Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/62

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from town we met a large and joyous party of Mexicans, arrayed in their gaudiest holiday costumes, and headed by the mother of our fair charge. They had come out to welcome her return and release from captivity among the Apaches, a thing never before known to have occurred. Mr. Bartlett conceded to me the privilege of placing Inez into the longing arms of her mother, who, after repeated embraces, and amidst alternate tears, prayers, thanksgivings and joyous cries, yielded her place to the strong but inferior claims of other relatives and friends, all of whom ardently and most affectionately embraced her by turns. It was one of the most affecting scenes conceivable, and, in joyous procession, the whole party entered the town, amidst the loudest acclamations of the entire population. Inez immediately entered the church, where the good priest was in attendance, and went through a solemn ceremony and thanksgiving. These scenes and all their attendant circumstances have ever been among the most pleasant in my remembrance. They form a delicious oasis amidst the unpleasant recollections of "man's inhumanity to man." Her own father had been deceased for some years, and the mother of Inez was then married to a man named Ortis, a very excellent, honest and reliable Mexican, who testified quite as much joy at her release from a captivity far worse than death, as if she had been his own child.

The future career of this young and attractive girl, whose fate was so suddenly and providentially changed, is worthy of record.

Some months after the Commission left, on its way toward California, Inez attracted and secured the admiration of a Captain Gomez in the Mexican Regular Army, and, at that time, in command of the frontier town of Tubac. The relaxed state of morals among the Mexi-