Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/176

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attack. The infantry were allowed to sleep, in order that they might be fresh to keep guard throughout the day. In this manner we progressed until five A. M., next day, when I ordered a halt, had the wagons handsomely corralled nearly in a circle, with the animals and men all inside, except the guard, and the camp properly prepared against surprise. We were then exactly north of the Chiricahui mountains, and south of another range, each being about two miles distant. I could distinctly see large numbers of Apaches riding furiously up and down the steeps of those heights, and sometimes advancing on the plain, as if to attack. But experience had taught them that our carbines and Minnie rifles were deadly at nearly a mile of distance, and they did not approach within their reach. Our horses were tied to the picket rope which extended across the open end of the corral, and covered by a sufficient guard. Finding that the Apaches did not care to make an onslaught, the cavalry and teamsters, all of whom were well armed, retired to rest, after partaking of a hearty meal. Next evening, at dark, we again hitched up and pursued our journey as before. I was in the advance with Sergeant Loring, when our horses suddenly jumped one side and our ears were greeted by the spiteful warning of a rattle snake, coiled up directly in our path. To avoid this malignant reptile the train diverged about twenty yards from the road, and after a little while entered it again. This sort of thing occurred many times during the night, until we again struck the regular highway nearly due west of Apache Pass. Our next halt was made six miles from Swell's Station, and we had come seventy miles in two nights. That day we saw no Indians, although the same precautions were adopted as if we were surrounded by large numbers. Our next march was to the Ojo de