Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/289

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283
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

reached the fort after five days marching, being at the rate of thirty-six miles per day. On arriving, my thermometer was again consulted, and showed five degrees below zero, which, although a severe cold, was nevertheless a very grateful change in temperature. I was in formed that the morning previous to our arrival the thermometer at the fort stood at ten degrees below zero, and it was then that the action took place between a few troops and a small band of Apaches, on one side, and one hundred and eighty Navajoes, as already recounted. The day before our arrival we came suddenly upon a very large band of antelopes, and the men were given permission to ride in among them for a hunt. We had them fairly corraled in such a manner as to compel their passage through our line close enough to pass within pistol range. On they came, probably to the number of two thousand, and dashed by with wonderful speed. The cavalry closed upon them and opened a rapid fire, which terminated in giving us ten fine animals in less than ten minutes. The scene was very exciting, as the men were all splendid riders and excellent marksmen. Had their horses been in good condition, we might have procured many more. Just at the time of the liveliest shooting, an ambulance, containing Lieut. Newbold and another officer, escorted by four cavalrymen, hove in sight and halted on the road about four hundred yards from the theater of operations. They thought, at first, that we had engaged a body of Indians, but catching sight of the scampering herd, they rode forward and were given a fine buck, which was lashed on top the ambulance.

It was curious to remark the immense numbers of ravens which daily directed their course toward the recent battle field, below the fort. Regularly, about the