Involuntarily Zashue uttered a deeply felt “Ho[=a]” of relief. Hayoue nodded, and sighed as if breathing freer again. The great medicine-man arose, scattered sacred meal, and uttered a prayer to which all the others listened in deep silence. Then he went to greet the strangers in the customary manner. One by one the others followed,—the second medicine-man, the other chief officials, finally the delegates of the clans. Every one grasped their hands and went through the same ceremonies. The council was ended, and to every one’s satisfaction.
Last came the old interpreter, and greeted them, saying,—
“I am Chang Doa, what you call Mokatsh hanutsh, ‘panther clan.’ Where do you belong?”
“Tzitz hanutsh,” Zashue quickly responded.
The old man turned to one of the delegates.
“Father,” he called to him in his language, “our sons belong to your people. Will you take them with you, or shall they go to the summer cacique?”
The other reflected a short while, then he replied,—
“The summer cacique is busy; let the brethren come with me. I will lead them to the homes of P’ho Doa.”
News of the happy result of the council had already spread outside. When the prisoners of a few hours ago, now transformed into honoured guests, stepped down into the square, every one looked at them pleasantly. The throng dispersed, but many followed them into the houses of the Water clan, where they were treated to the primitive food of those times. Soon they retired to rest on simple couches, there to forget the hardships and dangers they had suffered during the day.
Outside, the deepest silence reigned. The pueblo on the steep hill and the desert plain below shone in the rays of the moon, peacefully, as though they too would slumber. From the thickets along the little stream arose a faint twitter; louder and louder it sounded, and rose heavenward in full, melodious strains, soaring on high through the stillness of the night; it was the mocking-birds’ greeting to the hour of rest.
[Footnote 12: “Oga P’ Hoge” is the name given to Santa Fe by the Tehuas of Santa Clara. The Tehuas of San Juan call it “Cua P’ Hoge,” the place or village of the shell beads, or of the shells (Olivilla) from which they make the beads which they so highly prize. In the sixteenth century that pueblo was already deserted.]
Autumn in New Mexico, as well as in many other parts of the world, is the most beautiful time of the year. The rains are over, and vegetation is refreshed and has developed. Yellow flowers cover the slopes of the higher ranges; the summits are crowned with glistening snow again; the days are pleasant and the nights calm, clear, and wonderfully cool. Nature in autumn seems to display its greatest charms to allure mankind into placid submission to the approach of rigid winter.