hushed, the little idols of lava with
red-painted faces and eyes made of turquoises by means of which he hoped
to conjure the sickness, lean against the wall useless. Those whose duty
it is cower about the dying woman, and look on speechless. How faint the
breathings grow, how the chest rises and falls at longer intervals,
weaker every time! They listen as the rattling in her throat becomes
harder and slower. They dare not weep, for all is not over.

Say Koitza is dying! Not the sudden death she once prayed for when
Topanashka her father went over to Shipapu; but still she dies a
painless death,--she dies from exhaustion.

What is going on in her mind while the fetters which tied her soul to
the body are being dissolved? That body is henceforth powerless; it has
no wants, no cravings. The soul becomes free. Can it already glance
beyond? Not yet, for as long as earthly matter clings to him man cannot
perceive the other world. Flashes of light gleam through the mist in
which he is plunged, through both physical weakness and the efforts of
the soul to become free. The body struggles for preservation, the spirit
for freedom from its henceforth useless shell.

Are mind and body merely one? Does not death put an end to everything
that we ever were and can be? Does there remain after death anything
beyond the memory of our former existence, preserved in the hearts of
our fellow-beings? Nobody has ever returned from beyond the grave to
tell us how he felt, what he thought, while dying. But a dying person
always casts rays of light over his surroundings, and the surroundings
of dying Say Koitza are not without their lesson for us.

What do we see? A man sits near the dying woman. He lifts up his hands
and stares; it is the medicine-man, and he has done his utmost; he is
powerless, his art useless. What he did was done in the conviction that
spiritual influences, however grossly conceived and coarsely applied,
could compel the soul to master the body's ailment, could prop up the
sinking machinery and strengthen the motive power without regard to its
decaying tools. To-day, provided the body is helped along with physical
means, the soul would remain against its will, or against the will of
what stands in closer relation to it originally than the form which it
has animated here beneath. If mind and body were one, either method
could be successful. Neither is, when death steps in to proclaim their
separation.

By the side of the shaman a young man leans against the wall. He is
well-built and lithe. His head is bent so low in grief that the dark
hair streams over his face, concealing his features. The youth is
mourning, mourning deeply. Over what? Over the body or its sufferings?
No, he mourns because of an impending separation. From what? From the
form of her whom he will miss? No, for that form will not leave this
earth in substance. He mourns for something that goes beyond his grasp,
and remains beyond it so long as he himself moves upon this earth.

Mitsha also is here. She has properly no right to be for she does not
belong to the same clan as Say; but she has remained, and nobody has
objected to her presence. She has not craved permission, it has come by
tacit consent. Mitsha has felt that Say was approaching the point when
the soul breaks loose and flits to another realm, and she wishes to
remain with her to the last. If that soul should drop like a shrivelled
fruit, to decay and perish forever, nobody would bend to gaze fondly at
it. But if it flutter upward, we follow it with our eyes as long as we
can, unconsciously thinking, "How happy you are, free now; and how much
I wish to be with you." The very grief caused by the separation, the
longing, the clinging to him or to her whom we know to be leaving us,
are signs that there is something beyond, something which we are loath
to lose but sure to find again elsewhere, Mitsha has known Okoya's
mother but little, but the fearful distress of the past two months has
brought them together at last. Now the girl weeps, but not loudly, at
the thought of separation. If death be annihilation, tears are of no
avail. But if death be a promise of life in another condition, then,
child, well may you shed tears, for your grief is a token of hope.

Shyuote stands at the foot of the beam, gaping. His mother lies so
still, she breathes so loudly. How well she must be sleeping! Why did
they call him down at all? It would have been much nicer upstairs where
there are Koshare to be seen. He knows well enough that sanaya is sick,
but as long as she has such good rest she ought to feel well. A child is
not afraid of a dying mother, and when she has breathed her last is
convinced that she must be happy. To be well is compatible in the minds
of children only with life. Death therefore appears to them as a step
into a better and more beautiful existence. Children and fools tell the
truth. The gleam of light which from dying Say is cast on her unruly son
is but the rosy hue of a hopeful twilight.

The remaining occupants of the room stand with sad looks; they are all
women but one, a middle-aged man. They do not feel the occasion except
so far as there is a certain solemnity connected with it. Silent and
grave, they watch a process going on whose real nature they cannot
understand except as a momentous and appalling change. Change is only
transformation, not annihilation.

Say Koitza has been lying thus for several days. The end is near at
hand, and yet hours may elapse ere she dies. So still it is in the
apartment that nobody dares even move. Rising and falling come the song
and the noise of the dance from the outside, but they seem to halt at
the little opening, as if an invisible medium would interpose itself,
saying, "Stay out, for within there ripens a fruit for another and a
better world."

Mitsha glides over to the young man with the dark, streaming hair and
touches his arm lightly. He looks up and at her. It is Okoya,--Okoya,
whom we believed to be dead, but who stands here by the side of his
dying mother. He also looks emaciated and wan. After all the dangers and
misery of a protracted flight this hour has come upon him. The eyes of
the two meet; their looks express neither tenderness nor passion, but a
perfect understanding that betokens a union which even death cannot
destroy. It is that simple, natural attachment which forms the basis of
Indian wedlock when the parties are congenial to each other.

That the two are one can be plainly seen. As yet no outward sanction has
been given to their union; but they are tacitly regarded as belonging to
each other, and no opposition is offered to an intimacy which lacks but
the bond of marriage. Passion has little to do with that intimacy; the
severe trials of the past have riveted them together on a higher plane.

Mitsha has made a sign to the young man. Both steal from the chamber
noiselessly and climb to the roof. He goes first and she follows, as is
customary among Indians. Once up there the dance attracts Okoya's
attention for a moment. He has not seen anything of it as yet, for all
day he has remained by his mother's side.

Shyuote improves the opportunity to slip out also. As he sees his
brother and future sister-in-law go out, he follows. Why should he stay
down any longer? His mother is well. She sleeps soundly and breathes so
loud! She certainly is improving, and up there he can see Koshare. But
he is careful not to let Mitsha see him; her positive ways are
distasteful, so he creeps in among the spectators where her eyes cannot
follow and soon has lost sight of everything in contemplation of the
Koshare.

The appearance of Okoya and Mitsha on the roof attracts no attention. As
long as the death-wail is not sounded, none but those of her clan have a
right to be with the dying. Still one or other of the women casts an
inquisitive glance at Mitsha; a slight shake of her head is sufficient
answer to them. The young pair go to one side; he sits down on the
parapet of the roof and she beside him. Their eyes follow the dance, but
their thoughts are elsewhere. Okoya whispers at last, "Sanaya is dying."

Mitsha nods, and tears come to her eyes. Here she is not afraid to weep.
Okoya continues,--

"I knew it would happen. Yonder"--he points at the mountains--"I heard
the owl, and I knew it meant what is now coming upon us."

The girl shudders. She weeps no longer; dread scenes of the past are
looming up before her mind.

"In the kote," says she, "it was very bad. Do you remember over on the
other side of the great river on the mesa, from which one can see so
very far, almost over where we are now?"

"Not as far as that," replied Okoya, in a quiet tone, "but far enough.
You are right, makatza; on the mesa we suffered much; there the Moshome
did us a great deal of harm. If it had not been for you we should not be
here."

"For me?" Mitsha asked in surprise.

"Yes, you. You saved me, saved the yaya, saved Shyuote from the fierce
shuatyam! Yes, surely," he continued as the girl shook her head
incredulously. "Do you remember, sa uishe, when one Moshome was holding
my hands while another struck at me with his club? You took a big stone
and hit him so that he fell and I could kill the other. Afterward you
took the bow away from the dead Moshome, and you did as much with it as
I did with mine. Yes, indeed, you are strong, but you are wise too, and
good." He fastened his eyes on her with a deep, earnest look, and the
girl turned away her face. She felt embarrassed.

"We shall be happy when you have built your house and you dwell in it as
my koitza," Okoya whispered.

Mitsha cast her eyes to the ground, and a faint glow appeared on her
bronzed cheeks. The young man was not misled by her manner, he knew well
enough that she liked him to speak in this way.

"Sanaya goes to Shipapu," said he, moving closer to her, "and I must
have a koitza. You said you would be mine and I should be your husband.
It was the night of the council on the Tyuonyi. Do you remember?"

"I do, and so it will be," she said, raising her head. Her large eyes
beamed upon him with an expression of softness and deep joy. "But
whither shall we go? Here we are strangers; and the Puyatye, although
they are very good to us, speak a tongue we do not understand. Shall we
return to the Tyuonyi and live with my mother and the hanutsh?"

"Are you sure that your mother is still alive? Are you sure that there
is a single one of our people alive?" Okoya objected.

Again the eyes of Mitsha grew moist; she turned her head away and Okoya
heard her sobs. Well did he understand her grief; it was stirred for the
fate of her parents. Had he, had she, known all that had happened on the
Rito!

A tremendous shout arose from the dancing crowd below. The distribution
of gifts was beginning anew. Again the majority of the missiles were
directed toward the Queres; a perfect shower of provisions, cooked and
raw, pattered down upon the strangers. A large ear of corn tumbled into
Mitsha's lap, and she handed it to Okoya, whispering,--

"The Shiuana are good."

"They are. They are good also to the yaya, for they take her away to
Shipapu, where there is no hunger as on the shore of the great stream."

He sighed, and gazed to the west, where the San Francisco mountains
stood. Beyond them, along the northern base of the Sierra de Sandia, in
the sandy bottom of the Rio Grande, uninhabited at this time, they had
suffered from hunger and heat. There misery had reached its climax. It
is terrible even in our days to be compelled to flee from house and home
in time of war into the cold, strange world. And yet nowadays one can
flee to one's kind; and where there are human beings there are hearts.
But in the days of old, and for Indians, it was not only distressing, it
was ghastly to be obliged to fly. Nature alone stared them in the face,
and Nature has no heart, although it is said that we are one with her.
The Navajos had driven away the fugitives, had tracked and tormented
them fearfully, and yet once relieved from the enemy's clutches and
thrust upon Nature alone, the wretched band regretted the days when the
ruthless enemy swarmed about them. The Moshome at least fed those whom
they captured, and those whom they killed were happy forever. Nature
knows but law and force, and whoever depends upon her at a time when her
laws will not tolerate the existence of man, falls a victim to the power
of her forces.

Now all this was past. It rained gifts about them, and with a sad smile
Mitsha gathered them into a little pile. Okoya looked on; he thought the
girl was making provision for their future household.

The distribution stopped, for the dancers were resting. They began to
sit down along the walls of the houses to rest and to enjoy the needed
recess, Mitsha took some of the fruit on her arm, and said to Okoya,--

"Come, let us go down again."

"What do you want to do with that?" asked he, designating her little
burden.

"I give it to the Chayan for what the Shiuana are doing for our mother."

Even in the state of most abject poverty, the Indian shows gratitude to
Those Above.

The head of a man rises above the hatchway and signals the two young
people gravely, sadly. They descend hastily; Okoya remains standing in
the middle of the room, and Mitsha goes over to him as soon as she has
deposited her burden. As nobody notices her she grasps his hand, and he
presses it softly with his own. Say Koitza remains in the same position
as before, but she lies more extended, and her chest heaves no longer.
The bystanders are motionless like statues, expectant. A last rattle
sounds from the throat of the woman; a deep heavy effort, and all is
over. Light froth issues from her lips. Say Koitza has breathed her
last.

It has become very quiet outside, as if men there had guessed at what
was going on within. In the little apartment it is as still as the
grave,--a stillness which speaks louder to the heart than the mightiest
sound, and which is appropriately designated by the popular saying,
"There is an angel flitting through the room."

This stillness might have lasted long; but now the noise and uproar
arise again outside, and with full power the sounds of delight and mirth
break into the dingy cell like mighty waves. With the departure of life
from the body, it is as if a barrier that forbade entrance to noise from
the outer world had been drawn away, permitting the sounds of joy to
come in triumphantly, now that the soul is free. They find an echo
inside, a dismal echo of lamentations and tears. Mitsha cannot weep
boisterously like the rest, neither can Okoya. The two lean toward each
other sobbing; the girl has grasped his arm with both hands, her head
rests on his shoulder, and she weeps.

The lament below has been heard on the roof; it is a signal to rush down
and join in it. Soon the room is crowded with people; the women grasp
their hair and pull it over their faces. Dismal wailing fills the cell.
Among the others stands Shyuote, who has been told that his mother is
dead. He plants himself squarely with the rest, and howls at the top of
his voice. In front of the house the dance continues, and the monotonous
chant and the dull drumming ascend to the sky; alongside of it the
death-wail.

Tanos also crowd into the room; the throng is so great that the last
comers must stand on the beam. Suddenly they are pushed aside; a tall
young man rushes down and makes room, regardless of the weeping and
howling crowd. Up to Okoya he forces his way; throws his left arm around
him and Mitsha; his right hand seizes the hand of the youth and presses
it against his breast. It is Hayoue, who has come from the north at
last,--his heart guiding him to that friend whom he has so bravely, so
unwearyingly sought.

Another Indian rashes down after Hayoue, his motions not less anxious,
not less rapid and determined. He makes his way to the body and falls
down upon his knees, staring with heaving chest but tearless eyes into
the placid, emaciated face. It is Zashue Tihua. With a tension akin to
despair he searches for lingering life in the features of that wife whom
he formerly neglected and afterward suspected, whom he at last anxiously
sought, and now finds asleep in death.



CONCLUSION.


After twenty-one long and it may be tedious chapters, no apology is
required for a short one in conclusion. I cannot take leave of the
reader, however, without having made in his company a brief excursion
through a portion of New Mexico in the direction of the Rito de los
Frijoles, though not quite so far.

We start from Santa Fé, that "corner in the east" above which the Tano
village stood many centuries ago. We proceed to the Rio Grande valley,
to the little settlement called Peña Blanca, and to the Queres village,
or Pueblo of Cochiti. There you will hear the language that was once
spoken on the Rito; you will see the Indians with characteristic
sidelocks, with collars of turquoises and shell beads, but in modern
coats and trousers, in moccasins and in New England boots and shoes.
Still they are at heart nearly the same Indians we found them in this
story. I could introduce you to Hayoue, to Zashue, to Okoya, and the
rest. If we strike the time well, you may witness the Koshare at their
pranks, and in their full, very unprepossessing ceremonial toggery. At
Cochiti we take a guide, possibly Hayoue, and proceed northward in the
direction of the Rito.

For a number of hours we have to follow the base of the huge potreros,
crossing narrow ravines, ascending steep but not long slopes, until at
about noon we stand on the brink of a gorge so deep that it may be
termed a chasm. We look down to a narrow bottom and groves of cottonwood
trees. To the north, the chasm is walled in by towering rocks; the Rio
Grande flows through one corner; and on its opposite bank arise cliffs
of trap lava and basalt, black and threatening, while the rocks on the
west side are bright red, yellow, and white. The trail to the Rito goes
down into this abyss and climbs up on the other side through clefts and
along steep slopes. But we are not going to follow this trail. We turn
to the left, and with the dizzy chasm of Cañon del Alamo to our right,
proceed westward on one of the narrow tongues which, as the reader may
remember, descend toward the Rio Grande from the high western mountains,
and which are called in New Mexico potreros. The one on which we are
travelling, or rather the plateau, or mesa, that constitutes its
surface, is called Potrero de las Vacas.

For about two hours we wander through a thin forest, From time to time
the trail approaches the brink of the rocky chasm of the Cañon del
Alamo, near enough to have its echo return to us every word we may shout
down into its depths. Suddenly the timber grows sparse and we behold an
open space on a gentle rise before us. It is a bare, bleak spot, perhaps
a quarter of a mile long, and occupying the entire width of the mesa,
which here is not much broader. Beyond, the timber begins again, and in
the centre of the opening we see the fairly preserved ruins of an
abandoned Indian pueblo.

[Illustration: A Modern Pueblo]

There are still in places three stories visible. The walls are of evenly
broken parallelopipeds of very friable pumice-stone, and the village
forms the usual quadrangles. In the centre is a large square; and no
fewer than six depressions indicate that the Pueblos had at one time as
many as six circular subterranean estufas. In the ruins of the
dwellings over four hundred cells are still well defined, so that the
population of this communal village must formerly have reached as high
as one thousand souls. Over and through the ruins are scattered the
usual vestiges of primitive arts and industry,--pottery fragments and
arrow-heads. Seldom do we meet with a stone hammer, whereas
grinding-slabs and grinders are frequent, though for the most part
scattered and broken.

The spot is well selected for an abode of sedentary Indians. An
extensive view opens toward the east, north, and south. We see in the
east the mountains above Santa Fé, in the south the ranges at whose foot
lie the ruins of Hishi. In the north the high plateaus above the Rito
shut out a glimpse of the Puye, but a whitish streak in that direction
indicates the top line of the northern cliffs that overhang the Rito de
los Frijoles. Right and left of the village, not more than a hundred
yards from each side, begin the rugged declivities of the sides of the
potrero. If we want to go farther we can proceed to the west only, and
there we soon get into timber again.

A few steps within that timber, and we have before us a strange sight. A
wall of rudely piled stone slabs planted upright, flags laid upon them
crosswise, and smaller fragments piled against and between them, form a
pentagonal enclosure which at first sight reminds us of a diminutive
Stonehenge. There is an entrance to it from the southeast,--an open
corridor flanked by similar parapets. The enclosing wall is not more
than three feet high, and we easily peep into the interior.

Inside there are two statues carved out of the living rock. Although
much disfigured to-day they still show a plain resemblance to the
figures of two crouching panthers or pumas. They are life size; and the
animals seem to lie there with their heads to the east, their tails
extended along the ground. As we stand and gaze, our Indian goes up to
the statues and furtively anoints their heads with red ochre, muttering
a prayer between his teeth.

What may be the signification of this statuary? Do you remember the
great dance at the Rito, and the painting on the wall of the estufa
where the Koshare Naua sat and held communication with Those Above? Do
you recollect that among these paintings there was one of a panther and
another of a bear? The relation of the bear and panther of the estufa to
the picture of the sun-father is here that of the two stone panthers to
the sun himself. Their faces are turned to the east, whence rises the
sun, in which dwells the father of all mankind, and the moon, which
their mother inhabits. As in the estufa on the Rito, so in the outside
world, the pictures of stone express a prayer to the higher powers, and
here daily the people of the village were wont to make offerings and say
their prayers.

We are therefore on sacred ground in this crumbling enclosure. But who
knows that we are not on magic ground also? We might make an experiment;
and though our Indian guide is not one of the great shamans, he might
help us in an attempt at innocent jugglery.

Let us suffer ourselves to be blindfolded, and then turn around three
times from left to right while our friend recites some cabalistic
formula, incomprehensible of course to us.

One, two, three! The bandage is removed. What can we see?

Nothing strange at first. Surrounding nature is the same as before. The
same extensive view, the same snow-clad ranges in the far east, the same
silent, frowning rocks, the same dark pines around us. But in the north,
over the yellowish band that denotes the cliffs of the Rito, we notice a
slight bluish haze.

A change has taken place in our immediate vicinity. The stone panthers
and the stone enclosure have vanished, and the ground is bare, like all
the ground in the neighbourhood. Looking beyond we see that a
transformation has also taken place on the spot where stood the ruin.
The crumbling walls and heaps of rubbish are gone, and in their place
newly built foundations are emerging from the ground; heaps of stone,
partly broken, are scattered about; and where a moment ago we were the
only living souls, now Indians--village Indians like our guide, only
somewhat more primitive--move to and fro, busily engaged.

Some of them are breaking the stones into convenient sizes, for the
friable pumice breaks in parallelopipeds without effort. The women are
laying these in mortar made of the soil from the mesa, common adobe. We
are witnessing the beginning of the construction of a small village.
Farther down, on the edge of the timber, smoke arises; there the
builders of this new pueblo dwell in huts while their house of stone is
growing to completion. It is the month of May, and only the nights are
cool.

These builders we easily recognize. They are the fugitives from the
Rito, the little band whom the Tanos of Hishi have kindly received and
charitably supported until a few months since, when they allowed them to
go and build a new home. They came hither led on by Hayoue, who is now
their maseua; for each tribe, however small, must have one. Okoya is
with him, and Mitsha, now Okoya's wife, comes up from the bottom with
the water-urn on her head, as on the day when we first saw her on the
Rito de los Frijoles.

And now we have, though in a trance, seen the further fate of those
whose sad career has filled the pages of this story. We may be
blindfolded again, turned about right to left; and when the bandage is
taken from our eyes the landscape is as before, silent and grand. The
ruins are in position again; the panthers of stone with their mutilated
heads lie within the enclosure; an eagle soars on high; and our Indian
points to it, smiles, and whispers,--

"Look! see! the Shiuana are good!"





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