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      When he was well within, he began to investigate, and he recalled now that he had heard a great deal of this cave. It was very large, supposedly, but almost unexplored. Tradition ran that the Spaniards, in the long-past days of their occupation, had had a big silver mine in there, worked by padres who had taught the timid Indians to believe that it was haunted, that they might not take it for themselves, nor yet guide others to it. And, too, it had been the refuge and hiding-place of Billy the Kid for years. It was said that since then a corporal and three men had gone in once, and that a search party had found their gnawed skeletons by the edge of the river that flowed there underground. Oddly enough, and thanks to the missionary fathers, it had never served as an Indian stronghold, though its advantages for such a use were manifest.

      Walpole, however, continued to oppose the South Sea Bill in the Commons, declaring that the terms were too extravagant ever to be fulfilled; that the experiment could result in nothing but a fearful increase of the costs of stockjobbing, and final confusion and ruin. He insisted that, before the proposals of the Company were accepted,[47] the rise of their stock should be limited, and every means taken to prevent the fever of infatuation that would ensue from the promise of dividends out of funds which could never be realised. He proposed for this purpose the introduction of a clause fixing the number of years' purchase to be granted to the annuitants of the South Sea Company; but to this it was objected that it was the interest of the Company to take up the annuities; and, as the annuitants had the power of coming in or not, as they pleased, the Company would, of course, offer advantageous terms, and, therefore, the whole affair might be safely left to private adjustment. Aislabie added that the South Sea Company would not submit to be controlled in an undertaking they were to pay so dear for. The Bill passed both Houses.

      She did not. He had merely told her that her father was his friend and had died on the plains. "She thinks her mother died at Stanton. It is so near the Mescalero Agency that I let it go at that."

      He turned his chair and studied her in a kind of hopeless amusement. "Felipa," he said, "if you will insist upon being told, I cut open the pockets of those dead men's clothes with it.""Trouble is," he went on evenly, "trouble is, that, like most women, you've been brought up to take copy-book sentiments about touchin' pitch, and all that, literal. You don't stop to remember that to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. If she can't do you any harm spiritually, she certainly ain't got the strength to do it physically. I can't say as I'd like to have her about the place all the time unless she was going to reform,and I don't take much stock in change of heart, with her sort,because she wouldn't be a pleasant companion, and it ain't well to countenance vice. But while she's sick, and it will oblige Cairness, she can have the shelter of my manta. You think so too, now, don't you?" he soothed.

      The sadly-shrunken remnant of the unconquer able 200th Ind. gathered around its regimental colors, on the front of the crest of Snodgrass Hill, and grimly, silently prepared for the next event, whatever it might be. The wounds of those still able to fight were bound up, and they resumed their places in line. The worst hurt were helped or carried back to the busy Surgeon under the shelter of the hill. The newly-dead were brought up and added to the row of those who had already fought their last battle. Cartridge-boxes of both dead and wounded were carefully searched for remaining cartridges. Si and Shorty were laid at the end of the long row.

      "Don't be a little goose, Susie," said Maria severely. "You're too young yit to think about beaux. You hain't got used to long dresses yit. You go practice on boys in roundabouts awhile. This is a full-grown man and a soldier. He hain't got no time to waste on schoolgirls."


      THE EARL OF MAR RAISING THE PRETENDER'S STANDARD. (See p. 28.)"But you have no Jill," she said, smiling at Ellton. His own smile was very strained, but she did not see that, nor the shade of trouble in his nice blue eyes.


      "I'll walk every step o' the way, if you'll let me go on," said the Deacon.


      Landor's troop, with one other, was in the San[Pg 275] Andres Mountains of New Mexico when Cairness joined it. They were on the trail of a large band of renegades, and it led them through the mountains, across the flats, and down to the lava beds.Sandy, without reply, was already quietly undressing.