How We Followed the Corn Route
After spending two days there, we decided to go look for corn. We did not want to follow the buffalo trails towards the North and go out of our way, since we were always sure that by heading west we would find what we wanted. So we made our way and crossed the entire country until we came to the South Sea. Their stories of great hunger were not enough to frighten us and keep us from doing this, although we did suffer greatly from hunger for seventeen days, as they had said we would. All along the way upriver 1 people 2 gave us many buffalo-skin blankets. 3 We did not eat that fruit [chacan]; our only food each day was a handful of deer fat which we always tried to keep for such times of need. And so we journeyed for seventeen days, at the end of which we crossed the river and traveled for seventeen 4 more.
At sunset, on plains 5 between some very tall mountains, 6 we found some people who eat nothing but powdered straw 7 for a third of the year. Since it was that season of the year, we had to eat it too. At the end of our journey we found a permanent settlement where there was abundant corn. The people gave us a large quantity of it and of cornmeal, squash, beans and cotton blankets. We loaded the people who had led us there with everything and they departed the happiest people in the world. We gave great thanks to God our Lord for having led us there where we had found so much food. Some of these dwellings were made of earth and the others made of reed mats.
From here we traveled over a hundred leagues, always finding permanent settlements 8 and much corn and beans to eat. 9 The people gave us many deer and cotton blankets better than the ones from New Spain. They also gave us many beads and a kind of coral from the South Sea, along with many very fine turquoises from the North. In sum, they gave us everything they had. They gave me five emeralds 10 made into arrowheads. They use these arrows for their areítos and dances. Since they seemed very fine to me, I asked them where they had gotten them. They told me that they brought them from some very high mountains to the North, where they traded them