She smiled. "The chances that she will marry are excellent." "Well," he said more easily, "you've accomplished the thing you set out to do, anyway."
The quiet, observant, capable man, whose fate it was to be always called in for the thankless task of undoing the evil work of others, made every effort to pacify this time, but he failed. "I wish Brewster would not come so often," he said. "Yes," she told him, "they are, and it is that makes me think that the fault may be ours. She is so patient with them."
Once when Felipa got out of the ambulance to tramp beside it, in the stinging snow whirls, and to start the thin blood in her veins, she had looked up into his blanket-swathed face, and laughed. "I wonder if you looked like that when you took me through this part of the world twenty years ago," she said. But he kept a close watch upon her then and during all the hard, tedious march back to the States, when the troops and the scouts had to drag their steps to meet the strength of the women and children; when the rations gave out because there were some four hundred Indians to be provided for, when the command ate mescal root, digging it up from the ground and baking it; and when the presence of a horde of filthy savages made the White-man suffer many things not to be put in print.
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. They had been four days camping on Black River, a mountain stream rushing between the steep hills, with the roar of a Niagara, hunting deer and small game, fishing with indifferent success,—to the disgust of the Apaches, who would much rather have eaten worms than fish,—and entertaining visitors. There were any[Pg 90] number of these. One party had come out from Fort Apache, another from a camp of troops on the New Mexico road, and some civilians from Boston, who were in search of a favorable route for a projected railway.
Stone wore his oratory out after a time, and Cairness closed his eyes rather more, to the end that he might look a yet greater ass, and said that he wanted to hire out as a cow-boy or ranch hand of some sort. "Taylor told me you knew a fellow named Lawton, I think it was. Would he be wanting one now?" He took considerable satisfaction in his own histrionic ability, and lapsed into the phraseology of the job-hunter.
There was a mutter of thunder and a far-off roar, a flame of lightning through the trees, and the hills and mountains shook. Just where they rode the ca?on narrowed to hardly more than a deep gulch, and the river ran close beside the road.
The soldier understood. "Trying to save you, sir," he said a little resentfully.
THE HERITAGE OF UNREST
"I have seen you before, Mrs. Landor," he said after a while.
At six o'clock Kirby knocked the ashes from his pipe, the other two men, who had buried themselves in the last Cornhill and Punch with entire disregard of the rest of the room, put down the magazines, and all of them rose. "We dine at seven," Mrs. Kirby said to Taylor and Cairness as she passed through the door, followed by her husband.
Cairness started forward and levelled his Colt, but the divine was too quick for him. He fired, and the cow-boy sank down, struggling, shot through the thigh. As he crouched, writhing, on the ground, he fired again, but Cairness kicked the pistol out of his hand, and the bullet, deflected, went crashing in among the bottles.