A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 764 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04.
by the Spaniards, who broke them in order to examine their nature; as they were so ignorant as to believe that good emeralds ought to bear the hammer without breaking, like diamonds.  Believing therefore that the Indians might impose false stones upon them, they broke many of great value through their ignorance.  The Spaniards were here afflicted by a singular disease, formerly mentioned, which produced a dangerous kind of warts or wens on their heads faces and other parts of their body, extremely sore and loathsome, of which some of the soldiers died, but most of them recovered, though almost every one was less or more affected.

Leaving Coaque on account of this strange disease, which Pizarro attributed to the malignity of the air, he marched on to that province or district in which Puerto Viejo now stands, and easily reduced all the surrounding country to subjection.  The captains Sebastian Benalcazar and Juan Fernandez joined him at this place, with a small reinforcement of horse and foot, which they brought from Nicaragua[6].

Having reduced the province of Puerto Viejo to subjection, Pizarro proceeded with all his troops to the harbour of Tumbez, whence he determined to pass over into the island of Puna, which is opposite to that port.  For this purpose he caused a number of flats or rafts to be constructed after the manner of the Peruvians, formerly mentioned, to transport his men and horses to the island, which is above twenty miles from the river of Tumbez.  The Spaniards were in imminent danger in this passage, as the Indians who guided their floats had resolved to cut the cords by which their planks were held together, on purpose to drown the men and horses; but as Pizarro had some suspicion or intimation of their secret intentions, he ordered all his people to be on their guard, constantly sword in hand, and to keep a watchful eye on the Indians.  On arriving in the island, the inhabitants received them courteously and requested that there might be peace between them; yet it was soon known that they had concealed their warriors in ambush, with the intention of massacring the Spaniards during the night.  When Pizarro was informed of this treachery, he attacked and defeated the Indians, and took the principal cacique of the island; and next morning made himself master of the enemies camp, which was defended by a considerable body of warriors.  Learning that another body of the islanders had attacked the flat vessels or rafts in which they had come over, Pizarro and his brothers went in all haste to assist the Spanish guard which had the care of them, and drove away the enemy with considerable slaughter.  In these engagements two or three of the Spaniards were killed, and several wounded, among whom was Gonzalo Pizarro, who received a dangerous hurt on the knee.

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