|Object Name||Clipping, Newspaper|
TITLE: CAPTAIN JACK CRAWFORD'S NARROW ESCAPE. SUBTITLE: Interesting Story of a Thrilling Adventure With Redskins by the Great Indian Trailer-Exceeding Cupidity of the Mescalero Apaches. AUTHOR: By A. C. INNES.
SEATED around a campfire inside the stockade at Fort Cummings, Dona Ana County, N. M., about 25 years ago a party composed of United States Government surveyors, packtrain men, troopers and frontiersmen were relating their personal experiences of thrilling adventures when someone asked the picturesque Captain to relate the closest call he ever had, it being generally admitted that .Jack Crawford's reputation as Indian trailer
and all-round frontiersman equaled if not surpassed that of Col.. Wm.Cody, (Buffalo Bill). Reluctantly the famous scout consented, with the remark that while he had looked death in the face several times in the course of his adventurous career. He considered that the closest call he ever had, or at least the one that had left its deepest impress on the tablets of his memory, happened while he was looking after some Government property at Fort Craig, N. M.
"For reasons known to the War Department at Washington," continued the Captain, "Fort Craig had been abandoned and as there were considerable army equipment and stores which were likely to excite the cupidity of the Mescalero Apaches, who were then on the warpath. At the request of General Miles I was appointed caretaker of the abandoned fort. My wife, who had been visiting relatives in the East, joined me several days before the last of the departing cavalrymen said goodbye. Everything went smoothly for the first week or two and as there was a considerable accumulation of news to exchange, the time passed unheeded.
"However, toward the end of the first month, when the ebb and flow of gossip had become exhausted, I set myself to the task of preparing a lecture to be delivered during .the winter. I was thus engaged one night, deep in the study of .my subject, my wife had retired, the night-air coming through the open flap in the tent was balmy and somnolent, outside all was peace and quiet, when a strange, indefinable feeling came over me-a creepy sensation that some stealthy, lurking enemy was in close proximity." The silence was death-like and oppressive. Intuitively, I raised my eyelids without any perceptible movement of my head. The sight chilled the marrow in my bones. I ceased breathing, my gaze became fixed as the dark outline of a human form in the attitude of a sprinter about to start, with one hand planted on the ground well in front, both feet bent under the body. The posture was the personification of a human tiger about to spring. I knew that the slightest movement on my part meant a struggle to the death against superior odds, for though my revolver and cartridge belt lay on the table, still they were beyond my reach unless I rose to my feet. The suspense was unbearable, my heart pained with smothered emotion. The tension was terrific, my eyelids were up, and I was powerless to lower them. The situation demanded the most accurate calculation with rapidity of action, and, win or lose, live or die, that human tiger had to jump or I would - fortunately for me," concluded the Captain, "just then my wife called out: "Crawford, put that light out and come to bed, thereby breaking the record for the closest call I ever had with the least danger,"
Innes, Alex (A.C.)
|Cataloged by||Boudreault, Art|