Moreover, Landor was very ill. In the Mogollons he had gathered and pressed specimens of the gorgeous[Pg 134] wild flowers that turn the plateaux into a million-hued Eden, and one day there had lurked among the blossoms a sprig of poison weed, with results which were threatening to be serious. He rode at the head of his column, however, as it made for home by way of the Aravaypa Ca?on.In the storm-cleared atmosphere the troops could be seen until they turned into the gap, and shortly thereafter they reappeared, coming back at a trot.
No answer.Cairness reached out for the discarded Cornhill, and settled himself among the cushions. "They're going to dress, I rather think," he said. The minister almost sprang from his chair. "Good Lord! I ain't got any other clothes," he cried, looking ruefully at his dusty black.
"What did I do? The same as he done unto me. Let the air into his sombrero." He told them that he was studying the flora of the country, and travelling quite alone, with an Indian pony, a pack-mule, and a dog鈥攁 prospector's outfit, in short.
"Neither have I," Cairness consoled him, from the depths of a rehearsal of the unwisdom of Isma?l Pasha.
For answer she put out her hand and laid it upon his, not as she had often done it before, in the unattentive eagerness of some argument, but slowly, with a shadow of hesitation.
Mrs. Landor was with them. She had a little battered, brass trumpet hanging from her horn, and he knew that they were going to play at hare and hounds. She and the three with her were evidently the hares. They would take a ten minutes' start; then, at the sound of the trumpet, the hounds would follow. The riding was sometimes reckless. A day or two before he had seen Felipa leap an arroyo, the edges of which were crumbling in, and take a fallen tree on very dangerous ground."Who was her father?" Brewster wanted to know.
When the sergeant reported it to the major afterward, he said that the captain, in stooping over to raise the chief of scouts, had been struck full in the temple by a bullet, and had pitched forward with his arms stretched out. One private had been wounded. They carried the two men back to the little cabin of stones, and that was the casualty list. But the dash had failed."Look out for the little customer, will you?" he said to the medical officer. "He's a great chum of mine. Many's the can of condensed milk and bag of peanuts the ungrateful young one has had out of me." "What are you doing here?" he asked in the White Mountain idiom; "you aren't a Chiricahua."It is only a feeble love in need of stimulants and spicing that craves secrecy. A strong one seeks the open and a chance to fight to the end, whatever that may be, before the judges of earth and heaven. They stood facing each other, challenging across the woman with the look in their eyes that men have worn since long ere ever the warriors of old disputed the captive before the walls of Troy.
But he was not to be changed. "I'll take lemon soda," he said to the tender, with an amiability that the cow-boy made the mistake of taking for indecision.
He turned and went back to the cabin, where his wife stood at the door, with the children clinging to her. From down the north road there came a blood-freezing yell, and a shot, reverberating, rattling from hill to hill, muffling into silence among the crowding pines.The silence, cut by the nervous whispering of the children, became unendurable. "Are you very uneasy about them?" Mrs. Kirby asked."There is something," he insisted, dropping his head down again wearily.
Cairness remembered with an anger and disgust with himself he could still feel, that last time he had seen her in the mouth of the cave. That had been two springs ago. Since then there had been no occupation for him as a guide or scout. The country had been at peace. The War Department and the Indian Department were dividing the control of the Agency, with the War Department ranking. Crook had been trying his theories as practice. He had been demonstrating that the Indian can work, with a degree of success that was highly displeasing to the class of politicians whose whole social fabric for the southwest rested on his only being able to kill.She was drowsy, however, for it was still very early, and she was almost dropping off to sleep when the Chinaman brought the coffee and set it down upon a table near her, with a deference of manner not common to the Celestial when serving the Occidental woman, who, he believes, has lost the right to it directly she shows the inclination to do work herself. But Felipa was a mistress to his taste. As he bowed himself abjectly from her presence, Cairness came in. He had taken off his rubber coat and big hat, and was full of the vigor of life which makes the strong and [Pg 308]healthy-minded so good to look upon at the beginning of a day.详情
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