Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/210

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

and satisfaction, and offered me a number of little attentions. We rode on for five miles until the top of a hill was reached, from which we could obtain a fair view of the surrounding country. Here a short consultation was held among them, during which I smoked a cigarito, giving several to those close in my neighborhood. A certain direction having been selected as the field of operations, we again started, and after having progressed about two miles, the band formed into two lines, the first being about six hundred yards in advance of the second. These two bodies then prolonged their lines so that no two individuals were nearer than forty or fifty yards, which stretched each line to the distance of two thousand five hundred or three thousand yards, sweeping a large surface of territory, and yet close enough to prevent the escape of an antelope through the two human barriers, or between the huntsmen in each. In this formation we progressed until a herd was seen about half a mile in advance. Instantly the two wings of the first line rode forward at full speed, and succeeded in cutting off the retreat of the doomed animals by completing a circle; at the same time the gaps were rapidly closed up, and the circle narrowed with amazing celerity and dexterity. The terror-stricken antelopes turned to flee, but on every side they met an inexorable and keenly watchful enemy. Bewildered, panting with agony and fear, inclosed on all sides, they soon became incapable of continuing the unequal contest, and were killed with perfect ease. The few which contrived to break through the first line were sure to meet death at the hands of the second. Not one in fifty escaped, and their preservation seemed almost miraculous. In this way we managed to destroy eighty-seven antelopes on that expedition, and it was my good fortune to kill five, being two more than