Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/259

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Apaches as Warriors.—Fight with the Maricopas.—Fight with the Comanches.—Cold Weather.—Apache Camp Attacked by Hostile Navajoes.—Navajoes Pursued and Destroyed.—Animals Recovered.—Carillo and the Navajo.—McGrew and Porter.—Their Gallantry.—Apache Ideas of Scalping.—Grand Apache Parade.—Strange Request.—Denied.—Purification of Arms.—The Prophet again Making Trouble.—Apache Cavalry Manœuvres.—Reflections

Several fine opportunities were vouchsafed me to judge of the Apaches as warriors, when compared with other tribes. Some ten or twelve of them made a daring raid on the westernmost Maricopa village, just at a time when I was passing with my company. The Maricopas and Pimos armed themselves in great numbers, and hurried out to punish the invaders who had sought refuge in a dense chaparal, just at the foot of the mountain range which creates the Great Gila Bend. Thither they were pursued and invested on three sides. The conflict waxed warm, and several of the allies were wounded; but not an Apache could be seen. The brush was riddled with balls, and after a short council of war, it was assaulted in great force, but their wily enemies had managed to make their escape without the loss of a man.

A gentleman of New Mexico told me that he once witnessed a fight between eighty Apaches and one hundred and fifty Comanches, in which the former gained a decided victory. The contest was entirely on horseback, and the parties were equally armed. It occurred on the plain known as the Llano Estacado, or "Staked Plain," east of the Pecos river. Exhibitions of rare skill in