Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/93

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LIFE AMONG THE APACHES.

But the reader will have plenty of opportunities to judge for himself, as the succeeding pages will unfold incidents enough from which to form a criterion. They are far from cowardly, but they are exceedingly prudent. Twenty Apaches will not attack four well armed and determined men, if they keep constantly on their guard and prepared for action. In no case will they incur the risk of losing life, unless the plunder be most enticing and their numbers overpowering, and even then they will track a small party for days, waiting an opportunity to establish a secure ambush or effect a surprise. A celebrated warrior once told me: "You Americans are fools, for when ever you hear a gun fire you run straight to the spot; but we Apaches get away, and by and by steal round and discover the cause."

I have before stated that individual Apaches will some times conceive a regard for particular persons not of their tribe, and an incident illustrative of this fact occurred to Lieut. Diaz of the Mexican Commission. Mr. Diaz had been ordered to occupy a station on the top of a certain prominent height, and took with him a party of ten men. His camp was only about four miles from the camp of Gen. Garcia Conde; but getting out of provisions he left the mountain, accompanied by one man, for the purpose of ordering another supply. His course led him over a perfectly smooth plain for the distance of two miles. Not a tree, nor a bush, nor a rock was visible, but the grass was thick and about a foot high. Mr. Diaz and his man walked side by side, each with a six-shooter in his hand, for the Apaches were then hostile. About the middle of the plain Mr. Diaz felt his right wrist seized and his left arm pinioned, while his pistol was taken from his grasp, and he found himself in the power of Cuchillo Negro and a dozen other savages. His at-