"Told him the truth, more idjit he.""It's only a small trail, anyway," Cairness informed[Pg 118] them as a result of a minute examination he had made, walking round and leading his bronco, bending double over the signs, "just some raiding party of twelve or fifteen bucks. Shot out from the main body and ran into the settlements to steal stock probably."
Landor agreed with him, "I told the citizens so, but they knew better.""Yes," answered Forbes, "she was very much admired." He looked a little unhappy. But his mind was evidently made up, and he went on doggedly: "Look here, Morely, old chap, I am going to tell you what I think, and you may do as you jolly well please about it afterward鈥攌ick me off the ranch, if you like. But I can see these things with a clearer eye than yours, because I am not in love, and you are, dreadfully so, you know, not to say infatuated. I came near to being once upon a time, and with your wife, too. I thought her the most beautiful woman I had ever known, and I do yet. I thought, too, that she was a good deal unhappier with Landor than she herself realized; in which I was perfectly right. It's plainer than ever, by contrast. Of course I understand that she is part Indian, though I've only known it recently. And it's because I've seen a good deal of your Apaches of late that I appreciate the injustice you are doing her and Cairness Junior, keeping them here. She is far and away too good for all this," he swept the scene comprehensively with his pipe. "She'd be a sensation, even in London. Do you see what I mean, or are you too vexed to see anything?"
He told her that he was going to operate at once, to remove the ball and the shattered bone, but that she might come if she wished. His disapproval was marked, but she went with him, nevertheless, and sat watching while he picked and probed at the wound.
Finally the minister raised his eyes and looked down the street. It was almost empty, save for two men in high-heeled top boots and sombreros who sat in chairs tilted back against the post-office wall, meditating in mutual silence. The only sounds were the rattling of dishes over in his mother-in-law's restaurant across the street, and the sleepy cheeping of the little chickens in his own back yard, as they cuddled under their mother's wing.[Pg 51]"You're English, I reckon, ain't you?"
Landor cursed the malpais and the men who were leading him over it. "How much more of this rough country is there going to be?" he demanded, as they stopped to shoe two horses that had come unshod on the sharp rocks. "Colonel," they made answer with much dignity, "we are more anxious than you to get back to our defenceless women and children.""Matar谩n 谩 Usted."The man interrupted, "I ain't going daown the road, nor anywheres else before supper鈥攏or after supper neither, if I don't feel like it." He was bold enough in speech, but his eyes dropped before Kirby's indignant ones.
Felipa could not help the light of relief that came on her face, but realizing it, she was confused.
"She also said that it would kill her."Of a truth she understood only too well, that death with a bullet through the brain could be a tender mercy.
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.
The soldier understood. "Trying to save you, sir," he said a little resentfully.详情
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