Landor pointed to him. "Who is this?" he asked.If the sea, whipping in huge waves against the fury of a typhoon, were to become on the instant rocks, it would be as this. There are heights and crevasses, hills and gulches, crests and hollows, little caves and crannies, where quail and snakes and cotton-tails and jack-rabbits, lizards and coyotes, creatures of desolation and the barrens, hide and scamper in and out. It is an impregnable stronghold, not for armies, because they could not find shelter, but for savages that can scatter like the quail themselves, and writhe on their bellies into the coyotes' own holes.When he looked up again to Brewster's house, there was a chink of faint light showing through a curtain. He got up then and went down to Ellton's quarters.
"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.
"This is all very beautiful," said Forbes, after a silence.
"Been hamstrung," the officer bawled back hoarsely.
And the walls around are bare;And he understood that the shadow must rise always between them. He had never expected it to be otherwise. It was bound to be so, and he bowed his head in unquestioning acceptance.
On a fine Sunday morning in June the triumphant general rode into a supply camp twelve miles north of the line, and spoke to the officer in command. "Nice morning, Colonel," he said. And then his quick eyes spied the most desirable thing in all the camp. It was a tin wash basin set on a potato box. The triumphant general dismounted, and washed his face.
But it is because of just this that no scion of ultra-civilization degenerates so thoroughly as does he. Retrogression is easy to him. He can hardly go higher, because he is on the height already; but he can slip back. Set him in a lower civilization, he sinks one degree[Pg 266] lower than that. Put him among savages, and he is nearer the beasts than they. It does not come to pass in a day, nor yet at all if he be part of a community, which keeps in mind its traditions and its church, and which forms its own public opinion. Then he is the leaven of all the measures of meal about him, the surest, steadiest, most irresistible civilizing force. But he cannot advance alone. He goes back, and, being cursed with the wisdom which shows him his debasement, in loathing and disgust with himself, he grows sullen and falls back yet more.He was waking now to his work. But he had enough of horses. He stopped, sheathed his knife, and, feeling in his pockets, drew out a box of matches. A little spluttering flame caught in a pile of straw, and showed a hind foot dragging helplessly. It crept up, and the mule plunged on three legs, dragging the other along. It snorted, and then every animal in that corral, which was the quartermaster's, smelt danger and snorted too, and struck from side to side of its stall. Those in the next corral caught the fear.[Pg 209]详情
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