This is about an exercise from D'Ooge's Latin for Beginners, but since it pertains to larger issues, I'm asking it here. We were asked to translate the following: "The few, terrified by the reports that they heard, preferred to remain at home."
Once corrected for mistakes, my translation read: "Pauci, famis quas audiverant terrebant, domi manere maluerunt."
The key has it as: "Pauci, rumoribus quos audierant territi, domi manere maluerunt."
They use "rumor" while I used "fama," just a choice. I don't know why the third-person pluperfect active of "audio" is sometimes written as audierant and sometimes audiverant. None of this is what concerns me however.
I thought "famis" or "rumoribus" is an ablative of cause. Is it still an ablative of cause with the perfect passive participle?
If both translations are acceptable, is one preferable to another, and if so, why?