Okoya felt bewildered.
“Why should he give Mitsha to a Moshome?” he timidly inquired. “What would he gain by it?”
“I don’t know; and nobody knows, except perhaps the young Navajo, that fiend. But sure it is, and it bodes no good for us at the Tyuonyi.”
A violent crash of thunder was followed by a few drops of rain. Hayoue looked up and said,—
“Kaatsh is coming; let us go.”
Both rose and walked toward the caves for shelter. On the high mesa above, the wind roared through the timber; in the valley, it was yet quiet. Lightning flashed through the clouds. Hayoue stood still, grasped the arm of his companion, and pointed at the southern heights.
“If you ever go up there,” he warned, “be very careful.” Okoya failed to understand, and only stared.
“Be careful,” the other insisted, “and if possible never go alone.” He turned, and Okoya followed. What he had heard and learned went beyond his comprehension.
Ere they could reach the caves a fiery dart shot from the clouds that shrouded the mountain-crests; it sped across the sky and buried itself in the forest above the Rito. A clinking and crackling followed, as if a mass of scoria were shattered, then a deafening peal shook the cliffs to the very foundations. A strong gust of wind swept down the gorge. It caused the tall pines to shake, and the shrubbery surged in the blast. In the nooks and angles of the cliffs the wind whirled, raising clouds of dust and sand. Raindrops began to fall, large and sparse at first, afterward smaller but thick and fast. The first rain of the season poured down upon the Rito de los Frijoles.
[Footnote 9: A clear definition of the Shiuana is not easy to give. In a general sense, they might be called the “spirits of the Fetiches.” As everything strange, unusual, or inexplicable is attributed to spiritual origin, the numbers of the Shiuana are very great. Even the pictures of the sun-father, of the moon-mother, etc., are Shiuana, in the sense of their supposed spiritual connection with the deified beings they represent.]
Shotaye had taken no part in the great dance, and no one had missed her. It was known that whenever the Koshare appeared in public she was certain to stay at home. In point of fact she seldom left her cell, unless it was to ascend one of the mesas for the purpose of gathering medicinal herbs. Shotaye enjoyed the reputation of being a strange and even mysterious being; and so long as her services were not absolutely required, nobody cared to intrude upon her. Nevertheless, she often received visitors of the male sex. She despised men most thoroughly, but accepted their attentions if profitable.