But the minister still refused to see it. He looked him very squarely in the eyes now, however. "See here, I am going to take lemon pop, my friend," he said.

Landor went back to his command and waited. Another man rode up and joined the two. Ten minutes passed, and the troops grew restless. "Well?" said the officer.

Undoubtedly, as she said, the American was ugly and unattractive; but the Mexican was pretty and decidedly engaging. Cairness had been too nearly trapped once before to be lured now. He met the piece of brown femininity upon her own ground. "You are quite right, querida mia. She is ugly and old, and you are beautiful and young, and I will take you with me to the States and buy a pink dress with lovely green ribbons, if you will tell me where the old woman is." Two aimless citizens lounged on their horses, rapt in argument and the heavy labor of chewing—so much so that they barely took notice of the troops. Kirby finished greasing the nut of a wagon. Then he went to the water trough and washed his hands and face, drying them upon a towel in the harness room. He explained that they didn't make much of a toilet for luncheon.

[Pg 309]

"The fellers that's after him. They're goin' to hold him up fifteen miles out, down there by where the Huachuca road crosses. He's alone, ain't he?"

He hesitated, opening his mouth to speak and shutting it again irresolutely.

Cairness's eyes turned from a little ground owl on the top of a mound and looked him full in the face. "I really can't see, sir," he said, "how it can matter to any one."

Landor asked what he meant by that. "I'm sick of all this speaking in riddles," he said.