《求是》2020年第7期

At six o'clock Kirby knocked the ashes from his pipe, the other two men, who had buried themselves in the last Cornhill and Punch with entire disregard of the rest of the room, put down the magazines, and all of them rose. "We dine at seven," Mrs. Kirby said to Taylor and Cairness as she passed through the door, followed by her husband. She did not. He had merely told her that her father was his friend and had died on the plains. "She thinks her mother died at Stanton. It is so near the Mescalero Agency that I let it go at that."

[Pg 130]

She showed no especial repugnance at the idea, but refused flatly, nevertheless. "I can't do that," she said, dropping down into the hammock and swinging herself with the tip of her foot on the floor. He went and stood beside her and laid his hand upon her hair.

Ellton wondered, but held his peace. And the commandant did go to Landor's quarters within the next few hours. Which was Ellton's doings.

Felipa stood leaning against the gate post, her bare head outlined in bold black and white against the white parasol that hung over her shoulders. She was watching one of the troop herds coming up from water,—the fine, big horses, trotting, bucking, rearing, kicking, biting at each other with squeals and whinnyings, tossing their manes and whisking their tails. Some of them had rolled in the creek bed, and then in the dust, and were caked with mud from neck to croup. They frisked over to their own picket line, and got into rows for the grooming. "Doesn't he, though? Then why doesn't he come around and see me when I'm lying here sick?" He was wrathful and working himself back into a fever very fast. The post was tremendously excited. As the cavalry trotted off up the slope toward the foot-hills, the men left behind went to the back of the post and watched, women looked through field-glasses, from the upper windows, children balanced upon the fences of the back yards, and Chinese cooks scrambled to the top of chicken coops and woodsheds, shading their eyes with their hands and peering in the direction of the gap. Dogs barked and hens cackled and women called back and forth. Down at the sutler's store the German was being comforted with beer at a dollar a bottle.