Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/158

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ver mantle threw" in all its splendor. The effect upon the surrounding Indians I can not pretend to describe; but the sobriquet of "Captain Killmoon" was unanimously adopted as a very proper appellation. About one o'clock a. m. the savages retired, and left us to the enjoyment of a hearty laugh and undisturbed repose.

Two days afterward I had occasion to visit the headquarters of Col. Coult, and received his hospitality. That officer informed me that since our arrival the Indians had increased their prices for ground provisions, poultry, etc., five and six hundred per cent. Chickens, which had been a drug at a bit a piece, were then worth seventy-five cents. I told the Colonel that I could obtain all I required at twenty-five cents each, and he commissioned me to purchase a dozen or more on his account. This statement of mine had been made off-hand, and without any deliberation. I had bought only three or four chickens, and had no right to determine the market; but as the promise was given, it was my duty to fulfill it, even at expense to myself. Here, again, strategy came into play. "Captain Bob Shorty" was once more at his old tricks.

I was the fortunate possessor of a powerful magnet and a fine pocket compass, and with these instruments I resolved to test the acumen of my savage friends. A strong burning glass aided me greatly, as it did on subsequent occasions, to obtain their implicit trust and confidence. Armed with these peaceable weapons, I informed the Maricopas that chickens would find a ready market in my camp, and in a few hours several dozen were proffered. Determined upon paying only a fair price, I coolly commenced rolling a cigarito, at the same time giving one to a Maricopa, who went to the camp fire and got a light, with which he returned and prof-