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 THIRTY-FIVE
How the Mayor Received Us Well
the Night We Arrived

When the Mayor was informed of our departure and arrival, he set out that night and came to where we were. He wept a great deal with us, giving praise to God our Lord for having shown us such great mercy. He conversed with us and treated us very well, and on his own behalf and that of Governor Nuño de Guzmán1 he offered us everything he had or could do and regretted the poor reception and treatment Alcaraz and the others had given us. We were certain that, if he had been there, he would have prevented what was done to us and to the Indians.

We spent the night there and departed the following day. The Mayor entreated us to remain there, saying that we would render great service to God and to Your Majesty by doing so, since the land was abandoned and wasted and the Indians were hiding and in flight through the woods, not wanting to settle in their villages. He wanted us to call them and order them in Your Majesty's name to return and settle the plain and cultivate the soil. We thought this would be very difficult to carry out because we had not brought any of our Indians with us nor any of those who usually accompanied us and understood these matters. At last we sent for this purpose two of the Indians they had brought as captives, who were of the same people as the Indians of that land. These two were with the Christians when we first reached them, and they saw the people that accompanied us and learned from them the great authority and dominion we had throughout all those lands, the wonders we had worked, the sick people we had healed, as well as many other things. We sent other Indians from the village with these and told them to go together to call the Indians who were up in the mountains and the people from the Petaán River, 2 where we had found the Christians. We told them to tell the Indians to come to us because we wanted to speak to them. To insure that they would be safe and the others would come, we gave them one of the large gourds that we carried in our hands, our chief

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