类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-26 22:06:25


She herself lay at full length upon a couch she had devised out of packing cases. It occurred to Landor that she often dropped down to rest now, and that she was sallow and uneasy.There was now at Grant the prospect of a girl, and for days ahead the bachelors had planned about her. She was Landor's ward,鈥攊t was news to them that he had a ward, for he was not given to confidences,鈥攁nd she was going to visit the wife of his captain, Mrs. Campbell. When they asked questions, Landor said she was eighteen years old, and that her name was Cabot, and that as he had not seen her for ten years he did not know whether she were pretty or not. But the vagueness surrounding her was rather attractive than otherwise, on the whole. It was not even known when she would arrive. There was no railroad to[Pg 14] Arizona. From Kansas she would have to travel by ambulance with the troops which were changing station.

"To Captain Landor's widow, I am told.""We were planting our own corn and melons," said Alchise, "and making our own living. The agent at San Carlos never gave us any rations, but we didn't mind about that. We were taking care of ourselves. One day the agent鈥" He stopped and scowled at a squaw a few yards away, whose papoose was crying lustily. The squaw, having her attention thus called to the uproar of her offspring, drew from somewhere in the folds of her dirty wrappings a nursing-bottle, and putting the nipple in its mouth, hushed its cries. The chief went on: "One day the agent sent up and said that we must give up our own country and our corn patches, and go down there to the Agency to live. He sent Indian soldiers to seize our women and children, and drive us down to the hot land."

The Reverend Taylor gradually became aware that the air was very bad. He laid down the newspaper and looked round."Mr. Brewster has just been here," she said at length, and she played with the lash of her whip, avoiding his eyes, which was also a new way for her.If the sea, whipping in huge waves against the fury of a typhoon, were to become on the instant rocks, it would be as this. There are heights and crevasses, hills and gulches, crests and hollows, little caves and crannies, where quail and snakes and cotton-tails and jack-rabbits, lizards and coyotes, creatures of desolation and the barrens, hide and scamper in and out. It is an impregnable stronghold, not for armies, because they could not find shelter, but for savages that can scatter like the quail themselves, and writhe on their bellies into the coyotes' own holes.

"Is he hurt?" she shook him sharply.He tried hard to warm her to something more personal. "I might never come back, you know, dear." He realized that he was absolutely begging for affection, most futile and unavailing of all wastes of energy.Landor was the first to find speech. In the harsh light of the pause he saw that it was foolish as well as useless to beg the issue. "Has Mrs. Landor told you that I found your letter to her on the body of the prospector, and delivered it to her?" The words were[Pg 201] sufficiently overbearing, but the manner was unendurable.

Landor came trotting over from his quarters, followed by his orderly, and the troops moved off across the flat, toward the river.

She gave him an odd, furtive glance and did not[Pg 55] answer for a time. He was never quite able to divine with her just how much of his thoughts she understood, and it put him at some disadvantage."No," she said shortly. "You had better bet."

Landor was without impulses; the very reverse from boyhood of the man on the ground beside him, which was why, perhaps, it had come to be as it was now. He considered before he replied. But having considered, he answered that he would, and that he would do his best for the child always. Once he had said it, he might be trusted beyond the shadow of a doubt.It was still early. The mountain echoes had not sung back the tattoo of the trumpets as yet. There was a storm coming on from the snow peak in the west, and the clouds, dark with light edges, were thick in the sky. Lawton was sober enough now. Not so far away in its little pocket among the hills he could see the post, with all its lights twinkling, as though one of the clear starry patches in the heavens were reflected[Pg 205] in a black lake in the valley. And the road stretched out faint and gray before him.



"I don't believe you can," Cairness said; "but you might try it, if it will give you any pleasure. Only you must make haste, because you've got to get out in three days."Why should he labor to help his neighbor,

She was drowsy, however, for it was still very early, and she was almost dropping off to sleep when the Chinaman brought the coffee and set it down upon a table near her, with a deference of manner not common to the Celestial when serving the Occidental woman, who, he believes, has lost the right to it directly she shows the inclination to do work herself. But Felipa was a mistress to his taste. As he bowed himself abjectly from her presence, Cairness came in. He had taken off his rubber coat and big hat, and was full of the vigor of life which makes the strong and [Pg 308]healthy-minded so good to look upon at the beginning of a day.



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