Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/194

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been wrecked. Is it not time to accept a new policy in their regard? Will civilized people never learn that they are quite as obtuse to comprehend real Indian nature as the Indians to understand their civilization? Can they not see that their hauteur, self-sufficiency and overbearing conceit, are quite as reprehensible as the Indian's ignorance, distrust and superstition? The savage is pardonable in his mental darkness, but the white man is inexcusable in his light. Semi-idiotic people believe that the Apache of to-day is like his ancestor of half a century ago; that he fights with bow and stone-headed arrows; that he has learned nothing from experience; that he is a biped brute who is as easily killed as a wolf; that he possesses no power of organization, combination, judgment, skill, strategy or reflection; but the truth is, that he possesses them all in an eminent degree. When the popular mind shall have been disabused of such heresy, it will have accomplished the first step toward that long-wanted result, the domination and consequent pacification of the Indian tribes of the North American continent.

Let it be well understood that the Apache of to-day is armed with the best kind of rifle, with Colt's six-shooters and with knives, and that, in addition to these, he is never without his silent, death-dealing bow and quiver full of iron-headed arrows. While adopting our improved weapons, whenever occasion offers, they never abandon those of their sires. The reasons for this are fourfold: First, the bow and arrow in the hands of skillful warriors proves very deadly; it makes no noise, and for night attacks or the taking off of sentinels, is far superior to the gun. Secondly, it is the best weapon that can be used in the chase, or, more properly, on the hunt, as half a dozen animals may be slain in a herd be-