Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/128

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them a plentiful supper the evening previous, and then reiterated our demand for the launches, while they as stubbornly denied any knowledge of their existence.

That day we moved down the river about eleven miles and selected a good camp ground early in the afternoon. Again we were surrounded by hundreds of Indians, but the personal fears of our hostages kept them at bay, and they did not approach nearer than three hundred yards. The night passed as the previous one had done, and we perceived it was the intention of the Yumas to wear us out, and then seize their opportunity; but this scheme was frustrated by the nerve and decision of Dr. Webb, who next morning informed Caballo en Pelo and his chief followers, that "we were well aware of the existence of the launches by oral as well as written intelligence; that they were absolutely necessary to cross the Colorado; that we knew the Yumas had driven away the small garrison of American soldiers and had the launches in their possession; that we had met the escaped Maricopas, who told us all about the massacre of Gallantin and his party, and the appropriation of the launches by the Yumas; and, finally, that if those launches were not forthcoming by twelve o'clock the next day, we should at once proceed to extremities and kill him and all the Yumas in our camp."

It may well be supposed that this sort of talk aroused the liveliest alarm among our prisoners, who commenced an excited conversation in their own tongue, which culminated in a request from Caballo en Pelo that one of his young men be permitted to leave our camp and make inquiry if the launches really were in existence, and if so, to bring it down river to our camp. This was agreed to, and a young lad, about eighteen years of age, the son of Pasqual, selected for the business. He was al-