Rodrigo Rangel's Account, Part 2


Rodrigo Rangel, Hernando de Soto's Private Secretary, wrote about his expedition. This translation was made by John E. Worth in the University of Alabama's DeSoto Chronicles
TRAIL TO THIS POINT
      A different translation of Rangel, by Edward Gaylord Bourne

INDEXED BY STATE: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina,
Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas
GLOSSARY  INDIAN PLACE NAMES USED BY THE CHRONICLERS

1 LEAGUE = 2.6 miles

DESOTO IN SOUTH CAROLINA (Continued)

SIX

HOW GOVERNOR HERNANDO DE SOTO WENT TO THE TOWN
OF JALAMECO, AND HOW THE CACICA, THE RULER OF
THAT LAND, ENTERTAINED THEM AND PLACED ON
HIS NECK A STRING OF PEARLS THAT SHE WORE ON
HER NECK, AND HOW THEY FOUND MANY OTHERS,
AND THROUGH THE FAULT OF THE GOVERNOR HE
DID NOT FIND ALL THAT HE WISHED, AND OF THE
TREES THAT THEY FOUND LIKE THOSE OF SPAIN,
AND OTHERS OF THAT LAND OF COFITACHEQUI;
AND HOW THEY WENT ONWARD AND HOW A
CHRISTIAN CALLED RODRIGUEZ AND A BLACK
MAN AND OTHER SLAVES REMAINED IN THESE
JOURNEYS, AND HOW THEY ARRIVED AT
CHIAHA, WHERE THEY FOUND PALISADED
TOWNS AND CARRIED FROM THERE FIVE
HUNDRED SLAVES, AND HOW FARTHER
ON THEY FOUND PEARLS IN RIVERS OF
FRESH WATER, AND MANY OTHER
PARTICULARS SUITABLE TO THE
DISCOURSE OF THESE
HISTORIES.

Let the reader not marvel how this historian proceeds so precisely through the journeys and rivers and crossings that this adelantado and Governor Hernando de Soto and his army experienced in those northern provinces and places; it is because among those gentlemen who found themselves in all that, there was one, called Rodrigo Range], of whom mention has been made and in future will be made, who served in that army, who, wanting to understand what he saw and how his life passed, like a wise man, wrote at the end of the day's journey, after his labours, all that which happened to them, and also for his recreation; and also because each Christian ought to do it in order to know how to confess and bring his sins to memory, in particular those who go to war; and also because those who have labored and passed through such excessive hardships, enjoy afterward, as eyewitnesses, communicating and sharing it with their friends, and in order to explain their own role, as they should. And so this Rodrigo Rangel came, after all those things already described and those that follow had happened, to this city of Sancto Domingo of the island Espanola and gave a relation of all these things in this Audiencia Real to the very reverend senor licenciado Alonso Lopez de Cerrato, who presides in it, and he commanded and charged that he should tell in writing and give an account of all to me, so that, as chronicler for Their Majesties of these histories of the Indies, this northern conquest and discovery might be compiled and made known, placed among their number, since so many novelties and unusual subjects come together for the delight of the prudent reader, and as a warning for many who in these Indies come to lose [their lives] following after a Governor who dispenses thus others' lives, as is apparent through these my studies and writings.

Let us come back to the events and the continuation of what we have in hand and is treated here. Friday, the last day of April, the Governor took some on horseback, the most rested, and the Indian woman Baltasar de Gallegos brought as guide and went toward Cofitachequi and spent the night hard by a large and deep river, and he sent Juan de Anasco with some on horseback to try to have some interpreters and canoes ready in order to cross the river, and he [Anasco] got some. The next day the Governor arrived at the crossing in front of the town, and principal Indians came with gifts, and the cacica, ruler of that land, came, whom the principal [Indians] brought with much prestige on a litter covered in white (with thin linen) and on their shoulders, and they crossed in the canoes, and she spoke to the Governor with much grace and self-assurance. She was young and of fine appearance, and she removed a string of pearls that she wore about the neck and put it on the Governor's neck, in order to ingratiate herself and win his good will. And all the army crossed in canoes, and they gave many presents of very well tanned bides and blankets, all very good, and a large amount of jerked venison and dry wafers, and much and very good salt. All the Indians walked covered down to the feet with very excellent hides, very well tanned, and blankets of the land, and blankets of sable, and blankets of mountain lions, which smelled; the people are very clean and very polite and naturally well developed. Monday, on the third of May, all the rest of the army arrived, and all could not cross until the next day, Tuesday, and not without cost and loss of seven horses, which drowned. These were among the most fat and strong, which fought against the current, but the thin ones, which let themselves go with the current, crossed better.

On the seventh of May, Friday, Baltasar de Gallegos went with most of the people of the army to Ilapi to eat seven barbacoas of corn that they said were there, which were a deposit of the cacica. This same day the Governor and Rodrigo Range entered in the temple or oratory of these idolatrous people, and having unwrapped some interments, they found some bodies of men tied on a barbacoa, the breasts and openings and necks and arms and legs covered in pearls; and as they were bringing them out, Rangel saw a thing like a green and very good emerald, and he showed it to the Governor, and he was very delighted. And he commanded that he should look out of the wall and call Juan de Anasco, accountant of Their Majesties, and Rangel told him: "My Lord, do not call anyone: it could be that there might be some precious stone or jewel here." And the Governor replied, somewhat angrily, and said: "Even if there were, do we have to steal it?" Juan de Anasco having come, they took out that emerald and it was made of glass, and after that one, more and more beads of glass and rosaries with their crosses. They also found Biscayan axes of iron, by which they recognized that they were in the district or land where the licenciado Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon was lost. They brought out from there eight or nine arrobas of pearls; and as the cacica saw that the Christians made much of them, she said: "Do you think this is a lot?. . . Go to Talimeco, my town, and you will find so many that you will be unable to carry them on your horses." The governor said: "Leave them here, and to whom God gives them by good fortune, may St. Peter bless them," and so they remained. It was believed that he intended to take that [place] for himself, because without doubt it is the best that they saw and the land of better disposition, although neither many people nor much corn appeared, nor did they tarry to look for them there.

Some things were made there as in Spain, which must have been taught by the Indians who went away to the licenciado Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon, because they made breeches and buskins, and black garters with laces of white hide, and with fringes or edging of colored hide, as if they had been made in Spain. In the temple or oratory of Talimeco, there were breastplates, as well as corselets and helmets, made from raw and hairless hides of cows, and from the same [hides] very good shields. This Talimeco was a town of great importance, with its very authoritative oratory on a high mound; the caney or house of the cacique very large and very tall and broad, all covered, high and low, with very excellent and beautiful mats, and placed with such fine skill, that it appeared that all the mats were only one mat. Only rarely was there a hut which might not be covered with matting.

This town has very good savannahs and a fine river, and forests of walnuts and oak, pines, evergreen oaks and groves of sweetgum, and many cedars. In this river it was said that Alaminos, a native of Cuba, had found a bit of gold; and such a rumor became public in the army among the Spaniards, and for this it was believed that this is a land of gold, and that good mines would be found there.

Wednesday, the thirteenth of May, the Governor left from Cofitachequi, and in two days he arrived at the province of Chalaque; but he could not find the town of the lord, nor was there an Indian who would disclose it. And they slept in a pine forest, where many Indian men and women began to come in peace with presents and gifts, and they were there on Whitsuntide. And from there the Governor wrote to Baltasar de Gallegos by some Indians, [sending them] to the barbacoas that they had gone to in order to eat the corn, as was stated above, that they should follow the Governor. And on Monday, the seventeenth of that month, they departed from there and spent the night in a forest; and on Tuesday they went to Guaquili, and the Indians came forth in peace and gave them corn, although little, and many hens roasted on barbacoa, and a few little dogs, which are good food.

These are little dogs that do not bark, and they rear them in the houses in order to eat them. They also gave them tamemes, which are Indians who carry burdens. And on the following Wednesday they went to a canebrake, and on Thursday to a small savannah where a horse died; and some foot soldiers of Baltasar de Gallegos arrived, making known to the Governor that he was approaching.

DESOTO INTO NORTH CAROLINA

The next day, Friday, they went to Xuala (Tryon, below today's Saluda), which is a town on a plain between some rivers; its cacique was so well provisioned, that he gave to the Christians however much they asked for: tamemes, corn, little dogs, petacas, and however much he had. Petacas are baskets covered with leather (and also yet to be covered), with their lids, for carrying clothes and whatever they might wish. And on Saturday Baltasar de Gallegos arrived there with many sick and lame, and they needed them healthy, particularly since they now had the mountains before them. In that Xuala it seemed to them that there was better disposition to look for gold mines than in all that they had passed through and seen in that northern part. (The mountain view is spectacular from Tryon.)

Tuesday, on the twenty-fifth of May, they left from Xuala and crossed that day a very high mountain range, and they spent the night in a small forest, and the next day, Wednesday, in a savannah (at Hendersonville - elevation 2,200 feet) where they endured great cold, although it was already the twenty-sixth of May; and there they crossed, in water up to their shins, the river (the Mississippi River which drains the north side of those mountains) by which they afterward left (today's America) in the brigantines that they made. When that river comes forth to the sea (the Gulf of Mexico), the navigation chart states and indicates that it is the river of Spiritu Sancto; which, according to the charts of the cosmographer Alonso de Chaves, enters in a great bay, and the mouth of this river, in the salt water, is at thirty-one degrees on this side of the equator.

Returning to the history, from there where it is stated that they crossed the river in water up to their shins, the cacica of Cofitachequi, whom they took with them in payment of the good treatment that they had received from her, turned back, and that day Mendoza de Montanjes and Alaminos de Cuba stayed behind (it was said that it was done with deception); and because that day Alonso Romo led the rear guard and left them, the Governor made him return for them, and they awaited them one day; and when they arrived, the Governor wanted to hang them. In that [province] of Xalaque (Cherokee) a comrade deserted who was named Rodriguez, a native of Peiiafiel, and also a shrewd young Indian slave from Cuba, who belonged to a gentleman called Villegas, and a very shrewd slave of Don Carlos, a native of Barbary, and Gomez, a very shrewd black man of Vasco Gonzalez; Rodriguez was the first, and those others farther on from Xalaque.

The next day they spent the night in an oak grove, and the following day, alongside a large creek (the French Broad River), which they crossed many times; and the next day messengers came in peace, and they arrived early at Guasili (Asheville), and they gave them many tamemes, many little dogs, and corn; and because this was a good resting place, the soldiers afterward called it, while throwing the dice, the House of Guasili, or a good encounter. Monday, which was the last day of May, the Governor left from Guasili and went (west, up Hominy Creek) with his army to an oak grove alongside a river (Pigeon River at Canton), and the next day they passed through Canasoga (at Woodrow, headed toward Waynesville) and spent the night in the open (west of Waynesville). And on Wednesday they spent the night alongside a swamp (two miles east of Sylva), and this day they ate a very great number of mulberries.

The next day, Thursday, they went alongside a large creek (the Tuckasegee River) next to the river that they had crossed in the savannah where the cacica went away (at the French Broad River, which flows northward just east of the Oconaluftee River), and now it (the Tuckasegee River) was large. The next day, Friday, they went to a pine forest and a creek (Forney Creek), where Indians from Chiaha came in peace and brought corn. And the next day, Saturday, in the morning, the Spaniards crossed the very broad river (the Little Tennessee River), across a branch of it, and entered in Chiaha, which is on an island of the same river (covered by today's Fontana Reservoir at the base of Chiaha Mountain).

Saturday, the fifth of June, was the day that they entered in Chiaha; and since from Xuala (Tryon, North Carolina) all their travel had been through a mountain range and the horses were tired and thin, and the Christians likewise fatigued, it was advisable to halt and rest there; and they gave them an abundance of good corn, of which there is much, and they gave them many mazamorras, and considerable oil of walnuts and acorns, which they know bow to extract very well, and it is very good and helped them very much for their sustenance, although some are wont to say that the oil of walnuts causes some flatulence; notwithstanding it is very delicious. The Indians were with the Christians fifteen days in peace; they played with them, and also among themselves; they swam in the company of the Christians, and in all they served them very well.

They went away afterward one Saturday, the nineteenth of the month (under a Full Moon), because of a certain thing which the Governor asked them for; and in short, it was that he asked them for women. The next day in the morning, the Governor sent for the cacique, and he came then, and the next day the Governor carried him with him [as a hostage] to make the people return, and indeed they came. In the land of this Chiaha was where these Spaniards first found the towns palisaded. Chiaha gave them five hundred tamemes, and they consented to leave off collars and chains.

On Monday, the twenty-eighth of June, the Governor and his people left from Chiaha, and they passed through five or six towns (on their way down the south bank of the Little Tennessee River), and they went to sleep at a pine forest, in front of a town (Tallassee near Deal's Gap), but they had much hardship there in crossing a river that flowed very strongly (the Little Tennessee River), and they made a bridge or support of horses so that the foot soldiers might not be endangered, in the manner that will now be related. And it was thus: they put the horses in the river in single file, tail with head, and they held them still as much as they were able, and upon each one his master, and they received the impact of the current, and below them, where the water made no impact, the foot soldiers crossed, holding on to the tail, stirrup, cuirass, and mane of one after another; and in this manner all the army crossed well.

DESOTO INTO TENNESSEE

The next day, Tuesday, they passed through a town, and there they took corn and went onward to sleep in the open. The following Wednesday they crossed a river, and then a town and the river another time, and they spent the night in the open. And on Thursday the cacique of Coste came forth to receive them in peace, and he led the Christians to sleep in a town of his. He got angry because some soldiers looted, or more accurately, sacked some barbacoas against his will. And thus, the next day, Thursday, going toward his principal town of Coste, he slipped away and evaded the Spaniards and called his people to arms. On Friday, the second day of the month of July, the adelantado Governor arrived at Coste, which is a town on an island of the river, which there flows great and strong and is difficult to enter: and the Christians crossed the first branch without danger to any one of the soldiers (which was no small good fortune); and the Governor entered in the town carelessly and unarmed with a few unarmed men, and when the soldiers did as was their custom and began to climb on the barbacoas, in the instant that they began to do that, the Indians began to beat them and take their bows and arrows and come forth to the plaza. The Governor commanded that all should suffer it and be tolerant, because of the evident danger in which they were, and that no one should put hand to his weapons; and he began to quarrel with the soldiers, and in order to dissimulate, he also thrashed some of them, and he flattered the cacique and told him that he did not wish that the Christians should anger them, and that he wished to leave to take lodging at the savannah of the island. And the cacique and his [people] went with him, and as they had withdrawn from the town, in the clear, he gave the command to lay hands on the cacique and ten or twelve principals, and they put them in chains with their collars, and he threatened them and said that he would burn all of them, because they had laid hands on the Christians.

From there at Coste, the Governor sent two soldiers north to see the province of Chisca, which was rumored to have great wealth, and they brought good news. There in Coste was found, in the trunk of a tree, honey from bees, as good as, or even better than can be had in Spain. In that river they found, in some clams that they gathered from it to eat, some pearls, and they were the first that those Christians saw from fresh water, although there are [pearls] in many parts of that land. Friday, the ninth of July, the adelantado and his army left Coste, and they crossed the other branch of the river and spent the night on its banks, and Tali was on the other side; and since the river flows together in one large channel, they could not cross it, and the Indians, believing that they had crossed, sent canoes, and in them their wives and children and clothes, on this side, well away from the Christians; but they [the Indians} were all taken suddenly, and as they went along with the current the Governor made them all turn back, which was the reason why the cacique came in peace, and he helped them cross to the other side in his canoes and gave to the Christians what they had need of. And thus he did in his land, through which they passed afterward; and they were there on Saturday, and they gave them tamemes, and they departed on Sunday and slept in the open.

On Monday they crossed a river, and slept in the open. On Tuesday they crossed another river, and on Wednesday another large river, and they slept in Tasqui. All these past days since they departed from alongside Tali, the cacique of Tali made [the Indians] bring out, from their towns along the road, corn and mazamorras and cooked beans, and everything he could.

DeSoto into Western Tennessee

DESOTO INTO NORTHERN GEORGIA

On Thursday they went to another small town and passed other towns, and on Friday the Governor entered in Coosa. This is a great cacique with much land, and one of the best and most abundant [provinces] that they found in Florida; and the cacique came forth to receive the Governor on a litter, covered with white blankets of the land. Sixty or seventy of his principal Indians carried the litter on their shoulders, and none was an Indian of the plebeians or commoners, and those that carried him took turns from time to time, with great ceremony in their manner. In Coosa there were many plums like the early ones of Seville, very good, and they and their trees like those of Spain. Also there were some small sour apples, like those that they call canavales in Extremadura. They were there in Coosa some days, during which the Indians hid, and left the cacique in the power of the Christians along with some principal Indians; and they [the Spaniards] went to round them up and took many, whom they imprisoned in collars of iron and in chains: and in truth, as eyewitnesses testified, it was a thing of much pity to see it; but God forgets no evil thing done nor does it remain without punishment, as this history will relate.

On Friday, the twentieth of August, the Governor and his people left Coosa, and there remained behind a Christian who was named Feryada, a Levantine; and they spent that night beyond Talimuchusi.

DESOTO INTO ALABAMA

And the next day [Saturday, August 21st, 1540], in a heavy rain, they spent the night at Itaba, a large town alongside a good river, and there they bartered for some Indian women [for DeSoto's men to take to populate DeSoto's planned settlement at Mobile Bay], whom they gave them in exchange for mirrors and knives. Monday, the thirtieth of August [8 days later], the Governor left from Itaba with his army and spent the night in an oak grove, and the following day they went to Ulibahali, a very good town, next to a large river. And many Indians of evil intent were waiting, intending to take the cacique of Coca away from the Christians, because they were subjects of his; and so that the land would not rise in revolt or deny them supplies, they took him with them, and they entered in the town very much on guard. The cacique of Coca commanded the Indians to lay down their weapons; and so they did, and they gave them tamemes and twenty Indian women, and they went in peace, although a gentleman from Salamanca, called Manzano, remained there, and it was not known if it was from his own will or from losing his bearings, going alone to pillage, inasmuch as he went on foot. He was unhappy, and he had requested other soldiers to remain with him, before they missed him. This was not known for certain, but it was said in the army after he was missing. Also a very shrewd black man, who was called Joan Vizcaino, deserted Captain Juan Ruiz Lobillo there.

The day that they left from this town, they ate many grapes, as good as those grown from vines in Spain. In Coca and farther back they had eaten very good ones, but these from Ulibahali were the best. From this town of Ulibahali the Spaniards and their Governor left one Thursday, the second of September, and they spent the night in a pretty town hard by the river; and the next day, Friday, they came to Piachi, which is alongside a river, and there they awaited Lobillo for one day, who, without permission, had gone to look for his black man, and on coming back the Governor reprimanded him severely. On Sunday they left there and spent the night in the open, and the next day, Monday, they went to Tuasi, where they gave them tamemes and thirty-two Indian women. On Monday, the thirteenth of September, the Governor left from there, and they spent the night in the open, and on Tuesday they made another day's journey and halted likewise in the open, and on Wednesday they went to an old town that had double walls and good towers. And those ramparts [mums] are built in this manner: they sink many thick poles, tall and straight, next to one another; they weave them with some long sticks, and daub them within and without, and they make their loopholes at intervals, and they make their towers and turrets spread out along the curtain and parts of the rampart as suits them; and at a distance, they appear to be one very excellent wall, and such walls are very strong.

The next day, Thursday, they spent the night in a new town next to the river, where the Spaniards rested that day. And the next day, Saturday, they went to Talisi, and they found the cacique and people gone. This town is large and fertile with much corn, and next to a large river. A messenger came there from Tuscalusa, a powerful lord and very feared in that land, and then came a son of his, and the Governor commanded the Spaniards to mount, and that those on horseback should gallop, and sound the trumpets (more to impose fear, than to make ceremony with such a reception). Upon the return of those Indians, the adelantado sent with them two Christians instructed to observe and spy, in order that they might take counsel and be prepared.

On the twenty-fifth of September the cacique of Talisi came and gave what they asked him for, such as tamemes, women, and supplies, and there they freed the cacique of Coca, so that he might return to his land; and he was very angry and tearful because the Governor refused to give up a sister of his that they took, and because they had brought him so far from his land.

Tuesday, the fifth of October [18 days after arriving], they left from Talisi and spent the night at Casiste, which is a pretty town alongside the river. And the next day, Wednesday, they went to Caxa, a wretched town on the bank of the river and at the boundary [rays] between Talisi and Tuscalusa. And the next day, Thursday, they spent the night alongside the river, and a town that is called Human was on the other side of the water. And the next day, Friday, they went to another new town, which is called Uxapita; and the next day, Saturday, they established their camp one league before arriving at the town of Tuscalusa, in the open, and from there the Governor sent a messenger, and he came with the reply that he would be welcome whenever he wished to come.

The historian asked a well-informed gentleman who found himself present with this Governor and who went with him all through that northern land, why, in each place that this Governor and his army arrived, they asked for those tamemes or burden-bearing Indians, and why they took so many women, and these not old nor the most ugly; and after giving them what they had, why they detained the caciques and principal Indians, and why, where they went, they never halted or settled anywhere; saying that was neither to populate nor to conquer, but rather to disturb and devastate the land and take away the liberty of all the natives, and not to convert or make one Indian a Christian or a friend. He responded and said: that they took those burden-bearing Indians or tamemes in order to have more slaves and servants, and to carry their supplies, and whatever they stole or what they gave them; and that some died and others fled or weakened, and thus they had need to renew and take more; and that they wanted the women also in order to make use of them and for their lewdness and lust, and that they baptized them more for their carnal intercourse than to instruct them in the faith; and that if they detained the caciques and principal Indians, this was advisable so that the others, their subjects, would be quiet and not obstruct their thefts and prevent what they might wish to do in their land. As to where they were going, neither the Governor nor they knew, except that his intent was to find some land so rich that it might sate his greed, and to find out about the great secrets that the Governor said that he had heard about those places, according to many reports that had been given to him. And that as regards disturbing the land and not settling it, nothing else could be done until they came upon a site that would satisfy them. Oh, lost people; oh, diabolical greed; oh, bad conscience; oh, unfortunate soldiers; how you did not understand in how much danger you walked, and how wasted your lives and without tranquility your souls! Why did you not remember that truth that the glorious St. Augustine, deploring of the present misery of this life, says: "This life is a life of misery, decrepit and uncertain, a toilsome and unclean life, a life, my Lord, of evils, queen of the proud, filled with miseries and with dread; this is not life, nor can it be called that, but rather death, since in a moment it is finished by various mutations and diverse kinds of death"? Listen well, Catholic reader, and do not lament any less the conquered Indians than their Christian conquerors, or killers of themselves and of those others, and attend to the incidents of this ill-governed Governor, instructed in the school of Pedrarias de Avila, in the dissipation and devastation of the Indians of Castilla de Oro, graduate in the killing of the natives of Nicaragua and canonized in Peru, according to the Order of the Pizarros. And freed from all those hellish passages, and having gone to Spain loaded with gold, neither as a bachelor nor a married man could he rest, nor did he know how to, without returning to the Indies to spill human blood, not content with that already spilled, and to depart this life in the manner that farther on will be related; and giving cause for so many sinners, deceived by his vain words, to be lost with him. See how much more he wanted than what that queen or cacica of Cofitachequi, lady of Talimeco, offered him, where she told him that in that place of hers he would find so many pearls that all the horses of his army would not be able to carry them; and receiving him with such humanity, see how he treated her. Let us go on, and do not forget this truth that you have read, how in proof of how many pearls she offered him, this Governor and his people now carried eight or nine arrobas of pearls, and you will see what enjoyment they got of them in what follows.

SEVEN

IN WHICH IS RELATED WHAT HAPPENED TO THE
ADELANTADO HERNANDO DE SOTO WITH THE
CACIQUE OF TASCALUSA, NAMED ACTAHACHI,
WHO WAS SO TALL A MAN THAT HE SEEMED A
GIANT; AND OF THE SURPRISE ATTACKS AND
HARSH BATTLES AND ASSAULT THAT
THEY GAVE TO THE CHRISTIANS IN THE
TOWN CALLED MABILA AND FARTHER ON
IN CHICASA. AND OTHER EVENTS
SUITABLE AND NOTABLE FOR THE
HISTORY ARE RELATED IN
THIS CHAPTER.

On Sunday, the tenth of October, the Governor entered in the town of Tuscalusa, which was called Athahachi, a new town; and the cacique was on a balcony that was made on a mound to one side of the plaza, about his head a certain headdress like an almaizar, worn like a Moor, which gave him an appearance of authority, and a blanket of feathers down to his feet, very authoritative, seated upon some high cushions, and many principals of his Indians with him. He was of as tall a stature as that Antonico of the guard of the Emperor our lord, and of very good proportions, a very well built and noble man; he had a young son as tall as he, but he was more slender. Always in front of this cacique was a very graceful Indian on foot, with a sunshade, on a pole, which was like a round and very large fly-flap, with a white cross similar to that which the knights of the Order of St. John of Rhodes wear, in the middle of a black field. And although the Governor entered in the plaza and dismounted and went up to him, he did not rise but rather was quiet and composed, as if he were a king, and with much gravity. The Governor sat with him a bit, and after a little while he rose and said that they should go to eat and took him with him, and Indians came to dance; and they danced very well in the way of the peasants of Spain, in such a manner that it was a pleasure to see.

At night he wished to go, but the adelantado told him that he had to sleep there; and he understood it and showed that he scoffed at such a decision, being lord, to give him so suddenly a restraint or impediment to his liberty; and concealing his intentions in the matter, he then dispatched his principal Indians, each one by himself, and he slept there to his sorrow. The next day the Governor asked for tamemes and one hundred Indian women, and the cacique gave them four hundred tamemes and said that he would give them the rest of the tamemes and the women in Mabila, the province of a principal vassal of his, and the Governor was content that the rest of that his unjust demand would be satisfied in Mabila. And he commanded that he be given a horse and some buskins and a cloak of scarlet cloth to keep him content. But as the cacique had already given him four hundred tamemes, or more accurately slaves, and was to give him one hundred women in Mabila, and those which they most desired, see what contentment could be given him by those buskins and mantle and the chance to ride on horseback, since he thought that he was riding on a tiger or on a ferocious lion, because horses were held in great dread among those people.

Finally, Tuesday, the twelfth of October, they left from that town of Atahachi, taking the cacique, as has been said, and with him many principals and always the Indian with the sunshade in front of his lord, and another with a cushion; and that day they spent the night in the open. And the next day, Wednesday, they arrived at Piachi, which is a high town, upon the bluff of a rocky river, and its cacique was malicious, and he took a position to resist the crossing; but in fact they crossed the river with difficulty, and two Christians were killed, and the principals who accompanied the cacique went away. In that town Piachi it was found out that they had killed Don Teodoro, and a black man, who came forth from the boats of Panfilo de Narvaez.

On Saturday, the sixteenth of October, they departed from there and went to a forest, where one of the two Christians that the Governor had sent to Mabila came; and he said that there was a great gathering of armed people in Mabila. The next day they went to a palisaded town, and messengers from Mabila came who brought to the cacique much chestnut bread, for there are many and good chestnuts in his land.

BATTLE AT MABILA

On Monday, the eighteenth of October, the day of St. Luke, the Governor arrived at Mabila, having passed that day through some towns. But these towns detained the soldiers, pillaging and scattering themselves, for the land seemed populous; thus only forty on horseback arrived in advance guard with the Governor, and since they were a little detained, in order for the Governor not to show weakness, he entered in the town with the cacique, and all entered with him. The Indians then did an areito, which is their kind of ball with dancing and singing.

While watching this, some soldiers saw them placing bundles of bows and arrows secretively in some palm leaves, and other Christians saw that the huts were filled high and low with concealed people. The Governor was warned, and he placed his helmet on his head and commanded that all should mount their horses and warn all the soldiers who had arrived; and scarcely had they left, when the Indians took command of the gates of the wall of the town. And Luis de Moscoso and Baltasar de Gallegos and Espindola, Captain of the guard, and seven or eight soldiers remained with the Governor. And the cacique plunged into a hut and refused to come out from it; and then they began to shoot arrows at the Governor. Baltasar de Gallegos entered for the cacique, and he not wanting to leave, he [Gallegos] cut off the arm of a principal Indian with a slash. Luis de Moscoso, awaiting him at the door in order not to leave him alone, was fighting like a knight, and he did everything possible, until he could suffer no more, and said: "Senor Baltasar de Gallegos, come forth, or I will have to leave you, for I cannot wait for you any longer."

During this time Solis, a resident of Triana of Seville, and Rodrigo Rangel, had mounted. They were the first, and for his sins Solis was then shot down dead. Rodrigo Rangel arrived near the gate of the town at the time that the Governor and two soldiers of his guard with him were leaving, and about him [the Governor] were more than seventy Indians, who halted out of fear of the horse of Rodrigo Rangel, and he [the Governor] wishing him to give it to him, a black man arrived with his own [horse]; and he commanded Rodrigo Rangel to aid the Captain of the guard who remained behind, who came out very fatigued, and with him a soldier of the guard, and he on horseback faced his enemies until he got out of danger. And Rodrigo Rangel returned to the Governor, and he drew out more than twenty arrows that he carried hanging from his armor, which was a quilted tunic of thick cotton; and he commanded Rangel to guard [the body of] Solis until he could bring him out from among their enemies, so that they might not carry him within, and so that the Governor might go to collect the soldiers.

There was so much virtue and shame this day in all those who found themselves in this first attack and the beginning of this bad day. They fought admirably, and each Christian did his duty as a most valiant soldier. Luis de Moscoso and Baltasar de Gallegos left with the remaining soldiers through another gate.

In effect, the Indians ended up with the town and all the property of the Christians and with the horses that they left tied within, which they then killed. The Governor gathered all the forty on horseback who were there, and they arrived at a large plaza in front of the principal gate of Mabila, and there the Indians came forth, without daring to venture far from the palisade; and in order to draw them out, they pretended that those on horseback were fleeing at a gallop, withdrawing far from the ramparts, and the Indians, believing it, ventured from the town and from the palisade in their pursuit, desirous of employing their arrows, and when it was time, those on horseback turned around on their enemies, and before they could take shelter, they lanced many. Don Carlos wished to go with his horse up to the gate, and they gave his horse an arrow wound in the breast, and not being able to turn [his horse], he dismounted to draw out the arrow, and another came which struck him in the neck, above his shoulder, from which, asking for confession, he fell dead. The Indians did not dare to venture again from the palisade. Then, the adelantado encircled them on many sides until all the army arrived, and they entered it through three sides setting fire, first cutting through the palisade with axes; and the fire traveled so that the nine arrobas of pearls that they brought were burned, and all the clothes and ornaments and chalices and moulds for wafers, and the wine for saying mass, and they were left like Arabs, empty-handed and with great hardship.

The Christian women, who were slaves of the Governor, had remained in a hut, and some pages, a friar, a cleric, and a cook and some soldiers; they defended themselves very well from the Indians, who could not enter until the Christians arrived with the fire and brought them out. And all the Spaniards fought like men of great spirit, and twenty-two of them died, and they wounded another one hundred and forty-eight with six hundred and eighty-eight arrow wounds, and they killed seven horses and wounded twenty-nine others. The women and even boys of four years struggled against the Christians, and many Indians hanged themselves in order not to fall into their hands, and others plunged into the fire willingly. See what spirit those tamemes had. There were many great arrow shots sent with such fine will and force, that the lance of a gentleman, named Nuno de Tovar, which was of two pieces of ash and very good, was pierced by an arrow through the middle from side to side, like a drill, without splintering anything, and the arrow made a cross on the lance.

Don Carlos died this day, and also Francisco de Soto, nephew of the Governor, and Juan de Gamez de Jaen, and Men Rodriguez, a good Portuguese gentleman, and Espinosa, a good gentleman, and another called Velez, and one Blasco de Barcarrota and other very honored soldiers; and the wounded were most of the people of worth and of honor. They killed three thousand Indians, in addition to which there were many others wounded, which they found afterward dead in the huts and by the roads. Nothing was ever learned of the cacique [Tuscalusa], either dead or alive; the son was found lanced.

The battle having taken place in the manner stated above, they rested there until Sunday, the fourteenth of November, treating the wounded and the horses, and they burned a great part of the land. From the time that this Governor and his armies entered in the land of Florida up to the time that they left from there, all the dead were one hundred and two Christians, and not all, to my way of thinking, in true penitence.

NORTHWARD FROM MABILA

On Sunday, the fourteenth of November of the aforesaid year [1540, on the Full Moon, 28 days after arriving there], the Governor left Mabila, and the following Wednesday he arrived at a very good river, and on Thursday, the twenty-eighth (should read eighteenth) they went across bad crossings and swamps and found a town with corn, which was called Talicpacana. The Christians had discovered on the other side of the river a town that seemed good to them from a distance, and well situated, and on Sunday, the twenty-first of November, Vasco Gonzalez found a town, a half-league from this one, which is called Moculixa, from which they had transferred all the corn to the other side of the river, and they had it in heaps, covered with mats, and the Indians were on the other side of the water, making threats. A piragua was made, which was finished on the twenty-ninth of the month [during the darkness of New Moon], and they made a large cart to carry it up to Moculixa, and having launched it in the water, sixty soldiers entered in it. The Indians shot innumerable darts, or more accurately arrows; but as this great canoe landed, they fled and did not wound but three or four Christians. They took the land easily and found plenty of corn.

The next day, Wednesday, all the army went to a town that is called Zabusta, and there they crossed the river in the piragua and with some canoes that they took there; and they went to take lodging in another town on the other end [of that valley], because upriver they found another good town and took its lord, who was named Apafalaya, and brought him as guide and interpreter, and that bank was called the river of Apafalaya. From this river and province the Governor and his people left in search of Chicasa on Thursday, the ninth of December, and they arrived the following Tuesday [December 14, 1540, on the Full Moon] at the river of Chicasa, having passed many bad crossings and swamps and rivers and cold weather.

And so that you know, reader, what life those Spaniards led, Rodrigo Rangel, as an eyewitness, says that among many other needs of men that were experienced in this enterprise, he saw a nobleman named Don Antonio Osorio, brother of the Lord Marquis of Astorga, with a doublet of blankets of that land, torn on the sides, his flesh exposed, without a hat, bare-headed, bare-footed, without hose or shoes, a shield at his back, a sword without a scabbard, the snows and cold very great; and being such a man, and of such illustrious lineage, made him suffer his hardship and not lament, like many others, since there was no one who might aid him, being who he was, and having had in Spain two thousand ducats of income through the Church; and the day that this gentleman saw him thus, he believed that he had not eaten a mouthful and had to look for his supper with his fingernails. I could not help laughing when I heard him say that nobleman had left the Church and the aforementioned income in order to go to look for this life at the sound of the words of De Soto. Because I knew Soto very well, and although he was a man of worth, I did not hold that he would be able with such sweet talk or cunning to delude such persons. What did such a man wish, from an unfamiliar and unknown land? Nor did the Captain who led him know more of it than that Juan Ponce de Leon and the licenciado Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon and Panfilo de Narvaez and others more skillful than Hernando de Soto had been lost in it. And those who follow such guides, go from some necessity, since they find places where they could settle or rest, and little by little penetrate and understand and find out all about the land. But let us go on; small is the hardship of this nobleman compared to those who die, if they do not win salvation.

DESOTO INTO WESTERN TENNESSEE      

They found that the river of Chicasa was flowing out of its bed, and the Indians on the other side were up in arms, with many white banners. Orders were given to make a piragua, and the Governor sent Baltasar de Gallegos with thirty swimmers on horseback to go to look upriver for a place where they could cross and attack suddenly upon the Indians; but he was detected, and so they [the Indians] abandoned the crossing, and they crossed very well in the piragua on Thursday, the sixteenth of the month.

And the Governor advanced with some on horseback, and they arrived very late at night at the town of the lord, and all the people were gone. The next day Baltasar de Gallegos arrived with the thirty who went with him. They were there in Chicasa that Christmas, and it snowed with as much wind as if they were in Burgos, and with as much or more cold.

Monday, the third of January of fifteen forty-one, the cacique of Chicasa came in peace and gave guides and interpreters to the Christians in order to go to Caluga, which had much renown among the Indians. Caluga is a province of more than ninety towns (not subject to anyone) of ferocious people, very bellicose and very feared, and the land is prosperous in those parts. In Chicasa the Governor commanded that half of the people of his army should go to make war on Sacchuma, and on their return the cacique Miculasa made peace, and messengers came from Talapatica.

And in the course of this war the time to travel arrived, and they asked the cacique for tamemes; and the Indians created such an uproar among themselves, that the Christians understood it, and the agreement was made that they would give them over on the fourth of March when they were to depart, and that day they would come with them. The previous evening, the Governor mounted his horse and found the Indians engaged in evil intrigue, and he recognized the treacherous intention that they had and returned to the camp and said publicly, "This night is a night of Indians; I will sleep armed and my horse saddled." And all said that they would do the same; and he called to the maestre de cameo, who was Luis de Moscoso, and told him that he should take extra precautions with the sentinels that night, since it was the last. The Governor, upon leaving his soldiers, with whom he had made those arrangements, lay down undressed in his bed, and neither his horse nor any other was saddled, and all in the camp lay down to sleep without care and unarmed. The maestre de camp placed for the morning watch three on horseback, the worst of the worst, and on the worst horses in the whole army. And on the aforementioned day, the fourth of March, when the Indians had promised to give the tamemes, at break of day, fulfilling their word, they entered through the camp in many squadrons, beating drums as if it were in Italy, and setting fire to the camp, burning it and taking fifty-nine horses, among which, three of them they shot through both shoulders with their arrows. And the Christians behaved like careless people on this occasion, and few weapons, coats of mail, lances, and saddles survived the fire, and all the horses were driven away, fleeing from the fire and the clamor. Only the adelantado was able to mount, and he failed to cinch his horse, nor did he buckle his coat of armor, and Tapia de Valladolid along with him. The first Indian that he overtook, when he gave him a lance-blow, he [DeSoto] fell upon him saddle and all. And if the Indians had known how to pursue their victory, this would have been the last day in the lives of all the Christians of that army and would have put an end to the demand for the tamemes.

Next the Spaniards passed to a savannah one league from that town in which they were, and they had huts and supplies, and they established camp on a slope and hill and made haste to set up the forge, and they made a bellows from hides of bears; and they tempered their weapons and made new saddle frames and provided themselves with lances, since there were very good ash trees there; and within eight days they had it all repaired.

They killed and burned alive up to twelve Christians in the aforementioned Chicasa. On Tuesday, the fifteenth of March, during the morning watch, the Indians attacked the Christians, determined to finish them, and they struck them on three sides; and as necessity had made them diligent, they were on guard and on watch. They fought with them valiantly and put the Indians to flight, and thanks to God the Christians did not suffer much damage, although a few Indians died. Some Spaniards showed themselves very valiant this day, and not one failed to do his duty, for a bad fate would have awaited anyone who in such a time did not defend his life well and who failed to show to his enemies the virtue and weapons of the Christians.

EIGHT

IN WHICH THE HISTORY RELATES ANOTHER ENCOUNTER
WITH A BARRICADE, IN WHICH THE ADELANTADO
FOUGHT WITH THE INDIANS, AND HOW HE ARRIVED
AT A VERY LARGE RIVER, WHICH THE CHRISTIANS
CROSSED, AND OF AN ORATION AND SPEECH
WHICH THE CACIQUE OF CASQUI MADE IN
FRONT OF THE ADELANTADO AND THE
CHRISTIANS IN FAVOR OF THE CROSS AND
THE FAITH, AND OF AN ARGUMENT
BETWEEN THIS CACIQUE AND HIS
ENEMY, NAMED PACAHA, OVER
WHICH ONE OUGHT TO PRECEDE
THE OTHER. THEY DEPARTED
FROM UTIANGUE, AND MANY
NOTABLE PARTICULARS
ARE TOLD.

On Tuesday, the twenty-sixth of April of the year already stated of fifteen forty-one, Governor Hernando de Soto departed from the savannah of Chicasa and spent the night at Limamu, and they were there looking for corn, because the Indians had concealed it, and they had to cross an uninhabited region.

And on Thursday they went to another savannah, where the Indians had made a very strong barricade, and within it many Indian warriors all smeared and painted with colors that appeared very fine (and yet were bad, or at least they were harmful to the Christians); and they entered the barricade by force, with some casualties of dead and wounded on the side of the adelantado and his army, and many more, without comparison, on the side of the vanquished, and there would have been more, if the Indians had not fled. On Saturday, the last day of April, the army departed from the site of the barricade, and traveled nine days through an uninhabited region and a bad road through forests and swamps, until...

DESOTO INTO KENTUCKY

Sunday the eighth of May, when they arrived at the first town of Quizqui; and they took them unexpectedly and captured many people and clothes; but the Governor then set them free and made restitution to them all, for fear of war, although this did not suffice to make friends of those Indians. One league from this town was found another with much corn, and then, after another league, another, likewise with much corn. There they saw the great river. On Saturday, the twenty-first of May, the army moved on to a savannah between the river and a small town, and they made camp, and began to make four piraguas in order to cross to the other side. Many of those conquistadors said that this river was a larger river than the Danube. On the other bank of the river, up to seven thousand Indians gathered to defend the crossing, and with up to two hundred canoes, all with shields, which were made of canes joined together, so strong and so tightly sewn that a crossbow would scarcely pierce them. Arrows came raining and the air was filled with them, and with such a yell, so that it seemed a matter of great dread; but when they saw that the work on the piraguas did not let up for them, they said that Pacaha, whose men they were, commanded them to remove themselves from there, and thus they left the crossing undefended. And on Saturday, the eighth of June, all the army crossed that great river in the four piraguas, and they gave many thanks to God, because in their opinion, nothing so difficult could ever be offered them again.

DESOTO INTO INDIANA

On Sunday, they went to a town of Aquijo; on Tuesday, the twenty-first of June, they left from there and passed through the province of Aquijo, which is very beautiful and nicely situated. The next day, Wednesday, they passed through the worst road of swamps and water that they had seen in all Florida, and in this day's journey the people suffered much hardship.

The next day following, Thursday, they entered in the land of Quarqui and passed through many towns, and the next day, Friday, the day of St. John (the Baptist), they went to the town of the lord of Casqui, and he gave food and clothes to this army, and on Saturday they entered in his town; and he had very good huts, and in the principal [hut], over the door, were many heads of very fierce bulls, as in Spain they put heads of wild boars or bears at the doors of the houses of the hunters. There the Christians placed the cross on a mound. They received it and adored it with much devotion, and I say with much devotion, because the blind and lame Indians came to ask for healing. The faith of these, said Rodrigo Rangel, would have been greater than that of the conquistadores, if they had been instructed, and in them more fruit would have been produced than what those Christians produced.

On Sunday, the twenty-sixth of June, they left from there for Pacaha, enemy of Casqui, and they spent the night at one town and passed others. And the following day they crossed a swamp, in which the Indians had a well-made bridge, broad and of ingenious construction; and on Wednesday they arrived at the town of Pacaha, a town and lord of great renown and very esteemed in those parts. That town was very good and very well palisaded, with towers on the walls, and with a ditch roundabout, and most of it filled with water, which enters through an irrigation ditch that flows from the river. That pond had many very good f ish of different kinds. The cacique of Casqui caught up with the Christians at the time that they entered the town, and they looted it ferociously. In Aquijo and Casqui and this Pacaha they saw the best towns that they had seen up to then, and better palisaded and fortified, and the people of more beauty, except for those of Cofitachequi.

The adelantado and his people being some days in Pacaha, they made some excursions into the interior, and the cacique of Casqui stole away one day when he saw the opportunity for it, without asking for permission, for which the Governor tried to make peace with Pacaha, and he came in [peace] in order to retrieve a brother of his whom the Christians had captured at the time they entered the town. And he struck an agreement with Pacaha that they should go to make war on Casqui, which was very gratifying to Pacaha. But Casqui had warning of that intent, and he came with fifty of his Indians in very fine array; and he brought a jester in front of himself for grandeur, who, saying and doing witty things, gave occasion for much laughter to those who saw him. The Governor displayed anger and harshness in order to please Pacaha, and he sent to command that he should not enter in the town. Casqui sent as a reply, that even though they should cut off his head, he would not stop from coming. Pacaha asked the Governor for permission to give a slash on the face to Casqui with a knife that he had in his hand, which the Christians had given him, and the Governor said to Pacaha that he should not do such a thing nor do him injury, because he would get angry with him; and he commanded that Casqui should come inside to see what he wanted, and because he [the Governor] wanted to ask him why he had gone without his permission.

Casqui arrived and spoke to the Governor in this manner, as related by the interpreter Juan Ortiz and other Indian interpreters that the Governor and the Christians now had: "How, my lord, is it possible that having given me the promise of amity, without my having done you any damage or given any occasion, you wish to destroy me, your friend and brother? You gave me the cross to defend myself from my enemies, and with that same [cross] you wish to destroy me." (He said this because the Indians of Pacaha, his enemy, who were against him with the Christians, wore crosses high on their heads so that they might be recognized.) "My Lord," said Casqui, . now that God heard us, by means of the cross; that the women and boys and all those of my land knelt down to it to ask for rain from the God who you said suffered on it, and he heard us and We it to us in great abundance and saved our cornfields and seed beds; now that we have more faith in it and in your friendship, you wish to destroy those children and women who love you and your God so much? Why do you wish to use such cruelty without our meriting it? Why do you wish to lose the faith and confidence that we had in you, why do you wish to offend your own God and us, when on his behalf, you assured us in his name and received us as friends and we gave you complete faith, and we confided in the same God and in his cross and we held it in our guard and protection, and in the reverence and esteem that is suitable? To what end, to what purpose were you moved to do or think a thing so wrongful against people without guilt and friends of the cross and of yours?" And having said this, he fell silent. The Governor, his eyes softened and not without giving sign of tears, considering the faith and words of that cacique, responded to him through the interpreters in front of many Christian soldiers, who, with attention and not without tears, overcome with charity and faith, had heard all this, and he spoke thus: "Look, Casqui: we do not come to destroy you, but rather to make you know and understand the cross and our God, as you say; and these favors that he has done you are a small thing in respect to many other great ones that he will do for you, if you love him and believe in him; and thus hold it for certain, and you will find it and see it better each day. But since you went away without my permission, I thought that you held little regard for the doctrine that we had given you; and for the contempt that you had for it, I wished to destroy you, believing that you went away in pride, because this is the thing that our God most abhors and for which he punishes us most. Now that you come humbly, you may be certain that I wish you more good than what you think; and if you have need of something from me, tell me and you will see it, because we do what our God commands us, which is not to lie; and thus believe that I tell you the truth, because a lie is a very great sin among us. And do not be grateful to me or to my men for this good will, because if you believe what you say, God Our Lord commands that we love you like a brother, and that we do things for you, because you and your people are our brothers, and thus our God tells us."

The Indians were as amazed at this as the Christians were at what Casqui had said. At that point it was time to eat, and the adelantado seated himself and commanded both caciques to sit, and between them there was great contention about which of them would seat himself at the right hand of the Governor. Pacaha told Casqui: "You know well that I am a greater lord than you and of more honored parents and grandparents, and that to me belongs a better place than to you." Casqui responded thus: "It is true that you are a greater lord than I, and your ancestors were greater than mine. And since this great lord who is here says that we must not he, I will not deny the truth; notwithstanding, you know well that I am older and more than a match for you, and I confine you in your palisade whenever I want, and you have never seen my land." In effect, this remained to be decided by the Governor, and he commanded that Pacaha should seat himself at his right hand, because he was a greater lord and more ancient in Estate, and there were in him and in his people good customs and, in their own way, the manner of courtly people.

Casqui had brought a daughter, a pretty girl, to the Governor. Pacaha gave him a wife of his, fresh and very virginal, and he gave him a sister and another principal Indian woman. The Governor made them friends and made them embrace and commanded that they should deal from one land to the other with their commodities and business, and so they agreed to do it. And with this the Governor departed from there on the twenty-ninth of June.

But I wish that, together with the greatness of the cross and of the faith that this Governor told to those caciques, he had told them that he was married and that the Christians are not to have more than one wife or access to another, or to commit adultery, and that he had not taken the young daughter that Casqui gave him, or his own wife and sister and another principal [woman] Pacaha gave him, and that he had not left them with the idea that the Christians, like the Indians, could have as many wives and concubines as they wished; and as those adulterers live, so do they end up.

Let us pass on: in my opinion, in a cacique of so much discretion as Casqui, it would have seemed well to baptize him and make him and his people Christians; and it would have been better to stay there, than to go forward to what this history will relate. Nor do I praise them for having gone on beyond Cofitachequi, for the same reason and for what has been said of that land.

Therefore, this army and its Governor having left from Pacaha, they spent the night at a town of Casqui, and the next day at the principal town of the same lord of Casqui, through which they had already passed, and they left from there on Sunday, the last day of that month, and went to a town of that province. And on Monday, the first of August, they arrived at another town that is alongside the river of Casqui, which is a branch that comes forth from the great river of Pacaha, and this branch is as large as the Guadalquivir.

      DESOTO INTO ILLINOIS

There Casqui came and helped them cross the river by canoe on Tuesday the second of August. They spent the night on Wednesday at a burned town, and the following Thursday, at another town next to the river, where there were many squash and much corn and beans. And the next day, Friday, they went to Quiguate, which is the largest town they saw in that land, next to the river of Casqui; and they found out afterwards that river was well populated below (although they did not manage to find it out then), and for that reason they took the road from Coligua, passing through an uninhabited region.

On Friday, the twenty-sixth of August, they departed from Quiguate in search of Coligua, and they spent the night at a swamp; and from swamp to swamp they made their journey of four swamps and four days, in which swamps or ponds there were large numbers of fish, because the great river floods all that area when it overflows its banks. And on Tuesday they went to the river that they call [the river] of Coligua, and on Wednesday likewise along the same river, and the following Thursday, which was the first of September, to Coligua, and they found the town populated, and in it they took many people and clothes and a great deal of food and much salt. It is a pleasant town among some mountains, on a gorge of a large river, and from there they went at midday to kill cows [buffalo], since there are many wild ones.

DESOTO INTO MISSOURI

On Tuesday, the sixth of September, they departed from Coligua and crossed the river another time, and on Wednesday they crossed some mountains and went to Calpista, in which there was a spring of water from which very good salt is made, cooking it until it cakes. On the following Thursday they went to Palisma, and on Saturday, the tenth of September, they came forth to sleep at a [body of] water, and on Sunday they arrived at Quixila and rested there on Monday, and they went on Tuesday to Tutilcoya, and on Wednesday to a town alongside a large river, and on Thursday they spent the night alongside a swamp. And the Governor went in advance with some on horseback, and he arrived at Tanico; and the next day they (the army) went to the same province of Tanico, which was very scattered but very abundant in supplies. Some wanted to say that it was Cayase, a large and palisaded town that was widely known, but they never were able to see or discover it, and afterward they told them that they had left it behind at one side of the river. From there the Governor went with thirteen on horseback and fifty foot soldiers to see Tula, and he returned from there rapidly, and they killed one of his horses and wounded another four or five, and he determined to go there with the army.

It should hot be passed over or forgotten that there in Cayase our Spaniards gathered baskets of dry sand from the river and strained water through it, and brine came forth, and they cooked it and it caked, and thus they made very excellent and very white salt, and of high quality and delicious.

On Wednesday, the fifth of October, they left from the site of Tanico or Cayase and arrived on Friday at Tula, and they found the people gone; but they found many supplies. And on Saturday in the morning the Indians came to give them a surprise attack or battle. They brought long poles like lances, the points fire-hardened, and these were the best warriors that the Christians came upon; and they fought like desperate men, with the greatest courage in the world, and that day they wounded Hernandarias, grandson of the marshal of Seville, and thanks to God that the Christians behaved so valiantly, so that they did not receive much damage, although the Indians came to pillage the camp.

DESOTO INTO ARKANSAS

On Wednesday, the nineteenth of October, this army and the Governor departed from Tula, and they spent the night at two huts, and the next day, Thursday, at another hut, and on Friday at another, in which Hernandarias de Saavedra, who had been wounded at Tula, had a convulsion and died; and he died like a Catholic nobleman, commending his soul to God. The next day, Saturday, they went to Guipana, which is among some mountains, next to a river, and from there they went as far as they could to sleep, and all that [land] is mountainous from Tula on. The next day they came out of the mountains and entered the plains, and on Monday, the last day of the month, they arrived at a town that is called Quitamaya, and on Tuesday, the first of November, they passed through a small village, and on Wednesday, the second of November, they arrived at Utiangue, which is a very well populated savannah of attractive appearance.

NINE

OF THE DEATH OF GOVERNOR HERNANDO DE SOTO,
AND HOW LUIS MOSCOSO WAS SWORN IN AND
OBEYED IN HIS PLACE; AND THE HARDSHIPS
OF THOSE CONQUISTADORS AND OTHER
THINGS ARE RELATED.

-The challenge of the cacique Quigudta to the Christians.
-Springs of water, from which salt is made.
-Hot rivers and salt which is made from the sand.
-Rugged and bellicose people.
-How the Christians made seven brigantines in order to go away and leave the land, how they left it, and of the flood of a river which lasted forty-three days.

TEN, AND LAST

OF THE OUTCOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO REMAINED
FROM GOVERNOR HERNANDO DE SOTO,
AND OTHER PARTICULARS.

-Of the animals of that land, and of the marvelous animal, called the sawyer, and of the fish, in particular one called pala.
-Of the fruits of that land and trees of sweetgum and sables and many other particulars.

Link to Part One         DeSoto and the Chroniclers


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