Desert Gold (Chapter 7, page 2 of 17)

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Chapter 7

"Your Yaqui was near dead, but guess we'll pull him through," said
Belding. "Dick, the other day that Indian came here by rail and foot
and Lord only knows how else, all the way from New Orleans! He spoke
English better than most Indians, and I know a little Yaqui. I got
some of his story and guessed the rest. The Mexican government is
trying to root out the Yaquis. A year ago his tribe was taken in
chains to a Mexican port on the Gulf. The fathers, mothers, children,
were separated and put in ships bound for Yucatan. There they were
made slaves on the great henequen plantations. They were driven,
beaten, starved. Each slave had for a day's rations a hunk of sour
dough, no more. Yucatan is low, marshy, damp, hot. The Yaquis were
bred on the high, dry Sonoran plateau, where the air is like a knife.
They dropped dead in the henequen fields, and their places were taken
by more. You see, the Mexicans won't kill outright in their war of
extermination of the Yaquis. They get use out of them. It's a
horrible thing.... Well, this Yaqui you brought in escaped from his
captors, got aboard ship, and eventually reached New Orleans. Somehow
he traveled way out here. I gave him a bag of food, and he went off
with a Papago Indian. He was a sick man then. And he must have fallen
foul of some Greasers."

Gale told of his experience at Papago Well.

"That raider who tried to grind the Yaqui under a horse's hoofs--he was
a hyena!" concluded Gale, shuddering. "I've seen some blood spilled
and some hard sights, but that inhuman devil took my nerve. Why, as I
told you, Belding, I missed a shot at him--not twenty paces!"

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