Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/242

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Now, the true rendering of the vision is this: The Great Spirit has seen with satisfaction that you have kept your promise, that you no longer exist by robbery, that you do not murder the incautious traveler, that you live here happily and well supplied with every comfort, and are cared for by skillful medicine men when you are sick; and in reward for your excellent conduct, the Good Spirit said—I have sent the Angel of Death abroad in the land and he knows nothing but to destroy, for that is his mission. My Apache people have done well and must be preserved, and to shield them from the vision of the Destroying Angel, I will wrap them in a dark cloud which his eyes cannot penetrate; then will he pass them by, and they shall live because they have kept their promise to the Americans. This, I added, is the true rendering of the vision seen by your prophet, and I am come here to tell you, in order that his evil counsel may not prevail and lead you to destruction.

The reader can conjecture the rage of the prophet and the profound astonishment of the whole tribe, except Gian-nah-tah. No one but he knew that I possessed any information on the subject, and, of course, not a soul, the prophet included, doubted the reality of what I had said. The contemplated hegira came to a sudden end; the Apaches returned to their allegiance with more willingness than before, and our intercourse became more harmonious than ever. For my part, I was far better satisfied with the result than if we had been compelled to use force and slay a hundred or two of the savages before again impressing them with the necessity for obedience. The prophet lost his influence, while we gained in proportion.

The foregoing incident conveys its own moral, and shows the virtue of using artifice instead of force, when artifice has to be met.