"See here," insisted Taylor; "turn round here and answer me." Cairness continued to stand with his head down, looking at the geraniums. The parson was wiser than his wife in that he knew when it was of no use to insist. "What's keeping you around here, anyway? You ought to have gotten out when you left the service—and you half meant to then. What is it?" "Well, I didn't kill them, did I?" he whined.
The column halted, and the lieutenant in command rode back. He, too, looked down at the horse, pulling at his mustache with one gauntleted hand. He had played with Cabot when they had been children together, in that green land of peace and plenty which they called the East. They had been schoolmates, and they had the same class sympathies even now, though the barrier of rank was between them, and the dismounted man was a private in Landor's own troop. Landor liked the private for the sake of the old times and for the memory of a youth which had held a better promise for both than manhood had fulfilled.
"What did I do? The same as he done unto me. Let the air into his sombrero." He told them that he was studying the flora of the country, and travelling quite alone, with an Indian pony, a pack-mule, and a dog—a prospector's outfit, in short.