She was sitting in her room, sewing. Of late she had become domesticated, and she was fading under it. He had seen it already, and he saw it more plainly than ever just now. She looked up and smiled. Her smile had always been one of her greatest charms, because it was rare and very sweet. "Jack," she greeted him, "what have you done with the bread knife you took with you, dear? I have been lost without it."
It was a luxurious place. As much for his own artistic satisfaction as for her, Cairness had planned the interior of the house to be a background in keeping with Felipa, a fit setting for her, and she led the life of an Orient queen behind the walls of sun-baked clay. There was a wide couch almost in front of the roaring fire. She sank down in a heap of cushions, and taking up a book that lay open where her husband had put it down the night before, she tried to read by the flickering of the flame light over the pages.[Pg 278]"You're English, I reckon, ain't you?"
"Is there anything, then, that I can do for you? the officer asked. His intentions were good; Cairness was bound to realize that, too.
Stone laughed and inquired if he were joking, or just crazy.
"Cheese that cussing, do you hear?" he ordered.He was standing, and the boy was lying, and the shots of the Apaches flew about them. He stooped, and catching up his defeated foe, whose defeat was not half so entire as his own, scrambled out of the pocket and back among the troops. He carried his prisoner, who kicked vigorously with his good leg, and struck with both fists in protest against the ignominy of being held under anybody's arm like a sack of grain, back to the tied horses.
"Can't stay," said the adjutant, all breathless. "The line's down between here and the Agency; but a runner has just come in, and there's trouble. The bucks are restless. Want to join Victorio in New Mexico. You've both got to get right over there."
The man understood, and was dismayed. It is appalling to feel one's self snatched from the shifting foothold of individuality and whirled on in the current of the Force of Things. Felipa did not understand. And she was annoyed. She crashed in with the discord of a deliberate commonplace, and asked what she could do for him, speaking as to an inferior; and he, with a stiff resentment, answered that he wished to see Captain Landor.He went on the next day with his scouts, and eventually joined Landor in the field. Landor was much the same as ever, only more gray and rather more deeply lined. Perhaps he was more taciturn, too, for beyond necessary orders he threw not one word to the chief of scouts. Cairness could understand that the sight of himself was naturally an exasperation, and in some manner a reproach, too. He was sorry that he had been thrown with this command, but, since he was, it was better that Landor should behave as he was doing. An assumption of friendliness would have been a mockery, and to some extent an ignoble one.
They had been doing that for three days. They came down the chimney, made across the floor in a line that never changed direction, nor straggled, nor lessened, up the wall and out a crack in the window. They did no harm, but followed blindly on in the path the first one had taken. And the minister had said they should not be smoked back or thwarted.But only a coyote barked from a knoll near by.详情
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