For the first week, Otetiani was content to ride along with Orenda. Often, they lagged behind the others, lost in each other’s company. Orenda noticed a change, though, in Otetiani, as they neared the trading post. Otetiani seemed distant, far away in thought; at times, he rode off alone. During one of those times when he rode ahead of the group, Orenda sought out her father and asked him if he knew what was troubling her husband?
Donehogawa looked at his daughter, saw the concern in her eyes and said, “Orenda, my daughter, Otetiani is troubled by the buffalo spirit and he is confused as he comes closer to his white family. The buffalo is a powerful guide but it is one that makes one yearn to be free to wander our earth mother as the buffalo does. It is also a hard thing for Otetiani now that he has embraced the Mohawk life to face his former life. My daughter, it is for you to ease his troubled spirit. I think it is time to tell him of the child you carry. Do not look at me like I’m a seer who can look in the heart of a woman to see what is there. I learned of the child from your mother.”
Orenda smiled at her father and replied, “I should have known that mother would tell you. I am glad I spoke to you. I feel that you have opened my eyes. Yes, it is time to tell Otetiani about his coming child.”
Otetiani was riding ahead of the group needing the time alone to sort through his mind’s confusion. The thought that puzzled him the most was whether he was Otetiani or Liam but the buffalo dream also played upon his mind giving a rise to his normal restlessness of spirit. Glancing back to find Orenda brought some measure of comfort but still he struggled. He noticed that she was riding with her father and thought he saw sadness on her face.
They made camp by a small stream. Otetiani sat with his back to a willow tree that overlooked a small waterfall and dozed, the buffalo dream having invaded his sleep. The moon was nearly full and was all the light Orenda needed as she walked over to where Otetiani sat. He awoke at the touch of her hand upon his shoulder and the sound of her voice.
“Wake up my love,” Orenda whispered in his ear, “I have something to tell you.”
Otetiani opened his eyes, cupped his hand over the curve of her cheek and said, “My beautiful one, I have not been myself lately. My spirit is restless, my mind confused. I have seen sadness in your eyes and I am sorry that I am the cause for this but I am torn about my future.”
“Oh my husband,” Orenda replied as she took his hand in hers, “I know that you are troubled and that the buffalo dream is strong, but know this. I will be by your side through whatever path you choose and so will the child I bear.”
Tears flowed down Otetiani’s face and as he stood up he noticed the swell of Orenda’s belly. “We have a child coming?” he asked. He took her in his arms and replied, “We will raise this child as a Mohawk.” They walked back to the campfire and settled down for the night and soon Orenda was asleep with her head on Otetiani’s shoulder. Otetiani, his mind playing back what he had learned, felt more peaceful than he had in a long time and instead of the buffalo dream, he fell asleep to a vision of a Mohawk village and children playing.