Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/136

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of their value, and I resigned my place in the Commission. Three weeks afterward it returned toward the East, while I remained in San Diego.

About a month after the Commission had departed, carrying with it my warmest and most kindly esteem toward its gallant and noble-hearted members, a small party of ten men was formed for the purpose of entering and exploring a portion of Arizona, with a view to locate and exploit some of its valuable gold and silver mines, and I was engaged as the interpreter and guide of the party, on a salary of five hundred dollars per month.

On an appointed day we started, and after a tedious march, reached the Colorado, which was then the theater of an active war against the Yuma Indians. Col. Heintzleman had arrived with his troops and had begun a vigorous campaign. We were immediately crossed by the guard in charge of the launch, and cautioned about the Yumas, who were then supposed to be in force on the Gila, about thirty miles from its junction with the Colorado. In consequence of this warning, we determined to proceed by night instead of day until we had passed the field occupied by the savages. The rumbling of our two wagons, and the watchful stillness of our party, impressed the savages with the belief that we were an armed body stealing a march upon them, and we passed unmolested in the dark, arriving at Antelope Peak in our march from Fort Yuma. Here we considered our selves comparatively safe from the Yumas, although exposed to visits from the Tonto Apaches, who inhabit the northern side of the Gila from Antelope Peak to the Pimo villages. Our party was well armed, each person having two revolvers, a good rifle and a large knife, and we felt ourselves equal to four or five times our number of Indians in an open fight, but were also aware that the utmost precaution was necessary at all times.