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It is said that if the great father eagle is seen coming down from the heights of the mountains or rocks that it will be black, misty weather on that day and he will be sure to catch a human being and take him home. Medicine men always had eagle feathers on their persons if they could get them and they would give anything for a few white eagle feathers for dressing for their medicine sticks for spiritual help.
“No one would think that a small straight stick would hurt anything or kill anybody, or that a small flat white stone would be harmful, or that small green weeds grown under the shade of certain trees could be made into poison to put on the end of an arrow to kill. This is the way the arrows would be treated. quiver full of arrows was examined it would be found that the sharp stones at the end of the arrow would be covered with a bluish-black substance. This was the poison and I have often heard soldiers say that after a fight was over they would find that they had been struck or scratched with an arrow, and that that part of their body would swell up and blister as if they were burnt. This would finally result in death as they had no cure for it.
“The poisons are made from all kinds of poison insects. The Indians would even catch snakes and cut off their heads and use their poison fangs. Lots of spiders were poisonous and a good many of the weeds which grew around. They would put them with a fresh deer gall, fasten it with a little stick, and bury it under the ground and build a fire over it, and do this sometimes for two or three days, when it would be so rotten that it would smell
bad, and the Indians would not dare to touch it, but would pick it up with small sticks and tie it to the limb of a tree some distance from camp. Everybody would be warned not to go near it or touch it. In the course of a few weeks it would be dry and hard, just like a blackened coal, and it was then wrapped up in a piece of rag. When they wanted to use it. it was rubbed on a stone with a little water, and the tips of the arrows would be dipped in this and laid away to dry. The arrow heads were made of a hard flint, which would be put close to a fire to make it chip easy, and then it would be worked down to the shape and size desired.
"The bow was made from a mulberry tree which is cut down at certain seasons of the year, and it must be free from knots. To make it hard and springy it has to be buried under a fire in shallow dirt which is wet. It is then taken out to a tree and bent between two limbs and then whittled into the size and shape which its owner desires it to be. It is then strung with the sinews of some animal, a deer, horse or steer, anything large enough to furnish a sinew long enough and strong enough for the string. This string has to be twisted very tight and strong, and a careful Indian would carry along with him a spare string coiled around his waist, and would also have an extra stick for a bow. These they carried to use in case of an emergency when they were out on raids or on the warpath against other Indians. They did not go on the warpath against the whites as they had no ill feelings against them at first, but the treatment they received, particularly the massacre near the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, turned them into hostiles against the whites and others. Before that the Apaches lived in the mountains and in the valleys between them, frequently visiting other camps of Indians, crossing the Verde River to the western slopes without fear of being molested, by other Indians or white men. They only killed wild game and small game, and the women folks would gather the fruits from the trees and everything they could find to eat from the different kinds of plants, such as the century plant. They would get it and cook it at special times during the year, and it would be prepared and put away for future use where the wet weather could not harm it, for if it were wet it would melt or get stringy and weedy and have no taste.
“After that massacre, and for several years afterwards, the Indians got together and had councils of war, and decided that it was time to make war on the whites. At times some of the Indian men would drop into Fort McDowell after that place had been firmly established by the soldiers as a post. They used to go in there to pick up things which were thrown away, such as clothing which was partly worn out and which would be lying around the post, or rags, and when the soldiers saw those Indians coming, they would go out with their
with their guns and herd them in and lock them in the guard-house. If the Indians started to run the soldiers would shoot them, and sometimes they would kill all of them, and their people who were left behind in the camp would wonder what had become of them, because sometimes none of the party escaped alive to return home to tell them. After the government established McDowell and stationed the military there, the Indians could not go across from their own camps without danger of being attacked by the Pimas and Maricopas and being wiped out.
“A small band of Indians went to the camp of some soldiers just below where the mining camp of Superior is. This party walked right into the soldiers' camp, not expecting that anything would happen to them, but the soldiers saw that there were but a few Indians, and they grabbed hold of the men and cut their heads off and burnt the corpses. Some other Indians happened to see the occurrence from a distance, and after the soldiers had left the camp they went there to see if they could find the bodies of their relatives, but could only find small pieces of bone in the ashes. So they went to The Pinal mountains to tell the news, went up the head of the Salt River near where the Roosevelt Dam now is, and also to the Tonto Basin, and called a council of war to be held near the Superstition Mountains. There was a camp there containing a great number of warriors, practically the only remnants of the Indians from the massacres which had occurred to their people during the previous years. They held the council and made up their minds to war on anybody they might meet, Pimas, Maricopas, or white men and soldiers. There must have been about thirty-five men under Dela-cha. They started out and came to a road running from Florence to Fort McDowell. Some of the
young men were out on a hill towards Florence, and two or three of them came and said that there were three wagons coming with many soldiers following behind, and also some in front of the wagons. There were no hills or large rocks that the Indians could get behind for protection and they were armed with bows and arrows only. Some of them, though, had spears. So the chief told them not to be scared, but to be men, to fight as men for vengeance for the wrongs done to them by the soldiers and others, and that they must hold their places to a man to show their enemies that they, too, could kill; that they must win their battle with the soldiers and take something home so that their few old people and their children could rejoice over the victory. Particularly must they take home with them the clothing of the soldiers whom they might kill. So they watched the wagon train closely and counted how many soldiers there were. Soon some runners came in and said that there were three wagons, six soldiers ahead of the train, and about six or eight soldiers back of it, making in all about fifteen soldiers and three other men on the wagons. The chief said to count them again and make sure there were no soldiers in the wagons. The runners went back and told the watchmen of the chief's instructions, and were assured that there were no soldiers in the wagons, that the wagons had no covers and there was only some stuff in them, and the men driving them were riding the mules. The runners returned to the chief, and the watchmen too, as the wagons were within a mile of the party, and they told the chief to find them a hiding place quick. They saw a wide sandwash on the road, and much brush on each side of the road in which they could hide so that they would be