Gentleman of Elvas: Chapter XXXII and XXXIII
GENTLEMAN OF ELVAS
CHAPTER XXXII: HOW THE GOVERNOR WENT FROM AGUACAY TO NAGUATEX AND WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM.
On the day the governor left Aguacay, he went to sleep near a small town subject to the lord of that province. The camp was pitched quite near to a salt marsh, and on that evening some salt was made there. Next day he went to sleep between two ridges in a forest of open trees. Next day he reached small town called Pato. The fourth day after he left Aguacay, he reached the first settlement of a province called Amaye. An Indian was captured there who said that it was a day and a half journey thence to Naguatex, all of which lay through an inhabited region. Having left the village of Amaye, on Saturday, July 20, camp was made at midday beside a brook in a luxuriant grove between Amaye and Naguatex. Indians were seen there who came to spy on them. Those of horse rushed at them, killing six and capturing two. On being asked by the governor why they had come, they said it was to ascertain what people he had and of what manner they were, and that they had been sent by their lord, the cacique of Naguatex; that the latter, with other caciques, who were in his company and under his protection, had made up their minds to give him battle that day. While this questioning and answering was going on, many Indians came in two bands from two directions. As soon as they saw they had been perceived, uttering loud cries they rushed upon the Christians with great fury, each band in its own part. But on seeing the resistance they met with from the Christians, they turned and fled, and in their flight many of them lost their lives. While most of the horse were going in pursuit of them, quite forgetful of the camp, two other band of Indians who had been concealed, attacked them. They were also resisted and had their pay as the first had. After the Indians had fled and the Christians had gathered together, they heard a loud cry at the distance of a cross bow flight from where they were. The governor sent twelve horse to see what it was. They found six Christians, two of horse and four of foot among many Indians, those on horse with great difficulty defending those on foot. These had got lost from those who pursued the first two bands of Indians, and while returning to camp, met those with whom they were fighting. Both they and those who went to their aid killed many of the Indians. They brought one Indian to camp alive, whom the governor asked who those were who had come to do battle with him. He said that they were the cacique of Naguatex and he of Maye and another of a province called Hacanac, lord of vast lands and many vassals; and that he of Naguatex came as captain and head of all. The governor ordered his right arm and his nostrils cut off and sent him to the cacique of Naguatex, ordering him to say that on the morrow he would be in his land to destroy him and that if he wished to forbid him entrance, he should await him. That night he slept there and next day reached the village of Naguatex which was very extensive. He asked where the town of the cacique was and they told him it was on the other side of a river which ran through that district. He marched toward it and on reaching it saw many Indians on the other side waiting for him, so posted as to forbid his passage. Since he did not know whether it [the river] was fordable, nor where it could be crossed, and since several Christians and horses were wounded, in order that they might have time to recover in the town where he was, he made up his mind to rest for a few days. Because of the great heat, he made camp near the village, a quarter of a league from the river, in an open forest of luxuriant and lofty trees near a brook. Several Indians were captured there. He asked them whether the river was fordable. They said it was at times in certain places. Ten days later he sent two captains, each with fifteen horse up and down the river with Indians to show them where they could cross, to see what population lay on the other side of the river. The Indians opposed the crossing of them both as strongly as possible, but they crossed in spite of them. On the other side they saw a large village and many provisions; and returned to camp with this news.
GENTLEMAN OF ELVAS
CHAPTER XXXIII: HOW THE CACIQUE OF NAGUATEX CAME TO VISIT THE GOVERNOR; AND HOW THE GOVERNOR LEFT NAGUATEX AND WENT TO NONDACAO.
From the town of Naguatex, where the governor was, he sent word by an Indian to the cacique to come to serve and obey him and said that he would pardon him for the past; and that if he did not come he would go to look for him and give him the punishment he merited for what he had done against him. Two days later the Indian came and said that the cacique would come next day. The very day before he came he [the cacique] sent many Indians ahead, among whom were some of the principal men. He sent them to see in what mood they found the governor, in order to make up his mind with himself whether to go or not. The Indians reported he was coming and immediately returned. The cacique came two hours later well attended by his men. They all came after this manner, one ahead of the other in double file, leaving a lane in the middle through which the cacique came. They reached the place where the governor was, all weeping after the manner of Tula which lay to the east not very far from that place. The cacique paid his respects fittingly and spoke as follows: "Very exalted, very mighty Lord, to whom the whole world owes service and obedience: I venture to appear before your Lordship after having committed so enormous and vile an act, for which even because it passed through my mind I merit punishment, trusting in your greatness, that although I have not even deserved pardon, but because it is your custom, you will observe clemency toward me, considering how insignificant I am comparison with your Lordship, so that you will not be mindful of my weaknesses, which, because of my evil, I have come to know for my greater good. I believe that you and your men must be immortal and that your Lordship is lord of the realm of nature, since every thing submits to and obeys you, even the hearts of men. For, seeing the death and destruction of my men in the battle, which I fought with your Lordship through my ignorance and the counsel of a brother of mine, who was killed in the action, I immediately repented me in my heart of the mistake I had committed and desired to serve and obey you. I come, therefore so that your Lordship may punish me and order me as your own." The governor answered him saying that he pardoned him for the past, that thenceforth and in the future he should act as he ought and that he would consider him his friend and protect him in all his affairs. Four days later he departed thence, but on reaching the river could not cross, as it had swollen greatly. This appeared a wonderful phenomenon to him because of the season then and because it had not rained for more than a month. The Indians declared that it swelled often in that way without it having rained anywhere in the land. It was conjectured that it might be the sea which came up through the river. It was learned that the increase always came from above, and that the Indians of all that land had no knowledge of the sea. The governor returned to the place where he had been during the preceding days. A week later, hearing that the river could be crossed, he passed to the other side and found a village without any people. He lodged in the open field and sent word to the cacique to come where he was and give him a guide for the forward journey. A few days later, seeing that the cacique did not come or send, he sent two captains, each in a different direction, to burn the towns and capture any Indians they might find. They burned many provisions and captured many Indians. The cacique, on beholding the damage that his land was receiving, sent six of his principal men and three Indians with them as guides who knew the language of the region ahead where the governor was about to go. He immediately left Naguatex and after marching three days reached a town of four or five houses, belonging to the cacique of that miserable province, called Nisohone. It was a poorly populated region and had little maize. Two days later, the guides who were guiding the governor, if they had to go toward the west, guided them toward the east, and sometimes they went through dense forests, wandering off the road. The governor ordered them hanged from a tree, and an Indian woman, who had been captured at Nisohone, guided him, and he went back to look for the road. Two days later, he reached another wretched land called Lacane. There he captured an Indian who said that the land of Nondacao was a very populous region and the houses scattered about one from another as is customary in mountains, and that there was abundance of maize. The cacique and his Indians came weeping like those of Naguatex, that being their custom in token of obedience. He made him [the governor] a gift of a great quantity of fish and offered to do as he should order. He took his leave of him and gave him a guide to the province of Soacatino.