While the Pueblos were at war with the Navahos and Apaches and the Plains Indians, a Cochiti girl was stolen by the Navahos. One evening as it was getting dark the girl went out to the corral. She was leaning against the east side of the stockade. A man in a blanket came around the stockade. She thought it was her lover and she put her arms around him. He covered her in his blanket. As they were embracing he pulled her toward the west. He put his hands over her mouth so she couldn't scream. He took her to the Navaho country. There they tormented her and ridiculed her and the women whipped her with whips and sticks. After a while the Navaho boy could not stand the ridicule the girl had to bear. He put a stop to it. He said, "I took her. I shall live with her--she shall be my wife." She lived with him and had four children, two boys and two girls.
One of the Navaho women was a good friend of the Pueblo girl's. One time the friend asked, "Aren't you lonesome for your father and mother and for your brothers and sisters?" "Yes, but I don't know the way home." "Will you take my plan?" "Yes." "This year there are plenty of piñons and yucca fruit on the mountains. We will invite our husbands to go out to help us gather these. When we camp I will tell you in what direction to go, what to do." They invited their husbands. The Navaho woman said, "When you are ready and going to start, choose the two best riding horses." When they were near the place where the piñons grew, the Navaho woman said, "Tell your husband to look for a place to camp where the piñons are thick. I will give you medicine to put your husband to sleep. When he is asleep take a knife and cut off his head. Have no pity, just as he had no pity when he was bringing you to the Navaho country. When you have cut his head off, have the horses ready. Ride as fast as you can. Do not stop anywhere. When my husband discovers that you have killed your husband and goes with his head, you will have a good start."
When the Navaho woman's husband found out, he went to his wife to ask her where the other had gone. She told him that she did not know. He had to take the message to the Navahos before he could follow the girl. The girl did as she was told; she had no
pity for the horses. When one was tired she rode the other. She traveled all night. Next day the Navahos gave chase. That evening they nearly caught her at a narrow place. She left her two horses there and escaped down the cliff on foot. When she was almost down to the river level she heard horse's hoofs behind her. She jumped aside and left the trail. There was a little cave there and she hid. The horsemen passed her. They thought the girl had reached the pueblo and they went back to the very place where she was hiding. There they met the Navahos who were coming up behind. They quarreled among themselves, for the relatives of the man who had been killed wanted to take revenge on the pueblo, but the rest were not willing. Those in authority said, "Our horses are tired and if we are pursued by fresh horses none of us would escape." They turned back. The girl could hear the Navaho man's relatives crying. She stayed there all night. In the morning before dawn, she came out of the cave and instead of taking the road, she went down an arroyo and came in from the northeast side into the village.
That morning one of the Cochiti men had risen early to get wood. He was tying his wood ready to put it on his back, and the girl followed him till he was close to the pueblo. She said to him, "Father, where are you going?" He turned and saw that she was a stranger. "Who are you?" "My poor father, don't you know me? I am the girl who was taken by the Navahos. I am the one who is coming back again now to my people." The old man threw off his load and embraced the girl. He said, "Wait here. I will take word back home." He ran to the pueblo and called to all the people that his daughter had come back. So the girl returned home who had been stolen by the Navahos. The rest of her life she lived among her people.
195:5 Informant 2.