The little Reverend had been much interested in them also. He had sat for several hours sucking an empty spool, and observing them narrowly, in perfect silence. His father had great hopes of him as a naturalist.
He rose to his feet, shaking off an impatience with her and with himself. "Come," he said peremptorily; and they went out and mounted and rode away in the face of a whipping wind up the gradual slope to the mountains, black and weird beneath the heavy, low-hanging rain clouds.She put down her work and rose slowly to her feet before him. She could be very regal sometimes. Brewster knew it, and Cairness guessed it; but it was the first time it had come within Landor's experience, and he was a little awed.
He had told her that many times. It had been true; perhaps it was true still.
"That," objected the major, testily, "is ancient history. This trouble started the way of most of the troubles of this age鈥攚hiskey." In his agitation he carefully spilled a spoonful of salt on the cloth and scraped it into a little mound with a knife. Then recollecting that spilled salt causes quarrels, he hurriedly threw a pinch of it over his left shoulder. "And鈥攁nd, the worst of the whole business is, old man, that you've got to go. Your troop and one from Apache are ordered out. I'm awfully sorry." He would not look at Felipa at all. But he stared Landor[Pg 57] fairly out of countenance, as he waited for a storm of tears and protestations.
It dawned upon Cairness that this was rather more than a military machine after all, that he had underestimated it.
In the morning, while the cooks were getting breakfast and the steam of ration-Rio mounted as a grateful incense to the pink and yellow daybreak heavens, having bathed in the creek and elaborated his toilet[Pg 235] with a clean neckerchief in celebration of victory, he walked over to the bunch of tepees to see the women captives."She may be ill some time. Would it be asking too much of you to look after her?" The bachelor showed in that.
Cairness slid to the ground, still holding her close, and set her upon her feet at once. He had not so much as tightened the grasp of his arm about her, nor held her one-half second longer than there was absolute need."Yes," Cairness said, "of course it's hard luck, but she's deserved it all, and more too. You may as well know the whole thing now. It's only fair. She and her husband were the cause of the Kirby massacre. Drove off the stock from the corrals and left them no escape."
She did not. She would as lief touch a toad."It is curious," she said, "but it has always seemed as though English were not my native tongue."Landor's patience was worn out. "It's a confoundedly curious thing," he told them, "for men who really want to find Indians, to go shooting and building fires." And he sent them to rest upon their arms and upon the cold, damp ground.
"I'm a busy man," said Stone, "a very busy man, the busiest man in the territory."详情
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