Stone wore his oratory out after a time, and Cairness closed his eyes rather more, to the end that he might look a yet greater ass, and said that he wanted to hire out as a cow-boy or ranch hand of some sort. "Taylor told me you knew a fellow named Lawton, I think it was. Would he be wanting one now?" He took considerable satisfaction in his own histrionic ability, and lapsed into the phraseology of the job-hunter.
"We meet 'neath the blazing heavens,
The next two days he kept to himself and talked only to his Apache scouts, in a defiant return to his admiration for the savage character. A Chiricahua asked no questions and made no conventional reproaches at any rate. He was not penitent, he was not even ashamed, and he would not play at being either. But he was hurt, this last time most of all, and it made him ugly. He had always felt as if he were of the army, although not in it, not by reason of his one enlistment, but by reason of the footing upon which the officers had always received him up to the present time. But now he was an outcast. He faced[Pg 302] the fact, and it was a very unpleasant one. It was almost as though he had been court-martialled and cashiered. He had thoughts of throwing up the whole thing and going back to Felipa, but he hated to seem to run away. It would be better to stop there and face it out, and accept the position that was allowed him, the same, after all, as that of the majority of chiefs of scouts.
Chapter 8At 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.
Brewster answered that she would, of course. He was rather annoyingly proprietary and sure of her.
It was a long way to the salt lick, and the chances were that the two men would be gone the whole afternoon. The day was very hot, and she had put on a long, white wrapper, letting her heavy hair fall down over her shoulders, as she did upon every excuse now, and always when her husband was out of the way. There was a sunbonnet hanging across the porch railing. She put it on her head and went down the steps, carrying the child.She looked at him in perplexity and surprise. "How could I be? There is no use talking about it."
[Pg 241]And things were coming to an end, anyway. He could see it in the looks of the Apaches, and hear it in their whispers. They consented to come in, and even to put themselves at the discretion of the government, but there was a lack of the true ring in their promises. So when, on the third morning, before it was yet daylight, two chiefs came hurrying into camp and awoke the general with bad news, he was not greatly surprised. He had warned Crook of the possibility, for that matter.
Cairness drew up his pinto pony in front of a group of log cabins, and, turning in his saddle, rested his hands upon the white and bay flanks. "Hullo-o-o!" he repeated."Who was her father?" Brewster wanted to know.She asked him about her father and mother. Going[Pg 53] back to his chair he told her everything that he knew, save only the manner of Cabot's death. "Then I took you to Yuma," he finished, "and from there to the East, via Panama." There was a pause. And then came the question he had most dreaded.
The general took a couple of hundred Indian scouts, enlisted for six months' service, a troop of cavalry, and a half-dozen guides and interpreters, and followed across the border.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.详情
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