She rose to her feet, standing slender and erect, the roused fawn on one side and the naked savage on the other. And they faced each other, disconcerted, caught mute in the reverberation, indefinite, quivering, of a chord which had been struck somewhere in the depths of that Nature to which we are willing enough to grant the power of causing the string of an instrument to pulse to the singing of its own note, but whose laws of sympathetic vibration we would fain deny beyond material things.She thought for a moment before she answered. Then she spoke deliberately, and there was a purring snarl under her voice. "It is none of your business that I can see. But I will tell you this much, he is a man I respect; and that is more than I have said of you when I have been asked the same question."
"He told me it was because he and Landor had had some trouble in the field, and weren't on the best of terms."
Cairness assured him that he was not. "It is not my mission on earth to straighten out the territories, heaven be praised. This is purely a personal matter, entirely so. You may call it revenge, if you like. Lawton's in jail all safe, as you know. I got him there, and if he gets out anyway, I'll put him back again on this count."
He glanced over his shoulder at the door. It was closed; so he leaned forward and spoke in a lower voice. "Felipa, are you going to marry Landor, or are you not?"
She looked up and tried hard to smile again.
"It's Mr. Cairness, ma'am," he whispered.She looked down at the curled toe of her moccasin with a certain air of repentance, and answered his question as to what she meant to do with it by explaining that she meant to keep it for a pet.
In the opinion of Landor, who knew the impracticable country foot for foot, they were well-intentioned lunatics. But they were agreeable guests, who exchanged the topics of the happy East for the wild turkey and commissary supplies of the Far West, and in departing took with them a picturesque, if inexact, notion of army life on the frontier, and left behind a large number of books for Felipa, who had dazzled their imaginations.
"That you take them to civilization鈥攖he missus and the kid. It's the only salvation for all three of you鈥攆or you as well as them."The reporter interposed that it was the act of men maddened by grief and their losses.详情
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