Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/270

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than six weeks after my recall from New Mexico, this noted warrior fled from the Reservation at Fort Sumner, accompanied by over two hundred other men, women and children. I learned that he was subsequently killed in a battle with the Californian Volunteers.

My conversations with prominent warriors and sagamores on the subject of religion were very frequent and protracted. The Apaches believe in the immortality of the soul, but they also place credence in two divinities, the one of Good and the other of Evil, between whom power is so evenly balanced that it is beyond the faculty of man to determine which is the greater, although the ultimate superiority is credited, without hesitation, to the Good Spirit, but they modify this superiority in so far as we are concerned, by curtailing the activity and interest which the Good Spirit takes in our behalf; while the Spirit of Evil is represented as being infinitely watchful and interested in the affairs of the Apache people. The Spirit of Good is in the distant future; but the Spirit of Evil takes part in our daily and hourly affairs. The result is that while they look up to the God of Good with extreme reverence and ultimate trust, their orisons, or usual petitions, are made to the divinity which they suppose to shape their earthly ends. This may be called the excess of barbarism and heathenish mythology; but, permit me to ask, is there any difference between the untutored and savage Apache and the apparently christianized, civilized, and refined man of the world? Does not the latter put off his worship of Jehovah and take to that of Mammon quite as fully and steadfastly as the Apache endeavors to conciliate the spirit which he believes will yield the most immediate and material response to his prayers? It is not mine to answer this question; let men's consciences—those who have any—respond for themselves.