The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on December 25, 1895 · Page 7
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 7

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 25, 1895
Page 7
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KCEMBBK ff *?•* "^ 1894, by the Atltfaof.) */- CfiAt**fitt L fi new from Prescott to the mining settlements along the Santa Anita followed the Sandy for two of three, miles aboV.e Apache canyon, then, turning abrupt* ly, dove under tho turbid wa- 1 ters and reap* peared, dripping and bedraggled, on the opposite. bank, where it was speedily lost in the thick underbrush as it wound aWay eastward. Time was when the trail followed the canyon itself — a mere mule path-^but ever since the night of the big cloudburst that swelled the stream to the force and fury of a Niagara and drowned old Sanchez and his whole party of pi-ospectors, packers and pack mulus, even the Indians seemed to shun it. The only survivor of the tragedy was a lad of twelve, tho son of a Yankee miner, and his Mexican wife—a lad whose name was Leon MacNutt (MacNutt being the patronymic and Leon the Christian name given him by his dark-eyed, dark-haired, dark- sEinned mother); and Leon, swept away in the flood, was fished out at dawn several miles below by a squad of troopers from old Fort Retribution. The little fellow was more dead than alive, half drowned and sadly battered and bruised by the flotsam and jetsam of the wreck whirled along with him by the raging waters, and for a time all effort to revive him failed. When at last he was able to speak and tell his name he was lying in a dainty little bed in a cool room, with such a gentle, pitying, motherly,.face bending over him and such soft hands caressing his heavy crop of coal black hair, and beside the sweet Womanly face was that of a sturdy Saxon boy of about Leon's own age, whose blue eyes were full of anxiety and sympathetic interest. The first handclasp the little orphan seemed to recognize was this other boy's. It was in answerto his questioning that the bewildered patient feebly murmured his name, Leon MacNutt, and could not at all understand the merriment in the room when his questioner turned ;»-,xwith grave, perplexed, incredulous face to the two gentlemen in unifornrstand- »5hg 'by and wonderingly" announced: "He says his name's Lay on, MacDuff." And that was how the first boy of our story came to be hailed thereafter by his trooper friends as MacDuff instead of the patronymic to which he was entitled; even officers and ladies seemed to find the title more whimsically attractive than the pretty Spanish-Mexican name of Leon, by which Mrs. Cullen, the 'captain's wife and Randall's mother, always addressed him. One of the soldiers once referred to him as the Waif of Apache Canyon, but the big tears that arose to the boy's dark eyes at any reference to the tragedy that left him alone in' the world crushed that would-be witticism in the bud. Without adoption, either formal or in»formal, Leon had become a,n inmate of "V ' Capt, Cullen's household from the mo'••" ment of his arrival in Sergt. Kelly's and there he- lived a ; f eUQw^chplar andI playmatefar which had I portuaeiy into his life, Tliey had road' furthermore done all that lay in their power to secure for the orphan such property as might have been his fa," ther's, but this proved a difficult task. MacNutt had had a partner in his mhv ing ventures, but the partner swore stoutly that Mac hadn't a cent in the world that wasn't swept away in the flood of Apache canyon; he even went so far as to declare that Mac owed him money, and more than once appeared at Retribution When times Were hard at the mines saying he thought the officers or somebody ought to pay it because they now had Mac's boy as security, He generally compromised, as he called it, however, with requests to be, supplied with baCon, flour, coffee tmd sugar at commissary prices, which were far less than those at the minea The soldiers found out that this man, Muncey, by name, was in bad repute among his fellow miners, and openly flouted him when he came among them, but the officers, unable to prove anything, continued to show courtesy to him even though they disliked him. Capt. Cullen's troop marched away from Retribution in April, '72, just as soon as Capt. Raymond's of the —th cavalry arrived, Mrs. Cullen and Randy in the meantime having been sent away by stage to the Colorado and thence by steamer around to San Francisco. This was long before railroads were known in Arizona. But weeks before the departure of the troop there arrived at the old post a swarty little fellow from Tucson, who announced himself as a brother of the late Mrs. MacNutt and as Leon's uncle. He had come, he said, to take Leon back to his mother's people in Sonora. He brought letters from officials in Tucson which established his claim and was fortified in his statements by MacNutt's former partner, the malodorous Muncey, who came with him. The officers and the men had no claim upon the boy other than those of friendship and affection. They were his rescuers and supporters —that was all—but Leon was by this time far.more American than Mexican, "far more Yank than Greaser," as the men expressed it—and he not only begged and prayed not to be taken from them, but he kicked and scratched and fought like a young bear cub when finally forced away. Mrs. Cullen and Randy were spared that scene. She had been ailing a little , asa result of. too long.a m stay on the flats of old Retribution and-'had 'been taken up to the mountain perch of Prescott for change of air while the packing for the move was going on, Randall going with his mother, sorely aggrieved because Leon was not included in the invitation sent by the colonel's wife. Capt. Cullen, probably, was party to the arrangement. He knew they could not keep Leon always, and the longer the, stay the harder the parting. Less than a week after Leon's friend and playmate had gone his uncle and partner appeared; less than a fortnight and the poor little fellow was pulled off the buckboard in the dusty streets of Tucson and turned over to a Mexican packer for transportation to Sonora, and less than a month after the Cullens and -"C" troop had left the post, haggard, half starved, footsore and in rags, little Leon reappeared at old Retribution almost as utter a stranger as when, half drowned, he was borne thither in Sei'gt. Kelly's arms eighteen months before. If you had lived a year or more in a certain village and knew every member of every > household within four blocks of your home and were to be taken away for a month or so, and returning faint, footsore, hungry and in rags, yet thrilling with hope and joy at the thought of being restored to kind friends and hospitable firesides, only to find everything but the houses changed, 'you can fancy little Leon's dumb-raisery as he dragged from door to door along "Officers' Row," meeting only total strangers. He reached the old post just about two o'clock of a scorching May afternoon, when everybody was seeking shelter within doors, and the servants who came to answer his timid knock looked asfcanee at the little bja,ek?eyed ragamuffin, and could only that the sought t were, ~ had turned away with a _, v , , , b #r$B the third,door,,"-big hpuge ~wh,ere. ftfl in lo^thCfn Aritrfflftv kftd <tttd« Wft wAy fcfl theeft tt-eftry, Mistering def&rl miles, beting a ride in freight wagons, herding ttuleS, trdttffaf aldtttf feehiad the mail bttckbrardl, sometimes tramp- iflg all alone, until he reached, at last, the familiar scenes, only to find that his friends were fled. No hospitality was ever warmer than that of the sdldief Ifi those old frontier days. Tratfip of vagabond, gypsy, greaser or Indian, it made no difference, evert vagratit dogs never knew what it was to be turned away un- cheered. The Fosters took the little stranger for the tinie* beifig, at least, because they knew the Cullens well, and meeting them in San Francisco, had heard Leon's story from their own lips, though never dreaming they were to see him soon. They and the other new families were kind to him as people well could be, and yet, though grateful, it was plain the boy could not be consoled. They were tearing down the frame barracks, and in the midst oi the iaove to the new site^soifie of the trobps being already there encamped--' when Leon reappeared, and he watched the process of dismantling with leaden heart. The only real home he had ever known was being ripped to pieces before his very eyes, and he Could not bear it. While the new officers and men were strangers to him, there was still at the post his first protector, old Sergt. Kelly, newly appointed ordnance sergeant, and retained there after the departure of his old regiment. There were the hospital steward and his family, and thy clerks and em- ployes about the trader's store, as well as the men at the quartermaster's corral; they knew him well, but they, too, were in the midst of preparation for the move! They were full of sympathy for him and THE TBOOPKKS GATE HIM POOD. of distrust of Muncey, the ex- partner, and of Manuel Cardoza, the maternal uncle. They believed implicitly; Leon's story of his transportation. The boy said that Uncle Manuel had treated him fairly well until they were south of the Gila river, Muncey had left then and gone back to the Santa Anita, after signing and exchanging some papers with Manuel at a ranch on the Auga Fria. .Leon could tell little about his journey southward. The driver of the buckboard had made a place for him among the mail sacks, and there he cried himself to sleep at bight. But instead of taking him back to Aunt Carmen, of whom his mother had often told him, Uncle Manuel had turned him over to this boss packer at Tucson, and Leon soon found there was something wrong. Instead of .taking the southward trail, the pack train was traveling eastward day after day, and he learned presently that they were going to old Fort Crittenden—far over where the Chiricahua Apaches, under Cochise, their famous leader, were then in the height of their bloody woi-k. Mrs. Cullen had taught Randall and him the beautiful constellations in the cloudless Arizona skies, and from the pole star by night and the sun by day he knew they were never going toward Hermosillo—his mother's far Sonora home. Then ho overheard talk among the packers that boded ill for him. Manuel had reasons for wanting to "get him out of the way" was all he could make of it, and if ho wasn't "lost," as they expressed it, before they reached the Sierra Bonita, ho must be "lost" .there where it could be laid to Cochise and the Ohirjcahuas. Terrified, the boy still kept his wits, They passed a wagon train, a quartermaster's "outfit," west- war$ bound, one day, and that evening, soon after dark, he slipped, out of camp, and all alone and afoot, took the back track across the desert,, and after-an all night tramp, caught the train with its soldier escort just as it was starting on the next stage, The troopers gave him food and a place to sleep wnder, the canvas cover of one of the wagons. Leon was carried baolf to Tweson safely* bufrfcom there h'ome t9 th> °ld post far up to the north wat» matter of days and weeks, He bad got there- at Jast, wore.a^d weary* but, f£e A&J&JK& •j£-*.'fi3iiL& $& IQ cftgper OellgfTji) uO tti! the news. flits was about mid-June. tH&ziftf ha* ftftd dry were the days and breeze- lets the nights, a toost unfavorable iltne for travel to and fro across the Afizotsa deserts, but Maj. Cullen was losing not an hour. He was a mafa who had seen much service among the Apache Indians, knew their haunts and habits, and wns both feared and trusted by them. No sooner was the did regiment fairly out of Arizona, and before the new one was fairly in, there flew a hurried dispatch to Sail Francisco that was flashed on across the Sierras and Rockies and caught the new major at Omaha. In brief words it told him that there Was universal Uprising among the Apaches and asked hdw soon he could return, as the general commanding held open for him an important command. In twenty-four hours the reply was at Drum barracks. "Start thib morning. Expect me by 25th," One week later a Courier from Prescott, riding post haste with dispatches td the new commander at Retribittion, warned him that he must guard hia Working parties and the road between the old and new post. The Tontos had "jumped." Now, Tonto in the Mexican dialect means fool or idiot, but the Tonto Apache Was no fool. The Craftiest, cunningest of Indians he, and well had the chiefs and young men reasoned that a good time to strike would be just as the old and seasoned regiment left the territory, and before the new one, utterly untutored in Apache stratagem and mountain scouting, could begin to get down to their work. And so all through the wild hunting grounds in the Sierras their war fires and signals blazed by night >and puffed in smoke cloud by day. All across the rocky chasms and umorig the pine- crested ranges from the haunts of the Hualpais In northern Arizona down through the valleys of the Verde and the H assay ampa, the home of. Apache Mohave and Apacho Yuma; across the broad basin between the Mazatlan and the Black Mesa and southward to the Sierra Ancha, the Tonto Apaches had sent their messengers urging instant and united action, and down from the mountains, on stage road, trail and mining camp, swooped the savage ibe- men, land all Arizona waked to a new reign of terror. Among the first mines abandoned as the result of this sudden raid were those on the Santa Anita. The first refugee to claim the protection of • the commander of new Fort Retribution was Muncey, speedily followed by half a dozen others—all with fearful tales of massacre and pillage. It was a hot June evening, when they gathered at the;edge of the bluff looking westward from the adjutant's office over the southern foothills of the range, to where, faint and dim, the guard lights of the old post could just be distinguished through the rare Arizona atmosphere, twinkling feebly in the lowlands of the Sandy, ten long miles away. "How many of our people are left down there under care of the guard?" asked-,,Capt. Raymond of the -stern- faced old soldier in command. "Only the ordnance sergeant's family and the workmen dismantling what's left of the post." "No women or children • besides Kelly's?" "None. The last were moved over to-day — unless we count MacDuff. Leon said he wanted to stay with old Kelly to the last." ; '>Leon!" exclaimed the miner Muncey, in apparent amaze. "Why, I thought that boy was— was safe in Sonora with his mother's people." Whereat two of Ws fellow miners looked keenly into his face and then exchanged quick and expressive glances. "That boy," said Capt. Foster, "is like a cat. Ho found his way back from Tucson to the old post, and sticks to it so long as there's a shingle left. Look here," he continued, pointing to a jagged, conical shaped height clearly denned against the soft hues of the lingering twilight. "Yonder's Signal Butte, overhanging the old rookeries, and Kelly's ranch is a mile beyond that. Now suppose the Apaches did work around to the west of us and were to iswoop down on the Sandy, suppose our people were able to get up there and signal, how long would it take us to turn out fifty horsemen and gallop over those ten miles, and how much would be left by the time we got there?" Tfco commanding officer stood in deep thought for ft moment without replying, He had sent to the old site only a lieutenant and twenty men. This would be sufficient to protect the property still unshipped,- and the lives of those still detained there on duty, but there were two ranches in tho valley wjthin a cpuple of /.miles of the posts; there was the camp of Jose's bull train, there was gergt, Ke.u^'s little farm on tl\e fiopejs pf the gowthfate of Apache canyon, all beyond rifle shot of - an gW First er,an IMS tiff tttgfclt* wh*n Utiothfer *'«SlfeP Rottfctvhere bvei- oti the north side th* call of & sentry fang out sharp, clear and full orJofi the fcight ftifs "Oorpor&l of tie guard, No. 8!''" "That's old Hfenfiicke," said Ray* mond, promptly. "When he has anything to report it's no boy's storj. I'll go, sir." The cry Went echoing back toward the guard-house, sharply passed along by &os. 0 and t on the eastern flank. The corporal came out on the run, and the guardsmen, sitting of sprawling around the stacked rifles, scrambled, many of them, to their feet. Before even a fleet corporal could reach the distant post Thornton and two captains bore down upon it, others at respectful distance following. "What's up, Hennicke?" "hailed his troop commander, scorning preliminar j ies. "Firing, sir. Out on the Prescott road to the northwest. I could see the flashes." "Who on earth can it be?" asked the major. "Capt. Foster, let your troop saddle at once." CHAPTER It That there should be repeated alarms from the northeast, east and south, where were the pine covered crests of the Black Mesa and the Sierra Ancha—where were the haunts of the Tonto and the White Mountain Apaches —every one expected. There were still among the foothills some parties of miners and prospectors over whose fate there was good reason for alarm. The Santa Anita placers had been promptly abandoned, as we have seen. There was eager watch for danger signals from the site of the old Retribution, down in the Sandy villey to the west, but from the site of the new post to the crossing of the Sandy above Apache canyon the road turned and twisted among the foothills of the mountains for twenty-three miles and there wasn't a human habitation for nearly forty. Then, deep in a cleft of the range, a stage station with corrals and well and lunchroom and bar had been built by some daring spirits, eager to accumulate money at whatever risk. Beyond them for another thirtyjniles the road lay through desolation itself and reached the outskirts of even frontier civilization again among the newly finished ranches in the broad and sunny valley of Willow creek. In view of. the sudden and simultaneous swoop of the Apaches upon the roads east of Prescott everybody had been warned. Even the mail riders held back for, mounted escorts. No stage for Wickenberg and the south, no buckboard for the Santa Anita had left the territorial capital for three days. No mail had been received at Retribution for forty-eight hours. The daring troopers who rode in with the dispatches 'early that June morning had come, through the Sandy valley, as they frankly admitted, with revolvers in hand, their hearts in their:inouths and the, reins in their teeth. They had passed no party eastward bound. Who, then, could it be, who, striving '•now'to reach the" posf'by "way of the new road, should have fallen foul of the Apaches only a mile or so out? Thornton's first impulse was to say the sentry must be dreaming. Raymond, who had known the old trooper nearly a decade, as promptly declared the sentry's report reliable. ','1 not only saw the flashes," said Hennickc, "but I could faintly hear the shots, sir—fifteen or twenty. It was still as death out here." Meantime, sending an eager boy lieutenant on the jump to order out fo *It)! £§f Iy>« t ffjt V^uCt'l'i-jft "jtfJK *' _ r , OttCKllng On "Apache's wM't ftil&efc tfie the remains df i&e^at night. old Kelly and hid girls ef the guard. I ddtt't likB tftfeif so far from hel£ &nd s6 clos6 to overhanging cliffe. Mow, ddfi't.botttfff trouble to-night, deaf/' he coacfud&fj taking his tie voted wife in his arms &fld kissing away the brimming tears. "YdH and Nell must be brave. These beg^ gafly Apaches probably think we" woftl know how to fight them and are simply starting in for a little fun. I'm only too glad of a chance to deal them ft les* son—so is G troop. 1 ' Ten minutes later, in perfect silence* a double file of horsemen rode briskly away into the darkness to the north, Foster leading, every troopet armed with carbine and revolvef. The night was breathless. Not a puff of breeze stirred the pines along the mountain side or ruffled the foliage of the willows at the springs. For two miles the road lay through open country, dipping.ffotfl J ,7 »'»», ft move to Arizona, eYe ^ though-th«; rudest of camp life was to be her por* tion, and §h« and Nellie: with anxiously 'befQrei and declared that l Jfi* wife au4 at the ranch, at post, were by BO he daughterspived * ,tbe, pp/, the oen, , tain h»s -,«ft', <. dear,"M jgaid, •'probably, " is ^hfi We'll more arBf and better armed down in |p bottom of , his heart bad teft t •SHB'WfW', ' jp»«9'WBHf JHj«»*_f«M*B7,r - w ^pw^BSf * t h&tefd/KJjrt M te.n,-wa.ji atbitf44e, -,!«» ri«wnn; Arvnlri full illst. linw it all fiamft ujt how it ail came ,w»;«Jtep»,4f»w jsfi^<^;i-y;Jt ' •"•.!•.• 1 A/A MV A VtAA-wt «rrn +s»V«4 •n ra'MHiUMtfefe. *'G" troop, Capt. Foster had hastened to his temporary quarters— half canvas, half adobe^-to make his hurried preparations. Already the rumor was running from month to mouth. Only three of the officers had their families with them at the time- Mrs, Foster was »ne of those women who insisted pn, accompanying her husband on the move to Arizona, gyen, though of camp ufe was to,be her por» "YOU OUGHT TO HAVI BKEN A GENERAL, MUNOEY." the plateau on which stood the new post into a mile wide depression, then winding up the gradual ascent among the foothills of the range. Somewhere along that ascent the firing had been seen and heard. Hennicke's story had already been corroborated. Two quar- . termaster's men, enjoying a quiet smoke outside the adobe walls of the new corral, had' seen and heard just what he did, and Maj. Thornton was already, in possession of their story. So, too, had the sentry on No. 4 heard what sounfled like distant shots, but had. seen ncti <ig. Now, as Foster and his fifty horsemen disappeared in the night, the major stood at the edge of. the bluff looking out to the north, with an eager group around , him. Capts. Raymond and'Turner, whose companies had silently assembled under arms, were waiting for orders within 'the, quadrangle of the garrison, as well as the adjutant and quartermaster and a lieutenant or two. There was little talking going on among them—all were listening intently for sounds from the north or of further firing. One or two of the Santa .Anita prospectors had;, mounted and gone out after Foster, but the mass of the refugees still clustered along the bluff, chatting in low, eager' tones. If any one voice was especially prominent it was Muncey's, and, like most men given to chatter, he found! only an impatient audience. "I tell 1 you," said he for the third time, "there can't be less than a hundred of them. Tontos out there now. They just want! a single troop, or even two, to come- and tackle 'em in the dark." And now he had raised his voice still higher and! was talking for the benefit of the major, who had been persistent in avoiding him and had twice pointedly begged him not to intrude upon the council of the officers. "They've justl lined the rocks and the roadside outl there, and are simply laying for a* chance to ambush the whole crowd.; What I'd a done would be to send two hundred men out, deployed as skirmishers and swept the hull bottom, north and west, too," ' These x-emarkd were rewarded by his companions with a contemptuous sniff or a nervous, half jeering titter, ''You' ought to have been a general, Muncey.' —that's what's the matter with you,' There ain't Apaches enough in all ArV zona to dare a fight in the open, day or- night, with fifty white men, soldiers or; 'cits.' No Apache plans a fight that'g going to get him liable to be sbot f The' kind of fighting he likes is from behind,-; rocks and, trees, and there ain't and trees enough out there to cover dozen of 'em. I'm betting was done by some party as badly spared/txj as you. were yisjday morning,, J'in'b'^"J;'|| ting they just thought some skuUqpg;^r| lyn,x was an Apaehe and let .drive'f «??M volley i,nto the dark, The •"""*••"•• -=«-••'-'"*& the shots were a}l benched. ^vM.ftgyx;,^ and I know, the "Apaches dqn't, o.wjj a'^l breech loadey / "~ 1 ~ ~~~~ —-~i- «- «--«.•.« seven ties.},, so >•• 1& ;*.<*> •%"*4 • d'&$ ^Ifi

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