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charged him to be on his guard against any attempt at rescue or escape. The sturdy pilot replied, that if the cacique escaped from his clutches he would give them leave to pluck out his beard hair by hair. On arriving at the boat, he secured his prisoner by a strong cord to one of the benches. It was a dark night; as the boat proceeded down the river, the cacique complained piteously of the painfulness of his bonds, until the rough heart of the pilot was touched with compassion. He loosened the cord, therefore, by which Quibian was tied to the bench, keeping the end of it in his hand. The wily Indian now watched his opportunity, and plunged suddenly into the water, with such violence, that the pilot had to let go the cord, lest he should be drawn in after him. The darkness of the night, and the bustle which took place in preventing the escape of the other prisoners, rendered it impossible to pursue the cacique, or even to ascertain his fate. Juan Sanchez hastened to the ships with the residue of the captives, deeply mortified at being thus outwitted by a savage.

The Adelantado remained all night on shore, but on the following morning, seeing the wild and rugged nature of the country, he gave up all further pursuit of the Indians, and returned to the ships with the spoils of the cacique's mansion, consisting of bracelets, anklets, and massive plates of gold, and two golden coronets. One-fifth of the booty was set apart for the crown, the residue was shared among those concerned in the enterprise, and one of the coronets was assigned to the Adelantado as a trophy of his exploit.


Disasters of the Settlement.

SATISFIED that the vigorous measure of the Adelantado had struck terror into the Indians, and crushed their hostile designs, Columbus took advantage of a swelling of the river, to pass the bar with three of his caravals, leaving the fourth for the use of the settlement. He then anchored within a league of the shore, until a favourable wind should spring up for Hispaniola.

The cacique Quibian had not perished in the river, as some had supposed. Plunging to the bottom, he swam for some distance below the surface, and then emerging escaped to the shore. His home, however, was desolate, and to complete his despair, he saw the vessels standing out to sea, bearing away his wives and children captives. Furious for revenge, he gathered together a great number of his warriors, and assailed the settlement when the Spaniards were scattered and off their guard. The Indians lanched their javelins through the roofs of the houses, which were of palm leaves, or hurled them in at the windows, or thrust them between the logs which composed the walls, and wounded several of the Spaniards. On the first alarm, the Ade

lantado seized a lance, and sallied forth with seven or eight of his men; Diego Mendez brought several others to his assistance. They had a short skirmish ; one Spaniard was killed, and eight wounded; the Adelantado received a thrust in the breast with a javelin; but they succeeded in repulsing the Indians, with considerable loss, and driving them into the forest.

During the skirmish, a boat came on shore from the ships, to procure wood and water. It was commanded by Diego Tristan, a captain of one of the caravals. When the Indians were put to flight he proceeded up the river, in quest of fresh water, disregarding the warning counsels of those on shore.

The boat had ascended about a league above the village, to a part of the river overshadowed by lofty banks and spreading trees. Suddenly the forest resounded with yells and war-whoops, and the blasts of conchs. A shower of missiles was rained from the shores, and canoes darted out from creeks and coves, filled with warriors, brandishing their weapons. The Spaniards, losing all presence of mind, neglected to use their fire-arms, and only sought to shelter themselves with their bucklers. The captain, Diego Tristan, though covered with wounds, endeavoured to animate his men, when a javelin pierced his right eye, and struck him dead. The canoes now closed upon the boat, and massacred the crew. One Spaniard alone escaped, who, having fallen overboard, dived to the bottom, swam under water, and escaped unperceived to shore, bearing tidings of the massacre to the settlement. The Spaniards were so alarmed at the intelligence, and at the thoughts of the dangers that were thickening around them, that, notwithstanding the

remonstrances of the Adelantado, they determined to embark in the caraval, and abandon the place altogether. On making the attempt, however, they found that, the torrents having subsided, the river was again shallow, and it was impossible for the caraval to pass over the bar. A high sea and boisterous surf also prevented their sending off a boat to the admiral, with intelligence of their danger. While thus cut off from all retreat or succour, horrors increased upon them. The mangled bodies of Diego Tristan and his men came floating down the stream, and drifted about the harbour, with flights of crows and other carrion birds feeding on them, and hovering, and screaming, and fighting about their prey.

In the mean time, the dismal sound of conchs and war drums was heard in every direction in the bosom of the surrounding forest, showing that the enemy was augmenting in number, and preparing for further hostilities. The Adelantado, therefore, deemed it unsafe to remain in the village, which was adjacent to the woods. He chose an open place on the shore, where he caused a kind of bulwark to be made of the boat of the caraval, and of casks and sea chests. Two places were left open as embrasures, in which were mounted a couple of falconets, or small pieces of artillery. In this little fortress the Spaniards shut themselves up, and kept the Indians at a distance by the terror of their firearms; but they were exhausted by watching and by incessant alarms, and looked forward with despondency to the time when their ammunition should be exhausted, or they should be driven forth by hunger to seek for food.

While the Spaniards were exposed to such im

minent peril on shore, great anxiety prevailed on board of the ships. Day after day elapsed without the return of Diego Tristan and his party, and it was feared that some disaster had befallen them. But one boat remained for the service of the ships, and they dared not risk it, in the rough sea and heavy surf, to send it on shore for intelligence. A circumstance occurred to increase the anxiety of the crews. The Indian prisoners were confined in the forecastle of one of the caravals. In the night they suddenly burst open the hatch, and several flung themselves into the sea, and swam to the shore; the rest were secured and forced back into the forecastle, but such was their unconquerable spirit and their despair, that they hanged or strangled themselves with ends of cords, which lay about in their prison, and in the morning were all found dead.

The escape of some of the prisoners gave great uneasiness to the admiral, fearing they would stimulate their countrymen to some new act of vengeance. Still it was impossible to send a boat on shore. At length one Pedro Ledesma, a man of great strength and resolution, volunteered, if the boat would take him to the edge of the surf, to plunge into the sea, swim to the shore, and bring off intelligence. He succeeded, and, on his return, informed the admiral of all the disasters of the settlement, the attack by the Indians, and the massacre of Diego Tristan and his boat's crew. He found the Spaniards in their forlorn fortress in a complete state of insubordination. They were preparing canoes to take them to the ships when the weather should moderate. They threatened that, if the admiral refused to take them on board, they would

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