Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/216

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and examination of several days, Gen. Carleton arrived at the same opinion with myself, and the full ration was ordered to be given as before. Six weeks subsequently the several Commissaries in the two Territories made official returns of their supplies, and it was found that their former estimates were far short of the mark. At the same time subsistence stores began to arrive from the East, and the new crops were being harvested, in peace, for the first time for many years. Upon these representations, orders were issued to restore full rations to all the troops, and abundance once more gladdened our tables. Whether right or wrong, the savages were taught by Mr. Labadie to believe that I was the person whose agency had preserved them from half rations, and the reader can well suppose how much I rose in their estimation. I was appointed grand director of their camps, with power to decide all differences and settle all quarrels between parties. Every grievance, real or imagined, was submitted for my jurisdiction; and, I am proud to add, that my administration was regarded with affectionate reverence. Those wild and untamed sons and daughters of the forests, the plains and the mountains, would throng my casita from reveille until tattoo, asking a thousand questions and always receiving proper attention. Among them was a Mexican, about forty years old, who had been a captive to their "bow and spear" for twenty odd years. He was taken at the age of eleven and did not obtain his release until he was past thirty-three. That man, Juan Cojo, spoke their language as fluently as themselves, and had been engaged as interpreter. Juan and I soon became good friends, although I must confess that his Apache education had somewhat unfitted him to be the most moral character of my acquaintance. Nevertheless, his services were indispensa-