Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/192

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road, lying apparently without any set arrangement, when he can observe no others within reach of his eye. A careful observation will convince him that they never grew in that region, but were brought from some considerable distance. This translation was certainly neither the work of Americans nor Mexicans, but of Indians, and evidently for some fixed purpose. A closer examination will show that these stones are regularly arranged, and that the majority point to some special point of the compass, while the number of those who planted them is designated by some concerted placement of each stone. For instance, no one need be told that in wild countries like Arizona, where deluges of rain pour down during the rainy season, the heaviest side of a stone will, in course of time, find itself underneath, and when this order is reversed, especially under the circumstances above cited, there is good reason to believe that it has been purposely done. This belief becomes certainty on seeing that each one of the group, or parcel, is precisely the same way. Besides, a stone which has been long lying on one particular side, soon contracts a quantity of clay or soil on its nether surface, while its upper one has been washed clean. If it be turned over, or partly over, the difference becomes easily discoverable. If one stone be placed on end so as to rest against another, it means that the party so placing it require aid and assistance. If turned completely over, it indicates disaster during some raid; and if only partly turned, that the expedition has been a failure. Success is noted by the stones being left in a natural position, heaviest side down, but so arranged as to be nearly in line. I am not sufficiently expert in this style of signalizing to give any further explanations, and I doubt if any one but "Kit Carson" was capable of fully decyphering this kind of Apache warnings.