Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/293

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

rendered more valuable by the proximity of wood and water, two scarce articles in Arizona. The occupation of mines involves the possession of water facilities and sufficient fuel. To occupy a water privilege in Arizona and New Mexico is tantamount to driving the Indians from their most cherished possessions, and infuriates them to the utmost extent. If one deprives them of their ill-gained plunder he is regarded as an outrageous robber; but should he seize upon one of their few water springs, he is rated a common and dangerous enemy, whose destruction it is the duty of all the tribe to compass. It may be reasonably inferred from these remarks that when an Apache voluntarily discovers a rich mine to a white man he is influenced either by kindness, or is attempting to lay a trap for his destruction, baited by cupidity.

Among those under our charge was a noted fighter named Tats-ah-das-ay-go, or the "Quick Killer." This man was feared even by the boldest of his tribe; in fact, he had acquired among them the reputation of being a "Rough," or "Bowery Boy," and, although noted for his personal courage and prowess, was severely left to the enjoyment of his own society in time of peace. He had espoused half a dozen wives, who found it impossible to live under his capricious rule, and he was, at the time of our acquaintance, a sort of tabooed individual, to whom all paid outward respect, but entertained concealed dislike. Tats-ah-das-ay-go paid little heed to these demonstrations. He lived alone, hunted his own game, received his own rations, and was seldom seen among his fellows. For some unaccountable reason this savage conceived a great personal regard for the writer, and was accustomed to freely recount his adventures in various parts of Mexico, Arizona and New Mexico. Ac-