"I wish you to read it, John," she said quietly.
"Yes," she said, "I heard it. But I was not frightened. What was it?" He did not know, he said, and she sent him back to the barracks. "Because I prefer to ask you, that's why—and to make you answer, too."
When all his phrases were quite used up, Stone changed the key. What could be done for Mr. Taylor? Mr. Taylor motioned with his usual urbanity that the burden of speech lay with Cairness. What could he do for Mr. Cairness, then? "What do you want to know for?" asked the woman, at length.
The parson expressed pity—and felt it, which is more.
"Surely," said the minister, "surely." There might have been men who would have remembered that Mrs. Lawton was a tough woman, even for a mining town, and who would in the names of their own wives have refused to let her cross the threshold of their homes. But he saw that she was ill, and he did not so much as hesitate.
They clambered up the mountain side, back to the camp, and Cairness escorted her to the tepee in silence. Then he left her. "Don't try to run away again," he advised. "You can't get far." He started off and turned back. "Speaking of running away, where's the Greaser you lit out with?"
The tufts were fuzzy yellow instead of gray, and the miniature face had not yet grown tanned and hard with the wind and the sun, but those were mere details. The general effect was perfect. There was no mistaking that the lively fraction of humanity in the Reverend Taylor's arms was the little Reverend. That was the only name he went by, though he had been christened properly on the day he was six months old, Joshua for his father and Randolph for his mother, in memory of Virginia, and her own long maidenhood. She was herself a Randolph, and she wanted the fact perpetuated. But in Tombstone, Joshua Randolph Taylor was simply the little Reverend.