There were two rooms to the cabin where they were, the big sitting room and the small bedchamber beyond. Kirby went into the bedroom and came out with two rifles and a revolver. He put the revolver into his wife's hands. "I'll do my best, you know, dear. But if I'm done for, if there is no hope for you and the children, use it," he said. And added, "You understand?" "What you goin' to do?" the boy asked. He was round-eyed with dismay and astonishment.
Felipa sat on the edge of the bunk and talked to[Pg 58] him, a little excited, and very anxious to try what a scout was like for herself. Felipa smiled again. "I might be happy," she went on, "but I probably should not live very long. I have Indian blood in my veins; and we die easily in a too much civilization." [Pg 171]
Brewster told him that she was with Landor at the post now.
He turned and went back to the cabin, where his wife stood at the door, with the children clinging to her. From down the north road there came a blood-freezing yell, and a shot, reverberating, rattling from hill to hill, muffling into silence among the crowding pines.
Yet there came a rap at his door directly. It was the McLane's striker, bearing a note from Miss McLane. Brewster knew what was in it before he opened it. But he went back to the window and read it by the fading light. When he looked up it was to see Miss McLane and Ellton going up the walk together, returning from Landor's house.
"I beg pardon," said Brewster, pointedly, accentuating the slight awkwardness.
She jumped to her feet. "I ain't going to do it."
Landor had been good to her. She would have gone through anything rather than have hurt him. And yet it was always a relief now when he went away. She was glad when he was ordered into the field at the beginning of the spring. Of old she had been sufficiently sorry to have him go. But of old she had not felt the bit galling.