Landor took stock of the others. There had been five led horses twenty-four hours before, when they had started on a hot trail after the chief Cochise. But they had taken the places of five others that had dropped in their tracks to feed the vultures that followed always, flying above in the quivering blue. They were a sorry lot, the two score that remained.Landor pointed to him. "Who is this?" he asked.
He repeated that he was not there to be questioned, and showed her that he meant it by silence.
Once in the ?ons which will never unfold their secrets now, when the continent of the Western seas was undreamed of by the sages and the philosophers of the Eastern world, when it was as alone, surrounded by its wide waters, as the planets are alone in their wastes of space, when it was living its own life,鈥攚hich was to leave no trace upon the scroll of the wisdom of the ages,鈥攖he mountains and the bowels of the earth melted before the wrath of that same Lord whose voice shook the wilderness of Jud?a. At His bidding they ran as water, and poured down in waves of seething fire, across the valley of death.Presently the nurse came, a big, fat Mexican woman, with all her people's love of children showing on her moon face as she put out her arms. She had been with the Taylors since before the baby's birth, and she had more of its affection than the mother.
She looked down at him in a somewhat indignant surprise. "Pues porque?" she asked, maintaining the haughtiness of the dominant race, and refusing to acknowledge any indebtedness. "Why should I go away?"
"No," he agreed, "it doesn't matter. And I shall do well enough." Then the three went out, and she finished her breakfast alone.
"Over here to Tucson" was a three days' ride under the most favorable circumstances; but with the enthusiastic botanist dismounting at short intervals to make notes and press and descant upon specimens, it was five days before they reached, towards nightfall, the metropolis of the plains.Landor asked eagerly what he had answered.He gathered his courage for what he was going to say next, with a feeling almost of guilt. "Forbes says that I am doing you an injustice, keeping you here; that it is no life for you."
"You give your horse a sore back whenever you go far, and you always bring him back in a lather."
"You didn't stay to see the operation?" His voice was ominously quiet."Has the trip been hard?" he asked.
It was a very poor case, indeed, that Brewster made out, despite a formidable array of specifications. As it progressed, the situation took on a certain ludicrousness. The tale of woe was so very trivial; it seemed hardly worth the trouble of convening twelve officers from the four corners of the Department to hear it. And there was about Brewster, as he progressed, a suggestion of dragging one foot after the other, leaving out a word here, overlooking an occurrence there, [Pg 155]cutting off a mile in one place, and tacking on an hour in another.The chances of detection would certainly be less if he should go back of the officers' quarters, instead of the barracks. But to do that he would have to cross the road which led from the trader's to the quadrangle, and he would surely meet some one, if it were only some servant girl and her lover. He had observed and learned some things in his week of waiting in the post鈥攖hat week which otherwise had gone for worse than nothing. He took the back of the barracks, keeping well away from them, stumbling in and out among rubbish heaps. He had no very clear idea of what he meant to do, or of why he was going in this particular direction; but he was ready for anything that might offer to his hand. If he came upon Landor or the adjutant or any of them, he would put a knife into him. But he was not going to the trouble of hunting[Pg 206] them out. And so he walked on, and came to the haystacks, looming, denser shadows against the sky.详情
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