"It's not so much that," he evaded, getting up to put a lump of sugar he did not need into his tea, "it's not so much that as it is the everlasting strain of fighting the hands. It would be easier to meet an open rebellion than it is to battle against their sullen ugliness."

[Pg 257]

The captain they had elected for themselves was for following; the seven others agreed upon a detour. They had ideas of their own concerning obedience to superiors. They left the trail in spite of the vehement assurance of their captain that they would without doubt get all manner of profanity knocked out of them, and hasten their inevitable journey to Gehenna if they went into the timber.

The man beside her was an attaché of the British legation, who had been one of her greatest admirers to that time, but thereafter he sought her out no more. He had driven the boys off, and taking the kitten, which mewed piteously all the way, had gone with her to her destination and left her.

Then he delivered his ultimatum, slowly, watching the unhappy savage narrowly from under the visor of his pith helmet. "You must make up your mind whether you will stay out on the war-path or surrender—without conditions. If you stay out, I'll keep after you and kill the last one, if it takes fifty years. I have never lied to you," he stood up and waved his hand; "I have said all I have to say. You had better think it over to-night and let me know in the morning." "You might marry," Landor suggested. "You can always do that when all else fails." In the morning, while the cooks were getting breakfast and the steam of ration-Rio mounted as a grateful incense to the pink and yellow daybreak heavens, having bathed in the creek and elaborated his toilet[Pg 235] with a clean neckerchief in celebration of victory, he walked over to the bunch of tepees to see the women captives.