Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/302

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I utilized old Sons-in-jah in a variety of ways. He was entirely nude, with the exception of a much worn breech-cloth, and he complained bitterly that his people treated him with neglect, and robbed him of his rations. I gave him a good pair of soldier's pants of the largest size, a flannel shirt and a stout pair of shoes, which delighted him greatly. He came regularly every day for food, which he received from me whenever I was in camp, and at other times from some member of the company.

"How is it," said I, "that the Apaches contrive to live in places where there is neither game nor plunder?" The old man laughed heartily at my ignorance and simplicity, and replied:

"There is food everywhere if one only knows how to find it. Let us go down to the field below, and I will show you."

The distance was not more than six hundred yards, and we proceeded together. There appeared to be no herbage whatever on the spot. The earth was completely bare, and my inexperienced eyes could detect nothing. Stooping down he dug with his knife, about six inches deep, and soon unearthed a small root about the size of a large gooseberry. "Taste that," said he; I did, and found it excellent, somewhat resembling in flavor a raw sweet potato, but more palatable. He then pointed out to me a small dry stalk, not larger than an ordinary match, and about half as long: "Wherever you find these," he added, "you will find potatoes." This was in October, and a few days afterward the field was covered with Indians digging these roots, of which they obtained large quantities. Pursuing the subject, Sons-in-jah said: "You see that big field of sun-flowers; well, they contain much food, for we take the seeds, reduce them to flour upon our metates and make it into cakes,