"She's mighty nice looking, ain't she?"
[Pg 243] The general was neither convinced nor won over. He had Geronimo told that it was a very pretty story, but that there was no reason why forty men should have left the reservation for fear of three. "And if you were afraid of three, what had that to do with the[Pg 299] way you sneaked all over the country, killing innocent people? You promised me in the Sierra Madre that that peace should last. But you lied. When a man has lied to me once, I want better proof than his word to believe him again."
"She was a captive among the Chiricahuas up in the Sierra Madre. She's had a hard time of it. That and the return march have been too much for her." "Yes?"
"It is the only one I can live," she said indifferently[Pg 323] enough, stating it as an accepted, incontrovertible fact, "and it's the one you like best."
She thought for a moment before she answered. Then she spoke deliberately, and there was a purring snarl under her voice. "It is none of your business that I can see. But I will tell you this much, he is a man I respect; and that is more than I have said of you when I have been asked the same question."
For a moment he stood looking straight into her eyes, yet neither read the other's thoughts. Then he turned away with a baffled half laugh. "Why should it matter to me?" he asked.
"Why are you so all-fired anxious to vindicate the law?" He dropped easily into phrases.
"Think it over, in any case," urged Forbes; "I am going in, good night."