Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/279

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CHAPTER XXIV.


Apache Endurance.—Inroad.—Extensive Traveling.—Wild Horses.—El Cupido.—Passes in New Mexico.—Heavy Snow.—Cold Weather.—Change Base.—Indians Break Cover.—Continued Snow-storm.—Go in Pursuit.—Rough Ride.—Indians Overtaken by Mr. Labadie.—Navajoes Whipped and Plunder Recovered.—Overtake and Protect Labadie.—Hunt for Navajoes.—Labadie Arrives Safely at Fort Sumner.—Conchas Springs.—Intense Cold.—Indians Indifference to Cold.—Apache Method of Running Sheep.—Great Distances Accomplished.


Allusion has been made to the wonderful endurance of the Apache race, and it now remains to give some proofs of the fact. Having received orders to make a scout of not less than thirty days duration, I sallied out with thirty-four men in December, 1863. Having learned that a large band of Navajoes and Apaches had crossed the Rio Grande and invaded New Mexico, where they had subdivided into small parties of eight and ten each, in order to carry on their operations with more security, and devastate a greater range of country, it became necessary to wait until the scattered companies had reassembled, and were about to leave the Territory with their plunder before operations presenting any decisive result could be inaugurated with reasonable hope of success. It was known that the district upon which they had entered offered only two direct modes of egress, one or both of which must be selected, or the band would be compelled to make a circuit of twelve hundred miles before regaining home, and a considerable portion of this extensive march was to be passed over the Llano Estacado, which