As they came out from dinner the orderlies had the horses at the door. Landor gave his wife parting instructions the while Brewster took an ostentatiously affectionate farewell of Miss McLane, who was herself neither so affectionate nor so sorrowful as she might have been expected to be. The adjutant watched them, furtively and unhappily. Felipa herself was not as unmoved as usual.In his growing uneasiness he blundered on rashly. "You didn't know it? But it is true. Ask your guardian. Do you think he would have you for a wife?" He gave a short laugh. "He hates an Apache as he does a Gila monster. Very few men would be willing to risk it."
There was a new treaty, just made to that end. It was the fiercest of all the Apache tribes, the Chiricahuas, that had hidden itself in the fastnesses of the Sierra Madre, two hundred miles south of the boundary line. Geronimo and Juh and Chato, and other chiefs of quite as bloody fame, were with him. To capture them would be very creditable success. To fail to do so would entail dire consequences, international complications perhaps, and of a certainty the scorn and abuse of all the wise men who sat in judgment afar off.
"Doesn't he, though? Then why doesn't he come around and see me when I'm lying here sick?" He was wrathful and working himself back into a fever very fast.
Cairness stood up, ran his hands into his pockets, and going over to the window looked down at the geraniums as he had done once, long before."I know him," Cairness said; "he used to be round San Carlos when I was an enlisted man. He won't remember me, either. And you needn't necessarily mention that I was with Landor in the San Tomaso affair, or that I was a scout. He may know it, of course. And again, he may not."
Cairness raised his shoulders. "My mines," he said, after a while. The Reverend Taylor did not believe that, but he let it go.The minister nodded his head. "Yes, I reckon there is," he agreed.
Someway it had not occurred to him to be any more angry with Cairness than he had been with her. The most he felt was resentful jealousy. There was nothing more underhand about the man than there was about Felipa. Sending the note by the prospectors had not been underhand. He understood that it had been done only that it might make no trouble for her, and give himself no needless pain. Cairness would have been willing to admit to his face that he loved Felipa. That letter must have been written in his own camp.
"Better than the鈥攐ther things?" she asked, and he answered, unhesitating, "Yes."Whereupon the rancher, his feelings being much injured, and his trust in mankind in general shattered, did as many a wiser man has done before him,鈥攎ade himself very drunk, and in his cups told all that he knew to two women and a man. "I'd like to know whose affair it is, if it ain't his, the measly sneak. He sicked me on,"鈥攐aths, as the grammars phrase it, "understood." The tears dribbled off his fierce mustache, and the women and the man laughed at him, but they were quite as drunk as he was, and they forgot all about it at once. Lawton did not forget. He thought of it a great deal, and the more he thought, the more he wanted revenge.He was not the sort of a man of whom to ask explanations. Ellton said "Very well," and proceeded to talk about the troop's hogs and gardens, both of which were a source of increase to the troop funds.
Landor asked eagerly what he had answered.
Chapter 18He saw that the game had reached that stage where he must play his trump card, if he were to have any chance. "You are a mean little thing," he laughed. "It is the Apache blood, I suppose."详情
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