The telegraph between Thomas and Apache always gave something to think about. The Indians had learned the use of the White-eye's talking wire very promptly. In the early '70's, when it first came to their notice, they put it to good use. As when an Apache chief sent to a Yuma chief the message that if the Yumas did not hold to a certain promise, the Apaches would go on the war-path and destroy them, root and branch."Felipa!" he cried, "Felipa!"She stood up very deliberately and faced him with a look he had never seen before in her eyes, dark and almost murderous. But she had her fury under [Pg 202]control. He had guessed that her rage might be a very ugly thing, but he drew back a step at the revelation of its possibilities. Twice she tried hard to speak. She put her hand to her throat, where her voice burned away as it rose. Then it came from the depths of that being of hers, which he had never fathomed.
"Shall you go with them?" asked Cairness.
"Can't stay," said the adjutant, all breathless. "The line's down between here and the Agency; but a runner has just come in, and there's trouble. The bucks are restless. Want to join Victorio in New Mexico. You've both got to get right over there."
There were four corrals in the one, and two of them were on fire. They had spread wet blankets on the roof of the third, but it, too, caught directly. The big, yellow-hearted flames poured up into the sky. The glow was cast back again from the blackness of the low clouds, and lit up the ground with a dazing shimmer. It blinded and burned and set the rules of fire drill pretty well at naught, when the only water supply was in small buckets and a few barrels, and the horses had kicked over two of the latter.He turned his chair and studied her in a kind of hopeless amusement. "Felipa," he said, "if you will insist upon being told, I cut open the pockets of those dead men's clothes with it."
She sat with her jaw hanging, staring at him, baffled,[Pg 262] and he went on. "I've got Lawton jailed, as I was saying. I'll have you out of the country in three days, and as for Mrs. Lawton, I'll keep an eye on her. I'll know where she is, in case I need her at any time. But I'm not fighting women."Also he was in love with the wife of a man he liked and respected鈥攁nd who trusted him. Yet in spite of that, he had come near鈥攕o near that it made him cold to think about it鈥攖o following in the way of many frontiersmen and marrying a Mexican. It had been when he had first learned that Felipa Landor had gone East for two years; and the Mexican had been very young and very pretty, also very bad.
Landor rode over to Bob's place, and giving his horse to the trumpeter, strode in. There were eight men around the bar, all in campaign outfit, and all in various stages of intoxication. Foster was effusive. He was glad to see the general. General Landor, these were the gentlemen who had volunteered to assist Uncle Sam. He presented them singly, and invited Landor to drink. The refusal was both curt and ungracious. "If we are to overtake the hostiles, we have got to start at once," he suggested.
Another officer came up, and Cairness dropped from the twisted bow and walked away."That you take them to civilization鈥攖he missus and the kid. It's the only salvation for all three of you鈥攆or you as well as them."
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