Had it been all arranged, planned, and rehearsed for months beforehand, the action could not have been more united. They crowded past him out of the door and ran for the corrals, and each dragged a horse or a mule from the stalls, flinging on a halter or rope or bridle, whatever came to hand, from the walls of the harness room.The Declaration of Independence roused the screeching eagle of freedom in the breasts of all the white men. With the Mexicans it was a slightly different sentiment. At best they could never be relied upon for steady service. A couple of months' pay in their pockets, and they must rest them for at least six. It is always to be taken into consideration when they are hired. They had been paid only the day before. And, moreover, the Greaser follows the Gringo's lead easily鈥攖o his undoing.
Not having had enough of driving to madness in '75 and '76, they tried it again three years later. They were dealing this time with other material, not the friendly and the cowed, but with savages as cruel and fierce and unscrupulous as those of the days of Coronado. Victorio, Juh, and Geronimo were already a little known, but now they were to have their names shrieked to the unhearing heavens in the agony of the tortured and the dying.
And the walls around are bare;[Pg 97]Landor stopped behind, looking at Cairness undecidedly for a moment longer. "It is well for you that I can believe her implicitly," he said. It had been a relapse to the Stone Age, but the rebound to the nineteenth century was as quick.
Then stand to your glasses steady,The better class of citizens did not roam over the country much, and no officers had stopped at his ranch in almost two years, though they had often passed by. And he knew well enough that they would have let their canteens go unfilled, and their horses without fodder, for a long time, rather than have accepted water from his wells or alfalfa from his land. He could understand their feeling, too,鈥攖hat was the worst of it; but though his love and his loyalty toward Felipa never for one moment wavered, he was learning surely day by day that a woman, be she never so much beloved, cannot make up to a man for long for the companionship of his own kind; and, least of all,鈥攈e was forced to admit it in the depths of his consciousness now,鈥攐ne whose interests were circumscribed.
The one man at bay whirled round twice, with a bullet in his heart and an arrow through his neck. "Now!" he made one fierce effort to cry, as he staggered again and dropped on his face, to be trampled under forty feet.[Pg 253]
It was the signal to the woman in that other room behind the locked door, and above all the demoniacal sounds it reached her. Only an instant she hesitated, until that door, too, began to give. Then a cold muzzle of steel found, in the darkness, two little struggling, dodging faces鈥攁nd left them marred. And once again the trigger was unflinchingly pulled, as greedy arms reached out to catch the white, woman's figure that staggered and fell."I'll be hanged," opined Landor, as his own horse bit at the croup of a citizen's horse, eliciting a kick and a squeal, "I'll be hanged if you shall demoralize my column like this. You'll keep ahead if I have to halt here all night to make you. I've given you the post of honor. If I put my men in the van, I'd choose the best ones, and they'd be flattered, too. You wouldn't catch them skulking back on the command."详情
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