Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/240

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wielded great influence among them as a medicine man, seized upon the occasion to sow disaffection and discontent. He upbraided them for their servile obedience to the whites, covered them with reproach for having yielded their absolute independence, and taunted them in every conceivable way. These things were told me by Gian-nah-tah, Nah-tanh, Natch-in-ilk-kisn, and Nah-kah-yen, but the fact of their telling me was sufficient to prove that the prophet was not to be feared, and I counseled them to keep quiet and let me know all that passed, but on no account to acquaint their comrades with the secret of their having told me anything about such proceedings.

One day Gian-nah-tah stated that the prophet had held a great gathering the evening before, at which he had explained a vision. The time selected was about midnight. The Apaches sat in a dense circle, in the center of which stood the prophet dressed in the savage decorations of his sacred office. His eager auditors were informed that he had been blessed with a vision in which he saw a black cloud about the size of his blanket. The cloud rose gradually from the west and increased as it rose in darkness and magnitude, until it covered a large space. Its course was directed toward the Apache camp, over which it hovered and then descended until the camp was completely enveloped within its Cimmerian folds. The interpretation of this vision was that the black cloud represented the anger of the Great Spirit, and that he had sent it among the Apaches to slay them with disease for having remained captive to the Americans. He threatened that if they did not all leave at the earliest possible opportunity, not one would be saved from the anger of the Great Spirit. It may well be supposed that such an announcement from their most noted med-