"Do you care for it so much that you would not be happy in any other?" "Yes," said Cairness, examining it, "but this has no meaning."
"That's all." Felipa nodded. "A very little," she said.
"Do you think you could love me, Felipa?" he asked, without any preface at all.
"And you—what did you say?" asked Landor. He was a little surprised to find how anxiously he[Pg 26] waited, and the extent of his relief when she answered, "I told him to let me be, or I would set them loose on him." Cairness himself had speculated upon that subject a good deal, and had noticed with a slight uneasiness the ugly looks of some of the ranch hands. "They are more likely to have trouble in that quarter than with the Indians," he said to himself. For he had seen much, in the ranks, of the ways of the disgruntled, free-born American.
Cairness sat himself down and tried to listen for the flow of the great black river yonder in the great black hollow. By dint of straining his ears he almost fancied[Pg 220] that he did catch a sound. But at the same instant, there came a real and unmistakable one. He started a little, not quite sure, just at first, what manner of wild beast, or man, or genius of the cave might pounce out upon him.