Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/88

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promise, in a truly Apache manner, by making another descent upon the Colonel's herd of mules, and relieving him of the necessity to guard twenty-five more of those animals, and some fine horses. Having nothing but infantry, Col. Craig felt himself unable to maintain an active campaign against these bold and well-mounted savages, and consequently invoked the aid of Capt. Buford's company of dragoons, from Doña Ana. Soon after the arrival of that officer, another batch of animals disappeared in the same mysterious manner, and a joint scout, composed of the dragoons and mounted infantry, started off to recover the lost animals, or punish the robbers, if possible. This raid proved wholly ineffective, neither animals being recovered, nor Indians punished; but during the absence of the force, intelligence was brought that the Apaches had attacked the mining camp, about three or four miles down the canon, and were driving off the cattle. About twenty of the Commission, headed by Lieut. A. W. Whipple, mounted their horses and gave immediate pursuit. The Indians were overhauled in a thick forest, and one party, numbering about fifty warriors, stood to give us battle, while a detachment hurried on with the cattle. The Indians concealed themselves behind large pine trees, and retreated as fast as possible, but still showing front. Our party dismounted, and, being joined by Mr. Hay, the head miner, with four of his associates, we left our horses in care of eight men, and took to the trees, keeping up a lively fire from behind their friendly shelter.

Here, for the first time, all doubt as to the identity of the robbers was set at rest, for they were headed by Delgadito, who kept at a safe distance and poured out torrents of the vilest abuse upon the Americans. This same scoundrel had slept in my tent only two nights before,