And let Don Diego his son build in the island of Hispaniola a church and call it Santa Maria de la Concepcion, a church and a hospital and a chapel where masses might be said for the good of the soul of Christopherus Columbus. “Doubtless God will be pleased to give us revenue enough for this and all purposes.” And let them maintain in the island of Hispaniola four good teachers of theology to convert to the One Faith the inhabitants of the Indies, “to which end no expense should be thought too considerable.”
Many other things he provided for. He cared for that Dona Beatrix who had given him Fernando. Where he had met kindness, there he gave as best he might. Among other small bequests was a silver mark to a poor Jew who had done him service, who lived at the gate of the Ghetto in Lisbon. He gave to many, and closed his will and signed it with his signet letters and below these, EL ALMIRANTE.
After this there came a second leap of the flame. Queen Juana was with her husband, King Phillip, in Laredo,— Queen of Castile as had been the good Queen her mother. The Admiral, utterly revering the Queen who was gone, wrote to the daughter Queen a stately letter of high comfort and offer and promise of service. He would have the Adelantado, no less a man, bear this to Laredo. Don Bartholomew spoke aside to Juan Lepe. “If I do as he wished, I do not know if I will see him again.”
“I do not know,” I answered. “But his heart is set on...”
“Then I will go,” he said. “And many’s the time I have thought, `I shall never see him again’, and still we met.”
For several days after this I thought that after all he might recover. Perhaps even sail again on earthly discoveries. Then, in a night, came the unmistakable stroke upon the door.
He sank, and knew now that he was putting off the body. Fray Juan Perez stayed beside him. His sons and his brother Diego waited with reddened eyes. It was full May, and the bland wind strayed in and out of window and fluttered his many papers upon the great table. It was toward evening of Ascension Day. His son Fernando threw himself on the bed, weeping. The Admiral’s great hand fell upon the youth’s head. He looked to the window and said clearly, “A light—yonder is a light!” and after a moment, “In manus tuas Domine coinmendo spiritum meum.”
The sea by Palos and June in Andalusia. Juan Lepe, staying at La Rabida, walked along the sands and saw Life like a mighty, breathing picture. He stood by the sea and the ripples broke at his feet, and he felt and knew the Master of Life, there where feeling and knowing pass into Being.
He walked a mile beside Ocean-Sea, then sat down beneath ridged sand with the wind singing over. It sang, Where now, Jayme de Marchena—where now—where now?