He found that it had been father and son come from the Eastern states in search of the wealth that lay in that vague and prosperous, if uneasy, region anywhere west of the Missouri. And among the papers was a letter addressed to Felipa. Landor held it in the flat[Pg 146] of his hand and frowned, perplexed. He knew that it was Cairness's writing. More than once on this last scout he had noticed its peculiarities. They were unmistakable. Why was Cairness writing to Felipa? And why had he not used the mails? The old, never yet justified, distrusts sprang broad awake. But yet he was not the man to brood over them. He remembered immediately that Felipa had never lied to him. And she would not now. So he took the stained letter and went to find her.
She replied, with still more violent relapse into foul-tongued abuse, that he had gone off with a woman[Pg 244] of his own people. "Got me down into this hell of a country and took every quartillo I had and then skedaddled."
[Pg 257]The post talked it over unceasingly, and commented on Landor's attitude. "He stalks around in defiant dignity and makes everybody uncomfortable," they said.
"That is all.""Thank you," he said; and Cairness walked away.
"Are you joking," he asked, "or what?"
Cairness gave a grunt that was startlingly savage鈥攕o much so that he realized it, and shook himself slightly as a man does who is trying to shake himself free from a lethargy that is stealing over him.
The government took neither course.
"I have never especially liked you," Cairness decided, for his part, "and I can't say that you improve upon acquaintance, you know. You wrote those articles about Landor, and that's one I owe you."
Cairness did remember, but he did not see fit to say so.When, in the darkness of a cloudy night, he said good-by to her on the road before his quarters, bending to kiss the warm mouth he could not see, he knew that it would have been possible for him to have loved her, had she been nearly all that she was not.
They sprang up, with a clatter of dishes and overturning of benches and a simultaneous cry of "Whereabouts?"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.详情
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