The ill-smelling room filled, and various games, chiefly faro and monte, began. At one table two men were playing out a poker game that was already of a week's duration. The reek of bad liquor mingled with the smell of worse tobacco and of Mexican-cured leather鈥攍ike which there is no odor known to the senses, so pungent and permeating and all-pervading it[Pg 42] is. Several of the bracket lamps were sending up thin streams of smoke.
"Begging your pardon, it's not all."That is the proper way to bring up dogs. It makes them useful members of society. And it applies equally well to Indians. It has worked beautifully with them for several hundred years. In Canada they have run it on another principle. But they have missed much of the fun we have had out of it. In the territories there was plenty of such fun. And it had pretty well reached its height in the spring of '83.
Forbes shrugged his shoulders. "You'll pardon me if I say that here she is a luxurious semi-barbarian." It was on his tongue's tip to add, "and this afternoon, by the spring-house, she was nearly an Apache," but he checked it. "It's very picturesque and poetical and all that,鈥攆rom the romantic point of view it's perfect,鈥攂ut it isn't feasible. You can't live on honeycomb for more than a month or twain. I can't imagine a greater misfortune than for you two to grow contented here, and that's what you'll do. It will be a criminal waste of good material."
He repeated that he was not there to be questioned, and showed her that he meant it by silence.
With the things of the flesh there can be the vindictive hope, the certainty indeed, that they will lose their charm with time, that the gold will tarnish and the gray come above the green, but a thought is dearer for every year that it is held, and its beauty does not fade away. The things of the flesh we may even mar ourselves, if the rage overpowers us, but those of the intellect are not to be reached or destroyed; and Felipa felt it as she turned from them and went into the house.The parson had seen.In the expectation of some fun the men gathered round. Those at the tables turned in their chairs and sat watching and pulling at their fierce mustaches as they peered from under the brims of their sombreros. In the midst of them all the little parson looked even smaller than he was. But he was sweetly undaunted and good-humored.
It was not quite an all-summer campaign. The United States government drove the hostiles over the border into the provinces of the Mexican government, which understood the problem rather better than ourselves, and hunted the Apache, as we the coyote, with a bounty upon his scalp.
As he put on his faded blouse he went and stood before her, holding out his arms. She moved over to him and laid her head on his shoulder. "Are you not sorry to have me go?" he asked, in the tones of one having a grievance. He felt that he was entitled to something of the sort.This was not what Cairness wanted either. He persisted in the silence. A prolonged silence will sometimes have much the same effect as solitary confinement. It will force speech against the speaker's own will.
"Didn't you find out from him?" she asked.
It was failure, flat failure. The officers knew it, and the general knew it. It was the indefinite prolongation of the troubles. It was the ignominious refutation of all his boasts鈥攂oasts based not so much upon trust in himself, as on belief in the nature of the Apache, whose stanch champion he had always been."You came quick all right enough," said Landor, looking at the lathered broncos. But Major McLane was inquiring, and the result of his inquiries was that two troops were hurried in hot pursuit.
She was still silent, but she leaned nearer, watching his face, her lips drawn away from her sharp teeth, and her eyes narrowing. She understood now.Felipa had discarded, long since, the short skirt and moccasins of her girlhood, and had displayed no inconsiderable aptitude in the matter of fashions; but she was given to looseness of draperies and a carelessness of attire in her own home that the picturesqueness of her beauty alone only saved from slatternliness. There was one manifestation of ill taste which she did not give, however, one common enough with the wives of most of the officers. She was never to be found running about the post, or sitting upon the porches, with her husband's cape around her shoulders and his forage-cap over her eyes. Her instinct for the becoming was unfailing. This was a satisfaction to Landor. But it was a secret grievance that she was most contented when in her riding habit, tearing foolhardily over the country.详情
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