THE HERITAGE OF UNRESTHe knew that his cattle were driven off by the white cow-boys and could not be gotten back, that he was given but one cup of flour every seven days, that beef was so difficult to obtain that it practically formed no part of his diet; but he did not know of the "boys" in Tucson and officials in Washington who were profiting from the sale of Indian supplies to white squatters.
She wished to hear as much as he had confided.He handed it over also."Yes; but it happens to be enough for the next few weeks. We are going to camp around San Tomaso to afford the settlers protection. We can't follow any trails, those are our orders, so the pack-train doesn't matter anyway. By that time they will have scared up one."
Had it been all arranged, planned, and rehearsed for months beforehand, the action could not have been more united. They crowded past him out of the door and ran for the corrals, and each dragged a horse or a mule from the stalls, flinging on a halter or rope or bridle, whatever came to hand, from the walls of the harness room."Yes," she said, "I am very much attached to it. I was born to it."
"He told him the truth, I tell you: that when we heard the Apaches were coming, we lit out and drove out the stock from the corrals. I don't recollect his words."But he knew that she did not love him. She was grateful. It was sometimes an Apache trait. He realized that it was his curse and hers that he could not for an instant forget the strain. He read her character by it, half unconsciously. He saw it in her honesty, her sinewy grace, her features, her fearlessness, her kindness with children,鈥攖hey were all Apache characteristics; and they were all repellent. From his youth on, he had associated the race with cruelty and every ghastly sight he had come upon, on the plains and in the mountains. It was a prejudice with more than the force of a heritage. He went on with his study of her, as she sat there. He was always studying her.[Pg 54] But he could not decide whether it was that she lacked sensitiveness and was really not greatly disturbed, or a savage sort of pride in concealing emotions.
"No," Cabot told him, "I couldn't鈥攏ot without delaying you. The trail's too hot for that. If you'll put a fourth and last bullet into Cochise, the loss of a little thing like me won't matter much." He stopped short, and his chin dropped, weakly, undecided.
Landor held up a silencing hand. "If you have any explanations that you care to make, that it would be worth any one's time to listen to, you may keep them for a judge advocate." He pointed to the door.
The Elltons' pretty child was like its mother, [Pg 288]gentler and more caressing. It lay placidly in her arms and patted her lips when she tried to talk, with the tips of its rosy fingers. She caught them between her teeth and mumbled them, and the child chuckled gleefully. But by and by it was taken away to bed, and then Felipa was alone with its father and mother. Through the tiresome evening she felt oppressed and angrily nervous. The Elltons had always affected her so.
Chapter 10[Pg 253]
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[Pg 253]For a moment he stood looking straight into her eyes, yet neither read the other's thoughts. Then he turned away with a baffled half laugh. "Why should it matter to me?" he asked.详情
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