Cabot told him that he was preparing to remain where he was. His voice was firm and his lips were[Pg 4] set under the sun-bleached yellow of his beard, but his face was gray, for all the tan. He lapsed into the speech of other days. "No use, Jack," he said; "it's worse than court-martial鈥攚hat I've got to face here. Just leave me some water and rations, and you go on."
The hero of the episode rode in the ambulance, sitting on the front seat, holding his carbine across his knees, and peering with sharp, far-sighted blue eyes over the alkali flats. Occasionally he took a shot at a jack rabbit and brought it down unfailingly, but the frontiersman has no relish for rabbit meat, and it was left where it dropped, for the crows. He also brought down a sparrow hawk wounded in the wing, and, [Pg 29]having bound up the wound, offered it to Brewster, who took it as an opening to a conversation and tried to draw him out.He had looked down at the broken glass and the stream of water, and then up quite as calmly but a little less smilingly. "If you do that again, I'll shoot," he said. "Give me another pop."[Pg 325]
The general took a couple of hundred Indian scouts, enlisted for six months' service, a troop of cavalry, and a half-dozen guides and interpreters, and followed across the border.
The little Reverend understood only Spanish, and his few words, pronounced with a precision altogether in keeping with his appearance, were Spanish ones. The old nurse murmured softly, as she took him up, "Quieres leche hombrecito, quieres cenar? El chuchu tiene hambre tambien. Vamos 谩 ver mam谩."
She gave a cry of relief. "Mr. Cairness, Mr. Cairness," she called, "it is only my husband." She went herself a little way into the passage. "Jack, Mr. Cairness has gone in there, call to him." And she called again herself.
Cairness congratulated him with all solemnity, and asked if she were a widow. He was sure she must be, for the gallantry of the West in those days allowed no woman to pass maturity unwed.And things were coming to an end, anyway. He could see it in the looks of the Apaches, and hear it in their whispers. They consented to come in, and even to put themselves at the discretion of the government, but there was a lack of the true ring in their promises. So when, on the third morning, before it was yet daylight, two chiefs came hurrying into camp and awoke the general with bad news, he was not greatly surprised. He had warned Crook of the possibility, for that matter.
"I don't believe you can," Cairness said; "but you might try it, if it will give you any pleasure. Only you must make haste, because you've got to get out in three days."详情
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