Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/107

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101
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

But as our brethren have signified their dislike to the proceeding, we will restore the moon to its original splendor. If in a little while it does not reappear, our Pimo and Maricopa friends may take their vengeance and destroy our instruments. But they must remember that we alone are the medicine men; our brethren in the camp are as innocent as you, and should not be disturbed or held accountable in any event."

This promise restored some degree of tranquility, and they gave us their word not to injure or interfere with our unsuspecting comrades.

It has often occurred to me what a dreadful fate would have been ours if a sudden storm had arisen at that period, and prevented the moon from being seen again immediately after the eclipse. But the heavens were specially bright and cloudless, and not the slightest incident occurred to dash our courage. In the course of time the observation reached its fullest extent, and the anxiety of our Indian friends became intense. Yells and moanings rent the still night air, maledictions and curses were lavished upon us, weapons were drawn, and every indication given of speedy dismissal from this vale of tears; but the grand old chief, who seemed to have absolute control of his people, stood between us and harm, and quietly awaited the issue. By and by the moon began to exhibit her brilliant shield once more. Its silver disc grew larger and larger. Gradually, but surely, it sailed from behind the earth's shadow and assumed its pristine proportions, until she was again unveiled in full majesty. To describe the joy, the amazement and the homage of the savages is quite impossible. We were lifted up on their arms, patted on our backs, embraced, and dignified to their utmost extent. All this time Mr. Whipple had been quietly taking his observations and writing them in