Still they continued to talk quietly. No one seeing them together in the dingy kitchen would have suspected a lack of harmony, or discontent, much less the sinister preoccupations lurking in the heart of each. Both felt that it was useless, that they must abide their time, avoid imprudent words and queries, conceal from each other their misgivings, and wait.
More than eight days had elapsed since the one on which Shotaye had pledged her new friend, the Tehua warrior, to meet him at the homes of his tribe. She had not redeemed that pledge. In appearance she was unfaithful to Cayamo, as her knight was called; and yet her lack of compliance with her promise was not intentional. She calculated that her case would have come up by that time; and until this occurred, the energetic woman had no intention of leaving the Rito, much less of forsaking her friend Say Koitza. Now that her case had been delayed, the eight days had grown to nearly ten. The chayani and the caciques were fasting still, as well as some of the clan delegates.
Twelve days had passed, and it was the last day of official penance. That evening something was sure to occur to relieve the situation. So everybody thought at the Tyuonyi; so Shotaye thought herself. But she felt more than usually excited and worn out. It was not fear; it was the natural longing of a soul replete with energy and activity to see a matter ended that kept her in suspense. In regard to Say Koitza she felt perfectly reassured; the woman had not shown herself at her cave, and must feel quiet, cautious, and careful.
When the sun rose on the fourth day, it found Shotaye just about to take her morning meal. That was soon over, for there was no coffee, no hot rolls, no butter. It consisted merely of cold corn-cakes. When she had satisfied her appetite, she rose, shook the crumbs from her wrap, and went out. She had made a full toilet; that is, she had rubbed her face with her moistened hands and dried it with a deerskin, whereby a little more dust was added to her cheeks. She felt pro forma clean.