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The Reverend Taylor gradually became aware that the air was very bad. He laid down the newspaper and looked round.

"I didn't. None of your business," she defied him.

The Lawton woman had heard of an officer's family at Grant, which was in need of a cook, and had gone there. "Yes," Cairness called back.

"Can't we send the hostile away?" he suggested, glancing at the small Apache, who was digging viciously at his head and watching Cairness with beady orbs. Felipa spoke to him, and he went.

But Landor was not aware that there was any. "Cairness is a very decent sort of a fellow," he said[Pg 108] good-humoredly. "And, personally, I am indebted to him for having saved Mrs. Landor's life up Black River way." "Cairness never was a squaw-man," corrected Crook.

He went on the next day with his scouts, and eventually joined Landor in the field. Landor was much the same as ever, only more gray and rather more deeply lined. Perhaps he was more taciturn, too, for beyond necessary orders he threw not one word to the chief of scouts. Cairness could understand that the sight of himself was naturally an exasperation, and in some manner a reproach, too. He was sorry that he had been thrown with this command, but, since he was, it was better that Landor should behave as he was doing. An assumption of friendliness would have been a mockery, and to some extent an ignoble one.

"That's the straight bill. Ask him. He isn't fit to be spoken to."

Then it was the first, at any rate. His manner softened.

They were high among the mountains, and here and there in the shadows of the rocks and pines were patches of snow, left even yet from the winter. By all the signs the trail was already more than half a day old.

"And so," said Kirby, as he drew a sack of short cut from his pocket and filled his brier, "and so you have chucked up the army? What are you going to do next? Going in for art?"

But she only answered that that was unlikely and slipped her arm around his neck, as she added that if anything were to happen to him, she would not have one real friend in the world. There was something pathetic in the quiet realization of her loneliness.