"No he ain't."Brewster answered that she would, of course. He was rather annoyingly proprietary and sure of her."Lookin' at my stove-pipe?" asked the Reverend Mr. Taylor. "Only one in these parts, I reckon," and he vouchsafed an explanation of the holes. "Them holes? A feller in Tucson done that for me."
Cairness himself had speculated upon that subject a good deal, and had noticed with a slight uneasiness the ugly looks of some of the ranch hands. "They are more likely to have trouble in that quarter than with the Indians," he said to himself. For he had seen much, in the ranks, of the ways of the disgruntled, free-born American."You might have killed the Indian," he said, in a strained voice. It did not occur to either of them, just then, that it was not the danger she had been in that appalled him.
"No," he agreed, "it doesn't matter. And I shall do well enough." Then the three went out, and she finished her breakfast alone.
"Told him the truth, more idjit he."He felt that he ought to dislike her cordially, but he did not. He admired her, on the contrary, as he would have admired a fine boy. She seemed to have no religion, no ideals, and no petty vanity; therefore, from his point of judgment, she was not feminine. Perhaps the least feminine thing about her was the manner in which she appeared to take it for granted that he was going to marry her, without his having said, as yet, a word to that effect. In a certain way it simplified matters, and in another it made them more difficult. It is not easy to ask a woman to marry you where she looks into your eyes unhesitatingly. But Landor decided that it had to be done. She had been in the post four months, and with the standing exception of Brewster, whom she discouraged resolutely, none of the officers cared for her beyond the flirtation limit.
In the middle of the line there was a one-room mud hut. This, with the tents back of it, was her home. Landor had fitted up the hut with Navajo blankets, Indian baskets, dolls, saddle bags, war bonnets, and quivers; with stuffed birds and framed chromos, camp-chairs and some rough quartermaster's furniture. A gray blanket, with a yellow Q. M. D. in the centre, kept the glare out at the window, and the room was cool enough. One advantage of adobe鈥攁nd it has others鈥攊s that it retains all summer the winter cold, and all winter the summer heat.
In the end stall the bronco was still squealing and whimpering in an almost human key. He struck it on the flank with his open palm and spoke, "Get over[Pg 210] there." It had been made so much of a pet, and had been so constantly with him, that it was more intelligent than the average of its kind. It got over and stood quiet and still, trembling. He cut the halter close to the knot, turned it out of the stall, and flinging himself across its back dug his heels into its belly.Later, when he came in from dress parade, he found her reading in the sitting room. She looked up and smiled, but his face was very angry, and the chin strap of his helmet below his mouth and the barbaric yellow plume added to the effect of awful and outraged majesty. He stopped in front of her. "I have been thinking things over," he said. She waited. "Three years ago I offered you your liberty to marry that man. I repeat the offer now."
And Brewster said he had not.He turned back abruptly. "You had better get another. You can't have that one," he answered.
The Agency man thought a question would not commit him. He had not been round at that time, and he asked for information. The lieutenant gave it to him.The minister nodded his head. "Yes, I reckon there is," he agreed."Who was her father?" Brewster wanted to know.
[Pg 285]"Thank you," he said; and Cairness walked away.详情
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