It was too foolish to answer.
If it went like this, she thought, she might get to the cross-road first, and beyond. The four men would not matter much then, if she could but stop her husband. Why had he started back alone—and carrying money too? It was foolhardy. But then there was so little money, she knew, that he had probably not thought of it as booty. She turned her uncovered head and listened. Her hair had fallen loose and was streaming out in the wind. She could not hear the others now. They must be well behind.
Forbes went on without noticing the interruption. "You are a great influence in her life, but you aren't the only one. Her surroundings act powerfully upon her. When I knew her before, she was like any other beautiful woman—"
"Yes," Cairness called back. He did not try to discuss her plans for the future with her that night; but two days afterward, when she had disposed of all her household goods and had packed the few things that remained, they sat upon two boxes in the bare hallway, resting; and he broached it.
Stone made a very creditable fight. A man does not throw up the results of years of work without a strong protest. He treated it lightly, at first, then seriously. Then he threatened. "I've got a good deal of power myself," he told Cairness angrily; "I can roast you in the press so that you can't hold up your head."
From thenceforth the elegant creature troubled Felipa as little as the nature of things would permit. She said that Mrs. Landor was une sauvage and so brune; and Mrs. Landor said she was a fool and dyed her hair. She was not given to mincing words. And she had small patience with a woman who lay in bed until the sun was high, and who spent her days lounging under the ramada, displaying tiny, satin-shod feet for the benefit of the enlisted men and the Indians who wandered over from the reservation.
"And if I were out of the way?" he suggested.
She herself lay at full length upon a couch she had devised out of packing cases. It occurred to Landor that she often dropped down to rest now, and that she was sallow and uneasy.