Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/101

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

distrust. You are understood to be his natural enemy, and all his faculties are awakened against your advances. Treasuring up his own vengeful purposes for months and years, he imputes to you the same, or kindred intention of doing him ultimate harm. No effort, no kindness on your part, can induce him to disabuse his mind of this idea, because he is not capable of such magnanimity, and regards it as the finest stroke of duplicity. Trained to treachery, he is ever on his guard against it in others. Even members of his own tribe are not trusted implicitly.

When you talk to him of a Creator, he replies that he admits that fact; and when you endeavor to explain the attributes of the Most High, he tells you of the necessity to propitiate the devil. Any attempt to make him comprehend the Trinity is laughed to scorn, and he hesitates not to tell you that you lie, simply because it is beyond his comprehension. He admires and envies our power to read, write and calculate, and would fain be master of those accomplishments; but ask him to send his children to school, in order that they might learn to do likewise, and straightway he regards you as one wishing to control and bewitch the beloved offspring. He is willing to obtain information by oral means, but scouts the idea of learning it by studious process, which he regards as a species of slavery, and detests the control exercised by the teacher over his free born, wild, and unfettered children. While he frankly admits that you are better clothed, better fed, and better conditioned in all respects than he is, he as frankly and persistently refuses all overtures and invitations to adopt your style of life. He is as dogmatically convinced of his superiority as you are of yours, and no effort of rhetoric or argument can bring him to a different opinion. Show him the wonders of magnetism, or a microscope, or explain to him the mechanism of a watch, or direct his admiring gaze through