Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/295

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

of a small bush to assist my steps, when it gave way, and I saw a bright lump of something just under the roots. Picking it up, I discovered that it was very heavy and like the pesh-lickoyee, or plata-hay, with which rich Mexicans mount their saddles. I collected a quantity, and afterwards beat it out in the shape you see. This was many years ago and I have never been there since."

I had seen enough of the mineral richness of Arizona and New Mexico to convince me that there might be some truth in this narration, but determined to wait until a favorable opportunity should occur to permit exploration. Three or four months afterward orders were received from Gen. Carleton, ordering me to "keep the country clear of Indians for the space of three hundred miles around the post." Such an order had never before been issued to an officer in the service. It was unparalleled and altogether unique; but in obedience thereto a scout was ordered under my command, and I determined to make an exploration in the region mentioned by Tats-ah-das-ay-go, and to take him with me. In due season the party left Fort Sumner, thirty-five strong, and traveled in a zig-zag direction for several days until the Guadalupe Mountains were reached. On the succeeding day Quick Killer informed me that we were near the cañon where he had found the silver, and that he would direct us to it next morning, which he did about ten o'clock the following day.

Having arrived at the cañon, I left the command under the charge of the First Sergeant, and proceeded with Quick Killer for about a mile and a quarter, when he dismounted and hitched his horse to a tree, requesting me to do the same, which I did, keeping my carbine ready and placing my holster pistols in my belt. We then ascended about three hundred feet until we reached