Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/19

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CHAPTER I.


Comanche Raid.—Detailed to send them away.—Interview with Janamata.—Description of the Chief.


My first business acquaintance with "Lo" occurred in the year 1847. A band of about one hundred Comanche warriors, led by a chief named Janamata, or the "Red Buffalo," taking advantage of the subdued and defenceless condition of the Mexicans, crossed the Rio Grande, about seventy miles below Old Reynosa, and commenced a series of depredations. Information was immediately given to the American officer commanding at that post, and the writer was detailed, with a force of fifty men, to drive off the invaders, with orders not to engage in hostilities, unless the Indians proved refractory and deaf to all other appeals.

After marching fifty miles, which was accomplished in two days, we arrived at the scene of operations, meeting the Comanches on the highway. Our force was immediately disposed to the best advantage, and placing a white handkerchief on the point of my sabre, I advanced alone toward the chief, who, leaving his warriors, rode forward to meet me. He spoke Spanish fluently, having evidently acquired it in his many marauding excursions into Mexico. Having met, I offered him a cigarito, which was accepted with Indian stoicism. We smoked in perfect silence for half a minute, when the cigaritos having been consumed the following dialogue took place:

Officer.—"I am sent to tell you, that you must recross