-「」: But his left hand hung misshapen, and Cairness saw that it did not bend at the wrist as he motioned to an empty soda-pop bottle and a glass on the table beside a saucer of fly-paper and water. "That's what I still take, you see," he said, "but I'll serve you better;" and he opened a drawer and brought out a big flask. "I reckon you've got a thirst on you this hot weather." He treated himself to a second bottle of the pop, and[Pg 168] grew loquacious, as another man might have under the influence of stronger drink; and he talked so much about himself and so little about his guest that Cairness wondered. Presently the reason made itself manifest. It was the egotism of the lover. The Reverend Taylor was going to be married. He told Cairness so with an expression of beatitude that answered to a blush, and pointed to a photograph on his mantel-shelf. "She ain't so pretty to look at," he confided, which was undoubtedly true, "nor yet so young. But I ain't neither, 'sfar as that goes. She's amiable. That's the great thing after all, for a wife. She's amiable."。
-「」"Is it closed?"
The better class of citizens did not roam over the country much, and no officers had stopped at his ranch in almost two years, though they had often passed by. And he knew well enough that they would have let their canteens go unfilled, and their horses without fodder, for a long time, rather than have accepted water from his wells or alfalfa from his land. He could understand their feeling, too,—that was the worst of it; but though his love and his loyalty toward Felipa never for one moment wavered, he was learning surely day by day that a woman, be she never so much beloved, cannot make up to a man for long for the companionship of his own kind; and, least of all,—he was forced to admit it in the depths of his consciousness now,—one whose interests were circumscribed.The Reverend Taylor was about to go to the coops and close them for the night, when he saw a man and a woman on horseback coming up the street. The woman was bending forward and swaying in her saddle. He stood still and watched. The red sunset[Pg 250] blaze was in his face so that he could not see plainly until they were quite near. Then he knew that it was Cairness and—yes, beyond a doubt—Bill Lawton's runaway wife.
She said "Yes" as frankly as she would have said it to the children. It was blighting to any budding romance, but he tried hard nevertheless to save the next question from absolute baldness. He had a resentful sort of feeling that he was entitled to at least a little idealism. As she would not give it, he tried to find it for himself, noting the grace of her long free neck, the wealth of her coarse black hair, and the beauty of her smiling mouth. But the smiling mouth answered his low-spoken "Will you marry me then, dear?" with the same frank assent. "Not for a good while, though," she added. "I am too young." That was all, and in a moment she was telling him some of Brewster's absurdities, with a certain appreciation of the droll that kept it from being malicious.
Felipa held out her hand and showed a little brown bird that struggled feebly. She explained that its leg was broken, and he drew back instinctively. There was not a trace of softness or pity in her sweet voice. Then he took the bird in his own big hand and asked her how it had happened. "I did it with an arrow," said Diana, unslinging her quiver, which was a barbaric affair of mountain-lion skin, red flannel, and beads.
He snatched it from her then, with a force that threw her to one side, and sent it flying across the room, smashing a water jug to bits. Then he pushed her away and going out, banged the door until the whitewash fell down from the cracks.Lawton set down the candle upon the desk, and crept away by the rear door.
The man on the ground twisted his body around on his crushed leg, pinned under the pony, aimed deliberately at the white figure, and fired. Felipa's firm hold upon her revolver turned to a clutch, and her mouth fell open in a sharp gasp. But very deliberately she put the revolver into its holster, and then she laid her hand against her side. At once the palm was warm with blood.
-「」:The lieutenant himself did neither, but he argued that his mind was never off it.
"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."
The soldier understood. "Trying to save you, sir," he said a little resentfully.。
He was not the sort of a man of whom to ask explanations. Ellton said "Very well," and proceeded to talk about the troop's hogs and gardens, both of which were a source of increase to the troop funds.。
Landor went. Felipa waited for him, already mounted. He mounted his own horse and rode beside her back to the post. They did not speak, and he was conscious above his anger that his fondness for her had been gradually turning to dislike, and was now loathing. He had seen her dragging in the dust before him, pleading abjectly. She had humiliated him and herself in the presence of Cairness, of all men, and he would never forget it. A woman who once grovels at a man's feet has lost thenceforth her power over him.。
One cup to the dead already.。