The Account: Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's Relación

By Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca; Martin A. Favata et al. | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER THREE
How We Arrived in Florida

That same day Alonso Enríquez, the Purser, set out for an island in the same bay where he called the Indians, 1 who came and were with him a good while, and as exchange 2 they gave him fish and a few pieces of venison. The following day was Good Friday and the Governor disembarked with the greatest number of people he could take with him in the skiffs he had. When we arrived at the Indians' buhios, 3 or lodges, which we had seen, we found them empty and abandoned, since the people had left that night in their canoes. One of those buhios was very large, probably capable of holding more than three hundred people; the others were smaller. There we found a litle golden bell among some nets.

The following day the Governor raised Your Majesty's standards and took possession of the land in your royal name, presented his credentials and was obeyed as Governor as Your Majesty commands. Likewise we presented ours before him and he acknowledged them, as provided therein. Then he ordered all the others to disembark, along with the remaining horses, which now numbered only forty-two, since the others had died because of the great storms and the long time that they had spent at sea. The few that remained were so skinny and fatigued that for the moment they were of little use to us.

The next day the Indians of that village came and spoke to us, but we did not understand them since we had no interpreter. They made many signs and threatening gestures and it seemed to us that they were telling us to leave that land. Then they left us and went away without hindering us.

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