Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/74

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the death of one of their braves. "We are all friends. The dead man was our friend, and we regret his loss. I know that he committed no offence; that he even did not provoke the attack upon him. But our Apache brethren must remember that it was not by the hand of an American he died. It was by that of a Mexican, though employed by the Commissioner. For this reason it is my duty to see justice done you, and the murderer punished. I am here in command of the party engaged in tracing the dividing line between the United States—the country of the Americans—and Mexico. I have fully explained this to you before, and you now understand it. Beyond this I have no powers. The great chief of the Americans lives far, very far, toward the rising sun. From him I received my orders, and those orders I must obey. I cannot interfere in punishing any man, whether an Indian, a Mexican, or an American. There is another great chief who lives at Santa Fé. He is the Governor of all New Mexico. This great chief administers the laws of the Americans. He alone can inflict punishment when a man has been found guilty. To this great chief I will send the murderer of our Apache brother. He will try him, and if found guilty, will have him punished according to American laws. This is all I can do. Such is the disposition I will make of this man. It is all I have a right to do."

To my surprise, Ponce arose to reply; he said: "This is all very good. The Apaches know that the Americans are their friends. The Apaches believe what the Americans say is true. They know that the Americans do not speak with two tongues. They know that you have never told them a lie. They know that you will do what you say. But the Apaches will not be satisfied to hear that the murderer has been punished in Santa Fé. They