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 with, out 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. 1
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 wolfs 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.
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 deer-skin 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,--
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 unspeakable 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 every. thing 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.
63:1 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.