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.
"Yes, and you don't like the English, I know that perfectly."
She jumped to her feet. "I ain't going to do it.""I didn't see the telegram, but it was in effect that he had no knowledge of anything of the sort, and put no faith in it."
It was not quite an all-summer campaign. The United States government drove the hostiles over the border into the provinces of the Mexican government, which understood the problem rather better than ourselves, and hunted the Apache, as we the coyote, with a bounty upon his scalp.
He sat quite still, clinching his teeth and clawing his fingers tensely. In the great crises of life, training and upbringing and education fall away, and a man is governed by two forces, his instincts and his surroundings. And Cairness's instincts were in entire accord with his surroundings; they were of the Stone Age, when men fought with the beasts of the wilderness in their cave homes, and had only the law of sheer strength. He leaned forward, holding his breath, and watched her. Had she seen his horse tied up above, and come here to find him鈥攂ecause he was here?When she saw the post surgeon come out from his house and start over to the hospital, she called to him. "May I see your new patient?" she asked.
"Oh!" said Taylor, and sat looking into the fire.Then a big cow-boy left the bar and loitering over, with a clink of spurs, touched him on the shoulder. "The drinks are on you," he menaced. The minister chose to ignore the tone. He rose, smiling, and stretching his cramped arms. "All right, my friend, all right," he said, and going with the big fellow to the bar he gave a general invitation.She stood up very deliberately and faced him with a look he had never seen before in her eyes, dark and almost murderous. But she had her fury under [Pg 202]control. He had guessed that her rage might be a very ugly thing, but he drew back a step at the revelation of its possibilities. Twice she tried hard to speak. She put her hand to her throat, where her voice burned away as it rose. Then it came from the depths of that being of hers, which he had never fathomed.
Cabot was not an unmerciful man, but if he had had his sabre just then, he would have dug and turned it in the useless carcass. He was beside himself with fear; fear of the death which had come to the cow and the calf whose chalk-white skeletons were at his feet, of the flat desert and the low bare hills, miles upon miles away, rising a little above the level, tawny and dry, giving no hope of shelter or streams or shade. He had foreseen it all when the horse had stumbled in a snake hole, had limped and struggled a few yards farther, and then, as he slipped to the ground, had stood quite still, swaying from side to side, with its legs wide apart, until it fell. He gritted his teeth so that the veins[Pg 2] stood out on his temples, and, going closer, jerked at the bridle and kicked at its belly with the toe of his heavy boot, until the glassy eye lighted with keener pain.But he went on, instructing her how it was not all of riding to stick on, and rather a question of saving and seat and the bit.
Cairness congratulated him with all solemnity, and asked if she were a widow. He was sure she must be, for the gallantry of the West in those days allowed no woman to pass maturity unwed."I will write to you where you are to send my mail," she told him, when the train was about to pull out. He bowed stiffly, and raising his hat was gone. She looked after him as he went across the cinder bed to the ambulance which was to take him back, and wondered what would have been the look upon his nice, open face, if she had told him her plans, after all. But she was the only one who knew them.详情
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