Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/43

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37
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

perceiving the bush to approach, very gradually indeed, but still unmistakably. I dared not call to Purdy, but got my rifle to bear, as nearly as possible, upon the root of the bush. When I thought my aim good, and felt tolerably sure of my sights, I pulled the trigger. The shot was followed by the yells of some fifteen Apaches, who had approached within thirty paces of our camp by covering their heads with grass and crawling upon their bellies. Our comrades jumped to their feet and commenced shooting at the Indians, who discharged one volley into our camp and left us masters of the field. We lost one horse, killed, and had another slightly wounded; but a search developed the Apache of the moving bush lying dead, with a hole through his head. Without waiting for dawn the animals were immediately got ready and the party again started on its trip, fearing that the Apaches might get ahead and waylay them in some dangerous pass or cañon.

Accompanying the Commissioner, in the course of time we arrived at Agua Prieta, from whence I was dispatched with Mr. Thurber and Mr. Stewart to discover the town of Fronteras, and ascertain whether it could be reached with wagons. Mounting our horses we pursued a straight line for the supposed site of the town, passing through some chapparel and over broken ridges, until we arrived upon an extensive and beautiful plain, over which we galloped with free rein. About half an hour before sundown, we discovered a few thin columns of smoke ascending to the right of our road, and nearly ahead, from the top of a slight eminence about three miles distant. A few minutes brought us to the spot, but we could perceive no inhabitants about the houses on the plain, but raising our eyes to the hill, we saw the entire population of some nine hundred souls, besides four hun-