Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/105

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

we proceeded until the highest hillock in the neighborhood was surmounted. The Pimos and Maricopas soon learned that the white men were abroad with sundry curious looking weapons, and surrounded us by hundreds; but as we knew them to be thoroughly peaceful, and even generous, no notice was taken of their presence. The telescope was placed in position, and on being asked by a Pimo what it was, I carelessly replied that it was a terrific cannon, the shot of which would reach to the moon. Little did we think how quickly this answer would place us in imminent jeopardy. The round, full moon was sailing across the heavens in refulgent splendor. Not a cloud could be seen; the air was calm and tranquil; the night was pleasantly warm, and everything promised a satisfactory observation. By and by, the eclipse was about to commence. Mr. Whipple stationed himself at the telescope, and the rest of us stood ready to obey his directions. Every one was attentive, and wholly bent on making the occasion a success. At length the observation commenced. It was watched by the Indians, who kept their eyes alternately fixed on the moon and on Mr. Whipple; and as the disc of that luminary began to grow less and less, and darker and darker, the Chief, Culo Azul, said to me: "What are you doing?"

Not apprehending any difficulty, and relying on their well known and often tried amity, I replied: "We are shooting and killing the moon."

This was translated to the surrounding multitude, and immediately followed by the most dreadful yells I ever heard. A rush was made toward us, and weapons brandished with fearful and vengeful violence. Our party became alarmed, and prepared to sell our lives as dearly as possible; but the thought of our unsuspecting