Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/127

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121
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

are so much more numerous, but we will kill you first, if they do not obey our orders which shall be promulgated through you."

This was undoubtedly the "tightest fix" our visitors ever got in. They were by no means prepared for such a decided stand, and were quite at a loss for expedient. Seeing resolution in each man's eye, and knowing that it was our determination to put them to death the moment any decidedly hostile step should be taken by their people, they concluded to make the best of a bad bargain, and escape by strategy from the trap they had prepared to spring upon us, but in which they had caught themselves.

Caballo en Pelo made a few signs to the surrounding and anxious multitude, which then quietly retreated out of sight among the dense willows which grew with remarkable luxuriance about three hundred yards from the river. We then dug two holes, about twenty feet apart, parallel to each other, and each about five feet long by one and a half wide and two deep. In these holes we made blazing fires which rose about two or three feet above the surface of the ground, and between these fires we ordered the Yumas to lie down, side by side, while a sentinel with a cocked six-shooter paraded along the line of their heads, and another along the line of their feet. A flank escape was impossible, as it was prevented by a bright and hot fire on each side. Our few remaining animals were drawn up in line on the river side of the camp, with a guard outside of them and within twenty feet of the whole party. "We slept but little that night, and at early dawn we were once more afoot, and in discussion with the Yumas, who stoutly denied any hostile motive, and professed indignation at their treatment. We gave them a good breakfast, as we had given