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 modem 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?"
"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 [paragraph continues]
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? 1
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."
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.
"Motātza," 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, motātza, 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. "Motātza, 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, motātza,"--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 there. after, 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, it and it 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.
163:1 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.