GENTLEMAN OF ELVAS
CHAPTER XXVI: HOW THE GOVERNOR WENT TO SEE THE PROVINCE OF TULLA AND WHAT BEFELL HIM THERE.
The governor abode in the province of Cayas for a month. During that interval, the horses grew fat and throve more than after a longer time in any other region because of the abundance of maize and the leaf thereof, which is, I think, the best that has been seen. They drank from a very warm and brackish marsh of water, and they drank so much that it was noticed in their bellies when they were brought back from the water. Thitherto the Christians had lacked salt, but there they made a good quantity of it in order to carry it along with them. The Indians carry it thence to other regions to exchange it for skins and blankets. They gather it along the river, which leaves it on top of the sand when the water falls. And since they cannot gather it without more sand being mixed with it, they put it into certain baskets which they have for this purpose, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. They hang the baskets to a pole in the air and put water in them, and they place a basin underneath into which the water falls. After being strained and set on the fire to boil, as the water becomes less, the salt is left on the bottom of the pot. On both sides of the river, the land had cultivated fields and there was an abundance of maize. The Indians did not dare to cross [the river] to the place where we were. When some [Indians] appeared, some soldiers who saw them called to them. The Indians crossed the river and came with them [the soldiers] to the place where the governor was. He asked them for their cacique. They declared that he was friendly, but that he did not dare to appear. Thereupon, the governor ordered that he be told to come to see him and to bring a guide and interpreter for the region ahead, if he wished to be his friend; and that if he did not do this, he would go to fetch him and his hurt would be greater. He waited three days, and seeing that he [the cacique] did not come, went to look for him, and brought him back a prisoner with one hundred and fifty of his Indians. He [the governor] asked him whether he had knowledge of any great cacique and where the most populated land was. He [the cacique] said that the best populated land thereabout was a province situated to the South, a day and a half away, called Tulla, that he could give him a guide, but that he did not have an interpreter, for the speech of Tulla was different from his; and because he and his forebears had always been at war with the lords of that province, they had no converse, nor did they understand each other. Thereupon, the governor set out for Tulla with men of horse and fifty foot in order to see whether it was a land through which he might pass with all his men. As soon as he arrived and was perceived by the Indians, the land was summoned. When fifteen or twenty Indians had gathered together, they came to attack the Christians. On [the Indians'] seeing that they [the Christians] handled them roughly, and that when they took to flight the horses overtook them, they climbed on top of the houses, where they tried to defend themselves with their arrows; and when driven from some [of the housetops] would climb on top of others; and while they [the Christians] were pursuing some [of the Indians], others [of the Indians] would attack them [the Christians] from another direction. In this way, the running lasted so long that the horses became tired and could no longer run. The Indians killed one horse there and wounded several. Fifteen Indians were killed there, and captives were made of forty women and young persons; for they [the Christians] did not leave any Indian alive who was shooting arrows if they could overtake him. The governor determined to return to Cayas before the Indians should have time to gather themselves together. Thereupon, that evening, after having marched part of the night, in order to get some distance from Tulla, he went to sleep on the road, and reached Cayas next day. Three days after that he set out with all his men for Tulla, taking the cacique with him. Among all the Indians of the latter, he did not find a single one who understood the speech of Tulla. He was three days on the way, and the day he reached the town, he found it abandoned, for the Indians did not dare await him. But as soon as they knew he was in Tulla, at the hour of dawn of the first night, they came in two bands from two different directions with their bows and arrows and long poles resembling pikes. As soon as they [the Indians] were perceived, both those of horse and those of foot sallied out against them and there many Indians were killed, and some Christians and horses wounded. Some Indians were captured, six of whom the governor sent to the cacique with their right hands and their noses cut off. He ordered them to tell him that if he did not come to make his excuses and obey him, he would go to get him; and that he would do to him and to as many of his men as he found what he had done to those whom he sent to him. He gave him the space of three days in which to come. This he gave them to understand the best he could by signs as he had no interpreter. After three days came an Indian whom the cacique sent laden with cowhides. He came weeping bitterly, and coming to the governor cast himself at his feet. He [the governor] raised him up, and he made him talk, but no one could understand him. The governor told him by signs that he should return and tell the cacique to send him an interpreter whom the people of Cayas could understand. Next day, three Indians came laden with cowhides and three days after that twenty Indians came. Among them was one who understood those of Cayas. After a long discourse of excuses from the cacique and praises of the governor, he concluded by saying that he and the others were come thither on behalf of the cacique to see what his lordship ordered; and that he was ready to serve him. The governor and all the men were very glad, for they could in no wise travel without an interpreter. The governor ordered him under guard and told him to tell the Indians who had come with him to return to the cacique and tell him that he pardoned him for the past and that he thanked him greatly for his gifts and for the interpreter whom he had sent him and that he would be glad to see him and for him to come next day to see him. The cacique came after three days and eighty Indians with him. Both he and his men entered the camp weeping in token of obedience and repentance for the past mistake, after the manner of that land. He brought many cowhides as a gift, which were useful because it was a cold land, and were serviceable for coverlets as they were very soft and the wool like that of sheep. Nearby to the north were many cattle. The Christians did not see them nor enter their land, for the land was poorly settled where they [the cattle] were, and had little maize. The cacique of Tulla made his address to the governor in which he excused himself and offered him his land and vassals and person. No orator could more elegantly express the message or address both of that cacique and of all those who came to the governor in their behalf.