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Kim — University of Nebraska Press / Page 103 / / The Apache Indians / Ingstad [First Page] [103], (1) Lines: 0 to 32 ——— 0.0pt PgVar ——— Normal Page PgEnds: TEX [103], (1) 9 Through the Western Sierra Madre Not far into the Sierra Madre and a day’s ride from Sienequita, there was supposedly one last ranch at which the Yaqui Indian Ysidro Mora and his family lived. He was known to be a tracker and mountain man that few could match, and he was considered to be the only one in the area who knew so much about the Sierra Madre. He was also considered to be a rough type. With mixed feelings of fear and admiration the Mexicans said that once he shot down five Apaches. On this first trip I wanted to look him up and then ride farther in through the Sierra Madre. Moreni let us have some pack animals and horses, and early one morning we took off for the mountains. We rode up and up the steep terrain where forests of oak grew in all directions. Every now and again we startled a herd of deer, which snorted and took off running with their white tails high in the air, leaving a wake of swaying yellow grass. The slopes grew even worse and the pack animals worked hard. On the steepest inclines, the packs would sometimes tip them over and they would tumble down the hill. The first time I witnessed this I really thought that we had a tragedy on our hands and ran down thinking that I was going to find a lifeless mule. But I was mistaken. The animal just slowly got up, flapped its big ears a bit and was in good as shape as before. In time, I learned that mules simply don’t die from accidents. The acrobatic feats our pack animals did every once in a while caused us a lot of trouble. The ties on the packs often loosened, and we were in continual danger of losing some of our things. The next day I found out that I had been about as unlucky as possible, and so soon into our trip. The case holding the aneroid barometer, the temperature gauge, and so on had been lost during the night. Despite Kim — University of Nebraska Press / Page 104 / / The Apache Indians / Ingstad 104 Through the Western Sierra Madre [104], (2) Lines: 32 to 42 ——— 0.0pt PgVar ——— Normal Page PgEnds: TEX [104], (2) intense searching, I didn’t find it again. This was especially aggravating because the height of some of the various summits in the Sierra Madre were fairly unknown and it would have been considerably interesting to collect some measurements. On a small plateau at about six thousand feet we found the Santa Clara ranch, a humble cabin by a river. The rancher and hunter Mora lived here, the only one in these parts who dared to stand up against the Apaches in their own mountain domain. When I saw Mora, I quicklyunderstoodthathewasaslydevilandroughfellowwhodidn’t put up with much from the Apaches. He was completely different from the Mexicans I met earlier at the foot of the mountain. He very well might have had white blood in him, but he looked like an Indian through and through. He was a descendant of the Yaqui people, who dominate large parts of Sonora and are known to be the most ferocious and fearless natives anywhere in Mexico. He was a small, middle-aged man with intense, narrow, hawklike eyes. His face was deeply lined and thin and he had a bristly black mustache above a tightly clenched mouth. He was agile and limber and fit as a well-trained Finnish runner, fast as lightning. On our trip up, I realized that it wasn’t going to work out to continue with the unfit mules that we had gotten from Sienequita. They had been out in the pasture way too long. It was also unfortunate that our Mexican helper didn’t have more knowledge of the mountains . It was different, however, with Mora. He had a herd of tough, conditioned mules that had been raised in the Sierra Madre and that could endure almost anything. I made an agreement with him then that he and his mules would join us on our expedition, and I sent the Mexican back. It was true that Mora was a rough fellow, but he knew more about the mountains and the Apaches than anyone else...


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