Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/83

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77
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

sweeping curve to the left, toward Doña Ana, being interrupted by a low but rugged series of small hills and deep ravines. About eight o'clock p. m., the moon being bright and not a cloud visible, I dashed round the first hill, and was surprised to note that the Apaches had apparently given up the chase, for I neither heard nor saw any more of them, although I was about four hundred yards ahead. Suddenly it flashed upon my mind that they might have some short cut-off, and had pursued it with the intention of heading me. For the first time I struck my rowels into the reeking flanks of my poor steed, and most gallantly did he respond to this last call. He fairly flew over the road. Hill after hill was passed with wonderful rapidity until nearly a quarter of an hour had elapsed, when I again heard my Apache friends, about eighty yards in my rear. No sooner did they perceive that their design had been penetrated and frustrated, than they recommenced their yells with additional vigor. But their horses were blown, as well as mine. They had come at their best pace the whole way, while mine had been saved from time to time. If I had come fifty miles at a slow gait in the early day, they had come fifteen at dead speed before they reached to where our race began.

In this manner we continued our career until I arrived within five miles of Doña Ana, about eleven o'clock p. m., when, feeling myself comparatively safe, I commenced emptying the cylinders of my heavy holster pistols among them. Their cries and yells were fearful at this time, but I did not cease firing until they had fallen back out of reach. The remainder of my journey was made without company, and I reached Doña Ana about twelve o'clock midnight, having made the distance of one hundred and twenty-five miles, on one horse, in the space of twenty-