A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 756 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03.
Indians added that the continent was only ten days sail from this island; but, from a notion he had imbibed from the writings of Paul, a physician of Florence, and though he was in the right, it was not the land he imagined[5].  Believing that the Indians would be afraid if many men were to land, he sent only two Spaniards on shore, along with one of the Guanahani Indians, and one belonging to Cuba who had come on board in a canoe.  The Spaniards were Roderick de Xeres, a native of Ayamonte, and Lewis de Torres, who had been a Jew, and spoke Hebrew and Chaldee, and some Arabic.  These people were furnished with toys to barter, and were restricted to six days, having proper instructions of what they were to say in the name of their Catholic majesties, and were directed to penetrate into the country, informing themselves of every thing worth notice, and not to do any injury to any of the natives.  In the mean time, the admiral refitted the ships, and found all the wood they used for fuel produced a kind of gum like mastic, the leaf and fruit much resembling the lentisc, but the tree was much larger.  In this river of Mares, the ships had room to swing, having seven or eight fathoms water at the mouth, and five within.  There were two small hills on the west side of the river, and a pleasant flat cape running out to the W.N.W.  This was afterwards the port of Barocoa, which the adelantado Velasquez called Assumption.

On the 5th of November, when the ships were ready to sail, the two Spaniards returned, accompanied by three natives of the island.  They reported that they had penetrated twenty-two leagues, and found a town of 50 houses, built like those which had been seen already, and containing about 1000 inhabitants, as a whole race lived in one house.  The prince and chief men came out to meet them, and led them by the arms to lodge in one of the houses, where they were seated on stools of an entire piece of wood, shaped like a living creature with short legs, the tail standing upright, and the head before, with gold eyes and ears.  All the Indians sat about them on the ground, and came in succession to kiss their hands, believing they came from heaven, and gave them boiled roots to eat, which tasted like chesnuts.  They were entreated to remain, or at least to stay for some days to rest themselves, as the Indians that went with them had said a great deal in their praise.  The men afterwards went away, and many women came to see them, who were much amazed, kissed their hands and feet, and touched them fearfully as if holy, offering them what they had to give.  On their return, many of the natives desired to accompany them; but they would only permit the lord of the town, with his son and a servant, whom the admiral treated with much respect.  They added, that they met with several towns, both in going and returning, where they were courteously entertained; but none of them contained more than five or six houses.  On the way, they met many people carrying lighted fire-brands to make

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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