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.
"Yes," Cairness said, "of course it's hard luck, but she's deserved it all, and more too. You may as well know the whole thing now. It's only fair. She and her husband were the cause of the Kirby massacre. Drove off the stock from the corrals and left them no escape."
"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." For answer she put out her hand and laid it upon his, not as she had often done it before, in the unattentive eagerness of some argument, but slowly, with a shadow of hesitation.
He rolled his cut and throbbing head over again, and watched the still form. And he was conscious of no satisfaction that now there was nothing in all the world to keep him from Felipa, from the gaining of the wish of many years, but only of a dull sort of pity for Landor and for himself, and of a real and deep regret.