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Louisiana Anthology

Garcilaso de la Vega.
“History of the Conquest of Florida.”


  1. Design of the Author
  2. Bounds of Florida
  3. Those who have undertaken the Conquest of Florida
  4. Religion and Customs of the People of Florida
  5. Preparations for Florida
  6. Embarkation for Florida
  7. What Happened to the Army from San Lucar to Cuba
  8. Combat of two Ships
  9. Arrival of De Soto at Cuba
  10. Despair of some of the Inhabitants of Cuba
  11. Vasco Porcall de Figueroa joins the Army
  12. Soto arrives at Havanna
  13. The Adventure of Ferninand Ponce at Havana


  1. The arrival of Hernando de Soto in Florida
  2. The death of three Spaniards, and the tortures which Juan Ortis suffered
  3. The Escape of Ortis
  4. The generosity of the Cacique Mucuço
  5. The General sends to demand Ortis
  6. The Meeting of Ortis and Gallego
  7. Mucuço visits the General
  8. The Mother of Mucuço comes to the Camp
  9. Preparations to advance into the Country
  10. Continuation of the Discovery
  11. The Misfortune of Porcallo
  12. The Report of Gallego
  13. The Passage of the Swamp
  14. Silvestre carries the orders of the General to Moscoso
  15. The return of Silvestre
  16. The Province of Acuera
  17. The entry of the Spaniards into the Province of Ocaly
  18. The Province of Vitachuco
  19. The brother of Ochile comes to the Camp, and sends for Vitachuco
  20. The Arrival of Vitachuco
  21. The Result of the Enterprise of Vitachuco
  22. The Defeat of the Indians
  23. The Fortitude of the Indians, and their exit from the Pond
  24. The Death of Vitachuco
  25. The Consequence of the Death of Vitachuco
  26. The Province of Ossachile
  27. Concerning the Town and House of the Cacique, Ossachile, and the Capitals of other Provinces
  28. The author anticipates some difficulties


  1. The Arrival of the Troops at Apalache
  2. The Passage of the Swamp
  3. The March of the Spaniards to the Capital
  4. They reconnoitre the Country
  5. The Discovery of the Coast
  6. A Party of Thirty Lancers for the Province of Hirriga
  7. The Capture of Capasi
  8. Capasi goes to quell his subjects, and escapes
  9. Continuation of the March of the thirty Lancers
  10. Coninuation of the Journey of the thirty Lancers to Hirriga
  11. The Arrival of the Party at Hirriga
  12. They execute the Orders of the General
  13. What happened in the Neighborhood of Hirriga during the absence of Soto
  14. The Departure from the Town of Hirriga
  15. Continuation of the March of Calderon, and his arrival at the Camp
  16. The Discovery of the Coast
  17. They send to Havana an account of the Discovery
  18. The intrepidity of an Indian
  19. They offer to conduct the Spaniards to Places where they believe there were Gold and Silver
  20. Concerning some single Combats, and the fertility of Apalache


  1. Departure from Apalache
  2. Arrival in the Provinces of Altapaha and Achalaque
  3. Concerning the Cacique Cofa and his province
  4. Cofaque receives the Spaniards
  5. The Advanture of an Indian
  6. The March of the Troops
  7. Continuation of what happened in the Wilderness
  8. The success of the Captains sent out to explore
  9. Arrival of the General at Cofaciqui, and the Discovery of the Country
  10. The Conduct of the Lady of Cofaciqui
  11. The Army crosses the Cofaciqui River.
  12. They send for the Mother of the Lady of Cofaciqui
  13. The Death of the Indian Chief, and the return of the Envoys
  14. The Metal which they found in Cofaciqui
  15. The Temple where were interred the most distinguished Inhabitants of Cofaciqui
  16. Description of the Temple of Talomeoo
  17. Departure from Cofaciqui, and what happened on the March as far as Chovala
  18. The generosity of the Lady of Cofaciqui
  19. What happened to the Troops in the Wilderness


  1. How the Caciques of Guachoule and Icinha received the Troops
  2. The Manner in which the Indians extract Pearls from their Shells
  3. The Reception of the Spaniard in the Provinces of Acoste and Coça
  4. The Civility of the Cacique Coça and the Departure of the Troops
  5. The Manner in which Tascaluca received the General
  6. The Discovery of the Treachery at Mauvila
  7. The Decision of the Council of the Cacique, and the beginning of the Battle of Manvila
  8. Continuation of the Battle of Mauvila
  9. Some particulars concerning the Battle
  10. The Condition of the Spaniards after the Battle
  11. Indians killed in Battle
  12. The Conduct of the Troops after the Battle, and the Mutiny of some Soldiers
  13. Concerning Indian Adulteresses
  14. The Entrance of the Spaniards into the Province of Chicaça
  15. The Battle of Chicaça
  16. What the Spaniards did after the Battle
  17. An Invention against Cold


  1. The Attack upon Fort Alibamo
  2. The Death of many SPaniards for want of Salt
  3. The Troops arrive at Chisca, and make Peace with the Cacique
  4. What happened to the Spaniards from Chisca to Casquin
  5. A Procession in which they adore the Cross
  6. The March of the Troops to Capaha
  7. The Excesses which the Casquins committed in the Temple of Capaha, and the Pursuit of the Cacique
  8. The Casquins flee, and Soso makes Peace with Capaha
  9. Peace between Casquin and Capaha
  10. The Spaniards send to seek Salt, and go to the Province of Quiguate
  11. The Troops arrive at Colima; they make Salt and proceed to Tula
  12. The Inhabitants of Tula
  13. The Combat of an Indian with four Spaniards
  14. The Departure from Tula, and the wintering of the Troops at Utiangue
  15. The Stratagem of the Cocique of Utiangue, and the Discovery of the Province of Nuguatex


  1. The Entry of the Troops into Naguatex
  2. The Flight of the Gusman
  3. Concerning the Province of Guscane
  4. The March of the Troops to the Province of Anilco
  5. Concerning Guachoia, its Cacique, and the War of the Indians
  6. The Vengeance of Guachoia
  7. The Return of the General to the Town of Guachoia, and his Preparations for Mexco
  8. The Death of Soto
  9. The Funeral of Soto
  10. The Decision of the Troops after the death of their General
  11. The Superstition of the Indians
  12. The arrival of the Spaniards at Auche, and the Death of their Guide
  13. What happened in the Province of Herdsmen
  14. The Return of the Spaniards to the Chucagua, and their Adventures
  15. The Troops take possession of Aminoia
  16. The Conduct of two Caciques to the Spaniards
  17. The League of some Caciques
  18. The Quarrel of Guachoia with the Lieutenant of Anilco
  19. Concerning an Indian Spy
  20. The Preparations of the Leagues Caciques; and an overflow of the Chucagua
  21. The send to Anilco
  22. The Conduct of the Spaniards during the overflow, and the News of the Continuation of the League
  23. Concerning the Envoys of the League, and the Preparations of the Spaniards to Embark


  1. The Captains of the Caravels, and the Embarkation of the Troops
  2. The Boats and Rafts of the Indians
  3. The Vessels of the Fleet of the allied Caciques
  4. The Battle with the Indians upon the River
  5. Adventures of the Spaniards
  6. A Strategem of the Indians, and the rashness of a Spaniard
  7. The Return of the Indians to their Country, and the arrival of the Spaniards at the Sea
  8. The number of Leagues which the Spaniards travelled in Florida, and a Fight with the Indians of the Coast
  9. The Voyage of the Spaniards, and their Adventures
  10. The Adventure of the two Caravels
  11. They send to seek the General, and to Explore the Country
  12. The Spaniards know that they are in Mexico
  13. The Arrival of the Spaniards at Panuco, and their Dissensions
  14. The Arrival and Reception of the Spaniards at Mexico
  15. Concerning some particulars of the Journey
  16. The Spaniards disband
  17. What Maldonado and Arias did to get Information concerning De Soto
  18. The Christians who have died in Florida






I DESIGN to write of the discovery of Florida and the memorable deeds that have been done there. But as Hernando de Soto performed great actions there, and as this relation particularly concerns him, I shall commence his history from the beginning. Soto was one of the twelve conquerors of Peru, and participated in the capture of Atahualpa, who was the last king of Peru. This prince was the natural son of the inca Huayna Capac, and had usurped the kingdom from the legitimate heir, who was called Huascar. But the cruelties of this usurper caused the people to revolt against him, which facilitated to the Spaniards the conquest of Peru, and procured them great riches. The fifth alone, for the emperor, amounted to nearly two million three hundred thousand ducats, and Hernando de Soto had more than a hundred thousand. This captain received, besides that, many presents from the Indians. and from Atahualpa himself, who gave him magnificent ones, because he was the first Spaniard to whom he had spoken. When Soto had thus enriched himself, he returned to Spain with several others, who had all made fortunes at Caxa Malca. But instead of thinking of the acquisition of some great estate in his own country, the remembrance of the glorious deeds which he had achieved, inspired him with a vast design. Therefore he went to Valladolid to solicit Charles the Fifth to permit him to undertake the conquest of Florida, and engaged to do it at his own expense, and to do everything for the glory of the empire. What most prompted him to this illustrious enterprise was seeing that he had conquered nothing in his own right; that Hernando Cortes had conquered Mexico; and Pizarro and Almegro, Peru. For, not inferior to them, neither in valor nor in any other quality, he could not endure that fortune should be more propitious to them than to himself. He therefore renounced all his claims upon Peru, and turned all his thoughts upon the conquest of Florida, where he died. It is thus, that great commanders have sacrificed themselves for the interest of their sovereigns. Nevertheless, there are among us, persons who maliciously say, that Spain owes to the rashness of some young fools, the greater part of the countries of the new world. But they do not reflect, that they themselves are the children of Spain, and that this generous mother has not raised those to whom she has given birth, but to conquer America and to carry the terror of their arms into the rest of the earth.



FLORIDA is so-called because it was discovered on Palm Sunday, the 27th of March of the year 1513. But because it is a great country, of which all the parts are neither conquered nor known, it is difficult to describe them accurately. It is not known, in fact, whether Florida is hounded on the north by the sea or by the land. What is certain is, that it has the Gulf of Mexico and Island of Cuba to the south; to the east, the ocean which faces Africa; and to the west, what is now called New Mexico. In this direction is the province of the Seven Towns, which was so called by Vasquez Coronado, who went, in 1539, to discover those regions. But as they could not settle them, Antonio de Mendoca, who had sent him there, lost with regret all that he had expended in this enterprise.



JUAN PONCE DE LEON was the first who discovered Florida. He was a gentleman, born in the kingdom of Leon, and had been governor of the island of Porto Rico. As the Spaniards then thought only of making new discoveries, he equipped two caravels, and endeavored by every means to discover the island of Bimini, on account of the report that there was there a fountain which restored youth to old men. But after having searched in vain for this island, a tempest cast him upon the coast which is opposite the north part of Cuba; and he named this continent Florida, and without considering whether it was an island or the mainland, he proceeded to Spain to ask permission to conquer it, and obtained it. Wherefore, in the year 1513, he equipped three vessels, and landed in the country which he had discovered. The Indians, on his arrival, forcibly repulsed him, and slew nearly all his people, except seven wounded, of which number he was, who fled to Cuba, where they all died of their wounds. Such was the end of Ponce and his expedition. But after him, it seemed, that all attempts upon Florida continued to be fatal to those who made them. Some years after this misfortune, the pilot Mirvelo, who commanded a caravel, going to traffic with the savages, a storm drove him upon the coast of Florida, where he was so favorably received, that he returned very well pleased to the island of Saint Domingo. But he did not profit by this opportunity, like a wise pilot, for he had not the precaution to take the latitude of the places, and this neglect cost him dearly as will be seen.

At the same time seven of the richest men of Saint Domingo formed a company, and sent two vessels to the islands of Florida, in order to bring from them Indians to work in the mines which they possessed in common. These vessels landed at the cape which was named Saint Helena; because they arrived there on the anniversary of that saint. They passed thence to a river which they called the Jourdain from the name of him who discovered it. The Spaniards landed at this place, and the inhabitants of the country, who had not yet seen ships, were led to consider them as supernatural things. They were also astonished at the fashion of the attire of the strangers, and at seeing men with beards. But that did not prevent them from receiving them kindly; for they gave them marten skins, some silver, and some seed pearls. The Spaniards made them presents in return, and induced them, by their caresses, to visit the vessels. The Indians, who trusted to these appearances of friendship, to the number of one hundred and thirty, entered the ships. Our people immediately weighed anchor, and went, with all sail, to Saint Domingo. But only one of the two vessels arrived at port, and also they did not profit by their prize. These poor savages, in despair at having been deceived, abandoned themselves to grief, and starved themselves to death. This news having spread in Saint Domingo, Vasquez Lucas d’Aillon went to Spain to ask permission to conquer Chicorie, one of the provinces of Florida, and the administration of the country which he should subdue. The emperor granted to him what he desired, still in addition to this favor, conferred upon him the order of San Iago. Aillon, on his return to Saint Domingo, equipped three vessels in 1524, and took Mirvelo to conduct him to the land where this pilot had been; because it was believed to be the most fertile of all that had been discovered to that time. But because Mirvelo no longer remembered the place where he had first landed, he tried in vain to reach it, and he was so sensibly, affected by it that he lost both his reason and his life. Aillon did not cease to go on, and even after the admiral ship was lost in the Jourdain, he continued his voyage with his two remaining vessels, and anchored near to Chicorie, on a very pleasant coast, where, at first, he was very well received. So that, as he imagined it would be very easy for him to conquer the country, he sent two hundred men to reconnoitre it. The Indians, who concealed their evil designs, conducted them into the interior of the country; and after having manifested much friendship for them, they recalled the treachery of the other Spaniards to them, and fell upon them and cut them in pieces. Then they came with fury upon Aillon and his comrades, who had remained upon the vessels; they slew and wounded many of them, and forced the rest to return quickly to Saint Domingo. The most important of those who escaped were Aillon and a gentleman of Badajos, by whom I have heard narrated the defeat which I have just related.

This misfortune did not deter Pamphile de Narbaez. He went to Florida in 1529, and took with him the young Mirvelo, the nephew of him of whom I have spoken. But, though he had some knowledge of the country, having been instructed by his uncle, he was not, however, more fortunate than he. Narbaez himself, in this voyage, perished with his people, excepting Alvar Nugnez, Cabeca de Vaca, and four of his companions, who returned to Spain, where they obtained some public offices. But that did not succeed; for they died very miserably, and Alvar returned, a prisoner; to Valladolid, where he ended his days. After those of whom I have just spoken, Hernando de Soto undertook to invade Florida. He arrived there in 1539, but finally he lost his fortune and his life there. His death being known in Spain, many asked the government of Florida, and permission to continue the discovery of it. But Charles the Fifth would listen to no one upon the subject. However, in 1549, he sent there Cancel Balbastro, a Dominican monk, as the superior of those of his order, who should go to preach the, gospel to the inhabitants of Florida. This father, arrived in these countries, began to catechise the natives; but instead of listening to him, the Indians, who remembered the injuries they had received from the Spaniards, slew him, and two of his companions. The others, completely frightened, regained the vessels, and returned in haste to Spain, and said, as an excuse for their quick return, that the barbarians had hardened hearts, and took no pleasure in hearing the word of God. Thirteen years afterwards the government of Florida was promised to one of the sons of Aillon if he would conquer it. But as he solicited his departure, and they put off from one day to another the execution of his enterprise, he died of grief. Pedro Menendez and several others went afterwards to Florida. Nevertheless, as I have not sufficient knowledge of what they did there, I shall not speak of it.



THE people of Florida are idolaters, and have the sun and moon for divinities, which they adore without offering them either prayers or sacrifices. However, they have temples, but they make use of them only to inter those who die, and to shut up there their treasures. They erect also at the entrance of these temples, in the form of a trophy, the spoils of their enemies.

These Indians espouse ordinarily but one wife, who is obliged to remain faithful to her husband, under penalty of being punished with a shameful chastisement, or sometimes with a cruel death. But, by a privilege of the country, the great have permission to have as many wives as they please. However, they have but one legitimate wife. The others are but as concubines, so that the children that spring from these last do not share equally the estate of the father with the children of his wife.

This custom is also observed in Peru, for, except the incas and the caciques, who, in the quality of princes and lords, have as many wives as they desire, or as they can support, it is not permitted to the others to have more than one. These persons of rank say that they are obliged to fight, and that it is necessary that they should have many wives, in order to leave many children who may share their labors; that the greater part of the nobles dying in battles, it is necessary that they should have a great number of them; and that, as the multitude have no share in public affairs and are not exposed to perils, there are always enough people to labor and bear the expenses of the government.

To return to the inhabitants of Florida. They have no cattle and support no flocks. They eat instead of bread, corn; and instead of meat, fish and vegetables. However, as they are accustomed to hunt, they often have game, for they kill with their arrows harts, roebucks, and deer, which they have in abundance, and larger than those of Spain. They also catch many kinds of birds, which they eat, and of which the plumage of different colors serves them to deck their heads, and to distinguish during peace the nobles from the people, and during war the soldiers from those who do not bear arms. They drink only water; they eat their meat well cooked, their fruit nearly ripe, their fish well roasted, and ridicule the Spaniards, who use them otherwise. So I cannot give faith to those who report that these people eat human flesh. At least, I dare say that it has not happened in the provinces which Soto discovered; and that, on the contrary, they have an extreme horror of this inhumanity; for, some Spaniards residing in a quarter where they died of hunger, and their companions eating them as they expired, there was but the last who escaped it, at which the Indians were so offended that they wished to go and slay the Spaniards who were in another place.

The people of Florida go almost naked; they wear only a kind of chamois or buckskin drawers. These drawers are of diverse colors, and serve to cover what decency requires them to conceal. Their cloak is a kind of cover which hangs from the neck to the middle of the leg; it is ordinarily of fine martenskins, and smells of a very agreeable musk odor. They sometimes have them also of cat’s, deer, stag’s, bear’s, lion’s, and even of cow’s skins, which they prepare so well that they can use it as cloth. As for their hair, they wear it long, and tied on their heads. Their cap is a colored network, which they attach to their forehead in such a manner that the ends hang as far as below the ears. Their women are also clothed with the skins of deer or roebucks, and have all the body covered in a decent and modest manner.

The Indians make use of all sorts of arms except the crossbow and the musket. They believe that the bow and arrow give them a particular grace, and for that reason they always carry them to the chase and to the war. But as they have a very convenient height, their bows are very long and large in proportion. They are of oak ordinarily, or of some other wood of this sort; it is for this reason that they are difficult to bend, and there is no Spaniard who can draw the cord to his face, whereas the Indians draw it even behind the ear, and make astonishing allots. The cord of their bow is of the skin of the stag, and this is how they make it: from the skin of the stag they cut from the tail to the head a thong two fingers in breadth. Then they take the hair from this thong, soak it, twist it, and attach one end of it to the branch of a tree, and the other to a weight of one hundred or one hundred and twenty pounds, and leave this skin until it becomes in the form of a large catgut. Finally, in order not to wound the left arm with the cord when it is discharged, they make use of a half armlet of large feathers, which covers it from the wrist to the elbow, and which is secured with a leather strap, with which they make several turns around the arm, and thus they discharge the cord with a force altogether remarkable.

These, in brief, are the customs of the inhabitants of Florida. But as I have spoken also concisely of those who discovered it, and as the enterprise of Soto upon this country is more illustrious than that of the others, I shall now relate at more length the things which he did in these countries. I shall describe the provinces which he discovered there, and tell the deeds of his soldiers to the time when they left Florida and retired to Mexico.



SOTO obtained permission to conquer Florida and to erect a marquisate, thirty leagues long by fifteen wide, in the country which he should conquer. The emperor, who granted him this favor, gave him also the government of St. Iago de Cuba, in order to take in this island what should be necessary for his design, and appointed him to be governor-general of Florida when he should conquer it.

This news spread through Spain, it was believed that Soto was going to annex to the crown new kingdoms. As he was one of those who had conquered Peru, and as he employed in this last enterprise all his fortune, they believed that it would greatly exceed the first, and that they would enrich themselves in following his fortunes. This was the reason why persons of every degree were attracted to this enterprise; and in the hope of acquiring from it great wealth, they abandoned what was most dear to them, and all presented themselves to accompany Soto. There joined him, at the same time, seven gentlemen who had returned from the conquest of Peru, and who had in view only the acquisition of riches. As they were not contented with what they had, and the desire to accumulate increased in them, they believed that they would better satisfy their avarice in Florida than in Peru.

Soto, therefore, in virtue of his power, began to give his orders for his vessels, and for everything which he needed. He chose persons upon whom he could relieve himself of some of his cares; he raised troops and made captains and other officers. In the meantime, they executed with so much despatch what he had commanded, that, in less than fifteen or sixteen months, everything was ready and conducted to San Lucar de Barramede, so that the soldiers repaired there with great quantities of cordage, mattocks, panniers, and other things necessary for their enterprise, and in that manner they embarked.



THERE assembled for Florida, at San Lucar, more than nine hundred Spaniards, all in the prime of life, because strength was required to support the fatigues of war, and to overcome the obstacles that are met with in enterprises upon the countries of the new world. However, as vigor alone did not suffice, the general ordered money to be distributed to the troops, having regard to the equipage and birth of those to whom it was given. Several officers who were not equipped, received this favor; others, who considered the great expense which Soto was obliged to make, refused it, in the belief that it would be more generous to employ their means for his service, than to be a burden to him.

When the weather was favorable for navigation, the troops embarked upon ten vessels, of which seven were large, and three small. The general, with all his family, embarked upon the St. Christopher, well provided with soldiers and materials. Nunez Touar, lieutenant-general, with Carlos Henriquez, embarked upon the Madelaine. Louis de Moscoso, colonel of cavalry, commanded the ship Conception, which was of more than five hundred tons. Andrez Vasconcelos was captain of the galleon Bonne Fortune, and had a company of Portuguese gentlemen, some of whom had served in Spain. Diego Garcia commanded the ship Saint Jean, and Arias Tinoco that of Sainte Barbe. Alonzo Romo de Cardenioso was upon the galleon St. Antoine, and had with him Diego Arias Tinoco, ensign colonel of the army. Pedro Calderon commanded a very fine caravel, and had in his company Misser Espindola, captain of sixty halberdiers of the general’s guard. There were, besides these, two brigantines, which were used for tenders, because they were lighter than the ships. There also embarked upon these vessels, priests, and some monks, all men of exemplary probity. To this army was joined, also, the fleet destined for Mexico, which consisted of twenty ships. Soto was commander of it as far as the island of Cuba (where it was necessary for this fleet to separate, in order to go to Vera Cruz), and then he was to leave the command of it to Goncalo de Salazar, the first Christian born in the town of Granada, after the Moors bad abandoned it (in 1492). Therefore, in consideration of this quality, the Catholic sovereigns who conquered that place, granted great privileges to this gentleman, and overwhelmed him with their favors. These two fleets left San Lucar the sixth day of April, of the year fifteen hundred and thirty-eight, with everything necessary, but especially there was nothing wanting to the troops that were going to Florida.



THE day that the fleet set sail, Soto, a little before night, ordered Silvestre, in whom he confided, to visit the sentinels, with orders to the captain of artillery to have the cannon ready, in order that should any ship fail of its duty to fire thereupon. This was immediately executed; and about midnight a great confusion happened. The sailors of Salazar’s ship, wishing to show the speed of their vessel, or to go at the head of the fleet with that of the general, or rather having allowed themselves to be overcome by sleep, and the pilot who then steered the vessel not having a sufficient knowledge of the rules which are observed in an armada, the vessel went off a cannon-shot from the fleet, and gained the advance of Soto’s ship, which was at the head. But as Silvestre, to whom the general had given his orders, was on the alert, and as he saw the ship of Salazar, he awoke the captain of artillery, and asked him if that vessel belonged to the fleet, and upon his reply that it had not the appearance of it, because the sailors who should thus advance would deserve death, caused the ship to be fired upon. The first shot broke the sails; another carried away the gunnel, and they heard those who were in the ship ask for quarter, crying out that they belonged to the fleet. In the mean time the other ships took to arms at the report of the cannon, and got ready to fire upon this vessel, which, drifting with the wind because its sails were torn, fell afoul of the admiral, which was giving chase to it. This misfortune was more vexatious than the other; some, in the fear and the disorder in which they were, thought more of excusing their fault than of managing their vessel; others, on the contrary, under the belief that the action of the people of Salazar was a mark of contempt, breathed only vengeance, and did not mind any method, nor how they sailed. Finally, however, when they perceived that the two vessels were going to injure each other, they made use of poles and pikes, and broke more than three hundred of them to arrest the violence of the shock and save themselves from danger. But they could not prevent the ships from entangling their rigging and running the risk of being sunk. Not a vessel succored them in this confusion. The pilot, affrighted, despaired of extricating himself from the danger; the night prevented them from knowing what was necessary to be clone; the air resounded with cries, and as the noise hindered them from hearing, neither the soldiers could obey, nor the captain command. This was the condition to which the two vessels were reduced, when God inspired them to cut the rigging of Salazar’s vessel, which had caused all the accident; for immediately they found themselves out of danger, and Soto’s ship, favored by the wind, separated from the other. However, this general, enraged either at having seen himself in peril, or believing that his misfortune was the effect of contempt that Salazar showed hint, reproached him, and lacked but little to have had his head cut off. But Salazar apologized with respect, and supported with so much address his reasons, that Soto received his excuses, and generously forgot everything. Salazar did not act exactly in the same way; for in Mexico, when he sometimes spoke of this adventure, he manifested bitterness against Soto, and ardently wished to find an occasion to challenge him, in order to avenge himself of the outrage which this general had done him. But to return to the fleet. After the sailors of Salazar had repaired the rigging, the fleet came to anchor at Gomera, where it recruited. In the meantime the general found so many charms in the natural daughter of the lord of this island, that he demanded her of him, promising to marry her richly in the country which he was going to conquer. This lord, who believed the words of Soto, confided to him his daughter, who was then but sixteen years of age. But he put her, in the first place, in the hands of Isabella de Bovadilla, the wife of the general, and besought her to have, in the future, for this young person, the sentiments of a mother. Afterwards Soto left Gomera, and, favored by the wind, he perceived, at the end of May, the island of Cuba. Then Salazar obtained permission to separate from the fleet, and he conducted the army of Mexico to Vera Cruz. The general, rejoiced to have safely finished his voyage, thought only of repairing to the port. As he was ready to enter it, the troops saw a horseman coming at full speed, who cried out with all his strength to the admiral ship, “starboard.” This horseman had been sent from the town of San Iago, to cause the ship of the general to perish among the shoals and rocks which are encountered in the places which he designated. And in fact, the sailors, who were not well acquainted with the entrance of the port, brought the bow in that direction. But as soon as the horseman discovered that it was a friendly vessel, he changed, to cry to them “larboard;” and, dismounting, he ran and made signs to them to pass to the other side, or that they would go to destruction. The admiral, who comprehended the thoughts of this man, took immediately to the left. However, notwithstanding what diligence he made, he ran against a rock; so that the sailors, who believed that the vessel had sprung a leak, had recourse to the pumps; but, instead of water, they drew wine, vinegar, oil, and honey, because many casks that were full of them had been staved, This accident increased to such a degree their fear, that losing nearly all hope of escaping from danger, they lowered the boat, into which entered the wife of the general, and the ladies of her suite, and several young men who were the first to escape. Soto was very much self-possessed on this occasion; for, notwithstanding the entreaties of his people, he remained firm at his post; he encouraged some, by his example, to work, and controlled the others. He finally gave orders for everything, and made them descend into the hold of the ship, where they found nothing was broken but the casks. The army felt much joy at this, and there were only those who had escaped with the ladies, who had some mortification, having manifested so little firmness in danger.



TEN days before the general arrived at the port of Cuba, Diego Perez arrived there with a ship fully equipped. Perez was of Seville, and went to trafficking among the islands of the new world. It is not so well known what was his rank; it is known only that in all his actions he acted with so much honor that, from his conduct only, it might be judged that he had a noble soul. He had been in this port but three days when there arrived there a French corsair, who had a very good ship and was a very brave man. But as the Spaniards also had much valor, they had no sooner recognized that they were national enemies than they attacked each other and fought until night separated them, after which they sent their compliments to each other, with presents of wine and fruits, and promised each other that during the night there should be a truce,and even that cannon should not be fired on either side. They said there was neither courage nor honor to fight with cannon; that it was more glorious to owe their victory only to their courage and their sword; and that, besides, they would be enriched with the spoils of the vanquished and with an excellent ship. They kept their word; and yet, for fear of some surprise, they did not neglect to post sentinels during the night. The next day, at break of day, they renewed the conflict with so much obstinacy that it was only fatigue and hunger that separated them. But when they had recovered their strength, they fought again until evening. Afterward they visited each other, made presents, and offered to each other remedies for the wounded.

During that night Perez wrote to the inhabitants of San Iago that it was necessary to purge their sea of a corsair as formidable as he whom he was trying to sink; that, in consideration of the efforts that he was making to oblige them, he requested them to promise him that, if he should fail, they would render to him or to his heirs the value of his ship; that if they would assure him of this favor, he would die, or triumph over his enemy; that he demanded of them this favor because he was worth nothing but his ship; and that, if he possessed other riches, he would hazard with all his heart what he had upon the sea, for their service. The town of San Iago received very ungraciously the proposition of Perez; for, very far from according him anything, they replied that he might do what he pleased; that they would not guarantee him anything. This captain, piqued at their ingratitude, placed his hopes in his own courage, and resolved to fight alike for his honor and his fortune. With this view, as soon as the third day appeared, Perez prepared for the combat, and attacked his enemy with as much vigor as before. The Frenchman, on his part, received the Spaniard with confidence, resolved to conquer or die. It was, in reality, rather honor than profit which animated these captains, for except their ships, which were worth something, the rest which they possessed was inconsiderable. However, they attacked each other, fighting like lions, and did not separate except to take breath. They afterward renewed the combat, irritated at not having been able to gain any advantage over each other. Night finally separated them; each retired with his wounded and his dead, and they sent to each other in the accustomed manner. A conduct so extraordinary astonished the town; to see two persons who were seeking fortune contend with so much courage, with the intention to take each other’s life, without having been obliged to it by duty, nor by the hope of being recompensed by their kings, since neither of these brave men fought by the order of his prince.

The fourth day, when Perez and the corsair had saluted each other with a few volleys of cannon, they continued the combat, and did not quit it but to give orders for their wounded. They fought afterwards with so much ardor that night alone separated them. Then they sent to pay their compliments to each other, and entertained each other with divers presents. But as Perez had remarked feebleness in his enemy, he requested him that the combat might be continued the first opportunity until one or the other gained the victory; and, to pledge him to it, he challenged him according to the rules of war, adding that, after the courage he had shown to him whom he had fought, he hoped that he would willingly accept the challenge. The French captain replied that he accepted it with all his heart, and that at the day appointed he would conquer or die. He even besought Perez to take all the night to renew his strength for the next day, and not to deceive him with a false challenge, because he wished to show in his own person the valor of the French nation. Nevertheless, when he knew that the time was favorable to escape he secretly weighed anchor and set sail. The Spanish sentinels heard some noise, but in the belief that their enemy was preparing for the battle they did not give the alarm, and when day appeared they were surprised to see that he had escaped. Perez, afflicted at this fight, because he believed the victory was assured to him, took at San Iago what he needed and pursued the corsair. But he was already afar, and, after all, he did well not to try any longer the fortunes of battle, since the success of it was uncertain for him.

Certainly the proceeding of these captains was worthy of remark, They attacked each other as real enemies, and, nevertheless, it seemed that after the combat they loved each other as brothers. They had for each other only respect and kindness, and they gave noble proofs that their civility did not yield to their courage, and that, whether in peace or in war, they were equally generous.



WHEN the inhabitants of San Iago, stilt wholly frightened at the combat, saw the vessels of the general appear, they feared lest it should be the corsair, who was returning with others to sack their town; which induced them, as has been said, to cause Hernando de Soto to wreck himself if it were possible. But when they recognized him they changed their design, and he safely landed. The people ran to meet him, and promised to obey him, and testified their affection by frequent cries of joy. They afterwards asked his pardon for their mistake, caused by the battle of which they had been the spectators. However, as they did not speak to him of their conduct to Perez, and as the general was secretly informed of it, he blamed them for their ingratitude. He represented to them that the captain had risked himself for their service; that the victory leaving balanced four days between him and his enemy, it had been easy for them, with a boat of thirty men, to have rendered him master of this corsair; that the fear which had hindered them from declaring themselves was badly founded; because, if the Frenchman had been victorious, he would not have had regard for all the indifference they had manifested for a man who had fought for their interests; and that, finally, they could not too soon, nor with too much ardor, succor those of his party, nor too readily get rid of his enemies.

The inhabitants, touched with these words, promised that for the future their conduct should be wiser and more generous, and that they should continue to please him. But that which increased their joy was the arrival of their bishop, Ferdinand de Moca, who came near being drowned in the port. As he attempted to pass from the vessel into the boat, he fell into the sea, because the boat was too far from the ship. However, the greatest danger that happened was, that in coming to the surface he struck his head against the boat; but the sailors leaped into the sea and saved him. The loss of this prelate would have been very grievous. He was considered, in the order of Saint Dominique, to which he belonged, as a man of extraordinary merit; so that the people of Cuba esteemed themselves fortunate, to have for bishop, a great personage, and for governor a renowned captain. There were, for several days, through all the town, nothing but sports, balls, feasts, and masquerades. There were even cunnings at the ring, where were seen a number of horses of every color and size; the most beautiful in the world. We may add that finally, in order to render the rejoicing more celebrated, there were distributed divers prizes to those who most distinguished themselves. They gave to some rings; to others, silk stuffs; and On the contrary they railed at those who had neither the skill nor the courage to render themselves worthy of esteem. These honorable rewards induced several cavaliers of the army, who were adroit, to mingle with them, which augmented the beauty of the festival, and gave to all the town a special pleasure.



THE soldiers, living in peace with the people of the town of San Iago, and trying to render kind offices to one another, made their rejoicing last nearly three months. In the meantime the governor visited all the posts of the island. He established there judges, to whom he gave the rank of lieutenant, and purchased horses for his enterprise. The principal officers did the same thing; so that this obliged him to distribute money among them, and induced the inhabitants of the island to make him a present of some horses; for they raised them with great care, and sold them in Peru and Mexico. There were, in fact, some private persons of Cuba who had twenty and others so many as fifty and sixty; because the island was then rich, fertile, and full of Indians. But the greater part hung themselves soon after the arrival of De Soto. This is the cause of their desperation. As the people of Cuba are naturally lazy, and as the land of the country yields much, they did not take great pains to cultivate it. They raised only a little corn, which they gathered each year for the necessaries of life. So that these poor Indians limited themselves to what nature demanded for its subsistence; and as gold was not necessary for life, they did not esteem it, and could not endure that the Spaniards should compel them to draw it from the places where it was found. Therefore, in order to he no longer obliged to do a thing to which they had so great an aversion, they nearly all hung themselves; and there were found in the morning in a single village, fifty families which had made way with themselves in this manner. The Spaniards, frightened at the horror of this spectacle, tried to divert the rest of the barbarians from a resolution so cruel; but it was useless, for the greater part of the island, and nearly all their neighbors, ended their lives by the same kind of death. Hence it comes that now they pay very dearly for the negroes whom they take to the mines.



To return to Soto; after he had sent troops by sea, under the conduct of one of his captains, in order to rebuild the town of Havana, which the French corsairs had sacked, he provided what was necessary for the conquest of Florida, and was seconded in this enterprise by Vasco Porcallo de Figueroa, of whom I have just spoken. Porcallo was a gentleman who had, from his birth, wealth and courage. He had a long time borne arms, and suffered great hardships, both in Europe and America. So that being old and disgusted with war, he retired to Trinidad, a town of the island of Cuba. But upon the information that Soto had arrived at San Iago with an army, he paid him a visit. He stayed there several days, and when he saw the brave troops and magnificent preparations for Florida, he was tempted, in spite of his age, to again take up arms. He then offered himself and all his wealth to the general, who received him with joy, and praised his resolution. So that, to acknowledge with honor, the offer which this captain had made him of his wealth and his person, he made him his lieutenant-general in place of Nunez Touar, who, without his consent, had married the daughter of the lord of Gomera. Thus the troops were augmented with all the retinue of Porcallo; and that helped exceedingly, for he had a great number of Spaniards, negroes, Indians, many domestics, and more than eighty horses, thirty for his individual service, and fifty which he gave to the cavaliers of the army. He also caused to be made provisions of bread, salt meat, and other things; and encouraged, by his example, many Spaniards who lived in the island to follow the general, who, after having put his affairs in order, departed in haste for Havana.



ABOUT the end of August of the year 1538 the general left San Iago, accompanied by fifty horsemen, to go to Havana; and commanded the rest of the cavalry, which was three hundred men, to follow him, and divide themselves into small companies of fifty men each, and set out at intervals of eight days from one another, in order that being in small numbers they might the better find what they should need. But he resolved that the infantry and his household should go along the coast to Havana, where, as soon as he had arrived and seen the desolation of the town, he made donations to the inhabitants to repair their houses and their churches which the pirates had destroyed. He afterward ordered Juan d’Aniasco, who was very skilful in navigation, to arm two brigantines and to go and discover the coast of Florida, and observe its rivers and inhabitants. Aniasco obeyed, and after having sailed, during two months, along many parts of the coast, he returned with an exact account of the things which he had seen, and brought with him two men of the country. Soto, satisfied with his diligence, sent him back with orders to see where an army could land. Aniasco again set out to visit the coast and notice the places where they could land. But in this second voyage, from which he returned with two other Indian men, it happened that he and his companions, having wandered from each other in a desert island, were two months before they could join each other; during which time they feed upon only the birds which they killed with large shells. Afterward they incurred such great perils at sea, that when they landed it Havana, they went from the vessel to the church upon their knees; where, after having thanked God for delivering them from danger, the army received them with so much the more joy as they believed that they all had been shipwrecked.

In the meantime, the general, who applied himself wholly to his enterprise, had information that Mendoca, viceroy of Mexico, levied troops for the conquest of Florida. But as he feared their meeting might cause differences, he resolved to communicate to him the commissions which he had from the emperor. He, therefore, despatched to Mendoca to beseech him not to make any levy which might interrupt him in the conquest which he meditated. And the viceroy replied that Soto could with every assurance continue his voyage; that he would send his troops to places different from those where he wished to take his fleet: that Florida was a vast country; that each would find there wherewith to satisfy his ambition; that very far from having an idea of injuring Soto he wished that fortune would give him an opportunity to serve him; and that he would not spare, for that end, either his wealth or the power which his character of viceroy gave him. The general, contented with this reply, thanked Mendoca for his good-will.

By this time the cavaliers, who had orders to leave San Iago for Havana, arrived there and had travelled a little more than two hundred leagues, which is the distance from one of these towns to the other. Soto then, seeing that his cavalry and infantry were united, and that the season for putting to sea was drawing near, left for commander in his absence Isabella de Bovadilla, his wife, and gave her, for counsellor, Juan de Rochas. He also established in the town of San Iago, Francisco Guzman: for these two gentleman commanded in the country before he arrived; and upon the report which was made to him, of their good conduct, he confirmed them in their charge. He purchased, at the same time, a fine ship that had landed at Havana, and had served as the admiral ship, when Cuniga made the discovery of the Rio de la Plata. This vessel was called Santa Anna, and was so large that it carried eighty horses to Florida.



WHILE the general awaited a favorable wind to set sail, Ferdinand Police, who was at sea, strove four or five days to avoid patting in at the port of Havana; but the storm forced him there. He did not wish to enter the port, because, when Soto left Peru for Spain, they agreed to share their good and their ball fortunes. The resolution of Soto, when he left Peru, was to return there to enjoy the recompense which his services in the conquest of that kingdom bad merited. As afterwards he changed that resolution, Police obtained from Pizarro, by order of the emperor, a country where he accumulated much gold, silver, and precious stones. He also caused to be paid him some debts which Soto had left to him to collect; and, after having enriched himself, he left for Spain. But, upon information which he received at Nombre de Dios, that Soto was preparing for the conquest of Florida, he endeavored to pass by; for fear of being compelled to divide with him; and that under pretext of his expedition, Soto might seize upon his riches, or at least a part of them.

As soon as Ponce was in port, the general sent to pay his compliments to him, and to offer him what he could. he went afterward to induce him to come and refresh himself on shore; and after being entertained with much politeness, Police told him that he was so unwell from the effects of the storm, that he had not strength to leave his vessel; and that as soon as he should be it little strengthened, he would go and thank him for the kind offer which he had made him. Soto, through politeness, did not urge him; but as he suspected something, he resolved to try him. In the mean time Police, who consulted only his avarice, and who also did not trust in the faith of the general, imprudently thought only how he might conceal from him the knowledge of the riches which he brought from Peru. He therefore ordered that about midnight they should take front his vessel the gold, pearls, and precious stones, which were valued at more than forty thousand crowns, and carry them to the house of one of his friends, or inter them near the shore in order to recover diem when he should find it convenient, without Soto knowing it. However, they did not succeed; for those who watched the people of Ponce, perceiving a vessel approach, quickly concealed themselves without noise. But when they saw that the treasure was landed, and those who lead charge of it were advancing, they pounced upon them, put them to flight, captured the booty and carried it to the general, who ordered them to say nothing until it was seen in what manner Police, whom he suspected, would conduct himself.

The next day Ponce, who concealed the sadness which he felt for the loss of his treasure, visited the dwelling of the general, where they lead a. long conversation concerning things past and present; but when the conversation tell upon the misfortune which happened on the night preceding, Soto complained to Ponce of his want of confidence in him; and to show the justice of his complaints, he caused to he brought the precious stones, and delivered diem to him, assuring him at the same time that if there was any one missing, he would have it restored to him, in order that he might know that, concerning the effects of the partnership, his conduct was very different from his own. Besides, that the expense which he lead made to obtain the permission to conquer Florida, was with the view of sharing with him all the wealth that might result to him from it; that he had made his declaration of it in the presence of men of honor; Old that, nevertheless, it depended upon him whether he would embark for Florida; and that if he wished it, he would even renounce the claims which were allowed him; and that he would be obliged to him if he would inform him of the things which he should find proper to do for their common interest; that, in one word, he would find in him all the fidelity that should be expected from a generous person.

Ponce, full of confusion at the course he lead taken, and still more surprised at the manner in which he had just been spoken to, begged the general to pardon his fault, and to continue his friendship. He also entreated him to consent that each of them should pursue his voyage, and to renew their partnership, putting, for that purpose, into the hands of Isabella de Bovadilla tell thousand crowns of gold and silver, of which the general could make use for the benefit of the company. This way of acting seemed so fair, that what he requested was granted. Afterward, when the time appealed favorable for navigation, Soto lead the munitions and two hundred and fifty horses embarked in the vessels, which, without counting the sailors, carried a thousand men, all well made and well equipped. So that there had not been seen, up to that time, all armament for the Indies so large and so fine. He put to sea the 12th day of May, 1539. But whilst they sail at the will of the winds, I shall relate what Ponce did in port. This captain, under pretext of recruiting himself, and awaiting a favorable time to return to Spain, remained at Havana after the departure of the general; and eight days after, he presented a petition to Rochas, who was judge of the place, in which he alleged that, without owing Soto anything, and only through fear lest he should seize upon all that he bad brought from Peru, he had given to his wife ten thousand crowns in gold and silver, and demanded that they should restore this sum to him, or, he declared, that he would complain ofit to the emperor. This lady replied that the petition declared that there were accounts to be settled between Police and her husband, according to the contract of the partnership into which they lead entered. That Ponce owed more than fifty thousand ducats, and that she prayed that they would arrest him until they had examined the accounts, which she offered to produce as soon as possible. Ponce, who, in fact, was debtor to a large amount to the firm, surprised at this reply, set sail, so that they could not arrest him. And as he had thus embarrassed himself very improperly, he acted prudently in not urging the affair. See how avarice blinds men, and brings them nothing but trouble and confusion.





SOTO, having been nineteen days at sea, because he lead not lead favorable weather, did Dot discover Florida until the end of May, when he came to anchor in a very good bay, which is called Espiritu Santo. But as it was very late, they did not land; and the next day they sent the boats ashore. They returned with wild grapes which were still quite green, for the Indians, who esteem them but little, take no care to cultivate them, but nevertheless do not neglect to eat them when they are ripe. The general received the fruit with pleasure, because they were like the grapes of Spain, and because they had not found any either in Mexico or in Peru, so that, judging from this, of the excellence of the soil of Florida, he commanded three hundred men to go and take possession of it in the name of the emperor. They immediately landed, and after having marched all the day, they rested at night, because of the fatigue which they had undergone. But in the morning the Indians charged them with vigor, put them to flight, and drove them is far as the sea. Porcallo, ill order to support them, sallied out at the head of some troops, and, at first, he would have cut the enemy into pieces but for the disorder of his soldiers, of whom some were wounded, because of their inexperience. Nevertheless he rallied their; and when he had encouraged them he charged upon the barbarians. whom he eagerly pursued. And after having chased them, he returned to the camp, where his horse immediately died from an arrow shot through his body. At the same time the general landed; and after recuperating nine days he left orders for the security of the vessels, and marched about two leagues into the country, as far as the capital of Harriga, which bears the name of the country and its lord; because in Florida, the provinces, the capital, and the cacique, ordinarily bear the same name. When, therefore, the general had thus advanced, the cacique, who was in the capital of the province, irritated against the Spaniards because they had some time previous cut off his nose and caused the dogs to devour his mother, and moreover, alarmed at the arrival of so many people, abandoned the place and retired into the woods, whence they could not make him leave, however favorable the treatment they might lead him to expect; for, wholly enraged against those whom they had sent to oblige him to contract an alliance with the Christians, he said, that, very far from having communication with them, his honor would not permit him even to listen to them; that they were cowardly and perfidious, and that the greatest pleasure they could do him was to bring him their heads, and that he could never sufficiently acknowledge so great a favor. Such great power have outrages to excite hatred in the hearts of those whom they have injured.

But in order to better understand to what degree the cacique carried his resentment, I shall relate the cruelties which he inflicted upon four Spaniards.

It was some time after Narbaez had left the province of Harriga, when one of his vessels which remained behind, and which came to search for him, appeared in the bay. The cacique, who was informed of it, resolved to capture those who were in the vessel, and sent word to them that their captain, on leaving, had given him orders as to what they should do, if by chance they anchored in the port. He also showed them some leaves of white paper, with letters which he had received from Narbaez whilst he was on good terms with him. But that was useless, for they al ways kept on their guard, and refused to land until Harriga sent to them, as hostages, four of his principal subjects. This artifice succeeded, and as many Spaniards entered the boat where were the radians who had brought the hostages. The Cacique, who perceived them, sorry to see so few of them, wished to demand a greater number, but he changed his mind for fear lest those who were coming should discover his design and escape from him. When they had embarked and the hostages knew that their enemies were in the power of their chief, they leaped into the water, according to the orders they had received, and escaped. In the mean time the Spaniards, seeing that they had unfortunately sacrificed their companions, weighed anchor, for fear of some other misfortunes, and fled with all sail.



HARRIGA guarded with care his prisoners, in order to increase by their death the pleasures of a feast which he was to celebrate, in a few days, according to the custom of the country. The time of the ceremony arrived, he commanded that the Spaniards, entirely naked, should be produced, and that they should be compelled to run by turns from one extremity of the public place to the other; that at times arrows should be shot at them, in order that their death might be the slower, their pain the more exquisite, and the rejoicing more noted and of a longer duration. They immediately obeyed, and the cacique, who assisted at the spectacle, saw with pleasure three of the Spaniards run from one side to the ether, searching in vain to escape death. As for the fourth, who was named Juan Ortis, as he was but about eighteen years of age and a handsome man, the wife and daughters of the cacique interested themselves in his favor. They said that his age was worthy of pity; that he had not taken part in the perfidy of the people of his nation; and, therefore, not having committed any crime worthy of death, it was only necessary to keep him as a slave. The cacique consented to it; but this favor onlyserved to make Ortis die a thousand deaths. They forced him to carry, continually, wood and water. He ate and slept very little, and was tormented with so many blows that, had he not been restrained by the fear of God, he would have committed suicide.

In addition to this, the barbarians increased his afflictions at the public rejoicings, and compelled him to run entirely naked in the great square, where they were with their bows ready to pierce him in case he should attempt to rest. He began to run at sunrise, and did not atop till night; and even during the dining of the cacique they would not suffer him to interrupt his course, so that at the end of day he was in a pitiable condition, extended upon the ground more dead than alive. The wife and daughters of Harriga, touched with compassion, then threw some clothes upon him, and assisted him so opportunely that they prevented him from dying. But their pity was cruel to him, for it served only to augment the barbarity of the cacique, who, enraged that Ortis could endure so many divers hardships, ordered, on a day of entertainment, that they should kindle a fire in the middle of the public square; that they should put a griddle upon the fire; and that they should put his slave upon it, in order to burn him alive. This order was promptly executed, and Ortis remained extended upon this griddle until the ladies, attracted by his cries, ran to his assistance. They besought the cacique not to push his vengeance further; they censured his cruelty, and took off the wretched Ortis half burned, for the fire had already raised upon his body great blisters, of which some having broken covered him with blood. This drew the compassion of the greater part of the spectators. Afterward these merciful daughters had him carried to their house, where they treated him with herbs of which the Indians made use in their complaints, having neither surgeons nor physicians. Finally, at the end of some days, Ortis was cured of his wounds, there remaining only the scars. The barbarian, rejoiced to see him in a condition to suffer again, in order to make his vengeance last longer, invented a new kind of punishment in order to fully satisfy himself, and to free himself from the importunities of his daughters. He, therefore, ordered him to guard, day and night, the dead bodies of the inhabitants of the village. These bodies were in the midst of a forest, in coffins of wood covered with boards which were not fastened, but retained only by the weight or some stones or of some pieces of wood which were placed upon them. But as the lions, which are in great numbers in the country, came sometimes to drag the bodies from these Collins and carry them off, the cacique commanded Ortis, upon penalty of being burnt alive, to take care that they did not carry them off; and he gave him four darts to defend himself against all kinds of wild beasts.

This poor Spaniard received with joy this order, in hopes of leading a life a little more happy than before. He then went away into the forest, where he acquitted himself strictly of his commission, and especially at night, as he had then the most to fear. However, it happened that once, when he was oppressed by fatigue and had permitted himself to be overcome by sleep, a lion uncovered a coffin and drew from it an infant, which he carried off. The slave awoke at the falling of the planks, ran, approached the coffin, and, no longer finding the body there, believed that finally it was all over with him. Moved by fear and grief, he went to seek the lion, to die fighting him or to make him leave his prey. He knew that at the break of day the subjects of Harriga would come to visit the coffins, and that, if they did not meet with the infant there, he would be cruelly burnt. So that fear making him run here and there, he found himself in a great road in the midst of the forest, and heard a noise as of a dog gnawing a bone. He listened, and in the belief that it was the lion, he crawled through the bushes, and by the light of the moon he saw him devouring his prey. He therefore took courage and launched one of his darts at him; and because he did not hear him fly, he believed that he had slain him, and remained until daylight to be certain of it, praying God, with tears, not to abandon him in his misfortune.



AS soon as light began to appear, Ortis found the lion slain; and all transported with joy, he collected what remained of the infant, inclosed it in the coffin. took the lion by the paw, and, without drawing out the dart which pierced him, dragged him to Harriga. As it is an extraordinary thing to kill a lion in that country, where however, they are not, so fierce as in Africa, Ortis was honored by all the town, and the cacique was entreated by his daughters to make use of so courageous a slave, and to suppress his resentment on account of so brave a deed. The barbarian on this occasion had a little of complacency, and during some days he treated Ortis with more humanity. But because the injuries which he had received always left some remains of hate, as often as he recalled the indignities the Spaniards had done him, he thought only of avenging himself on this nation in the person of Ortis, and his anger, which seemed as it were extinguished, rekindled suddenly with more violence. So that, yielding to the desire for vengeance which possessed him, he declared to his wife and daughters that, since the sight of his slave recalled to mind the affronts which he had received, he would, at the first festival, have trim shot to death with arrows; and that, upon pain of incurring his indignation, they should no more importune him in his favor; that it was true that he had shown a little courage, but that it was not a sufficient consideration to prevail over his resentments. His wife and his daughters, who knew him, accommodated themselves to his humor, and expressed to him that it was acting right to make way with a man for whom he had so great an aversion and whose presence served only to renew his troubles. Nevertheless, his eldest daughter, resolved to save Ortis, informed him of all that had happened. But as at this news he appeared half dead, she told him not to despair; that she would extricate him from the danger, if he had sufficient resolution to escape; that the night following, at such an hour and at such a place, he would find an Indian in whom she confided; that this man would conduct him as far as a certain bridge, two leagues from the town; that, when he should arrive at this place, the Indian would return before it was day, so that the cacique might not know anything of it, and not be able to avenge himself for his flight upon anyone. She added that, at six leagues beyond the bridge, he would meet with a village, the lord of which, called Mucoço, esteemed her, and even wished to marry her; that be should say to him that. she had sent him to place himself under his protection, being assured that, in consideration of her, he would be protected by Mucoço; that, besides, he should implore the succor of the God whom he adored, and that, for her part, she could do nothing more. Scarcely had she finished when Ortis cast himself at her feet and rendered humble thanks to her for the kindness which she had for him. He prepared to escape the following eight; and, as soon as the people of Harriga were sound asleep, he went off to seek his guide, whom he found at the rendezvous, and left secretly with him. But as soon as they were at the bridge, Ortis requested him to put him in the right road and to return home. Afterwards he thanked him, made him a thousand protestations of friendship, and went off in haste to Mucoço.



ORTIS arrived before day near the village of Mucoço. Nevertheless, for fear of accident, he dare not enter until the sun rose. Two Indians, who had discovered him, then left and put themselves in a posture to shoot at him. He also prepared to defend himself; for the honor of being the favorite of a beautiful and generous lady, giving him boldness, obliged him to say that he was sent on the part of a lady of rank to Mucoço. At the same time the Indians joined him, and they returned in company to inform their lord thata slave of Harriga brought him news. Mucoço, who left his house,advanced to learn what they wished with him. As soon as Ortis saw him he approached him with respect, and said to him, that Harriga had resolved to put him to a cruel death at the first festival; that his daughters dared no more to speak in his favor; that the eldest had induced him to escape, and had given him a guide; that she had commanded him to present himself to him on her behalf; finally, that she prayed him by the love he had for her, to take him under his protection; and that she would be greatly obliged to him for it. After Mucoço had kindly listened to Ortis, he pitied him, and embraced him, and told him that he should fear nothing; that upon his lands he should lead a life very different from that which he lead led; that in consideration of the beauty who had sent him he would protect him openly; and that so long as he lived no one should attempt to do him wrong. Mucoço kept his word with Ortis, and treated him much better than he lead ever dared to expect. He desired that, night and day he should remain in his chamber. But he finished by overwhelming him with his favors when he learned that with one blow of a dart he had slain a lion. In the mean time Harriga learned that his slave was with Mucoço, and he sent a cacique, their common friend, to demand him. But Mucoço replied that Ortis, having sought an asylum in his house, he should never permit him to be torn from it; and that the loss of a man whom Harriga would have put to death ought not to be important to him. Upon this reply Harriga visited Mucoço, but very uselessly, for after soiree words of civility, Mucoço expressed to him that it was very unreasonable in him to wish to compel him to do a thing contrary to his honor; and that he would be the most cowardly of men if he abandoned a person who was under his protection. This reply embroiled the cacique with Mucoço, who would rather renounce his love than violate his faith, so that Ortis remained with this lord, who continued to him his benevolence. He lived with him up to the time when Soto entered Florida, and was, in all, ten years among the Indians; one year and a half with the cacique who tortured him, and the rest with him from whom he received every act of kindness. Mucoço, in fact, conducted himself well toward Ortis, and his conduct covers with shame certain Christian princes, who basely betray those to whom they are under obligations to keep their word. But it is to be hoped that in the future the generosity of the cacique may influence them. His action sprang truly from a great soul. The more we consider the person for whom he did so many things, those whom he resisted, and the passion which he had for the daughter of Harriga, the more he merits praise for having generously sacrificed his mistress and his friends to his honor. It is thus that God is pleased to produce in barbarous regions extraordinary persons in order to confound the Christians who live in countries where reign the sciences and religion.



SOTO, being in the town of Harriga, heard of the adventures of Ortis, of which he had learned something at Havana from one of the Indians whom Aniasco had kidnapped when he went to discover the coast of Florida, for they were subjects of the cacique Harriga. But as he who related the story of Ortis pronounced Orotis for Ortis, the Spaniards, notwithstanding their interpreters, believed that this barbarian asserted that his country abounded in gold, and they rejoiced to hear this word “Orotis,” because their views did not extend beyond searching for gold in Florida. Finally upon the assurance the general had that Ortis was with Mucoço, he believed that he ought to send to demand him, as well to liberate him, as to make use of him as an interpreter. He therefore ordered Belthazar de Gallego, sergeant major of the army, to go to Mucoço and say to him that the Spaniards appreciated the favors which he had done Ortis; that, trusting to the kindness which he had for them, he besought him to return to them this slave, because he was very necessary to them; that in consideration of this new favor which he expected, there was nothing which he would not undertake for him; that if he would take the trouble to visit them, he would find that he had not obliged ungrateful persons; finally, that, after the marks of generosity he had given, their greatest joy would be to meet him, and have him for a friend.

Gallego left immediately with sixty lancers, and at the same time Muccco learned that the Spanish troops had arrived at Harriga, in order to conquer the country. As he dreaded this army he spoke of it to Ortis, and told him that on his account he had embroiled himself with powerful caciques; that now a good opportunity presented itself for him to show his gratitude for this favor; that really he had obliged him without the expectation of a return, but that it seemed that fortune desired that the good offices which he had rendered the Spaniards in his person should be recognized; that, therefore, it was his intention to send him with fifty of the most distinguished of his subjects to the general in order to offer him his alliance, and to solicit him to receive the country under his protection. Ortis, overjoyed at this news, replied to Mucoço that he was much rejoiced to be able to evince to him his gratitude; that he would relate to the Spaniards his generosity, and that those of his nation, who pride themselves upon being very sensible for the favors which are done to their people, would esteem him now and forever, and that assuredly he would receive the fruits of the kindness which he had shown him.

No sooner had he spoken than he saw fifty Indians, who had been commanded to hold themselves ready to Accompany him. They tools the route which goes from Mucoço to Harriga, and left, the day that Gallego started from the camp, to go to the cacique. But it happened that after three leagues of travel in the high road, the guide of the Spaniards tools it into his head that he ought not to conduct them faithfully. He, therefore, began to regard them as enemies, who had come to take possession of the Indies, and to rob the inhabitants of their wealth and their liberty. Moved by these considerations he left his road and took the first that he met, and misled the Spaniards a great part of the day. He led them round about toward the sea, with the design of embarrassing them among some marshes, in order to destroy them there. And as they had not any knowledge of the country, they did not discover the motive of the barbarian until one of them perceived through the Oaks of the forest where they were the masts of their ships. They informed Gallego of the wickedness of the guide, and he placed himself in a posture to pierce him with a thrust of his lance. The Indian, quite astonished, made known that he would re-conduct the Spaniards into the road. He kept his word, but they were obliged to retrace their steps.



ORTIS, going from Mucoço to Harriga, entered into the road which Gallego had taken, and discovered by the tracks of the Spaniards, that their guide had misled them through malice. Therefore, to prevent the alarm which they would give to the town, if they should arrive there before having spoken to him, he resolved to follow them with his company. And after having marched some time he discovered Gallego and his companions in a great plain, bordered on one side by a thick forest. The opinion of the Indians was to immediately gain the woods, because they ran the risk of being badly treated by the Christians if they were not recognized by them as friends before they reached them. Ortis, without heeding this advice, imagined it was enough to be a Spaniard, and tilat those of Iris nation would not mistake him. However, as he was dressed as an Indian, with a cap covered with plumes, short drawers, a bow and arrow in his hand, the affair did not turn out as he had calculated; for as soon as the Spaniards saw him accompanied by his men, they increased their steps, quitted their ranks, and, without obeying Gallego, who recalled them, charged upon the barbarians whom Ortis led, and drove them with thrusts of their lances into the woods. However, as the Indians did not stand their ground, there was but one of them wounded by the thrust of a lance in his groin. This barbarian, who acted so boldly, had remained behind will Ortis, whom Nieto pursued vigorously with the thrusts of his lance, which Ortis parried at first with his bow. But as Sieto, who was ardent and robust, renewed the attack, Ortis, fearing to succumb, began to cry Xibilla for Sevilla. He made at the same time with his bow the sign of the cross, in order that they should know that be was a Christian, because he could not say it in Spanish. He had, to such a degree, lost the custom of speaking his language, since he was among the Indians, that he had so forgotten it that he could not even pronounce Sevilla, the proper name of the place where he was born. The same thing has happened to me, for not having found in Spain any one with whom I could converse in my native tongue, which is that of Peru, I have lost to such a degree the habit of speaking it, that, to make myself understood, I cannot speak six or seven words in succession. I had, notwithstanding, formerly known how to express myself in Indian, with so much grace, that, except the incas who spoke the best, no others could express themselves more elegantly than I.

To return to Ortis: when Nieto heard him pronounce “Xibilla,” be asked him who he was, and as soon as he replied, Ortis, he took him by the arm, lifted him upon the croup of his horse, and joyfully led him to Gallego, who quickly caused to be reassembled his people, who lead given chase to the Indians. Ortis himself entered into the woods, called his companions, crying with all his strength, that they could return with all safety. But some frightened fled is far as the town of Mucoço, where they gave information of all that had happened, and others who were not so much frightened, and had not wandered so far, came, one after another, out of the woods at the call of Ortis. They all cursed his bad conduct, so that, but for the presence of our people, they would have abused him. But to satisfy themselves in some manner, they flew into a passion at their injuries, which Ortis explained as well as he could to the Spaniards, who also blamed him, and gave orders that they should take care of the wounded Indian. In the mean time he dispatched a man to the cacique Mucoço to extricate him from the trouble into which the fugitives had placed him, and then they all took the route to the camp.



THE night was already far advanced when Gallego arrived at the camp. The general, surprised at so quick a return, imagined some great misfortune, but he was immediately reassured at the sight of Ortis, whom he kindly received, and to whom he gave a skirt of black velvet, of which Ortis could not make use, because he was accustomed to go naked. He wore only a shirt, linen drawers, a cap, and slices; and remained in this condition more than twenty days, until, by degrees, he recovered the habit of clothing himself. Soto also gave a favorable reception to the Indians; and afterward he dispatched a. person to the cacique to thank him for having sent Ortis to him. He ordered him to say to him that he felt obliged for the offer which he had made him, of liis desire to place himself under the protection of the Spaniards; and that he accepted it with joy, in the name of his master, Charles the Fifth, the first of Christian princes.

In the mean time the Spaniards came to see Ortis, embraced him, congratulated him upon his arrival, and passed the night in rejoicing. Afterward the general called him, to learn the peculiarities of Florida, and the life he had led under the caciques. Ortis told him that Harriga had cruelly tortured him. He showed him the marks of it, and it was seen that worms had come from the wounds which the fire had made. But that Mucoço had treated him civilly. That, nevertheless, he had not dared to go out of the way, for fear of being killed by the subjects of Harriga; so that he had scarcely any knowledge of the country, and that he knew only that the further they advanced into the country, the more fertile it was.

Whilst Ortis was entertaining the general, notice was given that Mucoço, attended by many Indians, was approaching the camp. In fact, he was seen almost as soon as he was announced, and they conducted him to the general, whom he saluted with respect, as well as all the officers of the army, according to the rank which each one held, as Ortis made known to him. He returned afterward to pay his court to the general, who received him with much friendship, on account of the kindness which he had had for Ortis. But Mucoço showed that they were not tinder obligations to him for what he had done, because, in his quality of cacique, it was his duty; that they were to consider it only in that light; and also that he had sent Ortis only to prevent the troops from laying waste his lands; that thus his services were of little importance. That, however, he rejoiced that his conduct was favorably construed by the general, for whom he had a very special esteem. That he besought him, by that zeal and magnanimity which is so natural to the Spaniards, to take him under his protection. That henceforth he would recognize Charles the Fifth and Hernando de Soto as his legitimate lords; that, being their vassal, he was recompensed beyond his merit, and that for the future he would serve them with all his power. Porcallo and the other captains, surprised at the good sense of the cacique, paid him much honor, and even made presents to him and all his suite.



Two days after the arrival of Mucoço, his mother, who was absent when he left his biome, and who would never have consented that he should deliver himself into the power of the Spaniards, visited Soto. She lead sadness depicted on her countenance, and appeared so much agitated by the uneasiness which she had for her son, that, approaching the general, she besought him to restore to her Mucoço, for fear lest he should be treated as Harriga. That if he was resolved to go to this extremity, she was ready to die for her son. The general received her civilly, and replied to her, that, very far from doing anything unpleasant to Mucoço, he merited every net of kindness; that he even wished that they should pay his mother great respect, on account of so generous a son; that for this reason she should fear nothing and expect everything from the generosity of the Spaniards. These words reassured a little the kind mother, and induced her to remain in the camp. But site had so much distrust, that, eating at the table of the general, she was afraid lest they should poison her; so that she would not taste anything until Ortis had, first of all, tasted it, and assured her that there was no danger; which led one of the gentlemen of the suite to say that he was astonished that she had offered her life for her son, since site dreaded so much to lose it. This lady, to whom they explained that, replied that it was true that site dearly loved her life, but that she loved still more her son; and that there was nothing which she would not give to preserve him; that in consideration of this, site besought the general to restore to her the object of all her affections; that she desired earnestly to take him with her; that in one word she could not overcome her distrust of the promises of the Christians.

The general replied to her, that she was at liberty to go; but as for her son, he would find some pleasure in remaining among the Spaniards, of whom the greater part were of his age; that when he should wish to return, no one should oppose it; that finally, he declared that her son would have rather whereof to be pleased than to complain.

The mother of the cacique left the camp upon this promise; but first of all she begged Ortis to remember that her son had obliged him, and to do the same for him in the danger in which she was leaving him. The general and all his suite laughed it this distrust; which Mucoço turned with so much wit that he contributed to the diversion of the Spaniards; and to show that he confided in them, he remained eight more days to converse with Soto and his officers. Sometimes he inquired about the emperor, sometimes about the ladies, and sometimes about the customs, and the grandees of Spain. After this he tool: a suitable pretext for returning, and politely left the Spaniards. But he returned to see them many times afterward, and made divers presents to them all.

Mucoço was, at that time, between twenty-six and twenty-seven years of age; he had a handsome countenance, a fine form, and an inexpressible air of grandeur in all his actions, which gained the love and esteem of those who approached him.



DURING these affairs, the general ordered everything: for after they had landed their provisions and munitions at Harriga, the town nearest to the bay of Espiritu Santo, he sent the largest of his vessels to Havana, and authorized his wife to dispose of them. He kept the others to make use of them in time of need, and gave the command of diem to Pedro Calderon, a vigilant and experienced captain. He then tried to win over the cacique, Harriga, in hopes that he would have no trouble to propitiate the other chiefs of the country, who had not received ally offence from the Spaniards; that, moreover; it would acquire credit for him among the Indians, and increase his reputation among those of his own nation. Where. fore, when he had made some prisoners, he sent them to Harriga with presents. He sent him word that he ardently wished his good-will, and that he would give him satisfaction for the outrages that had been done him. But the cacique only replied that the injuries he had received would not permit him to listen to any proposition on the part of the Spaniards. However, the conduct of Soto did not fail to produce very good effects; for as the servants of the army went every day for forage, escorted by thirty or forty soldiers, it happened, that not being upon their guard, the Indians charged upon them with load cries, and put them in disorder, captured a Spaniard, named Graiales, and retired. In the mean time, our people rallied and dispatched to the general, who immediately sent the cavalry after the enemy; whom they surprised, it the distance of two leagues, in a place surrounded with reeds. Then, while these barbarians thought only of rejoicing with their wives and children, our soldiers entered with fury into this place, frightened there, put there to flight, and took women and children prisoners. Graiales, who in the confusion, heard the voices of those of his nation, ran and placed himself under their protection. He was Dot immediately recognized by them, because he was already dressed as an Indian, but very soon after they recognized him, and returned very joyfully to the camp with their prisoners. That pleased Soto exceedingly, who wished to know the details of their encounter. Therefore, Graiales told him that the Indians had had no design of injuring the Spaniards, and had drawn their arrows only to frighten them; that as they had taken them in disorder it had been easy for them to have slain a part of diem; but that they were contented to make one prisoner; that, very far from having offered him any injury, they had treated him civilly; and that, reassuring him by degrees, they courteously pressed him to eat. The general immediately sent for his prisoners; and, after having thanked them for the manner in which they had acted, he sent them back. He also declared to them that they had nothing to fear from the Spaniards; and he prayed them that it might he the same on their part in regard to his people; and that they might live in a good understanding with each other; that he had not entered their country to draw upon himself their hate, but their friendship. The general accompanied these words with some presents, and they returned home well satisfied.

Some time after that, these same Indians captured two Spaniards; to whom they left so much liberty that they were enabled to escape. These people were, without doubt, thus softened, only because ofthe courtesies of Soto to their cacique; and, therefore, there is nothing which makes a greater impression upon men than the favors which are politely done them.



AFTER Soto had been about three weeks in making his preparations to advance, he commanded Gallego to go with sixty lancers and as many fusileers, into the province of Urribaracuxi. Gallego left immediately and went to Mucoço, where he was received with joy by the cacique, who lodged the Spaniards one night, and fell them sumptuously. But the next day when they were ready to march they asked a guide of him, and Mucoço said to them that they were too civil a people to take advantage of his friendship in order to oblige him to do a thing against his honor. That, Urribaracuxi being his cousin, he would be blamed by everybody were he to give them anyone to lead them over his lands; that, even if this cacique were not his relation, he ought not to serve them in this respect, because he would pass for a traitor to his country; that he would rather die than commit a crime so unbecoming a person of his condition. Ortis, who conducted the Spaniards, replied to him by the order of Gallego, that they did not wish to abuse his friendship; that they requested of him only an Indian in whom Urribaracuxi had faith, in order to send to inform him that he should not dread their conning; that, even it’ he would have neither peace nor alliance, they were ordered not to ravage his province, on account of the generous Mucoço, of whom they were the friends and relations, and that for the love of him they had not committed any devastation in the country of the cacique Harriga, their avowed enemy. Mucoço replied that he was very much obliged to the Spaniards, and that, understanding their design, he would give thema guide such as they wished. They then left Mucoço, greatly satisfied with the Cacique, and in four days arrived at the country of Urribaracuxi, distant about seventeen leagues from the town of Mucoço. As Urribaracuxi and his subjects had fled away into the woods, the Spaniards dispatched to him their guide, who offered to him their alliance, but after having politely listened to him, he sent him back without having concluded anything.

During the journey, which is twenty-five leagues from Harriga to Urribaracuxi, they met with many grape-vines, pine, mulberry, and other trees like to those in Spain. They also passed through certain countries where there were marshes, hills and woods, and very pleasant plains, of which Gallego made an account, which he sent to the general, and informed him that the army could subsist two or three days about Urribaracuxi. While they go to Soto itis well to tell what is passing at the camp.



UPON the news that Harrign was in the woods near the camp, Porcallo resolved, notwithstanding the entreaties of the general, to go and take this cacique. He therefore left, will cavalry and infantry, in the hope of bringing him back a prisoner, or obliging him to sue for peace. Harriga, informed of this enterprise, sent many times to Porcallo to tell him not to go any farther, because the marshes and other difficulties of the route, which it would be necessary for him to overcome in order to reach him, would protect him; that he gave him this counsel, not through fear, but in acknowledgment of the pleasure they had given him in not ravaging his lauds and maltreating his subjects. Porcallo laughed at this advice, and believed that the cacique was afraid of him, and that he could not escape him. Wherefore, he doubled his speed, encouraged his soldiers, and arrived at a marshy place, where, upon the objections which each one made to entering it, he spurred on, and by advancing obliged many of his men to follow him. But he did not go very far before his horse fell, so that he found himself encumbered beneath him, with his arms, and because they could not go to him on account of the marsh being too deep, it was only by extraordinary good luck that he did not perish. Thus, when he saw that he was conquered without a combat, and even without the hope of taking the cacique, he returned to the quarters in a violent passion, making reflections upon the pleasures which he enjoyed at Trinidad, and upon the hardships which the Spaniards were going to suffer who were yet but at the commencement of their conquest. Besides, as he considered that he had acquired enough glory, and that at the age at which he had arrived he ought not to expose himself so rashly, he believed that it would be no discredit for him to quit the army, and leave the honor of the enterprise to young men, who had need of acquiring a reputation in arms. His misfortune really occupied him so much that he talked of it to himself, and sometimes with those who accompanied him. He even pronounced aloud, syllable by syllable, the names of Harriga and Urribaracuxi. He also, sometimes, transposed the letters. He said Hari, Harri, Sign, Siri, Barracoxa, Huri, and added that he would give the land to the devil, where the first words they heard were frightful, that nothing good ought to be expected from those who bore them; that each one might work for his own individual interest, but that in respect to himself fortune did not concern hint. Porcallo, agitated in this manner, arrived at the camp, where, after having demanded his return to Trinidad, they gave him a vessel, but before embarking he distributed his equipage to some soldiers whom he liked. He left to the troops the provisions and munitions which he had, and desired that Saurez de Figueroa, his natural son, whom he equipped very well, should accompany Soto in his expedition. Figueroa obeyed with joy the orders of his father, and let no occasion of distinguishing his courage escape, but he had the misfortune to have’ his horse killed and himself wounded by the Indians, and afterwards he marched on foot and would not receive anything from the general or any of his captains. This manner of acting displeased Soto, who urged him, many times, to take from him wherewith to equip himself. But Figueroa bore it very indignantly, and they could never prevail upon him.



PORCALLO, in quitting the army, gave marks of imprudence, as he had given them of ambition, when, to follow the general, he abandoned his home and his repose. It is thus that in affairs of importance the resolutions that are not prudently taken, disgrace those who execute them. If Porcallo had maturely considered before committing himself, he would not have lost a part of his wealth and his reputation. But often persons of wealth imagine that they excel others not less in the qualities of the intellect than in the advantages of fortune; and convinced of this error, they take counsel of no one.

Porcallo had hardly left when the report of Gallego arrived. It rejoiced the camp, because it gave hopes of the conquest of Florida. It noticed, among other things, that three leagues beyond Urribaracuxi there was a very dangerous marsh. But that only served to encourage the Spaniards, who said that God had given to men courage and industry as their share to overcome the obstacles which they should encounter in their designs. Therefore, upon this news, the general published that they should hold themselves ready to leave in three days, and sent thirty cavaliers, under the command of Silvestre, to inform Gallego that he was about to follow him. However, he left a garrison of forty lancers and eighty fusileers in the town of Harriga, where, after having established Calderon to guard the vessels and munitions, he commanded him to keep peace with his neighbors, cultivate the friendship of Mucoço, and not to leave the place without his order. The general then left Harriga with the rest of his troops, and took the route to Mucoço; and on the morning of the third day of his march he discovered the town. The cacique, informed of his coming, went out to meet him, received him with joy, and offered him his house. But for fear of incommoding him, the general assured him that he was obliged to pass on; and after having recommended to him the garrison at Harriga, he thanked him for all the favors he had done the Spaniards. Mucoço, kissing his hands with respect, said to him with tears in his eyes, that he could not express which was the most affecting to him, the satisfaction of having known him, or the pain of seeing him depart without being able to follow him. He also begged him to remember him, and to give his compliments to the principal officers of the army. On leaving there, the general continued his march as far as Urribaracuxi, without having met with anything worthy of notice; and he marched always to the northeast. Nevertheless, I am obliged to say that his route is not so precisely known, but that some day it may be found that I have failed to trace it right. It is not because I have not tried to learn the distances of the country, but I have not been able to get as exact a knowledge of them as I would wish; for the Spaniards did not think so much of learning the situation of places, as of hunting for gold and silver in Florida.



THE general arrived at Urribaracuxi, where Gallego awaited him, learned that the cacique was in the woods, and immediately sent for him to solicit him to make peace with the Spaniards. But as the barbarian would listen to nothing, Soto sent to examine a great wide marsh which was upon his route. He knew that the bottom at the borders of it was not good, and that it had such a quantity of water in the middle that it could not be passed on foot. However, they searched so well, that at the end of eight days they found a passage; where, the general having repaired with the army, he easily- extricated himself from it; but, because the defile was long, he spent a day in passing it, and camped at half a league beyond it, in a great plain. The day following he sent scouts to discover the road, and they reported that he could not advance, because of the waters which inundated the country. Upon this news, after having taken a hundred cavaliers and as many foot soldiers, and left the rest of the troops under the command of Moscoso, his colonel of cavalry, he repassed the marsh, and sent to search another passage. In the mean time the Indians, who were in a forest, charged upon Soto and his men, fired upon them, and immediately regained the woods. The Spaniards repulsed them, and also slew or captured some of them. Those who saw themselves captured, wishing to get out of the power of their enemies, offered themselves to guide them, and led them into the ambuscade of the barbarians, who pierced them with their arrows. This malice being discovered, they caused four of the most culpable of them to be torn to pieces by the dogs; so that the others, being frightened, began in earnest to do their duty, and put the people of the general in a road, where, after having marched about four leagues, they found themselves over the great marsh, in a passage, of which the entry and exit were dry. But during one league they had the water up to their armpits; and the middle of the passage, a hundred feet long, was not fordable. The enemy, in this place, had made a wretched bridge of two large trees felled in the water, supported by some stakes fixed in the ground, and some cross-pieces of wood, after the fashion of a hand-rail.

As soon as the general saw this bridge, he commanded Pedro Moron and Diego D’Oliva Metis, who were great swimmers, to go and cut the branches of the trees that encumbered th0 bridge, and to do all that they should find necessary for the convenience of the passage. They executed their orders, but with great difficulty. The Indians, who were concealed among the reeds, came out in small boats, and fired upon them. So that Moron and his companion leaped from the bridge and dived into the water, where they were slightly wounded, and saved themselves. Nevertheless. the Indians, astonished at the resolution of these two men, dared no more to show themselves, and the Spaniards repaired the bridge. At the distance of two musket-shots higher up, they found a place for the cavalry to pass. The general gave notice of it to Moscoso, his colonel of cavalry, with orders to cause the rest of the army to march, and to quickly send him provisions. Silvestre, who was dispatched for that purpose, had charge to bring the provisions with an escort of thirty lancers, and to return toward evening, the next day. For Soto promised to wait for him, and told him that, although the route was long and difficult, he hoped for everything from him. Silvestre then mounted an excellent horse, which they held ready for him, and met Lopez Cacho, whom he ordered, on the part of the general, to accompany him. Cacho excused himself, because be was so fatigued, and begged him to choose some one else; but as Silvestre pressed him more and more he yielded, mounted his horse, and left with him at sunset.



SILVESTRE and Cacho, who were each not more than twenty years of age, exposed themselves, resolutely, to all that might happen to them. They made, at first, without difficulty four or five leagues, because the road was good, and they did not meet with any Indians. Afterward, on account of the marsh, they found themselves engaged in very wretched roads, from which they despaired of extricating themselves. As they had not any certain knowledge of the country they were obliged to march at hazard, and to endeavor to remember the places by which they had passed the first time with their general, and in that their horses rendered them very good service. For guided only by their instinct, they took the route which they had kept in coming, and lowered their heads to scent the track. Cacho and his companion, who understood nothing of that, drew the reins, but their horses immediately sought the road after their fashion. They snorted so loud when they lost it, that it was to be feared that the noise which they made might discover the cavaliers. The horse of Silvestre was the most certain to conduct them right, and he had very excellent marks; he was a brown bay; the near foot white, witha like mark in his forehead. The horse of Cacho was a burnt sorrel, with the extremities black; but he was not so valuable as that of Silvestre, who, after having understood the actions of his horse, let him go at his will. Such was the condition in which Silvestre and Cacho were; and this condition can, without doubt, be better imagined than described.

These cavaliers travelled thus all night without keeping any certain route, overcome by labor and sleep, and tortured with hunger; because they had not eaten anything during two days, except a little corn. Their horses were also broken down with fatigue; because they had travelled for three days without any relaxation, and they had not been unbridled, except to feed for a few moments. For the image of death, which these two cavaliers saw before their eyes, obliged them to push on with diligence, and overcome every difficulty. There were on both sides of the road troops of Indians, whom they perceived by the light of the fires which these barbarians had kindled, and around which they were dancing and making everything echo with their cries. It was not known whether they were then celebrating some festival, or whether it was s simple diversion; but their cries lasted all the night, and prevented them from hearing the steps of the horses, or minding their dogs which barked louder than usual. For if they had discovered Silvester and Cacho they would have endeavored to capture them.

After these cavaliers had travelled ten leagues, with much fear and trouble, Cacho begged Silvestre either to kill him or let him sleep, and declared to him that he could not go any farther, nor hold himself any longer upon his horse. Silvestro replied, bluntly, that he might then sleep, since, in the midst of the dangers which threatened, he could not resist sleep for one hour; that the passage of the marsh was not far; that they could not avoid death if they did not pass it before daylight. Cacho, without hearing what he said to him, fell to the ground as if he had been dead. Silvester immediately took the bridle of the horse and the lance of his companion, and at this moment there spread a great darkness, accompanied by a very heavy rain, which, however, did not awaken Cacho, so powerful is the force of sleep. The rain ceased, the weather brightened, daylight appeared, and Silvestre was in despair at not having discovered the light sooner. But whilst his companion reposed he had probably himself fallen asleep upon his horse. For I remember to have known a cavalier who travelled about four leagues asleep, and who did not awake, although they spoke to him, and who was even in danger of being killed by his horse. As soon, then, as Silvestre saw daylight, he called Cacho, pushed him with the butt of his lance, and finally awoke him, and told him that for being too sleepy it was almost impossible not to fall into the hands of the barbarians. Cacho remounted his horse, and spurred, with Silvestre, at a fast gallop; but daylight disclosed them, and immediately they heard, on both sides of the marsh, nothing but shouts and horns, drums, and other instruments. The Indians came out from among the reeds in canoes, gained the passage, and awaited there the two Spaniards; who, very far from losing courage, reassured themselves by the remembrance of the peril to which they bad just been exposed on land, and rushed boldly into the water through which they were to pass. They were then enveloped with arrows, but as they went rapidly, and were well armed, they escaped without receiving a wound; which was great good luck, considering the multitude of arrows which were discharged at them. In the mean time, the noise which the savages made was heard by the troops, which were not very far from the swamp; and because they suspected something, thirty cavaliers were sent off, who repaired to the passage. Touar, advantageously mounted, spurred at their head. He was bold and ambitious; for, although he knew that he was in ill-favor with Soto, and that his actions would not be esteemed, he did not cease to serve as a brave man. However, that did not restore him to the favor of the general; it seemed, on the contrary, that he was chagrined to see so much virtue in a man for whom he had so great an aversion. It had been better that Touar bad abandoned the service, than to have persisted in wishing to regain the friendship of Soto. It is rarely that the great pardon when they believe that they have been injured.



AS the Indians were pursuing the two Spaniards out of the water they perceived the succors, and for fear of being injured they retreated; so that Silvestre came to the camp, where be was received by Moscoso, who, having learned the orders of the general, had the supplies quickly brought, and commanded thirty cavaliers to escort them. In the mean time, Silvestre stopped about three-quarters of an hour to eat a little corn and cheese, for there was nothing else; and when everything was ready he resumed his route, accompanied by his escort, and led with him two mules loaded with cheese and biscuit. Cacho, who lead not orders to return, remained with Moscoso, who commanded his men to hold themselves ready to leave: whilst Silvestre and his escort crossed the swamp without the enemy pretending to attack them; and arrived, at two o’clock at night, at the place where the general was to have waited for them. But as they did not find him there, they were much troubled, and they camped in that condition. One part of the night, ten cavaliers scouted, and a like number watched, and fed the horses all saddled, while the others were taking a little repose; in order that each one might work and sleep by turns, and that they might not be surprised by the enemy. So soon as it was day, they discovered the route of the general through the swamp, which they crossed before the Indians had taken possession of the pass. If, at any time, they had seized them, the Spaniards would have had trouble to take them; because they would have been obliged to fight in the water up to their armpits, without being able to retreat or to attack with advantage: whereas the enemy, who had boats which they propelled very swiftly, could, at their pleasure, shoot near or at a distance. Nevertheless, they did not take advantage of the opportunity, and they did not know the cause of it, unless it was that they observed lucky days for battle. Finally, after six leagues of travel, the escort found Soto in a valley full of corn so high that they gathered it on horseback. But, as they were very hungry, they ate it raw, and thanked God for their good luck. The general received Silvester with joy; and when he learned the hardships he had suffered, be praised him highly, and promised to reward his services. He then told him that he had not remained at the rendezvous, because his people could not endure their hunger, and that he believed that the savages had killed him. When he finished speaking, he was informed that Moscoso had passed the swamp without the enemy having opposed him; and that, having arrived in three days, at another passage, which was on the other side, they had taken three days more to extricate themselves from it; because it was long, and there was a great deal of water. He was also informed that Moscoso and his troops were in want of provisions; and he sent them corn, which greatly rejoiced them; after which they repaired to the province of Aeuera, where the general was.



THE country of Aeuera is to the north, in regard to that of Urribaracuxi, from which it is distant about twenty leagues. But as the cacique of Aeuera had fled from it, upon the arrival of the troops in his province, they dispatched to him some Indian prisoners. They had orders to induce him to make an alliance with the Spaniards, who were valiant and who could ruin his lands and his subjects: that however, up to the present time, they cy had not gone to that extremity; because their desire was to reduce by mildness, only, the inhabitants of the country to obedience to the king of Spain, their master. That, for this purpose, they desired to speak to him, and to inform him of the orders which they had to treat with the caciques. Acuera replied, “that the Spaniards having already entered the country, he regarded them as vagabonds, who lived by brigandage, and slew those who had done them no injury. That, with a nation so detestable, he would have neither peace nor intercourse. That however brave they might be, they would find men who would be as much so as themselves. That, from this very instant, he would declare war against them, without, however, designing to come to an engagement with them, but that he would lay so many ambuscades for them that he would entirely defeat them. That he had even commanded them to bring him, every week, two Christian heads: a sure means of exterminating them; so much the more easily, as they had no wives. That as for the obedience which they wished him to render their prince, they should know that it was the extreme of baseness for a free people to place themselves under a foreign domination. That he and all his subjects would sooner lose their lives than their liberty, and that they should expect no other answer from a sovereign. That, therefore, they might depart in haste from his country. That they were wretches who sacrificed themselves for the sake of others. That, thus, he esteemed them unworthy of his friendship; and that he would neither see their orders nor suffer them any longer upon his lands.” The general, surprised at this haughtiness, endeavored to win over the cacique, but in vain. The army sojourned twenty days in his province, which they found very good, and they took there provisions to go on. During this time, the Indians harassed the Spaniards so much, that a soldier could not stray a hundred steps from the camp without being killed. They immediately cut off the head, unless they charged suddenly upon them, and carried it to their cacique. They were, in fact, very active. They disinterred, by night, the dead Christians, they quartered them, and hung them from the tops of trees; and executed the orders of their chief with so much courage that they carried to him the heads of eighteen soldiers, without mentioning those whom they put to death, and those whom they wounded with their arrows. As for them, after having attacked, they fled very often; so that our people slew only about fifty.



THE army left Acuera without having done anything except kill a few Indians. They took the route to the province of Ocaly, distant twenty- leagues from the other, and marched to the northeast. They traversed between the two countries a wilderness about twelve leagues long, filled with walnut trees, pines, and trees unknown in Spain, but arranged in such equal distance that they seemed planted for pleasure, so that they made a very delightful forest.

They did not find in Ocaly many marshes and bad defiles, as in the other countries. As this country was higher and further from the coast, the sea could not reach it, and the other provinces being nearer it and lower, the sea entered them in certain places, sometimes thirty, sometimes forty, fifty, sixty, and sometimes one hundred leagues. There were found there great marshes, which rendered the earth trembling to such a degree that it was almost impossible to pass over. The Spaniards, in fact, found in these wretched roads that as soon as they set foot upon the land, it trembled twenty or thirty steps around; sometimes it seemed as though a horse could gallop there; one would never have believed that it was but hardened mud, and that there was water and mire beneath. Nevertheless, when the top happened to break, the men, with their horses, were swallowed up and drowned without resource; so that they had much to endure when it was necessary to pass those places.

To return to the country of Ocaly. The Spaniards found there more provisions than in the other provinces. The land was better, arid the country more cultivated. They remarked also that the farther these countries were from the sea the more populous they were, and the more abundant in all kinds of fruits.

The troops had made seven leagues as they traversed the wilderness between the two countries. On the route they met with some houses here and there, and entered the capital, which was called Ocaly, where the cacique held his court. But he and his vassals had retired into the woods with the best of what they had. The town of Ocaly consisted of six hundred houses, where the Spaniards lodged because they found there large quantities of vegetables, nuts, dried grapes, and other fruits. The general, at the same time, sent some Indians to solicit the friendship of the cacique But he excused himself because he could not leave so soon, and six days after he came to the army, where, although he was well received and had made an alliance, they did not cease to judge that he had bad designs, which they concealed for fear of frightening him. What I am going to say will show that they did not suspect him without reason.

There was near Ocaly a deep river, the steep banks of which were about the height of two pikes. Nevertheless, it was necessary to pass this river, and because there was Do bridge they agreed that the Indians should make one of timber. The cacique and the general, accompanied by many Spaniards, selected a day to see the place where they should erect this bridge. As they were planning it some five hundred barbarians, concealed in the bushes on the opposite side of the river, advanced and commenced calling out to the Spaniards, “cowards,” “robbers,” “you want a bridge, but we will not build it for you;” and thereupon they discharged it them their arrows, which obliged the general to say that since they had sworn an alliance this action ought to be punished. The cacique, to excuse himself, replied that as soon as his subjects saw that he was inclined in favor of the Spaniards, he had lost all authority; that it was not in his power to punish them, and that they could not, without injustice, impute their fault to him.

At the cries which the barbarians made, a greyhound named Brutus, which a page of the general led in leash escaping, leaped into the water. The Spaniards commenced calling him, but that encouraged him to swim straight to the Indians, who pierced his head and shoulders with more than fifty arrows. He, however, passed to the other bank, and fell dead on leaving the water. The Christians were sensibly touched at it, because he had rendered them much service, as I am going to relate.

One day four Indians, through curiosity, came to the camp to see the troops, their arms, and principally their horses, which they dreaded above all things. The general, who knew their design, and that they were the principal men of their province, received them with civility. He made them some presents and commanded them to be regaled in a room to themselves. When they had eaten heartily and saw that they were not observed by any one, they fled with such speed that the Spaniards, despairing of overtaking them, did not follow them. In the mean time Brutus came. He pursued close upon the heels of the Indians, who fled in file, and after having reached them, he passed three of them without attacking them, and leaped upon the foremost, whom he brought to the ground. In the mean time he let him approach who followed; he floored him, and did the same to the others when they were near him, thus holding them all in the same place, he leaped upon the first who made an appearance to rise, and arrested him by barking. He finally embarrassed them to such a degree that he detained them until the Spaniards ran to and seized them, and brought them back to the camp. They immediately separated them, and questioned them on the motives of a flight so unreasonable. They replied that they had tied only in the belief that it would be a glorious thing for them, among those of their own nation, to have thus escaped from the hands of the Christians,and that Brutus had deprived them of a very great honor. It is also said of this greyhound, that one day as the Indians and Spaniards were together upon the banks of a river, an Indian struck,with his bow, a Spaniard. That then the Indian leaped into the water with the other savages, and that Brutus, who saw this, pursued him, attacked him, and strangled him in the middle of the river. It is thus that in the conquest of the new world the greyhounds have done things worthy of admiration. Becerillo served so well in the island of Porto Rico that on his account the Spaniards gave to his master the half of all their earnings. Nugnes de Balboa also was willing to pay five hundred gold crowns to him to whom Leoncello belonged, on account of the good services which that dog lead done in the discovery of the Pacific Ocean.



SOTO, Who saw that the cacique remained uselessly at the camp, told him that if he remained there long he feared that his vassals would altogether revolt, or that, believing that he was detained as a prisoner, they might become more and more irritated; that he begged him to return home, and that when he should come to visit him again he would always pay him much respect. Ocaly replied that he wished to go to his subjects, only to induce them to submit to the general, and that if he could compel them to it he would not fail to return to show his affection for the whole army. Thereuponhe went away and did not keep any of his promises. Afterwards, by means of a Genoese engineer named Francois, the Spaniardsmade a bridge of beams with puncheons across, secured by cords. As there was no lack of wood they succeeded so well in their design that the men and horses passed with great facility. But before crossing the river the general commanded some of his men to place themselves in ambush to capture some Indians. They took thirty of them, who by dint of promises and threats, conducted them into a province, distant sixteen leagues from Ocaly. The country through which they travelled was unsettled, but agreeable, level, full of trees and streams. and appeared very fertile.

The army made eight leagues in two days, and on the third, after having marched until noon, Soto advanced with a hundred cavaliers and as many foot-soldiers, and continued his route the remainder of the day and all the night; he arrived about morning at Ochile, which was one of the towns of the province of Vitaehuco. This country contained nearly two hundred leagues, and was divided between three brothers. Vitachuco, who was the eldest, bore the name of the province and the capital, and of the ten parts which composed this extent of country he possessed five of them. The second, whose name is not known, had three of them. And the last whom they called Ochile, from the name of the town of which he was the chief, had two of them. The cause of this division is not known, for in the provinces which they had discovered. the eldest was the only heir. It may be that these parts had been united by some marriage, and afterwards divided among the children, or that relations who had died without heirs had left them to the father of these three brothers, upon condition that he should divide them in this manner among his sons, in order to preserve the memory of their benefactors, so natural to man is the desire to immortalize himself, and so powerful even over the minds of nations the most savage.

The town of Ochile consisted of fifty houses, fortified to resist their neighbors, for the greater part of the countries of Florida are all enemies of each other. The general entered Ochile by surprise, sounding the bugles and beating the drums to astonish the Indians. In fact, many of them, wholly frightened at a noise so unexpected, left their dwellings in the hopes of saving themselves, and fell into the hands of the Spaniards, who after having made some prisoners, attacked the dwelling of the cacique. It was a very fine house, which lead properly but one hall, one hundred and twenty paces long, by forty wide, with four doors, one at each corner, and many chambers round about, which were entered through the hall.

The cacique, who had enemies to deal with, was in this house with his warriors; to whom were quickly joined the greater part of his vassals, when they saw the Spaniards masters of their town. Immediately they all took their arms and put themselves in a state to defend themselves, but in vain. The Spaniards lead already gained the entrances, and endeavored to oblige them to surrender, sometimes by threatening to burn them, and sometimes by promising them kind treatment. Nevertheless, the cacique remained firm, until they brought to him several of his subjects, who had been made prisoners. They assured him that there were so ninny Spaniards that he ought no longer to think of resisting them. That so far they had not maltreated any one, and that he would be acting prudently in trusting himself to their promises. The cacique suffered himself to be prevailed upon, and was kindly received by Soto; who retained him and set at liberty all the other Indians. But when he saw, on the other side of the town, a valley filled with many houses, well inhabited and at some distance from one another, he believed that there would he no security for him to pass the night at Ochile; because, if these savages of the country should come and join themselves to their neighbors, they could easily take from him the cacique. He therefore returned, with haste, to join his troops, which were three leagues from there, and uneasy at not seeing him. But their sorrow was changed to joy when they saw him returning bringing with him Ochile, accompanied by his domestics and many Indian warriors, who voluntarily followed his fortunes.



THE day after that on which Soto had joined his troops they entered in battle array the country of Ochile, the drums and trumpets at their head; which made the whole neighborhood echo with their noise. The army lodged, the general begged Ochile to send to his brothers to induce them to peace. The cacique then made known to his brothers that the Christians had entered upon their lands; that they had for their object only the friendship of the people; that if they should receive them they would make no devastation, and would content themselves with taking only pro. visions for their subsistence; if not, they would ruin, burn, and slaughter all; that therefore he begged them to ally themselves with them.

The second brother replied that he thanked Ochile for his advice; that he desired to see and know the Spaniards; that, however, he would not go to their camp until about three days, because he wished to put himself in a condition to be seen; but that he could always assure them of his obedience, and accept, on his part, the friendship which they offered him. In fact, three days after, this cacique came to the army, accompanied by the finest and most distinguished of his subjects. He politely saluted Soto, and entertained the officers with so much wit that they would have said that he had been a long time among them. The Spaniards, on their part, received him with great manifestations of friendship; they neglected nothing that might gain the friendship of the caciques who sought their alliance; they supported, strongly, their interests, and would not suffer that there should be committed the least disorder upon their lands.

Vitachuco, who was the third brother, made no reply; and retained those whom they had sent to him. His two brothers, at the suggestion of Soto, dispatched to him other persons, who entreated him to receive the peace which the Spaniards offered him. That he should not imagine that he could contend with them. That they drew their origin from heaven, and were the veritable sons of the Sun and Moon. That, in one word, they rode certain beasts, so swift that they could not escape them. That they besought hint to open his eyes upon the misfortunes which threatened him, and prevent the desolation of his country and the ruin of his subjects. Vitachuco answered so proudly that never bombast approached the haughtiness of his words. But as they were not able to remember them, I will relate only the response which he made to his brothers. He ordered their envoys to tell them that their conduct was that of young men, who lead neither judgment nor experience. That they gave to their enemies fictitious birth and virtues. That the Spaniards were neither the children of the sun nor so valiant as they imagined. That his brothers were cowards to put themselves into their power. That since they preferred servitude to liberty they spoke as slaves, and praised the men for whom they should have only contempt. That they did not consider that those, of whose merit they boasted, would not act less cruelly than the others of the same nation, whom they had seen in the country. That they were all traitors, murderers, robbers; in short the children of the devil. That they carried off women, plundered their property, seized upon the habitable country, and basely maintained themselves by the labor of others. That if they had as much virtue as they said, they would not have abandoned their country; but they would have cultivated it, and would not have drawn upon themselves, by their brigandage, the hatred of all men. That they might say to them, on his part, that they should not enter his lands; that, otherwise they should never leave them; that they should all perish there, and that he would have them cruelly burnt.

After this reply, Vitachuco sent many of his subjects to the camp of the Spaniards. There came sometimes two and sometimes four of them, who sounded the trumpet and made new manaces, more terrible than the first. For this barbarian thought to astonish our people by the different sorts of punishments with which he threatened them. He sometimes informed them, that when they should enter into his province, he would command the earth to open and engulf deem; the mountains between which they should march to close and crush them; the winds to tear up the forests through which they should pass and overturn them upon them; the birds to take poison in their beaks, and drop it upon his enemies, in order to consume them. At other times he would have the waters, the grass, the herbs, the trees, and even the air, poisoned in such a manner, that neither the men nor the horses would ever be able to protect themselves from death; and that thus the Spaniards would serve as an example to those who should hereafter think of entering his lands without his consent. These reveries, which sufficiently show the character of Vitachuco, made the Christians laugh at him. However, they did not neglect to stop eight days in the country of the two brothers; who regaled them with emulation, and showed them the disposition which they had to serve them. But as those whom they had sent to their eldest brother could not persuade him, they resolved to go there themselves. They communicated this design to the general, who approved it, and who gave to them many presents for Vitachuco. This barbarian, moved by the presence of his brothers, who told him that the troops were advancing toward his country, and that they would be able to ravage it entirely, believed that he ought to conceal his hate; that some day he would find occasion to manifest it openly; and that, the Spaniards relying upon the alliance he would swear to them, he would exterminate them all, without incurring any danger to his person. For this reason, he said to his brothers, that up to that hour he had not been able to imagine that the Spaniards had so much valor, and so much merit; that finally, since he was convinced of it, he would receive their alliance with joy; but, beforehand, he wished to know how long they would remain upon his lands, and how much provisions would be necessary for them when they should leave it. Thetwo brothers dispatched promptly to the camp to make known this reply. So soon as the general knew it, he begged them to assure their oldest brother that the troops would not remain in his country, and that he might furnish as much provisions as he chose; for the Spaniards desired only the honor of Lis friendship, with which they expected to have everything in abundance.



VITACHUCO was contented with the reply of the general; so that, in order to conceal more adroitly his design, he asserted that he felt increasing in him a desire to see the Spaniards. He then commanded the principal persons of his province to hold themselves ready to go to the camp, to collect provisions and the things necessary, and to bring them to the capital, in order to give there the Christians an honorable reception. Afterwards he left, accompanied by his brother and five hundred men well armed, and in very good order. But after marching two leagues, he me6 Soto, who had advanced to receive him, and he rendered him his civilities with great marks of amity. He also begged him to pardon what passion had made him say against the Spaniards; that he had been misinformed of their conduct; that for the future, he would render them the honor which was their due; that, in one word, to repair the offence which he had committed, he would recognize the general as his lord, and that his subjects were ready to implicitly obey him. At these words, Soto embraced him, and replied that he would forget all that had passed; that he would remember only the favor which be had done him of loving him; and that, in recognition of this favor, he wished to render him every service. The colonel of cavalry, and the captain, came afterward to salute him, and to rejoice at his arrival; and after some compliments on both sides, the troops entered, in good order, into the capital, which was called Vitachuco. It had some two hundred large houses, very strong, and some others, smaller, which composed the fauxbourgs. The army lodged in the strongest houses. The caciques, and the general with his guard and his retinue, took for themselves the dwelling of the cacique, where, when they had remained three days together and lived high, the two brothers demanded permission to return home. Soto granted it, and made them some presents, so that they left well satisfied. Vitachuco was still four days entertaining the Spaniards, in order to keep them less upon their guard, and that he might the better succeed in what he meditated against them. This design so prepossessed him that he was dazzled with it; so that, instead of taking counsel of his faithful friends, he avoided them, and communicated his idea only to those who flattered him. Such is the behavior of persons who trust too much to themselves; and who also seldom fail to draw upon themselves the trouble which their imprudence merits.

Finally, Vitachuco, who could no longer resist his passion to destroy the troops, assembled, five days after the departure of his brothers, four Indians who served as interpreters to the general. He revealed to them that he had determined to massacre the Spaniards. That it was very easy for him to succeed in it. That they relied upon his friendship, and did not suspect anything. That he had assembled more than ten thousand of his subjects, all hold and enterprising men. That he had ordered them to conceal their arms in the neighboring forests; to enter the town loaded with wood and provisions, and to leave it under pretext of rendering service to their enemies, so that, not doubting anything, they might not be upon their guard He added that, in a great plain, he would put all his subjects in battle array; that he would entreat the general to come and see them; that afterwards he would order twelve of the strongest and bravest of the Indians to accompany this commander, under pretext of doing him honor, and to kill him in the midst of the battalion, when they should see a favorable opportunity for it; that, in the mean time, the others should fall upon the Spaniards, who, surprised at an action so bold, would not have time either to recover themselves, or to put themselves in a state of defence. Thereupon, as if his design had already succeeded, he continued, he would make those who fell into his hands suffer all the punishments with which he had threatened them, and that he would make use of fire, poison, and tortures. Finally, that there should not be any kind of death of which he would not think in order to torture them. After Vitachuco had spoken in this manner, he commanded the interpreters to tell him their opinion, and forbid them to discover his secret. And he promised them that, when he should have satisfied his vengeance, he would give them important offices, and very rich wives if they should wish to dwell upon his lauds. That if not, he would have them escorted as far as their own country, and would load them with favors; that they should consider that the Spaniards held them as slaves; that they would dra them into regions so far that they would lose all hopes of ever seeing their country; that they would injure, not only them, but all the country; that their only aim was to deprive them of their liberty, their wealth, wives, and children, and to load them every day with some new burden; that it was, therefore, necessary to bravely oppose their tyranny. That finally, since his designs regarded only the glory and the interests of the people, he besought them by all that they held most clear to aid him with their counsel.

The interpreters replied that his enterprise was lofty and worthy of a great soul; that his measures appeared well taken; that certainly he would not be deceived in his hopes; that the country would owe to him its preservation, and the people their honor, their fortunes, and their lives; that, with this view, they would swear to him not to divulge his secret, and to implicitly execute his orders; that, in one word, as they could contribute but their vows, for the success of an action so glorious, they would pray the Sun and Moon to favor it.



VITACHUCO and the interpreters separated with much joy. The latter hoped to be very soon free, elevated to honors, and married to very rich wives; and Vitachuco imagined that he had gloriously accomplished the object of his designs; that his neighbors would adore him, and that all the people of the country would recognize him as their liberator. He even thought that he heard then the praises which they ought to give him for au action so illustrious, and saw the women, with their children, dancing and singing before him, according to the custom of the country, songs which proclaimed his valor, and the fortunate success of his enterprise. Puffed up with these vain imaginations he sent for his captains, not to take their advice concerning what should be done, but to make them execute his orders. He told them that he was going to be crowned with an immortal fame; that he even enjoyed it already, in advance; but that it depended upon their courage to cover him with glory; that, therefore, he entreated them to attack the Christians vigorously, and to make such a slaughter of them as be bad imagined. His captains replied that they had so much respect for him that he had only to command, and they would obey him like brave men. The cacique, satisfied with their reply, dismissed them with a promise to inform them, in a short time, what they should have to do. In the mean time the interpreters, to whom Vitachuco had disclosed himself, considering that his enterprise could not succeed, because of the courage of the Spaniards, and of the vigilance of Soto, and besides, the fear of the dangers to which it would expose them, prevailing over the hopes of being recompensed, they believed that their individual interest obliged them to violate their faith. They, therefore, went to Ortis and declared to him the treason, with orders to give notice of it to the general, who immediately assembled his council. It was decided that it was necessary to dissemble, and secretly to warn their people to hold themselves upon their guard with an apparent negligence, in order that the barbarians might not suspect anything. They believed that, to secure Vitachuco, they should even employ the means of which he had resolved to make rise in order to take the general. Therefore, they ordered twelve of the most robust soldiers to keep near the general, when, at the request of Vitachuco, he should go to view the Indians in battle array; and that they should always be on the alert to observe closely all the movements of the barbarian.

The day arrived when everything was to be executed, the cacique invited Soto to come and see his subjects in the country where they awaited him in battle array. That his presence would oblige them to act well. That he would see their numbers and their skill, and whether they understood warfare. As Soto dissembled and feigned not to give himself a guard, he replied, he would view, with much pleasure, the Indians under arms; and that, to render the review more beautiful and contribute to their satisfaction, he would send out, in order of battle, the Spanish cavalry and infantry, that both might exercise and skirmish for amusement. Vitachuco did not wish that they should do him so much honor; but his passion so much prepossessed him that he consented to everything. He relied upon the valor or his subjects; and believed that, without difficulty, he would succeed in his enterprise.



WHEN, on both sides, the troops were under arms, the Spanish cavalry and infantry left in order of battle, and the general marched on foot with the cacique. There was, near the town, a great plain, which abutted one side upon a forest and the other upon two marshes. The first of these marshes was a kind of pond, of which the bottom was very good, but the water so deep, that, at four paces from the shore, it was overhead; the second was three-quarters ofa league wide, and the length greater than the eye could view. The Indians came and camped between this forest and these marshes; they had these waters on their right and the forest on their left. There were nearly ten thousand, all men of the elite, and very active, with plumes disposed in such a fashion upon their heads that they appeared larger than ordinary. Being camped, they concealed their arms, to make it appear that they had no evil design, and formed a very beautiful battalion in the form of a crescent. There they awaited their chief and the general, who came with the resolution to seize each other; accompanied, each, by twelve persons. The Spanish infantry marched on the side of the forest, and the cavalry in the middle of the plain, to the right of the general. who bad no sooner arrived where Vitachuco was to have had him seized, than he anticipated him, and had a musket fired, which was the signal. The twelve Spaniards immediately seized the cacique, the Indians endeavoring to rescue him; but their efforts did not succeed.

The general, who was armed under his dress, had ordered that they should keep ready for him two of his best horses; so that, after seizing the barbarian, he mounted the horse named Azeituno and attacked the battalion of Indians. It was his custom to encourage others by his example, and to go first, headlong, into danger: for he would not have found his victory glorious if he had not gained it at the peril of his life. He also passed for one of the four bravest captains who had gone to the West Indies; but he did not take sufficient care of himself. The Indians, who had then taken arms, received him courageously, and prevented him from breaking their battalion. At the same time that he put the first line in disorder, they fired upon him, and pierced Azeituno with eight arrows. This horse fell dead; for it was at this that they lead principally aimed, and even in all the other combats, they took more care to kill the horses than to kill the men; imagining that the death of the one was more important to them than that of the other.

The signal being given our men charged upon the Indians, and the cavalry followed so closely the general that it succored him before he could be wounded. But Viota, who was one of his pages, seeing his master’s horse was slain, dismounted and gave him his own. The general immediately rushed upon the barbarians; who, without pikes, could not resist three hundred cavalry, and all took to flight; they who had boasted of exterminating all the Spaniards.

As the battalion was broken, the Indians. about ten o’clock in the morning, fled; some into the woods and others into the pond. Those of the rearguard scattered over the plain; which was the reason why they slew more than three hundred of them and made many prisoners. Nevertheless, those of the advance-guard, who were the most valiant, were still worse treated: for, flying after having sustained the first shock and the fury of the cavalry, they could gain neither the wood nor the marsh, which were the best retreats; so that more than nine hundred threw themselves into the pond. In the mean time the Spaniards pursued the others as far as the forest; but to no purpose, and they retraced their steps to the pond to harass, the remainder of the day, the barbarians who had escaped there. They fired upon them, sometimes arrows and sometimes musket shots, merely to compel them to surrender; for since they could not escape our people did not wish to injure them. The Indians, on their side, defended themselves valiantly, and exhausted upon the Spaniards all their arrows. But as they had no footing, there were many of them who swam three or four abreast; pressing one against the other, and who carried upon their backs one of their comrades who fired until he had no more arrows. They fought in this manner, all the day, without any of them being willing to surrender. The night come, our men invested the pond; the cavaliers placed themselves two and two at intervals, and the foot soldiers six and six at very short distances from each other; for fear lest, by favor of the darkness, they should escape from them. And when they heard them approach the shore, besides promising them every kind of good treatment, they would menace them and fire upon them to make them retire; and fatiguing them by dint of swimming they soon constrained them to surrender.



THEY were the greater part of the night harassing the Indians, who, without any hope of succor, showed they would rather die than surrender. However, by the persuasion of Ortis, the most fatigued began to leave the pond, one after another, but so slowly that at break of day there were not yet fifty out. The others, who saw that their companions were treated well, surrendered in greater numbers. They came, however, so reluctantly, that the greater part, being upon the shore, leaped again into the water and did not leave it until the last extremity; so that there were many of them who swam twenty-four hours. And the next day, when the day was already a little advanced, about two hundred surrendered; but so swollen by the water which they had swallowed, and so overcome by hunger, fatigue, and drowsiness, that they were half dead. Finally, the others left it, with the exception of seven, whom nothing could move, and who would have died in the water, if before evening the general had not commanded them to be drawn out of it. Twelve great swimmers then leaped into the pond, and taking them by the legs, arms, and hair, brought them to shore. But the poor Indians were pitiable; extended upon the sand more dead than alive, and in a condition in which you may imagine men who had fought thirty hours swimming in the water. Our people, touched with compassion and admiring their courage, brought them to the town, where they assisted them; and they were more aided by the goodness of their constitution than by the virtues of their remedies. Afterwards, when they saw them a little recovered, the general had them called, and feigning to be enraged, demanded of them why, in the deplorable condition in which they saw themselves, they had not followed the example of their companions. Then four, about thirty-five years each, replied through one of them, that they had known the peril which threatened them, but that, in consideration of the commands which Vitachuco bad given them as his troops, and of the esteem which he had for their valor, they had been obliged to show that they were not entirely unworthy of his favors, and that he was not mistaken in the choice which he had made of their persons. That besides they desired to leave to their children an example of fidelity and courage, and to instruct by their valor, all the other captains. That they were, therefore, to be pitied for not having done their duty, and that the compassion which they had for them was painful to their honor. That, however, they should not cease to have much gratitude for the kindness they had intended to do them; but that they would increase the favors they had done them if they would take their lives; that not having died for the service of Vitachuco, they dared not appear before him or among his people.

The general, who admired this reply, turned to the other Indians, who were young chiefs from eighteen to nineteen years of age each. He demanded of them what lead constrained them to remain with so much obstinacy in the water, they who held no rank in the army. They replied that they had left their homes, neither in the view of destroying his troops nor in the hope of making booty, nor to gain the friendship of any cacique as a recompense for it, but to acquire a reputation in the battle that was to be fought against the Christians. That they had always been taught that the glory that was to be acquired in battle was grand and enduring. That in consideration of this, they lead exposed themselves to the danger in which he had seen them, and from which be had so generously extricated them. That now they would voluntarily sacrifice themselves for his service. They added, that fortune having declared for him, and having robbed them of a victory that would have covered them with glory, they beheld themselves in the sad state in which the vanquished ordinarily are. That, however, they had learned that if they should suffer their misfortunes with firmness, they would be able to render themselves commendable, because the vanquished who bad fought only for liberty did not deserve less praise than he who governs himself wisely in victory. That, therefore, he should not be astonished if, instructed by these maxims, they had shown as much courage as the captains. They maintained, on the contrary, that they were more obliged than they to fight valiently, because their birth destined them to higher employments than these officers. That, in this view, they had aimed to allow that they aspired to succeed their fathers; since they endeavored to imitate the noble examples which they lead given them. That they had even desired to show them that they were worthy to be their children, and to console them for their loss by a glorious death. That finally, if these considerations could excuse them with him, they implored his clemency; if not, they offered to him their lives, and that it was permitted to the conqueror to use his victory according to his will.

This discourse, joined to the courage, the tine appearance, and the misfortunes of these young nobles, drew tears from the greater part of the Spaniards who were present. The general himself felt pity for them, and, embracing them, said to them that he judged of their birth by their actions; that men who had as much firmness as they had shown deserved to command other men; that for this reason he had a special pleasure in having preserved their lives; but that they need not grieve; that the height of his satisfaction was to set them at liberty. In fact, the general, after having detained them only two or three days in order to show to them his affection, sent them away, accompanied by some of their domestics who were prisoners. He gave them divers presents for their fathers, with orders to offer to them his friendship, and to tell them the way in which he had treated them.

These Indians, after many thanks, took the road to their country, well pleased with the general, who the next day summoned Vitachuco and the captive captains. He told them that their conduct was criminal, since, under the appearance of friendship, they had conspired the destruction of the troops; that such treason ought to be punished with death, in order that their example might hinder the other Indians of the province from rising; that, nevertheless, to show that he preferred peace to vengeance, he pardoned them on condition that for the future they would return the affection which he had for them. He begged them also to forget the past, and to make no more attempts against the Christians, because it would inevitably bring only misfortune upon all their undertakings. He afterwards took the cacique aside and tried by every means to calm him, and was pleased that he should return to eat at his table, from which he had expelled him on account of his perfidy. But these manifestations of affection, so far from obliging this barbarian to return to his duty, served only to preserve the aversion which he had conceived against the Spaniards, so that he let himself be carried away more and more by the violence of his hate, and finally destroyed himself and the greater part of his subjects.



THE Indians who went out of the pond were made prisoners and distributed for slaves to the Spaniards, and Vitachuco had his dwelling for a prison. The general ordered it so, to punish these barbarians for their treason, and to retain them by fear in their duty. However, he had resolved that on leaving the province he would give them all their liberty. But the cacique, who did not know this design, and who saw his subjects slaves, again meditated means of destroying the Spaniards. He flattered himself that the nine hundred prisoners, who were the bravest of his troops, would execute alone what they lead not been able to do together; that, being as numerous as the Spaniards, each one would slay his master; and that, choosing the hour of dinner, his design would so much the more surely succeed, as the Spaniards would suspect nothing. This design, which should have been conducted with much prudence, was precipitated; and he believed that his subjects with their arms only could make away with their enemies. He, therefore, commanded four young Indians, who were left for his individual service, to inform the principal prisoners of his resolution, with orders to have it adroitly communicated to the others, and to hold themselves ready about noon of the third day, in order for each one to slay his man. He also sent them word that at the same hour he would take the life of the commander; and as a signal, he would make, when he should be engaged with him, a shout so loud that the whole town should hear it. Vitachuco gave this order to the Indians the same day that Soto, forgetting his crimes, caused him to dine at his table. But it is ordinarily thus that traitors and ingrates recognize the favors that are done them.

The subjects of the barbarian, informed of this second enterprise, saw clearly that it would not be more fortunate than the first. However, they replied that they would all obey him or die, for the Indians of the new world have so much love and veneration for their princes that they consider them as divinities. If their sovereign desired it, they would cast themselves as freely into the fire as they would into the water; and, without considering the danger in which they placed themselves, they would regard only their duty and the obedience they had pledged them.

Finally, seven days after the first rout of the Indians, when the general and the cacique had dined, the barbarian bent his whole body, turned himself from one side to the other, closed his fist, extended his arms, drew them back even to reversing them upon his shoulders, and brandished them with such great violence that his bones cracked with it, an ordinary custom of the Indians when they would undertake anything which required vigor. Then he raised himself upon his feet with an inconceivable haughtiness; he closed with the general, pressed his left arm around his neck, and with his right hand gave him so violent a blow with his fist upon his face that he knocked him to the ground, fell upon him, and made so loud a cry that it was heard more than a quarter of a league. The officers who lead assembled for dinner, seeing the insolence of the barbarian, pierced him ten or a dozen times with their swords, and he fell dead with rage in his soul and curses in his month because he bad not succeeded in his undertaking. But for the officers, he had finished the general with another blow, for that which he had already given him was so great that he remained senseless for half an hour. The blood flowed from his eyes, his nose, and his mouth. He even had some teeth broken, and the others so much injured that for twenty days he was unable to eat anything but hash. His lips, his nose, and his face were swollen to such a degree that it was necessary to cover them with plasters, so violently had Vitachuco struck him. This savage was then about thirty-five years of age. He had a robust body, handsome shape, and a countenance sombre, haughty, and altogether cruel.



THE cry of Vitachuco heard, each Indian attacked the Spaniard be served, and tried to kill him; some with firebrands, others with whatever they met with, for they had not weapons. Nevertheless, they did not fail to make a .very great confusion. Some struck the Spaniards in the face; others on the head, sometimes with the iron pots in which they cooked the meat, with which some of our men were burnt, and sometimes with pots and plates. However, they did more mischief with the firebrands than with all the rest; as the most of them had some, they injured many of our people. Some had their arms broken, others had their eyelids burnt, their faces disfigured, and their noses broken. There were even four slain, of whom one, being knocked down with a firebrand, three savages fell upon him so cruelly that they knocked out his brains. It happened also in this confusion, that after an Indian lead, with a blow of a stick, struck down a Spaniard, and broken his teeth with a blow of his fist, he fled from some of our men who rushed upon him, ascended to a chamber which faced the court, took a lance which was against the wall, and defended the door with so much courage that no one could enter there. In the mean time, Diego de Soto, a relation of the general, hastened there, and commenced firing from the court with a crossbow. When the Indian saw this new enemy, he placed himself directly in the door, and, determined to sell his life clearly, he threw his lance at the same moment that Soto fired; but it touched. only with the wood, the shoulder of the Spanish cavalier; and having staggered him, it entered half a yard into the earth. The shot of Soto was more fortunate; it struck his enemy in the breast and slew him. In the mean time the report spread that Vitachuco had injured the general, so that the Spaniards, irritated more and more, and principally those who had been wounded, avenged themselves upon the savages whom they encountered. There were, however, cavaliers, who, being ashamed to acknowledge that they had been beaten, believed that it was unbecoming them to take the lives of slaves. Therefore, they had some of them slain by the Indians themselves, who served them in the army, and placed the greater part of them into the hands of the archers of the general’s guard; who pierced them, with the halberts, in the middle of the public square of the town. Among others, Saldagna, who would not himself put this slave to death, tied a cord around his neck, and led him to deliver him to the guards. But when the savage entered the square, and saw what was passing there, such a rage seized him, that, with one hand, he took his master by the neck, and with the other under the thigh, lifted him up, turned him upside down, and let him fall so violently that he stunned him. He immediately mounted him with his two feet upon his belly with so much violence that he would have crashed it if some fifty Spaniards, sword in hand, had not come to his assistance. However, the savage was not confounded, and received them so courageously that he was a long time without being either wounded or taken. He seized the sword of Saldagna, and whirling it around, thus kept his enemies at a distance, so that they were obliged to kill him by shooting him with fusees and pistols.

Such was a part of the disorders which happened the day that Vitachuco struck the general; and, without doubt, they would have been greater if the greater part of the Indians had not been chained. Thus, there were but few Spaniards killed, but many wounded. As to the Indians, because they were brave, and attacked and defended themselves vigorously, there died more than nine hundred of them, who were the flower of the subjects of Vitachuco; whom this barbarian unfortunately hurried headlong to destruction. He was also the cause of the death of four captains, whom they had drawn from the pond, who were involved in the misfortune of the others. It is thus that the foolish and the rash destroy the wise who believe them and obey their orders.



AFTER the defeat of the prisoners, the general remained four days in the town of Vitachuco, and had dressed his own wounds and those of the others; and on the fifth he took the route to Ossachile. The troops made four leagues the first day’s journey, and camped upon the borders of a great river which separates the province of Ossachile from that of Vitachuco. But as this river was not fordable, it was necessary to build a bridge. The Spaniards, therefore, quickly collected timber, and they already began to work on it, when the Indians appeared on the other side of the river to defend the passage. So that they abandoned it. and made six large rafts of many pieces of wood, upon which crossed a hundred fusileers and crossbow-men, with fifty cavaliers who carried the saddles of their horses. Then Soto ordered that fifty horses should be made to swim across, and that they should be saddled as soon as they reached the other shore. They then began to march into the plain, and the Indians quitting their position, gave time to erect the bridge, which was made in a day and a half. The troops passed over. Afterwards they found the lands planted with corn and other sorts of vegetables, and began to see houses which were here and there in the country, and which extended four leagues from there to the capital. This place was composed of two hundred houses, and was called Ossachile, from the name of the cacique who lived there. From the town of Vitachuco to this one there are ten leagues of very pleasant plain.

The Indians at first had not dared to resist the Spaniards; but when they saw them on their cultivated lands they turned upon them and, concealing themselves in the corn, fired a great number of arrows at them and tried to defeat them. They also wounded many of them; but the Christians, irritated at seeing themselves attacked, beat them back, made some of them prisoners, pierced the greater part of them with their lances, and fought them for four leagues.

As the Spaniards found the capital of Ossachile abandoned, and that the Cacique and all his people had fled, the general dispatched some of his Indian subjects to him, to beg him to make peace with the Christians. But he did not make any reply, and even those who had been sent to him did not return. In the mean time, the troops, which sojourned two days in the country, placed themselves in ambuscade, and captured many barbarians who rendered them very good service, and who being taken manifested for them as much kindness as they had before shown aversion. These are the most important things that happened in the provine of Ossachile.



THE town and the house of the cacique Ossachile were like those of all the other caciques of Florida. Therefore, without making a particular description of this place and this house, it seems proper to give only a general idea of all the capitals and all the houses of the chiefs of the countly. I will say then that the Indians endeavorto place their towns upon elevated places. But because, in Florida,they rarely meet with this sort of place where they can find the necessary conveniences to build, they raise themselves eminentes in this manner. They choose a place where they bring a quantity of earth which they elevate into a kind of platform, two or three pikes high; the top of which is capable of containing ten or twelve or fifteen or twenty houses to lodge the cacique with his family and all his retinue. They then trace, at the bottom of this elevation, a square place conformable to the extent of the village which they would make; and around this place the most important persons build their dwellings. The common people lodge in the same manner; anti thus they all environ the house of their chief. In order to ascend to it they draw, in a straight line, streets from top to bottom; each one fifteen or twenty feet wide, and unite them to each other with large posts, which enter very deep into the earth and which serve for walls to these streets. Then they make the stairs with strong beams which they put across, and which they square and join in order that the work may be more even. The steps of these stairs are seven or eight feet wide; so that horses ascend and descend them without difficulty. However, the Indians steepen all the other sides of the platform, with the exception of the stairs, so that they cannot ascend to it; and the dwelling of the chief is sufficiently strong.



BEFORE proceeding farther it is proper to anticipate those who should say, that in the other histories of the West Indies they have not seen that the Indians have said or done things worthy of memory, as these which I have reported appear to have: that generally they even believe that these people are stupid, and that they have not any policy, either in peace or in war; that, therefore, I have either had a particular design to praise the Indians among whom I have been born, or that I am vainly emulous to show my wit at the expense of truth. I reply, that the belief of certain persons that the Indians are not intelligent, and that they do not know how to govern themselves in affairs of importance, is ill founded, and contrary to what Acosta relates of them; an author very worthy of confidence. Besides I advance nothing but upon the relation of an ocular and accurate witness, who carefully reviewed his account; who added to it what he had forgotten, and retrenched the things of which he had not seen all the particulars; so that, old y copying him, I can assert that there is in this history nothing but truth. Moreover, I have been the enemy of fiction and of all that which they call romance. As to that which they may say that I enthusiastically praise those of my own country, it is an error; for very far from exaggerating anything, it is impossible for me to put in their proper light the facts which here present themselves in crowds. But I lay the defect of my inferior ability upon the civil wars which existed in the Indies during my youth. Letters were then no longer cultivated, and we applied ourselves only to arms. We learned horsemanship, and I abandoned myself to this exercise with some of my companions who have acquired much distinction there and have become excellent horsemen. But as things have since changed their appearance, letters now flourish in the Indies; and the Jesuits have established so many colleges there that they can easily do without the universities of Spain.

Besides, to continue to show that I write nothing but what has really happened, I will say that, one day, speaking of the replies full of good sense, which the Indians made to the general, I made known to him who had given me this relation, that they would hardly believe it. He replied to me, that it was important to disabuse the public in regard to the people of the Nest Indies; and that I myself knew that there were in these countries persons of sound judgment and excellent mind, who conducted themselves wisely, in war and in peace, and who reasoned very well on all sorts of affairs. That I might therefore write boldly the things of which he had assured me, and that. though I should speak with the eloquence of the most famous orators, my words would never equal the magnanimity, the courage, nor the glorious deeds of the Indians. That whether they believed or not what I should say, I could never, without doing injustice to the inhabitants of the Indies, conceal through a cowardly complacency, their valor from posterity. My author told me these very things, and I repeat them to make known to honorable men that thus far I have written with much sincerity; and that, in the course of this history, I shall advance nothing but the truth.





UPON the assurance which the Spaniards lead, that they were not far from the province of Apalache, of which they had been told so many marvels; that its lands were admirable for their fertility, and its people very valiant, they begged the general to lead them into winter quarters in this country, which he readily granted. They therefore marched towards Apalache, and after having made, in three days, twelve leagues, without finding any habitation, they arrived the fourth, about noon, near a marsh half a league wide, and its length greater than the eye could reach. It was, besides that, bordered oil both sides with a forest, where the brambles anti bushes, joining together with the trunks of great trees, rendered the entry to it difficult. In fact, they could not go to the marsh but by a road so narrow that two men abreast had difficulty to pass it. Before arriving there the troops encamped in a plain; but as it was early the general commanded two hundred foot soldiers and thirty cavaliers to go and reconnoitre the passage. He also ordered twelve excellent swimmers to try the depth of the marsh, and to notice well the places, so that they might, with safety, venture there the next day. All the soldiers obeyed immediately, but no sooner were they in the forest than the Indians disputed with them the passage, and as the place was narrow, there were only the two first of each party who could fight. Therefore, the two best armed Spaniards, drawing their swords, passed to the head of the others; and being supported by two fusileers and two crossbow-men, vigorously charged the barbarians, drove them along the forest, and forced them to leap into the water. There the Indians stood firm and fought courageously; so that on both sides there were many wounded and slain, which prevented them from reconnoitring the marsh. They informed the general of it, who came with the best of his troops. The enemy also were re-enforced, and the combat grew obstinate; the Indians and the Spaniards up to their waists in water, and among the brambles, the bushes, the trees, and rocks, which they encountered everywhere. Nevertheless, our men, determined to reconnoitre the passage or die, took courage more and more, and surmounting every obstacle, they drove the barbarians as far as the other side of the water, and found that it was easy to ford it, except in the middle, where, for about forty paces, they crossed on timbers. They also saw, on the other side of the water. a very dense forest, which they could not pass but through a defile, and it had as much of marsh as of forest, which were here and there a league and a half across. When the general had reconnoitred the route, he returned to his troops to encourage them to conquer the difficulties which presented themselves. He took the counsel of his captains, on the manner in which he should act, and ordered a hundred cavaliers to dismount and all take their shields, and march in trout; and two hundred men, as many crossbow-men as fusileers, to support them, and each one have an axe, in order to clear a place of the wood which was on the other side of the marsh, for the Spaniards were obliged to defile through a place where they could easily close the passage on them. He believed that it was impossible for them to traverse the two forests that day; wherefore, he made them camp in the second, so as not to be exposed during the night to the ambuscades of the barbarians.



As soon as the general had given his orders, each soldier took some parched corn for a day, and then marched about two hundred of the bravest of the army. As they had a design to surprise the barbarians, they slipped away, without noise, two hours before day by a path which conducted them as far as the bridge; which they passed without resistance; the Indians not having had the precaution to seize it, in the belief that the Spaniards would not expose themselves by night in the woods. But when the day dawned, and the Indians saw their enemies passed, they advanced with loud shouts, and, in despair at not having sooner seized the passage, they charged with fury upon them, in order to defend a quarter of a, league of marsh which remained to cross. The Christians,, on their side, received them with courage, and they both fought in the water. Our people pressed them so vigorously that they drove them out and shut them, in the defile which was on the other side.

The Spaniards, who saw that the Indians annoyed them, resolved that a hundred and fifty soldiers should make an esplanade for to camp; and there being no other route than this defile, that the other fifty should defend it and hinder the Indians from coming to attack the workmen; they executed immediately this resolution. In the mean time, the Indians who could not fire upon the soldiers endeavored to frighten them by their yells; but the Spaniards did not cease to do their duty. Some defended the passage of the defile, some cut down the woods, and others burnt what had been cut, in order to clear the place. The night having surprised them at this work, they remained each one at his post, and could not sleep because of the continual yells of the barbarians. When it was day the rest of the troops began to march without the enemy opposing them. But the difficulty of the road and the briers which they encountered there incommoded them so much, that, being obliged to defile, they could reach only the place where they had cut down the woods. It was there that the Indians tormented them all the night with their cries and, above all, gave alarm to those who defended the passage, to whom they had taken care to forward provisions from hand to hand. As soon as day dawned they all marched with diligence by the defile of the forest, and drove before them the Indians, who, after having discharged their arrows, retreated little by little, and yielded only as much ground as could be gained by the sword.

The Spaniards traversed in this manner this second forest; after which they entered another, not so dense, where the enemy, having room to extend themselves, incommoded them very much; for they took them on all sides. Some attacked, others prepared for combat and did not engage until their companions had retired, so as not to wound one another with the multitude of arrows which they showered.

But, although the trees of this last forest, where the Indians and Spaniards fought, were not so close as those of the first, the horses, for all that, could not run but in certain places; and this made the enemy bolder. That, also, which increased their courage, was the almost incredible rapidity with which they discharged their arrows. One Indian had shot six or seven times before a Spaniard had fired and reloaded. The Indians, in fact, are so adroit in handling the bow, that no sooner have they fired than they are ready to recommence.

The places of the forest where the horses could run were small eminentes; but the barbarians bad obstructed them with long pieces of wood, and had made, at places where it was impossible to get at them, entrances and outlets in order to fall upon the Spaniards without the possibility of being injured by them. The Indians had some days before thought of all these things. They knew that the forest of the marsh was dense, and that there they could not much incommode the Spaniards. However, they considered that in the woods where they were they would gain some advantage over the Christians, and with this view they had recourse to ruses, to wound or slay them all. Our men, on their side, endeavored to shun the ambuseades which they made for them; and seeing that their horses were useless to them, they thought only of defending themselves. The Indians, who discovered that, exerted themselves more and more to put them to rout. They were, moreover, encouraged by the remembrance of what had taken place ten or twelve years before. They had defeated, in the same place, Narbaez, and they threatened to treat the troops of Soto in the same way. Our men were tormented in this manner during two leagues, and afterwards arrived in an open country, where, after having given thanks to God for having delivered them from danger, they fought on horseback with much courage and success. For, in two other leagues of march through an open country as far as the cultivated lands, they did not encounter an Indian that was not either taken or slain. Especially they did not give any quarter to those who made a show of resisting them; so that, on that day, there died many of the enemy; and the Spaniards avenged gloriously the defeat of the people of Narbaez.



AFTER all these things, the general, with his troops, camped on a plain near a village, where commenced the habitations and cultivated lands of Apalache. But the barbarians, who thought only of tormenting the Christians, did nothing but shoot and shout all the night, so that both were continually upon their guard. The day arrived, the Spaniards marched through lands planted with corn, which were two leagues in extent, where they met with many houses, distant from one another, without any form of a village. The Indians who were in these houses furiously rushed out upon the Christians and tried to kill them; but our men, irritated at the boldness of the barbarians, drove them across the fields, and pierced them with violent thrusts of their lances. They went to this extremity with them, in order to subdue them; but very uselessly; the more the Spaniards showed their valor, the more the courage of the Indians increased.

Finally, after two leagues of travel through cultivated lands, our men arrived at a very deep stream, bordered on both sides with a very thick forest. The enemy, who were fortified in this place, awaited there to defeat the troops. But it happened otherwise than they expected. The Spaniards, having reconnoitred the post of the enemy, the best armed cavaliers dismounted, gained the passage sword in hand, and cut with axes the palisades which covered the barbarians and hindered the horses from advancing.

The Indians then violently charged our men, of whom many were wounded and some killed. The passage was difficult, and the Indians, who hoped to conquer, made a last effort because of the advantage of the place. Nevertheless, they were unfortunate; the Spaniards attacked with so much order and courage that they broke through them with the loss of but very few of their men. Then they made two more leagues through cultivated lands; but the Indians, who dreaded the horses, did not attack them. The Spaniards, therefore, lodged in the field, hoping that, finally, during the night, they might take some repose. They were, however, disappointed. The Indians, under favor of the darkness, gave them continual alarm, in order to sustain their reputation, and to pass for braves, in the estimation of their neighbors. In the morning as the troops were marching, they were informed by the prisoners that they were but two leagues from the capital, and that the cacique, with a great number of his subjects, awaited there the Christians, in order to fight them. The general immediately detached two hundred horses and a hundred foot soldiers. He advanced toward the town and commanded that upon the route they should put all to the sword. He arrived at the place and found it abandoned, and the chief run away. But upon information that he was not far, he began to search for him, hunted two leagues around the village, slew and made many Indian prisoners, without being able to capture Capasi. It is thus that the chief of the Apalaches is called, and he was the first, up to this time, who had not borne the name of his province. The general, despairing of taking this barbarian, rejoinedthe army, which was in the capital. This place had two hundred and fifty houses. Soto took for himself that of Capasi, at the end of the town, and more elevated than the others.

The province of Apalache has, besides a great number of habitations scattered here and there through the country, many villages of fifty and sixty houses each, of which some are a league distant from the others, and some, two or three. The situation of the country is very agreeable. There are there, many ponds. They fish there all the year, and the inhabitants make provision of fish for their support. The country does not cease to be fertile in every other respect. Soto and his men felt, also, a manifest joy at having arrived there; for, without speaking of the provisions which they found there, they acquired much glory in the conflicts which they fought there. I shall relate them, to make known the boldness of the Indians and the valor of the Spaniards.



AFTER the army had refreshed itself some days, Soto sent troops, under the command of Tinoco, Vasconcelo, and Aniasco, to explore the province of Apalache and the, neighboring countries. Two of these captains went by different routes, fifteen or twenty leagues toward the north. They returned, the one at the end of eighteen days, and the other at the end of nine, and said that they had seen many towns, well populated. That the land was fertile, and that there were neither forests nor marshes. Aniasco reported entirely the contrary; that it was very difficult to travel in the country; that there were but forests and swampy places; and that the more they advanced the more diffucult the roads were. Nugnez, in his commentaries, says nearly the same thing; that the province of Apalache is full of marshes, covered with woods, sterile, and badly populated. That is really true of places in the vicinity of the sea, but not of the places which the general sent to discover. What confirms me in this belief is, that the greater part of the relation of Nugnez, having been given by the Indians, they have maliciously described their country as a country frightful and inaccessible, in order to deprive the Spaniards of the idea of conquering it. I may add, that the people of Narbaez, of whom Nugnez relates the adventures, having been beaten at Apalache, and even the greater part having died there of hunger, they could not entirely discover this province. Therefore, I relate nothing but what is certain of the part of Apalache where Soto was; and that which Nugnez relates of the places of this country which are in the vicinity of the sea, is also very true.



WHEN Aniasco went to discover the sea-coast, which was not thirty leagues from Apalache, he took fifty foot soldiers and forty cavaliers. He also took with him Arias Gomes, a valiant and experienced soldier, who gave good counsels, swam very well, and found means to give success to enterprises which were undertaken by sea or by land. Arias had been a slave in Barbary, and had so well learned the language of the country that, escaping from the power of the infidels, he repaired to the frontier, where the Christians were, without the Moors, whom he met and to whom he spoke, discovering that he was a foreigner. This cavalier and his companions set off about noon, guided by an Indian who had voluntarily offered himself for that purpose, and who manifested much affection for them. They made in two days twelve leagues. They passed two small rivers and safely arrived at the town of Aute, which they found abandoned, and filled with all sorts of provisions. They took enough of them for four days, and continued their march by a fair road. But finally the guide, conceiving that it was wrong in him to guide them faithfully, led them out of the way into n forest where there were many large fallen trees, and where they did not find any road. He also caused them to go by certain places which were without wood, and so full of mire that the horses and the men could hardly extricate themselves from it. That which incommoded them most was the great quantity of large brambles which ran upon the ground, and which gave them much trouble. However, they marched five days in these ways, where they suffered incredible hardships. But when they had exhausted their provisions they returned to Ante to get others, in order to continue their route, and upon the way experienced toils which cannot be described, because, repassing the same places by which they came, the earth there being already trodden, they sank deeper than before. Besides, while they were wandering among the woods, they found themselves at times so near to the sea that they heard the noise of the waves. But immediately their guide led them away and tried to entangle them in places from which, not being able to extricate themselves, they might all die of hunger. As for himself, he didnot care to perish so that he involved them in his ruin. However, in spite of his malice, they returned to Ante, overcome with fatigue and hunger, having lived during four days upon roots only. They there refreshed themselves a little, took provisions for five days, and continued their discovery by routes still more detestable than the first.

One night, as the Spaniards reposed in the woods near a large fire, the Indian who guided them, wearied with being so long a time destroying them, took a firebrand and struck with it a soldier in the face. The others, who saw this insolence, would without doubt have slain him if Aniasco had not represented to them that they could not substitute a guide, and that it was necessary to bear with this one. Afterwards they went to sleep again, and the Indian had still the boldness to maltreat another soldier, but they chastised his rashness by beating him with a stick. Nevertheless, he did not return to his duty, and before day he even beat another. This last insolence drew upon him violent blows, and caused him to he chained; after which they gave him in keeping to one of the most robust of the troop, with orders to watch him closely. The day- come, they began to march, displeased with the difficulty of the route and the conduct of their guide. This barbarian, seeing himself not in a condition to lose them nor to escape, fell in desperation upon him who guarded him, and, seizing him behind, threw him to the earth and maltreated him with violent kicks. The Spaniards, finally exasperated at this madness, gave him several thrusts with the sword and lance, of which not one hurt him more than a switch, and they said that he was charmed. Aniasco, surprised it that, raised himself in his stirrups, took his lance in both hands, and gave him with it a blow with all his force. Still, notwithstanding he was very robust, he only slightly wounded him. Then, despairing of being able to take his life, they abandoned him to a greyhound, and it was in this manner that the perfidious wretch deserved to be treated. Scarcely were they fifty steps from him when they heard the dog howl as if they were killing him. They returned and found the guide, who, with his thumbs, held the two sides of the chaps of the grayhound and tore them so that the dog Could not defend himself. One of the soldiers immediately gave the barbarian so many thrusts with his sword that he killed him; another with a knife cut off his hands, which, being separated from the body, still held firmly to the chaps of the dog. Afterwards our men continued their route, and commanded, under penalty of death, an Indian whom they had taken when they returned to Ante, to conduct them faithfully. This savage, while the first was living, had never intended to serve them. He pretended to be deaf when they spoke to him, because the other had threatened him with death if he replied. But when he saw himself delivered from his companion, and as he feared some bad treatment, he made known by signs that he would conduct the Spaniards to the sea at the same place where Narbaez had built his ships; that, however, it was first necessary to retrace their steps to Ante, and from there they would take the route. But as the Spaniards gave him to understand that they were near the sea, since they heard the waves, he made known to them that, by the route which they held, it was impossible to arrive there, because of the woods and the marshes. They then returned to Aute, where they, with much trouble, arrived in five days. That which disturbed them, besides, was the uneasiness which they imagined the general would experience because they remained too long at their discovery. During the march, Arias and Silvestre went before and captured two Indians, of whom, having demanded by signs if they could lead them to the sea, they made known that in that respect they would serve them with fidelity, and they coincided in opinion with the guide. Our people, full of joy and hope to succeed in their discovery, passed tranquilly the night, and when it was day they took their route across large stubble fields by a very agreeable road which enlarged by degrees. However, they met with one bad defile, but they easily extricated themselves from it; so that, at the end of twelve leagues, they found themselves upon the shores of a vast gulf, which they coasted and finally arrived where Narbaez had landed. They saw the places where he made the iron-works for his ships, and found much charcoal around, with the troughs which had served to feed the horses. Then the Indians allowed the place where they had slain ten soldiers of Narbaez, and made known by signs and by words the principal adventures of that captain, for the inhabitants of this coast had retained some words of Spanish. They even tried each day to learn more of them. In the mean time, Aniasco and his companions searched with much care upon the bark and in the hollows of trees to see if they could find some memorial or some writing, for always it is the custom of those who have the first discovered a country to leave instructions, which sometimes have been of great importance. But seeing that they discovered nothing, they followed the coast of the gulf as far as the open sea, which was but three leagues from there. Afterwards, when the tide was low, twelve of the best swimmers entered into boats half stranded. They sounded the entrance of the gulf, and found it navigable for the largest vessels. They left signs of it upon the highest trees, in order that those who should come into these quarters might take their precautions. Then Aniasco returned to the camp, where the general was very glad to see him and to learn that he had discovered a good port.



WHILST they were occupied with discovering the coast, the general, who saw winter approaching, put his soldiers in garrison; and as he knew that Calderon did nothing at the capital of Harriga, he sent him orders to come and join him. In the mean time he had provisions gathered, and houses built to lodge his men more comfortably. He also commanded the town of Apalache to be fortified, in order to place himself under shelter from the assaults of the barbarians; and he dispatched persons to Capasi, with presents, to induce him to peace. But this cacique would not listen to any propositions; and fortified himself in a very intricate forest. As Soto lost all thought of gaining him, he ordered Aniasco, who had courage and good luck, to leave with thirty lancers for Hirriga. This command was severe, for the route was about one hundred and fifty leagues, and they ran the risk of very great dangers. It was necessary to pass among a people, bold and valiant, and declared enemies; to cross rivers and very difficult swamps. However, notwithstanding all these considerations, the thirty Spaniards courageously undertook the expedition, and performed very brilliant actions. But I pity them for having only an Indian to relate them. Nevertheless, to render them what I can, I shall report the names of those who have come to my knowledge. Juan de Soto, Aniasco, Arias, Cacho, Atiensa, Cordero, Silvestre, Espinosa, Fernamle, Carillo, Atauasio, Abadia, Cadeua, Segredo, Argote, SaDehir, Pechado, and Moron. This last had a scent so fine that he scented better than a hunting dog. For, many times in the island of Cuba, going with his companions to hunt the Indians who had revolted, and who had taken to flight, he traced them in the bushes, in the hollows of trees, and in the caverns where they had concealed themselves. He scented, also, fire for more than a league; for often, without having seen either light or smoke, he said to those who accompanied him, that there was a fire close by, and they found it at half a league or a league from there.

These thirty lancers left Apalache the twentieth day of Octoberof the year 1539. They were well mounted, and had their helmets on their heads, their corslets over their clothes, and their lances in their hands, and some provisions in their valises. In this state, they went out before day, in order that the Indians might not perceive them and go and seize upon the passes. They travelled with speed; they even galloped very often, and slew, upon the route, some barbarians by whom they feared to be discovered. They continued thus their route, and arrived at the swamp of Apalache, which they safely crossed. As they had made more than thirteen leagues this day, twenty cavaliers reposed, and the others watched for fear of surprise. Afterwards they travelled twelve leagues through the uninhabited country, from the swamp of Apalache to the town of Ossachile.

But in the fear of being seen, and lest they might win the passage from them, they made a halt towards the evening, and about midnight passed Ossachile at a fast gallop. One league beyond they left their road, to take, during the rest of the night, a little repose; and held themselves upon their guard according to their custom. At break of day they started again at a fast gallop, because there were persons in the fields, and they feared to be discovered. They travelled five leagues from the place where they reposed, to the river Ossachile, and exceedingly fatigued their horses. But when they approached this river, Silvestre took the lead; and as he saw that the water was not so high as when the troops crossed it, he rushed into it, and fortunately gained the other side.

Aniasco, and all the others, followed him, and as soon as they lead crossed they ate. They afterwards continued their journey at a slow pace, and made four leagues from this river to Vitachuco; where, fearing to be obliged to fight against the Indians, they resolved to spur on with all. speed. But when they reached this town, the condition in which they found it, reassured them. It was abandoned, the houses entirely ruined, and the streets strewn with slain barbarians. The Indians destroyed, in this manner, this place, in the belief that it was unfortunate. They also left the dead without burial, because they regarded them as miserable beings, who had not been able to execute their designs, and who ought to be the prey of wild beasts: a chastisement with which they punished those who had failed in war.

The party were hardly out of Vitachuco when they met two Indians who were hunting, and who had the air of people of rank. When these barbarians saw the Christians they retired under a walnut tree; but one of them, not believing himself in safety, fled to a forest on the side of the road. Two cavaliers overtook and captured him. As for the other Indian, who had courage. fortune favored him. For, holding the arrow in place upon the bow, he opposed the cavaliers,, and threatened to fire upon them if they approached. Some, irritated at this boldness, wished to go and pierce him with their lances. But Aniasco told them that it was unbecoming them, to wish to take the life of this rash person; that in the situation in which they were, they ought not to expose themselves to be either wounded or slain. Therefore he turned them aside from the road, which was near the walnut tree, and commanded them to advance at a hard gallop. The barbarian, in the mean time, presented at them his bow as they defiled. ’then he began to cry out to them that they were cowards for not having dared to attack him; and he said to them many other insults, accompanied with arrogance and threats. At his cry, the Indians on both sides of the road flocked together, and began to call to each other to cut them off from the passage. However, the thirty Spaniards extricated themselves from these, and arrived in a plain where they tool. a little repose. They made, this day, which was the third of their journey, seventeen leagues; and the fourth, as many through the province of Vitachuco. But the people of this country, indignant at what had passed, endeavored to avenge upon them the defeat of their men. They dispatched persons to give notice of the route of the Christians, in order that they might seize upon the avenues. The cavaliers, who discovered this, rode at full speed, captured the messengers, and slew seven of them, with their lances. They arrived that day, about evening, in a very beautiful plain, where, not hearing any noise, they reposed for some time. They left there after midnight, and, at sunrise, had made five leagues, and had reached the river Ocaly. They expected to find it not so high as ordinarily, but they found the waters over the banks, and rapid, which whirled in many places, and marked the gulf which it covered. Besides, the enemies assembled upon the borders of the river, and encouraged each other, by their cries, to defend the passage of it.

The Spaniards then, considering the danger which menaced them, and that to escape, it was necessary not to lose time in vain deliberations, appointed twelve among them to gain the other shore, in order to assist them when they should cross. They also ordered fourteen to cut branches with which they made floats on which to place their accoutrements, with those who could not swim; and that the others should resist the barbarians who assembled to hinder their crossing. This order given, the twelve cavaliers resolved to die or accomplish the object of their design. They urgedtheir horses into the river, and with helmets on their heads, coats of mail over their shirts, and lance in hand, eleven safely gained an opening on the other side; only Cacho could not reach it, because his horse had not strength enough to break the force of the water. He was therefore constrained to let himself go along the river to search some outlet. When he found none, lie saw himself forced to implore the succor of his companions, who were cutting wood. Four leaped into the water and saved him. But let us leave these cavaliers, and consider what the general did at Apalache.



SOTO, wearied at seeing these savages at his heels, believed that if he could take Capasi, he could reduce them without trouble. He therefore carefully inquired concerning his retreat, and learned that he was eight leagues from the army, in a dense forest, where he expected to lie in security, as much on account of the situation of the place as of the swamp and of the people whom he had to defend it. ti pou this news, the general took as many soldiers as he had reed of, and went, in person, to seize the cacique. After much labor, he reached, in three days, the place of the forest which the Indians had fortified. It was a place of which they had cut down the trees, and to which they could not approach except by a very narrow avenue, half a league long. But at every hundred paces they had good palisades with stakes, and each palisade was well defended. Such was the place where Capasi lead retired with a great number of his subjects who had resolved to perish rather than see their lord in the power of his enemies. Finally, Soto having arrived at the avenue which led to the intrenchment where the cacique was, he found the people determined to defend the entrance against him; and at the same time he made the attack. But as the way was narrow, it was only the foremost who fought, who, after enduring some discharges of arrows, gained, sword in hand, the first and second palisades. They pulled up the stakes and cut thebonds which tied them. The barbarians fired, and wounded some of them. The Spaniards, encouraged more and more, rushed headlong, as far as the third barricade, which they forced, gaining thus all the others; and advancing step by step, in spite of the resistance of the enemy, as far as the place where Capasi was, then the Indians, who saw their cacique in danger, redoubled their efforts, rushed among the swords and lances, and fought to desperation. Our people, on their side, attacked with vigor, and did not lose sight of Capasi, for fear lest he might escape them. The general, above all others, showed his courage; fought, like a true captain, at the head of his men, and animated them by his example and by his words. Finally, the barbarians failing of defensive arms, gave way; the Spaniards made a last effort, and cut them nearly all in pieces.

The cacique, who saw the carnage which they made of his subjects, and that those who resisted could no longer defend him, commanded them to lay down their arms, and at the same instant they came and embraced the knees of Soto, and besought him with tears to pardon their lord, and to order that they should rather take their lives than to do him any injury. The general, touched by this generosity, yielded on condition that they should remain in subjection.

Capasi came to salute Soto, who received him very civilly, very glad to have him in his power. This cacique was supported by some Indians who aided him to walk, because he was extraordinarily large. He could neither make a step, nor hold himself upon his feet; so that they carried him upon a handbarrow wherever he wished to go, and in his house he went upon all fours. This weight was the cause why he could not retreat very far.



AFTER the capture of Capasi, the general returned to the quarters, in the hope that the Indians would no more harass the troops; but it happened quite otherwise. Irritated at the confinement of their cacique, and not being any longer occupied with protecting him, they made more disturbance than usual. Soto, enraged at this, complained to Capasi that his subjects were ungrateful for the good treatment that was given him; that in respect to themselves, they were obliged to use another sort; that he lead neither seized their goods nor ravaged their lands; and that if they had not attacked him, he would never have permitted any one to have been wounded or slain; that therefore he commanded them not to lay any more ambuscades for the troops; that otherwise he would make open war upon them, and put all to fire and sword; that finally, he should consider that in the state in which fortune lead reduced him, the Indians were treating the Spaniards so cruelly, that they would compel them to some violence towards him, and to carry desolation into his province.

Capasi replied with respect, and apparently with gratitude, that the conduct of his subjects displeased him so much the more, as, since his confinement, he had sent them orders not to do any injury to the Spaniards. But that all the care he had taken for that purpose lead been useless. That they doubted the messengers which he had sent to them, and could not believe the good treatment which they had given him; that, on the contrary, they rather imagined that he was loaded with chains and exposed to all sorts of insults; that, therefore, he prayed the general to command some of his soldiers to accompany him as far as six leagues from the camp, to a forest where he would find all the bravest of his vassals; that there he would call them by their names; that they would come at his call; that having related to them the favors which he lead received, they would cease all acts of hostility; and that this was the only means of reducing them.

The general, moved by these reasons, had the cacique escorted by a company of cavalry and of infantry as far as the place where he asserted that his subjects were; and he ordered the captains, above all things, to take care of the barbarian. Afterwards they left before day, and after six leagues of travel they arrived, towards noon, at the forest where the Indians lead retired. The cacique immediately sent three of his people there. But hardly were they there than they returned with twelve others; whom he commanded to notify his principal subjects to join him, and to present themselves before him the next day, as he had to communicate to them things which concerned their glory and their interest. The Indians immediately entered the forest with this order. In the mean time, the Spaniards placed sentinels everywhere; they reposed during the night, satistied with the conduct of Capasi, and in the expectation of returning with honor to the camp. But when the day appeared they experienced that the most flattering hope is often disappointed. They no longer found the cacique nor one of the savages who had accompanied him. Surprised at this extraordinary event, they inquired of each other how the thing lead happened; and, as they replied that it was impossible that be had fled, because the sentinels asserted that they had watched all the night, they believed that Capasi had implored the succor of some demon, and that he had been carried away by him. What is certain is, that the Spaniards being fatigued fell asleep, and that the savage, who saw a good opportunity to escape, dragged himself, without noise, on all fours; that whilst he fled, he found in ambush some of his subjects who carried him off. Heaven, without doubt, favored on this occasion the Spaniards; for if, at the time they slept, the Indians had come to attack them, they would have slaughtered them. But, all transported with joy, they thought only of putting their chief in safety. As they concealed him very well, the Spaniards searched in vain for him all the day. Besides the Indians contented themselves with ridiculing the Spaniards and insulting them. So that they returned to the camp, without jeopardy, but in the greatest confusion in the world for having let their prisoner escape. They excused themselves, because in the night in which he had escaped they had heard in extraordinary noise; and that, leaving been guarded with so much care, the devil must have carried him off.

The general, who saw that the error was irreparable, would blame no one. He feigned to give faith to all that they told him; that the Indians were great sorcerers, and that they did very wonderful things. Nevertheless, however good a face he put upon it, he was sensibly touched at the negligence of his officers.



WHEN the raft was made, the soldiers launched it into the Ocaly with long cords, and two swimmers carried one of them to the other shore to eleven of their companions. In the mean time the Indians assembled with loud cries; but those who lead crossed resisted them vigorously, and after having pierced the foremost of them with their lances, the others dared not await them; so that the Spaniards were masters of the field. Because the enemies were not in great number on this side of the river, there were only four cavaliers who opposed them. Two caracoled up, the others down; for the barbarians approached from these two sides.

These cavaliers engaged them so adroitly that the rafts lead opportunity to cross several times. The first time they carried the clothes of those who were on the other shore; for, having but their coats of mail over their shirts, there blew a north wind which chilled them. The second time, they crossed the equipage and the valises with those who could not swim. The greater part of the others, impatient to fight, crossed the Ocaly by swimming; and in order as they passed they joined those who were engaged with the Indians. So that there remained on this side of the river only two cavaliers of the four who sustained the enemy, and who passed in this manner; whilst one made his horse enter the river and accommodated himself on the raft, the other drove back the barbarians. “hen he had chased them sufficiently far, he returned at full speed, untied the rope which held the raft to the shore, and crossed the Ocaly with his companion. The Indians charged with fury upon them, but in vain; everything conspired in favor of the cavaliers.

About two hours after midday, as all the Spaniards had crossed, they took the road to the town of Ocaly, to comfort Cacho, frozen with the cold and overcome by fatigue; the Indians, who perceived then), proposed to oppose their entry into it. But they resisted only in order to favor the retreat of their people; and when they knew that they had fled into the woods, they retired. The cavaliers immediately entered the town, and stationed themselves in the middle of a great square, for fear of surprise if they lodged in the houses. Afterward, they kindled four great fires at some distance from each other, and in this space they placed Cacho. They covered him with clothes and gave him a shirt, from which he received much comfort, and they remained there the rest of the day. But as Cacho was not yet in a condition to follow, and as it was dangerous to stop there longer, because the barbarians were able to assemble to cut them off from the road, they redoubled their care, in order to promptly restore their companion. They fed their horses, repaired the harness, took some plums, grapes, and other dried fruits, which they found in abundance.

Afterward, when it was night, they posted videttes, and scoured the environs; and about midnight two cavaliers heard a noise as of people who were marching. One of them put spurs to his horse and came to inform the troops of it. In the mean time, the other remained to discover more certainly what it was, and perceiving by the light of the moon, a body of Indians who were advancing toward Ocaly, he hastened, with all speed, to give notice of it. They immediately placed Cacho on horseback, and because he could not well hold himself there, they tied him to the saddle and ordered a cavalier to take care of him. Thereupon they left and travelled with so great speed, that, at break of day, they had already made six large leagues.

They travelled in this manner when they passed through very populous places; they even slew those whom they found, in order that they might not disclose their route; but through places uninhabited, they went at a slow pace, in order to rest their horses, and to gallop in case of necessity. This day, which was the sixth of their journey, they made nearly twenty leagues, both through the country of Ocaly, as well as through the province of Acuera. The next day Antiensa was taken ill, and a few hours after he died oil the route, upon his horse. His companions, who had not stopped to relieve him, not believing his sickness dangerous, were sensibly touched that, on an occasion so sorrowful, death had taken from them this cavalier. As grief, under these circumstances, is of no avail, and as they were obliged to advance rapidly, they made a ditch, where they interred Antiensa, and continued their route. They marched, this day, twenty leagues, and at sunset, arrived at the great swamp. These long journeys are, without doubt, surprising things, and those who have not been present at the conquest of Florida, would hardly have believed them. .Nevertheless, there is nothing more certain; the cavaliers made, in seven days, one hundred and six leagues, which there are from Apalache to the Great Swamp. They found it so swollen that the waters flowed in and out of it, with an impetuosity like to that of an arm of the sea. For my part I am so surprised every time I consider the labor of the horses to pass through such places, that I believe that they would not have been able to endure so much fatigue, if they had not been fed on corn. The use of it is indeed excellent, and gives new forces to the animals which eat of it. It is the reason why the inhabitants of Peru, who make use of llamas for beasts of burden, nourish them only with this kind of grain, which renders them vigorous and able to bear the weight of a man.

The cavaliers then passed the night upon the borders of the swamp, and were so cold that they were compelled to kindle many fires, and that made them fear lest the Indians should perceive them, for only twenty would have prevented them from crossing. They even would have easily killed them, because, with their boats, they would have been able to fire upon them without danger. Besides, our people had neither pistols nor crossbows, and it was impossible for them to aid themselves with their horses. Thus they passed the night in a continual dread, and prepared for the labors of the following day.



THE night that the cavaliers were upon the borders of the swamp, Juan de Soto, one of their companions. died suddenly. Another, at the same instant, fled, saying that since they died so quickly, the plague was among them. But as be was leaving, they cried out to him that he carried this malady with him; that it would not leave him, in whatever place he might go; that besides, he was far away from his country, that he could not stop there, and would do much better to remain with the others. These words induced him to join those who prayed to God for Juan de Soto; however, in the belief that he had died of the plague, he dared not assist in putting him in the ground.

When the day appeared the cavaliers prepared to cross the swamp, and saw with joy that the water ’lad fallen. Eight among them mended the bridge, which was narrow anal wretched, and passed over, carrying the saddles of their horses. As the horses could not pass upon this bridge, all were stripped and led into the water as far as the place where they no longer had footing; but, because it was too cold, the horses would not commence swimming. To compel them, they attached to them halters of long cords which four or five of the most excellent swimmers drew as far as the middle of the water, whilst the others struck them with switches. However, it was useless, for they drew back, and they would rather have let themselves be killed than advance. A few, nevertheless, by force of blows, began to swim; but they quickly retraced their way, dragging with them the swimmers, without Arias and the others ,who were behind being able to arrest them. Finally, the horse of Aniasco passed with that of Silvester, and as those to whom they belonged were on the other side they saddled and mounted them, to be in a state to oppose the enemy should they come to all encounter. Arias and his companions had already been eight hours in the water suffering from cold and snaking useless efforts, so that they found themselves exceedingly enfeebled and began to despair of their lives.

Aniasco, irritated at this delay, approached on horseback near the bridge and abused Arias, who could not make the horses advance. Arias, who knew that it was not his fault nor that of his companions, and who thought it very strange that, after the evils he had suffered, they should act thus, replied that it was unbecoming him to speak in that manner; that Aniasco ought to consider that they were unfortunately- freezing in the water without being able to do anything with all their efforts; that he himself might dismount and they would see what wonders he would do. Arias pushed still further his resentment, for when once one is in a rage he can hardly restrain himself. Finally, the liberty of the cavalier brought Aniasco to himself, and obliged him to condemn his brusque tamper, whose violence had many times destroyed the respect which was due him. This instructs those who have some power in the army, and teaches them that it is necessary to win the soldiers by mildness; that in matters of command example is more powerful than all discourses; and that, if they are forced to reprimand any one, they should do it in terms which are not insulting.

Aniasco and Arias being then reconciled, they continued to urge the horses, and about the middle of the day, when the sun had more force, and had tempered the coldness, they began to cross, but so slowly that it was more than three o’clock in the afternoon before they were all on the other side. The Spaniards then excited pity: fatigued, languishing, deprived in general of everything. Nevertheless, they tool. courage, in consideration of the dangers they had passed, and of which they had had such great dread; for if the enemy had attacked them in the passage and had obliged them to fight, they would have been lost. But, by good luck, the savages did not appear, because, going nearly entirely naked, they seldom left their houses in winter. Finally, when our people were out of the swamp, they camped quite near in a plain; they made great fires, for they were exceedingly cold; they recovered by degrees their strength, and rejoiced that thence to Hirriga they had no more bad roads.

When night came they reposed, and before day they continued their journey, upon which, having met five Indians, they slew them with their lances, for fear of being exposed by them. They made this day thirteen leagues, and stopped at night in a beautiful plain. But the next day, before the sun had risen, they decamped, and passed, while it was morning, near Urribaracuxi, which, for fear of the inhabitants, they would not enter. They marched fifteen leagues this day, which was the tenth of their journey, and reposed a part of the Light at three leagues from Mucoço. About midnight they recommenced their march, and at. the end of two leagues they saw fire in a wood on the side of their road. Moron, who had scentedthis fire, had given them notice of it before, and even after having again spoken to them of it, they perceived it almost immediately.

The Spaniards, surprised at a thing so extraordinary, went directly to this fire, and found around it several Indians with their wives and children, who were roasting fish. They were the subjects of Mucoço; nevertheless they took them, to know if their lord had kept the peace; for it was resolved that if there were found any complaints against him, they would send his subjects to Havana. They therefore rushed upon them at full speed, and captured nineteen of them. The others went into the thickest of the forest and escaped by favor of the darkness. The prisoners cried out Ortis, and endeavored to make the Spaniards remember the good services they had done them in his person, but it was to no purpose. In the mean time the cavaliers, seeing that they could take no more Indians, began to breakfast upon the fish that were there, and which the hunger with which they were pressed made them find excellent, although they had been covered with the dust which the horses had thrown upon them. Afterward, taking a by-road, they went away from Mucoço, and at the end of five leagues Cacho had recovered his strength. The alarm which the enemy had given when they were at Ocaly, had made such an impression upon his mind, that, aided by the vigor of his age, he found himself cured of the sickness which the cold and fatigue had caused him, and he served as vigorously as the others. But his horse could go no further, and they left him in a meadow, after having taken from him the saddle and bridle, which they placed upon a tree, in order that if any Indian wished to use them, he might have everything that was necessary to do so.

Afterwards they continued to travel; but when they approached within a league of Hirriga, where there were forty horse and eighty foot soldiers, fear seized the cavaliers at seeing that they met with no traces of either men or horses. They could not imagine that Calderon, who was at this place, had not made excursions in the neighborhood. They therefore believed that either the garrison had been massacred, or that they had retired upon the ships which they had left with him. In this belief, they were both afraid and sad; considering themselves so far from the army, deprived of provisions, and of vessels to retire by sea. They reflected upon the evils they lead suffered on their journey, and despaired of ever returning to Apalache. However, in the midst of such sorrowful uneasiness, they resolved that if they did not find their people at Hirriga, they would camp at a place in the forest, nearest to where they might have grass. That whilst they should rest, they would kill the horses least useful, and after having cut them in pieces for food upon the route, they would attempt to return. They flattered themselves that if they were killed, they would have, in dying, at least the consolation of having put themselves in a condition for doing their duty; and that if fortune should favor them they would have satisfaction and honor. Thereupon they boldly continued their route, and went to Hirriga.



THE cavaliers, arrived at a little marsh half a league from Hirriga, found some horse tracks, at which they were exceedingly rejoiced. Even their horses, which could hardly sustain themselves, recovered courage; they scented the tracks which they met, and went capering as though they had just come out of the stable; so that the Spaniards travelled with speed, and arrived at sunset within sight of Hirriga. Some cavaliers of the garrison were then going out on horseback to scour the environs of the place, marching two and two, with lance in hand.

Aniasco and his companions, perceiving them, put themselves in the same order, and, as if it had been to race at the public rejoicings, they spurred at a canter to meet one another, which was very agreeable. At the noise which they made, Calderon and the rest of the garrison left the town. They were pleased to see the races of Aniasco and his men, and received them with every mark of a sincere affection. Aniasco and his companions also manifested to them their joy, and on both sides they remained a long time embracing each other. Afterwards the garrison, without inquiring after the health of Soto or the state of the army, only asked if there was much gold found in the province of Apalache; so greatly had the love of this metal prevailed over the minds of the men, and made them easily forget their duty.

The journey of Aniasco and those who accompanied him lasted eleven days. They passed two of them in crossing the Ocaly and the great marsh; so that in nine days they made more than one hundred and fifty leagues, which there are from Apalache to the town of Hirriga. But by the hardships which these cavaliers suffered, we can easily judge of the difficulties of the other Spaniards who have conquered the rest of the New World, so vast in its extent, and so redoubtable for the valor of its inhabitants. However, there are persons who enjoy- the fruits of the labors of those who have acquired for the crown of Spain so many rich kingdoms, and who laugh at the labors which they have had to subjugate them. As they possess the wealth without the trouble, they think that they themselves have won them, and stupidly deceive themselves.

Aniasco, arrived at Hirriga, inquired if the Indians of the province of Mucoço and of that where they were had not broken the peace. And at the same time that he learned that they were satisfied with their conduct, he sent back the prisoners with orders to the cacique to come to the quarters, and to bring with him people to carry away the provisions and the other things of which they wished to make him a present. He also charged them to take care of the horse which they had left in their country: and, thereupon, they set out for their country, full, of joy at recovering their liberty. Three days after Mucoço arrived with the horse; the bridle and saddle of which some Indians carried, because they had not been able to put them on him. He affectionately embraced Aniasco and those of his suite; he politely inquired after the health of the general, and asked them to relate to him the success of their conquest, the circumstances of their journey, the battles they had been compelled to fight, the adventures they had had, and the hunger and hardships they had suffered. That it would be fortunate if he could compel the caciques of the country to render obedience to the Spaniards; because they could never live under a government milder or more illustrious than that of so warlike a nation.

Aniasco, having contrasted this courteous manner in which Mucoço had received them with that of his companions who at first had inquired only concerning the wealth they had discovered, thanked him, in the name of all, for the affection which he bore the Spaniards, and complimented him upon the subject of the peace which he had preserved. But the cacique replied to these civilities with so much intelligence that he acquired the esteem, friendship, and admiration of everybody. Mucoço possessed also very excellent qualities; for, without speaking of his physical advantages, he had prudence, generosity, and a particular manner which charmed the Spaniards. Therefore he was tenderly beloved by them; and, in my opinion, they should have adroitly induced him to be baptized. According to the natural intelligence which he had, it would not have been very difficult to have converted him to the Faith, and this had been a happy commencement. But the Christians wished not to preach the Gospel to the inhabitants of Florida until they lead first conquered the whole.

After that, and during four days that Mucoço was with the Spaniards, he sent away more than five hundred quintals of cassava, which is the bread that is made in Cuba of the root o� the manioc, many cloaks, sacks, drawers, pantaloons, hempen shoes and other things, with coats of mail, lances; in one word, all sorts of arms. They gave him, moreover, sails, cordage, anchors, cables, and other things of the vessels. Our people had all these in abundance, and they were very glad to leave some of them to Mucoço and his subjects.



WHEN Mucoço had caused to be taken away that which they had left him, they looked at the orders of the general. They imported that Aniaseo should take the brigantines remaining in the bay of Espiritu Santo, and coast to the west as far as the Gulf of Ante, which he himself had discovered. Aniaseo therefore inspected the vessels, put them in order, filled them with all kinds of provisions, and chose the men to accompany him. It was seven days getting ready; and when he had given the orders of the general to Calderon concernuil- his route, he made his adieux, set sail. and tools his route for the gulf of Ante. But let him sail at the mercy of the winds, and let us see in what manner Arias executed what he had to do. IIe was commanded to take the caravel, and go to Havana to Isabella de Bovadilla, and inform her of the details of the discovery. He was also charged to treat of some affairs; but they do not regard this history, and I shall not speak of them. Arias then, to discharge that which was enjoined him, had the caravel repaired, equipped it, put to sea, and, in a few days, arrived at Havana. He was received with much joy by the wife of Soto and all the inhabitants of the island, who made great rejoicings because of the news which he brought their, and of the health of the general, whom they loaded wide benedictions and praises.



DURING the sojourn of Calderon it Hirriga, his people made many gardens, where they planted a great many radishes, lettuces, and other herbs. They collected divers seeds for their need, in case they should settle in the country. Also, the Indians captured some of the Spaniards, which happened by the fault of the Spaniards themselves, in this manner: the barbarians had made, upon the borders of the bay of Espiritu Santo, large places unclosed with rude stones, for to fish for rays and other fishes which went into these places when the tide was high and which, when it retired, remained there almost aground. This fishing was excellent, and the soldiers of Calderon enjoyed it with the Indians. Therefore, Lopes and Gaivan one day took a fancy to go a-fishing without the orders of the captain. They got into a boat and took with them Magnos, page of their commander. As they were fishing, there arrived in small canoes some barbarians. who, approaching them, said, partly in Indian and partly in Spanish, that the fish should be in common. Lopes, who was brutal, replied to them that they should serve for food for the dogs; that he had nothing to divide with them; and immediately he drew his sword and wounded an Indian who was near him. The others, exasperated at this insolence, fell upon the three Spaniards, dispatched Lopes with the oars, left Galvan for had, and carried off Magnos, to whom they did nothing, in consideration of his youth. Some soldiers of the garrison who were not far from there, attracted by the noise and suspecting the difficulty which lead happened, came in a boat to give assistance to Lopes and Galvan; but they found them senseless and Mugnos in the power of the Indians. They immediately interred Lopes, and as Galvan still breathed, they assisted hill) so promptly that they restored him. However, he was more than thirty days recovering, and the same time remained stupefied by the wounds in his head; for when he recited this misfortune he said: When the Indians killed us, Lopes and me, we did such things. His companions. who diverted themselves with his dreams, replied to him that only Lopes was killed, and that, as for him, he was not dead. But he persisted with warmth that he was dead and living at the same time, because God lead restored him to life.

Some Lime afterwards the Indians took another soldier, who was called Vintimilla, as he was fishing for crabs at low tile, -it the end of a forest between the town of Hirrira and the bay of EspirituSanto. The barbarians concealed in the woods, seeing him alone, approached and said to him mildly that they should divide the fish. Vintimilla, who thought to frighten them, replied fiercely that he had no division to make. The Indians, indignant that a single man should dare, with so much arrogance, to speak to theul wleo were ten or twelve, carried him off, but, however, did him no injury. Mugnos and Vintimilla were ten years among them, with liberty to go wherethey pleased. But finally they escaped in this manner: A Christian ship, pursued by the subjects of Hirriga, was overtaken by a storm, and to escape its fury it retired to the bay of Espiritu Santo. The storm ceased, it put into the high sea, and the Indians began to give it chase. Vintimilla and Mugnos, who accompanied them, were alone in a boat, and, as they designed to escape, fortune presented them a fine opportunity for it. A north wind suddenly arose; the Indians, fearing lest it might increase and drive them too far to sea, exerted themselves to gain the land. In the mean time the two Spaniards gradually desisted from rowing, and feigned that they had not strength to go against the violence of the wind. But when they saw the Indians at a distance, they turned the prow of their vessel toward the ship, rowed with all their might, and called to them to wait for them. The Christians, at their call, lowered the sails and received with joy the two Spaniards, to console themselves for those whom they had lost.



AFTER Aniasco and Arias had left, the one for the gulf of Ante, and the other for Havana, Calderon tools the route for Apalache, with fifty foot soldiers and seventy lancers, and arrived the second day at Mucoço. The cacique came to meet him, and lodged him in the town, entertained them all well, and accompanied them the next day out of his territory. And, when he was ready to leave them, he told them, with tears in his eyes, that he lost all hopes of ever seeing the general again; that, whilst they were at Hirriga, he lead flattered himself that he would return some day to the country, where he would still have had the honor to offer him his services; but that now, as he saw himself condemned to deplore his absence, he begged them to make known to him the affection which he had for him; and with these words, embracing them, he returned home quite dejected. In the mean time the Spaniards continued their route, and came as far as the Great Swanip without encountering anything; except that it happened one night that, being camped in a plain near a wood, there came out of it many Indians, who kept them in continual alarm; for they had no sooner recognized them than they all became enraged, especially one among thorn, who, showing much boldness, was attacked by Silvestre. The Indian stood firm at first, but afterwards tools to his heels. The Spaniard pressed him; but the barbarian, seeing himself about to be pierced, resisted. and at the moment that the cavalier gave him a thrust with his lance which brought him to the ground and killed him, he shot an arrow which pierced and prostrated the horse of Silvestre, so that the barbarian, the horse, and the rider fell one upon the other. The Spaniards, surprised that a single shot of an arrow fired so close hall slain a horse so vigorous, had the curiosity to see, in the morning, the effect of this shot. They found that the arrow had entered the breast, and, after having pierced the heart, had stopped in the intestines; with so much foree do the Indians shoot. Also, from their earliest years, they have no other exercise. When the infants begin to walls, they study to imitate their fathers; they handle arrows and ask for bows, which, if they refuse them, they make them themselves of small sticks, and declare war against the mice of the dwellings; but not meeting with anything upon which they can fire, they hunt the flies, and out of the house the yo hunt the lizards, and when these animals are in their holes they will wait for them five or six hours until they come out of them.

Thus, by a continual exercise, they shoot with surprising skill. But since it has become proper to speak of the extraordinary shots of the Indians, I shall relate an instance of them. Moscoso, in one of the first skirmishes with the A palaches, received, in his right side, the shot of an arrow, which pierced his buff and his coat of mail without killing him, because the shot went aslant. The Spanish officers, astonished that a coat of mail of the value of a hundred and fifty ducats should be pierced by a single shot, wished to prove theirs, in order to know if they could depend upon them. As they were then in the town of Apalache, those who were coats of mail took a cane basket, strongly woven, and adjusted around it one of the finest coats of mail. They then unbound one of the Indian prisoners, gave him a bow and arrow, and commanded him to fire, at the distance of one hundred and fifty paces, upon this coat of mail. At the same time, the barbarian, having closed his fist, stretched himself, extended and bent his arm to awaken his strength, shot through the coat of mail and basket with so much force that the shot would still easily have pierced aman. Our people, who saw that a coat of mail could not resist an arrow, adjusted two of them to the basket. They gave an arrow to an Indian whom they ordered to shoot, and he pierced both of them. Nevertheless, the arrow remained fixed, as much oil one side as on the other, because it had not been fired with sufficient skill. The barbarian requested that he might be permitted to shoot another, upon condition that if he should not pierce the two coats of mail with as much force as the first, he would forfeit his life.

The Spaniards would not grant his request, and afterward they held their coats of mail of no account, which they, in mockery, called Hollaud cloth. Therefore they made, of thick cloth, doublets four inches thick, which covered the chest and the croup of the horses, and resisted an arrow better than anything else. But as in this relation, I shall again speak of some surprising arrow shots, I return to Calderon.



THE Indians, seeing one of their men slain, did not return any more to harass the Spaniards, who arrived the day following, at the great swamp, where they remained all night. They crossed it the nest day, without being attacked by the enemy; and travelled, by long stages, through the province of Acuera. To relieve one another, the cavaliers dismounted, preferring, through fear of fatiguing their horses, rather to give them to the foot-soldiers, than to carry these behind them. They finally arrived at Ocaly, which they found abaudored, and when they had taken provisions there, they crossed, on rafts, the river which passes near this town. Afterwards, they entered into Ochile; from there they went into Vitachuco, then to the ricer Ossaehile and to the town of the same name, from which the inhabitants had retired. They took there provisions, and continued their journey- through an uninhabited country between Ossachile and the swamp of Apalaehe, without the barbarians attacking them but a single time; they made more than a hundred and thirty leagues, from the commencement of their route to the place where they were. Having arrived at the wood which borders the swamp, they camped all the night in a neighboring plain, and at break of day, when they lead marched through the defile, entering the waters, they advanced as far as the bridge, and mended it. The people on foot passed over without the enemy opposing them, and those on horseback safely crossed by swimming the deepest water. Then Calderon gave orders for crossing the remainder of the swamp. He commanded ten cavaliers to place behind them five crossbow-men with as many men armed with bucklers, and to seize the pass which was on the other side. They then prepared to cross the water, and quickly gain the other shore. The Indians in ambush sallied out at the same time, attacked them with loud cries, enveloped them with arrows, slew the horse of Alvar, and wounded five others. the rest, frightened at the noise and the shots of the barbarians, kicked, reared, retraced their steps, and threw into the water those whom they carried behind, who were nearly all wounded; for when the horses turned back, the Indians, seeing the foot-soldiers down, picked them out. They even prepared to go and kill them in the water, calling their companions to aid them and to be witnesses of their victory. This attack astonished even the Spaniards. Their horses were disabled, and it was necessary to fight in the marsh. They saw themselves in disorder, and the enemy rushing upon them; all that, made them dread being all cut to pieces. The barbarians, on the contrary, who noticed the trouble of our men, became more audacious, and redoubled their efforts against those who were in the water.

In the mean time, Villabo and other valiant soldiers advanced to the assistance of their companions, and checking the Indians, arrested their fury. In the mean time the other barbarians of the country, informed that the Christians were routed, hastened to take part in the victory.

To the left of the Spaniards who were crossing the marsh, there came a large troop of barbarians, and some paces in front, marched an Indian with tall plumes upon his head, clothed superbly after the fashion of the country. This captain, seeing that the Spaniards were approaching, wished to get possession of a large tree which was equally distant from them and him, and from whence he would have greatly incommoded them. As Sylvestre had discovered his design, he called Galvan, who hastened to him; they gained the tree before the barbarian, who, through rage, shot at them three arrows. The buckler of Sylvester received them and resisted the violence of the blows, because it was wet. Galvan, who had orders to fire only upon that Indian, waited until he was within reach of his crossbow. He took his opportunity in such a manner that he struck him in the middle of the chest, and pierced him, because he was covered only with a small skin. However, he was not prostrated by the blow; he only made a pirouette, and cried out that these Christian traitors had killed him. There was immediately heard a great noise; there were but cries and howls among the barbarians. They ran to their captain, took him in their arms, and passing him from hand to hand, carried him off by the way he had come.

’l’o the right of our men, advanced, all infuriated, a crowd of Indians, against whom Manassas, accompanied by ten others, marched to oppose them. The barbarians briskly charged them and wounded Manassas in the thigh, on account of him not leaving his buckler; and the four arrow shots which they fired at him in this place were so violent that they precipitated him into the water. Five of his Companions lead the same misfortune. The Indians, animated by this action, and in the hope of gaining the victory, male new efforts to achieve it. The Spaniards then, reduced by necessity to fight for their lives, defended themselves like lions. In the mean time, the report circulated among the barbarians that their chief was mortally wounded; and they began to give way by degrees and to retreat. Our men immediately reunited in very good order, and not to lose an opportunity which fortune presented them, they pushed the enemy and drove him into the defile which was on the other side of the marsh; and without difficulty, male themselves masters of the place in the forest which the troops had opened in going through. The barbarians who had fortified it, and who had retreated there, abandoned it again on the wounding of their chief. the Spaniards camped in this place, which was very difficult of approach, and very easy to guard. They passed the night there to dress the wounds of the wounded who were in very great numbers, and they were always on the alert oil account of the continual yells of the enemy. When it was day, they began to march, driving the Indians before them as far as another forest, about two leagues through this wood, which was not so dense as that which they had passed, the barbarians had made, here and there along the road, good palisades, from whence they fired and attacked with so much order, that when one of the ranks engaged the other did not fight, for fear of injuring themselves with their own arms. The Spaniards bravely traversed this forest, and had twenty wounded without ever being able to kill a single Indian. They believed that they even hid well to protect themselves from their shots. Afterwards they entered into a vast plain, where the barbarians, fearing the cavalry, dared not to attack nor to await them. At the end of five leagues, as the wounded were generally fatigued, our men camped in a plain, and during the night the enemy fell upon them from all quarters. Then the cavaliers advanced to oppose them, and charged vigorously into the thickest of the barbarians, who retreated, and tried to shoot the horses; however, they wounded only one of them. Nearly all the night they did but cry out to the Spaniards that they had killed the others, that they had quartered them, and bung them to the highest trees; that they would do the same thing to them before they should arrive whore they wished to; that they were not so cowardly as to endure their tyranny, and that if they did not leave the country they would cut them all in pieces.

to them before they should arrive whore they wished to; that they were not so cowardly as to endure their tyranny, and that if they did not leave the country they would cut them all in pieces.When it was day our men continued their route, and arrived at a deep stream, and so much the more difficult to cross, as it was fortified on the other side with palisades. Calderon sent to reconnoitre the passage, and prepared to attack. He commanded thirty cavaliers to dismount; to go with sword in one hand and an axe in the other, and cut down the stakes; that those who were the least in a condition to fight should place themselves in the middle with the equipage, and the best armed in the rear, so that from all sides they might be able to sustain the enemy. In this order they entered into the wood, which was in front of the stream. When the barbarians saw them enter into a place where the horses could not be used, they began to make loud cries, and charged them with so nine fury that they expected to cut them all in pieces. Our men, determined to pass or die, rushed impetuously at the entrenchments. The contest was obstinate. Nevertheless, in spite of the resistance of the Indians, they gained the palisades, and cut them down with the sturdy strokes of their axes. There were a few wounded, and one horse killed. They afterwards marched through the plain without the enemy attacking them, except when they met with thick bushes upon the route, for the Indians, being in ambush, fell unexpectedly upon them, crying out that they would exterminate them as they bad done the others. The Spaniards began to he concerned at these menaces, for, from the town of Apalache, whence they could easily have heard the noise, no succor came, and likewise they did not see sup horse tracks. However, they advanced at a slow pace towards the place, where they entered at sunset. Some days after, there died twelve of their wounded, and among others, Manassas, who was a very brave cavalier.

Calderon and his soldiers were received by all the army with so much the more joy, as they believed them dead; for the barbarians came every day to cry to our men that they had slain them on the route, which appeared very likely; for the general having seen himself, with nine hundred men, in great peril in these defiles, it was easy to believe that Calderon, with one hundred and twenty, was there destroyed. But when the general fortunately found himself mistaken, the satisfaction which he had at receiving Calderon and his companions cannot be imagined. He embraced them all many times, and courteously inquired of the particulars of their journey. He ardently praised and spoke of their fatigues, their courage, and commanded that they should take the greatest care of the wounded.



WHEN Calderon arrived in the town of Apalache, Aniasco had already been there six days, having debarked at Ante, without having met with anything worthy of relating. He had safely landed at this port, because, to make it secure for him, they had sent there, twelve days before his arrival, two companies, one of cavalry and the other of infantry. They were relieved every four days, and during their sojourn at the port, they hoisted their colors, in order that they might discover them from a distance.

Aniasco, who saw them, came and landed at Ante; whence, after having sheltered two vessels, he set out for the camp, with those who were ordered to escort him. But when Calderon arrived there, and the Spaniards saw themselves all together, they believed that there was no danger which they could not overcome. They were therefore always in good spirits, and passed the winter pleasantly in their quarters. In the mean time the general, who applied himself wholly to the discovery of the country, sent for Maldonado, a valiant captain who had served well upon all occasions, and commanded him to leave the care of his company to Gusman, and to go to the gulf of Aute; that there he should take two brigantines which they had left there; that nest he should follow the coast a hundred leagues to the west; that he should notice particularly the bays, the harbors, and the rivers, and should make an exact account of them; that this discovery would be very important, and that he would give him two months for the voyage.

Maldonado went to the gulf of Ante, and when he had sailed along the coast, he returned within the prescribed time. He reported that he had found, at sixty leagues from the gulf, a port which they called Achussi. That this port was very fine, sheltered from all the winds, capable of containing many ships, and of so good a depth that it was easy to approach the land and leap upon it without assistance. He brought from there two Indianswho were relations, and of whom one was a cacique. But he took them in a manner very unjust. When he had entered the port, the inhabitants received him civilly; they invited him to land, and said that they would give him provisions. Maldonado, who did notconfide in them, dared not accept their offer; but the Indians, discovering his distrust, took the first steps to dispel his suspicions. They came on board the vessels by twos and fours to pay him a visit. They brought him provisions, of which he was in need, and by degrees the Spaniards, becoming reassured, sounded the port. Then, after taking all that was necessary, they hoisted the sails and put to sea, taking with them the two Indians, who, trusting to the marks of amity which were given on both sides, were basely betrayed.



THE Spaniards learned with joy the discovery of the port of Achussi and all the coast. It seemed to them that they would finally be able to settle in Florida. That the principal thing depended upon finding a port. They had found one in which the vessels could land, with everything necessary for an establishment. Therefore Maldonado received orders to go with the two brigantines to Havana, to Bovadilla, and relate to her the details of what had happened, and spread the news of it through the island of Cuba.He was also commanded to repair, in the month of October following, of the year fifteen hundred and forty-one, to the port of Achussi with the brigantines, the caravel of Arias, and some vessels loaded with muskets, lead, powder, and all sorts of munitions. He was, moreover, ordered to bring back Arias, a man of sage counsel and great discretion in war. The general had given these orders, because he believed that at the time set for Maldonado, he on his part would have discovered the interior of the country, and have taken all his measures for establishing himself there; and that afterwards he would repair to the port of Achussi. But, first of all, it was necessary to seize this port; for, with the view of settling in Florida, it was a thing of which they absolutely could not do without.

Maldonado then left the gulf of Ante and repaired to Havana, where, for the good news which he brought, and his good fortune in all his enterprises, he was well received by the wife of the general and by all the island. After they had communicated the success of the discovery, there was nothing but rejoicing and prayers in the behalf of Soto. The rich themselves, in particular, contributed with all their power, to his designs. They sent, or brought, what they had of the most valuable, because they expected some profit from it, and that they would show that they shared in the interest of their governor. But while the inhabitants of the island make their preparations, we will return to the people of Apalache.



ANIASCO mounted on horseback one day, and, having ridden with six of his companions through the streets of Apalache, they all took a fancy to make a tour of the town on the outside. As they had no intention of going very far away, because the barbarians placed themselves in ambush behind the bushes and the country was not safe, they left without other arms than their swords, except Pegado, who carried a lance. Whitst they were riding at a slow pace, and pleasantly conversing on different subjects, they perceived an Indian and his wife, who were collecting beans, in a field near a wood. They immediately spurred straight towards them, and the woman, wholly beside herself, not being able to escape, the Indian took her, carried her into the forest, thrust her against the first thicket, and forcibly pushed her into it. Then, instead of saving himself with her, he boldly returned to where he had left his bow, and advanced against the cavaliers with as much resolution as if he had but one to contend with. The Spaniards, surprised at this action, and believing that it would be a shame for seven men to slay one, wished only to capture him. They charged so suddenly upon him that he had not time to shoot. They overthrew him and held him to the earth, crying out to him “quarter” and that he should surrender. But the more they pressed him the more he showed courage, for quite struck down as he was, he wounded them all in the legs, and stuck with arrows, the bellies of their horses; finally, he escaped once from under their feet, arose, took his bow with both hands and gave with it, so violent a blow upon the forehead of Pegado, that the blood flowed down his visage, and he was quite stunned by it. This cavalier, enraged at seeing himself thus treated, urged his horse upon the barbarian, gave him some thrusts with his lance, struck him in the breast, and laid him dead at his feet. The Spaniards at the same time examined their horses, and found that they all were slightly wounded. They retraced their route to Apalache, ashamed that a single man had given them so much trouble.



DURING the wintering of the Spaniards at Apalache, Soto resolved to visit the countries of Florida situated towards the west. Therefore he inquired of the Indians who served in the army and of those whom they captured every day, if they had any knowledge of the western regions of the country. In the mean time, they brought to him a barbarian about seventeen years of age, who had been with Indians who went very far into Florida to barter merchandise. For money not being in use among the people of these countries, they make use of only exchanges. The general, rejoiced at this opportunity, had this young man interrogated concerning the places of Florida which he wished to discover. He replied to him, that he knew only the countries where he had accompanied his masters; and that in twelve or thirteen days he could conduct the troops there. The general immediately placed him in the hands of a soldier, with orders to take care that he did not escape. But very far from fleeing he accommodated himself to such a degree, to the disposition of the Christians, that he evinced that he had no greater pleasure than to live among them; and he also adopted all their manners, and one would have believed him a real Spaniard.

A few days after the taking of this Indian, they captured another who knew him, and who confirmed what he had said. He even offered himself to lead our men to the provinces where he had been, which he asserted to be of very great extent. But when they demanded of him, if in those quarters, there were found gold, silver, and precious stones, all of which things they showed him to make him comprehend what they wished to learn of him, he declared that in Cofaciqui there was a metal like the yellow and white which they showed him. That the merchants whom he served, purchased this metal and trafficked with it in other countries. That there was also found in Cofaciqui a very great quantity of pearls; and thereupon he pointed to one among the jewels which they showed to him. The Spaniards, full of joy at this news, thought only of the means of going to Cofaciqui and rendering themselves masters of the riches of this province.



ONE day a party of fifty foot-soldiers and twenty cavaliers left the camp to search for corn at a league from there, where, on their arrival, they collected as much as they had need of. They then placed themselves in ambush to capture some barbarians, and posted a sentinel on an elevated place. He almost immediately gave notice that an Indian appeared, who glanced from one side to the other as if he had an intention to discover something. Upon this notice, Diego de Soto, one of the brave cavaliers of the army, spurred tocapture the barbarian, who, at first, attempted to escape. However, happening to consider that the horse would intercept him, he gaineda tree, the ordinary refuge of the Indian. He prepared his how, and awaited with firmness until his enemy was within reach of his arrow. As Soto had seen that he could not advance as far as under the tree, he passed close by and gave a thrust with his lance at the Indian, who had no sooner parried it than he fired and pierced the horse of the Spaniard with so much force, that afterwards he staggered about twenty steps and fell dead.

In the mean time, arrived Velasques, who followed at a canter to succor Soto, and when he saw his companion’s horse slain, he urged his own, advanced directly at the barbarian, and thrust at him his lance. The Indian, after having parried it also, fired and slew the horse of Velasques. ’these two Spaniards immediately charged, with their lances, upon the barbarian, who, in retreating to the wood, turned his head, and said to them with disdainful pride, that if they had to fight on foot, they would see with whom wouldremain victory. He thus escaped from the cavaliers with his reputation, and left them in despair at being unfortunately dismounted. The party then retraced their route to the camp, sorry at what had happened to their comrades.

A short time after this action, Rodriguez and Yelves, on horseback, left Apalache to gather fruit in a forest near this town. Having arrived they dismounted and climbed to the tops of the trees, in the belief that the fruit was better there than on the branches below. The Indians in ambuscade perceived them, and crawled quietly to surprise them. Yelves, who saw them, leaped down from the treewhere he had placed himself. They fired at him an arrow which prostrated him as he was running to his horse. The arrow struck him in the shoulder and passed through his breast. As for Rodriguez, they shot him upon the tree as they would a bird, and having brought him down at the third shot, they took off his head, which they carried away as an evidence of what had happened. Yelves was not treated thus; some cavaliers came to his assistance, to whom, after having related in a few words his misfortune, he asked for a confessor, and expired.

The horses of Yelves and Rodriguez, being frightened at the noise of the barbarians, fled towards the camp. The soldiers, who were advancing, and who met them, perceived that there was one of them wounded in one of his hind legs. However, because the wound was not larger than that of a lancet, they neglected to dress it, and the next day they found the horse dead. The Spaniards, surprised that a wound so light should produce such an effect, opened the horse at the place where he was wounded, and following the trace of the arrow, they found that it had pierced the thigh, and had passed to the liver. I report these particulars to show that during the sojourn of the troops at Apalache, the barbarians attacked them courageously, and did not lose any opportunity to injure them. The people of these quarters are brave and proud; always on the alert, and always ready to fight. They also relate this of their courage: As the Spaniards, in the province of Apalache, ate sometimes small dogs, because they found them to their taste, seven cavaliers left the camp to seek them, and were perceived by five Indians, who resolutely awaited them upon the route. These barbarians, seeing them near them, made a mark across the road, and told them that if they passedit they would kill them. The cavaliers, who laughed at these menaces, advanced; and immediately the Indians shot some arrows at them, by which they had two horses killed, and two wounded with one soldier. But there remained only one Indian upon the field; the others took to flight and escaped, because they are very swift. The people of Apalache were not contented to skirmish with those who straggled; but they attacked the army, day and night, without attempting to come to an engagement. They concealed themselves in the woods, and came and fell upon the troops whom they endeavored to destroy.

The province of Apalache abounds in corn, pumpkins, and vegetables. There are also found there divers sorts of plums and nuts, and such a quantity of mast that it is lost at the foot of the trees; because the Indians do not raise herds. In one word, the country is so fertile, that the troops, during five months of winter there, had food in abundance; and even to get it, they had never to go farther than a league from the quarters. Notwithstanding, beside about three hundred and fifty horses, they numbered nearly fifteen hundred men, without counting the Indians in service. There are also, in that country, many white mulberry trees, very good pastures, excellent water, ponds fall of fish, marshes full of herbs, the buds of which are good for cattle, and of themselves sufficient to nourish them.





AFTER they had dispatched Maldonado to Havana for provisions and other things necessary for the troops, the general left the town of Apalache about the end of March of the year 1540, and took his route toward the north. He marched three days without being attacked by the enemy, and lodged in a village almost inclosed by a marsh which was more than a hundred yards wide, and where they sank over their knees. However, as in this marsh there were pieces of wood from one side to the other, they easily passed it, and from there, without difficulty, they reached the town, situated upon an elevation, whence they discovered many villages here and there ina pleasant valley. The troops sojourned three days in this town, which was still a dependence of Apalache. During this time, five guards of the general left the quarters with Aguilera and Moreno to reconnoitre the villages of the country. The guard carried each a halberd, and the others their swords. Aguilera had also a shield, and Moreno a lance. They passed, in this state, the marsh and the angle of a wood, and entered into a field planted with corn; where, at about two hundred yards from the camp, they were attacked by the Indians. They immediately cried out “to arms,” the soldiers who heard them left the town, and Hot to lose time in searching a passage, they rushed into the marsh and ran in haste to their assistance. However, notwithstanding the speed they made, they found the guards slain, each one with ten or twelve arrows through his body, and the two others badly injured. Moreno had in his breast a wound which went through to his shoulder, and he expiredwhilst they were dressing it. Aguilera, who had fought bravely, had his thigh pierced by two arrows, his body black with blows, and his head wounded; for the barbarians, having exhausted their arrows, took his shield, and with it, struck him such violent blows that they laid bare his head, even to his eyebrows. But as he was young and robust, he did not die from it. In the mean time, the Indians, perceiving the succors, fled so quickly that they could not learn their number. They knew, however, from Aguilera, that there were more than fifty men; and some time after, they learned, in this way, the manner in which the thing had happened.

One day the Spaniards, through raillery, asked Aguilera, if he bad counted the blows which he had received, and if, to avenge himself for them with Donor, he would not challenge these barbarians to fight him, man to man. He replied that the blows had fallen so thick upon his shoulders, that he had not been able to count them. That in regard to the injury they had done him, they would some day be able to give information when they should be in the hands of the enemy. That, nevertheless, to inform them in what manner his misfortune had happened, they should know that many Indians had met him and his comrades in the field, and that, having seen them only seven, on foot, they had detached from the main body alike number, who advanced toward them, and charged them vigorously, whilst the others remained spectators of the combat. That his companions and he, having neither crossbow nor musket to repulse them, the seven Indians had approached them at their leisure, and had tired upon them as upon beasts taken in a snare. That finally, they had put them in a deplorable condition; that however, since he had not lost his life, he pardoned them the injuries they had done him; and that, for fear of another misfortune, he would not think of challenging them; at the same time counselling those who railed at him, not to leave the camp without arms, for fear of being maltreated, and serving, in their turn, for the diversion of others. Those who were listening to Aguilera remained surprised, for they had never believed that the Indians would dare to fight in equal numbers against the Spaniards. But this encounter made them acquainted with the boldness of these people, who, seeing no horses, confided so strongly in their courage, that they did not think of yielding to the bravest Christians in either valor or address.



THE general left Apalache and repaired to the frontiers of the province Altapaha. He went there to reconnoitre, himself, with one hundred and fifty men, as many of cavalry as of infantry, and entered the third day of his march into the first town of the country. The greater part of the inhabitants had retired from this place, so that they took but six of them, of whom there were two captains, who had remained in order to make the last leave.

They led them to the general, to get some knowledge of the country, but no sooner were the yo in his presence than these Indian chiefs boldly demanded of him if he came to make war or treat of peace. He had them told that he demanded only peace and some provisions in order to go on. They replied that they ought not to arrest them; that the demand which they made being reasonable, it would be granted without difficulty; and that even throughout the province the troops would be favorably received. They dispatched two of their people to the cacique to inform him of all that had happened, and ordered them to tell those whom they should meet, not to harass the Spaniards; and to make known to each other that these people only traversed their country without devastating it. The general, who had these orders interpreted to him, began to hope that everything would succeed according to his wishes, and commanded that they should regale the two chiefs and set them at liberty. In the mean time, the Indians that were with the general counselled him to retrace his steps to another town, better than the village where he was, and offered to conduct him there by an agreeable route.

Soto, allowing himself to be persuaded, sent orders to his colonel of cavalry to repair to this town. He marched there quickly with what troops he had, and was received there with the greatest demonstrations of joy. The cacique, informed of these things, came to salute the general, who appeared very much rejoiced at his arrival, and the inhabitants who had fled returned to their houses. In the mean time, the rest of the army arrived, one part lodged in the town and the others outside; and during the three days that they sojourned there, they lived peaceably with the barbarians. Afterwards they marched ten days, up along the river, where they saw fine mulberry trees, and remarked that the country was fertile, the people, gentle and sociable. So that, on both sides keeping the peace inviolate, the Indians did not receive any offence; because they contented themselves with what was only necessary. Afterwards, the Christians departed from Altapaha and entered into Achalaque, a poor and sterile province where they found only old men, of whom the greater part had weak vision or were blind. As they judged of the number of young men by that of the old, and as in the country they had not met any young men, the Spaniards believed that they had concealed themselves, and that they awaited them in ambush. But when they had investigated with care, they learned that they had nothing to fear, and in fact, there were no young men found in Achalaque, which surprised them still more. However, they did not put themselves to the trouble of learning the cause of it; they thought only of going to Cofaciqui, where they all hoped to enrich themselves. They therefore made long journeys and as the country was beautiful, without rivers or forests, they traversed it in five days. When the general left Achalaque, he gave to the cacique, among other things, two hogs. He had made a similar present to the chief of Altapaha, and to some others with whom he bad made alliance; for he had brought into Florida more than one hundred of these animals, which, during the entire journey, were of use on divers occasions. But because sometimes they went astray upon the road, and the general gave away always as many males as females, it is very likely that if the barbarians have not slain them in hate of the Christians, there may be, at this time, many of them in Florida, which is a country very suitable for raising them.



WHEN the general passed from one province to another, he was accustomed to go himself openly, or to send notice of his coming; wherefore he sent to the cacique of Cofa to induce him to make an alliance, and to assure him that his design was to gain the people by gentleness; that he acted generously toward those who desired peace, of which the inhabitants of Apalache, their neighbors, were witnesses, whom the Spaniards had treated with every kindness. And as for him, if he would accept their friendship, he would be not less satisfied with it than the others. Cofa and his subjects replied that the general did them much honor, and that he and his troops would be received with joy; that they could never see him too soon, nor could he enter their country too soon. The Spaniards, delighted with this response, quickened their march, and the fourth day after their departure from Achalaque they arrived at the first town of Cofa, where the cacique, in order to appear as a great lord, awaited them with the most active of his subjects, whom he had assembled from all of his provinces. But when he learned that the Christians were approaching, he went out a quarter of a league to meet them; where, after having saluted Soto and fulfilled his promise to him, and finally made known to each other their satisfaction, the army entered into the town in very good order. The cacique lodged Soto, distributed the quarters, and retired to a town about two musket shots from the troops.

The Spaniards, rejoiced at this reception, remained five days in the country, and, at their departure, gave in custody to the cacique the only piece of cannon which they had. And to show to him the esteem which they had for him, by the importance of the thing which they lead confided to him, the general ordered the cannon to be fired at a large oak, which was upset at the second shot. The cacique and his subjects, surprised at an effect which appeared to them so extraordinary, allowed that it was truly a great mark of esteem and confidence to leave with them so important a trust. Afterwards the troops took the route to the province of Cofaciqui, and the cacique with his people accompanied them. But after one day’s march, they besought him not to go any further. He therefore took leave of the Spaniards with a thousand declarations of kindness, commanded his suite to embrace them, and sent to his brother, Cofaqui, to inform him that the army was approaching his country, and that it deserved to be favorably received. Soto, at the same time, sent to seek an alliance with Cofaqui; and after six days of travel he left the province of Cofa, which is a country suitable for cattle, very productive in corn, and very delightful. There they met with great forests, beautiful rivers, plains, mountains, and, above all, people very sociable.



HAVING learned that the Christians were coming upon his lands, Cofaqui had everything prepared to give them an honorable reception, and dispatched to the general four of the most distinguished of his vassals, accompanied by a number of others, to assure him of his obedience. Soto, rejoiced to see them, treated them with great kindness, and went with them as far as the first town, which is called Cofaqui, from the name of the chief and the province. While he was approaching this place, the cacique, who was within, had information of it. and went out to meet him, followed by many of his subjects equipped with bows, plumes, and mantles of marten skins. Cofaqui saluted him with respect, and after some compliments he confirmed him in what they had said in respect to himself. The general, on his part, received him in a very courteous manner, and promised him every favor, in gratitude for the reception he had given him. The Spanish officers and the Indians, following their example, also paid each other great civilities, and our people went into tlib town full of joy and satisfaction. Cofaqui at the same time distributed the lodgings, and for fear of incommoding his new guests, retired, with his own people, to a neighboring village. But the next day he came to pay his respects, and he asked the general to tell him if he would remain or go on further, in order the better to take his measures to render him every service. Soto replied that he would take the route to Cofaciqui; and would not stop until he lead reached that country. Thereupon the cacique replied that it was separated from the province of Cofaqui by a wilderness of seven days’ journey. That for that purpose he offered him provisions and soldiers, and that, if it pleased him to give his orders, he would have them punctually executed. The general made known that he was obliged to him, and requested him to do on this occasion what he judged necessary for the march, and that thus he hoped the troops would not lack anything, and that he would arrive safely at Cofaciqui.

The Cacique, delighted that the general confided in him, ordered the troops to be immediately raised. In four days there were four thousand men to escort the army, with a like number to carrythe baggage and provisions. Nevertheless, for fear of some surprise on account of the number of Indians, the general commanded his men to hold themselves more than ordinarily on their guard. But these barbarians were very far from undertaking anything. They thought only of gaining the friendship of the Spaniards, in order that they might assist them to avenge themselves upon the people of Cofaciqui, with whom they were at war. Therefore one day, before the departure of the Christians, the cacique had Patofa, his lieutenant-general, called, and said to him that a good occasion presented itself of resenting the wrongs which the inhabitants of Cofaciqui had done them all. That to have satisfaction for it, he sent him into the country with the army of the Spaniards; that it was his interest to cherish its friendship by every service, because it was by the assistance of these invincible troops he would avenge him, in a great degree, on his enemies; that this, besides, would give him an occasion to deserve well of his prince and country, and would increase his reputation; that knowing his ardor for glory, his zeal for his country, and his valor upon all occasions, he would say no more, convinced that he would gloriously respond to the hopes they had of him.

After Patofa, who was handsome, and whose visage indicated something noble, had received this order, he took off a mantle of cat skins which he had upon his shoulders, took a palm branch which one of his servants carried for him, and made, before his lord, many gambols and leaps, with so much grace that he was admired. Then advancing towards his chief with the palm branch in his hand, he saluted him in a manner but little different from ours, and assured him that he would sacrifice himself for his service; that since his force was seconded by the Spaniards, he pledged him his word of honor that he would avenge him of his enemies; that even his vengeance should be illustrious, and capable of making him forget the insults which he lead received: adding, that if fortune should betray his courage, and that if he did not fulfill the expectation which they had conceived or him, his misfortune should be followed by his death. At these words the cacique embraced his lieutenant. and said to him, that upon the assurance of the success of his enterprise, he would recompense him in advance. Thereupon, he took a mantle of marten skins, which he wore, and which our people valued at two thousand ducats, and invested Patofa with it: which is, among the Indians, the greatest mark of honor that a subject can receive.



THE night before the Spaniards left for Cofaciqui, their guide, who was one of the Indians they had taken in Apalache, and whom they named Pedro, without, however, having baptized him, began to cry for help, and that they were killing him. The troops immediately seized their arms in the fear of some treason, and put themselves in order of battle. But not seeing anything, and having inquired the cause of alarm, they learned that it was their guide, whom they found quite frightened, and almost half dead. When the general demanded of him what had made him utter such loud cries, he replied that the devil, with a frightful visage, accompanied by many little demons, had appeared to him; that he had threatened to kill him if fee led the Christians to Cofaciqui; that, thereupon, he had trodden upon his belly; had dragged him through the room, and had given him so many blows that he could not move; that if he lead not been succored by two Spaniards the devil would have killed him; but that the moment he perceived them he fled away with all his attendants; that, therefore, since the demons feared the Christians, he begged that they would baptize him immediately, in order that the devil might not come any more to maltreat him. The general and his officers, who judged of the truth of the adventure by the wounds, sent for the, priests; who, after leaving interrogated this poor Indian, baptized him, and did not abandon him the rest of the night nor the following day. He was in such a pitiable condition that it was necessary to restore him, and the army could not decamp until the next day; yet it was necessary that this Indian should mount on horseback. Cofaqui accompanied the general two leagues, and afterwards paid him some compliments upon the sorrow he lead at leaving him. He again commanded Patofa to obey the Spaniards in all things, and he reminded him that he was engaged in very important affairs; that they would judge of the merit of men, but by the brilliancy of their deeds. Then he returned to the town, and the troops went on to Cofaciqui, where they ardently wished to arrive.



THE Indians and Spaniards formed two separate army corps, and marched every day in this manner: Patofa and the general, each at the head of his troops, the baggage and servants in the middle. When night drew near, the Indians distributed provisions to the Spaniards; the armies encamped and posted sentinels, and put themselves in such a manner, upon their guard against each other, that one might have believed them enemies. The Christians, especially, were always watching the deportment of the barbarians, who only wished to show that they understood warfare. The Spaniards also prided themselves upon the same thing; each one emulously observed discipline. At the end of two days’ journey they arrived in very good order at a wilderness between the provinces of Cofaqui and Cofaciqui. The Spaniards marched six days, without much trouble, through this desert; because its woods and ways were favorable. Besides some rivulets, then, crossed two rivers, not deep, but very wide, and so rapid that they were obliged to place many horses in a file in order to break the rapidity of the water, and favor the passage of the persons oil foot, who could not keep themselves erect unless the horses supported them. On the seventh day, about noon, they found themselves at the end of the road which they had followed till then, and met with nothing but paths which went here and there into the forest, and which lost themselves almost immediately. So that, no longer knowing what route to take, the general began to suspect the barbarians. He told Patofa that, under the appearance of friendship, he had wished to destroy them. That it was not credible that among eight thousand Indians whom he commanded, there was not one who knew the road, considering that they had always been at war with the people of Cofaciqui, and matte incursions on each other. Patofa replied that he had never been so far, and not one of those who accompanied him; that they could not call war, the skirmishes which lead taken place between them and their enemies; that in the desert they lead fought only in the divers encounters in hunting and fishing, where they had killed and matte prisoners on both shies; that, as the inhabitants of Cofaciqui had always gained the advantage, they feared them, and lead not dared to enter their country; that, therefore, since neither he nor his people knew where they were, he begged that he would entertain, in their favor, other sentiments than those which he had expressed; that the people of Cofaqui were not capable of an yo baseness; besides, the cacique and he had too much honor to falsify, by all infamous treachery, the good reception they had given the Spaniards; that, for the guarantee of his word, they might take such hostages, and as many as they pleased; that he would even pledge his life and those of his soldiers, who would all devotedly sacrifice themselves to maintain the honor of their cacique and their own glory.

Soto, moved by this discourse, feared lest their commander might go to some extremity to show the innocence of his conduct, and replied to him, that, very far from believing that he had maliciously misled the Spaniards, he was now convinced to the contrary, and that the manner in which he had spoken, sufficiently justified it. They then called the Indian, Pedro, who lead guided them so correctly, that, at the close of the day, he marked the route for the following day. But he avowed that he had entirely lost the way, and excused himself, because it had been a long time since he had been to Cofaciqui. The Spaniards, who imagined that he dreaded being again maltreated by the devil, and that it would be in vain to entreat him, continued the remainder of the day to march through the most open parts of the forest, and arrived at sunset at the borders of a large river which was not fordable. As they had nothing to cross it with, and as they had consumed their provisions, this increased their misfortunes, and they were all the night in great consternation. At the break of day the general, in order to reassure them, promised not to continue the march until they had first discovered some road.

He therefore commanded Gusman, Vasconcello, Aniasco, and Tinoco, captains of cavalry and infantry, to take each their men, and ordered some to coast the river upward, others to do the same downward, and all the rest to advance a league into the country, and to return in five days to the camp, to report there what they should have discovered. Aniasco went up the river with the barbarian general, the guide Pedro, and a thousand Indians. The other captains bad each as many of them, in order to spread themselves through We woods and be able the more easily, to discover some road. In the mean time, Soto awaited them upon the borders of the river, and endured all that one could suffer of famine. He and his soldiers ate, ordinarily, only the things which the four thousand barbarians who remained, brought to them. These Indians left the quarters as soon as it was morning, to search for provisions, and did not return until night, some with herbs, roots, and some birds which they had killed; others with fish; in one word, with whatever they lead met with, which they gave entirely to the Spaniards, who were three days only partially nourished by the provisions which the Indians furnished them. But as our people left them the better part of it, and as Soto saw that they could no longer subsist upon it, he had some hogs killed, and distributed half a pound of meat to each Spaniard, which rattier irritated than appeased their hunger. Nevertheless, to show their gratitude to the Indians, theydivided with them what they had. The general, who persuaded themto this, suffered as the plainest foot-soldier. He concealed his distress; he caressed the soldiers, and encouraged them with a gayety that charmed them and made them forget a part of their troubles; so that, in their turn, they showed a countenance as contented as if they had everything in abundance.



THE fifth day that the army marched in the desert, an Indian of those who had the care of the provisions ran away; either that he desired to return to his wife or that he feared to die of burger. Patofa, who was informed of it, dispatched four of his men in close pursuit of him, who, after having overtaken him, led him back to the quarters with his hands bound, and presented him to him. Then he began to reproach him for his baseness, and represent to him the injury which his flight was doing the Indians, the disrespect which he had for the orders of his cacique; and swore that his crime should not remain unpunished, but that he should serve for an example to retain the others in their duty. Thereupon, he ordered that they take him to a rivulet and then make him take off what covered him, except his drawers. He commanded them to bring many sprouts, a yard long; he had the water muddied, and ordered the deserter to he down in it and drink it all. Four of the stoutest Indians had charge to take the switches and strike, with all their force, this miserable man it he ceased to drink. This poor Indian drank at first as much as it was possible; but when he came to take breath, they gave him so many blows that they forced him to continue. In the mean time, some of his friends ran to find Soto, cast themselves at his feet, and conjured him with tears, to ask Patofa to pardon the unfortunate man.

Soto, who knew that they would not cease to torment the Indian until he had lost his life, requested Patofa to be contented with the punishment the deserter had suffered. He consented, and they drew from the stream the poor barbarian all swollen with the water which he had drunk; in one word, half dead.

It also happened that one of the days when they suffered the most from famine in the desert, four soldiers, the most courageous and the most honorable men of the army, resolved to divide what provisions remained to them in common. As they found but a handful of corn, they had it parched to swell it, they divided it among themselves, and each one had eighteen grains of it. Three ate their parts, and there remained but Silvestre, who wrapped his in a handkerchief. Afterwards, another soldier whom they called Troche, asked him if he had anything to eat, and be replied verypleasantly that they bad sent him some good macaronis from Seville.

Troche began to laugh. In the mean time, another of his companions arrived, who begged them to give hini some food. Silvestro also pleasantly replied to him, that he had a very excellent cake; that he was ready to share it. This last, turning this into ridicule, Silvestre replied that he had asserted nothing but what was true, and drew out his handkerchief, in which were the eighteen grains of corn. lie gave to each of his companions six, and kept the rest for himself. They regaled themselves immediately with this before any one might surprise them. They then went away to drink at a stream, and passed the day thus, without eating. Such is the way in which the other soldiers endured hunger, and it is by such suffering that they won the new world, whence they draw, every year, twelve or thirteen millions of gold and silver, and a great quantity of precious stones. When I consider also that it is principally from Peru that come these riches to the Spaniards, I esteem it very glorious for me to be the son of one of the conquerors of that kingdom.



DURING these things the officers who had been sent to find out the route, did not suffer less from hunger than the general. During three days of the five of their march they lead nothing to eat. They did not even succeed in their discovery, except Aniasco, who met with s village on the borders of the river which he coasted. There were few people in this village, but so much provisions that in a single lodge they found five hundred measures of corn-meal, besides a quantity of corn in the grain. The people of Patofa and Aniasco rejoiced at this good luck, visited the rest of the houses, ascended the highest, saw on both sides of the river many habitations and cultivated lands. Afterwards they took their meal, and about midnight the Spaniards dispatched four cavaliers to Soto, who, to assure him Of the things which they should tell him, took samples of corn and some cow horns. Up to that time they had not seen cattle in Florida; yet they had found the fresh meat, which often induced them to urge the Indians to tell them where they should meet with these cattle. But neither by entreaties nor by threats had they ever been able to draw anything from these barbarians.

The same night that the cavaliers were sent to the general, the people of Patofa learned that they were in a village of the province of Cofaciqui, and they sacked it. They pillaged the temple, where were the riches of the place, and, without consideration of sea or age, slew those whom they could capture, and took off their heads to carry them to their cacique, to show him the vengeance which they had taken upon his enemies. This disorder continued until day; and about noon Aniasco and Patofa, with those who accompanied them, apprehending that if they remained longer at the village, the people of the country might assemble in great numbers, come and attack them, and cut them all to pieces, resolved to decamp and go and rejoin Soto.



THE general, having learned the particulars of the discovery of Aniasco, decamped, and took for guides the cavaliers whom they bad dispatched to him; but, because the troops which had accompanied him were suffering greatly from hunger, they thought only of repairing to where there were provisions. So that, without keeping any order in their march, they advanced with so much speed that, after having made in one day and a half more than twelve leagues, they arrived where their companions were. They there refreshed themselves seven days, and during this time the three other captains whom they had sent on the exploration returned to the place whence they had departed, without having met with a single village or taken any Indian, although they had seen many pass. But as they no longer found Soto, they followed the route which he lead taken, and repaired to the village where he had proceeded. There they related to him the details of their expedition, and recuperated themselves, of which they had great need; for they were overcome with fatigue, and during eight days they had eaten only roots. In the mean time Patofa and his people spread themselves four leagues around the quarters; they slew indifferently men and women, sacked the towns, and pillaged the temples where they could enter. The general, informed of this, and that the barbarians were going to push their resentment still further, believed that it was his interest to stop this disorder; because, being contrary to the design which he had of gaining the people by mildness, they would be to him in the future cruel and powerful enemies. He therefore sent to request Patofa to curb his people. This captain obeyed, and at his return from the pursuit of his enemies, Soto gave him, for his cacique and for himself, some silk stuffs, linen, knives, mirrors, and other like things; and after having thanked him for his kindness, he entreated him not to go any further, but to return to his province.

Patofa, delighted with the presents which they had made him, returned with so much the more joy, as he bad bravely avenged his chief. Soto, after his departure, remained two days more at the camp; but as soon as he saw his men ready, he marched up along the river, where he found much provisions and many Indians massacred, which had compelled the other inhabitants of the quarters to retire into the forest. And at the end of three days’ journey he encamped in a place filled with mulberry trees and many trees loaded with fruit. The quarters made, he commanded Aniasco to follow, with thirty soldiers, the route which they had held thus far, and to endeavor to capture some Indians, in order to get some knowledge of the country and of the cacique of the province. That, at all events, he should take great care to notice everything which he should see, in order that the army might continue its march in safety; that he relied on his discretion, and hoped that the good fortune which bad always accompanied him would not abandon him on this occasion. A little before night Aniasco, with his companions, secretly left the camp. They followed the road which they had directed them, which gradually enlarged; but after two leagues they heard a confused noise, like that which is made in a town. Thereupon continuing their route until out of the forest where they were, they saw a light. They heard the dogs barking, the children crying, and persons speaking, and knew that they were not far from some town. They therefore prepared to capture some Indians; and, with this design, they silently crept directly toward the village, each emulating the other.

When they had one a little way they perceived the town on the other side of the river along which they had come. They turned and ran here and there to discover a crossing; but not finding one, they stopped in in open place upon the borders of the river at a place where boats landed. They rested there for some time, and then returned before ay. They related to the general their discovery, and as soon as the sun had risen he tools a hundred horse and as many foot soldiers and went to reconnoitre the town. When he arrived at the crossing, Ortis and Pedro the Indian cried out to the inhabitants that they came to make an alliance with their cacique, and that the people whom they perceived were the retinue of the ambassador. The barbarians, surprised at what they saw, quickly retired into the village to carry there this news.



THE arrival of the Spaniards being made known throughout the town, six of the principal persons of the place, good looking and aged about forty-five years each, entered a boat with other Indians and crossed the river. When they were in the presence of the general, they turned to the east, and bowed to the sun; then to the west, and bowed to the moon; then to Soto, who was gravely sitting upon a seat which was always kept ready for him to receive the ambassadors who were sent to him. They, according to the custom of the inhabitants of Florida, first asked if he wished peace or war. and he replied peace, their alliance, and boats to cross the river; that he also asked them to give him a passage through their lands, and some provisions to proceed further; that he was sorry to beg them, but that necessity compelled him; that, therefore, the favor which they should grant him would be very gratifying to him; that he would endeavor to acknowledge it, and should so act that they would have as much reason to be satisfied with his conduct is he with their generosity. The Indians replied that they accepted file peace, but that there were but few provisions in the country; that, with the exception of their town, the pestilence had desolated the province; that the greater part of the inhabitants had been taken off by the malady, and that the others, having retired into the forest, had not planted; that even since the pestilence ceased they had not returned to their homes. Nevertheless, he ought to hope for the best, since they were the subjects of a young lady who was not less prudent than generous; that they were going to render her an account of everything, and return to bring her answer, which, according to all appearances, would not fail to be favorable. Thereupon they tools leave of the general and returned to the village, and made to their princess a faithful recital of all that they were charged to say to her. hardly had they spoken and told their opinion Concerning the measures which ought to be taken on this occasion, than their lady commanded that they should hold ready a boat, and that they should leek it in the best manner possible; She afterwards entered it with eight women, the most eminent of the province. This boat was towed by another, where were seated the six Indians who had returned from the Spaniards, and with them many rowers who managed the boats and who crossed them to the side where the general was.

As soon as the young lady approached the general, she paid her compliments to him, and, having sat down oil a seat which they had brought for her, she related the things which her men had told her. She added that, although the misfortune of the year had deprived her of the means of assisting Soto as she would have wished, she would, notwithstanding, offer him six hundred measures of corn; that in two houses of the town, which were hers, they would find this quantity in each; that she had amassed these provisions to succor those of her subjects who had been preserved from the pestilence, and provided the general left her the one-half of her provisions, because of the poverty of the country, she would cheerfully abandon the other; that, if he desired any more, she would command to be opened the granaries of a village quite near; that she had two thousand measures of corn, and he might take as much of it as he should judge necessary; that to lodge more comfortably the general and his officers, she would quit her own house and abandon to them half of the town; that, as for the soldiers, she would have huts built; that, even if all this was not sufficient, she would command the inhabitants to go away into a neighboring village; that, in order to facilitate to his army the passage of the river, she would take care that the nest day they should have there rafts and boats all ready, in order to show the general with what ardor she endeavored to serve him.

Soto replied that he was under the greatest obligations to leer; that the offers which she had made were more than he merited; that they appeared to him so much the more important, is her subjects were suffering on account of the misfortune of the year; that she deprived herself of many things to oblige him; that, under this consideration, he should have the provisions carefully husbanded, and should incommode her as little as possible; that, touching the lodging, all should be regulated with prudence; and that he was so charmed with her generosity that he desired to be favored by fortune only to testify to her some day his gratitude for the favors she conferred upon the Spaniards. Afterwards, Soto adroitly drew her into conversation about the province of Cofaciqui and the neighboring countries, and she replied in a manner that marked much intelligence and knowledge. They observed, also, that the people of Cofaciqui and of the two last provinces were more gentle, independent, and polite than the inhabitants of the other countries; for, although those of the countries which they had discovered might have demanded peace, and even might have kept it, they remarked, nevertheless, something inexpressibly rude, stiff, and insincere in their conduct. But as for those of Cofaciqui and their neighbors, it seemed as though they all their lives had had intercourse with the Spaniards. Besides, having much esteem for them, they obeyed them in all things, and endeavored by every way to show to them their affection, which required that they should treat their friendship with much discretion.



WHILST the Lady of Cofaciqui was speaking to Soto, she unstrung, one after another, large pearls from a chain, which made three tours around the neck, and descended to her waist. Then she made a sign to Ortis to take them and give them to the general; but when he showed to her that by presenting them herself, her pearls would receive a new lustre, she said to him that the modesty of persons of her sex forbade her this liberty. Soto, who knew what she said, replied to her that really her hands enhanced the value of her pearls, and that since she presented them Only with the view of making peace, she was acting contrary neither to decorum nor her dignity. These words inspired her with a becoming confidence. She immediately arose, and gave the pearls to the general, who very politely approached to receive them. He, himself, took from his finger a very beautiful ruby, of which he made her a present as a sign of peace. She accepted it, and put it upon her finger with remarkable grace. , Afterwards she took leave of the general and retired into the town, after having filled the Spaniards with admiration. Her beauty and her intellect had captivated them to such a degree that they did not even think of inquiring her name. In the mean time, to give orders for the passage of the army, the general remained upon the borders of the river, which the sailors believed to be the same as that which, upon the coast, is called Saint Helena, and commanded the colonel of cavalry to quickly forward the rest of the troops and repair to him. Also, during this time, the Indians made rafts in very great numbers, and brought many boats; so that the next day they crossed the river. Some persons relate that the Spaniards had four horses drowned, and others seven; which grieved them so much the more sensibly, as this misfortune had happened through the fault of those who conducted the horses. In fact, they drove them so heedlessly across the river that they got them into a gulf where they were lost. The others having safely crossed with the army, one part of the troops lodged in the half of the village which the Indians had left for them, and the others under huts of branches; for the country is full of wood, fruit trees, and mulberry trees, more beautiful than those of which we have spoken heretofore.



THE day after the passage of the troops, Soto carefully inquired about the province of Cofaciqui, and he learned that the land was very good for cultivation, and for raising herds. He learned, moreover, that the mother of the lady of the country was a widow who dwelt twelve leagues from the quarters. Therefore, he entreated her daughter to send for her, and immediately she dispatched to her twelve of the principal Indians, with orders to entreat her to come to the camp to see, there, strangers well worthy of admiration, and also unknown animals. But nothing could move the mother, who blamed her daughter’s imprudence, and manifested much resentment at her conduct. She also found great fault that the envoys had not opposed their lady, and she showed, by her conduct, a great contempt for the Spaniards. The general, upon this news, commanded Aniasco to descend along the river with thirty foot soldiers to a place distant from the communication with the village; that there he would meet with the mother of the lady of Cofaciqui, and that he should lead her, with much gentleness, to the quarters; because he wished to gain the country in this tray, in order that he might be able, some day, to establish himself there without much trouble. Aniasco left with his comrades. and took a young Indian of rank, whom the lady of the province had given to accompany him. This Indian was followed by some of his domestics, and had orders to march in advance, when they should arrive n ar the place to which they were going, in order to give notice of the coming of the Spaniards, and to beseech the good mother, in the name of her daughter, and the inhabitants of the country, to come to the camp; that she would have pleasure and honor there; that, in a word, she would be received there with much joy and affection. The lady of Cofaciqui had sent this young lord, because, having been raised by her mother, he was tenderly loved by her; and in consideration of this, there was reason to believe that he would reader her more favorable to the Spaniards. Besides, he alone was able to make the scheme succeed: for he had address, besides an attractive form and mien, and was very spruce after the fashion of the country, with plumes of divers colors upon his head, a beautiful mantle of skins, a painted how in his hands, and a quiver full of arrows upon his shoulders. This was the state in which the young Indian marched, who thought only of gaining the friendship of the Spaniards, and who, in all things, manifested that his greatest pleasure would be to oblige them.



AFTER Aniasco and his companions bad marched about three leagues, they rested themselves, during the heat of the day, under great trees. In the mean time, the Indian lord, who was in the midst of the troops, and who, until then, had agreeably entertained them concerning Cofaciqui and the neighboring country, began suddenly to muse. He negligently rested his head upon his elbow, and at times uttered profound sighs. Nevertheless, for fear of afflicting him more, they dared not ask him the cause of it. Afterwards, when he ceased sighing a little, he took his quiver and emptied it of nearly all the arrows, one after another. They were extremely beautiful; because the most distinguished inhabitants of Florida pride themselves on the beauty of these sorts of arms, especially on those which served them for ornaments. That one may have the pleasure of learning the manner in which they are made, I shall speak of the arrows of the Indian who accompanied the Spaniards. The arrows of this chief were of reed, furnished with feathers, and every one had something remarkable. Many were armed with stags’ horns or fish bones, and a few, of palm wood, sharpened at the end, and indented at the side with so much neatness that nothing could have been made more exact with steel.

As the Spaniards found them so well made, they took some of them to examine them closely; and all agreed that of this kind, there was nothing more finished. During this time the Indian, who saw that our men did not observe him, drew quietly from his quiver an arrow, the point of which was flint and like that of a poniard, stabbed himself with it in the throat, and fell dead. The Spaniards, astonished at this event, and sorry not to have been able to prevent a blow so fatal, called the valets of this Indian and demanded the cause of this misfortune. They replied, with tears in their eyes, that they supposed their master had killed himself in the belief that the services which he was rendering the Christians would be very disagreeable to the lady to whom he was conducting them. That since she had not come the first time, it was to be believed that she was offended. That thus he was illy requiting the love she bore him and the care she had taken of his education. They added that he was thus convinced that if he executed the orders of the young lady, he would grow out of favor with her. That finally he would be compelled to retire; and they asserted that seeing that he could not avoid disobliging either the daughter or the mother, he had ,generously resolved to show to them that he preferred death to the misfortune of displeasing them. The Spaniards found these conjectures very probable, and continued the journey. But after three leagues, they inquired of the servants of the Indian, if they knew the retreat of the lady whom they sought, and how far they were still from it. They replied that only their master knew it, but that nevertheless, they would endeavor to find it. Our men did not tire of travel, and at the end or four leagues they perceived some Indians. They immediately placed themselves in ambush, and captured a man and three women. They requested them to direct them to the road which led to the mother of the lady of Cofaciqui; and these barbarians replied that the report was current that she had left her ordinary dwelling, and that even they did not know exactly where she had retired. That, however, if they would follow them, they would inquire about it; and that, without searching very far, she might perhaps be found very near. As the Spaniards were deliberating concerning the resolution they ought to take upon this reply, one of their companions said, that, the first envoys not having had any success in their enterprise, there was no appearance that they would be more fortunate. That the lady whom they were going to seek showed a particular aversion to the Spaniards; that she having persisted in not coming, she had perhaps assembled troops to cut them all in pieces in case they should wish to carry her off; and that, without horses, they could not defend themselves nor attempt anything; that after all, this good woman was very useless to them for their conquest, and that it was sufficient to have her daughter, with whom it was requisite to make a durable peace. Besides, they did not know what route to take to go to the dwelling of the mother, because they lacked faithful guides; and that, without speaking of the young chief whose death was a bad sign, their fatigue ought to make them return to the general. They all unanimously concurred in this opinion, and retraced their route to the camp, where they rendered an account of their adventure. Three days after that an Indian offered to conduct them, by descending the river, to where was the mother of the lady of Cofaciqui; and Aniasco tools two boats with twenty of his comrades, and followed his guide. The first day they found the four horses that were drowned at the crossing of the river Cofacique, and this renewed the regret which they had had for their loss. But the five other days which they continued their voyage they did not make any discovery; and after much trouble they returned to the quarters with news that the lady whom they went in search of, having known that they would return for her, had concealed herself in a forest, whence they had no means of drawing her. The general then, despairing of taking her, turned all his thoughts elsewhere.



DURING the expeditions of Aniasco, the other Spaniards, who all expected to make fortunes in Cofaciqui, carefully inquired about the riches which are found there; and the general commanded to be called the two young Indians whom they had brought from Apalache. He sent them to the lady of Cofaciqui to entreat her to procure the pearls and the white and yellow metals with which trafficked the merchants whom they had served, assuring her that if she obliged the Spaniards in that, she would succeed in loading them with her favors. This lady immediately dispatched some of her subjects to fetch these metals, and they brought back copper of a very golden color, with some white slabs like silver, an ell long and wide, from three to four inches thick and yet very light. But when they handled it they reduced it to powder as they would a dry clod of earth. Afterwards, she sent word to the Spaniards, that at the end of the village, in a temple where were interred the most distinguished persons of the place, there were all sorts of pearls in abundance; that they might take as many of them as they thought proper; that if they wanted more they would find some at a league from the quarters, in the capital of the country; that this town, the residence of her ancestors, had a temple where they would see a great quantity of pearls, which she abandoned to the discretion of the general and his troops; and that, if they were not satisfied with all that, they could even have more of them, by means of the fishing that was practised in the country. This news consoled the Spaniards for not having met, in Cofaciqui, with the gold and silver with which they had flattered them. They also rejoiced to see that many believed that there might be gold in the copper, but as they had neither aqua-fortis nor quicksilver they could not assay it.



WHEN they knew the riches of the temple where were interred the most distinguished of the inhabitants of Cofaciqui, they had it guarded, and, at the return of Aniasco, the general and the captain went there. They found in this temple great wooden boxes without locks, and they were astonished that, without tools, the Indians had been able to make them so well. These boxes were around the wall upon benches two feet from the ground, and inclosed the dead, embalmed in such a manner that they had not an offensive odor. Besides these great boxes, they had smaller ones, and cane baskets very well made. These last boxes were filled with clothing of men and women, and the baskets with pearls of all sorts. The Spaniards were rejoiced at so much wealth; for they found there more than a thousand measures of pearls. They examined twenty measures, and took only two, with as many of the seed pearls, to send to Havana, where their value was known. In fact, the general did not wish that they should encumber themselves with many things, and he even would have had the rest of the pearls replaced in the baskets, if they had not begged him to distribute them. He therefore gave them liberally to the soldiers and the officers, with orders to make chaplets of them, for which they were suited. Afterwards the Spaniards left the temple, and Soto, two days after, took three hundred men, the principal of his troops, and went to Talomeco.

Both sides of the road, from the camp to this town, were covered with trees, of which a part bore fruit, and it seemed as though they promenaded through an orchard, so that our men arrived with pleasure and without difficulty at Talomeco, which they found abandoned on account of the pest. Talomeco is a beautiful town, and quite noted, as it was the residence of the caciques. It is upon a small eminence near the river, and consists of five hundred well built houses. That of the chief is elevated above the town, and isseen from a distance. It is also larger, stronger, and more agreeable than the others. Opposite this house is the temple, where are the coffins of the lords of the province. It is filled with riches, and built in a magnificent manner; but as I despair of describing it properly, I conjure the worthy persons who shall read this history to supply the defects of my description in forming to themselves a grand idea of the things with which I am going to entertain them.



THE temple of Talomeco, where is the sepulchre of the caciques, is more than a hundred steps long, by forty broad. The walls are high in proportion, and the roof very elevated, to supply the want of tiles and to give more slope to the water. The covering is of canes, very thin, split in two, of which the Indians make mats which resemble the rush carpets of the Moors, which are very beautiful to view. Pive or six of these mats, placed one upon the other, serve to prevent the rain from penetrating and the sun from entering the temple; which the private people of the country and their neighbors imitate in their houses.

Upon the roof of this temple are many shells of different sizes, of divers fishes, ranged in very good order. But they could not comprehend whence they could have brought them, these people being so far from the sea, unless they had taken them in the rivers and streams which water the province. All these shells are placed with the insides out, to give more brilliancy, putting always the great spiral sea-shell between two small shells, with the interval from one piece to the other filled with many strings of pearls of divers sizes, in the form of festoons, from one shell to the other. These festoons of pearls, which extend from the top of the roof to the bottom, joined to the vivid brightness of the mother-of-pearl and the shells, produce a very beautiful effect when the sun shines upon them.

The temple had doors proportioned to its grandeur. There were seen at the entrance twelve statues of giants, made of wood. They are represented with an aspect so ferocious and menacing that the Spaniards stopped a long time to consider these figures, worthy of the admiration of ancient Rome. They say that these giants were placed there to defend the entrance of the door; for they are in a row on each side, and gradually diminish in size. The first are eight feet high, and the others proportionally a little less, in the order of the tubes of an organ.

They have arms conformable to their height, the first on each side have clubs ornamented with copper, which they hold elevated, and seem ready to bring them down with fury upon those who may dare to enter. The second have maces, and the third a kind of oar; the fourth, copper axes, the edges of which are of flint; the fifth hold a headed bow with the arrow ready to leave. Nothing is more curious to see than these arrows, the lower end of which is a piece of stag’s horn very well finished, or a flint stone as keen as a dagger. The last giants have very long pikes, ornamented with copper at the two ends, and are in a menacing posture as well as the others, but all in a different manner, and very natural.

The height of the walls of the temple within is adorned conformable to the exterior of the roof; for there is a kind of cornice made of the great spiral sea-shell, placed in very good order, and between these are seen festoons of pearls which hang from the roof. In the intervals of the shells and pearls, there is seen in the arches a quantity of plumes of divers colors tied to the roof, and very well arranged. Besides this order which reigns above the cornice, many plumes and strings of pearls hang from all the other parts of the roof, retained by imperceptible threads tied above and below, so that it seems as though these works might be ready to fall.

Beneath this ceiling and cornice, there are around the four sides of the temple two rows of statues, one above the other, the one of men and the other of women, of the height of the people of the country. Each one has his niche joining another, only to adorn the wall which lead otherwise been too naked. All the men have arms in their hands, on which are rolls of pearls of four or five rows with tassels at the end, made of very fine thread, and of divers colors. As for the statues of the women, they hold nothing in their hands.

At the base of these walls there are wooden benches very well worked, where are placed the coffins of the lords of the province, and of their families. Two feet above these coffins, in the niches of the wall, are seen the statues of the persons who are buried there. They represent them so naturally that we can judge how they were at the time of their death. The women have nothing in their hands, but the men have arms. The space which is between the images of the dead, and the two ranks of statues, which commence under the cornice, is decorated with bucklers of divers sizes, made of reeds so strongly woven that there is no arrow of a crossbow, nor even shot of a musket that can perforate them. These bucklers are all adorned with pearls and with colored tassels, which greatly contribute to their beauty.

In the middle of the temple there are three rows of chests upon separate benches; the largest of the chests serve for a base to the medium size, and these for the smallest. and ordinarily, these pyramids are composed of five or six chests. As there are spaces between the benches, they do not prevent going from one side to the other, and seeing, in the temple, all that one wishes.

All these chests are filled with pearls, in such a manner that the largest contain the largest pearls, and thus, in succession, to the smallest which are full of seed pearls only. Besides, the quantity of pearls was such, that the Spaniards avowed, that even if there had been more than nine hundred men and three hundred horses, they all together could not have carried off at one time all the pearls of this temple. We ought not, however, to be too much astonished at this, if we consider that the Indians of the province conveyed into these chests, during many ages, all the pearls which they found, without retaining a single one of them. And hence we can judge by comparison, that if all the gold and silver, which they have brought from Peru to Spain, had not been transported elsewhere, the Spaniards would now be able to cover with gold and silver many churches.

Besides the innumerable quantity of pearls, there were found many packages of chamois skins, some of one color and others of another, without counting many raiments of skin with the hair variously dyed; many garments of cats’, martens’, and other skins, as well dressed as at the best places in Germany and Russia.

About this temple, which everywhere was very clean, there was a great magazine divided into eight halls of the same size; which added much ornament to it. The Spaniards entered these halls, and found them filled with arms. There were, in the first, long pikes, mounted with very beautiful copper, and ornamented with links of pearls, which made three or four turns. The place where these pikes touched the shoulder was embellished with colored chamois; and at the extremities there were tassels with pearls, which contributed greatly to their beauty.

There were, in the second hall, maces, like those of the giants, furnished with links of pearls, and, in places, with tassels of divers colors with pearls roundabout. In the third were found hammers, embellished as the others; in the fourth, pikes decked with tassels near the blade and at the handle; in the fifth, a kind of oar adorned with pearls and fringes; in the sixth, very beautiful bows and arrows. Some were armed with flint, sharpened at the end in the form of a bodkin, a sword, a pike blade, or the point of a dagger with two edges. The bows were adorned with divers brilliant colors, and embellished with pearls in divers places. In the seventh hall there were bucklers of wood and of cow-skins, brought from a distance, decked with pearls and colored tassels. In the eighth were bucklers of cane, woven very skilfully, and decked with tassels and seed pearls. Such is the description of the temple and magazine of Talomeco; which the Spaniards, who had been in Peru and in other parts of America, admired as the wonder of the Sew World. Afterwards, they asked the Indians, what had led them to amass so mach wealth; and they replied that all the chiefs of the country, and principally those of their province, made their grandeur to consist in the magnificence of their temples. Our people contented themselves with this reply, and immediately the controllers of the emperor, who attended the army to receive the fifth of all the wealth it should find, deliberated upon taking the claims of their master. But Soto told them that they ought not to burden themselves with anything; that they were sufficiently encumbered with the arms and provisions which they carried; that after the conquest of Florida they would divide it, and that he to whom should fall the province of Cofaciqui should pay the fifth of the treasure which should be found in the temple of Talomeco. Everybody approved this sentiment, and they retraced their route to the quarters.



As soon as the general had arrived at the quarters, he employed ten days in inquiring about the neighboring provinces, and, upon the assurance that they were fertile and populated, he commanded his men to hold themselves ready to leave, and went with the officers to take leave of the lady of Cofaeiqui and the principal Indians. He thanked them for their kind reception, and particularly the young princess, to whom he promised every acknowledgment for the kindness she had had for the Spaniards. Then the troops decamped; but because they had not enough provisions to march ina body, they divided. The general ordered three of his captains to take a hundred cavaliers and two hundred foot soldiers and advance twelve leagues into the country, aside from the route to Chovala, whither they were going; that they would find in a village six hundred measures of corn; and that, after having taken as much as they could, they should rejoin the rest of the army on its march. These captains departed immediately, and the general tool: the route he had resolved upon. He arrived in eight days at Chovala, which bounds the province of Cofaciqui, and his officers at the town where they had been ordered to repair. They found there agreat quantity of corn. They took two hundred measures and went to resume the route of the general who had passed. The greater part of them (who did not know how far they were from him, and who, in this uncertainty, feared to fail of provisions on the route) mutinied and would not obey, and doubled their pace in order to overtake him. The captains, who wished to go slowly on account of three sick horses, endeavored to restrain these mutineers by the consideration of the services they would draw from these animals; but they replied fiercely that they must not prefer three horses to the lives of three hundred men; and they began to march faster and in greater disorder than before. Thereupon one of the captains, who was at their head, told them that he was astonished at the recklessness with which they went; that in two days at the most they would rejoin the general at Cliovala; that he had too muchhonor, and was too well versed in war, to leave them in an enemy’s country; that, therefore, it was not necessary, through a ridiculous fear of provisions failing, to abandon the horses which were so useful against the barbarians; that, without doubt, their conduct would cover them with shame, and would give great displeasure to Soto, who loved them; that, therefore, they ought rather to return to their duty and die like brave soldiers, than to be disobedient and live without glory. These words arrested them a little; and the next day at noon there arose, as they were marching, a storm, accompanied with wind, thunder, and hail, so destructive that, had they not met with some large trees, they would have all perished, for the hail was very large. But fortunately it did not last long; so they continued their march, and the third day arrived at a small village which was called Chalaques, whence the inhabitants had retired, excepting some old men, of whom the greater part were blind.

At three days’ journey thence they rejoined the general, who had waited for them two days in a valley of the province of Chovala, distant from the capital about five leagues by the route which they had taken, and which they found quite pleasant, for they marched almost always through a country level and intersected, every three or four leagues, by small streams which flowed pleasantly through the country. They also met with some mountains with very gentle slopes, covered with herbs very suitable for cattle, and saw during their journey very good lands.

However, from Apalache to Chovala the route was about fifty-seven days’ journey, and almost always toward the north or northeast. What is somewhat remarkable, the Spaniards found in the villages which were subject to the lady of Cofaciqui many slaves, Indians of other countries, that those who went hunting and fishing had made prisoners. These slaves served to cultivate the lauds, and had been very badly treated to prevent them from escaping. Some had the tendons of their insteps cut, and others that of their heels. When I shall again have something to say of the lady of Cofaciqui, I will relate the most important things that happened or were seen in her provinces.



THE Spaniards sojourned fifteen days in the capital of Chovala, situated between a town and a very rapid little river. They were very well received there, because the province was subject to the lady of Cofaciqui. Afterwards they decamped, and marched the first day through cultivated lands, and five others over uninhabited mountains which were twenty leagues across. They were full of oak and mulberry trees, good pastures, and small streams which flowed among valleys very cool and agreeable.

To return to the lady of Cofaciqui. She had not been contented to have the Spaniards conducted as far as Chovala; she even commanded the inhabitants of this province to furnish them with as much provisions as they should wish, and even to give them Indians to serve them during the twenty leagues of mountains which they had to cross before reaching Guachoula. She also took care, in order that everything should work the better, that the Indian servants should be commanded by four of the chiefs of the country, and made to keep this order while the Spaniards marched through her lands. But this is the manner in which site conducted herself in respect to them when they left her dominion : She ordered the four Indian commanders that, as soon as they should arrive at the country of Guachoula (which borders oil her provinces), they should march in advance; and that, in the quality of ambassadors, they should go and solicit the cacique to favorably receive the Spaniards in his kingdom; that, in case of refusal, they should declare war against him, and threaten to put fire and sword to everything in his country. The general knew nothing of this order until after they had passed the mountains. Then, when the four Indians asked him that they might take the lead, they discovered to him the business with which they were charged. Our people, surprised at this generous conduct, retained the opinion which they had, that the lady of Cofaciqui ardently desired to serve them. In fact, when in her province, she zealously served them; she begged them always to pardon her if she did not render them all the favors that were expected of her. The Spaniards, to convince her of the contrary, complimented her upon the manner in which she acted. This lady was not only liberal to our people, but even to her subjects, whom she loaded with favors. She also deserved to rule kingdoms; and to be an accomplished princess she only needed to be enlightened with the light of the faith.



THE day that the Spaniards left Chovala they missed three slaves, of whom two were negroes and the other a Moor. The love of women rather than any bad treatment had caused them to flee and live among the Indians, who were so delighted to have them, that they could never recover them whatever haste they made for that purpose. As the negroes loved their masters and passed for good Christians, they were surprised at their crime; but no one was astonished at the conduct of the Moor, who was crafty and wicked.

Two days after this flight, when the troops were marching through the wilderness, Juan Terron, one of the stoutest soldiers of the army, toward noon, drew from his saddle-bags about six pounds of pearls, and pressed a cavalier, one of his friends, to take them. The cavalier thanked him and told him that he ought to keep them, or rather, since the report was current that the general would send to Havanna, send them there to buy with them horses, and go no longer afoot. Terron, offended at this answer, replied that “ these pearls then shall not go any farther,” and thereupon he scattered them here and there upon the grass and through the bushes. They were surprised at this folly, for the pearls were as large as hazelnuts, and of very fine water, and because they were not pierced they were worth more than six thousand ducats. They collected about thirty of these pearls, which were so beautiful that it made them regret the loss of the others and say, in raillery, these words which passed into a proverb with them, “These are not pearls for Juan Terron.”

Terron would never disclose where he had found so many large pearls, and as his companions often laughed at him for his conduct, he begged them, ore day, to spare him, and said that every time he remembered his folly he took a notion to hang himself. Such are the prodigals that foolishly spend their wealth, and afterwards are in despair for it. On the contrary, those who are liberal have certain secret joys which they feel better than they can express.






WHEN the Spaniards had traversed the wilderness of which I have spoken in the last chapter of the first part Of this history, they entered into the capital of Guachoula, situated among many streams which pass on both sides of the town and come from the mountains which are round about. The lord who bore the name of the province left the capital half’ a league, to meet the Spaniards, accompanied by five hundred of the principal persons of the country, very gayly dressed after their fashion. In this state he received the general with great manifestations of friendship, and conducted him into his village which consisted of three hundred houses. Then he lodged him in his house which he liad prepared for that purpose, in consideration of the lady of Cofaciqui, and provided the Spaniards with everl’thiug necessary. His lodge was upon a mound, with a terrace around it where six men could promenade abreast.

During four days that the general sojourned in this place, he inquired about the character of the country. Then he tool: the route to the province of Iciaha, and by making every day five leagues he arrived the sixth at the capital which bears the name of the cacique and the country. To go there, be descended along the many streams which pass by Guachoula, and which unite at some distance from there and make a river so powerful, that, in the province of Iciaha, distant about thirty leagues from the other, it is larger than the Guadalquivir, which passes by Seville.

The capital of Iciaha is at the point of an island of more than five leagues. The cacique, on the arrival of the general, left this village, and received him with every appearance of great joy. The Indians who accompanied him did the same thing in regard to the other Spaniards, and they ferried them over in boats and upon rafts, which they held ready to render them this service. Afterwards they lodged them in their houses, and regaled them the best they could, and tried by every means to show to them their good-will. The general inquired, according to his custom, what in particular was found in that country; and the cacique told him that at thirty leagues from the capital, there were mines of the yellow metal of which he inquired, and that, if he wished to send people there, he would have them safely conducted there and back. Villabos and Silvera offered to make the journey. Soto consented to it, and they left immediately, on foot, with Indian guides.



THE nest day the cacique visited the general, and gave him a string of pearls of about two fathoms. This present had, without doubt, passed for beautiful, if the pearls had not been pierced; for they were all alike, and large as filberts. Soto, in acknowledgment of this favor, gave him some pieces of velvet and cloth which were particularly esteemed by the Indians; of whom he inquired where they fished for pearls. He replied that it was in his province; that in the temple of the town of Iciaha, where his ancestors were buried, there was a great quantity of them, and that they might help themselves at their discretion. Thegeneral replied that he was obliged to him, but that he would not carry away anything from the temple, and that he had received his present only in order not to displease him; that his design was only to know in what manner they extracted the pearls from the shells. The cacique replied that he would have them fished for all the night; and that the nest morning at eight o’clock he should have the satisfaction be wished. He, therefore, immediately commanded them to send four boats to fish for pearls, with orders to return in the morning. In the mean time he tools care that they should burn a great deal of wood upon the Shore, in order to make there a great bed of live coals, that at the return of the boats they might put thereupon, the shells, which would open with the heat. They found, at the opening of the first shells, ten or twelve pearls of the size of a pea, which they took to the cacique, and to the general, who was present, and who found them very beautiful, except that the fire had deprived them of a part of their lustre.

When the general bad seen what he wished, he returned to dine; and immediately after, a soldier entered, who instantly said to him that, in eating oysters which the Indians had caught, his teeth had encountered a very beautiful pearl of a very lively color, and that he begged him to receive it to send to the governess of Cuba. Soto politely refused this pearl, and assured the soldier that he was as obliged to him as if he had accepted it; and that some day he would try to acknowledge his kindness, and the honor which he did his wife; and that, nevertheless, he was of the opinion, that he preserve his present to purchase with it horses at Havana. The Spaniards, who were then with the general, inspected the pearl of this soldier; and some of them, who prided themselves upon their knowledge of jewelry, valued it at four hundred ducats; and as they had not made use of fire to extract it, it had not lost any of its lustre.

While the Spaniards sojourned in the capital of Iciaha, a cavalier, whom they called Louis de Bravo, taking a walk upon the bank near the river, with a lance in his hand, saw a dog passing, and threw his lance at him with the intention of killing him to eat, for the want of better meat. But he missed him, and the spear struck the temple of Juan Mateos, who was fishing with a line, and killed him. Bravo, who had not seen him, and who did not suspect the misfortune, ran to get his lance, and found that he had pierced the head of Mateos — the only person of the troops who was gray-headed; wherefore they called him their father, and as they had much respect for him, his death sensibly affected them.

While these things were passing, those who had gone to explore, returned at the end of ten days, and reported that the mines were of a very highly colored copper; that, likely, if they had searched with care, they might have met with gold and silver; that, besides, the land through which they passed was good for grazing and for tillage; that, through the towns which they had passed, they bad welcomed them; that even, every night, after having regaled them, they sent them two very pretty young girls to sleep with; that, nevertheless, they had not touched them, for fear that if they had taken any liberties with them, the barbarizas the next day might have avenged themselves for it by shooting them with arrows. But the Indians, perhaps, made use of them in this manner, with the idea of better diverting their guests, whom they saw young and vigorous; for if they had wished to kill them, they could easily have done so without seeking any pretext.



AFTER the return of Silvera and Villabos, the general commanded that they should hold themselves ready to leave, and they left the following day, with the friendship of the Indians of the country. The troops marched along the island, and at five leagues from Iciaha (where the river of this country unites with that of the country into which they were entering), they came to the capital of Acosta, which bears the name of the province. The cacique received them at first in a manner very different from that of his neighbor; for when they entered Acosta there were more than fifteen hundred men under arms, all resolute and determined to tight, who did not disarm during the whole day, and who treated the Spaniards with so much pride and insolence that many times they were ready to come to blows with them. But, the general prevented it, to preserve the peace they had kept ever since they had left Apalache. They obeyed; but they were all night under arms, as well as the savages, who, the next day, acted with less defiance and more civility. And the cacique, accompanied by the leading men of the country, came obligingly to offer corn; and our people believed that he was calmed by the recommendation of the cacique of Iciaha, who had sent to plead in their favor. The general accepted the provisions and paid for them. The troops immediately decamped, and passed the river in boats and on rafts, delighted that the affair had terminated without battle. From there they entered into the province of Coça, the inhabitants of which came to meet them, and received them with affection. They also furnished them with provisions, and with guides to conduct them from one town to another.

Coça is a province of a hundred leagues through. The land is good and the country is well peopled, for within a single day, without counting the villages on each side of the route, the Spaniards passed through ten or twelve small villages, the inhabitants of which gave them provisions, and also those of one place conducted them to another and introduced them. They accompanied them in this manner during their march, which was from four to five leagues per day; so that, according to the occasion, our people encamped sometimes in the villages and sometimes in the fields.

While they were marching, the cacique, who held his court at the other extremity of the province, dispatched each day to congratulate the general upon his coming, and to request him to advance wholly at his leisure; that he was awaiting him at the capital, where he and all his troops would be well received. The Spaniards, after twenty-three or twenty-four days of travel, safely arrived at this town which was called Coça, from the name of the chief and the country. The cacique, on the tidings that they were approaching, advanced a league to meet them, followed by more than a thousand men, well formed and gayly dressed with habiliments of skins, many of which were marten skins which were fragrant. They marched in order, each rank twenty abreast, with great plumes of divers colors upon their heads, which was pleasant to see.

Thus did the subjects of Coça receive the Spaniards and evince to them the esteem which they had for them. Afterwards, they all came to the capital, and they lodged Soto in one of the houses of the cacique, made as those of the other chiefs of Florida. The town of Coça is upon the borders of a river, and consists of five hundred houses, of which the chief had one-half vacated to lodge the troops commodiously. They sojourned about two days in this place, where they received from Coça and his vassals, every mark of sincere friendship.



ONE day, after Coça lead dined with Soto, and had been conversing of the conquest of the country and of the manners of the people, he arose and made his obeisance to him, turning slightly toward the officers who were present. Then he said to him, that in consideration of the kindness which the Spaniards had manifested for him, he begged that, if he sought to establish himself in the country, he would prefer the province of Coça to the others. That he had seen of this province, only the places the least fertile; but that if it pleased him to send to examine the whole of it he would find that its land was very good and the abode very agreeable; that he might choose the best and most beautiful part; that he would populate it, have villages built, and a town where he might hold his court; that at least, if he refused this favor, he besought him, since winter was approaching, to pass it with him; that daring this time, he might, at his leisure, inquire into everything and be served with much affection. The general thanked the cacique for so much friendship, and replied that he could not settle in the country until he lead first secured some port where he could land the ships of Spain with the things necessary for a settlement. That when he should see the time favorable for a settlement, he would heartily accept of his offer, and that he should not forget it. That nevertheless, he begged him to always preserve, for him, this good intention, and that very soon be would return into his province when he would comply with it in every respect. The cacique, rejoiced at this reply, said to Soto that he tools his words for the pledge of his promise, and that he should remember them until he should have accomplished it. Coça was then twenty-six or twenty-seven years of age, handsome, intellectual, gentle, wise, so polite that one might have believed him raised among polished and intelligent people. The Spaniards refreshed themselves ten or twelve days in the capital of his province, and continued their journey toward the sea, for as soon as they left Chovala they struck straight for the coast and turned in the form of a curve, to arrive at the port of Achussi. The general had thus decided with Maldonado, who was to bring soldiers, cattle, and provisions there.

The cacique accompanied Soto as far as the frontier of the province, and was followed by many of his soldiers, subjects, and Indian porters. At the end of five days, they arrived in good order at the town of Talisse, which is the key of the country. This town was palisaded, invested with very good terraces, and almost surrounded by a river. It did not heartily acknowledge the cacique, because of a neighboring chief, who endeavored to make the people revolt against him. However, Coça was not at war with this lord, but Tuscaluca, it was thus that the neighboring chief was called, was artful, bold, and enterprising, and took pleasure in making mischief. Coça, who, for a long time, knew the design of Tuscaluca, was very glad to accompany the general as far as Talisse; not more to serve him than to intimidate the inhabitants and make them return to their duty by means of the Spaniards.

Whilst the troops were leaving the town of Coça, a Christian who was not a Spaniard, concealed himself in this place that he might not follow the others, but as he was not of importance, they did not miss him except at Talisse, where they endeavored to make him come, but in vain. He sent word to the general that he would remain with the Indians, and that his captain having quarrelled with him, he therefore wished never to see him or the Spaniards. Thereupon the general asked the cacique to deliver this deserter to him. But Coça pleasantly replied, that since they all had not wished to settle upon his lands, it was just that there should remain at least some one of them, and that he would take very particular care of him; that therefore he begged him to pardon him, if he did not compel his soldier to rejoin the troops. Soto, who then reflected that he would obtain nothing from the cacique, did not urge him further.

I have forgotten to say that a negro, a very good Christian and a very good slave, remained sick at Coça. and that he was recommended to the cacique, who promised to take care of him. These particulars are of little consequence, but I report them in order that if some day, they make the conquest of Florida, they may inquire of the inhabitants of the country, if they do not remember the strangers who had established themselves among them.



THE general sojonrned ten days at Talisse,where he inquired about the neighboring provinces and the journey he had to make. In the mean time the son of Tuscaluca visited him. He was a young man, about eighteen years of tige, but so tall that he exceeded in height, by nearly half of his body, all the Spaniards and all the Indians of the army. He had in his suite, many important persons, and came, in the quality of ambassador, to offer to Soto the friendship of his father, his person, and his province. Soto received him also with much politeness; as much for the personal merit which he seemed to possess, as for his appearance which had something noble. Afterwards, when the young lord learned that the general wished to visit Tuscaluca, he told hitn that his father was but twelve leagues from the camp, and that they could go there by two routes; that he begged the general to send some soldiers to reconnoitre them, with orders to go by one and return by the other; that he would have them conducted there and brought back in safety, and that afterwards they could march by the route the most agreeable and the easiest. Villabos, who expected that the expedition would be fortunate, offered to go with one of his companions to Tuscaluca. On his return, the Spaniards bade adieu to Coça and his subjects, and took the route that Villabos indicated to them. They crossed the river Talisse upon rafts and boats, and at the end of three days they arrived in view of a little village where Tuscaluca awaited them. But when he learned that they were approaching, he went to meet them, and stopped upon an eminence, the .better to see them. He was surrounded by a hundred of his principal subjects, all standing while he was seated upon a wooden chair about two feet high, without back or arms, and all of one piece. Near to this chair there was an Indian with an ensign of chamois skin traversed by three azure bars of the shape of a cavalry ensign. Our people were surprised it it, for they had not yet seen flags among the Indians.

Our people were surprised it it, for they had not yet seen flags among the Indians.Tuscaluca was forty years of age or thereabouts, and two feet higher than those who accompanied him, so that he appeared a giant. His face, his shoulders, and the rest of his body corresponded with his height, and he was large in proportion; a handsome man, of proud and noble mien; the best formed and greatest that they had yet seen in Florida. While he was awaiting Soto upon the eminence, some Spanish officers proceeded as far as to him without his deigning to look at them or show them the least civility, and he pretended as though he did not see them. But on the arrival of the general he arose and made fifteen or twenty steps to receive him. Soto, on his part, dismounted and embraced him. They conversed together while the soldiers were taking lodgings in the village and the environs. Afterwards, they went hand in hand to the house which was prepared for the general, where the cacique took leave of him and retired.

The army refreshed itself two days in the village, and the third it left. Tuscaluca, under pretext of friendship and service, wished to accompany it daring its march over his lands. Therefore, Soto commanded that they should have ready a horse for this cacique, the same as they had done, until then, for all the other Indian lords, which I had forgotten to mention. But as Tuscalucawas large, they had trouble to find a steed for him. Nevertheless, when they had searched well, they found a large pack-horse. They put him thereupon, after having given him a scarlet dress, and cap of the same color, but his feet lacked very little of touching the ground.

The general, rejoiced that they lead found wherewith to mount the cacique, gave his orders to march, and the army made four leagues each day, and on the third day arrived at the capital, which is called Tuscaluca, from the name of the lord of the province. This town is strong because it is in the middle of a peninsula, which is formed by the river which passes by Talisse, and is much larger and more rapid at Tuscaluca than at that town. The next day they crossed the river; but because they had not rafts enough, they consumed the whole day in crossing, and could not camp but at half a league from there, in a very pleasant valley. There the Spaniards missed Villabos and another cavalier, without being able to learn what had become of them. Only then they suspected that, having gone astray, the Indians had killed them. Villabos, in fact, loved to leave the camp and travel over the country, but from this kind of excursions there ordinarily happened only misfortune.

They began from that time to have a bad opinion of the friendship of Tuscaluca; and that which Confirmed this belief was that, when the Spaniards manifested to the Indians their astonishment at the loss of their companions, the barbarians replied, with insolence, that they had not given them to their keeping, and that they were not obliged to render them an account of them. The general would not push the affair further for fear of disquieting the cacique; and because he believed that Villabos and his companion were slain, he deferred avenging their death until fortune should furnish him an opportunity.

The nest day Soto sent to Mauvila, which was a league and a half from the camp, Goncal Quadrado Charamillo and Diego Vasques, cavaliers experienced in all kinds of encounters, and ordered them to reconnoitre the town and await him there.



AT the same time that Quadrado and his comrade left, the general tools a hundred horse and as many foot soldiers to go as a vanguard with him and the cacique, and gave orders to the colonel of cavalry to promptly follow him. Nevertheless, the rest of the army did not leave until late, and in the belief that they had nothing to fear, they scattered themselves here and there to hunt.

The general arrived about eight o’clock in the morning at Mauvila, which consisted of eighty houses, in some of which they could post fifteen hundred men, in others a thousand, and in the smallest about six hundred. These houses, however, have but one main room, for the Indians do not make them otherwise, and each main room is in the form of a hall, with some small chambers. Besides, as Mauvila is a frontier place, its houses are strong, beautiful, and indicate sufficiently the power of the cacique. The greater part also belongs to him, and the rest to the most important of hissubjects. The town of Mauvila is on ,I very agreeable plain, and surrounded with very high rampart, palisaded with large pieces of wood fixed in the earth, with beams across on the outside, and attached within with strong cords. To the height of the pieces of wood was plastered with loam mixed with long straw, which filled the void between the pieces of wood in such a manner that it appeared a wall of masonry. There were, every fifty paces, towers capable of holding eight men, and embrasures four or five feet from the ground. There were but two gates at Mauvila (one to the east, the other to the west), and a great square in the middle of the town, surrounded with the principal houses. Soto arrived with the cacique at this square. Tuscaluca immediately dismounted, and called Ortis to show him the lodges of the general and his officers. He told him that the valets and other servants should take the house nearest to the lodge of the general, and that the troops should camp outside at the distance of an arrowshot, where very good huts had been made. The general replied that he must wait until his colonel of cavalry joined him, and thereupon the cacique entered into a house where was his council of war. However, the soldiers who had proceeded with the general remained in the square, and sent their horses out of town until they lord seen the place which was destined for them. In the meanwhile, Quadrado, who had been to reconnoitre Mauvila, came to the general. He told him ice must beware of the chief, and that he feared treachery; that there were, in the houses of the town, nearly ten thousand warriors, all young men, brave, and well armed, the flower of the vassals of Tuscaluca and the neighboring chiefs; that many lodges were full of arms; that there were in Mauvila only young women who could fight, no children; and that the inhabitants were free and unembarrassed; that, to the distance of a quarter of a league around the town, they had laid waste, which showed that they intended to fight; that every morning they went out into the field and exercised in very good order; that to this they should add the death of Villabos and the pride of the barbarians; and that, therefore, he was of opinion that they should bold themselves upon their guard. The general immediately commanded that they should secretly advise those of the men who were in the town of the treason, in order that they might hold themselves ready in case of alarm, and ordered Quadrado to relate to the colonel of cavalry what he had seen.

Carmona says the general was received at Mauvila with great rejoicing, and that at his entry, the Indians, the better to conceal their evil design, lead ordered many women dances which were pleasant to see, for the Indian women are beautiful and well made. In fact, that which Moscoso took from Mauvila to Mexico was found so charming, that the Spanish ladies in that kingdom often besought him to send her to them that they might see her.

As to the cacique, when he had entered the house where his council awaited him, he said to his captains that they had no time to lose, and that they must promptly decide whether they should kill the Spaniards who were in the town or wait until they were all assembled. That he did not doubt of the success of the enterprise, whatever resolution they might take, because they had to do with but a small number of cowards and inexperts. But as to them, that besides being eight to one, they were valiant and experienced. That they might therefore boldly declare what they found proper to do, and that he awaited but that to destroy his enemies.



THE opinions of the council of Tuscaluca were divided. Some maintained that they ought not to wait to attack the Spaniards until they should be united, because their defeat would be more difficult. Others, that it would be cowardly to attack them when they were so few; that they ought to defer the attack until they all should be in Mauvila, and that then they would have more glory in conquering them. To that, the first replied that they ought to hazard nothing; that the Spaniards being united, would defend themselves with more vigor, and might be able to slay some Indians. That the death of their enemies would be bought too dear if it cost them the loss of any of their men; that therefore it was important to attack them without further deliberation. This opinion prevailed, and it was decided that they should seek a pretext for a quarrel, and that in case they did not find one, they should not defer it, inasmuch as they had always a right to destroy their enemies.

While these things were passing, the valet of the general who lead prepared the dinner, informed him that they were going to serve it, and he commanded them to tell Tuscaluca, who had always eaten with him, that he awaited him in order to dine. Ortis, who had received this order, went to the lodge of the cacique to invite him to dinner, but was refused admittance, and they told him that Tuscaluca was going to leave. He returned a second time and had the same answer, and the third time he said that Tuscaluca might come if he pleased, that the dinner was upon the table. Then an Indian who had the appearance of an officer, replied that he was astonished that brigands dared to utter the name of his lord with so little respect, and to call him Tuscaluca without giving him the titles which were life to him. He swore by the Sun that the insolence of these scoundrels should cost them their lives, and that it was necessary to begin from that day to chastise there. Hardly had this Indian spoken, when there came another who gave him a bow and arrows to begin the battle. The barbarian immediately threw back the borders of his mantle over his shoulders, made ready his bow, and put himself in position to shoot upon a troop of Spaniards in the street. Gallego, who by chance met him at the side of the door through which he had gone out, seeing this treachery, struck the barbarian with the edge of his sword, such a blow upon his shoulder, covered only with his mantle, that he dove him even to the entrails, and he fell dead upon the spot, as he was going to discharge the arrow. This captain just slain, had, on going out, commanded the Indians to charge the Spaniards. Therefore the Indians rushed from all sides upon our men, and attacked with so touch fury that they drove them more than a hundred paces out of town. Nevertheless, not a Spaniard turned his back; all fought and retired like brave soldiers.

Among the barbarians who attacked the first, was a young man of distinction. eighteen years of age, who casting his eyes upon Gallego, discharged six or seven arrows at him, but in vain; so that through rage at having neither wounded nor killed him he closed with him, and discharged with his bow, three or four blows with so much force upon his head that the blood flowed from it. Gallego, who anticipated the second attack, pierced him with two thrusts of his sword, and laid him dead at his feet.

They were convinced that the person killed was the son of the Indian captain who had lost his life; and that the strong desire to avenge the death of his father had irresistibly impelled him to Gallego. But it was not only this young man who fought courageously, the others attacked with the same ardor, for the sole aim of them all was to exterminate the Spaniards.

The cavaliers who had sent their horses out of Mauvila, ran immediately to recover them. The swiftest mounted, the others had not time, and cut their halters that they might escape the fury of the barbarians; but the last, who could neither mount nor set them at liberty, saw them severely wounded with arrows, for the Indians who had formed two battalions, attacked vigorously: one battalion, the Spaniards, the other the horses and baggage that was there. Afterwards they carried the booty into their houses, and the Spaniards had only their lives left, which they defended like brave men. They in fact did on this occasion, all that brave soldiers could do.



THE cavaliers, who had mounted their horses, being joined by those who had arrived in file, opposed themselves to the fury of the barbarians, and advanced to succor the infantry, which was hard pressed. The enemy gradually giving way, our men assembled and formed two bodies, one of infantry, the other of cavalry. Then they fell upon the Indians with so much order and courage, that they drove them back even into their fortifications, where they would have entered pell-mell, if those who were within had not showered upon them, from all sides, arrows and stones. Therefore our men retired, and the Indians sallied so quickly that many leaped down from the walls and approached the Spaniards so near, that some of them seized the lances of the cavaliers. However, they did not gain any advantage. Our soldiers, who fought in good order, having adroitly drawn them more than two hundred paces from the town, redoubled their efforts, and briskly drove them back. But as the barbarians incommoded our men from the tops of the terraces, the Spaniards had recourse to ruses to induce them to sally, and give the cavaliers an opportunity to pierce them. They therefore made many feints to draw them out, and as they succeeded, they repulsed them many times, but not without loss on both sides; for they vigorously opposed and attacked our men.

Captain Gallego, in the skirmishes, was followed by a Dominican, his brother, well mounted, who begged him to accept his horse; but the captain, who was foremost in the fight, and who was passionately fond of fame, would never quit his rank. Meanwhile his brother, who was spurring on with another after him, was shot by an Indian, who wounded him slightly in the shoulder, because he had oil two hoods, with a large felt hat that flapped above.

In these attacks there were a number killed and wounded. Among others, died Don Carlos Henriquez, who had espoused the niece of the general, and was loved by all the army. This cavalier, among many excellent qualities, was generous toward everybody, and personally very brave. Nothing touched the Spaniards more than his death, which happened in this manner. His horse, in the last attack, had an arrow-shot in his breast, and immediately Henriquez stooped to draw it out; but as he turned his head a little to his left shoulder, he exposed his throat, and received in flint place an arrow armed with flint. He fell to the ground, and died the next day.

Thus the Spaniards and Indians fought; but there perished more on the side of the barbarians, because they had no defensive armor. Therefore, after they discovered that the horses prevented them from conquering, they retired into the town, of which they shut the gates, all resolved to die upon the ramparts with arms in their hands. The general at the same time commanded the cavaliers to dismount, because they were better armed than the foot soldiers, and ordered them to take bucklers and axes, and rush headlong to crush in the gates of Mauvila, which they bravely did, but not without suffering. Then they entered this town, and in the mean time the foot soldiers, who were in the environs, ran there in a great crowd. But as they all could not pass through the gates because they were narrow, and moreover, as they would not lose the opportunity of distinguishing themselves in the battle, they struck down, with the sturdy strokes of their axes, a part of the palisades, and, sword in hand, entered the town to the assistance of their comrades. Then the Indians, who saw their enemies masters of the town, fought with desperation in the middle of the streets and from the ramparts, whence they incommoded our men very much; so that, to prevent the barbarians from taking them in the rear, and from regaining the houses which we had seized, we set fire to them, and as they were only straw, there was in a moment seen nothing but flame and smoke, which served to increase still more the number of the dead and wounded.

As soon as the Indians had retired into the town, many of them ran to pillage the lodge of the general; but they found there persons who repulsed them — three crossbow-men, a well armed Indian friend of the Spaniards, two priests, as many slaves, and five of Soto’s guards. Whilst the priests prayed, the others fought courageously, so that the enemy, Hot being able to gain the door of the house, endeavored to enter by the roof, and made openings there in three or four places; but the crossbow-men shot all who presented themselves. In the mean time the general and his men arrived. They fell upon the barbarians who were besieging the house, put them to flight, and delivered those who were within.

Then the general, who had already fought four hours on foot, left the town and mounted his horse, in order to increase the fright of the Indians and the courage of the soldiers. Then he re-entered Mauvila accompanied by Tovar, and crying “San Ingo,” they cut through the enemy, put them in disorder, and pierced them with many thrusts of their lances.

In the melee, as Soto raised himself in his stirrups to pierce an Indian, he was shot behind. The arrow broke his coat of mail and entered quite deep into his buttock. Nevertheless, for fear that the wound might abate the courage of his men, and elevate that of the barbarians, he concealed the wound that he had received and did not extract the arrow, so that he could not sit down. But he did not cease to fight valiantly until the end of the combat, which lasted five hours. Certainly this action alone marks sufficiently his courage and his horsemanship.

In the mean time, the fire which they had set to the houses increased more and more, and incommoded the barbarians even upon the ramparts, whence the greater part fought; therefore they were constrained to abandon them. The fire, which they set to the doors of the lodge, each of which had but one, also did great mischief. Those who were within, not being able to get out, were miserably burned up. Many Indian women who were shut up in the houses where the tire was at the doors, all perished there in this manner. The fire excited not less disorder in the streets than in other places. Sometimes the wind drove the flame with the smoke upon the Indians, and favored the Spaniards; and sometimes the contrary, so that the enemy regained what they had lost, and there were many persons slain on both sides.

The battle so disastrous and so stubbornly contested during seven hours lasted until four in the afternoon. Then, when the barbarians saw the number of people they had lost by fire and sword, and that their forces began to grow weaker and those of the enemy to increase, they implored the assistance of the women, and induced them to avenge the death of many brave Indians or all nobly perish.

When they called the women to assist, some of them were already fighting by the sides of their husbands, but as soon as they were commanded they ran in a crowd, some with bows and arrows, others with swords, halberts, and lances, which the Spaniards had dropped in the street, which they skilfully used. They all put themselves at the head of the Indians, and full of anger and hate, braved the peril and showed a courage above their sex. But when the Spaniards saw that they were no longer fighting except merely against women, and that these brave Indian women meant rather to die than to conquer, they spared them to such a degree that they did not wound one of them.

In the mean while the rear guard, which was advancing and amusing itself on the march, heard the noise of the drums and the sound of the trumpets, and, conjecturing what had happened, marched rapidly and in good order; so that they arrived even in time to give assistance. But no sooner had they arrived and Diego de Soto, nephew of the general, learned the death of Don Carlos, his cousin, whom he clearly loved, than he wished to avenge him. He leaped from his horse, took a shield, drew his sword, and entered the town in the height of the melee. He was there immediately struck by an arrow which passed through his eye to the back of his head. He fell to the ground, and languished till the next day, when he died without they being able to extract the arrow. This misfortune was distressing to the whole army, and above all to the general; Diego de Soto was a cavalier truly worthy of being his nephew.

The battle was not less sanguinary in the country than in the town. As soon as the Indians discovered that their numbers impeded them in such a small place as Mauvila because their skill was almost useless, many of them glided down the ramparts and gained the country, where they fought like brave men. Nevertheless, they had not more good fortune there than in the town. The advantage which they gained over the foot-soldiers the cavaliers had over them, and pierced them easily with the thrusts of their lances because the barbarians had no pikes. They also broke them many times; and then when the rear guard joined Soto, they finally put them to rout, and very few escaped.

At the time the sun was about to set and the cries and noise of those who fought in Mauvila increased, there entered there a party of cavaliers. Until then no person except Soto and Tovar had entered there on horseback to fight, for they could not there conveniently manage their horses. Therefore, as soon as these cavaliers were there, they divided into many small squads and raced through all the streets, where they slew many Indians. Twelve of these cavaliers spurred through the main street where there was a battalion of men and women whom despair had forced to fight. These cavaliers took them in the rear, and when they had broken them they briskly drove them, at the same time overthrowing, pell-mell, some of our men who were fighting on foot, and killing these brave Indians, nearly all of whom died with arms in their hands, preferring death to servitude. It was by this last battle, which took place the day of St. Luke in the year one thousand five hundred and forty, that the Spaniards, after having fought nine entire hours, without ceasing, succeeded in completely conquering their enemies.



WHEN the Indians attacked our men so courageously that they drove them from Mauvila, a Spaniard, of very little importance, took to flight; and when he had escaped from danger, he fell on the ground and arose immediately. However, because he did not believe that he was entirely safe, he began again to flee, and fell. What appeared surprising, they found him dead without the vestige of a bruise or wound; they believed he was frightened to death. That is one of the events which happened during the battle, and this is what happened immediately after: Men-Rodriguez, a Portuguese cavalier, who had served well in Africa and on the frontiers of Portugal, fought nearly all the day and did very noble deeds; but after the battle, when he lead dismounted, he remained immovable, without the power to speak or to eat, and died in this condition at the end of three days, although he had received neither wound nor bruise. They believed that the extraordinary efforts which he had made against the barbarians lead caused this accident to him, and they said that he died of excess of courage. Finally, after the battle, there was found in Mauvila an Indian, who had charged the Spaniards with so much fury that, during the heat of the battle, he had not perceived the carnage they lead made of his companions; but when the rage with which he fought lead passed, and he discovered the peril in which he was and the misfortune of his party, he gained in haste the ramparts to endeavor to escape to the country. However, seeing the Spanish cavalry and infantry spread here and there, he lost all hope of escape. He took the cord from his bow, attached one end of it to a branch of a tree which they had left between the pieces of wood of the rampart, the other to his neck, dropped from the top of the rampart, and strangled himself. Some soldiers ran to his assistance, but when they arrived he was dead. This action shows the courage and desperation of the Indians, since the only one who lead survived the battle preferred destroying himself to falling into the hands of his enemies.



THE day of the battle, the general rendered the last duties to the dead, and the next day he took care to have all the wounded attended to, but there died many of them beforehand; for they found seventeen hundred and seventy dangerous wounds, some in the breast, others in the head, without speaking of the slight wounds, the number of which they could not tell. There was scarcely any soldier who was not wounded, and sometimes with ten or twelve lilts. Therefore, many surgeons were needed; nevertheless, there was but one, very slow and very unskilful. Besides, everything was wanting — oil, bandages, lint, clothes — because the Indians lead carried off the baggage and the fire had consumed everything; also, there were neither huts to cover them during the night nor provisions to refresh them. The soldiers themselves could not go in search of them because of the darkness and their wounds; so that, not hoping any solace from men, they implored the aid of Heaven, and discovered that by prayers their strength and courage gradually increased. Thus they gloriously extricated themselves from the deplorable condition to which the fortunes of war lead reduced them. The least wounded first took care of those whose wounds were mortal. Some brought straw; others, boughs of the huts which the Indians bad made outside of the town, and made lodges of them, which they rested against the ramparts, and under which they placed the sick. Several opened the bodies of the dead barbarians, from which they drew the fat and made of it an unguent for the wounds. Some took the shirts of their dead companions, and even stripped themselves of their own, to make of them bandages and lint, and kept those of flax for the dangerous wounds; for the slight wounds were dressed with coarse linen and the linings of pantaloons. Others skinned the horses which lead been killed, and gave their flesh to the most feeble; and the rest were under arms to oppose the enemy in case he should appear. Thus the Spaniards rendered every service to one another during the four days that they attended the mortally wounded, and yet they lost twenty-two of their comrades for want of their being well treated; so that, with thirteen who expired immediately after the battle and forty-seven who were slain (of whom eighteen died of arrow-shots in the head), there died eighty-two of them, without counting forty-five horses, which they regretted as the principal force of the army.



THE Indians lost nearly eleven thousand persons in the battle. There were slain, in the environs of Mauvila, more than two thousand five hundred, among whom was the son of the cacique; and in the town more than three thousand, besides a like number who were burnt; for in a single house there were a thousand women stifled by the fire, which drew the compassion of everybody. At four leagues around the town, among the woods, in the streams, and other like places, the soldiers, who went out in parties, found more than two thousand barbarians, some dead and others wounded, who made every place echo with their cries. But they could not learn what had become of the cacique. Some asserted that he had cowardly fled, and others that he had burnt himself, as he well deserved the fire because he had caused all the misfortunes that had happened On both sides. In fact, as soon as he learned that the Spaniards were to pass over his lands, he determined to exterminate them there. Therefore, before they entered them, he sent his son, accompanied by some of his subjects, to the general, in order that, under pretext of peace, they might observe the practice of the Spaniards in war, and that, upon their report, he might take measures to accomplish his designs. They learned also that one day, when the inhabitants of Talisse complained to him that their cacique compelled them to give to the Spaniards men and women for slaves, he told them that they might obey him without reluctance, for that very soon he would send their people back to them, and even the Spaniards themselves, of whom they might make use to cultivate the land. The Indians whom our men captured in battle confirmed the same things: that, by the persuasion of Tuscaluca, the inhabitants had assembled with the view of killing the Christians. As for them, the greater part, under great promises only, had been drawn from the neighboring provinces; that to some they were to make presents of scarlet capes, and of satin and velvet aprons, in order to appear at the public dances and feasts;. and to others they had agreed to give the horses to ride before the Spaniards. Some said that they had promised them several soldiers for slaves, and all declared the number they were to have; that, as many of them had their husbands, they had come by their orders, and others at the solicitations of their parents, who caused them to hope that they would have great rejoicings, in order to render thanks to the Sun for the defeat of their enemies. Finally, some avowed that they were at the battle at the request of their lovers, who ardently wished that they should be witnesses of their valor, which sufficiently showed that Tuscaluca had a long time meditated his treachery. But it was fatal to him, as well as to the Spaniards, who, without counting the things I have mentioned, lost many chalices, many altar decorations, chasubles, and other ornaments, the wine, and some measures of flour which they kept for mass; so that, not being able to hear it, the clergy and the monks who served the army assembled to learn if they could consecrate it with corn-bread. But all agreed that bread of pure wheat, and real wine were necessary. As, therefore, they could no longer consecrate it, they erected, every Sunday and every festival, an altar; and then a priest dressed in a kind of chasuble of buckskin said the Introite, with other prayers of the mass, without consecration, and the Spaniards called that a dry mass. He who celebrated it, or else some other clergyman, explained the gospel, and accompanied it with a short exhortation. Thus our men consoled themselves a little for not being able to adore Jesus Christ under the sacramental elements of bread and wine. But that which grieved them was, that they remained in this state more than three years, until, leaving Florida, they entered into Christian lands.



THE Spaniards were eight days at the lodges which they had made around the ramparts of Mauvila, and fifteen more in healing themselves in the huts which the Indians had prepared for them. In the mean time, those who were the healthiest went four leagues roundabout in search of provisions in the villages, where they found much corn and many wounded Indians, without meeting with any one who took care of them. They only learned that, by night, persons came to attend them, who, by day, retired into the forest. Our soldiers, touched with compassion, shared their provisions with these poor barbarians. But, as the other Indians were concealed, and as they wished to know what was passing in the country, the cavaliers limited here and there to make some prisoners, and took eighteen or twenty Indians. They demanded of them, at first, if they were assembling to attack the troops. They replied that the bravest of their men having been slain in battle, there was no longer any one who could bear arms. They believed this without any difficulty; for while the Spaniards sojourned in the environs of Mauvila, they had this good fortune in their misery; that their enemies gave them no alarm, which would have very much incommoded them in the condition in which they were.

During these events, Soto learned that Maldonado and Arias had brought over the ships, and that they had safely reached the coast. he knew, also, from prisoners, that the sea, and the province of Achussi, where he wished to go, were not thirty leagues from Mauvila. This news rejoiced him in the hope of putting an end to his journey, and of establishing himself in Achussi; for he had resolved to build a town at the port which bears the name of this province, where he could receive all the ships; to make another, twenty leagues in the country, to compel the inhabitants to embrace the Catholic faith, and to reduce them by degrees to the domination of Spain.

In consideration of such good news, and that they could easily go from the camp to Achussi, the general released the cacique of that province, whom, for some time, he lead retained very civilly about his person. He begged him to preserve the honor of his friendship; and, after telling him that he had not sent him back sooner for fear that, being so far from his country, some misfortune might happen to him upon the road, he assured him that it would not be long before the Spaniards would repair to his lands. The cacique showed much joy at this, and after sonic compliments which he made to Soto on the manner in which he had treated him, he promised that he would endeavor to respond, by his services, to the obligations under which he had placed him; and, thereupon, he set out for Achussi. In the mean time, discord, that pest of nations and of armies, destroyed all the designs which the general had formed of peopling this province. For, as there were among the troops soldiers who had aided in the conquest of Peru, and who recalled to mind the riches which they had gained there, and considered that they had nothing of the like to hope for in Florida, it was impossible for them to resolve to settle there. Besides, discouraged by the fatigues, and frightened at the last battle, they said they ought to despair of ever conquering a people so fierce and so warlike as the inhabitants of the vast regions they were everyday discovering; that these barbarians too ardently loved their liberty, and would rather lose their lives than submit to the yoke of the Spaniards; that after all, the most fertile of their countries were not worth the suffering which unfortunately was consuming them; and that, since neither gold nor silver was found there, they should, when they arrived at the coast, take the route to Peru and Mexico, where it would be easy for everybody to make a considerable fortune. These discussions were repeated to the general; but, being unwilling to believe them, unless he should hear them himself, he, all alone, began to rove around at night in disguise. He heard that a treasurer of the troops, and some others, were declaring that if, on their arrival at the port of Achussi, they found vessels, they would sail for New Spain; that they were tired of sacrificing themselves for the conquest of a miserable country. These words troubled Soto with the belief that, at the first opportunity, the army would disperse; that he would have the same misfortune in his plans that Pizarro had in the conquest of Peru, who remained with only thirteen soldiers upon the island of Gorgonne; that afterward it would be impossible for him to raise new troops, because he would have lost his labor, his authority, his honor, and, finally, his fortune. All these considerations compelled the general, who was jealous of his reputation, to take resolutions precipitate and full of desperation. Therefore, for fear that the soldiers should execute what he had heard them say, he gave his orders, with dispatch and address, to advance into the country; desiring to put himself at a distance from the coast, and to take from the malcontents the means of depriving him of his glory, and making the rest of the army mutiny. But this conduct was the cause and commencement of his destruction, and afterwards he always had misfortune. For, sorry to see all his plans fruitless, his hopes disappointed, he wandered, as through spite, here and there, until he lost by his death, all the fruits of his labor, his fortune, and the glory of having founded a kingdom for the enlargement of the faith and the crown of Spain. Nevertheless, if, instead of wandering from the coast, he had, at first, taken the counsel of his wise friends, and chastised the principal authors of the mutiny, he would have, without difficulty, retained the others in their duty, and successfully terminated his enterprise; but is he followed only his passion, he failed in an undertaking which, to him, was of the greatest importance. Thus, he who neglects to consult his friends when he should do so, often fails in his affairs.



BEFORE leaving the province of Tuscaluca, it is proper to relate the manner in which the laws of this country and of that of Coça, punish adulteresses. There is, in this last province, a law which decrees, upon penalty of death, that if any one has sufficient indications to believe that a woman is an adulteress, he has to inquire into it and impeach her before the cacique, or, in his absence, before the local judges. These judges upon the report that is made to them, secretly hold an inquest against the person accused, and arrest her if they find her guilty. Afterwards, at the first festival, they order to be published that the inhabitants, on going out from their dinner, repair to a certain place outside of the village, and that there they all arrange themselves in a row. Then come the judges, of whom two place themselves at one end of this file, and two at the other. They first decree that they bring to them the adulteress, and then they say to her husband who is present, that she is convicted of a lewd life, and that he must deal with her according to the rigor of the law. The husband strips her entirely naked, and shaves her with a kind of razor of flint; a disgraceful punishment and common among the Indians of the new world. Then to show that he repudiates her, he leaves with the clothes of his wife. and abandons her to the power of the judges. Two immediately command the criminal to pass in front of the persons who are in a row, and to go and declare her crime to the other two officers. She obeys, and as soon as she draws near to them she tells them that she is convicted of adultery and condemned to the penalty with which the law punishes that crime; that she is sent to them in order that they may do with her what it shall please them for the welfare of the province. The judges immediately send her back with this answer : that it is just that the laws that are made with a view to the preservation of pub. he virtue should be inviolably observed; that therefore they confirm the sentence which they have rendered against her, and order her in the future not to relapse again into her crime. Thereupon she returns back to the first judges, qnd the people who are in a row hiss her, and endeavor by means of insults, to increase her shame. In the mean time the people who come in a crowd and see her naked, yell at her. Some cast clods of earth at her, and others straw, and others old rags and pieces of mats and other like things, the lawordering it so, and they regard this poor woman only as the disgrace of the sex. After all these inflections, the judge banishes her from the country and places her in the hands of her parents, with orders, upon pain of exemplary punishment, not to permit her to enter into any place of the province. The parents receive her, and as soon as they cover her with a mantle they lead her away into a place where she is never seen by any Indian of the country; and at the same time the judges permit the husband to take another wife. Thus they punish, in Coça, the Indian women who violate the faith which they owe to those whom they marry. But in the province of Tuscaluca they punish them with still greater rigor. The law of this country decrees that if, at an unseasonable hour, they see any one enter and leave three or four times a house, and that they suspect the mistress of the lodge of adultery, they are obliged, by the religion of the country, to inform the husband of the conduct of his wife, and to prove, by three or four witnesses, that they assert nothing but the truth. The husband, at the same time, assembles the witnesses, and interrogates them one after another, with horrible imprecations against him who lies, and great benedictions in favor of him who discloses the truth.

Afterwards, if he finds his wife sufficiently convicted of having violated her faith, he leads her out of the village, ties her to a tree or to a post which he fixes in the ground, and shoots her to death with arrows. Then he goes to the cacique, or, in his absence, to the justice of the place. He tells them that, in such a place outside of the village, he has just killed his wife, upon information that she bad committed adultery; that he petitions them to summon the accusers, in order that, if the crime of which they charged her is true, he might be formally acquitted, and, if the contrary, he might receive the punishment decreed by the law of the province. In the latter case, the law commands that the parents of the wife shoot the husband to death with arrows; that he be the prey of dogs and birds, and that his wife, as a mark of her innocence, be honorably interred; that if the witnesses persisted in their evidence and did not contradict themselves, in a word, if they verified by good proofs the crime in question, they acquitted the husband, with the liberty to take a wife, and forbid, upon pain of death, the parents of the criminal from drawing a single arrow from her body, or even interring it, because it was necessary that she should serve as an example and be devoured by beasts. We see by this that, in all Florida, they punished very rigorously adulteresses. But we do not know in what manner they punished the men who debauched the wives of others. The laws perhaps favored them there, as among other nations. I remember what a lady of my acquaintance one day said upon this subject: that only the men were regarded when they made laws against adultery, and that the fear which, without foundation. they had of the infidelity of woman had made them treat her cruelly; but that, if the persons of her sex had decreed the penalties against this crime, they would have been governed in it without passion, and with so much prudence that they would not have had, on either side, any reason to complain.



To return to Soto; after the Spaniards had remained twenty-four days about Mauvila, and recovered enough strength to continue on, they left Tuscaluca, and arrived, at the end of three days, in the province of Chicaca, through places unpopulated but very pleasant. the first town which they found in the direction in which they were advancing, was on a river, large, deep, and with high banks. The general immediately sent into the town to ask all alliance, but they haughtily replied that they wished war. In fact, when our men were approaching this place, a battalion of about sixteen hundred men came to attack them. However, after some skirmishes, the enemy yielded, and retired with their most valuable things towards the river, with the design of defending the passage of it. Our men drove them briskly, so that some leaped into the water, and others passed it in small boats, and many by swimming, and joined their troops, which amounted to nearly eight thousand men. They bordered about two leagues of the other side of the river, and strove courageously to prevent us from crossing it; for in the night they crossed it in boats, and came and fell upon the Spaniards, who, tired of being harassed with impunity, secretly made some ditches opposite the places where the enemy landed. Then they concealed in these places crossbowmen and fusileers, with orders not to fire until the Indians should be at a distance from their boats, but then to charge them vigorously, and, sword in hand, to rush headlong upon them, which was executed with success. Three times they drove them back as far as their vessels; so that, without putting themselves to the hazard of crossing the river, they defended only the passage. But while they were acquitting themselves very well, and Soto was despairing of crossing this river, he commanded a hundred of those most expert in carpentry to go into the woods at a league from the camp and make there two large boats, capable of holding many persons. They executed these orders, and in twelve days the boats were made, and two carriages, oil which they placed them, and which they caused to be drawn by mules and horses. The Spaniards themselves aided them during the journey, and fortunately reached before day a part of the river where they founda very convenient crossing. In the mean time, the rest of the troops joined them. And then, after the general had lead the boats launched, he commanded ten cavaliers and forty foot-soldiers to enter into one, and as many into the other, and to cross quickly, for fear of the enemy, and commanded the footmen to row while their companions should remain on horseback, in order to be ready to fight on leaving the river. In the mean time five hundred Indians, who were scouting, heard the noise of those who were crossing the river, they ran to the passage, showered upon them arrows, sent for assistance, and gave the alarm everywhere. Nevertheless, without losing courage, the Spaniards arrived at the other border, the greater part wounded; for the Indians shot them at their ease. The second boat deviated a little from the way, and could not gain it but by dint of oars. But those of the first, which was already landed, leaped ashore; Silvestre and Garcia, bold and valiant cavaliers, left the first, and vigorously charged the enemy. They drove them four times, more than two hundred paces from the river, and when they returned to the charge they were seconded by the other Cavaliers, which began to lessen the fury of the barbarians and favor the foot-soldiers, who, hors de combat on account of their wounds, retired into a village on the borders of the river. In the mean time the second boat made the passage, the soldiers leaped ashore, and joined those who were fighting in the field. Nearly at the same time the general, who, at the entreaty of his troops, had not embarked on account of the danger, crossed with eighty Spaniards, and redoubled, by this reinforcement, the courage of the others. the Indians, who saw the number of their enemies increase, and who feared to be cut in pieces, gave way, and gained a forest quite near, and from there their main body, which was advancing to their assistance. But upon the assurance that the Spaniards had nearly all crossed the river, they together returned to the quarters, where, on their arrival, they fortified themselves with palisades. Ou.r men followed them in the rear, and persistently harassed them, in order to hinder their work. However, they did not cease to continue it, and the boldest even sallied out to skirmish; but the cavaliers, swifter than they, gave them many thrusts with their lances. Theyemployed the day in these sorts of combats, and at night they remained quiet, because the enemy no longer appeared. In the meantime the rest of the troops safely crossed.



AFTER the passage of the river the troops broke up the boats and preserved the iron works to make use of them in case of necessity. Then they continued their march, and after four days of travel through a level country, strewed with villages, they arrived it the capital of Chicago This town, situated upon a hill which extends from north to south, has two hundred houses, is watered by many small streams clothed with walnut, chestnut, and like trees. Our men entered into this place at the beginning of December of the year 1540; and as they found it abandoned, they went into winter quarters there. They also built there, to lodge themselves more comfortably, houses, with wood and straw which they brought from the neighboring villages. Then they scoured the country and made many prisoners. But with the view to make peace, the general sent back some of them with presents for the cacique, who, amusing him with hopes and excuses, dispatched, in his turn, to him, and sent him fruits, fish, and game. However, every night Indians came to harass our men, but as soon as they saw them they retired, manifesting fear and weakness to render the Spaniards more negligent to fight them, through the contempt which they bore them, and to conquer them with more facility when they should attack them in earnest. Finally, ashamed of all these feints and of having so long concealed their courage, they resolved to give evidences of it by the defeat of our troops. Therefore, one night, about the end of January of the year 1541, when the north wind favored them, they advanced three battalions abreast to within one hundred yards of the Spanish sentinels The cacique, at the. head of the middle one, commanded the attack on the town, and there were heard, at the same time, fifes, horns, and drums. Everything echoed with the yells of the barbarians, who, flambeau in hand, charged upon our men. These torches, which seemed to be of wax because they illuminated well, were made of a certain herb which grows in that country, which, when it is twisted and lighted, preserves the fire like a wick, and shaken emits a very brilliant flame. Besides these torches which were very useful to them in the fight, they kindled, at the end of their arrows, this herb of which I have just spoken. Then they discharged them upon the town, and set fire to it without difficulty because the houses were of straw and the wind was very favorable. Therefore, an attack so extraordinary and so unexpected surprised our men; but it did Hot shake their courage; they made resistance everywhere. Soto gave what orders he could in this horrible confusion, mounted his horse, his helmet on his head, his lance in hand, and with his coat-of-arms, and boldly sallied from the town to oppose the barbarians. But in a little while he is seconded by ten or twelve brave cavaliers and then by many foot-soldiers, who, in spite of the flames and smoke which the wind drove upon them, showed their courage. Some, on all fours crawled under a torrent of flame which rolled in the place where they were, and safely joined the general. Others ran to the sick and made their escape to the country with a part of them, while the rest were burnt before they could be succored.

The cavaliers, on their part, endeavored to extricate themselves from this danger. Some, in the fear of not being able to save themselves, abandoned their horses. Others mounted them without saddles and went to the general, who, the first had had the honor to slay a barbarian with his own hand. In the mean time, the Indians, except the battalion of the cacique, entered into the place by the favor of the fire, and cruelly slew men and horses. Forty or fifty foot-soldiers, frightened at this fury, cowardly took to flight, a shameful tiling which had not yet been seen since the troops had entered Florida. Tovar, who perceived them, ran, sword in hand, after them, and cried out to them with all his strength to return immediately against the enemy; that there was no retreat for them, and that only their courage could save them. In the mean time Gusman, at the head of thirty soldiers, sallied from another quarter of the town, intercepted these fugitives, blamed their cowardice, and urged them so strongly to recover their honor that compunction seized them. They returned to their duty, going round the town with him and Tovar, and courageously driving all the barbarians whom they encountered. Vasconcelos at the same time also sallied with twenty-four Portuguese cavaliers, and from his side, fell upon the Indians. Finally, both attacked them and pressed them with so much vigor that they forced them back even into the battalion of the cacique, where was the height of the melee, and where those who seconded Soto fought like true soldiers. However, onthe arrival of assistance, they made a new effort. The general attacked an Indian who was distinguished among all in the fight. He closed with him, wounded him, and redoubled his blows, for he had not taken his life. But as he raised himself in his stirrups to completely finish him, the weight of his body joined to the violence with which he bore himself, turned the saddle of his horse, which they had forgotten to girt, and he fell in the midst of the enemy. The Spaniards, who saw him in danger, rushed headlong to the rescue and fought with so much courage that they saved him. They immediately placed him upon his horse and he recommenced to fight. In the mean time, the Indians, noticing our men charging upon them from all quarters, began to yield; and, except occasionally, no longer obstinately contended. But finally, in view that they were going to succumb, they called out with loud cries to one another to retire, and tools to flight. The general closely pursued them with his cavalry, and followed them as far as the fire could light them. Then he had the retreat sounded, and re-entered the place to see the disorder that the barbarians had made during more than two hours of fight. He found forty soldiers dead with many horses wounded and fifty slain, of which some that they had not had leisure to untie, had been burnt at the mangers to which they lead been fastened with the iron chain of their halters. Besides the liogs, except some which escaped from the pen which inclosed them, were consumed by the fire, which was felt so much the more, as, in the need in which they were of meat, they were reserved for the sick.

Carmona, who relates this particular, adds that each Indian brought three cords, one to tie a hog, another a horse, and the third a soldier. That which also grieved, very sensibly, our men, was the death of Francisca Henestrosa, the only Spanish woman who followed the army. She was the wife of Fernando Bautista, and ready to accouch when the enemy gave the alarm. Her husband, who was brave, then thought of repulsing them, and on his return from the fight, he saw that his wife, not having been able to protect herself from the fire, had perished in it. Francisco Henriquez, a poor foot-soldier, was much more fortunate in his affliction. All wasting away as he was, among the sick, he saved himself from the conflagration. But as he was fleeing, in Indian shot him with an arrow near the groin, and extended him on the ground, where he remained more than two hours. However, he was fortunately cured of his sickness and his wound, which was believed mortal. Strange thing that a wretched man should escape from all his ills whilst so many brave men should perish!



WHEN they had rendered the last duties to the dead, and given orders for the wounded, they went upon the field of battle where they saw a large horse with an arrow tliat passed through his shoulder and four inches on the other side. They also found many other horses with their entrails pierced with arrows, and fifteen pierced in the middle of their hearts; of which four had each two arrows through them. And three days after, in fear of a new attack, because the enemy had lost but a hundred men, the general ordered an advance of a league, and commanded the soldiers to go in search of wood and straw, and to build a town which they called Chicacilla. They there quickly fitted up a forge with bear-skins and musket-barrels, find made lances, shields, and other arms of which they had need. It was in this place that the general gave the office of Moscoso to Gallego; for when he had investigated the conduct of the field officers he knew that Aloscoso had badly discharged his duty, and that he was partly the cause why the Indians had surprised and almost conquered the Spaniards. In fact, but for a monk and some privates, who compelled the fugitives to return to the melee, the barbarians, who fought for the lionor and for the liberty of the country, had gained the victory. Therefore, the Indians, ashamed of having run away, returned three days after their flight, to attack us; determined to conquer or gloriously die. But at two musket shots from the camp, there fell so heavy a rain that it wet the cords of their bows and compelled them to retrace their steps. Our men, informed of this design by an Indian whom they took the next morning, again dreaded the tire, and placed themselves in battle array outside of the burgh, with sentinels here and there. Notwithstanding, the barbarians did not cease to come every night, by divers places, to fall upon them with loud cries. They constantly killed some soldier or wounded some horse. The Spaniards, who stoutly repulsed them, also did not fail to pierce many of them; but for all that the Indians did not lose courage. Soto, who wished to secure himself from their assaults, sent every morning into the country parties of cavalry and infantry who slew all the Indians they met, and returned at sunset with the assurance that four leagues around the camp there would not be found any inhabitants of the country alive. But what was astonishing, the enemy’s battalion, some hours after, returned to harass us, with loss on both sides. Nevertheless, during these skirmishes, nothing of more importance happened than that one night the quarter of Gusman was attacked by a battalion of Indians. This captain, with five cavaliers, immediately went out to oppose them; he commanded his infantry to follow him, and at the same instant that the enemies lighted their torches, our men charged them. Gusman attacked the standard bearer, made a violent thrust at him with his lance; the Indian avoided it, seized the lance, wrested it from the hands of Gusman, and without abandoning his standard, with his left hand pulled him down from his horse. Our soldiers ran to his assistance, rescued him, and put the enemy’s battalion to rout; but not without loss. They had two horses wounded and as many slain, which moderated the joy which they had of extricating their captain from peril.



NOTWITHSTANDING the continual attacks of the Indians, the Spaniards remained until the end of March at their post. They suffered much from cold, because they passed the nights under arms, and the greater part were without shoes, with wretched doublets only, and miserable buckskin pantaloons. Therefore, to all appearances, they would have died of cold, but for Juan Vego, of whom I shall here say something before coming to the good services which he rendered them. V for a rough soldier, but, nevertheless, sometimes agreeable. Therefore they amused themselves with making merry with him, and playing him some petty tricks. Porcallo de Figueroa, especially, loved to ridicule him, for he bad played him such a joke at Havana that, to satisfy him for it, he gave him a horse, for which they offered him in Florida seven thousand crowns, to be paid upon the first smelting of gold that they should make there. But Vego refused this condition, find nosmelting was ever made. This is what he invented for himself and his companions. As he perceived that they all were going to suffer from cold, and that there was a great deal of very good straw at the quarters, he set himself to malting a mat four inches thick, and long and wide in proportion; so that one-half served him fora mattress and the other for a covering. He knew that this invention would protect him from the cold, and he speedily made many other mats on account of the soldiers who assisted him to work, each one priding himself upon putting his hand to the work; so that by means of these mats, which they carried to the guard-house and to the parade, the Spaniards easily resisted the cold. Also, with the exception of the mischief which the barbarians did them, they passed the winter without inconvenience; for they had fruits and corn in abundance, and needed none of the necessaries of life.





THE general and his captains, after four month, sojourn in the province of Chicaca, left it with joy at the beginning of April, of the year 1541, and made, the first day of their march, four leagues through a country with many villages of fifteen to twenty houses each. They camped at a quarter of a league from these habitations, in the expectation of finally taking a little repose, but it happened otherwise; for, after the scouts whom they had sent out to explore had reported that quite near the camp there was a fort where there appeared about four thousand men, the general, with fifty horse, went immediately to reconnoitre them, and at his return he told his captains that it was necessary to drive away these barbarians before night. That it was provoking beyond measure that they should pursue and brave them with so much presumption; that, therefore, they were in honor bound to chastise them, and teach them at the cost of their lives, the valor of the Spaniards; that, in one word, they ought to bear themselves with so much the more courage to cut off their retreat, as they would harass the troops all the night with continual skirmishes. All the officers approved the opinion of their general, who left a part of the army to guard the camp, and marched with the others against the fort, which was called Alibamo. This fort formed a square with four lines of palisades, each four hundred paces long, and two others within. The first of all had three gates, so low that a cavalier could not enter; one in the middle, and the others at the angles; and only opposite to these entrances they had, in each line of palisades, three others, so that if the first were won, they defended themselves in the nest. The gates of the last palisades faced a small river, with wretched bridges, which in certain places was very deep, with borders so high that one could hardly cross on horseback. The Indians thus had built the fort in this place in this manner, in order to secure themselves against the horses, and oblige the Spaniards to fight on foot; for they did not fear our infantry. When they approached this place, the general ordered a hundred of the best armed cavaliers to dismount; and, after having formed three battalions of them, he commanded the attack, and ordered the infantry to support them. Gusman marched straight to the first gate, Cardeniosa to the second, and Silvestre to the third, each at the head of his men. The besieged immediately made through each gate a sortie of a hundred men, with great plumes upon their heads, and, in order to give more fright, their faces and their arms painted with streaks of divers colors. They vigorously attacked the Spaniards, and wounded first Diego de Castro and Pedro de Torres, who were it the side of Silvestre, whom Peinoso seconded very promptly. Louis de Bravo, at the head of another battalion with Gusman, was also struck with an arrow in the lower part of the thigh Cardenioso saw fall near him Francisco de Figueroa wounded in the same place as Bravo. The Indians generally aimed from the thigh downward, because elsewhere the Spaniards had wherewith to protect themselves from their allots. Nevertheless, because they fired upon our men with arrows armed with flint, and as these arrows did much more injury than the others, Cardenioso and his companions pursued them so closely that they prevented them from making use of their arrows, and drove them before them as far as the gates. Thereupon the general attacked with fifty cavalry, and received upon the front of his helmet so violent a blow that the arrow bounded at least to the height of a pike. However, without being disconcerted, he drove the Indians so briskly that he compelled them to quickly throw themselves into the fort. But, as the gates were so narrow that but two at a time could pass, they made great slaughter of them, and they also entered pall-mall with them. The Spaniards then, reanimated by the remembrance of the injury they had done them, charged them with ardor, and put a great number to death. The enemy, in disorder, abandoned the fort. Some leaped from the top of the palisades, and fell into the power of the cavaliers who bad not dismounted, and who pierced them with their lances; others passed upon the bridges, but they crowded each other to such a degree that they fell into the water. Many who could not gain the bridge because they pushed them so closely, leaped into the river, crossed it by swimming, and ranged themselves in order of battle upon the bank. And immediately one of these Indians came out of the battalion and challenged the bravest of the Spanish crossbow-men to fight with him. Juan de Salinas boldly accepted the challenge, left the main body that was behind trees, under shelter from the arrows, and went and posted himself upon the edge of the river opposite his enemy, who, as he, was unprotected by any shield. They made ready for the battle, and fired. The Spaniard struck the Indian in the breast, and the Indian, the Spaniard a little lower than the ear, and pierced his neck in such a manner that the arrow projected as much from one side as from the other. The Indians, who saw. that their man staggered, ran to him, and carried him off. In the mean time, the general, annoyed by their resistance, crossed the river at a ford above the fort, assembled the cavalry, rushed upon them, and pursued them until night. So that counting those who perished in the fort, there were slain on the side of the enemy more than two thousand men, but on that of the Spaniards only three soldiers, Castro, Torres, and Figueroa, for whom they had much sorrow, and moreover there died of their wounds a few after the battle. But there were so many wounded, that at the return from the pursuit of the barbarians they were obliged to remain four days in the fort to treat them.



BEFORE going further it is proper to relate that at the time that the Spaniards entered Tuscaluca, they lost many of their companions for want of salt. At first a malignant fever seized those who had most need of it, and putrefied their entrails, so that at the end of three or four days they were so offensive, that at fifty paces one could not endure the stench; thus, after languishing some time, this disease got the better of them beyond remedy. The greater part of the others, astonished at so strange an occurrence, fortunately had recourse to the preservatives of the Indians which saved them from this putrefaction by means of a certain herb which they burnt, and mingled the ashes of it among the things which served to nourish them. But as for the other Spaniards who contemned this receipt, and who fancied that it was a disgrace to them to employ for their preservation the same remedies as the barbarians, they unfortunately died, for although during their illness they gave them this preservative, it was of no benefit to them because it was only fit to prevent the corruption and not to expel it; and in the course of a year that they lacked salt, there perished more than sixty of these vain persons.

It also seems necessary to say here that they spoke a language entirely different from all the other countries of Florida, and that Soto had, besides Ortis, thirteen or fourteen interpreters in order to communicate with the Caciques. These interpreters, when there was business with these lords, placed themselves in a row according as they understood one another, and the word went from one to the other to Ortis, who was at the end and who reported everything to the general. Thus our men had much trouble to inquire aboutthe particulars of these provinces through which they passed. The Indians, on the contrary, had not any to understand the language of the troops, for after two months of frequent visiting they conceived what was said to them, and partly explained themselves upon subjects the most ordinary, but when they had remained five or six monthsalong with the army, they served as interpreters. They understood the Spanish and expressed themselves in it with facility, which greatly aided the general to inquire about everything, and that showed that the inhabitants of Florida had a reasonable amount of understanding.



I RETURN to where I was in my history. The Spaniards, on leaving Alibamo, marched through a wilderness always towards the north, in order to go away, more and more from the sea, and at the end of three days they saw the capital of Chisca, which bears the name of its province and of its chief. This town is situated near a river which the Indians call Chucagua; the largest of all those which our men had seen in Florida. The inhabitants of Chisca, who were not informed of the coming of the troops because of the war which they had with their neighbors, were surprised. The Spaniards pillaged them and made many of them prisoners. The rest fled; some into the woods between the town and the river, and others to the house of the cacique, built upon an eminence whence it commanded all the place. This chief was old and then sick in bed, almost without strength, of so small a size, and so poor an appearance, that they had not yet seen any such in the country. Nevertheless, at the noise of the alarm and upon the report that they pillaged and seized his subjects, he arose, left the room with a battle-axe in his hand, and threatened to slay all those who had entered upon his lands without his orders. But as he was going to leave his house to oppose himself to the Spaniards, his wives, aided by some of his subjects who had fled to him, retained him. They represented to him, with tears in their eyes, that he was weak, without troops, his vassals in disorder and not in a condition to fight; and those with whom they had to do, vigorous, in good order, in great numbers, and the greater part mounted upon animals so swift that they could never escape them. That it was therefore necessary for him to await a favorable opportunity to avenge himself, and in the mean time to deceive his enemies by fair appearances of friendship in order to prevent his ruin and that of his subjects. These considerations arrested Chisca, but he was so much irritated at the injury the Spaniards had done him, that without deigning to listen to the envoys of the general who demanded peace of him, he declared war upon them, adding that he hoped in a short time to kill their captain and all those who accompanied him. Soto, nevertheless, without being surprised at this, dispatched other persons to him, who apologized for the disorder they had made at first and continued to demand peace of him, for he saw that the troops were disheartened by continual fighting, and embarrassed with sick men and horses; that in less than three hours there had joined the cacique about four thousand men very well armed; that probably he would assemble a still greater number of them; besides, that the situation of the place was very favorable for the Indians and very inconvenient for the Spaniards, because of the woods which was around the town, and which prevented them from making use of their horses; that finally, instead of progressing by war, they were daily ruining themselves. Such were the considerations which led the general to make peace. But the greater part of the Indians who had assembled to deliberate upon this subject had views quite to the contrary. Some desired war, in the belief that they had no other means to recover their goods, and to deliver their companions from the power of the Spaniards; that such people were not to be feared; that the peace which they demanded with so much eagerness was a sure mark of their lack of courage; that it was therefore necessary to teach them by a battle, the courage of those whom they came to attack, in order that no foreigner should, for the future, have the boldness to enter upon their lands. But the others maintained that peace was the only means to repossess their goods and to recover the prisoners; that if they came to blows, they would have to apprehend a greater misfortune than the first; fire, the loss of their corn which was still standing, the entire ruin of the province, and the death of many of their people; that since these enemies had come so far to them, through so many difficult perils and brave people, they could not reasonably doubt their valor; that therefore, without having other proofs of it, it was necessary to declare for peace; and that if it was not beneficial, they could then break it much more advantageously than they could now make war. This opinion was the strongest, and the cacique, concealing his resentment, demanded of the envoys of the general what they expected in consideration of the peace for which they had manifested so much desire. They replied, their lodgings in the town and provisions to proceed. Chisca consented to everything on condition that they should set at liberty those of his subjects whom they had taken; that they should restore all the plunder, and should not enter into his house; that otherwise they would have but to prepare to fight to the last extremity. The Spaniards accepted the peace upon these conditions. They released the subjects of Chisca because they did not lack Indian servants; and restored all the booty, which was poor buckskin and some mantles of very little value. Then the inhabitants abandoned the town and what provisions they lead, and the Spaniards remained there six days to treat their sick. The last day Soto obtained permission of Chisca to visit him in his house, where, after leaving thanked him for the favors which he had done to the troops, he retired and continued, the next day, his discovery.



ON leaving the province of Chisca the troops again marched up the river. They made, in four days, only twelve leagues on account of the sick, and arrived at a place where they could cross the river, because it was easy to approach it; and elsewhere, on both sides, the river was bordered with a very thick forest, and the banks so steep that they could neither ascend nor descend them. They remained to make boats at this place, where, at their arrival, there appeared on the other side of the river about six thousand Indians, well armed, and with many boats, to dispute the passage of it. But the next day, four of the most eminent of the troop came on the part of the cacique to visit the general; and after the customary ceremonies they complimented him upon his arrival, and demanded of him peace and his friendship. Soto received them with joy, and sent them back well satisfied. Therefore, during twenty days that the Spaniards were upon the borders of the river, these four Indians served them with all the forces that were with the cacique. Nevertheless, it was impossible to induce him to come to the camp, and he always excused himself in one way or another. So they believed that he had sent to the general only through fear, and to prevent the devastation of his province; for as the time of the harvest, which looked remarkably fine, was near at hand, that caused him much uneasiness.

The Spaniards finished two large boats in fifteen days, because everybody worked at them. And they guarded them night and day for fear lest the Indians should burn them, for they came from all quarters, in boats, to range themselves agaieist our men; then they advanced against them with loud cries and showered upon them arrows. But they were repulsed with musket shots from the entrenchments which were upon the bank of the river. So that, in spite of all their efforts, the Spaniards launched four boats, which could hold one hundred and fifty soldiers and thirty cavaliers, and rowed in the presence of the enemy, who, despairing of hindering them, retired each into his burgh; so that our men safely crossed the river in these boats and in the pirogues which they had taken from the enemy. Then, after having detached the ironworks from their boats, because it was indispensable to deem, they continued their route, and at the end of four days of travel through unpeopled places, they discovered, on the fifth, from the top of an eminen�e, a town of about four hundred houses, upon the banks of a river larger than the Guadalquivir which passes by Cordova. They also saw that the lands about it were covered with corn and a number of fruit trees. The inhabitants of this place, who were informed of their coming, went out to meet them, and offered to the general their property and their persons, and put themselves under his protection. Some time after, there came to him on the part of the cacique, two of the principal persons of the country, who confirmed what the others had said. Soto received them with all the tokens of great kindness, and sent them back to him well pleased.

The capital, the province, and the cacique were called Casquin. The Spaniards stopped six days in the town, because of the provisions which they found there. And after two days of marching they arrived at some small villages where the lord of the country held his court, and which were distant four leagues from the capital in ascending the river. The cacique left these villages, accompanied by his principal subjects, and came to receive Soto,. to whom he offered his friendship and his house; for at one side of his dwelling he had still ten or twelve lodges where dwelt his family with many women and servants. The general received with joy the friendship of the cacique. Nevertheless, for fear of incommoding him, he thanked him politely for his house, and lodged in a garden, where the Indians promptly made huts with the branches of trees, because of the heat of May, in which month they then were. So that the troops commodiously camped, one part in the village and the other in the neighboring gardens.



THE army had been at Casquin three days when the cacique, who was about fifty years of age, accompanied by the most important of his subjects, came to the general. When he had made a very profound reverence he said to him that since the Spaniards always vanquished the Indians he was compelled to believe that they were the favorites of a greater God than theirs. That therefore he had come with the most distinguished of his vassals to beg the general to ask rain of his God; because the fruits of the earth had need of it. Soto replied that although he and those of his suite had been very great sinners, nevertheless they would pray to God, who was the Father of Mercy, to send rain; and at the same time he charged the ship carpenter to make a cross of the highest pine tree that could be found in the province. In fact, they chose one so large and so high that even after having made it round, a hundred men could hardly raise it. In two days they made of it a cross, without taking anything from its height; and they placed it upon a very high knoll on the borders of the river. Afterwards, Soto ordered a procession for the next day; and for fear of a surprise, he commanded that the rest of the army should be under arms. The cacique and the general marched in the procession by the side of each other, followed by many Spaniards and many Indians. They amounted to about a thousand persons. The priests and the monks went before chanting the litanies, and the soldiers responded. They advanced in this order towards the cross, where, as soon as they arrived, they fell upon their knees, and after some prayers, they went with much zeal and humility to adore it, the clergy first, then Soto and the cacique and the rest of the troops.

On the other side of the river there were about fifteen or twenty thousand persons of all ages and sexes; they raised their hands and eyes to heaven, and showed, by their posture, that they prayed God to grant to the Christians the favor which they desired. There were also heard among them cries as of people who wept, to obtain from heaven, as soon as possible, their demand. So that the Spaniards had much joy to see their Creator acknowledged, and the cross adored in a country where Christianity was unknown. Afterwards, the clergy sang the “Te Deum,” and the Spaniards and the Indians returned to the village in the same order that they had come. This lasted, in all, more than four hours. In the mean time our Lord was pleased to show the subjects of the cacique Casquin that he heard the prayers of his servants; for, towards the middle of the following night, it began to rain. Some say that it rained during three entire days, and others six; so that the inhabitants of the province, rejoicing at the favor which God granted them through the means of the Christians, came with the cacique to render thanks to the general for it. They assured him of their service, and declared to him that they held it an honor to depend, absolutely, on him. Soto replied to them, that he was very glad to see evidences of their kind sentiments; but that they were under obligations only to God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and that it was He whom they ought to thank. After that, when the troops had already sojourned nine or ten days in the villages, they left them to continue their discovery. Casquin begged the general to permit him to go with him, and to bring soldiers and porters; the one to escort the army and the other to carry the provisions; because he would have to pass through places where they would find no habitations. The general consented to what Casquin desired; who immediately commanded the bravest of his subjects to hold themselves ready to accompany the Christians as far as the province of Capaha, of which the cacique and the capital bear the same name.



THE lords of Casquin and Capalia had, at all times, been at war with one another. Therefore, the caciques who governed these provinces, at the arrival of the Spaniards, were embroiled. AS that of Capaha was the most powerful, he had always had the advantage of the other, who was shut up within the bounds of his country without daring to leave it for fear of exasperating the cacique Capaha. But when he saw an opportunity to free himself from restraint and to avenge himself on his enemy, by the help of the troops, he levied five thousand men, very active, and in good order, without counting three thousand Indians, loaded with provisions, and very well armed. Then they went forward, in order of battle, towards Capalta, under pretext of discovering some ambuscade, and to take care to choose a good post to lodge the two armies. The Spaniards followed at the distance of a quarter of a league, and continued their route all the day. Then, on both sides, they camped in very good order, and in such a manner that the cavalier scouts passed between the Indian sentinels and the Spaniards. They marched three days in this mariner; and early on the fourth, they arrived at a swamp which separated the provinces of Casquin and Capalta, and of which the bottom was so bad at the borders, and the water so deep in the middle, that they lead to swim more than twenty paces. The men on foot passed it upon wretched wooden bridges, and the horses by swimming. But because of the mud of the shores, they had so much trouble that they remained the rest of the day to cross it; so that the Spaniards and the Indians went but half a league from there, where they camped in very pleasant pastures, and arrived, at the end of three days, upon an eminence from which they saw the capital of Capaha, very well fortified, because it was the key of the province. This town is upon a small eminence, and has some five hundred good houses, and a ditch of ten or twelve fathoms, fifty paces wide in most places, and forty at others. Besides, it was filled with water by means of a canal which they had extended from the place to the Chucagun. This canal was three leagues long, at least as deep as a pike-staff, and so wide that two large boats abreast could very easily ascend and descend it. The ditch, which is filled by the canal, surrounds the town, except in a place which is closed by a palisade of large posts fixed in the ground, fastened by other cross-pieces of wood, and plastered with loam and straw. There were, besides, in this ditch, and in this canal, such a quantity of fish that all the Spaniards and Indians, who followed the general, fished from it without it appearing that they had taken a single fish from it.

The cacique Capaha was in the town when the Indians, who accompanied the troops, discovered it. But as he lacked people to defend it, he retired into an island which the Cbucagua makes. Those of the inhabitants who were able to have boats followed him; a part of the others gained the woods, and the rest remained in the place. Nevertheless, there yet escaped some of them, because the vassals of Casquin apprehended that those of Capaha had laid ambushes for them; and remembering that they had been many times vanquished by them, they feared them, and did not enter at first but cautiously into the town. But upon the certainty that there was no danger, they ran in crowds into the place; slew more than a hundred and fifty inhabitants; took off their heads as a mark of their victory, and pillaged the town — particularly the houses of the cacique. They took, besides Many young men, two of his wives, who were very beautiful, and who had not been able to escape with the others, on account of the confusion in which the arrival of the enemy had placed them.



AFTER the vassals of Casquin had pillaged the town, they called one another, and, with the design of barbarously offending Capaha, who was high-spirited and proud, they entered the temple where was the sepulchre of his ancestors, and carried off all its riches. They overthrew the trophies which had been erected of their spoils, broke the coffins, and scattered on all sides the bones of the dead. Then, through rage, they trampled them under their feet, took away the heads of their people that were upon the ends of lances at the doors of the temple, and put in their places those which they had cut from the inhabitants of Capaha. Finally, they omitted nothing that could mortally offend their enemies. They even deliberated about burning the temple and the houses of the cacique, and were prevented only because they feared to offend Soto, who arrived after this disorder. When he learned the retreat of the cacique, he dispatched to him some of his subjects, whom they had taken, to solicit peace and his friendship. But the barbarian showed that he breathed but vengeance for the wrong which they had done him, and that he assembled troops to have redress for it. Wherefore, the general commanded the Spaniards and the Indians to hold themselves ready to march towards the island; and thereupon Casquin begged him to wait three or four days, whilst he should bring boats up the Chucagua, which also passed by his lands. Soto consented to this; and immediately Casquin ordered his subjects to come and join him with sixty boats, in order to completely avenge themselves of their enemies. In the mean time, Soto sent each day to Capaha, with the view of malting peace; but as he despaired of succeeding, and as he knew that the boats were advancing, he went with his troops to receive them and repair to the island where Capaha had retired, after having remained five days in the town of the cacique.

The Casquins immediately followed the general, and the better to devastate the lands of their enemy they extended themselves, on the march, about half a league. They found many slaves of their province, the tendons of whose insteps were cut in order to prevent them from escaping; and they sent them back to their country, more to show their victory than to derive any service from them. Then they arrived, with the Spaniards, at the island which the Chucagua forms, where the cacique had fortified himself with good palisades, and where it was difficult to take him because of the woods which were there, and of the brave men who accompanied him, all well armed and resolved to defend themselves courageously. Nevertheless, in spite of all these obstacles, the general made two hundred Spaniards embark in twenty boats, and three thousand Indians in the others, and ordered the attack on the island. But at the moment when they were going to debark, there was drowned a Spaniard named Francisco Sebastien, who had served a long time in Italy. This soldier, wishing to have the honor of being the first to leave the vessel, placed the large end of his lance in the ground and tried to reach the shore. In the mean time, the vessel recoiled; he fell into the water, and went to the bottom because of a coat-of-mail which he wore. Sebastien had never appeared more joyful than the day he lost his life; for, some hours before his misfortune, he agreeably entertained his companions. He told them that his bad luck had led him to America; that he had much more happiness in Italy, where he was treated with great respect, and where he was in need of nothing; that if by chance, in that country, he slew some enemy, he had his spoils, and often a good horse, in place of which, in Florida, he gained by the death of an Indian onlya bow, some arrows, and worthless feathers. He added that nothing grieved him more than the prediction of a famous Italian astrologer, who had assured him that water would be fatal to him. It was therefore, he said, that his destiny had driven him into damnable regions, where he was always engaged in the midst of waters. In this marmer, before his death, Sebastien entertained his companions, who were greatly concerned at his loss. Nevertheless, they landed and fought like true men of courage. They forced the first palisades, driving the enemy as far as the second, which frightened to such a degree the women and servants who were on the island that they ran, with loud cries, to embark; and rowed with all speed along the river. But those who guarded the second palisades defended themselves like lions; for, encouraged by the presence of the cacique, the remembrance of their noble deeds, and the glory of their an. cestors, they fought with desperation, and wounded so many Spaniards and Casquins that they prevented them from advancing further.



WHEN the people of Capaha had sustained the attack of their enemies, they recovered courage, and cried to them that they were cowards; that they ought to bravely prosecute their design and lead them prisoners, since they had had the insolence to sack their village and insult their cacique; but that they should remember the injury they were doing them, and should know that some day they would have redress for it. These words frightened the Casquins, who remembered that they had many times been vanquished by those whom they attacked; so that they abandoned the fight and fled to their boats. Neither the entreaties of the general, nor the threats of their cacique, could retain them. They all, therefore, embarked in disorder, and even wished to carry off the vessels of the Spaniards, that their enemies might not find any to pursue them; but they were prevented by some soldiers who guarded them.After a flight so shameful, the Spaniards knew that they could not resist the multitude of enemies, because they lacked horses. They began to make their retreat in very good order; and as soon as the Indians of the island saw them in small numbers, they came, all in a rage, to attack them. But Capaha, who was wise, and who wished to gain the good-will of the general, in order to hinder, by his means, the Casquins from making more devastations, and to oblige him afterwards to pardon the contempt which he had shown for his friendship, ran, with loud cries, to his subjects and forbid them to do anything to the Spaniards; so that our men safely retired, satisfied with the conduct of Capaha; for, without him, they would all have been cut in pieces. And the next day there came to the general four of the principal Indians, who, after having demanded peace, offered to him their services and their friendship, and entreated him not to suffer their enemies to make more disorder in their country. They also begged him to return to the town of Capaha, and that immediately their cacique himself. would come to assure him of his obedience. Stich are, in a few words, the speeches of the envoys, who made a bow to the sun, another to the moon, and the third to Soto; but they did not render any civility to Casquin, who was present. The general replied to the Indians, that Capaha might come when he pleased; he should be welt received; that he accepted with much joy his friendship, and that he would prevent them in the future from ravaging his lands; that their cacique was the sole cause of all the disorder, because he had always refused peace; but as, for his part, he had generously forgotten all that had passed, he would beg him to do the same. The envoys, contented with this reply, returned to their lord. In the mean time, Casquin was in despair at all this, for he wished that his enemy might be obstinate, in order to have the means of destroying him by the assistance of the foreign troops.

After the departure of the envoys of Capaha, the general resumed his route to the town, and had published that not an Indian nor a Spaniard should, during the march, take anything that should prove prejudicial to the inhabitants of the province; and, when he had arrived at Capaha, he commanded the subjects of Casquin to return to their country, and that there should remain but those whose services were necessary to the cacique, who would not leave the army.

About the middle of the day on which the troops marched, Indians on the part of Capaha came to learn how the general was, and assured him that their cacique would very soon pay his respects to him. At sunset, as Soto was at the village, Capaha dispatched other persons who congratulated him upon his virtues. All these envoys made the accustomed reverences and said what they were ordered to. Soto answered them with civility, and took care that they should he treated very politely, in order that they might know the esteem which he had for them. The next day, at eight o’clock in the morning, they saw Capaha accompanied by a hundred of his principal subjects very spruce in their way. As soon as he had entered the town he went to the temple, where, eoncealing his displeasure, he himself collected the bones of his ancestors, which the Casquins had cast upon the ground, and after having kissed them, he replaced them in the coffins. Then he went to the lodge of the general, who left his room to receive him, and embraced him with much affection. The cacique assured him that he came to place himself and his province under his authority. Soto rejoiced at that, kindly thanked him for it, and then he inquired about the nature of the country and the neighboring lands. Capaha replied with intelligence, and showed wisdom in all his remarks. This cacique was then twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, and very handsome.

When the general had ceased to inquire concerning his province, Capaha broke out against Casquin who was present, and told him he ought to be henceforth satisfied to see what he had not imagined and what he had not dared to hope from his own forces; that he was finally avenged of his enemy, and had effaced the disgrace which he had had in the war; that in truth he was indebted for it to the valor of the Spaniards, who would very soon leave his province, and that then he should Suffer for all the outrages received.



UPON the knowledge which the general had of the hate of the caciques, and that after his departure the war would rekindle with intensity between them, he showed them that it was sad that they should destroy one another, and that he was firmly determined that they should agree. He therefore tried at first to calm Capaha, and said that if they had ravaged his lands, he ought to impute the fault to himself; that if he had sent persons to meet the Spaniards, they would have prevented his enemies from making any disorder, and they should not have entered his province; that therefore, he ought not, on his part, refuse to make peace with Casquin; that he entreated them, for his sake, to stifle their resentment; that even should it be necessary, he should command them to obey him upon this occasion, and would regard as an enemy him of the two who should insist upon war. Capaha replied to Soto that the greatest mark he could give of his obedience, was to do what he requested of him, and that he was ready to willingly unite in friendship with Casquin; and thereupon the two caciques embraced each other, but apparently their caresses were constrained. Nevertheless, they did not omit to converse ingeniously with the general concerning Spain and the provinces of Florida. Their conversation lasted until they came to inform him that it was time to dine, and immediately they passed into another room, where the table was set for three. The general placed himself at the upper end, and Casquin at his right, but Capaha civilly remonstrated with Casquin, that as the most distinguished, most powerful, and of a more illustrious nobility, that place belonged to him. Soto, who saw this contest, wished to know the cause of it, and when he lead learned it, he said that without having regard to the advantages which the one had over the other, Capaha ought to have respect for the white hairs of Casquin, and accord to him the place the most honorable; that it was becoming a young lord, well-bred, to have consideration for the aged. Capaha replied that if Casquin was his guest he would willingly concede the first place to him without even having regard to his age, but that eating at the table of a third person, he ought not to lose his rank; and that if he were not jealous of this honor, all his subjects would complain of it; that for these considerations, if the general wished that he should eat with him, he should not suffer him to derogate from his rank nor from the glory of his ancestors; that otherwise it would be better for him to go and dine with his soldiers, who, knowing his conduct, would love him the more for it. Casquin, who wished to appease Capaha, and who knew that this lord was right, arose and said to Soto that Capaha demanded nothing but what was very just, and that he begged him to invite him to take his place; that as for him, he esteemed himself so honored to be at his table, that it was of no importance on which side he sat. As he thus spoke, he passed to the left of the general and calmed Capaha, who, during all the time of dining, did not show any resentment. These circumstances show that even among barbarians, the rank which gives title is something of importance. The Spaniards were astonished at the proceedings of these two chiefs, for they never would have believed that the Indians would have been so sensitive upon the point of honor.

As soon as the general and the caciques had dined, there were brought in the two wives of Capaha, who, the preceding day, had been set at liberty with the other prisoners. This cacique received these two ladies very civilly, and then begged the general to accept of them for himself, or at least to give them to some of his officers, because they must no longer live in his house nor upon his lands. The general, who did not wish to refuse Capaha for fear of offending him, replied that he willingly accepted the agreeable present which he made him. These women were indeed very beautiful, and because of that they were so much the more surprised at the conduct of the cacique, who was in the bloom of life. But they believed that he had an aversion to these ladies because he suspected that they had been defiled by his enemies, whose prisoners they had been.



THE general inquired of the caciques and of their subjects where they could find salt, because many soldiers died for want of it, and by good luck he met with eight Indian merchants who traded it through the provinces, and who asserted that there was some in the mountains at forty leagues from Capaha. They also said that there was found there that yellow metal of which they had spoken to them. Our people rejoiced at this news. Moreno and Silvera,who were careful and wise, offered to go with the merchants and find out the truth of all these things. The general immediately dispatched them with orders to notice the quality of the land through which they should pass; and Capaha had them escorted by Indians, and gave them pearls, deer-skins, and beans to purchase gold and salt. Then they left, and at the end of eleven days they returned with six loads of fossil salt, clear as crystal, which gave great joy to the Spaniards. They also brought back some copper, very yellow, and said that the country whence they came was sterile and very poorly populated. Upon this report Soto resumed the route to the town of Casquin, in order, from there, to direct his course towards the west and to explore its lands, for from Mauvila he had always marched directly to the north, in order to place himself at a distance from the sea. He refreshed himself five days at Casquin, and then marched four days down the river through a country fertile and populated, and arrived at the province of Quiguate. The cacique and his subjects came to meet him, and received him courteously. But the next day they begged him to advance as far as the capital, with the assurance that he would be much better served there. The general believed what they told him, and continued five days his journey, descending along the river through places abounding in provisions, and on the fifth arrived at the capital named Quiguate, which gives the name to the province. The town was divided intothree quarters. The Spaniards lodged in two, and the Indians in the third, where was the house of the cacique. Two days after the arrival of the troops, these barbarians ran away without the cause of it being known, and returned at the end of a couple of days to ask pardon for their fault. The cacique excused himself in regard to it, that he expected to return the same day. But they believed that he had returned only through fear that the Spaniards, on their departure, would set fire to the town and to the corn; for evidently he had left with a bad intention, since his subjects, during their flight, caused all the mischief they could. They placed themselves in ambush and wounded two or three Spaniards. However, the general, who did not wish to break with the Indians, did not manifest to them any concern about it.

One of the nights while the Spaniards remained at Quiguate, an aide of the sergeant-major went out at midnight to seek the general, and told him Juan Gaitan, whom he had commanded to patrol a part of the second watch, had refused to obey, under pretext that he was the treasurer of the emperor. This disobedience piqued Soto so much the more as Guitan was one of those who, at Mauvila, had formed the plan to abandon Florida. Then Soto, quite enraged, went to the middle of the court of his lodge, which was elevated, and whence he could easily be heard by the soldiers who were in the neighborhood. There he said that it was a shame that they should mutiny every day, and that they would not do their duty under pretext that they were treasurers of his majesty; that besides he could not comprehend these people who desired to return to Spain or to Mexico, never being able to appear there but as cowards; that they knew that, on the point of rendering themselves masters of a vast and fertile country, they had basely abandoned him; that, as he could not endure that they should make them a reproach so injurious, because it would recoil, in part, upon himself, they therefore must not think of leaving Florida whilst he lived, because he had resolved either to die there gloriously or to conquer it completely; that no one must any longer, under pretext of his office, imagine himself exempt from doing that which should be ordered him, that otherwise he would cut off the head of the first who should disobey. These words, pronounced in an imperious tone full of resentment, made the mutineers and disaffected return to their duty, for they knew that the general was strict and severe, and that after having publicly expressed himself, his menaces were to be feared.



THE Spaniards sojourned six days at Quignate; they left the seventh, and after marching five days down along the river, which passes by Casquin, they arrived at the capital of the province of Colima. The cacique received Soto with the greatest manifestations of affection; and this reception rejoiced our men, who were extremely concerned about what had been told them that the inhabitants of Colima poisoned their arrows. They despaired of being able to resist them; for without using poisoned arrows these barbarians were already too strong in battle. But they learned, with joy, that they did not shoot poisoned arrows, and they esteemed the more their friendship, which, however, did not last but a very shorttime. For, two days after the arrival of the troops, they mutinied without cause, and retired into the woods with their cacique. After this retreat, the Spaniards remained another day in the town of Colima; whence, when they had collected provisions, they continued their journey through fertile fields, pleasant forests, easy to pass, and at the end of four days arrived at the borders of a river, where the army camped. Afterwards, some soldiers, who went to walk upon the borders of the river, perceived there some sand of an azure color. One of them took some of it, tasted it, and perceived that it wassalty. He informed his companions of it, and said that he believed that they could make saltpetre of it; of which there could be madevery good powder. They, therefore, collected this sand with this intention, and endeavored to select only that which appeared azure. When they had enough of it they threw it into the water; where, after having washed it, they pressed it between their hands in order tostrain it. They then cooked it with a great fire, and converted itinto a pale yellow salt, but very suitable for salting. The Spaniards, rejoiced at this new discovery, refreshed themselves eightdays at Colima, and made a supply of salt. But there were some of them who, notwithstanding the entreaties that were made them,eat so much of it that nine or ten of them died of dropsy. Thus some lost their lives from having an abundance of salt, and others for want of it.

After our men had furnished themselves with salt, they left Colima and marched two days in order to leave the country which they called the Province de Sel. From there they passed into that of Tula. They made three days’ travel through an unpeopled country; and about noon on the fourth they camped in a very pleasant plain at half a league from the capital, where the general would not go, because the troops were tired; but the next day he took sixty foot soldiers, and a hundred horse, and went to reconnoitre this town, which was situated in a flat country between two streams. The inhabitants, who knew nothing of his coming, armed themselves when they saw him; came out against him, and were assisted by many women, who fought very valiantly. Our men immediately broke the enemy, and drove them even into the town, where they entered pell-mell. The fight then grew warm, for the Indians and their women fought to desperation, and all showed that they preferred death to servitude.

Reinoso, during the melee, entered a house and mounted to an upper room. There were, in a corner of it, five Indian women, to whom he made known that he would not do them any injury; but these women, who saw him alone, sprang with fury upon him; some took him by the arms and the legs, some by the neck, and some even by the privy parts. Reinoso, in order to disembarrass himself, struggled and shook himself with violence, and kicked so forcibly that the floor, which was but of cane, gave way; and as one of his feet passed through the hole, he fell upon the floor, where the Indian women treated him cruelly. However, he would not cry for assistance, in the belief that it would be disgraceful for him when it should be seen that women had caused him so much trouble.

While the Indian women were thus outraging Reinoso, another Spaniard entered the room below, and because he heard a noise above, he looked and saw a leg projecting through a hole in the floor. He took it at first for that of an Indian, because it was caked, and raised his sword to cut it; but in the doubt that it might be some disaster, he called two soldiers. They mounted to the room, where, seeing their comrade in a pitiable condition, they attacked the Indian women, and slew all five of them, because not one of them would ever stop biting and striking Reinoso. Thus they saved his life, which he would have very soon lost if he had not been rescued.

This year, 1591, as I finish the History of Florida, I learn that Reinoso still lives, and that he is in the kingdom of Leon, where be was born.

It happened, towards the end of the fight, that Paez, captain of a company of crossbow-men, a very poor horseman, attacked an Indian, who fled. He first thrust at him with his lance. The Indian parried it with a large stick, with which he gave Paez so severe a blow upon the face that he broke all his teeth, and, leaving him completely stunned upon the field, retired with honor.

Then, as it was already growing late, Soto had the retreat sounded, and returned to camp, much surprised at the courage of the Indians, and especially of the Indian women, who fought with more obstinacy than the men. There remained upon the field many barbarians; but on the side of our men there were only the wounded, whom they took to the quarters, and for whom Soto was very sorry.



THE day after the battle the Spaniards entered the capital of Tula. As they found it abandoned, they lodged there, and towards evening the general sent out, in different directions, some cavaliers to scout. They took some Indians who were on watch, but they were unable to draw any answers from them concerning the things which they demanded, nor to make them walk, because they threw themselves upon the ground and let themselves be dragged. Despairing, therefore, of leading them to the camp, they killed them all.

The Spaniards found in the town of Tula many cowhides dressed with the hair on, and made use of them in the place of bed covers. They also found there hides undressed and the flesh of beef, without having seen any cattle or discovered whence the barbarians had brought so many hides.

The men as well as the women of Tula are very deformed. They have the head extraordinarily long and pointed, and they shape theirs in this manner from their earliest infancy to the age of nine or ten years. They also have very ugly faces, because they disfigure them with the points of pebbles, and particularly the lips, which they blacken after leaving punctured them. Thus they render themselves so frightful that one can hardly look upon them without dread. In addition to this, their minds are even worse formed than their bodies.

The fourth night that our men were at Tula, the Indians in great numbers approached it before the break of day, and so silently that the sentinels did not perceive them until they fell upon them. They immediately attacked the camp in three places, and entered with so much fury and speed the quarters of the crossbow-men, that, without giving them time to prepare their crossbows, they compelled them to retire in disorder to the post of Gusman. This captain immediately rushed out and charged the barbarians, who fought with so much the more ardor, as they thought that the resistance which Gusman made might deprive them of the victory.

The Indians and Spaniards fought courageously at the other places, and nothing but shouts were heard everywhere. Besides, the confusion was so great on account of the darkness, that they hit as often upon those of their own party as upon those of the other. Our men, in order to recognize and not wound one another, gave quickly for watchword Santiago, and the Indians Tula.

The most of these barbarians in place of arrows had sticks from five to six feet in length, because the Indian who previously had broken the teeth of Paez had told them what he had done with a stick; so that many of his comrades, hoping a like good luck, armed themselves with sticks, and severely beat with them some Spaniards. Juan Baeca, one of the halberdiers of the general’s guards, was especially abused; for two Indians having seized him, one broke his shield with the first blow of his stick, and the other discharged such a blow upon his back that he stretched him at his feet, and they would have beaten him to death but for some soldiers who hastened to him. There happened many other accidents of the same sort, at which the soldiers afterwards laughed, because they were only the blows of sticks.

The cavalry, whom the enemy feared, broke their battalions, but they did not cease to stubbornly contend; for although the cavaliers pierced them with many thrusts of their lances and put them many times in disorder, they courageously resisted until daylight. But then they retired into a wood adjacent a stream which passed near the town. The Spaniards were very glad of this retreat, for the Indians fought to desperation, and ardently desired the defeat of their enemies. The combat ended with the rising of the sun. Then our men re-entered the camp to cure the wounded, which were in very great numbers; and nevertheless they lost but four men



AFTER the battle some Spaniards went, according to their custom, to see the dead and wounded; and in the mean time Gaspard Caro, who in the melee had lost a horse, mounted that of one of his friends to go and hunt his own, which had fled away into the country. Caro found his horse, and driving him before him, arrived at the battlefield where he met four foot-soldiers, one of whom, named Salazar, wished to show his skill in riding, and mounted the horse which Caro drove. In the meanwhile Juan de Carranca, one of the four foot-soldiers, called out that he had seen an Indian in the bushes near them. The cavaliers immediately advanced, the one on one side and the other on the other, to prevent the barbarian from escaping. Carranca ran to the place where he had seen him, and was followed by his companions, of whom one went with haste after him and the other slowly. The Indian, who saw himself intercepted on all sides, left the bushes and ran at Carranca with a battle-axe which he had won in the attack on the arbalisters. This axe was very well sharpened, and had a handle more than half a fathom long. The Indian took it with both hands and struck so furious a blow upon the shield of Carranca, that he cut half of it away and wounded his arm to such a degree that he put him hors de combat. He then rushed upon another soldier and treated him in the same manner.

Salazar, who was on Caro’s horse and who had seen his two comrades maltreated, attacked with fury the Indian, who, for fear of the horse, gained an oak that was there. Salazar pursued him, approached as near to him as he could, and, with his sword, struck at him several blows in vain. But as the barbarian saw that he could not make use of his bow because of the branches, he left the tree, placed himself to the left of the cavalier, and with his axe discharged such a blow upon the shoulder of the horse that be cleaved it in two. In the mean time, Gongalo Silvestre arrived, who followed at a slow gait in the belief that his companions would easily vanquish the Indian. When he was near, the barbarian advanced boldly, directly at him, and discharged at him a blow with all his force; but Silvestre avoided it with so much skill that the axe only glanced upon his shield, and immediately he gave the Indian a stroke with his sword, the blow of which wounded his breast, face, and forehead and cut off his left wrist. Then the barbarian, enraged at having only one band, threw himself upon his enemy. Silvestre parried with his shield, and with his sword gave him so powerful a stroke at the waist that, encountering neither arms nor clothing, it cut him in two so that he fell dead at his feet.

At the same time Caro arrived, who, sorry to see his horse in the condition in which he was, led him to the general, and, quite in a passion, told him that an Indian, with three blows of an axe, had put hors do combat three Spaniards who prided themselves upon their skill and courage, and that he would have even taken their lives but for Silvestre who had gallantly slain their enemy.

The general, and those who accompanied him, admired the hardihood of the Indian and the valor of Silvestre. But as Caro was too much transported with rage against the three Spaniards, Soto, who knew their merit, told him that their misfortune was the effect of chance, which, in war, favored sometimes one and sometimes another; that he ought not to be so much enraged at the wound of his horse, for that was trifling; that, besides, he wished to see him whom Silvestre had killed; and thereupon he went, with many of his officers, to the place where was the body of the Indian, whose valor surprised them anew after having heard, from the wounded, the particulars of the fight.



WHILST the Spaniards sojourned at Tula they made divers excursions through the province and found it very populous. They captured many Indian women and many Indians of every age. But they could neither by force or gentleness lead them away, for when they wished to compel them to follow they threw themselves upon the ground and only made known that they should leave them or kill them. Our men, who were provoked at their brutal obstinacy, slew the men who were capable of fighting and released the women and children. However, Juan Serrano, through artifice, brought away an Indian woman; but she was so savage that if he cautioned her of her duty she threw at his head the pot, the fire-brands, or whatever she met with. She would have them either leave her alone or kill her, and said that she was not born to obey. Wherefore her master suffered her to do everything according to her fancy. Nevertheless, she ran away, whereat Serrano was very glad.

At the very name of Tula they quiet the children that cry, and the brutal disposition of the inhabitants of this province causes them to be feared by their neighbors. When the Spaniards left this province they carried away a young boy of nine or ten years of age; and when, in the towns which they afterwards discovered, and where they were well received, the children made small companies to fight one against the other, our men ordered the young Indian of Tula to choose one or the other of the parties. Those of his troopimmediately took him for their captain, and at the same time he arranged them in order of battle, and with loud cries attacked the opposite party, which he made fly when he happened to cry Tula! The Spaniards who were present then commanded him to go over to the side of the vanquished and to charge the conquerors. He obeyed, and as soon as he began to cry Tula! his enemies fled, so that on whichever side he placed himself, he always gained the victory.

After the Spaniards had remained twenty days at Tula, on account of their wounded, they left, it, and at the end of two days’ travel they entered the country of Utiangue, with the resolution of passing there the winter, which was approaching. They marched four days through this province, and found the lands of it very good, but poorly populated, and the inhabitants bold; for upon the route they continually harassed the Spaniards by attacks and alarms every half league. At first, they fired at them, from quite a distance, a quantity of arrows, and then fled. But, as they fought in the open field, the cavaliers pursued them and easily pierced them with their lances. However, without losing courage, as soon as they could rally only twenty or twenty-five men, they returned with loud cries to fall upon our men, who charged them vigorously. They also sometimes concealed themselves among the tall grass, the better to surprise the Spaniards. Nevertheless, nothing availed them; they were always beaten. The troops arrived at the capital, which bears the name of the province, and lodged there, for it was abandoned. The general dispatched Indians of the country to the inhabitants of this place, but they would have neither peace nor alliance with the Spaniards. The people of the province of Utiangue are bold, proud, daring, and much better made than those of Tula, for they have neither the disfigured visage nor the monstrous head.

When Soto and his officers saw that there were provisions in the town of Utiangue, that it was situated in a fertile plain watered on both sides by a stream, with pastures around it, and inclosed with palisades, they resolved to take up their winter-quarters there; for, besides that it was already the middle of the month of October, of the year 1541, they did not know whether they should meet elsewhere with so much convenience as in this place. Therefore, they fortified it, and laid in a supply of wood, corn, dried grapes, plums, and other fruits, which they found in abundance. They also killed, hunting, many rabbits, stags, and roebucks, with which they regaled themselves; and they would not have been better off inSpain, nor more comfortable, than in Utiangue. It is true that the winter was severe there, and that it snowed so much that theyremained a month and a half without being able to go out; but the good fires which they made easily protected them from the cold. Indeed, when I come to consider all these conveniences and the excellence of the land of Florida, I cannot approve the conduct of the Spaniards, who would not settle there because they found neither gold nor silver there. But they did not reflect that they did not meet with any of these metals because the inhabitants of the country did not give themselves the trouble to search for them, and did not make any account of them. In fact, they assert that ships having perished upon the coast, and the Indians having found purses full of gold, they carried off the purses, with the view that they might be serviceable to them, and left that which was within them because they did not know the use of it.



THE cacique, who knew that the Spaniards were making their winter-quarters at Utiangue, took the resolution to drive them away. For this purpose, he tried to divert the general with some men whom he dispatched to him by night, and who assured him that the cacique would very soon come to the town. But, under this pretext, they had orders to reconnoitre the troops, in order that, upon the report which they should make of it, they might deliberate upon the means of attacking them with safety. The Spaniards, who did not suspect these Indians, showed them the horses, the arms, and the guard which they kept in the place. In the meanwhile, Soto, informed of the design of the barbarians, told their envoys that they must not enter any more, except by day, into Lrtiangue. But, as they persisted in coming there by night, they believed that they ought to teach them by force to obey, since, in regard to them, gentleness appeared useless. Therefore, Barthelemy d’Argote, who had the order of the general, being one night on guard at the gate of the town, slew one of their envoys who wished to enter to speak to the officers. This action was approved by everybody, and particularly by Soto, for he gave great praise to Argote, who afterwards passed for a brave soldier; and the Indians, who knew that their design was discovered, returned no more to our people.

During the wintering of the troops at Ltiangue, some guarded the place, and others, when the snows had melted, set out to capture Indians, because they needed servants. But because, after seven or eight days of travelling, they returned with but few prisoners, the general chose two hundred and fifty men, as many of cavalry as of infantry, and advanced twenty leagues into the country as far as Naguatex, a fertile and populous province. In this country he surprised, before day, a town where the cacique lived. He took there a sufficiently large number of men and women, and returned afterwards to Ltiangue, where the rest of the army awaited him, and began to fear for him. because it was fourteen days since he had left. But his return dissipated their fear, and they thought only of rejoicing and sharing the prisoners.





AFTER five months’ sojourn at Utiangue, the general left it at the beginning of April of the year 1542, and marched towards the capital of Naguatex, which bears the name of the province. He made in seven days twenty-two or twenty-three leagues in order to go to this town, and passed through very good and very populous lands. Nothing happened to him on the route except that the barbarians attacked him at the passes of the woods and streams, but they fied the moment they opposed them. Our men, therefore, safely arrived at Naguatex, which they found abandoned, and where they remained fifteen days, during which time they traversed the whole province and seized the provisions which they needed with but feeble opposition from the inhabitants.

The Spaniards had been six days in Naguatex when the cacique sent to Soto to apologize for not having awaited him at the town in order to receive him with honor. He also sent him word that he was so ashamed of his conduct that he dared not visit him at present, but that as soon as he should recover from so much confusion, he would not fail of his duty; that nevertheless, he would command his vassals to strictly obey his orders, because he recognized him as his sovereign. The general replied that he was obliged to the cacique for the favor which he did him; that they might assure him that he should be very well received, and that he would be rejoiced to see him. Thereupon the envoys returned, well satisfied with Soto, and the next day, very early in the morning, there came others of them who brought with them four of the principal Indians with more than five hundred servants. They told the general that they presented to him the most important persons of the province to serve him, and to be kept as hostages until the arrival of the cacique. Soto thanked them for this favor, and commanded that no more Indians should be made prisoners. Nevertheless the cacique did not come to see him, and they believed that he had sent these men to the Spaniards only to prevent them from ravaging his lands and seizing his subjects. In the mean time the principal Indians and all the others served the troops with ardor, and only aimed implicitly to please them. The general, who knew their zeal, and also the soldiers who were about to leave, inquired of them concerning the country of Naguatex, and marched as far as another province accompanied by many other Indians whom the cacique sent to him with provisions.



AT the end of two leagues, the Spaniards missed Diego Gusman, a brave cavalier, but a great gamester, who had come to Florida well equipped with everything. The general immediately ordered a halt, and the principal Indians to be arrested until they should hear from Gusman. There were then made, among the Spaniards, inquiries where this cavalier could be, and it was discovered that the day before that in which they searched for him, they lead seen him at the quarters; that four days before, he had gambled away at cards his arms and baggage; that being excited at playing, he lead lost a very charming Indian girl about eighteen years of age, who had fallen to his lot when they divided the prisoners of the province of Naguatex; that he paid all the rest of what he lead lost, but that in regard to this beauty, he had said to him who had won her, that in four or five days he would send her to him; that nevertheless he had broken his promise, and that neither he nor the Indian woman appeared any more; so that they suspected that he had retired among the barbarians because of the shame which he had for having played for his equipage, and lost this young woman whom he loved; in fact, they no longer doubted it, when they knew that the Indian woman was the daughter of the cacique. Therefore, Soto, who esteemed Gusman, ordered the chief Indians to send for him in haste; that otherwise they should believe that they bad had him assassinated; and that he, in order to punish so black a crime, should put to death them and all their people. These poor Indians, for fear of losing their lives, sent promptly where they thought they might learn some news of Gusman; and their messenger, who went and returned in a day, reported that he was with the cacique, and that he had sworn to them that he would never return to the Spaniards. Thereupon the general replied that he could not give faith to that, and that assuredly the leading Indians had killed him. One of them then gravely replied, and said, in a tone quite unlike that of a prisoner, that he bad too much honor to he; that in order to be more certain of that which they had reported to him, they begged him to set at liberty one of their companions who might go to the Indians. That they would promise him that his cavalier should return to the camp with their comrade, or that he should declare his final resolution. That he might take only the trouble to order him, by letter, to return or reply by a note; and that he might judge by that whether the cavalier was living. They added, that, if their companion did not return in the manner in which they assured him, the three others would submit to lose their lives; but that they had so high an opinion of the prudence of the general, that they were convinced that he would not carry his resentment against We others, but upon them; and that even he would never consent that three persons of rank should die for a soldier who had cowardly deserted without being compelled by any inhabitant of the province. Soto and his captains agreed to all that the Indian had proposed, and ordered him to go to Gusman; and Gallego, who was loved by this cavalier, to write to him his sentiments concerning the imprudence he had committed, and to induce him to return; that they would restore to him all his equipage; and that, in one word, he should never want for anything.

The Indian, at the same time, left with the letter of Gallego, and the order of the general, who requested the cacique to return to him his soldier, or that he would vow to destroy everything, and to kill all the Indians who were in his power. When Gusman had seen what was commanded him, he wrote his name with charcoal to make known that he was living; and desired the envoy to assure the Spaniards that he would never return to them. And immediately the cacique replied, that as Gusman was free to remain upon his lands, he, therefore, would not force him to leave them; that in consideration of the favor which he had done him in. having brought back to him his daughter, he would always treat him very kindly, and would conduct himself in the same manner towards the Spaniards, who should settle in his province; that, after all, Soto would never be praised for putting to death the subjects of a person who received his people with friendship; that, nevertheless, he should speak to him no more on the subject, and that he might do with them as he pleased. The general, who knew the obstinacy of Gusman, and that the cacique spoke like a man of honor, determined to continue on, and to release the principal Indians and the porters when they all had accompanied him as far as the other province. However, it must be agreed that love and gambling blind men greatly, since they oblige them to abandon themselves to their own enemies.



OUR men marched five days through the country of Naguatex, and arrived at the province of Guacane, of which the people were very different from their neighbors. Those of Naguatex were gentle, civil, and friends of the Spaniards; and the inhabitants of Guacane, barbarous, and their sworn enemies. In fact, instead of making an alliance with them, they showed, on every occasion, that they hated them, and many times offered them battle. But our men always declined it, because they had lost more than half their horses, and because they did not wish to expose the others to the fury of the enemy. Therefore, in order not to have any occasion for coming to an engagement with them, they doubled their march, and traversed, in eight days, the province of Guacane. They saw, in this province, wooden crosses upon most of the houses; because those of this province had heard of the great things which Nugnez and his companions had done in the name of Jesus Christ in the regions of Florida, where they had been whilst they were in the power of the Indians. Nevertheless, neither Nugnez nor his companions ever penetrated as far as Guacane, or into many other countries where their reputation was known. But fame had published, from one province to another, the miracles which they had worked by the power of God in favor of the sick whom they cured with the signs of the cross. Thus the inhabitants of Guacane, astonished at these marvels, imagined that by putting crosses upon their houses they would guarantee themselves from every danger; and by that we may learn what facility there is to convert to the faith the people of Florida; and that example is more powerful than force and violence to lead them to virtue.



THE general left Guacane with the intention of returning to the Chucagua by a different route from that which he had taken, and to make a longer tour, in order to discover other provinces. The object which he had was, to establish himself in Florida before diseases and battles should entirely ruin his army. He was, besides, vexed not to have reaped any fruits from the trouble which he had taken, and was still taking every day, to make new discoveries. Therefore, he ardently desired that Florida, which is vast and fertile, should be inhabited by the Spaniards, and especially by those who accompanied him. He was of opinion that if he should die without commencing his settlement, there could not be assembled in many years as brave troops as his own. He, therefore, repented of not having settled himself in the country of Achussi, and wished to repair the fault which he had made. But as he was far from the sea, and would lose time in seeking a port, he resolved that upon his arrival at the Chucagua he would build a town upon the banks of that river; that he would build two brigantines, the charge of which he would give to faithful persons, who would descend the river as far as the sea, in order to go and inform the inhabitants of Mexico, Cuba, and other countries, that in Florida they had discovered vast regions abounding in everything. He hoped that, by this means, the Spaniards would flock there from all parts, and would bring what was necessary for a colony; which could easily have been executed if death had not interrrupted such glorious designs.

The general, on leaving Guacane, traversed seven other countries to arrive at the Chucagua, and to begin in the spring to settle himself. But, because they progressed by long journeys, the Spaniards did not inquire the names of the provinces, of which four abounded in provisions and were very agreeable, because of the orchards and streams which they met with there. As for the three others, they were neither fertile nor pleasant, and it was believed, also, that the Indian guides had led the troops through the worst and least attractive places. The general was very well received through all this extent of country, so that our men passed very successfully through these provinces, which were probably at least one hundred and twenty leagues across. Finally, they arrived at the frontier of the country of Anilco, and accomplished thirty leagues, as far as to the capital, which bears the name of the province and of the cacique. It is upon the borders of a river wider than the Guadalquivir, and has about four hundred good houses, with a beautiful square in the middle. The dwelling of the caciqueis upon an eminence which commands the town. This lord was, at the arrival of the troops, in front of this place at the head of a battalion of fifteen hundred men, the �lite of his subjects. The Spaniards, who observed the deportment of the Indians, made a halt to await the soldiers, who followed in the rear, and promptly arranged themselves in order of battle. In the mean while, Anilco ordered that the women should retire, and that each one should save the most valuable things he had, and at the same time our army advanced to attack, but the barbarians fled without shooting an arrow. Some entered the town, and the greater part crossed the river in little boats and upon rafts, and a few by swimming, for they had no intention to fight, but only to arrest the enemy, to favor those who carried off their goods. Our men, when they saw that the Indians fled, charged upon them and captured a few upon the banks of the river, and took in the town many women and children who had not been able to escape. The general afterwards sent to offer peace and his friendship to Anilco, and to request of him the honor of his good offices. But he would not reply, and only made with his hand a sign to the envoy that he might retire. The Spaniards lodged in the town, where they remained four days. In the mean time, they furnished themselves with little boats and rafts, and crossed the river without having been interrupted by the Indians. Then they marched four days through unpeopled lands, and entered the country of Guachoia.



AFTER the crossing of this wilderness, the first habitation which the Spaniards found was the capital of Guachoia. It bears the name of its province, and is upon the banks of the Chucagua, situated upon two eminentes separated by only a level platform, which serves for the public square of the town, consisting of three hundred houses, half upon one of these hills and half upon the other. The house of the cacique is upon the highest of these two eminences. Our men surprised Guachoia, because those of Anilco, who were at war with the inhabitants of this town, did not inform them of the march of the troops. The cacique and his subjects, astonished at the sight of the army, and seeing that they could not resist, took to flight and retired to the Chucagua, which they crossed in boats, with their women, children, and the best of what they had. The Spaniards took possession of the town, where they took lodgings, because there was there a quantity of fruit and corn.

As I have already said that the greater part of the provinces through which they passed were the enemies of one another, I am going to relate here in what manner the inhabitants of these divers countries make war. The Indians of one province do not fight those of another through an unruly ambition to seize upon their country, nor raise an army to deliver battle. They only lay ambuscades for one another, and plunder while fishing and hunting; ina word, everywhere where they meet with an advantage. They also sometimes kill and sometimes take prisoners; but of those who are taken, some are exchanged for others, and the rest remain slaves, the tendons of the instep of one of whose feet they cut, in order to prevent them from escaping. And if, by chance, war suddenly breaks out, they lay waste the lands of their enemies, set fire to the towns, and retire. Such is the way in which the inhabitants of Florida fight, province against province, and become valiant and hold, because they are perpetually at war, and always under arms or in practice. But because divisions prevail among them, and ordinarily the cacique of one country is embroiled with all his neighbors, it is certain that the conquest of the whole country will be on account of it the more easy, and that the discord which they entertain will some day cause their ruin.

To return to our men. After they had refreshed themselves three days in the town of Guachoia, the cacique, whom they call from the name of his country, having learned that Anilco lead refused to make peace with the Spaniards, wished to profit by the opportunity which fortune presented to him of avenging himself of his enemies. He therefore dispatched to the general four of the principal men of his province, with many porters loaded with fruit and fish. They entreated Soto to pardon their cacique the error he had made in not having awaited at Guachoia to receive him with honor; that now he acknowledged him for his lord; and that if he obtained permission to come in person to assure him of it, he would repair in four days to the quarters. Soto, rejoiced at this news, charged the envoys to say to their master that he was obliged to him; and that, as he particularly esteemed his friendship, he might give himself the trouble to come and see him when it pleased him, and that he would be welcomed. The Indians, satisfied with this answer, returned with it to the cacique. During three days that he deferred repairing to the camp, he sent, each day, seven or eight persons to pay his compliments to the general; that through them he might artfully discover whether the Spaniards change their disposition, and whether it would be prudent for him to visit them. But when he knew that they would treat him well, he came about noon to the quarters, accompanied by his principal subjects, all decked with plumes, and very gayly dressed, after the fashion of the country.



WHEN the general learned that Guachoia had arrived in the town, and that he was coming to visit him, he left his room to meet him at the door of the lodge. There he paid his respects to him and all those who accompanied him; then he passed with them into a hall, where he and the cacique, by means of an interpreter, conversed regarding the neighboring provinces, and all that which might retard or advance the conquest of the country. During which time the cacique sneezed, and immediately the Indians of his suite, who were ranged against the walls of this hall, bowed and extended their arms; they also showed their respect to the cacique in several other ways, and all said politely : “May the sun be with you, enlighten, defend, and preserve you.” The Spaniards were surprised that they had as much politeness among barbarians as among the most polished people, and believed that there were certain customs which were generally observed by all the world.

Then when they had conversed enough, dinner was served, and the cacique dined with Soto, the Indians standing around them until the end of the repast. These Indians then went to dine in another room which they had prepared for them; and towards evening they gave an apartment to the cacique, with some men to serve him. The others retired to the other side of the river, and returned to pay theircourt to their lord, and never failed to do it whilst the Spaniards sojourned at Guachoia.

During these affairs the cacique, who was artful, told the general that he ought to return to the province of Anilco, abounding in every convenience. That he offered himself to accompany him therewith the greater part of his subjects. That to facilitate the passage of the river, which bears the name of this country, he promised to send for more than eighty boats which would descend seven leagues by the Chucagua to the mouth of the Anilco which empties into this river. That then they would ascend by the Anilcoas far as the town of the same name. That in all there would not be more than twenty leagues; and that while the vessels descended and ascended, the rest of the troops might go by land and that theyall would arrive together at their destination. The general suffered himself to be persuaded, because he wished to know if the provinceof Anilco would be convenient for the design which he had. He wished, besides, to establish himself peaceably between this country and that of Guachoia, in the belief that this place would be favorable to him to wait for the news from Mexico, whither he had resolved to send. But Guachoia had very particular views which were not known. He intended, by the assistance of the Spaniards, to avenge himself of the cacique Anilco, who, in all of the engagements,had gained the advantage of him. So that when he had engaged the general to return to the province of Anilco, he caused to be brought all the boats which he had promised, and then Soto ordered Gusman and his company to embark with four thousand Indians and many rowers armed with bows and arrows. This captain therefore entered into these boats with all these troops, and descended the river. Immediately the general, with all the other Spaniards, and Guachoia, with two thousand of his subjects, marched by land accompanied by a great number of Indian porters, and all arrived at the same time, in view of the town of Anilco where the cacique was not at that time. Nevertheless, the inhabitants bravely disputed the passage of the river, but when they saw that it was impossible for them to resist longer, they took to flight and abandoned the place. The subjects of Guachoia entered with fury, pillaged and ransacked the temple where was the sepulchre of the lords of the province, with the wealth of Anilco. In this temple were the arms and the ensigns which the subjects of Anilco had won from their neighbors; and at the doors were seen, upon lances, the headsof the most important vassals of Guachoia. But the people of this cacique took off these heads and quickly put in their places those of some of the subjects of Anilco. They recovered the ensigns, overturned the coffins, trod upon the dead in revenge of the outrages which they had formerly received from them, and slew all without sparing age or sex. But they principally exercised their cruelty upon the suckling infants and upon the old men; they first tore from the latter their clothes, and shot them to death with arrows which they generally aimed at the parts which show the difference of the sex. As for the infants they threw them by the legs into the air, and shot them to death with their arrows before they fell to the ground.



SOTO, informed of the cruelties which the people of Guachoiadid, was extremely offended at it, for the design which he had of returning to the province of Anilco was very contrary to this barbarity. In order, therefore, to arrest the devastation, he bad the retreat immediately sounded, cursed the cacique for all the misfortune, and commanded the interpreters to publish that, under penalty of death, none should make a conflagration or maltreat any more the subjects of the cacique of Anilco. Nevertheless, because the general feared that the vassals of Guachoia might secretly execute all that rage inspired them to, he left the town of Anilco and took his route to the river, and ordered the Spaniards to make the people of Guachoia advance in haste, for fear lest they should loiter behind and put to death their enemies. When he reached the river he embarked with all the troops for the town of Guachoia. But hardly had he proceeded a quarter of a league when he perceived the town of Anilco on fire, for the barbarians, who had not dared to burn it after the prohibition of the general, had maliciously put burning coals to the corners of the houses, which were only of straw, so that at the least gust of wind the fire took there, and in a moment all was in flames. The general would have returned to prevent the town from being entirely consumed, but when he saw that the Indians of the neighborhood ran there, he continued his route and went to Guachoia, where he discharged all the care of the troops upon his captains, in order to apply himself wholly to his designs. He then commanded to be cut timber fit for vessels; and to be collected cordage, gum, and iron works, in order to construct the brigantines. But as he hoped God would do him the favor to preserve him until he had accomplished what he desired, he had already fixed upon the officers and soldiers in whom he confided the most, for the management of the vessels which he should send to Mexico. He had also resolved that after the departure of the brigantines he would pass with the boats of the cacique of Guachoia to the other side of the river, into the country of Quigualtanqui. He knew through the means of his couriers that this country was fertile and populous, and that the capital, which consisted of some five hundred houses, was not very far from the camp. He had already sent to the cacique who held his court in this town which bears the name of the province and of its lord. But this cacique had insolently replied to the envoys who requested peace of him, that very soon he would exterminate all the Spaniards; that they were robbers and vagabonds; that he would have them hung to the highest trees to be a prey to the birds; and that he had sworn by the sun and by the moon, his divinities, never to contract an alliance with a nation so detestable. Soto, who was wise, had this barbarian spoken to with amity, so that he obliged him to change his language and sentiments. However, Soto, being informed that all the appearances of the friendship of this cacique were deceitful, and that he, with the lords of the neighboring provinces, conspired against the Spaniards, held himself upon his guard in the hope of some day chastising this perfidy. For he still commanded more than six hundred men, cavalry and infantry. He had resolved to lead them into the town of Quigualtanqui, and to live there the remainder of the summer and the next winter until he had received the assistance which he expected from Mexico, and which they could easily send by ascending the Chucagua, capable of bearing all the vessels that might have come.



AT the time when Soto thought only of the means of settling himself and drawing some fruits from his labors, he was attacked the 20th of June, 1542, by a fever which at first appeared a small affair, but which increased so very much that he himself judged it mortal. He therefore began, the third day of his sickness, to resign himself entirely to the will of God. He made his will, and confessed himself with much devotion and sorrow for his sins. Then he took the precaution to have summoned his officers, and when he had appointed in their presence Louis de Moscoso d’Alvarado as general, he commanded them, in the name of the emperor, to obey him whom he had chosen in order to command them until his majesty should send them orders to the contrary. Thereupon he took their oaths according to the forms, and added that Moscoso possessed the qualities of a great captain. Afterwards he commanded them to bring to him by threes, the soldiers whom he esteemed the most, and the others by thirties. He commanded them to labor as much as they could for the conversion of the infidels, and to sustain the honor of the crown of Spain, and above all to preserve peace among themselves. As soon as he finished these words he embraced them and bade them adieu with much emotion on his part and tears on theirs. He passed five days thus conversing with one and another, and on the seventh, when he rendered up his spirit, he began to invoke the Virgin and to pray to her to intercede for him with her Son. Soto died, aged forty-two years, after having expended in the conquest of Florida, more than a hundred thousand ducats He was born at Villa Inneva de Barca-Rotta, and was of a very noble family. He was a little above the medium height, had a cheerful countenance, though somewhat swarthy, and was an excellent horseman; fortunate in his enterprises, if death had not interrupted the course of his designs; vigilant, skilful, ambitious; patient under difficulties; severe to chastise offences against discipline, but ready to pardon others; charitable and liberal towards the soldiers; brave and daring, as much so as any captain who had entered the new world. So many rare qualities caused him to be regretted by all the troops.



THE Spaniards, who ardently loved Soto, very much regretted not being able to give him an honorable funeral. They considered that if they should inter him with pomp, the Indians who would learn the place of his burial, would come to disinter him and would commit upon his body all the barbarities which hate would inspire. They bad indeed thus acted toward many soldiers and committed upon them all sorts of indignities. They had hung some and put others, quartered, upon the highest trees. and very probably they apprehended that they would be transported with more cruelty against the general than against the others, in order to highly insult the troops in his person. Therefore the Spaniards, in order to prevent them from knowing the place where he should be interred, resolved to bury him by night. They chose, near Guachoia, a place in a field where there were many ditches which the inhabitants of this town had made in getting dirt; and they put in one of these trenches the body of Soto, over which they again shed many tears. The next day in order to thoroughly conceal the place of his sepulchre, and to disguise their sorrow, they spread a report that the general was better. They mounted their horses as through joy that he had recovered his health, and, as in public festivals, they caracoled a long time over the trench, in order to conceal it from the barbarians, and hide from them, in some manner, the body of their commander. In order the better to succeed in their design, they even directed that before the races, they should, after having filled all the trenches to the same level as that of the general’s, cast a quantity of water there upon pretence of preventing the horses from raising a dust in running. Nevertheless, notwithstanding all these precautions and feints, the Indians suspected the death of Soto and the place where he was, for when they passed over these trenches, they suddenly stopped and fixed their eyes upon the place of his burial. Our men began again to fear for the general, and agreed to take him from the trench and give him, for a grave, the Chucagua, of which beforehand they wished to know the depth; therefore, one evening, Aniasco, Cardenioso, and others, in order to sound the river, pretended to go a-fishing, and reported that there were nine fathoms of water in the middle. They immediately resolved to put there the body of Soto, but as there were no stones in the province to sink it to the bottom, they cut a very large oak which they sawed, and hollowed on one side to the height of a man; and the night following, Aniasco and his companions disinterred the general without noise and put him in the hollow of this oak over which they nailed a covering. They then carried it on the river to the place where they had sounded, and it went immediately to the bottom. Carmona and Coles, who relate this circumstance, add that when the barbarians no longer saw Soto, they inquired for him, and that in order to deceive them, they answered that God had sent for him in order to give him orders for important affairs, and that at his return, which would be in a short time, he would bravely execute them.



AFTER the death of Soto not one of his officers had the courage to prosecute the design which he had of settling in Florida. Therefore they resolved to abandon the country where the love and respect which they bore their general had retained them all. But the most blamable are those who ought to have opposed so cowardly a resolution, and who, nevertheless, were the first tosupport it. In fact, Aniasco, who had fortunately contributed to the discovery of many provinces, and who was bound in honor to achieve a conquest so illustrious and so useful to all Spain, offered himself to lead all the troops to Mexico. As he prided himself upon being an excellent geographer, he flattered himself that he would easily conduct them into that kingdom, and dreamed not of the forests and deserts which it would be necessary to cross before reaching there. For the desire which he had of leaving Florida rendered all things easy to him. The other Spaniards, whom he had offered to lead to Mexico, also believed that nothing would arrest them on their journey; because the eager desire which they had to abandon their conquest blinded them; and because they hated Florida on account of not having found there either gold or silver. They were likewise led to quit their enterprise because of a report which the Indians had circulated, that not far from where the army was, there were other Spaniards who were subjugating theprovinces which were to the west. Our men, who too easily gave faith to these reports, said that these strangers, of whom the barbarians spoke, were troops from Mexico, and that they ought to goand join them to assist them in their design. Thereupon they left Gnachoia, the fourth or fifth of July [1542], and took their course towards the west; determined not to go out of their way neither tothe one side nor to the other. They imagined that following this line they would come straight to Mexico; not considering that they werein different latitudes. They made, by long journeys, more than a hundred leagues through new provinces; and did not inquire thenames nor the quality of the land of these regions. But it is certain that they were not fertile nor populous as the other countries of Florida which they bad before discovered.



I SHALL here quit for a moment the course of my history in order to report a thing very remarkable concerning the superstition of the barbarians. When the Spaniards left Gnachoia they were followed by an Indian from sixteen to seventeen years of age, handsome as are ordinarily the inhabitants of this province. The valets of General Moscoso, whom he had joined, for some time, determined to hinder him from continuing on, and even prepared to drive him from their company. But when they saw that they could not get rid of him, they apprehended that he was a spy and informed their master of it. He therefore sent this Indian to the presence of Ortis, who demanded of him, by command of the general, what induced him to leave his parents to follow strangers. He replied that they saw a poor young man, who had been abandoned from his infancy, and to whom neither father nor mother had left anything; so that one of the principal lords of the province, moved with pity, had received him into his house and had raised him with his children. But that, when this generous benefactor had taken sick and died, they chose him to be buried alive with him; because they said that he was loved by him so much that he ought to accompany him to the other world, in order to serve him there in his wants. That as for him, he acknowledged that he was truly obliged to this lord, but not to such a degree as to suffer that they should put him alive with him in his tomb. That, therefore, in order to escape so cruel a death, he had followed the troops; preferring to be a slave to dying so cruelly. The general, and those who were present at this narration, learned that the custom of rendering the last duties to persons of rank was observed in Florida as in the other countries which they bad discovered in the new world. In fact, under the reign of the incas of Peru, they ordinarily interred with the sovereign and the great lords the wife and the servant whom they had loved the most.

All these people believe in the immortality of the soul and another world, where virtuous people are crowned with glory and rewarded for their good deeds, and the wicked punished for their crimes. They call the heaven Hamampascha, from a word which signifies the upper world; and hell, Ucupacha, from a word which means the lower world. As for the devil, they call him Cupai, to whom, they said, went the wicked.



I RETURN to where I left off my history. The Spaniards, after a journey of more than a hundred leagues, arrived at the province of Anche. The cacique of this country gave them quarters, and received them apparently with great manifestations of friendship. They recruited themselves two days in the capital, which bears the name of the province; where, when they were informed of the route that they should take, they learned that at two dais’ journey from this town, there was a desert of four days’ passage. The cacique, therefore, gave them porters loaded with corn for six days, with a guide whom he commanded to lead the troops by the shortest route to the inhabited lands. They left Anche with these Indians, and fortunately arrived at the wilderness; through which they marched by a highway which gradually diminished until it was entirely lost. Nevertheless, they did not cease to advance six days without keeping any road; for the Indian who guided them made them believe that he led them in this manner in order to shorten the route. But when they saw that they were not getting out of the woods, and that for three days they had eaten nothing but herbs and roots, they noticed more closely their guide, and discovered that he maliciously conducted them sometimes to the north, sometimes to the west, then to the east, and sometimes to the south. The general immediately commanded this Indian to be called, and to be asked what had caused him to mislead the Spaniards eight days; he who at Anche had promised to put them, in four days, out of the wilderness. To that, at first, he replied so unreasonably, that Moscoso, angry to see his troops in so pitiable a condition, had him bound to a tree, and ordered the greyhounds to be let loose upon him. When he saw that he was about to be devoured, he bugged that they would take off the dogs, and that he would disclose all that he had kept concealed. They granted his request, and he declared that he had done nothing but by the command of his cacique, who had told him, that not having sufficient forces to fight openly the Spaniards, he had determined to make way with them by artifice; that to succeed in this undertaking he had chosen and ordered him to mislead them in such a manner that they might perish with hunger in the forest; that if he succeeded in his object, he had promised him great rewards; if not, he might rely upon being unmercifully put to death; that he was, therefore, thus forced to obey his cacique, and to do that which they themselves would have done in like circumstances; that, therefore, his crime was excusable; but that it would be much more worthy of pardon if they would consider the little trouble they lead taken to inform themselves of their route; that if they lead at first spoken to him of it as they had now done, he would have declared everything to them, and would have placed them in the right road. Nevertheless, if they would spare his life, he would in a short time extricate them from the wilderness; and that if he failed in it he would submit to any punishment. The gene. ral and his officers, indignant it this treachery, would not receive his excuses, and all believed that they should no longer trust him. So they let loose the dogs, which tore him in pieces and ate him. But immediately Moscoso and his captains were sorry for it, and saw themselves more in trouble than they had yet been, because they did not know where to find another guide, having then sent back the Indian porters to Anche. However, as they knew that they must perish, or get out of the woods, they took their course towards the west, and marched three days without any provisions, after having been three more with nothing but roots to eat. Afterwards, from the top of a small mountain, they discovered land, inhabitedbut very sterile. The inhabitants had taken to flight, and abandoned the wretched cabins, scattered four and four through the country; for the villages of this country were not like those which,until then, they had seen in Florida. The troops, on their arrival in the province, found the fresh meat of beef, with which they appeased their hunger. They called this country the province of Herdsmen, because of the quantity of cow-hides which they met with there, without, however, having been able to discover this sort of cattle living, or where the Indians of the country caught them.



WHILE the Spaniards were in a plain of the province of Herdsmen, there came out of a forest, near the camp, an Indian, with tall plumes upon his head, bow in his hand, and quiver on his shoulder, who advanced directly towards them. Our men, who saw him in this state, allowed him to approach in the belief that he was an envoy of the cacique to the general. But at some fifty yards from them be put an arrow to his bow and fired upon a company of soldiers who were looking at him However, no one was wounded by it, some having gotten out of the way, and others lain down upon the ground, the arrow passed and struck among five or six Indians who were preparing dinner for their masters. It lilt one of them in the middle of the back, and after having pierced him through, continued on, wounding in the breast another who was opposite thatman, and stopped in his body. This poor Indian fell dead, as wellas his companion. At the same time the barbarian fled, with all hiseiglit, to the forest. The Spaniards cried To arms! Gallego, who by chance was on horseback, perceived the Indian who fled. He understood that they said kill. He spurred after him, reached him near the wood, and gallantly put him to death.

Three days afterwards, when the troops were taking refreshments, two Indians, superbly dressed in the fashion of the country, came in the morning within about two hundred steps of the camp, and there they walked near a walnut tree, one on one side, and the other on the other side, for fear of a surprise.

Moscoso, informed of that, forbid them to molest them, because they were fools and rasli fellows who ought to be ridiculed. They therefore let them walk near the walnut tree until towards evening. The idea of these Indians was that two Spaniards would take a notion to come and attack them. In the mean time, the cavaliers who had set out in the morning returned to the camp a little before night; and as they perceived these Indians near their quarters, they inquired why it was, and learned the order of the general. They all obeyed except Paez, who, wishing to show his courage, said, since these barbarians were fools and rash fellows, it was necessary that one more foolish than they should punish their folly; and thereupon he spurred towards the walnut tree. The Indian who was walking on the side on which the cavalier was advancing marched straight at him, whilst his companion retired under the tree, in order to make known that they desired to fight man to man. Paez rushed against his enemy, who shot so vigorously that, beside his coat of mail which he broke, he pierced his left arm through and through, so that the reins of the bridle of his horse fell from his hands. His companions, who saw this accident, and who hall not yet dismounted, ran at full speed upon these two barbarians, who fled when they saw so many men charge upon them. However, they were taken before they could gain the woods. But on this occasion the Spaniards disregarded the laws of war; since the Indians would not put themselves two against one, it was reasonable that they should have treated them in the same manner.

After these things the troops marched more than thirty leagues through this province of Herdsmen, and when they had succeeded in crossing it, they discovered, to the west, high mountains and dense forests which were solitudes But the general and his officers, whom fatigue and hunger had made wise, resolved not to proceed until they should have first found a sure route to conduct them into an inhabited country. Therefore he commanded four companies of cavalry of twenty-four men each to go by three passes towards the west, in order to explore the country, and ordered them to enter it as far as possible, to go at a distance from each other, and endeavor to learn the character of the land and the disposition of the inhabitants. For that purpose he gave them the most capable interpreters that they could find among those who served the Spaniards. Then they left, and, at the end of fifteen days, when they returned, they all said that they had entered more than thirty leagues into the country, and that they had met with lands very sterile and poorly populated; that the more they advanced the more wretched they were; that the inhabitants of these parts cultivated nothing, and lived only on fruits, herbs, and what they caught by hunting and fishing; finally, that they marched by companies, and wandered from one country to another. Carmona adds that the Indians asserted that on the other side of their province there was a vast extent of level country where fed the cattle whose skins the troops had seen; and that there was, in these quarters, a great multitude of cattle.



ON the report of the cavaliers who had been on this exploration, the Spaniards lost all hopes of going to Mexico by the route which they had taken. Therefore, for fear of getting too far into the wilderness where they all would have died of hunger, they were of opinion to return to the Chucagua, in the belief that the shortest and safest route to get out of Florida was to descend this river and to reach the gulf of Mexico. Therefore they inquired their route to reach the Chucagua. They knew that the shortest was to turn to the right of the route which they had taken in coming; but they would have to traverse many great solitudes; and that, on the contrary, if they turned to the left, it was longest, but they would march through fertile and populous lauds. They therefore took the former route, and turned towards the south, taking care not to involve themselves in difficult places and not to commit any ravages on their route, for fear of irritating the Indians. Nevertheless these barbarians harassed them night and day; for they placed themselves in ambush in the woods near the road, and when there were no woods they laid upon their bellies in the grass, and when the Spaniards were passing they suddenly rose and fired so many arrows that they always wounded some of them. But as soon as they went at them they took to flight, and immediately there come others to the charge, who took the troops on all sides, always with the loss of men and horses; so that, without coming to an engagement, our men were worse treated in this province of Herdsmen than in all those through which they had passed, and especially the last day, because they crossed streams and places which were real cutthroats, where the barbarians sallied out in fury upon them, and where they retreated without the possibility of being injured. The Spaniards lost in this day’s journey several of their men, Indian porters, and horses, and had a great number of soldiers dangerously wounded. One of the most important of these was Saint George, of whom I am going to speak. As this cavalier was crossing a stream where the troops were attacked, an Indian, concealed behind a bush, discharged at him an arrow so violently that after leaving broken his coat of mail, it pierced his right thigh, passed through the saddle-bow, and entered into the body of the horse, which, quite furious, rushed out of the stream, bounded over the plain, and tried, by kicking. to disengage the arrow, and throw his rider. The Spaniards who were then engaged near this soldier ran to his assistance, when they perceived that the arrow lead pinned him to the saddle, and as the troops were camped quite near the stream, they led him to the quarters. Immediately they adroitly raised him, and cut the arrow between the saddle and his thigh. They also unsaddled the horse, and the Spaniards were surprised that a cane arrow, armed only with a cane point, had penetrated so far. Afterwards they laid Saint George upon the ground, and left him to dress his wound himself. Besides the many qualities which he possessed, he had that of curing wounds with oil, raw wool, and words which his companions called charms. He had actually treated some wounds with so much success, that it seemed that God especially favored him in the cures which he made, But when the oil and the raw wool were consumed by the fire at Mauvila, he would no longer cure any one, and even persisted a long time in not taking care of his wounds; for though afterwards he had received a stroke from an arrow, which entered under the foot and came out at the heel, and though by another blow he bad been so dangerously struck in the knee that the point of the arrow had remained there, nevertheless he never undertook to attend to himself but at the last moment, imagining that for the want of oil and raw wool he could not cure himself. I return to the wound which he lead received in his thigh. As he knew that he was on ill terms with the surgeon, who had done him much injury in extracting the arrow from his knee, and as he remembered that he had told him that another time he would sooner die than call him, to which the surgeon had replied that although he should he certain of preserving his life, he should not do it until he had first sent for him; I say, as he remembered that, and as he did not expect any assistance from any one, he took, instead of oil and wool, hog’s fat with the lint of in old Indian cloak, and used it very fortunately for his wounds; for during four days that our men recruited themselves near the stream, he was entirely cured, mounted his horse the fifth, when they continued their march; and in order that they might not doubt of his cure, he began to spur from one side to the other about the troops, crying out that he deserved to lose his life, because, for not leaving consented to treat the wounded in the belief that he would labor in vain, there had died more than one hundred and fifty soldiers.

Finally, the Spaniards left the province of Herdsmen, after having suffered there many misfortunes. They marched twenty days, by long journeys, through other countries, the names of which they did not inquire, and went inclining toward the south. But because they believed they descended more than they ought, to reach Guachoia, where they wished to return, they took to the east, taking care to ascend always a little to the north, and happened to cross a road through which they had passed in going. However, they did not recognize it. They were then in the middle of September, and they had already travelled nearly three months, from the time of their leaving Guachoia, without having failed a single night or day of being attacked. The barbarians during the day placed themselves in ambush and fell upon those who strayed; and during the night they came and alarmed the camp.

It happened also that one time, by favor of the darkness. they dragged themselves upon all fours as far as the camp, where they fired upon the horses and slew two sentinels. A few days afterwards, twelve cavaliers and as many Spanish infantry, who bad need of porters, put themselves in ambush to capture some Indians of those who, at the instant the troops decamped, came to cares off what was left. They posted themselves behind large trees, and upon the highest a sentinel, with orders to give them notice as soon as he discovered anything, which he successfully did; for they tools fourteen Indians, whom they divided among themselves. But afterwards, when they desired to rejoin the army, one of the company, who was not satisfied with having only two Indians, besought his comrades not to return until they should have taken one more of them for him. His companions, who were not of this sentiment, told him he must defer that to another time, and they each offered him the Indian they had in the division. Nevertheless, seeing that they could not prevail upon him, they stopped again. In the mean while, the sentinel gave notice that he saw an Indian, and Pacz, whom misfortune ought to have made wise, immediately spurred directly toward the barbarian, who, seeing himself discovered, fled under a tree. Paez approached and gave a vigorous thrust at him with his lance, but did not strike him. The Indian, who held his arrow ready, fired, and wounded in the flank the horse of this cavalier; so that, after having staggered about twenty paces, he fell dead. Bolanios, who followed Paez, at the same time charged upon the barbarian, and was us unfortunate as his companion. Juan de Vega, who came next at a slow pace, surprised to see his comrades dismounted, spurred towards the Indian; his companions, lance in hand, also ran at the barbarian, who boldly advanced Straight at Vega to slay his horse and escape at the same time. But the cavalier, who was wise, had beforehand taken precautions that there should not happen to him a misfortune like that of Paez. He had put upon the breast of his horse a cowhide in three folds; and it was thus that most of the cavaliers who took care of their horses made use of it. Some covered the breast of theirs in this manner with deer- or bearskins. When the Indian was within arrow-range, he fired upon the horse of Vega and pierced the cowskin, so that the arrow entered about three inches into the breast. Immediately, Vega rushed with fury upon the barbarian and slew him. Then the party turned back again, cursing him who had obliged them to remain; and admiring the courage of the Indian, whose appearance did not correspond with the deed he had done. As soon as they had arrived, the general marched to the province of Guachoia, and our men had during their route quite favorable weather, until the end of October. But then, because of the rains it became so wretched that most times they camped soaking wet; and without provisions to such a degree that they were compelled to hazard themselves to seek them. In addition, their labors increased in proportion as the winter advanced. The snows and rains which fell raised the rivers extraordinarily, and caused the streams to increase to such a degree that they could not cross without rafts. Moreover, it was necessary to stop seven or eight days to cross some of them; for, besides not finding wood proper for rafts, they always had their enemies on their hands, and suffered extreme hardships, because the country being nearly inundated, they often saw themselves forced to camp in the water, covered only with a wretched buckskin dress, always wet, which served them for shirt and cape; for which reason many Spaniards, overcome with cold and sleep, fell sick; and there passed not a day that there did not die two or three of them. They also lost every day horses and Indian porters. However, without allowing themselves to be dejected by misfortunes, our men continued their journey. But they were fatigued to such a degree that they lacked even strength to bury those who died upon the road; so that they were pitiable. Besides, the most of their horses were sick, the cavaliers dismounted, the infantry so feeble that they could scarcely stand up. Nevertheless, all being resolved either to die or return to the Chucagua, the most vigorous mounted the horses that were yet serviceable, and resisted the enemies who harassed the troops upon their march. Afterwards, when they were camped, they posted guards and sentinels, and the next day they advanced in the same order, which lasted from the month of September until the last day of November, of the year 1542, when they arrived upon the banks of the Chucagua. Then, as the Spaniards believed that their misfortunes were ended, they all gave to each other little presents to testify their joy. Their journey, counting the route which they made in returning, was more than three hundred and fifty leagues. When they were returning they met with a sow which they had lost in going, and which had brought forth thirteen pigs, all differently marked in the ears. Hence, we may believe that the Indians had divided these animals among themselves, and that they are now reared in Florida.



THE Spaniards, on their return from their journey, arrived within sixteen leagues of the town of Guachoia, and met with two villages, one near the other, which were called Aminoia from the name of their province. These villages consisted of two hundred houses, and were each surrounded with a. ditch, the water of which came from the Chucagua, which made an island of each of these two villages. Moscoso, who had still, besides seventy horse, about three hundred footmen, resolved to take possession of it, and to pass all the rest of the winter there. He therefore put his troops in order of battle, and attacked so courageously the two towns, one after the other, that the Indians, astonished at the valor of our men, abandoned them without resistance, so that the Spaniards made themselves masters of them; and in order not to be separated in case of alarm, they some time after destroyed one of them, and carried into the other the provisions and things they required. Afterwards they fortified this post and were twenty days in putting it in a state of defence; because being greatly harassed, they could not work but with great difficulty.

Whilst the Spaniards were in this town, an old Indian woman, who had not been able to escape, asked them where they were going; and being answered “into winter quarters,” she told them that every fourteen years the river overflowed so much that the inhabitants were compelled to take to the tops of their houses, and that the current year was the fourteenth, in which the town ought to be inundated. Our men, who knew the design of the old woman, laughed at her reveries. Carmona, who relates this circumstance, adds that the Spaniards found in the town of Aminoia, eighteen thousand measures of corn, with a great quantity of nuts, dried plums, and some other fruit unknown in Spain. Therefore they restored themselves by degrees, for besides these provisions they were very conveniently lodged, and even the barbarians did not come either by day or night to trouble them, which contributed greatly to restoring them to health. When Moscoso saw that his men had nearly recovered their strength and that the month of January, of the year 1543, had passed, he ordered wood to be cut to make the brigantines, and cordage, sails, and other things necessary for his design, to be collected. Finally, while the Spaniards remained in Aminoia, there died about sixty of them. Of this number were Ortis, Touar, and Vasconcello. But during the whole journey there perished more than one hundred and fifty of them, which was found so much the more grievous as the death of so many brave soldiers had happened through the imprudence of the captains who had enlisted the troops in the journey.



AS SOON as the report was spread that the Spaniards had returned from their journey and that they were passing the winter at Aminoia, Anilco, fearing lest by their assistance the subjects of Guachoia might come again to invade his lands and commit there their cruelties, sent an envoy to Moscoco with orders to offer him peace and his friendship, and to assure him of his obedience; that there was no kind of service which he might not expect from the people of his country; and that for proofs of it he had but to order it. He whom Anilco had charged to say this was his lieutenant-general. He had, in his suite, beside two hundred Indians in service, twenty of the most active and important of the province, followed by twenty others with fruits and venison. This captain acquitted himself very well of his duty, and neglected nothing to gain the favor of Moscoso, who received, very obligingly, him and all the principal persons of his suite, and requested him to assure Anilco that he thanked him for the Honor of his friendship, and that he would hold it in particular esteem during the remainder of his life. They immediately communicated this reply to the cacique, and in the mean time, the envoy and those who accompanied him remained with the Spaniards, to whom they showed their friendship by the fidelity of their services.The subjects of Anilco had been two days at the quarters when Guachoia, followed by many of his vassals loaded with fruit and fish, arrived there to confirm his alliance with the troops. The general received him very well. But the presence of the captain of Anilco, his enemy, and the honor which they paid him, gave him a mortal offence. Nevertheless, he concealed his displeasure, resolved to show it only upon an opportunity.

During the wintering of the Spaniards at Aminoia, the two caciques rendered them all sorts of good services, and made them, every eight days, new presents. In the mean while, Moscoso and his officers, who thought only of leaving Florida, ordered the superintendent of the vessels to see how many brigantines were necessary for the embarking of the troops, and when he replied seven, he commanded that everything necessary for that number should be prepared. They first made four sheds under which they worked for fear of being incommoded by the rains. Some sawed planks, others planed them; several made nails and iron works; some, charcoal; and others, oars and cordage. Thus they all applied themselves bravely to the things they did the best, and were employed three months at that.

During this time the captain of Anilco showed his zeal for our men, who on their part also esteemed him much; who besides having a noble aspect and being capable of winning affection, possessed rare qualities. He was correct, faithful, obliging, gracefully anticipating all wants, and even giving more than they would have dared demand of him; for without mentioning many cables and other cordage proper for the brigantines, he furnished the Spaniards more old and new cloaks than they could have reasonably expected, because they found scarcely any of them in the province. The new cloaks served to make sails, and the old to talk the vessels. These mantles are made of a certain herb resembling mallow. This plant has as small fibres as the flax, so that the Indians make thread of it, and they aive to these cloaks whatever color they please, but generally a gay and brilliant one.



WHILST the Spaniards labored at these brigantines, Quigaltanqui believed that they prepared for their return only to go and relate in their country, the excellence of the regions which they had discovered, and afterwards to return in greater numbers and conquer it. That then they would drive away the true lords of the province, and establish themselves there independently, so that, in this belief Quigaltanqui resolved to anticipate such a misfortune, and to exterminate all the Spaniards who were in Florida. He therefore assembled the chiefs of the country, to whom he expressed himself upon that subject, and all assured him that his design was glorious, and that they would die to serve him in so noble an enterprise. He immediately dispatched messengers on both sides of the Chucagua, to ten of his neighboring caciques, and sent them word to engage them in his favor, that they must stifle the animosity that existed between them, and all Unite for the destruction of their common enemy; that if they neglected the opportunity for it which fortune presented them, they would deplore the misery with which they would be overwhelmed; that the Spaniards were going home only to return to the country with greater forces, and that after having cruelly seized upon it, they would hold them all in a wretched slavery. The caciques received with joy, the envoys of Quigaltanqui. They approved his design because they found it worthy of a great captain, and praised his courage, the extent of which was already known to them. Therefore they agreed that each lord should raise troops in his province, and prepare boats to attack their enemies by water as well as by land; that in the mean time, the better to surprise them and deprive them of every suspicion, each one in particular should feign to seek their friendship, and should send to them deputies with presents. Quigaltanqui, as chief of the conspiracy, sent the first to Mostoso, and all the others followed his example. Mostoso received them with all the more pleasure and kindness as the few troops that remained to him desired only peace. In the mean time, Anilco, who had refused to enter into the league because of the fidelity which he had sworn to the Spaniards, believed that he was bound by his honor to inform them of the conspiracy of the caciques. Therefore he ordered his lieutenant to disclose the treachery to the general, and to assure him that nothing should happen of which he would not inform him. Mostoso tools care to thank the cacique for his good advice and the continuation of his friendship, and afterward he had an especial esteem for him and his lieutenant; nevertheless Anilco would never come to the camp, and always excused himself on the plea of indisposition, but really it was because be would not trust himself to the Spaniards.

It is not positively known whether Guachoia, who manifested friendship for our men, entered into the league, but they suspected that he was in correspondence with it; piqued solely by the esteem which they showed the lieutenant of Anilco. In fact he was offended because the Spaniards rendered more honor to this captain who served them promptly, than to him who worked very slowly for them and also endeavored to discredit him in the opinion of Mostoso. But they believed that Guachoia, knowing that Anilco had not consented to league himself with the others, acted in this manner in order that if, by chance, this lieutenant should happen to discover the conspiracy, they would not give faith to what he should say.



WHEN Guachoia knew that he labored in vain to ruin his enemy in the opinion of the Spaniards, he flew quite into a passion, and told Mostoso, in the presence of several officers, that for a longtime he had suffered with pain the honor which he and his troops paid to the lieutenant of Anilco; that he had always thought that honor was due to those who had the most credit and distinction of birth, that nevertheless, the Spaniards acted quite contrary to that, since they esteemed only the lieutenant of Anilco, who lead neither wealth, power, nor nobility, and who deserved to be considered only in his condition of vassal; that as for him he had subjects who excelled in every respect him to whom they gave so many marks of esteem; that therefore he begged them to reflect upon their conduct, and to be convinced that the actions of the lieutenant of Anilco were artful and tended Only to deceive them. The lieutenant of Anilco, who had patiently listened to what was said against him, replied, without appearing enraged, that they wrongfully reproached him with his birth; that his ancestors having been caciques, he yielded to no one in nobility; that he confessed that his father had not left him great wealth, but that he had supplied that defect by his courage, since, in the war which he had made against Guachoia and other lords, he had gained a support according to his condition; that therefore he could now place himself among the number of the rich whom his enemy wishedthat they should esteem so much, and that avassal like himself would always greatly excel a cacique like Guachoia; that after all he was not properly a vassal, because Anileo did not consider him so, but as one of his nearest relatives, and that with this consideration, he had made him lieutenant-general of the province; that afterwards he had gained many battles, defeated the father of Guachoia, and occasionally his captains; that ever since Guachoia had succeeded to his father, he had cut in pieces all his forces and made prisoners him, his two brothers, and the most distinguished persons of his state; that then he had been able to despoil him of his province and to take possession of it without difficulty, there being no one to resist him, but that very far from undertaking anything, he had taken very particular care of him while he was a prisoner; that he was even his security to set at liberty him, his brothers, and his vassals. Nevertheless, as Guachoia had not kept his word, he awaited only the departure of the troops in order to recapture him; that the boldness which he now had to endeavor to make him pass for a hypocrite would then cost him dearly, and he would teach him not to again rashly attack his reputation; that even not to defer it longer, it remained only with Guachoia whether they should terminate their differences now; that they both had but to enter a boat to fight upon the river; that if Guachoia slew him, he would satisfy his hate and would be avenged of the injury which the Spaniards had done him in rendering honor to his enemy; that as for him, if he had the advantage in the fight, he would show that the merit of men did not consist in the splendor of riches, nor in the possession of many vassals, but in virtue and the distinction of courage.Guachoia replied nothing to all that, and showed his confusion in his countenance. Moscoso and the Spaniards were confirmed in the confidence which they had in the lieutenant of Anilco, and every day rendered him more honor.



Moscoso, considering that, if the hate of Guachoia and the captain of Anilco should lead them to make war upon each other, they would not furnish him anything for his brigantines, told them that, as they were equally beloved by the Spaniards, they could no longer see them embroiled; that, therefore, he entreated them to smother their resentment, and to live for the future in perfect harmony. The two Indians replied to Aloscoso that they were ready to do what he wished, and that, for his salve, they would generously forget everything. Four days after, the quarrel was settled, and upon the departure of the lieutenant of Anilco to return home to his province, the general, who did not trust the word of Guachoia, and who feared that, in order to avenge himself on his enemy, he might lay some ambuscade in the route, ordered thirty cavaliers to accompany him until he should be out of danger. The captain at first politely declined the offer of Moscoso, and informed him that Guachoia was not much to be feared. Nevertheless, for fear of offending the general, he took the escort which he offered him. But, afterwards, he many times came from and returned to his country with only ten or twelve Indians. In the mean while, Quigaltanqui and the other caciques of his party dispatched, night and day, persons with presents to Moscoso, and with orders to their envoys to observe the conduct of the Spaniards, their guards, their skill in handling their arms and managing their horses, in order to see in what they were defective, and to make use of it against them at the proper time and place. The general, who was informed of that, forbid the deputies of the hostile caciques to come to the camp at night; but these prohibitions were useless. Therefore, Silvestre, who knew the order of the general and the disobedience of the barbarians, being one night on guard at the gate of Aminoia, and seeing by the light of the moon two Indians very spruce, who were crossing the ditch upon a tree which served for a bridge, let them advance to him; and as he was on duty, he struck in the face with his sword the first who crossed the wicket of the gate without asking his permission. From the blow, the barbarian fell to the ground; but he immediately arose, seized his bow, and tools to flight with all his might. Silvestre did not wish to finish him, because he believed that that was sufficient to make the Indians cautious. The companion of the wounded man, who had heard the blow, also took to flight, repassed the bridge, regained his boat, crossed the river, and gave the alarm everywhere. In the mean while, the wounded man, his face full of blood, leaped into the river, crossed it by swimming, and called to his comrades. The barbarians, who were on the other side of the river, and who heard him, ran to him and took him out. The next day, at sunrise, four of the principal Indians came, on the part of the leagued caciques, to complain to the general that his men were breaking the peace; that they had grossly abused one of the most distinguished Indians of the country; and that they begged him that he would do justice for this insolence, because the person was mortally wounded. About noon, four others repaired to the camp, where, after having made their complaints, they said that the wounded man was dying; and at sunset there came four more, who said that their companion was dead, and demanded that they should put to death the Spaniard who had caused it. The general each time replied to the envoys that, desiring peace, he had not commanded what had been done; but that the soldier who had wounded their man had not acted contrary to his duty; so that if, to please them, he should wish to punish him, his captains would never consent to it, because the Indian ought not to have entered without speaking to the sentinel, nor the caciques to have sent him, contrary to the prohibition, at an unreasonable hour; that, therefore, since in that it was their fault, it was necessary to forget all that had passed, and to do business hereafter in the proper order, so as to deprive both sides of every pretext for a rupture.

The envoys returned home very much dissatisfied with this answer, and endeavored, but in vain, to induce the caciques to avenge instantly the insolence of the Spaniards; for the caciques agreed to still dissemble for some time, and to carefully seek the means to execute their design. Yet among the troops there were captains who supported the complaints of the Indians; that it was necessary to punish Silvestre; that he had acted indiscreetly; and that his conduct would give occasion to the caciques to mutiny and to take arms against the Spaniards. If these remarks, which jealousy inspired in some of the officers, lead not been stopped by the more wise, they would, without doubt, have produced mischievous effects.



DURING these things, the Spaniards worked vigorously at the brigantines, and were assisted by the captain-general of Anilco, without whom they would never have been able to accomplish their design. Those who were not employed on the vessels sought provisions for their companions; and, as they were then in Lent, they went fishing in the Chucagua. They made for that purpose hooks, which, after having baited, they attached to long cords, and threw them at dusk into the river. In the morning they drew them out, and ordinarily found on them such large fishes that there were some of them whose heads alone weighed forty pounds, from fifteen to sixteen ounces; so that our men had at Aminoia everything in abundance. In the mean time, Quigaltanqui and the allied caciques each raised troops upon his lands, and they prepared to put thirty or forty- thousand men in the field, with the ides of slaying all the, Spaniards, or of burning the timber which they had collected for the caravels. They believed that, in preventing them from leaving the country, they would make perpetual war upon them, and would so much the more easily exterminate them, as our men were few, bad but few horses, and had lost a very brave and experienced captain. The barbarians, animated by these considerations, impatiently expected the day which they had appointed for the attack, and which, in fact, was very near, as they learned through the envoys, who, finding themselves alone with the Indian women who served the Spanish officers, told them that they might be patient, and that very soon they would deliver them from the servitude in which the Spanish thieves held them; that they were going to cut their throats and put their heads upon lances at the entrances of the temples, and hang their bodies on the highest trees to be a prey for birds. No sooner had the Indian women learned that than they went and disclosed it to their masters. The troops were immediately informed of it; and they were so much the more easily convinced that the barbarians were ready to attack them as, during the night, they heard some noise on the other side of the river, and sawfires here and there in the vicinity. They, therefore, prepared to bravely defend themselves; but, by good luck, in the mean time the Chucagua happened to overflow. It began about the tenth of March, of the year 1543. It gradually filled all its bed, and immediately after it impetuously spread itself over its border, then through the country, which was immediately inundated, because there were neither mountains nor hills. And the day of Palm Sunday, which was that year the 18th of March, that the Spaniards celebrated the triumph of Jesus Christ at Jerusalem, the waters violently entered through the gates of Aminoia, so that, two days after that, they could not go through the streets except in boats. This overflow did not appear in all its extent until the twentieth of April. They then had the pleasure to see that that which but lately was a vast country, had become, nearly all at once, a vast sea; for the water covered more than twenty leagues of the adjacent lands, where were seen only a few of the highest trees; and that made our men remember the prediction of the old Indian woman at their entrance into Aminoia.



BECAUSE of the inundations of the Chucagua, the Indians who inhabit both sides of this river, place themselves, as much as possible, upon eminences, and build their houses in this manner. They erect, in the form of a square, enough large posts in the shape of pillars, upon which they place many beams which take place of floors. Then they make the house which they surround with galleries, where they lay up their provisions and furniture. Thus they protect themselves from the inundations, which probably occur on account of the rains and snows of the preceding year.

During the overflow they embarked for the town of Anilco, which is twenty leagues from Aminoia, twenty soldiers and some Indian rowers in four boats tied two and two, for fear lest they might upset them in passing over the trees which were in the water. They had orders to request the cacique to send to the general cordage, pitch, and old mantles for the brigantines; and were commanded by Silvestre, to whom, as will be seen directly, the cacique had a short time since been obliged, and it was, therefore, on this account that they dispatched him. When the subjects of Guachoia, with the assistance of the Spaniards, ravaged the town of Anilco, Silvestre took an Indian of twelve or thirteen years of age, who was the son of the cacique, led him with him through the province of Herdsmen, and brought him back into the province of Aminoia. So that the cacique Aniloo learned that his son, whom he sought so long, was with the troops. He, therefore, immediately sent to demand him; and Silvestre, through kindness, restored him to him, in consideration of what he had done for the Spaniards.

Silvestre and his companions safely arrived at the town of Anilco, and found that the Chucagua had overflowed much farther, and that it had inundated, on that side, more than twenty-five leagues of land. Our men being arrived, they gave notice of it to the cacique, who called his lieutenant-general, and commanded him to show by his reception the affection which they bore the Spaniards, and to furnish them what they demanded on account of Silvestre, who had generously restored to him his son. Afterwards he commanded them to send for Silvestre only, and he went out of his house to receive him. There, after having embraced him and thanked him for the obligations under which he had placed him, he conducted him into his apartment, and was not willing that he should leave it until his companions should be ready to return home. For Anilco, to whom his son served as interpreter, inquired of the Spanish captain the adventures of the troops since their entrance into the country. But when he bad learned the details of it, he made known to Silvestre the affliction he suffered from the cruelties of Guachoia to his ancestors who were in the grave; that very soon this coward would not be assisted by any one, and that then they would see to resenting the indignities which he had committed. Anilco, by that, showed that the affection which he manifested for our men was founded only in the fear that, should they remain longer in the country, they might again assist Guachoia, and prevent him from avenging the injuries he had received. For this reason, and with the view of hastening their departure, Anilco commanded to be given them, promptly, everything; and to furnish them a boat, with several Indians, who should conduct them safely to where they should wish to go. When everything was ready, he embraced Silvestre, and requested him to assure the general of his friendship, and that nothing should happen of which he would not inform him. Silvestre immediately resumed the route to Aminoia; where, as soon as he had arrived, he rendered an account of his journey to Moscoso.



THE overflow lasted forty days; during which time the Spaniards retired upon certain elevated places, where they worked on their vessels. But as they lacked charcoal to forge the iron works, they made some by cutting off the tops of the trees which appeared out of the water. Francisco and Garcia Ozorio, distinguished cavaliers, signalized themselves on this occasion, as well by their skill as the pains they took to forge and to talk; for they applied themselves to it with resolution, and their example alone excited the others to imitate them.

Whilst the water covered the country, the people of the leagued caciques did not appear; for as soon as they saw the overflow they returned in haste to their homes to save what they had left there. However, Quigaltanqui, and the other lords, the better to conceal their evil designs, did not cease to send always to the general; who, without showing that he suspected them, took care to keep upon his guard.

About the end of April the water diminished by degrees, and was as long in falling as it had been in rising. For on the twentieth of May they could not yet go through Aminoia except bare-footed, because of the water and mud that were in the streets. But at the end of the month the river retired within its bed; and the leagued caciques recommenced the campaign, resolved to execute promptly their design. In the mean time, the captain of Anilco, who had notice of it, came to the general and disclosed everything to him. That on a certain day, which was near, all the caciques in detail would send persons to him; that each envoy would speak to him in such a way and make him such a present; that some would arrive in the morning, others about noon, and the last towards the evening; that this would last four entire days; that they would finish by assembling their troops, and that at the same time they would attack; that their design was to exterminate all the Spaniards, or at least to burn their vessels, in order that they might not be able to leave the country, and that they might put them wretchedly to death by degrees. He added that, in order to avoid that, he, on the part of his cacique, offered to them himself and eight thousand choice men, by the assistance of which they might easily resist their enemies; that even should they desire to retire upon his land, he would receive them there with pleasure; that they would be there perfectly safe; and, moreover, that they would not dare to come there to attack them; that they might take their measures deliberately for to think maturely on the course they ought to pursue. Moscoso replied to the Indian captain, that he was obliged to his cacique for the offers which he made him; but that, for fear that in the future he might be hated by his neighbors for having openly assisted him, he declined the assistance which he wished to give him; that, besides, as he was upon the point of leaving for Mexico, he thanked him, with all his heart, for the retreat which he offered him; that for this reason also he did not wish to engage in a battle, although he might expect everything from the Indians who would aid him, and especially from their commander whose valor was known to him; that, moreover, neither he nor the other Spaniards would forget the obligations they owed to the cacique; and that even the King of Spain, the first of Christian princes, to whom they would relate the good services which he had rendered them, would never forget it, and would recompense him for so many favors if some day the Spaniards should return to his country. Then the Indian captain tools leave of Moscoso, who bravely prepared for everything that might happen.



AT the beginning of June of the year 1543, the envoys of the hostile caciques came to the quarters at the same time, in the same order, and with the same presents as the captain of Anilco had indicated. Therefore they were arrested by the order of the general, who commanded them to be separated and to be interrogated upon the subject of the conspiracy. They frankly avowed what was taking place and the measures they were to take in order to accomplish their design. The general, upon their confession and without waiting until they all should have arrived, immediately caused to be cut off the right hand of thirty whom they held. These poor people endured their pains with so much patience that no sooner had one of them had his hand cut off than another presented his upon the block, which drew the compassion of everybody. This punishment broke the league. The enemy believed that the Spaniards, being informed of the enterprise, would hold themselves upon their guard. Therefore, each cacique returned to his province, very sorry not to have executed their design But as they were all resolved to endeavor to succeed by some other means, and as they found themselves stronger by water than by land, they agreed to assemble troops and boats in order to attack the Spaniards when they should descend the river. In the mean while, Moscoso and his officers, seeing that they were going to be continually harassed, hastened more and more their work, finished seven brigantines; but because they had not nails to fasten together the deck, they covered them only at the two ends, and put planks in the middle without fastening them, from where they had but to raise one of them in order to bail the brigantines. Then they collected provisions, and requested of Guachoia and Anilco corn, fruits, and other things of that sort. They killed some hogs of those which they preserved for food, and reserved only a dozen and a half of them in case they should settle at some place near the sea. They gave to each of the caciques, their friends, two of these animals, a male and a female. They salted those which they had killed for themselves, and made use of their fat, in the place of oil, to soften the rosin with which they talked their vessels. Besides that, they furnished themselves with small boats to carry thirty horses that remained. They had them tied two and two, in order that the horses might have their fore feet in one and their hind feet in the other. Each brigantine had also, at the stern, one of these boats which served for a tender. Carmona relates here, that of fifty horses which remained to the Spaniards, they tied to stakes about twenty of them that could no longer be of any service; that they opened their veins and let them bleed to death; that to preserve their flesh they dried it in the sun; that the day of Saint John the Baptist, they launched the brigantines, embarked the horses and equipage, and furnished their vessels with planks and skins to protect themselves from arrows; that then they appointed the captains who were to command the vessels, and concerned themselves Do further except to embark after having taken leave of Guachoia and recommended him to live in peace with Anilco.





Moscoso embarked in the first caravel; Alvarado and Alosquera in the second; Aniasco and Viedma in the third; Gusman and Gaitan commanded the fourth; Tinoco and Cardeniosa the fifth; Calderon and Francisco Ozorio the sixth; and Vega and Garcia the seventh. Each caravel had seven oars to the bench, and there were in each, two captains, in order that if one was obliged to land to oppose the enemy the other might remain in the vessel to give the necessary orders There embarked under the directions of these famous captains about three hundred and fifty men of more than a thousand who had entered Florida, and some thirty Indians, men and women, of eight hundred whom they had led from the different countries, into the province of Herdsmen. As these poor people were far from their country, and as they had a singular attachment for the Spaniards, they would never quit them, showing that they would rather die with them than live away from the place of their birth. The Spaniards, therefore, took them with them in the belief that, after having derived very good service from them it would be ungrateful to abandon them. And they started with all their sails and oars the evening of the festival of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. But it was an unfortunate day for them, for, leaving Florida, they lost the fruits of all their labors. All rowed except the captains who took care to relieve them hourly, and coasted during a night and a day, all the province of Guachoia without the enemy having come to harass them; so that they imagined that, in consideration of the cacique of this country who loved them, they had not attacked them; or that the barbarians, judging of the success of their enterprise by the course of the moon, had observed that then they should not fight. But the second day their fleet appeared in the morning. It consisted of more than a thousand boats, the largest and the best that had been seen in Florida. Therefore I shall say something Of it after I have spoken of the boats and rafts which the Indians make use of to cross rivers.



THE people of the New World, who live on islands or in places near the sea, make their boats large or small according to the Convenience of the wood they have. They seek the largest trees that they can find; they hollow them in the form of a trough, and make their boats all of one piece; for they have not yet the faculty to fasten planks together with nails, nor to make sails. They also do not know how to forge, nor to talk; so that, in places where they do not find trees flt for boats, as on all the coast of Peru, the Indians make rafts of a very light wood which is found in the neighboring provinces of Quito, and which they bring from there on the most navigable rivers of the country. These rafts are composed of five beams, tied to each other, the longest of which is in the middle; the others gradually diminish, in order the better to cut the water. I remember to have passed, in the times of the incas, upon these kinds of rafts, which were then in use. The Indians make, also, others of them in this manner: They take a quantity of reeds, which they very firmly tie together, and which they raise in front in the form of a prow, the better to cut the water. Then they enlarge it by degrees, and in such a manner that they easily place in it a man or any other burden; and when they cross any rapid river they lay down in the raft the person whom they cross, and advise him to hold fast to the cords, and, above all things, not to open his eyes. I was yet very young when one day I passed, in this manner, an extremely rapid river; but when the Indian who managed the raft advised me to close my eyes, such a fright seized me that, had the heavens fallen or the earth opened, I could not have been more frightened. However, when I had a little recovered, and felt that we were very near the middle of the river, I could not resist the temptation to look. I therefore raised myself ever so little and looked at the water; but it seemed to me that I was falling from the clouds, because the rapidity of the water and the swiftness with which the raft cleaved the river had made my head dizzy to such a degree that I closed my eyes and acknowledged that not without reason they bad advised passengers not to open them. A single Indian governed the raft. He placed, himself flat upon his belly at the end of the stern, with a leg on cacti side, and rowed with his hands and feet, and let himself go with the current even to the other side. The inhabitants of Peru, moreover, make rafts of a different construction from these. They tie together several gourds in a square from four to five feet long, more or less, according as they have business for them; and put in front of this assemblage a kind of poitrel, where, as soon as the boatman has put his head, he leaps into the water and swims with his charge to the other bank of the river or gulf which he crosses; also, if it is necessary, he has men who push behind. But when the rivers are full of rocks, when they have neither entry nor exit, and are so rapid that they cannot cross them with rafts, the Indians pass from one side of the river to the other a large cable, which they attach to rocks or to trees. This cable passes through a great basket, towhich there is a wooden handle. This basket glides along the cable,and can easily hold three or four persons. It has a cord to each side, with which they draw it to either side. But because the cable is long gull swags in the middle, they let the basket go gently as far as that; then, as the cable ascends gradually, they quickly deaw it with all their strength. There are persons at the crossings of rivers who have orders for that; and the travellers themselves who get into the basket often take the cable with their own hands and assist themselves to cross. I remember, at the age of ten years, to have crossed a river two or three times in these sorts of baskets; and that they carried me along the road upon their shoulders. They cross in these baskets only persons and small animals; the large are too heavy. Besides; the places where these baskets are are not the passages of the highways; and, moreover, they do not cross rivers in this manner except in Peru; for in Florida, where fire found veryo large trees, the inhabitants make very fine boats and easily cross the rivers.



I RETURN to the fleet of the enemy. The size of some of these vessels surprised the Spaniards; for they saw some of them witli twenty-five oars to the bench, which Karl each about thirty soldiers, without counting many rowers, armed with arrows; so that, in some of the boats, there might be;Is many as seventy-five or eighty warriors; but in the others there were not so many people, because they always diminish in size. The least had fourteen oars to thebench, and all, whether great or small, were of a single piece. Their oars appeared very suitably made; they were about a fathom long, the most of which entered the water, laud when one of these vessels went with all its force, a horse urged at full speed would hardly have overtaken it. But that which is somewhat remarkable, the enemy sang divers songs, which, according to the nature of the air, sad or gay, made them row together in very good order, slowlyor swiftly, as at the time it was necessary. These songs contained the heroic actions of their ancestors; so that, animated by the remembrance of these things, they bore themselves courageously to battle, and thought only of winning the victory. And that which also deserves to be considered, the boats of the fleet were painted within and without, yellow, blue, white, green, reel, or some other color, according to the fancy of him to whom the vessel belonged. Even the oars, and tire plumes which the soldiers wore upon their heads, their caps, as well as their bows and arrows, were of the color of the vessel; so that, the river being very wide, the enemy could easily extend themselves, and there was nothing more beautiful to see than this fleet, because of the diversity of the colors of the boats and the order in which the Indians rowed. On the second day, about noon, they appeared in this state in the rear of the Spaniards, to show the power and the beauty of their army; and with their songs they encouraged themselves to battle. It was known, by the means of interpreters, that in these songs they called our men cowards, telling them that they tied in vain; that, since on land they lead not been the prey of dogs, on water they should not fail to be devoured by sea monsters; that, finally, tire people of the country would very soon be delivered from a troop of brigands, and such things; and at the end of the song they gave loud yells that made the whole neighborhood re-echo.



WHEN the enemy had been some time following as in order to reconnoitre, they separated their fleet into three divisions. The troops of Quigaltanqui put themselves at the head, but they could not really learn whether he commanded them himself, although they often heard him mentioned in the songs of the barbarians. Afterwards, all the vessels of the fleet advanced to the right towards the bank of the river, and got the lead. Those of the first division immediately attacked our caravels, in crossing to the other side of the river, and covered them with arrows, so that there were several Spaniards wounded. The first division was no sooner on the left than it recrossed and came and recovered its place; nevertheless, always advancing beyond the brigantines. The second division, which crossed after having attacked with fury, returned to the right and placed itself at the lead of the first. The third passed in the same manner, and having showered a quantity of arrows upon the soldiers, they rejoined those of their party and came and posted themselves in front of the second division. In the mean time, as our caravels did not cease rowing, they arrived at the position of the barbarians who had first attacked them, and who began to attack them in the same manner as before. The others also attacked, each in their order and their accustomed manner, and harassed the Spaniards all the day. Even during the night they tormented them, but not with so much persistency, for they made but two attacks, the first a little before sunset, and the other before daybreak. Our men, on their part, defended themselves very well on this occasion. They first placed soldiers in the boats where the horses were, in order that if the barbarians approached them, they might be able to repulse them and prevent the horses from being killed. But as the Indians fired from a distance, and as the Spaniards who were in these boats found themselves incommoded, they regained the caravels and abandoned the horses, which were under a shelter of wretched hides and some shields. Therefore, during ten days and ten nights of fighting, all these horses perished, except eight. And our men were all wounded, notwithstanding their shields and all the resistance they could make. They had then for arms to fight at a distance only crossbows; for of their muskets they had made nails. Besides they had not even the ability to make use of them, and since the battle of Mauvila, they lacked powder.



AFTER tell days of fighting the enemy fell away from the caravels a little more than half a league. In the mean while the Spaniards continued to row, and discovered, at some three hundred paces from the river, a village of about eighty houses. As then they believed that they lead made two hundred leagues, and because the river turned to neither side, that therefore they were near the sea, they resolved that it was necessary to land and send to the village for provisions. The general therefore made a hundred men land under the conduct of Silvestre; and ordered them to go and fetch corn from the village, and to lead there the horses to recruit them in order to fight in case of necessity. These soldiers immediately lauded, but no sooner did the inhabitants perceive them than they took to flight, scattered through the country, arid, malting everything echo with their cries, demanded assistance on all sides. In the mean time the party arrived at the village where they found a quantity of corn, dried fruits, many deer-skins diversely painted, cloaks of different skins very well prepared, and one piece of marten’s shin about eight ells long by three wide. This piece was double, alike on both sides, and decorated in places with clusters of seed pearls. They believed that it was used as a. standard by the Indians in their festivals; for according to appearances it could not be destined to any other use. Silvestre, who admired it, took it for himself, and his companions all loaded themselves, some with corn and fruits, and others with deer-skins. Then they returned speedily to the caravels, where the trumpets were calling them, because a part of the Indians of the fleet, attracted by the cries of the inhabitants of the village, lead landed, joined them, and were all advancing with fury, together, to give battle But whatever haste our men could make to regain the brigantines, they were obliged to abandon their horses, for the peril in which they saw themselves prevented them from embarking them. And without doubt, not a soldier of the party would have been able to save himself if the Indians had been advanced only a hundred paces farther. Therefore, all furious to see our men escape, they turned their rage against the horses. They pulled off their halters, unsaddled them, made them run through the field, and fired upon them until they had slain them all. Thus perished the remnant of three hundred and fifty horses which had entered Florida. The Spaniards were so much the more grieved at it as they saw them miserably perish. But considering that they could not protect them from the fury of the barbarians, and that Silvestre and his companions had fortunately escaped, they continued their voyage with all sail.



THE Indians, despairing of succeeding in their design, because the Spaniards rowed in good order, had recourse to stratagem. They, therefore, stopped and pretended to abandon the pursuit of the caravels. They believed that when our men no longer saw them in their rear, the vessels would fall away from one another; and that then they would fall upon them and put them to flight. Theevent happened in part as they had imagined. One of the caravels left the ranks, and remained some time behind the others. The Indians immediately advanced with fury, attacked this caravel, and endeavored to capture it. The other vessels which discovered the danger in which it was, ascended by rowing against the current to succor it. They found their people hard pressed, defending themselves with their swords, and that they had not been able to prevent some barbarians from leaping into the caravel. Many of the enemy were even already seizing it; but upon the arrival of help they retired, after losing thirty of their men, and carried off a boat in which were five hogs, which were reserved to breed from in case a settlement was made. The Spaniards thanked God that they had lost but this boat, which was at the stern of the brigantine; and afterwards they took care to go in very good order. In the mean time the Indians did not cease to follow them, always hoping that there would be some of them who would abandon their ranks. They were not disappointed in their expectations. Esteban Agnez, who had the appearance and strength of a coarse peasant, and who had fought in all the battles without having, through good luck for him, been wounded, wished, as he was rash, to undertake something that might make him conspicuous; for until then he had executed nothing of importance. He, therefore, descended from his caravel into a boat, which was at the stern, under pretext of going to speak to the general, who was proceeding at the head. Agnez was accompanied by five young Spaniards, whom he had won by the hope of acquiring glory by some bold deed. The natural son of Don Carlos Henriquez was of this number. He was about twenty years of age, very handsome, and very well formed; besides, so brave and so virtuous that one might easily have judged from whom he was sprung. When this cavalier and his companions were in the boat, they fell away from their caravel, and rowed directly at the Indians, attacked them, calling out “let us fight, they fly.” The general, who saw this rashness, made haste to sound the retreat, and to recall them with loud cries. But Agnez became more and more headstrong, and made signs that they might go on. Moscoso, irritated at this disobedience, commanded forty Spaniards to take boats and bringto him this foolhardy fellow. He had determined to hang him as soon as he should have him; but it had been much better not to have sent any person after him, and to have left him miserably to perish. As soon as the general had given these orders, forty Spaniards leaped into three boats, under the direction of Gusman, who was followed by Juan de Vega, brother of another of the same name, who commanded a caravel. These boats immediately rowed with all their might after that of Agnez. In the mean time, the Indians, who saw them advancing towards them in the rear of that of Agnez, retired slowly in order to draw them away from the caravels. Agnez, who saw the enemy recede, was encouraged, approached,and cried louder than before, “Let us attack, they flee.” The other boats which heard him, hastened more and more to reach him, and to hinder him from destroying himself, or to succor him in case of necessity. When the Indians saw them near them they opened in the form of a crescent, and retired gradually to induce them to advance farther. And when they knew that these boats were sufficiently involved, they attacked them with fury, taking them in the flank and upsetting them all in the water; so that of the fifty-two Spaniards who were in them, there escaped but Moron, Nieto, Coles, and ’person; all the others were either drowned or knocked in the head with oars. Moron, who was a great swimmer, and very adroitin managing a vessel, fortunately regained his boat. Nearly,it the same time he drew into it Nieto, who alone bravely defended it against the barbarians whilst Moron endeavored to direct it. But these brave soldiers, notwithstanding their valor and their skill, would have finally succumbed to the efforts of the enemy if the caravel of Gusman, which had advanced at the head of the others which came with assistance, lead not snatched them from the rageof the barbarians. This. same caravel saved Terron; but he was no sooner out of peril than he expired in the arms of those who had drawn him into the vessel. He had in his head, face, neck, andshoulders more than fifty arrows. Coles, from whom I have taken a part of this account, says that he escaped after having received two arrows; and that the Spaniards who perished on this occasion were, for the most part, gentlemen, and the most valiant of thetroops. Moscoso was also very sensibly grieved at it. Nevertheless, without desponding, he quickly reassembled his caravels and continued his voyage in very good order.



THE Indians, after this defeat, harassed the Spaniards the rest of the day and all the following night, and at sunrise, after having uttered loud cries and made everything echo with the noise of their instruments to thank the son for the victory they had won, they abandoned the pursuit of the caravels and retired, fall of joy, to their own country, for they were very far from it, and had followed our men four hundred leagues without giving them, dap or night, a single moment of repose. During this long journey they always named Quigaltanqui in their songs, and did not speak of any other, their design being to ranke known to our men that it was this prince who made war upon them. Therefore when the Spaniards had arrived at Mexico, and Mendoca, who was viceroy of it. had learned the evils that Quigaltanqui had done them, he derided then for it, and praised this cacique with an air that allowed that it was to joke them.

When our men observed that the Indians were no longer in their rear, they the more readily believed that they were approaching the sea as the Chueagua began to IIe about fifteen leagues wide, so that they could not discover land oil either side. They saw, towards the borders of this river, only a number of reeds so high that it seemed that they might have been trees; and perhaps their vision did not deceive them. But they would no farther enlighten themselves on the subject for fear lest, quitting the current, they might strike upon some sand-bank; and besides, no one yet knew whether they were at sea, or really upon the Chucagua. In this uncertainty, our men rowed three days, very successfully; and the fourth, in the morning, they plainly descried the sea, and saw to their left a multitude of trees heaped up one upon the other, which the river, at high water, bore to the sea. And this mass of wood appeared a greatisland. A half a league from there, there was a desert island likethose which great rivers make at their mouth. Therefore the Spaniards no longer doubted they were upon the sea. But because they did not know how far they might be from Mexico, they resolved, before going farther, to inspect their brigantines. When they saw that they had no need of calking nor of repairing, they killed ten hogs which they had remaining, and were three days recruiting themselves, for they were overcome by fatigue and loss of sleep on account of the continual alarms which the barbarians had given them every night. For this same reason also they did not know exactly the number of leagues the Spaniards had made in nineteen entire days and nights of navigation on the Chucagua until their arrival tit the sea. In fact, when they conversed about it at Mexico, with persons capable Of judging of it, some said that the Christians had made, in one day and night, twenty leagues; others, thirty, and several, forty, and some, more. But finally they agreed upon twenty-five leagues, both day and night; for the brigantines had had favorable winds, and went with sails and oars. Upon this basis they found that from their embarkment to the sea there were about five hundred leagues. Coles counts some seven hundred of them, but his opinion is single.



THE Spaniards penetrated into Florida as far as to the fountains where the Chucagua takes its source. This river, to ascend from Aminoia, where was made the first embarkment, as far as these fountains, is three hundred leagues; and from this province to the sea five hundred. So that there extends altogether the distance of eight hundred leagues which our men travelled.

During the three days that the Spaniards recruited themselves, they saw on the last day about noon, coming from a place full of reeds, seven boats which advanced towards them. There was, in the first, a very large and very black Indian of an aspect very different from those who inhabit the interior of the country. The barbarians of the coast are black in this manner, because the sun is there warmer than elsewhere, and because they are continually in the water, which is salt. For the land being dry and sterile they are obliged to fish in order to subsist. When the Indian had approached the caravel near enough, he placed himself on the prow of his vessel, and in a voice full of haughtiness told the Spaniards, according to what the interpreter asserted, that they were robbers; what did they come to seek upon the coast; and that they should leave it in haste, by one of the mouths of the Chucagua; otherwise he would burn their brigantines and put them all to a miserable death. This barbarian, without waiting for in answer, returned to whence he had come. In the mean while, the Spaniards, reflecting upon the threats of this Indian, and why they sent every little while boats to reconnoitre them, resolved to attack him, for fear that, by favor of the night, he might come to attack them and set fire to the caravels,.in which he would more easily have succeeded than by day, because of the advantage which he had of being better acquainted with the sea than our men. Therefore a hundred men entered into five boats, under the conduct of Nieto and Silvestre, and went to seek the barbarians. They found a great number of them posted behind reeds, with good boats equipped with everything. Nevertheless, without being surprised, they surrounded them, fell upon them, wounded many, slew ten or twelve, and put the rest to flight. But the most of the Spaniards were maltreated, especially Nieto and Silvestre. There was also a soldier who had his thigh pierced through and through by a dart about one fathom long, which the Indians threw with so much force that they pierced through a man armed with a coat of mail. The Spanish soldier died of the stroke which he had received, because they made too great an incision to draw out the point of the dart, and he had nearly as much to complain of our men who dressed his wound as of the barbarians who had wounded him.



BEFORE coming to the details of the voyage of the Spaniards, it is necessary to tell the manner in which the Indians right their boats when they are capsized either in fishing or in battle. When these barbarians, who are very robust and very excellent swimmers, see one of their vessels upside down, they put ten or twelve, more or less, about righting it. But because it is full of water, they all together give it three or four jerks so adroitly, that at the last they entirely empty it and reenter it. the Spaniards admired this promptitude of the Indians in getting the water out of their boats, and endeavored in vain to imitate them.

When our men who had been to attack the enemy had rejoined the caravels, they embarked for fear of some misfortune, and went with all speed to the desert island which they had seen in the vicinity of the month of the Chucagua. When they reached it they landed, walked everywhere, and found nothing remarkable. Afterwards they retired to their caravels, where they passed the night, and the next day it daybreak they raised anchor. A cable broke, and the anchor was lost because it bad no buoy; but in the necessity they had for this anchor, their best swimmers leaped into the water, where, notwithstanding whatever trouble they took, they did not find it until about three o’clock in the afternoon. Then they set sail, without daring to go into the open sea, for they knew neither the place where they were, nor even their course. Convinced, however, that if they kept along the coast towards the west they would safely arrive at Mexico, they sailed the remainder of the day, the following night, and the next day until about evening, and found during this journey the water fresh, being astonished that the Chucagua should go so far into the sea. Then Aniasco took the latitude; but because he had neither compass nor marine charts, he made a compass of a ruler and a marine chart of parchment, and they governed themselves by these as well as they could. The sailors, who knew that Aniasco had no great knowledge of sea affairs, ridiculed him, and through spite he threw the chart and compass into the sea. The brigantine which followed recovered them; they sailed still seven or eight days, until a storm forced them to gain a little cove. Afterwards, when the weather changed, our men sailed fifteen days, and supplied themselves with water five or six times, inasmuch as they had but small pitchers to put the water in. On account of that also, and because they had not the things necessary for the navigation, they dared not cut across to the islands, nor go far from land. Besides, every three days they had to refresh themselves; and, as very often they found neither fountain nor river, they dug two feet into the earth, at ten or twelve steps from the sea, and found plenty of fresh water. Finally, at the end of these fifteen days, they arrived at five or six small islands, nearly filled with innumerable sea-birds, which made their nests oil land. They loaded themselves with these birds andwith their eggs, and returned to the caravels. But these birds were so fat, and tasted so of the sea, that they could not eat them. The next day they anchored at a strand, which was very pleasant on account of the great number of large trees at a distance from oneanother, which made a very beautiful forest. At the same time some soldiers landed to go a fishing long the shore, and found many lumps of pitch which the sea had driven ashore, and which weighed, some eight, others tell, and some from thirteen to fourteen pounds. The Spaniards rejoiced to find this pitch, because their caravels leaked; they repaired them all. Each day, by main force, they drew one of them on land, calked it, and replaced it in the sea in the evening. But in order that the pitch might flow more freely, they mixed it with hog’s grease, preferring to employ it ill this use to eating it, because their lives depended upon their vessels.

During eight days that the Spaniards recruited themselves oil this shore, they were three times visited by Indians armed with bows and arrows, and each time they received from them corn. To requite them for this favor, our men made them a present of deer skins, and then left this shore without even inquiring the name of the country, so greatly were they engrossed with the design of reaching Mexico. They coasted during their voyage, for fear lest the north wind, which prevails on all this coast, should drive them into the open sea. However, some stopped sometimes two or three days to fish, because there remained nothing to subsist upon but corn, and others landed from their caravels and went to seek provisions. They managed in this way thirteen days, and made mail v leagues without being able to say positively the number; for they had not reflected on it, and had thought only of reaching the river of Palms, which they believed they were not very far from. This thought of itself encouraged them to endure their hardships.



THE Spaniards had been thirty days at sea when about evening there arose a north wind, which forced five caravels to approach nearer to shore. In the mean while, the sky became overcast, the wind increased, and there arose a furious storm. The caravel of Gaitan and that of Alvarado and Mosquera, which had kept too far to sea, were dreadfully battered by the tempest, and like to have perished, especially the brigantine of Gaitan came nearer being wrecked by a flaw which sprung the mast; so that these two vessels were in a deplorable condition during the whole night, and also nearly the whole of the following day; for about noon they came near being submerged; and then, perceiving the five caravels, which had gained the mouth of a river, which they ascended, they endeavored three whole hours to reach them; but their efforts were in vain, the wind was too impetuous, and the danger increased every moment. Therefore, without persisting further, they went close to the wind along the coast towards the west, in the hope of extricating themselves from the danger which threatened them. As they were nearly all naked, and the waves entered the brigantines, they were in great peril of losing their lives. They, therefore, labored with energy to save themselves. Some folded the sails, others bailed and managed the caravels, and all that without eating or resting, so eminent the fear of death appeared to them. Finally, after having been twenty-six hours agitated in this way, they discovered, yet a little before night, two coasts: the one white, to their right; the other very dark, to their left. Then a young man of the brigantine of Alvarado said that he had sailed to that black coast, but that he did not know the name of it; that it was covered with flint, and extended as far as the vicinity of Vera Cruz; that, if they turned their vessel towards this coast, they would all inevitably perish; that the white coast was of sand, soft and level, and that before dark they must land there, for if the wind cast them upon the blade coast, they must expect nothing less than death. Alvarado, at the same time, commanded them to warn the caravel of Gaitan not to run upon the black coast. But the waves rose so high that the brigantines could scarcely see one another, and they had difficulty to execute this order. However, as at times the vessels saw one another, the caravel of Alvarado made so many signs and so many shouts that Gaitan conceived what they wished to make known, and the soldiers upon both sides agreed to land upon the white coast. Gaitan opposed this design in his caravel, but those who accompanied him stoutly opposed him, some even with abuse, and told him that they would never suffer that fifty men should perish through his obstinacy. Thereupon, some laid their hands upon their swords, and others upon the helm, and bore the prow of the vessel towards the white coast, where, after much labor, they struck before sunset. As soon as Gaitan knew that the vessel had touched ground, he leaped from the stern into the water, believing that on occasions of this kind it was the safest; but when he rose to the surface of the water he badly hurt his shoulders against the rudder. His soldiers did not leave the caravel when the first shock of the wave drove it to land. Afterwards, the wave retiring, left the vessel aground, and at its return it struck it in such a way that it placed it upon its side. Then the soldiers leaped into the water, one party lightened the vessel, some tools hold of one side, and others of the other, and they all did their duty so well that, by the assistance of the waves, they drew it upon the beach. Alvarado and Mosquera, who had stranded theirs at the distance of two musket-shots further off, also labored with energy to draw their brigantine ashore, and they fortunately succeeded. The two caravels each immediately sent to seek the other; but as their men met half way, they told to each other their adventures, returned and informed their comrades of them, who, after having thanked God for having delivered them from peril, dispatched in haste to get intelligence of Moscoso, concerning whom they were in very great trouble.



THE Spaniards of the two caravels, being assembled a little before night, agreed to send to Moscoso to inform him of their adventures, and also to get intelligence of him, and learn the condition of the five brigantines that accompanied him. But when they reflected that for twenty-six hours they had not rested, and that in order to go to the general, thirteen or fourteen leagues must be travelled that night through a country unknown, and perhaps full of enemies, they became doubtful about sending any of their comrades there. Quadrado Charamilla, full of courage and zeal, seeing this irresolution offered Himself to go there, because he was devotedly attached to Moscoso, and promised that he would either be with him the next day or die; that if any one would accompany him well and good, if not, he would go alone. Francisco Mugnos, animated by this example, said that he was ready to follow quadrado, and that he would sooner lose his life than abandon him. The captains of the caravels, rejoiced to see the courage of these soldiers, immediately supplied them with provisions; and these two brave Spaniards, taking each his sword and shield, left at one o’clock at night. But as they did not know the road which they ought to take, they followed, at all hazards, the borders of the sea, in the belief that it was the surest route. In the mean time their companions returned each to his brigantine, where, after having posted sentinels, and rested all the night, they assembled the next morning, and chose for captains of companies Silvestre, Antonio de Porias, and Alonzo Calucte. They sent them each with twenty men, one towards the south, the other towards the west, and the third towards the north, with orders to try to discover in what country they were, and not to go too far, in order that they might be able to succor them in case of necessity. The captains who tools the routes to the north and the south returned to the caravels after having marched about a league and a half; one with the half of a dish made of the white clay of Talavera, the other with an earthen porringer, painted as they paint them at Malassa. Therefore, they were certain that the places of the country which they had discovered, were inhabited by Spaniards, and that the porringer and dish which they had brought were sure signs of it. The party of Silvestre, which struck. towards the west, on its return completely confirmed this news, as shall now be seen. Silvestre and his company, being about half a league distant from the sea, and advanced beyond a small eminence, discovered a pond of fresh water more thana league long. As they saw on this pond four boats Of Indians who were fishing, they crept along the water a quarter of a lengue under the cover of some trees; and in the progress, glancing here and there, they saw, at about three hundred steps, two Indians who were collecting fruit under a tree which they call guava. Immediately they cast themselves upon the ground, some on one side and others on the other, and dragged themselves so adroitly upon their bellies that they surrounded the two barbarians without being discovered. Then they arose and ran at theta. But notwithstanding all their speed one of them escaped, who leaped into the water. The Spaniards, rejoiced to have the other, returned in haste to the quarters, for fear lest the inhabitants of the country should assemble and make them release the booty they lead taken. For besides the Indian prisoner, they brought away two baskets of the fruit of the guajac, corn, a Mexican turkey-cock, two Spanish hens, and a little of the juice of the stalk of the maguey. This tree puts forth stems nearly like cardoons, and which are very good to eat when they have been exposed to the sun. The maguey serves the Indians of New Spain to make hemp, wine, honey, vinegar; they also make jelly of it by means of a liquor, very sweet, which the leaves throw out at a certain season of the year, and when they fall from the tree. They employ the trunk of the maguey to build, but only in extreme necessity, and when they find no other tree.

To return to our men. When they heard that their prisoner spoke but the word “Brecos,” and as they did not understand this word, they asked him by signs and otherwise the name of the country where they were. The Indian, who understood them by the means of their gestures, but who could not answer them, repeated in vain “Brecos,” in hope of making them understand that he belonged to a Spaniard, whose Dame was Christobal de Brecos. The poor Indian troubled himself in vain, since omitting the word Christobal he was intelligible neither to Silvestre nor to his companions; so that through vexation, being some time provoked even to abusing him, they hastened their march in order to rejoin the caravels, where they deferred to interrogate trim quite at their leisure, and where they safely returned



SILVESTRE and his men found, it their return, their companions in ecstasy on account of the things which file two other parties had brought back from their exploration. But the joy increased at the sight of the booty of Silvestro’s soldiers. There were in the caravels nothing but caperings and songs. Each was transported with joy: especially when the surgeon of the troops, who understood file Mexican language and even spoke it a little, showing a pair of scissors to file Indian prisoner and asking him to tell him what they were; the barbarian replied, “tiselas” for “tixeras.” Our men, who heard how this Indian tried to speak Spanish, no longer doubted that they had reached Mexico. So that they all began again to rejoice. Some embraced the prisoner, and others, Silvestre and his comrades. They hugged and kissed them, raised them in their arms, and made everything echo with their applause. But after the first transports, they asked the barbarian, through the surgeon, the name of the country where they were; and what they called the river which the general, with the five brigantines, had ascended? He replied that the country appertained to Panuso, to which it was ten leagues by land; that the general had entered the river which bears the name of this town, situated twelve leagues from its mouth; and that twelve from the place where they were, this river entered the sea; that, as for himself, he belonged to Christobal de Brecos, living at Panuso; that at a little more than a league from the quarters there was a cacique who knew flow to read and write, having been raised by a clergyman, who taught the Indians the principles of the Christian doctrine; that if they desired it he would go for this cacique, who would speedily come and inform them of everything.The Spaniards, rejoiced at this, increased their attentions to the Indian; and, after having made him some presents, sent him for the cacique, with orders to pay their compliments to him, and to bring back paper and ink. The barbarian, pleased with the Spaniards, hastened so much that he returned to the caravels in less than four hours. The cacique, informed of what had happened upon the coast of his province, came himself to see our men, followed by eight of his subjects loaded with Spanish chickens, corn bread, fruit, and fish. He tool. care also to fetch ink and paper; for he prided himself principally upon knowing how to read and write, and the believed that a great advantage. As soon as he reached the Spaniards he presented them the things which his eight vassals had, find offered them his hospitality and his services. Our men, to show him their gratitude, gave him some deer skins. Then they dispatched an Indian to the general, with letters in which they related their adventures, and requested him to send them his orders. In the mean time the cacique remained with them to inquire the particulars of their discovery. He took especial pleasure in learning them. He was really astonished to see our men emaciated, hideous, and wearied in it pitiable manner; which showed that during the voyage they had suffered terribly. Then, when night approached, he very politely tool. leave, and returned home. But the next day he returned; and during five more days that they refreshed themselves upon his lands, he repaired each day to the quarters; and brought, every time, wherewith to sufficiently feast the Spaniards.



WHILE these things were passing, Quadrado and Mugnos travelled all night and arrived, late in the morning, at the month of the Panuco, where they learned that the general and the brigantines were ascending this river. They were so rejoiced at this news that without resting they continued their journey, and speedily repaired to the general, who apprehended that the two caravels had beenwrecked. But the arrival of Quadrado dispelled his fear; and the next day the Indian, whom they had dispatched to him, delivered to him the letters with which he was charged. They gave him much pleasure, and he replied to what they wrote to him. He seat orders to the two brigantines to meet him at Panuco, where they went in haste to join him, and where they, as well us their companions, were received with great demonstrations of friendship. They amounted in all to some three hundred men; but they were in a deplorable condition, overcome with fatigue, sun-burnt, emaciated, hideous, and covered only with the skins of cows, lions, or bears, so that they might have almost as soon been taken for beasts as for men. When they had arrived, the governor of Panuco informed the Viceroy Antonio de Mendoga, who held his court in the city of Mexico, sixty leagues from Panuco. Mendoga immediately ordered them to be furnished with provisions, and to be conducted to him when they should be recruited. In the mean time he sent them, through the Mexican Society of Charity, shirts and shoes; and medicines and comfits, in case there should be side among them. The Spaniards, praising God for this blessing, remained ten or twelve days at Panuco. But when the greater part had learned that the inhabitants subsisted upon only the things which the land produced; that many were employed only in planting Spanish mulberry trees in the expectation of making silk; that the best off raised but a few horses to sell to merchants from abroad; that they were all poor, badly lodged, and the country wretched, they began to regret having abandoned Florida; of which the land was very fertile, produced very fine trees, and where they had seen a very great quantity of furs of martens and many other animals Their discontent still increased when they remembered the multitude of pearls which they had seen, and the hope with which they all had flattered themselves that each one of them would gain a great province in Florida. Thereupon they detested their conduct, that they were cowards not to have settled in that country, and to have come to basely beg their bread of wretches; that it would have been more profitable and more glorious to have died in Florida than to live like scoundrels in Mexico. The Spaniards who made these reflections had advised not to abandon Florida, when they deliberated about leaving it. Therefore, seeing themselves reduced to poverty by the faults of their captains who had induced the troops to come to Mexico, they were excited with rage against them. and against the others who had supported their sentiments. They pursued them with their swords, wounding some and killing a few; so that these officers and their companions dared not show themselves. The inhabitants of the town, grieved at so great a disorder, endeavored to appease it, but they could not succeed, and the discord increasing more and more, the governor informed Mendoca of it. He immediately ordered the Spaniards to be sent to Mexico by tens and twenties; and those to march together who were of the same party; which was strictly executed.



THE report being spread that the Spaniards who came from Florida were going to Mexico, the inhabitants of the country, from every quarter, assembled upon their route. When they saw them in a deplorable condition, they kindly lodged and entertained them, even to Mexico. This city, which is one of the largest and best in the world, received them very well, and there was scarcely a gentleman who did not show them marks of kindness. Charamillo especially showed them much attention. He lodged in his house twenty of them, one of whom he found to be a relation of his. He even clothed the whole twenty, and furnished them with linen and other necessary things. The viceroy also gave them proofs of his kindness, for he would have them, indifferently, soldiers and oiicers, eat at his table; based on this, that all having equally shared the hardships of the expedition, it was but proper that they all should have a share in the favors which he did them. This prince did not content himself with feasting them. He took care to lodge them in one of his houses, and he had clothes distributed to those who had need of them; and, as a provost of Mexico had put two of them in prison because they had fought each other, he had it published, that henceforth no judge should have cognizance of their differences. He wished himself to terminate them, because he loved these poor soldiers. It displeased him that they should have recommenced their old quarrels. Nevertheless, notwithstanding his conduct, the quarrel broke out again, and there were some of them killed; for the greater part, enraged to see the value which they put upon the pearls and furs which they had brought from Florida, and that they had unfortunately left these things, pursued with their swords those who hall persuaded them to abandon a country so rich. These furs, in fact, were very beautiful, and some of the inhabitants of Mexico, with pleasure, decked themselves with them, and lined their garments with them, after having taken out the pitch with which they were soiled in the vessels. Finally, as the mutineers became from day to day more and more insolent, the viceroy appeased them by the promise that he would undertake with them a voyage to Florida, since they were so much dissatisfied at having left it. Mendoca had, in reality, a design of going to these countries, on account of the description they had given him of the excellent qualities of the soil. Therefore, in order to support a part of the officers and soldiers who had returned from Florida, he offered to some money, to others employment, whilst he should make his preparations to conquer it. Some accepted the offers of this prince,and others rejected them, resolved to leave speedily for Peru. One of the latter going one day through the city of Mexico dressed in very wretched skins, a citizen had pity on him, and told him that if he wished to serve him he would give him very good wages, and put him in one of his houses near Mexico, where he would pass an easy life. The Spaniard proudly replied to him that he made him the same offer; that he possessed many fine estates in Peru; that if he would accompany him there, he would give him one of them to superintend, when assuredly he would live happy. I relate this little circumstance to show that a part of the Spaniards thought only of going to Peru.



ON his return from Florida, Silvestre lodged in Mexico with Salazar. When he was relating to him the particulars of the expedition, the conversation fell upon the misfortune that like to have happened the first night that they lead set sail. Salazar, who knew by the account of this adventure, that it was Silvestre who hall ordered to fire upon his vessel, esteemed him very much for it; for he said that he had acted like a man proficient in war. Salazar really had so favorable an opinion of Silvestre that he wished to know what he had done during the journey; and he informed him with pleasure. The viceroy and his son Francisco de Mendo�a also learned with much satisfaction the fertility of the soil of Florida, the customs of its inhabitants, their laws against adultery, the generosity of Mucoço, and the deeds of fortitude and courage of the Indians. They were astonished to hear of the riches of the temple of Talomeco and the quantity of pearls that was there. The conduct of the lady of Cofaciqui and the courtesy of the cacique Coça delighted them. They were surprised at the account of the battle of Alanvila, of the fidelity of the lieutenant-general of Anillo, and of the league of the ten caciques who had so bravely pursued our men. They heard, with much admiration, the great deeds which Hernando de Soto had achieved. But his death, at the time when he expected to accomplish his enterprise, sensibly moved them. And when they learned that he had determined to send to ask assistance of them, they blamed Moscoso and his captains for not having continued his designs. They declared that they would have speedily assisted them” and that they would have led troops even to the mouth of the Chucagua; that also, if they would return to. Florida; they were ready to go there with an army; but, as will be seen, those who bad returned did not wish to accompany them there.



AFTER our men lead recuperated in Mexico, they acted in this way: Aniasco, Gaitar, Gallego, Gardenioso, Tinoco, Calderon, and some others returned to Spain. They preferred leading a poor and peaceful life in their own country to being wealthy in America, where they saw themselves bated by many, where they had endured great hardships, and unfortunately lost their fortunes. Figueroa returned home to his father; many entered the monastic order, after the example of Quadrado Charamillo, who chose the order of St. Francis, where he died, illustrious by his actions of piety. Some settled in New Spain with Moscoso, who married in Mexico a lady of rank and of great wealth, who was his relation. Others returned to Peru, where they served Spain as brave soldiers in the war which she waged against Giron and Pizarro, and acquired there riches and reputation. But they could never obtain any district nor distribution of Indians, which they could easily have had in Florida.



To finish the History of Florida there remains only to speak of Maldonado, who, about the end of February of the year 1540, was sent to Havana to Bovadilla. Soto, on dispatching him there, ordered him to repair the next year to the port of Achussi with Arias; and to bring with him vessels loaded with provisions, munitions, and cattle; that he would be there at the time appointed. Maldonado punctually executed the orders of the general. He joined Arias at Havana, where they together purchased three ships, and loaded them, as also a caravel and two brigantines, with everything necessary for a colony. Afterwards they set sail, and safely came to anchor in the port of Achussi; but because they did not meet the general there, the one sailed along the coast towards the west. and the other towards the east, to learn some news of him; always leaving, where they landed, letters in the hollows of trees, in which they expressed that they were seeking Soto. They did so until the bad weather approached, which caused them to return to Havana without having learned anything. Nevertheless they did not despair on account of that; they again put to sea in the spring. One sailed close along the coast of Mexico, and the other went as far as the lands of Bacallos. But as they could discover nothing, they returned to Havana, whence they departed about the spring of the year 1543, resolved to perish or to learn what lead become of the general. With this design they, after much fatigue, arrived about the middle of October at Vera Cruz. There they learned the death of Soto, and that of the greater part of his companions; and immediately they returned to Havana, where they related to Isabella de Bovadilla the misfortune of her husband. She was so sensibly moved by it that site could not restrain her grief, and died a few days after this sorrowful news.



PONCE DE LEON equipped three large vessels in the year 1513, and landed with about a hundred men, upon the coast of Florida, where the Indians made way with them all. Aillon, followed by more than two hundred, had there the same misfortune as Pence. Narbaez perished there with four hundred. Hernando de Soto also died there, and more than seven hundred of those who accompanied him. So that, counting from the beginning of the discovery to the arrival of Moscoso at Mexico, there died in Florida more than fourteen hundred Christians, without mentioning some clergymen and many monks; all men illustrious by their virtue. The names of those whom I have been able to learn, are Dionysio de Paris, Diego de Vaguuelos, Francisco de Roclia, Rodrigo de Gallego, Francisco Delposo, Juan de Torres, Juan Gallego, Louis de Soto, and Cancel Balbastro.

About sixteen years after the death cf Balbastro, three Jesuits went to Florida; and, as at their arrival there was one of them slain, his companions hastily retired to Havana. Two years from that time eight other monks of the Society of Jesus undertook the same voyage, and took with them a cacique. But before saying anything of their adventures, I think it necessary to relate how this cacique had come to Spain. Pedro Melendez, from 1563 to 1568, went three times to the coast of Florida to drive from it the French corsairs, who hoped to get possession of it. The second time he brought with him from these countries seven Indians of their own accord, who were armed with bows and arrows. As soon as they had arrived in Spain, Melendez sent them on their way to Madrid, with the view of presenting them to Philippe II. In the mean time, he who gave me this account, living then in Castile, was informed that some Indians from Florida were on their way to the court, and he went in haste to meet them. At first, to show him that he had been in their country, he asked them, through their interpreter, if they were from Vitachuco, Apalache, or Mauvila; and that he would like very much to have the news from these provinces. The barbarians, knowing that this Spaniard was one of those who had followed Soto, began to look fiercely at him, and replied that he mocked theirs by inquiring of those places which he and his companions had miserably desolated. They replied nothing more, and only said among themselves that they would much rather pierce him with their arrows than inform him of that which he desired. And thereupon two of these Indians fired into the air, and signified by that, that they would much rather have killed the Spaniard than have uselessly lost their shots. These Indians were baptized in Spain; where, some time after, they all died except this cacique, who, sad for the death of his companions, asked to return home, promising to work for the conversion of the inhabitants of the country. The Jesuits, who wished to go to Florida, hearing him speak in this way, believed that he would serve powerfully to the design which they had. Therefore, they took him with them, and with much hardship arrived upon his territory. When he had been some time there, he left them under pretest of going to a neighboring town, which be named to them, to dispose the people there to hear the word of God; promising them that, at the latest he would return in eight days. They awaited him fifteen days, then they dispatched two of their companions to him, whom he caused to be massacred. And the following day he himself came at the head of a troop of Indians, and fell upon the others. The good fathers, who saw them come all enraged with arms in their hands, threw themselves upon their knees, and were all killed.

The barbarians immediately began some to dance about, and others to break a box in which was the crucifix and some ornaments to say mass, and they insolently scoffed them. The names of the Jesuits who were killed by these Indians are, Bautista Segura, Louis de Quiros, Bautista Mendez, Grai iel de Solis, Antonio Cavallos, Cristoval Redondo, Grauiel Gomes, Pedro de Linares. These monks, as well as the others of whom I have spoken, lost their lives in Florida at the very time that they prepared to preach the Gospel there. Therefore their deaths demand vengeance of God, or rather mercy, in order that the people of these countries, who are in darkness, may be some day enlightened with the light of the Faith; and that their lands, sprinkled with the blood of Christians, may bear fruit worthy of the sanctity of blood so sacred.

Text prepared by:

Text prepared by:


Vega, Garcilaso de la. “History of the Conquest of Florida.” The History of Hernando De Soto and Florida: Or, Record of the Events of Fifty-six Years, from 1512 to 1568. Ed. Barnard Sharp. America: Collins, 1881. 221-487. Google Books. Web. 26 Jan. 2015. <http://books. google.com/ books?id= hh0wAAAAYAAJ>.

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