Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/198

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

like simple demonstrations, will invariably impress them with something of respect and regard toward the operator, provided he is exceedingly careful in his first attempts not to alarm their pride and suspicion by any boastful or vain expression or demeanor. These things should be done as if with the intention of asking from them an exhibition of their skill in return for your efforts to please. They should never be permitted to infer that they are the results of boastful superiority. In this manner a feeling of mutual regard can be engendered which is the first step toward the establishment of durable amity. They should be asked to exhibit their address in shooting, riding, hunting and other pursuits of like character, in which they are expert. The white man should evince a desire to learn as well as teach; but so long as we continue to approach them with hauteur and with patronizing airs, they will resist our efforts and employ all their cunning to overreach and leave us worse off than ever. As they cannot rise to our level we must descend to theirs to understand and appreciate their true character.

But even under the most favorable circumstances, and with the employment of every resource within our power, only very meagre and unsatisfactory results can be obtained. The labors and experiences of two hundred and fifty years have failed utterly to create any favorable impression upon our Indian races, with the exception of the Choctaws and Cherokees, who were actually hemmed in by intelligent people, and had civilization forced upon them to some extent, and scarcely one of whom is to-day of pure Indian blood. I consider the idea of emancipating our savage tribes from the thraldom of their ignorance and perverse traditional hatred of the whites as wholly utopian. Of all the tribes on our con-