Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/71

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

who were obtained at the risk of his life, and purchased by the blood of his relatives. He justly demands his captives. We are his friends, and wish to see this demand complied with. It is just, and as justice we demand it."

Reply.—"We will tell our Apache brethren what can be done. The captives cannot be restored. The Commissioner cannot buy them. No American can buy them; but there is a Mexican in our employ who is anxious to buy and restore them to their homes. We have no objection that he should do so; and if he is not rich enough, some of us will lend him the means."

Delgadito.—"The owner does not wish to sell; he wants his captives."

Reply.—"Our brother has already been told that this cannot be. We do not speak with two tongues. Make up your minds."

A short consultation was then held among the leading Apaches, after which Delgadito said: "The owner wants twenty horses for them."

Reply.—"The Apache laughs at his white brother. He thinks him a squaw, and that he can play with him as with an arrow. Let the Apache say again."

Delgadito.—"The brave who owns these captives does not want to sell. He has had one of these boys six years. He grew up under him. His heart-strings are bound around him. He is as a son to his old age. He speaks our language, and he cannot sell him. Money cannot buy affection. His heart cannot be sold. He taught him to string the bow and wield the lance. He loves the boy and cannot sell him."

Reply.—"We are sorry that this thing should be. We feel for our Apache brother, and would like to lighten his heart. But it is not our fault. Our brother has fixed