Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/195

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189
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

fore their comrades are made aware of the fact. Thirdly, they are so light that they can be worn without the slightest sense of encumbrance. Fourthly, they can always be relied on, at close quarters, when other weapons fail, or ammunition, of which they possess limited supplies, gives out. It is, therefore, not strange that the Apache will invariably add his bow and arrows to his personal armament, although he may be the owner of a Spencer rifle and a couple of Colt's revolvers, with ammunition to suit. Whenever they design entering one of our military camps they invariably conceal, at some distance, firearms; so that they may appear innocent of designed enmity or their possession, but should occasion serve, they quickly manage to re-possess themselves of all their weapons.

Let it also be understood that the Apache has as perfect a knowledge of the assimilation of colors as the most experienced Paris modiste. By means of his acumen in this respect, he can conceal his swart body amidst the green grass, behind brown shrubs, or gray rocks, with so much address and judgment that any but the experienced would pass him by without detection at the distance of three or four yards. Sometimes they will envelop themselves in a gray blanket, and by an artistic sprinkling of earth, will so resemble a granite boulder as to be passed within near range without suspicion. At others, they will cover their persons with freshly gathered grass, and lying prostrate, appear as a natural portion of the field. Again, they will plant themselves among the yuccas, and so closely imitate the appearance of that tree as to pass for one of its species. These exact imitations of natural objects which are continually present to the traveler, tend to disarm suspicion; yet, I would not advise the wayfarer to examine each suspected