Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/274

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race, that his cruelties are the results of untaught savage disposition, etc.; but the real questions are: must we continue to endure the perpetration of such atrocities, simply because they are committed by uncivilized beings; is it true policy that intelligent, Christian people should be sacrificed, year after year, and their massacres excused on the ground that the murderers were only Indians? Is the special plea of the self-styled humanitarian, who knows nothing about the matter, to set aside the life-long experiences of other equally humane but more practical and experienced men? Must we forever continue to accept the wild and impracticable theories of parlor readers on Indian character? Can we continue to pay millions annually for the short-sighted and pernicious policy which has heretofore regulated our Indian affairs? The American savage is no idiot. He knows right from wrong, and is quite as cognizant of the fact when he commits a wrong as the most instructed of our race. If the reader should feel a particle of doubt on this point, all he has to do is to commit a wrong upon an Apache, and he will very soon become convinced that the savage is quite as much aware of the fact as he can be.

It is even criminal to contend that they do not distinguish the full difference between the two qualities. Their dealings with each other, and their conduct toward other races, prove that they do, and to an extent almost commensurate in this respect with our own system of morals. The capacity to discriminate between right and wrong is not the exclusive property of christianized people. It obtains with almost equal force among barbarians and heathens, for otherwise communities could not exist. Whenever the Apache commits an act of atrocity, he does so with design and intention,