Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/129

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

lowed to depart with the positive assurance that we would keep our words in regard to his father and the other head men of the Yuma tribe in our camp.

That night we observed more than the usual precautions, for one-half our number were on guard at all times. Next morning no Indians were to be seen, but at ten o'clock a. m., a large launch, capable of holding half our party with their baggage, was seen approaching under the conduct of two Yumas. It was moored in front of our camp, and immediate preparations were made for crossing. Five of us, taking half the Yuma prisoners, immediately embarked with rifles in hand, ready for use, and as we could easily sweep both sides the river, our party was really as strong as ever. Our mules and horses were made to swim across under the lead and direction of two Yumas, who were kept within range of our rifles, and in this manner we succeeded in gaining the western bank of the Colorado, after three most exciting days of detention amidst overwhelming numbers of hostile savages; but our troubles were not yet ended. We had still to undergo another ordeal, even more perilous, because we had no hostages as securities for our safety from attack.

Having gained the western bank of the Colorado in peace, the Yumas demanded to be released from captivity, but our safety would not permit such a course, and Dr. Webb informed them that they must remain in camp that night and would be set free next day. The utmost precaution was again observed throughout the night, and at three o'clock next morning we were once more en route toward California, accompanied by the leading Yumas, who were kept closely guarded. That day we penetrated twenty-eight miles into the great Colorado desert, halting about four o'clock p. m, in a place where