The face on the pillow lighted quickly, and she put out her hand to him impulsively. "Could we go back, Jack, even before the detail is up?" she said. And yet her life of late had surely been one that women would have thought enviable鈥攎ost women.The round-up lasted several days longer, and then the men were paid off, and went their way. The way[Pg 167] of most was toward Tombstone, because the opportunities for a spree were particularly fine there. Not because of these, but because the little parson lived there now, Cairness went also. Moreover, it was as good a place as another to learn more about the massacre. Cow-boys coming from other round-ups and getting drunk might talk.Did she show the squaw? he asked. "Not unless you knew it was there," the officer said tolerantly. Then he went to bed and slept with that peace of mind which comes of a proud consciousness of holding the handle of the whip. In the morning he got the[Pg 28] man's name and address before he went on up to the Agency.
Brewster mumbled out of a towel that he guessed they were all right, and implied what the dickens did it matter to him how they were.[Pg 253]
The boy explained that it was not that, and she let him go, in relief.Felipa did not answer.
The civilization of the Englishman is only skin deep. And therein lies his strength and his salvation. Beneath that outer surface, tubbed and groomed and prosperous, there is the man, raw and crude from the workshops of Creation. Back of that brain, trained to a nicety of balance and perception and judgment, there are the illogical passions of a savage. An adaptation of the proverb might run that you scratch an Englishman and you find a Briton鈥攐ne of those same Britons who stained themselves blue with woad, who fell upon their foes with clumsy swords and flaming torches, who wore the skins of beasts, and lived in huts of straw, and who burned men and animals together, in sacrifice to their gods."They put him in a tent beside the hospital, and the next morning I went over with the doctor to see him. He was all cut up on the arms and neck and shoulders. I must have been very strong." She stopped, and he still sat with the puzzled look on his face, but a light of understanding beginning to show through.
Felipa had taught her horse to make its average gait a run, and she would have started it running now, but that Landor checked her. It was high time, he said, that he should teach her to ride. Now she was more than a little proud of her horsemanship, so she was annoyed as well as surprised.
"What the devil do you want to know, then?"Chapter 14
The officer-of-the-day put Lawton into the care of the guard and asked Cairness in to have a drink, calling him "my good man." Cairness was properly aware of the condescension involved in being asked into an officer's dining room, but he objected to being condescended to by a man who doubled his negatives, and he refused.[Pg 325]
After a while Kirby went back to his work, directing several Mexicans, in hopelessly bad Spanish, and laboring with his own hands at about the proportion of three to one.
The storm passed, with all the suddenness it had come on, and Felipa rose, and dressing herself quickly went out upon the porch. Three drenched kittens were mewing there piteously. She gathered them up in her hands and warmed them against her breast as she stood watching the earth and sky sob themselves to rest. All the petunias in the bed by the steps were full of rain, the crowfoot and madeira vines of the porch were stirring with the dripping water. Many great trees had had their branches snapped off and tossed several[Pg 307] yards away, and part of the windmill had been blown to the top of the stable, some distance off. She wondered if Cairness had been able to get the cut alfalfa covered. Then she took the kittens with her to the house and went into the kitchen, where the Chinese cook already had a fire in the stove. She ordered coffee and toast to be made at once, and leaving the kittens in the woodbox near the fire, went back to the sitting room.Three weeks later she left the post and the West. Landor's health was broken from the effects of the poisonweed and the manifold troubles of the months past. In lieu of sick leave, he was given a desirable detail, and sent on to Washington, and for a year and a half he saw his wife fitted into a woman's seemly sphere. She was heralded as a beauty, and made much[Pg 159] of as such, and the little vanities that had rarely shown before came to the surface now. He was proud of her. Sought after and admired, clothed in purple and scarlet and fine linen, within the limits of a captain's pay, a creature of ultra-civilization, tamed, she was a very charming woman indeed. There seemed to be no hint of the Apache left. He all but forgot it himself. There was but one relapse in all the time, and it chanced that he had no knowledge of that.详情
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