Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/285

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

make another attempt to regain their plunder and revenge the death of their slaughtered comrades. Mr. Labadie also gave me the gratifying intelligence that a soldier of my company, Peter Loser, had contributed more than any other person toward the success of his expedition, having killed five Navajoes, and being always in the front during the fight.

That night was extremely cold; the thermometer fell to twenty-two degrees below zero. We had not a particle of wood, but in that locality, strange to say, there was no snow whatever upon the ground. The earth was frozen as hard as a rock, and the keen, cold blasts swept over an unbroken expanse of plain for a hundred miles. Our sufferings were dreadful, but there was no chance for relief. In their panic and eagerness to escape death, the Navajoes had thrown away their blankets, and were literally without any protection from the exceedingly severe weather, whereas our Apache allies had gathered up these much-needed trophies and were comparatively well to do. Next morning, at daylight, an alarm was given to the effect that the Navajoes had re-assembled, and were coming down upon the camp. My command was mounted in less than five minutes, and led out at the gallop toward the point from whence the signal came, which, by the way, had been given by an Apache; but after spending two hours in the most active search, we failed to perceive any sign whatever of their presence. Convinced that there was no ground for the alarm, I returned to Mr. Labadie, and offered to escort him sufficiently far on his way to insure the safety of his command and their prize, which offer was gratefully accepted. Having seen Mr. Labadie out of danger, we directed our course toward the route that it was probable the Navajoes had taken, as it would be their first