Cairness put his arm around the big angular shoulders and helped her into the sitting room. She dropped down upon the sofa, and sat there, her head hanging, but in sullenness, not humility.
A mule put its head over the wall of a corral and pricked interrogative ears. Then two children, as unmistakably Angles as those of Gregory the Great, came around the corner, hand in hand, and stood looking at him. And at length a man, unmistakably an Angle too, for all his top boots and flannel shirt and cartridge belt, came striding down to the gate. He opened it and said, "Hullo, Cairness, old chap," and Cairness said, "How are you, Kirby?" which answered to the falling upon each other's neck and weeping, of a more effusive race.Cairness was still in his dust-grayed outfit, his hair was below where his collar would have been had he been wearing one, and his nose was on its way to at least the twentieth new skin that summer. In all his years of the frontier, he had never become too well tanned to burn. His appearance was not altogether reassuring, Stone thought. He was not only an ass, he[Pg 172] was also tough鈥攖he sort of a fellow with whom it was as well to remember that your six-shooter is beneath the last copy of your paper, on the desk at your elbow.
"Landor again," she yawned, ignoring his meaning-fraught tone. But she watched his face from under her long lashes.Landor winced as he folded his napkin and stood up. "I am ready," he said, and going into the long hallway took his cap from the rack and went with the major out into the night.
[Pg 170]* * * * * * * *When the sergeant reported it to the major afterward, he said that the captain, in stooping over to raise the chief of scouts, had been struck full in the temple by a bullet, and had pitched forward with his arms stretched out. One private had been wounded. They carried the two men back to the little cabin of stones, and that was the casualty list. But the dash had failed.
"That will do," said Landor. "See there is no delay," and he wheeled about and went back to his tent with Brewster.Landor did not know; but she was part Apache, he said, and Harry Cabot's daughter, and it was pretty certain that with that blood in her veins she had the spirit of adventure.
In the expectation of some fun the men gathered round. Those at the tables turned in their chairs and sat watching and pulling at their fierce mustaches as they peered from under the brims of their sombreros. In the midst of them all the little parson looked even smaller than he was. But he was sweetly undaunted and good-humored.If he had not sprung forward, with his arms outstretched to catch her, she would have fallen, face downward in the dust. It was three times now he had so saved her.
The resolute and courageous men, led by a resolute and courageous saloon-keeper, found one old Indian living at peace upon his rancheria. They fired at him and ran away. The women and children of the settlers were left to bear the brunt of the anger of the Apaches. It was too much for even the Tucson journalist. He turned from denunciation of the [Pg 180]military, for one moment, and applied his vigorous adjectives to the Tombstone Toughs.
He rolled his cut and throbbing head over again, and watched the still form. And he was conscious of no satisfaction that now there was nothing in all the world to keep him from Felipa, from the gaining of the wish of many years, but only of a dull sort of pity for Landor and for himself, and of a real and deep regret.While the men sat at the long table, shovelling in with knife and three-pronged fork the food of the master their pride forbade them to serve, a horse came at a run, up to the quadrangle, and a cow-boy rushed into the open doorway. "Apaches!" he gasped, clutching at the lintel, wild-eyed, "Apaches!"
She was drowsy, however, for it was still very early, and she was almost dropping off to sleep when the Chinaman brought the coffee and set it down upon a table near her, with a deference of manner not common to the Celestial when serving the Occidental woman, who, he believes, has lost the right to it directly she shows the inclination to do work herself. But Felipa was a mistress to his taste. As he bowed himself abjectly from her presence, Cairness came in. He had taken off his rubber coat and big hat, and was full of the vigor of life which makes the strong and [Pg 308]healthy-minded so good to look upon at the beginning of a day.详情
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