Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/77

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71
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

The Apaches did not even bury their victim. They left him lying by the wayside, food for the crows and the wolves. Why do not these Americans revenge themselves on you for this act? They are strong enough. They have many warriors, and in a few days can bring a thousand more here. But there would be no justice in that. The Americans believe this murder was committed by your bad men—by cowards. The Apaches have bad men among them; but you who are now among us are our friends, and we will not demand redress of you. Yet, as I told you before, you must endeavor to find the men who killed our brother, and punish them. Our animals feed in your valleys. Some of your bad men might steal them, as they have already done; but the Americans would not make war on you for this. We hold you responsible, and shall call on you to find them and bring them back, as you have done. While the Apaches continue to do this, the Americans will be their friends and their brothers. But if the Apaches take our property and do not restore it, they can no longer be the friends of the Americans. War will then follow; thousands of soldiers will take possession of your lands, your grazing valleys, and your watering places. They will destroy every Apache warrior they find, and take your women and children captives."

This rather menacing speech, with the firmness and determination evinced, brought our copper colored and belligerent visitors to a proper sense of the case, and after considerable "pow-wow" among themselves, the mother of the deceased agreed to leave the punishment of the murderer to the determination of our own laws, and to receive as equivalent for his loss all the money due the prisoner, and twenty dollars a month, the amount of his wages, while we remained at the Copper Mines.