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An Apache Captive

An Apache Captive image
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"During the last Apache war, ended ten years ago, there were two cases where white children were taken prisoaers by the Indians and afterward were recaptured and restored to their frieuds, " said a southwesteru niiniug engineer. "The first of the children captured and rescned in the last Apache war was Santiago McKin. The otherwas a little 10-year-old Mexican girl, Aniceta Chavez. On Jnue 20, 1886, a detachment of Mexican troops surprised Chiei' Geronimo's band 40 miles southeast of Magdalena, in Sonora. So suelden was their attack that the Indians fled, scattering to cover and ut lastinakiug their escape. As the soldiers soarehed the scène of the fight for the wounded and the plunder theyeame upon a, little girl, ragged and barefcoted, hiding among the rocks. She was i ehild of Mexican bïood, and when she was mado aware that those a.bont lier were oí her own race and fïiêndly she told thetn her name and story. "She was, Aniceta Chavez, wbo had been adópted inta the family of a ranchmau nanif (1 Peck, living u.-.r Galabasas, A. T. On tLo previous ApriJ 37, when Gerónimo ioau his inlo tbe Santa Cruz %'alley, he killed Mrs. Peck and bur ycui:g ohild, but carrier! Aniceta into captivity. That he should do so Hiuj'iisiug a thing as to spare lier life %v;is dtie probably to tlie fact that in ense of ultimately being compellcd to surrender to the. United States troops he might secure better terms by liaviug a prisoner to deliver up to the whites. So the girl ,was hurried along witli her captors and compelled tovitness the other murders that they comimtted aller their slaughter at the Peck ranch. "It was hard work for herto keep up with her captors, but her life depended on it. Sèveral times that day tlie squaws would have killed her, but Gerónimo would not suffer it, though he allowed thein to abuse and beat hor to their hearts' content. But she was only at the beginning of her troubles. Froin the Santa Cruz valley the Indians swung back to the Sierra Madre, and their ]ong journey thrqiigh mountains and desert was a rough and cruel oiie. The Iudians, pursued ceaseleasly by troops on both sidesof the Mexican border, traveled all day, never stopping for two nights in the sarue place. Their one meai a day, which they ate at night, consisted usually of horseflesh, but if this were lacking and they were not too closely followed the band scattercd, the bucks in search of smal] game and the women to gather suakes, lizárds, grubs and edible roots and plants with which to make out a satisfying meal. Their only baggage, handled always by the squaws, consisted of blankets and papooses in baskets, together with any plunder they desired to take along. The bucks carried their rifles and two belts of cartridges each. Usually the Indians had plenty of horses to ride, but they did their fighting on foot. They had excellent fieldglasses, captnred from the whites, and these they used constantly. In travelïng, one ludían rode in advance of the band, exploring for dangers ahead, while another, mounted on a specially good horse, rode far in the rear to signal to the others information of any signs he might see of pursuit and ready at the right time to spur forwarrl and warn them. "The ludían bucks, while they took little notice of Aniceta, were not unkind to her, but to keep up with the party in its endless marching through a ïuountainous country was a fearful task for child. Sometimes they followed trails and agaiu traversed a trackless región, of ten climbing heights so steep that the Indians had to dismouut and lead tbcir horses. When traveling afoot, she was cautioned liever to set her foot on soft soil, but only on rocks or grass. This was that her footprints might not betray ihe route the party was taking. When pursuit was not hot after them and thore was no danger in sight, Gerónimo would carryher on hishorse. In their flight the Iudians found time for considerable murderiug and plundering of the whites. She found the squaws more bloodthirsty and cruel thau the tracks, and (hey wcre ever eager to hack anti mutílate the bodies of any white person whoni the warriors had killed. " Where the Indians traveled she had uo Mea, except that tbey kept almost altogether in the mouutains. From the charaeter of the scenery asshe described it 3i!d the few buildings she saw the Indians must have kept most of the time wholly south of the Mcxican bordev. It was the suddenness of the attai'k by the Mexicau troops that saved the girl's life, for if the squaws had not been for the moment panie stricken they wonld have killed her to prevent her being recaptured. But fortunately, becoming separated from them in the confusión, she remained in hiding while they lied. When found by the Mexicaus, she was in good condition physieally and mentally, except that she was worn by fatigue and exposui-e, and her face was swollen from the beatings of the fiquaws. Soon after her recapture the Mexicaus delivered her to the United States authorities, who took measures to restore her to her friends. I saw her soon after her return to Arizona - a brown faced, dark eyed child, haadsome, as all Americau children are, and showing no sigus of the hard experiences of her two inonths' captivity with the


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News