De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 449 pages of information about De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2).

The next day, the Spaniards ascended the river and about a mile distant they found very dense forests and woods, in which they suspected the natives were either hiding or had their treasure concealed.  They searched the thickets carefully; keeping always on their guard against a surprise they moved under cover of their shields.  Nobody was found in the thickets, but there was a quantity of gold and effects, coverlets woven of silk and of cotton, such as the Italians call bombasio and the Spanish algodon; utensils, both of wood and terra-cotta, gold and copper ornaments and necklaces, amounting in all to about one hundred and two pounds.  The natives procure these gold necklaces, which they themselves work with great care, in exchange for their own products, for it usually happens that a country rich in cereals is devoid of gold.  On the other hand, where gold and other metals are common, the country is usually mountainous, rocky, and arid; it is by exchanging products that commercial relations are established.  The Spaniards derived satisfaction and encouragement from two sources:  they had found plenty of gold, and chance had led them into an agreeable and fertile region.  They immediately summoned their companions, who had been left on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Uraba, to join them.  Nevertheless, some people allege that the climate is not very healthy, since the country consists of a deep valley, surrounded by mountains and swamps.


You are aware, Most Holy Father, of where those Spaniards under the command of Hojeda had resolved to settle, having received from the Spanish sovereigns authorisation to colonise the vast regions of Uraba.  Leaving for a moment these colonists let us return to Nicuesa, who was in command of the great province of Veragua.

I have already related how he had overstepped the limits of the jurisdiction of his partner and friend Hojeda, and had sailed with one caravel and two brigantines for Veragua.  The largest of these vessels had been left behind with orders to follow him, but this proved a most unfortunate inspiration, for Nicuesa lost sight of his companions in the darkness and, sailing too far, went beyond the mouths of the Veragua for which he was looking.  Lopez de Olano, a Catalonian, who was in command of one of the largest of the vessels, learned from the natives while he followed in the track of Nicuesa that his commander had left the Gulf of Veragua to the east.  He therefore promptly turned about and sailed to meet the commander of another brigantine which had likewise got out of its course during the night.  This brigantine was commanded by Pedro de Umbria.  Rejoicing at thus meeting, the two captains consulted as to what they should do, trying to imagine what course Nicuesa could have taken.  On reflection they thought that he (Nicuesa), being chief commander of the expedition, must have had different indications concerning the exact location

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De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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