Cairness, talking to one of the other men, who was mending a halter, watched him, and recalled the youth in spotless white whom he had last seen lounging on the deck of an Oriental liner and refusing to join the sports committee in any such hard labor as getting up a cricket match. It was cooler here in the Arizona mountains, to be sure; but it was an open question if life were as well worth living.
She could not help looking at him now, and his eyes held hers through a silence that seemed to them so enduring, so unreasonable, that Landor must wonder at it. But he had seen men put at a disadvantage by her beauty before, and he had grown too used to her lack of conventionality to think much about it, one way or the other. She looked down at the curled toe of her moccasin with a certain air of repentance, and answered his question as to what she meant to do with it by explaining that she meant to keep it for a pet. [Pg 100]
Brewster hesitated for a moment, then walked out,[Pg 194] a little unsteadily. They blew out the candle and took down the gray blanket. "A stone can have broken that pane, and I cut my hand on a bottle," said Landor.
It was half because she felt it would prick him, and half in humility, that she answered, "I suppose that is the Indian in me." Landor explained again, with greater detail, vainly trying to impress the nature of a military order on the civilian brain. "It would not do for me to disobey my[Pg 112] instructions. And besides there are several officers who are to follow trails, out with larger commands. I have no pack-train, and I can't."
"That man is going to stay to luncheon," he told her.
There is a certain class of persons to whom it is always irritating to find any one reading a book. It rubs them the wrong way instantly. They will frequently argue that their own, and the best, manner of studying life is from nature—an excellent theory in sound, and commonly accepted as unanswerable, but about as practical in fact as the study of music on the instrument alone, without primer or method.