Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/328

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As an example of the precision to which my men had arrived in the use of their fire-arms, the following incident will suffice. While passing the "Caves" on the road to the San Bernardino river, whither we had been to settle a little difficulty with the Piutes, we were passed by a fine antelope buck, about one hundred yards distant, and going at speed. There were fourteen men in single file behind me, and I cried out, "Fire at that antelope." At the word each man checked his horse, raised his carbine and fired. The animal fell, and upon examination, it was found that every ball had struck him.

The information which I received from Mr. Labadie relative to the Apache hegira from Fort Sumner, only added to my former conviction that they are incapable of any enduring sense of gratitude. Their intense selfishness precludes any hope from that quarter, while the long and close experience I had with them, established the conviction in my mind that their intensified proclivity to commit outrage can only be suppressed by force of arms, in a vigorous and not too merciful campaign, prosecuted with an overwhelming force, and brought to a sudden and decisive end by occupying many portions of their country at the same time, and keeping the forces in the field until the object be accomplished. In the foregoing work only such personal adventures have been recited as served to exemplify some trait of Indian character; and if any of my readers have received either pleasure or profit from its perusal, or if these experiences should serve in any way to modify or better our Indian policy, the author will not have written in vain.