Here lies the Honourable Gentleman
He greatly served the
royal crown of Spain in
the discovery and conquest of the Indies with
the Admiral Don Christopher Columbus of
glorious memory who discovered them, and
afterwards by himself, with his own ships,
at his own expense.
He died, etc.
He begs from charity a paternoster
and an Ave Maria.
Surely he deserves them, if ever an honourable gentleman did.
THE HERITAGE OF HATRED
Although the journey from Jamaica to Espanola had been accomplished in four days by Mendez in his canoe, the caravels conveying the party rescued from Puerto Santa Gloria were seven weary weeks on this short voyage; a strong north-west wind combining with the west-going current to make their progress to the north-west impossible for weeks at a time. It was not until the 13th of August 1503 that they anchored in the harbour of San Domingo, and Columbus once more set foot, after an absence of more than two years, on the territory from the governorship of which he had been deposed.
He was well enough received by Ovando, who came down in state to meet him, lodged him in his own house, and saw that he was treated with the distinction suitable to his high station. The Spanish colony, moreover, seemed to have made something of a hero of Columbus during his long absence, and they received him with enthusiasm. But his satisfaction in being in San Domingo ended with that. He was constantly made to feel that it was Ovando and not he who was the ruler there;—and Ovando emphasised the difference between them by numerous acts of highhanded authority, some of them of a kind calculated to be extremely mortifying to the Admiral. Among these things he insisted upon releasing Porras, whom Columbus had confined in chains; and he talked of punishing those faithful followers of Columbus who had taken part in the battle between Bartholomew and the rebels, because in this fight some of the followers of Porras had been killed. Acts like these produced weary bickerings and arguments between Ovando and Columbus, unprofitable to them, unprofitable to us. The Admiral seems now to have relapsed into a condition in which he cared only for two things, his honours and his emoluments. Over every authoritative act of Ovando’s there was a weary squabble between him and the Admiral, Ovando claiming his right of jurisdiction over the whole territory of the New World, including Jamaica, and Columbus insisting that by his commission and letters of authority he had been placed in sole charge of the members of his own expedition.