Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/220

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intentions. The sanguinary deaths of Mangas Colorado, of Cuchillo Negro, of Ponce, of Delgadito, of Amarillo, and other renowned warriors, were cited in proof of the futility of their efforts to combat successfully against the white men. Their then dependence, as prisoners of war, their defenseless condition on the Reservation, their rapidly decreasing numbers, their disintegrating forces, and other like examples, were also pointed out and emphasized, and had momentary effect; but the next day, after admitting the severe lessons of history, they would resume their hauteur and exclaim, "that if they possessed as good weapons as ours, they could whip us out of the country they claimed as exclusively their own."

The teachings of experience are lost upon the Apache. He believes himself the superior being, and frequent adversities are accounted for in so many and plausible ways that his self-love and inordinate vanity are always appeased. He has shown himself more than a match for other barbarous tribes, and for the semi-civilized natives of New Mexico and Arizona. He infers that because we inhabit the houses of the last mentioned, and consort with them freely, in the absence of other society, that we are of the same general stamp and character. He admits the superior gallantry and prowess of the American race, but attributes them to our confidence in the superiority of our weapons. The result is that he uses more precaution in approaching the American than the Mexican; but this renders his attacks more to be dreaded and guarded against, although he never loses sight of subtlety and careful consideration in all his movements, no matter against whom directed. This is a distinguishing feature of the Apache. If fifty of them were to approach a single armed traveler they would do so with caution.