He recalled the dark, unbecoming flush that had deepened the color of her skin just enough to show the squaw, beyond mistaking, at least to one who knew. It was all very well now. But later, later she would look like that frequently, if not all the time. With youth she would lose her excuse for being. He knew that very well. But it was the youth, the majestic, powerful youth, that he loved. He had seen too many old hags of squaws, disfigurers of the dead and wounded, drudges of the rancheria, squatting on hides before their tepees, not to know what Felipa's decline would be in spite of the Anglo-Saxon strain that seemed to show only in her white skin.
"Well, I didn't kill them, did I?" he whined.Her face lighted with the relief of a forgiven child, and she went to him and put her arms around his neck.
"He is mistaken, sir.""You are too good for it."He had forgotten that the laws and rites of the Church of Rome had a powerful hold upon her, though she was quite devoid of religious sentiment. He admitted apologetically that he had meant divorce, and she expressed her reproach. In spite of himself and what he felt ought properly to be the tragedy of the affair, he smiled. The humor of her majestic disapproval was irresistible under the circumstances. But she had little sense of humor. "What would you suggest, then, if I may ask?" he said. He had to give up all pathos in the light of her deadly simplicity.
"Is he hurt?" she shook him sharply.Cairness told him that he had been in the 3 C round-up, and then went on to his point. "Taylor, see here. I want to find out more about the Kirby massacre. There is more to that than has appeared in print."They had lived an idyl for two years apast, and he begrudged nothing; yet now that the splendor was fading, as he knew that it was, the future was a little dreary before them both, before him the more, for he meant that, cost him what it might, Felipa should never know that the glamour was going for himself. It would be the easier that she was not subtle of perception, not quick to grasp the unexpressed. As for him, he had wondered from the first what price the gods would put upon the unflawed jewel of their happiness, and had said in himself that none could be too high.
"Foster?" one drawled, "he'll be along presently, I reckon."
Then she came forward, holding out her hand in the most matter-of-fact way, if, indeed, any action of a very beautiful woman can be matter of fact.He asked her angrily why she had ever come at all, and she explained, with a piteous whimper, like a penitent child's, that she had left her horse tied in a little hollow and had come to explore. She had often meant to explore before this.
"And you think there will be trouble?" He knew that the buck had come there for nothing but to inform.After she had done that she stood hesitating for just a moment before she threw off all restraint with a toss of her head, and strapped about her waist a leather belt from which there hung a bowie knife and her pistol in its holster. Then slipping on her moccasins, she glided into the darkness. She took the way in the rear of the quarters, skirting the post and making with swift, soundless tread for the river. Her eyes gleamed from under her straight, black brows as she peered about her in quick, darting glances.
And Brewster said he had not.If it went like this, she thought, she might get to the cross-road first, and beyond. The four men would not matter much then, if she could but stop her husband. Why had he started back alone鈥攁nd carrying money too? It was foolhardy. But then there was so little money, she knew, that he had probably not thought of it as booty. She turned her uncovered head and listened. Her hair had fallen loose and was streaming out in the wind. She could not hear the others now. They must be well behind.
He knew even then while her hand grasped at his arm, that he should have set her upon her feet, as he had done before. He knew that she had merited at least that. But he held her tight and close, and bending back her head, his own very close above it, looked into her eyes.Cairness had groped his way back. He stood watching them. And he, too, was ready to kill. If Landor had raised his hand against her, he would have shot him down.The Agency man thought a question would not commit him. He had not been round at that time, and he asked for information. The lieutenant gave it to him.详情
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