But he was not to be changed. "I'll take lemon soda," he said to the tender, with an amiability that the cow-boy made the mistake of taking for indecision."De veras?" asked Cairness, sharply. He was of no mind to lose her like this, when he was so near his end.Cairness went on, back to the barracks, and sitting at the troop clerk's desk, made a memory sketch of her. It did not by any means satisfy him, but he kept it nevertheless.
"They're out from Apache, two troops under Kimball and Dutton; Morris has a band of scouts, Bayard has sent two troops, Wingate one. Oh! it's going to be grim-visaged war and all that, this time, sure," Brewster prophesied."No, I am a friend of the soldier. And I am a friend of Chato, who is the enemy of Geronimo. I have no bad thoughts," he added piously.
He told her that he had gone on to Arizona, to Tombstone, he believed. "By the way," he added, "did you hear that Brewster has married a rich Jewish widow down in Tucson?"
"Very much," said Ellton; "it was a sharp cut on the forehead鈥攚ent through the bone, and he was unconscious, off and on, for two or three days. He seemed to take it hard. He went off yesterday, and he wasn't fit to travel either, but he would do it for some reason. I think he was worse cut up about Landor than anything, though he wasn't able to go to the funeral. I like[Pg 289] Cairness. He's an all-round decent fellow; but after all, his life was bought too dear."Landor's fear of leaving the settlements unguarded grew. "We will get up among these mountains and be delayed, and we are in no condition whatever to travel, anyway," he told Brewster, as the advance[Pg 119] guard halted again, and Landor, with curses in his heart but a civil tongue withal, trotted up to them.
She threw him an indifferent "I am not afraid, not of anything." It was a boast, but he had reason to know that it was one she could make good.[Pg 92]
It was the eternal old story of the White-man's whiskey. A rancher living some four hundred yards from the boundary line upon the Mexican side had sold it to the Indians. Many of them were dead or fighting drunk. The two sober Indians asked for a squad of soldiers to help them guard the ranchman, and stop him from selling any more mescal. They were right-minded themselves and really desired peace, and their despair was very great.
"You don't love her, for that matter, either," Mrs. Campbell reminded him. But she advised the inevitable,鈥攖o wait and let it work itself out.
"Who was her father?" Brewster wanted to know.But they were returning victorious. The Chiricahuas were subdued. The hazard had turned well. There would be peace; the San Carlos Agency, breeding-grounds of all ills, would be turned over to military supervision. The general who had succeeded鈥攊f he had failed it would have been such a very different story鈥攚ould have power to give his promise to the Apaches and to see that it was kept. The experiment of honesty and of giving the devil his due would have a[Pg 245] fair trial. The voices that had cried loudest abuse after the quiet soldier who, undisturbed, went so calmly on his way, doing the thing which seemed to him right, were silenced; and the soldier himself came back into his own land, crossing the border with his herds and his tribes behind him. There was no flourish of trumpets; no couriers were sent in advance to herald that the all but impossible had been accomplished.But she was, it appeared, a maiden lady, straight from Virginia. The Reverend Taylor was the first man she had ever loved. "It was right funny how it come about," he confided, self absorbed still. "Her mother keeps the res'rant acrost the street where I take my meals (I used to have a Greaser woman, but I got sick of frijoles and gorditas and chili and all that stuff), and after dinner every afternoon, she and me would put two saucers of fly-paper on a table and we would set and bet on which would catch the most flies before four o'clock. You ain't no idea how interestin' it got to be. The way we watched them flies was certainly intense. Sometimes, I tell you, she'd get that excited she'd scream when they couldn't make up their minds to[Pg 169] light. Once her mother come runnin' in, thinkin' I was tryin' to kiss her." He beamed upon Cairness, and accepted congratulations charmingly, sipping his soda-pop with quite a rakish little air. "What brought you here?" he remembered to ask, at length.详情
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