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The Viceroy stiffly withstood the party that was not his, and upon some slur and insolence took from a man his office. Followed a week of glassy smoothness. Then suddenly, by chance, was discovered the plot of Bernal Diaz de Pisa–the first of many Spanish conspiracies. It involved several hundred men and was no less a thing than the seizure in the dark
night of the ships and the setting sail for Spain, there to wreck the fame of Christopherus Columbus and if possible obtain the sending out of some prince over him, who would beam kindly on all hidalgos and never put them to vulgar work. A letter was found in Bernal Diaz’s hand, and if therein any ill was left unsaid of the Admiral and Viceroy, I know not what it might be! The “Italian”, the “Lowborn”, the “madly arrogant and ambitious”, the “cruel” and “violent”, the “tyrant” acted. Bernal Diaz was made and kept prisoner on Vicente Pinzon’s ship. Of his following one out of ten lay in prison for a month. Of the seamen concerned three were flogged and all had their pay estopped.

One might say that Isabella was builded. Columbus himself stood and moved in better health. Now he would go discovering on dry land, to Alonso de Ojeda’s glee, glee indeed of many. The mountains of Cibao, where might be the gold,–and gold must be had!

And we might find Caonabo, and what peoples were behind our own mountains, and perhaps come upon Guacanagari. We went, four hundred men and more, an army with banners. We wished to impress, and we took any and all things that might help in that wise. Drum and trumpet beat and sang. Father Buil was not with us. But three of his missionaries accompanied us, and they carried a great crucifix. There were twenty horses, and terrible were these to this land as the elephants of the Persians to the Greeks. And much we marveled that Cuba and Hayti had no memory nor idea of elephants. A throng of Indians would go with us, and in much they carried our supplies. It was first seen clearly at this time, I think, the uses that might be drawn from our heathen subjects. Alonso de Ojeda, Juan Ponce de Leon and Pedro Margarite rode with the Admiral. Others followed on black and bay and white horses. Juan Lepe marched with the footmen. He was glad to find Luis Torres.

Before setting out we went to mass in the new church. Candles burned, incense rose in clouds, the friars chanted, the bell rang, we took the wafer, the priest lifted the chalice.

The sun rose, the trumpets rang, we were gone. South, before us, the mountain line was broken by a deep notch. That would be our pass, afar, and set high, filled with an intense, a burning sapphire. We had Indian guides.

Day, evening, camp and night. Dawn, trumpets, breakfast and good understanding and jollity. After breakfast the march, and where was any road up the heights? And being none we would make one and did, our hidalgos toiling with the least. By eve we were in the high pass, level ground under our feet, above us magnificent trees. We called it the Pass of the Hidalgos. We threw ourselves down and slept. At sunrise we pushed on, and presently saw what Juan Lepe once before had seen, the vast southward-lying plain and the golden mountains of Cibao.

There rose a cry, it was so beautiful! The Admiral named it Vega Real, the Royal Plain.

Sweating, panting, we came at last down that most difficult descent into rolling forest and then to a small bright stream, beside it garden patches and fifty huts. The inhabitants fled madly, we heard their frightened shouts and the screaming of children. Thereafter we tried to keep in advance a small body of Indians, so that they might tell that the gods were coming, but that they would not injure.

Acclivity and declivity fell away. We were fully in an enormous, fertile and populous plain.

The horses and the horsemen! At first they thought that these were one. When some cowering group was surrounded and kept from breaking away, when Alonso de Ojeda or another leaped from steed to earth, from earth again to steed, they moaned with astonishment and some relief. But the horses, the horses–never to have seen any great four-footed things, and now these that were proud and pawed the
earth and neighed and–De Ojeda’s black horse–reared, curvetted, bounded, appeared to threaten! The eyes, the mane, the great teeth!–There grew a legend that they were fed upon men’s flesh, red men’s flesh!

How many red men were in Quisquaya I do not know. In some regions they dwelled thickly, in others were few folk. In this wide, long, laughing plain dwelled many, in clean towns sunk among trees good to look at and dropping fruit; by river or smaller stream, with plantings of maize, batata, cassava, jucca, maguey, and I know not what beside. If the stream was a considerable one, canoes. They had parrots; they had the small silent dogs. In some places we saw clay pots and bowls. They wove their cotton, though not very skillfully. They crushed their maize in hand mills. We found caciques and butios, and heard of their main cacique, Gwarionex. But he did not come to meet us; they said he had gone on a visit to Caonabo in Cibao. They brought us food and took our gifts in exchange; they harangued us in answer to our harangues; they made dances for us. The children thronged around, fearless now and curious. The women were kind. Old men and women together, and sometimes more women than men, sat in a council ring about some venerable tree.

There was no quarrel and no oppression upon this adventure. I look back and I see that single journey in Hispaniola a flower and pattern of what might be.

They gave us what gold they had–freely–and we gave in return things that they prized. But always they said Cibao for gold.

We rode and marched afoot, with many halts and turns aside, five leagues across plain. A large river barred our way,–the Yaqui they called it. Here we spent two days in a village a bowshot from the water. We searched for gold, we sent from Indian to Indian rumor that it was the highest magic, god-magic that of all things in the world we most desired and took it from their hands, yet still we paid for it in goods for which they lusted, and we neither forced nor threatened force. And though we were four hundred, yet there might be in the Royal Plain forty thousand, and their hue and their economy was yet prince in the land, and the Spaniard a visitor. And there commanded the four hundred a humane man, with something of the guilelessness of the child.

We crossed the Yaqui in canoes and upon rafts. White, brown and black, the horses swam the stream. Again nigh impenetrable forest, again villages, again clear singing and running waters. But ever the mountains came closer. At last we entered hilly country and the streams pushed with rapidity, flowing to the Yaqui, flowing to the sea. Now we began to find gold. It glistened in the river sands. Sometimes we found nuts of it, washed from the rocks far above. There came upon us the gold fever. Mines–we must open mines! Fermin Cedo, our essayer, would have it that it was not Ophir, but at that time he was hardly believed. The Admiral wrote a letter about these golden mines.

An Indian brought him a piece of amber; another, a lump of blue stone. We found jasper, we were sure of copper.

We came to a natural rampart, wide at top, steeply descending on three sides, set in a loop of a little clear river named Yanique. “Ho!” cried Alonso de Ojeda. “Here is the cradle for the babe! Round tower, walls, barbican yonder, and Mother Nature has dug the moat!” He sent his voice across to the Viceroy. “A fort, senor, a fort!”

Council was held by the Yanique. A fort,–a luckier than La Navidad! Men left here to collect gold, establish a road, keep communication with Isabella which in turn should forward supplies and men. The returning fleet might bring two thousand–nay, five thousand men! It would certainly bring asses and mules as well as horses. We should have burden-bearers. Moreover, a company of Indians might be trained to come and go as carriers. Train them, set some sort of penalty for malfeasance.

“They should be taught to mine for us,” said Pedro Margarite. “Pay them? Of course–of course! But do not pay them too much. Do not we protect them from Caribs and save their souls to boot? Take it as tribute!” It was the first time the word was said, in Spanish, here.

We built a fort much after the model of La Navidad and named it St. Thomas. When after days it was done, and commandant must be chosen, the Viceroy’s choice fell upon Pedro Margarite. And that was great pity. But he could not know Margarite then as afterwards he came to know him. Fifty-six men he left with Margarite, and the rest of us marched home across the Vega and the northern mountains to Isabella.

Sickness. Quarrels. Idleness, vanity, dissensions and accusations. Heat, more sickness, wild quarrels.

Tidings from Margarite at St. Thomas. The Indians would no longer bring food. Caonabo was threatening from the higher mountains. The Viceroy wrote to Margarite. Compel the Indians to bring food, but as it were to compel them gently!

Quarrels–quarrels at Isabella. Two main parties and all the lesser ones. Disease and scarcity. Fray Geronimo arrived from St. Thomas. He had stories. The Viceroy grew dark red, his eyes lightened. Yet he believed that what was told pertained to men of Margarite, not to that cavalier himself. He wrote to Margarite–I do not know what. But presently a plan arose in his mind and was announced. Don Alonso de Ojeda was to command St. Thomas. Don Pedro Margarite should have a moving force of several hundred Castilians, mainly for exploration, but at need for other things. Going here and there about the country, it might impress upon Caonabo that the Spaniard though gentle by nature, was dangerous when aroused.

Alonso de Ojeda, three hundred men behind him, went forth on his black horse, to trumpet and drum, very gay and ready to go. In a week he sent into Isabella six Indians in chains. These had set upon three of Margarite’s men coming with a letter to the Viceroy and had robbed them, though without doing them bodily injury. Alonso de Ojeda had cut off their ears and sent them all in heavily chained. The Viceroy condemned them to be beheaded, but when they were on their knees before the block reprieved them, one by one. He kept them chained for a time for all visiting Indians to see, then formally pardoned them and let them go.

Matters quieted. Sickness again sank, a flood retiring, leaving pools. Alonso de Ojeda and Pedro Margarite reported peace in Hispaniola. The Admiral came forth from his house one day and said quietly to this one and that one that now he meant again to take up Discovery.

He gave authority in Isabella to Don Diego, and made him a council where sat Father Buil, Caravajal, Coronel and Juan de Luxan. Then out of five ships we took the _Cordera_, the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_, and we set sail on April the twenty-fourth.

CHAPTER XXXI

THE island, we learned, was named Jamaica. The Admiral called it Santiago, but it also rests Jamaica.

Of all these lands, outside of the low, small islands to which we came first, Cuba seemed to us the peaceable land. Jamaica gave us almost Carib welcome. Its folk had the largest canoes, the sharpest, toughest lances. Perhaps they had heard from some bold sea rover that we had come, but that we were not wholly gods!

Our crossbow men shot amongst them. The arrows failed to halt them, but when we sent a bloodhound the dog did our work. It was to them what griffon or fire-breathing dragon might be to a Seville throng. When the creature sprang among them they uttered a great cry and fled. Jamaica is most beautiful.

For not a few days we visited, sailing and anchoring, lifting again and stopping again. Once the people were pacified, they gave us kindly enough welcome, trading and wondering. We slipped by bold coasts and headlands which we must double, mountains above us. They ran by inland paths, saving distance, telling village after village. When we made harbor, here was the thronged beach. Some of these people wore a slight dress of woven grass and palm leaves, and they used crowns of bright feathers. We got from them in some quantity golden ornaments. But south for gold, south–south, they always pointed south!

The _Cordera_, the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_ set sail out of the Harbor of Good Weather, in Santiago or Jamaica. A day and a night of pleasant sailing, then we saw the great Cuba coast rise blue in the distance. The weather wheeled.

There was first a marvelous green hush, while clouds formed out of nothing. We heard a moaning sound and we did not know its quarter. The sea turned dead man’s color. Then burst the wind. It was more than wind; it seemed the movement of a world upon us. Bare of all sails, we labored. We were driven, one from the other. The mariners fell to praying.

A strange light was around us, as though the tempest itself made a light. By it I marked the Admiral, upright where he could best command the whole. He had lashed himself there, for the ship tossed excessively. His great figure stood; his white, blowing hair, in that strange light, made for him a nimbus. It was strange, how the light seemed to seize that and his brow and his gray-blue eyes. Below the eyes his lips moved. He was shouting encouragement, but only the intention could be heard. The intention was heard. He looked what he was, something more than a bold man and a brave sea captain, and there streamed from him comfort. It touched his mariners; it came among them like tongues of flame.

Darkness increased. We were now among lightnings like javelins and loud thunder. Then fell the rain, in torrents, in drops large as plums. It was as though another ocean was descending upon us.

It lasted and we endured. After long while came lessening in that weight of rain, and then cessation. Suddenly the tempest was over. There shone a star — three stars and on topmast and bowsprit Saint Elmo’s lights.

Our mariners shouted, “Safe–safe! Saint Elmo!”

Suddenly, over all the sky, were stars shining. The Admiral raised his great voice. “Sing, all of us!

‘Stella Maris–
Sancta Maria!’ “

With the morning the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_, beaten about, some injury done, but alive! And the coast of Cuba, nearer, nearer, tall and blue–and at last very tall and green and gold.

Off Cuba and still off Cuba, the southern coast now, as against the northern that once we tried for a while. Sail and come to land, stay a bit, and shake out sails once more!

Wherever we tarried we found peaceable if vastly excited Indians. But still naked, but still unwise as to gold and spices, traders and markets. Cambalu, Quinsai and Zaiton of the marble bridges!

” `Somewhere,’ saith Messer Marco, `in part the country is savage, filled with mountains, and here come few strangers, for the king will not have them, in order that his treasures and certain matters of his kingdom come not into the world’s knowledge.’ And again he saith, `The folk here are naked.’–What wonder then,” said the Admiral, “that we find these things! Yea, I feel surprised at the incessancy, but I check myself and think, how vast is Asia, and what variousness must needs be!”

But we moved in a cloud of differences, and while on the one hand this world was growing familiar, on the other the sense increased. “How vast indeed must be Asia, if all this and yet we come not–and now it is going on two years–to any clear hint of other than this!”

He himself, the Admiral, began to feel this strangeness. Or rather, he had long felt it and fought the feeling, but now strongly it came creeping over.

We were among the hugest number of small islands. Starboard loomed, until it was lost in the farness, that coast that we were following, but the three ships were in a half-land, half-water world. We wandered in this labyrinth,
keeping with difficulty our way, so crooked and narrow the channels, so many the sandbars. From deck it minded me of that sea of weed we met in the first passage.

Waves of fragrance struck us. “Ha!” cried the Admiral. “Can you not smell cinnamon, spikenard, nutmeg, cloves and galingal?” His faith was so strong that we did smell. From one of these islands, the _Cordera_ lying at anchor and a boat going ashore, we took a number of pigeons. So unafraid were these birds that our men approached them easily and beat them down with a pike. We had them for supper, and when their crops were opened, the cook found and brought to the Admiral a number of brown seeds. The Admiral dropped them into clear water, then smelled and tasted. “Cloves? Are they not cloves?” He gave to Juan de la Cosa and to me who also tasted and thought they might be cloves. But we did not find their tree, and we saw no signs of ever a merchant of Cathay or Mangi or Ind.

Christopherus Columbus leaned upon the rail of the _Cordera_. In this islet world we lay at anchor for the night. “Do you know what it is,” he asked, “to have a word color the whole day long?” He glanced around, but none was very near. “My Word to-day is _magic_. I’d not give it to any but you, and I drop my voice in saying it. I’ll sail on through magic and against magic, for I have Help from Above! But I’ll not lay a fearsome word among those who are not so accorded! All say India hath high magic, and the Grand Khan takes from that country his astrologers and sorcerers. I have read that at Shandu, if there be long raining, they will mount a tower by the palace and wave it back, so that the falling rain makes but a pleasant wall around the king’s fair garden that itself rests in sunshine. Also that without touching them they cause the golden flagons to fill with red wine and to move through air, with no hand upon them, to the king’s table. That was long ago. We have had no news of them of late. They may do now more marvelous, vaster things.”

“And the moral?”

“I said, `They do them there.’ Perhaps this is there.”

“I take you!” I said and half-laughed. “We may be in Cathay all this while, under the golden roofs, with the bells strung from the eaves. Yonder line of cranes standing in the shallow water, watching us, may, God wot, be tall magicians in white linen and scarlet silk!”

He crossed himself. The cranes had lifted themselves and flown away. “If they heard–“

“Are you in earnest?”

He put his hands over his eyes. “Sometimes I think it may be fact, sometimes not! Sorcery is a fact, and who knows how far it may go? At times my brain is like to crack, I have so cudgeled it!”

That he cudgeled it was true, and though his brain never cracked and to the end was the best brain in a hundred, yet from this time forth I began to mark in him an unearthliness.

These islands we named the Queen’s Gardens, and escaping from them came again to clean coast. On we went for two days, and this part of Cuba had many villages, at sea edge or a little from the water, and all men and women were friendly and brought us gifts.

I remember a moonlight night. All were aboard the _Cordera_, the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_, for we meant to sail at dawn. We had left a village yet dancing and feasting. The night was a miracle of silver. Again I stood beside Christopherus Columbus; from land streamed their singing and their thin, drumming and clashing music. At hand it is rather harsh than sweet, but distance sweetened it.

“What will be here in the future–if there are not already here, after your notion, great cities and bridges and shipping, and only our eyes holden and our hands and steps made harmless? Or nearly harmless, for we have slain some Indians!”

He had made a gesture of deprecation. “Ah, that, I hardly doubt, was my fancy! But in the future I see them, your cities!”

“Do you see them, from San Salvador onward and everywhere, –Spanish cities?”

“Necessarily–seeing that the Holy Father hath given the whole of the land to Spain.” He looked at the moon that was so huge and bright, and listened to the savage music. “If we go far enough–walking afar–who knoweth what we shall find?” He stood motionless. “_I_ do not know. It is in God’s hands!”

“Do you see,” I asked, “a great statue of yourself?”

“Yes, I see that.”

The moon shone so brightly it was marvel. Land breeze brought perfume from the enormous forest. “It is too fair to sleep!” said the Admiral. “I will sit here and think.”

He slept little at any time. His days were filled with action. Never was any who had more business to attend to! Yet he was of those to whom solitude is as air,–imperiously a necessity. Into it he plunged through every crack and cranny among events. He knew how to use the space in which swim events. But beside this he must make for himself wide holdings, and when he could not get them by day he took from night.

We came again to a multitude of islets like to the Queen’s Gardens. And these were set in a strange churned and curdled sea, as white as milk. Making through it as best we might, we passed from that silverness and broken land into a great bay or gulf, so deep that we might hardly find bottom, and here we anchored close to a long point of Cuba covered thick with palms.

We went ashore for water and fruit. Solitary–neither man nor woman! We found tracks upon the sand that some among us would have it were made by griffons. One of our men had the thought that he might procure some large bird for the Admiral’s table. Taking a crossbow he passed alone through the palms into the deeper wood. He was gone an hour, and when he returned it was in haste, with a chalk face and great eyes. I was seated in the boat with the master of the _Cordera_ and heard his tale. He had found what he thought a natural aisle of the forest and had stolen down it, looking keenly for pigeon or larger bird. A tree with drooping branches stood across the aisle, he said. He went around the trunk, which was a great one, and it was as though he had turned into the nave of the cathedral. There was space, but trees like pillars on either side, and at the end three great trees covered to the tops with vine and purple grapes. And here he saw before him, under the greatest tree, a man in a long white gown like a White Friar. The sight halted him, turned him, he averred, to stone. Two more men in white dresses but shorter than that of the first, came from among the trees and he saw behind these a number in like clothing. He could not tell, now he thought of it, if they were carrying lances or palms. We had looked so long for clothed folk that it was the white clothes he thought of. The same with their faces– he could not tell about them–he thought they were fair. Suddenly, it seemed, Pan had fallen upon him and put him forth in terror. He had turned and raced through the forest, here to the sea. He did not think the white-clad men had seen him.

We took him to the Admiral who listened, then brought his hands together. “Hath it not–hath it not, I ask you –sound of Prester John?”

With the dawn he had men ashore, and there he went himself, with him Juan de la Cosa and Juan Lepe. The crossbowman–it was Felipe Garcia–showed the way. We found indeed the forest aisle and nave, and the three trees and the purple grapes, a vast vine with heavy clusters, but we found no men and no sign of men.

The Admiral was not discouraged. “If he truly saw then, and I believe he did, then are they somewhere–“

We beat all the neighborhood. Solitary, solitary! He divided the most determined of us–so many from each ship–into two bands and sent in two directions. We were to search, if necessary, through ten leagues. We went, but returned empty of news of clothed men. We found desolate forest, and behind that a vast, matted, low growth, impenetrable and extending far away. At last we determined that Felipe Garcia had seen white cranes. Unless it were magic–

We sailed on and we sailed on. The _Cordera_, the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_ were in bad case, hurt in that storm between Jamaica and Cuba, and wayworn since in those sandy seas, among those myriad islets. Our seamen and our shipmasters now loudly wished return to Isabella. He pushed us farther on and farther on, and still we did not come to anything beyond those things we had already reached, nor did we come either to any end of Cuba. And what was going on in Hispaniola–in Isabella? We had sailed in April and now it was July.

It became evident to him at last that he must turn. The Viceroy and the Admiral warred in him, had long warred and would war. Better for him had he never insisted upon viceroyship! Then, single-minded, he might have discovered to the end of his days.

We turned, the _Cordera_, the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_, and still he believed that the long, long coast of Cuba was the coast of the Asia main. He saw it as a monster cape or prolongation, sprouting into Ocean-Sea as sprouts Italy into Mediterranean. Back–back–the way we had come, entering again that white sea, entangled again among a thousand islets!

At last we came again to that Cape of the Cross to which we had escaped in the Jamaica tempest. One thing he would yet do in this voyage and that was to go roundabout homeward by Jamaica and find out further things of that great and fair island. We left Cuba that still we thought was the main. Santiago or Jamaica rose before us, dark blue mountains out of the dark blue sea. For one month we coasted this island, for always the weather beat us back when we would quit it, setting our sails for Hispaniola.

We came to Hayti upon the southern side, and because of some misreckoning failed of knowing that it was Hayti, until an Indian in a canoe below us, called loudly “El Almirante!” And yet Isabella was the thickness of the island from us, and the weather becoming foul, we beat about for long days, struggling eastward and pushed back, and again parting upon a stormy night one ship from the others. The _Cordera_ anchored by a tall, rocky islet and rode out the storm. Here, when it was calm, we went ashore, but found no man, only an unreckonable number of pigeons. The Admiral lay on clean, warm sand and rested with his eyes shut. I was glad we were nigh to Isabella and his house there, for I did not think him well. He sat up, embracing his great knees and looking at the sea and the _Cordera_. “I have been thinking, Doctor.”

“For your health, my Admiral, I wish you could rest a while from thinking!”

“We were upon the south side of Mangi. I am assured of that! Could I, this time, have sailed on–Now I see it!”

He dropped his hands from his knees and turned full toward me. I saw that lying thus for an hour he had gathered strength and now was passed, as he was wont to pass after quiet, into a high degree of vision, accompanied by forth-going energy. “Now I see, and as soon as I may, I will do! Beyond Mangi, Champa. Beyond Champa, the coast trending southward, India of the Ganges and the Golden Chersonese. Land of Gold–Land of Gold!–are they not forever pointing southward? But it is not of gold –or wholly gold–that now I think! _Aurea Chersonesus_ maketh a vast peninsula, greater maybe than Italy, Greece and Spain taken together. But I will round it, and I will come to the mouth of Ganges! Then again, I read, we go southward! There is the Kingdom of Maabar where Saint Thomas is buried, and the Kingdom of Monsul where the diamonds are found. Then we come to the Island of Zeilan, where is the Tomb of our Father Adam. Here are sapphires, amethysts, topaz, garnet and rubies. There is a ruby here beyond price, large as a man’s two fists and a well of red fire. But what I should think most of would be to stand where Adam laid him down.–Now from the Island of Zeilan I sail across the India sea. And I go still south, three hundred leagues, and I find the great island of Madagascar whose people are Saracens and there is the rukh-bird that can lift an elephant, and they cut the red sandal there and find ambergris. Then lifteth Zanzibar whose women are monsters and where the market is in elephant teeth. And so I come at last to the extremity of Africa which Bartholomew Diaz found–my brother, Don Bartholomew being with him–and named Good Hope. So I round Good Hope, and I come home by Cape Bojador which I myself have seen. I will pass Fez and Ercilla and the straits and Cadiz. I will enter the River Sagres at Palos, for there was where I first put forth. The bells of La Rabida will ring, for a thing is done that was never done before, and that will not cease to resound! I shall have sailed around the earth. Christopherus Columbus. Ten ships. Ten chances of there being one in which I may come home!”

“There have been worse dreams!” said Juan Lepe.

“I warrant you! But I am not dreaming.”

He rose and stood with arms outstretched, crosswise.

” `Nought is hid,’ saith Scripture, `but shall be found!’ Here is Earth. Do you not think that one day we shall go all about it? Aye, freely, freely! With zest and joy, discovering that it is a loved home. For every road some man or men broke the clods!”

They hailed us from the _Cordera_. One had seen from topmast the _Santa Clara_.

Still we sailed by the south coast of Hispaniola. We knew now that it was not Cipango. But it was a great island, natheless, and one day might be as Cipango. Beata, Soana, Mona were the little islands that we found. We sailed between them and our great island, and at last we came to the corner and turned northward, and again after days to another corner and sailed west once more, with hopes now of Isabella. It was the first week in September.

In a great red dawn, Roderigo, the Admiral’s servant, roused Juan Lepe. “Come–come–come, Doctor!”

I sprang from my bed and followed him. Christopherus Columbus lay in a deep swoon. Round he came from that and said, “Roderigo, tell them that I am perfectly well, but wish to see no one!” From that, he came to recognize me. “Doctor, I am tired. God and Our Lady only know how tired I am!”

His eyes shut, his head sank deep into the bed. He said not another word, that day nor the next nor the next. Roderigo and I forced him to swallow a little food and wine, and once he rose and made as if to go on deck. But we laid him down again and he sank into movelessness and a sleep of all the faculties. Juan de la Cosa took care of the _Cordera_. So we sighted Isabella and in the harbor four caravels that had not been there when we had sailed in April.

CHAPTER XXXII

TWO men came into the cabin, Don Diego Colon, left in charge of Hispaniola, and with him a tall, powerful, high-featured man, gray of eye and black and silver of hair and short beard. As he stood beside the bed, one saw that he must be kinsman to the man who lay upon it. “O Bartholomew! And is this the end?” cried Don Diego, and I knew that the stranger was that brother, Bartholomew, for whom the Admiral longed.

These three brothers! One lay like a figure upon a tomb save for the breathing that stirred his silver hair. One, Don Diego, tall, too, and strong, but all of a gentle, quiet mien sank on his knees and seemed to pray. One, Don Bartholomew, stood like rock or pine, but he slowly made the sign of the cross, and I saw his gray eyes fill. It seemed to me that the Admiral’s eyelids flickered. “Speak to him again,” I said. “Take his hand.”

Bartholomew Columbus, kneeling in the _Cordera’s_ cabin, put his arm about his great brother. That is what he called him,–“Christopher, my great brother, it is Bartholomew! Don’t you know me? Don’t you remember? I must go to England, you said, to see King Henry. To tell him what you could do–what you have done, my great brother! Don’t you remember? I went, but I was poor like you who are now Viceroy of the Indies–and I was shipwrecked besides and lost the little that we had scraped–do you remember?–and must live like you by making maps and charts, and it was long before I saw King Henry!– Christopher, my great brother! He lies like death!”

I said, “He is returning, but he is yet a long way off. Keep speaking.”

“But King Henry said at last, `Go bring us that brother of yours, and we think it may be done!’ And he gave me gold. So I would come back to Spain for you, and I reached Paris, and it was the summer of 1493. Christopher, my great brother, don’t you hear me? For it was at Paris that I heard, and it came like a flood of glory, fallen in one moment from Heaven! I heard, `Christopherus Columbus! He has found the Indies for King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella!’–Don’t you hear, Christopher? All the world admiring–all the world saying, `Nothing will ever go just the same way again!’ You have done the greatest thing, my great brother! Doctor, is he dying?”

“He will not die,” I said. “You are cordial to him, though he hears you yet from leagues and leagues away. Go on!”

“Christopher, from Paris I got slowly, slowly, so slowly I thought it!–to Seville. But I was not poor. They gave me gold, the French King gave it, their nobles, their bishops. I walked in that glory; it flooded me from you! All your people, Christopher, your sons and your brothers and our old father. You build us again, you are our castle and great ship and Admiral! When I came to Barcelona, how they praised you! When I came to Toledo, how they praised you! When I came to Seville, how they praised you! But at Seville I learned that I was too late, and you were gone upon your second voyage. Then I went to Valladolid and the Queen and the King were there, and they said, `He has just sailed, Don Bartholomew, from Cadiz with sixteen ships–your great brother who hath crossed Ocean-Sea and bound to us Asia!’–But, sweet Jesu, what entertainment they gave me, all because I had lain in our old wooden cradle at Genoa a couple of years or so after you!–Genoa!–They say Genoa _aches_ because she did not send you. Christopher, do you remember the old rock by the sea–and you begged colors from Messer Ludovico and painted upon it a ship and we called it the Great Doge–“

The Admiral’s eyes opened slowly like a gray dawn; he moved ever so slightly in the bed, and his lips parted. “Brother,” he whispered.

We got him from the _Cordera_ to Hispaniola shore, and so in a litter to his own house in Isabella. All our town was gathered to see him carried there. He began to improve. The second day he said to Don Bartholomew, “You shall be my lieutenant and deputy. Adelantado–I name you Adelantado.”

Don Bartholomew said bluntly, “Is not that hard upon Diego?”

“No, no, Bartholomew!” answered Don Diego, who was present. “If it were question of a prior of Franciscans, now! But Christopher knows and I know that I took this stormy world but for lack of any other in blood to serve him. Our Lady knows that I never held myself to be the man for the place! Be Adelantado and never think of me!”

The Admiral upon his bed spoke. “We have always worked together, we Colombos. When it is done for the whole there is no jealousy among the parts. I love Diego, and I think he did well, constraining his nature to it, here among the selfish, the dangerous and factious! And others know that he did well. I love him and praise him. But Bartholomew, thou art the man for this!”

Accordingly, the next noontide, trumpets, and a proclamation made before the great cross in the middle of our town. The Viceroy’s new-come brother had every lieutenant power.

I do not know if he ever disappointed or abused it. He became great helper to his great brother.

These three! They were a lesson in what brothers might be, one to the other, making as it were a threefold being. Power was in this family, power of frame and constitution, with vital spirit in abundance; power of will, power of mind, and a good power of heart. Their will was good toward mankind.

They had floods to surmount and many a howling tempest to out-endure. By and large they did well with life,–very well. There was alloy, base metal of course, even in the greatest of the three. They were still men. But they were such men as Nature might put forward among her goodly fruit.

The Viceroy lay still in his bed, for each time he would rise came faintness and old fatigue. The Adelantado acted.

There was storm in Hispaniola, storm of human passions. I found Luis Torres, and he put me within leg-stride of the present.

Margarite! It seemed to begin with Don Pedro Margarite.

He and his men had early made choice between the rich, the fruitful, easy Vega and the mountains they were to pierce for gold and hunt over for a fierce mountain chief. In the Vega they established themselves. The Indians brought them “tribute”, and they exacted over-tribute, and reviled and slew when it pleased them, and they took the Indian women, and if it pleased them they burned a village. “Sorry tale,” said Luis. “Old, sorry tale!”

Indians came to Isabella and with fierce gesture and eyes that cast lances talked to Don Diego. Don Diego sent a stern letter to Don Pedro Margarite. Don Pedro answered that he was doing soldier’s duty, as the Sovereigns would understand when it came before them. Don Diego sent again, summoning him upon his allegiance to Isabella. He chose for a month no answer to that at all, and the breezes still brought from the Vega cries of anger, wails of sorrow. Then he appeared suddenly in Isabella.

Don Diego would have arrested him and laid him in prison to await the Admiral’s return. But with suddenness, that was of truth no suddenness, Margarite had with him three out of four of our hidalgos, and more than that, our Apostolic Vicar of the Indies! Don Diego must bend aside, speak him fair, remonstrate, not command. The Viceroy of the Indies and Admiral of Ocean-Sea? Dead probably!–and what were these Colombos? Italian wool-combers! But here stood hidalgos of Spain!–“Old story,” said Luis Torres. “Many times, many places, man being one in imperfection.”

A choppy sea had followed Margarite’s return. Up and down, to and fro, and one day it might seem Margarite was in control, and the next, Don Diego, but with Margarite’s wave racing up behind. Then appeared three ships with men and supplies and Don Bartholomew! Margarite saw Don Diego strengthened. He was bold enough, Margarite! on a dark night, at eve, there were so many ships before Isabella but when morn broke they were fewer by two. Margarite and the Apostolic Vicar and a hundred disaffected were departed the Indies! “Have they gotten to Spain? And what do they say? God, He knoweth!–There have been great men and they have been stung to death.”

“Ay, ay, the old story!” I said, and would learn about the pacification of the Indians.

“Why, they are not pacified,” answered Luis. “Worse follows worse. Pedro Margarite left two bands in the Vega, and from all I hear they turned devils. It looked like peace itself, didn’t it, this great, fair, new land, when first we stepped upon it, and raised the banner and then the cross? It’s that no longer. They’re up, the Indians, Caonabo and three main caciques, and all the lesser ones under these. In short, we are at war,” ended Luis. “Alonso de Ojeda at the moment is the Cid. He maneuvers now in the Vega.”

I looked around. We were sitting under palm trees, by the mud wall of our town. Beyond the forest waved in the wind, and soft white clouds sailed over it in a sky of essential sapphire. “There’s an aspect here of peace!”

“That is because Guacanagari, from his new town, holds his people still. For that Indian the scent of godship has not yet departed! He sees the Admiral always as a silver-haired hero bringing warmth and light. He is like a dog
for fidelity!–But I saw three Indians from outside his country curse him in the name of all the other tribes, with a kind of magical ceremony. Is he right, or is he wrong, Juan Lepe? Or is he neither the one nor the other, but Something moves him from above?”

“Have you never seen again the butio, Guarin?”

“No.”

We sat and looked at the rich forest, and at that strange, rude, small town called Isabella, and at the blue harbor with the ships, and the blue, blue sea beyond. Over us–what is over us? Something seemed to come from it, stealing down the stair to us!

The fourth day after his return, Don Francisco de Las Casas, Don Juan Ponce de Leon, and others told to the Viceroy, lying upon his bed in his house, much what Luis Torres told Juan Lepe. “Sirs,” he said, when they had done, “here is my brother, Don Bartholomew, who will take order. He is as myself. For Christopherus Columbus, he is ill, and must be ill awhile.”

The sixth day came Guacanagari, and sat in the room and talked sorrowfully. Caonabo, Gwarionex, Behechio, Cotubanama, said, “Were these or were these not gods, yet would they fight!”

The Admiral said, “The Future is the god. But there are burrs on his skirt!”

Guacanagari at last would depart. He stood beside the bed and the silver-haired great cacique from heaven. The Admiral put forth a lean, knotted, powerful hand and laid it on the brown, slim, untoiled hand. “I wish peace,” he said. “My brother Bartholomew and I will do what we can do to gain it. Good peace, true peace!”

Without the room, I asked the cacique about Guarin. He was gone, he said, to the mountains. He would not stay with Guacanagari, and he would not go to Caonabo or Gwarionex. “All old things and ways are broken,” said Guacanagari. “All our life is broken. I do not know what we have done. The women sit and weep. And I, too, sometimes I weep!”

The seventh day came in Alonso de Ojeda from St. Thomas.

The Viceroy and the Adelantado and Ojeda talked alone together in the Viceroy’s house. But next day was held a great council, all our principal men attending. There it was determined to capture, if possible, Caonabo, withdrawing him so from the confederacy. The confederacy might then go to pieces. In the meantime use every effort to detach from it Gwarionex who after Guacanagari was our nearest great cacique. Send a well-guarded, placating embassy to him and to Cotubanama. Try kindness, kindness everywhere, kind words and good deeds!–And build another fort called Fort Concepcion.

Take Caonabo! That was a task for Alonso de Ojeda! He did it. Five days after the council, the Viceroy being now recovered and bringing strength to work that needed strength, the Adelantado vigorously helping, Isabella in a good mood, the immediate forest all a gold and green peacefulness, Don Alonso vanished, and with him fourteen picked men, all mounted.

For six weeks it was as though he had dropped into the sea, or risen into the blue sky above eyesight.

Then on a Sunday he and his fourteen rode into town. We had a great church bell and it was ringing, loudly, sonorously. He rode in and at once there arose a shout, “Don Alonso de Ojeda!” All his horsemen rode with him, and rode also one who was not Castilian. On a gray steed a bare, bronze figure–Caonabo!

The church bell swung, the church bell rang. Riding beneath the squat tower, all our people pouring forth from our poor houses upon the returned and his captive, the latter had eyes, it seemed to me, but for that bell. A curious, sardonic look of recognition, appraisal, relinquishment, sat in the Indian’s face. From wrist to wrist of Caonabo went a bright, short chain. The sun glittered upon the bracelets and the links. I do not know–there was for a moment–something in the sound of the bell, something in the gleam of the manacles, that sent out faint pity and horror and choking laughter.

All to the Viceroy’s house, and Don Alonso sitting with Christopherus Columbus, and Caonabo brought to stand before them. Indians make much of indifferent behavior, taunting calm, when taken. It is a point of honor, meeting death so, even when, as often befalls, their death is a slow and hard one. Among themselves, in their wars, it is either death or quick adoption into the victor’s tribe. They have no gaols nor herds of slaves. Caonabo expected death. He stood, a strong, contemptuous figure. But the Viceroy meant to send him to Spain–trophy and show, and to be made, if it could be, Christian.

CHAPTER XXXIII

IT did not end the war. For a fortnight we thought that it had done so. Then came loud tidings. Caonabo’s wife, Anacaona, had put on the lioness. With her was Caonabo’s brother Manicoatex and her own brother Behechio, cacique of Xaragua. There was a new confederacy, Gwarionex again was with it. Only Guacanagari remained. Don Alonso marched, and the Adelantado marched.

At dawn one morning, four sails. We all poured forth to watch them grow bigger and yet bigger. Four ships from Cadiz, Antonio de Torres commanding, and with him colonists of the right kind, mechanics and husbandmen.

Many proposals, much of order, came with Torres. The Admiral had gracious letters from the Queen, letters somewhat cooler from King Ferdinand, a dry, dry letter from Fonseca. Moreover Torres brought a general letter to all colonists in Hispaniola. The moral of which was, Trust and Obey the Viceroy of the Indies, the Admiral of the Ocean-Sea!

“Excellent good!” said Luis Torres. “Don Pedro Margarite and the Apostolic Vicar had not reached Cadiz when Don Antonio sailed!”

The Admiral talked with me that night. Gout again crippled him. He lay helpless, now and then in much pain. “I should go home with Antonio de Torres, but I cannot!”

“You are not very fit to go.”

“I do not mean my body. My will could drag that on ship. But I cannot leave Hispaniola while goes on formal war. But see you, Doctor, what a great thing their Majesties plan for, and what courtesy and respect they show me! See how the Queen writes!”

I knew that it was balm and wine to him, how she wrote. The matter in question was nothing more or less than an amicable great meeting between the two sovereigns and the King of Portugal, the wisest subjects of both attending. A line was to be drawn from top to bottom of Ocean-Sea, and Portugal might discover to the east of it, and Spain to the west! The Holy Father would confirm, and so the mighty spoil be justly divided. Every great geographer should come into counsel. The greatest of them all, the Discoverer, surely so! The Queen urged the Admiral’s presence.

But he could not go. Sense of duty to his Viceroyship held him as with chains. Then Bartholomew? But Bartholomew was greatly needed for the war. He sent Don Diego, a gentle, able man who longed for a cloister and a few hundred monks, fatherly, admirably, to rule.

Antonio de Torres stayed few weeks in Hispaniola. The Viceroy and Admiral would have his letter in the royal hands. Torres took that and took gold and strange plants, and also six hundred Indian captives to be sold for slaves.

War went on in Hispaniola, but not for long. We had horses and bloodhounds and men in armor, trained in the long Moorish strife. There was a battle in the Vega that ended as it must end.

Behechio and Anacaona fled to the high mountains. Manicoatex and Gwarionex sued for peace. It was granted, but a great tribute was imposed. Now all Hayti must gather gold for Spain.

Now began, a little to-day and a little to-morrow, long woe for Hayti! It was the general way of our Age. But our Age sinned.

The year wheeled to October. Juan Aguado came with four caravels to Isabella, and he brought letters of a different tenor from those that Torres brought. We heard in them the voice of Margarite and the Apostolic Vicar.

But now the Admiral was well again, the Indians defeated, Hispaniola basking in what we blithely called peace. Aguado came to examine and interrogate. He had his letters. “Cavaliers, esquires and others, you are to give Don Juan Aguado faith and credit. He is with you on our part to look into–“

Aguado looked with a hostile eye toward Viceroy and Adelantado. Where was a malcontent he came secretly if might be, if not openly, to Aguado. Whoever had a grudge came; whoever thought he had true injury. Every one who disliked Italians, fire-new nobles, sea captains dubbed Admirals and Viceroys came. Every one who had been restrained from greed, lust and violence came. Those who held an honest doubt as to some one policy, or act, questioned, found their mere doubt become in Aguado’s mind damning certainty. And so many good Spaniards dead in war, and so many of pestilence, and such thinness, melancholy, poverty in Isabella! And where was the gold? And was this rich Asia of the spices, the elephants, the beautiful thin cloths and the jewels? The friends of Christopherus Columbus had their say also, but suddenly there arose all the enemies.

“When he sails home, I will sail with him!” said the Admiral, “My name is hurt, the truth is wounded!”

In the third week of Aguado’s visit, arose out of far ocean and rushed upon us one of those immense tempests that we call here “hurricane”. Not a few had we seen since 1492, but none so great, so terrible as this one. Eight ships rode in the harbor and six were sunk. Aguado’s four caravels and two others. Many seamen drowned; some got ashore half-dead.

“How will I get away? I must to Spain!” cried Aguado. The Admiral said, “There is the _Nina_.”

The _Nina_ must be made seaworthy, and in the end we built a smaller ship still which we called the _Santa Cruz_. Aguado waited, fretting. Christopherus Columbus kept toward him a great, calm courtesy.

It was at this moment that Don Bartholomew found, through Miguel Diaz, the mines of Hayna, that was a great river in a very rich country. The Adelantado brought to Isabella ore in baskets. Pablo Belvis, our new essayer, pronounced it true and most rich. Brought in smaller measures were golden grains, knobs as large as filberts, golden collars and arm rings from the Indians of Bonao where flowed the Hayna.

“Ophir!” said the Admiral. “Mayhap it is Ophir! Then have we passed somewhere the Gulf of Persia and Trapoban!”

With that gold he sailed, he and Aguado and two small crowded ships. With him he carried Caonabo. It was early March in 1496.

But Juan Lepe stayed in Hispaniola, greatly commended by the Admiral to the Adelantado. A man might attach himself to the younger as well as the elder of these brothers. Don Bartholomew had great qualities. But he hardly dreamed as did Christopherus Columbus. I loved the latter most for that–for his dreams.

Days and days and days! We sought for gold in the Hayna country and found a fair amount. And all Hayti now, each Indian cacique and his country, must gather for us. _Must_, not may. We built the fortress of San Cristoval, and at last, to be nearer the gold than was Isabella, the Adelantado founded the city of San Domingo, at the mouth of the Ozema, in the Xaragua country. Spaniards in Hispaniola now lived, so many in Isabella, so many in San Domingo, and garrisons in the forts of St. Thomas, Concepcion, and San Cristoval.

Weeks–months. July, and Pedro Alonzo Nino with three caravels filled with strong new men and with provisions. How always we welcomed these incoming ships and the throng they brought that stood and listened and thought at first, after the sea tossing and crowding, that they were come to heaven! And Pedro Nino had left Cadiz in June, three days after the arrival there of the _Nina_ and the _Santa Cruz_. “June! They had then a long voyage!” –“Long enough! They looked like skeletons! If the Admiral’s hair could get whiter, it was whiter.”

He had letters for the Adelantado from the great brother, having waited in Cadiz while they were written.

Juan Lepe had likewise a letter. “I was in the _Nina_, Don Juan de Aguado in the Santa Cruz. We met at once head winds that continued. At first I made east, but at last of necessity somewhat to the southward. We saw Marigalante again and Guadaloupe, and making for this last, anchored and went ashore, for the great relief of all, and for water and provision. Here we met Amazons, wearing plumes and handling mightily their bows and arrows. After them came a host of men. Our cannon and arquebuses put them to flight but three of our sailors were wounded. Certain prisoners we took and bound upon the ships. In the village that we entered we found honey and wax. They are Cannibals; they eat men. After four days we set sail, but met again tempest and head winds, checking us so that for weeks we but crept and crawled over ocean. At last we must give small doles of bread and water. There grew famine, sickness and misery. I and all may endure these when great things are about. But they blame me. O God, who wills that the Unknown become the Known, I betake myself to Thy court! Famine increased. There are those, but I will not name them, who cried that we must kill the Indians with us and eat them that we might live. I stood and said, `Let the Cannibals stand with the Cannibals!’ But no man budged.–I will not weary thee, best doctor, with our woes! At last St. Vincent rose out of sea, and we presently came to Cadiz. Many died upon the voyage, and among them Caonabo. In the harbor here we find Pedro Alonzo Nino who will bear my letters.

“In Cadiz I discover both friends and not friends. The sovereigns are at Burgos, and thither I travel. My fortunes are at ebb, yet will the flood come again!”

Time passed. Hispaniola heard again from him and again. When ships put forth from Cadiz -and now ships passed with sufficient regularity between Spain in Europe and Spanish Land across Ocean-Sea-he wrote by them. He believed in the letter. God only knows how many he wrote in his lifetime! It was ease to him to tell out, to dream visibly, to argue his case on fair paper. And those who came in the ships had stories about him-El Almirante!

Were his fortunes at ebb, or were they still in flood? There might be more views here than one. Some put in that he was done for, others clamored that he was yet mounting.

But he wrote to the Adelantado and also to Juan Lepe that he sat between good and bad at court. The Queen was ever the great head of the good. We knew from him that Pedro Margarite and Father Buil and Juan Aguado altered nothing there. But elsewhere now there were warm winds, and now biting cold. And warm and cold, he could not get the winds that should fill his sails. He begged for ships–eight he named–that he might now find for the sovereigns main Asia–not touch here and there upon Cuba shore, but find the Deep All. But forever promised, he was forever kept from the ships! True it was that the sovereigns and the world beside were busy folk! There were Royal Marriages and Naples to be reconquered for its king.

We heard of confirmations of all his dignities and his tithes of wealth. He was offered to be made Marquess, but that he would not have. “The Admiral” was better title. But he sued for and obtained entail upon his sons and their sons forever of his nobility and his great Estate in the West. “Thus,” he wrote, “have I made your fortunes, sons and brothers! But truly not without you and your love and strengthening could I have made aught! A brother indeed for my left hand and my right hand, and to beckon me on, two dear sons!”

CHAPTER XXXIV

TWO years! It was March, 1496, when he sailed in the _Nina_. It was the summer of 1498 when Juan Lepe was sent as physician with two ships put forth from San Domingo by the Adelantado upon a rumor that the Portuguese had trespassed, landing from a great carrack upon Guadaloupe. Five days from Hispaniola we met a hurricane that carried us out of all reckoning. When stillness came again we were far south. No islands were in sight; there was only the sea vast and blue. There seemed to breathe from it a strangeness. We were away and away, said our pilots, from the curve, like a bent bow, of the Indian islands. A day and a night we hung in a dead calm. Dawn broke. “Sail, ho! Sail, ho!”

We thought that it might be the Portuguese and made preparation. Three ships lifted over the blue rim. There was now a light wind; it brought them nearer, they being better sailers than the _Santa Cruz_ and the _Santa Clara_. We saw the banner. “Castile!” and a lesser one. “El Almirante!”

Now we were close together. The masters hailed, “What ships?”–“From Hispaniola!”–“From Cadiz. The Admiral with us! Come aboard, your commander!”

That was Luis Mendez, and in the boat with him went Juan Lepe. The ships were the _Esperanza_, the _San Sebastian_ and the _San Martin_, the first fairly large and well decked, the others small. They who looked overside and shouted welcome seemed a medley of gentle and simple, mariners, husbandmen, fighting men and hidalgos.

The Admiral! His hair was milk-white, his tall, broad frame gaunt as a January wolf. Two years had written in his face two years’ experience–fully written, for he was sensitive to every wind of experience. “Excellency!”– “Juan Lepe, I am as glad of you as of a brother!–And what do you do, senors, here?”

Luis Mendez related. “I think it false news about the Portuguese,” said the Admiral and gave reasons why. “Then shall we keep with you, sir?”

“No, since you are sent out by my brother and must give him account. Have you water to spare? We will take that from you. I am bound still south. I will find out what is there!”

Further talk disclosed that he had left Spain with six ships, but at the Canaries had parted his fleet in two, sending three under Alonzo de Caravajal upon the straight course to Hispaniola, and himself with three sailing first to the Green Cape islands, and thence southwest into an unknown sea.

So desolate, wide and blue it looked when the next day we parted,–two ships northward, three southward! But Juan Lepe stayed with the _Esperanza_ and the Admiral. As long since, between the _Santa Maria_ and the _Pinta_, there had been exchange of physicians, so now again was exchange between the _Santa Cruz_ and the _Esperanza_.

Days of blue sea. The _Esperanza_ carried a somewhat frank and friendly crew of mariners and adventurers. Now he would sail south, he said, until he was under the Equator.

Days of stark blue ocean. Then out of the sea to the south rose a point of land, becoming presently three points, as it were three peaks. The Admiral stared. I saw the enthusiasm rise in his face. “Did I not write and say to the Sovereigns and to Rome that in the Name of the Holy Trinity, I would now again seek out and find? There! Look you! It is a sign! Trinidad–we will name it Trinidad.”

The next morning we came to Trinidad, and the palms trooped to the water edge, and we saw sparkling streams, and from the heights above the sea curls of smoke from hidden huts. We coasted, seeking anchorage, and at last came into a clear, small harbor, and landing, filled our water casks. We knew the country was inhabited for we saw the smokes, but no canoes came about us, and though we met with footprints upon the sand the men who made them never returned. We weighed anchor and sailed on along the southern coast, and now to the south of us, across not many leagues of blue water, we made out a low shore. Its ends were lost in haze, but we esteemed it an island, and he named it Holy Island. It was not island, as now we know; but we did not know it then. How dreamlike is all our finding, and how halfway only to great truths! Cuba we thought was the continent, and the shore that was continent, we called “island.”

Now we came to a long southward running tongue of Trinidad. Point Arenal, he named it. A corresponding tongue of that low Holy Island reached out toward it, and between the two flowed an azure strait. Here, off Point Arenal, the three ships rested at anchor, and now there came to us from Holy Island a big canoe, filled with Indians. As they came near the _Esperanza_ we saw that they were somewhat lighter in hue than those Indians to whom we were used. Moreover they wore bright-colored loin cloths, and twists of white or colored cotton about their heads, like slight turbans, and they carried not only bows and arrows to which we were used, but round bucklers to which we were not used. They looked at us in amazement, but they were ready for war.

We invited them with every gesture of amity, holding out glass beads and hawk bells, but they would not come close to us. As they hung upon the blue water out of the shadow of the ship, the Admiral would have our musicians begin loudly to play. But when the drums began, the fife and the castanets, the canoe started, quivered, the paddlers dipped, it raced back to that shore whence it came, that shore that we thought island.

“Lighter than Haytiens!” exclaimed the Admiral. “I have thought that as we neared the Equator we should find them black!”

Afterwards he expanded upon this. “Jayme Ferrer thinks as I think, that the nearer we come to the Equator the more precious grow all things, the more gold, the more diamonds, rubies and emeralds, the more prodigal and delicious the spices! The people are burnt black, but they grow gentler and more wise, and under the line they are makers of white magic. I have not told you, Juan Lepe, but I hold that now we begin to come to where our Mother Earth herself climbs, and climbs auspiciously!”

“That we come to great mountains?”

“No, not that, though there may be great mountains. But I have thought it out, and now I hold that the earth is not an orb, but is shaped, as it were, like a pear. It would take an hour to give you all the reasons that decide me! But I hold that from hereabouts it mounts fairer and fairer, until under the line, about where would be the stem of the pear, we come to the ancient Earthly Paradise, the old Garden of Eden!”

I looked to the southward. Certainly there is nowhere where there is not something!

He gazed over the truly azure and beauteous sea, and the air blew soft and cool upon our foreheads, and the fragrance which came to us from land seemed new. “Would you not look for the halcyons? Trinidad! Holy Island! We approach, I hold, the Holy Mountain of the World. And hark to me, Juan Lepe, make vow that if it be permitted I will found there an abbey whence shall arise perpetual orison for the souls of our first parents!”

We found that night that the ships swung, caught in a current issuing from the strait before us. In the morning we made sail and prepared to pass through this narrow way between the two lands, seeing open water beyond. We succeeded by great skill and with Providence over us, for we met as it were an under wall of water ridged atop with strong waves. The ships were tossed as by a tempest, yet was the air serene, the sky blue. We came hardly through and afterwards called that strait Mouth of the Serpent. Now we were in a great bay or gulf, and still the sea shook us and drove us. Calm above, around, but underneath an agitation of waters, strong currents and boilings. Among our mariners many took fright. “What is it? Are there witches? We are in a cauldron!”

Christopherus Columbus himself took the helm of the _Esperanza_. Many a man in these times chose to doubt what kind of Viceroy he made, but no man who ever sailed with him but at last said, “Child of Neptune, and the greatest seaman we have!”

We outrode danger and came under land to a quiet anchorage, the _San Sebastian_ and the _San Martin_ following us as the chickens the hen. Still before us we saw that current ridge the sea. The Admiral stood gazing upon the southward shore that hung in a dazzling haze. Now we thought water, now we thought land. He called to a ship boy and the lad presently brought him a pannikin of water dipped from the sea. The Admiral tasted. “Fresh! It is almost fresh!”

He stood with a kindling face. “A river runs into sea from this land! Surely the mightiest that may be, rushing forth like a dragon and fighting all the salt water! So great a river could not come from an island, no, not if it were twice as large as Hispaniola! Such a river comes downward with force hundreds of leagues and gathers children to itself as it comes. It is not an island yonder; it is a great main!”

We called the gulf where we were the Gulf of the Whale. Trinidad stood on the one hand, the unknown continent on the other. After rest in milky water, we set sail to cross the width of the Whale, and found glass-green and shaken water, but never so piled and dangerous as at the Mouth of the Serpent. So we came to that land that must be–we knew not what! It hung low, in gold sunlight. We saw no mountains, but it was covered with the mightiest forest.

Anchoring in smooth water, we took out boats and went ashore, and we raised a cross. “As in Adam we all die, so in Christ we be alive!” said the Admiral, and then, “What grandeur is in this forest!”

In truth we found trees that we had not found in our islands, and of an unbelievable height and girth. Upon the boughs sat parrots, and we were used to them, but we were not used to monkeys which now appeared, to our mariners’ delight. We met footprints of some great animal, and presently, being beside a stream, we made out upon a mud bank those crocodiles that the Indians call “cayman.” And never have I seen so many and such splendid butterflies. All this forest seemed to us of a vastness, as the rivers were vast. There rang in our ears “New! New!”

And at last came an Indian canoe–two–three, filled with light-hued, hardly more than tawny, folk, with cloth of cotton about their middles and twisted around their heads, with bows and arrows and those new bucklers. But seeing that we did not wish to fight, they did not wish to fight either; and there was all the old amaze.

Gods–gods–gods! We sought the Earthly Paradise, and they thought we came therefrom.

Paria. We made out that they called their country Paria.

They had in their canoes a bread like cassava, but more delicate, we thought, and in calabashes almost a true wine. We gave them toys, and as they always pointed westward and seemed to signify that there was _the_ land, we returned after two hours to the ships and set ourselves to follow the coast. Two or three of this people would go with the gods.

We came to that river mouth that troubled all this sea. What shall I say but that it was itself a sea, a green sea, a fresh sea? We crossed it with long labor. The men of Paria made us understand that their season of rain was lately over, and that ever after that was more river. Whence did it come? They spoke at length and, Christopherus Columbus was certain, of some heavenly country.

The dawn came up sweet and red. The country before us had hills and we made out clearings in the monster forest, and now the blue water was thronged with canoes. We anchored; they shot out to us fearlessly. The Jamaica canoe is larger and better than the Haytien, but those of this land surpass the Jamaican. They are long and wide and have in the middle a light cabin. The rowers chant as they lift and dip their broad oars. If we were gods to them, yet they seemed gay and fearless of the gods. I thought with the Admiral that they must have tradition or rumor, of folk higher upon the mount of enlightenment than themselves. Perhaps now and again there was contact. At any rate, we did not meet here the stupefaction and the prostrations of our first islands. We had again no common tongue, but they proved masters of gesture. Gold was upon them, and that in some amount, and what was extraordinary, often enough in well-wrought shapes of ornament. A seaman brought to the Admiral a golden frog, well-made, pierced for a red cotton string, worn so about a copper- colored neck. He had traded for it three hawk bells. The Admiral’s face glowed. “It has been wrought by those who know how to work in metals! Tubal-cain!”

Moreover, now we found pearls. There came to us singing a great canoe and in it a plumed cacique with his wife and daughters. All wore twists of pearls around throat and arms. They gave them freely for red, blue and green beads, which to them were indeed rubies, sapphires and emeralds.–Whence came the pearls? It seemed from the coast beyond and without this gulf. Whence the gold? It seemed from high mountains far behind the country of Paria. It was dangerous in the extreme to go there! “Because of the light which repels all darkness!” said the Admiral. “When we go there, it must be gently and humbly like shriven men.”

It was August. He knew that Don Bartholomew in Hispaniola craved his return. The three ships, too, were weatherworn, with seams that threatened gaping. And as for our adventurers and the husbandmen and craftsmen, they were most weary of the sea. The mariners were used to it, the Admiral had lover’s passion for it, but not they! Here before us, truly, loomed a promising great land, but it was not our port; our port was San Domingo! There, there in Hispaniola, were old Castilians in plenty to greet and show. There were the mines that were actually working, gold to pick up, and Indians trained to bring it to you! There, for the enterprising and the lucky, were gifts of land, to each his _repartimentio_! There was companionship, there was fortune, there was ease! Others were getting, while we rode before a land we were too few to occupy. They went in company to the Admiral. We had discovered. Now let us go onto Hispaniola! The ships–our health.

When it came to health it was he who had most to endure.

The gout possessed him often. His brow knotted with pain; his voice, by nature measured and deep, a rolling music, became sharp and dry. He moved with difficulty, now and then must stay in bed, or if on deck in a great chair which we lashed to the mast. But now a trouble seized his eyes. They gave him great pain; at times he could barely see. Bathe them with a soothing medicine, rest them. But when had he rested them, straining over the ocean since he was a boy? He was a man greatly patient under adversity, whether of the body or of the body’s circumstance, but this trouble with the eyes shook him. “If I become blind–and all that’s yet to do and find! Blessed Mother of God, let not that happen to me!”

I thought that he should go to Hispaniola, where in the Adelantado’s house in San Domingo he might submit to bandaging, light and sea shut out.

At last, “Well, well, we will turn! But first we must leave this gulf and try it out for some distance westward!”

We left this water by a way as narrow as the entering strait, as narrow and presenting the like rough confusion of waters, wall against wall. We called it the Mouth of the Dragon. Mouth of the Dragon, Mouth of the Serpent, and between them the Gulf of the Whale or of Paria. Now was open sea, and south of us ran still that coast that he would have mount to the Equator and to that old, first Garden Land where all things yet were fair and precious! “I can not stay now, but I will come again! I will find the mighty last things!” His eyes gave him great pain. He covered them, then dropped his hands and looked, then must again cover.

A strange thing! We were borne westward ever upon a vast current of the sea, taking us day and night, so that though the winds were light we went as though every sail was wholly filled.

Christopherus Columbus talked of these rivers in ocean. “A day will come when they will be correctly marked. Aye, in the maps of our descendants! Then ships will say, `Now here is the river so and so,’ as to-day the horseman says, `Here is the Tagus, or the Guadalquiver!’ “

Another thing he said was that to his mind all the islands that we had found in six years, from San Salvador to Cubagua, had once been joined together. Land from this shore to Cuba and beyond. So the peoples were scattered.

He talked to us much upon this voyage of the great earth and the shape of it, and its destinies; of the stars, the needle, the Great Circle and the lesser ones, and the Ocean. He had our time’s learning, gained through God knows how many nights of book by candle! And he had a mind that took eagle flights with spread of eagle wings, and in many ways he had the eagle’s eye.

It was not Cipango and Cathay that now he talked of, but of this great land-mass before us which he would have rise to Equator and all Wonder. And he talked also of some water passage, some strait lying to the westward, by which we might sail between lands and islands to the further Indian Ocean, and so across to the Sea of Araby, and then around Africa by Good Hope and then northward, northward, to Spain, coming into Cadiz with banners, having sailed around the world!

He talked, and all the time his pain ate him, and he must cover eyes to keep the sword-light out.

In middle August we turned northward from our New Land, and a fortnight later we came to San Domingo, that Christopherus Columbus had never seen, though to us in Hispaniola it was an old town, having been builded above two years.

The Viceroy and the Adelantado clasped hands, embraced; tears ran down their bronzed cheeks.

Not later than a day after our anchoring, the ships being unladed, all San Domingo coming and going, trumpets blew and gathered all to our open place before the Viceroy’s house. Proclamation–Viceregal Proclamation! First, thanks to God for safe return, and second, hearty approval of the Adelantado, all his Acts and Measures.

There were two parties in San Domingo, and one now echoed in a shout approval of the Adelantado, and the other made here a dead silence, and here a counter-murmur. I heard a man say, “Fool praises fool! Villain brother upholding villain brother!”

Now I do not think the Adelantado’s every act was wise, nor the Viceroy’s either, for that matter. But they were far, far, those brothers, from fool and villain!

The Proclamation arrived at long thunders against Francisco Roldan his sedition. Here again the place divided as before. Roldan, I had it from Luis Torres, was in Xaragua, safe and arrogant, harking on Indian war, undermining everywhere. Our line of forts held for the Adelantado, but the two or three hundred Spaniards left in Isabella were openly Roldan’s men. The Viceroy, through the voice of Miguel the Herald, recited, denounced and warned, then left Francisco Roldan and with suddenness made statement that within a few days five ships would sail for Spain, and that all Spaniards whomsoever, who for reasons whatsoever desired Home, had his consent to go! Consent, Free Passage, and No Questioning!

Whereat the place buzzed loudly, and one saw that many would go.

Many did go upon the ships that sailed not in a few days but a few weeks. Some went for good reasons, but many for ill. Juan Lepe heard afar and ahead of time the great tide of talk when they should arrive in Spain! And though many went who wished the Admiral ill, many stayed, and forever Roldan made for him more enemies, open or secret.

He sent, it is true, upon those ships friends to plead his cause. Don Francisco de Las Casas went to Spain and others went. And he sent letters. Juan Lepe, much in his house, tending him who needed the physician Long-Rest and Ease-of-Mind, heard these letters read. There was one to the Sovereigns in which he related with simple eloquence that discovery to the South, and his assurance that he had touched the foot of the Mount of all the World. With this letter he sent a hundred pearls, the golden frog and other gold. Again he took paper and wrote of the attitude of all things in Hispaniola, of Roldan and evil men, of the Adelantado’s vigilance, justice and mercy, of natural difficulties and the need to wait on time, of the Indians. He begged that there be sent him ample supplies and good men, and withal friars for the Indian salvation, and some learned, wise and able lawyer and judge, much needed to give the law upon a thousand complaints brought by childish and factious men. And if the Sovereigns saw fit to send out some just and lofty mind to take evidence from all as to their servant Christopherus Columbus’s deeds and public acts and care of their Majesties’ New Lands and all the souls therein, such an one would be welcomed by their Graces’ true servant.

So he himself asked for a commissioner–but he never thought of such an one as Francisco de Bobadilla!

So the ships sailed. Time passed.

CHAPTER XXXV

UP and down went the great Roldan scission. Up and down went Indian revolt, repression, fresh revolt, fresh repression. On flowed time. Ships came in, one bearing Don Diego; ships went out. Time passed. Alonso de Ojeda, who by now was no more than half his friend, returned to Spain and there proposed to the Sovereigns a voyage of his own to that Southern Continent that never had the Admiral chance to return to! The Sovereigns now were giving such consent to this one and to that one, breaking their pact with Christopherus Columbus. In our world it was now impossible that that pact should be letter-kept, but the Genoese did not see it so. Ojeda sailed from Cadiz for Paria with four ships and a concourse of adventurers. With him went the pilot Juan de la Cosa, and a geographer of Florence, Messer Amerigo Vespucci.

It came to us in Hispaniola that Ojeda was gone. Now I saw the Admiral’s heart begin to break. Yet Ojeda in his voyage did not find the Earthly Paradise, only went along that coast as we had done, gathered pearls, and returned.

Time passed. Other wild and restless adventurers beside Roldan broke into insurrections less than Roldan’s. The Viceroy hanged Moxica and seven with him, and threw into prison Guevara and Requelme. Roldan, having had his long fling–too powerful still to hang or to chain in some one of our forts–Roldan wrote and received permission, and came to San Domingo, and was reconciled.

Suddenly, after long time of turmoil, wild adventure and uncertainty, peace descended. Over all Hispaniola the Indians submitted. Henceforth they were our subjects; let us say our victims and our slaves! Quarrels between Castilians died over night. Miraculously the sky cleared. Miraculously, or perhaps because of long, patient steering through storm. For three months we lived with an appearance of blossoming and prospering. It seemed that it might become a peaceful, even a happy island.

The Viceroy grew younger, the Adelantado grew younger, and Don Diego, and with them those who held by them through thick and thin. The Admiral began to talk Discovery. It was two years since there, far to the south, we had passed in by the Mouth of the Serpent, and out by the Mouth of the Dragon.

The Viceroy, inspecting the now quiet Vega, rode to an Indian village, near Concepcion. He had twenty behind him, well-armed, but arms were not needed. The people came about him with an eagerness, a docility. They told their stories. He sat his horse and listened with a benignant face. Certain harshnesses in times and amounts of their tribute he redressed. Forever, when personal appeal came to him, he proved magnanimous, often tender, fatherly and brotherly. At a distance he could be severe. But when I think of the cruelties and high-handedness of others here, the Adelantado and the Viceroy shine mildly.

We rode back to Concepcion. I remember the jewel-like air that day, the flowers, the trees, the sky. Palms rustled above us, the brilliant small lizards darted around silver trunks. “The fairest day!” quoth the Admiral. “Ease at heart! I feel ease at heart.”

This night, as I sat beside him, wiling him to sleep, for he always had trouble sleeping–a most wakeful man!– he talked to me about the Queen. Toward this great woman he ever showed veneration, piety, and knightly regard. Of all in Spain she it was who best understood and shared that religious part in him that breathed upward, inspired, longed and strained toward worlds truly not on the earthly map. She, like him–or so took leave to think Juan Lepe–received at times too docilely word of authority, or that which they reckoned to be authority. Princes of the Church could bring her to go against her purer thought. The world as it is, dinging ever, “So important is wealth–so important is herald-nobility–so important is father-care in these respects for sons!” could make him take a tortuous and complicated way, could make him bow and cap, could make him rule with an ear for world’s advice when he should have had only his book and his ship and his dream and a cheering cry “Onward!” Or so thinks Juan Lepe. But Juan Lepe and all wait on full light.

He talked of her great nature, and her goodness to him. Of how she understood when the King would not. Of how she would never listen to his enemies, or at the worst not listen long.

He turned upon his bed in the warm Indian night. I asked him if I should read to him but he said, not yet. He had talked since the days of his first seeking with many a great lord, aye, and great lady. But the Queen was the one of them all who understood best how to trust a man! Differences in mind arose within us all, and few could find the firm soul behind all that! She could, and she was great because she could. He loved to talk with her. Her face lighted when he came in. When others were by she said “Don Cristoval”, or “El Almirante”, but with himself alone she still said “Master Christopherus” as in the old days.

At last he said, “Now, let us read.” Each time he came from Spain to Hispaniola he brought books. And when ships came in there would be a packet for him. I read to him now from an old poet, printed in Venice. He listened, then at last he slept. I put out the candle, stepped softly forth past Gonsalvo his servant, lying without door.

An hour after dawn a small cavalcade appeared before the fort. At first we thought it was the Adelantado from Xaragua. But no! it was Alonzo de Carvajal with news and a letter from San Domingo, and in the very statement ran a thrilling something that said, “Hark, now! I am Fortune that turns the wheel.”

Carvajal said, “senor, I have news and a letter for your ear and eye alone!”

“From my brother at San Domingo?”

“Aye, and from another,” said Carvajal. “Two ships have come in.”

With that the Admiral and he went into Commandant’s house.

The men at Concepcion made Carvajal’s men welcome. “And what is it?” “And what is it?” They had their orders evidently, but much wine leaked out of the cask. If one wished the Viceroy and his brothers ill, it was found to be heady wine; if the other way round, it seemed thin, chilly and bitter. Here at Concepcion were Admiral’s friends.

After an hour he came again among us, behind him Carvajal.

Now, this man, Christopherus Columbus, always appeared most highly and nobly Man, most everlasting and universal, in great personal trouble and danger. It was, I hold, because nothing was to him smally personal, but always pertained to great masses, to worlds and to ages. Now, looking at him, I knew that trouble and danger had arrived. He said very little. If I remember, it was, “My friends, the Sovereigns whom we trust and obey, have sent a Commissioner, Don Francisco de Bobadilla, whom we must go meet. We ride from Concepcion at once to Bonao.”

We rode, his company and Carvajal’s company.

Don Francisco de Bobadilla! Jayme de Marchena had some association here. It disentangled itself, came at last clear. A Commander of the Order of Calatrava–about the King in some capacity–able and honest, men said. Able and honest, Jayme de Marchena had heard said, but also a passionate man, and a vindictive, and with vanity enough for a legion of peacocks.

We came to Bonao and rested here. I had a word that night from the Admiral. “Doctor, Doctor, a man must outlook storm! He grew man by that.”

I asked if I might know what was the matter.

He answered, “I do not know myself. Don Diego says that great powers have been granted Don Francisco de Bobadilla. I have not seen those powers. But he has demanded in the name of the Sovereigns our prisoners, our ships and towns and forts, and has cited us to appear before him and answer charges–of I know not what! I well think it is a voice without true mind or power behind it– I go to San Domingo, but not just at his citation!”

Later, in the moonlight, one of our men told me that which a man of Carvajal had told him. All the Admiral’s enemies, and none ever said they were few, had this fire-new commissioner’s ear! A friend could not get within hail. Just or unjust, every complaint came and squatted in a ring around him. Maybe some were just–such as soldiers not being able to get their pay, for instance. There was never but one who lived without spot or blemish. But of course we knew that the old Admiral wasn’t really a tyrant, cruel and a fool! Of course not. Carvajal’s man was prepared to fight any man of his own class who would say that to his face! He’d fight, too, for the Adelantado. Don Francisco de Bobadilla had no sooner landed than he began to talk and act as though they were all villains. Don Diego –whom it was laughable to call a villain–and all. He went to mass at once–Don Francisco de Bobadilla–and when it was over and all were out and all San Domingo there in the square, he had his letters loudly read. True enough! He is Governor, and everybody else must obey him! _Even the Admiral!_

At dawn Juan Lepe walked and thought. And then he saw coming the Franciscan, Juan de Trasiena and Francisco Velasquez the Treasurer. That which Juan de Trasiena and Francisco Velasquez brought were attested copies of the royal letters.

I saw them. “Wherefore we have named Don Francisco de Bobadilla Governor of these islands and of the main land, and we command you, cavaliers and all persons whatever, to give him that obedience which you do owe to us.” And to him, the new Governor: “Whomsoever you find guilty, arrest their persons and take over their goods.” And, “If you find it to our service that any cavaliers or other persons who are at present in these islands should leave them, and that they should come and present themselves before us, you may command it in our names and oblige it.” And, “Whomsoever you thus command, we hereby order that immediately they obey as though it were ourselves.” “And if thus and thus is found to be the case, the said Admiral of the Ocean-Sea shall give into your hands, ships, fortresses, arms, houses and treasure, and he shall himself be obedient to your command.”

The Admiral said, “If it be found thus and thus! But how shall he find it, seeing that it is not so?”

We rode to San Domingo, but not many rode. He would not have many. “No show of force, no gaud of office!”

He rode unarmored, on his gray horse. The banner that was always borne with him–“Yea, carry it still, until he demands it!”

We were a bare dozen, but when we entered San Domingo one might think that Don Francisco de Bobadilla feared an army, for he had all his soldiers drawn up to greet us! The rest of the population were in coigns, gazing. We saw friends–Juan Ponce de Leon and others–but they were helpless. For all the people in it, the place seemed to me dead quiet, hot, sunny, dead quiet.

The Admiral rode to the square. Here was his house, and the royal banner over it. He dismounted and spoke to men before the door. “Tell Don Francisco de Bobadilla that Don Cristoval Colon is here.”

There came an officer with a sword, behind him a dozen men. “Senor, in the name of the Sovereigns, I arrest you!”

Christopherus Columbus gazed upon him. “For what, senor?”

The other, an arrogant, ill-tempered man, answered loudly so that all around could hear, “For ill-service to our lord the King and Queen, and to their subjects here in the Indies, and to God!”

“God knows, you hurt the truth!” said the Admiral. “Where is my brother, Don Diego?”

“Laid by the heels in the Santa Catarina,” answered the graceless man; then to one of the soldiers, “Take the banner from behind him and rest it against the wall.”

The Admiral said, “I would see Don Francisco de Bobadilla.”

“That is as he desires and when he desires,” the other replied. “Close around him, men!”

The fortress of San Domingo is a gloomy place. They prisoned him here, and they put irons upon him. I saw that done. One or two of his immediate following, and I his physician might enter with him.

He stood in the dismal place where one ray of light came down from a high, small, grated window, and he looked at the chains which they brought. He asked, “Who will put them on?”

He looked at the chains and at the soldier who brought them. “Put them on, man!” he said. “What! Once thou didst nail God’s foot to a cross! As for me, I will remember that One who saved all, and be patient.”

They chained him and left him there in the dark.

I saw him the next day, entering with his gaoler. Had he slept? “Yes.”

“How did he find himself?”

“How does my body find itself? Why, no worse than usual, nowadays that I am getting old! My body has been unhappier a thousand times in storm and fight, and thirst and famine.”

“Then mind and soul?” I asked.

“They are well. There is nothing left for them but to feel well. I am in the hand of God.”

I did what service for him I could. He thanked me. “You’ve been ever as tender as a woman. A brave man besides! I hope you’ll be by me, Juan Lepe, when I die.”

“When you die, senor, there will die a great servant of the world.”

I spoke so because I knew the cordial that he wanted.

His eyes brightened, strength came into his voice. “Do you know aught of my brother the Adelantado?”

“No. He may be on his way from Xaragua. What would you wish him to do, sir?”

“Come quietly to San Domingo as I came. This Governor is but a violent, petty shape! But I have sworn to obey the Queen and the King of the Spains. I and mine to obey.”

I asked him if he believed that the Sovereigns knew this outrage. I could believe it hardly of King Ferdinand, not at all of the Queen.