The contract went to a needy and honest contractor when the bids were opened. And by night the whole garrison was in excitement over Brewster's inexplicable resignation. It was inexplicable, but not unexplained. He went around to all the officers with the exception only of Landor and Ellton, and told that he had some time since decided to give up the service and to read and practise law in Tucson. No one was inclined to believe it. But no one knew what to believe, for Ellton and his captain held their tongues. They left the commandant himself in ignorance.
"Thanks. But you started out to tell me what Lawton told Stone." [Pg 31]
"No," she said shortly. "You had better bet."
Six years of fighting, of bloodshed, of heavy loss in blood and treasure to the government, the careers of the incarnate devils Juh, Victorio, and Geronimo—all the evils let loose on the southwest from '78 to '85 were traceable primarily to the selling of bad whiskey to a hunting party of Chiricahuas by two storekeepers, greedy of gain. The general refused the withered hand he put out, and looked at him unsmilingly. The feelings of the old chief were hurt. He sat down upon the ground, under the shadows of the cottonwoods and sycamores, and explained his conduct with tears in his bleary eyes. The officers and packers, citizens and interpreters, sat round upon the ground also, with the few Indians who had ventured into the White-man's camp in the background, on the rise of the slope. There was a photographer too, who had followed the command from Tombstone, and who stationed himself afar off and took snap-shots during the conference, which, like most conferences of its sort, was vague enough.
"They won't be ready. No use making haste, Captain," Cairness suggested at daybreak, as Landor hurried the breakfast and saddling. They knew that the chances were ten to one that it would be a wild goose chase, and the captain already repented him. But at seven the men were mounted, with two days' rations in their saddle bags, and trotting across the flat in the fragrance of the yet unheated day, to the settlement of San Tomaso.
"Cairness never was a squaw-man," corrected Crook.
But in the days of Victorio and his predecessors and successors, Aravaypa Ca?on was a fastness. Men went in to hunt for gold, and sometimes they came out alive, and sometimes they did not. Occasionally Apaches met their end there as well.
He saw her, and without the hesitation of an instant raised his slouch hat and kept on. A government scout does not stop to pass the time of day with an officer's wife.