How We Found Out about Other Christians
That same day I saw an Indian with a trinket which I knew was not among those we had given the Indians. Asking him where he had obtained it, I was answered by signs that other men like ourselves, who were farther back, had given it to them. Seeing this, I sent two Christians with two Indians to guide them to where those people were. Very near there they came upon them. The men were on their way to find us, since the Indians they were with had told them about us. They were Captains Andrés Dorantes and Alonso del Castillo, with all the men from their boat. 1 When they got to us they were shocked to see the condition we were in. They were very sorry that they had nothing to give us, since they were wearing the only clothes they had. They stayed there with us and told us how, about the fifth of that month, 2 their boat had run aground a league and a half from there and how they had escaped without losing anything. All of us agreed to repair their boat and leave in it with those strong enough and willing. The others would stay there until they convalesced and were able to go along the coast to wait until God would take them with us to a land of Christians. We set out to do what we planned. Before we launched the boat, Tavera, a gentleman of our company, died. And the boat that we intended to take met its end when it could not stay afloat and sank.
We considered the conditions we were left in, most of us naked and with the weather too severe to travel and swim across rivers and inlets. We had no provisions nor means of carrying them. Therefore we decided to do what we were forced to do and spend the winter there. We decided that the four strongest men should go to Panuco, since we thought we were near it, and that if God our Lord should be pleased to take them there, they should tell them how we were stuck on that island with great need and affliction. These were very good swimmers; one, a Portuguese carpenter and sailor, was named Álvaro Fernández; the second was named Méndez; the third, Figueroa, was a native of Toledo; the fourth, Astudillo, was a native of Zafra. They took with them an Indian from the island.