THE change from night to daylight in New Mexico is by no means sudden. Darkness yields slowly to the illumination streaming from the east; and when the moon is shining, one remains in doubt for quite a while whether the growing brightness is due to the mistress of night or to the lord of day.
Nowhere is this more perceptible than on high plateaus covered by sparse timber. Suddenly awaking, one is in doubt at first whether it is sunrise or the full moon that illuminates the landscape. The shadows are weakened, but objects are not much more distinct; a glow pervades the air rather than a positive light.
When the Indian is on the war-path he sleeps but little, and never long. He prefers the day to the night for rest, as he can conceal his movements better in the darkness. Tyope had halted his little army just before daybreak because he felt afraid of going any farther, and because he had arrived close to the place where he desired to remain during the day without exposing his forces to the chance of discovery. None of his men slept; none of them dozed, even. They had all been warned of the possible presence of foes, and although there seemed not the slightest evidence of those foes being aware of their coming, yet the mere apprehension caused uneasiness. There was therefore increased watchfulness on their part.
Every one among the Queres was looking forward with anxiety to the hour when there would be sufficient light to
investigate the situation more closely. The sky had cleared the air became cooler, and the morning star shone brightly, in spite of the luminous crescent of a waning moon. The Hishtanyi Chayan was sitting at the same place where he had retired a few hours before, but he no longer prayed; he stared motionless. Tyope lay on his back behind a juniper-bush. He was watching the sky and the approach of dawn. A number of warriors had lain down in the vicinity, awaiting the signal to move.
One of these had placed himself in such a position that he could glance at the forest, which loomed up before him like a mass of dense shadows with rays of moonlight between. He peered into that maze of darkness and light for hours. But nothing appeared in it worthy of note. So the Queres warrior turned around on his back in order to change position. He saw the moon rise to the zenith and the corona borealis disappear below the western horizon. He noticed also how the stars grew dimmer and dimmer, how the shadows commenced to wane. Finally he fixed his gaze on the east.
Owing to the shrubbery it was not possible to see distinctly, yet anything lying on the ground could be discerned. From the place where he lay, the Queres Indian looked through a lane bordered on both sides by bushes of cedar and juniper. At the end of that lane he discovered a dark spot. That spot disappeared while he was still gazing at it. He strained his eyes to find the spot again, but it had really vanished.
The man from the Rito became suspicious. Again he looked, but the spot or object, whatever it might be, had gone out of sight altogether. He crawled over to the man nearest him, told him what had occurred, and returned to his post. The dark speck or thing had not reappeared; but on the right side of the gallery formed by the trees it seemed
as if, somewhat nearer to his own position, something black became apparent and disappeared in an instant. The scout strained both ear and eye. Nothing could be heard, and nothing else of a suspicious character met his gaze.
Meanwhile his companion had crept over to where Tyope was lying, and had reported to the commander the strange apparition. Tyope turned over so as to face the east and said,--
"It is well."
He also began to scan the network of shadows and illuminated patches extending in that direction. The Indian who had spoken to him went back to his post, but very soon returned, whispering,--
"Somebody has crossed over from one tree to another."
"Where?" Tyope asked in a subdued voice.
"There," replied the scout, pointing with his hand toward a group of bushes.
"It is well," said the leader; "go back and keep your eyes open."
The Indian crawled off. Tyope rose to his knees, seized two branches of the tree behind which he had been reclining, and bent them asunder. In this manner he was able to overlook the ground to the east at a greater height than before. The light had increased, but it would have been impossible to discern any object at a distance.
Daylight was growing on the waning night. Had Tyope stood up and looked toward the east, he would have seen the dark, sinuous line which the mountains east of Santa Fé trace along that part of the horizon. Their uppermost snow-fields were beginning to glisten in the light streaming up from beyond.
On Tyope's left a rustling sound was heard; he turned around. One of his men was cautiously approaching.
"There are Moshome in front of us."
"I know it," replied the commander. How many have you seen?"
"And you saw them clearly?"
"Yes, but they sneaked off."
"Did they seem to come toward us?"
"They crept behind a juniper, and after that I could see nothing more."
"Do the others know it?"
"Shall I tell them?"
"Go tell them. Afterward return here to me."
Tyope felt embarrassed. It was clear to him that several Tehuas were lurking in the direction whence he had come, and that they were moving toward him. It indicated that their numbers were strong enough to engage him. That looked very, very ominous! If he only knew how matters stood elsewhere, and whether the enemy had shown himself at other points! Tyope grew very uneasy.
Tactics in Indian warfare reduce themselves to a game of hide-and-seek. He who must show himself first is sure of suffering the greater loss. Tyope knew that in case the Tehuas had actually surrounded him they had the greater advantage at their disposal. They might wait much longer than he and his men. They might even wait for days, keeping the Queres penned up in uncertainty, and then break out as soon as the latter were sufficiently exhausted.
The same scout approached again. He crawled like a mole.
"Nashtio," he whispered, "there are Moshome to the left of us."
"Many?" Tyope inquired hastily.
"Six of them have been noticed."
That was exceedingly alarming. He directed the man to stay on the spot, while he glided through the bushes to
where the Hishtanyi Chayan had spent the night. The medicine-man was awake, and looked at the captain in astonishment. Tyope placed a finger on his lips and shook his head. The shaman asked,--
"Sa uishe, what is it?"
"Tzatze raua! Tzatze raua!" Tyope exclaimed in a low tone. "The Tehuas are sneaking about us like shutzuna. There are many of them, and they come up from the east. What shall we do, yaya? Speak."
"Tzatze raua," the shaman repeated, shaking his head. "As you say, the Moshome come up behind us?"
"I thought," Tyope suggested, "of sending word to the men in front to come back, and as soon as we could see anything, striking the enemies in our rear. What do you think of it, sa nashtio?"
"Many will go to Shipapu to-day," the Chayan muttered.
"What shall I do? Speak!" Tyope insisted. The last words of the shaman frightened him.
The Chayan gave no immediate reply, but sat musing in a manner indicating that his thoughts were with Those Above. At last he raised his head and replied,--
"We must wait until the sun stands in the sky."
Tyope suppressed a sigh. However much he attributed this answer of the shaman to inspiration from those on high, it appeared to him dangerous. Tyope felt very uneasy, but he was no coward. In case the worst had really happened, if the Tehuas had anticipated and surrounded him, he still inclined to the conviction that concentration of his forces and a rapid onslaught on the foes in his rear would not only save him, but secure a reasonable number of coveted trophies. If this could be speedily effected, the less important would be his loss in attaining it; for as long as the light was faint and dim, the enemy's missiles could not be discharged with certain aim. He had hoped that the Chayan
would assent to this suggestion. Now on the contrary, the oracle spoke in a manner that plainly indicated that the Shiuana ordered him to wait until daylight. It was sure destruction, he felt it; but the Shiuana spoke through the medium of the old man, and the Shiuana were of course right. He could not complain or even grumble.
But he might at least prepare everything in advance, so that as soon as the medicine-man gave the signal, his favourite move might be executed with a promptness and alacrity that would surprise the enemy. So Tyope crept back to the juniper-bush in whose neighbourhood his men were grouped.
Dawn was coming on, and the shadows were beginning to assume definite shapes and directions. Tyope sighed when he noticed the approach of sunlight; precious time was being irretrievably lost.
He relieved the warrior whom he had left at his post. The latter whispered to him that nothing suspicious had turned up. Suddenly Tyope started and pressed his ear to the ground; then he darted up, rising to his knees, and listened, straining every nerve, his head turned to the southwest.
In that direction arose loud yells. They were followed by piercing cries. Soon the sounds mingled, so as to create a noise like that which a struggle between men and wolves might produce. These sounds told Tyope that a severe engagement had commenced in that direction. At the same time it struck him that the main body of the Tehuas were probably south and east of his forces, and that consequently by moving swiftly westward he could interpose himself between the Tehuas and their homes, cut off their warriors from their village, and secure complete triumph. But before he could order such a change of tactics he ought
to know something definite from the quarter where the fight had begun. To send a runner seemed unadvisable, for he thought it unsafe to lessen the forces around him, if only by a man. Several of his companions had approached, startled by the sudden noise. He motioned them to return to their posts.
The noise of the battle diminished; then it broke out anew and sounded nearer. It seemed to extend to the east. In the west and north everything remained quiet; the enemy appeared to be entirely southwest and east of the little army which Tyope commanded. He felt relieved, and a grim satisfaction crept over his mind. He thought, surely the Tehuas have committed a grave mistake.
If only his people would report to him! Now at last! The bushes rattled, and a man stepped up. In a tone of intense agitation he said,--
"Where is the war-chief?"
"I am here," replied Tyope in a muffled voice, motioning the warrior to lie down. The latter either failed to notice the gesture or misunderstood it, and walked on. upright. Something whizzed through the branches of the shrubs; the messenger bent as if suddenly folded up; he grasped at his stomach with his hand, and tumbled to the ground. Tyope stood by his side in the twinkling of an eye. The shaft of an arrow was sticking in his body, and in vain did the wounded man try to pluck it out. Regardless of the horrible pain the unfortunate one was suffering, bent upon catching the drift of, his message. before the soul could escape the tortured body, Tyope almost lay down on the groaning man.
"What news do you bring? Speak!" he hissed into his ear.
The wounded warrior moaned, moaned again. Tyope grew wild.
"Speak!" he growled, and shook him by the shoulder so rudely that the other screamed.
"The Moshome," he gasped, "they--they--have come on to us." A chill went through his body; he lay there gasping, incapable of speech.
Tyope was frenzied; he again shook the dying man ruthlessly.
"Where have they attacked?" he roared.
"Have they killed any of our people?"
"I--don't--know," breathed the poor fellow. His head was swaying; it rolled back and forth on the ground. Tyope could not obtain any further reply. So he crawled back and left him to die. The Moor had done his duty; the Moor might go to Shipapu.
Tyope had been so eager to secure from the dying man any information the latter might still be able to impart, that he paid no immediate attention to the noise and uproar which had arisen in his own vicinity. Almost at the very moment when the Queres warrior was mortally wounded, one of Tyope's companions despatched one of his arrows at a Tehua whom he had distinctly seen in front. This shot he accompanied by a loud yell. The foe replied to the challenge in the same manner; arrows whizzed and hissed through the air, crossing each other and tearing through the shrubbery or penetrating the trunks of trees with dull thuds. The fight had begun here too, but little if any damage was done as yet by either side. Most of the arrows were shot at random, and both parties whooped and yelled. Their purpose was manifestly to frighten the adversary by creating an exaggerated impression of their own numbers and strength.
All this did not make an unfavourable impression upon Tyope. On the contrary, as soon as he saw that the engagement
had broken out in his rear also, he felt a thrill of pleasure and changed his plans at once. He believed now, in presence of the attacks made by the Tehuas, that the latter had indeed placed all their men between him and the Rito, and that consequently the road to the Puye lay open, and he could rush up, capture the women and children, and hold them for ransom. But he must move swiftly and energetically, leaving the fight to go on as best it might. By advancing with a part of his forces, first to the west and then straight to the north, Tyope might execute his plan of leaving enough men behind to make a desperate stand against the Tehuas here. Without the consent of the Hishtanyi Chayan, however, he felt unauthorized to adopt decisive measures. So he again crept over to the shaman and communicated his plans to him. To his delight the old man rose and said,--
"It is well. Let us go."
It was daylight now, and everything could be plainly seen. The extended skirmishing went on with less ardour than before, neither party pressing the other very closely.
Tyope glided back to one of his men. An arrow well directed struck the ground very near. Whispering into his ear the change of programme, Tyope took off his shield, turned it toward the enemy, and rose on his right knee. Fastened to the left arm and resting on the ground with its lower rim, the shield covered the kneeling man almost completely. The left hand held the bow, and the weapon slightly protruded from behind the protecting target. Tyope then pushed his body forward from behind the bush where he had been crouching.
Hardly was the shield visible when its owner felt a sudden blow against it, and the point of an arrow came through the hide. The shot must have come from a short distance, or it would not have pierced the shield. Ere Tyope discovered
whence it came, his companion had discharged his bow, and with a loud whoop hurled himself forward, where he fell headlong behind a little tree. Wild yells sounded from the Tehuas, and several of their warriors rushed up to the spot; branches rattled and bushes shook as the men brushed past them. Tyope had an arrow ready, and he despatched it at one of his foes. He pulled another from the quiver without looking to see whether the first had struck a mark or not, darted up, and with a shout bounded ahead to encounter the enemy. A shot grazed his right hand, scratching the wrist and causing him to drop his arrow. For a time the arm was numb, but Tyope heeded it not. Where the man who had stood beside him had fallen, a number of warriors from both sides were wrangling. A Queres lay dead on the dead body of a Tehua whose scalp he had intended to secure. Two of his brethren were defending his corpse against half a dozen Tehuas. Tyope's right wrist had been paralyzed by the arrow-shot, but he raised his arm and flung the war-club that dangled from it against the head of the nearest foe. The blow was too feeble, and Tyope grabbed the man's hair. Arrows whizzed and shrieked past the fighting group; shrill yells and wild howling sounded from every quarter. The contending parties exchanged insulting cries and abusive words in both languages.
The Tehua whom Tyope had grabbed by the hair made desperate lunges at him from below with a sharply pointed arrow. He succeeded in slightly wounding him in several places. Tyope kicked him in the abdomen, causing him to double up at once. Regardless of the pain in the right hand Tyope succeeded in grasping the war-club at last. With it he directed several blows at the head of the enemy, but they were so weak that only at the third stroke did the Tehua fall. At this juncture an arrow grazed Tyope's temple. [paragraph continues]
He looked up, and saw that he had been very imprudent in yielding so far to ardour and excitement as to mingle with his men in a strife for the possession of a single scalp, and thus expose unduly his own person. He began to think of withdrawal into the neighbourhood of the Hishtanyi Chayan, but it was not easy to extricate himself. Warding off a blow aimed at his skull, with his shield he pushed it into the face of the new assailant with sufficient force to cause the man to stagger. Then he shouted a few words to his own men, turned around, and rushed back to his tree, where he fell down at full length, exhausted and bleeding. The other Queres, two in number, followed his example, and the Tehuas did not pursue. The result was so far favourable to the Queres that they lost but one man and the Tehuas two; but the scalp of the dead man from the Rito remained with the enemy.
When Tyope had recovered his breath, he sneaked back to where he had left the shaman. As he approached the spot he heard the medicine-man singing and beating his drum. It was a very good sign to see the shaman at work with such enthusiasm; still Tyope must disturb him.
"Sa nashtio," he cried. "we must go."
"Heiti-na! Heiti-na!" shouted the praying shaman, drumming incessantly. He was in ecstasies. His uplifted eyes sparkled; he paid no attention to what was around him.
"Sa nashtio yaya," Tyope anxiously insisted.
"Do not disturb me, let me alone! Heiti-na! Heiti-na!" cried the Hishtanyi Chayan aloud.
Tyope was in despair. Arrow after arrow was flying past him, rending twigs and shattering branches. The Tehuas Shot faster than the Queres. They must have a large supply of missiles. Every shot was accompanied by triumphant yells; the enemy was growing bolder.
Again the leader tried to rouse the medicine-man to decisive action, but the latter only shook his head in an irritated manner and proceeded with his song louder and louder. At last he dropped his drum, jumped to his feet, and began to dance and to stamp, shaking his rattle and wildly yelling,--
"Raua, raua! Ho-ā-ā, Heiti-na! Ho-ā-ā, Heiti-na!" Then he stood still, and looked around as if aroused from a dream. At the sight of Tyope he remembered, and spoke, panting still,--
"It is well. They are good, Those Above! We will do as you said!" Heedless of missiles he walked on into the forest. Tyope heaved a great sigh of relief.
A small whistle made of bone depended from Tyope's neck. He raised it to his lips and blew a shrill, piercing blast. The warriors in his neighbourhood turned their faces toward him. He beckoned to one of them to approach. To this man he gave directions in a low tone. They were to the effect that they should offer the most determined resistance to the enemy, while at the same time they were to retire gradually but slowly from the actual position, as if yielding to pressure. Their sturdy resistance was to cover the movements of the main body.
Tyope now stealthily crept away from the line of the fight. Soon he met a group of his people who, outside of the range of missiles, were waiting to be called into action. He sent the majority of them to the front to reinforce the others. Two runners were despatched to the south and southwest with orders. With the remainder he set out slowly, penetrating deeper into the timber. He thus collected, one after another, the various groups into a fairly compact body, always sending a few men back to reinforce the fighting portions. Over one hundred men were now engaged with the Tehuas. The remainder
moved, as Tyope confidently hoped, upon the cave-dwellings of the unprotected Puye by a detour which would enable the Queres to avoid the rather exposed site of Tzirege.
A tremendous noise from the south indicated that a hand-to-hand encounter was going on there. The noise lasted but a short time, then it subsided. Shortly afterward a warrior rushed panting up to Tyope.
"Nashtio," he said, "the Moshome have taken five scalps."
"Where?" Tyope snorted.
"There;" he pointed southward.
"Have the people gone back?"
"It is well. Tell the men to come still farther this way, but very slowly."
He ordered five of his own men to go back with the runner to replace the five whom the Tehuas had killed. With the rest he pushed forward. He kept beside the Hishtanyi Chayan, and both walked almost at the head of their little troupe. Only a few scouts preceded them, so completely safe did Tyope feel about the west and northwest.
The action in the rear seemed to lag. A wild uproar broke out in the southwest but no messenger came with evil tidings. The Queres maintained themselves. All was well.
The engagement had lasted two hours already, and it might continue in this way for hours more without coming to a crisis in the mean time. Tyope would creep up to the women and children of the Tehuas. In case the rear-guard should be ultimately destroyed by the enemy it mattered little, for by capturing the non-combatants the Queres still remained masters of the situation. Tyope was explaining
all this to the Hishtanyi Chayan; and the two, in consequence of their conversation, had remained behind the foremost skirmish-line. The shaman was listening, and from time to time grunting assent to Tyope's explanations.
Suddenly the shrubbery in front rattled, and moved violently, as though deer were endeavouring to tear through it at full speed. At the same time there arose in that very west which had been so still, and close upon the two men, a fearful war-whoop uttered by many voices. Like wildfire this threatening howl spread to the west; it seemed to run along an arc of a circle from the northwest to the south. The warriors in front came running back in dismay. Many of them were already wounded. One reached the spot where the commander and the shaman were standing spell-bound. There he fell to the ground headlong, blood flowing from his mouth. His body had been shot through and through.
However great his surprise at that completely unexpected attack, and however disastrous it must be to all his plans, Tyope not only did not lose his head, but rather seemed to grow cool and self-possessed, and an expression of sinister quiet settled on his features. Yet he was internally far from being at ease or hopeful. He blew his whistle. Without regard to his office the old shaman crouched behind a shrub, where, placing his shield before him, he listened and spied. The medicine-man had imitated Tyope's example; the magician was now turned into a warrior!
The signal given by the war-chief was heard by very few only, for the yells of the Tehuas drowned every other noise. The enemy this time rushed up without any preliminary skirmishing, and the surprise was so sudden that the Queres were running back in every direction with their foes in close pursuit. They had no time to gather or to hide. Ere Tyope knew it, his men were far away in his rear, as well as a number
of his enemies also. To his left he noticed one of his tribe lying on the ground dead, and a Tehua standing with both feet on his back, cutting and jerking at the scalp of the dead man. Tyope was alone, for the medicine-man had fled. The Tehua was so intent upon securing the trophy that he had not seen Tyope, and he could easily have killed him. But hurried footsteps, many voices,--and the shaking of bushes in front showed plainly that quite a numerous body of Tehuas was rapidly coming toward him. His own life was too precious in this hour of terrible need to permit exposure for the sake of killing one enemy, so he turned about softly on his knees. The Tehua still did not pay any attention to him, and now the temptation was too great; he quickly placed an arrow on the string and sent the shaft, thanks to the short distance, between the ribs of the. unsuspecting foe. Then with a yell of triumph and defiance he darted off in the direction whither his men had scattered.
He had been noticed by some of the Tehuas who were coming up from the west, and without delay they followed in pursuit. But it was not easy to overtake a man like Tyope when fleeing for life. The powerful onslaught of the Tehuas had scattered the Queres in such a manner that friend and foe were intermingled in the forest, and it was not safe for the pursuers to shoot at the fugitives, who were only occasionally visible between tree-trunks and bushes, for the arrow might have struck a friend.
Tyope ran so fast that he soon left his pursuers far behind him. When he noticed that their shouting sounded more distant, he stopped, crouched under a bush that grew near the foot of a large tree, and listened and peered again. He was breathless from the rapid flight, and his heart throbbed so violently at first that he could not clearly distinguish sound from sound. At last he grew quiet, and now heard
the din that seemed to fill the entire forest in every direction except the north. It was nearest toward the east and south, and there the fight seemed to concentrate. Above the shouting, yelling, whooping, sounded the piercing war-whistle. There could be no thought of still winning anything like success, for the day was irretrievably, disastrously lost. To save as many of the survivors as possible was al that could be done. Tyope would have raved, had it been of any avail. This terrible failure, he saw clearly, ruined his prospects forever. He wished to die, and despair began for the first time in his life to fill his heart.
The noise of the battle was now approaching rapidly from the east and south. The Tehuas were forcing his men into a confused mass; it was no longer an action, it was becoming a slaughter, a butchery of the vanquished. Tyope felt as if chills and fever were alternately running through him; his people were without head, for the Hishtanyi Chayan was useless as a leader. He must try to get through, and as it was impossible to force a passage, he determined to steal through at all hazards.
A number of Tehuas had passed without seeing him, in their eagerness to reach the slaughter-pen into which the timbered plateau above the Cañada Ancha was converted. Tyope improved the opportunity to slip from one tree to another, toward where the greatest uproar was heard. Voices sounded quite near, and he cowered down between two cedars. The voices came nearer, and the more he listened the more he became convinced that his own tongue was spoken. He was on the point of rising and going up to the parties who spoke Queres, for they must be friends. He distinctly heard his name. He looked, and looked anxiously, for he preferred to find out who they were ere addressing them. As they came closer he thought he recognized a woman's voice.
Nearer and nearer came the voices, and at last a group of men stood out between the trees. They were warriors of the Tehuas, and in their midst was a woman. She was speaking to one of them in the language of the Rito, and all around her seemed to be attentively listening. He stared at her,--stared, his eye-balls starting from their sockets, his face colouring and then becoming almost black. Had anyone seen Tyope at that moment he must have taken him for some baffled and terrified demon from the nether world.
He felt neither indignation nor passion. His heart stood still; so wonderful was the discovery he was making that he was benumbed, body and soul! For that woman who so confidently stood in the midst of the enemies of her tribe, and who spoke to them with an air of assurance bordering upon authority, uttering his own name time and again, was Shotaye!
Once more his passion came back, and delirious with rage and frenzied with fury he lifted the bow with the ready arrow. But so monstrous was the sight to his eyes that his hand dropped paralyzed, and he was unable to speed the shaft. He stood disarmed, and stared, gaping like a fiend in despair who does not venture to oppose his master. He understood now the connection of events, the unexpected ambush. He saw that it could not have happened otherwise. He saw it clearly, to his shame! The woman whom he had persecuted for years, and whom he was certain that he should destroy utterly at the end of this campaign, had outwitted him and destroyed his plans and hopes forever. Then let her suffer for it! He raised his bow, dropped it again and stared. It was not pity that fettered his otherwise ruthless hand; it was superstitious fear. That Shotaye could have divined all his secret moves and could have saved herself at the right moment filled him with astonishment
and gradually with invincible dread. She was no common witch! Such wonderful insight, such clear perception of the means to save herself and at the same time destroy him, were not human. Rage and passion disappeared; a chill went through his frame and his lower jaw hung down like that of a corpse, as he stared motionless, powerless to act and unable to move.
A change came over Tyope,--a change so sudden and so complete that he was henceforth another man. Hope, ambition, revenge, vanished from his thoughts, and with them all energy left him. The appearance of that woman crushed him utterly. Shotaye appeared to him by the side of the great war shaman of his enemies like some fiend, to be sure, but a fiend of so much higher rank than his own that it was futile to cope with her. The Indian believes in evil spirits, but even they are subjected to the power of deities of a higher order beneficial to mankind. As such a shuatyam the woman appeared to Tyope,--as one whom. the Shiuana had directed to accomplish his ruin. Those Above, not Shotaye, not the Tehuas, had vanquished him; and against them it was useless to strive.
With a ghastly look of terror on his countenance, his eyes staring in uncontrollable fright, Tyope slowly receded. Mentally crushed, shivering and shuddering, he at last turned about and fled.
The conviction that he was henceforth utterly powerless had seized upon him. Like an utter coward, unmindful of his rank and duties, and bent only upon saving his life, Tyope ran and ran until he found himself in the midst of the slaughter. He had mechanically warded off some arrows which the enemy had shot at his rapidly approaching figure; but he passed in among friends and foes, heedless of both, until his mad career was stayed by the brink of the Cañada Ancha. In the course of the massacre the Queres
had succeeded in breaking partly through the enemy, and gathering on the south, thus securing a line of retreat, or at least escape from the bloody trap. Tyope had reached that point without knowing well whither he was fleeing. The sight of the ravine at his feet stopped him; he looked. around absent-mindedly at first, then little by little self-control returned.
A man came up to him. He was covered with blood. A drum was suspended from his shoulder. It was the Hishtanyi Chayan.
"How is everything?" Tyope gasped.
"Where have you been?" the shaman asked in a tone of stem reproach.
"I was cut of and had to hide," Tyope flared up; the manner of the questioner irritated him, and with his anger a portion of his former energy seemed to return.
"Do you not know that the war-chief should carry the life of his men upon his own heart, and care for them more than for himself? That he should not hunt for scalps in the rear of the enemy, as shutzuna follows a herd of buffaloes to eat a fallen calf?" the Chayan hissed.
"And you," Tyope roared, "do you not know that you should speak the truth to the people? Not say that the Shiuana are good, that they say it is well, while the kopishtai and the shuatyam go over to the enemy together to help him! You are a liar! You lie like a Dinne; you are foolish like a prairie dog when shutzuna plays before him!" It was Tyope's last effort at passion. He nearly cried from rage as he brandished his war-club in the face of the shaman. The latter remained calm and spoke not a word, merely fastening on the maddened, raving man a cold, stem glance. Heedless of his threats and insults he commanded,--
"Hush, Tyope, hush! If the evil ones are about us it is because they have followed along from the Tyuonyi! Hush, [paragraph continues]
I say, do your duty at last. At the Tyuonyi, if we ever get there, we shall see further."
At this moment several Queres burst from the timber. One of them cried to Tyope,--
"Nashtio, the Moshome are too strong, they are coming to kill you and all of us. We must away into the karitya!" And with this he leaped from the brink. He had selected a spot where the rim was precipitous for a short distance. Over he went! A cry of anguish and of helpless despair was heard; then followed a series of thuds, as though a heavy body were falling from step to step. From the depths below a faint moaning arose. Then all was still. The din and noise of the battle was drawing nearer and nearer; soon more of the Queres rushed out and would in their precipitate flight have followed the example of their comrade had not others coming up behind them held them back Regardless of the danger, they clustered together on the brink, and gazed at the shattered, mangled, gory mass beneath, which was once the body of one of their companions. The words of the shaman fell upon Tyope like another blow from above. They cowed him. To avoid the gaze which the old man fastened upon him still, he turned to fly, no longer a warrior, no longer the commander. He was partly imbecile and absolutely cowed. He trembled, but the shaman seized his arm and restrained him. Pointing to the men he said,--
"Save these if you can."
Tyope obeyed, for he had no longer a will of his own. He cast a vacant glance about, but arrows whistled from the timber; the Tehuas were coming. Panic-stricken, the Queres ran along the brink to look for a descent. There was no stopping them, no possibility of restoring order; every one looked out for himself. Tyope cast a pleading glance at the old man by his side, and the Chayan felt that
he must henceforth do what was yet to be done. Seeing the Queres clambering down into the gorge in wild haste, and that others were still rushing out of the thickets, he caught Tyope by the shoulder and drew him along, saying in a milder tone,--
"Follow me, sa uishe." He pitied the crest-fallen man.
Henceforth it was the medicine-man who assumed the lead, Tyope gathering energy enough to act as his lieutenant. The shaman was but a mediocre warrior; still in this dismal hour he was the only salvation of the remaining Queres.
Not one half of their number succeeded in reaching the bottom of the Cañada Ancha and taking shelter in the groves of tall pines that dot the vale. It was an anxious time for those who had already found safety behind trees, when they saw the stragglers rush down the rugged slope and tear through the thickets, followed by the Tehuas, who crowded along the brink in greatly superior numbers, yelling, shooting arrows, and waving triumphantly the many, many scalps they had taken. A few of their skirmishers descended some distance, but the main pursuit was stayed by strict orders from the Tehua war-chief. As soon as the first group of fugitives, among them Hishtanyi and Tyope, had reached the bottom of the Cañada, the shaman arrested their farther flight, prevailing upon them to make a stand.
Their position was temporarily a good one. No approach was possible without exposing the assailant to arrow-shots, whereas the defenders were thoroughly protected.
As their numbers increased by accessions from those who had also been able to extricate themselves, their courage returned, and they willingly remained until the time came when the shaman, and Tyope by his command, should direct farther retreat. The leaders of the Tehuas saw this and desisted from an attempt at complete extermination. It would have cost them dearly, and would only have increased
the number of their trophies. So the Tehuas remained above the gorge, displaying a threatening front, while in reality the majority of them returned home, and with them Shotaye.
Great was the exultation of the woman when she saw the triumph of her new friends over her own people. She was proud of this result of her craftiness and her skill. When, the engagement over, she scanned the field, looking at the dead and searching for Tyope among them in vain, her disappointment was fearful. Corpse after corpse she scrutinized, turning over the ghastly bodies, peering into the lifeless features, raising the mutilated heads to see more closely, more distinctly. In vain; Tyope was not among them, Tyope had escaped. Her revenge was sterile; it had fallen on the least guilty. She, too, felt that a higher hand must have interfered and made her triumph next to worth. less. As she scanned the bloody, distorted features of the men of her tribe, in the expectation of gloating over those of him against whom she had schemed, she recognized more than one of whose company she had agreeable recollections, more than one whom in her cold-blooded, calculating way, she had made her tool for a time. Something like regret arose within her,--regret at her treason. She went back to the Puye with a sting in her heart forever. Outwardly she led a contented life as the consort of Cayamo, and the Tehuas looked upon her as a useful accession, if not as one who had at one time become the saviour of their tribe; but she could never think of the Rito nor hear it mentioned without feeling a pang. It was remorse, but she did not know it. Never again was she seen by any of her former people.
The position in which the Queres had taken refuge was tenable only for a short time, because the Cañada Ancha
has no permanent water-supply. There were a few pools, however, containing remnants of the rain that had lately fallen. But that was not enough. To abandon the groves, in which they felt comparatively safe in presence of the foe, would have been reckless; so the Queres remained during the whole day, while the Tehuas kept guard over them, observing their movements from the cover of the timber on the mesa. As night set in, the Hishtanyi Chayan ordered a slow, noiseless retreat down the Cañada toward the Rio Grande. Tyope passively did what the shaman told him; he had no longer a will of his own. He who had always judged others from the stand-point of their usefulness to him as his tools, was now reduced mentally to be a blind instrument of the man of whom he expected to rid himself on this very campaign. All of Tyope's authority was gone; the men did not reproach him, did not scorn; they simply ignored him, except when he spoke in the name and by direction of the Hishtanyi Chayan. The latter saw more and more the mental downfall of the war-chief, and took pity on him, making him his lieutenant When morning dawned, the little troop halted on the Ziro kauash. They had made a long detour, and now were in dread lest the Tehuas had prepared an ambush near home. Tyope himself was still further concerned. He who had boldly attempted to carry out the most daring schemes, was afraid of returning to his people, now that these schemes had failed. He feared, like a child, reproach and punishment. The spirit of the man was utterly crushed.
When a war-party returns, it never enters the village directly, but halts at some distance and sends a messenger to inform the people of its approach. The Queres halted on the Ziro kauash, and some of them scoured the woods, but no trace of the enemy appeared. The dreaded ambush had not been laid; the Tehuas had certainly returned content
with victory and their trophies. A runner was sent to the Rito, and the men waited and waited. Even the Hishtanyi Chayan became startled at the long delay. Tyope squatted at the foot of a tree; he was thinking of the reception that might be in reserve for him. Everything manly and strong had left his heart; nothing of it remained but a languidly putrid core, whose former fermentation had produced the effervescence that took the shape of energy, shrewdness, and daring.
At last toward evening a man approached the silent group. He came, accompanied by the runner, and every one recognized the features of Kauaitshe, the delegate from the Water clan. He went straight to Tyope; and the latter looked at him timidly, almost tremblingly. Kauaitshe's face looked sad and mournful, but not wrathful. He grasped the hand of Tyope, breathed on it, lifted it upward with both his hands, and said in a tone of intense sorrow,
"Satyumishe, Those Above are not kind to us."
A terrible pang flashed through Tyope's heart, for he had experienced how little the Shiuana liked him.
Kauaitshe continued in a low voice,--artless, but the more impressive for its natural sadness,--
"While you went to strike the Tehuas with our men, the Moshome Dinne came upon us."
A shriek of dismay, of terror, issued from every one present, Tyope excepted. He only groaned, and sinking shrivelled, pressed down his chest against his knees, as if suffering intense physical pain. He recalled his intrigues with the young Navajo. This last blow to the tribe was his work also.
In a monotonous voice the messenger of evil tidings proceeded,--
"My hanutsh is no more. Tanyi hanutsh is dispersed, scattered, fleeing through the timber. Of Mokatsh hanutsh
only one girl has remained alive. Of Tyame a few women, but your wife, satyumishe, is dead; your child Mitsha the Moshome have carried away, or else she hides in the timber and starves. The great house is empty, and fire comes out from its roof. Your people can have the field of Tzitz hanutsh," he added with trembling voice; "we need it no longer. But your clan has land enough now, for many of the men of Shyuamo have gone over to Shipapu!" He dropped Tyope's hand, wiped away the tears that were forcing themselves to his eyes, and stood in silence. Not one of the by-standers moved; the Hishtanyi Chayan lifted his eyes to the sky, Tyope stared vacantly. He seemed to stagger. The delegate from the Water clan grasped his hand again, and said,--
"Come and see how the Shiuana have visited the Tyuonyi."