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Tonio, Son of the Sierras A Story of the Apache War   By: (1844-1933)

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Transcriber's Note: Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Dialect spellings, contractions and discrepancies have been retained.

[Illustration: Tonio, Son of the Sierras, erect and slender. Frontispiece ]

TONIO

SON OF THE SIERRAS

A Story of the Apache War

By

GENERAL CHARLES KING

AUTHOR OF

"NORMAN HOLT," "THE IRON BRIGADE," "THE COLONEL'S DAUGHTER," "A DAUGHTER OF THE SIOUX," ETC.

Illustrations by

CHARLES J. POST

G. W. DILLINGHAM COMPANY PUBLISHERS NEW YORK

Copyright, 1906, by

G. W. DILLINGHAM COMPANY

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London All rights reserved

Issued June, 1906.

ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

Tonio, Son of the Sierras, erect and slender Frontispiece 8

Scrambling down the adjacent slope every man for himself 81

"Keep watch now all around, especially east and southeast" 175

"They've opened on Case and Clancy" 188

TONIO

SON OF THE SIERRAS

CHAPTER I.

"Does it never rain here?" asked the Latest Arrival, with sudden shift of the matter under discussion.

"How is that, Bentley?" said the officer addressed to the senior present, the surgeon. "You've been here longest."

"Don't know, I'm sure," was the languid answer. "I've only been here three years. Try 'Tonio there. He was born hereabouts."

So the eyes of the six men turned to the indicated authority, an Apache of uncertain age. He looked to be forty and might be nearer sixty. He stood five feet ten in his tiptoed moccasins, and weighed less than little Harris, who could not touch the beam at five feet five. Harris was the light weight of the th Cavalry, in physique, at least, and by no means proud of the distinction. To offset the handicap of lack of stature and weight, and of almost cat like elasticity of frame and movement, he saw fit to cultivate a deliberation and dignity of manner that in his cadet days had started the sobriquet of "Heavy," later altered to "Hefty"; and Hefty Harris he was to the very hour this story opens a junior first lieutenant with four years' record of stirring service in the far West, in days when the telegraph had not yet strung the Arizona deserts, and the railway was undreamed of. He had only just returned to the post from a ten days' scout, 'Tonio, the Apache, being his chief trailer and chosen companion on this as on many a previous trip. The two made an odd combination, having little in common beyond that imperturbable self poise and dignity. The two elsewhere had met with marked success in "locating" rancherias of the hostile bands, and in following and finding marauding parties. The two were looked upon in southern Arizona as "the best in the business," and now, because other leaders had tried much and accomplished little, it had pleased the general commanding the Division of the Pacific to say to his subordinate, the general commanding the Department of Arizona, that as the "Tonto" Apaches and their fellows of the Sierra Blanca seemed too wily for his scouting parties sent out from Whipple Barracks, and the valley garrisons of McDowell and Verde, it might be well to detach Lieutenant Harris from his troop at old Camp Bowie and send him, with 'Tonio, to report to the commanding officer at Camp Almy.

Now the commanding general of Arizona had thought of that project himself, and rejected it for two reasons: first, that the officers and men on duty at Almy would possibly take it as a reflection; second, that 'Tonio would probably take it as an affront to himself. 'Tonio, be it understood, was of the Apache Mohave tribe, whose hunting grounds had long been the upper Verde and adjacent mountains. 'Tonio had no scruples as to scouting and shooting Chiricahuas and Sierra Blancas or the roving bands of Yaquis that sometimes ventured across the "Gadsden Purchase" from Mexico... Continue reading book >>




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