Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/60

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Next day they were summoned before the Commissioner to account for their possession of the girl, and their intentions as to her future disposal. Next morning the traders respectively gave their names as Peter Blacklaws—a very appropriate nomenclature—Pedro Archeveque, which, being translated, means Peter Archbishop—a very inappropriate name—and Faustin Yaldes. The testimony extracted from these men was extremely conflicting, but the tenor of it went to show that they were engaged, with some fifty others, in unlawful barter and trade with the Indians, selling them powder and arms, probably, in exchange for female Mexican captives of attractive persons, horses, skins, etc. Mr. Bartlett felt fully authorized to deprive them of the captive, but having no authority to punish the scoundrels, they were released; they were immediately afterwards waited upon by several gentlemen of the Commission, who gave them to understand that any delay in getting out of that place would be attended with imminent danger. In less than twenty minutes they had left the Copper Mines, poorer but wiser men.

The young captive gave her name as Inez Gonzales, the eldest child of Jesus Gonzales, of Santa Cruz, on the frontier of Sonora. About nine months previous, she had left Santa Cruz with her uncle, aunt, a female friend and her friend's brother, for the purpose of being present at the grande fiesta de Nuestra Senora de la Magdalena, or, the grand feast of our Lady of Magdalena. They were protected by a military escort of ten soldiers and an ensign. The second day of their journey they were ambushed by a large party of El Pinal Apaches, who killed her uncle and eight soldiers, including their officer, and carried off her and her two female friends, with the boy. For seven months she had been in their power, and made to perform all the hard labor of an