Stránka:book 1913.djvu/544

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S22 The Book of Woodcraft It didn't take Burns five seconds to decide what should be done; he had two of his men harnessed with the sus- penders of their comrades, and made them lean well over the precipice, while the harness was used to hold them in place; these men were to fire with their revolvers at the enemy beneath, and for a volley or so they did very effec- tive work, but their Irish blood got the better of their rea- son and, in their excitement, they began to throw their revolvers at the enemy; this kind of ammunition was rather too costly, but it suggested a novel method of annihilating the enemy. Brown ordered his men to get together and roll several of the huge boulders, which covered the surface of the mountain, and drop them over on the unsuspecting foe. The noise was frightful, the destruction sickening. Our volleys were still directed against the inner faces of the cave and the roof, and the Apaches seemed to realize that their only safety lay in crouching close to the great stone heap in front; but even this precarious shelter was now taken away; the air was filled with the bounding, plunging frag- ments of stone, breaking into thousands of pieces, with other thousands behind, crashing with the momentum gained in a descent of hundreds of feet. No human voice could be heard in such a cyclone of wrath; the volume of dust was so dense that no eye could pierce it, but over on our left, it seemed that for some reason we could still dis- cern several figures guarding that extremity of the enemy's line — the old Medicine Man, who, decked in all the panoply of his office, with feathers on head, decorated shirt on back, and all the sacred insignia known to his people, had defied the approach of death, and kept his place, firing coolly at everything that moved on our side, that he could see, his rifle reloaded and handed back by his assistants — either squaws or young men — it was impossible to tell which, as only the arms could be noted in the air. Major