Then Brewster began to listen.
After she had done that she stood hesitating for just a moment before she threw off all restraint with a toss of her head, and strapped about her waist a leather belt from which there hung a bowie knife and her pistol in its holster. Then slipping on her moccasins, she glided into the darkness. She took the way in the rear of the quarters, skirting the post and making with swift, soundless tread for the river. Her eyes gleamed from under her straight, black brows as she peered about her in quick, darting glances.The Indians, being wicked, ungrateful, suspicious characters, doubted the promises of the White-eyes. But it is only just to be charitable toward their ignorance. They were children of the wilderness and of the desert places, walking in darkness. Had the lights of the benefits of civilization ever shone in upon them, they would have realized that the government[Pg 226] of these United States, down to its very least official representative, never lies, never even evades."I don't believe you can," Cairness said; "but you might try it, if it will give you any pleasure. Only you must make haste, because you've got to get out in three days."
"That same. She was part Mescalero, anyway."He rolled his cut and throbbing head over again, and watched the still form. And he was conscious of no satisfaction that now there was nothing in all the world to keep him from Felipa, from the gaining of the wish of many years, but only of a dull sort of pity for Landor and for himself, and of a real and deep regret.It was not very dark. The sky was thick with clouds, but there was a waning moon behind them. The only light in the garrison was in the grated windows of the guard-house.
No one in the territory was busy. The atmosphere was still too much that of the Mexican possession; but Cairness said it was undoubtedly so, and took his leave,[Pg 173] clanking his spurs, heavy footed, and stooping his long form, in continuance of the r?le of ass. He knew well enough that he had been so summed up. It is a disadvantage the British citizen labors under in the West.She tried to parry and evade, but he would not have it, and obliged her to admit that she did not. "Not that I dislike her," she explained. "I like to have her round. I dare say it is a whim."
"You could take turns riding behind the men."
"Nothing much," he told her. He and Taylor could take care of the talking. Her part would be just to stand by and pay attention.He hesitated still. "I don't doubt you," he told her.
For a moment he stood looking straight into her eyes, yet neither read the other's thoughts. Then he turned away with a baffled half laugh. "Why should it matter to me?" he asked."Poor little girl," he said kindly. He could not help it that they were the words of a compassionate friend, rather than of an injured husband.
After a time, when a soldier bent over him and held a flask to his teeth, he drank, and then he pointed feebly, and his lips framed the question he could not seem to speak.
Landor rode up to them and made inquiries for Foster.
In the late afternoon the lonely dark figure crossed the open and dropped down on the new grave, not in an agony of tears, but as if there was some comfort to be gotten out of contact with the mere soil. The old feeling of loneliness, which had always tinged her character with a covert defiance, was overwhelming her. She belonged to no one now. She had no people. She was an outcast from two races, feared of each because of the other's blood. The most forsaken man or woman may claim at least the kinship of his kind, but she had no kind. She crouched on the mound and looked at the sunset as she had looked that evening years before, but her eyes were not fearless now. As a trapped animal of the plains might watch a prairie fire licking nearer and nearer, making its slow way up to him in spurts of flame and in dull, thick clouds of smoke that must stifle him before long, so she watched the dreary future rolling in about her. But gradually the look changed to one farther away, and alight with hope. She had realized that there was, after all, some one to whom she belonged, some one to whom she could go and, for the first time in her life, be loved and allowed to love.详情
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