Seven Little Indians

They drew straws to see who would kill the infants.

It was a fall day at an Indian encampment within the Tonto Basin of Arizona. Lined up on their cradleboards towards a rock wall had been seven little Apache infants. The climate was so good, some infants slept whereas others gazed out upon the unusual world round them.

The late Roscoe G. Willson, in his Arizona Tales run repeatedly by The Arizona Republic newspaper, informed this story. The story illustrated how in any other case hard-bitten males couldn’t overcome the facility that emanates from a child.

All in regards to the camp, in 1871, there was a scene of nice exercise. The lads within the Apache camp got here dashing in at early morn, driving a big herd of horses, stolen that very morning from the Bowers Ranch east of Prescott, Arizona.

The Apache women and men of the camp had been excited as they talked about their nice success. The ladies busied themselves cooking the meat of a horse they’d slaughtered. They laid strips of uncooked horseflesh on the oak bushes to dry whereas they cooked the bigger portion of horsemeat over an open hearth.

When the meat was cooked, the boys gorged themselves on the candy horseflesh, which they favored above all different. When the boys completed, the ladies too, then ate with gusto.

After tending and nursing their infants, the cherubs had been returned to their papoose baskets alongside the wall. The ladies joined the group of males sleeping off their heavy meal beneath the deep shade of oak timber.

Quickly, a clattering of blue jays signaled to the Indians that one thing was amiss. Earlier than the Indians might rise to their ft, rifle pictures rang out from the hillsides and oak thickets. A number of Apache women and men had been killed earlier than they may rise.

The attackers had been settlers from Prescott, on the hunt for the horses stolen that morning from the Bowers Ranch. John B. Townsend, an Indian fighter, headed the group. The Indians knew him to be courageous and fearless and held him in nice respect.

It wasn’t till after the final Apache had both escaped, disappeared, or been killed that the seven little Indian infants had been found resting towards the wall.

This introduced an issue for the rugged white males. Of their assaults on settlers, the Apache Indians did not hesitate to kill white girls and youngsters.

Captain Townsend appeared on the infants snuggled of their papoose baskets. He scratched his head, understanding that normally the infants needs to be killed. However Townsend shuddered on the thought. “Good God,” he requested himself, who might kill a child in chilly blood?”

Others within the social gathering felt the infants needs to be killed, however the one query was, who would do the job.

Townsend determined the difficulty by saying they’d draw straws to see who would commit the horrendous deed. Grass stems of various lengths had been drawn. Townsend held the brief straw.

When he pulled his pistol and stepped towards the closest toddler, the newborn gurgled, wrinkled its face and smiled again at him. John’s solely imaginative and prescient at that time was an image of his personal child lady again at his Agua Fria Ranch.

His pistol hand dropped to his aspect. He turned to his companions and murmured, “I simply cannot do it boys. Some one else may have undergo with this.”

Ed Wright, John’s neighbor on the Agua Fria, stepped ahead. “Boys, we will not any of us kill these infants I do not care if the Apaches have killed a few of our kids. We weren’t raised like these Indians, and we might all really feel like murderers if we cold-bloodedly killed the little varmints. Let’s go away ’em the place they’re and go make camp.”

A sigh of aid sounded by way of the gang. After making camp that night, Ed Wright and a number of the others used rawhide rope to lash the seven child baskets excessive sufficient off the bottom to be secure from coyotes or different varmints.

The subsequent morning, the infants and their cradles had been gone.

Supply by Alton Pryor

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