Landor had agreed to trust her to Cairness and an escort of three soldiers. He could ill spare time from the telegraph line, under the circumstances; it might be too imperatively needed at any moment. He mounted his wife quickly. "You are not afraid?" he asked. But he knew so well that she was not, that he did not wait for her answer."I don't know," objected Landor; "you get the satisfaction of beginning the row pretty generally鈥攁s you did this time鈥攁nd of saying what you think about us in unmistakable language after we have tried to put things straight for you."
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.Cairness suggested that they were given their supper at six.
She glared at him, but she stopped short nevertheless, and, flinging down the stone she had been holding, stood up also. "All right, then. You've done with me, I reckon. Now suppose you let me go back to the camp."Some of them did think so. Some of them thought on the contrary, that it would be surer to make a detour, leaving the trail. They knew the spot, the bed of an ancient mountain lake, where the hostiles were sure to camp.
"The Sun and the Darkness and the Winds were all listening. He promised to pay me dos reales each day. To prove to you that I am now telling the truth,[Pg 269] here is what he wrote for me." He held it out to Cairness, a dirty scrap of wrapping-paper scrawled over with senseless words.The little Reverend had been much interested in them also. He had sat for several hours sucking an empty spool, and observing them narrowly, in perfect silence. His father had great hopes of him as a naturalist.She denied the idea emphatically.
"I can see, sir," the lieutenant answered.
If Cairness had not slipped and gone sprawling down[Pg 232] at that moment, the fourth bullet would have brought him up short. It sung over him, instead, and splashed against a stone, and when he got to his feet again the eyes had come out from their hiding-place. They were in the head of a very young buck. He had sprung to the top of his rock and was dancing about with defiant hilarity, waving his hands and the Winchester, and grimacing tantalizingly. "Yaw! ya!" he screeched. Cairness discharged his revolver, but the boy whooped once more and was down, dodging around the stone. Cairness dodged after him, wrath in his heart and also a vow to switch the little devil when he should get him. But he did not seem to be getting him."I ain't put it in yet," he stammered feebly.
Mrs. Lawton gritted her teeth at him as though she would have rejoiced greatly to have had his neck between them. By and by she started once more. "Bill jest told him about it鈥攍ike a goldarned fool.""Do you think you could love me, Felipa?" he asked, without any preface at all.详情
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