During this time every hole in the tent was oc- cupied with an eye. Among the lookers-on was his grandmother. She was very near relenting. Had she not feared the wrath of the Great Mys- tery, she would have been happy to call out to the boy: "Keep your dear dog, my child!"
As it was, Hakadah came out of the teepee with his face looking like an eclipsed moon, leading his beautiful dog, who was even handsomer than ever with the red touches on his specks of white.
It was now Uncheedah's turn to struggle with the storm and burden in her soul. But the boy was emboldened by the people's admiration of his bravery, and did not shed a tear. As soon as she was able to speak, the loving grandmother said:
"No, my young brave, not so! You must not mourn for your first offering. Wash your face and then we will go."
The boy obeyed, submitted Ohitika to Wacoota with a smile, and walked off with his grandmother and Wahchewin.
They followed a well-beaten foot-path leading along the bank of the Assiniboine river, through a beautiful grove of oak, and finally around and under a very high cliff. The murmuring of the river came up from just below. On the opposite side was a perpendicular white cliff, from which ex- tended back a gradual slope of land, clothed with the majestic mountain oak. The scene was im- pressive and wild.
Wahchewin had paused without a word when the little party reached the edge of the cliff. It had been arranged between her and Uncheedah that she should wait there for Wacoota, who was to bring as far as that the portion of the offering with which he had been entrusted.
The boy and his grandmother descended the bank, following a tortuous foot-path until they reached the water's edge. Then they proceeded to the mouth of an immense cave, some fifty feet above the river, under the cliff. A little stream of limpid water trickled down from a spring with- in the cave. The little watercourse served as a sort of natural staircase for the visitors. A cool, pleasant atmosphere exhaled from the mouth of the cavern. Really it was a shrine of nature and it is not strange that it was so regarded by the tribe.