Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/149

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If any one indulges the idea that the Apaches are weak and few; that they can be reduced to submission by the establishment of scattered forts in the regions occupied by them; that they can be tamed, and rendered peaceable under any circumstances; that they are to be bound and holden by treaty stipulations; that they are susceptible of any law except the lex lalionis, or are to be constrained by any rule but that of the argumentum ad hominum, they are wonderfully in error. The succeeding chapters of this unpretending volume of personal experience—acquired after nearly eight years of extraordinary facilities to learn the truth—will probably have the effect to disprove these sophistries in a convincing manner. And here, I assert, that I was in every way predisposed to offer every kindly act toward that race. Admiring their unyielding resistance; their acknowledged prowess; their undisputed skill and dexterity; their undoubted intelligence and native force of character; acquainted with their language, traditions, tribal and family organizations, and enjoying their confidence to a degree never before accorded to any but an Apache, I strenuously used every effort in consonance with my orders and plain duties, to better their condition, and instill such information as would best conduce to their future peace and happiness. These facts will appear in the course of my narrative, together with the lamentable failure of all conciliatory schemes, which were notably aided and seconded by the commanding General and his subalterns.