Landor expressed pleasure, without loss of words.Then the cow-boy who had touched him on the shoulder suggested that he had better take a man's drink.
The Chiricahuas could see that there was trouble between the officials, both military and civil, and the government. They did not know what it was. They did not understand that the harassed general, whose word鈥攁nd his alone鈥攈ad their entire belief, nagged and thwarted, given authority and then prevented from enforcing it, had rebelled at last, had asked to be relieved, and had been refused. But they drew in with delight the air of strife and unrest. It was the one they loved best, there could and can be no doubt about that.[Pg 115]
"Of course," said the officer, "I understand that the hostiles are not in the immediate vicinity?"Chapter 19
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.Of a truth she understood only too well, that death with a bullet through the brain could be a tender mercy.
He laughed, a little falsely, and turned back into the room.[Pg 325]Of course there were complications following, a long and involved list of them. Of course the Indians only sought the excuse, and very probably would have made it if it had not been made for them. And of course the Interior Department bungled under the guidance of politicians, of whom the best that possibly can be said is that they were stupid tools of corrupt men in the territories, who were willing to turn the blood of innocent settlers into gold for their own pockets.
"What do you want me to say to Stone?"
Felipa could not help the light of relief that came on her face, but realizing it, she was confused.
The cow-boy broadened the issue. "You will, and you'll take off that plug, too, or I'll know what for."The post talked it over unceasingly, and commented on Landor's attitude. "He stalks around in defiant dignity and makes everybody uncomfortable," they said.
But presently he saw, coming from down the road, two larger bodies, which showed themselves soon, in the light of the stars against the sands, to be a pair of horsemen and evidently no Apaches. He watched them. They rode straight up to the camp and answered his challenge. They wished, they said, to speak to the officer in command."Well," he said more easily, "you've accomplished the thing you set out to do, anyway."详情
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