Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/45

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
39
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

where the General commanded a brigade, and we discovered that he barely escaped falling into our hands. Discussing the character of the Apaches and the policy of the Mexican government in their regard, the General made the following remarks:

"There is a small town named Janos, in Chihuahua, near the eastern boundary of Sonora, where the Apaches have for several years been received and provided with rations by the Government of that State, although the same Indians were at the time in open war with the Mexicans of Sonora. Not being able to comprehend the virtue of a policy which feeds Indians in one State that they might prey upon and destroy the citizens of an other, I concluded that my duty was to destroy the enemy wherever I could find him. Acting upon this decision, I waited until the allotted time for the Apaches to visit Janos to obtain their regular quarterly rations, and, by forced marches at night, succeeded in reaching the place just as the carnival was at its height. We killed a hundred and thirty, and took about ninety prisoners, principally women and children. Col. Medina, commanding the State of Chihuahua, was so enraged at my action, that he made formal complaint to the Supreme Government, which, however, after some unnecessary delay, approved of my course."

I expressed much astonishment at such a condition of affairs, when Carasco added: "It is the old story; our territory is enormous, and our Government weak. It cannot extend its protecting arms throughout all portions of the country. Whole provinces are left for years to themselves, except in the matter of taxation, and things run to ruin. It is to this cause that frequent pronunciamentos are attributed. The richest man in either of the distant States is actual lord of the State, and can always