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He knew even then while her hand grasped at his arm, that he should have set her upon her feet, as he had done before. He knew that she had merited at least that. But he held her tight and close, and bending back her head, his own very close above it, looked into her eyes.

She was still silent, but she leaned nearer, watching his face, her lips drawn away from her sharp teeth, and her eyes narrowing. She understood now.

He turned on his heel and left her. Mrs. Taylor was silent. Her pop blue eyes shifted.

With the sublime indifference to the mockery of the world, characteristic of his race, Cairness kept at it. It was ridiculous. He had time to be dimly aware of that. And it certainly was not war. He did not know that they were affording the opposing forces much enjoyment. He had not even observed that the firing had stopped. But he meant to catch that much qualifiedly impudent little beast, or to know the reason why. And he would probably have known the reason why, if one of the Apache scouts, embarrassed by no notions of fair play, had not taken good aim and[Pg 233] brought his youthful kinsman down, with a bullet through his knee.

"That's all." Chapter 10 "To Captain Landor's widow, yes;" he met the unsympathetic eyes squarely. "I came to tell you, general, what I have gathered from the squaws. It may serve you."

Cairness congratulated him with all solemnity, and asked if she were a widow. He was sure she must be, for the gallantry of the West in those days allowed no woman to pass maturity unwed.