The Account: Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's Relación

By Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca; Martin A. Favata et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
How They Brought Other Sick People
to Us the Following Day

The following morning many Indians gathered there, bringing five sick persons who were crippled and in a very poor condition, looking for Castillo to heal them. Each one of the sick persons offered his bow and arrows, which he accepted. At sunset he made the sign of the cross on them and commended them to God our Lord, and we all asked God as best we could, to restore their health, since He knew that that was the only way for those people to help us, so that we might escape from such a miserable life. And God was so merciful that the following morning they all awakened well and healthy. They went away as strong as if they had never been sick. This caused great astonishment among them and caused us to thank our Lord heartily for showing us his kindness ever more fully and giving us the sure hope that He was going to free us and bring us to a place where we could serve Him. For myself I can say that I always had hope in his mercy and knew that He would bring me out of captivity, and I always said this to my companions.

Once the Indians had left with their cured companions, we left for another place where some others were eating prickly pears. These are called the Cutalches and Malicones, which are also the names of other languages. With them were others called the Coayos and the Susolas, and from another place some called the Atayos, who were at war with the Susolas. The Atayos and the Susolas fired arrows at each other every day. Throughout the land the only thing people talked about was the marvelous deeds that God our Lord worked through us, and people came from many places asking us to cure them. After two days some Susolas came to us and asked Castillo to go cure a wounded man and other sick people, saying that among them was a man about to die. Castillo was a timid physician, especially when the cases were frightful and dangerous. He thought that his sins would sometimes prevent a successful healing. The Indians told me to go heal them, because

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