Juan Morcillo and Gonzalo Fernandez and Diego Minas were slain. I saw a lifted club and swerved, but too late.
Blackness and neither care nor delight. Then, far off, a little beating of surf on shore, very far and nothing to do with anything. Then a clue of pain that it seemed I must follow or that must follow me, and at first it was a little thin thread, but then a cable and all my care was to thin it again. It passed into an ache and throb that filled my being like the rain clouds the sky. Then suddenly there were yet heavy clouds but the sky around and behind. I opened my eyes and sat up, but found that my arms were bound to my sides.
“We aren’t dead, and that’s some comfort, Doctor, as the cock said to the other cock in the market pannier!” It was Beltran the cook who spoke and he was bound like me. Around us lay the five dead. A score of Indians warded us, mighty strangers in bonds, and we heard the rest up at the fort where they were searching and pillaging.
Guarico, and the men there?
We found that out when at last they were done with La Navidad and they and we were put on the march. We came to where had been Guarico, and truly for long we had smelled the burning of it, as we had heard the crying and shouting. It was all down, the frail houses. I made out in the loud talking that followed the blending of Caonabo’s bands what had been done and not done. Guacanagari, wounded, was fled after fighting a while, he and his brother and the butio and all the people. But the mighty strangers found in the village, were dead. They had run down to the sea, but Caonabo’s men had caught them, and after hard work killed them. Juan Lepe and Beltran, passing, saw the five bodies.
I do not think that Caonabo had less than a thousand with him. He had come in force, and the whole as silent as a bat or moth. We were to learn over and over again that “Indians” could do that, travel very silently, creatures of the forest who took by surprise. Well, Guarico was destroyed, and Guacanagari and Guarin fled, and in all Hispaniola were only two Spaniards, and we saw no sail upon the sea, no sail at all!
WE turned from the sea. Thick forest came between us and it. We were going with Caonabo to the mountains. Beltran and I thought that it had been in question whether he should kill us at once, or hold us in life until we had been shown as trophies in Maguana, and that the pride and vanity of the latter course prevailed. After two days in this ruined place, during which we saw no Guarico Indian, we departed. The raid was over. All their war is by raid. They carried everything from the fort save the fort itself and the two lombards. In the narrow paths that are this world’s roads, one man must walk after another, and their column seems endless where it winds and is lost and appears again. Beltran and I were no longer bound. Nor were we treated unkindly, starved nor hurt in any way. All that waited until we should reach Caonabo’s town.