Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/174

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CHAPTER XIV.


Return from the San Simon.—Avoid Apache Pass.—Reasons for so Doing.—Night Marching.—Apaches show Themselves.—Rattlesnakes.—Ojo de los Hermanos.—San Pedro Again.—Return through Apache Pass.—Meet thirteen Dead Americans.—Mangas Colorado's Deceit.—How the Americans were Killed.—Apache Cunning and Calculation.—Bury the Dead.—How Mangas was Cured of his Wound.—Death of Mangas Colorado.—The Genius and Abilities of Mangas.—Apache Democracy.—Extent of the Ravages of Mangas Colorado.


But short breathing space was afforded me at the San Simon. On the morning of the third day after our arrival, and the trying tests to which we had been subjected, I received orders from Capt. Roberts to escort the train of twenty-six wagons back to the San Pedro, in order to furnish the required transportation for the provision, ammunition, clothing and other supplies of the column. For this duty I was assigned fourteen of my troopers, and seven men of Roberts' company. The intervening country had been well examined through fine field glasses, and on two occasions a thorough reconnissance had been made by the cavalry, which showed that a very excellent passage existed to the north of the Chiricahui range, over nearly a level plain, and that the distance would be only some seven miles longer. This route, with the approbation of Capt. Roberts, was at once selected for our return, and for the following reasons: The safety of our train was of the very first importance, as upon it depended the success of the unprecedented march the " Column from California" was then attempting. In the next place, if the Apaches had given