It would have become the sentiment of the crowd in another moment, but the little codger took up the second glass, and raised it again. Then it fell smashing to the floor. A second bullet had broken his wrist. Some thirty miles to the southeast was the Mescalero Indian Agency. Landor had consented with the worst possible grace to take her there sometime when the[Pg 184] road should be passable and safe. She had openly resented his disinclination, though she usually appeared not to notice it. "It is very natural I should want to see the place where I was born," she had said, "and I think we should both be more comfortable if you would not persist in being so ashamed of it."
Brewster got hunting leave, pending the acceptance of his resignation, and went to the railway. In less than a week he was all but forgotten in a newer interest.
That very day the doubt had attained the proportions of a certainty. The sight of a Circle K cow had called up the subject of the massacre, and a cow-boy had said, "Them are the property of Bill Lawton, I reckon."
Official business called Brewster to the Agency next day. He stopped overnight, on the way, at a ranch whose owners depended more upon passing travellers than upon the bad soil and the thin cattle. And here fate threw in his way one whom he would have gone well out of that way to find.
Kirby, with a revolver in each hand, placed himself before it. It would avail nothing. But a man must needs fight to the end. And the end was now. [Pg 92]