As he put on his faded blouse he went and stood before her, holding out his arms. She moved over to him and laid her head on his shoulder. "Are you not sorry to have me go?" he asked, in the tones of one having a grievance. He felt that he was entitled to something of the sort.
"Do you object to taking her into your house for a short time?" "Certain, dead sure. It's a band of Apaches that went across the river. Why, half a dozen seen them." Foster hastened to assure him that two days would easily do it. "We know the country round here, [Pg 113]Colonel, know it better than the hostiles themselves; and a big party of us volunteers to put you on the trail and bring you to them. You can't hardly refuse, seein' as you say you are here to protect us, and this is the protection we ask, to get back the stock we've lost."
It was his habit to go to bed directly after taps when he was officer-of-the-day, and to visit the guard immediately before reveille the next morning. But the requisitions and some troop papers kept him until almost twelve, so that he decided to make his rounds as soon as the clock had struck twelve, and to sleep until sunrise. Felipa had long since gone off to bed. He turned down the lamp, put on his cape and cap, and with his revolver in his pocket and his sabre clicking a monotonous accompaniment went out into the night. "You better do what I say!" He was plainly spoiling for a fight.
A great many delightful facts, illustrative of the rule of the Anglo-Saxon in for gain, came to his knowledge. There were good men and just in Arizona, and some of these composed the Federal Grand Jury, which reported on the condition of affairs at the Agency. When a territorial citizen had anything to say in favor of the Redskin, it might be accepted as true. And these jurymen said that the happenings on the San Carlos Agency had been a disgrace to the age and a foul blot upon the national escutcheon. They waxed very wroth and scathing as they dwelt upon how the[Pg 177] agent's vast power made almost any crime possible. There was no check upon his conduct, nor upon the wealth he could steal from a blind government; and to him, and such as him, they attributed the desolation and bloodshed which had dotted the plains with the graves of murdered victims. It was the rather unavailing wail of the honest citizen caught between the upper and nether millstones of the politician and the hostile.