They had been four days camping on Black River, a mountain stream rushing between the steep hills, with the roar of a Niagara, hunting deer and small game, fishing with indifferent success,—to the disgust of the Apaches, who would much rather have eaten worms than fish,—and entertaining visitors. There were any[Pg 90] number of these. One party had come out from Fort Apache, another from a camp of troops on the New Mexico road, and some civilians from Boston, who were in search of a favorable route for a projected railway.
She showed no especial repugnance at the idea, but refused flatly, nevertheless. "I can't do that," she said, dropping down into the hammock and swinging herself with the tip of her foot on the floor. Landor went forward again. "Can you, gentlemen, tell me," he demanded a trifle wrathfully, "where I can find Mr. Foster?" They reckoned, after deliberation, that he might be in Bob's saloon. Which might Bob's saloon be? The man pointed, hooking his thumb over his shoulder, and went on with his conversation and his quid. A dozen or more loafers, chiefly Mexicans, had congregated in front of the dry-goods store.
The woman fairly flung the ill-cooked food upon the table, with a spitefulness she did not try to conceal. And she manifested her bad will most particularly toward the pretty children. Cairness felt his indignation rise against Kirby for having brought a woman to this, in the name of love.
"To take them over to my quarters and keep them safe." The Chiricahuas could see that there was trouble between the officials, both military and civil, and the government. They did not know what it was. They did not understand that the harassed general, whose word—and his alone—had their entire belief, nagged and thwarted, given authority and then prevented from enforcing it, had rebelled at last, had asked to be relieved, and had been refused. But they drew in with delight the air of strife and unrest. It was the one they loved best, there could and can be no doubt about that.