At all events the dismal period of mourning was drawing rapidly to a close, and with it official sadness would vanish. He could hardly await the morrow. On that day he hoped that the question would be decided when the great work of revenge should commence and whether he would be permitted to take part in it. The words of his uncle had opened an entirely new perspective to Okoya. To become uakanyi was now his aim, his intense ambition. As warrior, and as successful warrior, he confidently expected that no one would dare refuse him Mitsha. This hope overcame the grief he had harboured during the days that elapsed, for that grief belonged to the past; and as the past now appeared to him, it seemed only a stepping-stone to a proud and happy future.
[Footnote 11: I borrow these facts from Spanish sources. Both Castaneda and Mota Padilla mention cremation as being practised in the sixteenth century by the Pueblos. The latter author even gives a detailed description. Withal, the fact that the Pueblos also buried the body is more than abundantly established. Both modes of burial were resorted to, and contemporaneously even, according to the nature of the country and soil. There is comparatively little soil at the Rito. The mourning ceremonies, etc., I have witnessed myself.]
Okoya had been correct in his surmise that Shotaye was gone. In vain Say Koitza pined; her friend had left never to return.
When the news of Topanashka’s death reached her, which it did on the very night of the occurrence, she saw at a glance that henceforth her presence among the Queres was an impossibility, for she knew that the deceased was the only one who could interpose himself between Say Koitza and her enemies, and thus wield an influence indirectly favourable to herself. She recognized that henceforth Tyope was free to act as he pleased in the matter, for the medicine-men would be on his side. And she saw that the days of mourning that were sure to follow afforded her a capital opportunity for leaving the Rito unobserved, and executing her flight to the Tehuas of the Puye.
Shotaye could not believe that Cayamo was the slayer of Topanashka. Her warrior from the north was in too great a hurry to get out of the way of pursuing Navajos. He was too anxious to save the scalp he had taken. Even in case Topanashka had overtaken him, which seemed impossible, the Tehua would have avoided rather than attacked the unarmed old man. And if the maseua surprised their interview and followed her knight, the latter had too much vantage-ground to be ever overtaken by his aged and unarmed pursuer. The fact that the sandal had been found, Shotaye interpreted as evidence of Cayamo’s precipitate flight. From her standpoint she reached the very correct conclusion that the Navajos who followed in Cayamo’s tracks, and not the Tehua, must have killed the father of her friend Say.