On his arrival at Burgos, the admiral presented their majesties, with many curious specimens of the productions of the Indies, as birds, beasts, trees, plants, instruments, and other things used by the Indians in their employments and amusements; also girdles, and masks, having ears and eyes made of gold plates; likewise with much gold dust, small and gross as produced by nature, some of the grains as big as vetches, some like beans, and others as large as pigeons eggs. These latter, then so much admired, were not afterwards so much valued, as in progress of time lumps of gold have been found which weighed above thirty pounds; but they were then held in high estimation in prospect of great future hopes, and were received in good part by their majesties. When the admiral had given them an account of all that seemed to him necessary for improving and peopling the Indies, he was very desirous to return thither with all speed, lest some disaster might happen during his absence, considering that he had left the colony in great want of necessaries; and though he strongly solicited and pressed the necessity of speedy succours, such was the tediousness and delay of business in that court, that ten or twelve months elapsed before he could procure the equipment of two ships, which were sent out in February 1498, under the command of Pedro Fernandez Coronel.
The admiral remained at court to solicit the appointment of such a fleet as he considered to be necessary for his return to the Indies. But he was forced to remain above a year at Burgos and Medina del Campo, where in the year 1497 their majesties granted him many favours, and gave the necessary orders for expediting his affairs, and for the settlement and government of the Indies. These I here mention to shew that their Catholic majesties were, still ready to acknowledge and reward his services and merit; though they afterwards altered greatly in this respect, through the false information and scandalous insinuations of malicious and envious persons, so as to permit gross wrongs to be done him, as will afterwards appear.
Having at length procured the necessary orders, he proceeded to Seville, and there the fitting out of his fleet was retarded very unprofitably through the negligence and ill management of the public officers, especially Juan de Fonseca, the archdeacon of Seville, who was afterwards bishop of Burgos, and always was a bitter enemy to the admiral and his affairs, and became the chief leader among those who afterwards brought him into disgrace with their Catholic majesties. While engaged at Seville in superintending the equipment, that my brother and I might not suffer by the delays, we having both served as pages to Prince John, who was now dead, he sent us back to court in November 1497 to serve as pages to her majesty Queen Isabella of glorious memory.
Account of the Admirals third Voyage, during which he discovered the Continent of Paria; with the occurrences to his arrival in Hispaniola.