The title "The Man to Send Rain Clouds" clearly shows the differences between the pagan Pueblo people and their white conquerors, represented here by Father Paul the foolish white priest. In the priest's Christian world, only God can send rain clouds, but in the Pueblo world, it is every man's task hereafter to speak to the cloud people and ask them to make rain for the living. The struggle has evolved into a ritual not of confrontation, but assertion of dominance met by strategies of subversion, evasion, and adaptation that are meant to preserve the Pueblo ways, but show they are ultimately doomed.
Old Teofilo symbolizes his people and their proud heritage, choosing to go off alone and die quietly in the fields beneath a bare cottonwood tree that Silko says " stood apart from a small grove of winterbare cottonwoods which grew in the wide, sandy arroyo." (Rain pg 115) The analogy between the cottonwoods and the Pueblos is an easy one to see, as well as the correlation between Teofilo the Elder who dies alone and the cottonwood that stands away from the others in the grove.
When Ken and Leon meet Father Paul on their return to the farm, Leon does not lie to Father Paul, he simply omits the critical information that Teofilo is dead, laconically anwering Father Paul's suggestions that Leon has some sort of authority over his clan's elder with a dry assurance that Teofilo will not be staying at the sheep camp alone anymore. Father Paul's arrogance continues with his mistaken belief that his presence among the Pueblo is welcomed and not simply tolerated, leading Father Paul to believe he has the authority to instruct Leon not only in how to care for his elder, but to invite both to Mass on Sunday.
The Pueblo men have no use for Father Paul or his religion. When Ken and Leon discover Teofilo's body they immediately begin to prepare it for the journey to the next world:.