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?"
"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?"
"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 noontime 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.' [paragraph continues]
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 bear 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 in, side; 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 or 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.