Balboa humbled himself before the chief; and taking off his coat, profusely decorated, offered it as a peace offering. The cazique would not accept it, but said, “You are poor and desolate—I am rich and powerful. I will not hurt you, though you are my enemy.” He then ordered him safe conduct through the forests; and Balboa regained his own people, the Spaniards, in safety. This escape softened Balboa’s heart, and he never afterwards treated the Indians with the same severity.
After many victories, and many other singular escapes, he returned back to Coyba. But the sufferings of his men, in returning, were extreme, for want both of water and provisions. The streams were most of them dried up, and provisions could not be found. Gold they indeed had, almost as much as they could carry, and the Indians kept bringing them more; but this they could not eat or drink, and it would not buy what was not to be bought.
He arrived at Darien after about two months’ absence, having lost nearly all his men, by war and sickness. His discovery made a great noise, and procured him much honor, but he did not live to enjoy it.
A new governor was appointed in his place, who, having a mortal hatred to Balboa, threw him into prison, and, after a mock trial, had him beheaded, in 1517, in his 48th year.
[Illustration: Admiral Keppel.]
When Admiral Keppel was sent to the Dey of Algiers, to demand restitution of two ships which the pirates had taken, he sailed with his squadron into the Bay of Algiers, and cast anchor in front of the Dey’s palace. He then landed, and, attended only by his captain and barge’s crew, demanded an immediate audience of the Dey. This being granted, he claimed full satisfaction for the injuries done to the subjects of his Britannic Majesty. Surprised and enraged at the boldness of the admiral’s remonstrance, the Dey exclaimed, “that he wondered at the English King’s insolence in sending him a foolish, beardless boy.” A well-timed reply from the admiral made the Dey forget the laws of all nations in respect to ambassadors, and he ordered his mutes to attend with the bow-string, at the same time telling the admiral he should pay for his audacity with his life. Unmoved by this menace, the admiral took the Dey to the window facing the bay, and showed him the English fleet riding at anchor, and told him that if he dared put him to death there were men enough in that fleet to make him a glorious funeral-pile. The Dey was wise enough to take the hint. The admiral obtained ample restitution, and came off in safety.
[Illustration: Loss of the Cataraque.]
The Cataraque, Captain C.W. Findlay, sailed from Liverpool, on the 20th of April, 1849, with three hundred and sixty emigrants, and a crew including two doctors, (brothers,) of forty-six souls. The emigrants were principally from Bedfordshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire, and Northamptonshire. About one hundred and twenty of the passengers were married, with families, and in all seventy-three children.