Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/30

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the fourth day of our march, I advanced about three miles ahead of the carriage, which was detained in making the passage through Cooke's canon, a rough, rocky and very dangerous defile, about forty miles east of the Mimbres river, and having observed some antelope tracks, looked around in hope of seeing the animals, when I perceived myself surrounded by a band of about twenty-five Indians, who advanced upon me from, all sides, led by a savage who rode several yards ahead of all others. At that time I could have broken through the circle and rejoined my party with but little risk, as my horse was infinitely superior in strength and speed to their ponies, but as I felt convinced that the carriage would heave in sight within a short time, my resolution was immediately taken to adopt another policy. By this time their leader was from twenty-five to thirty yards in advance of his followers, and about the same distance from me, perceiving which I drew a heavy holster pistol with my right hand and putting spurs to my horse, met him in a bound or two, when I addressed him to the following effect, in Spanish:

"Keep off or I will shoot you."

To this he replied: "Who are you, and whence do you come?"

Observing that his warriors were closing upon me, I said: "See here, Indian, you have plenty of warriors against one man, but I have got you; your people may kill me, but I will kill you, so tell them to hold back at once."

Involuntarily the Apache waved his hand, and his warriors halted about forty yards off. Not liking so short a distance, I again urged the chief to let his warriors fall back still further, at the same time giving a significant shake of my pistol. This, too, was done, and the Apaches