Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/48

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repeated with an emphasis which compelled attention. Instinctively the guard knew that these noises proceeded from Apaches who were in quest of their incarcerated friends, and the fact was quickly made apparent by the prisoners, who commenced a chant in their native tongue loud enough to be heard outside. Here was a dilemma. The Indians were undoubtedly watching the door with intense interest, and no one dared go forth in that impenetrable gloom to face the savage foe. The force of the enemy was unknown. The citizens could not be relied upon for aid; no one would come to their assistance if attacked; they only numbered eight men and a sergeant, and they were panic-stricken. Perceiving this state of affairs, the Apache prisoners boldly advanced and demanded to be let out, at the same time giving fearful yells to apprise their friends of their designs, which were seconded by repeated strokes of heavy stones against the door. In their overpowering terror the guard mustered its whole strength, opened the door slightly and permitted their savage charge to leave. It is needless to add that they were never seen more. This is no figment of the brain, but the real, undisguised fact, and is recorded for the purpose of showing how completely the Apaches have control of the Mexican race upon the frontier.

Another incident illustrative of this supremacy occurred in the same town. A band of fifteen Apaches pursued a pack train and overtook it within three hundred yards of Arispe. The arrieros saved themselves by speedy flight, but the train was plundered and the mules driven off. Within an hour nearly two hundred armed men assembled with the avowed purpose of pursuing the savages and recovering the plunder. I happened to be on the Plaza at the time, and had just before observed the Indians making for the mountains lying east of the town. Which