Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/267

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261
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

after knowledge which they alone could impart. This course flattered their vanity and opened to me sources of information which I might otherwise have sought in vain. Nothing was lost by this seeming dependence. They knew as well as I that they were no match for Americans, but nothing could bring them to confess the fact. They perfectly understood and appreciated the difference between us, but it was beyond human nature to think that they would acknowledge that difference. That an American officer, placed in charge of their camp, should seek information from them should endeavor to comprehend their laws, nature, habits, language, manners, religion, and other ceremonies was something so new and unexpected, that they involuntarily opened their hearts and laid them comparatively bare, but never for a moment did they forget to exercise caution and reserve, even while accepting these advances. They invariably apply a test of acts, and refuse to put faith in words which are systematically used by them to cover their designs; but the ordeal passed, they are prepared to give limited credence to promises.