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      WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE. (See p. 235.)


      262


      Landor saw that his own horse was the best; and it bid very fair to play out soon enough. But until it should do so, his course was plain. He gathered his reins in his hands. "You can mount behind me, Cabot," he said. The man shook his head. It was bad enough that he had come down himself without bringing others down too. He tried to say so, but time was too good a thing to be wasted in argument, where an order would serve. There was a water hole to be reached somewhere to the southwest, over beyond the soft, dun hills, and it had to be reached soon. Minutes spelled death under that white hot sun. Landor changed from the friend to the officer, and Cabot threw himself across the narrow haunches that gave weakly under his weight.

      Steady, Larry! Jeff cautioned. Hold as you are. That-there is our amphibianand I reckon the boss is doing the control job.


      259

      It was a luxurious place. As much for his own artistic satisfaction as for her, Cairness had planned the interior of the house to be a background in keeping with Felipa, a fit setting for her, and she led the life of an Orient queen behind the walls of sun-baked clay. There was a wide couch almost in front of the roaring fire. She sank down in a heap of cushions, and taking up a book that lay open where her husband had put it down the night before, she tried to read by the flickering of the flame light over the pages.Five days after this, February 10th, the matter was made public by Lord Darnley rising in the Upper House, and moving for an inquiry into the conduct of the Ministry. This roused up Lord Grenville, who candidly avowed that, in consequence of their failure to introduce the question of Catholic emancipation, the Ministers had resigned and only held office till a new Cabinet was formed. On this, Lord Darnley postponed his motion. On the same day, in the Commons, a letter from Addington, the Speaker, was read, announcing his resignation of the Speakership in consequence of the king's proposal to nominate him to a situation incompatible with that post. Pitt then rose and confirmed this, and proposed an adjournment till the next day in order to prepare for the nomination of the new Speaker. The House adjourned accordingly, and next day, the 11th of February, elected Sir John Mitford, the Attorney-General, as Speaker. Before the House could resume business, it was announced that the king was illconfined to the house by a severe cold; but it was soon known that it was a return of his old malady, lunacy, in consequence of his extreme agitation on the proposal of the Catholic question and the resignation of Pitt. The report was soon augmented into the startling rumour that the king was dangerously ill, and that a regency must take placeif not superseded by his death. At this news Fox, who had for some time absented himself from Parliament, on the plea that all endeavours to carry sound and prudent measures were hopeless with Pitt's great martial majority, hastened up to town from St. Anne's Hill; and the Whig body was in a flutter of expectation that he would soon be the Minister of the prince regent, or of George IV. But all these hopes were speedily overthrown by the news of the rapid improvement of the king, and on the 12th of March the royal physicians announced him perfectly recovered. He attributed his illness to Pitt's conduct, and the ex-Premier thereupon wrote and promised never to re-open the question again.

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      "Well," answered Cairness, "I have been talking to them, chiefly to Geronimo. They have a good place for their rancheria on that hilltop. It is an old lava bed, an extinct crater, and it is a perfect fortress. There are three gulches between us and them, and a thousand men couldn't take the place."Limping? Was he hurt?

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