He and the parson followed her out of the house. She had not cared to say good-by to Mrs. Taylor, and she glared at the little Reverend, who balanced himself on his uncertain small feet and clutched at a chair, watching her with his precocious eyes and an expression combined of his mother's virtuous disapproval[Pg 258] and his father's contemplative scrutiny, the while the tufts of his hair stood out stiffly.
There was another silence, and this time he broke it.
"You don't say!" she mocked. "You want the earth and some sun and moon and stars, don't you, though? Well, then, Bill told him about a week afterward. And he told him because Stone had another hold on him (it ain't any of your business what that was, I reckon), and bullied it out of him (Bill ain't got any more backbone than a rattler), and promised to lend him money to set up for hisself on the Circle K Ranch. Want to know anything else?" she sneered.
"See here," insisted Taylor; "turn round here and answer me." Cairness continued to stand with his head down, looking at the geraniums. The parson was wiser than his wife in that he knew when it was of no use to insist. "What's keeping you around here, anyway? You ought to have gotten out when you left the service—and you half meant to then. What is it?"
Being shaved of the thick iron-gray beard, and once again in seemly uniform, and having reported to the commandant, he sat down to talk with his wife.