When, therefore, Mrs. Landor said, with the utmost composure, that it was too bad, his gasp was audible.
When all his phrases were quite used up, Stone changed the key. What could be done for Mr. Taylor? Mr. Taylor motioned with his usual urbanity that the burden of speech lay with Cairness. What could he do for Mr. Cairness, then?"Turn the rest loose," cried the woman, and set the example herself.
"I've been talking to a fellow down at the Q. M. corral," Landor said, "Englishman named Cairness,鈥擟harley Cairness. He's going as a scout. He can't resist war's alarms. He used to be in my troop a few years ago, and he was a first-rate soldier鈥攌new his place a good deal better than if he had been born to it, which he very obviously wasn't."
Felipa smiled again. "I might be happy," she went on, "but I probably should not live very long. I have Indian blood in my veins; and we die easily in a too much civilization."
"Yes," she told him, "they are, and it is that makes me think that the fault may be ours. She is so patient with them."And at another window Felipa also stood looking out into the dusk. There had been a shower in the afternoon, and the clouds it had left behind were like a soft moss of fire floating in the sky. A bright golden light struck slantwise from the sunset. They had all gone away to dine and to dress for the hop; Landor had walked down to the post trader's for the mail, and she was left alone.
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.
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It was evident that she had no intention of making herself agreeable. Landor had learned the inadvisability and the futility of trying to change her moods. She was as unaffected about them as a child. So he took up the conversation he and Cairness had left off, concerning the Indian situation, always a reliable topic. It was bad that year and had been growing steadily worse, since the trouble at the time of his marriage, when Arizona politicians had, for reasons related to their own pockets, brought about the moving of the White Mountain band to the San Carlos Agency. The White Mountains had been peaceable for years, and, if not friendly to the government, at least too wise to oppose it. They had cultivated land and were living on it inoffensively. But they were trading across the territorial line into New Mexico, and that lost money to Arizona. So they were persuaded by such gentle methods as the burning of their Agency buildings and the destruction of their property, to move down to San Carlos. The climate there was of a sort fatal to the mountain Apaches,鈥攖he thing had been tried before with all the result that could be desired, in the way of fevers, ague, and blindness,鈥攁nd also the White Mountains were hereditary enemies of the San Carlos tribes. But a government with a policy, three thousand miles away, did not know these things, nor yet seek to know them. Government is like the gods, upon occasions: it[Pg 68] first makes mad, then destroys. And if it is given time enough, it can be very thorough in both."She is ill, you see?"详情
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