Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/76

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heart of feeling. I feel as you do. All the Americans feel as you do. Our hearts are sad at your loss. We mourn with this poor woman. We will do all we can to assist her and her family. I know that neither money nor goods will pay for her loss. I do not want the Apaches, my brothers, so to consider it. What I propose is for the good of this family. My wish is, to make them comfortable. I desire to give them the aid of which they are deprived by the loss of their protector. If the prisoner's life is taken, your desire for revenge is satisfied. Law and justice are satisfied; but this poor woman gets nothing. She and her family remain poor. They have no one to labor for them. Will it not be better to provide for their wants?"

A short interchange of opinions occurred at this period of the proceedings, and the mother of the murdered man was called on for her decision. Acting under the influence of the leading warriors, whose object is stated at the opening of this chapter, she vehemently demanded the blood of her son's slayer, and stated her determination to be satisfied with nothing else. In accordance with this decision Ponce resumed and said:

"If an Apache should take the life of an American, would you not make war on us and take many Apache lives?"

Reply.—"No; I would demand the arrest of the murderer, and would be satisfied to have him punished as the Apaches punish those who commit murder. Did not a band of Apaches attack a small party of Americans, very recently, on the Janos road? Did they not kill one of them and wound three others with their arrows? And did they not take from them all their property? You all know this to be true, and I know it to be true. I passed near the spot where it took place, three days afterward.