Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/180

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Just at that time news was received by Cheis that the Americans were advancing from the west, and were about to overrun his country. "Charity begins at home," was the motto of that prominent Apache, and, instead of going to the relief of Mangas, notified him of the newly threatened invasion, and asked his assistance, promising to help Mangas, in his turn. The proffer was accepted, and Mangas joined Cheis at the Apache Pass with two hundred warriors, which accounts for the large force against which Roberts had to contend in that formidable gorge.

While these united forces were occupying Apache Pass, waiting our arrival, they descried a small band of Americans approaching from the east, across the wide plain intervening between that place and the Cienega, and determined to cut it off. Those wily Indians soon recognized in the new-comers a small, but well armed, party of the hardy and experienced miners from the Santa Rita del Cobre, and knew that such men were always on their guard and prepared to defend their lives with the greatest courage and determination. They also knew that they would be specially on the qui vive after having entered the pass, and that any attack upon them would probably result in the loss of several of their warriors. How to compass their ends and obviate this last possibility, became the chief objects of their attention. Two miles east of the pass, right in the clear and unobstructed plain, there is a gully, formed by the washing of heavy rains through a porous and yielding soil. This gully is from six to eight feet deep, a quarter of a mile long, three or four yards wide, and cannot be seen from horseback until the rider is within fifty yards of the spot. With consummate cunning a large body of the Apaches ensconced themselves in this gully, knowing that the