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类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-09-29 13:11:16

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"Barnwell tells me," he began, "that you have picked up a good deal of Apache."

Landor explained to them that he was not doing the thinking, that it was their campaign. "You are my guides. You know the country, and I don't." He reminded them again that they had promised to lead him to Indians, and that he was ready to be led. If they thought the hostiles were to be reached by following the trail, he would follow it."It's鈥" the boy looked around nervously. "If you'd come into the house鈥" he ventured.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.

"To get out the bids." His courage was waxing a little.

The boy grinned again. "How Mees Landor?" he repeated. His savage perception had noted that those words had some "medicine" or other that paralyzed[Pg 234] the Ojo-blanco temporarily. Cairness swore at him in good English, and went off abruptly.

"No," she said shortly. "You had better bet."The Reverend Taylor did not object.

If he had not sprung forward, with his arms outstretched to catch her, she would have fallen, face downward in the dust. It was three times now he had so saved her.

"'And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.' I wonder how many women who have lived up to every word of the Decalogue have made it all profitless for want of a little charity?"They clambered up the mountain side, back to the camp, and Cairness escorted her to the tepee in silence. Then he left her. "Don't try to run away again," he advised. "You can't get far." He started off and turned back. "Speaking of running away, where's the Greaser you lit out with?"

A raiding party of hostiles had passed near the fort, and had killed, with particular atrocity, a family of settlers. The man and his wife had been tortured to death, the baby had had its brains beaten out against the trunk of a tree, a very young child had been hung by the wrist tendons to two meat hooks on the walls of the ranch-house, and left there to die. One big boy had had his eyelids and lips and nose cut off, and had been staked down to the ground with his remains of a face lying over a red-ant hole. Only two had [Pg 196]managed to escape,鈥攁 child of ten, who had carried his tiny sister in his arms, twenty miles of ca?ons and hills, to the post.The entire command volunteered, as a matter of course, and Landor had his pick. He took thirty men and a dozen scouts. Cairness rode up and offered himself. They looked each other full in the face for a moment. "Very well," said Landor, and turned on his heel. Cairness was properly appreciative, despite the incivility. He knew that Landor could have refused as well as not, and that would have annoyed and mortified him. He was a generous enemy, at any rate. The volunteers mounted and trotted off in a cloud of dust that hung above them and back along their trail, to where the road, as Landor had said, entered the malpais.

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Cairness, talking to one of the other men, who was mending a halter, watched him, and recalled the youth in spotless white whom he had last seen lounging on the deck of an Oriental liner and refusing to join the sports committee in any such hard labor as getting up a cricket match. It was cooler here in the Arizona mountains, to be sure; but it was an open question if life were as well worth living.

He turned on his heel and left her.There was now at Grant the prospect of a girl, and for days ahead the bachelors had planned about her. She was Landor's ward,鈥攊t was news to them that he had a ward, for he was not given to confidences,鈥攁nd she was going to visit the wife of his captain, Mrs. Campbell. When they asked questions, Landor said she was eighteen years old, and that her name was Cabot, and that as he had not seen her for ten years he did not know whether she were pretty or not. But the vagueness surrounding her was rather attractive than otherwise, on the whole. It was not even known when she would arrive. There was no railroad to[Pg 14] Arizona. From Kansas she would have to travel by ambulance with the troops which were changing station.

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