Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/178

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persons, pierced in many places with bullet and arrow holes, and some with the arrows still sticking, driven deeply into their frames. After some examination, the verdict was that they were the bodies of white men killed by the Apaches but a short time before. This conclusion proved correct, as was afterward ascertained beyond all doubt, and as their destruction was compassed by a trick peculiarly illustrative of Apache character, I will relate it in extenso.

My readers will bear in mind the place described as Santa Rita del Cobre, where the Boundary Commission remained for several months, where Inez Gonzales and the two Mexican boys were rescued from captivity, where Delgadito made his attack upon Mr. Hay, and where he got handsomely seamed by Wells. The gold mines worked by Mr. Hay at that period, twelve years prior, had proved to be very rich, and attracted many bold adventurers, among whom were a number of celebrated Indian fighters, who had passed years upon our frontiers, and were universally dreaded by all the wild Indian tribes of Arizona and New Mexico. In a short time the mining population at that point amounted to something like two hundred, of whom one hundred and fifty were well armed, fearless and experienced men. The presence of such a party was far from pleasing to Mangas Colorado and his band, as they claimed exclusive proprietorship to that whole region, which was their main fastness. They also regarded the miners as the legitimate successors of the Boundary Commission, with whom they had. parted in deadly enmity after a short season of simulated friendship. Mangas made many skillful efforts to dislodge the miners, and divert their attention from the Copper Mines, but without effect. He privately visited some of the more prominent among them, and profess-