Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/301

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

who bought their plunder, and ever since a deadly feud has raged between them and the Apaches. You "white eyes," added Sons-in-jah, know how to read and write; you know how to circulate your information and ideas from one to the other, although you may never see or know the party: but we poor Apaches are obliged to relate what we know and have seen by means of words only, and we never get together in large parties to remain long enough to disseminate any great amount of information.

The foregoing incisive sentences precisely reflect the drift of the remarks made to me by the old man on many occasions. I am largely indebted to him for much information on other points, which he imparted with perfect freedom, especially as he considered himself a protegé of mine, and received more kindness from me than from his own people. But with all my efforts I failed to obtain from Sons-in-jah any recital of their modes of sepulture. On this point he was invariably reticent. He was by no means vain-glorious; seldom referring to his own deeds, unless extracted from him under favorable circumstances. After sunning himself on a fine day, he would wink his bleared eyes in a knowing manner, and invite me to take a seat near him and listen to his recitals. Deeds of violence and sanguinary outrages, hair-breadth escapes, terrific journeys and bold robberies were rehearsed with intense gratification to the old man; but after relating each incident he was always particular to give me a "reason" for his acts. In other words, he sought to excuse the bloody record of his life by stating the incentives. If any other argument were needed to satisfy me that the Apache is fully cognizant of the difference between right and wrong, this old reprobate's excuses were sufficient to remove all remaining doubts