Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/303

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

which are very nice. Again: the mescal, which you white people would pass without notice, is convertible into excellent food by the simple process of roasting. Furthermore, we know exactly when, where and how to trap and catch small animals, like the prairie dogs, foxes, raccoons and others; besides which there are many plants containing nutriment of which you know nothing, or would not eat if you did. One day an Apache woman died in camp, and I asked Gian-nah-tah if there would be much lamentation. He simply smiled at the idea, and replied: "It was a woman; her death is of no account." The Apaches are extremely reserved about letting outsiders approach their dead, and invariably bury them under the cover of night, with the most cautious secrecy; but the Navajoes were quite unreserved, and it was only by threats or promises that we could induce the nearest of kin to take a dead body out for sepulture. Cases occurred when the corpses were left wholly uncared for several days successively, and the deaths not reported, from a desire to escape the duty of performing the dreaded burial service.