Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/218

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unusually communicative. So soon as they found that I was anxious to converse with them in their own language, and had labored to acquire it, their confidence and regard increased in geometrical progression. It was not unusual with them, when asking a favor, another officer being present, to address me in Apache, and their little secrets were never betrayed. The reader will have no difficulty to comprehend how, under such circumstances, the writer should have gained an ascendancy over this most untamable and intensely suspicious of all our Indian tribes. It was not the work of a month nor of a year, but the experience of several years, aided by events which may never happen again. Many of them had seen and known me while interpreter of the Boundary Commission under the Hon. John R. Bartlett. Some of them were present and took part in that terrific chase along the Jornada del Muerto, and they reminded me of the event, after they became convinced that I was their best friend and harbored no vindictive feelings against the parties. While conversing on this matter one day, a warrior led to me an old squaw, her two daughters and one son, all grown up, the oldest being about twenty-two, and informed me that they were the wife and children of the man who led the chase against me thirteen years before. I received them kindly, and asked if they did not think it better for them that I should be alive to do them kindness then, than to have been murdered by their relatives in 1850. They replied by saying, "Yes, much better," laughing and asking me to give them some vermilion—a color very highly prized by the Apaches.

On the Reservation were one or two who happened to be at the Copper Mines at the time that Inez Gonzales and the two Mexican boys were rescued, as related in