Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/281

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275
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

finest grama grass. After ascending this moderate elevation we beheld, just below, and occupying the intermediate vale between it and the next height, a delightful and thick wood, no portion of which could be perceived from any other point except the opposite hill. In the the center of this wood was a never-failing spring of delicious water, easy of access, and immediately adjoining a first-rate camping ground. This spring was aptly named Cupido, or Cupid. Here our little party came to an anchor, nearly midway between the two passes already mentioned. The Alamo Gordo Viejo Pass was three miles south, and the Pajaro Pass five miles north-west from the Cupido. Three men were sent to watch each pass, and to give the earliest possible information of the approach of the savages.

The next day, after our arrival, was signalized by a heavy fall of snow, to the depth of eight or nine inches, and this was followed by an almost intense cold, my spirit thermometer showing twenty degrees below zero of Fahrenheit's instrument. Four days previous we were in a region where the same thermometer stood at forty degrees above freezing point, making a difference of ninety-two degrees in the short period mentioned. We had been unconsciously rising to a very elevated position, and had left the region of the cotton-wood and the vine for that of the fir and the cedar. Here we passed the New Year of 1864, anxiously waiting for the savage marauders to break cover; and as the snow laid thickly on the ground, it afforded an unfailing means by which to note their advent. Becoming dissatisfied with this state of rest, and knowing that the Pajaro Pass was badly blocked with snow, I determined to move down toward the pass of the Alamo Gordo, and occupy such a position as would afford us a sort of cut-off to any