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garita, and the adjacent continent, and discovering the Gulf of Venezuela. They subsequently touched at the Caribbee islands, where they fought with the fierce natives, and made many captives, with the design of selling them in the slave markets of Seville. From thence they sailed for Hispaniola, to procure supplies, having performed the most extensive voyage hitherto made along the shore of the new world.
Ojeda assured Roldan that he intended, as soon as his ships were ready, to go to San Domingo and pay his homage to the admiral. Trusting to this assurance, and satisfied with the information he had obtained, Roldan sailed for San Domingo to make his report. Nothing, however, was farther from the intention of Ojeda than to keep his promise. As soon as his ships were ready for sea, he sailed round to the coast of Xaragua. Here he was well received by the Spaniards, resident in that province, among whom were many of the late comrades of Roldan. Knowing the rash and fearless character of Ojeda, and finding that there were jealousies between him and the admiral, they made clamorous complaints of the injustice of the latter, whom they accused of withholding from them the arrears of their pay. Ojeda, who knew the tottering state of the admiral's favour at court, and felt secure in the powerful protection of Fonseca, immediately proposed to put himself at their head, march at once to San Domingo, and oblige the admiral to satisfy their just demands. The proposition was received with transport by some of the rebels; but others demurred, and a furious brawl ensued, in which several were killed and wounded on both sides:
the party for the expedition to San Domingo remained triumphant.
Fortunately for the peace and safety of the admiral, Roldan, who had received news of the movements of Ojeda, arrived in the neighbourhood at this critical juncture, with a band of resolute followers, and was reinforced on the following day by his old confederate, Diego de Escobar, with additional forces. Ojeda retired to his ships; a long course of manoeuvring took place between these wellmatched adversaries, each striving to gain an advantage of the other. Ojeda at length was obliged to abandon the coast, and made sail for some other island, to make up his cargo of Indian slaves.
The followers of Roldan took great merit to themselves for their unwonted loyalty in driving Ojeda from the island; and, like all reformed knaves, expected that their good conduct would be amply rewarded. Looking upon their leader as having every thing in his gift, they requested him to share among them the fine province of Cahay, adjoining to Xaragua. Roldan, who was now anxious to establish a character of adherence to the law, declined acceding to their wishes, until sanctioned by the admiral; but, to soothe their impatient rapacity, he shared among them the lands which had been granted to him in Xaragua. While he was remaining in this neighbourhood, other troubles broke out, and from somewhat of a romantic cause. A young cavalier of noble family, named Hernando de Guevara, cousin to Adrian de Moxica, one of the ringleaders of the late rebellion, was banished from San Domingo for licentious conduct, and sent to Xaragua, to embark in the ships
of Ojeda; but arrived after their departure. He was treated with indulgence by Roldan, on account of his old comrade, Adrian de Moxica, and was favourably received at the house of the female cacique, Anacaona. That remarkable woman still retained her partiality to the Spaniards, notwithstanding the disgraceful scenes that had passed before her eyes. By her late husband, Caonabo, she had a daughter, named Higuenamota, just grown up, and greatly admired for her beauty. Guevara became enamoured of her. He possessed an agreeable person, and winning manners, though he was headstrong in his passions, and destitute of principle. His endearments soon won the heart of the simple Indian girl. Anacaona, the mother, pleased with the gallant appearance and ingratiating manners of the youthful cavalier, favoured his attachment; especially as he sought her daughter in marriage. Roldan was himself attached to the young Indian beauty, and jealous of her preference of his rival. He exerted his authority to separate the lovers, and banished Guevara to the province of Cahay. The latter soon returned, and concealed himself in the dwelling of Anacaona. Being discovered, and finding Roldan implacable in his opposition to his passion, he now meditated revenge. He soon made a party among the old comrades of Roldan, who detested as a magistrate the man they had idolized as a leader. It was concerted to rise suddenly upon him, and either to kill him or put out his eyes. The plot was discovered; Guevara was seized in the dwelling of Anacaona, in the presence of his intended bride; seven of his ac
complices were likewise arrested, and the prisoners were sent to the fortress of San Domingo.
When Adrian de Moxica heard that his cousin Guevara was arrested, and that too by his former confederate Roldan, he was highly exasperated. He hastened to the old haunt of rebellion at Bonao, and claimed the co-operation of Pedro Reguelme, the newly appointed alcalde. It was readily yielded. They went round among their late fellow rebels, who were settled in the vega, and soon mustered a daring body of reckless men, ready with horse and weapon for any desperate enterprise. Moxica, in his fury, meditated not merely the rescue of his cousin, but the death of Roldan and the admiral.
Columbus was at Fort Conception, with an inconsiderable force, when he heard of this dangerous plot, concerted in his very neighbourhood. He saw that his safety depended upon prompt and vigorous measures. Taking with him but six or seven trusty servants, and three esquires, all well armed, he came suddenly upon the conspirators in the night, seized Moxica and several of his principal confederates, and bore them off to Fort Conception. Resolving to set an example that should strike terror into the factious, he ordered that Moxica should be hanged on the top of the fortress. The latter en
treated to be allowed a confessor. A priest was sent for. The miserable culprit, who had been so daring in rebellion, lost all courage at the near approach of death. He delayed, and hesitated in his confession, as if hoping by whiling away time to give a chance for rescue. Instead of confessing his
own sins, he began to accuse others, until Columbus, losing all patience, in his mingled indignation and scorn, ordered the dastard wretch to be flung from the battlements.
This sudden act of severity was promptly followed up. Pedro Reguelme was taken with several of his compeers, in his ruffian den at Bonao, and conveyed to the fortress of San Domingo. The conspirators fled for the most part to Xaragua, where they were pursued by the Adelantado, seconded by Roldan, and hunted out of all their old retreats. Thus in a little while the power of faction was completely subdued.
Columbus considered this happy event as brought about by the especial intervention of Heaven, and gives in proof of it an instance of one of those visionary fancies by which he seems to have been visited at times, when his mind was distempered by illness or anxiety. In the preceding winter, during the height of his cares and troubles, he had sunk into a state of despondency. In one of his gloomy moods he heard, he says, a voice which thus addressed him: "Oh man of little faith! fear nothing; be not cast down. I will provide for thee. The seven years of the term of gold are not expired *. In that, and in all other things, I will take care of thee." On that very day, he adds, he received intelligence of the discovery of a number of gold mines. The imaginary promise of divine aid appeared to him still to be performing. The troubles and dangers which had surrounded him
* Alluding to his vow, that within seven years he would furnish an army for a crusade, from his share of the gold to be found in the new world.