Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Los Comanches]
We went by way of Penasco and Mora. When we came close to Fort Union we would wait until night to slip by the Fort. The Americans did not want us to go into the Comanche country because it might cause trouble. After we had gotten by the Fort without being seen we would have to hunt for the Indians. These savages were always traveling, hunting or following the buffalo herds, so that we never knew where we would find them. We went here and there over the plains looking for signs of the Indians. When we finally found the trail of a large group, in which there were signs of women and children, we knew we were close. Following this trail until the sign was quite fresh, our commandante ordered us to make camp. Locating the closest water supply we started to unpack. While we were doing this our commandante made a smoke signal on a high point-near camp.
"Now boys, in the morning we should have the Indians here and we can start to trade, he said, 'Be very careful how you act with the Indians.'
"We did not sleep very much that night. In the morning we were surrounded by a large group. They made camp next to us, the women doing all the work. The children and the dogs made lots of noise. At first the children were afraid of us but after a few days became very friendly, always begging for something. The Comanches are a very fine looking Indian, light complexioned and well built. There are many savage nations on those plains. On one trip we traded with a group of Kiowas. It is a good thing the government guards these savages because if they ever fought us all together they might kill us all off now that they can get good rifles.
"After a sort of feast with the Indians we started in to trade. This would take a long time because there would be much talk over each trade. Sometimes an Indian and one of us would fix up a horse race. They liked to bet and that way