He raised himself from the pillows too abruptly for a very weak man. "What is the matter, Felipa?" he demanded.
The fall had knocked the breath from his body. The under dog did not answer. Landor expressed pleasure, without loss of words. "Hire to him!" exclaimed Taylor, "what for?"
Landor winced as he folded his napkin and stood up. "I am ready," he said, and going into the long hallway took his cap from the rack and went with the major out into the night. In those days some strange things happened at agencies. Toilet sets were furnished to the Apache, who has about as much use for toilet sets as the Greenlander has for cotton prints, and who would probably have used them for targets if he had ever gotten them—which he did not. Upon the table of a certain agent (and he was an honest man, let it be noted, for the thing was rare) there lay for some time a large rock, which he had labelled with delicate humor "sample of sugar furnished to this agency under—" but the name doesn't matter now. It was close on a[Pg 12] quarter of a century ago, and no doubt it is all changed since then. By the same working out, a schoolhouse built of sun-baked mud, to serve as a temple of learning for the Red-man, cost the government forty thousand dollars. The Apache children who sat within it could have acquired another of the valuable lessons of Ojo-blanco from the contractors.
Landor looked them over and gave them back contemptuously. "Well?" he said, "there's nothing new in all that. It's devilish exasperating, but it's old as Hamilcar. I made an enemy of a fellow from Tucson, reporter named Stone, over at the San Carlos Agency a few years ago. He's been waiting to roast me ever since. There must be something else."
"Where is the use of the lip's red charm,