Taylor realized from the Benedict's greater knowledge that it was asking a great deal, but still not[Pg 252] too much. He assured Cairness that she should be cared for.The spoils of the rancheria were varied, and some of them interesting as well. There were quite a hundred mules and horses, and there was money, to the sum of five thousand dollars or more. Also there were gold and silver watches and clothes and saddles and bridles—all the loot of the unhappy haciendas and pueblas down on the flat. But the most treasured of all their possessions was a little photograph album which had begun its varied career in the particular home of the misguided Indian philanthropist, Boston."By George! McLane, it strikes me as devilish odd that you should all give ear to the insinuations of a shave-tail like Brewster, against an old hand like myself. Be that as it may, however, until this thing has been cleared up, I shall thank all of you to continue in your[Pg 145] attitude of suspicion, and not in any way draw on your charity by extending it to me. I shall demand a court of inquiry." He laid the ruler back on the desk. "I report for duty, sir," he added officially.
Cairness asked who Bill Lawton might be, and was told that he had been one of the Kirby men, "Big fellow with a big wife. If you was ever there, you'd ought to remember her. She was a Venus and a Cleopatrer rolled into one, you bet." The cow-boy was not devoid of lore for all his lowly station.Bright, black eyes peered down from crevasses and branches. An Apache lurked behind every boulder and trunk. But only the squaws and the children and twenty-six bucks in war toilet, naked from shoulder to waist, painted with blood and mescal, rings in their noses, and heads caked thick with mud, came down to the conference.
His own was instantly as cold. "I supposed you had quite forgotten all that," he said.
Chapter 16Landor sat speechless for a moment. Then he jumped up, knocking over a pile of registers. He seized a bone ruler, much stained with official inks, red and blue, and slapped it on the palm of his hand for emphasis. "I'll demand a court of inquiry into my conduct. This shan't drop, not until the strongest possible light has been turned on it. Why doesn't Brewster prefer charges? Either my conduct was such that he can defend it openly, or else it was such as to call for a court-martial, and to justify him in preferring charges. Certainly nothing can justify him in smirching me with damning silence. That is the part neither of an officer nor of a man." He kicked one of the registers out of the way, and it flapped across the floor and lay with its leaves crumpled under the fair leather covers.
The Reverend Taylor got his hat. It was still a silk one, but new, and without holes. They went over to the false front board structure which was Stone's office. It appeared from the newspaper man's greeting that it was a case of the meeting of prominent citizens. Taylor presented Cairness, with the elegant, rhetorical flourishes he was capable of when he chose. "He is a friend of mine," he added, "and anything that you can do for him will be appreciated, you sabe?—" Stone did understand, and Taylor left them alone together.
Chapter 4 武汉到杭州:Landor turned to the citizen. "Where is your bid, Mr. Lawton?"
She wished to hear as much as he had confided.
She threw him an indifferent "I am not afraid, not of anything." It was a boast, but he had reason to know that it was one she could make good.
She stood looking round the post, across the white-hot parade ground, to the adobe barracks and the sutler's store. Then she turned and considered the officers' quarters. They were a row of hospital, wall, and A tents, floored with rough boards and sheltered by ramadas of willow branches.