类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-28 17:01:25


If it went like this, she thought, she might get to the cross-road first, and beyond. The four men would not matter much then, if she could but stop her husband. Why had he started back alone鈥攁nd carrying money too? It was foolhardy. But then there was so little money, she knew, that he had probably not thought of it as booty. She turned her uncovered head and listened. Her hair had fallen loose and was streaming out in the wind. She could not hear the others now. They must be well behind."Like as not she does up them boiled shirts and dresses herself, don't you think?" was the minister's awed comment to Cairness, as they went to bed that night in the bare little room.

He told her that she didn't know it, because he was not; and then he explained to her. "What I want of you now is for you to come over with Taylor and me to see Stone.""Who?"Kirby's assistants, the two young Englishmen, had not come back when they were due. One had gone to the mail station in the valley, three days before, and he should have returned at noon, at the furthest limit. By three o'clock, the other had jumped on a horse and gone out to look for him. And now, one was lying in the road five miles from the ranch, with an arrow through his eye. The other, a mile nearer home, was propped against a pine trunk, so that the ragged hole beneath his shoulder blade, where a barb had been torn out, did not show. His wide eyes, upon the lid of one of which the blood from a head wound had clotted, looked up sightless through the branches, at a patch of blue sky. Their end had been a common[Pg 123] enough one, and had come to them both without a moment of warning.

"No, no; it's a good deal, but it ain't too much. Not that it could be more, very well," he added, and he glanced furtively at the woman within, who had stretched out on the lounge with her face to the wall. Mrs. Taylor was fanning her."What do you want to know for?" asked the woman, at length.

"Geronimo," mumbled the Apache, "has prayed to the Dawn and the Darkness and the Sun and the Sky to help him put a stop to those bad stories that people put in the papers about him. He is afraid it will be done as they say." The press of the country was full just then, and had been for some time past, of suggestions that the only good use the much-feared Geronimo could be put to would be hanging, the which he no doubt richly deserved. But if every one in the territories who deserved hanging had been given his dues, the land would have been dotted with blasted trees.Kirby, with a revolver in each hand, placed himself before it. It would avail nothing. But a man must needs fight to the end. And the end was now.

The mesquites were directly ahead. A horseman came out from behind them and placed himself across the road. There was a sheen of moonlight on a revolver barrel and a shouted "Halt there!""I don't know how true it was, and I certainly ain't going to look her up in her rancheria to find out."

Landor jumped up from his chair. "Felipa!" he cried. At first he was more shocked and sorry for her than angry with Brewster.One fine afternoon the post was moving along in its usual routine鈥攖hat quiet which is only disturbed by the ever recurring military formalities and the small squabbles of an isolated community. There had been a lull in the war rumors, and hope for the best had sprung up in the wearied hearts of the plains service, much as the sun had that day come out in a scintillating air after an all-night rain-storm.She laughed too, musically, with a bewitching gurgle,[Pg 238] and gave him a swift glance, at once soft and sad. "Ella es muy fea, no es simpatica, la Gringa."

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He looked about now for a sign of either party. Across the creek was some one riding slowly along the crest of a hill, seeming so small and creeping that only a very trained eye could have made it out. It was probably a hound. The hares lay low, in ca?ons and gullies and brush, as a rule. As he scanned the rest of the valley, his horse stopped short, with its fore legs planted stiffly. He looked down and saw that he was at the brink of a sheer fall of twenty feet or more, like a hole scooped in the side of the little rise he was riding over. He remembered, then, that there was a cave somewhere about. He had often heard of it, and probably it was this. He dismounted, and, tying the pony in a clump of bushes, walked down and around to investigate.The resolute and courageous men, led by a resolute and courageous saloon-keeper, found one old Indian living at peace upon his rancheria. They fired at him and ran away. The women and children of the settlers were left to bear the brunt of the anger of the Apaches. It was too much for even the Tucson journalist. He turned from denunciation of the [Pg 180]military, for one moment, and applied his vigorous adjectives to the Tombstone Toughs.

"She will shrink, I guess, at first," he admitted. "Women who ain't seen much of life kind of think they ought to draw aside their skirts, and all that. They were taught copy-book morals about touching pitch, I reckon,"鈥攈e was wise concerning women now鈥"and it takes a good deal of hard experience to teach them that it ain't so. But she'll take my word for it."She leaned back in her chair, tapping her foot upon the floor. It was the only sign of excitement, but the look of her face was not good.



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