"I heard you," said the little man; "what's the other?"—"Oh, I dare say I'll fail on that," he answered indifferently, and taking up his sombrero went out to saddle his horse.
"I didn't know that I had made any complaint," she said equably.
Then stand to your glasses steady,
[Pg 70] The probable outcome of things at the rate they were going was perfectly apparent. Landor would advance in age, respectability, and rank, and would be retired and settle down on three-fourths pay. He himself would end up in some cow-boy row, degraded and worthless, a tough character very probably, a fine example of nothing save atavism. And Felipa would grow old. That splendid triumphant youth of hers would pass, and she would be a commonplace, subdued, middle-aged woman, in whom a relapse to her nature would be a mere vulgarity.
A few minutes before seven they all came back into the sitting room. The men wore black coats, by way of compromise, and Mrs. Kirby and the children were in white. "On his ranch, living on the fat of a lean land, I believe. He's rich, you know. I don't know much about them. I've small use for them. And I used to like Cairness, too. Thought he was way above his job. Those squaw-men lose all sense of honor."
Six years of fighting, of bloodshed, of heavy loss in blood and treasure to the government, the careers of the incarnate devils Juh, Victorio, and Geronimo—all the evils let loose on the southwest from '78 to '85 were traceable primarily to the selling of bad whiskey to a hunting party of Chiricahuas by two storekeepers, greedy of gain.
"But you," said Felipa, wistfully, "you do not want to go back?"
"Well, I didn't kill them, did I?" he whined.
And it seems that the dead are there.
The man up above showed himself, and putting his hands to his mouth shouted, "Felipa!"
There was the crunching of heavy feet up above, on the gravel. It came to them both, even to her, that for them to be seen there together would be final. There would be no explaining it away. Cairness thought of her. She thought of her husband. It would ruin him and his life.