Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/277

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

of these words; but when I endeavored to imbue them with the necessity of learning to read and write, so that they might be able to create written history, with one accord they refused, on the ground that it was work and consequently degrading. This abhorrence is so deeply rooted in their minds as to be a part of their nature, and no efforts of ours can remove it. Wherever an Apache child has been taken captive, and converted into a servant or domestic, it is only by extreme precaution that they can be restrained from running off and leading a vagabond life, and, if possible, rejoining some portion of their tribe.

Among those who were present at the above mentioned reading was the wife of Para-dee-ah-tran, who was also the daughter of Gian-nah-tah. This woman deserves special mention. Even in the most elevated circles of refined society it would be difficult to find one who possessed more grace, dignity and elegant self-repose. She was above the medium height, and of very fair complexion, although a full blooded Apache. Every motion and posture was replete with modesty and innate good sense. She was always well and comely clad; but never indulged in the tawdry finery and tinsel so much prized by other Apache women. Her figure was lithe and symmetrical; her hair long, black and glossy, and suffered to grow without being subjected to the process of cutting even with the eye-brows, which had been ruthlessly plucked out. It was parted in the middle, and smoothed away from the brow with as much taste as could be exhibited by any of our ladies. Her eyes were very large, black and lustrous, with a decided modesty of expression.

This woman was the pet of her tribe, and possessed characteristics in harmony with her exterior superiority. She was never permitted to perform hard labor, and her