Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/89

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
83
LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

when I gave him a good shirt and a serviceable pair of shoes.

The Government had furnished the Commission with several styles of newly-patented arms, and among these were some Wesson's rifles, which could throw their balls with fair accuracy a distance of four hundred yards—at that period a very remarkable distance. One of these rifles I had ordered to be fitted with new and fine sights, and at three hundred and fifty yards a good marksman could hit the size of his hat eight times out of ten.

Among our party was Wells, the Commissioner's carriage driver—an excellent, brave and cool man, and a crack shot. I pointed Delgadito out to Wells, and handing him my rifle, told him to approach as nearly as possible, take good aim and bring the rascal down. Wells glided from tree to tree with the utmost caution and rapidity, until he got within two hundred and sixty or seventy yards of Delgadito, who, at that moment, was slapping his buttocks and defying us with the most opprobrious language. While in the act of exhibiting his posteriors—a favorite taunt among the Apaches—he uncovered them to Wells, who took deliberate aim and fired. This mark of attention was received by Delgadito with an unearthly yell and a series of dances and capers that would put a maitre de ballet to the blush. The Apache leader was recalled to full consciousness of his exposed position by the whizzing of three or four balls in close proximity to his upper end, when he ceased his saltatory exercises and rushed frantically through a thick copse, followed by his band. We started back for our horses and having remounted, again pressed forward in pursuit. In fifteen minutes we had passed the woods and opened upon the plain, over which the Apaches were scouring for life. The pursuit lasted for thirty miles,