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Title: A Narrative of the expedition of Hernando de Soto into Florida published at Evora in 1557
Author: A Gentleman of Elvas [pseud.]
Language: English
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HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS

OF

LOUISIANA,

EMBRACING TRANSLATIONS OF

MANY RARE AND VALUABLE DOCUMENTS

RELATING TO THE

NATURAL, CIVIL AND POLITICAL

HISTORY OF THAT STATE.

COMPILED WITH

HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES,

AND AN

INTRODUCTION,

BY
B. F. FRENCH,

_Member of the Louisiana Historical Society; of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science; Honorary Member of the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania; Corresponding Member of the Academy of Natural
Sciences of Philadelphia, etc., etc._

PART II.

PHILADELPHIA:
DANIELS AND SMITH.

_New York_, G. P. PUTNAM; _Boston_, LITTLE AND BROWN; _New Orleans_, B. M.
NORMAN; _London_, JOHN CHAPMAN; _Paris_, GALIGNANI AND CO.
1850.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by

B. F. FRENCH,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

PHILADELPHIA:
PRINTED BY T. K. & P. G. COLLINS.



TO THE

MEMBERS OF THE LOUISIANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

THIS VOLUME

IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

BY

BENJAMIN F. FRENCH.


[The following is an excerpt from this volume.
(note of etext transcriber.)]



A NARRATIVE

OF THE

EXPEDITION OF HERNANDO DE SOTO

INTO

FLORIDA.

BY A GENTLEMAN OF ELVAS.

PUBLISHED AT EVORA 1557.

TRANSLATED FROM THE PORTUGUESE

BY

RICHARD HACKLUYT.

LONDON, 1609.



CAPTAIN SOTO was the son of a squire of _Xerez of Badajoz_. He went into
the Spanish _Indies_, when _Peter Arias_ of _Avila_ was Governor of the
_West Indies_. And there he was without anything else of his own, save
his sword and target: and for his good qualities and valor, _Peter
Arias_ made him captain of a troop of horsemen, and by his commandment
he went with _Fernando Pizarro_ to the conquest of _Peru_: where (as
many persons of credit reported, which were there present) as well at
the taking of _Atabalipa_, Lord of _Peru_, as at the assault of the city
of _Cusco_, and in all other places where they found resistance,
wheresoever he was present, he passed all other captains and principal
persons. For which cause, besides his part of the treasure of
_Atabalipa_, he had a good share; whereby in time he gathered a hundred
and four score thousand ducats together, with that which fell to his
part; which he brought into Spain; whereof the Emperor borrowed a
certain part, which he repaid again with 60,000 rials of plate in the
rent of the silks of _Granada_, and all the rest was delivered him in
the contractation house of _Seville_. He took servants to wit, a
steward, a gentleman usher, pages, a gentleman of the horse, a
chamberlain, lackeys, and all other officers that the house of a noble
may require. From _Seville_ he went to the court, and in the court,
there accompanied him _John Danusco_ of _Seville_, and _Lewis Moscoso
D'Alvarado_, _Nuño de Touar_, and _John Rodriguez Lobillo_. Except
_John Danusco_, all the rest came with him from _Peru_: and every one of
them brought fourteen or fifteen thousand ducats: all of them went well
and costly appareled. And although _Soto_ of his own nature was not
liberal, yet because that was the first time that he was to show himself
in the court, he spent frankly, and went accompanied with those which I
have named, and with his servants, and many others which resorted unto
him. He married with _Donna Isabella de Bobadilla_, daughter of _Peter
Arias_ of _Avila_, Earl of _Punno en Rostro_. The Emperor made him the
Governor of the Isle of _Cuba_, and Adelantado or President of
_Florida_; with a title of Marquis of certain part of the lands that he
should conquer.

When _Don Ferdinando_ had obtained the government, there came a
gentleman from the _Indies_ to the court, named _Cabeça de Vaca_, which
had been with the Governor _Pamphilo de Narvaez_ which died in
_Florida_, who reported that _Narvaez_ was cast away at sea with all the
company that went with him. And how he with four more escaped and
arrived in _Nueva España_. Also he brought a relation in writing, of
that which he had seen in _Florida_; which said in some places: In such
a place I have seen this; and the rest which here I saw, I leave to
confer of between his Majesty and myself. Generally he reported the
misery of the country, and the troubles which he passed: and he told
some of his kinsfolk, which were desirous to go into the _Indies_, and
urged him very much to tell them whether he had seen any rich country in
_Florida_, that he might not tell them, because he and another, whose
name was _Orantes_, (who remained in _Nueva España_ with purpose to
return into _Florida_: for which intent he came into _Spain_ to beg the
government thereof of the Emperor) had sworn not to discover some of
those things which they had seen, because no man should prevent them in
begging the same. And he informed them _that it was the richest country
of the world_. _Don Ferdinando de Soto_ was very desirous to have him
with him, and made him a favorable offer: and after they were agreed,
because _Soto_ gave him not a sum of money which he demanded to buy a
ship, they broke off again. _Baltasar de Gallegos_, and _Christopher de
Spindola_, the kinsmen of _Cabeça de Vaca_, told him, that for that
which he had imparted to them, they were resolved to pass with _Soto_
into _Florida_, and therefore they prayed him to advise them what they
were best to do. _Cabeça de Vaca_ told them, that the cause why he went
not with _Soto_, was because he hoped to beg another government, and
that he was loth to go under the command of another: and that he came to
beg the conquest of _Florida_: but seeing _Don Ferdinando de Soto_ had
gotten it already, for his oath's sake he might tell them nothing of
that which they would know: but he counseled them to sell their goods
and go with him, and that in so doing they should do well. As soon as he
had opportunity, he spake with the Emperor, and related unto him
whatsoever he had passed and seen, and come to understand. Of this
relation, made by word of mouth to the Emperor, the Marquis of _Astorya_
had notice, and forthwith determined to send with _Don Ferdinando de
Soto_ his brother _Don Antonio Osorio_: and with him two kinsmen of his
prepared themselves, to wit, _Francis Osorio_, and _Garcia Osorio_. _Don
Antonio_ dispossessed himself of 60,000 rials of rent which he held by
the church; and _Francis Osorio_ of a town of vassals, which he had in
the country _de Campos_. And they made their rendezvous with the
Adelantado in _Seville_. The like did _Nuñez de Touar_, and _Lewis de
Moscoso_, and _John Rodriguez Lobillo_, each of whom had brought from
_Peru_ fourteen or fifteen thousand ducats. _Lewis de Moscoso_ carried
with him two brethren; there went also _Don Carlos_, which had married
the governor's niece, and took her with him. From _Badajoz_ there went
_Peter Calderan_, and three kinsmen of the Adelantado, to wit, _Arias
Tinoco_, _Alfonso Romo_, and _Diego Tinoco_. And as _Lewis de Moscoso_
passed through _Elvas_[A] _Andrew de Vasconcelos_ spake with him, and
requested him to speak to _Don Ferdinando de Soto_ concerning him, and
delivered him certain warrants which he had received from the Marquis of
_Villa Real_, wherein he gave him the captainship of _Ceuta_ in
_Barbarie_, that he might show them unto him. And the Adelantado saw
them; and was informed who he was, and wrote unto him, that he would
favor him in all things, and by all means, and would give him a charge
of men in _Florida_. And from _Elvas_ went _Andrew de Vasconcelos_, and
_Fernan Pegado_, _Antonio Martinez Segurado_, _Men Roiz Pereira_, _John
Cordero_, _Stephen Pegado_, _Benedict Fernandez_, and _Alvaro
Fernandez_. And out of _Salamanca_, and _Jaen_, and _Valencia_, and
_Albuquerque_, and from other parts of _Spain_, many people of noble
birth, assembled at _Seville_, insomuch that in Saint _Lucar_ many men
of good account, which had sold their goods, remained behind for want of
shipping, whereas for other known and rich countries, they are wont to
want men: and this fell out by occasion of that which _Cabeça de
Vaca_[B] told the Emperor, and informed such persons as he had
conference withal touching the state of that country. _Soto_ made him
great offers, and being agreed to go with him (as I have said before)
because he would not give him money to pay for a ship, which he had
bought, they brake off, and he went for governor to the river of
_Plate_. His kinsmen, _Christopher de Spindola_ and _Baltasar de
Gallegos_, went with _Soto_. _Baltasar de Gallegos_ sold houses and
vineyards, and rent corn, and ninety ranks of olive trees in the _Xarafe
of Seville_. He had the office of _Alcalde Mayor_, and took his wife
with him. And there went also many other persons of account with the
President, and had the offices following by great friendship, because
they were offices desired of many, to wit, _Antonie de Biedma_ was
factor, _John Danusco_ was auditor, and _John Gaytan_, nephew to the
Cardinal of _Ciguenza_, had the office of treasurer.

The Portuguese departed from _Elvas_ the 15th of January, and came to
_Seville_ the 19th of the same month, and went to the lodging of the
Governor, and entered into a court, over the which were certain
galleries where he was, who came down and received them at the stairs,
whereby they went up into the galleries. When he was come up, he
commanded chairs to be given them to sit on. And _Andrew de Vasconcelos_
told him who he and the other Portuguese were, and how they all were
come to accompany him, and serve him in his voyage. He gave him thanks,
and made show of great contentment for his coming and offer. And the
table being already laid, he invited them to dinner. And being at
dinner, he commanded his steward to seek a lodging for them near unto
his own, where they might be lodged. The Adelantado departed from
_Seville_ to _Saint Lucar_ with all the people which were to go with
him. And he commanded a muster to be made, at the which the Portuguese
showed themselves armed in very bright armor, and the Castellans very
gallant with silk upon silk, with many pinkings and cuts. The Governor,
because these braveries in such an action did not like him, commanded
that they should muster another day, and every one should come forth
with his armor; at the which the Portuguese came as at the first armed
with very good armor. The Governor placed them in order near unto the
standard, which the ensign bearer carried. The Castellans, for the most
part, did wear very bad and rusty shirts of mail, and all of them
head-pieces and steel caps, and very bad lances. Some of them sought to
come among the Portuguese. So those passed and were counted and enrolled
which _Soto_ liked and accepted of, and did accompany him into
_Florida_; which were in all six hundred men. He had already bought
seven ships, and had all necessary provision aboard them. He appointed
captains, and delivered to every one his ship, and gave them in a roll
what people every one should carry with them.

In the year of our Lord 1538, in the month of April, the Adelantado
delivered his ships to the captains which were to go in them; and took
for himself a new ship, and good of sail, and gave another to _Andrew de
Vasconcelos_, in which the Portuguese went; he went over the bar of _St.
Lucar_ on Sunday, being _St. Lazarus_ day, in the morning of the month
and year aforesaid, with great joy, commanding his trumpets to be
sounded, and many shots of the ordnance to be discharged. He sailed four
days with a prosperous wind, and suddenly it calmed; the calms continued
eight days with swelling seas, in such wise that we made no way. The
fifteenth day after his departure from _St. Lucar_, he came to _Gomera_,
one of the _Canaries_, on Easter day in the morning. The Earl of that
island was appareled all in white, cloak, jerkin, hose, shoes and cap,
so that he seemed a Lord of the Gipsies. He received the Governor with
much joy; he was well lodged, and all the rest had their lodgings
gratis, and got great store of victuals for their money, as bread, wine,
and flesh; and they took what was needful for their ships, and the
Sunday following, eight days after their arrival, they departed from the
Isle of _Gomera_. The Earl gave to _Donna Isabella_, the Adelantado's
wife, a bastard daughter that he had, to be her waiting-maid. They
arrived at the _Antilles_, in the Isle of _Cuba_, at the port of the
city of _St. Jago_, upon Whit-sunday. As soon as they came thither, a
gentleman of the city sent to the sea-side a very fair roan horse, and
well furnished, for the Governor, and a mule for _Donna Isabella_, and
all the horsemen and footmen that were in the town came to receive him
at the sea-side. The Governor was well lodged, visited, and served of
all the inhabitants of the city, and all his company had their lodgings
freely: those which desired to go into the country, were divided by four
and four, and six and six, in the farms or granges, according to the
ability of the owners of the farms, and were furnished by them with all
things necessary.

The city of _St. Jago_ hath fourscore houses, which are great and well
contrived. The most part have their walls made of boards, and are
covered with thatch; it hath some houses built with lime and stones, and
covered with tiles. It hath great orchards and many trees in them,
differing from those of Spain: there be fig trees which bear figs as big
as one's fist, yellow within, and of small taste; and other trees which
bear a fruit which they call Ananes, in making and bigness like to a
small pineapple: it is a fruit very sweet in taste: the shell being
taken away, the kernel is like a piece of fresh cheese. In the granges
abroad in the country there are other great pineapples, which grow on
low trees, and are like the Aloe tree: they are of a very good smell and
exceeding good taste. Other trees do bear a fruit which they call
Mameis, of the bigness of peaches. This the islanders do hold for the
best fruit of the country. There is another fruit which they call
Guayabas, like filberts, as big as figs. There are other trees as high
as a javelin, having one only stock without any bough, and the leaves as
long as a casting dart; and the fruit is of the bigness and fashion of a
cucumber; one bunch beareth twenty or thirty, and as they ripen the tree
bendeth downward with them: they are called in this country Plantanos,
and are of a good taste, and ripen after they be gathered; but those are
the better which ripen upon the tree itself; they bear fruit but once,
and the tree being cut down, there spring up others out of the but,
which bear fruit the next year. There is another fruit, whereby many
people are sustained, and chiefly the slaves, which are called Batatas.
These grow now in the Isle of _Terçera_, belonging to the kingdom of
_Portugal_, and they grow within the earth, and are like a fruit called
Iname; they have almost the taste of a chestnut. The bread of this
country is also made of roots which are like the Batatas.[C] And the
stock whereon those roots do grow is like an elder tree: they make their
ground in little hillocks, and in each of them they thrust four or five
stakes; and they gather the roots a year and a half after they set them.
If any one, thinking it is a batata or potato root, chance to eat of it
never so little, he is in great danger of death: which was seen by
experience in a soldier, which as soon as he had eaten a very little of
one of those roots, he died quickly. They pare these roots and stamp
them, and squeeze them in a thing like a press: the juice that cometh
from them is of an evil smell. The bread is of little taste and less
substance. Of the fruits of _Spain_, there are figs and oranges, and
they bear fruit all the year, because the soil is very rank and
fruitful. In this country are many good horses, and there is green grass
all the year. There be many wild oxen and hogs, whereby the people of
the island are well furnished with flesh. Without the towns abroad in
the country are many fruits. And it happeneth sometimes that a Christian
goeth out of the way and is lost fifteen or twenty days, because of the
many paths in the thick groves that cross to and fro made by the oxen;
and being thus lost they sustain themselves with fruits and
palmîtos--for there be many great groves of palm trees through all the
island--they yield no other fruit that is of any profit. The Isle of
_Cuba_ is three hundred leagues long from the east to the west, and is
in some places thirty, in others forty leagues from north to south. It
hath six towns of Christians, to wit, _St. Jago_, _Baracôa_, _Bayamo_,
_Puerto de Principes_, _S. Espirito_, and _Havana_. Every one hath
between thirty and forty households, except _St. Jago_ and _Havana_,
which have about sixty or eighty houses. They have churches in each of
them, and a chaplain which confesseth them and saith mass. In _St. Jago_
is a monastery of Franciscan friars; it hath but few friars, and is well
provided of alms, because the country is rich. The Church of _St. Jago_
hath honest revenue, and there is a curate and prebends, and many
priests, as the church of that city, which is the chief of all the
island. There is in this country much gold and few slaves to get it; for
many have made away themselves, because of the Christians' evil usage of
them in the mines. A steward of _Vasquez Porcallo_, which was an
inhabitor in that island, understanding that his slaves would make away
themselves, stayed for them with a cudgel in his hand at the place where
they were to meet, and told them that they could neither do nor think
anything that he did not know before, and that he came thither to kill
himself, with them, to the end, that if he had used them badly in this
world, he might use them worse in the world to come: and this was a
means that they changed their purpose, and turned home again to do that
which he commanded them.

The Governor sent from _St. Jago_ his nephew _Don Carlos_, with the
ships in company of _Donna Isabella_ to tarry for him at _Havana_, which
is a haven in the west part toward the head of the island, one hundred
and eighty leagues from the city of _St. Jago_. The Governor, and those
which stayed with him, bought horses and proceeded on their journey. The
first town they came unto was _Bayamo_: they were lodged four and four,
and six and six, as they went in company, and where they lodged, they
took nothing for their diet, for nothing cost them aught save the maize
or corn for their horses, because the Governor went to visit them from
town to town, and seized them in the tribute and service of the Indians.
_Bayamo_ is twenty-five leagues from the city of _St. Jago_. Near unto
the town passeth a great river which is called _Tanto_; it is greater
than _Guadiana_, and in it be very great crocodiles, which sometimes
hurt the Indians, or the cattle which passeth the river. In all the
country are neither wolf, fox, bear, lion, nor tiger. There are wild
dogs which go from the houses into the woods and feed upon swine. There
be certain snakes as big as a man's thigh or bigger; they are very
slow, they do no kind of hurt. From _Bayamo_ to _Puerto de los
Principes_ are fifty leagues. In all the island from town to town, the
way is made by stubbing up the underwood; and if it be left but one year
undone, the wood groweth so much that the way cannot be seen, and the
paths of the oxen are so many, that none can travel without an Indian of
the country for a guide: for all the rest is very high and thick woods.
From _Puerto de los Principes_ the Governor went to the house of
_Vasquez Porcallo_ by sea in a boat (for it was near the sea) to know
there some news of _Donna Isabella_, which at that instant (as
afterwards was known) was in great distress, insomuch that the ships
lost one another, and two of them fell on the coast of _Florida_, and
all of them endured great want of water and victuals. When the storm was
over, they met together without knowing where they were: in the end they
descried the Cape of _St. Anton_, a country not inhabited of the island
of _Cuba_; there they watered, and at the end of forty days, which were
passed since their departure from the city of _St. Jago_, they arrived
at _Havana_. The Governor was presently informed thereof, and went to
_Donna Isabella_. And those which went by land, which were one hundred
and fifty horsemen, being divided into two parts, because they would not
oppress the inhabitants, traveled by _St. Espirito_, which is sixty
leagues from _Puerto de los Principes_. The food which they carried with
them was _Caçabe_ bread, which is that whereof I made mention before:
and it is of such a quality that if it be wet it breaketh presently,
whereby it happened to some to eat flesh without bread for many days.
They carried dogs with them, and a man of the country, which did hunt;
and by the way, or where they were to lodge that night, they killed as
many hogs as they needed. In this journey they were well provided of
beef and pork, and they were greatly troubled with musquitoes,
especially in a lake, which is called the mere of _Pia_, which they had
much ado to pass from noon till night. The water might be some half
league over, and to be swam about a crossbow shot; the rest came to the
waist, and they waded up to the knees in the mire, and in the bottom
were cockle shells, which cut their feet very sore, in such sort that
there was neither boot nor shoe sole that was whole at half way. Their
clothes and saddles were passed in baskets of palm trees. Passing this
lake, stripped out of their clothes, there came many mosquitoes, upon
whose biting there arose a wheal that smarted very much; they struck
them with their hands, and with the blow which they gave they killed so
many that the blood did run down the arms and bodies of the men. That
night they rested very little for them, and other nights also in the
like places and times. They came to _Santo Espirito_, which is a town of
thirty houses; there passeth by it a little river; it is very pleasant
and fruitful, having great store of oranges and citrons, and fruits of
the country. One-half of the company were lodged here, and the rest
passed forward twenty-five leagues to another town called la _Trinidad_,
of fifteen or twenty households. Here is an hospital for the poor, and
there is none other in all the island. And they say that this town was
the greatest in all the country, and that before the Christians came
into this land, as a ship passed along the coast there came in it a very
sick man, which desired the captain to set him on shore, and the captain
did so, and the ship went her way. The sick man remained set on shore in
that country, which until then had not been haunted by Christians;
whereupon the Indians found him, carried him home, and looked unto him
till he was whole; and the lord of that town married him unto a daughter
of his, and had war with all the inhabitants round about, and by the
industry and valor of the Christian, he subdued and brought under his
command all the people of that island. A great while after, the Governor
_Diego Velasques_ went to conquer it, and from thence discovered _New
Spain_. And this Christian which was with the Indians did pacify them,
and brought them to the obedience and subjection of the governor. From
this town _de la Trinidad_ unto _Havana_ are eighty leagues, without any
habitation, which they traveled. They came to _Havana_ in the end of
March, where they found the Governor, and the rest of the people which
came with him from _Spain_. The Governor sent from _Havana John
Dannusco_ with a caravele and two brigantines with fifty men to discover
the haven of _Florida_, and from thence he brought two Indians which he
took upon the coast, wherewith (as well because they might be necessary
for guides and for interpreters, as because they said by signs that
there was much gold in _Florida_) the Governor and all the company
received much contentment, and longed for the hour of their departure,
thinking in himself that this was the richest country that unto that day
had been discovered.

Before our departure the Governor deprived _Nuño de Touar_ of the office
of Captain-general, and gave it to _Porcallo de Figueroa_, an inhabitant
of _Cuba_, which was a mean that the ship was well furnished with
victuals; for he gave a great many loads of _Casabe_ bread and many
hogs. The Governor took away this office from _Nuño de Touar_, because
he had fallen in love with the daughter of the Earl of _Gomera_, _Donna
Isabella's_ waiting-maid, who, though his office were taken from him (to
return again to the Governor's favor), though she were with child by
him, yet took her to his wife, and went with _Soto_ into _Florida_. The
Governor left _Donna Isabella_ in _Havana_, and with her remained the
wife of _Don Carlos_, and the wives of _Baltasar de Gallegos_, and of
_Nuño de Touar_. And he left for his lieutenant a gentleman of _Havana_,
called _John de Roias_, for the government of the island.

On Sunday the 18th of May, in the year of our Lord 1539, the Adelantado
or president departed from _Havana_ in _Cuba_ with his fleet, which were
nine vessels, five great ships, two caravels, and two brigantines. They
sailed seven days with a prosperous wind. The 25th day of May, the day
_de Pasca de Spirito Santo_[D] (which we call Whitson Sunday), they saw
the land of _Florida_, and because of the shoals, they came to an anchor
a league from the shore. On Friday the 30th of May they landed in
_Florida_, two leagues from a town of an Indian lord called _Ucita_.
They set on land two hundred and thirteen horses, which they brought
with them to unburden the ships, that they might draw the less water. He
landed all his men, and only the seamen remained in the ships, which in
eight days, going up with the tide every day a little, brought them up
unto the town. As soon as the people were come on shore, he pitched his
camp on the sea-side, hard upon the bay which went up unto the town. And
presently the Captain-general, _Vasquez Porcallo_, with other seven
horsemen foraged the country half a league round about, and found six
Indians, which resisted him with their arrows, which are the weapons
which they used to fight withal. The horsemen killed two of them, and
the other four escaped; because the country is cumbersome with woods and
bogs, where the horses stuck fast, and fell with their riders, because
they were weak with traveling upon the sea. The same night following,
the Governor with an hundred men in the brigantines lighted upon a town,
which he found without people, because that as soon as the Christians
had sight of land, they were descried, and saw along the coast many
smokes, which the Indians had made to give advice the one to the other.
The next day _Luys de Moscoso_, master of the camp, set the men in
order, the horsemen in three squadrons, the vanguard, the battalion, and
the rereward; and so they marched that day and the day following,
compassing great creeks which came out of the bay. They came to the town
of _Ucita_, where the Governor was on Sunday the first of June, being
Trinity Sunday. The town was of seven or eight houses. The lord's house
stood near the shore upon a very high mount, made by hand for strength.
At another end of the town stood the church, and on the top of it stood
a fowl made of wood with gilded eyes. Here were found some pearls of
small value, spoiled with the fire, which the Indians do pierce and
string them like beads, and wear them about their necks and handwrists,
and they esteem them very much. The houses were made of timber, and
covered with palm leaves. The Governor lodged himself in the lord's
houses, and with him _Vasquez Porcallo_, and _Luys de Moscoso_; and in
others that were in the midst of the town, was the chief Alcalde or
justice, _Baltasar de Gallegos_ lodged; and in the same houses was set
in a place by itself all the provision that came in the ships; the other
houses and the church were broken down, and every three or four soldiers
made a little cabin wherein they lodged. The country round about was
very fenny, and encumbered with great and high trees. The Governor
commanded to fell the woods a crossbow shot round about the town, that
the horses might run, and the Christians might have the advantage of the
Indians, if by chance they should set upon them by night. In the ways
and places convenient they had their sentinels of footmen by two and two
in every stand, which did watch by turns, and the horsemen did visit
them, and were ready to assist them if there were any alarm. The
Governor made four captains of the horsemen and two of the footmen. The
captains of the horsemen were one of them _Andrew de Masconcelos_, and
another _Pedro Calderan de Badajoz_; and the other two were his kinsmen,
to wit, _Arias Tinoco_, and _Alfonso Romo_, born likewise in _Badajoz_.
The captains of the footmen, the one was _Francisco Maldonado of
Salamanca_, and the other _Juan Rodriguez Lobillo_. While we were in
this town of _Ucita_, the two Indians which _John Danusco_ had taken on
that coast, and the Governor carried along with him for guides and
interpreters, through carelessness of two men which had the charge of
them escaped away one night; for which the Governor and all the rest
were very sorry, for they had already made some roads, and no Indians
could be taken, because the country was full of marsh grounds, and in
some places full of very high and thick woods.

From the town of _Ucita_ the Governor sent the Alcalde mayor, _Baltasar
de Gallegos_, with forty horsemen and eighty footmen into the country to
see if they could take any Indians; and the Captain _John Rodriguez
Lobillo_ another way with fifty footmen: the most of them were
swordsmen and targeters, and the rest were shot and crossbow-men. They
passed through a country full of bogs, where horses could not travel.
Half a league from the camp they lighted upon, certain cabins of Indians
near a river. The people that were in them leaped into the river, yet
they took four Indian women. And twenty Indians charged us and so
distressed us, that we were forced to retire to our camp, being, as they
are, exceeding ready with their weapons. It is a people so warlike and
so nimble, that they care not a whit for any footmen. For if their
enemies charge them they run away, and if they turn their backs they are
presently upon them. And the thing that they most flee is the shot of an
arrow. They never stand still, but are always running and traversing
from one place to another, by reason whereof neither crossbow nor
arquebuss can aim at them; and before one crossbowman can make one shot
an Indian will discharge three or four arrows, and he seldom misseth
what he shooteth at. An arrow where it findeth no armor, pierceth as
deeply as a crossbow. Their bows are very long, and their arrows are
made of certain canes like reeds, very heavy, and so strong that a sharp
cane passeth through a target. Some they arm in the point with a sharp
bone of a fish like a chisel, and in others they fasten certain stones
like points of diamonds. For the most part when they light upon an armor
they break in the place where they are bound together. Those of cane do
split and pierce a coat of mail, and are more hurtful than the other.
_John Rodriguez Lobillo_ returned to the camp with six men wounded,
whereof one died; and brought the four Indian women which _Baltasar
Gallegos_ had taken in the cabins or cottages. Two leagues from the
town, coming into the plain field, he espied ten or eleven Indians,
among whom was a Christian, which was naked and scorched with the sun,
and had his arms razed after the manner of the Indians, and differed
nothing at all from them. And as soon as the horsemen saw them they ran
toward them. The Indians fled, and some of them hid themselves in a
wood, and they overtook two or three of them which were wounded; and the
Christian seeing a horseman run upon him with his lance, began to cry
out, "Sirs, I am a Christian, slay me not, nor these Indians, for they
have saved my life." And straightway he called them and put them out of
fear, and they came forth of the wood unto them. The horsemen took both
the Christian and the Indians up behind them, and toward night came into
the camp with much joy; which thing being known by the Governor, and
them that remained in the camp, they were received with the like.

This Christian's name was _John Ortiz_, and he was born in _Seville_,
of worshipful parentage. He was twelve years in the hands of the
Indians. He came into this country with _Pamphilo de Narvaez_, and
returned in the ships to the Island of _Cuba_, where the wife of the
Governor _Pamphilo de Narvaez_ was, and by his commandment with twenty
or thirty others in a brigantine returned back again to _Florida_, and
coming to the port in the sight of the town, on the shore they saw a
cane sticking in the ground, and riven at the top, and a letter in it;
and they believed that the governor had left it there to give
advertisement of himself when he resolved to go up into the land, and
they demanded it of four or five Indians which walked along the
sea-shore, and they bade them by signs to come on shore for it, which
against the will of the rest _John Ortiz_ and another did. And as soon
as they were on land, from the houses of the town issued a great number
of Indians, which compassed them about and took them in a place where
they could not flee; and the other, which sought to defend himself, they
presently killed upon the place, and took John _Ortiz_ alive, and
carried him to _Ucita_ their lord. And those of the brigantine sought
not to land, but put themselves to sea, and returned to the Island of
_Cuba_. _Ucita_ commanded to bind _John Ortiz_ hand and foot upon four
stakes aloft upon a raft, and to make a fire under him, that there he
might be burned. But a daughter of his desired him that he would not put
him to death, alleging that one only Christian could do him neither hurt
nor good, telling him that it was more for his honor to keep him as a
captive. And _Ucita_ granted her request, and commanded him to be cured
of his wounds; and as soon as he was whole he gave him the charge of the
keeping of the temple, because that by night the wolves did carry away
the dead corpses out of the same--who commended himself to God and took
upon him the charge of his temple. One night the wolves got from him the
corpse of a little child, the son of a principal Indian, and going after
them he threw a dart at one of the wolves, and struck him that carried
away the corpse, who, feeling himself wounded left it, and fell down
dead near the place; and he not woting what he had done, because it was
night, went back again to the temple; the morning being come and finding
not the body of the child, he was very sad. As soon as _Ucita_ knew
thereof he resolved to put him to death, and sent by the track which he
said the wolves went, and found the body of the child, and the wolf dead
a little beyond, whereat _Ucita_ was much contented with the Christian,
and with the watch which he kept in the temple, and from thenceforward
esteemed him much. Three years after he fell into his hands there came
another lord called _Mocoço_, who dwelleth two days' journey from the
port, and burnt his town. _Ucita_ fled to another town that he had in
another sea-port. Thus _John Ortiz_ lost his office and favor that he
had with him. These people being worshipers of the devil, are wont to
offer up unto him the lives and blood of their Indians, or of any other
people they can come by; and they report that when he will have them do
that sacrifice unto him, he speaketh with them, and telleth them that he
is athirst, and willeth them to sacrifice unto him. _John Ortiz_ had
notice by the damsel that had delivered him from the fire, how her
father was determined to sacrifice him the day following, who willed him
to flee to _Mocoço_, for she knew that he would use him well; for she
heard say that he had asked for him and said he would be glad to see
him, and because he knew not the way she went with him half a league out
of the town by night and set him in the way, and returned because she
would not be discovered. _John Ortiz_ traveled all that night, and by
the morning came to a river which is the territory of _Mocoço_, and
there he saw two Indians fishing; and because they were in war with the
people of _Ucita_, and their languages were different, and he knew not
the language of _Mocoço_, he was afraid, because he could not tell them
who he was, nor how he came thither, nor was able to answer anything for
himself, that they would kill him, taking him for one of the Indians of
_Ucita_, and before they espied him he came to the place where they had
laid their weapons; and as soon as they saw him they fled toward the
town, and although he willed them to stay, because he meant to do them
no hurt, yet they understood him not, and ran away as fast as ever they
could. And as soon as they came to the town with great outcries, many
Indians came forth against him, and began to compass him to shoot at
him. _John Ortiz_ seeing himself in so great danger, shielded himself
with certain trees, and begun to shriek out and cry very loud, and to
tell them that he was a Christian, and that he was fled from _Ucita_,
and was come to see and serve _Mocoço_ his lord. It pleased God that at
that very instant there came thither an Indian that could speak the
language and understood him, and pacified the rest, who told them what
he said. Then ran from thence three or four Indians to bear the news to
their lord, who came forth a quarter of a league from the town to
receive him, and was very glad of him. He caused him presently to swear
according to the custom of the Christians, that he would not run away
from him to any other lord, and promised him to entreat him very well;
and that if at any time there came any Christians into that country, he
would freely let him go, and give him leave to go to them; and likewise
took his oath to perform the same according to the Indian custom. About
three years after certain Indians, which were fishing at sea two leagues
from the town, brought news to _Mocoço_ that they had seen ships, and he
called _John Ortiz_ and gave him leave to go his way, who taking his
leave of him, with all the haste he could came to the sea, and finding
no ships he thought it to be some deceit, and that the cacique had done
the same to learn his mind. So he dwelt with _Mocoço_ nine years, with
small hope of seeing any Christians. As soon as our Governor arrived in
_Florida_, it was known to _Mocoço_, and straightway he signified to
_John Ortiz_ that Christians were lodged in the town of _Ucita_; and he
thought he had jested with him as he had done before, and told him that
by this time he had forgotten the Christians, and thought of nothing
else but to serve him. But he assured him that it was so, and gave him
license to go unto them, saying unto him that if he would not do it, and
if the Christians should go their way, he should not blame him, for he
had fulfilled that which he had promised him. The joy of _John Ortiz_
was so great, that he could not believe that it was true;
notwithstanding he gave him thanks, and took his leave of him, and
_Mocoço_ gave him ten or eleven principal Indians to bear him company;
and as they went to the port where the Governor was, they met with
_Baltasar de Gallegos_, as I have declared before. As soon as he was
come to the camp, the Governor commanded to give him a suit of apparel,
and very good armor, and a fair horse; and inquired of him whether he
had notice of any country where there was any gold or silver. He
answered, No, because he never went ten leagues compass from the place
where he dwelt; but that thirty leagues from thence[E] dwelt an Indian
lord, which was called _Paracossi_, to whom _Mocoço_ and _Ucita_, with
all the rest of that coast paid tribute, and that he peradventure might
have notice of some good country, and that his land was better than that
of the sea-coast, and more fruitful and plentiful of maize. Whereof the
Governor received great contentment, and said that he desired no more
than to find victuals, that he might go into the main land, for the land
of _Florida_ was so large, that in one place or other there could not
choose but be some rich country. The _Cacique Mocoço_ came to the port
to visit the Governor, and made this speech following.

"Right high and mighty lord, I being lesser in mine own conceit for to
obey you, than any of those which you have under your command, and
greater in desire to do you greater services, do appear before your
lordship with so much confidence of receiving favor, as if in effect
this my good will were manifested unto you in works; not for the small
service I did unto you touching the Christian which I had in my power,
in giving him freely his liberty (for I was bound to do it to preserve
mine honor, and that which I had promised him), but because it is the
part of great men to use great magnificences. And I am persuaded that as
in bodily perfections, and commanding of good people, you do exceed all
men in the world, so likewise you do in the parts of the mind, in which
you may boast of the bounty of nature. The favor which I hope for of
your lordship is, that you would hold me for yours, and bethink yourself
to command me anything wherein I may do you service."

The Governor answered him, "That although in freeing and sending him the
Christian, he had preserved his honor and promise, yet he thanked him,
and held it in such esteem as it had no comparison; and that he would
always hold him as his brother, and would favor all things to the utmost
of his power." Then he commanded a shirt to be given him, and other
things, wherewith the cacique being very well contented, took his leave
of him, and departed to his own town.

From the Port _de Spirito Santo_ where the Governor lay, he sent the
Alcalde Mayor _Baltasar de Gallegos_ with fifty horsemen, and thirty or
forty footmen to the province of _Paracossi_, to view the disposition of
the country, and inform himself of the land farther inward, and to send
him word of such things as he found. Likewise he sent his ships back to
the Island of _Cuba_, that they might return within a certain time with
victuals. _Vasquez Porcallo de Figueroa_, which went with the Governor
as Captain-general, (whose principal intent was to send slaves from
_Florida_ to the Island of _Cuba_, where he had his goods and mines,)
having made some inroads, and seeing no Indians were to be got, because
of the great bogs and woods that were in the country, considering the
disposition of the same, determined to return to _Cuba_. And though
there was some difference between him and the Governor, whereupon they
neither dealt nor conversed together with good countenance, yet
notwithstanding with loving words he asked him leave and departed from
him. _Baltasar de Gallegos_ came to the _Paracossi_. There came to him
thirty Indians from the cacique, which was absent from his town, and one
of them made this speech:

"Paracossi, the lord of this province, whose vassals we are, sendeth us
unto your worship, to know what it is that you seek in this his country,
and wherein he may do you service."

_Baltasar de Gallegos_ said unto him that he thanked them very much for
their offer, willing them to warn their lord to come to his town, and
that there they would talk and confirm their peace and friendship, which
he much desired. The Indians went their way and returned next day, and
said that their lord was ill at ease, and therefore could not come; but
that they came on his behalf to see what he demanded. He asked them if
they knew or had notice of any rich country where there was gold or
silver. They told him they did, and that towards the west there was a
province which was called _Cale_; and that others that inhabited other
countries had war with the people of that country, where the most part
of the year was summer, and that there was much gold; and that when
those their enemies came to make war with them of _Cale_, these
inhabitants of _Cale_ did wear hats of gold, in manner of head-pieces.
_Baltasar de Gallegos_ seeing that the cacique came not, thinking all
that they said was feigned, with intent that in the meantime they might
set themselves in safety, fearing that if he did let them go, they would
return no more, commanded the thirty Indians to be chained, and sent
word to the Governor by eight horsemen what had passed; whereof the
Governor with all that were with him at the Port _de Spirito Santo_
received great comfort, supposing that that which the Indians reported
might be true. He left Captain _Calderan_ at the port, with thirty
horsemen and seventy footmen, with provision for two years, and himself
with all the rest marched into the main land, and came to the
_Paracossi_, at whose town _Baltasar de Gallegos_ was; and from thence
with all his men took the way to _Cale_. He passed by a little town
called _Acela_, and came to another called _Tocaste_; and from thence he
went before with thirty horsemen and fifty footmen towards _Cale_. And
passing by a town whence the people were fled, they saw Indians a little
distance from thence in a lake, to whom the interpreter spoke. They came
unto them and gave them an Indian for a guide; and he came to a river
with a great current, and upon a tree which was in the midst of it, was
made a bridge, whereon the men passed; the horses swam over by a hawser,
that they were pulled by from the other side; for one, which they drove
in at the first without it, was drowned. From thence the Governor sent
two horsemen to his people that were behind, to make haste after him;
because the way grew long, and their victuals short. He came to _Cale_,
and found the town without people. He took three Indians which were
spies, and tarried there for his people that came after, which were
sore vexed with hunger and evil ways, because the country was very
barren of maize, low, and full of water, bogs, and thick woods; and the
victuals which they brought with them from the _Port de Spirito Santo_,
were spent. Wheresoever any town was found, there were some beets, and
he that came first gathered them, and sodden with water and salt, did
eat them without any other thing; and such as could not get them,
gathered the stalks of maize and eat them, which because they were young
had no maize in them. When they came to the river which the Governor had
passed, they found palmîtos upon low palm trees like those of
_Andalusia_. There they met with the two horsemen which the Governor
sent unto them, and they brought news that in _Cale_ there was plenty of
maize, at which news they all rejoiced. As soon as they came to _Cale_,
the Governor commanded them to gather all the maize that was ripe in the
field, which was sufficient for three months. At the gathering of it the
Indians killed three Christians, and one of them which were taken told
the Governor, that within seven days' journey there was a very great
province, and plentiful of maize, which was called _Apalache_. And
presently he departed from _Cale_ with fifty horsemen, and sixty
footmen. He left the master of the camp, _Luys de Moscoso_, with all the
rest of the people there, with charge that he should not depart thence
until he had word from him. And because hitherto none had gotten any
slaves, the bread that every one was to eat he was fain himself to beat
in a mortar made in a piece of timber, with a pestle, and some of them
did sift the flour through their shirts of mail. They baked their bread
upon certain tileshares which they set over the fire, in such sort as
heretofore I have said they used to do in _Cuba_. It is so troublesome
to grind their maize, that there were many that would rather not eat it
than grind it; and did eat the maize parched and sodden.

The second day of August, 1539, the Governor departed from _Cale_; he
lodged in a little town called _Ytara_, and the next day in another
called _Potano_, and the third day at _Utinama_, and came to another
town which they named the town of _Evil peace_; because an Indian came
in peace, saying, that he was the cacique, and that he with his people
would serve the Governor, and that if he would set free twenty-eight
persons, men and women, which his men had taken the night before, he
would command provision to be brought him, and would give him a guide to
instruct him in his way. The Governor commanded them to be set at
liberty, and to keep him in safeguard. The next day in the morning there
came many Indians, and set themselves round about the town near to a
wood. The Indian wished them to carry him near them, and that he would
speak unto them, and assure them, and that they would do whatsoever he
commanded them. And when he saw himself near unto them he broke from
them, and ran away so swiftly from the Christians that there was none
that could overtake him, and all of them fled into the woods. The
Governor commanded to loose a greyhound, which was already fleshed on
them, which passing by many other Indians, caught the counterfeit
cacique which had escaped from the Christians, and held him till they
came to take him. From thence the Governor lodged at a town called
_Cholupaha_, and because it had store of maize in it, they named it
_Villa farta_. Beyond the same there was a river, on which he made a
bridge of timber, and traveled two days through a desert. The 17th of
August he came to _Caliquen_, where he was informed of the province of
_Apalache_. They told him that _Pamphilo de Narvaez_ had been there, and
that there he took shipping, because he could find no way to go forward.
That there was none other town at all; but that on both sides was all
water. The whole company were very sad for this news, and counseled the
Governor to go back to the _Port de Spirito Santo_, and to abandon the
country of _Florida_, lest he should perish as _Narvaez_ had done;
declaring that if he went forward, he could not return back when he
would, and that the Indians would gather up that small quantity of maize
which was left. Whereunto the Governor answered that he would not go
back, till he had seen with his eyes that which they reported; saying
that he could not believe it, and that we should be put out of doubt
before it were long. And he sent to _Luys de Moscoso_ to come presently
from _Cale_, and that he tarried for him there. _Luys de Moscoso_ and
many others thought that from _Apalache_ they should return back; and in
_Cale_ they buried their iron tools, and divers other things. They came
to _Caliquen_ with great trouble; because the country which the Governor
had passed by, was spoiled and destitute of maize. After all the people
were come together, he commanded a bridge to be made over a river that
passed near the town. He departed from _Caliquen_ the 10th of September,
and carried the cacique with him. After he had traveled three days,
there came Indians peaceably to visit their lord, and every day met us
on the way playing upon flutes; which is a token that they use, that men
may know that they come in peace. They said that in our way before there
was a cacique whose name was _Uzachil_, a kinsman of the cacique of
_Caliquen_ their lord, waiting for him with many presents, and they
desired the Governor that he would loose the cacique. But he would not,
fearing that they would rise, and would not give him any guides, and
sent them away from day to day with good words. He traveled five days;
he passed by some small towns; he came to a town called _Napetuca_, the
15th day of September. Thither came fourteen or fifteen Indians, and
besought the Governor to let loose the cacique of _Caliquen_, their
lord. He answered them that he held him not in prison, but that he would
have him to accompany him to Uzachil. The Governor had notice by _John
Ortiz_, that an Indian told him how they determined to gather themselves
together, and come upon him, and give him battle, and take away the
cacique from him. The day that it was agreed upon, the Governor
commanded his men to be in readiness, and that the horsemen should be
ready armed and on horseback every one in his lodging, because the
Indians might not see them, and so more confidently come to the town.
There came four hundred Indians in sight of the camp with their bows and
arrows, and placed themselves in a wood, and sent two Indians to bid the
Governor to deliver them the cacique. The Governor with six footmen
leading the cacique by the hand, and talking with him, to secure the
Indians, went toward the place where they were. And seeing a fit time,
commanded to sound a trumpet; and presently those that were in the town
in the houses, both horse and foot, set upon the Indians, which were so
suddenly assaulted, that the greatest care they had was which way they
should flee. They killed two horses; one was the Governor's, and he was
presently horsed again upon another. There were thirty or forty Indians
slain. The rest fled to two very great lakes, that were somewhat distant
the one from the other. There they were swimming, and the Christians
round about them. The calivermen and crossbow-men shot at them from the
bank; but the distance being great, and shooting afar off, they did them
no hurt. The Governor commanded that the same night they should compass
one of the lakes, because they were so great, that there were not men
enough to compass them both; being beset, as soon as night shut in, the
Indians, with determination to run away, came swimming very softly to
the bank; and to hide themselves they put a water lily leaf on their
heads. The horsemen, as soon as they perceived it to stir, ran into the
water to the horses' breasts, and the Indians fled again into the lake.
So this night passed without any rest on both sides. _John Ortiz_
persuaded them that seeing they could not escape, they should yield
themselves to the Governor; which they did, enforced thereunto by the
coldness of the water; and one by one, he first whom the cold did first
overcome, cried to _John Ortiz_, desiring that they would not kill him,
for he came to put himself into the hands of the Governor. By the
morning watch they made an end of yielding themselves; only twelve
principal men, being more honorable and valorous than the rest, resolved
rather to die than to come into his hands. And the Indians of
_Paracossi_, which were now loosed out of chains, went swimming to them,
and pulled them out by the hair of their heads, and they were all put in
chains, and the next day were divided among the Christians for their
service. Being thus in captivity, they determined to rebel; and gave in
charge to an Indian which was interpreter, and held to be valiant, that
as soon as the Governor did come to speak with him, he should cast his
hands about his neck, and choke him: who, when he saw opportunity, laid
hands on the Governor, and before he cast his hands about his neck, he
gave him such a blow on the nostrils, that he made them gush out with
blood, and presently all the rest did rise. He that could get any
weapons at hand, or the handle wherewith he did grind the maize, sought
to kill his master, or the first he met before him; and he that could
get a lance or sword at hand, bestirred himself in such sort with it, as
though he had used it all his lifetime. One Indian in the market-place
enclosed between fifteen or twenty footmen, made a way like a bull, with
a sword in his hand, till certain halbardiers of the Governor came,
which killed him. Another got up with a lance to a loft made of canes,
which they build to keep their maize in, which they call a barbacoa, and
there he made such a noise as though ten men had been there defending
the door; they slew him with a partizan. The Indians were in all about
two hundred men. They were all subdued. And some of the youngest the
Governor gave to them which had good chains, and were careful to look to
them that they got not away. All the rest he commanded to be put to
death, being tied to a stake in the midst of the market-place; and the
Indians of the _Paracossi_ did shoot them to death.

The Governor departed from _Napetuca_ the 23d of September; he lodged by
a river, where two Indians brought him a buck from the cacique of
_Uzachil_. The next day he passed by a great town called _Hapaluya_, and
lodged at _Uzachil_, and found no people in it, because they durst not
tarry for the notice the Indians had of the slaughter of _Napetuca_. He
found in that town great store of maize, French beans, and pompions,
which is their food, and that wherewith the Christians there sustained
themselves. The maize is like coarse millet, and the pompions are better
and more savory than those of _Spain_. From thence the Governor sent
two captains each a sundry way to seek the Indians. They took an hundred
men and women; of which as well there as in other place where they made
any inroads, the captain chose one or two for the Governor, and divided
the rest to himself, and those that went with him. They led these
Indians in chains with iron collars about their necks; and they served
to carry their stuff, and to grind their maize, and for other services
that such captives could do. Sometimes it happened that going for wood
or maize with them, they killed the Christian that led them, and ran
away with the chain; others filed their chains by night with a piece of
stone, wherewith they cut them, and use it instead of iron. Those that
were perceived paid for themselves, and for the rest, because they
should not dare to do the like another time. The women and young boys,
when they were once an hundred leagues from their country, and had
forgotten things, they let go loose, and so they served; and in a very
short space they understood the language of the Christians. From
_Uzachil_ the Governor departed toward _Apalache_, and in two days'
journey he came to a town called _Axille_, and from thence forward the
Indians were careless, because they had as yet no notice of the
Christians. The next day in the morning, the first of October, he
departed from thence, and commanded a bridge to be made over a river
which he was to pass. The depth of the river where the bridge was made,
was a stone's cast, and forward a crossbow shot the water came to the
waist; and the wood whereby the Indians came to see if they could defend
the passage, and disturb those which made the bridge, was very high and
thick. The crossbow-men so bestirred themselves that they made them give
back; and certain planks were cast into the river, whereon the men
passed, which made good the passage. The Governor passed upon Wednesday,
which was _St. Francis_' day, and lodged at a town which was called
_Vitachuco_, subject to _Apalache_: he found it burning, for the Indians
had set it on fire. From thence forward the country was much inhabited,
and had great store of maize. He passed by many granges like hamlets. On
Sunday, the 25th of October, he came to a town which is called _Uzela_,
and upon Tuesday to _Anaica Apalache_, where the lord of all that
country and province was resident; in which town the camp master, whose
office is to quarter out, and lodge men, did lodge all the company round
about within a league, and half a league of it. There were other towns,
where was great store of maize, pompions, French beans, and plums of the
country, which are better than those of _Spain_, and they grow in the
fields without planting. The victuals that were thought necessary to
pass the winter, were gathered from these towns to _Anaica Apalache_.
The Governor was informed that the sea was ten leagues from thence. He
presently sent a captain thither with horsemen and footmen. And six
leagues on the way he found a town which was named _Ochete_, and so came
to the sea; and found a great tree felled, and cut into pieces, with
stakes set up like mangers, and saw the skulls of horses. He returned
with this news. And that was held for certain, which was reported of
_Pamphilo de Narvaez_, that there he had built the barks wherewith he
went out of the land of _Florida_, and was cast away at sea. Presently
the Governor sent _John Danusco_ with thirty horsemen to the _Port de
Spirito Santo_ where _Calderan_ was, with order that they should abandon
the port, and all of them come to _Apalache_. He departed on Saturday
the 17th of November. In _Uzachil_ and other towns that stood in the way
he found great store of people already careless. He would take none of
the Indians, for not hindering himself, because it behooved him to give
them no leisure to gather themselves together. He passed through the
towns by night, and rested without the towns three or four hours. In ten
days he came to the _Port de Spirito Santo_. He carried with him twenty
Indian women, which he took in _Ytara_, and _Potano_, near unto _Cale_,
and sent them to _Donna Isabella_ in the two caravels, which he sent
from the _Port de Spirito Santo_ to _Cuba_. And he carried all the
footmen in the brigantines, and coasting along the shore came to
_Apalache_. And _Calderan_, with the horsemen, and some crossbow-men on
foot, went by land; and in some places the Indians set upon him, and
wounded some of his men. As soon as he came to _Apalache_, presently the
Governor sent sawed planks and spikes to the sea-side, wherewith was
made a piragua or bark, wherein were embarked thirty men well armed,
which went out of the bay to the sea, looking for the brigantines.
Sometimes they fought with the Indians, which passed along the harbor in
their canoes. Upon Saturday, the 29th of November, there came an Indian
through the watch undiscovered, and sat the town on fire, and with the
great wind that blew two parts of it were consumed in a short time. On
Sunday the 28th of December, came _John Danusco_ with the brigantines.
The Governor sent _Francisco Maldonado_, a captain of footmen, with
fifty men to discover the coast westward, and to seek some port, because
he had determined to go by land, and discover that part. That day there
went out eight horsemen by commandment of the Governor into the field,
two leagues about the town, to seek Indians; for they were now so
emboldened, that within two crossbow shot of the camp, they came and
slew men. They found two men and a woman gathering French beans; the
men, though they might have fled, yet because they would not leave the
woman, which was one of their wives, they resolved to die fighting; and
before they were slain, they wounded three horses, whereof one died
within a few days after. _Calderan_ going with his men by the sea-coast,
from a wood that was near the place, the Indians set upon him, and made
him forsake his way, and many of them that went with him forsook some
necessary victuals, which they carried with them. Three or four days
after the limited time given by the Governor to _Maldonado_ for his
going and coming, being already determined and resolved, if within eight
days he did not come, to tarry no longer for him, he came, and brought
an Indian from a province which was called _Ochus_, sixty leagues
westward from _Apalache_; where he had found a port of good depth, and
defence against weather. And because the Governor hoped to find a good
country forward, he was very well contented. And he sent _Maldonado_ for
victuals to _Havana_, with order that he should tarry for him at the
port of _Ochus_, which he had discovered, for he would go seek it by
land; and if he should chance to stay, and not come thither that summer,
that then he should return to _Havana_, and should come again the next
summer after, and tarry for him at that port; for he said he would do
none other thing but go to seek _Ochus_. _Francisco Maldonado_ departed,
and in his place for captain of the footmen remained _John de Guzman_.
Of those Indians which were taken in _Napetuca_, the Treasurer _John
Gaytan_ had a young man, which said that he was not of that country, but
of another far off toward the sun rising, and that it was long since he
had traveled to see countries; and that his country was called _Yupaha_,
and that a woman did govern it; and that the town where she was resident
was of a wonderful bigness, and that many lords round about were
tributaries to her; and some gave her clothes, and others gold in
abundance; and he told how it was taken out of the mines, and was molten
and refined, as if he had seen it done, or the devil had taught it him.
So that all those which knew anything concerning the same, said that it
was impossible to give so good a relation, without having seen it; and
all of them, as if they had seen it, by the signs that he gave, believed
all that he said to be true.

On Wednesday, the third of March, of the year 1540, the Governor
departed from _Anaica Apalache_ to seek _Yupaha_. He commanded his men
to go provided with maize for sixty leagues of desert. The horsemen
carried their maize on their horses, and the footmen at their sides;
because the Indians that were for service, with their miserable life
that they led that winter, being naked and in chains, died for the most
part. Within four days' journey they came to a great river; and they
made a piragua or ferry boat, and because of the great current, they
made a cable with chains, which they fastened on both sides of the
river; and the ferry boat went along by it, and the horses swam over,
being drawn with capstans. Having passed the river in a day and a half,
they came to a town called _Capachiqui_. Upon Friday the 11th of March,
they found Indians in arms. The next day five Christians went to seek
mortars, which the Indians have to beat their maize, and they went to
certain houses on the back side of the camp environed with a wood. And
within the wood were many Indians which came to spy us; of the which
came other five and set upon us. One of the Christians came running
away, giving an alarm unto the camp. Those which were most ready
answered the alarm. They found one Christian dead, and three sore
wounded. The Indians fled unto a lake adjoining near a very thick wood,
where the horses could not enter. The Governor departed from
_Capachiqui_ and passed through a desert. On Wednesday, the twenty-first
of the month, he came to a town called _Toalli_; and from thence forward
there was a difference in the houses. For those which were behind us
were thatched with straw, and those of _Toalli_ were covered with reeds,
in manner of tiles. These houses are very cleanly. Some of them had
walls daubed with clay, which showed like a mud-wall. In all the cold
country the Indians have every one a house for the winter daubed with
clay within and without, and the door is very little; they shut it by
night, and make fire within; so that they are in it as warm as in a
stove, and so it continueth all night that they need not clothes; and
besides these they have others for summer; and their kitchens near them,
where they make fire and bake their bread; and they have barbacoas
wherein they keep their maize; which is a house set up in the air upon
four stakes, boarded about like a chamber, and the floor of it is of
cane hurdles. The difference which lords or principal men's houses have
from the rest, besides they be greater, is, that they have great
galleries in their fronts, and under them seats made of canes in manner
of benches; and round about them they have many lofts, wherein they lay
up that which the Indians do give them for tribute, which is maize,
deers' skins, and mantles of the country, which are like blankets; they
make them of the inner rind of the barks of trees, and some of a kind of
grass like unto nettles, which being beaten, is like unto flax. The
women cover themselves with these mantles; they put one about them from
the waist downward, and another over their shoulder, with their right
arm out, like unto the Egyptians. The men wear but one mantle upon their
shoulders after the same manner; and have their secrets hid with a
deer's skin, made like a linen breech, which was wont to be used in
_Spain_. The skins are well curried, and they give them what color they
list, so perfect, that if it be red, it seemeth a very fine cloth in
grain, and the black is most fine, and of the same leather they make
shoes; and they dye their mantles in the same colors. The Governor
departed from _Toalli_ the 24th of March; he came on Thursday at evening
to a small river, where a bridge was made whereon the people passed, and
_Benit_ _Fernandez_, a Portuguese, fell off from it, and was drowned. As
soon as the Governor had passed the river, a little distance thence he
found a town called _Achese_. The Indians had no notice of the
Christians: they leaped into a river: some men and women were taken,
among which was one that understood the youth which guided the Governor
to _Yupaha_; whereby that which he had reported was more confirmed. For
they had passed through countries of divers languages, and some which he
understood not. The Governor sent by one of the Indians that were taken
to call the cacique, which was on the other side of the river. He came,
and made this speech following:

"Right high, right mighty, and excellent lord, those things which seldom
happen do cause admiration. What then may the sight of your lordship and
your people do to me and mine, whom we never saw? especially being
mounted on such fierce beasts as your horses are, entering with such
violence and fury into my country, without my knowledge of your coming.
It was a thing so strange, and caused such fear and terror in our minds,
that it was not in our power to stay and receive your lordship with the
solemnity due to so high and renowned a prince as your lordship is. And
trusting in your greatness and singular virtues, I do not only hope to
be freed from blame, but also to receive favors; and the first which I
demand of your lordship is, that you will use me, my country, and
subjects as your own; and the second, that you will tell me who you are,
and whence you come, and whither you go, and what you seek, that I the
better may serve you therein."

The Governor answered him, that he thanked him as much for his offer and
good-will as if he had received it, and as if he had offered him a great
treasure; and told him that he was the son of the Sun, and came from
those parts where he dwelt, and traveled through that country, and
sought the greatest lord and richest province that was in it. The
cacique told him that farther forward dwelt a great lord, and that his
dominion was called _Ocute_. He gave him a guide and an interpreter for
that province. The Governor commanded his Indians to be set free, and
traveled through his country up a river very well inhabited. He departed
from his town the first of April; and left a very high cross of wood set
up in the midst of the market-place; and because the time gave no more
leisure, he declared to him only that that cross was a memory of the
same whereon Christ, which was God and man, and created the heavens and
the earth, suffered for our salvation; therefore he exhorted them that
they should reverence it, and they made show as though they would do so.
The fourth of April the Governor passed by a town called _Altamaca_, and
the tenth of the month he came to _Ocute_. The cacique sent him two
thousand Indians with a present, to wit, many conies and partridges,
bread of maize, two hens, and many dogs; which among the Christians were
esteemed as if they had been fat wethers, because of the great want of
flesh meat and salt, and hereof in many places, and many times was great
need; and they were so scarce, that if a man fell sick, there was
nothing to cherish him withal; and with a sickness, that in another
place easily might have been remedied, he consumed away till nothing but
skin and bones were left; and they died of pure weakness, some of them
saying, "If I had a slice of meat or a few corns of salt, I should not
die. The Indians want no flesh meat; for they kill with their arrows
many deer, hens, conies, and other wild fowl, for they are very cunning
at it, which skill the Christians had not; and though they had it, they
had no leisure to use it; for the most of the time they spent in travel,
and durst not presume to straggle aside. And because they were thus
scanted of flesh, when six hundred men that went with _Soto_ came to any
town, and found thirty or forty dogs, he that could get one and kill it
thought himself no small man; and he that killed it and gave not his
captain one quarter, if he knew it he frowned on him, and made him feel
it in the watches, or in any other matter of labor that was offered,
wherein he might do him a displeasure. On Monday, the twelfth of April,
1540, the Governor departed from _Ocute_. The cacique gave him two
hundred _Tamenes_, to wit, Indians to carry burdens; he passed through a
town, the lord whereof was named _Cofaqui_, and came to a province of an
Indian lord called _Patofa_, who because he was in peace with the lord
of _Ocute_, and with the other bordering lords, had many days before
notice of the Governor, and desired to see him. He came to visit him,
and made this speech following.

"Mighty lord, now with good reason I will crave of fortune to requite
this my so great prosperity with some small adversity; and I will count
myself very rich, seeing that I have obtained that which in this world I
most desired, which is to see and be able to do your lordship some
service. And although the tongue be the image of that which is in the
heart, and that the contentment which I feel in my heart I cannot
dissemble, yet is it not sufficient wholly to manifest the same. Where
did this your country, which I do govern, deserve to be visited of so
sovereign and so excellent a prince, whom all the rest of the world
ought to obey and serve? And those which inhabit it being so base, what
shall be the issue of such happiness, if their memory do not represent
unto them some adversity that may betide them, according to the order of
fortune? If from this day forward we may be capable of this benefit,
that your lordship will hold us for your own, we cannot fail to be
favored and maintained in true justice and reason, and to have the name
of men. For such as are void of reason and justice, may be compared to
brute beasts. For mine own part, from my very heart with reverence due
to such a prince, I offer myself unto your lordship, and beseech you,
that in reward of this my true good will, you will vouchsafe to make use
of mine own person, my country, and subjects."

The Governor answered him, that his offers and good-will declared by the
effect, did highly please him, whereof he would always be mindful to
honor and favor him as his brother. This country, from the first
peaceable cacique, unto the province of _Patofa_, which were fifty
leagues, is a fat country, beautiful, and very fruitful, and very well
watered, and full of good rivers. And from thence to the _Port de
Spirito Santo_, where we first arrived in the land of _Florida_ (which
may be three hundred and fifty leagues, little more or less), is a
barren land, and the most of it groves of wild pine trees, low and full
of lakes, and in some places very high and thick groves, whither the
Indians that were in arms fled, so that no man could find them, neither
could any horses enter into them, which was an inconvenience to the
Christians, in regard of the victuals which they found conveyed away;
and of the troubles which they had in seeking of Indians to be their
guides.

In the town of _Patofa_ the youth which the Governor carried with him
for an interpreter and a guide, began to foam at the mouth, and tumble
on the ground, as one possessed with the devil: they said a gospel over
him, and the fit left him. And he said, that four days' journey from
thence toward the sun rising, was the province that he spoke of. The
Indians of _Patofa_ said, that toward that part they knew no habitation;
but that toward the north-west, they knew a province which was called
_Coça_, a very plentiful country, which had very great towns in it. The
cacique told the Governor that if he would go thither, he would give him
guides and Indians for burdens; and if he would go whither the youth
spake of, that he would likewise give him those that he needed; and so
with loving words and offers of courtesy, they took their leaves the one
of the other. He gave him seven hundred Indians to bear burdens. He took
maize for four days' journey. He traveled six days by a path which grew
narrow more and more, till it was lost altogether. He went where the
youth did lead him, and passed two rivers, which were waded: each of
them was two crossbow shots over; the water came to the stirrups, and
had so great a current, that it was needful for the horsemen to stand
one before another, that the footmen might pass above them, leaning unto
them. He came to another river of a great current and largeness, which
was passed with more trouble, because the horses did swim at the coming
out, about a lance's length. Having passed this river, the Governor came
to a grove of pine trees, and threatened the youth, and made as though
he would have cast him to the dogs, because he had told him a lie,
saying, it was but four days' journey, and they had traveled nine, and
every day seven or eight leagues, and the men by this time were grown
weary and weak, and the horses lean through the great scanting of the
maize. The youth said that he knew not where he was. It saved him that
he was not cast to the dogs, that there was never another whom _John
Ortiz_ did understand. The Governor, with them two, and with some
horsemen and footmen, leaving the camp in a grove of pine trees,
traveled that day five or six leagues to seek a way, and returned at
night very comfortless, and without finding any sign of way or town. The
next day there were sundry opinions delivered, whether they should go
back, or what they should do; and because backward the country whereby
they had passed was greatly spoiled, and destitute of maize, and that
which they brought with them was spent, and the men were very weak, and
the horses likewise, they doubted much whether they might come to any
place where they might help themselves. And besides this, they were of
opinion, that going in that sort out of order, that any Indians would
presume to set upon them, so that with hunger or with war, they could
not escape. The Governor determined to send horsemen from thence every
way to seek habitation; and the next day he sent four captains, every
one a sundry way with eight horsemen. At night they came again, leading
their horses, or driving them with a stick before; for they were weary,
that they could not lead them, neither found they any way or sign of
habitation. The next day the Governor sent other four with as many
horsemen that could swim, to pass the swamps and rivers which they
should find, and they had choice horses, the best that were in the camp.
The captains were _Baltasar de Gallegos_, which went up the river; and
_John Danusco_ down the river; _Alfonso Romo_ and _John Rodriguez
Lobillo_ went into the inward parts of the land. The Governor brought
with him into _Florida_ thirteen sows, and had by this time three
hundred swine. He commanded every man should have half a pound of hog's
flesh every day, and this he did three or four days after the maize was
all spent. With this small quantity of flesh, and some sodden herbs,
with much trouble the people were sustained. The Governor dismissed the
Indians of _Patofa_, because he had no food to give them; who desiring
to accompany and serve the Christians in their necessity, making show
that it grieved them very much to return until they had left them in a
peopled country, returned to their own home. _John Danusco_ came on
Sunday late in the evening, and brought news that he had found a little
town twelve or thirteen leagues from thence: he brought a woman and a
boy that he took there. With his coming and with those news, the
Governor and all the rest were so glad that they seemed at that instant
to have returned from death to life. Upon Monday, the twenty-sixth of
April, the Governor departed to go to the town, which was called
_Aymay_; and the Christians named it the town of _Relief_. He left where
the camp had lain at the foot of a pine tree, a letter buried, and
letters carved in the bark of the pine, the contents whereof was this:
Dig here at the foot of this pine, and you shall find a letter. And this
he did, because when the captains came, which were sent to seek some
habitation, they might see the letter, and know what was become of the
Governor, and which way he was gone. There was no other way to the town,
but the marks that _John Danusco_ left made upon the trees. The
Governor, with some of them that had the best horses, came to it on the
Monday; and all the rest inforcing themselves the best way they could,
some of them lodged within two leagues of the town, some within three
and four, every one as he was able to go, and his strength served him.
There was found in the town a store-house full of the flour of parched
maize; and some maize, which was distributed by allowance. Here were
four Indians taken, and none of them would confess any other thing, but
that they knew of none other habitation. The Governor commanded one of
them to be burned, and presently another confessed that two days'
journey from thence, there was a province that was called
_Cutifachiqui_. Upon Wednesday came the captains _Baltasar de Gallegos,
Alfonso Romo_, and _John Rodriguez Lobillo_, for they had found the
letter, and followed the way which the Governor had taken toward the
town. Two men of _John Rodriguez's_ company were lost, because their
horses tired; the Governor checked him very sore for leaving them
behind, and sent to seek them; and as soon as they came he departed
toward _Cutifachiqui_. In the way three Indians were taken, which said
that the lady of that country had notice already of the Christians, and
stayed for them in a town of hers. The Governor sent by one of them to
offer her his friendship, and to advertise her how he was coming
thither. The Governor came unto the town, and presently there came four
canoes to him; in one of them came a sister of the lady, and approaching
to the Governor she said these words:

"Excellent lord, my sister sendeth unto you by me to kiss your
lordship's hands, and to signify unto you that the cause why she came
not in person, is, that she thinketh to do you greater service staying
behind, as she doth, giving order that with all speed all her canoes be
ready, that your lordship may pass the river, and take your rest, which
shall presently be performed."

The Governor gave her thanks, and she returned to the other side of the
river. Within a little while the lady (Cutifachiqui) came out of the
town in a chair, whereon certain of the principal Indians brought her to
the river. She entered into a barge which had the stern tilted over, and
on the floor her mat ready laid with two cushions upon it one upon
another, where she sat her down; and with her came her principal Indians
in other barges, which did wait upon her. She went to the place where
the Governor was, and at her coming she made this speech following:

"Excellent lord, I wish this coming of your lordship into these your
countries to be most happy; although my power be not answerable to my
will, and my services be not according to my desire, nor such as so high
a prince as your lordship deserveth; yet since the good-will is rather
to be accepted than all the treasures of the world, that without it are
offered with most unfailable and manifest affection, I offer you my
person, lands, and subjects, and this small service."

And therewithal she presented unto him great store of clothes of the
country, which she brought in other canoes, to wit, mantles and skins;
and took from her own neck a great cordon of pearls, and cast it about
the neck of the Governor, entertaining him with very gracious speeches
of love and courtesy, and commanded canoes to be brought thither,
wherein the Governor and his people passed the river. As soon as he was
lodged in the town, she (Cutifachiqui) sent him another present of many
hens. This country was very pleasant, fat, and hath goodly meadows by
the rivers. Their woods are thin, and full of walnut trees and mulberry
trees. They said the sea was two days' journey from thence. Within a
league and half a league about this town were great towns dispeopled,
and overgrown with grass; which showed that they had been long without
inhabitants. The Indians said that two years before there was a plague
in that country, and that they removed to other towns. There was in
their store-houses great quantity of clothes, mantles of yarn made of
the barks of trees, and others made of feathers, white, green, red, and
yellow, very fine after their use, and profitable for winter. There were
also many deer's skins, with many compartments traced in them, and some
of them made into hose, stockings, and shoes. And the lady perceiving
that the Christians esteemed the pearls, advised the Governor to send to
search certain graves that were in that town, and that he should find
many; and that if he would send to the dispeopled towns he might load
all his horses. They sought the graves of that town, and there found
fourteen rows of pearls (three hundred and ninety-two pounds), and
little babies and birds made of them. The people were brown, well made,
and well proportioned, and more civil than any others that were seen in
all the country of _Florida_, and all of them went shod and clothed. The
youth told the Governor that he began now to enter into the land which
he spoke of; and some credit was given him that it was so, because he
understood the language of the Indians; and he requested that he might
be christened, for he said he desired to become a Christian. He was
christened, and named _Peter_; and the Governor commanded him to be
loosed from a chain, in which until that time he had gone. This country,
as the Indians reported, had been much inhabited, and had the fame of a
good country. And as it seemeth, the youth, which was the Governor's
guide, had heard of it, and that which he knew by hearsay, he affirmed
that he had seen, and augmented at his pleasure. In this town was found
a dagger, and beads that belonged to Christians. The Indians reported
that Christians had been in the haven (St. Helena), which was two days'
journey from this town, many years ago. He that came thither was the
Governor, the _Licentiate Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon_, which went to
conquer this country, and at his coming to the port he died (1525); and
there was a division, quarrels and slaughters between some principal men
which went with him, for the principal government. And without knowing
anything of the country, they returned home to _Hispaniola_. All the
company thought it good to inhabit that country, because it was in a
temperate climate (32° 30'). And that if it were inhabited, all the
ships of New Spain, of _Peru_, _Santa Martha_, and _Terra Firma_, in
their return for _Spain_ might well touch there, because it was in their
way, and because it was a good country, and sited fit to raise
commodity. The Governor, since his intent was to seek another treasure,
like that of _Atabalipa_, Lord of _Peru_, was not contented with a good
country, nor with pearls, though many of them were worth their weight in
gold. And if the country had been divided among the Christians, those
which the Indians had fished for afterwards would have been of more
value; for those which they had, because they burned them in the fire,
did lessen their color. The Governor answered them that urged him to
inhabit, that in all the country there were not victuals to sustain his
men one month; and that it was needful to resort to the Port of _Ocus_,
where _Maldonado_ was to stay for them: and that if no richer country
were found, they might return again to that whensoever they would; and
in the meantime the Indians would sow their fields, and it would be
better furnished with maize. He inquired of the Indians whether they had
notice of any great lord farther into the land. They told him that
twelve days' journey from thence[F] there was a province called
_Chiaha_, subject to the Lord of _Coça_. Presently the Governor
determined to seek that land. And being a stern man, and of few words,
though he was glad to sift and know the opinion of all men, yet after he
had delivered his own, he would not be contraried, and always did what
liked himself, and so all men did condescend unto his will. And though
it seemed an error to leave that country (for others might have been
sought round about, where the people might have been sustained until the
harvest had been ready there, and the maize gathered), yet there was
none that would say anything against him, after they knew his
resolution.

The Governor departed from _Cutifachiqui_ the third day of May. And
because the Indians had revolted, and the will of the lady was
perceived, that if she could, she would depart without giving any guides
or men for burden, for the wrongs which the Christians had done to the
Indians (for there never want some among many of a base sort, that for
a little gain do put themselves and others in danger of undoing), the
Governor commanded her to be kept in safeguard, and carried with him,
not with so good usage as she deserved for the good-will she showed, and
good entertainment that she had made him. And he verified that old
proverb which saith: "For well-doing I receive evil." And so he carried
her on foot with his bondwomen to look unto her. In all the towns where
the Governor passed, the lady commanded the Indians to come and carry
the burdens from one town to another. We passed through her country an
hundred leagues, in which, as we saw, she was much obeyed, for the
Indians did all that she commanded them with great efficacy and
diligence. _Peter_, the youth that was our guide, said that she was not
the lady herself, but a niece of hers, which came to that town to
execute certain principal men by commandment of the lady, which had
withheld her tribute; which words were not believed, because of the lies
which they had found in him before; but they bare with all things
because of the need which they had of him to declare what the Indians
said. In seven days' space the Governor came to a province called
_Ohalaque_, the poorest country of maize that was seen in _Florida_. The
Indians feed upon roots and herbs, which they seek in the fields, and
upon wild beasts, which they kill with their bows and arrows, and are a
very gentle people. All of them go naked, and are very lean. There was a
Lord (Cutifachiqui), which for a great present, brought the Governor two
deer skins; and there were in that country many wild hens. In one town
they made him a present of seven hundred hens, and so in other towns
they sent him those which they had or could get. From this province to
another, which is called _Xualla_, he spent five days. Here he found
very little maize, and for this cause, though the people were wearied,
and the horses very weak, he staid no more but two days. From _Ocute_ to
_Cutifachiqui_, may be some hundred and thirty leagues, whereof eighty
are wilderness. From _Cutifachiqui_ to _Xualla_ two hundred and fifty,
and it is a hilly country. The Governor departed from _Xualla_ towards
_Guaxule_--he passed very rough and high hills. In that journey, the
lady of _Cutifachiqui_ (whom the Governor carried with him, as is
aforesaid, with purpose to carry her to _Guaxule_, because her territory
reached thither), going on a day with the bondwomen which led her, went
out of the way, and entered into a wood, saying she went to ease
herself, and so she deceived them, and hid herself in the wood; and
though they sought her they could not find her. She carried away with
her a little chest made of canes in manner of a coffer, which they call
petaca, full of unbored pearls. Some which could judge of them, said
that they were of great value. An Indian woman that waited on her did
carry them. The Governor, not to discontent her altogether, left them
with her, making account that in _Guaxule_ he would ask them of her,
when he gave her leave to return; which coffer she carried away and went
to _Xualla_ with three slaves which fled from the camp, and one horseman
which remained behind, who, falling sick of an ague, went out of the way
and was lost. This man, whose name was _Alimamos_, dealt with the slaves
to change their evil purpose, and return with him to the Christians,
which two of them did; and _Alimamos_ and they overtook the Governor
fifty leagues from thence in a province called _Chiaha_; and reported
how the lady remained in _Xualla_ with a slave of _Andrew de
Vasconcelos_, which would not come back with them; and that of a
certainty they lived as man and wife together, and meant to go both to
_Cutifachiqui_. Within five days the Governor came to _Guaxule_. The
Indians there gave him a present of three hundred dogs, because they saw
the Christians esteem them, and sought them to feed on them; for among
them they are not eaten. In _Guaxule_, and all that way, was very little
maize. The Governor sent from thence an Indian with a message to the
cacique of _Chiaha_, to desire him to gather some maize thither, that he
might rest a few days in _Chiaha_. The Governor departed from _Guaxule_,
and in two days' journey came to a town called _Canasagua_. There met
him on the way twenty Indians, every one loaded with a basketful of
mulberries; for there be many, and those very good, from _Cutifachiqui_
thither, and so forward in other provinces, and also nuts and plums. And
the trees grow in the fields without planting or dressing them, and as
big and as rank as though they grew in gardens digged and watered. From
the time that the Governor departed from _Canasagua_, he journeyed five
days through a desert; and two leagues before he came to _Chiaha_, there
met him fifteen Indians loaded with maize, which the cacique had sent;
and they told him on his behalf, that he waited his coming with twenty
barns full of it; and further, that himself, his country, and subjects,
and all things else were at his service. On the fifth day of June, the
Governor entered into _Chiaha_. The cacique voided his own houses, in
which he lodged, and received him with much joy, saying these words
following:--

"Mighty and excellent lord, I hold myself for so happy a man, in that it
hath pleased your lordship to use me, that nothing could have happened
unto me of more contentment, nor that I would have esteemed so much.
From _Guaxule_ your lordship sent unto me, that I should prepare maize
for you in this town for two months. Here I have for you twenty barns
full of the choicest that in all the country could be found. If your
lordship be not entertained by me in such sort as is fit for so high a
prince, respect my tender age, which excuseth me from blame, and receive
my good-will, which with much loyalty, truth and sincerity, I will
always show in anything which shall concern your lordship's service."

The Governor answered him that he thanked him very much for his service
and offer, and that he would always account him as his brother. There
was in this town much butter in gourds melted like oil--they said it was
the fat of bears. There was found, also, great store of oil of walnuts,
which was clear as butter, and of a good taste, and a pot full of honey
of bees, which neither before nor afterward was seen in all the country.
The town was an island between two arms of a river, and was seated nigh
one of them. The river divideth itself into those two branches, two
crossbow shots above the town, and meeteth again a league beneath the
same. The plain between both the branches is sometimes one crossbow
shot, sometimes two crossbow shots over. The branches are very broad,
and both of them may be waded over. There were along them very good
meadows, and many fields sown with maize. And because the Indians staid
in their town, the Governor only lodged in the houses of the cacique,
and his people in the fields; where there was ever a tree every one took
one for himself. Thus the camp lay separated one from another, and out
of order. The Governor winked at it, because the Indians were in peace,
and because it was very hot, and the people should have suffered great
extremity if it had not been so. The horses came thither so weak, that
for feebleness they were not able to carry their masters; because that
from _Cutifachiqui_ they always traveled with very little provender, and
were hunger-starved and tired ever since they came from the desert of
_Ocute_. And because the most of them were not in case to use in battle,
though need should require, they sent them to feed in the night a
quarter of a league from the camp. The Christians were there in great
danger, because that if at this time the Indians had set upon them, they
had been in evil case to have defended themselves. The Governor rested
there thirty days, in which time, because the country was very fruitful,
the horses grew fat. At the time of his departure, by the importunity
of some, which would have more than was reason, he demanded of the
cacique thirty women to make slaves of. He answered that he would confer
with his chief men. And before he returned an answer, one night all of
them with their wives and children forsook the town, and fled away. The
next day, the Governor proposing to go to seek them, the cacique came
unto him, and at his coming used these words unto the Governor:--

"Mighty lord, with shame and fear of your lordship, because my subjects
against my will have done amiss in absenting themselves, I went my way
without your license; and knowing the error which I have committed, like
a loyal subject, I come to yield myself into your power, to dispose of
me at your own pleasure. For my subjects do not obey me, nor do anything
but what an uncle of mine commandeth, which governeth this country for
me, until I be of a perfect age. If your lordship will pursue them, and
execute on them that, which for their disobedience they deserve, I will
be your guide, since at this present my fortune will not suffer me to
perform any more."

Presently, the Governor with thirty horsemen, and as many footmen, went
to seek the Indians, and passing by some towns of the principal Indians
which had absented themselves, he cut and destroyed great fields of
maize; and went up the river, where the Indians were in an island, where
the horsemen could not come at them. There he sent them word by an
Indian to return to their town and fear nothing, and that they should
give his men to carry burdens, as all those behind had done; for he
would have no Indian women, seeing they were so loth to part with them.
The Indians accepted his request, and came to the Governor to excuse
themselves; and so all of them returned to their town. A cacique of a
province called _Coste_, came to this town to visit the Governor. After
he had offered himself, and passed with him some words of tendering his
service and courtesy, the Governor asking him whether he had notice of
any rich country? he said yea: to wit, that toward the north there was a
province named _Chisca_:[G] and that there was a melting of copper, and
of another metal of the same color, save that it was finer, and of a far
more perfect color, and far better to the sight; and that they used it
not so much, because it was softer. And the self same thing was told the
Governor in _Cutifachiqui_, where we saw some little hatchets of copper,
which were said to have a mixture of gold. But in that part the country
was not well peopled, and they said there were mountains, which the
horses could not pass: and for that cause, the Governor would not go
from _Cutifachiqui_ directly thither: and he made account, that
traveling through a peopled country, when his men and horses should be
in better plight, and he were better certified of the truth of the
thing, he would return toward it, by mountains, and a better inhabited
country, whereby he might have better passage. He sent two Christians
from _Chiaha_ with certain Indians which knew the country of _Chisca_,
and the language thereof, to view it, and to make report of that which
they should find; where he told them that he would tarry for them.

When the Governor was determined to depart from _Chiaha_ to _Coste_, he
sent for the cacique to come before him, and with gentle words took his
leave of him, and gave him certain things, wherewith he rested much
contented. In seven days he came to _Coste_. The second of July he
commanded his camp to be pitched two crossbow shots from the town: and
with eight men of his guard he went where he found the cacique, which to
his thinking received him with great love. As he was talking with him,
there went from the camp certain footmen to the town to seek some maize,
and not contented with it, they ransacked and searched the houses, and
took what they found. With this despite, the Indians began to rise and
to take their arms: and some of them, with cudgels in their hands, ran
upon five or six Christians, which had done them wrong, and beat them at
their pleasure. The Governor seeing them all in an uproar, and himself
among them with so few Christians, to escape their hands used a
stratagem, far against his own disposition, being, as he was, very frank
and open: and though it grieved him very much that any Indian should be
so bold, as with reason, or without reason to despise the Christians, he
took up a cudgel, and took their parts against his own men; which was a
means to quiet them. And presently he sent word by a man very secretly
to the camp, that some armed men should come toward the place where he
was; and he took the cacique by the hand, using very mild words unto
him, and with some principal Indians that did accompany him, he drew
them out of the town into a plain way, and unto the sight of the camp,
whither by little and little with good discretion the Christians began
to come and to gather about them. Thus the Governor led the cacique and
his chief men until he entered with them into the camp: and near unto
his tent he commanded them to be put in safe custody; and told them that
they should not depart without giving him a guide and Indians for
burdens, and till certain sick Christians were come, which he had
commanded to come down the river in canoes from _Chiaha_; and those also
which he had sent to the province of _Chisca_: (for they were not
returned; and he feared that the Indians had slain the one, and the
other.) Within three days after, those which were sent to _Chisca_
returned, and made report that the Indians had carried them through a
country so poor of maize, and so rough, and over so high mountains, that
it was impossible for the army to travel that way; and that seeing the
way grew very long, and that they lingered much, they consulted to
return from a little poor town, where they saw nothing that was of any
profit, and brought an ox hide, which the Indians gave them, as thin as
a calf's skin, and the hair like a soft wool, between the coarse and
fine wool of sheep. The cacique gave a guide, and men for burdens, and
departed with the Governor's leave. The Governor departed from _Coste_
the ninth of July, and lodged at a town called _Tali_. The cacique came
forth to receive him on the way, and made this speech:--

"Excellent lord and prince, worthy to be served and obeyed of all the
princes in the world; howsoever for the most part by the outward
physiognomy the inward virtue may be judged, and that who you are, and
of what strength, was known unto me before now: I will not infer
hereupon how mean I am in your presence, to hope that my poor services
will be grateful and acceptable: since whereas strength faileth, the
will doth not cease to be praised and accepted. And for this cause I
presume to request your lordship, that you will be pleased only to
respect the same, and consider wherein you will command my service in
this your country."

The Governor answered him, that his good-will and offer was as
acceptable unto him as if he had offered him all the treasures of the
world, and that he would always entreat, favor, and esteem him as if he
were his own brother. The cacique commanded provision necessary for two
days, while the Governor was there, to be brought thither: and at the
time of his departure, he gave him four women and two men, which he had
need of to bear burdens. The Governor traveled six days through many
towns subject to the cacique of _Coça_: and as he entered into his
country many Indians came unto him every day from the cacique, and met
him on the way with messages, one going, and another coming. He came to
_Coça_ upon Friday, the 26th of July. The cacique came forth to receive
him two crossbow shots from the town in a chair, which his principal men
carried on their shoulders, sitting upon a cushion, and covered with a
garment of marterns, of the fashion and bigness of a woman's huke: he
had on his head a diadem of feathers, and round about him many Indians
playing upon flutes, and singing. As soon as he came unto the Governor,
he did his obeyance, and uttered these words following:--

"Excellent and mighty lord, above all them of the earth, although I come
but now to receive you, yet I have received you many days ago in my
heart, to wit, from the day wherein I had first notice of your lordship:
with so great desire to serve you, with so great pleasure and
contentment, that this which I make show of, is nothing in regard of
that which is in my heart, neither can it have any kind of comparison.
This you may hold for certain, that to obtain the dominion of the whole
world, would not have rejoiced me so much as your sight, neither would I
have held it for so great a felicity. Do not look for me to offer you
that which is your own, to wit, my person, my lands, and subjects; only
I will busy myself in commanding my men with all diligence and due
reverence to welcome you from hence to the town with playing and
singing, where your lordship shall be lodged and attended upon by myself
and them; and all that I possess your lordship shall use as it were your
own. For your lordship shall do me a very great favor in so doing."

The Governor gave him thanks, and with great joy they both went
conferring together till they came to the town; and he commanded his
Indians to void their houses, wherein the Governor and his men were
lodged. There was in the barns and in the fields great store of maize
and French beans. The country was greatly inhabited with many great
towns, and many sown fields, which reached from the one to the other. It
was pleasant, fat, full of good meadows upon rivers. There were in the
fields many plum trees, as well of such as grow in _Spain_ as of the
country; and wild tall vines, that run up the trees; and besides these
there were other low vines with big and sweet grapes; but for want of
digging and dressing, they had great kernels in them. The Governor used
to set a guard over the caciques, because they should not absent
themselves, and carried them with him till he came out of their
countries; because that carrying them along with him, he looked to find
people in the towns, and they gave him guides, and men to carry burdens;
and before he went out of their countries, he gave them license to
return to their houses, and to their porters likewise, as soon as he
came to any other lordship where they gave him others. The men of _Coça_
seeing their lord detained, took it in evil part, and revolted, and hid
themselves in the woods, as well those of the town of the cacique, as
those of the other towns of his principal subjects. The Governor sent
out four captains, every one his way, to seek them. They took many men
and women, which were put into chains. They seeing the hurt which they
received, and how little they gained in absenting themselves, came
again, promising to do whatsoever they were commanded. Of those which
were taken prisoners, some principal men were set at liberty, whom the
cacique demanded; and every one that had any, carried the rest in chains
like slaves, without letting them go to their country. Neither did any
return, but some few, whose fortune helped them with the good diligence
which they used to file off their chains by night, or such as in their
traveling could slip aside out of the way, seeing any negligence in them
that kept them; some escaped away with the chains, and with the burdens
and clothes which they carried.

The Governor rested in _Coça_ twenty-five days. He departed from thence
the twentieth of August, to seek a province called _Tascaluca_; he
carried with him the cacique of _Coça_. He passed that day by a great
town called _Tallimuchase_; the people were fled; he lodged half a
league further, near a brook. The next day he came to a town called
_Ytaua_, subject to _Coça_. He staid there six days, because of a river
that passed by it, which at that time was very high; and as soon as the
river suffered him to pass, he set forward, and lodged at a town named
_Ullibahali_. There came to him on the way, of the caciques in behalf of
that province, ten or twelve principal Indians to offer him their
service; all of them had their plumes of feathers, and bows and arrows.
The Governor coming to the town with twelve horsemen, and some footmen
of his guard, leaving his people a crossbow shot from the town, entered
into it; he found all the Indians with their weapons, and as far as he
could guess, they seemed to have some evil meaning. It was known
afterwards that they were determined to take the cacique of _Coça_ from
the Governor, if he had requested it. The Governor commanded all his
people to enter the town, which was walled about, and near unto it
passed a small river. The wall, as well of that as of others, which
afterwards we saw, was of great posts thrust deep into the ground, and
very rough; and many long rails, as big as one's arm, laid across
between them, and the wall was about the height of a lance, and it was
daubed within and without with clay, and had loopholes. On the other
side of the river was a town, where at that present the cacique was. The
Governor sent to call him, and he came presently. After he had passed
with the Governor some words of offering his services, he gave him such
men for his carriages as he needed, and thirty women for slaves. In that
place was a Christian lost, called _Mançano_, born in _Salamanca_, of
noble parentage, which went astray to seek for grapes, whereof there is
great store, and those very good. The day that the Governor departed
from thence, he lodged at a town, subject to the lord of _Ullibahali_;
and the next day he came to another town called _Toasi_. The Indians
gave the Governor thirty women, and such men for his carriages as he
needed. He traveled ordinarily five or six leagues a day, when he
traveled through peopled countries; and going through deserts, he
marched as fast as he could, to eschew the want of maize. From _Toasi_,
passing through some towns subject to a cacique, which was lord of a
province called _Tallise_, he traveled five days. He came to _Tallise_
the 18th of September. The town was great, and situated near unto a main
river. On the other side of the river were other towns, and many fields
sown with maize. On both sides it was a very plentiful country, and had
store of maize; they had voided the town. The Governor commanded to call
the cacique; who came, and between them passed some words of love and
offer of his services, and he presented unto him forty Indians. There
came to the Governor in this town, a principal Indian in the behalf of
the cacique of _Tascaluca_, and made this speech following:--

"Mighty, virtuous, and esteemed lord, the great cacique of _Tascaluca_,
my lord, sendeth by me to kiss your lordship's hands, and to let you
understand that he hath notice how you justly ravish with your
perfections and power, all men on the earth and that every one by whom
your lordship passeth, doth serve and obey you, which he acknowledgeth
to be due unto you, and desireth, as his life, to see and to serve your
lordship. For which cause by me he offereth himself, his lands and
subjects, that when your lordship pleaseth to go through his country,
you may be received with all peace and love, served and obeyed; and that
in recompense of the desire he hath to see you, you will do him the
favor to let him know when you will come; for how much the sooner, so
much the greater favor he shall receive."

The Governor received and dispatched him graciously, giving him beads,
which among them were not much esteemed, and some other things to carry
to his lord. And he gave license to the Cacique of _Coça_ to return home
to his own country. The Cacique of _Tallise_ gave him such men for
burdens as he needed. And after he had rested there twenty days, he
departed thence towards _Tascaluca_. That day when he went from
_Tallise_, he lodged at a great town called _Casiste_. And the next day
passed by another, and came to a small town of _Tascaluca_; and the next
day he camped in a wood, two leagues from the town where the cacique
resided, and was at that time. And he sent the master of the camp, _Luys
de Moscoso_, with fifteen horsemen, to let him know he was coming. The
cacique was in his lodgings under a canopy; and without doors, right
against his lodgings, in a high place, they spread a mat for him, and
two cushions one upon another, where he sat him down, and his Indians
placed themselves round about him, somewhat distant from him, so that
they made a place, and a void room where he sat; and his chiefest men
were nearest to him, and one with a shadow of deer skin, which kept the
sun from him, being round and of the bigness of a target, quartered with
black and white, having a rundle in the midst; afar off it seemed to be
of taffeta, because the colors were very perfect. It was set on a small
staff stretched wide out. This was the device which he carried in his
wars. He was a man of a very tall stature, of great limbs, and spare,
and well proportioned, and was much feared of his neighbors and
subjects. He was lord of many territories and much people. In his
countenance he was very grave. After the master of the camp had spoken
with him, he and those that went with him coursed their horses, prancing
them to and fro, and now and then towards the place where the cacique
was, who, with much gravity and dissimulation now and then lifted up his
eyes, and beheld them, as it were, with disdain. At the Governor's
coming, he made no offer at all to rise. The Governor took him by the
hand, and both of them sat down together on a seat which was under the
cloth of state. The cacique said these words unto him:--

"Mighty lord, I bid your lordship right heartily welcome. I receive as
much pleasure and contentment with your sight, as if you were my
brother, whom I dearly loved; upon this point it is not needful to use
many reasons; since it is no discretion to speak that in many words,
which in few may be uttered. How much the greater the will is, so much
more giveth it name to the works, and the works give testimony of the
truth. Now touching my will, by it you shall know how certain and
manifest it is, and how pure inclination I have to serve you. Concerning
the favor which you did me, in the things which you sent me, I make as
much account of them as is reason to esteem them, and chiefly because
they were yours. Now see what service you will command me."

The Governor satisfied him with sweet words and with great brevity. When
he departed from thence he determined to carry him along with him for
some cause, and at two days' journey he came to a town called _Piache_,
by which there passed a great river. The Governor demanded canoes of the
Indians; they said they had them not, but that they would make rafts of
canes and dry timber, on which he might pass well enough. And they made
them with all diligence and speed, and they governed them; and because
the water went very slow, the Governor and his people passed very well.

From the _Port de Spirito Santo_ to _Apalache_, which is about an
hundred leagues, the Governor went from east to west; and from
_Apalache_ to _Cutifachiqui_, which are four hundred and thirty leagues
from the south-west to the north-east; and from _Cutifachiqui_ to
_Xualla_, which are about two hundred and fifty leagues from the south
to the north; and from _Xualla_ to _Tascaluca_, which are two hundred
and fifty leagues more, an hundred and ninety of them he traveled from
east to west, to wit, to the province of _Coça_, and the other sixty
from _Coça_ to _Tascaluca_ from the north to the south.

Having passed the river of _Piache_, a Christian went from his company
from thence to seek a woman slave that was run away from him, and the
Indians either took him captive, or slew him. The Governor urged the
cacique that he should give account of him, and threatened him that if
he were not found he would never let him loose. The cacique sent an
Indian from thence to _Mavilla_, whither they were traveling, which was
a town of a principal Indian and his subject, saying that he sent him to
advise them to make ready victuals, and men for carriages. But (as
afterwards appeared) he sent him to assemble all the men of war thither
that he had in his country. The Governor traveled three days, and the
third day he passed all day through a peopled country, and he came to
_Mavilla_ upon Monday the 18th of October, 1540. He went before the camp
with fifteen horsemen and thirty footmen. And from the town came a
Christian, whom he had sent to the principal man, three or four days
before, because he should not absent himself, and also to learn in what
sort the Indians were; who told him that he thought they were in an evil
purpose; for while he was there, there came many people into the town,
and many weapons, and that they made great haste to fortify the walls.
_Luys de Moscoso_ told the Governor that it would be good to lodge in
the field, seeing the Indians were of such disposition; and he answered,
that he would lodge in the town, for he was weary of lodging in the
field. When he came near unto the town, the cacique came forth to
receive him with many Indians playing upon flutes and singing. And after
he had offered himself, he presented him with three mantles of marterns.
The Governor, with both the caciques, and seven or eight men of his
guard, and three or four horsemen, which alighted to accompany him,
entered into the town, and sat him down under a cloth of state. The
cacique of _Tascaluca_ requested him that he would let him remain in
that town, and trouble him no more with traveling. And seeing he would
not give him leave, in his talk he changed his purpose, and
dissemblingly feigned that he would speak with some principal Indians,
and rose up from the place where he sat with the Governor, and entered
into a house, where many Indians were with their bows and arrows. The
Governor when he saw he returned not, called him, and he answered that
he would not come out from thence, neither would he go any farther than
that town, and that if he would go his way in peace, he should presently
depart, and should not seek to carry him perforce out of his country and
territory.

The Governor seeing the determination and furious answer of the cacique,
went about to pacify him with fair words; to which he gave no answer,
but rather with much pride and disdain, withdrew himself where the
Governor might not see him nor speak with him. As a principal Indian
passed that way, the Governor called him, to send him word that he might
remain at his pleasure in his country, and that it would please him to
give him a guide, and men for carriages, to see if he could pacify him
with mild words. The Indians answered with great pride, that he would
not hearken unto him. _Baltasar de Gallegos_, which stood by, took hold
of a gown of marterns which he had on, and he cast it over his head, and
left it in his hands: and because all of them immediately began to stir,
_Baltasar de Gallegos_ gave him such a wound with his cutlass, that he
opened him down the back, and presently all the Indians with a great cry
came out of the houses shooting their arrows. The Governor considering
that if he tarried there, he could not escape, and if he commanded his
men to come in, which were without the town, the Indians within the
houses might kill their horses, and do much hurt, ran out of the town,
and before he came out, he fell twice or thrice, and those that were
with him did help him up again; and he and those that were with him were
sore wounded; and in a moment there were five Christians slain in the
town. The Governor came running out of the town, crying out that every
man should stand farther off, because from the wall they did them much
hurt. The Indians seeing that the Christians retired, and some of them,
or the most part, more than an ordinary pace, shot with great boldness
at them, and struck down such as they could overtake. The Indians which
the Christians did lead with them in chains, had laid down their burdens
near unto the walls; and as soon as the Governor and his men were
retired, the men of _Mavilla_ laid them on the Indians' backs again, and
took them into the town, and loosed them presently from their chains,
and gave them bows and arrows to fight withal. Thus they possessed
themselves of all the clothes and pearls, and all that the Christians
had, which their slaves carried. And because the Indians had been always
peaceable until we came to this place, some of our men had their weapons
in their fardels, and remained unarmed. And from others that had entered
the town with the Governor they had taken swords and halberds, and
fought with them. When the Governor was gotten into the field, he called
for a horse, and with some that accompanied him, he returned and slew
two or three Indians. All the rest retired themselves to the town, and
shot with their bows from the wall. And those which presumed of their
nimbleness, sallied forth to fight a stone's cast from the wall. And
when the Christians charged them, they retired themselves at their
leisure into the town. At the time that the broil began, there were in
the town a friar and a priest, and a servant of the Governor, with a
woman slave; and they had no time to come out of the town, and they took
a house, and so remained in the town. The Indians being become masters
of the place, they shut the door with a field gate; and among them was
one sword which the Governor's servant had, and with it he set himself
behind the door, thrusting at the Indians which sought to come into
them; and the friar and the priest stood on the other side, each of them
with a bar in their hands to beat him down that first came in. The
Indians seeing they could not get in by the door, began to uncover the
house top. By this time all the horsemen and footmen which were behind,
were come to _Mavilla_. Here there were sundry opinions, whether they
should charge the Indians to enter the town, or whether they should
leave it, because it was hard to enter; and in the end it was resolved
to set upon them.

As soon as the battle and the rereward were come to _Mavilla_, the
Governor commanded all those that were best armed to alight, and made
four squadrons of footmen. The Indians, seeing how he was setting his
men in order, concluded with the cacique, that he should go his way,
saying unto him, as after it was known by certain women that were taken
there, that he was but one man, and could fight but for one man, and
that they had there among them many principal Indians, very valiant and
expert in feats of arms, that any one of them was able to order the
people there; and forasmuch as matters of war were subject to casualty,
and it was uncertain which part should overcome, they wished him to save
himself, to the end, that if it fell out that they should end their days
there, as they determined rather than to be overcome, there might remain
one to govern the country. For all this he would not have gone away; but
they urged him so much, that with fifteen or twenty Indians of his own,
he went out of the town, and carried away a scarlet cloak, and other
things of the Christians' goods, as much as he was able to carry, and
seemed best unto him. The Governor was informed how there went men out
of the town, and he commanded the horsemen to beset it, and sent in
every squadron of footmen one soldier with a firebrand to set fire on
the houses, that the Indians might have no defence; all his men being
set in order, he commanded an arquebuss to be shot off. The sign being
given, the four squadrons, every one by itself with great fury, gave the
onset, and with great hurt on both sides they entered the town. The
friar and the priest, and those that were with them in the house were
saved, which cost the lives of two men of account, and valiant, which
came thither to succor them. The Indians fought with such courage, that
many times they drove our men out of the town. The fight lasted so long,
that for weariness and great thirst many of the Christians went to a
pool that was near the wall, to drink, which was all stained with the
blood of the dead, and then came again to fight. The Governor seeing
this, entered among the footmen into the town on horseback, with certain
that accompanied them, and was a mean that the Christians came to set
fire on the houses, and broke and overcame the Indians, who running out
of the town from the footmen, the horsemen without drove in at the gates
again, where being without all hope of life, they fought valiantly, and
after the Christians came among them to handy blows, seeing themselves
in great distress, without any succor, many of them fled into the
burning houses, where one upon another they were smothered and burnt in
the fire. The whole number of the Indians that died in this town, were
two thousand and five hundred, little more or less. Of the Christians
there died eighteen; of which one was _Don Carlos_, brother-in-law to
the Governor, and a nephew of his, and one _John de Gamez_, and _Men
Rodriguez_, Portuguese, and _John Vasquez de Villanova de Barca Rota_,
all men of honor, and of much valor; the rest were footmen. Besides
those that were slain, there were a hundred and fifty wounded, with
seven hundred wounds of their arrows: and it pleased God that of very
dangerous wounds they were quickly healed. Moreover there were twelve
horses slain, and seventy hurt. All the clothes which the Christians
carried with them to clothe themselves withal, and the ornaments to say
mass, and the pearls, were all burnt there; and the Christians did set
them on fire themselves; because they held for a greater inconvenience,
the hurt which the Indians might do them from those houses, where they
had gathered all those goods together, than the loss of them. Here the
Governor understood that _Francisco Maldonado_ waited for him at the
Port of _Ochuse_, and that it was six days' journey from thence
(_Mavilla_), and he dealt with _John Ortiz_ to keep it secret, because
he had not accomplished that which he determined to do; and because the
pearls were burnt there, which he meant to have sent to _Cuba_ for a
show, that the people hearing the news, might be desirous to come to
that country. He feared also, that if they should have news of him
without seeing from _Florida_ neither gold nor silver, nor anything of
value, it would get such a name, that no man would seek to go thither,
when he should have need of people. And so he determined to send no news
of himself until he had found some rich country.

From the time that the Governor entered into _Florida_, until his
departure from _Mavilla_, there died a hundred and two Christians, some
of sickness, and others which the Indians slew. He stayed in _Mavilla_,
because of the wounded men, eight-and-twenty days; all which time he lay
in the field. It was a well inhabited and a fat country, there were some
great and walled towns, and many houses scattered all about the fields,
to wit, a crossbow shot or two, the one from the other. Upon Sunday, the
eighteenth of November (1540), when the hurt men were known to be
healed, the Governor departed from _Mavilla_. Every one furnished
himself with maize for two days, and they traveled five days through a
desert: they came to a province called _Pafallaya_, unto a town named
_Taliepatava_: and from thence they went to another, called _Cabusto_:
near unto it ran a great river. The Indians on the other side cried out,
threatening the Christians to kill them, if they sought to pass it. The
Governor commanded his men to make a barge within the town, because the
Indians should not perceive it: it was finished in four days, and being
ended, he commanded it to be carried one night upon sleds half a league
up the river. In the morning there entered into it thirteen men well
armed. The Indians perceived what was attempted, and those which were
nearest, came to defend the passage. They resisted what they could, till
the Christians came near them; and seeing that the barge came to the
shore, they fled away into the groves of canes. The Christians mounted
on horseback, and went up the river to make good the passage, whereby
the Governor and his company passed the river. There were along the
river some towns well stored with maize and French beans. From thence to
_Chicaça_ the Governor traveled five days through a desert. He came to a
river, where on the other side were Indians to defend the passage. He
made another barge in two days; and when it was finished, the Governor
sent an Indian to request the cacique to accept of his friendship, and
peaceably to expect his coming: whom the Indians that were on the other
side the river slew before his face, and presently making a great shout
went their way. Having passed the river, the next day, being the 17th of
December, the Governor came to _Chicaça_, a small town of twenty houses.
And after they were come to _Chicaça_, they were much troubled with
cold, because it was now winter and it snowed, while most of them were
lodged in the field, before they had time to make themselves houses.
This country was very well peopled, and the houses scattered like those
of _Mavilla_, fat and plentiful of maize, and the most part of it was
fielding: they gathered as much as sufficed to pass the winter. Some
Indians were taken, among which was one whom the cacique esteemed
greatly. The Governor sent an Indian to signify to the cacique that he
desired to see him and to have his friendship. The cacique came unto
him, to offer him his person, country and subjects, and told him that he
would cause two other caciques to come to him in peace; who within a few
days after came with him and with their Indians. The one was called
_Alimamu_, the other _Nicalasa_. They gave a present unto the Governor
of a hundred and fifty coneys, and of the country garments, to wit, of
mantles and skins. The Cacique of _Chicaça_ came to visit him many
times; and sometimes the Governor sent to call him, and sent him a horse
to go and come. He complained unto him that a subject of his was risen
against him and deprived him of his tribute, requesting his aid against
him, for he meant to seek him in his country, and to punish him
according to his desert. Which was nothing else but a feigned plot. For
they determined, as soon as the Governor was gone with him, and the camp
was divided into two parts, the one part of them to set upon the
Governor and the other upon them that remained in _Chicaça_. He went to
the town where he used to keep his residence, and brought with him two
hundred Indians with their bows and arrows. The Governor took thirty
horsemen and eighty footmen, and they went to _Saquechuma_ (for so was
the province called of that chief man, which he said had rebelled). They
found a walled town, without any men: and those which went with the
cacique set fire on the houses, to dissemble their treason. But by
reason of the great care and heedfulness, that was as well in the
Governor's people which he carried with him, as of those which remained
in _Chicaça_, they dare not assault them at that time. The Governor
invited the cacique, and certain principal Indians, and gave them hog's
flesh to eat. And though they did not commonly use it, yet they were so
greedy of it, that every night there came Indians to certain houses a
crossbow shot from the camp, where the hogs lay, and killed, and carried
away as many as they could. And three Indians were taken in the manner.
Two of them the Governor commanded to be shot to death with arrows; and
to cut off the hands of the other; and he sent him so handled to the
cacique. Who made as though it grieved him; yet they had offended the
Governor, and that he was glad that he had executed that punishment on
them. He lay in a plain country, half a league from the place where the
Christians lodged. Four horsemen went a straggling thither, to wit,
_Francisco Osorio_, and a servant of the Marquis of _Astorga_, called
_Reynoso_, and two servants of the Governor, the one his page, called
_Ribera_, and the other _Fuentes_, his chamberlain: and these had taken
from the Indians some skins, and some mantles, wherewith they were
offended, and forsook their houses. The Governor knew of it, and
commanded them to be apprehended; and condemned to death _Francisco
Osorio_, and the chamberlain as principals, and all of them to loss of
goods. The friars and priests and other principal persons were earnest
with him to pardon _Francisco Osorio_ his life, and to moderate his
sentence, which he would not grant for any of them. While he was ready
to command them to be drawn to the market-place to cut off their heads,
there came certain Indians from the cacique to complain of them. _John
Ortiz_, at the request of _Baltasar de Gallegos_ and other persons,
changed their words, and told the Governor, that the cacique said, he
had notice how his lordship held those Christians in prison for his
sake, and that they were in no fault, neither had they done him any
wrong, and that if he would do him any favor, he should set them free.
And he told the Indians, that the Governor said he had them in prison,
and that he would punish them in such sort, that they should be an
example to others. Hereupon the Governor commanded the prisoners to be
loosed. As soon as March was come, he determined to depart from
_Chicaça_, and demanded of the cacique two hundred men for carriages. He
sent him answer that he would speak with his principal men. Upon
Tuesday, the eighth of March, 1541, the Governor went to the town where
he was, to ask him for the men: he told him he would send them the next
day. As soon as the Governor was come to _Chicaça_, he told _Luys de
Moscoso_, the camp-master, that he misliked the Indians, and that he
should keep a strong watch that night, which he remembered but a little.
The Indians came at the second watch in four squadrons, every one by
itself, and as soon as they were descried, they sounded a drum, and gave
the assault with a great cry, and with so great celerity, that presently
they entered with the scouts, that were somewhat distant from the camp.
And when they were perceived of them which were in the town, half the
houses were on fire, which they had kindled. That night three horsemen
chanced to be scouts; two of them were of base calling, and the worst
men in all the camp, and the other, which was a nephew of the Governor,
which until then was held for a tall man, showed himself there as great
a coward as any of them: for all of them ran away. And the Indians
without any resistance came and set the town on fire; and tarried
without behind the doors for the Christians, which ran out of the
houses, not having any leisure to arm themselves; and as they ran hither
and thither amazed with the noise, and blinded with the smoke and flame
of the fire, they knew not which way they went, neither could they light
upon their weapons, nor saddle their horses, neither saw they the
Indians that shot at them. Many of the horses were burned in the
stables, and those which could break their halters got loose. The
disorder and flight was such that every man fled which way he could,
without leaving any to resist the Indians. But God (which chastiseth his
according to his pleasure, and in the greatest necessities and dangers
sustaineth them with his hand) so blinded the Indians, that they saw not
what they had done, and thought that the horses which ran loose, were
men on horseback, that gathered themselves together to set upon them.
The Governor only rode on horseback, and with him a soldier called
_Tapia_, and set upon the Indians, and striking the first he met with
his lance, the saddle fell with him, which with haste was evil girded,
and so he fell from his horse. And all the people that were on foot were
fled to a wood out of the town, and there assembled themselves together.
And because it was night, and that the Indians thought the horses were
men on horseback which came to set upon them, as I said before, they
fled; and one only remained dead, and that was he whom the Governor slew
with his lance. The town lay all burnt to ashes. There was a woman
burned, who, after she and her husband were both gone out of their
house, went in again for certain pearls which they had forgotten, and
when she would have come out, the fire was so great at the door that she
could not, neither could her husband succor her. Other three Christians
came out of their lodgings so cruelly burned, that one of them died
within three days, and the other two were carried many days each of them
upon a couch between staves, which the Indians carried on their
shoulders, for otherwise they could not travel. There died in this
hurlyburly eleven Christians, and fifty horses; and there remained a
hundred hogs, and four hundred were burned. If any perchance had saved
any clothes from the fire of _Mavilla_, here they were burned, and many
were clad in skins, for they had no leisure to take their coats. They
endured much cold in this place, and the chiefest remedy were great
fires. They spent all night in turnings without sleep: for if they
warmed one side, they freezed on the other. Some invented the weaving of
certain mats of dry ivy, and did wear one beneath, and another above:
many laughed at this device, whom afterward necessity enforced to do the
like. The Christians were so spoiled, and in such want of saddles and
weapons which were burned, that if the Indians had come the second
night, they had overcome them with little labor. They removed thence to
the town where the cacique was wont to lie, because it was in a
champaign country. Within eight days after, there were many lances and
saddles made. There were ash-trees in those parts, whereof they made as
good lances as in Biscay.

Upon Wednesday, the 15th of March, 1541, after the Governor had lodged
eight days in a plain, half a league from the place which he had
wintered in, after he had set up a forge, and tempered the swords which
in _Chicaça_ were burned, and made many targets, saddles, and lances; on
Tuesday night, at the morning watch, many Indians came to assault the
camp in three squadrons, every one by themselves. Those which watched
gave the alarm. The Governor with great speed set his men in order in
other three squadrons, and leaving some to defend the camp, went out to
encounter them. The Indians were overcome and put to flight. The ground
was champaign and fit for the Christians to take the advantage of them;
and it was now break of day. But there happened a disorder, whereby
there were not past thirty or forty Indians slain: and this it was: that
a friar cried out in the camp without any just occasion, "To the camp,
to the camp." Whereupon the Governor and all the rest repaired thither,
and the Indians had time to save themselves. There were some taken, by
whom the Governor informed himself of the country through which he was
to pass. The 25th of April, he departed from _Chicaça_, and lodged at a
small town called _Alimamu_. They had very little maize, and they were
to pass a desert of seven days' journey. The next day, the Governor sent
three captains, every one his way, with horsemen and footmen to seek
provisions to pass the desert. And _John Dannusco_ the Auditor went with
fifteen horsemen and forty footmen that way that the Governor was to go,
and found a strong fort made, where the Indians stayed for him, and many
of them walked on the top of it with their weapons, having their bodies,
thighs, and arms ochred and dyed with black, white, yellow and red,
striped like unto panes, so that they showed as though they went in hose
and doublets: and some of them had plumes, and others had horns on their
heads, and their faces black, and their eyes done round about with
steaks of red, to seem more fierce. As soon as they saw that the
Christians approached, with a great cry sounding two drums with great
fury they sallied forth to receive them. _John Dannusco_ and those that
were with him thought good to avoid them, and to acquaint the Governor
therewith. They retired to a plain place, a crossbow-shot from the fort,
in sight of it: the footmen, the crossbow-men, and targeters placed
themselves before the horsemen, that they might not hurt the horses. The
Indians sallied out by seven and seven, and eight and eight, to shoot
their arrows, and retired again: and in sight of the Christians they
made a fire, and took an Indian, some by the feet, and some by the head,
and made as though they went to cast him into the fire, and gave him
first many knocks on the head: signifying that they meant so to handle
the Christians. _John Dannusco_ sent three horsemen to advertise the
Governor hereof. He came presently: for his intent was to drive them
from thence, saying, that if he did it not, they would be emboldened to
charge him another time, when they might do him more harm. He made the
horsemen to alight, and set his men in four squadrons. The sign being
given, they set upon the Indians, which made resistance till the
Christians came near the fort, and as soon as they saw they could not
defend themselves, by a place where a brook passed near the fort, they
ran away, and from the other side they shot some arrows; and because at
that instant we knew no ford for the horses to pass, they had time
enough to get out of our danger. Three Indians were slain there, and
many Christians were hurt, whereof within few days, there died fifteen
by the way. All men thought the Governor to be in fault, because he sent
not to see the disposition of the place on the other side of the river,
and to know the passage before he set upon them. For with the hope they
had to save themselves by flight that way, when they saw none other
means, they fought till they were broken, and it was an encouragement to
defend themselves until then, and to offend the Christians without any
danger to themselves.

Three days after they had sought some maize, whereof they found but
little store, in regard of that which was needful, and that for this
cause, as well for their sakes that were wounded, it was needful for
them to rest, as for the great journey they were to march to come where
store of maize was: yet the Governor was enforced to depart presently
toward _Quizquiz_. He traveled seven days through a desert of many
marshes and thick woods: but it might all be traveled on horseback,
except some lakes which they swam over. He came to a town of the
province of _Quizquiz_ without being descried, and took all the people
in it before they came out of their houses. The mother of the cacique
was taken there: and he sent unto him by an Indian, that he should come
to see him, and that he would give him his mother, and all the people
which he had taken there. The cacique sent him answer again, that his
lordship should loose and send them to him, and that he would come to
visit and serve him. The Governor, because his people for want of maize
were somewhat weak and weary, and the horses also were lean, determined
to accomplish his request, to see if he could have peace with him, and
so commanded to set free his mother and all the rest, and with loving
words dismissed them and sent them to him. The next day, when the
Governor expected the cacique, there came many Indians with their bows
and arrows with a purpose to set upon the Christians. The Governor had
commanded all the horsemen to be armed, and on horseback, and in
readiness. When the Indians saw that they were ready, they stayed a
crossbow-shot from the place where the Governor was, near a brook. And
after half an hour that they had stood there still, there came to the
camp six principal Indians, and said, "they came to see what people they
were, and that long ago, they had been informed by their forefathers
that a white people should subdue them; and that therefore they would
return to their cacique, and bid him come presently to obey and serve
the Governor:" and after they had presented him with six or seven skins
and mantles which they brought, they took their leave of him, and
returned with the others, which waited for them by the brook side. The
cacique never came again nor sent other message. And because in the town
where the Governor lodged, there was small store of maize, he removed to
another half a league from _Rio Grande_,[H] where they found plenty of
maize. And he went to see the river, and found, that near unto it was
great store of timber to make barges, and good situation of ground to
encamp in. Presently he removed himself thither. They made houses, and
pitched their camp in a plain field a crossbow-shot from the river. And
thither was gathered all the maize of the towns which they had lately
passed. They began presently to cut and hew down timber, and to saw
planks for barges. The Indians came presently down the river: they
leaped on shore, and declared to the Governor, "that they were subjects
of a great lord, whose name was _Aquixo_, who was lord of many towns,
and governed many people on the other side of the river, and came to
tell him on his behalf, that the next day he with all his men would come
to see what it would please him to command him." The next day, with
speed, the cacique came with two hundred canoes full of Indians with
their bows and arrows, painted, and with great plumes of white feathers,
and many other colors, with shields in their hands, wherewith they
defended the rowers on both sides, and the men of war stood from the
head to the stern, with their bows and arrows in their hands. The canoe
wherein the cacique was, had a tilt over the stern, and he sat under the
tilt; and so were other canoes of the principal Indians. And from under
the tilt where the chief man sat, he governed and commanded the other
people. All joined together, and came within a stone's cast of the
shore. From thence the cacique said to the Governor, which walked along
the river's side with others that waited on him, that he was come
thither to visit, to honor, and to obey him; because he knew he was the
greatest and mightiest lord on the earth: therefore he would see what he
would command him to do. The Governor yielded him thanks, and requested
him to come on shore, that they might the better communicate together.
And without any answer to that point, he sent him three canoes, wherein
was great store of fish and loaves, made of the substance of prunes like
unto bricks. After he had received all, he thanked him, and prayed him
again to come on shore. And because the cacique's purpose was, to see if
with dissimulation he might do some hurt, when they saw that the
Governor and his men were in readiness, they began to go from the shore:
and with a great cry, the crossbow-men which were ready, shot at them,
and slew five or six of them. They retired with great order: none did
leave his oar, though the next to him were slain, and shielding
themselves, they went farther off. Afterward they came many times and
landed: and when any of us came toward them, they fled into their
canoes, which were very pleasant to behold: for they were very great and
well made, and had their tilts, plumes, paueses, and flags, and with the
multitude of people that were in them, they seemed to be a fair army of
galleys. In thirty days' space, while the Governor remained there, they
made four barges: in three of which he commanded twelve horsemen to
enter, in each of them four. In a morning, three hours before day, men
which he trusted would land in despite of the Indians, and make sure the
passage, or die, and some footmen, being crossbow-men, went with them,
and rowers to set them on the other side. And in the other barge he
commanded _John de Guzman_ to pass with the footmen, which was made
captain instead of _Francisco Maldonado_. And because the stream was
swift, they went a quarter of a league up the river along the bank, and
crossing over, fell down with the stream, and landed right over against
the camp. Two stones' cast before they came to land, the horsemen went
out of the barges on horseback to a sandy plot very hard and clear
ground, where all of them landed without any resistance. As soon as
those that passed first were on land on the other side, the barges
returned to the place where the Governor was: and within two hours after
sun rising, all the people were over. The river was almost half a league
broad. If a man stood still on the other side, it could not be discerned
whether he was a man or no. The river was of great depth, and of a
strong current: the water was always muddy: there came down the river
continually many trees and timber, which the force of the water and
stream brought down. There was great store of fish in it of sundry
sorts, and the most of it differing from the fresh water fish of
_Spain_, as hereafter shall be showed.

Having passed _Rio Grande_, the Governor traveled a league and a half,
and came to a great town of _Aquixo_, which was dispeopled before he
came thither. They espied thirty Indians coming over a plain, which the
cacique sent to discover the Christians' determination; and as soon as
they had sight of them, they took themselves to flight. The horsemen
pursued them, and slew ten, and took fifteen. And because the town,
whither the Governor went, was near unto the river, he sent a captain,
with as many men as he thought sufficient, to carry the barges up the
river. And because in his traveling by land many times he went far from
the river to compass the creeks that came from it, the Indians took
occasion to set upon them of the barges, and put them in great danger,
because that by reason of the great current, they durst not leave the
shore, and from the bank they shot at them. As soon as the Governor was
come to the town, he presently sent crossbow-men down the river, which
came to rescue them and upon the coming of the barges to the town, he
commanded them to be broken, and to save the iron for others, when it
should be needful. He lay there one night, and the day following he set
forward to seek a province, called _Pacaha_, which he was informed to be
near unto _Chisca_, where the Indians told him there was gold. He passed
through great towns of _Aquixo_, which were all abandoned for fear of
the Christians. He understood by certain Indians that were taken that
three days' journey from thence dwelt a great cacique, whose name was
_Casqui_. He came to a small river, where a bridge was made, by which
they passed; that day till sunset, they went all in water, which in some
places came to the waist, and in some to the knees. When they saw
themselves on dry land, they were very glad, because they feared they
should wander up and down as forlorn men all night in the water. At noon
they came to the first town of _Casqui_: they found the Indians
careless, because they had no knowledge of them. There were many men and
women taken, and store of goods, as mantles and skins, as well in the
first town, as in another, which stood in a field half a league from
thence in sight of it; whither the horsemen ran. This country is higher,
drier, and more champaign, than any part bordering near the river that
until then they had seen. There were in the fields many walnut trees,
bearing soft-shelled walnuts in the fashion like bullets, and in the
houses they found many of them, which the Indians had laid up in store.
The trees differed in nothing else from those of _Spain_, nor from those
which we had seen before, but only that they have a smaller leaf. There
were many mulberry trees and plum trees, which bare red plums like
those of _Spain_, and others gray, somewhat differing, but far better.
And all the trees are all the year so fruitful, as if they were planted
in orchards; and the woods were very thin. The Governor traveled two
days through the country of _Casqui_, before he came to the town where
the cacique was; and the most of the way was alway by champaign ground,
which was full of great towns, so that from one town, you might see two
or three. He sent an Indian to certify the cacique that he was coming to
the place where he was, with intent to procure his friendship, and to
hold him as his brother. Whereunto he answered, that he should be
welcome, and that he would receive him with special good-will, and
accomplish all that his lordship would command him. He sent him a
present upon the way; to wit, skins, mantles, and fish: and after these
compliments, the Governor found all the towns, as he passed, inhabited
with people, which peaceably attended his coming, and offered him skins,
mantles, and fish. The cacique, accompanied with many Indians, came out
of the town, and stayed half a league on the way to receive the
Governor, and when he came to him, he spake these words following:--

"Right high, right mighty, and renowned lord, your lordship is most
heartily welcome. As soon as I had notice of your lordship, of your
power, and your perfections, although you came into my country killing
and taking captives the inhabitants thereof and my subjects, yet I
determined to conform my will unto yours, and as your own to interpret
in good part all that your lordship did: believing that it was
convenient it should be so for some just respect, to prevent some future
matter revealed unto your lordship, and concealed from me. For well may
a mischief be permitted to avoid a greater, and that good may come
thereof: which I believe will so fall out. For it is no reason to
presume of so excellent a prince, that the nobleness of his heart, and
the effect of his will would permit him to suffer any unjust thing. My
ability is so small to serve you as your lordship deserveth, that if you
respect not mine abundant good-will, which humbly offereth all kind of
service, I deserve but little in your presence. But if it be reason that
this be esteemed, receive the same, myself, my country, and subjects for
yours, and dispose of me and them at your pleasure. For if I were lord
of all the world, with the same good-will should your lordship by me be
received, served and obeyed."

The Governor answered him to the purpose, and satisfied him in few
words. Within a while after both of them used words of great offers and
courtesy the one to the other, and the cacique requested him to lodge
in his houses. The Governor, to preserve the peace the better, excused
himself, saying that he would lodge in the fields. And because it was
very hot, they camped near certain trees a quarter of a league from the
town. The cacique went to his town, and came again with many Indians
singing. As soon as they came to the Governor, all of them prostrated
themselves upon the ground. Among these came two Indians that were
blind. The cacique made a speech: to avoid tediousness, I will only tell
in a few words the substance of the matter. He said, that seeing the
Governor was the son of the Sun, and a great lord, he besought him to do
him the favor to give sight to those two blind men. The blind men rose
up presently, and very earnestly requested the same of the Governor. He
answered, that in the high heavens was he that had power to give them
health, and whatsoever they could ask of him; whose servant he was: and
that this Lord made the heavens and the earth, and man after his own
likeness, and that he suffered upon the cross to save mankind, and rose
again the third day, and that he died as he was man, and as touching his
divinity, he was, and is immortal; and that he ascended into heaven,
where he standeth with his arms open to receive all such as turn unto
him: and straightway he commanded him to make a very high cross of wood,
which was set up in the highest place of the town; declaring unto him,
that the Christians worshiped the same in resemblance and memory of that
whereon Christ suffered. The Governor and his men kneeled down before
it, and the Indians did the like. The Governor willed him, that from
thenceforth he would worship the same, and should ask whatsoever they
stood in need of, of that Lord that he told him was in heaven. Then he
asked him how far it was from thence to _Pacaha_. He said, one day's
journey, and that at the end of his country, there was a lake like a
brook which falleth into _Rio Grande_, and that he would send men before
to make a bridge whereby he might pass. The same day that the Governor
departed thence, he lodged at a town belonging to _Casqui_; and the next
day he passed in sight of other towns, and came to the lake, which was
half a crossbow shot over, of a great depth and current. At the time of
his coming, the Indians had made an end of the bridge, which was made of
timber, laid one tree after another: and on one side it had a course of
stakes higher than the bridge, for them that passed to take hold on. The
Cacique of _Casqui_ came to the Governor, and brought his people with
him. The Governor sent word by an Indian to the Cacique of _Pacaha_,
that though he were enemy to the Cacique of _Casqui_, and though he
were there, yet he would do him no disgrace nor hurt, if he would attend
him peaceably, and embrace his friendship; but rather would intreat him
as a brother. The Indian, which the Governor sent, came again, and said
that the cacique made no account of that which he told him, but fled
with all his men out at the other side of the town. Presently the
Governor entered, and ran before with the horsemen, that way by which
the Indians fled; and at another town, distant a quarter of a league
from thence, they took many Indians; and as soon as the horsemen had
taken them, they delivered them to the Indians of _Casqui_, whom,
because they were their enemies, with much circumspection and rejoicing,
they brought to the town where the Christians were: and the greatest
grief they had was this, that they could not get leave to kill them.
There were found in the town many mantles, and deer skins, lion skins,
and bear skins, and many cat skins. Many came so far poorly appareled,
and there they clothed themselves: of the mantles, they made them coats
and cassocks, and some made gowns, and lined them with cat skins; and
likewise their cassocks. Of the deer skins, some made them also jerkins,
shirts, hose and shoes: and of the bear skins, they made them very good
cloaks: for no water could pierce them. There were targets of raw ox
hides found there; with which hides they armed their horses.

Upon Wednesday, the 19th of June, 1541, the Governor entered into
_Pacaha_. He lodged in the town, where the cacique used to reside, which
was very great, walled, and beset with towers, and many loopholes were
in the towers and wall. And in the town was great store of old maize,
and great quantity of new in the fields. Within a league and half a
league were great towns all walled. Where the Governor was lodged was a
great lake, that came near unto the wall; and it entered into a ditch,
that went round about the town, wanting but a little to environ it
around. From the lake to the great river was made a wear by which the
fish came into it; which the cacique kept for his recreation and sport.
With nets that were found in the town, they took as much as they would;
and took they never so much, there was no want perceived. There was also
great store of fish in many other lakes that were thereabout, but it was
soft, and not so good as that which came from the river, and the most of
it was different from the fresh-water fish of _Spain_. There was a fish
which they called bagres; the third part of it was head, and it had on
both sides the gills, and along the sides great pricks like very sharp
awls. Those of the kind that were in the lakes were as big as pikes; and
in the river there were some of an hundred, and of an hundred and fifty
pounds weight, and many of them were taken with the hook. There was
another fish like barbilles, and another like breams, headed like a
delicate fish, called in _Spain_ besugo, between red and gray. This was
there of most esteem. There was another fish called peel fish; it had a
snout of a cubit long, and at the end of the upper lip it was made like
a peel. There was another fish called a western shad; and all of them
had scales, except the bagres, and the peel fish. There was another fish
which sometimes the Indians brought us, of the bigness of a hog; they
called it the pereo fish; it had rows of teeth beneath and above. The
Cacique of _Casqui_ sent many times great presents of fish, mantles, and
skins. He told the Governor that he would deliver the Cacique of
_Pacaha_ into his hands. He went to _Casqui_, and sent many canoes up
the river, and came himself by land with many of his people. The
Governor, with forty horsemen and sixty footmen, took him along with him
up the river. And his Indians which were in the canoes, discovered where
the Cacique of _Pacaha_ was, in a little island, situated between two
arms of the river. And five Christians entered into a canoe, wherein
_Don Antonio Osorio_ went before, to see what people the cacique had
with him. There were in the isle five or six thousand souls. And as soon
as they saw them, supposing that the Indians which were in the other
canoes were also Christians, the cacique, and certain which were in
three canoes, which they had there with them, fled in great haste to the
other side of the river. The rest, with great fear and danger, leapt
into the river, where many people were drowned, especially women and
little children. Presently the Governor, who was on land, not knowing
what had happened to _Don Antonio_ and those that went with him,
commanded the Christians with all speed to enter with the Indians of
_Casqui_ in the canoes, which were quickly with _Don Antonio_ in the
little island, where they took many men and women, and much goods. Great
store of goods, which the Indians had laid upon hurdles of canes and
rafts of timber to carry over to the other side, drove down the river,
wherewith the Indians of _Casqui_ filled their canoes; and for fear lest
the Christians would take it from them, the cacique went home with them
down the river, without taking his leave of the Governor; whereupon the
Governor was highly offended with him, and presently returning to
_Pacaha_, he overran the country of _Casqui_ the space of two leagues,
where he took twenty or thirty of his men. And because his horses were
weary, and he wanted time that day to go any farther, he returned to
_Pacaha_, with determination within three or four days after to invade
_Casqui_. And presently he let loose one of the Indians of _Pacaha_, and
sent word by him to the cacique, that if he would have his friendship,
he should repair unto him, and that both of them would make war upon
_Casqui_. And presently came many Indians that belonged to _Pacaha_, and
brought an Indian instead of the cacique, which was discovered by the
cacique's brother, which was taken prisoner. The Governor wished the
Indians that their master himself should come; for he knew very well
that that was not he, and told them that they could do nothing which he
knew not before they thought it. The next day the cacique came,
accompanied with many Indians, and with a present of much fish, skins
and mantles. He made a speech that all were glad to hear, and concluded
saying, that though his lordship, without his giving occasion of offence
had done him hurt in his country and subjects, yet he would not
therefore refuse to be his, and that he would always be at his command.
The Governor commanded his brother to be loosed, and other principal
Indians that were taken prisoners. That day came an Indian from the
Cacique of _Casqui_, and said that his lord would come the next day to
excuse himself of the error which he had committed, in going away
without license of the Governor. The Governor willed the messenger to
signify unto him, that if he came not in his own person, he would seek
him himself, and give him such punishment as he deserved. The next day
with all speed came the Cacique of _Casqui_, and brought a present to
the Governor of many mantles, skins, and fish, and gave him a daughter
of his, saying that he greatly desired to match his blood with the blood
of so great a lord as he was, and therefore he brought him his daughter,
and desired him to take her to his wife. He made a long and discreet
oration, giving him great commendations, and concluded, saying, that he
should pardon his going away without license, for that cross's sake
which he had left with him; protesting that he went away for shame of
that which his men had done without his consent. The Governor answered
him that he had chosen a good patron; and that if he had not come to
excuse himself, he had determined to seek him, to burn his towns, to
kill him and his people, and to destroy his country. To which he
replied, saying:

"My lord, I and mine are yours, and my country likewise is yours;
therefore if you had done so, you should have destroyed your own
country, and have killed your own people; whatsoever shall come unto me
from your hand, I will receive as from my lord, as well punishment as
reward; and know you, that the favor which you did me in leaving me the
cross, I do acknowledge the same to be a very great one, and greater
than I have ever deserved. For you shall understand, that with great
droughts the fields of maize of my country were withered; and as soon as
I and my people kneeled before the cross, and prayed for rain, presently
our necessities were relieved."

The Governor made him and the Cacique of _Pacaha_ friends; and set them
with him at his table to dine with him; and the caciques fell at
variance about the seats, which of them should sit on his right hand.
The Governor pacified them; telling them that among the Christians all
was one to sit on the one side, or on the other, willing them so to
behave themselves, seeing they were with him, that nobody might hear
them, and that every one should sit in the place that first he lighted
on. From thence he sent thirty horsemen and fifty footmen to the
province of _Caluça_, to see if from thence he might travel to _Chisca_,
where the Indians said there was a work of gold and copper. They
traveled seven days' journey, through a desert, and returned very weary,
eating green plums, and stalks of maize, which they found in a poor town
of six or seven houses. From thenceforward towards the north, the
Indians said that the country was very ill inhabited, because it was
very cold; and that there was such store of oxen, that they could keep
no corn for them; and that the Indians lived upon their flesh. The
Governor, seeing that toward that part the country was so poor of maize
that in it they could not be sustained, demanded of the Indians which
way it was most inhabited; and they said, they had notice of a great
province, and a very plentiful country, which was called _Quigaute_, and
that it was toward the south.

The Governor rested in _Pacaha_ forty days; in all which time the two
caciques served him with great store of fish, mantles, and skins, and
strove who should do him greatest service. At the time of his departure
the Cacique of _Pacaha_ gave him two of his sisters, saying that in sign
of love that he might remember him, he should take them for his wives:
the one's name was _Macanoche_, and the other's _Mochila_: they were
well proportioned, tall of body, and well fleshed. _Macanoche_ was of a
good countenance, and in her shape and physiognomy looked like a lady;
the other was strongly made. The Cacique of _Casqui_ commanded the
bridge to be repaired, and the Governor returned through his country,
and lodged in the field near his town, whither he came with great store
of fish, and two women, which he exchanged with two Christians for two
shirts. He gave us a guide and men for carriages. The Governor lodged at
a town of his, and the next day at another near a river, whither he
caused canoes to be brought for him to pass over, and with his leave
returned. The Governor took his journey toward _Quigaute_. The fourth
day of August he came to the town, where the cacique used to keep his
residence: on the way he sent him a present of many mantles and skins,
and not daring to stay for him in the town, he absented himself. The
town was the greatest that was seen in Florida. The Governor and his
people lodged in the one-half of it; and within few days, seeing the
Indians became liars, he commanded the other half to be burned, because
it should not be a shelter for them, if they came to assault him by
night, nor a hinderance to his horsemen for the resisting of them. There
came an Indian very well accompanied with many Indians, saying that he
was the cacique. He delivered him over to the men of his guard to look
unto him. There went and came many Indians, and brought mantles and
skins. The counterfeit cacique, seeing so little opportunity to execute
his evil thought, as he went one day abroad talking with the Governor,
he showed him such a pair of heels, that there was no Christian that
could overtake him, and he leaped into the river, which was a crossbow
shot from the town: and as soon as he was on the other side, many
Indians that were thereabout making a great cry began to shoot. The
Governor passed presently over to them with horsemen and footmen, but
they durst not tarry for him. Going forward on his way, he came to a
town where the people were fled, and a little further to a lake, where
the horses could not pass, and on the other side were many women. The
footmen passed, and took many of them, and much spoil. The Governor came
to the camp, and that night was a spy of the Indians taken by them of
the watch. The Governor asked him, whether he would bring him where the
cacique was? he said he would. And he went presently to seek him, with
twenty horsemen and fifty footmen; and after he had sought him a day and
a half, he found him in a strong wood: and a soldier, not knowing him,
gave him a wound on the head; and he cried out, that he should not kill
him, saying that he was the cacique; so he was taken, and a hundred and
forty of his men with him. The Governor came again to _Quigaute_, and
willed him to cause his men to come to serve the Christians; and
staying some days for their coming, and seeing they came not, he sent
two captains, every one his way on both sides of the river with horsemen
and footmen. They took many men and women. Now seeing the hurt which
they sustained for their rebellion, they came to see what the Governor
would command them, and passed to and fro many times, and brought
presents of cloth and fish. The cacique and his two wives were in the
lodging of the Governor loose, and the halberdiers of his guard did keep
them. The Governor asked them which way the country was most inhabited?
They said, that toward the south down the river, were great towns and
caciques, which commanded great countries, and much people. And that
toward the north-west, there was a province near to certain mountains,
that was called _Coligoa_. The Governor and all the rest thought good to
go first to _Coligoa_: saying, that peradventure the mountains would
make some difference of soil, and that beyond them there might be some
gold or silver. As for _Quigaute_, _Casqui_, and _Pacaha_, they were
plain countries, fat grounds, and full of good meadows on the rivers,
where the Indians sowed large fields of maize. From _Tascaluca_ to _Rio
Grande_, or the Great River, is about three hundred leagues: it is a
very low country, and hath many lakes. From _Pacaha_ to _Quigaute_ may
be an hundred leagues. The Governor left the Cacique of _Quigaute_ in
his own town. And an Indian, which was his guide, led him through great
woods without any way, seven days' journey through a desert, where, at
every lodging, they lodged in lakes and pools in very shoal water; there
was such store of fish, that they killed them with cudgels; and the
Indians which they carried in chains, with the mud troubled the waters,
and the fish being therewith, as it were, astonished, came to the top of
the water, and they took as much as they listed. The Indians of
_Coligoa_ had no knowledge of the Christians, and when they came so near
the town that the Indians saw them, they fled up a river which passed
near the town, and some leaped into it; but the Christians went on both
sides of the river, and took them. There were many men and women taken,
and the cacique with them. And by his commandment within three days came
many Indians with a present of mantles and deers' skins, and two ox
hides: and they reported, that five or six leagues from thence toward
the north, there were many of these oxen, and that because the country
was cold, it was evil inhabited; that the best country which they knew,
the most plentiful, and most inhabited, was a province called _Cayas_,
lying toward the south. From _Quigaute_ to _Coligoa_ may be forty
leagues. This town of _Coligoa_ stood at the foot of a hill, on the bank
of a mean river, of the bigness of _Cayas_, the river that passeth by
_Estremadura_. It was a fat soil and so plentiful of maize, that they
cast out the old, to bring in the new. There was also great plenty of
French beans and pompions. The French beans were greater, and better
than those of _Spain_, and likewise the pompions, and being roasted,
they have almost the taste of chestnuts. The Cacique of _Coligoa_ gave a
guide to _Cayas_, and stayed behind in his own town. We traveled five
days, and came to the province of _Palisema_. The house of the cacique
was found covered with deers' skins, of divers colors and works drawn in
them, and with the same in manner of carpets was the ground of the house
covered. The cacique left it so, that the Governor might lodge in it, in
token that he sought peace and his friendship. But he durst not tarry
his coming. The Governor, seeing he had absented himself, sent a captain
with horsemen and footmen to seek him. He found much people, but by
reason of the roughness of the country, he took none save a few women
and children. The town was little and scattering, and had very little
maize. For which cause the Governor speedily departed from thence. He
came to another town called _Tatalicoya_; he carried with him the
cacique thereof, which guided him to _Cayas_. From _Tatalicoya_ are four
days' journey to _Cayas_. When he came to _Cayas_, and saw the town
scattered, he thought they had told him a lie, and that it was not the
province of _Cayas_, because they had informed him that it was well
inhabited. He threatened the cacique, charging him to tell him where he
was: and he and other Indians which were taken near about that place,
affirmed that this was the town of _Cayas_, and the best that was in
that country, and that though the houses were distant the one from the
other, yet the ground that was inhabited was great, and that there was
great store of people, and many fields of maize. This town was called
_Tanico_; he pitched his camp in the best part of it, near unto a river.
The same day that the Governor came thither, he went a league farther
with certain horsemen, and without finding any people, he found many
skins in a pathway, which the cacique had left there, that they might be
found, in token of peace. For so is the custom in that country.

The Governor rested a month in the province of _Cayas_. In which time
the horses fattened and thrived more, than in other places in a longer
time, with the great plenty of maize and the leaves thereof, which I
think was the best that has been seen, and they drank of a lake of very
hot water, and somewhat brackish, and they drank so much, that it
swelled in their bellies when they brought them from the watering. Until
that time the Christians wanted salt, and there they made good store,
which they carried along with them. The Indians do carry it to other
places to exchange it for skins and mantles. They make it along the
river, which when it ebbeth, leaveth it upon the upper part of the sand.
And because they cannot make it, without much sand mingled with it, they
throw it into certain baskets which they have for that purpose, broad at
the mouth and narrow at the bottom, and set it in the air upon a bar,
and throw water into it, and set a small vessel under it, wherein it
falleth: Being strained and set to boil upon the fire, when the water is
sodden away, the salt remaineth in the bottom of the pan. On both sides
of the river the country was full of sown fields, and there was store of
maize. The Indians durst not come over where we were; and when some of
them showed themselves, the soldiers that saw them called unto them;
then the Indians passed the river, and came with them where the Governor
was. He asked them for the cacique. They said that he remained quiet,
but that he durst not show himself. The Governor presently sent him
word, that he should come unto him, and bring him a guide and an
interpreter for his journey, if he made account of his friendship: and
if he did not so, he would come himself to seek him, and that it would
be the worse for him. He waited three days, and seeing he came not, he
went to seek him, and brought him prisoner with 150 of his men. He asked
him, whether he had notice of any great cacique, and which way the
country was best inhabited. He answered, that the best country
thereabout was a province toward the south, a day and a half's journey,
which was called _Tulla_; and that he could give him a guide, but no
interpreter, because the speech of that country was different from his,
and because he and his ancestors had always wars with the lords of that
province; therefore they had no commerce, nor understood one another's
language. Immediately the Governor with certain horsemen, and fifty
footmen, departed towards _Tulla_, to see if the country were such, as
he might pass through it with all his company: and as soon as he arrived
there, and was espied of the Indians, the country gathered together, and
as soon as fifteen and twenty Indians could assemble themselves, they
set upon the Christians: and seeing that they did handle them shrewdly,
and that the horsemen overtook them when they fled, they got up into the
tops of their houses, and sought to defend themselves with their
arrows: and being beaten down from one, they got up upon another. And
while our men pursued some, others set upon them another way. Thus the
skirmish lasted so long, that the horses were tired, and they could not
make them run. The Indians killed there one horse, and some were hurt.
There were fifteen Indians slain there, and forty women and boys were
taken prisoners. For whatsoever Indian did shoot at them, if they could
come by him, they put him to the sword. The Governor determined to
return toward _Cayas_, before the Indians had time to gather a head; and
presently that evening, going part of the night to leave _Tulla_, he
lodged by the way, and the next day came to _Cayas_: and within three
days after he departed thence towards _Tulla_ with all his company. He
carried the cacique along with him, and among all his men, there was not
one found that could understand the speech of _Tulla_. He stayed three
days by the way, and the day that he came thither, he found the town
abandoned: for the Indians durst not tarry his coming. But as soon as
they knew that the Governor was in _Tulla_, the first night about the
morning watch, they came in two squadrons two several ways, with their
bows and arrows, and long staves like pikes. As soon as they were
descried, both horse and foot sallied out upon them, where many of the
Indians were slain: and some Christians and horses were hurt. Some of
the Indians were taken prisoners, whereof the Governor sent six to the
cacique, with their right hands and noses cut off: and sent him word,
that if he came not to him to excuse and submit himself, that he would
come to seek him, and that he would do the like to him, and as many of
his as he could find, as he had done to those which he had sent him: and
gave him three days' respite for to come. And this he gave them to
understand by signs, as well as he could, for there was no interpreter.
At the three days' end, there came an Indian laden with ox hides. He
came weeping with great sobs, and coming to the Governor cast himself
down at his feet. He took him up, and he made a speech, but there was
none that understood him. The Governor by signs commanded him to return
to the cacique, and to will him to send him an interpreter, which could
understand the men of _Cayas_. The next day came three Indians laden
with ox hides: and within three days after came 20 Indians, and among
them one that understood them of _Cayas_; who, after a long oration of
excuses of the cacique, and praises of the Governor, concluded with
this, that he and the other were come thither on the cacique's behalf,
to see what his lordship would command him to do, for he was ready at
his commandment. The Governor and all his company were very glad. For in
nowise could they travel without an interpreter. The Governor commanded
him to be kept safe, and bade him tell the men that came with him, that
they should return to the cacique, and signify unto him, that he
pardoned him for that which was past, and thanked him much for his
presents and interpreter, which he had sent him, and that he would be
glad to see him, and that he should come the next day to talk with him.
After three days, the cacique came, and eighty Indians with him; and
himself and his men came weeping into the camp, in token of obedience
and repentance for the error passed, after the manner of that country.
He brought a present of many ox hides: which, because the country was
cold, were very profitable, and served for coverlets, because they were
very soft, and wooled like sheep. Not far from thence toward the north
were many oxen. The Christians saw them not, nor came into the country
where they were, because those parts were evil inhabited, and had small
store of maize where they were bred. The Cacique of _Tulla_ made an
oration to the Governor, wherein he excused himself, and offered him his
country, subjects, and person. As well this cacique as the others, and
all those which came to the Governor on their behalf, delivered their
message or speech in so good order, that no orator could utter the same
more eloquently.

The Governor informed himself of all the country round about; and
understood, that toward the west was a scattered dwelling, and that
toward the southeast were great towns, especially in a province called
_Autiamque_, ten days' journey from _Tulla_; which might be about eighty
leagues; and that it was a plentiful country of maize. And because
winter came on, and that they could not travel two or three months in
the year for cold, waters, and snow: and fearing, that if they should
stay so long in the scattered dwelling, they could not be sustained; and
also because the Indians said, that near to _Autiamque_ was a great
water, and according to their relation, the Governor thought it was some
arm of the sea: and because he now desired to send news of himself to
_Cuba_, that some supply of men and horses might be sent unto him (for
it was about three years since _Donna Isabella_, which was in _Havana_,
or any other person in Christendom had heard of him, and by this time he
had lost 250 men, and 150 horses), he determined to winter in
_Autiamque_, and the next spring to go to the sea coast and make two
brigantines, and send one of them to _Cuba_, and the other to _Nueva
Espanna_, that that which went in safety, might give news of him:
hoping with the goods which he had in _Cuba_, to furnish himself again,
and to attempt the discovery and conquest toward the west: for he had
not yet come where _Cabeça de Vaca_ had been. Thus having sent away the
two caciques of _Cayas_ and _Tulla_, he took his journey toward
_Autiamque_: he traveled five days over rough mountains, and came to a
town called _Quipana_, where no Indians could be taken for the roughness
of the country: and the town being between hills, there was an ambush
laid, wherewith they took two Indians; which told them, that _Autiamque_
was six days' journey from thence, and that there was another province
toward the south, eight days' journey off, plentiful of maize, and very
well peopled, which was called _Guahate_. But because _Autiamque_ was
nearer, and the most of the Indians agreed of it, the Governor made his
journey that way. In three days he came to a town called _Anoixi_. He
sent a captain before with thirty horsemen and fifty footmen, and took
the Indians careless; he took many men and women prisoners. Within two
days after the Governor came to another town called _Catamaya_, and
lodged in the fields of the town. Two Indians came with a false message
from the cacique to know his determination. He bade them tell their
lord, that he should come and speak with him. The Indians returned and
came no more, nor any other message from the cacique. The next day the
Christians went to the town, which was without people: they took as much
maize as they needed. That day they lodged in a wood, and the next day
they came to _Autiamque_. They found much maize laid up in store, and
French beans, and walnuts, and prunes, great store of all sorts. They
took some Indians which were gathering together the stuff which their
wives had hidden. This was a champaign country, and well inhabited. The
Governor lodged in the best part of the town, and commanded presently to
make a fence of timber round about the camp distant from the houses,
that the Indians might not hurt them without by fire. And measuring the
ground by paces, he appointed every one his part to do according to the
number of Indians which he had: presently the timber was brought by
them; and in three days there was an inclosure made of very high and
thick posts thrust into the ground, and many rails laid across. Hard by
this town passed a river, that came out of the province of _Cayas_; and
above and beneath it was very well peopled. Thither came Indians on the
cacique's behalf with a present of mantles and skins; and an halting
cacique, subject to the lord of _Autiamque_, lord of a town called
_Tietiquaquo_, came many times to visit the Governor, and to bring him
presents of such as he had. The Cacique of _Autiamque_ sent to know of
the Governor, how long time he meant to stay in his country? And
understanding that he meant to stay about three days, he never sent any
more Indians, nor any other message, but conspired with the lame cacique
to rebel. Divers inroads were made, wherein there were many men and
women taken, and the lame cacique among the rest. The Governor
respecting the services which he had received of him, reprehended and
admonished him, and set him at liberty, and gave him two Indians to
carry him in a chair upon their shoulders. The Cacique of _Autiamque_
desiring to thrust the Governor out of his country, set spies over him.
And an Indian coming one night to the gate of the inclosure, a soldier
that watched espied him, and stepping behind the gate, as he came in, he
gave him such a thrust, that he fell down; and so he carried him to the
Governor: and as he asked him wherefore he came, not being able to
speak, he fell down dead. The night following the Governor commanded a
soldier to give the alarm, and to say that he had seen Indians, to see
how ready they would be to answer the alarm. And he did so sometimes as
well there, as in other places, when he thought that his men were
careless, and reprehended such as were slack. And as well for this
cause, as in regard of doing their duty, when the alarm was given, every
one sought to be the first that should answer. They staid in _Autiamque_
three months, with great plenty of maize, French beans, walnuts, prunes,
and conies: which until that time they knew not how to catch. And in
_Autiamque_ the Indians taught them how to take them; which was, with
great springs, which lifted up their feet from the ground: and the snare
was made with a strong string, whereunto was fastened a knot of a cane,
which ran close about the neck of the cony, because they should not gnaw
the string. They took many in the fields of maize, especially when it
froze or snowed. The Christians stayed there one whole month so inclosed
with snow, that they went not out of the town: and when they wanted
firewood, the Governor with his horsemen going and coming many times to
the wood, which was two crossbow shots from the town, made a pathway,
whereby the footmen went for wood. In this mean space, some Indians
which went loose, killed many conies with their gyves, and with arrows.
These conies were of two sorts, some were like those of _Spain_, and the
other of the same color and fashion, and as big as great hares, longer,
and having greater loins.

Upon Monday the 6th of March, 1542, the Governor departed from
_Autiamque_ to seek _Nilco_, which the Indians said was near the great
river, with determination to come to the sea, and procure some succor of
men and horses; for he had now but three hundred men of war, and forty
horses, and some of them lame, which did nothing but help to make up the
number; and for want of iron they had gone above a year unshod; and
because they were used to it in the plain country, it did them no great
harm. _John Ortiz_ died in _Autiamque_, which grieved the Governor very
much; because that without an interpreter he feared to enter far into
the land, where he might be lost. From thenceforward a youth that was
taken in _Cutifachiqui_ did serve for interpreter, which had by that
time learned somewhat of the Christians' language. The death of _John
Ortiz_ was so great a mischief for the discovering inward, or going out
of the land, that to learn of the Indians, that which in four words he
declared, they needed a whole day with the youth; and most commonly he
understood quite contrary that which was asked him; whereby it often
happened that the way that they went one day, and sometimes two or three
days, they turned back, and went astray through the wood here and there.
The Governor spent ten days in traveling from _Autiamque_ to a province
called _Ayays_; and came to a town that stood near the river that
passeth by _Cayas_ and _Autiamque_. There he commanded a barge to be
made, wherewith he passed the river. When he had passed the river there
fell out such weather, that four days he could not travel for snow. As
soon as it gave over snowing, he went three days' journey through a
wilderness, and a country so low, and so full of lakes and evil ways,
that he traveled a whole day in water, sometimes knee deep, sometimes to
the stirrup, and sometimes they swam. He came to a town called
_Tutelpinco_, abandoned, and without maize. There passed by it a lake,
that entered into the river, which carried a great stream and force of
water. Five Christians passing over it in a periagua, which the Governor
had sent with a captain, the periagua overset. Some took hold on it,
some on the trees that were in the lake. One _Francis Sebastian_, an
honest man of _Villa nova de Barca Rota_, was drowned there. The
Governor went a whole day along the lake, seeking passage, and could
find none, nor any way that did pass to the other side. Coming again at
night to the town he found two peaceable Indians, which showed him the
passage, and which way he was to go. There they made of canes and of the
timber of houses thatched with cane, rafts, wherewith they passed the
lake. They traveled three days, and came to a town of the territory of
_Nilco_, called _Tianto_. There they took thirty Indians, and among
them two principal men of this town. The Governor sent a captain, with
horsemen and footmen, before to _Nilco_, because the Indians might have
no time to carry away the provision. They passed through three or four
great towns; and in the town where the cacique was resident, which was
two leagues from the place where the Governor remained, they found many
Indians with their bows and arrows, in manner as though they would have
stayed to fight, which did compass the town; and as soon as they saw the
Christians come near them, without misdoubting them, they set the
cacique's house on fire, and fled over a lake that passed near the town,
through which the horses could not pass. The next day being Wednesday,
the 29th of March, the Governor came to _Nilco_; he lodged with all his
men in the cacique's town, which stood in a plain field, which was
inhabited for the space of a quarter of a league: and within a league
and half a league were other very great towns, wherein was great store
of maize, of French beans, of walnuts, and prunes. This was the best
inhabited country that was seen in _Florida_, and had most store of
maize, except _Coça_ and _Apalache_. There came to the camp an Indian
accompanied with others, and in the cacique's name gave the Governor a
mantle of martens' skins, and a cordon of pearls. The Governor gave him
a few small margarites, which are certain beads much esteemed in _Peru_,
and other things, wherewith he was very well contented. He promised to
return within two days, but never came again: but on the contrary the
Indians came by night in canoes, and carried away all the maize they
could, and made them cabins on the other side of the river in the
thickest of the wood, because they might flee if we should go to seek
them. The Governor, seeing he came not at the time appointed, commanded
an ambush to be laid about certain store-houses near the lake, whither
the Indians came for maize: where they took two Indians, who told the
Governor, that he which came to visit him, was not the cacique, but was
sent by him under pretence to spy whether the Christians were careless,
and whether they determined to settle in that country or to go forward.
Presently the Governor sent a captain with footmen and horsemen over the
river; and in their passage they were descried of the Indians, and
therefore he could take but ten or twelve men and women, with whom he
returned to the camp. This river, which passed by _Nilco_, was that
which passed by _Cayas_ and _Autiamque_, and fell into _Rio Grande_, or
the Great River, which passed by _Pachaha_ and _Aquixo_ near unto the
province of _Guachoya_: and the lord thereof came up the river in canoes
to make war with him of _Nilco_. On his behalf there came an Indian to
the Governor and said unto him, that he was his servant, and prayed him
so to hold him, and that within two days he would come to kiss his
lordship's hands: and at the time appointed he came with some of his
principal Indians, which accompanied him, and with words of great offers
and courtesy he gave the Governor a present of many mantles and deers'
skins. The Governor gave him some other things in recompense, and
honored him much. He asked him what towns there were down the river? He
answered that he knew none other but his own: and on the other side of
the river the province of a cacique called _Quigalta_. So he took his
leave of the Governor and went to his own town. Within a few days the
Governor determined to go to _Guachoya_, to learn there whether the sea
were near, or whether there were any habitation near, where he might
relieve his company, while the brigantines were making, which he meant
to send to the land of the Christians. As he passed the river of
_Nilco_, there came in canoes Indians of _Guachoya_ up the stream, and
when they saw him, supposing that he came to seek them to do them some
hurt, they returned down the river, and informed the cacique thereof:
who with all his people, spoiling the town of all that they could carry
away, passed that night over to the other side of the _Rio Grande_, or
the Great River. The Governor sent a captain with fifty men in six
canoes down the river, and went himself by land with the rest: he came
to _Guachoya_ upon Sunday, the 17th of April: he lodged in the town of
the cacique, which was enclosed about, and seated a crossbow shot
distant from the river. Here the river is called _Tamaliseu_, and in
_Nilco Tapatu_, and in _Coça Mico_, and in the port or mouth _Ri_.

As soon as the Governor came to _Guachoya_, he sent _John Danusco_ with
as many men as could go in the canoes up the river. For when they came
down from _Nilco_, they saw on the other side of the river new cabins
made. _John Danusco_ went and brought the canoes laden with maize,
French beans, prunes, and many loaves made of the substance of prunes.
That day came an Indian to the Governor from the Cacique of _Guachoya_,
and said that his lord would come the next day. They next day they saw
many canoes come up the river, and on the other side of the Great River
they assembled together in the space of an hour: they consulted whether
they should come or not; and at length concluded to come, and crossed
the river. In them came the Cacique of _Guachoya_, and brought with him
many Indians, with great store of fish, dogs, deers' skins, and mantles:
and as soon as they landed, they went to the lodging of the Governor,
and presented him their gifts, and the cacique uttered these words:--

"Mighty and excellent lord, I beseech your lordship to pardon me the
error which I committed in absenting myself, and not tarrying in this
town to have received and served your lordship; since, to obtain this
opportunity of time, was, and is as much as a great victory to me. But I
feared that which I needed not to have feared, and so did that which was
not reason to do. But as haste maketh waste, and I removed without
deliberation; so, as soon as I thought on it, I determined not to follow
the opinion of the foolish, which is to continue in their error; but to
imitate the wise and discreet, in changing my counsel, and so I came to
see what your lordship will command me to do, that I may serve you in
all things that are in my power."

The Governor received him with much joy, and gave him thanks for his
present and offer. He asked him, whether he had any notice of the sea.
He answered no, nor of any towns down the river on that side; save that
two leagues from thence was one town of a principal Indian, a subject of
his; and on the other side of the river, three days' journey from thence
down the river, was the province of _Quigalta_, which was the greatest
lord that was in that country! The Governor thought that the cacique
lied unto him, to rid him out of his own towns, and sent _John Danusco_
with eight horsemen down the river, to see what habitation there was,
and to inform himself, if there were any notice of the sea. He traveled
eight days, and at his return he said, that in all that time he was not
able to go above fourteen or fifteen leagues, because of the great
creeks that came out of the river, and groves of canes, and thick woods
that were along the banks of the river, and that he had found no
habitation. The Governor fell into great dumps to see how hard it was to
get to the sea; and worse, because his men and horses every day
diminished, being without succor to sustain themselves in the country:
and with that thought he fell sick. But before he took his bed he sent
an Indian to the Cacique of _Quigalta_ to tell him, that he was the
child of the sun, and that all the way that he came all men obeyed and
served him, that he requested him to accept of his friendship, and come
unto him; for he would be very glad to see him; and in sign of love and
obedience to bring something with him of that which in his country was
most esteemed. The cacique answered by the same Indian:

"That whereas he said he was the child of the sun, if he would dry up
the river he would believe him: and touching the rest, that he was wont
to visit none; but rather that all those of whom he had notice did visit
him, served, obeyed, and paid him tributes willingly or perforce:
therefore, if he desired to see him, it were best he should come
thither: that if he came in peace, he would receive him with special
good will; and if in war, in like manner he would attend him in the town
where he was, and that for him or any other he would not shrink one foot
back."

By that time the Indian returned with this answer, the Governor had
betaken himself to bed, being evil handled with fevers, and was much
aggrieved that he was not in case to pass presently the river and to
seek him, to see if he could abate that pride of his, considering the
river went now very strongly in those parts; for it was near half a
league broad, and sixteen fathoms deep, and very furious, and ran with a
great current; and on both sides there were many Indians, and his power
was not now so great, but that he had need to help himself rather by
slights than by force. The Indians of _Guachoya_ came every day with
fish in such numbers, that the town was full of them. The cacique said,
that on a certain night he of _Quigalta_ would come to give battle to
the Governor. Which the Governor imagined that he had devised, to drive
him out of his country, and commanded him to be put in hold: and that
night and all the rest, there was good watch kept. He asked him
wherefore _Quigalta_ came not? He said that he came, but that he saw him
prepared, and therefore durst not give the attempt: and he was earnest
with him to send his captains over the river, and that he would aid him
with many men to set upon _Quigalta_. The Governor told him that as soon
as he was recovered, himself would seek him out. And seeing how many
Indians came daily to the town, and what store of people was in that
country, fearing they should all conspire together and plot some treason
against him; and because the town had some open gaps which were not made
an end of inclosing, besides the gates which they went in and out by:
because the Indians should not think he feared them, he let them all
alone unrepaired; and commanded the horsemen to be appointed to them,
and to the gates: and all night the horsemen went the round; and two and
two of every squadron rode about, and visited the scouts that were
without the town in their standings by the passages, and the
crossbow-men that kept the canoes in the river. And because the Indians
should stand in fear of them, he determined to send a captain to
_Nilco_, for those of _Guachoya_ had told him that it was inhabited;
that by using them cruelly, neither the one nor the other should
presume to assail him; and he sent _Nuñez de Touar_ with fifteen
horsemen, and _John de Guzman_ captain of the footmen, with his company
in canoes up the river. The Cacique of _Guachoya_ sent for many canoes
and many warlike Indians to go with the Christians: and the captain of
the Christians, called _Nuñez de Touar_ went by land with his horsemen,
and two leagues before he came to _Nilco_ he stayed for _John de
Guzman_, and in that place they passed the river by night: the horsemen
came first, and in the morning by break of day in sight of the town they
lighted upon a spy; which as soon as he perceived the Christians, crying
out amain fled to the town to give warning. _Nuñez de Touar_ and his
company made such speed, that before the Indians of the town could fully
come out, they were upon them: it was champaign ground that was
inhabited, which was about a quarter of a league. There were about five
or six thousand people in the town: and, as many people came out of the
houses, and fled from one house to another, and many Indians came
flocking together from all parts, there was never a horseman that was
not alone among many. The captain had commanded that they should not
spare the life of any male. Their disorder was so great, that there was
no Indian that shot an arrow at any Christian. The shrieks of women and
children were so great, that they made the ears deaf of those that
followed them. There were slain a hundred Indians, little more or less:
and many were wounded with great wounds, whom they suffered to escape to
strike a terror in the rest that were not there. There were some so
cruel and butcherlike, that they killed old and young, and all that they
met, though they made no resistance: and those which presumed of
themselves for their valor, and were taken for such, broke through the
Indians, bearing down many with their stirrups and breasts of their
horses; and some they wounded with their lances, and so let them go: and
when they saw any youth or woman they took them, and delivered them to
the footmen. These men's sins by God's permission, lighted on their own
heads: who, because they would seem valiant, became cruel; showing
themselves extreme cowards in the sight of all men when as most need of
valor was required, and afterwards they came to a shameful death. Of the
Indians of _Nilco_ were taken prisoners, fourscore women and children,
and much spoil. The Indians of _Guachoya_ kept back before they came at
the town, and stayed without, beholding the success of the Christians
with the men of _Nilco_. And when they saw them put to flight, and the
horsemen busy in killing of them, they hastened to the houses to rob,
and filled their canoes with the spoil of the goods; and returned to
_Guachoya_ before the Christians; and wondering much at the sharp
dealing which they had seen them use toward the Indians of _Nilco_, they
told their cacique all that had passed with great astonishment.

The Governor felt in himself that the hour approached wherein he was to
leave this present life, and called for the king's officers, captains,
and principal persons, to whom he made a speech, saying:--

"That now he was to go to give an account before the presence of God of
all his life past: and since it pleased him to take him in such a time,
and that the time was come that he knew his death, that he his most
unworthy servant did yield him many thanks therefor; and desired all
that were present and absent (whom he confessed himself to be much
beholding unto for their singular virtues, love and loyalty, which
himself had well tried in the travels which they had suffered, which
always in his mind he did hope to satisfy and reward, when it should
please God to give him rest, with more prosperity of his estate), that
they would pray to God for him, that for his mercy he would forgive him
his sins, and receive his soul into eternal glory: and that they would
quit and free him of the charge which he had over them, and ought unto
them all, and that they would pardon him for some wrongs which they
might have received of him. And to avoid some division, which upon his
death might fall out upon the choice of his successor, he requested them
to elect a principal person, and able to govern, of whom all should like
well; and when he was elected, they should swear before him to obey him:
and that he would thank them very much in so doing; because the grief
that he had, would somewhat be assuaged, and the pain that he felt,
because he left them in so great confusion, to wit, in leaving them in a
strange country, where they knew not where they were."

_Baltasar de Gallegos_ answered in the name of all the rest. And first
of all comforting him, he set before his eyes how short the life of this
world was, and with how many troubles and miseries it is accompanied,
and how God showed him a singular favor which soonest left it: telling
him many other things fit for such a time. And for the last point, that
since it pleased God to take him to himself, although his death did
justly grieve them much, yet as well he, as all the rest, ought of
necessity to conform themselves to the will of God. And touching the
Governor which he commanded they should elect, he besought him, that it
would please his lordship to name him which he thought fit, and him
they would obey. And presently he named _Luys de Moscoso de Alvarado_,
his captain-general. And presently he was sworn by all that were
present, and elected for governor. The next day, being the 21st of May,
1542, departed out of this life, the valorous, virtuous, and valiant
Captain, _Don Fernando de Soto_, Governor of _Cuba_, and Adelantado of
_Florida_: whom fortune advanced, as it useth to do others, that he
might have the higher fall. He departed in such a place, and at such a
time, as in his sickness he had but little comfort: and the danger
wherein all his people were of perishing in that country, which appeared
before their eyes, was cause sufficient why every one of them had need
of comfort, and why they did not visit nor accompany him as they ought
to have done. _Luys de Moscoso_ determined to conceal his death from the
Indians, because _Ferdinando de Soto_ had made them believe that the
Christians were immortal; and also because they took him to be hardy,
wise, and valiant: and if they should know that he was dead, they would
be bold to set upon the Christians, though they lived peaceably by them.
In regard of their disposition, and because they were nothing constant,
and believed all that was told them, the Adelantado made them believe,
that he knew some things that passed in secret among themselves, without
their knowledge, how, or in what manner he came by them: and that the
figure which appeared in a glass, which he showed them, did tell him
whatsoever they practiced and went about: and therefore neither in word
nor deed durst they attempt anything that might be prejudicial unto him.

As soon as he was dead, _Luys de Moscoso_ commanded to put him secretly
in the house, where he remained three days; and removing him from
thence, commanded him to be buried in the night at one of the gates of
the town within the wall. And as the Indians had seen him sick, and
missed him, so did they suspect what might be. And passing by the place
where he was buried, seeing the earth moved, they looked and spake one
to another. _Luys de Moscoso_ understanding of it, commanded him to be
taken up by night, and to cast a great deal of sand into the mantles,
wherein he was wound up, wherein he was carried in a canoe, and thrown
into the midst of the river. The Cacique of _Guachoya_ inquired for him,
demanding what was become of his brother and lord, the Governor: _Luys
de Moscoso_ told him that he was gone to heaven, as many other times he
did and because he was to stay there certain days he had left him in his
place. The cacique thought with himself that he was dead; and commanded
two young and well-proportioned Indians to be brought thither; and
said, that the use of that country was, when any lord died, to kill
Indians to wait upon him, and serve him by the way, and for that purpose
by his commandment were those come thither: and prayed _Luys de Moscoso_
to command them to be beheaded, that they might attend and serve his
lord and brother. _Luys de Moscoso_ told him, that the Governor was not
dead, but gone to heaven, and that of his own Christian soldiers, he had
taken such as he needed to serve him, and prayed him to command those
Indians to be loosed, and not to use any such bad custom from
thenceforth: straightway he commanded them to be loosed, and to get them
home to their houses. And one of them would not go; saying, that he
would not serve him, that without desert had judged him to death, but
that he would serve him as long as he lived, which had saved his life.

_Luys de Moscoso_ caused all the goods of the Governor to be sold at an
outcry: to wit, two men slaves and two women slaves, and three horses,
and seven hundred hogs. For every slave or horse, they gave two or three
thousand ducats: which were to be paid at the first melting of gold or
silver, or at the division of their portion of inheritance. And they
entered into bonds, though in the country there was not wherewith, to
pay it within a year after, and put in sureties for the same. Such as in
_Spain_ had no goods to bind, gave two hundred ducats for a hog, giving
assurance after the same manner. Those which had any goods in _Spain_,
bought with more fear, and bought the less. From that time forward, most
of the company had swine, and brought them up, and fed upon them; and
observed Fridays and Saturdays, and the evenings of feasts, which before
they did not. For some times in two or three months they did eat no
flesh, and whensoever they could come by it, they did eat it.

Some were glad of the death of _Don Ferdinando de Soto_, holding for
certain that _Luys de Moscoso_ (which was given to his ease), would
rather desire to be among the Christians at rest, than to continue the
labors of the war in subduing and discovering of countries; whereof they
were already weary, seeing the small profit that ensued thereof. The
Governor commanded the captains and principal persons to meet to consult
and determine what they should do. And being informed what peopled
habitation was round about, he understood that to the west, the country
was most inhabited, and that down the river beyond _Quigalta_ was
uninhabited, and had little store of food. He desired them all, that
every one would give his opinion in writing, and set his hand to it:
that they might resolve by general consent, whether they should go down
the river, or enter into the main land. All were of opinion, that it was
best to go by land toward the west, because _Nueva España_ was that way;
holding the voyage by sea more dangerous, and of greater hazard, because
they could make no ship of any strength to abide a storm, neither had
they master, nor pilot, compass, nor chart, neither knew they how far
the sea was off, nor had any notice of it; nor whether the river did
make any great turning into the land, or had any great fall from the
rocks, where all of them might be cast away. And some which had seen the
sea-chart, did find, that from the place where they were by the
sea-coast to _Nueva España_, might be four hundred leagues, little more
or less; and said, that though they went somewhat about by land in
seeking a peopled country, if some great wilderness which they could not
pass did hinder them, by spending that summer in travel, finding
provision to pass the winter in some peopled country, that the next
summer after they might come to some Christian land, and that it might
fortune in their travel by land to find some rich country, where they
might do themselves good. The Governor, although he desired to get out
of _Florida_ in shorter time, seeing the inconveniences they laid before
him, in traveling by sea, determined to follow that which seemed good to
them all. On Monday, the fifth day of June, he departed from _Guachoya_.
The cacique gave him a guide to _Chaguate_, and stayed at home in his
own town. They passed through a province called _Catalte_: and having
passed a wilderness of six days' journey, the twentieth day of the month
he came to _Chaguate_. The cacique of this province had visited the
Governor _Don Ferdinando de Soto_ at _Autiamque_, whither he brought him
presents of skins, and mantles, and salt. And a day before _Luys de
Moscoso_ came to his town, we lost a Christian that was sick; which he
suspected that the Indians had slain. He sent the cacique word, that he
should command his people to seek him up, and send him unto him, and
that he would hold him, as he did, for his friend; and if he did not,
that neither he, nor his, should escape his hands, and that he would set
his country on fire. Presently the cacique came unto him, and brought a
great present of mantles and skins, and the Christian that was lost, and
made this speech following:

"Right excellent lord, I would not deserve that conceit which you had of
me, for all the treasure of the world. What enforced me to go to visit
and serve the excellent Lord Governor your father in _Autiamque_, which
you should have remembered, where I offered myself with all loyalty,
faith and love, during my life to serve and obey him? What then could be
the cause, I having received favors of him, and neither you nor he
having done me any wrong, that should move me to do the thing which I
ought not? Believe this of me, that neither wrong, nor any worldly
interest, was able to make me to have done it, nor shall be able to
blind me. But as in this life it is a natural course, that after one
pleasure many sorrows do follow: so by your indignation, fortune would
moderate the joy, which my heart conceiveth with your presence; and that
I should err, where I thought surest to have hit the mark; in harboring
this Christian which was lost, and using him in such manner, as he may
tell himself, thinking that herein I did you service, with purpose to
deliver him unto you in _Chaguate_, and to serve you to the uttermost of
my power. If I deserve punishment for this, I will receive it at your
hands, as from my lord, as if it were a favor. For the love which I did
bear to the excellent Governor, and which I bear to you hath no limit.
And like as you give me chastisement, so will you also show me favor.
And that which now I crave of you is this, to declare your will unto me,
and those things wherein I may be able to do you the most and best
service."

The Governor answered him, that because he did not find him in that
town, he was incensed against him, thinking he had absented himself, as
others had done: but seeing he now knew his loyalty and love, he would
always hold him as a brother, and favor him in all his affairs. The
cacique went with him to the town where he resided, which was a day's
journey from thence. They passed through a small town, where there was a
lake, where the Indians made salt: and the Christians made some one day
while they rested there, of a brackish water, which sprang near the town
in ponds like fountains. The Governor stayed in _Chaguate_ six days.
There he was informed of the habitation towards the west. They told him,
that three days' journey from thence was a province called _Aguacay_.
The day that he departed from _Chaguate_, a Christian, called _Francisco
de Guzman_, the base son of a gentleman of _Seville_, stayed behind, and
went to the Indians, with an Indian woman which he kept as his
concubine, for fear he should be punished for gaming debts that he did
owe. The Governor had traveled two days before he missed him; he sent
the cacique word to seek him up, and to send him to _Aguacay_, whither
he traveled: which he did not perform. From the Cacique of _Aguacay_,
before they came into the country, there met him on the way fifteen
Indians with a present of skins, fish, and roasted venison. The
Governor came to this town on Wednesday, the fourth of July. He found
the town without people, and lodged in it: he stayed there about a day;
during which, he made some roads, and took many men and women. There
they had knowledge of the _South Sea_. Here there was great store of
salt made of sand, which they gather in a vein of ground like pebble
stones. And it was made as they made salt in _Cayas_.

The same day that the Governor departed from _Aguacay_, he lodged in a
small town subject to the lord of that province. The camp was pitched
hard by a lake of salt water; and that evening they made some salt
there. The day following he lodged between two mountains in a thin grove
of wood. The next day he came to a small town called _Pato_. The fourth
day after his departure from _Aguacay_ he came to the first habitation
of a province called _Amaye_. There an Indian was taken, which said that
from thence to _Naguatex_ was a day and a half's journey; which they
traveled, finding all the way inhabited places. Having passed the
peopled country of _Amaye_, on Saturday, the twentieth of July, they
pitched their camp at noon between _Amaye_ and _Naguatex_ along the
corner of a grove of very fair trees. In the same place certain Indians
were discovered, that came to view them. The horsemen went out to them,
and killed six, and took two, whom the Governor asked, wherefore they
came? They said, to know what people he had, and what order they kept;
and that the Cacique of _Naguatex_, their lord, had sent them, and that
he, with other caciques which came to aid him, determined that day to
bid him battle. While they were occupied in these questions and answers,
there came many Indians by two ways in two squadrons: and when they saw
they were descried, giving a great cry they assaulted the Christians
each squadron by itself; but seeing what resistance the Christians made
them, they turned their backs and betook themselves to flight, in which
many of them lost their lives; and most of the horsemen following them
in chase, careless of the camp, other two squadrons of Indians, which
lay in ambush, set upon the Christians that were in the camp, which also
they resisted, who also had their reward as the first. After the flight
of the Indians, and that the Christians were retired, they heard a great
noise a crossbow shot from the place where they were. The Governor sent
twelve horsemen to see what it was. They found six Christians, four
footmen and two horsemen, among many Indians; the horsemen defending the
footmen with great labor. These being of them that chased the first two
squadrons, had lost themselves, and coming to recover the camp fell
among those with whom they were fighting: and so they, and those that
came to succor them, slew many of the Indians, and brought one alive to
the camp: whom the Governor examined, who they were that came to bid him
battle. He told him, that they were the Cacique of _Naguatex_, and of
_Amaye_, and another of a province called _Hacanac_, a lord of great
countries and many subjects; and that the Cacique of _Naguatex_ came for
captain and chief of them all. The Governor commanded his right arm and
nose to be cut off, and sent him to the Cacique of _Naguatex_, charging
him to tell him, that the next day he would be in his country to destroy
him; and if he would withstand his entrance, he should stay for him.
That night he lodged there; and the next day he came to the habitation
of _Naguatex_, which was very scattering: he inquired where the
cacique's chief town was? They told him that it was on the other side of
a river, that passed thereby: he traveled thitherward, and came unto it:
and on the other side he saw many Indians, that tarried for him, making
show as though they would defend the passage. And because he knew not
whether it could be waded, nor where the passage was, and that some
Christians and horses were hurt, that they might have time to recover,
he determined to rest certain days in the town where he was. So he
pitched his camp a quarter of a league from the river, because the
weather was very hot, near unto the town, in a thin grove of very fair
and high trees near a brook's side: and in that place were certain
Indians taken; whom he examined, whether the river were wadeable or no?
They said yea, at some times, and in some places. Within ten days after
he sent two captains with fifteen horsemen a piece upward and down the
river with Indians to show them where they should go over, to see what
habitation was on the other side. And the Indians withstood them both,
defending the passage of the river as far as they were able, but they
passed in despite of them: and on the other side of the river they saw
great habitation, and great store of victuals; and with these news
returned to the camp.

The Governor sent an Indian from _Naguatex_ where he lay, to command the
cacique to come to serve and obey him, and that he would forgive him all
that was past; that if he came not, that he would seek him, and give him
such punishment as he had deserved for that which he had done against
him. Within two days the Indian returned, and said that the cacique
would come the next day; which, the same day when he came, sent many
Indians before him, among whom there were some principal men: he sent
them to see what countenance they found in the Governor, to resolve with
himself whether he should go or not. The Indians let him understand,
that he was coming, and went away presently: and the cacique came
within two hours accompanied with many of his men: they came all in a
rank one before another on both sides, leaving a lane in the midst where
he came. They came where the Governor was, all of them weeping after the
manner of _Tulla_, which was not far from thence toward the east. The
cacique made his due obedience, and the speech following:

"Right high and mighty lord, whom all the world ought to serve and obey,
I was bold to appear before your lordship, having committed so heinous
and abominable an act, as only for me to have imagined, deserved to be
punished; trusting in your greatness, that although I deserve to obtain
no pardon, yet for your own sake only you will use clemency toward me,
considering how small I am in comparison of your lordship; and not to
think upon my weaknesses, which, to my grief and for my greater good, I
have known. And I believe that you and yours are immortal; and that your
lordship is lord of the land of nature, seeing that you subdue all
things, and they obey you, even the very hearts of men. For when I
beheld the slaughter and destruction of my men in the battle, which,
through mine ignorance, and the counsel of a brother of mine, which died
in the same, I gave your lordship, presently I repented me in my heart
of the error, which I had committed; and desired to serve and obey you:
and to this end I come, that your lordship may chastise and command me
as your own."

The Governor answered him, that he forgave him all which was past, that
from thenceforth he should do his duty, and that he would hold him for
his friend, and that he would favor him in all things. Within four days
he departed thence, and coming to the river he could not pass, because
it was grown very big; which seemed to him a thing of admiration, being
at that time that it was, and since it had not rained a month before.
The Indians said, that it increased many times after that manner without
raining in all the country. It was supposed, that it might be the tide
that came into it. It was learned that the flood came alway from above,
and that the Indians of all that country had no knowledge of the sea.
The Governor returned unto the place where he had lodged before: and
understanding within eight days after that the river was passable, he
departed. He passed over and found the town without people: he lodged in
the field, and sent the cacique word to come unto him, and to bring him
a guide to go forward. And some days being past, seeing the cacique came
not, nor sent anybody, he sent two captains sundry ways to burn the
towns, and to take such Indians as they could find. They burnt great
store of victuals, and took many Indians. The cacique seeing the hurt
that he received in his country, sent six principal Indians with three
men for guides, which knew the language of the country through which the
Governor was to pass. He departed presently from _Naguatex_, and within
three days' journey came to a town of four or five houses, which
belonged to the cacique of that province, which is called _Nissoone_: it
was evil inhabited, and had little maize. Two days' journey forward the
guides which guided the Governor, if they were to go westward, guided
him to the east; and sometimes went up and down through very great woods
out of the way. The Governor commanded them to be hanged upon a tree:
and a woman that they took in _Nissoone_ guided him, and went back again
to seek the way. In two days he came to another miserable town called
_Lacane_: an Indian was taken in that place, that said, that the country
of _Nondacao_ was a country of great habitation, and the houses
scattering the one from the other, as they used to be in mountains, and
had great store of maize. The cacique came with his men weeping, like
them of _Naguatex_: for this is their use in token of obedience: he made
him a present of much fish, and offered to do what he would command him.
He took his leave, and gave him a guide to the province of _Soacatino_.

The Governor departed from _Nondacao_ towards _Soacatino_, and in five
days' journey came to a province called _Aays_. The Indians which
inhabited it had no notice of the Christians: but as soon as they saw
that they entered into their country, they assembled themselves: and as
they came together fifty or a hundred, they came forth to fight. While
some fought, others came and charged our men another way, and while they
followed some, others followed them. The fight lasted the greatest part
of the day, till they came to their town. Some horses and men were
wounded, but not to any hurt of their traveling: for there was no wound
that was dangerous. There was a great spoil made of the Indians. That
day that the Governor departed from thence, the Indian that guided him
said that in _Nondacao_ he had heard say, that the Indians of
_Soacatino_ had seen other Christians, whereof they all were very glad:
thinking it might be true, and that they might have entered into those
parts by _Nueva España_; and that if it were so, it was in their own
hand to go out of _Florida_, if they found nothing of profit: for they
feared they should lose themselves in some wilderness. This Indian led
him two days out of the way. The Governor commanded to torture him. He
said, that the Cacique of _Nondacao_, his lord, had commanded him to
guide them so because they were his enemies, and that he was to do as
his lord commanded him. The Governor commanded him to be cast to the
dogs: and another guided him to _Soacatino_, whither he came the day
following. It was a very poor country: there was great want of maize in
that place. He asked the Indians whether they knew of any other
Christians. They said that a little from thence toward the south they
heard they were. He traveled twenty days through a country evil
inhabited, where they suffered great scarcity and trouble; for that
little maize which the Indians had, they had hidden and buried in the
woods, where the Christians, after they were well wearied with their
travel, at the end of their journey went to seek by digging what they
should eat. At last, coming to a province that was called _Guasco_, they
found maize, wherewith they loaded their horses and the Indians that
they had. From thence they went to another town called _Naquiscoça_. The
Indians said they had no notice of any other Christians. The Governor
commanded to torment them. They said, that they came first to another
lordship which was called _Naçacahoz_, and from thence returned again to
the west from whence they came. The Governor came in two days to
_Naçacahoz_. Some women were taken there: among whom there was one which
said that she had seen Christians and had been taken by them, and had
run away. The Governor sent a captain with fifteen horsemen to the place
where the woman said she had seen them, to see if there was any sign of
horses, or any token of their being there. After they had gone three or
four leagues, the woman that guided them said that all that she had told
them was untrue. And so they held all the rest that the Indians had said
of seeing Christians in the land of _Florida_. And, because the country
that way was poor of maize, and toward the west there was no notice of
any habitation, they returned to _Guasco_. The Indians told them there,
that ten days' journey from thence toward the west, was a river called
_Daycao_, whither they went sometimes a hunting and killing of deer: and
that they had seen people on the other side, but knew not what
habitation was there. There the Christians took such maize as they found
and could carry, and going ten days' journey through a wilderness, they
came to the river which the Indians had told them of. Ten horsemen,
which the Governor had sent before, passed over the same and went in a
way that led to the river, and lighted upon a company of Indians that
dwelt in very little cabins: who as soon as they saw them took
themselves to flight, leaving that which they had; all which was nothing
but misery and poverty. The country was so poor, that among them all
there was not found half a peck of maize. The horsemen took two Indians,
and returned with them to the river, where the Governor stayed for them.
He sought to learn of them what habitation was toward the west. There
was none in the camp that could understand their language. The Governor
assembled the captains and principal persons to determine with their
advice what they should do. And the most part said that they thought it
best to return back to _Rio Grande_, or the Great River of _Guachoya_;
because that in _Nilco_ and thereabout was store of maize; saying, that
they would make pinnaces that winter, and the next summer pass down the
river to the seaward in them, and coming to the sea they would go along
the coast to _Nueva España_. For though it seemed a doubtful thing and
difficult, by that which they had already alleged, yet it was the last
remedy they had. For by land they could not go for want of an
interpreter. And they held, that the country beyond the River of
_Daycao_, where they were, was that which _Cabeça de Vaca_ mentioned in
his relation that he passed _of the Indians which lived like the
Alarbes, having no settled place_, and fed upon _Tunas_ and roots of the
fields, and wild beasts that they killed. Which if it were so, if they
should enter into it and find no victuals to pass the winter, they could
not choose but perish, for they were entered already into the beginning
of October: and if they stayed any longer they were not able to return
for rain and snows, nor to sustain themselves in so poor a country. The
Governor (that desired long to see himself in a place where he might
sleep his full sleep, rather than to conquer and govern a country where
so many troubles presented themselves) presently returned back that same
way that he came.

When that which was determined was published in the camp, there were
many that were greatly grieved at it: for they held the sea voyage as
doubtful, for the evil means they had, and of as great danger the
traveling by land: and they hoped to find some rich country before they
came to the land of the Christians, by that which _Cabeça de Vaca_ had
told the Emperor: and that was this: That after he had found clothes
made of cotton wool, he saw gold and silver, and stones of great value.
And they had not yet come where he had been. For until that place he
always traveled by the sea-coast: and they traveled far within the land;
and that going towards the west, of necessity they should come where he
had been. For he said that in a certain place he traveled many days, and
entered into the land toward the north. And in _Guasco_ they had already
found some Turkey stones, and mantles of cotton wool: which the Indians
signified by signs that they had from the west: and that holding that
course they should draw near to the land of the Christians. But though
they were much discontented with it, and it grieved many to go backward,
which would rather have adventured their lives and have died in the land
of _Florida_, than to have gone poor out of it; yet were they not a
sufficient part to hinder that which was determined, because the
principal men agreed with the Governor. And afterward there was one that
said, he would put out one of his own eyes, to put out another of _Luys
de Moscoso_; because it would grieve him much to see him prosper:
because as well himself as others of his friends had crossed that which
he durst not have done, seeing that within two days he should leave the
government. From _Daycao_, where now they were, to _Rio Grande_, or the
Great River, was one hundred and fifty leagues: which unto that place
they had gone westward. And by the way as they returned back they had
much ado to find maize to eat: for where they had passed the country was
destroyed; and some little maize that was left the Indians had hidden.
The towns which in _Naguatex_ they had burned (whereof it repented them)
were repaired again, and the houses full of maize. This country is well
inhabited and plentiful. In that place are vessels made of clay, which
differ very little from those of _Estremoz_, or _Montemor_. In
_Chaguate_ the Indians by commandment of the cacique came peaceably, and
said, that the Christian which remained there would not come. The
Governor wrote unto him, and sent him ink and paper that he might
answer. The substance of the words of the letter was to declare unto him
his determination, which was to go out of the land of _Florida_, and to
put him in remembrance that he was a Christian, that he would not remain
in the subjection of infidels, that he pardoned him the fault which he
had done in going away to the Indians, that he should come unto him: and
if they did stay him, that he would advertise him thereof by writing.
The Indian went with the letter, and came again without any more answer,
than, on the back side, his name and seal, that they might know he was
alive. The Governor sent twelve horsemen to seek him: but he, which had
his spies, so hid himself, that they could not find him. For want of
maize the Governor could not stay any longer to seek him. He departed
from _Chaguate_, and passed the river by _Aays_; going down by it he
found a town called _Chilano_, which as yet they had not seen. They came
to _Nilco_, and found so little maize, as could not suffice till they
made their ships; because the Christians, being in _Guachoya_ in the
seed time, the Indians for fear of them durst not come to sow the
grounds of _Nilco_: and they knew not thereabout any other country where
any maize was: and that was the most fruitful soil that was thereaway,
and where they had most hope to find it. Every one was confounded, and
the most part thought it bad counsel to come back from the river of
_Daycao_, and not to have followed their fortune, going that way that
went over land. For by sea it seemed impossible to save themselves,
unless God would work a miracle for them: for there was neither pilot,
nor sea-chart, neither did they know where the river entered into the
sea, neither had they notice of it, neither had they anything wherewith
to make sails, nor any store of enequem, which is a grass whereof they
make oakum, which grew there; and that which they found they saved to
caulk the pinnaces withal; neither had they anything to pitch them
withal; neither could they make ships of such substance, but that any
storm would put them in great danger: and they feared much it would fall
out with them, as it did with _Pamphilo de Narvaez_, which was cast away
upon that coast. And above all other it troubled them most, that they
could find no maize: for without it they could not be sustained, nor
could do anything that they had need of. All of them were put to great
confusion. Their chief remedy was to commit themselves to God, and to
beseech him that he would direct them the way that they might save their
lives. And it pleased him of his goodness, that the Indians of _Nilco_
came peaceably, and told them, that two days' journey from thence, near
unto the Great River, were two towns, whereof the Christians had no
notice, and that the province was called _Minoya_, and was a fruitful
soil: that, whether at this present there was any maize or no, they knew
not, because they had war with them: but that they would be very glad
with the favor of the Christians to go and spoil them. The Governor sent
a captain thither with horsemen and footmen, and the Indians of _Nilco_
with him. He came to _Minoya_, and found two great towns seated in a
plain and open soil, half a league distant, one in sight of another, and
in them he took many Indians, and found great store of maize. Presently
he lodged in one of them, and sent word to the Governor what he had
found: wherewith they were all exceeding glad. They departed from
_Nilco_ in the beginning of December; and all that way, and before from
_Chilano_, they endured much trouble: for they passed through many
waters, and many times it rained, with a northern wind, and was
exceeding cold, so that they were in the open field with water over and
underneath them: and when at the end of their day's journey, they found
dry ground to rest upon, they gave great thanks to God. With this
trouble almost all the Indians that served them died. And after they
were in _Minoya_, many Christians also died: and the most part were sick
of great and dangerous diseases, which had a spice of the lethargy. At
this place died _Andrew de Vasconcelos_, and two Portuguese of _Elvas_,
which were very near him: which were brethren, and by their surname
called _Sotis_. The Christians lodged in one of the towns which they
liked best, which was fenced about, and distant a quarter of a league
from the Great River. The maize that was in the other town was brought
thither; and in all it was esteemed to be six thousand hanegs or
bushels. And there was the best timber to make ships that they had seen
in all the land of _Florida_; wherefore all of them gave God great
thanks for so singular a favor, and hoped that that which they desired
would take effect, which was, that they might safely be conducted into
the land of the Christians.

As soon as they came to _Minoya_, the Governor commanded them to gather
all the chains together, which every one had to lead Indians in; and to
gather all the iron which they had for their provision, and all the rest
that was in the camp: and to set up a forge to make nails, and commanded
them to cut down timber for the brigantines. And a Portuguese of
_Ceuta_, who having been a prisoner in _Fez_, had learned to saw timber
with a long saw, which for such purposes they had carried with them, did
teach others, which helped him to saw timber. And a _Genevese_, whom it
pleased God to preserve (for without him they had never come out of the
country, for there was never another that could make ships but he), with
four or five other _Biscayan_ carpenters, which hewed his planks and
other timbers, made the brigantines: and two calkers, the one of
_Geneva_, the other of _Sardinia_, did calk them with the tow of an herb
like hemp, whereof before I have made mention, which there is named
enequen. And because there was not enough of it, they calked them with
the flax of the country, and with the mantles, which they raveled for
that purpose. A cooper which they had among them fell sick, and was at
the point of death: and there was none other that had any skill in that
trade: it pleased God to send him his health. And albeit he was very
weak, and could not labor, yet fifteen days before they departed, he
made for every brigantine two half hogsheads, which the mariners call
quarterets, because four of them hold a pipe of water. The Indians which
dwelt two days' journey above the river in a province called
_Taguanate_, and likewise those of _Nilco_ and _Guachoya_, and others
their neighbors seeing the brigantines in making, thinking, because
their places of refuge are in the water, that they were to go to seek
them, and because the Governor demanded mantles of them, as necessary
for sails, came many times, and brought many mantles, and great store of
fish. And for certain it seemed that God was willing to favor them in so
great necessity, moving the minds of the Indians to bring them: for to
go to take them, they were never able. For in the town where they were,
as soon as winter came, they were so enclosed and compassed with water,
that they could go no farther by land, than a league, and a league and a
half. And if they would go farther, they could carry no horses, and
without them they were not able to fight with the Indians, because they
were many: and so many for so many on foot they had the advantage of
them by water and by land, because they were more apt and lighter, and
by reason of the disposition of the country, which was according to
their desire for the use of their war. They brought also some cords, and
those which wanted for cables were made of the barks of mulberry trees.
They made stirrups of wood, and made anchors of their stirrups. In the
month of March, when it had rained a month before, the river grew so big
that it came to _Nilco_, which was nine leagues of: and on the other
side, the Indians said, that it reached other nine leagues into the
land. In the town where the Christians were, which was somewhat high
ground, where they could best go, the water reached to the stirrups.
They made certain rafts of timber, and laid many boughs upon them,
whereon they set their horses, and in the houses they did the like. But
seeing that nothing prevailed, they went up to the lofts: and if they
went out of the houses, it was in canoes, or on horseback in those
places where the ground was highest. So they were two months, and could
do nothing, during which time the river decreased not. The Indians
ceased not to come unto the brigantines as they were wont, and came in
canoes. At that time the Governor feared they would set upon him. He
commanded his men to take an Indian secretly of those that came to the
town, and to stay him till the rest were gone: and they took one. The
Governor commanded him to be put to torture, to make him confess whether
the Indians did practice any treason or no. He confessed that the
caciques of _Nilco_, _Guachoya_, and _Taguanate_, and others, which in
all were about twenty caciques, with a great number of people,
determined to come upon him; and that three days before, they would send
a great present of fish to cover their great treason and malice, and on
the very day they would send some Indians before with another present.
And these, with those which were our slaves, which were of their
conspiracy also, should set the houses on fire, and first of all possess
themselves of the lances which stood at the doors of the houses; and the
caciques, with all their men, should be near the town in ambush in the
wood, and when they saw the fire kindled, should come, and make an end
of the conquest. The Governor commanded the Indian to be kept in a
chain, and the selfsame day that he spoke of, there came thirty Indians
with fish. He commanded their right hands to be cut off, and sent them
so back to the Cacique of _Guachoya_, whose men they were. He sent him
word that he and the rest should come when they would, for he desired
nothing more, and that he should know, that they thought not anything
which he knew not before they thought of it. Hereupon they all were put
in a very great fear: and the caciques of _Nilco_ and _Taguanate_ came
to excuse themselves: and a few days after came he of _Guachoya_, and a
principal Indian, and his subject, said, he knew by certain information,
that the caciques of _Nilco_ and _Taguanate_ were agreed to come and
make war upon the Christians. As soon as the Indians came from _Nilco_,
the Governor examined them, and they confessed it was true. He delivered
them presently to the principal men of _Guachoya_, which drew them out
of the town and killed them. Another day came some from _Taguanate_, and
confessed it likewise. The Governor commanded their right hands and
noses to be cut off, and sent them to the cacique, wherewith they of
_Guachoya_ remained very well contented: and they came oftentimes with
presents of mantles and fish, and hogs, which bred in the country of
some swine that were lost by the way the last year. As soon as the
waters were slaked, they persuaded the Governor to send to _Taguanate_.
They came and brought canoes, wherein the footmen were conveyed down the
river, and a captain with horsemen went by land; and the Indians of
_Guachoya_, which guided him till they came to _Taguanate_, assaulted
the town, and took many men and women, and mantles, which with those
that they had already were sufficient to supply their want. The
brigantines being finished in the month of June, the Indians having told
us that the river increased but once a year, when the snows did melt, in
the time wherein I mentioned it had already increased, being now in
summer, and having not rained a long time, it pleased God that the flood
came up to the town to seek the brigantines, from whence they carried
them by water to the river. Which, if they had gone by land, had been in
danger of breaking and splitting their keels, and to be all undone;
because that for want of iron, the spikes were short, and the planks
and timber were very weak. The Indians of _Minoya_, during the time that
they were there came to serve them (being driven thereunto by necessity)
that of the maize which they had taken from them, they would bestow some
crumbs upon them, and because the country was fertile, and the people
used to feed of maize, and the Christians had gotten all from them that
they had, and the people were many, they were not able to sustain
themselves. Those which came to the town were so weak and feeble, that
they had no flesh left on their bones: and many came and died near the
town for pure hunger and weakness. The Governor commanded upon grievous
punishments to give them no maize. Yet, when they saw that the hogs
wanted it not, and that they had yielded themselves to serve them, and
considering their misery and wretchedness, having pity of them, they
gave them part of the maize which they had. And when the time of their
embarkment came, there was not sufficient to serve their own turns. That
which there was, they put into the brigantines, and into great canoes
tied two and two together. They shipped twenty-two of the best horses
that were in the camp, the rest they made dried flesh of; and dressed
the hogs which they had in like manner. They departed from _Minoya_ the
second day of July, 1543.

The day before they departed from _Minoya_, they determined to dismiss
all the men and women of the country, which they had detained as slaves
to serve them, save some hundred, little more or less, which the
Governor embarked, and others whom it pleased him to permit. And because
there were many men of quality, whom he could not deny that which he
granted to others, he used a policy, saying, that they might serve them
as long as they were in the river, but when they came to the sea, they
must send them away for want of water, because they had but few vessels.
He told his friends in secret, that they should carry theirs to _Nueva
España_: and all those whom he bare no good-will unto (which were the
greater number) ignorant of that which was hidden from them, which
afterward time discovered, thinking it inhumanity for so little time of
service, in reward of the great service that they had done them, to
carry them with them, to leave them slaves to other men out of their own
countries, left five hundred men and women; among whom were many boys
and girls, which spake and understood the Spanish tongue. The most of
them did nothing but weep; which moved great compassion; seeing that all
of them with good-will would have become Christians, and were left in
state of perdition. There went from _Minoya_ three hundred and
twenty-two Spaniards in seven brigantines, well made, save that the
planks were thin, because the nails were short, and were not pitched,
nor had any decks to keep the water from coming in. Instead of decks
they laid planks, whereon the mariners might run to trim their sails,
and the people might refresh themselves above and below. The Governor
made his captains, and gave to every one his brigantine, and took their
oath and their word, that they would obey him, until they came to the
land of the Christians. The Governor took one of the brigantines for
himself, which he best liked. The same day that they departed from
_Minoya_, they passed by _Guachoya_, where the Indians tarried for them
in canoes by the river. And on the shore, they had made a great arbor
with boughs. They desired him to come on shore; but he excused himself,
and so went along. The Indians in their canoes accompanied him; and
coming where an arm of the river declined on the right hand, they said
that the Province of _Quigalta_ was near unto that place, and importuned
the Governor to set upon him, and that they would aid him. And because
they had said that he dwelt three days' journey down the river, the
Governor supposed that they had plotted some treason against him, and
there left them; and went down with the greatest force of the water. The
current was very strong, and with the help of oars, they went very
swiftly. The first day they landed in a wood on the left hand of the
river, and at night they withdrew themselves to the brigantines. The
next day they came to a town where they went on shore, and the people
that was in it durst not tarry. A woman that they took there being
examined, said, that the town belonged to a cacique named _Huasene_,
subject to _Quigalta_, and that _Quigalta_ tarried for them below in the
river with many men. Certain horsemen went thither, and found some
houses, wherein was much maize. Immediately more of them went thither
and tarried there one day, and which they did beat out, and took as much
maize as they needed. While they were there, many Indians came from the
nether part of the river, and on the other side right against them
somewhat carelessly set themselves in order to fight. The Governor sent
in two canoes the crossbow-men that he had, and as many more as could go
in them. They ran away, and seeing the Spaniards could not overtake
them, they returned back, and took courage; and coming nearer, making an
outcry, they threatened them: and as soon as they departed thence, they
went after them, some in canoes and some by land along the river; and
getting before, coming to a town that stood by the river's side, they
joined altogether, making a show that they would tarry there. Every
brigantine towed a canoe fastened to their sterns for their particular
service. Presently there entered men into every one of them, which made
the Indians to fly, and burned the town. The same day they presently
landed in a great field, where the Indians durst not tarry. The next day
there were gathered together an hundred canoes, among which were some
that carried sixty and seventy men, and the principal men's canoes had
their tilts, and plumes of white and red feathers for their ensigns: and
they came within two crossbow shots of the brigantines, and sent three
Indians in a small canoe with a feigned message to view the manner of
the brigantines, and what weapons they had. And coming to the side of
the Governor's brigantine, one of the Indians entered, and said:

"That the Cacique of _Quigalta_, his lord, sent him his commendations,
and did let him understand, that all that the Indians of _Guachoya_ had
told him concerning himself, was false, and that they had incensed him,
because they were his enemies; that he was his servant, and should find
him so."

The Governor answered him, that he believed all that he said was true,
and willed him to tell him that he esteemed his friendship very much.
With this answer they returned to the place where the rest in their
canoes were waiting for them, and from thence all of them fell down, and
came near the Spaniards, shouting aloud, and threatening of them. The
Governor sent _John de Guzman_, which had been a captain of footmen in
_Florida_, with fifteen armed men in canoes to make them give way. As
soon as the Indians saw them come towards them, they divided themselves
into two parts, and stood still till the Spaniards came nigh them, and
when they were came near them, they joined together on both sides,
taking _John de Guzman_ in the middle, and them that came first with
him, and with great fury boarded them: and as their canoes were bigger,
and many of them leaped into the water to stay them, and to lay hold on
the canoes of the Spaniards, and overwhelm them; so presently they
overwhelmed them. The Christians fell into the water, and with the
weight of their armor sunk down to the bottom; and some few, that by
swimming or holding by the canoe could have saved themselves, with oars
and staves which they had, they struck them on the head and make them
sink. When they of the brigantines saw the overthrow, though they went
about to succor them, yet through the current of the river they could
not go back. Four Spaniards fled to the brigantine that was nearest to
the canoes; and only these escaped of those that came among the Indians.
There were eleven that died there: among whom _John de Guzman_ was one,
and a son of _Don Carlos_, called _John de Vargas_: the rest also were
persons of account and men of great courage. Those that escaped by
swimming said that they saw the Indians enter the canoe of _John de
Guzman_ at the stern of one of their canoes, and whether they carried
him away dead or alive they could not certainly tell.

The Indians, seeing that they had got the victory, took such courage,
that they assaulted them in the brigantines, which they durst not do
before. They came first to that brigantine wherein _Calderon_ went for
captain, and was in the rearward: and at the first volley of arrows they
wounded twenty-five men. There were only four armed men in this
brigantine; these did stand at the brigantine's side to defend it. Those
that were unarmed, seeing how they hurt them, left their oars and went
under the deck: whereupon the brigantine began to cross, and to go where
the current of the stream carried it. One of the armed men seeing this,
without the commandment of the captain, made a footman to take an oar
and steer the brigantine, he standing before him and defending him with
his target. The Indians came no nearer than a bowshot, from whence they
offended and were not offended, receiving no hurt: for in every
brigantine was but one crossbow, and those which we had were very much
out of order. So that the Christians did nothing else but stand for a
butt to receive their arrows. Having left this brigantine they went to
another, and fought with it half an hour; and so from one to another
they fought with them all. The Christians had mats to lay under them,
which were double, and so close and strong, that no arrow went through
them. And as soon as the Indians gave them leisure, they fenced the
brigantines with them. And the Indians seeing that they could not shoot
level, shot their arrows at random up in the air, which fell into the
brigantines, and hurt some of the men: and not therewith contented, they
sought to get to them which were in the canoes with the horses. Those of
the brigantines environed them to defend them, and took them among them.
Thus seeing themselves much vexed by them, and so wearied that they
could no longer endure it, they determined to travel all the night
following, thinking to get beyond the country of _Quigalta_, and that
they would leave them: but when they thought least of it, supposing that
they had now left them, they heard very near them so great outcries,
that they made them deaf, and so they followed us all that night, and
the next day till noon, by which time we were come into the country of
others, whom they desired to use us after the same manner; and so they
did. The men of _Quigalta_ returned home; and the other in fifty canoes
fought with us a whole day and a night; and they entered one of the
brigantines, that came in the rearward, by the canoe which she had at
her stern, and took away a woman which they found in it, and afterwards
hurt some of the men in the brigantines. Those which came with the
horses in the canoes, being wearied with rowing night and day, lingered
behind; and presently the Indians came upon them, and they of the
brigantines tarried for them. The Governor resolved to go on shore and
kill the horses, because of the slow way which they made because of
them. As soon as they saw a place convenient for it, they went thither
and killed the horses, and brought the flesh of them to dry it on board.
Four or five of them remained on shore alive; the Indians went unto
them, after the Spaniards were embarked. The horses were not acquainted
with them, and began to neigh, and run up and down in such sort, that
the Indians, for fear of them, leaped into the water; and getting into
their canoes went after the brigantines, shooting cruelly at them. They
followed us that evening and the night following till the next day at
ten of the clock, and then returned up the river. Presently from a small
town that stood upon the river came seven canoes, and followed us a
little way down the river, shooting at us: but seeing they were so few
that they could do us but little harm, they returned to their town. From
thence forward, until they came to the sea, they had no encounter. They
sailed down the river seventeen days: which may be two hundred and fifty
leagues' journey, little more or less: and near unto the sea, the river
is divided into two arms; each of them is a league and a half broad.

Half a league before they came to the sea, they came to anchor to rest
themselves there about a day; for they were very weary with rowing, and
out of heart. For by the space of many days they had eaten nothing but
parched and sodden maize; which they had by allowance every day an
headpiece full by strike for every three men. While they rode there at
anchor seven canoes of Indians came to set upon those which they brought
with them. The Governor commanded armed men to go aboard them, and to
drive them farther off. They came also against them by land through a
thick wood, and a moorish ground, and had staves with very sharp forked
heads made of the bones of fishes, and fought very valiantly with us,
which went out to encounter them. And the other that came in canoes with
their arrows staid for them that came against them, and at their coming
both those that were on land, and those in the canoes wounded some of
us: and seeing us come near them, they turned their backs, and like
swift horses among footmen got away from us; making some returns, and
reuniting themselves together, going not past a bow shot off: for in so
retiring they shot, without receiving any hurt of the Christians. For
though they had some bows, yet they could not use them; and brake their
arms with rowing to overtake them. And the Indians easily in their
compass went with their canoes, staying and wheeling about as it had
been in a skirmish, perceiving that those that came against them could
not offend them. And the more they strove to come near them, the more
hurt they received. As soon as they had driven them farther off, they
returned to the brigantines. They stayed two days there: and departed
from thence unto the place where the arm of the river entereth into the
sea. They sounded in the river near unto the sea, and found forty
fathoms water. They staid there. And the Governor commanded all and
singular persons to speak their minds touching their voyage, whether it
were best to cross over to _Nueva España_, committing themselves to the
high sea, or whether they should keep along the coast. There were sundry
opinions touching this matter: wherein _John Danusco_, which presumed
much, and took much upon him in the knowledge of navigation, and matters
of the sea, although he had but little experience, moved the Governor
with his talk: and his opinion was seconded by some others. And they
affirmed, that it was much better to pass by the high sea, and cross the
gulf, which was three of four parts the lesser travel, because in going
along the coast, they went a great way about, by reason of the compass
which the land did make. _John Danusco_ said, that he had seen the
sea-card, and that from the place where they were, the coast ran east
and west unto _Rio de las Palmas_; and from _Rio de las Palmas_ to
_Nueva España_ from north to south: and therefore in sailing always in
sight of land would be a great compassing about and spending of much
time; and that they would be in great danger to be overtaken with winter
before they should get to the land of the Christians: and that in ten or
twelve days' space, having good weather, they might be there in crossing
over. The most part were against this opinion, and said that it was more
safe to go along the coast, though they staid the longer: because their
ships were very weak and without decks, so that a very little storm was
enough to cast them away: and if they should be hindered with calms, or
contrary weather, through the small store of vessels which they had to
carry water in, they should likewise fall into great danger: and that
although the ships were such as they might venture in them, yet having
neither pilot nor sea-card to guide themselves, it was no good counsel
to cross the gulf. This opinion was confirmed by the greatest part: and
they agreed to go along the coast. At the time wherein they sought to
depart from thence, the cable of the anchor of the Governor's brigantine
brake, and the anchor remained in the river. And albeit they were near
the shore, yet it was so deep, that the divers diving many times could
never find it; which caused great sadness in the Governor, and in all
those that went with him in his brigantine: but with a grindstone which
they had, and certain bridles which remained to some of the gentlemen,
and men of worship which had horses, they made a weight which served
instead of an anchor. The 18th of July (1543) they went forth to sea
with fair and prosperous weather for their voyage. And seeing that they
were gone two or three leagues from the shore, the captains of the other
brigantines overtook them, and asked the Governor, wherefore he did put
off from the shore? and that if he would leave the coast, he should say
so; and he should not do it without the consent of all: and that if he
did otherwise, they would not follow him, but that every one would do
what seemed best unto himself. The Governor answered, that he would do
nothing without their counsel, but that he did bear off from the land to
sail the better and safer by night; and that the next day when time
served, he would return to the sight of land again. They sailed with a
reasonable good wind that day and the night following, and the next day
till evening song, always in fresh water; whereat they wondered much:
for they were very far from land. But the force of the current of the
river is so great, and the coast there is so shallow and gentle, that
the fresh water enters far into the sea. That evening on their right
hand they saw certain creeks, whither they went, and rested there that
night: where _John Danusco_ with his reasons won them at last, that all
consented and agreed to commit themselves to the main sea, alleging, as
he had done before, that it was a great advantage, and that their voyage
would be much shorter. They sailed two days, and when they would have
come to sight of land they could not, for the wind blew from the shore.
On the fourth day, seeing their fresh water began to fail, fearing
necessity and danger, they all complained of _John Danusco_, and of the
Governor that followed his counsel: and every one of the captains said,
that they would no more go from the shore, though the Governor went
whither he would. It pleased God that the wind changed, though but a
little: and at the end of four days after they had put to sea, being
already destitute of water, by force of rowing they got within sight of
land, and with great trouble recovered it, in an open road. That evening
the wind came to the south, which on that coast is a cross wind, and
drove the brigantines against the shore, because it blew very hard, and
the anchors were so weak, that they yielded and began to bend. The
Governor commanded all men to leap into the water, and going between
them and the shore, and thrusting the brigantines into the sea as soon
as the wave was past, they saved them till the wind ceased.

In the bay where they rode, after the tempest was passed, they went on
shore, and with mattocks, which they had, they digged certain pits,
which grew full of fresh water, where they filled all the casks they
had. The next day they departed thence, and sailed two days, and entered
into a creek like unto a pool, fenced from the south wind, which then
did blow, and was against them; and there they stayed four days, not
being able to get out; and when the sea was calm they rowed out. They
sailed that day, and towards evening the wind grew so strong that it
drove them on the shore, and they were sorry that they had put forth
from the former harbor; for as soon as night approached, a storm began
to rise in the sea, and the wind still waxed more violent with a
tempest. The brigantines lost one another. Two of them, which bare more
into the sea, entered into an arm of the sea, which pierced into the
land two leagues beyond the place where the others were that night. The
five which stayed behind, being always a league and half a league the
one from the other, met together, without any knowledge the one of the
other, in a wild road, where the wind and the waves drove them on shore;
for their anchors did straighten and came home, and they could not use
their oars, putting seven or eight men to every one, which rowed to
seaward; and all the rest leaped into the water, and when the wave was
passed that drave the brigantine on shore, they thrust it again into the
sea with all the diligence and might that they had. Others, while
another wave was incoming, with bowls laved out the water that came in
overboard. While they were in this tempest, in great fear of being cast
away in that place, from midnight forward they endured an intolerable
torment of an infinite swarm of mosquitoes which fell upon them, which
as soon as they had stung the flesh, it so infected it, as though they
had been venomous. In the morning the sea was assuaged and the wind
slacked, but not the mosquitoes; for the sails, which were white, seemed
black with them in the morning. Those which rowed, unless others kept
them away, were not able to row. Having passed the fear and danger of
the storm, beholding the deformities of their faces, and the blows which
they gave themselves to drive them away, one of them laughed at another.
They met all together in the creek where the two brigantines were which
outwent their fellows. There was found a scum which they call copee,
which the sea casteth up, and it is like pitch, wherewith in some
places, where pitch is wanting, they pitch their ships; there they
pitched their brigantines. They rested two days, and then eftsoons
proceeded on their voyage. They sailed two days more, and landed in a
bay or arm of the sea, where they stayed two days. The same day that
they went from thence six men went up in a canoe toward the head of it,
and could not see the end of it. They put out from thence with a south
wind, which was against them; but because it was little, and for the
great desire they had to shorten their voyage, they put out to sea by
the force of oars, and for all that made very little way, with great
labor, in two days, and went under the lee of a small island into an arm
of the sea, which compassed it about. While they were there, there fell
out such weather, that they gave God many thanks that they found out
such an harbor. There was great store of fish in that place, which they
took with nets, which they had, and hooks. Here a man cast an hook and a
line into the sea, and tied the end of it to his arm, and a fish caught
it, and drew him into the water unto the neck; and it pleased God that
he remembered himself of a knife that he had, and cut the line with it.
There they abode fourteen days; and at the end of them it pleased God to
send them fair weather, for which, with great devotion, they appointed a
procession, and went in procession along the strand, beseeching God to
bring them to a land where they might serve him in better sort.

In all the coast wheresoever they digged they found fresh water; there
they filled their vessels, and the procession being ended, embarked
themselves, and going always in sight of the shore they sailed six days.
_John Danusco_ said that it would do well to bear out to seaward; for he
had seen the sea-card, and remembered that from _Rio de las Palmas_
forward, the coast did run from north to south, and thitherto they had
run from east to west, and in his opinion, by his reckoning, _Rio de las
Palmas_ could not be far off from where they were. That same night they
put to sea, and in the morning they saw palm leaves floating, and the
coast which ran north and south. From midday forward they saw great
mountains, which until then they had not seen; for from this place to
_Puerto de Spiritu Santo_, where they first landed in _Florida_, was a
very plain and low country; and therefore it cannot be descried, unless
a man comes very near it. By that which they saw, they thought they had
overshot _Rio de Palmas_ that night, which is sixty leagues from the
river _Panuco_, which is in _Nueva España_. They assembled all together,
and some said it was not good to sail by night, lest they should
overshoot the river of _Panuco_; and others said, it was not well to
lose time while it was favorable, and that it could not be so near that
they should pass it that night; and they agreed to take away half the
sails, and so sail all night. Two of the brigantines, which sailed that
night with all their sails, by break of day had overshot the river of
_Panuco_ without seeing it. Of the five that came behind, the first that
came unto it was that wherein _Calderan_ was captain. A quarter of a
league before they came at it, and before they did see it, they saw the
water muddy, and knew it to be fresh water; and coming right against the
river, they saw where it entered into the sea, that the water broke upon
a shoal. And because there was no man there that knew it, they were in
doubt whether they should go in, or go along; and they resolved to go
in; and before they came into the current, they went close to the shore,
and entered into the port. And as soon as they were come in, they saw
Indian men and women appareled like Spaniards, whom they asked in what
country they were? They answered in Spanish, that it was the river of
_Panuco_, and that the town of the Christians was fifteen leagues up
within the land. The joy that all of them received upon this news cannot
sufficiently be expressed; for it seemed unto them that at that instant
they were born again. And many went on shore and kissed the ground, and
kneeling on their knees, with lifting up their hands and eyes to Heaven,
they all ceased not to give God thanks. Those which came after, as soon
as they saw _Calderan_ come to an anchor with his brigantine in the
river, presently went thither, and came into the haven. The other two
brigantines which had overshot the place, put to sea to return back to
seek the rest, and could not do it, because the wind was contrary and
the sea grown; they were afraid of being cast away, and recovering the
shore they cast anchor. While they rode there a storm arose, and seeing
that they could not abide there, much less endure at sea, they resolved
to run on shore; and as the brigantines were but small, so did they draw
but little water; and where they were it was a sandy coast. By which
occasion the force of their sails drove them on shore, without any hurt
of them that were in them. As those that were in the port of _Panuco_ at
this time were in great joy; so these felt a double grief in their
hearts, for they knew not what was become of their fellows, nor in what
country they were, and feared it was a country of Indian enemies. They
landed two leagues below the port; and when they saw themselves out of
the danger of the sea, every one took of that which he had, as much as
he could carry on his back, and they traveled up into the country, and
found Indians, which told them where their fellows were, and gave them
good entertainment; wherewith their sadness was turned into joy, and
they thanked God most humbly for their deliverance out of so many
dangers.

From the time that they put out of _Rio Grande_ to the sea, at their
departure from _Florida_, until they arrived in the river of _Panuco_,
was fifty-two days. They came into the river of _Panuco_ the tenth of
September, 1543. They went up the river with their brigantines. They
traveled four days; and because the wind was but little, and many times
it served them not because of the many turnings which the river maketh,
and the great current drawing them up by towing, and that in many
places; for this cause they made very little way and with great labor;
and seeing the execution of their desire to be deferred, which was to
come among Christians, and to see the celebration of divine service,
which so long time they had not seen, they left the brigantines with the
mariners, and went by land to _Panuco_. All of them were appareled in
deers' skins tanned and dyed black, to wit, coats, hose, and shoes. When
they came to _Panuco_, presently they went to the church to pray and
give God thanks that so miraculously had saved them. The townsmen which
before were advertised by the Indians, and knew of their arrival,
carried some of them to their houses, and entertained them whom they
knew and had acquaintance of, or because they were their countrymen. The
Alcalde Mayor took the Governor home to his house: and commanded all the
rest, as soon as they came, to be lodged six and six and ten and ten,
according to the ability of every townsman. And all of them were
provided for by their hosts of many hens, and bread of maize, and fruits
of the country, which are such as be in the Isle of _Cuba_, whereof
before I have spoken. The town of _Panuco_ may contain about seventy
families; the most of their houses are of lime and stone, and some made
of timber, and all of them are thatched. It is a poor country, and there
is neither gold nor silver in it. The inhabitants live there in great
abundance of victuals and servants. The richest have not above five
hundred crowns rent a year, and that is in cotton cloths, hens, and
maize, which the Indians their servants do give them for tribute. There
arrived there of those that came out of _Florida_, three hundred and
eleven Christians. Presently the Alcalde Mayor sent one of the townsmen
in post to advertise the Viceroy, _Don Antonio de Mendoça_, which was
resident in _Mexico_, that of the people that went with _Don Ferdinando
de Soto_ to discover and conquer _Florida_ three hundred and eleven men
were arrived there, that seeing that they were employed in his majesty's
service he would take some order to provide for them. Whereat the
Viceroy, and all the inhabitants of _Mexico_ wondered; for they thought
they were miscarried because they had traveled so far within the main
land of _Florida_, and had no news of them for so long a time: and it
seemed a wonderful thing unto them, how they could save themselves so
long among infidels, without any fort, wherein they might fortify
themselves, and without any other succor at all. Presently the Viceroy
sent a warrant wherein he commanded, that whithersoever they sent they
should give them victuals, and as many Indians for their carriages as
they needed: and where they would not furnish them, they might take
those things that were necessary perforce without incurring any danger
of law. This warrant was so readily obeyed that by the way before they
came to the towns they came to receive them with hens and victuals.

From _Panuco_ to the great city of _Temistitan, Mexico_, is sixty
leagues; and other sixty from _Panuco_ to the port de _Vera Cruz_, where
they take shipping for _Spain_, and those that come from _Spain_ do land
to go for _Nueva España_. These three towns stand in a triangle: to wit,
_Vera Cruz_ to the south, _Panuco_ to the north, and _Mexico_ to the
west sixty leagues asunder. The country is so inhabited with Indians
that from town to town those which are farthest are but a league and
half a league asunder. Some of them that came from _Florida_ stayed a
month in _Panuco_ to rest themselves, others fifteen days, and every one
as long as he listed: for there was none that showed a sour countenance
to his guests, but rather gave them anything that they had, and seemed
to be grieved when they took their leave. Which was to be believed; for
the victuals which the Indians do pay them for tribute, are more than
they can spend: and in that town is no commerce; and there dwelt but few
Spaniards there, and they were glad of their company. The Alcalde Mayor
divided all the Emperor's clothes which he had (which there they pay him
for his tribute) among those that would come to receive them. Those
which had shirts of mail left were glad men; for they had a horse for
one shirt of mail. Some horsed themselves; and such as could not (which
were the greatest part) took their journey on foot: in which they were
well received of the Indians that were in the towns, and better served
than they could have been in their own houses, though they had been well
to live. For if they asked one hen of an Indian, they brought them four:
and if they asked any of the country fruit though it were a league off,
they ran presently for it. And if any Christian found himself evil at
ease, they carried him in a chair from one town to another. In
whatsoever town they came, the cacique, by an Indian which carried a rod
of justice in his hand, whom they call Tapile, that is to say a
sergeant, commanded them to provide victuals for them, and Indians to
bear burdens of such things as they had, and such as were needful to
carry them that were sick. The Viceroy sent a Portuguese twenty leagues
from _Mexico_, with great store of sugar, raisins of the sun, conserves,
and other things fit for sick folks, for such as had need of them: and
had given order to clothe them all at the Emperor's charge. And their
approach being known by the citizens of _Mexico_, they went out of the
town to receive them: and with great courtesy, requesting them in favor
to come to their houses, every one carried such as he met home with him,
and clothed them every one the best they could: so that he that had the
meanest apparel, it cost about thirty ducats. As many as were willing to
come to the Viceroy's house he commanded to be appareled, and such as
were persons of quality sate at his table: and there was a table in his
house for as many of the meaner sort as would come to it: and he was
presently informed who every one was, to show him the courtesy that he
deserved. Some of the conquerors did set both gentlemen and clowns at
their own table, and many times made the servant sit cheek by cheek by
his master: and chiefly the officers and men of base condition did so:
for those which had better education did inquire who every one was, and
made difference of persons: but all did what they could with a good
will: and every one told them whom they had in their houses, that they
should not trouble themselves, nor think themselves the worse, to take
that which they gave them: for they had been in the like case, and had
been relieved of others, and that this was the custom of that country.
God reward them all: and God grant that those which it pleased him to
deliver out of _Florida_, and to bring again into Christendom, may
serve him: and unto those that died in that country, and unto all that
believe in Him and confess his holy faith, God for his mercy's sake
grant the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

From the _Port de Spiritu Santo_, where they landed when they entered
into _Florida_, to the Province of Ocute, which may be 400 leagues,
little more or less, is a very plain country, and has many lakes and
thick woods, and in some places they are of wild pine-trees; and is a
weak soil. There is in it neither mountain nor hill. The country of
_Ocute_ is more fat and fruitful; it has thinner woods, and very goodly
meadows upon the rivers. From _Ocute_ to _Cutifachiqui_ may be 130
leagues: 80 leagues thereof are desert, and have many groves of wild
pine trees. Through the wilderness great rivers do pass. From
_Cutifachiqui_ to _Xuala_, may be 250 leagues: it is all an hilly
country. _Cutifachiqui_ and _Xuala_ stand both in plain ground, high,
and have goodly meadows on the rivers. From thence forward to _Chiaha_,
_Coça_, and _Talise_, is plain ground, dry and fat, and very plentiful
of maize. From _Xuala_ to _Tascaluça_ may be 250 leagues. From
_Tascaluça_ to _Rio Grande_, or the Great River, may be 300 leagues: the
country is low, and full of lakes. From _Rio Grande_ forward, the
country is higher and more champaign, and best peopled of all the land
of _Florida_. And along this river from _Aquixo_ to _Pacaha_, and
_Coligoa_, are 150 leagues: the country is plain, and the woods thin,
and in some places champaign, very fruitful and pleasant. From _Coligoa_
to _Autiamque_ are 250 leagues of hilly country. From _Autiamque_ to
_Aguacay_, may be 230 leagues of plain ground. From _Aguacay_ to the
river of _Daycao_ 120 leagues, all hilly country.

From the _Port de Spiritu Santo_ unto _Apalache_, they traveled from
east to west, and north-west. From _Cutifachiqui_ to _Xuala_ from south
to north. From _Xuala_ to _Coça_ from east to west. From _Coça_ to
_Tascaluça_, and to _Rio Grande_, as far as the provinces of _Quizquiz_
and _Aquixo_, from east to west. From _Aquixo_ to _Pacaha_ to the north.
From _Pacaha_ to _Tulla_ from east to west: from _Tulla_ to _Autiamque_
from north to south, to the province of _Guachoya_ and _Daycao_.

The bread which they ate in all the land of _Florida_ is of maize, which
is like coarse millet. And this maize is common in all the islands, and
from the Antilles forward. There are also in _Florida_ great store of
walnuts, plums, mulberries, and grapes. They sow and gather their maize
every one their several crop. The fruits are common to all, for they
grow abroad in the open fields in great abundance, without any need of
planting or dressing. Where there be mountains, there be chestnuts; they
are somewhat smaller than the chestnuts of _Spain_. From _Rio Grande_
westward, the walnuts differ from those that grow more eastward; for
they are soft, and like unto acorns; and those which grow from _Rio
Grande_ to _Puerto del Spiritu Santo_ for the most part are hard; and
the trees and walnuts in show like those of _Spain_. There is a fruit
through all the country which groweth on a plant like Ligoacan, which
the Indians do plant. The fruit is like unto Peares Riall; it has a very
good smell, and an excellent taste. There groweth another plant in the
open field, which beareth a fruit like unto strawberries, close to the
ground, which has a very good taste. The plums are of two kinds, red and
gray, of the making and bigness of nuts, and have three or four stones
in them. These are better than all the plums of _Spain_, and they make
far better prunes of them. In the grapes there is only want of dressing;
for though they be big, they have a great kernel. All other fruits are
very perfect, and less hurtful than those of _Spain_.

There are in _Florida_ many bears and lions, wolves, deer, dogs, cats,
martens, and conies. There be many wild hens as big as turkeys,
partridges small, like those of _Africa_, cranes, ducks, pigeons,
thrushes, and sparrows. There are certain black birds bigger than
sparrows, and lesser than stares. There are goshawks, falcons,
gerfalcons, and all fowls of prey that are in _Spain_.

The Indians are well proportioned. Those of the plain countries are
taller of body, and better shapen, than those of the mountains. Those of
the inland have greater store of maize, and commodities of the country,
than those that dwell upon the sea-coast. The country along the
sea-coast is barren and poor, and the people more warlike. The coast
runneth from _Puerto del Spiritu Santo_ to _Apalache_, east and west;
and from _Apalache_ to _Rio de las Palmas_ from east to west; from _Rio
de las Palmas_ unto _Nueva España_ from north to south. It is a gentle
coast, but it hath many shoals, and great shelves of sand.

_Deo gratias._


FOOTNOTES:

[A] Elvas is a city in Portugal.

[B] Cabeça de Vaca was the Governor of the River of Plate.

[C] The Cassavi root.

[D] Tampa Bay, on the west side of Florida.

[E] From Spirito Santo or Tampa Bay.

[F] Twelve days from St. Helena, and Coste seven days' journey from
Chiaha.

[G] Chisca is directly north from Cutifachiqui, which is within two days
of St. Helena.

[H] Rio Grande, or Rio de Espiritu Santo.


Corrections made to the text by the etext transcriber:

Timoco=>Tinoco

Vasconcellos=>Vasconcelos

northwest=>north-west





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