The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

means were taken to destroy him, should he issue from the walls of the fortress.*

Such was the desperate state to which the colony was reduced, in consequence of the long detention of Columbus in Spain, and the impediments thrown in the way of all his measures for the benefit of the island by the delays of cabinets and the chicanery of Fonseca and his satellites. At this critical juncture, when faction reigned triumphant, and the colony was on the brink of ruin, tidings were brought to the Vega that Pedro Fernandez Coronal had arrived at the port of San Domingo, with two ships, bringing supplies of all kinds, and a strong reinforcement of troops.


CHAPTER VI.
SECOND INSURRECTION OF GUARIONEX, AND HIS FLIGHT TO THE
MOUNTAINS OF CIGUAY.

[ 1498.]

The arrival of Coronal, which took place on the third of February, was the salvation of the colony. The reinforcements of troops, and of supplies of all kinds, strengthened the hands of Don Bartholomew. The royal confirmation of his title and authority as Adelantado at once dispelled all doubts as to the legitimacy of his power; and the tidings that the admiral was in high favor at court, and would soon arrive with a powerful squadron, struck consternation into those who had entered into the rebellion on the presumption of his having fallen into disgrace.

The Adelantado no longer remained mewed up in his fortress, but set out immediately for San Domingo with a part of his troops, although a much superior rebel force was at the village of the cacique Guarionex, at a very short distance. Roldan followed slowly and gloomily with his party, anxious to ascertain the truth of these tidings, to make partisans, if possible, among those who had newly arrived, and to take advantage of

____________________
*
Las Casas, Hist. Ind., lib. i. cap. 119.
Las Casas. Herrera. Hist. del Almirante.

-416-

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