"The Sun and the Darkness and the Winds were all listening. He promised to pay me dos reales each day. To prove to you that I am now telling the truth,[Pg 269] here is what he wrote for me." He held it out to Cairness, a dirty scrap of wrapping-paper scrawled over with senseless words.
He hesitated. "I have done some shooting. I am always shooting more or less, for that matter." "I will try to reach the water hole. Leave a man there for me with a horse. If I don't—" he forced a laugh as he looked up at the buzzard which was dropping closer down above him.
"Yes," she said, "I am very much attached to it. I was born to it." "To Captain Landor's widow, yes;" he met the unsympathetic eyes squarely. "I came to tell you, general, what I have gathered from the squaws. It may serve you."
The general kept his own counsel then, but afterward, when it was all over, he confessed,—not to the rejoicing reporter who was making columns out of him for the papers of this, and even of many another, land,—but to the friends who had in some measure understood and believed in him, that the strain and responsibility had all but worn him out. And he was no frail man, this mighty hunter of the plains.
The spoils of the rancheria were varied, and some of them interesting as well. There were quite a hundred mules and horses, and there was money, to the sum of five thousand dollars or more. Also there were gold and silver watches and clothes and saddles and bridles—all the loot of the unhappy haciendas and pueblas down on the flat. But the most treasured of all their possessions was a little photograph album which had begun its varied career in the particular home of the misguided Indian philanthropist, Boston.