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The log cabins were built, five of them, to form a square. The largest contained the sitting room and a bedroom, the three others, bedrooms and a storehouse, and the kitchen and dining room were in the fifth.

In the '70's the frontier was a fact and not a memory, and a woman in the Far West was a blessing sent direct from heaven, or from the East, which was much the same thing. Lieutenants besought the wives of their brother officers to bring out their sisters and cousins and even aunts, and very weird specimens of the sex sometimes resulted. But even these could reign as queens, dance, ride, flirt to their hearts' content—also marry, which is not always the corollary in these days. The outbreak of a reservation full of Indians was a small thing in comparison with the excitement occasioned by the expectation of a girl in the post.

"He was helping me."

Chapter 5 The sentry was of the opinion that it was an unseemly hour to arouse a man who had marched all day, but it was not for him to argue. He walked deliberately, very deliberately indeed, that the citizens might be impressed, over to Landor's tent and awoke him. "There's two citizens here, sir, asking to see you,[Pg 111] sir." His tone plainly disclaimed any part in the affair.

[Pg 130]

It was impossible to misunderstand, and Brewster was vexed beyond the bounds of all wisdom. "The squaws have their good traits, too, I guess. I hear one had her nose cut off on your account." He should not have said it. He knew it, and he knew that the private knew it, but the man made no reply whatever.

There was a murmur. They had elected a captain of their own; they were Indian fighters of experience themselves.

It was short and to the point upon Cairness's part, and having finished he stood up.

"I ought to have known better than to come at all," he told Brewster, as they stood beside their horses; "it is always like this."