The minister nodded his head. "Yes, I reckon there is," he agreed. The storm passed, with all the suddenness it had come on, and Felipa rose, and dressing herself quickly went out upon the porch. Three drenched kittens were mewing there piteously. She gathered them up in her hands and warmed them against her breast as she stood watching the earth and sky sob themselves to rest. All the petunias in the bed by the steps were full of rain, the crowfoot and madeira vines of the porch were stirring with the dripping water. Many great trees had had their branches snapped off and tossed several[Pg 307] yards away, and part of the windmill had been blown to the top of the stable, some distance off. She wondered if Cairness had been able to get the cut alfalfa covered. Then she took the kittens with her to the house and went into the kitchen, where the Chinese cook already had a fire in the stove. She ordered coffee and toast to be made at once, and leaving the kittens in the woodbox near the fire, went back to the sitting room.
The character of Geronimo, as already manifested, was not one to inspire much confidence, nor was his appearance one to command respect. The supposititious dignity of the savage was lacking entirely. The great chief wore a filthy shirt and a disreputable coat, a loin-cloth, and a dirty kerchief wound around his head. His legs were bare from the hips, save for a pair of low moccasins. His whole appearance was grotesque and evil.
"I reckon you'll know what for, then," beamed Taylor, immovably. "There will be trouble with Geronimo's people soon."
Not having had enough of driving to madness in '75 and '76, they tried it again three years later. They were dealing this time with other material, not the friendly and the cowed, but with savages as cruel and fierce and unscrupulous as those of the days of Coronado. Victorio, Juh, and Geronimo were already a little known, but now they were to have their names shrieked to the unhearing heavens in the agony of the tortured and the dying.
But that same night he picked two for their reputation of repeating all they knew, and took them into his own rooms and told his story to them. And he met once again with such success that when Landor rode into the post the next day at about guard-mounting, three officers, meeting him, raised their caps and passed on. "They put him in a tent beside the hospital, and the next morning I went over with the doctor to see him. He was all cut up on the arms and neck and shoulders. I must have been very strong." She stopped, and he still sat with the puzzled look on his face, but a light of understanding beginning to show through.
He went over to the window and stood looking out of it, his hands clasped behind his back. Some children were playing tag around the flag-staff, and he watched a long-limbed small daughter of the frontier dodging and running, and was conscious of being glad that she touched the goal.
He told her that she didn't know it, because he was not; and then he explained to her. "What I want of you now is for you to come over with Taylor and me to see Stone."
"You are not fit to go," Felipa said resignedly, "but that doesn't matter, of course."