Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/80

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they come sweeping upon the unsuspecting immigrant in more than usual numbers, and if successful in their attack, invariably destroy all of the party; for there is no possible chance of escape, and the Apaches never take any prisoners but women and young children, and they become captives for life.

At Socorro was a small American garrison, consisting of about half a company of the Second Dragoons, commanded by Lieut. Reuben Campbell, an officer whose acquaintance I had made during the Mexican war, and for whom I entertained a sincere regard.

I left Doña Ana about three o'clock A. M., and traveled leisurely until four in the afternoon, when I unsaddled my horse, staked him to a strong picket pin planted in a field of fine grass, and laid down under the lee side of a cactus to catch a modicum of shade. At twelve, midnight, I resumed my journey, and reached Socorro next day about eleven o'clock A. M., having traveled during the cool of the night at a much more rapid pace. During the trip I neither saw an Indian nor an Indian sign; and here let me add that the Apaches of the Jornada, or more properly the Mescalero Apaches, were at the time in a state of active hostility.

Most pleasantly did I pass two days with Lieut. Campbell, rehearsing scenes and incidents of the Mexican war, and each metaphorically "shouldering his crutch to show how fields were won." Having refreshed myself and rested my noble horse, I took leave of Campbell on the morning of the third day, at three o'clock, when we took the doch and dorrish with mutual wishes for each other's welfare.

My trip up had been unaccompanied by any event of interest, and I sincerely hoped that my journey down would be equally tame and spiritless; but this was not to