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      Good guess, Larry! Its the way I work it out, Dick added.

      "When he gets here," continued Billings, "we shall have enough weapons to finish our outfit, and give every member, including them initiated tonight, a good, serviceable arm, as effective as any in the hands of our enemies. We shall then be in shape to carry out the several projects which we have before discussed and planned. We shall be ready to strike at any moment. When we do strike success is sure. The Southern armies, which have so long bravely battled for the Constitution and the laws and white men's rights, are again advancing from every point. Every mail brings me glad good news of the organization of our brave friends throughout this State and Illinois. They're impatient to begin. The first shot fired will be the signal for an uprising that'll sweep over the land like a prairie fire and"

      Shorty Went Outside Where There Was More Air.

      "Whose head'll you knock off?" said a burly man, thrusting himself in front of the lawyer, with his fist doubled.

      As for the Kirby affair, there had been no hint of treachery in the published or verbal accounts of it. The ranch hands who had escaped had told a plain enough tale of having fled at the approach of the Indians, vainly imploring the Kirbys to do the same. It[Pg 166] seemed that the most they could be accused of was cowardice. It had all been set forth in the papers with much circumstance and detail. But Cairness doubted. He remembered their dogged ugliness, and that of the raw-boned Texan woman.One morning, shortly before dinner call, she sat under the ramada, the deer at her feet, asleep, the little Apache squatted beside her, amusing himself with a collection of gorgeous pictorial labels, soaked from commissary fruit and vegetable cans. The camp was absolutely silent, even the drowsy scraping of the brooms of the police party having stopped some time before. Landor was asleep in his tent, and presently she herself began to doze. She was awakened by the sound of footsteps on the gravel in front of the[Pg 65] ramada, and in another moment a tall figure stood in the opening, dark against the glare. Instantly she knew it was the man with whom she had come face to face long before on the parade ground at Grant, though from then until now she had not thought of him once, nor remembered his existence.

      "Come here, Shorty, you dirty little rascal," said the Deacon, assuming a severely maternal tone, at which Si laughed feebly but cheerily, "and let me wash your face and comb your hair."That very afternoon he passed a news stand and was chained in his tracks by a small headline in black type at one corner of a paper, in a box, or enclosure of ruled lines that set it off from the other news.


      And since that gray dawn when he had picked his way through the ashes and charred logs, and had bent over the bodies of his friend and the dead mother and the two children, he had been possessed by a loathing that was almost physical repulsion for all Indians. That was why he had left the stone cabin he had built for himself in the White Mountains, forsaking it and the Apaches who had been, in a way, his friends. But he had done it, too, with the feeling that now he had nowhere to lay his head; that he was driven from pillar to post, buffeted and chased; that he was cursed with the curse of the wanderer. If it had not been that he had an indefinite theory of his own concerning the Kirby massacre, as it was known throughout the country, and that he meant to, some day, in some way, avenge it upon the whites who had abandoned them to their fate, he would have killed himself. He had been very near it once, and had sat on the edge of his bunk in the cabin with a revolver in his hand, thinking it all out for an entire evening, before deciding dispassionately against it. He was not desperate, merely utterly careless of life, which is much worse. Desperation is at the most the keen agony of torture at the stake; but [Pg 163]indifference toward all that is held by this world, or the next, is dying in a gradual vacuum.