In this unfortunate predicament, it happened luckily for the survivors that Nicuessa appeared with his ships. Being informed of what had happened to his rival, through his own rashness, he sent for him, and said that in such a case they ought to forget their disputes, remembering only that they were gentlemen and Spaniards. He offered at the same time to land with his men, to assist Hojeda in revenging the death of Cosa and the rest. Nicuessa accordingly landed with 400 men, which was more than sufficient to defeat the Indians, whose town was taken and burnt. By this victory the Spaniards acquired a vast number of slaves, and got so much booty that each shared seven thousand pieces of gold. Nicuessa and Hojeda now agreed to separate, that each might pursue the plan of discovery and settlement which was directed by their respective commissions.
Understanding that Nicuessa intended to steer for Veragua, Hojeda made all sail for the river of Darien; but having lost his old pilot, on whose experience he chiefly depended, he missed the river, and resolved to establish a settlement on the eastern promontory of the gulf of Uraba, which he did accordingly, calling his new town St Sebastian; because that saint is said to have been martyred by the arrows of the infidels, and was therefore thought a fit patron to defend him against the poisoned arrows of the Indians. He had scarcely fixed in this place when he found all the inhabitants of the country to be a race of barbarous savages, from whom he could only expect all the injury they could possibly do him and his colony. In this situation, he dispatched one of his ships under Enciso to Hispaniola, with orders to bring him as large a reinforcement of men as possible, and immediately set to work in constructing entrenchments to secure his remaining people against the natives. Provisions growing scarce, so that his people could not subsist, be found himself soon obliged to make excursions into the country in order to obtain a supply; but he was unsuccessful in this measure, and had the misfortune to lose many of his men by the arrows of the Indians, which were poisoned with the juice of a stinking tree which grows by the sea side. By these disasters, his new colony was speedily reduced to a very wretched situation; starved if they remained within their works, and sure to meet death if they ventured out into the country. While in this state of absolute despair, they were surprised one day by seeing a ship entering the port. This was commanded by Bernard de Talavera, no better than a pirate, who, flying from justice, had taken shelter in this place, to him unknown. Hojeda was in too great extremity to be nice in his inquiries into the character of Talavera, but readily bought his cargo, and treated him so well in other respects, that Talavera entered into his service. However serviceable this relief, it was but of short continuance, as all their provisions were soon consumed, and the savages were even more troublesome than before,