The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

most extensive voyage hitherto made along the shores of the New World.*

Having collected all the information that he could obtain concerning these voyagers, their adventures and designs, and trusting to the declaration of Ojeda, that he should proceed forthwith to present himself to the admiral, Roldan returned to San Domingo to render a report of his mission.


CHAPTER VI.
MANŒUVRES OF ROMAN AND OJEDA.

[ 1500.]

When intelligence was brought to Columbus of the nature of the expedition of Ojeda, and the license under which he sailed, he considered himself deeply aggrieved, it being a direct infraction of his most important prerogtttives, and sanctioned by authority which ought to have held them sacred. He awaited patiently, however, the promised visit of Alonso de Ojeda to obtain fuller explanations. Nothing was farther from the intention of that roving commander than to keep such promise: he had made it merely to elude the vigilance of Roldan. As soon as he had refitted his vessels and obtained a supply of provisions, he sailed round to the coast of Xaragua, where he arrived in February. Here he was well received by the Spaniards resident in that province, who supplied all his wants. Among them were many of the late comrades of Roldan; loose, random characters, impatient of order and restraint, and burning with animosity against the admiral, for having again brought them under the wholesome authority of the laws.

Knowing the rash and fearless character of Ojeda, and finding that there were jealousies between him and the admiral, they hailed him as a new leader, come to dress their fancied grievances, in place of Roldan, whom they considered as having deserted them. They made clamorous complaints to Ojeda of the injustice of the admiral, whom they charged with withholding from them the arrears of their pay.

____________________
*
Herrera, Hist. Ind., decad. i. lib. iv. cap. 4. Muñoz, Hist. N. Mundo, part in ms. unpublished.

-451-

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