Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/173

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

springs, and effect a bloodless victory, in so far as we are concerned."

After this rebuff I could make no further personal appeal, but instructed Lieut. Muller to beseech Capt. Roberts, and, if possible, induce him to change his mind. Muller argued for half an hour, until Roberts told him either to obey or be placed under arrest. This ended the colloquy. The howitzers then opened fire—the shells burst splendidly; large numbers of Apaches were observed to decamp from the heights in the most hurried manner; the springs also underwent a similar cleaning, and in less than twenty minutes the troops were permitted to advance and fill their canteens, while my cavalry, without waiting further orders, made a rush after the retreating savages until the rapid rise and terribly broken nature of the ground checked their career. The hillsides were covered with fleeing Apaches, who seemed imbued with supernatural powers of locomotion. Upwards they sped with the celerity of Alpine goats, until they disappeared behind the crests of tall mountains and rugged hills. In peace and quiet we partook of the precious fountain. Our horses and mules, which had not tasted water for forty-eight hours, and were nearly famished from so dusty a road and so long a journey under the hottest of suns, drank as if they would never be satisfied. An hour later we moved through the pass, entered upon the wide plain which separates it from the San Simon river, and reached our camp on that creek, without further trouble, about four o'clock P. M.