Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/294

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cording to his own narrations, which were confirmed by the testimony of his fellows, his whole life had been a tissue of sanguinary deeds. A rivulet of blood tracked the course of his history. He was a man of decided native genius, and perfect master of all sorts of Apache lures, wiles and deceits. From him I learned much of Indian character, and he seemed desirous to teach. Tats-ah-das-ay-go wore upon his body hair, which hung down below the middle of his back in a broad, thick plait, a number of silver shields, perfectly round, and with a tongue or bar in the center of each, through which passed the band of hair in such a manner as to display the shields to the greatest advantage. The first, or upper one, was the size of a common saucer, and nearly as thick, while the next below was a little smaller, and each succeeding one still less in size, until the last and thirteenth was about twice as large as a silver dollar. Of these he was extremely vain, and never laid them aside except to comb and dress his long and luxuriant hair. These ornaments I had always believed were taken from the saddle mountings of Mexican victims, and one day I jocularly remarked:

"Did you have a hard time to acquire those spoils?"

"You mistake, Tata," he replied; "these are not spoils taken from Mexicans; but I found this silver and beat it out myself."

"Where did you find it?" I asked.

"Away down in the mountains which border the Pecos, far south from here;" adding, "I will tell you all about it. We were in the Guadalupe Mountains, and were going upon the Llano Estacado to hunt buffalo; but previous to doing this a number of us climbed the sierra to look out upon the plains and see that they were clear of Comanches. In ascending the mountain I took hold