1492 eBook

Mary Johnston
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 376 pages of information about 1492.

We went to the Marigalante, I with the Admiral.  Dancing across in the boat there spoke to me Don Diego Colon, born Giacomo Colombo, and I found him a sober, able man, with a churchly inclination.  Here rose the Marigalante, and now we were upon it, and it was a greater ship than the Santa Maria, a goodly ship, with goodly gear aboard and goodly Spaniards.  Jayme de Marchena felt the tug of blood, of home-coming into his country.


FINDING young Sancho upon the Marigalante, I kept him beside me for information’s sake.  He, too, had his stories.  And he asked me how Pedro and Fernando died.

In this ship were two sets of captives, animals brought from Spain and Indians from those fiercer islands to the south.  The Monsalvat that was a freight ship had many animals, said Sancho, cattle and swine and sheep and goats and cocks and hens, and thirty horses.  But upon the Marigalante, well-penned, the Admiral had a stallion and two mares, a young bull and a couple of heifers, and two dogs —­bloodhounds.  The Caribs were yonder, five men in all.

He took me to see them.  They were tall, strong, sullen and desperate in aspect, hardier, fiercer than Indians of these northward lands.  But they were Indians, and their guttural speech could be made out, at least in substance.  They asked with a high, contemptuous look when we meant to slay and eat them.

“They eat men’s flesh, every Caribal of them!  We saw horrid things in Guadaloupe!”

Away from these men sat or stood seven women.  “They were captives,” said Sancho.  “Caribs had ravished them from other islands and they fled in Guadaloupe to us.”

These women, too, seemed more strongly fibred, courageous, high of head than the Hayti women.  There was among them one to whom the others gave deference, a chieftainess, strong and warlike in mien, not smoothly young nor after their notions beautiful, but with an air of sagacity and pride.  A ship boy stood with us.  “That is Catalina,” he said.  “Ho, Catalina!”

The woman looked at him with disdain and what she said was, “Young fool with fool-gods!”

“They came to us for refuge,” said Sancho.  “We think they are Amazons.  There was an island where they fought us like men—­great bow-women!  Don Alonso de Ojeda first called this one Catalina, so now we all call her Catalina.  At first they liked us, but now that they are safe away from Caribs—­all but these five and they can’t hurt them—­ they sit and pine!  I call it ungrateful, Catalina!”

We moved away.  There came from the great cabin where they had wine and fine sweet cakes the Admiral and Guacanagari, with them Don Diego and three or four cavaliers.  Guarin was not with the cacique, upon the Marigalante.  He would not come.  I had a vision of him, in the forest, seated motionless, communing with the deepest self to which he could reach, seeking light with the other light-seekers.

Project Gutenberg
1492 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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