Landor went forward again. "Can you, gentlemen, tell me," he demanded a trifle wrathfully, "where I can find Mr. Foster?" They reckoned, after deliberation, that he might be in Bob's saloon. Which might Bob's saloon be? The man pointed, hooking his thumb over his shoulder, and went on with his conversation and his quid. A dozen or more loafers, chiefly Mexicans, had congregated in front of the dry-goods store.Life went on very much the same at the post when there was only the infantry left in possession. As there was nothing to do at any time, there was nothing the less for that. On the principle that loneliness is greatest in a crowd, Stanton was more isolated now[Pg 183] than Grant had been in the days when there had been no railroad west of Kansas. The railroad was through the southwest now, but it was a hundred miles away. It was unsafe to ride outside the reservation, there was no one for hops, the only excitement was the daily addition to the list of slaughtered settlers. Felipa spent most of her time with the Ellton baby. Miss McLane had been married to Landor's second lieutenant for a year and a half, and they were very happy. But Felipa in the knowledge of the strength of her own love, which gained new might each time that she wrestled with it and threw it back upon the solid ground of duty, found their affection decidedly insipid. Like the majority of marital attachments, it had no especial dignity. It was neither the steadfast friendship she felt for her husband, nor the absolute devotion she would have given Cairness.He turned about and stood still, with his head uncovered, looking straight into her face. Another man might have wished it a little less open and earnest, a little more downcast and modest, but he liked it so. Yet he waited, erect and immovable, and she saw that he meant that every advance should come from her. He was determined to force her to remember that he was a chief of scouts.
She did not. He had merely told her that her father was his friend and had died on the plains. "She thinks her mother died at Stanton. It is so near the Mescalero Agency that I let it go at that."The night of their return to the post, Cairness, crossing the parade ground shortly before retreat, saw Felipa. He had been walking with his eyes on the earth, debating within himself the question of his future, whether he should re?nlist, succumb to the habit of the service, which is to ambition and endeavor what opium is to the system, or drop back into the yet more aimless life he had been leading five years before, when a fit of self-disgust had caused him to decide that he was good for nothing but a trooper, if even that.There was a faint, white light above the distant mountains in the east. The moon was about to rise. In a few moments more it came drifting up, and the plain was all alight. Far away on the edge was a vague, half-luminous haze, and nearer the shadows of the bushes fell sharp and black. A mile ahead, perhaps, along the road, she could make out the dark blot of the mesquite clump. Behind, as she looked again, she could just see four figures following.
And Foster answered him that there would be thirty or forty.
She was still silent, but she leaned nearer, watching his face, her lips drawn away from her sharp teeth, and her eyes narrowing. She understood now.
"I can shoot, myself, when it comes to that," suggested Stone.
Landor and his lieutenant jumped up and ran down the walk. "What's all this, Dutchy?" they asked.详情
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