Hurrah! for the next that dies."
The never ending changes of the service, which permitted no man to remain in one spot for more than two years at the utmost limit, had sent Landor's troop back to Grant, and it was from there that he was ordered out at the beginning of the summer.It was characteristic of Felipa that she forgot him altogether and reread the letter, her breath coming in audible gasps.
There was a bright I. D. blanket spread on the ground a little way back from the fire, and she threw herself down upon it. All that was picturesque in his memories of history flashed back to Cairness, as he took his place beside Landor on the log and looked at her. Boadicea might have sat so in the depths of the Icenean forests, in the light of the torches of the Druids. So the Babylonian queen might have rested in the midst of her victorious armies, or she of Palmyra, after the lion hunt in the deserts of Syria. Her eyes, red lighted beneath the shadowing lashes, met his. Then she glanced away into the blackness of the pine forest, and calling her dog to lie down beside her, stroked its silky red head.
Cairness said "yes" rather half heartedly. That fresh, sweet type was insipid to him now, when there was still so fresh in his memory the beauty of a [Pg 40]black-haired girl, with eagle eyes that did not flinch before the sun's rays at evening or at dawn."Cheese that cussing, do you hear?" he ordered.
"It is the only one I can live," she said indifferently[Pg 323] enough, stating it as an accepted, incontrovertible fact, "and it's the one you like best."
There was a faint, white light above the distant mountains in the east. The moon was about to rise. In a few moments more it came drifting up, and the plain was all alight. Far away on the edge was a vague, half-luminous haze, and nearer the shadows of the bushes fell sharp and black. A mile ahead, perhaps, along the road, she could make out the dark blot of the mesquite clump. Behind, as she looked again, she could just see four figures following.
Of a truth she understood only too well, that death with a bullet through the brain could be a tender mercy.Taylor shrugged his shoulders. "Quien sabe? Can't prove it by me. Just vamoosed. Fell in love with a little terrier of a Greaser half her size, and cleaned out. Lawton was in here a day or two ago, lookin' for her and raisin' particular Cain with whiskey and six-shooters鈥攂awlin' about her all over the place."Landor tried another way then, and leaned from his saddle in his earnestness. He put it in the light of a favor to himself. But Cabot's refusal was unanswerable. It was better one than two, he said, and no horse in the command could carry double.
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After tea the ranchers settled down to smoke and read. The Reverend Taylor brought out his collection of specimens and dilated upon them to Cairness.
Was it possible that twenty minutes before he had risen to the histrionic pitch of self-sacrifice of offering her her freedom to marry another man?But the Reverend Taylor's lips set again, and he shrugged his narrow shoulders. "I'm not certain myself," he said shortly.详情
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