There had been an afternoon in Washington when, on her road to some reception of a half-official kind, she had crossed the opening of an alleyway and had come upon three boys who were torturing a small, blind kitten; and almost without knowing what she did, because her maternal grandfather had done to the children of his enemies as the young civilized savages were doing to the kitten there, she stopped and watched them, not enjoying the sight perhaps, but not recoiling from it either. So intent had she been that she had not heard footsteps crossing the street toward her, and had not known that some one stopped beside her with an exclamation of wrath and dismay. She had turned suddenly and looked up, the pupils of her eyes contracted curiously as they had been when she had watched the tarantula-vinagrone fight years before. The civilization of the Englishman is only skin deep. And therein lies his strength and his salvation. Beneath that outer surface, tubbed and groomed and prosperous, there is the man, raw and crude from the workshops of Creation. Back of that brain, trained to a nicety of balance and perception and judgment, there are the illogical passions of a savage. An adaptation of the proverb might run that you scratch an Englishman and you find a Briton—one of those same Britons who stained themselves blue with woad, who fell upon their foes with clumsy swords and flaming torches, who wore the skins of beasts, and lived in huts of straw, and who burned men and animals together, in sacrifice to their gods.
If he had not sprung forward, with his arms outstretched to catch her, she would have fallen, face downward in the dust. It was three times now he had so saved her.
"I have kept near you for a week, to warn you, or to help you if necessary."
The man up above showed himself, and putting his hands to his mouth shouted, "Felipa!" Brewster's irritation waxed. "Landor again?" he queried suggestively.
As he shut the door and bolted it with the great iron rods, there tore into the clearing a score of vague, savage figures. It looked, when he saw it for an instant, as he put up the wooden blinds, like some phantom dance of the devils of the mountains, so silent they were, with their unshod ponies, so quick moving. And then a short silence was broken by cries and shots, the pinge of bullets, and the whizz of arrows.