Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/326

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suggested by one high, in authority, that an appropriation of three millions to assist the Sutro Tunnel project would be an act of wisdom, as it would enormously increase the yield of the Comstock lode; but it seems never to have suggested itself to the minds of our legislators, that the region withheld from our occupation by the Apache race contains more mineral wealth than twenty Comstock lodes. We are floundering under a great national debt, and financiers are puzzling their wits to determine how it shall be extinguished; but they never dream of the untold wealth buried in the mountains which form the stronghold of the Apaches. We have behaved with the most Christian spirit of forbearance toward that people. Every time they have smitten us on one cheek we have turned the other to receive an additional slap, which they were by no means loth to bestow. Is it not almost time to put our "Quaker" one side and perform what we have so long threatened? Is our Government aware that the people of those Territories could present a bill for over fifty millions of dollars for damages suffered at the hands of those Indians during the past twenty years?

It matters not by what process or method of schooling the Apache has become the most treacherous, blood thirsty, villainous and unmitigated rascal upon earth; it is quite sufficient that he is so, and that he is incapable of improvement. Kindness and generosity provoke his contempt, and he regards them as weaknesses. Chastisement does not procure his vengeance with any more certainty than want of caution. The man who deems it the highest achievement to become a dexterous robber is scarcely an object in whom to repose confidence. Whatever regard they exhibited toward myself was more induced by the conviction that I was serviceable to them,