Felipa could not help the light of relief that came on her face, but realizing it, she was confused.He did not answer, and she knew that he was annoyed. She had come to see that he was always annoyed by such references, and she made them more frequent for that very reason, half in perversity, half in a fixed determination not to be ashamed of her origin, for she felt, without quite realizing it, that to come to have shame and contempt for herself would be to lose every hold upon life.
There was a bright I. D. blanket spread on the ground a little way back from the fire, and she threw herself down upon it. All that was picturesque in his memories of history flashed back to Cairness, as he took his place beside Landor on the log and looked at her. Boadicea might have sat so in the depths of the Icenean forests, in the light of the torches of the Druids. So the Babylonian queen might have rested in the midst of her victorious armies, or she of Palmyra, after the lion hunt in the deserts of Syria. Her eyes, red lighted beneath the shadowing lashes, met his. Then she glanced away into the blackness of the pine forest, and calling her dog to lie down beside her, stroked its silky red head.
Landor went to the tree and cut another rib from[Pg 96] the mutton and threw it on the coals. Then he walked across the clearing to the tent.
"I'll bet the help don't like the seven o'clock dinner."
They had lived an idyl for two years apast, and he begrudged nothing; yet now that the splendor was fading, as he knew that it was, the future was a little dreary before them both, before him the more, for he meant that, cost him what it might, Felipa should never know that the glamour was going for himself. It would be the easier that she was not subtle of perception, not quick to grasp the unexpressed. As for him, he had wondered from the first what price the gods would put upon the unflawed jewel of their happiness, and had said in himself that none could be too high.
"Yes," said Felipa."Do you like his kind?" the Englishman asked curiously.
"Shut up!" he commanded, jumping to his feet. "You killed her and you ought to be burned at the stake for it, but you shall not talk about her like that, you devilish old crone.""Yes, sir," he answered; "you can see that I get a mounted man and a horse at reveille to-morrow. I want to hunt for my pony. I lost it when I caught that man."
"Hombre!" grunted the Indian, puffing at a straw-paper cigarette, "excesivamente peligroso aqui."
"Have you an Indian policy?""Don't bring them into it," he implored. "If you will not come away, I will tell you now, Felipa, that I love you." He was more in earnest than Landor had been. She felt that herself. His voice broke, and he paled."I knew," Cairness said, turning to Landor after a very short silence, "that you and Mrs. Landor were somewhere along here. So I left my horse at a rancheria across the hill there," he nodded over his shoulder in the direction of the looming pile just behind, "and walked to where I saw the fire. I saw you for some time before I was near, but I ought to have called out. I really didn't think about startling you."详情
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