"You came quick all right enough," said Landor, looking at the lathered broncos. But Major McLane was inquiring, and the result of his inquiries was that two troops were hurried in hot pursuit.He was in front of her, not a hundred feet away; to the left were the mesquites, to the right the ragged arroyo. There could be no turning aside. She threw up her own revolver, and fired, not at the man, but at the head of his horse. It reared and fell, and a moment after her own rose in the air, touched the ground beyond, and went on. It had leapt the fallen one and his rider, and was leaving them behind.
At sunset the camp surrendered. There were seven dead bucks found, but no one ever knew, of course, how many had fallen into ravines, or dragged themselves off to die in nooks. The Apache does not dread death, but he dreads having the White-man know that he has died.Landor had come to agree with the major at Grant, that she was an excellent wife for a soldier. Her tastes were simple as those of a hermit. She asked only a tent and a bunk and enough to eat, and she could do without even those if occasion arose. She saw the best of everything, not with the exasperating optimism which insists upon smiling idiotically on the pleasant and the distinctly disagreeable alike, and upon being aggressively delighted over the most annoying mishaps, but with a quiet, common-sense intention of making the objectionable no more so for her own part. There were wives who made their husbands' quarters more dainty and attractive, if not more neat; but in the struggle鈥攆or it was necessarily a struggle鈥攍ost much peace of mind and real comfort. Upon the whole, Landor was very well satisfied, and Felipa was entirely so. She was utterly indifferent to being set down at a three-company post, where her only companion was to be a woman she disliked from the first, openly and without policy, as was her way.
Then stand to your glasses steady,Felipa rose from the table, and going over to her husband laid her hand on his shoulder. She asked when he must go. "To-night, my dear lady, I am afraid," soothed the commandant. But she appeared to be in no need of humoring, as she turned to Landor and offered to do what she might to help him."Handsome fellow," went on the quartermaster, "and looks like a gentleman. Glories in the Ouida-esque name of Charles Morely Cairness, and signs it in full."
The major stopped abruptly in his walk to and fro and faced him. "Do you know more about it, then, than Brewster who was with him?"
And it seems that the dead are there.If he had had any hope, it vanished before her unhesitating, positive, "No; I am not mistaken. Oh, no!"
But he mistook her silence for dismay, and went on. "It is only what one might expect from the daughter of a drunken private and a Mescalero squaw.""Trouble is," he went on evenly, "trouble is, that, like most women, you've been brought up to take copy-book sentiments about touchin' pitch, and all that, literal. You don't stop to remember that to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. If she can't do you any harm spiritually, she certainly ain't got the strength to do it physically. I can't say as I'd like to have her about the place all the time unless she was going to reform,鈥攁nd I don't take much stock in change of heart, with her sort,鈥攂ecause she wouldn't be a pleasant companion, and it ain't well to countenance vice. But while she's sick, and it will oblige Cairness, she can have the shelter of my manta. You think so too, now, don't you?" he soothed.It was the post-trader, he told Felipa when he came back, and he was asking for help from the officer-of-the-day. Some citizens down at the store were gambling and drinking high, and were becoming uproarious.详情
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