Cairness assured him that he was not. "It is not my mission on earth to straighten out the territories, heaven be praised. This is purely a personal matter, entirely so. You may call it revenge, if you like. Lawton's in jail all safe, as you know. I got him there, and if he gets out anyway, I'll put him back again on this count."
Chapter 3"Apaches on the north road," they called back; and the woman screamed above it all a devilish farewell, "Better have 'em to dinner in claw-hammer coats."
"Are you joking," he asked, "or what?"
But Forbes persisted, carried away by his idea and the determination to make events fit in with it. "She was ill in Washington because she wasn't happy. She'd be happy anywhere with you; she said so this afternoon, you remember." :"I will try to reach the water hole. Leave a man there for me with a horse. If I don't—" he forced a laugh as he looked up at the buzzard which was dropping closer down above him.
He saw her, and without the hesitation of an instant raised his slouch hat and kept on. A government scout does not stop to pass the time of day with an officer's wife.
And he succeeded in seeing Felipa. It was most unexpected. He had believed her to be in Stanton, a good many hundred miles away. But Landor having been sent at once into the field, she had come on to Grant to visit the Campbells, who were again stationed there. He met her face to face only once, and he measured with one quick look all the changes there were between the girl of ten years before and the woman of to-day. The great, sad pity that rose within him, and seemed to grasp at his throat chokingly, was the best love he had felt for her yet. It wiped out the wrong of the short madness in the cave's mouth.No answer still.
It had all been very like this, only that this was a little worse, for there were half a dozen dead animals lying across the stalls, and others were being shot. The pistols snapped sharply, and the smell of powder was more pungent than all the other smells. "They won't be ready. No use making haste, Captain," Cairness suggested at daybreak, as Landor hurried the breakfast and saddling. They knew that the chances were ten to one that it would be a wild goose chase, and the captain already repented him. But at seven the men were mounted, with two days' rations in their saddle bags, and trotting across the flat in the fragrance of the yet unheated day, to the settlement of San Tomaso.
"Now, Mr. Brewster," said Landor, going to the safe and resting his elbow upon it, and leaning forward in his earnestness, "I am going to tell you what you are to do. It would be better for the service and for all concerned if you do it quietly. I think you will agree with me, that any scandal is to be avoided. Come to the opening of the bids to-morrow, at noon, quite as though nothing of this disgraceful sort had happened. I will keep the keys until then. But by retreat to-morrow evening I want your resignation from the service in the hands of the adjutant. If it is not, I shall prefer charges against you the next morning. But I hardly think you will deem it advisable to stand a court-martial." He stopped and stood erect again.。
It occurred to Cairness that it was ungenerous of Landor to revenge himself by a shot from the safe intrenchment of his rank. "Mrs. Landor has had time to tell me nothing," he said, and turned on his spurred heel and went off in the direction of the post. But it was not a situation, after all, into which one could infuse much dignity. He was retreating, anyway it might be looked at, and there is bound to be more or less ignominy in the most creditable retreat.。