Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/139

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133
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

vanced upon me with a long and keen knife, with which he made a plunge at my breast. This attack was met by stopping his right wrist with my left hand, and at the same moment I lunged my small dagger full at his abdomen. He caught my right wrist in his left hand, and for a couple of seconds—a long time under such circumstances—we stood regarding each other, my left hand holding his right above my head, and his left retaining my right on a level with his body. Feeling that he was greased, and that I had no certain hold, I tripped him with a sudden and violent pass of the right foot, which brought him to the ground, but in falling he seized and carried me down with him. In a moment the desperate savage gained the ascendant, and planted himself firmly on my person, with his right knee on my left arm, confining it closely, and his left arm pinioning my right to the ground, while his right arm was free. I was completely at his mercy. His personal strength and weight were greater than mine. His triumph and delight glared from his glittering black eyes, and he resolved to lose nothing of his savage enjoyment. Holding me down with the grasp of a giant, against which all my struggles were wholly vain, he raised aloft his long, sharp knife, and said—"Pindah lickoyee das-ay-go, dee-dab, tatsan," which means, "the white-eyed man, you will be soon dead." I thought as he did, and in that frightful moment made a hasty commendation of my soul to the Benevolent, but I am afraid that it was mingled with some scheme to get out of my predicament, if possible.

To express the sensations I underwent at that moment is not within the province of language. My erratic and useless life passed in review before me in less than an instant of time. I lived more in that minute or two of our deadly struggle than I had ever done in years, and, as I