Narrative of the expedition of Coronado

An Electronic Edition · Pedro de Castañeda (16th century)

Original Source: Frederick W. Hodge, ed. Spanish explorers in the southern United States, 1528-1543. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1907.

Copyright 2002. Thist text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided

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Pedro de Castañeda, The
narrative of the expedition of Coronado

TO ME it seems very certain, my very
noble lord, that it is a worthy ambition for great men to desire to know and
wish to preserve for posterity correct information concerning the things that
have happened in distant parts, about which little is known. I do not blame
those inquisitive persons who, perchance with good intentions, have many times
troubled me not a little with their requests that I clear up for them some
doubts which they have had about different things that have been commonly
related concerning the events and occurrences that took place during the
expedition to
Cibola, or the
New Land, which the good viceroy
– may he be with God in His glory–Don Antonio de Mendoza, ordered
and arranged, and on which he sent Francisco Vazquez de Coronado as
captain-general. 1.

In truth, they have reason for wishing to know the truth,
because most people very often make things of which they have heard, and about
which they have perchance no knowledge, appear either greater or less than they
are. They make nothing of those things that amount to something, and those that
do not they make so remarkable that they appear to be something impossible to
believe. This may very well have been caused by the fact that, as the country
was not permanently occupied, there has not been anyone who was willing to
spend his time in writing about its peculiarities, because all knowledge was
lost of that which it was not the pleasure of God – He alone knows the
reason – that they should enjoy. 2.

In truth, he who wishes to employ himself thus in writing
out the things that happened on the expedition, and the things that were seen
in those lands, and the ceremonies and customs of the natives, will have matter
enough to test his judgment, & I believe that the result can not fail to be
an account which, describing only the truth, will be so remarkable that it will
seem incredible. And besides, I think that the twenty years and more since that
expedition took place have been the cause of some stories which are related.
For example, some make it an uninhabitable country, others have it bordering on
Florida, and still others on Greater India, which does not appear to be a
slight difference. They are unable to give any basis upon which to found their
statements. There are those who tell about some very peculiar animals, who are
contradicted by others who were on the expedition, declaring that there was
nothing of the sort seen. Others differ as to the limits of the provinces and
even in regard to the ceremonies and customs, attributing what pertains to one
people to others. All this has had a large part, my very noble lord, in making
me wish to give now, although somewhat late, a short general account for all
those who pride themselves on this noble curiosity, and to save myself the time
taken up by these solicitations. Things enough will certainly be found here
which are hard to believe. All or most of these were seen with my own eyes, and
the rest is from reliable information obtained by inquiry of the natives

Understanding as I do that this little work would be nothing
in itself, lacking authority, unless it were favored and protected by a person
whose authority would protect it from the boldness of those who, without
reverence, give their murmuring tongues liberty, and knowing as I do how great
are the obligations under which I have always been, & am, to Your Grace, I
humbly beg to submit this work to your protection. May it be received as from a
faithful retainer and servant. It will be divided into three parts, that it may
be better understood. The first will tell of the discovery and armament or army
that was made ready, and of the whole journey, with the captains who were
there; the second, of the villages and provinces which were found, their
limits, and ceremonies and customs, the animals, fruits, vegetation, and in
what parts of the country these are; the third, of the return of the army and
the reasons for abandoning the country, although these were insufficient,
because this is the best place there is for discoveries – the marrow of
the land in these western parts, as will be seen. And after this has been made
plain, some remarkable things which were seen will be described at the end, and
the way by which one might more easily return to discover that better land
which we did not see, since it would be no small advantage to enter the country
through the land which the Marquis of the Valley, Don Fernando Cortes, went in
search of under the Western Star, and which cost him no small sea armament.

May it please our lord to so favor me that with my slight
knowledge and small abilities I may be able, by relating the truth, to make my
little work pleasing to the learned and wise readers, when it has been accepted
by Your Grace. For my intention is not to gain the fame of a good composer or
rhetorician, but I desire to give a faithful account and to do this slight
service to Your Grace, who will, I hope, receive it as from a faithful servant
and soldier who took part in it. Although not in a polished style, I write that
which happened – that which I heard, experienced, saw, and did. 5.

I always notice, and it is a fact, that for the most part
when we have something valuable in our hands, and deal with it without
hindrance, we do not value or prize it as highly as if we understood how much
we would miss it after we had lost it, and the longer we continue to have it
the less we value it; but after we have lost it and miss the advantages of it,
we have a great pain in the heart, and we are all the time imagining and trying
to find ways and means by which to get back again. It seems to me that this has
happened to all or most of those who went on the expedition which, in the year
of our Savior Jesus Christ 1540, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado led in search of
the Seven Cities. 6.

Granted that they did not find the riches of which they had
been told, they found a place in which to search for them and the beginning of
a good country to settle in, so as to go on farther from there. Since they came
back from the country which they conquered and abandoned, time has given them a
chance to understand the direction and locality in which they were, and the
borders of the good country they had in their hands, and their hearts weep for
having lost so favorable an opportunity. Just as men see more at the bullfight
when they are upon the seats than when they are around in the ring, now when
they know and understand the direction and situation in which they were, and
see, indeed, that they can not enjoy it nor recover it, now when it is too late
they enjoy telling about what they saw, and even of what they realize that they
lost, especially those who are now as poor as when they went there. They have
never ceased their labors and have spent their time to no advantage. I say this
because I have known several of those who came back from there who amuse
themselves now by talking of how it would be to go back and proceed to recover
that which is lost, while others enjoy trying to find the reason why it was
discovered at all. And now I will proceed to relate all that happened from the
beginning. 7.

Part I

Chapter I.

Which treats of the way we first came to know about the
Seven Cities, and how Nuno de Guzman made an expedition to discover them.

In theyear 1530, Nuno de Guzman,
who was President of New Spain, had in his possession an Indian, a native of
the valley or valleys of Oxitipar, who was called Tejo by the Spaniards. This
Indian said he was the son of a trader who was dead but that when he was a
little boy his father had gone into the back country with fine feathers to
trade for ornaments, and that when he came back he brought a large amount of
gold and silver, of which there is a good deal in that country. He went with
him once or twice, and saw some very large villages, which he compared to
Mexico and its environs. He had seen seven very large towns which had streets
of silver workers. It took forty days to go there from his country, through a
wilderness in which nothing grew, except some very small plants about a span
high. The way they went was up through the country between the two seas,
following the northern direction. Acting on this information, Nuno de Guzman
got together nearly 400 Spaniards and 20,000 friendly Indians of New Spain, and
as he happened to be in Mexico, he crossed Tarasca, which is in the province of
Michoacan, so as to get into the region which the Indian said was to be crossed
toward the North sea, in this way getting to the country which they were
looking for, which was already named “The Seven Cities.” He thought, from the
forty days of which the Tejo had spoken, that it would be found to be about 200
leagues, and that they would easily be able to cross the country.9.

Omitting several things that occurred on this journey, as
soon as they had reached the province of Culiacan, where his government ended
and where the New Kingdom of Galicia is now, they tried to cross the country,
but found the difficulties very great, because the mountain chains which are
near that sea are so rough that it was impossible, after great labor, to find a
passageway in that region. His whole army had to stay in the district of
Culiacan for so long on this account that some rich men who were with him, who
had possessions in Mexico, changed their minds, and every day became more
anxious to return. Besides this, Nuno de Guzman received word that the Marquis
of the Valley, Don Fernando Cortes, had come from Spain with his new title, and
with great favors and estates, and as Nuno de Guzman had been a great rival of
his at the time he was president, and had done much damage to his property and
to that of his friends, he feared that Don Fernando Cortes would want to pay
him back in the same way, or worse. So he decided to establish the town of
Culiacan there and to go back with the other men, without doing anything more.

After his return from this expedition, he founded
Xalisco, where the city of Compostela is situated, and Tonala, which is called
Guadalaxara, and now this is the New Kingdom of Galicia. The guide they had,
who was called Tejo, died about this time, and thus the names of these Seven
Cities and the search for them remain until now, since they have not been
discovered. 11.

Chapter II.

How Francisco Vazquez de Coronado came to be governor,
and the second account which Cabeza de Vaca gave.

Eightyears after Nuno de Guzman
made this expedition, he was put in prison by a juez de residencia, named the
licentiate Diego de la Torre, who came from Spain with sufficient powers to do
this. After the death of the judge, who had also managed the government of that
country himself, the good Don Antonio de Mendoza, viceroy of New Spain,
appointed as governor of that province Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, a
gentleman from Salamanca, who had married a lady in the City of Mexico, the
daughter of Alonso de Estrada, the treasurer and at one time governor of
Mexico, and the son, most people said, of His Catholic Majesty Don Ferdinand,
and many stated it as certain. As I was saying, at the time Francisco Vazquez
was appointed governor, he was traveling through New Spain as an official
inspector, and in this way he gained the friendship of many worthy men who
afterward went on his expedition with him. 13.

It happened that just at this time three Spaniards, named
Cabeza de Vaca, Dorantes, and Castillo Maldonado, and a negro, who had been
lost on the expedition which Panfilo de Narvaez led into Florida, reached
Mexico. They came out through Culiacan, having crossed the country from sea to
sea, as anyone who wishes may find out for himself by an account which this
same Cabeza de Vaca wrote and dedicated to Prince Don Philip, who is now King
of Spain and our sovereign. They gave the good Don Antonio de Mendoza an
extended account of some powerful villages, four and five stories high, of
which they had heard a great deal in the countries they had crossed, and other
things very different from what turned out to be the truth. The noble viceroy
communicated this to the new governor, who gave up the visits he had in hand,
on account of this, and hurried his departure for his government, taking with
him the negro who had come [with Cabeza de Vaca] with three friars of the order
of Saint Francis, one of whom was named Friar Marcos de Niza, a regular priest,
and another Friar Daniel, a lay brother, and the other, Friar Antonio de Santa
Maria. When he reached the province of Culiacan he sent the friars just
mentioned and the negro, who was named Stephen [Esteban], off in search of that
country, because Friar Marcos offered to go and see it, because he had been in
Peru at the time Don Pedro de Alvarado went there overland. 14.

It seems that, after the friars I have mentioned and the
negro had started, the negro did not get on well with the friars, because he
took the women that were given him and collected turquoises, and got together a
stock of everything. Besides, the Indians in those places through which they
went got along with the negro better, because they had seen him before. This
was the reason he was sent on ahead to open up the way and pacify the Indians,
so that when the others came along they had nothing to do except keep an
account of the things for which they were looking. 15.

Chapter III.

Of how they killed the negro Stephen [Esteban] at
Cibola, and Friar Marcos returned in flight

AfterStephen [Esteban] had left
the friars, he thought he could get all the reputation and honor himself, and
that if he should discover those settlements with such famous high houses,
alone, he would be considered bold and courageous. So he proceeded with the
people who had followed him, and attempted to cross the wilderness which lies
between the country he had passed through and Cibola. He was so far ahead of
the friars that, when these reached Chichilticalli, which is on the edge of the
wilderness, he was already at Cibola, which is 80 leagues beyond. It is 220
leagues from Culiacan to the edge of the wilderness, and 80 across the desert,
which makes 300, or perhaps 10 more or less. As I said, Stephen [Esteban]
reached Cibola laden with the large quantity of turquoises they had given him
and some beautiful women whom the Indians who followed him and carried his
things were taking with them and had given him. These had followed him from all
the settlements he had passed, believing that under his protection they could
traverse the whole world without any danger. 17.

But as the people in this country were more intelligent
than those who followed Stephen [Esteban], they lodged him in a little hut they
had outside their village, and the older men and the governors heard his story
and took steps to find out the reason he had come to that country. For three
days they made inquiries about him and held a council. The account which the
negro gave them of two white men who were following him, sent by a great lord,
who knew about the things in the sky, and how these were coming to instruct
them in divine matters, made them think that he must be a spy or a guide from
some nations who wished to come and conquer them, because it seemed to them
unreasonable to say that the people were white in the country from which he
came and that he was sent by them, he being black. Besides these other reasons,
they thought it was hard of him to ask them for turquoises and women, and so
they decided to kill him. They did this, but they did not kill any of those who
went with him, although they kept some young fellows and let the others, about
60 persons, return freely to their own country. As these, who were badly
scared, were returning in flight, they happened to come upon the friars in the
desert 60 leagues from Cibola, and told them the sad news, which frightened
them so much that they would not even trust these folks who had been with the
negro, but opened the packs they were carrying and gave away everything they
had except the holy vestments for saying mass. They returned from there by
double marches, prepared for anything, without seeing any more of the country
except what the Indians told them. 18.

Chapter IV.

Of how noble Don Antonio de Mendoza made an expedition
to discover Cibola.

AfterFrancisco Vazquez de
Coronado had sent Friar Marcos de Niza and his party on the search already
related, he was engaged in Culiacan about some business that related to his
government, when he heard an account of a province called Topira, which was to
the north of the country of Culiacan. He started to explore this region with
several of the conquerors and some friendly Indians, but he did not get very
far, because the mountain chains which they had to cross were very difficult.
He returned without finding the least signs of a good country, and when he got
back, he found the friars who had just arrived, and who told such great things
about what the negro Stephen [Esteban] had discovered and what they had heard
from the Indians, and other things they had heard about the South Sea and
islands and other riches, that, without stopping for anything, the governor set
off at once for the City of Mexico, taking Friar Marcos with him, to tell the
viceroy about it. He made the things seem more important by not talking about
them to anyone except his particular friends, under promise of the greatest
secrecy, until after he had reached Mexico and seen Don Antonio de Mendoza.
Then it began to be noised abroad that the Seven Cities for which Nuno de
Guzman had searched, had already been discovered, and a beginning was made in
collecting an armed force and in bringing together people to go to conquer
them. 20.

The noble viceroy arranged with the friars of the order
of Saint Francis so that Friar Marcos was made father provincial, as a result
of which the pulpits of that order were filled with such accounts of marvels
and wonders that more than 300 Spaniards and about 800 natives of New Spain
collected in a few days. There were so many men of such high quality among the
Spaniards, that such a noble body was never collected in the Indies, nor so
many men of quality in such a small body, there being 300 men. Francisco
Vazquez de Coronado, governor of New Galicia, was captain-general, because he
had been the author of it all. The good viceroy Don Antonio did this because at
this time Francisco Vazquez was his closest and most intimate friend, and
because he considered him to be wise, skillful, and intelligent, besides being
a gentleman. Had he paid more attention and regard to the position in which he
was placed and the charge over which he was placed, and less to the estates he
left behind in New Spain, or, at least more to the honor he had and might
secure from having such gentlemen under his command, things would not have
turned out as they did. When this narrative is ended, it will be seen that he
did not know how to keep his position nor the government that he held. 21.

Chapter V.

Concerning the captains who went to Cibola.

Whenthe viceroy, Don Antonio de
Mendoza, saw what a noble company had come together, and the spirit and good
will with which they had all presented themselves, knowing the worth of these
men, he would have liked very well to make every one of them captain of an
army; but as the whole number was small he could not do as he would have liked,
and so he issued the commissions & captaincies as he saw fit, because it
seemed to him that if they were appointed by him, as he was so well obeyed and
beloved, nobody would find fault with his arrangements. After everybody had
heard who the general was, he made Don Pedro de Tovar, the guardian and lord
high steward of the Queen Dona Juana, our lamented mistress – may she be
in glory – and Lope de Samaniego, the governor of the arsenal at Mexico,
a gentleman fully equal to the charge, army-master. The captains were Don
Tristan de Atellano; Don Pedro de Guevara, the son of Don Juan de Guevara and
nephew of the Count of Onate; Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas; Don Rodrigo
Maldonado, brother-in-law of the Duke of the Infantado; Diego Lopez, alderman
of Seville, and Diego Gutierres, for the cavalry. 23.

All the other gentlemen were placed under the flag of the
general, as being distinguished persons, and some of them became captains
later, and their appointments were confirmed by order of the viceroy and by the
general, Francisco Vazquez. To name some of them whom I happen to remember,
there were Francisco de Barrionuevo, a gentleman from Granada; Juan de
Saldivar, Francisco de Ovando, Juan Gallego, and Melchior Diaz – a
captain who had been mayor of Culiacan, who, although he was not a gentleman,
merited the position he held. The other gentlemen, who were prominent, were Don
Alonso Manrique de Lara; Don Lope de Urrea, a gentleman from Aragon; Gomez
Suarez de Figueroa, Luis Ramirez de Vargas, Juan de Sotomayor, Francisco
Gorbalan, the commissioner Riberos, and other gentlemen, men of high quality,
whom I do not now recall. The infantry captain was Pablo de Melgosa of Burgos,
and of the artillery, Hernando de Alvarado de Montanez. As I say, since then I
have forgotten the names of many gentlemen. It would be well if I could name
some of them, so that it might be clearly seen what cause I had for saying that
they had on this expedition the most brilliant company ever collected in the
Indies to go in search of new lands. But they were unfortunate in having a
captain who left in New Spain estates and a pretty wife, a noble and excellent
lady, which were not the least cause for what was to happen. 24.

Chapter VI.

Of how all the companies collected in Compostela and
set off on the journey in good order.

Whenthe viceroy, Don Antonio de
Mendoza, had fixed & arranged everything as we have related, and the
companies and captaincies had been arranged, he advanced a part of their
salaries from the chest of His Majesty to those in the army who were in
greatest need. And as it seemed to him that it would be rather hard for the
friendly Indians in the country if the army should start from Mexico, he
ordered them to assemble at the city of Compostela, the chief city in the New
Kingdom of Galicia, 110 leagues from Mexico, so that they could begin their
journey there with everything in good order. There is nothing to tell about
what happened on this trip, since they all finally assembled at Compostela by
shrove-tide, in the year [fifteen hundred and] forty-one. 26.

After the whole force had left Mexico, he ordered Don
Pedro de Alarcon to set sail with two ships that were in the port of La
Natividad on the South Sea coast, and go to the port of Xalisco to take the
baggage which the soldiers were unable to carry, and thence to sail along the
coast near the army, because he had understood from the reports that they would
have to go through the country near the seacoast, & that we could find the
harbors by means of the rivers, and that the ships could always get news of the
army, which turned out afterward to be false, and so all this stuff was lost,
or, rather, those who owned it lost it, as will be told farther on. After the
viceroy had completed all his arrangements, he set off for Compostela,
accompanied by many noble and rich men. He kept the New Year of [fifteen
hundred and] forty-one at Pasquaro, which is the chief place in the bishopric
of Michoacan, and from there he crossed the whole of New Spain, taking much
pleasure in enjoying the festivals and great receptions which were given him,
till he reached Compostela, which is, as I have said, 110 leagues. There he
found the whole company assembled, being well treated & entertained by
Christobal de Onate, who had the whole charge of that government for the time
being. He had had the management of it and was in command of all that region
when Francisco Vazquez was made governor. 27.

All were very glad when he arrived, and he made an
examination of the company and found all those whom we have mentioned. He
assigned the captains to their companies, and after this was done, on the next
day, after they had all heard mass, captains and soldiers together, the viceroy
made them a very eloquent short speech, telling them of the fidelity they owed
to their general and showing them clearly the benefits which this expedition
might afford, from the conversation of those peoples as well as in the profit
of those who should conquer the territory, and the advantage to His Majesty
& the claim which they would thus have on his favor and aid at all times.
After he had finished, they all, both captains and soldiers, gave him their
oaths upon the Gospels in a Missal that they would follow their general on this
expedition and would obey him in everything he commanded them, which they
faithfully performed, as will be seen. The next day after this was done, the
army started off with its colors flying. The viceroy, Don Antonio, went with
them for two days, and there he took leave of them, returning to New Spain with
his friends. 28.

Chapter VII.

Of how the army reached Chiametla, the killing of the
army-master, and the other things that happened up to the arrival at Culiacan.

Afterthe viceroy, Don Antonio,
left them, the army continued its march. As each one was obliged to transport
his own baggage and all did not know how to fasten the packs, and as the horses
started off fat and plump, they had a good deal of difficulty and labor during
the first few days, and many left many valuable things, giving them to anyone
who wanted them, in order to get rid of carrying them. In the end necessity,
which is all powerful, made them skillful, so that one could see many gentlemen
become carriers, and anybody who despised this work was not considered a man.

With such labors, which they then thought severe, the
army reached Chiametla, where it was obliged to delay several days to procure
food. During this time the army-master, Lope de Samaniego, went off with some
soldiers to find food, and at one village a crossbowman having entered it
indiscreetly in pursuit of the enemies, they shot him through the eye and it
passed through his brain, so that he died on the spot. They also shot five or
six of his companions before Diego Lopez, the alderman from Seville, since the
commander was dead, collected the men and sent word to the general. He put a
guard in the village and over the provisions. There was great confusion in the
army when this news became known. He was buried here. Several sorties were
made, by which food was obtained and several of the natives taken prisoners.
They hanged those who seemed to belong to the district where the army-master
was killed. 31.

It seems that when the general, Francisco Vazquez, left
Culiacan with Friar Marcos to tell the viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, the
news, as already related, he left orders for Captain Melchior Diaz and Juan de
Saldivar to start off with a dozen good men from Culiacan and verify what Friar
Marcos had seen and heard. They started and went as far as Chichilticalli,
which is where the wilderness begins, 220 leagues from Culiacan, & there
they turned back, not finding anything important. They reached Chiametla just
as the army was ready to leave, and reported to the general. Although they were
kept secret, the bad news leaked out, and there were some reports which,
although they were exaggerated, did not fail to give an indication of what the
facts were. Friar Marcos, noticing that some were feeling disturbed, cleared
away these clouds, promising that what they would see should be good, and that
he would place the army in a country where their hands would be filled, &
in this way he quieted them so that they appeared well satisfied. From there
the army marched to Culiacan, making some detours into the country to seize
provisions. They were two leagues from the town of Culiacan at Easter vespers,
when the inhabitants came out to welcome their governor and begged him not to
enter the town till the day after Easter. 32.

Chapter VIII.

Of how the army entered the town of Culiacan and the
reception it received, and other things which happened before the departure.

Whenthe day after Easter came,
the army started in the morning to go to the town, and, as they approached, the
inhabitants of the town came out on to an open plain with foot and horse drawn
up in ranks as if for a battle, and having its seven bronze pieces of artillery
in position, making a show of defending their town. Some of our soldiers were
with them. Our army drew up in the same way and began a skirmish with them, and
after the artillery on both sides had been fired they were driven back, just as
if the town had been taken by force of arms, which was a pleasant demonstration
of welcome, except for the artilleryman who lost a hand by a shot, from having
ordered them to fire before he had finished drawing out the ramrod. 34.

After the town was taken, the army was well lodged and
entertained by the townspeople, who, as they were all very well-to-do people,
took all the gentlemen and people of quality who were with the army into their
own apartments, although they had lodgings prepared for them all just outside
the town. Some of the townspeople were not ill repaid for this hospitality,
because all had started with fine clothes and accoutrements, & as they had
to carry provisions on their animals after this, they were obliged to leave
their fine stuff, so that many preferred giving it to their hosts instead of
risking it on the sea by putting it in the ship that had followed the army
along the coast to take the extra baggage, as I have said. After they arrived
and were being entertained in the town, the general, by order of the viceroy
Don Antonio, left Fernandarias de Saabedra, uncle of Hernandarias de Saabedra,
count of Castellar, formerly mayor of Seville, as his lieutenant and captain in
this town. The army rested here several days, because the inhabitants had
gathered a good stock of provisions that year and each one shared his stock
very gladly with his guests from our army. They not only had plenty to eat
here, but they also had plenty to take away with them, so that when the
departure came they started off with more than six hundred loaded animals,
besides the friendly Indians and the servants – more than a thousand
persons. After a fortnight had passed, the general started ahead with about
fifty horsemen and a few foot soldiers and most of the Indian allies, leaving
the army, which was to follow him a fortnight later, with Don Tristan de
Arellano in command as his lieutenant. 35.

At this time, before his departure, a pretty sort of
thing happened to the general, which I will tell for what it is worth. A young
soldier named Trugillo [Truxillo] pretended that he had seen a vision while he
was bathing in the river. Feigning that he did not want to, he was brought
before the general, whom he gave to understand that the devil had told him that
if he would kill the general, he could marry his wife, Dona Beatris, and would
receive great wealth and other very fine things. Friar Marcos de Niza preached
several sermons on this, laying it all to the fact that the devil was jealous
of the good which must result from this journey and so wished to break it up in
this way. It did not end here, but the friars who were in the expedition wrote
to their monasteries about it, and this was the reason the pulpits of Mexico
proclaimed strange rumors about this affair. 36.

The general ordered Truxillo to stay in that town and not
to go on the expedition, which was what he was after when he made up that
falsehood, judging from what afterward appeared to be the truth. The general
started off with the force already described to continue his journey, and the
army followed him, as will be related. 37.

Chapter IX.

Of how the army started from Culiacan and the arrival
of the general at Cibola and of the army at Senora and of other things that

Thegeneral, as has been said,
started to continue his journey from the valley of Culiacan somewhat lightly
equipped, taking with him the friars, since none of them wished to stay behind
with the army. After they had gone three days, a regular friar who could say
mass, named Friar Antonio Victoria, broke his leg, and they brought him back
from the camp to have it doctored. He stayed with the army after this, which
was no slight consolation for all. The general and his force crossed the
country without trouble, as they found everything peaceful, because the Indians
knew Friar Marcos and some of the others who had been with Melchior Diaz when
he went with Juan de Saldivar to investigate. 39.

After the general had crossed the inhabited region and
came to Chichilticalli, where the wilderness begins, and saw nothing favorable,
he could not help feeling somewhat downhearted, for, although the reports were
very fine about what there was ahead, there was nobody who had seen it except
the Indians who went with the negro, and these had already been caught in some
lies. Besides all this, he was much affected by seeing that the fame of
Chichilticalli was summed up in one tumble-down house without any roof,
although it appeared to have been a strong place at some former time when it
was inhabited, and it was very plain that it had been built by a civilized and
warlike race of strangers who had come from a distance. This building was made
of red earth. From here they went on through the wilderness, and in fifteen
days came to a river about eight leagues from Cibola, which they called Red
River, because its waters were muddy and reddish. In this river they found
mullets like those of Spain. The first Indians from that country were seen here
– two of them, who ran away to give the news. During the night following
the next day, about two leagues from the village, some Indians in a safe place
yelled so that, although the men were ready for anything, some were so excited
that they put their saddles on hind-side before; but these were the new
fellows. When the veterans had mounted and ridden round the camp, the Indians
fled. None of them could be caught because they knew the country. 40.

The next day they entered the settled country in good
order, and when they saw the first village, which was Cibola, such were the
curses that some hurled at Friar Marcos that I pray to God He may protect him
from them. 41.

It is a little, crowded village, looking as if it had
been crumpled all up together. There are ranch houses in New Spain which make a
better appearance at a distance. It is a village of about 200 warriors, is
three and four stories high, with the houses small and having only a few rooms,
and without a courtyard. One yard serves for each section. The people of the
whole district had collected here, for there are seven villages in the
province, and some of the others are even larger and stronger than Cibola.
These folk waited for the army, drawn up by divisions in front of the village.
When they refused to have peace on the terms the interpreters extended to them,
but appeared defiant, the Santiago was given, and they were at once put to
flight. The Spaniards then attacked the village, which was taken with not a
little difficulty, since they held the narrow and crooked entrance. During the
attack they knocked the general down with a large stone, and would have killed
him but for Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas and Hernando de Alvarado, who threw
themselves above him and drew him away, receiving the blows of the stones,
which were not few. But the first fury of the Spaniards could not be resisted,
and in less than an hour they entered the village and captured it. They
discovered food there, which was the thing they were most in need of. After
this the whole province was at peace. 42.

The army which had stayed with Don Tristan de Arellano
started to follow their general, all loaded with provisions, with lances on
their shoulders, and all on foot, so as to have the horses loaded. With no
slight labor from day to day, they reached a province which Cabeza de Vaca had
named Corazones [Hearts], because the people here offered him many hearts of
animals. He founded a town here and name it San Hieronimo de los Corazones
[Saint Jerome of the Hearts]. After it had been started, it was seen that it
could not be kept up here, and so it was afterward transferred to a valley
which had been called Senora. The Spaniards call it Senora, and so it will be
known by this name. 43.

From here a force went down the river to the seacoast to
find the harbor and to find out about the ships. Don Rodrigo Maldonado, who was
captain of those who went in search of the ships, did not find them, but he
brought back with him an Indian so large and tall that the best man in the army
reached only to his chest. It was said that other Indians were even taller on
that coast. After the rains ceased the army went on to where the town of Senora
was afterward located, because there were provisions in that region, so that
they were able to wait there for orders from the general. 44.

About the middle of the month of October Captains
Melchior Diaz and Juan Gallego came from Cibola, Juan Gallego on his way to New
Spain and Melchior Diaz to stay in the new town of Hearts, in command of the
men who remained there. He was to go along the coast in search of ships. 45.

Chapter X.

How the army started from Senora, & how it reached
Cibola, & of what happened to Captain Melchior Diaz and how he discovered
the Tison (Firebrand) River.

AfterMelchior Diaz and Juan
Gallego had arrived in the town of Senora, it was announced that the army was
to depart for Cibola; that Melchior Diaz was to remain in charge of that town
with 80 men; that Juan Gallego was going to New Spain with messages for the
viceroy, and that Friar Marcos was going back with him, because he did not
think it was safe for him to stay in Cibola, seeing that his report had turned
out to be entirely false, because the kingdoms that he had told about had not
been found, nor the populous cities, nor the wealth of gold, nor the precious
stones which he had reported, nor the fine clothes, nor other things that had
been proclaimed from the pulpits. When this had been announced, those who were
to remain were selected and the rest loaded their provisions and set off in
good order about the middle of September on the way to Cibola, following their
general. 47.

Don Tristan de Arellano stayed in this new town with the
weakest men, and from this time on there was nothing but mutinies and strife,
because after the army had gone Captain Melchior Diaz took 25 of the most
efficient men, leaving in his place one Diego de Alcaraz, a man unfitted to
have people under his command. He took guides and went toward the north &
west in search of the seacoast. After going about 150 leagues, they came to a
province of exceedingly tall and strong men – like giants. They are naked
and live in large straw cabins built under ground like smoke houses, with only
the straw roof over ground. They enter these at one end and come out at the
other. More than a hundred persons, old and young, sleep in one cabin. When
they carry anything, they can take a load of more than three or four
hundred-weight on their heads. Once when our men wished to fetch a log for the
fire, and six men were unable to carry it, one of these Indians is reported to
have come and raised it in his arms, put it on his head alone, and carried it
very easily. They eat bread cooked in the ashes, as big as the large two-pound
loaves of Castile. On account of the great cold, they carry a firebrand (tison)
in the hand when they go from one place to another, with which they warm the
other hand and the body as well, & in this way they keep shifting it every
now and then. On this account the large river which is in the country was
called Rio del Tison [Firebrand River]. It is a very great river and is more
than two leagues wide at its mouth; here it is half a league across. Here the
captain heard that there had been ships at a point three days down toward the
sea. When he reached the place where the ships had been, which was more than
fifteen leagues up the river from the mouth of the harbor, they found written
on a tree: “Alarcon reached this place; there are letters at the foot of this
tree.” He dug up the letters and learned from them how long Alarcon had waited
for news of the army and that he had gone back with the ships to New Spain,
because he was unable to proceed farther, since this sea was a bay, which was
formed by the Isle of the Marquis, which is called California, and it was
explained that California was not an island, but a point of the mainland
forming the other side of that gulf. 48.

After he had seen this, the captain turned back to go up
the river, without going down to the sea to find a ford by which to cross to
the other side, so as to follow the other bank. After they had gone five or six
days, it seemed to them as if they could cross on rafts. For this purpose they
called together a large number of the natives, who were waiting for a favorable
opportunity to make an attack on our men, and when they saw that the strangers
wanted to cross, they helped make the rafts with all zeal & diligence, so
as to catch them in this way on the water and drown them or else so divide them
that they could not help one another. While the rafts were being made, a
soldier who had been out around the camp saw a large number of armed men go
across to a mountain, where they were waiting till the soldiers should cross
the river. He reported this, and an Indian was quietly shut up, in order to
find out the truth, and when they tortured him he told all the arrangements
that had been made. These were, that when our men were crossing and part of
them had got over and part were on the river and part were waiting to cross,
those who were on the rafts should drown those they were taking across and the
rest of their force should make an attack on both sides of the river. If they
had had as much discretion and courage as they had strength and power, the
attempt would have succeeded. 49.

When he knew their plan, the captain had the Indian who
had confessed the affair killed secretly, and that night he was thrown into the
river with a weight, so that the Indians would not suspect that they found out.
The next day they noticed that our men suspected them, and so they made an
attack, shooting showers of arrows, but when the horses began to catch up with
them and the lances wounded them without mercy and the musketeers likewise made
good shots, they had to leave the plain and take to the mountain, until not a
man of them was to be seen. The force then came back and crossed all right, the
Indian allies and the Spaniards going across on the rafts and the horses
swimming alongside the rafts, where we will leave them to continue their
journey. 50.

To relate how the army that was on its way to Cibola got
on: Everything went along in good shape, since the general had left everything
peaceful, because he wished the people in that region to be contented and
without fear and willing to do what they were ordered. In a province called
Vacapan there was a large quantity of prickly pears, of which the natives make
a great deal of preserves. They gave this preserve away freely, and as the men
of the army ate much of it, they all fell sick with a headache and fever, so
that the natives might have done much harm to the force if they had wished.
This lasted regularly twenty-four hours. After this they continued their march
until they reached Chichilticalli. The men in the advance guard saw a flock of
sheep one day after leaving this place. I myself saw and followed them. They
had extremely large bodies and longwool; their horns were very thick and large,
and when they run they throw back their heads and put their horns on the ridge
of their back. They are used to the rough country, so that we could not catch
them and had to leave them. 51.

Three days after we entered the wilderness we found a
horn on the bank of a river that flows in the bottom of a very steep, deep
gully, which the general had noticed and left there for his army to see, for it
was six feet long and as thick at the base as a man’s thigh. It seemed to be
more like the horn of a goat than of any other animal. It was something worth
seeing. The army proceeded and was about a day’s march from Cibola when a very
cold tornado came up in the afternoon, followed by a great fall of snow, which
was a bad combination for the carriers. The army went on till it reached some
caves in a rocky ridge, late in the evening. The Indian allies who were from
New Spain, and for the most part from warm countries, were in great danger.
They felt the coldness of that day so much that it was hard work the next day
taking care of them, for they suffered much pain and had to be carried on the
horses, the soldiers walking. After this labor the army reached Cibola, where
their general was waiting for them, with their quarters all ready, and here
they were reunited, except some captains and men who had gone off to discover
other provinces. 52.

Chapter XI.

How Don Pedro de Tovar discovered Tusayan or Tutahaco
and Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas saw the Firebrand River, and the other things
that had happened.

Whilethe things already
described were taking place, Cibola being at peace, the General Francisco
Vazquez found out from the people of the province about the provinces that lay
around it, and got them to tell their friends and neighbors that Christians had
come into the country, whose only desire was to be their friends, and to find
out about good lands to live in, and for them to come to see the strangers and
talk with them. They did this, since they know how to communicate with one
another in these regions, and they informed him about a province with seven
villages of the same sort as theirs, although somewhat different. They had
nothing to do with these people. This province is called Tusayan. It is
twenty-five leagues from Cibola. The villages are high and the people are
warlike. 54.

The general had sent Don Pedro de Tovar to these villages
with seventeen horsemen and three or four foot-soldiers. Juan de Padilla, a
Franciscan friar, who had been a fighting man in his youth, went with them.
When they reached the region, they entered the country so quietly that nobody
observed them, because there were no settlements or farms between one village
and another and the people do not leave the villages except to go to their
farms, especially at this time, when they had heard that Cibola had been
captured by very fierce people, who travelled on animals which ate people. This
information was generally believed by those who had never seen horses, although
it was so strange as to cause much wonder. Our men arrived after nightfall and
were able to conceal themselves under the edge of the village, where they heard
the natives talking in their houses. But in the morning they were discovered
and drew up in regular order, while the natives came out to meet them, with
bows, and shields, and wooden clubs, drawn up in lines without any confusion.
The interpreter was given a chance to speak to them and give them due warning,
for they were very intelligent people, but nevertheless they drew lines and
insisted that our men should not go across these lines toward the village. 55.

While they were talking, some men acted as if they would
cross the lines, and one of the natives lost control of himself and struck a
horse a blow on the cheek of the bridle with his club. Friar Juan, fretted by
the time that was being wasted in talking with them, said to the captain: “To
tell the truth, I do not know why we came here.” When the men heard this, they
gave the Santiago so suddenly that they ran down many of the Indians and the
others fled to the town in confusion. Some indeed did not have a chance to do
this, so quickly did the people in the village come out with presents, asking
for peace. The captain ordered his force to collect, and, as the natives did
not do any more harm, he and those who were with him found a place to establish
their headquarters near the village. They had dismounted here when the natives
came peacefully, saying that they wanted him to be friends with them and to
accept the presents which they gave him. This was some cotton cloth, although
not much, because they do not make it in that district. They also gave him some
dressed skins and cornmeal, and pine nuts and corn and birds of the country.
Afterward they presented some turquoises, but not many. The people of the whole
district came together that day and submitted themselves, and they allowed him
to enter their villages freely to visit, buy, sell, and barter with them. 56.

It is governed like Cibola, by an assembly of the oldest
men. They have their governors and generals. This was where they obtained the
information about a large river, and that several days down the river there
were some people with very large bodies. 57.

As Don Pedro de Tovar was not commissioned to go farther,
he returned from there and gave this information to the general, who dispatched
Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas with about twelve companions to go to see this
river. He was well received when he reached Tusayan and was entertained by the
natives who gave him guides for his journey. They started from there laden with
provisions, for they had to go through a desert country before reaching the
inhabited region, which the Indians said was more than 20 days’ journey. After
they had gone 20 days they came to the banks of the river. It seemed to be more
than three or four leagues in an air line across to the other bank of the
stream which flowed between them. 58.

This country was elevated and full of low twisted pines,
very cold, and lying open toward the north, so that, this being the warm
season, no one could live there on account of the cold. They spent three days
on this bank looking for a passage down to the river, which looked from above
as if the water was six feet across, although the Indians said it was half a
league wide. It was impossible to descend, for after these three days Captain
Melgosa & one Juan Galeras and another companion, who were the three
lightest and most agile men, made an attempt to go down at the least difficult
place, and went down until those who were above were unable to keep sight of
them. They returned about four o’clock in the afternoon, not having succeeded
in reaching the bottom on account of the great difficulties which they found,
because what seemed to be easy from above was not so, but instead very hard and
difficult. They said that they had been down about a third of the way and that
the river seemed very large from the place which they reached, and that from
what they saw they thought the Indians had given the width correctly. Those who
stayed above had estimated that some huge rocks on the sides of the cliffs
seemed to be about as tall as a man, but those who went down swore that when
they reached these rocks they were bigger than the great tower of Seville. They
did not go farther up the river, because they could not get water. 59.

Before this they had had to go a league or two inland
every day late in the evening in order to find water, and the guides said they
if they should go four days farther it would not be possible to go on, because
there was no water within three or four days, for when they travel across this
region themselves they take with them women laden with water in gourds, and
bury the gourds of water along the way, to use when they return, & besides
this, they travel in one day over what it takes us two days to accomplish. 60.

This was the Tison (Firebrand) River, much nearer its
source than where Melchior Diaz and his company crossed it. These were the same
kind of Indians, judging from what was afterward learned. They came back from
this point & the expedition did not have any other result. On the way they
saw some water falling over a rock and learned from the guides that some
bunches of crystals which were hanging there were salt. They went and gathered
a quantity of this & brought it back to Cibola, dividing it among those who
were there. They gave the general a written account of what they had seen,
because one Pedro de Sotomayor had gone with Don Garcia Lopez as chronicler for
the army. The villages of that province remained peaceful, since they were
never visited again, nor was any attempt made to find other peoples in that
direction. 61.

Chapter XII.

How people came from Cicuye to Cibola to see the
Christians, & Hernando de Alvarado went to see the cows.

Whilethey were making these
discoveries, some Indians came to Cibola from a village which was 70 leagues
east of this province, called Cicuye. Among them was a captain who was called
Bigotes [Whiskers] by our men, because he wore a long mustache. He was a tall,
well-built young fellow, with a fine figure. He told the general that they had
come in response to the notice which had been given, to offer themselves as
friends, and that if we wanted to go through their country they would consider
us as their friends. They brought a present of tanned hides and shields and
headpieces, which were very gladly received, and the general gave them some
glass dishes and a number of pearls and little bells which they prized highly,
because these were things they had never seen. They described cows which, from
the picture that one of them had painted on his skin, seemed to be cows,
although from the hides this did not seem possible, because the hair was woolly
and snarled so that we could not tell what sort of skins they had. The general
ordered Hernando de Alvarado to take twenty companions & go with them,
& gave him a commission for eighty days, after which he should return to
give an account of what he had found. 63.

Captain Alvarado started on this journey & in five
days reached a village which was on a rock called Acuco, having a population of
about 200 men. These people were robbers, feared by the whole country round
about. The village was very strong, because it was up on a rock out of reach,
having steep sides in every direction, and so high that it was a very good
musket that could throw a ball as high. There was only one entrance by a
stairway built by hand, which began at the top of a slope which is around the
foot of the rock. There was a broad stairway for about 200 steps, then a
stretch of about 100 narrower steps, and at the top they had to go up about
three times as high as a man by means of holes in the rock, in which they put
the points of their feet, holding on at the same time by their hands. There was
a wall of large and small stones at the top, which they could roll down without
showing themselves, so that no army could possibly be strong enough to capture
the village. On the top they had room to sow and store a large amount of corn,
and cisterns to collect snow and water. These people came down to the plain
ready to fight, and would not listen to any arguments. They drew lines on the
ground and determined to prevent our men from crossing these, but when they saw
that they would have to fight they offered to make peace before any harm had
been done. They went through their forms of making peace, which is to touch the
horses and take their sweat and rub themselves with it, and to make crosses
with the fingers of the hands. But to make the most secure peace they put their
hands across each other, and they keep this peace inviolably. They made a
present of a large number of [turkey] cocks with very big wattles, much bread,
tanned deerskins, pine [pinon] nuts, flour [corn meal], and corn. 64.

From here they went to a province called Triguex, three
days distant. The people all came out peacefully, seeing that Whiskers was with
them. These men are feared throughout all those provinces. Alvarado sent
messengers back from here to advise the general to come and winter in this
country. The general was not a little relieved to hear that the country was
growing better. Five days from here he came to Cicuye, a very strong village
four stories high. The people came out from the village with signs of joy to
welcome Hernando de Alvarado and their captain, and brought them into the town
with drums and pipes something like flutes, of which they have a great many.
They made many presents of cloth and turquoises, of which there are quantities
in that region. The Spaniards enjoyed themselves here for several days and
talked with an Indian slave, a native of the country toward Florida, which is
the region Don Fernando de Soto discovered. This fellow said that there were
large settlements in the farther part of that country. Hernando de Alvarado
took him to guide them to the cows; but he told them so many and such great
things about the wealth of gold & silver in his country that they did not
care about looking for cows, but returned after they had seen some few, to
report the rich news to the general. They called the Indian “Turk,” because he
looked like one. 65.

Meanwhile the general had sent Don Garcia Lopez de
Cardenas to Tiguex with men to get lodgings ready for the army, which had
arrived from Senora about this time, before taking them there for the winter;
and when Hernando de Alvarado reached Tiguex, on his way back from Cicuye, he
found Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas there, & so there was no need for him to
go farther. As it was necessary that the natives should give the Spaniards
lodging places, the people in one village had to abandon it and go to others
belonging to their friends, and they took with them nothing but themselves and
the clothes they had on. Information was obtained here about many towns up
toward the north, and I believe that it would have been much better to follow
this direction than that of the Turk, who was the cause of all the misfortunes
which followed. 66.

Chapter XIII.

How the general went toward Tutahaco with a few men
& how Don Tristan took the army to Tiguex.

Everythingalready related had
happened when Don Tristan de Arellano reached Cibola from Senora. Soon after he
arrived, the general, who had received notice of a province containing eight
villages, took thirty of the men who were most fully rested and went to see it,
going from there directly to Tiguex with the skilled guides who conducted him.
He left orders for Don Tristan de Arellano to proceed to Tiguex by the direct
road, after the men had rested twenty days. On this journey, between one day
when they left the camping place and midday of the third day, when they saw
snow-covered mountains, toward which they went in search of water, neither the
Spaniards nor the horses nor the servants drank anything. They were able to
stand it because of the severe cold, although with great difficulty. In eight
days they reached Tutahaco, where they learned that there were other towns down
the river. These people were peaceful. The villages are terraced, like those at
Tiguex, and of the same style. 68.

The general went up the river from here, visiting the
whole province, until he reached Tiguex, where he found Hernando de Alvarado
and the Turk. He felt no slight joy at such good news, because the Turk said in
his country there was a river in the level country which was two leagues wide,
in which there were fishes as big as horses, and large numbers of very big
canoes, with more than twenty rowers on a side, and that they carried sails,
and that their lords sat on the poop under awnings, and on the prow they had a
great golden eagle. He said also that the lord of that country took his
afternoon nap under a great tree on which were hung a great number of little
gold bells, which put him to sleep as they swung in the air. He said also that
everyone had his ordinary dishes made of wrought plate, and the jugs and bowls
were of gold. He called gold acochis. For the present he was believed, on
account of the ease with which he told it and because they showed him metal
ornaments and he recognized them and said they were not gold, and he knew gold
and silver very well and did not care anything about other metals. 69.

The general sent Hernando de Alvarado back to Cicuye to
demand some gold bracelets which this Turk said they had taken from him at the
time they captured him. Alvarado went, and was received as a friend at the
village, & when he demanded the bracelets they said they knew nothing at
all about them, saying the Turk was deceiving him & was lying. Captain
Alvarado, seeing that there were no other means, got the Captain Whiskers and
the governor to come to his tent, and when they had come he put them in chains.
The villagers prepared to fight, and let fly their arrows, denouncing Hernando
de Alvarado, and saying that he was a man who had no respect for peace &
friendship. Hernando de Alvarado started back to Tiguex, where the general kept
them prisoners more than six months. This began the want of confidence in the
word of the Spaniards whenever there was talk of peace from this time on, as
will be seen by what happened afterward. 70.

Chapter XIV.

Of how the army went from Cibola to Tiguex & what
happened to them on the way, on account of the snow.

We havealready said that when
the general started from Cibola, he left orders for Don Tristan de Arellano to
start twenty days later. He did so as soon as he saw the men were well rested
and provided with food and eager to start off to find their general. He set off
with his force toward Tiguex and the first day they made their camp in the
best, largest, and finest village of that (Cibola) province. This is the only
village that has houses with seven stories. In this village certain houses are
used as fortresses; they are higher than the others and set up above them like
towers, and there are embrasures and hoopholes in them for defending the roofs
of the different stories, because, like the other villages, they do not have
streets, and the flat roofs are all of a height and are used in common. The
roofs have to be reached first, and these upper houses are the means of
defending them. It began to snow on us there, and the force took refuge under
the wings of the village, which extend out like balconies, with wooden pillars
beneath, because they generally use ladders to go up to those balconies, since
they do not have any doors below.72.

The army continued its march from here after it stopped
snowing, and as the season had already advanced into December, during the ten
days that the army was delayed, it did not fail to snow during the evenings and
nearly every night, so that they had to clear away a large amount of snow when
they came to where they wanted to make a route camp. The road could not be
seen, but the guides managed to find it, as they knew the country. There are
junipers and pines all over the country, which they used in making large
brushwood fires, the smoke and heat of which melted the snow from two to four
yards all around the fire. It was a dry snow, so that although it fell on the
baggage and covered it for half a man’s height it did not hurt it. It fell all
night long, covering the baggage and the soldiers and their beds, piling up in
the air, so that if anyone had suddenly come upon the army nothing would have
been seen but mountains of snow. The horses stood half buried in it. It kept
those who were underneath warm instead of cold. The army passed by the great
rock of Acuco, and the natives, who were peaceful, entertained our men well,
giving them provisions and birds, although there are not many people here, as I
have said. Many of the gentlemen went up to the top to see it, and they had
great difficulty in going up the steps in the rock, because they were not used
to them, for the natives go up and down so easily that they carry loads &
the women carry water, and they do not seem even to touch their hands, although
our men had to pass their weapons up from one to another. 73.

From here they went on to Tiguex, where they were well
received and taken care of, and the great good news of the Turk gave no little
joy and helped lighten their hard labors, although when the army arrived we
found the whole country or province in revolt, for reasons which were not
slight in themselves, as will be shown, and our men had also burnt a village
the day before the army arrived, and returned to the camp. 74.

Chapter XV.

Of how the people of Tiguex revolted, and how they were
punished, without being to blame for it.

It hasbeen related how the
general reached Tiguex, where he found Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas &
Hernando de Alvarado, & how he sent the latter back to Cicuye, where he
took the Captain Whiskers and the governor of the village, who was an old man,
prisoners. The people of Tiguex did not feel well about this seizure. 76.

In addition to this, the general wished to obtain some
clothing to divide among his soldiers, and for this purpose he summoned one of
the chief Indians of Tiguex, with whom he had already had much intercourse and
with whom he was on good terms, who was called Juan Aleman by our men, after a
Juan Aleman who lived in Mexico, whom he was said to resemble. The general told
him that he must furnish about three hundred or more pieces of cloth, which he
needed to give his people. He said that he was not able to do this, but that it
pertained to the governors; and that besides this, they would have to consult
together and divide it among the villages, and that it was necessary to make
the demand of each town separately. The general did this, and ordered certain
of the gentlemen who were with him to go and make the demand; and as there were
twelve villages, some of them went on one side of the river and some on the
other. As they were in very great need, they did not give the natives a chance
to consult about it, but when they came to a village they demanded what they
had to give, so that they could proceed at once. Thus these people could do
nothing except take off their own cloaks and give them to make up the number
demanded of them. And some of the soldiers who were in these parties, when the
collectors gave them some blankets or cloaks which were not such as they
wanted, if they saw any Indian with a better one on, they exchanged with him
without more ado, not stopping to find out the rank of the man they were
stripping, which caused not a little hard feeling. 77.

Besides what I have just said, one whom I will not name,
out of regard for him, left the village where the camp was and went to another
village about a league distant, and seeing a pretty woman there he called her
husband down to hold his horse by the bridle while he went up; and as the
village was entered by the upper story, the Indian supposed he was going to
some other part of it. While he was there the Indian heard some slight noise,
and then the Spaniard came down, took his horse, and went away. The Indian went
up and learned that he had violated, or tried to violate, his wife, and so he
came with the important men of the town to complain that a man had violated his
wife, and he told how it had happened. When the general made all the soldiers
and the persons who were with him come together, the Indian did not recognize
the man, either because he had changed his clothes or for whatever other reason
there may have been, but he said he could tell the horse, because he had held
his bridle, and so he was taken to the stables, and found the horse, and said
that the master of the horse must be the man. He denied doing it, seeing that
he had not been recognized, and it may be that the Indian was mistaken in the
horse; anyway, he went off without getting any satisfaction. The next day one
of the Indians, who was guarding the horses of the army, came running in,
saying that a companion of his had been killed, and that the Indians of the
country were driving off the horses toward their villages. The Spaniards tried
to collect the horses again, but many were lost, besides seven of the general’s
mules. 78.

The next day Don Garcia de Cardenas went to see the
villages and talk with the natives. He found the villages closed by palisades
and a great noise inside, the horses being chased as in a bull fight and shot
with arrows. They were all ready for fighting. Nothing could be done, because
they would not come down on to the plain and the villages are so strong that
the Spaniards could not dislodge them. The general then ordered Don Garcia
Lopez de Cardenas to go and surround one village with all the rest of the
force. This village was the one where the greatest injury had been done and
where the affair with the Indian woman occurred. Several captains who had gone
on in advance with the general, Juan de Saldivar and Barrionuevo and Diego
Lopez and Melgosa, took the Indians so much by surprise that they gained the
upper story, with great danger, for they wounded many of our men from within
the houses. Our men were on top of the houses in great danger for a day and a
night and part of the next day, and they made some good shots with their
crossbows and muskets. The horsemen on the plain with many of the Indian allies
from New Spain smoked them out from the cellars into which they had broken, so
that they begged for peace. 79.

Pablo de Melgosa and Diego Lopez, the alderman from
Seville, were left on the roof and answered the Indians with the same signs
they were making for peace, which was to make a cross. They then put down their
arms and received pardon. They were taken to the tent of Don Garcia, who,
according to what he said, did not know about the peace and thought that they
had given themselves up of their own accord because they had been conquered. As
he had been ordered by the general not to take them alive, but to make an
example of them so that the other natives would fear the Spaniards, he ordered
200 stakes to be prepared at once to burn them alive. Nobody told him about the
peace that had been granted them, for the soldiers knew as little as he, and
those who should have told him about it remained silent, not thinking that it
was any of their business. Then when the enemies saw that the Spaniards were
binding them and beginning to roast them, about a hundred men who were in the
tent began to struggle and defend themselves with what there was there and with
the stakes they could seize. Our men who were on foot attacked the tent on all
sides, so that there was great confusion around it, and then the horsemen
chased those who escaped. As the country was level, not a man of them remained
alive, unless it was some who remained hidden in the village and escaped that
night to spread throughout the country the news that the strangers did not
respect the peace they had made, which afterward proved a great misfortune.
After this was over, it began to snow, and they abandoned the village and
returned to the camp just as the army came from Cibola. 80.

Chapter XVI.

Of how they besieged Tiguex & took it, and of what
happened during the siege.

AsI have already related, it
began to snow in that country just after they captured the village, and it
snowed so much that for the next two months it was impossible to do anything
except to go along the roads to advise them to make peace and tell them that
they would be pardoned and might consider themselves safe, to which they
replied that they did not trust those who did not know how to keep good faith
after they had once given it, and that the Spaniards should remember that they
were keeping Whiskers prisoner and that they did not keep their word when they
burned those who surrendered in the village. Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas was
one of those who went to give this notice. He started out with about 30
companions and went to the village of Tiguex to talk with Juan Aleman. Although
they were hostile, they talked with him and said that if he wished to talk with
them he must dismount and they would come out and talk with him about a peace,
and that if he would send away the horsemen and make his men keep away, Juan
Aleman and another captain would come out of the village and meet him.
Everything was done as they required, and then when they approached they said
that they had no arms and that he must take his off. Don Garcia Lopez did this
in order to give them confidence, on account of his great desire to get them to
make peace. When he met them, Juan Aleman approached and embraced him
vigorously, while the other two who had come with him drew two mallets which
they had hidden behind their backs and gave him two such blows over his helmet
that they almost knocked him senseless. Two of the soldiers on horseback had
been unwilling to go very far off, even when he ordered them, and so they were
near by and rode up so quickly that they rescued him from their hands, although
they were unable to catch the enemies because the meeting was so near the
village that of the great shower of arrows which were shot at them one arrow
hit a horse and went through his nose. The horsemen all rode up together and
hurriedly carried off their captain, without being able to harm the enemy,
while many of our men were dangerously wounded. 82.

They then withdrew, leaving a number of men to continue
the attack. Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas went on with a part of the force to
another village about half a league distant, because almost all the people in
this region had collected into these two villages. As they paid no attention to
the demands made on them except by shooting arrows from the upper stories with
loud yells, and would not hear of peace, he returned to his companions whom he
had left to keep up the attack at Tiguex . A large number of those in the
village came out and our men rode off slowly, pretending to flee, so that they
drew the enemy on to the plain, and then turned on them and caught several of
their leaders. The rest collected on the roofs of the village and the captain
returned to his camp. 83.

After this affair the general ordered the army to go and
surround the village. He set out with his men in good order, one day, with
several scaling ladders. When he reached the village, he encamped his force
near by, and then began the siege; but as the enemy had had several days to
provide themselves with stores, they threw down such quantities of rocks upon
our men that many of them were laid out, and they wounded nearly a hundred with
arrows, several of whom afterward died on account of the bad treatment by an
unskillful surgeon who was with the army. The siege lasted fifty days, during
which time several assaults were made. The lack of water was what troubled the
Indians most. They dug a very deep well inside the village, but were not able
to get water, and while they were making it, it fell in and killed 30 persons.
Two hundred of the besieged died in the fights. One day when there was a hard
fight, they killed Francisco de Obando, a captain who had been army-master all
the time that Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas was away making the discoveries
already described, and also Francisco Pobares, a fine gentleman. Our men were
unable to prevent them from carrying Francisco de Obando inside the village,
which was regretted not a little, because he was a distinguished person,
besides being honored on his own account, affable and much beloved, which was
noticeable. 84.

One day, before the capture was completed, they asked to
speak to us, and said that, since they knew we would not harm the women and
children, they wished to surrender their women and sons, because they were
using up their water. It was impossible to persuade them to make peace, as they
said that the Spaniards would not keep an agreement made with them. So they
gave up about a hundred persons, women and boys, who did not want to leave
them. Don Lope de Urrea rode up in front of the town without his helmet and
received the boys and girls in his arms, and when all of these had been
surrendered, Don Lope begged them to make peace, giving them the strongest
promises for their safety. They told him to go away, as they did not wish to
trust themselves to people who had no regard for friendship or their own words
which they had pledged. As he seemed unwilling to go away, one of them put an
arrow in his bow ready to shoot, and threatened to shoot him with it unless he
went off, and they warned him to put on his helmet, but he was unwilling to do
so, saying that they would not hurt him as long as he stayed there. When the
Indian saw that he did not want to go away, he shot and planted his arrow
between the fore feet of the horse, and then put another arrow in his bow and
repeated that if he did not go away he would really shoot him. Don Lope put on
his helmet and slowly rode back to where the horsemen were, without receiving
any harm from them. When they saw that he was really in safety, they began to
shoot arrows in showers, with loud yells and cries. The general did not want to
make an assault that day, in order to see if they could be brought in some way
to make peace, which they would not consider. 85.

Fifteen days later they decided to leave the village one
night, and did so, taking the women in their midst. They started about the
fourth watch, in the very early morning, on the side where the cavalry was. The
alarm was given by those in the camp of Don Rodrigo Maldonado. The enemy
attacked them and killed one Spaniard and a horse and wounded others, but they
were driven back with great slaughter until they came to the river, where the
water flowed swiftly and very cold. They threw themselves into this, and as the
men had come quickly from the whole camp to assist the cavalry, there were few
who escaped being killed or wounded. Some men from the camp went across the
river next day and found many of them who had been overcome by the great cold.
They brought these back, cured them, and made servants of them. This ended that
siege, and the town was captured, although there were a few who remained in one
part of the town and were captured a few days later. Two captains, Don Diego de
Guevara and Juan de Saldivar, had captured the other large village after a
siege. Having started out very early one morning to make an ambuscade in which
to catch some warriors who used to come out every morning to try to frighten
our camp, the spies, who had been placed where they could see when they were
coming, saw the people come out and proceed toward the country. The soldiers
left the ambuscade and went to the village and saw the people fleeing. They
pursued and killed large numbers of them. At the same time those in the camp
were ordered to go over the town, and they plundered it, making prisoners of
all the people who were found in it, amounting to about a hundred women and
children. This siege ended the last of March, in the year 1542. Other things
had happened in the meantime, which would have been noticed, but that it would
have cut the thread. I have omitted them, but will relate them now, so that it
will be possible to understand what follows. 86.

Chapter XVII.

Of how messengers reached the army from the valley of
Senora and how Captain Melchior Diaz died on the expedition to the Firebrand

We havealready related how
Captain Melchior Diaz crossed the Firebrand river on rafts, in order to
continue his discoveries farther in that direction. About the time the siege
ended, messengers reached the army from the city of San Hieronimo with letters
from Diego de Alarcon, who had remained there in the place of Melchior Diaz.
These contained the news that Melchior Diaz had died while he was conducting
his search, and that the force had returned without finding any of the things
they were after. It all happened in this fashion: 88.

After they had crossed the river they continued their
search for the coast, which here turned back toward the south, or between south
& east, because that arm of the sea enters the land due north and this
river, which brings its waters down from the north, flowing toward the south,
enters the head of the gulf. Continuing in the direction they had been going,
they came to some sand banks of hot ashes which it was impossible to cross
without being drowned as in the sea. The ground they were standing on trembled
like a sheet of paper, so that it seemed as if there were lakes underneath
them. It seemed wonderful and like something infernal, for the ashes to bubble
up here in several places. After they had gone away from this place, on account
of the danger they seemed to be in and of the lack of water, one day a
greyhound belonging to one of the soldiers chased some sheep which they were
taking along for food. When the captain noticed this, he threw his lance at the
dog while his horse was running, so that it stuck up in the ground, and not
being able to stop his horse he went over the lance so that it nailed him
through the thighs and the iron came out behind, rupturing his bladder. After
this the soldiers turned back with their captain, having to fight everyday with
the Indians, who had remained hostile. He lived about twenty days, during which
they proceeded with great difficulty on account of the necessity of carrying
him. They returned in good order without losing a man, until he died, &
after that they were relieved of the greatest difficulty. When they reached
Senora, Alcaraz dispatched the messengers already referred to, so that the
general might know of this and also that some of the soldiers were ill disposed
and had caused several mutinies, and that he had sentenced two of them to the
gallows, but they had afterward escaped from the prison. 89.

When the general learned this, he sent Don Pedro de Tovar
to that city to sift out some of the men. He was accompanied by messengers whom
the general sent to Don Antonio de Mendoza the viceroy, with an account of what
had occurred and with the good news given by the Turk. When Don Pedro de Tovar
arrived there, he found that the natives of that province had killed a soldier
with a poisoned arrow, which had made only a very little wound in one hand.
Several soldiers went to the place where this happened to see about it, and
they were not very well received. Don Pedro de Tovar sent Diego de Alcaraz with
a force to seize the chiefs & lords of a village in what they call the
valley of Knaves (de los Vellacos), which is in the hills. After getting there
and taking these men prisoners, Diego de Alcaraz decided to let them go in
exchange for some thread & cloth & other things which the soldiers
needed. Finding themselves free, they renewed the war and attacked them, and as
they were strong and had poison, they killed several Spaniards and wounded
others so that they died on the way back. They retired toward the town, &
if they had not had Indian allies from the country of the Hearts, it would have
gone worse with them. They got back to the town, leaving 17 soldiers dead from
the poison. They would die in agony from only a small wound, the bodies
breaking out with an insupportable pestilential stink. When Don Pedro de Tovar
saw the harm done, and as it seemed to them that they could not safely stay in
that city, he moved 40 leagues toward Cibola into the valley of Suya, where we
will leave them, in order to relate what happened to the general and his army
after the siege of Tiguex. 90.

Chapter XVIII.

Of how the general managed to leave the country in
peace so as to go in search of Quivira, where the Turk said there was the most

Duringthe siege of Tiguex the
general decided to go to Cicuye and take the governor with him, in order to
give him his liberty and to promise them that he would give Whiskers his
liberty and leave him in the village, as soon as he should start for Quivira.
He was received peacefully when he reached Cicuye, and entered the village with
several soldiers. They received their governor with much joy and gratitude.
After looking over the village and speaking with the natives he returned to his
army, leaving Cicuye at peace, in the hope of getting back their Captain
Whiskers. 92.

After the siege was ended, as we have already related, he
sent a captain to Chia, a fine village with many people, which had sent to
offer its submission. It was four leagues distant to the west of the river.
They found it peaceful and gave it four bronze cannon, which were in poor
condition, to take care of. Six gentlemen also went to Quirix, a province with
seven villages. At the first village, which had about a hundred inhabitants,
the natives fled, not daring to wait for our men; but they headed them off by a
short cut, riding at full speed, and then they returned to their houses in the
village in perfect safety, and then told the other villagers about it and
reassured them. In this way the entire region was reassured, little by little,
by the time the ice in the river was broken up and it became possible to ford
the river and so continue the journey. The twelve villages of Tiguex, however,
were not repopulated at all during the time the army was there, in spite of
every promise of security that could possibly be given to them. 93.

And when the river, which for almost four months had been
frozen over so that they crossed the ice on horseback, had thawed out, orders
were given for the start to Quivira, where the Turk said there was some gold
and silver, although not so much as in Arche and the Guaes. There were already
some in the army who suspected the Turk, because a Spaniard named Servantes,
who had charge of him during the siege, solemnly swore that he had seen the
Turk talking with the devil in a pitcher of water, and also that while he had
him under lock so that no one could speak to him, the Turk had asked him what
Christians had been killed by the people at Tiguex . He told him “nobody,” and
then the Turk answered: 94.

“You lie; five Christians are dead, including a captain.”
And as Cervantes knew that he told the truth, he confessed it so as to find out
who had told him about it, and the Turk said he knew it all by himself and that
he did not need to have anyone tell him in order to know it. And it was on
account of this that he watched him and saw him speaking to the devil in the
pitcher, as I have said. 95.

While all this was going on, preparations were being made
to start from Tiguex . At this time people came from Cibola to see the general,
and he charged them to take good care of the Spaniards who were coming from
Senora with Don Pedro de Tovar. He gave them letters to give to Don Pedro,
informing him what he ought to do and how he should go to find the army, and
that he would find letters under the crosses which the army would put up along
the way. The army left Tiguex on the 5th of May and returned to Cicuye, which,
as I have said, is twenty-five marches, which means leagues, from there, taking
Whiskers with them. Arrived there, he gave them their captain, who already went
about freely with a guard. The village was very glad to see him, and the people
were peaceful and offered food. The governor and Whiskers gave the general a
young fellow named Xabe, a native of Quivira, who could give them information
about the country. This fellow said that there was gold and silver, but not so
much of it as the Turk had said. The Turk, however, continued to declare that
it was as he had said. He went as a guide, and thus the army started off from
here. 96.

Chapter XIX.

Of how they started in search of Quivira and of what
happened on the way.

Thearmy started from Cicuye,
leaving the village at peace and, as it seemed, contented, & under
obligations to maintain the friendship because their governor and captain had
been restored to them. Proceeding toward the plains, which are all on the other
side of the mountains, after four days’ journey they came to a river with a
large, deep current, which flowed down from toward Cicuye, and they named this
the Cicuye river. They had to stop here to make a bridge so as to cross it. It
was finished in four days, by much diligence and rapid work, and as soon as it
was done the whole army and the animals crossed. After ten days more they came
to some settlements of people who lived like Arabs and who are called Querechos
in that region. They had seen the cows for two days. These folks live in tents
made of the tanned skins of the cows. They travel around near the cows, killing
them for food. They did nothing unusual when they saw our army, except to come
out of their tents to look at us, after which they came to talk with the
advance guard, and asked who we were. The general talked with them, but as they
had already talked with the Turk, who was with the advance guard, they agreed
with what he had said. That they were very intelligent is evident from the fact
that although they conversed by means of signs they made themselves understood
so well that there was no need of an interpreter. They said there was a very
large river over toward where the sun came from, and that one could go along
this river through an inhabited region for ninety days without a break from
settlement to settlement. They said that the first of these settlements was
called Haxa, and that the river was more than a league wide and that there were
many canoes on it. These folk started off from here next day with a lot of dogs
which dragged their possessions. 98.

For two days, during which the army marched in the same
direction as that in which they had come from the settlements – that is,
between north and east, but more toward the north – they saw other
roaming Querechos and such great numbers of cows that it already seemed
something incredible. These people gave a great deal of information about
settlements, all toward the east from where we were. Here Don Garcia broke his
arm and a Spaniard got lost who went off hunting so far that he was unable to
return to the camp, because the country is very level. The Turk said it was one
or two days to Haya (Haxa). The general sent Captain Diego Lopez with ten
companions lightly equipped & a guide to go at full speed toward the
sunrise for two days and discover Haxa, and then return to meet the army, which
set out in the same direction next day. They came across so many animals that
those who were on the advance guard killed a large number of bulls. As these
fled they trampled one another in their haste until they came to a ravine. So
many of the animals fell into this that they filled it up, and the rest went on
across the top of them. The men who were chasing them on horseback fell in
among the animals without noticing where they were going. Three of the horses
that fell in among the cows, all saddled and bridled, were lost sight of
completely. 99.

As it seemed to the general that Diego Lopez ought to be
on his way back, he sent six of his companions to follow up the banks of the
little river, and as many more down the banks, to look for traces of the horses
at the trails to and from the river. It was impossible to find tracks in this
country, because the grass straightened up again as soon as it was trodden
down. They were found by some Indians from the army who had gone to look for
fruit. These got track of them a good league off, and soon came up with them.
They followed the river down to the camp, and told the general that in the
twenty leagues they had been over they had seen nothing but cows and the sky.
There was another native of Quivira with the army, a tattooed Indian named
Ysopete. This Indian had always declared that the Turk was lying, and on
account of this the army paid no attention to him, and even now, although he
said that the Querechos had consulted with him, Ysopete was not believed. 100.

The general sent Don Rodrigo Maldonado, with his
company, forward from here. He traveled four days and reached a large ravine
like those of Colima, in the bottom of which he found a large settlement of
people. Cabeza de Vaca and Dorantes had passed through this place, so that they
presented Don Rodrigo with a pile of tanned skins and other things, and a tent
as big as a house, which he directed them to keep until the army came up. He
sent some of his companions to guide the army to that place, so that they
should not get lost, although he had been making piles of stones and cow dung
for the army to follow. This was the way in which the army was guided by the
advance guard. 101.

When the general came up with the army and saw the great
quantity of skins, he thought he would divide them among the men, & placed
guards so that they could look at them. But when the men arrived and saw that
the general was sending some of his companions with orders for the guards to
give them some of the skins, & that these were to select the best, they
were angry because they were not going to be divided evenly, & made a rush,
& in less than a quarter of an hour nothing was left but the empty ground.

The natives who happened to see this also took a hand in
it. The women and some others were left crying, because they thought that the
strangers were not going to take anything, but would bless them as Cabeza de
Vaca and Dorantes had done when they passed through here. They found an Indian
girl here who was as white as a Castilian lady, except that she had her chin
tattooed like a Moorish woman. In general they all tattoo themselves in this
way here, and they decorate their eyes. 103.

Chapter XX.

Of how great stones fell in the camp; & how they
discovered a ravine, where the army divided into two parts.

Whilethe army was resting in
this ravine, as we have related, a tempest came up one afternoon with a very
high wind & hail, & in a very short space of time a great quantity of
hailstones, as big as bowls, or bigger, fell as thick as raindrops, so that in
places they covered the ground two or three spans or more deep. And one hit the
horse – or should I say, there was not a horse that did not break away,
except two or three which the negroes protected by holding large sea nets over
them, with the helmets and shields which all the rest wore; and some of them
dashed up on to the sides of the ravine so that they got them down with great
difficulty. If this had struck them while they were upon the plain, the army
would have been in great danger of being left without its horses, as there were
many which they were not able to cover. The hail broke many tents, and battered
many helmets, and wounded many of the horses, and broke all the crockery of the
army, and the gourds, which was no small loss, because they do not have any
crockery in this region. They do not make gourds, nor sow corn, nor eat bread,
but instead raw meat – or only half cooked – and fruit. 105.

From here the general sent out to explore the country,
and they found another settlement four days from there. The country was well
inhabited, and they had plenty of kidney beans and prunes like those of
Castile, and tall vineyards. These village settlements extended for three days.
This was called Cona. Some Teyas, as these people are called, went with the
army from here and traveled as far as the end of the other settlements with
their packs of dogs & women & children, and then they gave them guides
to proceed to a large ravine where the army was. They did not let these guides
speak with the Turk and did not receive the same statements from these as they
had from the others. These said that Quivira was toward the north, and that we
would not find any good road thither. After this they began to believe Ysopete.
The ravine which the army had now reached was a league wide from one side to
the other, with a little bit of a river at the bottom, and there were many
groves of mulberry trees near it, and rosebushes with the same sort of fruit
that they have in France. They made verjuice from the unripe grapes at this
ravine, although there were ripe ones. There were walnuts and the same kind of
fowls as in New Spain, and large quantities of prunes like those of Castile.
During this journey a Teya was seen to shoot a bull right through both
shoulders with an arrow, which would be a good shot for a musket. These people
are very intelligent; the women are well made and modest. They cover their
whole body. They wear shoes and buskins made of tanned skin. The women wear
cloaks over their small under petticoats, with sleeves gathered up at the
shoulders, all of skin, and some wore something like little sanbenitos with a
fringe, which reached half-way down the thigh over the petticoat. 106.

The army rested several days in this ravine and explored
the country. Up to this point they had made thirty-seven days’ marches,
traveling six or seven leagues a day. It had been the duty of one man to
measure and count his steps. They found that it was 250 leagues to the
settlements. When the general Francisco Vazquez realized this, and saw that
they had been deceived by the Turk heretofore, & as the provisions were
giving out and there was no country around here where they could procure more,
he called the captains and ensigns together to decide on what they thought
ought to be done. They all agreed that the general should go in search of
Quivira with thirty horsemen and half a dozen foot-soldiers, and that Don
Tristan de Arellano should go back to Tiguex with all the army. When the men in
the army learned of this decision, they begged their general not to leave them
to conduct the further search, but declared that they all wanted to die with
him and did not want to go back. This did not do any good, although the general
agreed to send messengers to them within eight days saying whether it was best
for them to follow him or not, and with this he set off with the guides he had
and with Ysopete. The Turk was taken along in chains. 107.

Chapter XXI.

Of how the army returned to Tiguex and the general
reached Quivira.

Thegeneral started from the
ravine with the guides that the Teyas had given him. He appointed the alderman
Diego Lopez his army-master, and took with him the men who seemed to him to be
most efficient, and the best horses. The army still had some hope that the
general would send for them, and sent two horsemen, lightly equipped and riding
post, to repeat their petition. The general arrived – I mean, the guides
ran away during the first few days and Diego Lopez had to return to the army
for guides, bringing orders for the army to return to Tiguex to find food and
wait there for the general. The Teyas, as before, willingly furnished him with
new guides. The army waited for its messengers and spent a fortnight here,
preparing jerked beef to take with them. It was estimated that during this
fortnight they killed 500 bulls. The number of these that were there without
any cows was something incredible. Many fellows were lost at this time who went
out hunting and did not get back to the army for two or three days, wandering
about the country as if they were crazy, in one direction or another, not
knowing how to get back where they started from, although this ravine extended
in either direction so that they could find it. Every night they took account
of who was missing, fired guns and blew trumpets and beat drums and built great
fires, but yet some of them went off so far and wandered about so much that all
this did not give them any help, although it helped others. The only way was to
go back where they had killed an animal and start from there in one direction
and another until they struck the ravine or fell in with somebody who could put
them on the right road. It is worth noting that the country there is so level
that at midday, after one had wandered about in one direction and another in
pursuit of game, the only thing to do is to stay near the game quietly until
sunset, so as to see where it goes down, and even then they have to be men who
are practiced to do it. Those who are not, had to trust themselves to others.

The general followed his guides until he reached
Quivira, which took 49 days’ marching, on account of the great detour they had
made toward Florida. He was received peacefully on account of the guides whom
he had. They asked the Turk why he had lied and had guided them so far out of
their way. He said that his country was in that direction and that, besides
this, the people at Cicuye had asked him to lead them off on to the plains and
lose them, so that the horses would die when their provisions gave out, and
they would be so weak if they ever returned that they would be killed without
any trouble, and thus they could take revenge for what had been done to them.
This was the reason why he had led them astray, supposing that they did not
know how to hunt or to live without corn, while as for the gold, he did not
know where there was any of it. He said this like one who had given up hope and
who found that he was being persecuted, since they had begun to believe
Ysopete, who had guided them better than he had, & fearing lest those who
were there might give some advice by which some harm would come to him. They
garroted him, which pleased Ysopete very much, because he had always said that
Ysopete was a rascal and that he did not know what he was talking about &
had always hindered his talking with anybody. Neither gold nor silver nor any
trace of either was found among these people. Their lord wore a copper plate on
his neck and prized it highly. 110.

The messengers whom the army had sent to the general
returned, as I said, and then, as they brought no news except what the alderman
had delivered, the army left the ravine and returned to the Teyas, where they
took guides who led them back by a more direct road. They readily furnished
these, because these people are always roaming over this country in pursuit of
the animals and so know it thoroughly. They keep their road in this way: In the
morning they notice where the sun rises and observe the direction they are
going to take, and then shoot an arrow in this direction. Before reaching this
they shoot another over it, and in this way they go all day toward the water
where they are to end the day. In this way they covered in 25 days what had
taken them 37 days going, besides stopping to hunt cows on the way. They found
many salt lakes on this road, and there was a great quantity of salt. There
were thick pieces of it on top of the water bigger than tables, as thick as
four or five fingers. Two or three spans down under water there was salt which
tasted better than that in the floating pieces, because this was rather bitter.
It was crystalline. All over these plains there were large numbers of animals
like squirrels and a great number of their holes. On its return the army
reached the Cicuye river more than 30 leagues below there – I mean below
the bridge they had made when they crossed it, and they followed it up to that
place. In general, its banks are covered with a sort of rose bushes, the fruit
of which tastes like muscatel grapes. They grow on little twigs about as high
up as a man. It has the parsley leaf. There were unripe grapes and currants [?]
and wild marjoram. The guides said this river joined that of Tiguex more than
20 days from here, and that its course turned toward the east. It is believed
that it flows into the mighty river of the Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo), which
the men with Don Hernando de Soto discovered in Florida. A tattooed Indian
woman ran away from Juan de Saldivar and hid in the ravines about this time,
because she recognized the country of Tiguex where she had been a slave. She
fell into the hands of some Spaniards who had entered the country from Florida
to explore it in this direction. After I got back to New Spain I heard them say
that the Indian told them that she had run away from other men like them nine
days, and that she gave the names of some captains; from which we ought to
believe that we were not far from that region they discovered, although they
said they were more than 200 leagues inland. I believe the land at that point
is more than 600 leagues across from sea to sea. As I said, the army followed
the river up as far as Cicuye, which it found ready for war and unwilling to
make any advances toward peace or to give any food to the army. From there we
went on to Tiguex where several villages had been reinhabited, but the people
were afraid and left them again. 111.

Chapter XXII.

Of how the general returned from Quivira and of other
expeditions toward the north.

AfterDon Tristan de Arellano
reached Tiguex, about the middle of July, in the year 1542, he had provisions
collected for the coming winter. Captain Francisco de Barrionuevo was sent up
the river toward the north with several men. He saw two provinces, one of which
was called Hemes and had seven villages, and the other Yuqueyunque. The
inhabitants of Hemes came out peaceably and furnished provisions. At
Yuqueyunque the whole nation left two very fine villages which they had on
either side of the river entirely vacant, and went into the mountains, where
they had four very strong villages in a rough country, where it was impossible
for horses to go. In the two villages there was a great deal of food & some
very beautiful glazed earthenware with many figures & different shapes.
Here they also found many bowls full of a carefully selected shining metal with
which they glazed the earthenware. This shows that mines of silver would be
found in that country if they should hunt for them. 113.

There was a large and powerful river, I mean village,
which was called Braba, 20 leagues farther up the river, which our men called
Valladolid. The river flowed through the middle of it. The natives crossed it
by wooden bridges, made of very long, large, squared pines. At this village
they saw the largest & finest hot rooms or estufas that there were in the
entire country, for they had a dozen pillars, each one of which was twice as
large around as one could reach and twice as tall as a man. Hernando de
Alvarado visited this village when he discovered Cicuye. The country is very
high and very cold. The river is deep and very swift, without any ford. Captain
Barrionuevo returned from here, leaving the province at peace. 114.

Another captain went down the river in search of the
settlements which the people at Tutahaco had said were several days distant
from there. This captain went down 80 leagues and found four large villages
which he left at peace. He proceeded until he found that the river sank into
the earth, like the Guadiana in Estremadura. He did not go on to where the
Indians said that it came out much larger, because his commission did not
extend for more than 80 leagues march. After this captain got back, as the time
had arrived which the captain had set for his return from Quivira, and as he
had not come back, Don Tristan selected 40 companions and, leaving the army to
Francisco de Barrionuevo, he started with them in search of the general. When
he reached Cicuye the people came out of the village to fight, which detained
him there four days, while he punished them, which he did by firing some
volleys into the village. These killed several men, so that they did not come
out against the army, since two of their principal men had been killed on the
first day. Just then word was brought that the general was coming, and so Don
Tristan had to stay there on this account also, to keep the road open.
Everybody welcomed the general on his arrival, with great joy. The Indian Xabe,
who was the young fellow who had been given to the general at Cicuye when he
started off in search of Quivira, was with Don Tristan de Arellano & when
he learned that the general was coming he asked as if he was greatly pleased,
and said, “Now, when the general comes, you will see that there is gold and
silver in Quivira, although not so much as the Turk said.” When the general
arrived, and Xabe saw that they had not found anything, he was sad and silent,
and kept declaring that there was some. He made many believe that it was so,
because the general had not dared to enter into the country on account of its
being thickly settled and his force not very strong, and that he had returned
to lead his army there after the rains, because it had begun to rain there
already, as it was early in August when he left. It took him forty days to
return, traveling lightly equipped. The Turk had said when they left Tiguex
that they ought not load the horses with too much provisions, which would tire
them so that they could not afterward carry the gold and silver, from which it
is very evident that he was deceiving them. 115.

The general reached Cicuye with his force and at once
set off for Tiguex, leaving the village more quiet, for they had met him
peaceably and had talked with him. When he reached Tiguex, he made his plans to
pass the winter there, so as to return with the whole army, because it was said
that he brought information regarding large settlements and very large rivers,
and that the country was very much like that of Spain in the fruits and
vegetation and seasons. They were not ready to believe that there was no gold
there, but instead had suspicions that there was some farther back in the
country, because, although this was denied, they knew what the thing was and
had a name for it among themselves – acochis. With this we end this first
part, and now we will give an account of the provinces. 116.

Part II

Which treats of the High Villages and Provinces and of
their habits and customs, as collected by Pedro de Castaneda, native of the
City of Najara.


IT does not seem to me that the reader will be
satisfied with having seen and understood what I have already related about the
expedition, although that has made it easy to see the difference between the
report which told about vast treasures, and the places where nothing like this
was either found or known. It is to be noted that in place of settlements great
deserts were found, and instead of populous cities villages of 200 inhabitants
and only 800 or 1,000 people in the largest. I do not know whether this will
furnish grounds for pondering and considering the uncertainty of this life. To
please these, I wish to give a detailed account of all the inhabited region
seen & discovered by this expedition, and some of their ceremonies and
habits, in accordance with what we came to know about them, and the limits
within which each province falls, so that hereafter it may be possible to
understand in what direction Florida lies and in what direction Greater India;
and this land of New Spain is part of the mainland with Peru, and with Greater
India or China as well, there not being any strait between to separate them. On
the other hand, the country is so wide that there is room for these vast
deserts which lie between the two seas, for the coast of the North Sea beyond
Florida stretches toward the Bacallaos and then turns toward Norway, while that
of the South Sea turns toward the west, making another bend down toward the
south almost like a bow and stretches away toward India, leaving room for the
lands that border on the mountains on both sides to stretch out in such a way
as to have between them these great plains which are full of cattle and many
other animals of different sorts, since they are not inhabited, as I will
relate farther on. There is every sort of game and fowl there, but no snakes,
for they are free from these. I will leave the account of the return of the
army to New Spain until I have shown what slight occasion there was for this.
We will begin our account with the city of Culiacan, & point out the
differences between the one country and the other, on account of which one
ought to be settled by Spaniards and the other not. It should be the reverse,
however, with Christians, since there are intelligent men in one, and in the
other wild animals and worse than beasts.118.

Chapter I.

Of the province of Culiacan and of its habits and

Culicanis the last place in
the New Kingdom of Galicia, and was the first settlement made by Nuno de Guzman
when he conquered this kingdom. It is 210 leagues west of Mexico. In this
province there are three chief languages, besides other related dialects. The
first is that of the Tahues, who are the best & most intelligent race. They
are now the most settled and have received the most light from the faith. They
worship idols & make presents to the devil of their goods and riches,
consisting of cloth & turquoises. They do not eat human flesh nor sacrifice
it. They are accustomed to keep very large snakes, which they venerate. Among
them there are men dressed like women who marry other men and serve as their
wives. At a great festival they consecrate the women who wish to live
unmarried, with much singing and dancing, at which all the chiefs of the
locality gather and dance naked, and after all have danced with her they put
her in a hut that has been decorated for this event and the chiefs adorn her
with clothes and bracelets of fine turquoises, and then the chiefs go in one by
one to lie with her, and all the others who wish, follow them. From this time
on these women cannot refuse anyone who pays them a certain amount agreed on
for this. Even if they take husbands, this does not exempt them from obliging
anyone who pays them. The greatest festivals are on market days. The custom is
for the husbands to buy the women whom they marry, of their fathers and
relatives, at a high price, and then to take them to a chief, who is considered
to be a priest, to deflower them and see if she is a virgin; and if she is not,
they have to return the whole price, and he can keep her for his wife or not,
or let her be consecrated, as he chooses. At these times they all get drunk.

The second language is that of the Pacaxes, the people
who live in the country between the plains and the mountains. These people are
more barbarous. Some of them who live near the mountains eat human flesh. They
are great sodomites, & have many wives, even when these are sisters. They
worship painted and sculptured stones, and are much given to witchcraft and
sorcery. 121.

The third language is that of the Acaxes, who are in
possession of a large part of the hilly country and all of the mountains. They
go hunting for men just as they hunt animals. They all eat human flesh, and he
who has the most human bones and skulls hung up around his house is most feared
and respected. They live in settlements and in very rough country, avoiding the
plains. In passing from one settlement to another, there is always a ravine in
the way which they can not cross, although they can talk together across it. At
the slightest call 500 men collect, and on any pretext kill and eat one
another. Thus it has been very hard to subdue these people, on account of the
roughness of the country, which is very great. 122.

Many rich silver mines have been found in this country.
They do not run deep, but soon give out. The gulf of the sea begins on the
coast of this province, entering the land 250 leagues toward the north and
ending at the mouth of the Firebrand (Tizon) River. This country forms its
eastern limit, and California the western. From what I have been told by men
who had navigated it, it is 30 leagues across from point to point, because they
lose sight of this country when they see the other. They say the gulf is over
150 leagues broad (or deep), from shore to shore. The coast makes a turn toward
the south at the Firebrand River, bending down to California, which turns
toward the west, forming that peninsula which was formerly held to be an
island, because it was a low sandy country. It is inhabited by brutish,
bestial, naked people who eat their own offal. The men and women couple like
animals, the female openly getting down on all fours. 123.

Chapter II.

Of the province of Petlatlan and all the inhabited
country as far as Chichilticalli.

Petlatlanis a settlement of
houses covered with a sort of mats made of petates. These are collected into
villages, extending along a river from the mountains to the sea. The people are
of the same race and habits as the Culuacanian Tahues. There is much sodomy
among them. In the mountain district there is a large population & more
settlements. These people have a somewhat different language from the Tahues,
although they understand each other. It is called Petlatlan because the houses
are made of petates or palm-leaf mats. Houses of this sort are found for more
than 240 leagues in this region, to the beginning of the Cibola wilderness. The
nature of the country changes here very greatly, because from this point on
there are no trees except the pine, nor are there any fruits except a few
tunas, mesquites, and pitahayas. 125.

Petlatlan is 20 leagues from Culiacan, and it is 130
leagues from here to the valley of Senora. There are many rivers between the
two, with settlements of the same sort of people-for example, Sinaloa, Boyomo,
Teocomo, Yaquimi, and other smaller ones. There is also the Corazones or
Hearts, which is in our possession, down the valley of Senora. 126.

Senora is a river and valley thickly settled by
able-bodied people. The women wear petticoats of tanned deerskin, and little
sanbenitos reaching half way down the body. The chiefs of the villages go up on
some little heights they have made for this purpose, like public criers, and
there make proclamations for the space of an hour, regulating those things they
have to attend to. They have some little huts for shrines, all over the outside
of which they stick many arrows, like a hedgehog. They do this when they are
eager for war. All about this province toward the mountains there is a large
population in separate little provinces containing ten or twelve villages.
Seven or eight of them, of which I know the names, are Comupatrico, Mochilagua,
Arispa, and the Little Valley. There are others which we did not see. 127.

It is 40 leagues from Senora to the valley of Suya. The
town of Saint Jerome (San Hieronimo) was established in this valley, where
there was a rebellion later, and part of the people who had settled there were
killed, as will be seen in the third part. There are many villages in the
neighborhood of this valley. The people are the same as those in Senora and
have the same dress and language, habits, and customs, like all the rest as far
as the desert of Chichilticalli. The women paint their chins and eyes like the
Moorish women of Barbary. They are great sodomites. They drink wine made of the
pitahaya, which is the fruit of a great thistle which opens like the
pomegranate. The wine makes them stupid. They make a great quantity of
preserves from the tuna; they preserve it in a large amount of its sap without
other honey. They make bread of the mesquite, like cheese, which keeps good for
a whole year. There are native melons in this country so large that a person
can carry only one of them. They cut these into slices and dry them in the sun.
They are good to eat, and taste like figs, & are better than dried meat;
they are very good and sweet, keeping for a whole year when prepared in this
way. 128.

In this country there were also tame eagles, which the
chiefs esteemed to be something fine. No fowls of any sort were seen in any of
these villages except in this valley of Suya, where fowls like those of Castile
were found. Nobody could find out how they came to be so far inland, the people
being all at war with one another. Between Suya and Chichilticalli there are
many sheep & mountain goats with very large bodies and horns. Some
Spaniards declare that they have seen flocks of more than a hundred together,
which ran so fast that they disappeared very quickly. 129.

At Chichilticalli the country changes its character
again and the spiky vegetation ceases. The reason is that the gulf reaches as
far up as this place, and the mountain chain changes its direction at the same
time that the coast does. Here they had to cross and pass through the mountains
in order to get into the level country. 130.

Chapter III.

Of Chichilticalli & the desert, of Cibola, its
customs and habits, and of other things.

Chichilticalli is so called because the friars found a
house at this place which was formerly inhabited by people who separated from
Cibola. It was made of colored or reddish earth. The house was large and
appeared to have been a fortress. It must have been destroyed by the people of
the district, who are the most barbarous people that have yet been seen. They
live in separate cabins and not in settlements. They live by hunting. The rest
of the country is all wilderness, covered with pine forests. There are great
quantities of the pine nuts. The pines are two or three times as high as a man
before they send out branches. There is a sort of oak with sweet acorns, of
which they make cakes like sugar plums with dried coriander seeds. It is very
sweet, like sugar. Watercress grows in many springs, and there are rosebushes,
and penny-royal, and wild marjoram. There are barbels and picones, like those
of Spain, in the river of this wilderness. Gray lions and leopards were seen.
The country rises continually from the beginning of the wilderness until Cibola
is reached, which is 85 leagues, going north. From Culiacan to the edge of the
wilderness the route had kept the north on the left hand.132.

Cibola is seven villages. The largest is called Macaque.
The houses are ordinarily three or four stories high, but in Macaque there are
houses with four and seven stories. These people are very intelligent. They
cover their privy parts and all the immodest parts with cloths made like a sort
of table napkin, with fringed edges & a tassel at each corner, which they
tie over the hips. They wear long robes of feathers and of the skins of hares
and cotton blankets. The women wear blankets, which they tie or knot over the
left shoulder leaving the right arm out. These serve to cover the body. They
wear a neat well-shaped outer garment of skin. They gather their hair over the
two ears, making a frame which looks like an old-fashioned headdress. This
country is in a valley between mountains in the form of isolated cliffs. They
cultivate the corn, which does not grow very high, in patches. There are three
or four large fat ears having each eight hundred grains on every stalk growing
upward from the ground, something not seen before in these parts. There are
large numbers of bears in this province, and lions, wild-cats, deer, and otter.
There are very fine turquoises, although not so many as was reported. They
collect the pine nuts each year, and store them up in advance. A man does not
have more than one wife. There are estufas or hot rooms in the villages, which
are the courtyards or places where they gather for consultation. They do not
have chiefs as in New Spain, but are ruled by a council of the oldest men. They
have priests who preach to them, whom they call “papas.” These are the elders.
They go up on the highest roof of the village and preach to the village from
there, like public criers, in the morning while the sun is rising, the whole
village being silent & sitting in the galleries to listen. They tell them
how they are to live, and I believe that they give certain commandments for
them to keep, for there is no drunkenness among them nor sodomy nor sacrifices,
neither do they eat human flesh nor steal, but they are usually at work. The
estufas belong to the whole village. It is a sacrilege for the women to go into
the estufas to sleep. They make the cross as a sign of peace. They burn their
dead, and throw the implements used in their work into the fire with the
bodies. 133.

It is 20 leagues to Tusayan, going northwest. This is a
province with seven villages, of the same sort, dress, habits, and ceremonies
as at Cibola. There may be as many as 3,000 or 4,000 men in the fourteen
villages of these two provinces. It is 40 leagues or more to Tiguex, the road
trending toward the north. The rock of Acuco, which we described in the first
part, is between these. 134.

Chapter IV.

Of how they live at Tiguex, & of the province of
Tiguex and its neighborhood.

Tiguexis a province with
twelve villages on the banks of a large, swift river; some villages on one side
and some on the other. It is a spacious valley two leagues wide, & a very
high, rough, snow-covered mountain chain lies east of it. There are seven
villages in the ridges at the foot of this-four on the plain and three situated
on the skirts of the mountain. 136.

There are seven villages seven leagues to the north
[i.e. of Tiguex ] at Quirix, and the seven villages of the province of Hemes
are 40 leagues northeast. It is four leagues north or east to Acha. Tutahaco, a
province with eight villages, is toward the southeast. In general, these
villages all have the same habits & customs, although some have some things
in particular which the others have not. They are governed by the opinions of
the elders. They all work together to build the villages, the women being
engaged in making the mixture and the walls, while the men bring the wood and
put it in place. They have no lime, but they make a mixture of ashes, coals,
and dirt which is almost as good as mortar, for when the house is to have four
stories, they do not make the walls more than half a yard thick. They gather a
great pile of twigs of thyme and sedge grass and set it afire, and when it is
half coals and ashes they throw a quantity of dirt and water on it and mix it
all together. They make round balls of this, which they use instead of stones
after they are dry, fixing them with the same mixture, which comes to be like a
stiff clay. Before they are married the young men serve the whole village in
general, and fetch the wood that is needed for use, putting it in a pile in the
courtyard of the villages, from which the women take it to carry to their
houses. 137.

The young men live in the estufas, which are in the
yards of the village. They are underground, square or round, with pine pillars.
Some were seen with twelve pillars and with four in the center as large as two
men could stretch around. They usually had three or four pillars. The floor was
made of large, smooth stones, like the baths which they have in Europe. They
have a hearth made like the binnacle or compass box of a ship, in which they
burn a handful of thyme at a time to keep up the heat, and they can stay in
there just as in a bath. The top was on a level with the ground. Some that were
seen were large enough for a game of ball. When any man wishes to marry, it has
to be arranged by those who govern. The man has to spin and weave a blanket
& place it before the woman, who covers herself with it and becomes his
wife. The houses belong to the women, the estufas to the men. If a man
repudiates his woman, he has to go to the estufa. It is forbidden for women to
sleep in the estufas, or to enter these for any purpose except to give their
husbands or sons something to eat. The men spin & weave. The women bring up
the children and prepare the food. The country is so fertile that they do not
have to break up the ground the year round, but only have to sow the seed,
which is presently covered by the fall of snow, and the ears come up under the
snow. In one year they gather enough for seven. A very large number of cranes
& wild geese and crows & starlings live on what is sown, and for all
this, when they come to sow for another year, the fields are covered with corn
which they have not been able to finish gathering. There are a great many
native fowl in these provinces, and cocks with great hanging chins. When dead,
these keep for sixty days, and longer in winter, without losing their feathers
or opening, and without any bad smell, and the same is true of dead men. The
villages are free from nuisances, because they go outside to excrete, and they
pass their water into clay vessels, which they empty at a distance from the
village. 138.

They keep the separate houses where they prepare the
food for eating and where they grind the meal, very clean. This is a separate
room or closet, where they have a trough with three stones fixed in stiff clay.
Three women go in here, each one having a stone, with which one of them breaks
the corn, the next grinds it, and the third grinds it again. They take off
their shoes, do up their hair, shake their clothes, & cover their heads
before they enter the door. A man sits at the door playing on a fife while they
grind, moving the stones to the music and singing together. They grind a large
quantity at one time, because they make all their bread of meal soaked in warm
water, like wafers. They gather a great quantity of brushwood and dry it to use
for cooking all through the year. There are no fruits good to eat in the
country, except the pine nuts. They have their preachers. Sodomy is not found
among them. They do not eat human flesh nor make sacrifices of it. The people
are not cruel, for they had Francisco de Ovando in Tiguex about forty days,
after he was dead, and when the village was captured, he was found among their
dead, whole and without any other wound except the one which killed him, white
as snow, without any bad smell. I found out several things about them from one
of our Indians, who had been a captive among them for a whole year. I asked him
especially for the reason why the young women in that province went entirely
naked, however cold it might be, and he told me that the virgins had to go
around this way until they took a husband, and that they covered themselves
after they had known man. The men here wear little shirts of tanned deerskin
& their long robes over this. In all these provinces they have earthenware
glazed with antimony and jars of extraordinary labor and workmanship, which
were worth seeing. 139.

Chapter V.

Of Cicuye and the villages in its neighborhood, and of
how some people came to conquer this country.

Wehave already said that the
people of Tiguex and of all the provinces on the banks of that river were all
alike, having the same ways of living and the same customs. It will not be
necessary to say anything particular about them. I wish merely to give an
account of Cicuye & some depopulated villages which the army saw on the
direct road which it followed thither, and of others that were across the snowy
mountains near Tiguex, which also lay in that region above the river. 141.

Cicuye is a village of nearly 500 warriors, who are
feated throughout that country. It is square, situated on a rock, with a large
court or yard in the middle, containing the estufas. The houses are all alike,
four stories high. One can go over the top of the whole village without there
being a street to hinder. There are corridors going all around it at the first
two stories, by which one can go around the whole village. These are like
outside balconies, and they are able to protect themselves under these. The
houses do not have doors below, but they use ladders, which can be lifted up
like a drawbridge, and so go up to the corridors which are on the inside of the
village. As the doors of the houses open on the corridor of that story, the
corridor serves as a street. The houses that open on the plain are right back
of those that open on the court, and in time of war they go through those
behind them. The village is inclosed by a low wall of stone. There is a spring
of water inside, which they are able to divert. The people of this village
boast that no one has been able to conquer them & that they conquer
whatever villages they wish. The people & their customs are like those of
the other villages. Their virgins also go nude until they take husbands,
because they say that if they do anything wrong then it will be seen, & so
they do not do it. They do not need to be ashamed because they go around as
they were born. 142.

There is a village, small and strong, between Cicuye and
the province of Quirix, which the Spaniards named Ximena, and another village
almost deserted, only one part of which is inhabited. This was a large village,
and judging from its condition and newness it appeared to have been destroyed.
They called this the village of the granaries or silos, because large
underground cellars were found here stored with corn. There was another large
village farther on, entirely destroyed and pulled down, in the yards of which
there were many stone balls, as big as twelve-quart bowls, which seemed to have
been thrown by engines or catapults, which had destroyed the village. All that
I was able to find out about them was that, sixteen years before, some people
called Teyas, had come to this country in great numbers and had destroyed these
villages. They had besieged Cicuye but had not been able to capture it, because
it was strong, and when they left the region, they had made peace with the
whole country. It seems as if they must have been a powerful people, and that
they must have had engines to knock down the villages. The only thing they
could tell about the direction these people came from was by pointing toward
the north. They usually call these people Teyas or brave men, just as the
Mexicans say chichimecas or braves, for the Teyas whom the army saw were brave.
These knew the people in the settlements, and were friendly with them, and they
(the Teyas of the plains) went there to spend the winter under the wings of the
settlements. The inhabitants do not dare to let them come inside, because they
can not trust them. Although they are received as friends, and trade with them,
they do not stay in the villages over night, but outside under the wings. The
villages are guarded by sentinels with trumpets, who call to one another just
as in the fortresses of Spain. There are seven other villages along this route,
toward the snowy mountains, one of which has been half destroyed by the people
already referred to. These were under the rule of Cicuye. Cicuye is in a little
valley between mountain chains and mountains covered with large pine forests.
There is a little stream which contains very good trout and otters, and there
are very large bears and good falcons hereabouts. 143.

Chapter VI.

Which gives the number of villages which were seen in
the country of the terraced houses, & their population.

BeforeI proceed to speak of
the plains, with the cows and settlements and tribes there, it seems to me that
it will be well for the reader to know how large the settlements were, where
the houses with stories, gathered into villages, were seen, and how great an
extent of country they occupied. As I say, Cibola is the first:

Cibola, seven villages.
Tusayan, seven villages. The rock of Acuco, one. Tiguex, twelve villages. These
villages were below the river. Quirix, seven villages. In the snowy mountains,
seven villages. Ximena, three villages. Cicuye, one village. Hemes, seven
villages. Aguas Calientes, or Boiling Springs, three villages. Yuqueyunque, in
the mountains, six villages. Valladolid, called Braba, one village.

one village. In all, there are sixty-six villages. Tiguex appears to be in the
center of the villages. Valladolid is the farthest up the river toward the
northeast. The four villages down the river are toward the southeast, because
the river turns toward the east. It is 130 leagues-10 more or less-from the
farthest point that was seen down the river to the farthest point up the river,
and all the settlements are within this region. Including those at a distance,
there are sixty-six villages in all, as I have said, and in all of them there
may be some 20,000 men, which may be taken to be a fair estimate of the
population of the villages. There are no houses or other buildings between one
village and another, but where we went it is entirely uninhabited. These
people, since they are few, and their manners, government, and habits are so
different from all the nations that have been seen and discovered in these
western regions, must come from that part of Greater India, the coast of which
lies to the west of this country, for they could have come down the river,
settling in what seemed to them the best place. As they multiplied, they kept
on making settlements until they lost the river when it buried itself
underground, its course being in the direction of Florida. It comes down from
the northeast, where they could certainly have found signs of villages. He
preferred, however, to follow the reports of the Turk, but it would have been
better to cross the mountains where this river rises. I believe they would have
found traces of riches and would have reached the lands from which these people
started, which from its location is on the edge of Greater India, although the
region is neither known nor understood, because from the trend of the coast it
appears that the land between Norway and China is very far up. The country from
sea to sea is very wide, judging from the location of both coasts, as well as
from what Captain Villalobos discovered when he went in search of China by the
sea to the west, and from what has been discovered on the North Sea concerning
the trend of the coast of Florida toward the Bacallaos, up toward Norway. 145.

To return then to the proposition with which I began, I
say that the settlements and people already named were all that were seen in a
region 70 leagues wide and 130 long, in the settled country along the river
Tiguex . In New Spain there are not one but many establishments, containing a
larger number of people. Silver metals were found in many of their villages,
which they use for glazing and painting their earthenware. 146.

Chapter VII.

Which treats of the plains that were crossed, of the
cows, and of the people who inhabit them.

We havespoken of the
settlements of high houses which are situated in what seems to be the most
level and open part of the mountains, since it is 150 leagues across before
entering the level country between the two mountain chains which I said were
near the North Sea and the South Sea, which might better be called the Western
Sea along this coast. This mountain series is the one which is near the South
Sea. In order to show that the settlements are in the middle of the mountains,
I will state that it is 80 leagues from Chichilticalli, where we began to cross
this country, to Cibola; from Cibola, which is the first village, to Cicuye,
which is the last on the way across, is 70 leagues; it is 30 leagues from
Cicuye to where the plains begin. It may be we went across in an indirect or
roundabout way, which would make it seem as if there was more country than if
it had been crossed in a direct line, and it may be more difficult and rougher.
This can not be known certainly, because the mountains change their direction
above the bay at the mouth of the Firebrand (Tizon) River. 148.

Now we will speak of the plains. The country is spacious
and level, and is more than 400 leagues wide in the part between the two
mountain ranges-one, that which Francisco Vazquez de Coronado crossed, and the
other that which the force under Don Fernando de Soto crossed, near the North
Sea, entering the country from Florida. No settlements were seen anywhere on
these plains. 149.

In traversing 250 leagues, the other mountain range was
not seen, nor a hill nor a hillock which was three times as high as a man.
Several lakes were found at intervals; they were round as plates, a stone’s
throw or more across, some fresh and some salt. The grass grows tall near these
lakes; away from them it is very short, a span or less. The country is like a
bowl, so that when a man sits down, the horizon surrounds him all around at the
distance of a musket shot. There are no groves of trees except at the rivers,
which flow at the bottom of some ravines where the trees grow so thick that
they were not noticed until one was right on the edge of them. They are of dead
earth. There are paths down into these, made by the cows when they go to the
water, which is essential throughout these plains. 150.

As I have related in the first part, people follow the
cows, hunting them and tanning the skins to take to the settlements in the
winter to sell, since they go there to pass the winter, each company going to
those which are nearest, some to the settlements at Cicuye, others toward
Quivira, and others to the settlements which are situated in the direction of
Florida. These people are called Querechos and Teyas. They described some large
settlements, and judging from what was seen of these people and from the
accounts they gave of other places, there are a good many more of these people
than there are of those at the settlements. They have better figures, are
better warriors, and are more feared. They travel like the Arabs, with their
tents and troops of dogs loaded with poles and having Moorish pack saddles with
girths. When the load gets disarranged, the dogs howl, calling some one to fix
them right. These people eat raw flesh and drink blood. They do not eat human
flesh. They are a kind people and not cruel. They are faithful friends. They
are able to make themselves very well understood by means of signs. They dry
the flesh in the sun, cutting it thin like a leaf, and when dry they grind it
like meal to keep it and make a sort of sea soup of it to eat. A handful thrown
into a pot swells up so as to increase very much. They season it with fat,
which they always try to secure when they kill a cow. They empty a large gut
and fill it with blood, and carry this around the neck to drink when they are
thirsty. When they open the belly of a cow, they squeeze out the chewed grass
and drink the juice that remains behind, because they say that this contains
the essence of the stomach. They cut the hide open at the back and pull it off
at the joints, using a flint as large as a finger, tied in a little stick, with
as much ease as if working with a good iron tool. They give it an edge with
their own teeth. The quickness with which they do this is something worth
seeing and noting. 151.

There are very great numbers of wolves on these plains,
which go around with the cows. They have white skins. The deer are pied with
white. Their skin is loose, so that when they are killed it can be pulled off
with the hand while warm, coming off like pigskin. The rabbits, which are very
numerous, are so foolish that those on horseback killed them with their lances.
This is when they are mounted among the cows. They fly from a person on foot.

Chapter VIII.

Of Quivira, of where it is and some information about

Quivirais to the west of those
ravines, in the midst of the country, somewhat nearer the mountains toward the
sea, for the country is level as far as Quivira, and there they began to see
some mountain chains. The country is well settled. Judging from what was seen
on the borders of it, this country is very similar to that of Spain in the
varieties of vegetation and fruits. There are plums like those of Castile,
grapes, nuts, mulberries, oats, pennyroyal, wild marjoram, and large quantities
of flax, but this does not do them any good, because they do not know how to
use it. The people are of almost the same sort and appearance as the Teyas.
They have villages like those in New Spain. The houses are round, without a
wall, and they have one story like a loft, under the roof, where they sleep and
keep their belongings. The roofs are of straw. There are other thickly settled
provinces around it containing large numbers of men. A friar named Juan de
Padilla remained in this province, together with a Spanish-Portuguese and a
negro and a half-blood and some Indians from the province of Capothan, in New
Spain. They killed the friar because he wanted to go to the province of the
Guas, who were their enemies. The Spaniard escaped by taking flight on a mare,
and afterward reached New Spain, coming out by way of Panuco. The Indians from
New Spain who accompanied the friar were allowed by the murderers to bury him,
and then they followed the Spaniard and overtook him. This Spaniard was a
Portuguese, named Campo. 154.

The great river of the Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo),
which Don Fernando de Soto discovered in the country of Florida, flows through
this country. It passes through a province called Arache, according to the
reliable accounts which were obtained here. The sources were not visited,
because, according to what they said, it comes from a very distant country in
the mountains of the South Sea, from the part that sheds its waters onto the
plains. It flows across all the level country and breaks through the mountains
of the North Sea, and comes out where the people with Don Fernando de Soto
navigated it. This is more than 300 leagues from where it enters the sea. On
account of this, and also because it has large tributaries, it is so mighty
when it enters the sea that they lost sight of the land before the water ceased
to be fresh. 155.

This country of Quivira was the last that was seen, of
which I am able to give any description or information. Now it is proper for me
to return and speak of the army, which I left in Tiguex, resting for the
winter, so that it would be able to proceed or return in search of these
settlements of Quivira, which was not accomplished after all, because it was
God’s pleasure that these discoveries should remain for other peoples and that
we who had been there should content ourselves with saying that we were the
first who discovered it and obtained any information concerning it, just as
Hercules knew the site where Julius Caesar was to found Seville or Hispales.
May the all-powerful Lord grant that His will be done in everything. it is
certain that if this had not been His will Francisco Vazquez would not have
returned to New Spain without cause or reason, as he did, and that it would not
have been left for those with Don Fernando de Soto to settle such a good
country, as they have done, and besides settling it to increase its extent,
after obtaining, as they did, information from our army. 156.

Part III>

Which describes what happened to Francisco
Vasquez de Coronado during the winter, & how he gave up the expedition and
returned to New Spain. LAUS DEO

Chapter I.

Of how Don Pedro de Tovar came from Senora with some
men, & Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas started back to New Spain.

At theend of the first part of
this book, we told how Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, when he got back from
Quivira, gave orders to winter at Tiguex, in order to return, when the winter
was over, with his whole army to discover all the settlements in those regions.
Don Pedro de Tovar, who had gone, as we related, to conduct a force from the
city of Saint Jerome (San Hieronimo), arrived in the meantime with the men whom
he had brought. He had not selected the rebels and seditious men there, but the
most experienced ones and the best soldiers-men whom he could trust-wisely
considering that he ought to have good men in order to go in search of his
general in the country of the Indian called Turk. 158.

Although they found the army at Tiguex when they arrived
there, this did not please them much, because they had come with great
expectations, believing that they would find their general in the rich country
of the Indian called Turk. They consoled themselves with the hope of going back
there, and lived in anticipation of the pleasure of undertaking this return
expedition, which the army would soon make to Quivira. Don Pedro de Tovar
brought letters from New Spain, both from the viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza,
and from individuals. Among these was one from Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas,
which informed him of the death of his brother, the heir, and summoned him to
Spain to receive the inheritance. On this account he was given permission, and
left Tiguex with several other persons who received permission to go and settle
their affairs. There were many others who would have liked to go, but did not,
in order not to appear faint-hearted. During this time the general endeavored
to pacify several villages in the neighborhood which were not well disposed,
and to make peace with the people at Tiguex . He tried also to procure some of
the cloth of the country, because the soldiers were almost naked and poorly
clothed, full of lice, which they were unable to get rid of or avoid. 159.

The general, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, had been
beloved and obeyed by his captains and soldiers as heartily as any of those who
have ever started out in the Indies. Necessity knows no law, and the captains
who collected the cloth divided it badly, taking the best for themselves and
their friends and soldiers, and leaving the rest for the soldiers, and so there
began to be some angry murmuring on account of this. Others also complained
because they noticed that some favored ones were spared in the work and in the
watches and received better portions of what was divided, both of cloth and
food. On this account it is thought that they began to say that there was
nothing in the country of Quivira which was worth returning for, which was no
slight cause of what afterward happened, as will be seen. 160.

Chapter II.

Of the general’s fall, and how the return to New Spain
was ordered.

Afterthe winter was over, the
return to Quivira was announced, and the men began to prepare the things
needed. Since nothing in this life is at the disposition of men, but all is
under the ordination of Almighty God, it was His will that we should not
accomplish this, and so it happened that one feast day the general went out on
horseback to amuse himself, as usual, riding with the Captain Don Rodrigo
Maldonado. He was on a powerful horse, and his servants had put on a new girth,
which must have been rotten at the time, for it broke during the race and he
fell over on the side where Don Rodrigo was, and as his horse passed over him
it hit his head with its hoof, which laid him at the point of death, and his
recovery was slow and doubtful. During this time, while he was in his bed, Don
Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, who had started to go to New Spain, came back in
flight from Suya, because he had found that town deserted and the people and
horses and cattle all dead. When he reached Tiguex and learned the sad news
that the general was near his end, as already related, they did not dare to
tell him until he had recovered, and when he finally got up and learned of it,
it affected him so much that he had to go back to bed again. He may have done
this in order to bring about what he afterward accomplished, as was believed
later. 162.

It was while he was in this condition that he
recollected what a scientific friend of his in Salamanca had told him, that he
would become a powerful lord in distant lands, and that he would have a fall
from which he would never be able to recover. This expectation of death made
him desire to return and die where he had a wife and children. As the physician
and surgeon who was doctoring him, and also acted as a tablebearer, suppressed
the murmurings that were going about among the soldiers, he treated secretly
and underhandedly with several gentlemen who agreed with him. They set the
soldiers to talking about going back to New Spain, in little knots and
gatherings, and induced them to hold consultations about it, and had them send
papers to the general, signed by all the soldiers, through their ensigns,
asking for this. They all entered into it readily, and not much time needed to
be spent, since many desired it already. When they asked him, the general acted
as if he did not want to do it, but all the gentlemen and captains supported
them, giving him their signed opinions, and as some were in this, they could
give it at once, and they even persuaded others to do the same. 163.

Thus they made it seem as if they ought to return to New
Spain, because they had not found any riches, nor had they discovered any
settled country out of which estates could be formed for all the army. When he
had obtained their signatures, the return to New Spain was at once announced,
and since nothing can ever be concealed, the double dealing began to be
understood, and many of the gentlemen found that they had been deceived and had
made a mistake. They tried in every way to get their signatures back again from
the general, who guarded them so carefully that he did not go out of one room,
making his sickness seem very much worse, and putting guards about his person
and room, and at night about the floor on which he slept. In spite of all this,
they stole his chest, and it is said that they did not find their signatures in
it, because he kept them in his mattress; on the other hand, it is said that
they did recover them. They asked the general to give them 60 picked men, with
whom they would remain and hold the country until the viceroy could send them
support, or recall them, or else that the general would leave them the army and
pick out 60 men to go back with him. But the soldiers did not want to remain
either way, some because they had turned their prow toward New Spain, and
others because they saw clearly the trouble that would arise over who should
have the command. The gentlemen, I do not know whether because they had sworn
fidelity or because they feared that the soldiers would not support them, did
what had been decided on, although with an ill-will, and from this time on they
did not obey the general as readily as formerly, and they did not show any
affection for him. He made much of the soldiers and humored them, with the
result that he did what he desired and secured the return of the whole army.

Chapter III.

Of the rebellion at Suya and the reasons the settlers
gave for it.

We havealready stated in the
last chapter that Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas came back from Suya in flight,
having found that country risen in rebellion. He told how and why that town was
deserted, which occurred as I will relate. The entirely worthless fellows were
all who had been left in that town, the mutinous and seditious men, besides a
few who were honored with the charge of public affairs and who were left to
govern the others. Thus the bad dispositions of the worthless secured the
power, and they held daily meetings and councils and declared that they had
been betrayed and were not going to be rescued, since the others had been
directed to go through another part of the country, where there was a more
convenient route to New Spain, which was not so because they were still almost
on the direct road. This talk led some of them to revolt, and they chose one
Pedro de Avila as their captain. 166.

They went back to Culiacan, leaving the captain, Diego
de Alcaraz, sick in the town of San Hieronimo, with only a small force. He did
not have anyone whom he could send after them to compel them to return. They
killed a number of people at several villages along the way. Finally they
reached Culiacan, where Hernandarias de Saabedra, who was waiting for Juan
Gallego to come back from New Spain with a force, detained them by means of
promises, so that Gallego could take them back. Some who feared what might
happen to them ran away one night to New Spain. Diego de Alcaraz, who had
remained at Suya with a small force, sick, was not able to hold his position,
although he would have liked to, on account of the poisonous herb which the
natives use. When these noticed how weak the Spaniards were, they did not
continue to trade with them as they formerly had done. Veins of gold had
already been discovered before this, but they were unable to work these,
because the country was at war. The disturbance was so great that they did not
cease to keep watch and to be more than usually careful. 167.

The town was situated on a little river. One night all
of a sudden they saw fires which they were not accustomed to, and on this
account they doubled the watches, but not having noticed anything during the
whole night, they grew careless along toward morning, and the enemy entered the
village so silently that they were not seen until they began to kill and
plunder. A number of men reached the plain as well as they could, but while
they were getting out the captain was mortally wounded. Several Spaniards came
back on some horses after they had recovered themselves and attacked the enemy,
rescuing some, though only a few. The enemy went off with the booty, leaving
three Spaniards killed, besides many of the servants and more than twenty
horses. 168.

The Spaniards who survived started off the same day on
foot, not having any horses. They went toward Culiacan, keeping away from the
roads, and did not find any food until they reached Corazones, where the
Indians, like the good friends they have always been, provided them with food.
From here they continued to Culiacan, undergoing great hardships. Hernandarias
de Saabedra, the mayor, received them and entertained them as well as he could
until Juan Gallego arrived with the reinforcements which he was conducting, on
his way to find the army. He was not a little troubled at finding that post
deserted, when he expected that the army would be in the rich country which had
been described by the Indian called Turk, because he looked like one. 169.

Chapter IV.

Of how Friar Juan de Padilla & Friar Luis remained
in the country & the army prepared to return to Mexico.

Whenthe general, Francisco
Vazquez, saw that everything was now quiet, and that his schemes had gone as he
wished, he ordered that everything should be ready to start on the return to
New Spain by the beginning of the month of April, in the year 1543. 171.

Seeing this, Friar Juan de Padilla, a regular brother of
the lesser order, and another, Friar Luis, a lay brother, told the general that
they wanted to remain in that country-Friar Juan de Padilla in Quivira, because
his teachings seemed to promise fruit there, and Friar Luis at Cicuye. On this
account, as it was Lent at the time, the father made this the subject of this
sermon to the companies one Sunday, establishing his proposition on the
authority of the Holy Scriptures. He declared his zeal for the conversion of
these peoples and his desire to draw them to the faith, and stated that he had
received permission to do it, although this was not necessary. The general sent
a company to escort them as far as Cicuye, where Friar Luis stopped, while
Friar Juan went on back to Quivira with the guides who had conducted the
general, taking with him the Portuguese, as we related, and the half-blood, and
the Indians from New Spain. He was martyred a short time after he arrived
there, as we related in the second part, chapter 8. Thus we may be sure that he
died a martyr, because his zeal was holy and earnest. Friar Luis remained at
Cicuye. Nothing more than has been heard about him since, but before the army
left Tiguex some men who went to take him a number of sheep that were left for
him to keep, met him as he was on his way to visit some other villages, which
were 15 or 20 leagues from Cicuye, accompanied by some followers. he felt very
hopeful that he was liked at the village and that his teachings would bear
fruit, although he complained that the old men were falling away from him. I,
for my part, believe that as he was a man of good and holy life, Our Lord will
protect him and give him grace to convert many of those peoples, and end his
days in guiding them in the faith. We do not need to believe otherwise, for the
people in those parts are pious and not at all cruel. They are friends, or
rather, enemies of cruelty, and they remain faithful and loyal friends. After
the friars had gone, the general, fearing that they might be injured if people
were carried away from that country to New Spain, ordered the soldiers to let
any of the natives who were held as servants go free to their villages whenever
they might wish. In my opinion, though I am not sure, it would have been better
if they had been kept and taught among Christians. The general was very happy
and contented when the time arrived and everything needed for the journey was
ready, and the army started from Tiguex on its way back to Cibola. One thing of
no small note happened during this part of the trip. The horses were in good
condition for their work when they started, fat and sleek, but more than thirty
died during the ten days which it took to reach Cibola, and there was not a day
in which two or three or more did not die. A large number of them also died
afterward before reaching Culiacan, a thing that did not happen during all the
rest of the journey. 172.

After the army reached Cibola, it rested before starting
across the wilderness, because this was the last of the settlements in that
country. The whole country was left well disposed and at peace, and several of
our Indian allies remained there. 173.

Chapter V.

Of how the army left the settlements and marched to
Culiacan, and of what happened on the way.

Leavingastern, as we might
say, the settlements that had been discovered in the new land, of which, as I
have said, the seven villages of Cibola were the first to be seen and the last
that were left, the army started off, marching across the wilderness. The
natives kept following the rear of the army for two or three days, to pick up
any baggage or servants, for although they were still at peace and had always
been loyal friends, when they saw that we were going to leave the country
entirely, they were glad to get some of our people in their power, although I
do not think that they wanted to injure them, from what I was told by some who
were not willing to go back with them when they teased and asked them to.
Altogether, they carried off several people besides those who had remained of
their own accord, among whom good interpreters could be found today. 175.

The wilderness was crossed without opposition, and on
the second day before reaching Chichilticalli Juan Gallego met the army, as he
was coming from New Spain with re-enforcements of men and necessary supplies
for the army, expecting that he would find the army in the country of the
Indian called Turk. When Juan Gallego saw that the army was returning, the
first thing he said was not, “I am glad you are coming back,” and he did not
like it any better after he had talked with the general. After he had reached
the army, or rather the quarters, there was quite a little movement among the
gentlemen toward going back with the new force which had made no slight
exertions in coming thus far, having encounters every day with the Indians of
these regions who had risen in revolt, as will be related. There was talk of
making a settlement somewhere in that region until the viceroy could receive an
account of what had occurred. These soldiers who had come from the new lands
would not agree to anything except the return to New Spain, so that nothing
came of the proposals made at the consultations, and although there was some
opposition, they were finally quieted. Several of the mutineers who had
deserted the town of Corazones came with Juan Gallego, who had given them his
word as surety for their safety, and even if the general had wanted to punish
them, his power was slight, for he had been disobeyed already and was not much
respected. He began to be afraid again after this, and made himself sick, and
kept a guard. 176.

In several places yells were heard and Indians seen, and
some of the horses were wounded and killed, before Batuco was reached, where
the friendly Indians from Corazones came to meet the army and see the general.
They were always friendly and had treated all the Spaniards who passed through
their country well, furnishing them with what food they needed, and men, if
they needed these. Our men had always treated them well and repaid them for
these things. During this journey the juice of the quince was proved to be a
good protection against the poison of the natives, because at one place,
several days before reaching Senora, the hostile Indians wounded a Spaniard
called Mesa, and he did not die, although the wound of the fresh poison is
fatal, and there was a delay of over two hours before curing him with the
juice. The poison, however, had left its mark upon him. The skin rotted and
fell off until it left the bones and sinews bare, with a horrible smell. The
wound was in the wrist, and the poison had reached as far as the shoulder when
he was cured. The skin on all this fell off. 177.

The army proceeded without taking any rest, because the
provisions had begun to fail by this time. These districts were in rebellion,
and so there were not any victuals where the soldiers could get them until they
reached Petlatlan, although they made several forays into the cross country in
search of provisions. Petlatlan is in the province of Culiacan, and on this
account was at peace, although they had several surprises after this. The army
rested here several days to get provisions. After leaving here they were able
to travel more quickly than before, through the 30 leagues of the valley of
Culiacan, where they were welcomed back again as people who came with their
governor, who had suffered ill treatment. 178.

Chapter VI.

Of how the general started from Culiacan to give the
viceroy an account of the army with which he had been entrusted.

It seemed, indeed, as if the
arrival in the valley of Culiacan had ended the labors of this journey, partly
because the general was governor there and partly because it was inhabited by
Christians. On this account some began to disregard their superiors and the
authority which their captains had over them, and some captains even forgot the
obedience due to their general. Each one played his own game, so that while the
general was marching toward the town, which was still 10 leagues away, many of
the men, or most of them, left him in order to rest in the valley, and some
even proposed not to follow him. The general understood that he was not strong
enough to compel them, although his position as governor gave him fresh
authority. He determined to accomplish it by a better method, which was to
order all the captains to provide food and meat from the stores of several
villages that were under his control as governor. He pretended to be sick,
keeping his bed, so that those who had any business with him could speak to him
or he with them more freely, without hindrance or observation, and he kept
sending for his particular friends in order to ask them to be sure to speak to
the soldiers and encourage them to accompany him back to New Spain, and to tell
them that he would request the viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, to show them
especial favor, and that he would do so himself for those who might wish to
remain in his government. After this had been done, he started with his army at
a very bad time, when the rains were beginning, for it was about Saint John’s
day, at which season it rains continuously. In the uninhabited country which
they passed through as far as Compostela there are numerous, very dangerous
rivers, full of large and fierce alligators. While the army was halting at one
of these rivers, a soldier who was crossing from one side to the other was
seized, in sight of everybody, and carried off by an alligator without it being
possible to help him. The general proceeded, leaving the men who did not want
to follow him all along the way, and reached Mexico with fewer than 100 men. He
made his report to the viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, who did not receive him
very graciously, although he gave him his discharge. His reputation was gone
from this time on. He kept the government of New Galicia, which had been
entrusted to him, for only a short time, when the viceroy took it himself,
until the arrival of the court, or audiencia, which still governs it. And this
was the end of those discoveries and of the expedition which was made to these
new lands. 180.

It now remains for us to describe the way in which to
enter the country by a more direct route, although there is never a short cut
without hard work. It is always best to find out what those know who have
prepared the way, who know what will be needed. This can be found elsewhere,
and I will not tell where Quivira lies, what direction the army took, and the
direction in which Greater India lies, which was what they pretended to be in
search of, when the army started thither. Today, since Villalobos has
discovered that this part of the coast of the South Sea trends toward the west,
it is clearly seen and acknowledged that, since we were in the north, we ought
to have turned to the west instead of toward the east, as we did. With this, we
will leave this subject and will proceed to finish this treatise, since there
are several noteworthy things of which I must give an account, which I have
left to be treated more extensively in the two following chapters. 181.

Chapter VII.

Of the adventures of Captain Juan Gallego while he was
bringing re-enforcements through the revolted country.

Onemight well have complained
when in the last chapter I passed in silence over the exploits of Captain Juan
Gallego with his 20 companions. I will relate them in the present chapter, so
that in times to come those who read about it or tell of it may have a reliable
authority on whom to rely. I am not writing fables, like some of the things
which we read about nowadays in the books of chivalry. If it were not that
those stories contained enchantments, there are some things which our Spaniards
have done in our own day in these parts, in their conquests and encounters with
the Indians, which, for deeds worthy of admiration, surpass not only the books
already mentioned, but also those which have been written about the twelve
peers of France, because, if the deadly strength which the authors of those
times attributed to their heroes and the brilliant and resplendent arms with
which they adorned them, are fully considered, and compared with the small
stature of the men of our time and the few and poor weapons which they have in
these parts, the remarkable things which our people have undertaken and
accomplished with such weapons are more to be wondered at today than those of
which the ancients write, and just because, too, they fought with barbarous
naked people, as ours have with Indians, among whom there are always men who
are brave and valiant and very sure bowmen, for we have seen them pierce the
wings while flying, and hit hares while running after them. I have said all
this in order to show that some things which we consider fables may be true,
because we see greater things every day in our own times, just as in future
times people will greatly wonder at the deeds of Don Fernando Cortez, who dared
to go into the midst of New Spain with 300 men against the vast number of
people in Mexico, and who with 500 Spaniards succeeded in subduing it, and made
himself lord over it in two years. 183.

The deeds of Don Pedro de Alvarado in the conquest of
Guatemala, and those of Montejo in Tabasco, the conquests of the mainland and
of Peru, were all such as to make me remain silent concerning what I now wish
to relate; but since I have promised to give an account of what happened on
this journey, I want the things I am now going to relate to be known as well as
those others of which I have spoken. 184.

The Captain Juan Gallego, then, reached to town of
Culiacan with a very small force. There he collected as many as he could of
those who had escaped from the town of Hearts, or, more correctly, from Suya,
which made in all 22 men, and with these he marched through all of the settled
country, across which he traveled 200 leagues with the country in a state of
war and the people in rebellion, although they had formerly been friendly
toward the Spaniards, having encounters with the enemy almost every day. He
always marched with the advance guard, leaving two-thirds of his force behind
with the baggage. With six or seven Spaniards, and without any of the Indian
allies whom he had with him, he forced his way into their villages, killing and
destroying and setting them on fire, coming upon the enemy so suddenly and with
such quickness and boldness that they did not have a chance to collect or even
to do anything at all, until they became so afraid of him that there was not a
town which dared wait for him, but they fled before him as from a powerful
army; so much so, that for ten days, while he was passing through the
settlements, they did not have an hour’s rest. 185.

He did all this with his seven companions, so that when
the rest of the force came up with the baggage there was nothing for them to do
except to pillage, since the others had already killed and captured all the
people they could lay their hands on and the rest had fled. They did not pause
anywhere, so that although the villages ahead of him received some warning,
they were upon them so quickly that they did not have a chance to collect.
Especially in the region where the town of Hearts had been, he killed and hung
a large number of people to punish them for their rebellion. He did not lose a
companion during all this, nor was anyone wounded, except one soldier, who was
wounded in the eyelid by an Indian who was almost dead, whom he was stripping.
The weapon broke the skin and, as it was poisoned, he would have had to die if
he had not been saved by the quince juice; he lost his eye as it was. 186.

These deeds of theirs were such that I know those people
will remember them as long as they live, and especially four or five friendly
Indians who went with them from Corazones, who thought that they were so
wonderful that they held them to be something divine rather than human. If he
had not fallen in with our army as he did, they would have reached the country
of the Indian called Turk, which they expected to march to, & they would
have arrived there without any danger on account of their good order and the
skill with which he was leading them, & their knowledge and ample practice
in war. Several of these men are still in this town of Culiacan, where I am now
writing this account and narrative, where they, as well as I and the others who
have remained in this province, have never lacked for labor in keeping this
country quiet, in capturing rebels, and increasing in poverty and need, and
more than ever at the present hour, because the country is poorer and more in
debt than ever before. 187.

Chapter VIII.

Which describes some remarkable things that were seen
on the plains, with a description of the bulls.

Mysilence was not without
mystery and dissimulation when, in chapter 7 of the second part of this book, I
spoke of the plains and of the things of which I will give a detailed account
in this chapter, where all these things may be found together; for these things
were remarkable and something not seen in other parts. I dare to write of them
because I am writing at a time when many men are still living who saw them and
who will vouch for my account. Who could believe that 1,000 horses and 500 cows
and more than 5,000 rams and ewes and more than 1,500 friendly Indians and
servants, in traveling over those plains, would leave no more trace where they
had passed than if nothing had been there – nothing – so that it
was necessary to make piles of bones and cow dung now and then, so that the
rear guard could follow the army. The grass never failed to become erect after
it had been trodden down, and, although it was short, it was as fresh and
straight as before. 189.

Another thing was a heap of cow bones, a crossbow shot
long, or a very little less, almost twice a man’s height in places, and some 18
feet or more wide, which was found on the edge of a salt lake in the southern
part, and this in a region where there are no people who could have made it.
The only explanation of this which could be suggested was that the waves which
the north winds must make in the lake had piled up the bones of the cattle
which had died in the lake, when the old and weak ones who went into the water
were unable to get out. The noticeable thing is the number of cattle that would
be necessary to make such a pile of bones. 190.

Now that I wish to describe the appearance of the bulls,
it is to be noticed first that there was not one of the horses that did not
take flight when he saw them first, for they have a narrow, short face, the
brow two palms across from eye to eye, the eyes sticking out at the side, so
that, when they are running, they can see who is following them. They have very
long beards, like goats, and when they are running they throw their heads back
with the beard dragging on the ground. There is a sort of girdle round the
middle of the body. The hair is very woolly, like a sheep’s, very fine, and in
front of the girdle the hair is very long and rough like a lion’s. They have a
great hump, larger than a camel’s. The horns are short & thick, so that
they are not seen much above the hair. In May they change the hair in the
middle of the body for a down, which makes perfect lions of them. They rub
against the small trees in the little ravines to shed their hair, and they
continue this until only the down is left, as a snake changes his skin. They
have a short tail, with a bunch of hair at the end. When they run, they carry
it erect like a scorpion. It is worth noticing that the little calves are red
and just like ours, but they change their color and appearance with time and
age. Another strange thing was that all the bulls that were killed had their
left ears slit, although these were whole when young. The reason for this was a
puzzle that could not be guessed. The wool ought to make good cloth on account
of its fineness, although the color is not good, because it is the color of
burel. 191.

Another thing worth noticing is that the bulls traveled
without cows in such large numbers that nobody could have counted them, and so
far away from the cows that it was more than 40 leagues from where we began to
see the bulls to the place where we began to see the cows. The country they
traveled over was so level and smooth that if one looked at them the sky could
be seen between their legs, so that if some of them were at a distance they
looked like smooth-trunked pines whose tops joined, and if there was only one
bull it looked as if there were four pines. When one was near them, it was
impossible to see the ground on the other side of them. The reason for all this
was that the country seemed as round as if a man should imagine himself in a
three-pint measure, and could see the sky at the edge of it, about a crossbow
shot from him, and even if a man only lay down on his back he lost sight of the
ground. 192.

I have not written about other things which were seen
nor made any mention of them, because they were not of so much importance,
although it does not seem right for me to remain silent concerning the fact
that they venerate the sign of the cross in the region where the settlements
have high houses. For at a spring which was in the plain near Acuco they had a
cross two palms high and as thick as a finger, made of wood with a square twig
for its crosspiece, and many little sticks decorated with feathers around it,
and numerous withered flowers, which were the offerings. In a graveyard outside
the village of Tutahaco there appeared to have been a recent burial. Near the
head there was another cross made of two little sticks tied with cotton thread,
& dry withered flowers. It certainly seems to me that in some way they must
have received some light from the cross of Our Redeemer, Christ, & it may
have come by way of India, from whence they proceeded. 193.

Chapter IX.

Which treats of the direction which the army took, and
of how another more direct way might be found, if anyone was to return to that

I verymuch wish that I
possessed some knowledge of cosmography or geography, so as to render
intelligible what I wish to say, and so that I could reckon up or measure the
advantage those people who might go in search of that country would have if
they went directly through the center of the country, instead of following the
road the army took. However, with the help of the favor of the Lord, I will
state it as well as I can, making it as plain as possible. It is, I think,
already understood that the Portuguese, Campo, was the soldier who escaped when
Friar Juan de Padilla was killed at Quivira, and that he finally reached New
Spain from Panuco, having traveled across the plains country until he came to
cross the North Sea mountain chain, keeping the country that Don Hernando de
Soto discovered all the time on his left hand, since he did not see Francisco
Vazquez de Coronado the river of the Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo) at all. After
he had crossed the North Sea mountains, he found that he was in Panuco, so that
if he had not tried to go to the North Sea, he would have come out in the
neighborhood of the border land, or the country of the Sacatecas, of which we
now have some knowledge. 195.

This way would be somewhat better and more direct for
anyone going back there in search of Quivira, since some of those who came with
the Portuguese are still in New Spain to serve as guides. Nevertheless, I think
it would be best to go through the country of the Guachichules, keeping near
the South Sea mountains all the time, for there are more settlements and a food
supply, for it would be suicide to launch out on to the plains country, because
it is so vast and is barren of anything to eat, although, it is true, there
would not be much need of this after coming to the cows. 196.

This is only when one goes in search of Quivira, and of
the villages which were described by the Indian called Turk, for the army of
Francisco Vazquez de Coronado went the very farthest way round to get there,
since they started from Mexico and went 110 leagues to the west, and then 100
leagues to the northeast, and 250 to the north, and all this brought them as
far as the ravines where the cows were, and after traveling 850 leagues they
were not more than 400 leagues distant from Mexico by a direct route. If one
desires to go to the country of Tiguex, so as to turn from there toward the
west in search of the country of India, he ought to follow the road taken by
the army, for there is no other, even if one wished to go by a different way,
because the arm of the sea which reaches into this coast toward the north does
not leave room for any. But what might be done is to have a fleet and cross
this gulf and disembark in the neighborhood of the Island of Negroes and enter
the country from there, crossing the mountain chains in search of the country
from which the people at Tiguex came, or other peoples of the same sort. As for
entering from the country of Florida and from the North Sea, it has already
been observed that the many expeditions which have been undertaken from that
side have been unfortunate and not very successful, because that part of the
country is full of bogs and poisonous fruits, barren, and the very worst
country that is warmed by the sun. But they might disembark after passing the
river of the Holy Spirit, as Don Hernando de Soto did. Nevertheless, despite
the fact that I underwent much labor, I still think that the way I went to that
country is the best. There ought to be river courses, because the necessary
supplies can be carried on these more easily in large quantities. Horses are
the most necessary things in the new countries, and they frighten the enemy
most. . . . Artillery is also much feared by those who do not know how to use
it. A piece of heavy artillery would be very good for settlements like those
which Francisco Vazquez de Coronado discovered, in order to knock them down,
because he had nothing but some small machines for slinging and nobody skillful
enough to make a catapult or some other machine which would frighten them,
which is very necessary. 197.

I say, then, that with what we now know about the trend
of the coast of the South Sea, which has been followed by the ships which
explored the western part, and what is known of the North Sea toward Norway,
the coast of which extends up from Florida, those who now go to discover the
country which Francisco Vazquez entered, and reach the country of Cibola or of
Tiguex, will know the direction in which they ought to go in order to discover
the true direction of the country which the Marquis of the Valley, Don Hernando
Cortes, tried to find, following the direction of the gulf of the Firebrand
(Tizon) River. This will suffice for the conclusion of our narrative.
Everything else rests on the powerful Lord of all things, God Omnipotent, who
knows how and when these lands will be discovered and for whom He has guarded
this good fortune. 198.

LAUS DEO Finished copying, Saturday the 26th of October,
1596, in Seville.199.

Full Colophon Information

Genre: Prose
Subjects: Discovery and Exploration
Period: 1500-1550
Location: Spanish borderlands in North America
Format: Account/Relation

The text of this document was originally written in the 1560s.

The text of the present edition was initially prepared from and proofed against Spanish explorers in the southern United States, 1528-1543Edited by Frederick W. Hodge (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1907). All preliminaries have been omitted except those for which the author is responsible. All editorial notes have been omitted except those that indicate significant textual variations. Line and paragraph numbers contained in the source text have been retained. In cases where the source text displays no numbers, numbers are automatically generated. In the header, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value. Names have not been regularized in the body of the text.