He handed it over also.
He hesitated still. "I don't doubt you," he told her.
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.
She gave him an odd, furtive glance and did not[Pg 55] answer for a time. He was never quite able to divine with her just how much of his thoughts she understood, and it put him at some disadvantage. "You do doubt me. If you did not, it would never occur to you to deny it. You doubt me now, and you will doubt me still more if you don't read it. In justice to me you must."
There were two rooms to the cabin where they were, the big sitting room and the small bedchamber beyond. Kirby went into the bedroom and came out with two rifles and a revolver. He put the revolver into his wife's hands. "I'll do my best, you know, dear. But if I'm done for, if there is no hope for you and the children, use it," he said. And added, "You understand?" Cairness had gone out to hitch the horses. When he came in he spoke to Mrs. Lawton, as one possessed of authority. He told her to lie down if she wanted to. "With your leave, Mrs. Taylor?" he added. Mrs. Taylor was already beside her, fussing kindly and being met with scant courtesy.
"Say we were to get off at sun-up, then," objected Landor, "they would even in that way have twelve hours' start of us."