"He has caught a lioness and tricked her out in fashionable rags and taught her some capers, and now he thinks he has improved the animal," he said to himself, and raged inwardly, asking the intangible Fate, which was always opposing him, if there was not[Pg 216] enough little doll women in the world that such an one as Felipa must be whittled down to the size. She drew her horse down to a gallop, and the jar of the changed gait made her moan. There was no haste now. Her own men had come upon the desperadoes and there was a quick volley. And ahead, riding fast toward her from the top of a little rise, was a man on a white horse—her husband, she knew.
Cairness made another cigarette and considered. "I think I'll hire to him," he said, after a while.
"Matarán á Usted." He rode away at once after they had lunched. And Felipa went to her room, and dropped down shivering beside the little red-hot iron stove, moaning between her clenched teeth.
"Hurrah! for the next that dies," thought Landor himself, with a careless cynicism. The barrel of a Winchester gleamed above a point of rock, a little sharp sparkle of sunlight on steel, and a bullet deflected from the big leather hood of his stirrup. He rode on calmly, and his horse's shoes clicked on the lava. Cairness bowed, with no realization of the humor of it. "You are equally fortunate," he said easily, and motioned with his hand to the opening above, where Felipa was going. He might have been under his own roof, and that the door. Cairness suggested that they were given their supper at six.
Did she show the squaw? he asked. "Not unless you knew it was there," the officer said tolerantly. Then he went to bed and slept with that peace of mind which comes of a proud consciousness of holding the handle of the whip. In the morning he got the[Pg 28] man's name and address before he went on up to the Agency.