类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-20 13:18:43


The murmurs in the corral rose louder. It was not that Kirby and his partners underpaid, underfed, or overworked the American citizens. It was that their language was decent and moderate; and the lash of the slave driver would have stung less than the sight of the black coats and the seven o'clock dinner. In the midst of white savages and red, the four clung to the forms of civilization with that dogged persistence in the unessential, that worship of the memory of a forsaken home, for which the Englishman, time and again, lays down his life without hesitation. That was the grievance.She heard, and again her eyes met Forbes's. There was a flash of comprehension in them. She knew what he was thinking very well. But she left the fence, and, pushing the sunbonnet over her head, joined them, not in the least put out, and they dismounted and walked beside her, back to the house.As he shut the door and bolted it with the great iron rods, there tore into the clearing a score of vague, savage figures. It looked, when he saw it for an instant, as he put up the wooden blinds, like some phantom dance of the devils of the mountains, so silent they were, with their unshod ponies, so quick moving. And then a short silence was broken by cries and shots, the pinge of bullets, and the whizz of arrows.

"To Captain Landor's widow, I am told."

Geronimo and four other warriors were riding aimlessly about on two mules, drunk as they well could be, too drunk to do much that day. But when night[Pg 303] came, and with it a drizzling rain, the fears the ranchman and his mescal had put in their brains assumed real shapes, and they betook themselves to the mountains again, and to the war-path.It ended in victory for the vinagrone, but he died from his wounds an hour later. Felipa told Landor so, as they started for a ride, early in the afternoon. "The vinagrone is dead," she said; "Mr. Brewster didn't like my fighting them." Then she assumed the lofty dignity that contrasted so oddly sometimes with her childish simplicity. "He lacks tact awfully. Think of it! He took the occasion to say that he loved me. As though he had not told me so a dozen times before."

"You are too good for it."

"Never mind all that. I'm here to question, not to be questioned. Now listen to me." And he went on to point out how she could not possibly get away from him and the troops until they were across the border, and that once there, it lay with him to turn her over to the authorities or to set her free. "You can take your choice, of course. I give you my word鈥攁nd I think you are quite clever enough to believe me鈥攖hat if you do not tell me what I want to know about Stone, I will land you where I've landed your husband; and that if you do, you shall go free after I've done with you. Now I can wait until you decide to answer," and he rolled over on his back, put his arms under his head, and gazed up at the jewel-blue patch of sky.

Stone held that the affair had been grossly exaggerated, and that the proof thereof lay in the acquittal of all accused of the crime, by a jury of their peers; and Landor said that the sooner that highly discreditable travesty on justice was forgotten, the better for the good fame of the territory. The press representative waxed eloquent once more, until his neck grew violet with suppressed wrath, which sputtered out now and then in profanity. The officer met his finest flights with cold ridicule, and the Agency man improved the opportunity by pouring himself a drink from the flask on the cot. In little it was the reproduction of the whole situation on the frontier鈥攁nd the politician profited.

"It's鈥" the boy looked around nervously. "If you'd come into the house鈥" he ventured.Landor swore. He would keep them their proper distance ahead, if he had to halt at all their halts from now to sunset.She nodded.

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He raised his eyes now, and they were appealing. "It's an awful lot to ask of you, Jack, even for old sake's sake. I know that. But the little thing is almost white, and I cared for her mother鈥攊n a way. I can't let her go back to the tribe." His lips quivered and he bit at them nervously. "I kept meaning to get her away somehow." There was a sort of pity on Landor's face, pity and half contempt. He had heard that from Cabot so often for so many years, "I kept meaning to do this thing or the other, somehow, some day." "But it looks as though you might have to do it now. Will you, lieutenant?" He tugged at the cinchings while he waited.Landor went back to his command and waited. Another man rode up and joined the two. Ten minutes passed, and the troops grew restless.

The Reverend Taylor did not object.He called the first sergeant to his aid. Brewster was in the rear of the command, and, as had occurred with increasing frequency in the last two months, showed no desire to be of any more use than necessary. As for Cairness, who had been more of a lieutenant to Landor than the officer himself, he had left the command two days before and gone back to the San Carlos reservation.



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