Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/40

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for it, but to help his host in guessing what it would be, he keeps his eyes obstinately fixed on that object, with a patience really Indian, from morning to evening if necessary.

Not satisfied with coming chemselves, one after the other, to pay the Colonel their interested court, the Comanche Chiefs did not need a long time to imagine using their wives for their new type of persecution. It became fashionable for the squaws to spend whole days in the tent of the white chief. Squatting gravely on their heels, these ladies remained completely silent, but their presence obliged the Colonel to remain in the room and to notice that each pair of soft and brilliant black eyes was looking fixedly at a different object which he had to end up by giving if he wanted to preserve the atmosphere of friendship he considered so important.

Instructed by experience, the Colonel finally got to subtract from visibility, everything except the four wooden partitions of his reception room. But, he did not gain as much as one might think. The attention of the Indian women concentrated on the Colonel himself, and finally, not a single piece of his clothing escaped being silently, but eloquently, demanded. His boots, particularly, provoked ardent covetousness. It was not rare to see two or three women fix their eyes on them. If the Colonel stood up, went right or left giving orders, those eyes would obstinately follow his feet, and the Colonel could not escape, in the end, taking off his shoes and offering them. Only then did he recover