"I have the ranch; how could I get away?" Cairness opposed. The minister nodded his head. "Yes, I reckon there is," he agreed.
He caught her by the arm, exasperated past all civility, and shook her. "Do you hear me, Felipa Cabot? I tell you that I love you."
In the morning, while the cooks were getting breakfast and the steam of ration-Rio mounted as a grateful incense to the pink and yellow daybreak heavens, having bathed in the creek and elaborated his toilet[Pg 235] with a clean neckerchief in celebration of victory, he walked over to the bunch of tepees to see the women captives. "A squaw-man?" she asked.
Once in the ?ons which will never unfold their secrets now, when the continent of the Western seas was undreamed of by the sages and the philosophers of the Eastern world, when it was as alone, surrounded by its wide waters, as the planets are alone in their wastes of space, when it was living its own life,—which was to leave no trace upon the scroll of the wisdom of the ages,—the mountains and the bowels of the earth melted before the wrath of that same Lord whose voice shook the wilderness of Jud?a. At His bidding they ran as water, and poured down in waves of seething fire, across the valley of death.
Moreover, Landor was very ill. In the Mogollons he had gathered and pressed specimens of the gorgeous[Pg 134] wild flowers that turn the plateaux into a million-hued Eden, and one day there had lurked among the blossoms a sprig of poison weed, with results which were threatening to be serious. He rode at the head of his column, however, as it made for home by way of the Aravaypa Ca?on. Mrs. Taylor came to the dining-room door and looked in. "Can I do anything?" she asked.
"What do you mean?" asked Cairness, rather more than a trifle coldly. He had all but forgotten the matter of that afternoon. Felipa had redeemed herself through the evening, so that he had reason to be proud of her.
"Geronimo does not want that any more. He has[Pg 271] tried to do right. He is not thinking bad. Such stories ought not to be put in the newspapers."
She dropped beside him and tried to hold him down. "He did not know I was coming here," she pleaded. "It was a mistake, Jack! Will you wait until I tell you? Will you wait?" She was clinging around his neck and would not be shaken off. He dragged her in the dust, trying to get free himself.
Felipa shook her head at Ellton. "Don't get yourself excited about it, Jack dear," she soothed, and Ellton also tried to quiet him.
The Powers said that a party of Indians had killed two American citizens, and had thereby offended against their sacred laws. To be sure the Americans had sold the Indians poisonous whiskey, so they had broken the laws, too. But there is, as any one should be able to see, a difference between a law-breaking Chiricahua and a law-breaking territorial politician. Cairness refused to see it. He said things that would have been seditious, if he had been of any importance in the scheme of things. As it was, the Great Powers did not heed them, preferring to take advice from men who did not know an Apache from a Sioux—or either from the creation of the shilling shocker.