Excerpt from Arizona in the '50s :
The Indians tied our hands behind our backs and took us a short distance beyond the spring where each one of us was tied to a live oak tree. Soon a warrior galloped up giving a whoop. It was Cochise! I surely was surprised to see him for he was out of his territory. I knew the moment I saw Cochise that our case was hopeless - that he would prevail upon Lea's warriors, whose prisoners we were, to turn us over to him - and if he could not buy us he would take us anyway. I did not think he was alone and I afterwards learned that his band of warriors was in the next canyon.
Cochise, by letting Lea's warriors have all my mules and promising that we would not be allowed to get away, obtained possession of us. Cochise at once gave a signal and about fifty warriors of his tribe came galloping up. Cochise gave orders to untie us and take us to the Gila River and then he turned to the under chief who had captured us and asked him for my belt, pistols, shotgun and knife. Buckling the belt around his waist, he fastened the shotgun to his saddle, mounted his horse and we started for the Rio Gila.
Then Cochise began his hellish persecutions by first one thing and then another, and he knew how to inflict every punishment…When we camped, I saw the blood oozing out from my two companions’ clothing. They were led to two trees, tied to them heads down, fires were then built and they were burned alive. I became frantic and spat on Cochise, calling him all the vile names I could think of. I wanted to die and not see any more cruelty.
I was tugging at the bands that tied me believing I could get loose, when Cochise hit me on the head with one of my six-shooters and felled me to the ground, knocking me senseless. When I became conscious, we were camped in another spot and I was tied hand and foot all night.
The cords were drawn so tightly that in the morning my ankles and wrists were so inflamed that the cords could barely be seen. When they were cut I was pretty weak from the loss of blood caused by the cut on my head from my own six-shooter in Cochise's hand the evening before…
Cochise called two warriors to stand me on the hot coals. Without the use of my arms, I could not help myself. They kept me there until my boots were burned and my feet were blistered. When my boots were pulled and cut off, the skin pulled off with them….
House built byCaptain Tevis in 1860 in Pinos Altos, New Mexico Territory, 1860.
Photo courtesy William J. Kelly
CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT