"Will you make haste?" cried Felipa, out of patience.
The major resumed his walk and did not answer.
Crook had been recalled too late, and he knew it. Every Apache on the reservation was ready for the war-path. It was not to be averted. One man, even a very firm and deft one, could not straighten out in a few weeks the muddle of ten years of thievery, oppression, and goading. It takes more than just a promise, even though it is one likely to be kept, to soothe the hurt feelings of savages who have seen eleven of their friends jailed for fourteen months without the form of accusation or trial. They feel bitter toward the government whose minions do those things. [Pg 62]
"Do you think, sir, that you could tell that to twelve officers and make them believe it?"
After he had had his tea Kirby got up, went out to the corral, and called to one of the men, who hesitated for a moment, then slouched over, kicking with his heavy booted toe as he passed at the hocks of a horse in one of the stalls. Kirby saw him do it, but he checked his wrath. He had learned to put up with many things. "Don't you think," he suggested, "that it might be a good idea for you and some other man to ride down the road a bit—"
Cairness made another cigarette and considered. "I think I'll hire to him," he said, after a while.