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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about Days of the Discoverers.

NOTE

Amerigo Vespucci has been unjustly accused of endeavoring to steal the glory of Columbus, but there is no evidence that he ever contemplated anything of the kind.  It was a German geographer’s suggestion that the continent be named America.

THE GOLD ROAD

    O the Gold Road is a hard road,
      And it leads beyond the sea,—­
    Some follow it through the altar gates
      And some to the gallows tree. 
    And they who squander the gold they earn
      On kin-folk ill to please
    Go soon to the grave, but he toils in the grave—­
      The miner upon his knees.

    The Gold Road is a dark road—­
      No bird by the wayside sings,
    No sun shines into the canons deep,
      No children’s laughter rings. 
    They are slaves who delve in the stubborn rocks
      For the pittance their labor brings. 
    Their bread is bitter who toil for their own,
      But they starve who toil for Kings.

    The Gold Road is a small road,—­
      A man must tread it alone,
    With none to help if he faint or fall,
      And none to hear his groan. 
    The weight of gold is a weary weight
      When we toil for the sake of our own—­
    But our masters are branding our hearts and souls
      With a Christ that is carved in stone!

VIII

THE DOG WITH TWO MASTERS

“They fight among themselves too much.  They need the man with the whip.”

Bough! wough!

Yar-r-rh! arrh!—­agh!

A spirited and entertaining dog-fight was going on just outside the house of the governor of Darien.  The deep sullen roar of Balboa’s big hound Leoncico was as unmistakable as the snarling, snapping, furious bark of Cacafuego, who belonged to the Bachelor Enciso.  The two hated each other at sight, months ago.  Now they were having it out.  The man with the whip evidently came on the scene, for there was a final crescendo of barks, yelps and growls, followed by silence.

Pizarro’s remark, however, did not refer to the dogs but to the settlers, who had been rioting over the governorship of the colony.  The outcome of this disturbance had been the practical seizure of the office of captain-general by Vasco Nunez de Balboa.  Pizarro himself, and Juan de Saavedra, to whom he addressed his comment, had supported Balboa.  Saavedra did not commit himself further than to answer, with a shrug, “Balboa can use the whip on occasion, we all know that.  Ah, here he comes now.”

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