THE interview between Okoya and Hayoue, which took place at almost the same time that Shotaye fell in with the Tehua Indian on the mesa, had completely changed the mind of Say Koitza's eldest son, and turned his thoughts into another channel. He saw clearly now to what extent he had been led astray by mere imagination,--to what sinister depths his reasoning had carried him. Since Hayoue's talk, Okoya felt like another man. The world of his thoughts, limited as it was still, appeared now in rosy hues, hope-inspiring and encouraging in spite of all obstacles. These obstacles he saw in their true light, and the last warning of Hayoue had made a deep impression. But obstacles clearly understood are half surmounted already, and "threatened people live long."
It is not good for man to be alone. Okoya had felt the truth of it bitterly. Now that he knew that he was not forsaken, he was filled with strength and vigour. On the whole, an Indian is much less exposed to isolation than a white man, for his clan and, in a wider range, his tribe, stand by him against outside danger; but when that danger arises within the narrow circle of constant surroundings there is imminent peril. Okoya had fancied that such peril threatened his own existence, and that he stood alone and unsupported. Now he saw that in any event he would be neither abandoned nor forsaken, and this imparted to his spirit a degree of buoyancy which he had never experienced before.
When he issued from the cave where both his uncle and he had found shelter, the storm was over, and nature had assumed a different aspect. A heavy shower in the mountains of New Mexico is often followed by illuminations of peculiar beauty. So it happened then. The west, where the sun had already descended behind the mountains, was crossed by a series of arches displaying successively from below upward the most resplendent gold, bright orange, green, and finally deep blue colours. In the eastern skies the storm-king hovered still in a mass of inky clouds above the horizon, but these clouds had receded beyond the graceful cone of the Tetilla, which stood out in front of the dark mass of the storm sharply defined, with a rosy hue cast over every detail of its slopes. The air was of wonderful transparency, and every tint of the brilliant heavens above and in the west seemed to reproduce itself with increased intensity, on the dark, cloudy bank in the east, in the dazzling arch of a magnificent rainbow. The rays of the setting sun no longer penetrated the depths of the vale, they only grazed the moisture-dripping tops of the tallest pines, changing them into pyramids of sparkling light.
Okoya looked at the scenery before him, but its beauty was not what caused him to gaze and to smile. The Indian is quite indifferent to the sights of nature, except from the stand-point. of strictest and plainest utilitarianism. The rainbow fascinated the boy, not through its brilliancy and the perfection of the arch, but because the rainbow was in his conception Shiuana, and a messenger from Those Above. 1 Where the ends of the luminous arch appear to rest, a message from heaven is said to be deposited. No more favourable token could have greeted him, for although
the message was not for him, since the brilliant bow seemed to stand far off from the Rito, still the Shiuana, the spirits, graced the sky with their presence. They appeared clad in the brightest hues, and what is bright and handsome is to the Indian a harbinger of good.
No wonder, therefore, that the boy greeted his mother with a happy face and a pleasant smile. He had passed Shotaye in the entrance, and his salutation to her was widely different from the gruff notice he had taken of her in the morning. When, afterward, he met his mother's gaze and saw how kindly she looked at him, how warm her invitation to come in sounded, his heart bounded with delight, and he obeyed her summons with a deep sigh of relief. His appearance was not very prepossessing, for between the caves and the big house a number of newly created mud-puddles and rivulets had crossed his path. His scanty clothing was profusely bespattered, and broad cakes of mud clung to the soles of his naked feet. Before entering the house he carelessly shook off and scraped away the heaviest flakes, and then went in and sat down on the bundle of skins. Say Koitza offered him no change of clothing; she did not bring a pair of slippers, warm and dry, for his wet feet. No, she simply went into the kitchen and let him alone. Such is the Indian custom. But in the kitchen she began to move about. She was cooking, and that proved beyond a doubt that everything must be right again. After a while she squatted in the inner doorway and inquired,--
"Where were you while it was raining?"
"How late did he come home?" She laughed; he chimed in and answered,--
"Late enough; I had to wait a long time before he came, and so sleepy was he,--as tired and sleepy as a bear in spring."
"Do you know where he spent the night?" The tone of the conversation sounded easy and pleasant.
"I don't know the name of the makatza,"--here Okoya laughed again and his mother caught the contagion,--"but she must belong to Oshatsh. He did not say much, for he was tired from yesterday."
"Was she a short, stumpy girl?"
"I don't know. It must have been the same one with whom he was at the dance. I paid no attention to her."
"It is Haatze; I know her. She is a strong girl and tall."
"Do you think he goes to see her?" Okoya asked.
"It may be, and it may be not. Hayoue goes to every one; he is like a fly,--he sits down everywhere and stops nowhere."
Okoya enjoyed hugely his mother's joke. The latter with some hesitancy continued,--
"Does he also visit Mitsha Koitza?"
Okoya bent down to avoid her glance, then he resolutely replied,--
"Are you sure of it?"
"I am sure." He cast a furtive glance at his mother.
"Did Mitsha tell you?"
Not in the harsh tone of an inquisitor were these words uttered. Say spoke them softly, gently; and Okoya was comforted. He was moved by the question.
"No," he replied in the same manner; "Hayoue spoke to me about it."
Say felt a decided relief. It was clear to her now where Okoya had spent the day, and how he had spent it. She liked her husband's younger brother and trusted him. Although very fond of the other sex, Hayoue was still honest and trustworthy in everything else. Her son had evidently
spoken to his uncle about Mitsha, and in Say's estimation he could not have chosen a better person in whom to confide. Hayoue, she knew, harboured toward Tyope sentiments akin to her own. His advice to Okoya must therefore have been sound. On the other hand she was herself, since the talk with Shotaye, greatly drawn toward Mitsha. This made her anxious to find out what Hayoue thought of the girl. So she put the direct question,--
"You spoke with your nashtio about Mitsha?
"What says he of the makatza?"
Had the room been better lighted Say would have seen how flushed Okoya's face became, notwithstanding the tawny colour of his complexion. The boy saw at once that he had confessed much more than he had intended,--that the secret of his interview of the morning was divulged. Recede he could not; neither could he conceal his embarrassment. He began to twist the end of his wrap, and stammered,--
"He says not much." And then he stared at the doorway with that stolid air which the Indian assumes when he is in trouble.
"Does he speak good or ill?" Say insisted.
"Good," muttered Okoya, casting his eyes to the ground. The mild, soft smile which played over his mother's features as he uttered the word escaped him. When he raised his eyes again her looks were serious, though not stem. He was completely bewildered. What had occurred to cause his mother to speak in this manner? Had she changed her mind since morning, and why so suddenly? He had, of course, no thought of attributing to Shotaye and to her influence this surprisingly favourable change, for he did not know the intimate relations existing between her and his mother. So
he remained silent, staring, wrapped in his own musings. His mother looked at him in silence also, but with a half-suppressed smile.
At last she asked,--
"Sa uishe, will you eat?"
"Yes," he replied, considerably relived by this turn in the conversation. He rose and moved briskly toward the entrance to the cooking apartment; but Say held him back.
"Tell me, but tell me the truth; did Hayoue say it was well for you to go with Mitsha?"
Okoya was so embarrassed by this direct query that he could not answer at once. He stood still and hung his head.
"Tell me, child," Say insisted.
"He said"--the words were scarcely audible--"that it was well."
"Did he also say it was good for you to listen to the words of Tyope and his woman?"
Now light began to dawn upon the boy. He felt a presentiment of something favourable. "No," he exclaimed, "he said that I must beware of Tyope and of his koitza; but that Mitsha I could trust."
"Then it is well, sa uishe," replied the mother; "come in and eat."
Okoya could hardly believe his senses. Had his mother really said, 'It is well?" Was it possible that she was satisfied and in sympathy with his feeling toward Mitsha? Such was his surprise that he performed his prayers before squatting down to the meal without a thought of the kopishtai, to whom he scattered crumbs mechanically. He forgot to eat, and stared like a blind man with eyes wide open, heedless of the food, heedless of everything around him.
"Eat," said Say to him. Twice she repeated the invitation ere he came to himself and reached out for the first morsel. Aware of his mute astonishment and conscious of his perplexity, his mother finally asked,--
"What is the matter with you, motātza?"
He merely shook his head and stared.
Very few young Indians in Okoya's condition would have placed so much stress on their mother's consent or dissent. All or nearly all of them would simply have left the old home and would have joined their betrothed at her mother's house; and only the clan, and not the family, could have interfered with their action. In the case of Okoya it was different, and unusual circumstances complicated the matter. Mitsha's clan was that of Topanashka, his own maternal grandfather; and if he spoke against the union matters would be desperate. His mother, therefore, held the key to the situation, inasmuch as through her both the Eagle clan, to which Mitsha belonged, and Tanyi hanutsh, his own consanguine cluster, could be favourably or unfavourably influenced. As things appeared now, all seemed most promising. Even his mother--who a short time ago had expressed herself so bitterly against his choice--was now favourable to it. What could Tyope do under such circumstances? Nothing at all. So the boy reasoned unconsciously; but beside, he felt glad, he felt happy, because his mother approved of him. He was fond of his mother at the bottom of his heart, as fond as any Indian can be.
Say Koitza approved his choice. There was no doubt about it, and still she had not spoken plainly as yet. At any other time he would have maintained a prudent reserve and waited his time to inquire. To-day he felt so surprised, so completely stupefied, that only one course was left him, and that was to learn her real feelings by asking his mother directly for an explanation of her inexplicable demeanour. [paragraph continues]
When, therefore, Say asked again, "What ails you, motātza, why don't you eat?" he turned to her with a heavy sigh, placed both hands on his knees, and replied,--
"I cannot eat until I have asked a question of you. Tell me, yaya, how it is that this morning, when I said to you that I was going with Mitsha Koitza, you grew angry at me, and now you say it is right? Tell me, sanaya, how it comes about that you like the girl in the evening, whereas in the morning she was not precious to you?"
His mother smiled. She sat down beside him, and her face almost touched his own. The glare of the fire illuminated her features, so that their expression became fully visible to him. Then she spoke softly,--
"Umo, have I not often said to you, 'Beware of Tyope'? Is it not so, sa uishe?"
Okoya nodded affirmatively.
"Can you suppose that I should feel easy at heart, if you go to the house where dwells the woman of that man?"
Okoya trembled. This was a discouraging beginning. Had he mistaken his mother's views? In a faltering voice he replied,--
Say continued, When for the first time you said, 'Mitsha and I see each other,' I felt afraid. My heart spoke to me and said, Your child is lost; and then sa nashka became angry. This was early in the morning; but afterward, when I was sitting alone here and the Shiuana called loudly above during the storm, it seemed to me as if some kopishtai whispered, 'Mitsha is good,--she is as good as Okoya; she will belong to him, and not to her mother, much less to her father.' And as I was thinking, I heard the kopishtai again, saying to me, 'Okoya is good; he is your child, and Mitsha will become your daughter, for she is of your father's own blood.' And as the kopishtai
thus spoke, the Shiuana thundered louder and more loud, Then I thought it must be right and good for the motātza to go to the girl, and I was no longer angry. And then you came, and I asked you what I wanted to know, and you told me what Hayoue had said. So it is well, and thus it shall remain."
The sigh of relief heaved by Okoya at hearing these words was as sincere as it was deep. He had barely strength to ask in the meekest manner possible,--
"Then you have nothing against my going to Mitsha?
"Nothing; I like to see you go, for Mitsha is good and"--her voice became a whisper--"the Shiuana have thus disposed it. But"--she spoke louder again--"hear me, go to Mitsha, and to her alone."
"But I cannot disown her mother and father."
"You need do nothing of the kind unless you wish. Be pleasant to, the man, as behooves you, but be careful. Never say sanaya is doing this or that, or to-day they speak so or so at the estufa. If Tyope queries what is your yaya doing, answer, her usual work. If he inquires about what is going on in the estufa of Tanyi hanutsh, reply to him, 'Nashtio, I am only a boy, and do not know what the men talk about.' To Tyope's wife say nothing but what even Shyuote might hear. To the makatza you can say, 'Let us be together and live for each other and talk as is right. What concerns your hanutsh shall be hidden from me, and I will be silent on anything that concerns mine.' If you will do thus, sa uishe, then you can go to see Mitsha; and I myself would like to see the girl who is to become my child."
This was, too much for Okoya. He grasped with both his hands the hand of his mother, carried it to his lips, and breathed on it. Then he gave back the hand, and said with an effort,--
"You are good, yaya, and I will do as you say. Hayoue said to me the same things you have."
"Hayoue is a true friend. His tongue is like his heart, and you did right in taking his advice."
A tall figure stepped into the apartment with a shuffling step. His loud greeting, "guatzena," cut off further talk for a moment. Both mother and son, taken by surprise, answered,--
It was Hayoue himself who thus suddenly appeared. He complied with the request to sit down, and afterward with the customary invitation to eat. But he seemed as much surprised as the inmates themselves; for while eating, his glance flitted inquiringly from mother to son, as if he were astonished to see them together. When he had finished, he asked,--
"When will Zashue be here?"
"I do not know," replied Say.
Hayoue turned to his nephew,--
"Okoya, will you let me speak to your yaya alone?"
These words he accompanied with a knowing wink at the young man. It amused Okoya to see that his uncle came so decidedly post festum in the matter, but he at once rose and went out.
In the court-yard it was still very damp, and hardly anybody was outside of the dwellings; but from the estufas there sounded merry talking, singing, and the beating of drams. Okoya stood a while in the doorway, undecided whether he ought not to go to Mitsha at once. He wavered, but at last the impressions received during the day, especially the warnings about Mitsha's mother, prevailed, and he concluded not to go at this time. He was afraid as yet to cross the threshold of that woman's home. So he crept into the estufa of Tanyi hanutsh, sat down beside
the others, and soon joined in the chorus of discordant voices in the everlasting refrain,--
"Ho-ā-ā! Heiti-na! Ho-ā-ā! Heiti-na!"
In the meantime Hayoue had drawn closer to Say in the kitchen, saying,--
"Sister-in-law, I have come to speak to you concerning Okoya."
She motioned to him to remain where he was, and said, half in jest, half in earnest,--
"Stay where you are, I hear you. You talk loud enough for me."
"Rest easy, samān," he replied, with a peal of laughter that fairly shook his tall and slender form. "Have no fear, I am tired out after yesterday. But I must talk to you about the motātza." He patted his knees and looked straight into her face. "Are you aware that your child goes with the child of Tyope?"
"I am," said Say, with a smile.
"What do you think of it?"
"Good," was the simple reply. "And you?"
"Good, yes, in one way, and not good in another."
"What do you think of the girl?" the woman inquired.
"Very, very good!" Hayoue emphatically exclaimed. "But her mother and her father,"--he hissed through his teeth and shook his head with every sign of disgust,--"they are very, very bad."
"I think as you do," said Okoya's mother, "and yet I know that the boy is good and the girl is good. Why should they not go together?"
"I say the same, but how comes it that you believe so now?"
"I presume the motātza has told you a different story?" Say suggested, with a smile.
"I thought differently," she explained, "but now my heart has changed."
"You are right," the young man said approvingly, adding, "but he must avoid the snares which that turkey-buzzard Tyope may set for him, and we must preserve him from them."
"I warned him."
"So have I, and he promised to be wise."
"Had we not better speak to Zashue?" suggested Say Koitza.
Hayoue remained thoughtful for a while; then he said,--
"I dislike to say aught against my own brother, but in this matter I dislike to speak to him."
"He is Okoya's father," objected Say.
"True, but he is Koshare, and completely under Tyope's influence. Nevertheless do as you like, for you know him better than I do."
"He ought to come soon," Say said, and rose.
She went out. A noise of quarrelling children was approaching the door. Soon she clearly distinguished the voice of Shyuote scolding.
"Come with me, worm! Go home, frog!" he yelled, and mournful cries succeeded to his kind invitation. At the same time his young sister, propelled by a violent push of his fist, stumbled into the outer room and grasped the dress of her mother for protection.
"Satyumishe is beating me," whined the little one, glancing anxiously toward the entrance. In the doorway appeared Shyuote himself, a solid lump of mud from head to foot. His black eyes stared out of the dirty coating that covered his face, like living coals. The appearance of his mother put an end to his hostile actions,--he felt uncertain about the manner in which they would be viewed by his
parent. Say quickly changed his forebodings into absolute certainty.
"Are you not ashamed of yourself, you big, ugly uak," she scolded, "to beat your poor little sister?"
"She would not come home."
"Neither would you, lazy brat, else you would have been here a long while ago! Do not cry, my heart,"--she turned to the weeping child,--"do not weep. He will not hurt you any more, the bad, bad mocking-bird. Weep not." She took the crying child into her arms in order to carry her into the kitchen, but on the way she turned back and called,--
"What do you want," growled the boy, and stumbled after her.
"Do you know where your nashtio is?"
"He is coming."
"Go and tell him to come. Say that Hayoue is here, and that he wants to see him."
"Did I not tell you that he was coming?" muttered the unruly lad. This answer was too much for Hayoue, who until now had been a mere listener. He said in a peculiar tone of command,--
"Will you go or not, you silly, lazy, good-for-nothing whelp! Go at once, or I will lead you where your father is;" and he pretended to rise.
Shyuote had not noticed the presence of his uncle. His sudden appearance upon the scene was to him an unwelcome sight, and he sped away with unusual and commendable alacrity. Hayoue was greatly amused and laughed aloud.
"That urchin," he said, "is more afraid of me than of Zashue and you together. The brat is no good, and will never do for anything but a Koshare. How different is Okoya!"
Say had again squatted near the hearth. She gathered the crying child into her arms. The little girl continued to sob for a while, and at first refused to eat. Finally Say persuaded her to take one of the corn-cakes, and still sobbing, she pushed the greater portion of it gradually into her little mouth. Thus chewing, sobbing, and resting on the lap of her mother, the child forgot all fear, and ultimately forgot herself and fell asleep.
"Umo," Say began again, "I think it is better to speak to Zashue about it. Not that he has anything to do in the matter, but then you know how it is. Sooner or later he must hear of it, and if we tell him first he may perhaps assist us in teaching Okoya and advising him about the future. All the boy needs is counsel, for we cannot prevent him from going to live with the people of Tyame hanutsh with this girl."
"The people of Tyame," Hayoue remarked, "are good. It is only that woman of Tyope's who is bad, and after all she is not all-powerful."
"How would it do," suggested Say, "to call sa nashtio?"
Hayoue looked at her like one to whom has come a sudden revelation.
"Topanashka, the maseua," he said; "you are right, koya, this is a wise thought. Nashtio is very wise. He will give us counsel that we can trust, but do you think he is here?"
"He was in his cell while it rained."
Hayoue rose. "I will go and call him," he said. "He can help us. Zashue listens to the talk of the old man, and what he says goes far with my brother." With this Hayoue, ere Say could interpose a word, went out and left her alone with the sleeping child.
She felt happy. For years past she had not enjoyed the feeling of contentment, of quiet bliss, that filled her now. [paragraph continues]
It seemed as if the danger that threatened her so direly had vanished. Her thoughts were all with the future of the child whom only a few hours ago she had so bitterly accused. Shotaye had worked wonders.
But it was not the influence of Shotaye alone that produced such a great change in the mind of Say Koitza. It was the fact that at the same time, and through the unwelcome interruption by Shyuote, the Shiuana--so she believed--had sent her a message confirmatory of the woman's admonition. Say did not, she could not, reason as we should under similar circumstances. The rainbow of whose presence the awkward boy informed her appeared to her, not in the natural order of phenomena, but, in the light of her creed, as a messenger specially sent by one or more of the innumerable spirits which surround man in nature, whose call she had to obey implicitly. This implicit, slavish obedience to signs and tokens of a natural order to which a supernatural origin is assigned, is the Indian's religion. The life of the Indian is therefore merely a succession of religious acts called forth by utterances of what he supposes to be higher powers surrounding him, and accompanying him on every step from the cradle to the grave. The Indian is a child whose life is ruled by a feeling of complete dependence, by a desire to accommodate every action to the wills and decrees of countless supernatural beings.
In the eyes of Say Koitza, the whole afternoon appeared now like an uninterrupted chain of dispensations from Those Above. She was, of course, convinced that the rain had come in response to the prayers and ceremonies of yesterday's dance. That same rain had driven Shotaye to shelter under her roof, had given the medicine-woman an opportunity to clear the mind of Say of many a dismal fear, many a distressing apprehension and suspicion. The rainbow, in her eyes, was a token that what the cave-dweller said
was true; it was also the messenger through whose agency Okoya, and later on Hayoue, had drifted into her home with cheering tidings. Even Shyuote had arrived at the right moment, in time to be sent after the husband and father. So happy felt Say, that in view of Shyuote's opportune coming, she almost regretted having scolded the boy.
An intense feeling of gratitude toward the powers above filled her heart. Among these powers there are two that appear not so much superior to the rest as more intimately connected with the fate of man,--as more directly influencing his weal and woe. These are the prominent figures of the sun-father and his spouse the moon-mother. It is principally the latter that moves the hearts of men, and with whom mankind is in most constant relations. Say Koitza felt eager to thank the Mother Above for all she had received that day. She went to the recess in the kitchen wall where the yaya, that fabric of snow-white down tied into a graceful bunch of drooping plumage, was carefully stored away, wrapped in a cover of deerskin. She took out the plumage and placed it before her on the floor, scattered sacred meal around it, and whispered a prayer of thanks. Hardly had she replaced it, when the sound of voices approached the outer doorway. It was Zashue and Shyuote, who were coming home together.
Zashue seemed vexed at being called home. He looked around with a scowl, for Hayoue, whom he had expected to meet, was not there.
"Why did you call me, koitza?" he grumbled, "satyumishe is not here. Give me something to eat!" He threw himself down on the floor. Shyuote nestled by his side, proud of being under his father's immediate protection, Zashue said to him,--
"Have you eaten, sa uishe?"
"Why don't you feed Shyuote?" Zashue asked his wife. "Surely Okoya had his stomach full long ago, whereas this poor little frog here--"
"This toad, you ought to call him," Say interrupted her husband, in a tone of indignation. "He has been away from home all day, as he is wont to be. Besides, when he came home at last, he beat his little sister. Okoya was here early, therefore Okoya got what belonged to him." She placed the food on the floor before her husband, and proceeded in a dry tone,--
"Hayoue has gone to call sa nashtio. I want the maseua to hear what we have to say to you."
Zashue was surprised at his wife's manner. She spoke in a way that betokened more resolution than he was wont to see her display. But he was in her house, and had to accept the situation. So he fell to eating, careful all the while to supply his favourite child with the best morsels. At the close of the meal Hayoue returned, saying,--
"Sa nashtio is coming soon." Turning to his brother he asked,--
"Where have you been all day, satyumishe?"
"With the naua," was the short reply. "And you?"
"At home; I felt tired from yesterday."
"And from kenayte!" Zashue taunted, laughing. Say joined in the laugh.
"I don't ask you where you were last night."
"At home." Say confirmed it.
"Then you are better than people say."
"Sh--sh--!" the woman cried, pointing to Shyuote, "you need not speak thus. Sa uishe,"--she turned to the boy,--"go to rest"
"I won't!" growled the disobedient child, "I want to hear what you say."
"That is just what you shall not," commanded the woman. "Go out at once. Lie down on the hides."
Even the father became impatient now, for he saw that nothing would be. said in the boy's presence. So he ordered him to leave. Slowly and reluctantly Shyuote obeyed; but when his sullen glance accidentally met the eye of Hayoue he accelerated his motions. His uncle was not a favourite of his.
"Well, what do you want? Why did you call me?" This query Zashue negligently addressed to his brother, as if expecting the latter to inform him of the object of the interview. But it was Say Koitza who undertook the task of replying. In earnest and measured tones she said,--
"Umo, we have called and sent for you in order to tell you that Okoya, my child, your son, is going with the girl of Tyope. Now we wish to ascertain what you think of it, and what you have to say."
"Is that all?"
"Okoya is your child as well as mine," Say emphatically stated; ',it cannot be immaterial to you whom he selects for his wife."
"I don't bother about that," he yawned. "The motātza is old enough to care for himself. It is his business and yours, koitza. It does not concern me, and still less you," turning to his brother.
"Neither do I take part in it without request from Okoya," answered Hayoue, sharply. "But Okoya has spoken to me about it and begged me to see his mother in his behalf. I have therefore a right to be here and to speak."
"We expect sa nashtio also," the woman remarked.
"Nashtio! Who? Tyope?" Zashue looked at his wife in surprise.
"Tyope!" Say exclaimed, "he shall never cross my threshold. I mean Topanashka; he shall give his speech; him we want and expect."
"In that case you do not need me," replied Zashue, attempting to rise. "I go to my people." Hayoue touched his arm.
"Satyumishe," he said gravely, "it is not well for you to leave us now. We must speak with you more."
"It is none of my business," growled the elder brother.
"And yet you must hear about it, for Mitsha is a daughter of the Koshare."
"She is not Koshare herself, her mother only and Tyame hanutsh are entitled to speak." Zashue was becoming impatient.
"Hachshtze," Say interfered, "I know that you are not fond of Okoya. Still he is good."
"Far better than Shyuote," interjected the younger brother.
"But mark my words; is it right that our child should go to the house where dwells the wife of a man who for a long time past has sought to torment me, who harbours ill-will toward my hanutsh and your hanutsh, and who, notwithstanding that you believe him to be your friend and are more attached to him than you are to your wife and child, is not your friend at all?"
Zashue was visibly impressed by these words of his wife. Was she perhaps aware of the secret motives of the upturning of her household, which he and Tyope had performed yesterday? He could hardly imagine that she could know anything about it, and yet her utterances intimated some occurrence of the past that had opened a wide
breach forever between her and Tyope. Might not that occurrence have prompted the latter to his accusation against Say? This was an entirely new idea to him, and, while he felt ashamed of having yielded to Tyope against his own wife, he now began to suspect: the real motives which inspired the man in his denunciations. He replied hastily,--
"I am not with Tyope."
"He is your best friend," Hayoue objected.
"That is not true."
"Hachshtze," Say said in a tone of serious reminder, speak not thus. I know that you and Tyope are good to each other. I know that he gives you advice, and I know too"--her voice rose and grew solemn--"that you have told him many things which neither Tzitz hanutsh nor Tanyi hanutsh like him to know."
"Tyope is wise."
"And he is also very bad," the younger brother exclaimed. This made Zashue angry.
"If he is such a bad man why do you want to throw away Okoya, that jewel," he said with a grin of irony, "on that bad man's daughter? It seems that you have called me in, only in order to slander the best of my brethren. I am Koshare, and will remain Koshare, whether it pleases you, koitza, or not. The motātza he-re," alluding to Hayoue, "has still less to say about it. He is Cuirana and has his people; I am Koshare and have my people. Okoya may do as he pleases. If he thinks that his father's brother is nearer to him than his father himself, let him believe it forever. Now let me alone; and as to his makatza, do as you please. I will return to my brethren!" He rose angrily and went out.
Hayoue shook his head and looked sad; Say drew a suppressed sigh and stared before her in silence. After a while
she rose and fed the fire, and a more vivid glow spread over the room where both sat again motionless, absorbed by their own thoughts.
A shuffling sound was heard outside, a muffled step in the outer room. Then the woman's father entered the kitchen with the usual salutation, spoken in a hoarse voice.
"Guatzena." He sat down near the hearth, where his daughter had placed a deerskin for him.
Holding both hands up to the fire, his quick glance shot from one of those present to the other, scanning the expression of their features. Then he asked quietly,--
"Where is Zashue?"
"He went to the Koshare," Hayoue explained.
"Why did you call me?"
Say answered in a meek, submissive manner,--
"We wished to speak to you, nashtio, for Okoya, my child, has told me something that may be good, although it may also not be good. It is something I like to see, and yet it also makes my heart heavy. He has spoken about it to satyumishe, too,"--she nodded at Hayoue,--"before he said anything to me. Therefore Hayoue came to see me, and we thought it would be well to seek your advice. For, umo, you are wise and we are foolish; you are old and we are but children. Therefore listen to our speech kindly, and then open our hearts with your speech as a father should with his children."
The old man was flattered by this address from his daughter, and glanced at Hayoue with the air of one who feels proud of the achievements of his child. The young man, too, bowed in approbation. Topanashka turned to Say, and said in an affable tone,--
"Speak, sa uishe; I am glad to listen."
"Sa nashtio," she began, "Okoya is young, but he is no longer a child. His eyes have seen a girl and that girl has
pleased his heart. So he has gone to that girl and may be with her at present. I hold this to be good, umo. What do you think?"
"It is well, and it is good for him and for the tribe," the old man asserted.
"Afterward he came and said, 'Sanaya, I am going with that makatza; does she please you?' I believe that was right also?"
"It was right."
The woman omitted the incident of her quarrel with Okoya as well as her interview with Shotaye, and said,--
"He also went to Hayoue and told him to speak to me for him. Was that right, sa nashtio?"
The old man remained thoughtful for a while, and then declared,--
"It was right."
"Should he not have said to his father, I sa nashtio, do you speak to the yaya for me?"
The reply was very positive,--
"Why not, sa umo?" Hayoue interjected.
"I will explain this to you later on," Topanashka answered. Turning to his daughter again he inquired,--
"Who is the makatza, and to which hanutsh does she belong?"
"She belongs to your people."
"To Tyame? Who is her mother, and what is the name of the girl?"
"She is called Mitsha Koitza; Tyope Tihua is her father, and her mother you know too. Is all that good also?"
The maseua pressed his lips together firmly, energetically, lowered his eyelids, and gazed before him in silence. The others exchanged a rapid glance, and then both looked at the ground, remaining thus in expectation
of the old man's reply. He kept silent for a long while. At last he inquired of the woman,--
"Do you know the child?"
"I have seen her, but have never spoken to her."
"Do you know her?" He turned to Hayoue.
"Why not?" replied Hayoue, with a smile. "I know everybody who wears a petticoat."
"Have you been to see her?"
"Never?" Topanashka looked at him suspiciously.
"How can you know her, then?"
"As I know all the others,--by meeting them out of doors, talking, and playing with them. I know them all,--all!" And the beau of the Rito yawned complacently, and stretched himself.
"Is she a good girl?" continued Topanashka.
"She is," the youth replied emphatically.
"Does she talk much?
"Is she easily angered?
"That I don't know. I have never teased her."
"Is she a good worker?
"So they say."
"Raua, raua!" Hayoue exclaimed.
"I believe so."
Topanashka became silent again, and both Say and Hayoue observed the proper decorum by fastening their glances on the floor in silence. Then the old man raised his head, and spoke slowly and in solemn tones,--
"It is well; all you have said to me is well, my children. The daughter of my hanutsh is a good girl, she is a hand. some girl, she is a strong girl. Therefore she is as a woman ought to be. Okoya is like her; they belong to each other; and it is wise for a son of Tanyi to wed a daughter of Tyame. The body must be as the heart; each must suit the heart and the body of the other, and since the two go with each other it is a sign that they are fitted to live together. But the hearts of men must abide by what Those Above"--he pointed upward--"command, and before we decide we should ascertain how the Shiuana are disposed."
Here Say interrupted him, and suggested,--
"When he was coming to speak to me the rainbow stood in the skies. Is not that a sign that the Shiuana are with my child?"
Topanashka smiled a kind, benignant smile, and said,--
"It is right to think thus, sa uishe, but remember that the rainbow is a messenger to a great many and for many purposes. As long as we have not asked the Shiuana themselves, we cannot say; we do not know whether they approve or not. I shall therefore go to the yaya of our tribe and ask them to pray to Those Above that they may let them know if what we now treat of is good or not. For as long as Pāyatyama himself does not connect the paths of the two young people all our doings are in vain. In the meantime do not hinder Okoya from seeing the girl; and when I come to you with the answer from Those Above, and that answer is favourable, then, Say, go you to the people of the Eagle and say to them, 'My son asks for your daughter in order that your numbers may be increased.' I myself like to see the blood of my children flow in that of mine own."
Hayoue and his sister-in-law looked at each other in
mute admiration at this speech, which to them appeared so wise, so thoroughly appropriate.
Topanashka went on,--
"You have told me that Mitsha is the child of Tyope. That, it is true, is not good. But if Okoya is strong and if Mitsha is true to him what can Tyope do? He belongs to his hanutsh, his daughter to hers; and the people of Tyame have no faith in those of Shyuamo, for they mistrust them. But warn the motātza; tell him to be prudent; for Tyope is cunning,--as cunning as shutzuna and as treacherous as the wildcat, and my grandson is young. But let them go together, for I am glad to see Tyame and Tanyi become one often."
"Ā-ā!" was the admiring and affirmative ejaculation of both his listeners. Every word he had spoken was according to their convictions, and besides, whatever he said was law to them. Hayoue rose, breathed on the hand of the old man, said "tro uashatze, umo," and left. After his departure Topanashka also rose, but before crossing the threshold he whispered to Say,
"They found nothing?"
"Was Tyope along?"
"In that case they may accuse you as much as they please, they cannot do you any harm."
"But who could have told them?"
"That I do not know and cannot know; but rest easy, you are safe." With these words he left the dwelling and returned to his own abode, where his deaf consort was already asleep. The fire had gone out; it was dark in his humble home; still Topanashka did not go to rest, but sat down in a corner and mused. He felt happy in the thought that Okoya and Mitsha might become united; it
caused him pleasure that his grandson should wed a child of his own clan. Still with his strong attachment to the faith, or creed, in which he was horn, he would not yield to his own wishes until the will of the higher powers was ascertained. To that end he was resolved to apply to the leading shamans of the tribe. In order, however, that the Shiuana might look favourably upon his request, he determined upon doing penance himself during four consecutive days. Until this was performed he would not even speak to the medicine-men. The self-sacrifice he thus imposed was to be light, and not a formal fast. It limited itself to a much less substantial nourishment, and to a shorter rest during the hours of night.
195:1 In the symbolical paintings of the Pueblos, the rainbow is represented usually as a tri-coloured arch with a head and arms at one end and with feet at the other. It is a female deity.