GENTLEMAN OF ELVAS
CHAPTER XXIX: OF THE MESSAGE SENT BY THE GOVERNOR TO QUIGALTAM AND OF THE ANSWER GIVEN BY THE LATTER; AND OF WHAT HAPPENED DURING THIS TIME.
As soon as the governor reached Guachoya, he sent Juan de Añasco up the river with as many men as could get into the canoes; for when they were coming from Anilco, they saw newly made huts on the other side. Juan de Añasco went and brought back the canoes laden with maize, beans, dried plums, and many loaves made from the pulp of the plums. On that day, an Indian came to the governor in the name of the cacique of Guachoya and said that his lord would come next day. On the following day, they saw many canoes coming from downstream. They assembled together for the space of an hour on the other side of the great river, debating as to whether they should come or not. At last, they made up their minds and crossed the river. The cacique of Guachoya came in them, bringing with him many Indians bearing a considerable quantity of fish, dogs, skins, and blankets. As soon as they landed at the town, they went immediately to the town to the governor's lodging and presented the gifts to him; and the cacique spoke as follows: "Powerful and excellent lord; May your Lordship pardon me for the mistake I made in going away and not waiting in this town to receive you and serve you; for the obtaining of this opportune occasion was, and is, a great victory for me. But I feared what I should not have feared and on that account did what it was not proper to do. However, since hasty actions cause unfavorable results, and I had acted without deliberation, as soon as I reflected on this, I made up my mind not to follow the advice of the foolish, which is to persist in their error, but to imitate the wise and prudent ones in changing one's opinion; and I am come to see what your Lordship might command me in order to serve you in so far as my possibility suffices." The governor welcomed him with much hospitality and gave him thanks for his gifts and promises. He asked him [the cacique] whether he had any knowledge of the sea. He said he did not, nor of any settlement down the river from that place, except that there was a town of one of his principal Indians subject to him two leagues away, and on the other side three days' journey downstream the province of Quigualtam, who was the greatest lord of that region. It seemed to the governor that the cacique was lying to him in order to turn him aside from his towns, and he sent Juan de Añasco downstream with eight horse to see what population there was and to ascertain whether there were any knowledge of the sea. He was gone for a week and on his coming said that during that whole time he could not proceed more than fourteen or fifteen leagues because of the great arms leading out of the river, and the canebrakes and thick woods lying along it; and that he found no settlement. The governor's grief was intense on seeing the small prospect [mao remedio] he had for reaching the sea; and worse, according to the way in which his men and horses were diminishing, they could not be maintained in the land without succor. With that thought, he fell sick, but before he took to his bed, he sent an Indian to tell the cacique of Quigualtam that he was the son of the sun and that wherever he went all obeyed him and did him service. He requested him to choose his friendship and come there where he was, for he would be very glad to see him; and in token of love and obedience that he should bring him something of what was most esteemed in that land. By the same Indian, he [the cacique] answered him saying that with respect to what he [the governor] said about being the son of the sun, let him dry up the great river and he would believe him. With respect to the rest [that the governor said], he was not accustomed to visit any one. On the contrary, all of whom he had knowledge visited and served him and obeyed him and paid him tribute, either by force or of their own volition. Consequently, if he [the governor] wished to see him, let him cross there. If he came in peace he would welcome him with special good will; if he came in war, he would await him in the town where he was, for not for him or any other would he move one foot backward. When the Indian came with this reply, the governor was already in bed, badly racked by fever. He was very angry that he was not in condition to cross the river forthwith and go in quest of him [the cacique] to see whether he could not lessen that arrogant demeanor. However, the river was now very powerful there, being about half a league wide and sixteen brazas deep, and very furious because of its strong current. On both sides of it were many Indians; and his strength was now no longer so great that he did not need to take advantage of cunning rather than force. The Indians of Guachoya came daily with fish, so many that the town was filled with them. The cacique said that the cacique of Quigualtam was going to come on a certain night to do battle with the governor. The governor, believing that he [the cacique of Guachoya] was planning thereby to drive him out of his land, ordered him placed under guard. That night and every other night a very strict watch was kept. Asking him why Quigualtarn did not come, he [the cacique] said that he had come, but saw that he [the governor] was on the watch and he did not dare to attack him. He [the cacique] importuned him [the governor] frequently, to order his captains to cross to the other side of the river and [said] that he would give him many men to attack Quigualtam. The governor told him that as soon as he got well, he would go to look for him [Quigualtam]. Noting how many Indians came to the town daily, and how many people were in that land, and fearing lest some of them conspire with others and plan some treason against him, and because the town, having no gates by which advantage could be taken, had some openings which had not been completely closed: he left them in that condition without repairing the stockade in order that the Indians might not think he feared them. He ordered that men of horse be stationed at them and at the gates. All night long the horses were left bridled and from each company mounted men rode by couples and went to visit the sentinels who were stationed on the roads at their posts outside the town, and the crossbowmen who were guarding the canoes on the river. In order that the Indians might fear him, the governor determined to send a captain to Anilco, which those of Guachoya had told him was inhabited, in order that by treating them cruelly, neither the one town nor the other should dare attack him. He sent Nuño de Tobar with fifteen horse and Juan de Guzmán, captain of men of foot, with his men upstream in the canoes. The cacique of Guachoya sent for canoes and for many Indian warriors who went with the Christians. A captain of the Christians, Nuño de Tobar, by name, with the men of horse went overland. At a distance of two leagues before reaching Anilco, he awaited Juan de Guzmán and at night they crossed the river at that place. Those of horse arrived first. At daybreak next morning, in sight of the town they came upon a spy, who, on seeing the Christians, ran away uttering loud cries in order to give the alarm to those of the town. Nuño de Tobar and those who accompanied him set such a pace that before the Indians of the town had all come out, they were on them. The land was open, that part which was peopled being about a quarter of a league [in extent]. There were about five or six thousand souls in that settlement. And since many of the people came out of the houses and went fleeing from one house to the other, and many Indians were gathering together in all directions, there was not a single one of the horse who did not find himself alone among many. The captain had ordered that no male Indian's life should be spared. So great was their confusion that not an Indian shot at a Christian. The cries of the women and little children were so loud that they deafened the ears of those who pursued them. A hundred or so Indians were killed there and many were badly wounded with the lances, who were let go in order that they might strike terror into those who did not happen to be there. There were men there so cruel and such butchers that they killed old men and young men and all they came upon without any one offering them little or much resistance. Those who trusted in themselves, who went to prove themselves wherever there was any resistance, and who were considered as such men, broke through the Indians, overthrowing many with the stirrup and breasts of their horses; and some they lanced and let them go in that condition; but on seeing a child or a woman, they would capture and deliver such a person to those of foot. Those who were cruel, because they showed themselves inhuman, God permitted their sin to confront them, very great cowardice assailing them in the sight of all at a time when there was greater need of fighting, and when at last they came to die. Of the Indians at Anilco, eighty women and children were seized, and much clothing. The Indians of Guachoya stopped before reaching the town and stayed outside, beholding how the Christians dealt [se avinha] with the people of Anilco; and seeing them defeated and those of horse going about lancing them, they went to the houses to loot, and from the booty loaded their canoes with clothing and went to Guachoya before the Christians came. And full of wonder at what they had seen done to the Indians of Anilco, they told their cacique with great fear everything as it had happened.