But she only considered the insects, which were beginning to move again, and answered absently that she knew it, that he had said it before. "Oh! Mr. Brewster, bet quickly," she urged."It's a lot of infernal lies, and you know it." But she only shook her head and laughed again, shortly.
He handed it over also.Dutchy was a little German, who kept a milk ranch some seven miles from the post. "Apachees, Apachees," he squealed, gasping for breath."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.
Cairness was still in his dust-grayed outfit, his hair was below where his collar would have been had he been wearing one, and his nose was on its way to at least the twentieth new skin that summer. In all his years of the frontier, he had never become too well tanned to burn. His appearance was not altogether reassuring, Stone thought. He was not only an ass, he[Pg 172] was also tough鈥攖he sort of a fellow with whom it was as well to remember that your six-shooter is beneath the last copy of your paper, on the desk at your elbow."It's six one, and half a dozen the other. They'd be willing enough to die out in peace, if we'd let them. Even they have come to have a vague sort of instinct that that's what it amounts to."
"I say, old man, shut that door! Look at the flies. Now go on," he added, as the door banged; and he rose to draw a chair to the table.
"I am," announced the soldier.One fine afternoon the post was moving along in its usual routine鈥攖hat quiet which is only disturbed by the ever recurring military formalities and the small squabbles of an isolated community. There had been a lull in the war rumors, and hope for the best had sprung up in the wearied hearts of the plains service, much as the sun had that day come out in a scintillating air after an all-night rain-storm.
"I don't know," objected Landor; "you get the satisfaction of beginning the row pretty generally鈥攁s you did this time鈥攁nd of saying what you think about us in unmistakable language after we have tried to put things straight for you."A raiding party of hostiles had passed near the fort, and had killed, with particular atrocity, a family of settlers. The man and his wife had been tortured to death, the baby had had its brains beaten out against the trunk of a tree, a very young child had been hung by the wrist tendons to two meat hooks on the walls of the ranch-house, and left there to die. One big boy had had his eyelids and lips and nose cut off, and had been staked down to the ground with his remains of a face lying over a red-ant hole. Only two had [Pg 196]managed to escape,鈥攁 child of ten, who had carried his tiny sister in his arms, twenty miles of ca?ons and hills, to the post.
At noon Landor got his orders. He was to leave at four o'clock, and when he told Felipa she planned for dinner at three, with her usual manner of making all things as pleasant as possible, and indulging in no vain and profitless regrets. "We may as well have Mr. Brewster and Nellie McLane, too," she decided, and went off in search of them, bareheaded and dancing with excitement. She dearly loved rumors of war. The prospect of a scout was always inspiriting to her.
But had they come? he insisted.He handed them over.详情
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