“I don’t know,” replied Okoya, in astonishment. He knew nothing of Shyuote’s morning rambles. “He must know; how could I tell?”
“He says that they drove him from the corn because he threw mud at a girl,” added the mother.
“That is quite likely,” rejoined his elder brother. “That is why the lads of the Corn clan intended to beat him, I presume.”
“Why did you not stay with your father?” cried Say.
“Because,”—he held his arm up to his eyes and commenced to sob,—“because my father drove me off.”
“Why did he drive you away?”
“Because—” He stopped, then raised his head as if a sudden and wicked thought had flashed across his mind.
His eyes sparkled. “I dare not tell.” He cast his eyes to the ground, and a bitter smile passed over his lips.
“Why dare you not tell?” both Say and Okoya inquired. “Has sa nashtio told you not to say anything about it?”
“Not he, but the Koshare Naua.” It was like an explosion. Say Koitza felt a terrible pang; she stared vacantly at the wicked lad for a moment, and then turned and went into the kitchen. Shyuote wept aloud; his brother looked down upon him with an expression of mingled compassion and curiosity.
The doorway was suddenly darkened by a human form, and with the usual guatzena the grandfather, Topanashka, entered the apartment. Okoya stood up quickly and replied,—
“What is the boy crying for?” inquired the old man.
“The Corn people tried to hurt him because he threw something at one of their girls,” Okoya explained.
“Is that all? I heard scolding and crying going on here, and so I thought I would come and see what was the matter. Where is your yaya?”
Say, when she heard her father’s voice, came out and leaned against the entrance to the kitchen. Her face was convulsed, her eyes glassy. Topanashka scanned her features quietly and then said in a cold tone,—
She understood the meaning of his cold, searching gaze, and gathered all her strength to meet it with composure.
“Shyuote cries also,” she said, “because his father sent him home from the fields.”
“Why did Zashue do that?”
“This he dare not tell, for the Koshare Naua”—her voice trembled at the mention of the name—“forbade him to say anything about it.” Her eyes clung to the features of her father. Topanashka turned away slowly and quietly, and she followed him to the door. As he was crossing the threshold he whispered to her,—
“There is nothing new as yet.”