"Just what he's dishin' up to you now," she told him. "Lookin' at my stove-pipe?" asked the Reverend Mr. Taylor. "Only one in these parts, I reckon," and he vouchsafed an explanation of the holes. "Them holes? A feller in Tucson done that for me."
When Landor came in half an hour later he found her in her riding habit, sitting in front of the fire. She was still alone, and he felt instantly that there was more softness than ever before in the smile she gave him, more womanliness in the clinging of her hand. Altogether in her attitude and manner there was less of the restlessly youthful. He drew a chair beside hers, and settled back comfortably.
Cairness said to himself that she was regal, and acknowledged her most formal welcome with an ease he had fancied among the arts he had long since lost.
Landor interrupted by taking the slipper from Felipa's foot and killing with it a centipede that crawled up the wall of the abode. "That's the second," he said, as he put the shoe on again. "I killed one yesterday; the third will come to-morrow." Then he went back to his chair and to the discussion, and before long he was called to the adjutant's office.
"That fellow Cairness may be a good scout and all that, but he must be an unmitigated blackguard too," said the officer, stretching himself on the ground beside Crook.
"You are not fit to go," Felipa said resignedly, "but that doesn't matter, of course."
Landor came sliding and running down. His face was misshapen with the anger that means killing. She saw it, and her powers came back to her all at once. She put both hands against his breast and pushed him back, with all the force of her sinewy arms. His foot slipped on a stone and he fell.
"I know he is not," she said decisively.