Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/132

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

calities in the twinkling of an eye. Our mules fell flat upon their bellies and thrust their noses close to the ground, our horses followed their example—none of us could stand against the force and might of the storm—and we, too, laid down flat, hauling a tent over us. In a few moments the tent was so deeply covered with sand as to retain its position, and every now and then we were compelled to remove the swiftly gathering mass, to avoid being absolutely buried alive. Amidst the distress, the horrible sensations, and the suffocating feelings occasioned by this sirocco, we entertained the grateful sense of protection from our savage pursuers, who were quite as incapable of facing that terrific storm as we were. For forty-eight hours we had not tasted food, and were more than a day without water in the hottest climate known to man, and our distress heightened by the intense craving for water invariably attendant on those scorching blasts of the desert. These sensations were not alleviated by the fact of knowing that we had yet a journey of forty miles before we could find water.

About three o'clock p. m., the storm passed off, and we instantly resumed our way without cooking food, for eating could only add to our already terrible thirst. All that night our weary feet trod that infernal desert until the glowing morning sun shone upon us like a plate of molten brass, but we had arrived at a fine camp ground, thickly supplied with shady mesquit trees and abounding with excellent grass for our worn-out animals, which had dwindled down to less than one-half the number we boasted before crossing the Colorado. About an hour after camping, the step-father of Inez, who served us as guide, reported that he saw an alamo tree a short distance off, and he believed that there must be water in its neighborhood. Several of us proceeded to the spot and