Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/300

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and he was the only gray-headed Apache I ever saw. Several of his front teeth were gone, probably lost from a blow, but his molars were almost equal to those of a horse. Heavy folds of thick skin fell over each other down his abdomen; but the muscles and cords in his legs and arms seemed to be made of steel. This old man came regularly to see me every day that I was in camp, and it delighted me to treat him with kindness, although I felt convinced that for three-quarters of a century his hands had been steeped in blood. His memory was fresh and vivid, full of recollections, and teeming with experiences of the past. He outlived his usefulness, and was neglected by the tribe. He said, that when he was a boy the hills and the valleys of his country were filled with his people. They were very numerous and dreaded by all surrounding peoples. But dissention crept in among themselves. Family feuds led to family vendettas, and innumerable duels; that the defeated besought the aid of the Spaniards, who afterward turned their weapons against their allies. In those days, said he, we had none but stone-headed arrows, and sharpened stakes for lances. The Mexicans were just like ourselves. The other day I was in Santa Fé and saw the Mexican women dressed in great finery, with gowns of many colors; but I remember when they wore little more than breech-cloths, and were but too happy to own the very coarsest kind of vesture. By and by the Spaniards went away and left the Mexicans to themselves. At first we lived quite on good terms with each other; but then some American traders arrived, who were dreadful people, always getting drunk, and killing each other or somebody else. These men made raids upon us, and carried off our women and children whom they sold to the Mexicans. This excited our vengeance against the invaders and those