Spanish Voyages of Discovery

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

parture of Ojecla in the pirate ship, his followers, whom he had left behind under the command of Pizarro, conthiued in the fortress until the stipulated term of fifty days had expired. Receiving no succour, and hearing no tidings of Ojeda, they then determined to embark and sail for Hispaniola; but here an unthought-of difficulty presented itself: they were seventy in number, and the two brigantines which had been left with them were incapable of taking so many. They came to the forlorn agreement, therefore, to remain until famine, sickness, and the poisoned arrows of the Indians should reduce their number to the capacity of the brigantines. A brief space of time was sufficient for the purpose. They then prepared for the voyage. Four mares, which had been kept alive as terrors to the Indians, were killed and salted for sea-stores. Then taking whatever other articles of provision remained, they embarked and made sail. One brigantine was commanded by Pizarro, the other by one Valenzuela.

They had not proceeded far when, in a storm, a sea struck the crazy vessel of Valenzuela with such violence as to cause it to founder with all its crew. The other brigantine was so near that the mariners witnessed the struggles of their drowning companions and heard their cries. Some of the sailors, with the common disposition to the marvellous, declared that they had beheld a great whale, or some other monster of the deep, strike the vessel with its tail, and either stave in its sides or shatter the rudder, so as to cause the; shipwreck.* The surviving brigantine then made the best of its way to the harbour of Carthagena, to seek provisions.

Such was the disastrous account rendered to the Bachelor by Pizarro, of his destined jurisdiction. Enciso, however, was of a confident mind and sanguine temperament, and trusted to restore all things to order and prosperity on his arrival.


CHAPTER VIII. CRUSADE OF THE BACHELOR ENCISO AGAINST THE SEPULCHRES OF ZENU.

THE Bachelor Enciso, as has been shown, was a man of the sword as well as of the robe; having doubtless imbibed a pas

____________________
*
Herrera, Hist. Ind. d. i. 1. vii. c. 10.

-85-

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