Finding the natives so tractable and well affectioned to the Spaniards, the country so pleasant and fertile, and such promising indications of gold; the admiral concluded that God had permitted the loss of the ship on purpose that a settlement might be made in this place, where the preaching of his holy word might begin. The Almighty often permits that this should be done, not solely to his own glory, and advantage of our neighbours, but likewise for the rewards that men may look for both in this world and the next: For it is not to be believed that any nation would venture upon so many hardships and dangers, as had been undergone by the admiral and his Spaniards, in so doubtful and hazardous an enterprize, were it not in hope of some reward to encourage them in the holy work.
The Indians continued to go backwards and forwards bartering gold for hawks-bells, which was the article they most esteemed, and as soon as they came near the caravel, they held up their pieces of gold, calling out Chuque, chuque, as much as to say Take and give. One day, an Indian on shore came with a piece of gold weighing about half a mark or four ounces, which he held in his left hand, holding out his right hand to receive the bell, which he no sooner got hold of than he dropt the gold and ran away, as if thinking that he had cheated the Spaniard. The admiral, for the reasons already assigned, resolved to leave some men in this country to trade with the Indians, to make researches into the inland parts of the island, and to learn the language; that, on his return from Spain, he might have some persons able to direct him in planting colonies and subduing the country; and, on intimating his design, many freely offered to remain. He gave orders, therefore, for building a tower, or fort, with the timbers of the ship that was cast away. In the meantime, advice was brought by some of the natives, that the caravel Pinta was in a river, towards the east end of Hispaniola, and Guacanagari, at the admirals request, sent to get certain information respecting this report. The admiral took much pains to advance the construction of the fort. As Guacanagari always expressed great dread of the Caribbees, to encourage him, and at the same time to impress him with a strong idea of the efficacy of the Spanish arms, the admiral caused one of the cannons to be fired, in presence of the cacique, against the side of the wrecked ship, when the ball pierced through and fell into the water beyond. Having thus shewn him what execution our weapons could do, he told the cacique that the persons he meant to leave in this place would defend him against his enemies with these weapons during his absence; as he intended to return into Spain, on purpose to bring back jewels, and other fine things to present to him. Of all the toys which the Spaniards gave to the Indians, they were fondest of hawks-bells; insomuch that some of these people, fearing there might be none left, used to come to the caravel in the evening, and request to have one kept for them till next morning.