We eavesdrop on a palaver between Dom Paulo and a messenger. The abbot gets up-to-date on politics and current affairs.
Dom Paulo is informed that Hannegan is going to "defend" the frontier from Mad Bear and the State of Chihuahua.
The messenger further notes that Hannegan plans to have Mad Bear's clan deal with Laredo while the Laredans drive hundreds of diseased cattle into the tribe's herd for some old-fashioned chemical warfare.
In other words, Hannegan wants his enemies to kill each other off. Sly guy.
The messenger advises Dom Paulo to secure the abbey, especially considering those new hazards: gunpowder and grapeshot.
Not long afterward, tribesmen in wolf skins appear outside the abbey's gate, causing a bit of an uproar.
Then Taddeo makes his appearance and the misunderstanding is resolved.
Dom Paulo notices Taddeo's "icy eyes" that study "him as one might study a lifeless curio" (17.56). We're a little freaked out. But he extends to him all the courtesies of the abbey anyway.