Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/197

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191
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

of civilized and educated men are never more stilted than when brought in contact with savage races. Such persons are prone to address the Indian with a smirk or patronizing air which is very offensive, and would never be used toward an equal. No allowance is made for the fact that the proud savage does consider himself not only the equal, but the superior of his white brother. It seems never to have been understood that considerable deference should be paid to his very ignorance, because that ignorance is his sufficient excuse for crediting himself with superior intelligence. The conceit of the educated white man is fully equaled by that of the savage, and the lower he is in the scale of mental ability the greater will be his pretension to superiority. The fact that a wise man knows himself to be ignorant, while an ignorant man believes himself to be wise, is fully exemplified in our intercourse with the Apaches, but it is a question in my mind whether the Apaches have not had the best end of the argument, when the character and acts of their agents, and others, who have been appointed to treat with them, are known and considered.

To arrive at a successful arrangement with these Indians they must be approached in the first place as equals. This will flatter their inordinate vanity, and minister to their excessive selfishness. After a few interviews for the purpose of establishing amicable understanding, the agent, or treating party, or traveler, should carefully introduce some cheap natural effects, the employment of which would be ridiculed in ordinary civilized life, but present astounding revelations to the wild Indian. The use of a double convexed lens, as a magnifier, or as a burning-glass; the employment of a strong field glass; exhibiting the powers and qualities of a strong magnet; showing the wonders of the magic lantern, and other