Landor rode over to Bob's place, and giving his horse to the trumpeter, strode in. There were eight men around the bar, all in campaign outfit, and all in various stages of intoxication. Foster was effusive. He was glad to see the general. General Landor, these were the gentlemen who had volunteered to assist Uncle Sam. He presented them singly, and invited Landor to drink. The refusal was both curt and ungracious. "If we are to overtake the hostiles, we have got to start at once," he suggested.
The Agency man thought a question would not commit him. He had not been round at that time, and he asked for information. The lieutenant gave it to him.
It was not of much avail in the end, the conference. There was more than one tribe to be pacified. The restlessness of the wild things, of the goaded, and of the spring was in their blood.
"But you have no Jill," she said, smiling at Ellton. His own smile was very strained, but she did not see that, nor the shade of trouble in his nice blue eyes. Landor came out, putting on his blouse, and went over to the horsemen. One of them dismounted and raised his hat.
"She will shrink, I guess, at first," he admitted. "Women who ain't seen much of life kind of think they ought to draw aside their skirts, and all that. They were taught copy-book morals about touching pitch, I reckon,"—he was wise concerning women now—"and it takes a good deal of hard experience to teach them that it ain't so. But she'll take my word for it."
She threw him an indifferent "I am not afraid, not of anything." It was a boast, but he had reason to know that it was one she could make good.
Of the fruitful earth, like a goblin elf,
"That will do," said Landor. "See there is no delay," and he wheeled about and went back to his tent with Brewster.
She might have seen two dots of light fixed on her from the shadow, if she had looked that way. But she did not, and came unconcernedly down. She was sure-footed and agile, and she was daring, too. He himself had felt a qualm at coming here. But she did not appear to hesitate once. She came on, close by where he sat, and going to the dark passage peered in. Then she turned away and caught sight of him.
"Well?" she said peremptorily.