Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/269

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

low an Apache to enter, or permit one to make a noise in the vicinity, but to admit only the hospital nurse who would be sent to tend on the wounded man. Having given these orders, and seen the guard properly disposed, I told the Apache mourners to quit the place, and not to come back until permitted by the doctor. They had noticed the arrival of the troops, and knew that something unusual was brewing, and when this mandate was given them they left, very reluctantly and with sad foreboding, but quietly and in order. In a few days Ojo Blanco gave evidence of improved condition, and his former mourners were admitted to see him, but commanded to make no unusual demonstration. Three weeks subsequently the wounded man was again walking around the camp, an object of wonder to his people.

The reasons for these extraordinary precautions arose from the fact that the injured person was one of the most celebrated warriors of his tribe, and exercised very great influence. His was also the first case of the kind that had come under our cognizance; moreover, I suspected that the rascally prophet would use his death, had it occurred, to stir up the dissatisfaction of his people on the Reservation, and induce their fugitive departure, to engage again in their accustomed depredations. It also afforded an opportunity to exhibit the white man's skill and his interest in the Apaches, for Dr. Gwyther, after examining the wound, pronounced it severe, but not necessarily mortal. It will be seen that with proper precaution and judicious nursing, we had the whole thing in our hands, with the opportunity of further in creasing Apache confidence and respect.

It is due to Ojo Blanco to say that his first visit, after his recovery, was paid to Dr. Gwyther and myself, expressing to each his fervent acknowledgments. In less