After he had gone, Landor turned to Brewster once more. "Are all the bids in the safe again?"Cairness started for the salt lick, then changed his mind and his destination, and merely rode with Forbes around the parts of the ranch which were under more or less cultivation, and to one of the water troughs beneath a knot of live oaks in the direction of the foot-hills. So they returned to the home place earlier than they otherwise would have done, and that, too, by way of the spring-house.
"You give me what no one else could give鈥攖he best things in life."There was another silence, and this time he broke it.
"She is very magnificent," said the officer, coldly. It was plain that magnificence was not what he admired in woman. And there it had dropped.He was waking now to his work. But he had enough of horses. He stopped, sheathed his knife, and, feeling in his pockets, drew out a box of matches. A little spluttering flame caught in a pile of straw, and showed a hind foot dragging helplessly. It crept up, and the mule plunged on three legs, dragging the other along. It snorted, and then every animal in that corral, which was the quartermaster's, smelt danger and snorted too, and struck from side to side of its stall. Those in the next corral caught the fear.
He made no pretence of not understanding. "You have no need to be, dear," he said simply.Felipa stood leaning listlessly against the post of the ramada, watching them. After a time she went into the adobe and came out with a pair of field-glasses, following the course of the command as it wound along among the foot-hills. The day dragged dully along. She was uneasy about her husband, her nerves were shaken with the coffee and quinine, and she was filled,[Pg 76] moreover, with a vague restlessness. She would have sent for her horse and gone out even in the clouds of dust and the wind like a hot oven, but Landor had forbidden her to leave the post. Death in the tip of a poisoned arrow, at the point of a yucca lance, or from a more merciful bullet of lead, might lurk behind any mesquite bush or gray rock.
The general turned his head sharply, and his eyes flashed, but he only asked dryly, "Why?""Geronimo," mumbled the Apache, "has prayed to the Dawn and the Darkness and the Sun and the Sky to help him put a stop to those bad stories that people put in the papers about him. He is afraid it will be done as they say." The press of the country was full just then, and had been for some time past, of suggestions that the only good use the much-feared Geronimo could be put to would be hanging, the which he no doubt richly deserved. But if every one in the territories who deserved hanging had been given his dues, the land would have been dotted with blasted trees.That is the proper way to bring up dogs. It makes them useful members of society. And it applies equally well to Indians. It has worked beautifully with them for several hundred years. In Canada they have run it on another principle. But they have missed much of the fun we have had out of it. In the territories there was plenty of such fun. And it had pretty well reached its height in the spring of '83.
From thenceforth the elegant creature troubled Felipa as little as the nature of things would permit. She said that Mrs. Landor was une sauvage and so brune; and Mrs. Landor said she was a fool and dyed her hair. She was not given to mincing words. And she had small patience with a woman who lay in bed until the sun was high, and who spent her days lounging under the ramada, displaying tiny, satin-shod feet for the benefit of the enlisted men and the Indians who wandered over from the reservation."I beg your pardon, madam," he said. "It happens to be my business, though."
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* * * * * * * *After he had gone, Landor turned to Brewster once more. "Are all the bids in the safe again?"
It appeared that Landor was accused of cowardice, and that his name was handled with the delicate sarcasm usual with Western journalism鈥攁s fine and pointed as a Stone-age axe.详情
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