Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/57

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51
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

Col. Craig, who took additional precautions, which had the effect of relieving us from the presence of the new comers. In after years, it was my lot to make a very extensive and sanguinary acquaintance with this tribe, and the opportunity was improved to the utmost. Thousands of them were subjected to my control, and quite a number of them remembered me from the time we met at the Copper Mines. In several conversations I accused them of coming to aid Mangas, and assisting him in getting rid of his unwelcome intruders; and on each occasion they frankly admitted that they had visited the Copper Mines with that intention. Mangas had sent messengers to tell them that a large body of Americans had come into his country; that they were very rich in horses, mules, cotton cloth, beads, knives, pistols, rifles and ammunition; that he was not strong enough to murder and plunder us himself, and therefore required their aid, in which case one half the plunder was to be theirs, in the event of success. Lured by these promises, and urged by their chief, who was the son-in-law of Mangas, four hundred of them had come down to help that renowned warrior. They met in council, and agreed to come in and spy out the land before commencing operations, little supposing that we would discern any difference between them and the Apaches proper. Should matters promise well, a sudden attack was to be made by their united forces; but if that was not practicable without great loss of life on their part, then the system of distressing us by stealing our animals and cutting off small parties, was to be adopted. All these statements I got from Manuelito and others, at Fort Sumner, thirteen years after our occupation of the Copper Mines in Arizona. The subject was frequently talked over, and remembered as vividly as if it were a thing of yesterday.