Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/159

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153
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

fered me the civility of igniting my cigarito from his. This did not suit my purpose, and taking my burning glass, I said—"Do you think that a 'Great Medicine' like me would light his cigar from common fire? No; I will draw it from heaven," and, suiting the action to the words, I drew a focus in that glaring sun, which soon gave me the needed fire. This simple achievement filled them with unbounded astonishment, and prepared them for the reception of other miracles. Turning to a warrior who appeared a person of some consequence, I ordered him to produce his chickens, whereupon half a dozen of fair quality were offered for sale. I took them one by one in my hand, appeared to go through a most careful examination, and then suddenly turning to the man, inquired what he meant by trying to deceive me. The poor fellow was exceedingly mortified, and asked in what particular. The reply was, you have offered to sell me sick chickens, unfit for food, and are therefore attempting an imposition. He stoutly denied the charge, insisting that the chickens were sound and well. We will soon test that, I answered, and then deposited my fine pocket compass on the ground, holding the magnet concealed in the hollow of my left hand. The needle soon ceased oscillating and settled down to its proper pointings, when the Indian was requested to turn the compass round, which he did, and, to his great wonder, the needle again resumed its normal situation. After several essays of this kind, he became convinced that the north pole would invariably point northward, no matter what changes were made in the position of the case. So soon as the required impression had been effected, they were told to lay their chickens, one after the other, either on the east or west side of the compass, and informed that if the birds were good and healthy no change would be observed in the instrument; but if not, the north pole