They were fighting. "Captain, what do you say to following this trail?" they clamored.
He did not even hint that he knew of the isolation of their lives, but Cairness was fully aware that he must, and that it was what he meant now. "You ought to go to another country. Not back to Australia, either; it is too much this sort, but somewhere where the very air is civilizing, where it's in the atmosphere and you can't get away from it. I'll tell you what you do." He stood up and knocked the ashes from his pipe against the porch rail. "You've plenty of friends at home. Sell the ranch, or keep it to come back to once in a way if you like. I'm going back in the autumn, in October. You come with me, you and Mrs. Cairness and the boy."
Chapter 21 He was in front of her, not a hundred feet away; to the left were the mesquites, to the right the ragged arroyo. There could be no turning aside. She threw up her own revolver, and fired, not at the man, but at the head of his horse. It reared and fell, and a moment after her own rose in the air, touched the ground beyond, and went on. It had leapt the fallen one and his rider, and was leaving them behind.
Kirby finished greasing the nut of a wagon. Then he went to the water trough and washed his hands and face, drying them upon a towel in the harness room. He explained that they didn't make much of a toilet for luncheon.
The resolute and courageous men, led by a resolute and courageous saloon-keeper, found one old Indian living at peace upon his rancheria. They fired at him and ran away. The women and children of the settlers were left to bear the brunt of the anger of the Apaches. It was too much for even the Tucson journalist. He turned from denunciation of the [Pg 180]military, for one moment, and applied his vigorous adjectives to the Tombstone Toughs.
"You will still keep her then?" Cairness wished to know.
Cairness tied his cow-pony to a post in front of a low calcimined adobe, and going across the patch of trodden earth knocked at the door. The little parson's own high voice called to him, and he went in.
Was he quite certain that the trail was of hostiles, and not of cow-boys or of other troops?