“To the Tehuas! But, sa tao, be silent, as silent as the stone, as quiet as kohaio when in winter he is asleep. Whatever you may hear, heed it not; what you may see, do not notice. Deny everything you can deny, and what you have to confess lay on me. Do as I tell you, sa uishe,” she insisted, as Say moved uneasily, “and trust to me for the rest.”
Shotaye arose, shook her wet garments, and stepped into the outer room. There she turned around once more, and repeated in a low but impressive voice,—
“Sa tao, trust in me, and believe also that Okoya is good, and Mitsha better yet. Be kind to both and be silent.”
She stepped into the court-yard, and Say Koitza remained standing in the doorway.
The rain had ceased; the sky was clear again, all ablaze with the richest golden hues over the crest of the big houses. It was near sunset. Say watched her friend as she went to the entrance; and as Shotaye’s form vanished in the dark passage Okoya emerged from it, coming toward his mother, slowly, shyly, but with a smile on his countenance. That was surely a good omen, and she anticipated the timid “guatzena” with which he was about to greet her by a warm and pleasant “raua opona.”
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.