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in memorial of having been preserved from the wreck of his ship on Christmas day. From the number of volunteers that offered to remain he selected thirty-nine of the most trustworthy, putting them under the command of Diego de Arana, notary and alguazil of the armament. In case of his death, Pedro Gutierrez was to take the command, and he, in like case, to be succeeded by Rodrigo de Escobido. He charged the men, in the most emphatic manner, to be obedient to their commanders, respectful to Guacanagari and his chieftains, and circumspect and friendly in their intercourse with the natives. He warned them not to scatter themselves asunder, as their safety would depend upon their united force, and not to stray beyond the territory of the friendly cacique. He enjoined it upon Arana, and the other commanders, to employ themselves in gaining a knowledge of the island, in amassing gold and spices, and in searching for a more safe and convenient harbour for that settlement.
Before his departure, he gave the natives another military exhibition, to increase their awe of the prowess of the white men. The Spaniards performed skirmishes and mock fights, with swords, bucklers, lances, crossbows, and fire-arms. The Indians were astonished at the keenness of the steeled weapons, and the deadly power of the crossbows and muskets; but nothing equalled their awe and admiration when the cannon were discharged from the fortress, wrapping it in smoke, shaking the forests with their thunder, and shivering the stoutest
When Columbus took leave of Guacanagari, the kind-hearted cacique shed many tears; for, while he
had been awed by the dignified demeanour of the admiral, and the idea of his superhuman nature, he had been completely won by the benignity of his manners. The seamen too had made many pleasant connexions among the Indians, and they parted with mutual regret. The sorest parting, however, was with their comrades who remained behind, from that habitual attachment formed by a companionship in perils and adventures. When the signal gun was fired, they gave a parting cheer to the gallant handful of volunteers thus left in the wilderness of an unknown world, who echoed their cheering as they gazed wistfully after them from the beach, but who were destined never to welcome their return.
Return Voyage-Violent Storms—Arrival at Portugal. [1493.]
It was on the 4th of January that Columbus set sail from La Navidad on his return to Spain. On the 6th, as he was beating along the coast, with a head wind, a sailor at the mast-head cried out that there was a sail at a distance, standing towards them. To their great joy it proved to be the Pinta, which came sweeping before the wind with flowing canvas. On joining the admiral, Pinzon endeavoured to excuse his desertion, by saying that he had been separated from him by stress of weather, and had ever since been seeking him. Columbus listened passively but incredulously to these excuses, avoiding any words that might produce altercations, and disturb the remainder of the voyage. He ascertained, afterwards, that Pinzon had parted company intentionally, and had steered directly east, in quest of a region where the Indians on board of his vessel had assured him he would find gold in abundance. They had guided him to Hispaniola, where he had been for some time in a river about fifteen leagues east of La Navidad, trading with the natives. He had collected a large quantity of gold, one half of which he retained as captain, and the rest he divided among his men, to secure their secrecy and fidelity. On
leaving the river, he had carried off four Indian men and two girls, to be sold in Spain.
Colmbus sailed for this river, to which he gave the name of Rio de Gracia; but it long continued to be known as the river of Martin Alonzo. Here he ordered the four men and two girls to be dismissed, well clothed, and with many presents, to atone for the wrong they had experienced, and to allay the hostile feeling it might have caused among the natives. This restitution was not made without great unwillingness, and many angry words, on the part of Pinzon.
After standing for some distance further along the coast, they anchored in a vast bay, or rather gulf, three leagues in breadth, and extending so far inland that Columbus at first supposed it to be an arm of the sea. Here he was visited by the people of the mountains of Ciguay, a hardy and warlike race, quite different from the gentle and peaceful people they had hitherto met with on this island. They were of fierce aspect, and hideously painted, and their heads were decorated with feathers. They had bows and arrows, war clubs, and swords made of palm wood, so hard and heavy that a blow from them would cleave through a helmet to the very brain. At first sight of these ferocious-looking people, Columbus supposed them to be the Caribs, so much dreaded throughout these seas; but on asking for the Caribbean islands the Indians still pointed to the eastward.
With these people the Spaniards had a skirmish, in which several of the Indians were slain. was the first contest they had had with the inhabitants of the new world, and the first time that native
blood had been shed by white men. skirmish Columbus called the place El Golfo de las Fleches, or the Gulf of Arrows; but it is now known by the name of the Gulf of Samana. He lamented that all his exertions to maintain an amicable intercourse had been ineffectual, and anticipated further hostility on the part of the natives; but on the following day they approached the Spaniards as freely and confidently as if nothing had happened; the cacique came on board with only three attendants, and throughout all their subsequent dealings they betrayed no signs of lurking fear or enmity. This frank and confiding conduct, so indicative of a brave and generous nature, was properly appreciated by Columbus: he entertained the cacique with great distinction, and at parting made many presents to him and his attendants. This cacique of Ciguay was named Mayonabex, and in subsequent events of this history will be found to acquit himself with valour and magnanimity, under the most trying circumstances.
Columbus, on leaving the bay, took four young Indians to guide him to the Caribbean islands, situated to the east, of which they gave him very interesting accounts, as well as of the island of Mantinino, said to be inhabited by Amazons. A favourable breeze sprang up, however, for the voyage homewards, and, seeing gloom and impatience in the countenances of his men, at the idea of diverging from their route, he gave up his intention of visiting these islands for the present, and made all sail for Spain.
The trade-winds which had been so propitious on the outward voyage were equally adverse to a re