The man interrupted, "I ain't going daown the road, nor anywheres else before supper—nor after supper neither, if I don't feel like it." He was bold enough in speech, but his eyes dropped before Kirby's indignant ones.
One cup to the dead already.
Yet, in the midst of her little triumph, Felipa fell ill, failing without apparent cause, and then the uneasiness that had only slept in Landor for eighteen months came awake again. He did not believe when the doctors told him that it was the lassitude of the moist, warm springtime which was making the gray circles about her eyes, the listlessness of her movements.
Crook had been recalled too late, and he knew it. Every Apache on the reservation was ready for the war-path. It was not to be averted. One man, even a very firm and deft one, could not straighten out in a few weeks the muddle of ten years of thievery, oppression, and goading. It takes more than just a promise, even though it is one likely to be kept, to soothe the hurt feelings of savages who have seen eleven of their friends jailed for fourteen months without the form of accusation or trial. They feel bitter toward the government whose minions do those things.
Another of her pets was a little fawn a soldier had caught and given to her. It followed her tamely about the post.
Brewster suggested that he thought Crook had put a stop to those mutilations, but the official shrugged his shoulders.
"And how, may I ask, would you suggest cutting off their retreat?" the major inquired a little sharply. His temper was not improved by the heat and by twelve hours in the saddle.
He struck his pony with the fringed end of the horse-hair lariat that hung around his pommel, and cantered on in the direction of the post. The pony had been found among the foot-hills, without any[Pg 218] trouble. That, at any rate, had been a stroke of luck. He had led it into the fort just at the end of guard-mounting, and had met a party of riders going out.