He made no pretence of not understanding. "You have no need to be, dear," he said simply. 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.
"I fail to see why not. You can wound it." No answer.
"It's Mr. Cairness, ma'am," he whispered.
He gathered his courage for what he was going to say next, with a feeling almost of guilt. "Forbes says that I am doing you an injustice, keeping you here; that it is no life for you."
Cairness could not take his own from them, and they stood so for what seemed to them both a dumb and horrible eternity, until Landor came up, and she caught at his arm to steady herself. The parasol whirled around on its stick and fell. Cairness picked it up, knocked off the dust, and handed it to Landor. He could see that he knew, and it was a vast relief.
Felipa stood leaning against the gate post, her bare head outlined in bold black and white against the white parasol that hung over her shoulders. She was watching one of the troop herds coming up from water,—the fine, big horses, trotting, bucking, rearing, kicking, biting at each other with squeals and whinnyings, tossing their manes and whisking their tails. Some of them had rolled in the creek bed, and then in the dust, and were caked with mud from neck to croup. They frisked over to their own picket line, and got into rows for the grooming.
"Squaw-man, isn't he?" Brewster asked.
The Apache never quivered a muscle nor uttered a sound. It was fine stoicism, and appealed to Felipa until she really felt sorry for him.
The cow-boy broadened the issue. "You will, and you'll take off that plug, too, or I'll know what for."