“I care,” said Randy, “and I think the first time I knew how much I cared was when I kissed that other girl. Somehow you came to me that night, a little white thing, so fine and different, and I loathed her.”
He was standing now—tall and lean and black-haired, but with the look of race on his thin face, a rather princely chap in spite of his shabby clothes. “Of course you don’t care,” he said; “I think if I had money I should try to make you. But I haven’t the right. I had thought that, perhaps, if no other man came that some time I might——”
Becky picked up her riding crop, and as she talked she tapped her boot in a sort of staccato accompaniment.
“That other man has come,” tap-tap, “he kissed me,” tap-tap, “and made me love him,” tap-tap, “and he has gone away—and he hasn’t asked me to marry him.”
One saw the Indian in Randy now, in the lifted head, the square-set jaw, the almost cruel keenness of the eyes.
“Of course it is George Dalton,” he said.
“I could kill him, Becky.”
She laughed, ruefully. “For what? Perhaps he thinks I’m not a nice sort of girl—like the one you kissed——”
“For God’s sake, Becky.”
He sat down on a flat rock. He was white, and shaking a little. He wanted more than anything else in the wide world to kill George Dalton. Of course in these days such things were preposterous. But he had murder in his heart.
“I blame myself,” Becky said, tap-tap, “I should have known that a man doesn’t respect,” tap-tap, “a woman he can kiss.”
He took the riding crop forcibly out of her hands. “Look at me, look at me, Becky, do you love him?”
She whispered, “Yes.”
“Then he’s got to marry you.”
But her pride was up. “Do you think I want him if he doesn’t want—me?”
“He shall want you,” said Randy Paine; “the day shall come when he shall beg on his knees.”
Randy had studied law. But there are laws back of the laws of the white man. The Indian knows no rest until his enemy is in his hands. Randy lay awake late that night thinking it out. But he was not thinking only of Georgie. He was thinking of Becky and her self-respect. “She will never get it back,” he said, “until that dog asks her to marry him.”
He had faith enough in her to believe that she would not marry Dalton now if he asked her. But she must be given the chance.