Gold! All of them wore gold, disks of it, hanging upon their breasts. The cacique had a thin band of gold across his forehead; together with a fillet of cotton it held the bright feathers of his head dress.

They traded the gold—all except the coronal and a sunlike plate upon the breast of the cacique—willingly enough.

Whence? Whence?

It seemed from Yucatan, on some embassy to another coast or island. Yucatan. West—west! And beyond Yucatan richer still; oh, great riches, gold and clothing and—we thought it from their contemptuous signs toward our booths and their fingers drawn in the air—true houses and 杭州夜网spa temples.

Farther on—farther on—farther west! Forever that haunting, deluding cry—the cry that had deluded since Guanahani


that we called San Salvador. Now many of our adventurers and mariners caught fire from that cacique’s wide gestures. The Adelantado no less. “Cristoforo, it looks satisfaction at last!” And the young Fernando,—”Father, let us sail west!”

The Admiral was trying to come at that Strait. Earnestly, through Juan Lepe and through a Jamaican that we had with us, he strove to give and take light. Yucatan? Was there sea beyond Yucatan? Did sea like a river cut Yucatan? Might a canoe—might canoes like ours—go by it from this sea to that sea?

But nothing did we get save that Yucatan was a great country with sea here and sea there. “A point of the main like Cuba!” said the Admiral. Behind it, to the north of it, it seemed 杭州男士养生会所口 to us, the greater country where were the gold, the rich clothing, the temples. But we made out that Yucatan from sea to sea was many days’ march. And as for the country beyond it, that went on, they thought, forever. They called this country Anahuac and they meant the same that years afterward Hernando Cortes found. But we did not know this. We did not know that strange people and their great treasure.

The Admiral looked out to sea. “I have cried, ‘West—west—west!’ through a-many years! Yucatan! But I make out no sea-passage thence into Vasco da Gama’s India! And I am sworn to the Queen and King Ferdinand this time to find it. So it’s south, it’s south, brother and son!”

So, our casks being full, our fruit gathered, the sky clear and the wind fair, we left the west to others and sailed to find the strait in the south. When we 杭州spa酒店 raised our sails that dragon canoe cried out and marveled. But the cacique with the coronal asked intelligent questions. The Admiral showed him the way of it, mast and spar and sail cloth, and how we made the wind our rower. He listened, and at the last he gave Christopherus Columbus for that instruction the gold disk from his breast. I do not know—Yucatan might have gone on from that and itself developed true ship. If it had long enough time! But Europe was at its doors.

The canoe kept with us for a little, then shouted to see the fair breeze fill our sails and carry us from them.

It was mid-August. We came to a low-lying land with hills behind. Here we touched and found Indians, though none such as Yucatan seemed to breed. It was Sunday and under great trees we had mass, having with us the Franciscan Pedro of Valencia. From 杭州保健按摩服务 this place we coasted three days, when again we landed. Here the Indians were of a savage aspect, painted with black and white and yellow and uttering loud cries. We thought that they were eaters of men’s flesh. Likewise they had a custom of wearing earrings of great weight, some of copper, some of that mixed gold we called guanin. So heavy were these ornaments that they pulled the ear down to mid-throat. The Admiral named this place the Coast of the Ear.

On we sailed, and on, never out of sight of land to starboard. Day by day, along a coast that now as a whole bent eastward. And yet no strait—no way through into the sea into which poured the Ganges.
THE weather plagued us. The rains were cataracts, the lightning blinding, the thunder loud enough to wake the dead. Day after day, until this weather grew to seem a 杭州spa会所推荐 veritable Will, a Demon with a grudge against us.

The Margarita sailed no better; she sailed worse. The Admiral considered abandoning her, taking the Adelantado upon the Consolacion and dividing his crew among the three ships. But the Adelantado’s pride and obstinacy and seamanship were against that. “I’ll sail her, because San Domingo thinks I can!”

Stormy days and nights, and the Admiral watching. “The Margarita! Ho, look out! Do you see the Margarita?”

In the midst of foul weather came foully back the gout that crippled him. I would have had him stay in his bed. “I cannot! How do you think I can?” In the end he had us build him some kind of shelter upon deck, fastening there a bench and laying a pallet upon this. Here, propped against the wood, covered with cloaks, he still watched the sea and how went our ship and the 杭州男士养生spa other ships.

Day after day and day after day! Creeping eastward along a bad shore, in the teeth of the demon. The seas, the winds, the enormous rain wore us out. Men grew large-eyed. If we slept came a shriek and wakened us. We would put to land, but the wind turned and thrust us out again, or we found no harbor. We seemed to be fixed in one place while time rushed by us.

Forecastle began to say, “It is enchantment!” Presently poop echoed it. The boy Fernando brought it to his father. “Alonso de Zamorra and Bernardo the Apothecary say that demons and witches are against us.”

“The Prince of the Power of the Air!” said the Admiral. “It may be, child! Paynimry against Christianity. We had a touch of the same quality once off Cuba. But is it, or is it not, Christian men shall win! And send me Bartholomew Fiesco. Such talk is injury. It bores men’s courage worse than the teredo a ship’s bottom!”

We thought the foul weather would never cease, and our toil would never cease—then lo! at the point of despair the sky cleared with a great clap of light, the coast turned sharply, sheerly south—he named the great cape, Cape Gracias a Dios—and we ran freely, West again.

Coming in three days to a wide river mouth, in we turned. The shore was grown with reeds that would do for giants’ staffs. On mud banks we saw the crocodile, “cayman” they call it. Again the sky hung a low, gray roof; a thin wind whistled, but for all that it was deathly hot. Seeing no men, we sent two boats with Diego Mendez up the stream. They were not gone a half league, when, watching from the Consolacion we marked a strange and horrid thing. There came without wind a swelling of the sea. Our ships tossed as in tempest, and there entered the river a wall of sea water. Meeting the outward passing current, there ensued a fury with whirlpools. It caught the boats. Diego Mendez saved his, but the other was seized, tossed and engulfed. Eight men drowned.

The thing sank as it had come. The River of Disaster, we named it, and left this strip of coast that seemed to us gloomy and portentous. “Wizardry! It’s not to be lucky, this voyage.” It was now late September.

Next day, we anchored, it being most clear and beautiful. We lay beside a verdurous islet, between it and a green shore. Here were all our fruits, and we thought we smelled cinnamon and clove. Across, upon the main, stood a small village. Cariari the Indians there called themselves. They had some gold, but not to touch that canoe from Yucatan. Likewise they owned a few cotton mantles, with jars of baked clay, and we saw a copper hatchet. But they did not themselves make these things. They had drifted to them, we thought, from a people far more skilled.

The Admiral cried, “When and when and when shall we come to this people?”

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