"Not exactly, no. But you were an accessory after the fact."
Being shaved of the thick iron-gray beard, and once again in seemly uniform, and having reported to the commandant, he sat down to talk with his wife.Then Landor spoke to the commissary officer. "You will oblige me, Mr. Brewster, by returning those bids to the safe and by opening the door for me." He dropped the blanket, drew back his cut hand, warm and wet with blood, and wrapped it in a handkerchief very deliberately, as he waited.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.
"We must get out of this," Cairness started to say, urging his little bronco; but even as he spoke there was a murmur, a rustle, a hissing roar, and the rain fell in one solid sheet, blinding them, beating them down.The all-day fight in the Sierra Madre stronghold was a very uneven one. There were two hundred and fifty of the government forces against some thirty-five bucks. But, after all, the number comes to nothing. You may as well shoot at one enemy as at a thousand, if he is not to be seen anyway, and you cannot hit him.
In the spring of '61, when the handful of frontier troops was pressed with enemies red and brown and white, the cavalry was not well mounted.The citizens rode off."Hullo there!"
"Good Lord! no," Cairness's smile was rueful. "I've lost all ambition of that sort years since. I'm too old. I've knocked about too long, and I dare say I may as well knock about to the end."
"I beg your pardon, madam," he said. "It happens to be my business, though.""Surely," said the minister, "surely." There might have been men who would have remembered that Mrs. Lawton was a tough woman, even for a mining town, and who would in the names of their own wives have refused to let her cross the threshold of their homes. But he saw that she was ill, and he did not so much as hesitate.
It was short and to the point upon Cairness's part, and having finished he stood up.
He had looked down at the broken glass and the stream of water, and then up quite as calmly but a little less smilingly. "If you do that again, I'll shoot," he said. "Give me another pop."The Texan woman went back to the kitchen and finished cooking the supper for the hands鈥攁 charred sort of Saturnalian feast. "She can git her own dinner if she wants to," she proclaimed, and was answered by a chorus of approval."True, too," Brewster admitted perforce.
She replied, with still more violent relapse into foul-tongued abuse, that he had gone off with a woman[Pg 244] of his own people. "Got me down into this hell of a country and took every quartillo I had and then skedaddled.""Hullo there!"
There was a chuckle from the group, and a chorus to the effect that they would be eternally condemned, the truth of which was patent in their faces. "Leave the little codger be," some one suggested; "he ain't skeered worth a sour apple."详情
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