With the things of the flesh there can be the vindictive hope, the certainty indeed, that they will lose their charm with time, that the gold will tarnish and the gray come above the green, but a thought is dearer for every year that it is held, and its beauty does not fade away. The things of the flesh we may even mar ourselves, if the rage overpowers us, but those of the intellect are not to be reached or destroyed; and Felipa felt it as she turned from them and went into the house. She herself lay at full length upon a couch she had devised out of packing cases. It occurred to Landor that she often dropped down to rest now, and that she was sallow and uneasy.
Twenty, yes ten, of those who, as the sound of the firing reached their ears, were making off at a run down the south road for the settlement in the valley, could have saved the fair-haired children and the young mother, who helped in the fruitless fight without a plaint of fear. Ten men could have done it, could have done it easily; but not one man. And Kirby knew it now, as the light of flames began to show through the chinks of the logs, and the weight of heavy bodies thudded against the door.
"He was, but he isn't. I sent for him about some business, and he is a very decent sort of a fellow. He has a little ranch on the reservation." Chapter 18 "Say we were to get off at sun-up, then," objected Landor, "they would even in that way have twelve hours' start of us."
"They put him in a tent beside the hospital, and the next morning I went over with the doctor to see him. He was all cut up on the arms and neck and shoulders. I must have been very strong." She stopped, and he still sat with the puzzled look on his face, but a light of understanding beginning to show through.
"Over here to Tucson" was a three days' ride under the most favorable circumstances; but with the enthusiastic botanist dismounting at short intervals to make notes and press and descant upon specimens, it was five days before they reached, towards nightfall, the metropolis of the plains.
The Reverend Taylor was about to go to the coops and close them for the night, when he saw a man and a woman on horseback coming up the street. The woman was bending forward and swaying in her saddle. He stood still and watched. The red sunset[Pg 250] blaze was in his face so that he could not see plainly until they were quite near. Then he knew that it was Cairness and—yes, beyond a doubt—Bill Lawton's runaway wife.
He reflected that it is a trait of the semi-civilized and of children that they like their tales often retold. But he did not say so. He was holding that in reserve. Instead, he changed the subject, with an abrupt inquiry as to whether she meant to ride to-day. "I suppose not?" he added.
"Why shouldn't it be? What the deuce has a fellow got to do but drink and gamble? You have to, to keep your mind off it."
He flushed angrily, then thought better of it, because after all the question was not impertinent. So he only answered with short severity that he most certainly had not.