Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/87

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

icans, which also served to aggravate the natural hatred and malevolence of the savages. This last mentioned fear proved well grounded, for at this day there are over three hundred Americans and others working those mines, and a considerable village has sprung up in their immediate vicinity.

Mangas Colorado, Ponce, Delgadito, Cuchillo Negro, Coletto Amarillo, and other prominent Apaches, have, since then, all been sent to their long account hy the rifles of Californian soldiers and American citizens, but not without the loss of many innocent lives on our part, or the perpetration of atrocities on the part of the Apaches which make the blood curdle at the bare recital. These developments will form portions of succeeding chapters.

Toward the latter end of July, a number of mules for which Col. Craig was responsible, could not be found, although all the surrounding country, to the extent of thirty miles, was strictly searched. That gallant officer and accomplished gentleman invited me to his quarters, and asked my opinion on the subject. Without hesitation, I informed him that I thought the Apaches had stolen them, either for the hope of reward for bringing them back (as the Commissioner had invariably bestowed gifts on those of the tribe who brought in strayed animals, or those supposed to have strayed) or that they had made the initiative of a war campaign. After two or three hours of conversation, the Colonel fell into my idea, and determined to go and search for them himself. Taking thirty soldiers, he visited the Apache camp of Delgadito, on the Mimbres river. The Indians were much excited, and disclaimed any participation in the robbery, or any knowledge of the missing animals; but promised to hunt them up and restore them to that officer, if found. Eight days afterward they kept their