"And you think there will be trouble?" He knew that the buck had come there for nothing but to inform.
Of course there were complications following, a long and involved list of them. Of course the Indians only sought the excuse, and very probably would have made it if it had not been made for them. And of course the Interior Department bungled under the guidance of politicians, of whom the best that possibly can be said is that they were stupid tools of corrupt men in the territories, who were willing to turn the blood of innocent settlers into gold for their own pockets. "I am Captain—Captain Landor." "I wish you to read it, John," she said quietly.
Cairness stood up, ran his hands into his pockets, and going over to the window looked down at the geraniums as he had done once, long before.
Kirby, with a revolver in each hand, placed himself before it. It would avail nothing. But a man must needs fight to the end. And the end was now.
They said "how," and drank. After which Stone asked what the military were going to do about certain things which he specified, and implied the inability of the military to do anything for any one. Landor smiled indolently and said "Quien sabe?" Stone wished to be told if any one ever did know and suggested, acridly, that if the by-word of the Mexican were poco-tiempo, that of the troops was certainly[Pg 9] quien-sabe? Between the two the citizen got small satisfaction.
Lawton set down the candle upon the desk, and crept away by the rear door.
They had been doing that for three days. They came down the chimney, made across the floor in a line that never changed direction, nor straggled, nor lessened, up the wall and out a crack in the window. They did no harm, but followed blindly on in the path the first one had taken. And the minister had said they should not be smoked back or thwarted.
"I am going back to my ranch on the reservation," he said measuredly.
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.
So he waited and stood aside somewhat, to watch[Pg 23] the course of Brewster's suit. He derived some little amusement from it, too, but he wondered with rather a deeper tinge of anxiety than was altogether necessary what the final outcome would be.