||General Crook and his regiment of the Western Division of the U.S. Army were cutting a road through the timber on the rim of the Mogollon Mesa above the Tonto Basin. They had as captives a number of Apache Indians, braves, squaws, and children, whom they were taking to be placed under guard on the reservation.
At sunset they made camp at the head of one of the canyons running away from the rim. It was a park-like oval, a little way down from the edge, rich with silver grass and watered by a crystal brook that wound under the giant pines. The noisy advent of the soldiers and their horses and pack-mules disturbed a troop of deer that trotted down the canyon to stop and look back, long ears erect.
Crook's campaign was about over and the soldiers were jubilant. They joked with the sombre-eyed Apaches, who sat huddled in a group under guard. Packs and saddles plopped to the grass, the ring of axes echoed through the forest, blue smoke curled up into sunset-flushed pines.
The general, never a stickler for customs of the service, sat with his captain and a sergeant, resting after the hard day, and waiting for supper.