Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/207

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201
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

Soon afterward five of the leading warriors proceeded to Santa Fé, under an armed escort, to confer with the General, who exacted that they should submit to being placed upon the reservation of the Bosque Redondo. The answer of their chief spokesman, named Cadete by the Mexicans, but whose Apache appellation is Gian-nah-tah, or "Always Ready," is indicative of the nature and character of his tribe. Having listened to the General's final determination, he answered and said:

"You are stronger than we. We have fought you so long as we had rifles and powder; but your arms are better than ours. Give us like weapons and turn us loose, we will fight you again; but we are worn-out; we have no more heart; we have no provisions, no means to live; your troops are everywhere; our springs and water holes are either occupied or overlooked by your young men. You have driven us from our last and best strong hold, and we have no more heart. Do with us as may seem, good to you, but do not forget we are men and braves."

They were remanded back to Fort Stanton, and from thence sent to the Bosque Redondo, since called Fort Sumner, where they arrived after a long and painful march of one hundred and thirty miles, with short rations and much suffering. They were immediately turned over to my charge by Capt. Updegraff, although the Indian agent, Mr. Labadie, was with them, and from that moment I laid the foundation of that confidence and respect which was never alienated, and which enabled me to perfect a knowledge of their character far greater than ever arrived at by the experiences of any other white man.

In a short time their number was increased to seven hundred, and subsequently to nearly fifteen hundred.