Infomotions, Inc.1492 / Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936

Author: Johnston, Mary, 1870-1936
Title: 1492
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): juan lepe; lepe; juan; diego; christopherus columbus; hispaniola; santa maria; santa; master christopherus; don enrique; martin pinzon; spain; luis torres; maria; pedro gutierrez; juan perez; diego colon; fray juan; admiral; ships; don diego
Contributor(s): Bell, Clara, 1834-1927 [Translator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 102,966 words (short) Grade range: 6-9 (grade school) Readability score: 74 (easy)
Identifier: etext1692
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious

Discover what books you consider "great". Take the Great Books Survey.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of 1492, by Mary Johnston

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing
this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.

This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project
Gutenberg file.  Please do not remove it.  Do not change or edit the
header without written permission.

Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the
eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file.  Included is
important information about your specific rights and restrictions in
how the file may be used.  You can also find out about how to make a
donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.

**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**

**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**

*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****

Title: 1492

Author: Mary Johnston

Release Date: Mar, 1999  [EBook #1692]
[Most recently updated: June 9, 2002]

Edition: 11

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Scanned by Charles Keller with OmniPage Professional OCR software
Updates and fixes by Martin Robb





THE morning was gray and I sat by the sea near Palos
in a gray mood. I was Jayme de Marchena, and that
was a good, _old Christian_ name. But my grandmother
was Jewess, and in corners they said that she never
truly recanted, and I had been much with her as a child.
She was dead, but still they talked of her. Jayme de Marchena,
looking back from the hillside of forty-six, saw some
service done for the Queen and the folk. This thing and
that thing. Not demanding trumpets, but serviceable. It
would be neither counted nor weighed beside and against
that which Don Pedro and the Dominican found to say.
What they found to say they made, not found. They took
clay of misrepresentation, and in the field of falsehood sat
them down, and consulting the parchment of malice, proceeded
to create. But false as was all they set up, the time
would cry it true.

It was reasonable that I should find the day gray.

Study and study and study, year on year, and at last
image a great thing, just under the rim of the mind's ocean,
sending up for those who will look streamers above horizon,
streamers of colored and wonderful light! Study and reason
and with awe and delight take light from above. Dream
of good news for one and all, of life given depth and brought
into music, dream of giving the given, never holding it back,
which would be avarice and betraying! Write, and give
men and women to read what you have written, and believe
--poor Deluded!--that they also feel inner warmth and
light and rejoice.

Oh, gray the sea and gray the shore!

But some did feel it.

The Dominican, when it fell into his hands, called it
perdition. A Jewess for grandmother, and Don Pedro for
enemy. And now the Dominican--the Dominicans!

The Queen and the King made edict against the Jews, and
there sat the Inquisition.

I was--I am--Christian. It is a wide and deep and
high word. When you ask, "What is it--Christian?"
then must each of us answer as it is given to him to answer.
I and thou--and the True, the Universal Christ give us

To-day all Andalusia, all Castile and all Spain to me
seemed gray, and gray the utter Ocean that stretched no
man knew where. The gray was the gray of fetters and of

The tide made, and as the waves came nearer, eating the
sand before me, they uttered a low crying. _In danger--
danger--in danger, Jayme de Marchena!_

I had been in danger before. Who is not often and always
in danger, in life? But this was a danger to daunt.

Mine were no powerful friends. I had only that which
was within me. I was only son of only son, and my parents
and grandparents were dead, and my distant kindred cold,
seeing naught of good in so much study and thinking of
that old, dark, beautiful, questionable one, my grandmother.
I had indeed a remote kinsman, head of a convent in this
neighborhood, and he was a wise man and a kindly. But
not he either could do aught here!

All the Jews to be banished, and Don Pedro with a steady
forefinger, "That man--take him, too! Who does not
know that his grandmother was Jewess, and that he lived
with her and drank poison?" But the Dominican, "No!
The Holy Office will take him. You have but to read--only
you must not read--what he has written to see why!"

Gray Ocean, stretching endlessly and now coming close,
were it not well if I drowned myself this gray morning
while I can choose the death I shall die? Now the great
murmur sang _Well_, and now it sang Not well.

Low cliff and heaped sand and a solitary bird wide-winging
toward the mountains of Portugal, and the Ocean gray-
blue and salt! The salt savor entered me, and an inner zest
came forward and said No, to being craven. In banishment
certainly, in the House of the Inquisition more doubtfully,
the immortal man might yet find market from which to buy!
If the mind could surmount, the eternal quest need not be
interrupted--even there!

Blue Ocean sang to me.

A vision--it came to me at times, vision--set itself in
air. I saw A People who persecuted neither Jew nor thinker.
It rose one Figure, formed of an infinite number of small
figures, but all their edges met in one glow. The figure
stood upon the sea and held apart the clouds, and was free
and fair and mighty, and was man and woman melted together,
and it took all colors and made of them a sun for its
brow. I did not know when it would live, but I knew that
it should live. Perhaps it was the whole world.

It vanished, leaving sky and ocean and Andalusia. But
great visions leave great peace. After it, for this day, it
seemed not worth while to grieve and miserably to forebode.
Through the hours that I lay there by the sea, airs from that
land or that earth blew about me and faint songs visited
my ears, and the gray day was only gray like a dove's

Jayme de Marchena stayed by the lonely sea because that
seemed the safest place to stay. At hand was the small
port of Palos that might not know what was breeding in
Seville, and going thither at nightfall I found lodging and
supper in a still corner where all night I heard the Tinto
flowing by.

I had wandered to Palos because of the Franciscan convent
of Santa Maria de la Rabida and my very distant kins-
man, Fray Juan Perez. The day after the gray day by the
shore I walked half a league of sandy road and came to
convent gate. The porter let me in, and I waited in a little
court with doves about me and a swinging bell above until
the brother whom he had called returned and took me to
Prior's room. At first Fray Juan Perez was stiff and cold,
but by littles this changed and he became a good man, large-
minded and with a sense for kindred. Clearly he thought
that I should not have had a Jewish grandmother, nor have
lived with her from my third to my tenth birthday, and most
clearly that I should not have written that which I had
written. But his God was an energetic, enterprising, kindly
Prince, rather bold himself and tolerant of heathen. Fray
Juan Perez even intimated a doubt if God wanted
the Inquisition. "But that's going rather far!" he said
hastily and sat drumming the table and pursing his lips.
Presently he brought out, "But you know I can't do anything!"

I did know it. What could he do? I suppose I had
had a half-hope of something. I knew not what. Without
a hope I would not have come to La Rabida. But it was
maimed from the first, and now it died. I made a gesture
of relinquishment. "No, I suppose you cannot--"

He said after a moment that he was glad to see that I
had let my beard grow and was very plainly dressed, though
I had never been elaborate there, and especially was he glad
that I was come to Palos not as Jayme de Marchena, but
under a plain and simple name, Juan Lepe, to wit. His advice
was to flee from the wrath to come. He would not say
flee from the Holy Office--that would be heinous!--but
he would say absent myself, abscond, be banished, Jayme
de Marchena by Jayme de Marchena. There were barques
in Palos and rude seamen who asked no question when
gold just enough, and never more than enough, was shown.
He hesitated a moment and then asked if I had funds. If

I thanked him and said that I had made provision.

"Then," said he, "go to Barbary, Don Jayme! An intelligent
and prudent man may prosper at Ercilla or at Fez.
If you must study, study there."

"You also study," I said.

"In fair trodden highways--never in thick forest and
mere fog!" he answered. "Now if you were like one who
has been here and is now before Granada, at Santa Fe, sent
for thither by the Queen! That one hath indeed studied to
benefit Spain--Spain, Christendom, and the world!"

I asked who was that great one, but before he could tell
me came interruption. A visitor entered, a strong-lipped,
bold-eyed man named Martin Pinzon. I was to meet him
again and often, but at this time I did not know that. Fray
Juan Perez evidently desiring that I should go, I thought
it right to oblige him who would have done me kindness
had he known how. I went without intimate word of parting
and after only a casual stare from Martin Pinzon.

But without, my kinsman came after me. "I want to
say, Don Jayme, that if I am asked for testimony I shall
hold to it that you are as good Christian as any--"

It was kinsman's part and all that truly I could have
hoped for, and I told him so. About us was quiet, vacant
cloister, and we parted more warmly than we had done

The white convent of La Rabida is set on a headland
among vineyards and pine trees. It regards the ocean and,
afar, the mountains of Portugal, and below it runs a small
river, going out to sea through sands with the Tinto and the
Odiel. Again the day was gray and the pine trees sighing.
The porter let me out at gate.

I walked back toward Palos through the sandy ways. I
did not wish to go to Africa.

It is my belief that that larger Self whom they will call
protecting Saint or heavenly Guardian takes hand in affairs
oftener than we think! Leaving the Palos road, I went to
the sea as I had done yesterday and again sat under heaped
sand with about me a sere grass through which the wind
whined. At first it whined and then it sang in a thin, outlandish
voice. Sitting thus, I might have looked toward
Africa, but I knew now that I was not going to Africa.
Often, perhaps, in the unremembered past I had been in
Africa; often, doubtless, in ages to come its soil would be
under my foot, but now I was not going there! To-day I
looked westward over River-Ocean, unknown to our fathers
and unknown to ourselves. It was unknown as the future
of the world.

Ocean piled before me. From where I lay it seemed to
run uphill to one pale line, nor blue nor white, set beneath
the solid gray. Over that hilltop, what? Only other hills
and plains, water, endlessly water, until the waves, so much
mightier than waves of that blue sea we knew best, should
beat at last against Asia shore! So high, so deep, so vast,
so real, yet so empty-seeming save for strange dangers! No
sails over the hilltop; no sails in all that Vast save close at
hand where mariners held to the skirts of Mother. Europe.
Ocean vast, Ocean black, Ocean unknown. Yet there, too,
life and the knowing of life ran somehow continuous.

It wiled me from my smaller self. How had we all
suffered, we the whole earth! But we were moving, we the
world with none left out, moving toward That which held
worlds, which was conscious above worlds. Long the
journey, long the adventure, but it was not worth while fearing,
it was not worth while whining! I was not alone
Jayme de Marchena, nor Juan Lepe, nor this name nor that
nor the other.

There was now a great space of quiet in my mind. Suddenly
formed there the face and figure of Don Enrique de
Cerda whose life I had had the good hap to save. He was
far away with the Queen and King who beleaguered Granada.
I had not seen him for ten years. A moment before
he had rested among the host of figures in the unevenly
lighted land of memory. Now he stood forth plainly and
seemed to smile.

I took the leading. With the inner eye I have seen lines
of light like subtle shining cords running between persons.
Such a thread stretched now between me and Enrique de
Cerda. I determined to make my way, as Juan Lepe, through
the mountains and over the plain of Granada to Santa Fe.


SET will to an end and promptly eyes open to means!
I did not start for Granada from Palos but from
Huelva, and I quitted Andalusia as a porter in a small
merchant train carrying goods of sorts to Zarafa that was a
mountain town taken from the Moors five years back. I
was to these folk Juan Lepe, a strong, middle-aged man
used to ships but now for some reason tired of them. My
merchants had only eyes for the safety of their persons and
their bales, plunged the third day into mountainous wild
country echoing and ghastly with long-lasting war. Their
servants and muleteers walked and rode, lamented or were
gay, raised faction, swore, laughed, traveled grimly or in
a dull melancholy or mirthfully; quarreled and made peace,
turn by turn, day by day, much alike. One who was a
bully fixed a quarrel upon me and another took my part.
All leaped to sides. I was forgotten in the midst of them;
they could hardly have told now what was the cause of battle.
A young merchant rode back to chide and settle matters.
At last some one remembered that Diego had struck
Juan Lepe who had flung him off. Then Tomaso had
sprung in and struck Diego. Then Miguel--"Let Juan
Lepe alone!" said my merchant. "Fie! a poor Palos seafaring
child, and you great Huelva men!" They laughed at
that, and the storm vanished as it had come.

I liked the young man.

How wild and without law, save "Hold if you can!"
were these mountains!' "Hold if you can to life--hold if
you can to knowledge--hold if you can to joy!" Black
cliff overhung black glen and we knew there were dens of
robbers. Far and near violence falls like black snow. This
merchant band gathered to sleep under oaks with a great
rock at our back. We had journeyers' supper and fire, for
it was cold, cold in these heights. A little wine was given
and men fell to sleep by the heaped bales; horses, asses and
mules being fastened close under the crag. Three men
watched, to be relieved in middle night by other three who
now slept. A muleteer named Rodrigo and Juan Lepe and
the young merchant took the first turn. The first two sat on
one side of the fire and the young merchant on the other.

The muleteer remained sunken in a great cloak, his chin
on his arms folded upon his knees, and what he saw in the
land within I cannot tell. But the young merchant was of a
quick disposition and presently must talk. For some distance
around us spread bare earth set only with shrubs and stones.
Also the rising moon gave light, and with that and our own
strength we did not truly look for any attack. We sat and
talked at ease, though with lowered voices, Rodrigo somewhere
away and the rest of the picture sleeping. The merchant
asked what had been my last voyage.

I answered, after a moment, to England.

"You do not seem to me," he said, "a seaman. But I
suppose there are all kinds of seamen."

I said yes, the sea was wide.

"England now, at the present moment?" he said, and
questioned me as to Bristol, of which port he had trader's
knowledge. I answered out of a book I had read. It was
true that, living once by the sea, I knew how to handle a
boat. I could find in memory sailors' terms. But still he
said, "You are not a seaman such as we see at Palos and
San Lucar."

It is often best not to halt denial. Let it pass by and
wander among the wild grasses!

"I myself," he said presently, "have gone by sea to Vigo
and to Bordeaux." He warmed his hands at the fire, then
clasped them about his knees and gazed into the night.
"What, Juan Lepe, is that Ocean we look upon when we
look west? I mean, where does it go? What does it

"India, belike. And Cathay. To-day all men believe
the earth to be round."

"A long way!" he said. "O Sancta Maria! All that

"We do not have to drink it."

He laughed. "No! Nor sail it. But after I had been on
that voyage I could see us always like mice running close to
a wall, forever and forever! Juan Lepe, we are little and

I liked his spirit. "One day we shall be lions and eagles
and bold prophets! Then our tongue shall taste much beside
India and Cathay!"

"Well, I hope it," he said. "Mice running under the

He fell silent, cherishing his knees and staring into the
fire. It was not Juan Lepe's place to talk when master merchant
talked not. I, too, regarded the fire, and the herded
mountains robed in night, and the half-moon like a sail rising
from an invisible boat.

The night went peacefully by. It was followed by a
hard day's travel and the incident of the road. At evening
we saw the walls of Zarafa in a sunset glory. The merchants
and their train passed through the gate and found
their customary inn. With others, Juan Lepe worked hard,
unlading and storing. All done, he and the bully slept almost
in each other's arms, under the arches of the court,

The next day and the next were still days of labor. It
was not until the third that Juan Lepe considered that he
might now absent himself and there be raised no hue and
cry after strong shoulders. He had earned his quittance,
and in the nighttime, upon his hands and knees, he crept
from the sleepers in the court. Just before dawn the inn
gate swung open. He had been waiting close to it, and he
passed out noiselessly.

In the two days, carrying goods through streets to market
square and up to citadel and pausing at varying levels
for breath and the prospect, I had learned this town well
enough. I knew where went the ascending and descending
ways. Now almost all lay asleep, antique, shaded, Moorish,
still, under the stars. The soldiery and the hidalgos, their
officers, slept; only the sentinels waked before the citadel
entry and on the town walls and by the three gates. The
town folk slept, all but the sick and the sorrowful and the
careful and those who had work at dawn. Listen, and you
might hear sound like the first moving of birds, or breath
of dawn wind coming up at sea. The greater part now of
the town folk were Christian, brought in since the five-year-
gone siege that still resounded. Moors were here, but they
had turned Christian, or were slaves, or both slave and
Christian. I had seen monks of all habits and heard ring
above the inn the bells of a nunnery. Now again they
rang. The mosque was now a church. It rose at hand,--
white, square, domed. I went by a ladder-like lane down
toward Zarafa wall and the Gate of the Lion. At sunrise
in would pour peasants from the vale below, bringing vegetables
and poultry, and mountaineers with quails and conies,
and others with divers affairs. Outgoing would be those
who tilled a few steep gardens beyond the wall, messengers
and errand folk, soldiers and traders for the army before

It was full early when I came to the wall. I could make
out the heavy and tall archway of the gate, but as yet was
no throng before it. I waited; the folk began to gather, the
sun came up. Zarafa grew rosy. Now was clatter enough,
voices of men and brutes, both sides the gate. The gate
opened. Juan Lepe won out with a knot of brawny folk
going to the mountain pastures. Well forth, he looked back
and saw Zarafa gleaming rose and pearl in the blink of the
sun, and sent young merchantward a wish for good. Then
he took the eastward way down the mountain, toward lower
mountains and at last the Vega of Granada.


THE day passed. I had adventures of the road, but
none of consequence. I slept well among the rocks,
waked, ate the bit of bread I had with me, and fell
again to walking.

Mountains were now withdrawing to the distant horizon
where they stood around, a mighty and beautiful wall. I
was coming down into the plain of Granada, that once had
been a garden. Now, north, south, east, west, it lay war-
trampled. Old owners were dead, men and women, or were
_mudexares_, vassals, or were fled, men and women, all who
could flee, to their kindred in Africa. Or they yet cowered,
men and women, in the broken garden, awaiting individual
disaster. The Kingdom of Granada had sins, and the Kingdom
of Castile, and the Kingdom of Leon. The Moor was
stained, and the Spaniard, the Moslem and the Christian
and the Jew. Who had stains the least or the most God
knew--and it was a poor inquiry. Seek the virtues and
bind them with love, each in each!

If the mountain road had been largely solitary, it was not
so of this road. There were folk enough in the wide Vega
of Granada. Clearly, as though the one party had been
dressed in black and the other in red, they divided into
vanquished and victor. Bit by bit, now through years, all
these towns and villages, all these fertile fields and bosky
places, rich and singing, had left the hand of the Moor for
the hand of the Spaniard.

In all this part of his old kingdom the Moor lay low in
defeat. In had swarmed the Christian and with the Christian
the Jew, though now the Jew must leave. The city
of Granada was not yet surrendered, and the Queen and
King held all soldiery that they might at Santa Fe, built as
it were in a night before Granada walls. Yet there seemed
at large bands enough, licentious and loud, the scum of
soldiery. Ere I reached the village that I now saw before
me I had met two such bands, I wondered, and then wondered
at my own wonder.

The chief house of the village was become an inn. Two
long tables stood in the patio where no fountain now flowed
nor orange trees grew nor birds sang in corners nor fine
awning kept away the glare. Twenty of these wild and
base fighting men crowded one table, eating and drinking,
clamorous and spouting oaths. At the other table sat together
at an end three men whom by a number of tokens
might be robbers of the mountains. They sat quiet, indifferent
to the noise, talking low among themselves in a
tongue of their own, kin enough to the soldiery not to
fear them. The opposite end of the long table was given to
a group to which I now joined myself. Here sat two Franciscan
friars, and a man who seemed a lawyer; and one who
had the air of the sea and turned out to be master of a
Levantine; and a brisk, talkative, important person, a Catalan,
and as it presently appeared alcalde once of a so-so
village; and a young, unhealthy-looking man in black with
an open book beside him; and a strange fellow whose
Spanish was imperfect.

I sat down near the friars, crossed myself, and cut a piece
of bread from the loaf before me. The innkeeper and his
wife, a gaunt, extraordinarily tall woman, served, running
from table to table. The place was all heat and noise.
Presently the soldiers, ending their meal, got up with clamor
and surged from the court to their waiting horses. After
them ran the innkeeper, appealing for pay. Denials, expostulation,
anger and beseeching reached the ears of the patio,
then the sound of horses going down stony ways. "O God
of the poor!" cried the gaunt woman. "How are we

"Why are they not before Granada?" demanded the
lawyer and alertly provided the answer to his own question.
"Take locusts and give them leave to eat, being careful to
say, `This fellow's fields only!' But the locusts have wings
and their nature is to eat!"

The mountain robbers, if robbers they were, dined quietly,
the gaunt woman promptly and painstakingly serving them.
They were going to pay, I was sure, though it might not be
this noon.

The two friars seemed, quiet, simple men, dining as
dumbly as if they sat in Saint Francis's refectory. The
sometime alcalde and the shipmaster were the talkers, the
student sitting as though he were in the desert, eating bread
and cheese and onions and looking on his book. The lawyer
watched all, talked to make them talk, then came in and settled
matters. The alcalde was the politician, knowing the
affairs of the world and speaking familiarly of the King
and the Queen and the Marquis of Cadiz.

The shipmaster said, "This time last year I was in London,
and I saw their King. His name is Henry. King
Henry the Seventh, and a good carrier of his kingship!"

"That for him!" said the alcalde. "Let him stay in his
foggy island! But Spain is too small for King Ferdinand."
"All kings find their lands too small," said the lawyer.

The shipmaster spoke again. "The King of Portugal's
ship sails ahead of ours in that matter. He's stuck his banner
in the new islands, Maderia and the Hawk Islands and
where not! I was talking in Cadiz with one who was with
Bartholomew Diaz when he turned Africa and named it
Good Hope. Which is to say, King John has Good Hope of
seeing Portugal swell. Portugal! Well, I say, `Why not

The student looked up from his book. "It is a great
Age!" he said and returned to his reading.

When we had finished dinner, we paid the tall, gaunt
woman and leaving the robbers, if robbers they were, still
at table, went out into the street. Here the friars, the alcalde
and the lawyer moved in the direction of the small, staring
white and ruined mosque that was to be transformed into
the church of San Jago the Deliverer. That was the one
thing of which the friars had spoken. A long bench ran by
inn wall and here the shipmaster took his seat and began to
discourse with those already there. Book under arm, the
student moved dreamily down the opposite lane. Juan
Lepe walked away alone.

Through the remainder of this day he had now company
and adventure without, now solitude and adventure within.
That night he spent in a ruined tower where young
trees grew and an owl was his comrade and he read the face
of a glorious moon. Dawn. He bathed in a stream that
ran by the mound of the tower and ate a piece of bread from
his wallet and took the road.

The sun mounted above the trees. A man upon a mule
came up behind me and was passing. "There is a stone
wedged in his shoe," I said. The rider drew rein and I
lifted the creature's foreleg and took out the pebble. The
rider made search for a bit of money. I said that the deed
was short and easy and needed no payment, whereupon he
put up the coin and regarded me out of his fine blue eyes.
He was quite fair, a young man still, and dressed after a
manner of his own in garments not at all new but with
a beauty of fashioning and putting on. He and his mule
looked a corner out of a great painting. And I had no
sooner thought that than he said, "I see in you, friend, a
face and figure for my `Draught of Fishes.' And by Saint
Christopher, there is water over yonder and just the landscape!"
He leaned from the saddle and spoke persuasively,
"Come from the road a bit down to the water and let me
draw you! You are not dressed like the kin of Midas! I
will give you the price of dinner." As he talked he drew out
of a richly worked bag a book of paper and pencils.
I thought, "This beard and the clothes of Juan Lepe. He
can hardly make it so that any may recognize." It was resting
time and the man attracted. I agreed, if he would take
no more than an hour.

"The drawing, no!--Bent far over, gathering the net
strongly--Andrew or Mark perhaps, since, traditionally,
John must have youth."

He had continued to study me all this time, and now we
left the road and moved over the plain to the stream that
here widened into a pool fringed with rushes and a few
twisted trees. An ancient, half-sunken boat drowsing under
the bank he hailed again in the name of Saint Christopher.
Dismounting, he fastened his mule to a willow and proceeded
to place me, then himself found a root of a tree,
and taking out his knife fell to sharpening pencil. This done,
he rested book against knee and began to draw.

Having made his figure in one posture he rose and showed
me another and drew his fisherman so. Then he demonstrated
a third way and drew again. Now he was silent,
working hard, and now he dropped his hand, threw back
his head and talked. He himself made a picture, paly gold
of locks, subtle and quick of face, plastered against a blue
shield with a willow wreath going around.

I stood so or so, drawing hard upon the net with the
fishes. Then at his command I approached more nearly, and
he drew full face and three-quarter and profile. It was between
these accomplishings that he talked more intimately.

"Seamen go to Italy," he said. "Were you ever in
Milan? But that is inland."

I answered that I had been from Genoa to Milan.

"It is not likely that you saw a great painter there
Messer Leonardo?"

It happened that I had done this, and moreover had seen
him at work and heard him put right thought into most right
words. I was so tired of lying that after a moment I said
that I had seen and heard Messer Leonardo.

"Did you see the statue?"

"The first time I saw him he was at work upon it. The
next time he was painting in the church of Santa Maria.
The third time he sat in a garden, sipped wine and talked."

"I hold you," he said, "to be a fortunate fisherman!
Just as this fisher I am painting, and whether it is Andrew
or Mark, I do not yet know, was a most fortunate fisherman!"
He ended meditatively, "Though whoever it is,
probably he was crucified or beheaded or burned."

I felt a certain shiver of premonition. The day that had
been warm and bright turned in a flash ashy and chill. Then
it swung back to its first fair seeming, or not to its first, but
to a deeper, brighter yet. The Fisherman by Galilee was
fortunate. Whoever perceived truth and beauty was fortunate,
fortunate now and forever!

We came back to Messer Leonardo. "I spent six months
at the court in Milan," said the fair man. "I painted the
Duke and the Duchess and two great courtiers. Messer
Leonardo was away. He returned, and I visited him and
found a master. Since that time I study light and shadow
and small things and seek out inner action."

He worked in silence, then again began to speak of painters,
Italian and Spanish. He asked me if I had seen such
and such pictures in Seville.

"Yes. They are good."

"Do you know Monsalvat?"

I said that I had climbed there one day. "I dream a painting!"
he said, "The Quest of the Grail. Now I see it running
over the four walls of a church, and now I see it all
packed into one man who rides. Then again it has seemed
to me truer to have it in a man and woman who walk, or
perhaps even are seated. What do you think?"

I was thinking of Isabel who died in my arms twenty
years ago. "I would have it man and woman," I said.
Unless, like Messer Leonardo, you can put both in one."

He sat still, his mind working, while in a fair inner land
Isabel and I moved together; then in a meditative quiet he
finished his drawing. He himself was admirable, fine gold
and bronze, sapphire-eyed, with a face where streams of
visions moved the muscles, and all against the blue and the
willow tree.

At last he put away pencil, and at his gesture I came from
the boat and the reeds. I looked at what he had drawn, and
then he shut book and, the mule following us, we moved
back to the road.

"My dear fisherman," he said, "you are trudging afoot
and your dress exhibits poverty. Painters may paint Jove
descending in showers of golden pesos and yet have few
pesos in purse. I have at present ten. I should like to
share them with you who have done me various good turns

I said that he was generous but that he had done me
good turns. Moreover I was not utterly without coin, and
certainly the hour had paid for itself. So he mounted his
mule and wished me good fortune, and I wished him good

"Are you going to Santa Fe?"

"Yes. I have a friend in the camp."

"I go there to paint her Highness the Queen for his
Highness the King. Perhaps we shall meet again. I am
Manuel Rodriguez."

"I guessed that," I answered, "an hour ago! Be so
good, great painter, as not to remember me. It will serve me

The light played again over his face. "_The Disguised
Hidalgo_. Excellent pictures come to me like that, in a great
warm light, and excellent names for pictures.--Very good.
In a way, so to speak, I shall completely forget you!"

Two on horseback, a churchman and a knight, with servants
following, came around a bend of the dusty road and
recognizing Manuel Rodriguez, called to him by name.
Away he rode upon his mule, keeping company with them.
The dozen in their train followed, raising as they went by
such a dust cloud that presently all became like figures upon
worn arras. They rode toward Santa Fe, and I followed on


SANTA Fe rose before me, a camp in wood, plaster and
stone, a camp with a palace, a camp with churches.
Built of a piece where no town had stood, built that
Majesty and its Court and its Army might have roofs and
walls, not tents, for so long a siege, it covered the plain, a
city raised in a night. The siege had been long as the war
had been long. Hidalgo Spain and simple Spain were gathered
here in great squares and ribbons of valor, ambition,
emulation, desire of excitement and of livelihood, and likewise,
I say it, in pieces not small, herded and brought here
without any "I say yes" of their own, and to their misery.
There held full flavor of crusade, as all along the war had
been preached as a crusade. Holy Church had here her
own grandees, cavaliers and footmen. They wore cope and
they wore cowl, and on occasion many endued themselves
with armor and hacked and hewed with an earthly sword.
At times there seemed as many friars and priests as soldiers.
Out and in went a great Queen and King. Their court was
here. The churchmen pressed around the Queen. Famous
leaders put on or took off armor in Santa Fe,--the
Marquis of Cadiz and many others only less than he in
estimation, and one Don Gonsalvo de Cordova, whose greater
fame was yet to come. Military and shining youth came to
train and fight under these. Old captains-at-arms, gaunt and
scarred, made their way thither from afar. All were not
Spaniard; many a soldier out at fortune or wishful of fame
came from France and Italy, even from England and Germany.
Women were in Santa Fe. The Queen had her
ladies. Wives, sisters and daughters of hidalgos came to
visit, and the common soldiery had their mates. Nor did
there lack courtesans.

Petty merchants thronged the place. All manner of rich
goods were bought by the flushed soldiers, the high and the
low. And there dwelled here a host of those who sold
entertainment,--mummers and jugglers and singers, dwarfs
and giants. Dice rattled, now there were castanets and
dancing, and now church bells seemed to rock the place.
Wine flowed.

Out of the plain a league and more away sprang the two
hills of Granada, and pricked against the sky, her walls
and thousand towers and noble gates. Between them and
Santa Fe stretched open and ruined ground, and here for
many a day had shocked together the Spaniard and the
Moor. But now there was no longer battle. Granada had
asked and been granted seventy days in which to envisage
and accept her fate. These were nearing the end. Lost
and beaten, haggard with woe and hunger and pestilence,
the city stood over against us, above the naked plain, all
her outer gardens stripped away, bare light striking the red
Alhambra and the Citadel. When the wind swept over her
and on to Santa Fe it seemed to bring a sound of wailing
and the faint and terrible odor of a long besieged place.

I came at eve into Santa Fe, found at last an inn of the
poorer sort, ate scant supper and went to bed. Dawn came
with a great ringing of church bells.

Out of the inn, in the throbbing street, I began my search
for Don Enrique de Cerda. One told me one thing and one
another, but at last I got true direction. At noon I found
him in a goodly room where he made recovery from wounds.
Now he walked and now he sat, his arm in a sling and a
bandage like a turban around his head. A page took him
the word I gave. "Juan Lepe. From the hermitage in the
oak wood." It sufficed. When I entered he gazed, then
coming to me, put his unbound hand over mine. "Why,"
he asked, " `Juan Lepe'?"

I glanced toward the page and he dismissed him, whereupon
I explained the circumstances.

We sat by the window, and again rose for us the hermitage
in the oak wood at foot of a mountain, and the small
tower that slew in ugly fashion. Again we were young
men, together in strange dangers, learning there each other's
mettle. He had not at all forgotten.

He offered to go to Seville, as soon as Granada should
fall, and find and fight Don Pedro. I shook my head. I
could have done that had I seen it as the way.

He agreed that Don Pedro was now the minor peril. It
is evil to chain thought! In our day we think boldly of a
number of things. But touch King or touch Church--the
cord is around your neck!

I said that I supposed I had been rash.

He nodded. "Yes. You were rash that day in the oak
wood. Less rash, and my bones would be lying there, under
tree." He rose and walked the room, then came to me and
put his unhurt arm about my shoulders. "Don Jayme, we
swore that day comrade love and service--and that day is
now; twilight has never come to it, the leaves of the oak
wood have never fallen! The Holy Office shall not have

"Don Enrique--"

We sat down and drank each a little wine, and fell to
ways and means.

I rested Juan Lepe in the household of Don Enrique de
Cerda, one figure among many, involved in the swarm of
fighting and serving men. There was a squire who had
served him long. To this man, Diego Lopez, I was committed,
with enough told to enlist his intelligence. He managed
for me in the intricate life of the place with a skill to
make god Mercury applaud. Don Enrique and I were rarely
together, rarely were seen by men to speak one to the other.
But in the inner world we were together.

Days passed. We found nothing yet to do while all
listening and doing at Santa Fe were bound up in the crumbling of Granada into Spanish hands. It seemed 
best to wait,
watching chances.

Meantime the show glittered, and man's strong stomach
cried "Life! More life!" It glittered at Santa Fe before
Granada, and it was a dying ember in Granada before Santa
Fe. The one glittered and triumphed because the other
glittered and triumphed not. And who above held the balances
even and neither sorrowed nor was feverishly elated
but went his own way could only be seen from the Vega
like a dream or a line from a poet.

For the most part the nobles and cavaliers in Santa Fe
spent as though hard gold were spiritual gold to be gathered
endlessly. One might say, "They go into a garden and
shake tree each morning, which tree puts forth again in the
night." None seemed to see as on a map laid down Spain
and the broken peasant and the digger of the gold. None
seemed to feel that toil which or soon or late they must
recognize for their own toil. Toil in Spain, toil in other
and far lands whence came their rich things, toil in Europe,
Arabia and India! Apparel at Santa Fe was a thing to
marvel at. The steed no less than his rider went gorgeous.
The King and Queen, it was said, did not like this peacocking,
but might not help it.

They themselves were pouring gold into the lap of the
Church. It was a capacious lap.

Wars were general enough, God knew! But not every
year could one find a camp where the friar was as common
as the archer or the pikeman, and the prelate as the plumed

Santa Fe was court no less than camp, court almost as
though it were Cordova. This Queen and King at least did
not live at ease in palaces while others fought their wars.
North, south, east and west, through the ten years, they
had been the moving springs. It was an able King and
Queen, a politic King and a sincere and godly Queen, even
a loving Queen. If only--if only--

I had been a week and more in Santa Fe when King Boabdil surrendered Granada. He left forever the 
Granada gates opened; he rode out with a few of his emirs
and servants to meet King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
The day shone bright. Spain towered, a figure dressed in
gold and red.

Santa Fe poured out to view the spectacle, and with the
rest went Diego Lopez and Juan Lepe. So great festival,
so vivid the color, so echoing the sound, so stately and various
the movement! Looking at the great strength massing there
on the plain I said aloud, as I thought, to Diego Lopez,
"Now they might do some worthy great thing!"

The squire not answering, I became aware that a swirl in
the throng had pushed him from me. Still there came an
answer in a deep and peculiarly thrilling voice. "That is
a true saying and a good augury!"

I learn much by voices and before I turned I knew that
this was an enthusiast's voice, but not an enthusiast without
knowledge. Whoever spoke was strong enough, real enough.
I liked the voice and felt a certain inner movement of friendship.
Some shift among the great actors, some parting of
banners, kept us suspended and staring for a moment, then
the view closed against us who could only behold by snatches.
Freed, I turned to see who had spoken and found a tall,
strongly made, white-haired man. The silver hair was too
soon; he could hardly have been ten years my elder. He
had a long, fair face that might once have been tanned and
hardened by great exposure. His skin had that look, but
now the bronze was faded, and you could see that he had
been born very fair in tint. Across the high nose and
cheek bones went a powdering of freckles. His eyes were
bluish-gray and I saw at once that he habitually looked at
things afar off.

He was rather poorly dressed and pushed about as I was.
When the surge again gave him footing, he spoke beside me.
"'Now that this is over, they might do some great, worthy
thing!' Very true, friend, they might! I take your words
for good omen." The throng shot out an arm and we were
parted. The same action brought back to me Diego Lopez.
Speaking to him later of the tall man, he said that he had
noticed him, and that it was the Italian who would go to
India by way of Ocean-Sea.

King Boabdil gave up his city to King Ferdinand and
Queen Isabella. Over Granada, high against the bright sky,
rose and floated the banners. Cannon, the big lombards,
roared. Mars' music crashed out, then the trumpets ceased
their crying and instead spread a mighty chanting. _Te Deum

At last the massed brightness out in the plain quivered
and parted. The pageantry broke, wide curving and returning
with some freedom but with order too, into Santa Fe.
I saw the Queen and the King with their children, and the
Grand Cardinal, and prelates and prelates, and the Marquis
of Cadiz, and many a grandee and famous knight. Don
Enrique de Cerda and his troop came by.

Diego Lopez and I returned to the town. I saw again
the man who would find India by a way unpassed, as far as
one knew, since the world began! He was entering a house
with a friar beside him. Something came into my mind of
the convent of La Rabida.


SOME days went by. The King and the Queen with the
court and a great train of prelates and grandees and
knights rode in state through Granada. Don Enrique,
returning, told me of it in his room at night, of the Christian
service in the mosque and the throning in the Alhambra.

"Now," he said, "after great affairs, our affairs! I have
had speech with the Marchioness of Moya."

"That is the Queen's friend?"

"Yes. Dona Beatrix de Boabdilla. We stood together
by a fountain, and when she said, `What can I do for you?'
I answered, `There is something.' Then while all went in
pageantry before us, I told her of the hermitage in the oak
wood and of the unhappy small tower, and of you and me
and those others, and what was done that day. Don Jayme,
I told it like a minstrel who believes what he sings! And
then I spoke of to-day. She is no puny soul, nor is she
in priest's grip. She acts from her own vision, not from
that of another. The Queen is no weak soul either! She
also has vision, but too often she lets the churchmen take
her vision from her. But Dona Beatrix is stronger there.
Well, she promises help if we can show her how to help."

I said, "I have been thinking. It seems to me that it
was wrong to come here and put my weight upon you."

"No!" he answered. "Did we not swear then, when
we were young men? And we needed no oaths neither.
Let such thoughts be.--I am going to the palace to-morrow,
and you with me. The King and the Queen ride with a
great train into Granada. But Dona Beatrix will excuse
herself from going. The palace will be almost empty, and
we shall find her in the little gallery above the Queen's

The next morning we went there, Don Enrique de Cerda
and his squire, Juan Lepe. The palace rose great and goodly
enough, with the church at hand. All had been built as
by magic, silken pavilions flying away and stout houses
settling themselves down. Sunk among the walls had been
managed a small garden for the Queen and her ladies. A
narrow, latticed and roofed gallery built without the Queen's
rooms looked down upon orange and myrtle trees and a
fountain. Here we found the Marchioness de Moya, with
her two waiting damsels whom she set by the gallery door.
Don Enrique kissed her hand and then motioned to me.
Don Jayme de Marchena made his reverence.

She was a strong woman who would go directly to the
heart of things. Always she would learn from the man
himself. She asked me this and I answered; that and the
other and I answered. "Don Pedro--?" I told the
enmity there and the reason for it. "The Jewish rabbi,
my great-grand father?" I avowed it, but by three Castilian
and Christian great-grandfathers could not be counted as
Jew! Practise Judaism? No. My grandmother Judith
had been Christian.

She drove to the heart of it. "You yourself are Christian.
What do you mean by that? What the Queen means?
What the Grand Cardinal and the Archbishop of Granada
means? What the Holy Office means?"

I kept silence for a moment, then I told her as well as I
might, without fever and without melancholy, what I had
written and of the Dominican.

"You have been," she said, "an imprudent cavalier."

The fountain flashed below us, a gray dove flew over
garden. I said, "There is a text, `With all thy getting,
get understanding.' There is another, `For God so loved
the world'--that He wished to impart understanding."

She sat quiet, seeming to listen to the fountain. Then
she said, "Are you ready to avow when they ask you that
in every particular to which the Grand Inquisitor may point
you are wrong, and that all that Holy Church through mouth
of Holy Office says is right?"

I said, "No, Madam! Present Church is not as large as
Truth, nor as fair as Beauty."

"You may think that, but will you say the other?"

"Say that church or kingdom exactly matches Truth and

"That is what I am sure you will have to say."

"Then, no!"

"I do not see," she said, "that I can do anything for

There was a chair beside her. She sat down, her chin on
her hand and her eyes lowered. Silence held save for the
fountain plashing. Don Enrique stood by the railing, and
Jayme de Marchena felt his concern. But he himself walked
just then--Don Jayme or Juan Lepe--into long patience,
into greater steadfastness. Into the inner fields came translucence,
gold light; came and faded, but left strength.

Dona Beatrix raised her eyes and let them dwell upon
me. "Spain breeds bold knights," she said, "but not so
many after all who are bold within! Not so many, I think,
as are found in Italy or in France." She paused a moment,
looking at the sky above the roofs, then came back to me.
"It is hopeless, and you must see it, to talk in those terms
to the only powers that can lead the Holy Office to forget
that you live! It is hopeless to talk to the Queen, telling
her that. She would hold that she had entertained heresy,
and her imagination would not let her alone. I see naught
in this world for you to do but to go out of it into another!
There are other lands--"

A damsel hurried to her from the door. "There's a stir
below, Madam! Something has brought the Queen home
earlier than we thought--"

The Marchioness de Moya rose. Don Enrique kissed her
hand, and Jayme de Marchena kissed it and thanked her. "I
would help if I could!" she said. "But in Spain to-day
it is deadly dangerous to talk or write as though there were

She passed from the gallery, Don Enrique and I following.
We came upon a landing with a great stair before us.
Quick as had been her maidens, they were not quick enough.
Many folk were coming up the broad steps. Dona Beatrix
glanced, then opened a door giving into a great room,
apparently empty. She pointed to an opposite door. "The
little stair! Go that way!" Don Enrique nodded comprehension.
We were in the room; the door closed.

At first it seemed an empty great chamber. Then from
behind a square of stretched cloth came a man's head, followed
by the figure pertaining to it. The full man was clad
after a rich fancy and he held in his hand a brush and
looked at us at first dreamily and then with keenness.

He knew me, differently arrayed though I was, and looked
from me to Don Enrique. "Master Manuel Rodriguez,"
said the latter, "I would stop for good talk and to admire
the Queen's likeness, but duty calls me out of palace!
Adios!" He made toward the door across from that by
which we had entered. The painter spoke after us. "That
door is bolted, Don Enrique, on the other side. I do not
know why! It is not usually so."

Don Enrique, turning, hurried to the first door and very
slightly opened it. A humming entered the large, quiet room.
He closed the door. "The Queen is coming up the great
stair. The Archbishop of Granada is with her and a whole
train beside!" He spoke to the painter. "I have no
audience, and for reasons would not choose this moment as
one in which to encounter the least disfavor! I will stay here
before your picture and admire until landing and stairways
are bare."

"If to be invisible is your desire," answered Manuel
Rodriguez, "you have walked into trouble! The Queen is
coming here."

Don Enrique exclaimed. Juan Lepe turned eyes to the
painter. The blue eyes met mine--there rose the rushy
pool, there dozed the broken boat. Manuel Rodriguez spoke
in his voice that was at once cool and fine and dry and
warm. "It is best to dare thoroughly! Perhaps I may
help you--as thus! Wishing to speak with Don Enrique
of an altar painting for the Church of Saint Dominic, I
asked him here and he came. We talked, and he will give
the picture. Then, hearing the Queen's approach, he would
instantly have been gone, but alack, the small door is barred!
--As for fisherman yonder, few look at squire when knight
is in presence!"

No time to debate his offer, which indeed was both wise
and kind! Chamberlains flung open the door. In came the
Queen, with her the Princess Juana and several of her
ladies. Beside her walked Fernando de Talavera, Her Highness's
confessor, yesterday Bishop of Avila but now Archbishop
of Granada. Behind him moved two lesser ecclesiastics,
and with these Don Alonzo de Quintanella, Comptroller-
General of Castile. Others followed, nobles and
cavaliers, two soberly clad men who looked like secretaries,
a Franciscan friar, three or four pages. The room was
large and had a table covered with a rich cloth, two great
chairs and a few lesser ones.

The painter and Don Enrique bent low to the Majesty
of Castile. In the background Juan Lepe made squire's
obeisance. I was bearded and my face stained with a
Moorish stain, and I was in shadow; it was idle to fear
recognition that might never come. The Queen seated herself,
and her daughter beside her, and with her good smile
motioned the Archbishop to a chair. The two ecclesiastics,
both venerable men, were given seats. The rest of the company
stood. The Queen's blue eyes rested on Don Enrique.
She spoke in a clear, mild voice, threaded with dignity.
"Were you summoned thither, Don Enrique de Cerda?"

He answered, "No, Highness! I came to the palace to
seek Master Manuel Rodriguez who is to paint for me an
altarpiece for the Church of Saint Dominic. You and the
King, Madam, I thought were in Granada. Not finding him
in his own lodging, I made bold to come here. Then at
once, before I could hasten away, you returned!"

The true nature of this Queen was to think no evil. Her
countenance remained mild. He had done valiant service,
and she was sisterly-minded toward the greater part of the
world. Now she said with serenity, "There is no fault,
Don Enrique. Stay with us now that you are here."

Bowing deeply, he joined a brother-in-arms, Don Miguel
de Silva. His squire stood in the shadow behind him, but
found a chance-left lane of vision down which much might
be seen.

The Queen composed herself , in her chair. "This is the
position, Master Manuel?" The fair man, so fine and quick
that I loved to look at him, bowed and stepped back to his
canvas, where he took up his brush and fell to work. The
Queen and the Archbishop began to speak earnestly together.
Words and sentences floated to Juan Lepe standing by the
arras. The Queen made thoughtful pauses, looking before
her with steady blue eyes and a somewhat lifted face. I
noted that when she did this Manuel Rodriguez painted

There fell a pause in their talk. Something differing from
the subject of discourse, whatever in its fullness that might
be, seemed to come into her mind. She sent her glance across
the room.

"Don Enrique de Cerda--"

The tone summoned. When he was before her, "It was
in my mind," said the Queen, "to send for you within a
day or two. But now you are here, and this moment while
we await the King is as good as another. We have had
letters from the Bishop of Seville whom we reverence, and
from Don Pedro Enriquez to whom we owe much. They
have to do with Jayme de Marchena who has long been
suspect by the Holy Office. He has fled Seville, gone none
know where! Don Pedro informs us, Don Enrique, that
years ago this man stood among your friends. He does not
think it probable that this is yet so--nor do I, Don Enrique,
knowing that you must hold in abhorrence the heretic!"
She looked mildly upon him. "In youth we make chance
friendships thick as May, but manhood weeds the garden!
And yet we think it possible that this man may in his heart
trade on old things and make his way to you or send you
appeal." She paused, then said in a quiet voice, "Should
that happen, Don Enrique, on your allegiance, and as a
good Christian, you will do all that you can to put him in
the hands of the Holy Office."

She waited with her blue eyes upon him. He said, and
said quietly, "It was long ago, Madam, when I was a young
man and careless. I will do all that lies in me to do. But
Spain is wide and there are ships to Africa and other shores."

She said, "Yes, I do not see such an one daring to come
to Santa Fe! But they say that ten demons possess a
heretic, and that he crosses streams upon a hair or walks
edges of high walls."

With her ringed hand she made gesture of dismissal. He
bowed low and stepped back to his former place.

The sun flooded in at window. Manuel Rodriguez painted
steadily. The Queen sat still, with lifted face and eyes
strained into distance. She sighed and came back from
wastes where she would be Christian, oh, where she would
be Christian! and began with a tender, maternal look to talk
with her daughter.


THE door giving upon the great corridor opened. One
said, "The King, Madam!" King Ferdinand entered
quietly, in the sober fashion of a sober and able man.
He was cool and balanced, true always to his own conception
of his own dues. The Queen rose and stepped to meet
him. They spoke, standing together, after which he handed
her to her chair and took beside her the other great chair
which the pages had swiftly placed. After greeting his
daughter and the Archbishop he looked across to the painter.
"Master Manuel Rodriguez, good day!"

There fell a moment of sun-drenched quiet in which they
all sat for their picture. Then said the King, "Madam, we
are together, and here are those who have been our chief
advisers in this affair of discoveries. Master Christopherus
is below. We noted him in the court. Let us have him
here and see this too-long-dragging matter finished! Once
for all abate his demands, or once for all let him go!"

They sent a page. Again there was sunny silence, then
in at the door came the tall, muscular, gray-eyed, silver-
haired man whom I had met the day King Boabdil surrendered


He made reverence to the Queen and the King and to the
Archbishop. It was the Queen who spoke to him and that

"Master Christopherus, we have had a thousand businesses,
and so our matter here has waited and waited. Today comes unaware this quiet hour and we will give it to
you. Here with us are the Archbishop and others who
have been our counsellors, and here is Don Alonzo de Quintantella who hath always stood your friend. In 
all the hurly-burly we yet took time, two days ago, to sit in council and
come to conclusion. And now we give you our determination.
In all reason it should give you joy!" She smiled
upon him. "How many years since first you laid your
plan before us?"

He answered her in a deep voice, thrilling and crowded
with feeling. "Seven years, Madam your Highness! Like
an infant laid at your feet. And winter has blown upon it,
and sunshine carrying hope has walked around it, and then
again the cold wind rises--"

The King spoke. "Master Christopherus, in war much
else has to cease! In much we have had to find patience,
and you have to find it."

"My lord King, yes!" replied the tall man. "It is
eighteen years since in Lisbon, looking upon the sea one day,
I said to myself, `Is there a question that is not to be
answered? This ocean is to be crossed. Then why do not I
cross it? There is Cipango, Cathay and India! Gold and
spices are there, and here lie ships, and between, when all
is said, is only sea! God made the sea to be sailed! Yonder
they worship idols, here we worship Christ. There are
idols, here is Christ. Once a Christopherus carried Christ
across water!' Eighteen years ago. I said, `I can do it!'
I say it to-day, my lord and my lady. I can do it!"

Of the seated great ones only the Queen's spirit appeared
to answer his. He seemed to enchant her, to take her with
him. But the King's cool face regarded him with something
like dislike. He spoke in an edged voice. "Saint Christopher
asked no great wage. That is the point, Master
Christopherus, so let us to it! At last the Queen and I
say `We agree' to this enterprise, which may bring forth
fruit or may not, or may mean mere empty loss of ships
and men and of our monies! Yet we say `yea.' But we
do not say `yea ', Master Christopherus, to the too great
ferry fee which you ask! I say `ask', but verily the tone
is of command!"

The man whom they called Master Christopherus made a
slow, wide gesture of deprecation. The Archbishop took
the word. "Too much! You ask a hundred times too
much! I must say to you that it is unchristianly arrogance.
You talk like a soldan!" An assenting murmur came from
the other ecclesiastics.

The Queen spoke. "Master Christopherus, if it be a great
thing to do, is not the doing it and thereby blessing yourself
no less than others--is not that reward? Not that
Castile shall deny you reward, no! Trust me that if you
bring us the key of India you shall not find us niggardly!
But we and they who advise us stumble at your prescribing
wealth, honors and gifts that they say truly are better fitting
a great prince! Trust us for enrichment and for honor do
you come back with the great thing done! Leave it all now
to Time that brings to pass. So you will be clearer to go
forth to the blessed carrying of Christ!"

She spoke earnestly, a Queen, but with much about her
of womanly, motherly sweetness. I saw that she greatly
liked the man and somewhere met his spirit. But the King
was gathering hardness. He spoke to a secretary standing
behind him. "Have you it there written down, the Italian's

The man produced a paper. "Read!" But before it
could be unfolded, Master Christopherus spoke.

" `Italian!' Seven years in Spain and ten in Portugal,
and a good while in Porto Santo that belongs to Portugal,
a little in England and in Ultima Thule or Iceland, and long,
long years upon ships decked and undecked in all the seas
that are known--fourteen years, childhood and boyhood, in
Genoa and at Pavia where I went to school, and all my
years of hope in Christ's Kingdom, and in the uplands of
great doers-and your Highness says to me for a slighting
word, `Italian!' I was born in Italy, but to-day, for this
turn, King Ferdinand, you should call me `Spaniard'! As,
if King John sends me forth be will call me Portuguese!
Or King Henry will say, `Christopher the Englishman'
or King Charles, to whom verily I see that I may go, shall
say, `Frenchman, to whom all owe the marriage of East and
West, but France owes Empire!"'

The King said, "It may be so, or it may not be so,
Master Christopherus.--Read!"

The secretary read: The Genoese, Cristoforo Colombo,
called in Spain Cristobal Colon, and in the Latin Christopherus
Columbus, states and demands in substance as follows:
Sailing westward he will discover for the King and
Queen of the Spains the Indies and Cathay and Cipango,
to the great glory and enrichment of these Sovereigns and
the passing thereby of Spain ahead of Portugal, and likewise
and above all to the great glory of Christ and of Holy
Church. He will do this, having seen it clear for many
years that it is to be done, and he the instrument. And for
the finding by going westward of the said India and all
the gain of the world and the Kingdom of God and of our
Sovereigns the King Don Ferdinand and the Queen Dona
Isabella, he bargaineth thus:

"He shall be named Admiral of the Ocean-Sea, whereby
he means the whole water west of the line drawn by the
Holy Father for the King of Portugal. He shall be made
Viceroy and Governor of all continents and islands that he
may discover, claim and occupy for the Sovereigns. And
the said Christopherus Columbus's eldest son shall hold these
offices after him, and the heir of his son, and his heir, down
time. He shall be granted one tenth of all gold, pearls,
precious stones, spices, or other merchandise found or bought
or exchanged within his admiralty and viceroyship, and this
tithe is likewise to be taken by his heirs from generation to
generation. He or one that he shall name shall be judge in
all disputes that arise in these continents and islands, so be it
that the honor of the Sovereigns of Spain is not touched.
He shall have the salary that hath the High Admiral of
Castile. He and his family shall be ennobled and henceforth
be called Don and Dona. And for the immediate sailing
of ships he may, if he so desire, be at an eighth of the
expense of outfitting, for which he shall be returned an
eighth of all the profit of this the first voyage."

The secretary did not make the terms less sounding by
his reading. Wind in leaves, went a stir through the room.
I heard a page near me whispering, "O Sancta Maria!
The hanger-on, the needy one! Since the beginning of time
I've seen him at doors, sunny and cloudy days, the big,
droning bee!" Manuel Rodriguez painted on. I felt his
thought. "I should like to paint _you_, Admiral of the

The room recomposed itself. Out of silence came the
King's voice, chill and dry. "We abate so vast a claim for
so vast reward! But we would be naught else but just,
and in our ability lavish. Read now what we will do!"

The secretary read. It had a certain largeness and goodliness,
as go rewards for adventure, even for great adventure,
what the sovereigns would do. The room thought it should
answer. The King spoke, "We can promise no more nor
other than this. It contents you, Master Christopherus?"

The long-faced, high-nosed, gray-eyed man answered,
"No, my lord King."

"Your own terms or none?"

"Mine or none, your Highness."

The King's voice grew a cutting wind. "To that the
Queen and I answer, `Ours or none!' " Pushing back
his chair, he glanced at sun out of window. "It is over. I
incline to think that it was at best but an empty vision. You
are dismissed, Master Christopherus!"

The Genoese, bowing, stepped backward from the table.
In his face and carriage was nothing broken. He kept
color. The Queen's glance went after him, "What will you
do now, Master Christopherus?"

He answered, "My lady, your Highness, I shall take
horse to-morrow for France."

The King said, "France?--King Charles buys ever low,
not high!"

The Sovereigns and the great churchmen and the less
great went away together. After them flowed the high attendance.
All went, Don Enrique among the last. Following
him, I turned head, for I wished to observe again two
persons, the painter Manuel Rodriguez and the Admiral of
the Ocean-Sea. The former painted on. The latter walked
forth quite alone, coming behind the grinning pages.

In the court below I saw him again. The archway to
street sent toward us a deep wedge of shadow. He had a
cloak which he wrapped around him and a large round hat
which he drew low over his gray-blue eyes. With a firm
step he crossed to the archway where the purple shadow
took him.

Juan Lepe must turn to his own part which now must be
decided. I walked behind Don Enrique de Cerda through
Santa Fe. With him kept Don Miguel de Silva, who loved
Don Enrique's sister and would still talk of _devoir_ and of
plans, now that the war was ended. When the house was
reached he would enter with us and still adhere to Don
Enrique. But at the stair foot the latter spoke to the squire.
"Find me in an hour, Juan Lepe. I have something to say
to thee!" His tone carried, "Do you think the place there
makes any difference? No, by the god of friends!"

I let him go thinking that I would come to him presently.
But I, too, had to act under the god of friends. In Diego
Lopez's room I found quill and ink and paper, and there I
wrote a letter to Don Enrique, and finding Diego gave it to
him to be given in two hours into Don Enrique's hand.
Then Juan Lepe the squire changed in his own room, narrow
and bare as a cell, to the clothing of Juan Lepe the sailor.


DUSK was drawing down as I stole with little trouble
out of the house into the street and thence into the
maze of Santa Fe. That night I slept with minstrels
and jugglers, and at sunrise slipped out of Cordova gate
with muleteers. They were for Cordova and I meant to go to
Malaga. I meant to find there a ship, maybe for Africa,
maybe for Italy, though in Italy, too, sits the Inquisition.
But who knows what it is that turns a man, unless we call
it his Genius, unless we call it God? I let the muleteers
pass me on the road to Cordova, let them dwindle in the
distance. And still I walked and did not turn back and
find the Malaga road. It was as though I were on the sea,
and my bark was hanging in a calm, waiting for a wind to
blow. A man mounted on a horse was coming toward me
from Santa Fe. Watching the small figure grow larger, I
said, "When he is even with me and has passed and is a
little figure again in the distance, I will turn south."

He came nearer. Suddenly I knew him to be that Master
Christopherus who had entered the wedge of shadow yesterday
in the palace court. He was out of it now, in the broad
light, on the white road--on the way to France. He approached.
The ocean before Palos came and stood again
before me, salt and powerful. The keen, far, sky line of it
awoke and drew!

Christopherus Columbus came up with me. I said, "A
Palos sailor gives you good morning!"

Checking the horse, he sat looking at me out of blue-gray
eyes. I saw him recollecting. "Dress is different and
poorer, but you are the squire in the crowd! `Sailor
Palos sailor'--There's some meaning there too!"

He seemed to ponder it, then asked if I was for Cordova.

"No. I am going to Malaga where I take ship."

"This is not the Malaga road."

"No. But I am in no hurry! I should like to walk a mile
with you."

"Then do it," he answered. "Something tells me that
we shall not be ill travelers together."

I felt that also and no more than he could explain it.
But the reason, I know, stands in the forest behind the

He walked his horse, and I strode beside. He asked my
name and I gave it. Juan Lepe. We traveled Cordova
road together. Presently he said, "I leave Spain for France,
and do you know why?"

Said Juan Lepe, "I have been told something, and I have
gathered something with my own eyes and ears. You would
reach Asia by going west."

He spoke in the measured tone of a recital often made
alike to himself and to others. "I hold that the voyage from
Palos, say, first south to the Canaries and then due west
would not exceed three months. Yet I began to go west
to India full eighteen years ago! I have voyaged eighteen
years, with dead calms and head winds, with storms and
back-puttings, with pirates and mutinies, with food and
water lacking, with only God and my purpose for friend! I
have touched at the court of Portugal and at the court of
Spain, and, roundabout way, at the court of England, and at
the houses of the Doges of Venice and of Genoa. They all
kept me swinging long at anchor, but they have never given
me a furthering wind. Eighteen years going to India! But
why do I say eighteen? The Lord put me forth from landside
the day I was born. Before I was fourteen, at the
school in Pavia, He said, `Go to sea. Sail under thy cousin
Colombo and learn through long years all the inches of salt
water.' Later He said, one day when we were swinging
off Alexandria, `Study! Teach thyself! Buy books, not
wine nor fine clothes nor favor of women. Study on land
and study at sea. Look at every map that comes before you.
Learn to make maps. When a world map comes before you,
look at the western side of it and think how to fill it out
knowingly. Listen to seamen's tales. Learn to view the
invisible and to feel under foot the roundness of my

"And He said that same year off Aleppo, `Learn to
command ships. Learn in King Reinier's war and in what
other war Genoa makes. Learn to direct men and patiently
to hear them, winding in and out of their counsels, keeping
thyself always wiser than they.' Well, I studied, and learned,
and can command a ship or ships, and know navigation, and
can make maps and charts with the best, and can rule seamen,
loving them the while. Long ago, I went to that school
which He set, and came forth _magister!_ Long after His
first speaking, I was at Porto Santo, well named, and there
He said, `Seek India, going westward.' " He turned his
face to the sun. "I have been going to India fifty-six years."

Juan Lepe asked, "Why, on yesterday, were you not content
with the King and Queen's terms? They granted honor
and competence. It was the estate of a prince that you

Some moments passed before he answered. The sun was
shining, the road white and dusty, the mountains of Elvira
purple to the tops and there splashed with silver. When he
spoke, his voice was changed. Neither now nor hereafter
did he discourse of money-gold and nobility flowing from
earthly kings with that impersonal exaltation with which he
talked of his errand from God to link together east and west.
But he drew them somehow in train from the last, hiding
here I thought, an earthly weakness from himself, and the
weakness so intertwined with strength that it was hard to
divide parasite from oak.

"Did you see," he asked, "a boy with me? That was my
son Diego whom I have left with a friend in Santa Fe.
Fernando, his half-brother, is but a child. I shall see him in
Cordova. I have two brothers, dear to me both of them,
Diego and Bartholomew. My old father, Dominico Colombo,
still lives in Genoa. He lives in poverty, as I have
lived in poverty these many years. And there is Pedro
Correo, to whom I owe much, husband of my wife's sister.
My wife is dead. The mother of Fernando is not my wife,
but I love her, and she is poor though beautiful and good.
I would have her less poor; I would give her beautiful
things. I have love for my kindred,--love and yearning
and care and desire to do them good, alike those who trust
me and those who think that I had failed them. I do not
fail them!"

We padded on upon the dusty road. I felt his inner
warmth, divined his life. But at last I said, "What the
Queen and King promise would give rich care--"

"I have friends too, for all that I ride out of Spain and
seem so poor and desolate! I would repay--ay, ten times
over--their faith and their help."


"There are moreover the poor, and those who study and
need books and maps that they cannot purchase. There are
convents--one convent especially--that befriended me
when I was alone and nigh hopeless and furthered my
cause. I would give that convent great gifts." Turning in
the saddle he looked southwest. "Fray Juan Perez--"

Palos shore spread about me, and rose La Rabida, white
among vineyards and pines. Doves flew over cloister. But
I did not say all I knew.

"There are other things that I would do. I do not speak
of them to many! They would say that I was mad. But
great things that in this age none else seems inclined to do!"

"As what?" I asked. "I have been called mad myself.
I am not apt to think you so."

He began to speak of a mighty crusade to recover the
Holy Sepulchre.

The road to Cordova stretched sunny and dusty. Above
the mountains of Elvira the sky stood keen blue. Juan Lepe
said slowly, "Admiral of the Ocean-Sea and Viceroy and
Governor of continents and islands in perpetuity, sons
and sons' sons after you, and gilded deep with a tenth of all
the wealth that flows forever from Asia over Ocean-Sea to
Spain, and you and all after you made nobles, grandees and
wealthy from generation to generation! Kings almost of
the west, and donors to the east, arousers of crusades and
freers of the Sepulchre! You build a high tower!"

Carters and carts going by pushed us to the edge of road
and covered all with dust. He waited until the cloud sank,
then he said, "Do you know--but you cannot know what
it is to be sent from pillar to post and wait in antechambers
where the air stifles, and doff cap--who have
been captain of ships!--to chamberlain, page and lackey?
To be called dreamer, adventurer, dicer! To hear the laugh
and catch the sneer! To be the persuader, the beggar of
good and bad, high and low--to beg year in and year out,
cold and warmth, summer and winter, sunrise, noon and
sunset, calm and storm, beg of galleon and beg of carrack,
yea, beg of cockboat! To see your family go needy, to be
doubted by wife and child and brethren and friends and
acquaintance! To have them say, `While you dream we
go hungry!' and `What good will it do us if there is India,
while we famish in Spain?' and `You love us not, or you
would become a prosperous sea captain!'--Not one year
but eighteen, eighteen, since I saw in vision the sun set not
behind water but behind vale and hill and mountain and
cities rich beyond counting, and smelled the spice draught
from the land!"

I saw that he must count upon huge indemnity. We all
dream indemnity. But still I thought and think that there
was here a weakness in him. Far inward he may have
known it himself, the outer self was so busy finding grounds!
After a moment he spoke again, "Little things bring little
reward. But to keep proportion and harmony, great thing
must bring great things! You do not know what it is to
cross where no man hath crossed and to find what no man
hath found!"

"Yes, it is a great thing!"

"Then," said he, "what is it, that which I ask, to the
grandeur of time!"

He spoke with a lifted face, eyes upon the mountain crests
and the blue they touched. They were nearer us than they
had been; the Pass of Elvira was at hand. Yet on I walked,
and before me still hung the far ocean west of Palos. I
said, "I know something of the guesses, the chances and
the dangers, but I have not spent there years of study--"

He kindled, having an auditor whom he chose to think
intelligent. He checked his horse, that fell to grazing the
bit of green by the way. "As though," he said, "I stood
in Cipango beneath a golden roof, I know that it can be
done! Twelve hundred leagues at the most. Look!" he
said. "You are not an ignoramus like some I have met;
nor if I read you right are you like others who not knowing
that True Religion is True Wonder up with hands and cry,
`Blasphemy, Sacrilege and Contradiction!' Earth and water
make an orb. Place ant on apple and see that orbs may
be gone around! Travel far enough and east and west
change names! Straight through, beneath us, are other men."

"Feet against feet. Antipodes," I said. "All the life of
man is taking Wonder in and making Her at home!"

"So!" he answered. "Now look! The largeness of our
globe is at the equator. The great Ptolemy worked out
our reckoning. Twenty-four hours, fifteen degrees to each,
in all three hundred and sixty degrees. It is held that the
Greeks and the Romans knew fifteen of these hours. They
stretched their hand from Gibraltar and Tangier, calling
them Pillars of Hercules, to mid-India. Now in our time
we have the Canaries and the King of Portugal's new islands
--another hour, mark you! Sixteen from twenty-four
leaves eight hours empty. How much of that is water and
how much is earth? Where ends Ocean-Sea and where begins
India and Cathay, of which the ancients knew only a
part? The Arabian Alfraganus thinks that Ptolemy's degrees
should be less in size. If that be right, then the earth
is smaller than is thought, and India nearer! I myself
incline to hold with Alfraganus. It may be that less than
two months' sailing, calm and wind, would bring us to
Cipango. Give me the ships and I will do it!"

"You might have had them yesterday."

To a marked extent he could bring out and make visible
his inner exaltation. Now, tall, strong, white-haired, he
looked a figure of an older world. "The spheres and all
are set to harmony!" he said. "I would have fitness.
Great things throughout! Diamonds and rubies without
flaw in the crown.--We will talk no more about abating
just demand!"

I agreed with a nod, and indeed there was never any
shaking him here. Beneath his wide and lofty vision of a
world filled out to the eternal benefit of all rested always
this picture which I knew he savored like wine and warmth.
His family, his sons, his brothers and kindred, the aged
father in Genoa, all friends and backers--and he a warm
sun in the midst of them, all their doubts of him dispelled,
shining out upon them, making every field rich, repaying
a thousand, thousandfold every trust shown him.

The day sang cool and high and bright, the mountains
of Elvira had light snow atop. Master Christopherus began
again to speak.

"There came ashore at Porto Santo some years ago a
piece of wood long as a spar but thicker. Pedro Correo,
who is my brother-in-law, saw it. It was graved all over,
cut by something duller than our knives with beasts and
leaves and a figure that Pedro thought was meant for an
idol. He and another saw it and agree in their description.
They left it on the beach at twilight, well out of water
reach. But in the night came up a great storm that swept
it away. It came from the west, the wind having blown
for days from that quarter. I ask you will empty billows
fell a tree and trim it and carve it? It is said that a Portuguese pilot picked up one like it off Cape Bojador 
when the
wind was southwest. I have heard a man of the Azores
tell of giant reeds pitched upon his shore _from the west_.
There is a story of the finding on the beach of Flores the
bodies of two men not like any that we know either in
color or in feature. For days a west wind had driven in
the seas. And I know of other findings. Whence do these
things come?

"May there not be unknown islands west of Azores?
They might come from there, and still to the west of them
stream all Ocean-Sea, violent and unknown! The learned
think the earth of such a size. Your Arabian holds it
smaller. What if it is larger than the largest calculation?"

He said with disdain, "All the wise men at Salamanca
before whom the King set me six years ago thought it had
no end! Large or small, they called it blasphemy for me,
a poor, plain seaman, son of a wool-comber and not even
a Spanish wool-comber, to try to stretch mind over it!
Ocean-Sea had never been overpassed, and by that token
could not be overpassed! None had met its dangers, so
dangers there must be of a most strange and fearful nature!
But if you were put to sea at fourteen and have lived
there long, water becomes water! A speck on the horizon
will turn out ship or land. Wave carries you on to wave,
day to night and night to day. At last there is port!"

All this time his horse had been cropping the scanty
herbage. Now he raised his head. In a moment we too
heard the horsemen and looking back toward Santa Fe saw
four approaching. As they came nearer we made out two
cavaliers talking together, followed by serving men. When
they were almost at hand one of the leaders said something,
whereat his fellow laughed. It floated up Cordova road, a
wide, deep, rich laugh. Master Christopherus started.
"That is the laugh of Don Luis de St. Angel!"

Don Luis de St. Angel was, I knew, Receiver of the
Ecclesiastical Revenues for Aragon, a man who stood well
with the King. The horsemen were close upon us. Suddenly
the laugher cried, "Saint Jago! Here he is!"

We were now five mounted men and a trudger afoot. The
cavalier who had laughed, a portly, genial person with a bold
and merry eye, laughed again. "Well met, Don Cristoval.
Well met, Admiral! I looked to find you presently! You
sailed out of port at sunrise and I two hours later with a
swifter ship and more canvas--"

" `Don' and `Admiral'!" answered Master Christopherus,
and he spoke with anger. "You jest in Spain!
But in France it shall be said soberly--"

"No, no! Don and Admiral here! Viceroy and Governor
here--as soon as you find the lands! Wealthy here--
as soon as you put hand on the gold!" Don Luis de St.
Angel's laughter ceased. He became with portentous swiftness
a downright, plain man of business. He talked, all of
us clustered together on the Cordova road.

"The Archbishop kept me from that audience yesterday,
leaving Don Alonso de Quintanella your only friend there!
The Queen was tired, the King fretted. They thought they
had come a long way, and there you stood, Master Christopherus,
shaking your head! Don Alonso told me about it,
and how hopeless it seemed! But I said, `If you conquer
a land don't you put in a viceroy? I don't see that Don
Cristoval isn't as good as Don This One, or Don That One!
I've a notion that the first might not oppress and flay the
new subjects as might the last two! That is a point to be
made to the Queen! As for perpetuity of office and privileges
down the ages, most things get to be hereditary. If
it grows to be a swollen serpent something in the future will
fall across and cut it in two. Let time take care of it! As
for wealth, in any land a man who will bear an eighth of the
cost may fairly expect an eighth of the gain. This setting
out is to cost little, after all. He says he can do it with
three small ships and less than a hundred and fifty men. If
the ships bring back no treasure, he will not be wealthy. If
there is a little gain, the Spains need not grudge him his
handful of doubloons. If there is huge gain, the King and
Queen but for him would not have their seven eighths. The
same reasoning applies to his tenth of all future gain from
continents and islands. You will say that some one else will
arise to do it for us on easier terms. Perhaps--and perhaps
not for a century, and another Crown may thrust in
to-morrow! France, probably. It is not impossible that
England might do it. As for what is named overweening
pride and presumption, at least it shows at once and for
altogether. We are not left painfully to find it out. It
goes with his character. Take it or leave it together with
his patience, courage and long head. Leave it, and presently
we may see France or England swallow him whole. He
will find India and Cathay and Cipango, and France or England
will be building ships, ships, ships! Blessed Virgin
above us!' said I, `If I could talk alone to the Sovereigns,
I think I could clench it!' "

" `Then let us go now to the palace,' says Don Alonso,
`and beg audience!'

"That did we, Don Cristoval, and so I hail you `Don'
and `Admiral', and beg you to turn that mule and reenter
Santa Fe! In a few days you and the King and Queen may
sign capitulations."

"Was it the Queen?"

"Just. The King said the treasury was drained. She answered,
`I will pawn my jewels but he shall sail!' Luis de
St. Angel says, `It does not need. There is some gold left
in the coffers of Aragon. After all, the man asks but three
little ships and a few score seamen and offers himself to
furnish one of the ships.' "

"With Martin Alonso Pinzon's help, I will!"

" `Never,' said I to their majesties, `was so huge a possible
gain matched against so small a sending forth! And as
for this Genoese who truly hath given and gives and will
give his life for his vision, saith not Scripture that a laborer
is worthy of his hire?' At which the Queen said with
decision, `We will do it, Don Luis! And now go and find
Master Christopherus and comfort him, whose heart must
be heavy, and indeed mine,' she saith, `was heavy when he
went forth to-day, and a voice seemed to say within me,
"What have you done, Isabella? How may you have
hindered!" ' "

The Gatherer of Ecclesiastical Revenues laughed again
with that compelling laughter. "So forth we go, and Don
Alonso sends for you to his house. But you could not be
found. Early this morning came one and informed us that
the ship had put out of harbor, whereupon my nephew and
I set sail after!"

The Admiral of the Ocean-Sea turned his face to the
west. Not knowing, I think, what he did, he raised his
arm, outstretched it, and the hand seemed to close in greeting.
His face was the face of a man who sees the Beloved
after long and sorrowful absence. So did thought and passion
and vision charge his frame and his countenance, that
for a moment truly there was effulgence. It startled. Don
Luis held his speech suspended, in his eyes wonder. Master
Christopherus let fall his arm. He sighed. The out-pushing
light faltered, vanished. One might say, if one chose,
"A Genoese sea captain, willing to do an adventurous thing
and make a purse thereby!"


JUAN LEPE, quitting the Vega of Granada, recrossed
the mountains. I was at wander. I did not go to
Malaga. I did not then go to Palos. I went to San
Lucar. I had adventures, but I will not draw them here.
The ocean by Palos continued with me in sight and sound
and movement. But I did not go to Palos. I went to the
strand of San Lucar, and there I found a small bark trading
not to Genoa but to Marseilles. Seamen lacked, and
the master took me gladly. I freshened knowledge upon this

The master was a dour, quiet Catalan; his three sons
favored him and their six sailors more or less took the note.
The sea ran quiet and blue under a quiet blue heaven. At
night all the stars shone, or only light clouds went overhead.
It was a restful boat and Jayme de Marchena rested. Even
while his body labored he rested. The sense of Danger in
every room, walking on every road, took leave. Yet was
there throughout that insistent sight of Palos beach and the
gray and wild Atlantic. All the birds cried from the west;
the salt, stinging wind flung itself upon me from the west.
Once a voice, faint and silvery, made itself heard. "Were
it not well to know those other, those mightier waters, and
find the strange lands, the new lands?" I answered myself,
"They are the old lands taken a new way." But still
the voice said, "The new lands!"

We made Marseilles and unladed, and were held there
a fortnight. I might have left the bark and found work and
maybe safety in France, or I might have taken another ship
for Italy. I did neither. I clung to this bark and my Cata-
lans. We took our lading and quitted Marseilles, and came
after a tranquil voyage to San Lucar. Again we unladed
and laded, and again voyaged to Marseilles. Spring became
summer; young summer, summer in prime. We left Marseilles
and voyaged once more San Lucar-ward. There
rushed up a fearful storm and we were wrecked off Almeria.
One lad drowned. The rest of us somehow made
shore. A boat took us to Algeciras, and thence we trudged
it to San Lucar.

My Catalans were not wholly depressed. Behind their
wrecked ship stood merchants who would furnish another
bark. The master would have had me wait at San Lucar
until he went forth again. But I was bound for the strand
by Palos and the gray, piling Atlantic.

August was the month and the day warm. The first of
August in the year 1492. Two leagues east of Palos I
overtook three men trudging that way, and talking now
loudly and angrily and now in a sullen, dragging fashion.
I had seen between this road and ocean a fishing hamlet
and I made out that they were from this place. They
were men of small boats, men who fished, but who now
and again were gathered in by some shipmaster, when they
became sailors.

In me they saw only a poorly clad, sea-going person.
When I gave greeting they greeted me in return. "For
Palos?" I asked, and the one who talked the most and the
loudest gave groaning assent. "Aye, for Palos. You too,
brother, are flopping in the net?"

I did not understand and said as much. He gave an
angry laugh and explained his figure. "Why, the Queen
and the King and the law and Martin Pinzon, to whom we,
are bound for a year, are pressing us! Which is to say
they've cast a net and here we are, good fish, beating against
the meshes and finding none big enough to slip through!
Haven't you been pressed too, scooped in without a `By
your leave, Palos fish!' A hundred fish and more in this
net and one by one the giant will take us out and broil us!"

The second man spoke with a whine. "I had rather a
Barbary pirate were coming aboard! I had rather be took
slave and row a galley!"

The third, a young man, had a whimsical, dark, fearless
face. "But we be going to see strange things and serve
the Queen! That's something!"

"The Queen is just a lady. She don't know anything
about deep and fearful seas!"

"Where are you going," I asked, "and with whom?"

The angry man answered, "The last of that is the easiest,
mate! With an Italian sorcerer who has bewitched the
great! He ought to be burned, say I, with the Jews and
heretics! We are going with him, and we are going
with Captain Martin Pinzon, whom he hath bewitched with
the rest! And we are going with three ships, the _Santa
Maria_, the Pinta and the Nina."

The third said, "The Santa Maria's a good boat."

"There isn't any boat, good or bad," the first answered
him, "that can hold together when you come to heat that'll
melt pitch and set wood afire! There isn't any boat, good
or bad, that can stand it when a lodestone as big as Gibraltar
begins to draw iron!"

The second, whose element was melancholy, sighed, "I've
been north of Ireland, Pedro, and that was bad enough!
The lookout saw a siren and the _Infanta Isabella_ was dashed
on the rocks and something laughed at us all night!"

"Ireland's nothing at all to it!" answered the angry man,
whose name was Pedro. "I've heard men that know talk!
The Portuguese going down Africa coast got to Cape Bojador,
but they've never truly gotten any further, though I
hear them say they have! They sent a little carrack further
down, and it had to come back because the water fell to
boiling! There wasn't any land and there wasn't any true
sea, but it was all melted up together in fervent heat! Like
hot mud, so to speak. It's hell, that's what I say; it's hell
down there! Moreover, there ain't any heaven stretched
over it."

"What does it mean by that?" asked the second.

"It means, Fernando, that there wouldn't be any sky,
blue nor gray nor black, nor clouds, nor air to breathe!
There wouldn't be any thunder and lightning nor rain nor
wind, and at night there wouldn't be stars, no north star,
nor any! It would just be--I don't know what! Fray
Ignatio told me, and he said the name was `chaos'."

"That was south. That wasn't west."

"West is just as bad!"

Fernando also addressed the young man, the third, calling
him Sancho. "If there were anything west for Christian
men, wouldn't the Holy Father at Rome have sent long
ago? We are all going to die!"

"But they didn't know it was round," said Sancho. "Now
we do, and that's the difference! If you started a little
manikin just here on an orange and told him to go straight
ahead, he'd come around home, wouldn't he?"

"You weary me, Sancho!" cried the first. "And what
if you did that and it took so long that you come back to
Fishertown old and bald and driveling, and your wife is
dead and all the neighbors! Much good you'd have from
knowing it was round!"

"When you got right underfoot wouldn't you fall; that's
what I want to know?"

"Fall! Fall where?"

"Into the sky! My God, it's deep! And there wouldn't
be any boat to pick you up nor any floating oar to catch

The vision seemed to appall them. Fernando drew back
of hand across eyes.

I came in. "You wouldn't do that any more than the
ant falls off the orange! Men have come back who have been
almost underfoot, so far to the east had they traveled. They
found there men and kingdoms and ways not so mightily
unlike ours."

"They went that way," answered Pedro, jerking his hand
eastward, "over good land! And maybe, whatever they
said, they were lying to us! I'm thinking most of the learned
do that all the time!"

"Well," said Sancho, "if we do come back, we'll have
some rare good tales to tell!"

There fell a pause at that, a pause of dissent and exasperation,
but also one of caught fancy. It would undoubtedly
be a glory to tell those tales to a listening, fascinated Fishertown!

Juan Lepe said, "For months I've been with a trader
running from San Lucar to Marseilles. I've had no news
this long while! What's doing at Palos?"

They were ready for an audience, any audience, and
forthwith I had the story of the Admiral fairly straight--
or I could make it straight--from that day when we parted
on the Cordova road. These men did not know what had
happened in March or in April, but they knew something
of May. In May he came to Palos and settled down with
Fray Juan Perez in La Rabida, and to see him went Captain
Martin Pinzon who knew him already, and the physician
Garcia Fernandez and others, and they all talked together
for a day and a night. After that the alcalde of Palos and
others in authority had letters and warrants from the Queen
and the King, and they overbore everything, calling him
Don and _El Almirante_ and saying that he must be furnished
forth. Then came a day when everybody was gathered in
the square before the church of Saint George, and the alcalde
that had a great voice read the letters.

"I was there!" said Fernando. "I brought in fish that

"I, too!" quoth Sancho. "I had to buy sailcloth."

It was Pedro chiefly who talked. "They were from the
King and Queen, and the moral was that Palos must furnish
Don Cristoval Colon, Admiral of the Ocean-Sea--
and we thought that was a curious thing to be admiral of!
--two ships and all seamen needed and all supplies. A third
ship could be enterprised, and any in and around Palos
was to be encouraged to put in fortune and help. Ships
and those who went in them were to obey the said Don
Cristoval Colon or Columbus as though he were the Queen
and the King, the Bishop of Seville and the Marquis of
Cadiz! It didn't say it just that way but that was what it
meant. We were to follow him and do as he told us, or it
would be much the worse for us! We weren't to put in at
St. George la Mina on the coast of Africa, nor touch at the
King of Portugal's islands, and that was the whole of it!"

"All seamen were to be given good pay," said Sancho.
"And if anybody going was in debt, or even if he had done
a crime--so that it wasn't treason or anything the Holy
Office handles--he couldn't be troubled or held back, seeing
it was royal errand. That is very convenient for some."

Pedro lost patience. "You'd make the best of Hell itself!"

"He'd deny," put in Fernando, "Holy Writ that says
there shall be sorrows!"

They embarked upon loud blame of Sancho, instance after
instance. At last I cut them across. "What further happened
at Palos?"

They put back to that port. "Oh, it didn't seem so bad
that day! One and another thought, `Perhaps I'll go!'
Him they call The Admiral is a big figure of a man, and of
course we that use the sea get to know how a good captain
looks. We knew that he had sailed and sailed, and had had
his own ship, maybe two or three of them! Then too the
Pinzons and the Prior of La Rabida answered for him. A
lot of us almost belong to the Pinzons, having signed to
fish and voyage for them, and the Prior is a well-liked man.
The alcalde folds up the letter as though he were in church,
and they all come down the steps and go away to the alcalde's
house which is around the corner. It wasn't until
they were gone that Palos began to ask, `Where were three
ships and maybe a hundred and fifty men _going_?' "

"We found out next day," said Fernando. "The tide
went out, but it came back bearing the sound of where we
were going!"

"Then what happened in Palos?"

"What happened was that they couldn't get the ships and
they couldn't get the men! Palos wouldn't listen. It was
too wild, what they wanted to do! It wouldn't listen to
the Prior and it wouldn't listen to Doctor Garcia Fernandez,
and it wouldn't even listen to Captain Martin Alonso Pinzon.
And when that happens--! So for a long time there
was a kind of angry calm. And then, lo you! we find that
they have written to the Queen and the King. There come
letters to Palos, and they are harsh ones!"

"I never heard harsher from any King and Queen!" said

"There weren't only the letters, but they'd sent also a great
man, Senor Juan de Penelosa, to see that they got obedience.
Upshot is we've got to go, ships and men, or else be laid by
the heels! As for Palos, her old sea privileges would be
taken from her, and she couldn't face that. Get those ships
ready and stock them and pipe sailors aboard, or there'd
be our kind Queen and King to deal with!"

"Wherever it is, we're going. Great folk are too tall
and broad for us!"

"So there comes another crowd in the square, before the
church. Out steps Captain Martin Pinzon, and he cries,
`Men of Palos, for all you doubt it, 'tis a glorious thing
that's doing! Here is the _Nina_ that my brothers and I own.
She's going with Don Cristoval the Admiral, and the men
who are bound to me for fishing and voyaging are going, and
more than that, there is going Martin Alonso Pinzon, for
I'll ask no man to go where I will not go!'

"Then up beside him starts his brothers Vicente and
Francisco, and they say they are going too. Fray Ignatio
stands on the church steps and cries that there are idolaters
there, and he will go to tell them about our Lord Jesus
Christ! Then the alcalde gets up and says that the Sovereigns
must be obeyed, and that the _Santa Maria_ and the
Pinta shall be made ready. Then the pilots Sancho Ruiz
and Pedro Nino and Bartolomeo Roldan push out together
and say they'll go, and others follow, seeing they'll have to
anyhow! So it went that day and the next and the next,
until now they've pressed all they need. So I say, we are
here, brother, flopping in the net!"

"When does he sail?"

"Day after to-morrow, 'tis said. But we who don't live
in Palos have our orders to be there to-night. Aren't you
going too, mate?"

I answered that I hadn't thought of it, and immediately,
out of the whole, there rose and faced me, "You have
thought of it all the time!"

Sancho spoke. "If you'll go with us to Captain Martin
Pinzon, he'll enter you. He'd like to get another strong

I said, "I don't know. I'll have to think of it. Here is
Palos, and yonder the headland with La Rabida."

We entered the town. They would have had me go with
them wherever they must report themselves. But I said
that I could not then, and at the mouth of their street managed
to leave them. I passed through Palos and beyond its
western limit came again to that house of the poorest where
I had lodged six months before and waking all night had
heard the Tinto flowing by like the life of a man. Long ago
I had had some training in medicine, and in mind's medicine,
and three years past I had brought a young working man
living then in Marchena out of illness and melancholy. His
parents dwelled here in this house by the Tinto and they
gave me shelter.


RISING at dawn, I walked to the sea and along it until
I came at last to those dunes beneath which I had
stretched myself that day of grayness. Now it was
deep summer, blue and gold, and the air all balm and caressing.
The evening before I had seen the three ships where
they rode in river mouth. They were caravels, and only the
_Santa Maria_, the largest, was fully decked. Small craft
with which to find India, over a road of a thousand leagues
--or no road, for road means that men have toiled there
and traveled there--no road, but a wilderness plain, a
water desert! The Arabians say that Jinn and Afrits live
in the desert away from the caravans. If you go that way
you meet fearful things and never come forth again. The
Santa Maria, the _Pinta_ and the Nina. The Santa Maria
could be Master Christopherus's ship. Bright point that
was his banner could be made out at the fore.

Palos waterside, in a red-filtered dusk, had been a noisy
place, but the noise did not ring genially. I gathered that
this small port was more largely in the mood of Pedro and
Fernando than in that of Sancho. It looked frightened and
it looked sullen and it looked angry.

The old woman by the Tinto talked garrulously. Thankful
was she that her son Miguel dwelled ten leagues away!
Else surely they would have taken him, as they were taking
this one's son and that one's son! To hear her you would
think of an ogre--of Polyphemus in the cave--reaching
out fatal hand for this or that fattened body. Nothing then,
she said, to do but to pinch and save so that one might
pay the priest for masses! She told me with great eyes
that a hundred leagues west of Canaries one came to a sea
forest where all the trees were made of water growing up
high and spreading out like branches and leaves, and that
this forest was filled with sea wolves and serpents and
strange beasts all made of sea water, but they could sting
and rend a man very ghastly. After that you came to
sirens that you could not help leaping to meet, but they
put lips to men's breasts and sucked out the life. Then if
the wind drove you south, you smelled smoke and at night
saw flames, and if you could not get the ship about--

In mid-afternoon I left the sands and took the road to
La Rabida. By the walled vineyard that climbs the hill
I was met by three mounted men coming from the monastery.
The first was Don Juan de Penelosa, the second was the
Prior of La Rabida, the third was the Admiral of the Ocean-

Fray Juan Perez first saw me clearly, drawn up by wall.
He had been quoting Latin and he broke at _Dominus et
magister_. The Admiral turned gray eyes upon me. I saw
his mind working. He said, "The road to Cordova--Welcome,
Juan Lepe!"

"Welcome, Excellency!"

I gave him the name, seeing him for a moment somewhat
whimsically as Viceroy of conquered great India of the
elephants and the temples filled with bells. His face lighted.
He looked at me, and I knew again that he liked me. I
liked him.

My kinsman the Prior had started to speak to me, but
then had shot a look at Juan de Penelosa and refrained.
The Queen's officer spoke, "Why, here's another strong
fellow, not so tall as some but powerfully knit! Are you
used to the sea?"

I answered that I had been upon a Marseilles bark that
was wrecked off Almeria, and that I had walked from San
Lucar. He asked my name and I gave it. "Juan Lepe."
I attach you then, Juan Lepe, for the service of the
Queen! Behold your admiral, Don Cristoval Colon! His
ships are the _Santa Maria_, the Pinta and the Nina, his destination
the glorious finding of the Indies and Cipango where
the poorest man drinks from a golden cup! Princes, I fancy,
drink from hollowed emeralds! You will sail to-morrow at
dawn. In which ship shall we put him, Senor?"

"In the Santa Maria," answered the Admiral.

So short as that was it done! And yet--and yet--it
had been doing for a long time, for how long a time I have
no way of measuring!

Juan de Penelosa continued to speak: "Follow us into
Palos where Sebastian Jaurez will give you wine and a piece
of money. Thence you will go to church where indeed we
are bound, all who sail being gathered there for general
confession and absolution. This voyage begins Christianly!"

Said Fray Juan Perez, "Not to do that, Juan Lepe, were
to cry aloud for another shipwreck!"

He used the tone of priest, thrusting in speech as priests
often do, where there is no especial need of speech. But I
understood that that was a mask, and could read kinsmanly
anxiety in a good man's heart. I said, "I will find Sebastian
Jaurez, and I will go to church, Senors. A ship is a ship,
and a voyage a voyage!"

"This, Juan Lepe," said the Admiral in that peculiarly
warm and thrilling voice of his, "is such a voyage as you
have never been!"

I made reply, "So be it! I would have every voyage
greater than the last." And as they put their steeds into
motion, walked behind them downhill and over sandy ways
into Palos. There I found Sebastian Jaurez who signed me
in. I put into my pocket the coin he gave me and drank
with him a stoup of wine, and then I went to church.

It was a great shadowy church and I found it full. Jaurez
piloted me to where just under pulpit were ranged my fellow
mariners, a hundred plain sailormen, no great number with
which to widen the world! A score or so of better station
were grouped at the head of these, and in front of all stood
Christopherus Columbus. I saw again Martin Alonso Pinzon
who had entered the Prior's room at La Rabida, and
with him his two brothers Francisco and Vicente. Martin
Pinzon would be captain of the _Pinta_ and Vicente of the
Nina. And there were Roderigo Sanchez of Segovia,
Inspector-General of Armament, and Diego de Arana, chief
alguazil of the expedition, and Roderigo de Escobedo, royal
notary, and with these three or four young men of birth,
adventuring for India now that the war with the Moor was
done. And there were two physicians, Garcia Fernandez
and Berardino Nunez. And there was the Franciscan, Fray
Ignatio, who would convert the heathen and preach before
the Great Khan.

The Admiral of Ocean-Sea stood a taller man than any
there, tall, muscular, a great figure. He was richly dressed,
for as soon as he could he dressed richly. A shaft of light
struck his brow and made his hair all glowing silver. His
face was lifted. The air about him to my eyes swam and
quivered and was faintly colored.

Fray Juan Perez preached the sermon and he used great
earnestness and now and again his voice broke. He talked
of God's gain that we went forth upon, reaping in a field
set us. One thing came forth here that I had not before

"And the unthinkable wealth that surely shall be found
and gained, for these countries to which you sail have eight-tenths of the world's riches, shall put Castile 
and Leon where
of old stood Pagan Rome, and shall make, God willing, of
this very Palos a new Genoa or Venice! And this man,
your Admiral, how hath he proposed to the Sovereigns to
use first fruits? Why, friends, by taking finally and forever
from Mahound, and for Holy Church and her servant
the Spains, the Holy Sepulchre!"

In the end, we the going forth, kneeling, made general
confession and the priest's hands in the dusk above absolved
us. There was solemnity and there was tenderness. A
hundred and twenty, we came forth from church, and around
us flowed the hundreds of Palos, men and women and
children. All was red under a red sunset, the boats waiting
to take us out to the _Santa Maria_, the Pinta and the

We marched to waterside. Priests and friars moved
with us, singing loudly the hymn to the Virgin, Lady of
all seamen. Great tears ran down Fray Juan Perez's checks.
It was a red sunset and the west into which we were going
looked indeed blood-flecked. Don Juan de Penelosa, harking
us on, had an inspiration. "You see the rubies of

It is not alone "great" men who bring about things in
this world. All of us are in a measure great, as all are on
the way to greater greatness. Sailors are brave and hardy
men; that is said when it is said that they are sailors. In
many hearts hung dread of this voyage and rebellion against
being forced to it. But they had not to be lashed to the
boats; they went with sailors' careless air and dignity. By
far the most went thus. Even Fernando ceased his wailing
and embarked. The red light, or for danger or for rubies in
which still might be danger, washed us all, washed the town,
the folk and the sandy shore, and the boats that would take
us out to the ships, small in themselves, and small by distance,
riding there in the river-mouth like toys that have been
made for children.

The hundred and twenty entered the boats. It was like a
little fishing fleet going out together. The rowers bent to
the oars, a strip of water widened between us and Spain.
Loud chanted the friars, but over their voices rose the crying
of farewell, now deep, now shrill. "_Adios!_" The
sailors cried back, "Adios! Adios!" From the land it
must have had a thin sound like ghosts wailing from the
edge of the world. That, the sailors held and Palos held,
was where the ships were going, over the edge of the world.
It was the third day of August, in the year fourteen hundred
and ninety-two.


PALOS vanished, we lost the headland of La Rabida, a
haze hid Spain. By nightfall all was behind us. We
were set forth from native land, set forth from Europe,
set forth from Christendom, set forth from sea company
and sailors' cheer of other ships. That last would not be
wholly true until we were gone from the Canaries, toward
which islands, running south, we now were headed. We
might hail some Spanish ship going to, coming from, Grand
Canary. We might indeed, before we reached these islands,
see other sails, for a rumor ran that the King of Portugal
was sending ships to intercept us, sink us and none ever be
the wiser, it not being to his interest that Spain should
make discoveries! Pedro it was who put this into my ear
as we hauled at the same rope. I laughed. "Here beginneth
the marvelous tale of this voyage! If all happens that all
say may happen, not the Pope's library can hold the books!"

The _Santa Maria_ was a good enough ship, though fifty
men crowded it. It was new and clean, a fair sailer, though
not so swift as the Pinta. We mariners settled ourselves
in waist and forecastle. The Admiral, Juan de la Cosa, the
master, Roderigo Sanchez, Diego de Arana and Roderigo
de Escobedo, Pedro Gutierrez, a private adventurer, the physician
Bernardo Nunez and Fray Ignatio had great cabin
and certain small sleeping cabins and poop deck. In the
forecastle almost all knew one another; all ran into kinships
near or remote. But the turn of character made the
real grouping. Pedro had his cluster and Sancho had his, and
between swayed now to the one and now to the other a
large group. Fernando, I feel gladness in saying, had with
him but two or three. And aside stood variations, individuals.
Beltran the cook was such an one, a bold, mirthful,
likable man. We had several dry thinkers, and a braggart
and two or three who proved miserably villainous. We
had weathercocks and men who faced forward, no matter
what the wind that blew.

The Admiral knew well that he must have, if he could, a
ship patient, contented and hopeful. I bear him witness
that he spared no pains.

We had aboard trumpet and drum and viol, and he
would have frequent music. Each day toward evening each
man was given a cup of wine. And before sunset all were
gathered for vesper service, and we sang _Salve Regina_. At
night the great familiar stars shone out above us.

Second day passed much like first,--light fickle wind,
flapping sails, smooth sea, cloudless sky. To-day beheld
sea life after shore grown habitual. We might have sailed
from Marseilles or Genoa and been sailing for a month. If
this were all, then no more terror from the Sea of Darkness
than from our own so well-known sea! But Fernando
said, "It is after the Canaries! We know well enough it
is not so bad this side of them. Why do they call them Dog

"Perhaps they found dogs there."

"No, but that they give warning like watchdogs! `If
you go any further it shall be to your woe!' "

"Aye, aye! Have you heard tell of the spouting mountain?"

This night the wind came up and by morning was blowing
stiffly, urging us landward as though back to Spain.
The sky became leaden, with a great stormy aspect. The
waves mounted, the lookout cried that the _Pinta_ was showing
signals of distress. By now all had shortened sail, but
the Pinta was taking in everything and presently lay under
bare poles. The Santa Maria worked toward her until we
were close by. They shouted and we back to them. It was
her rudder that was unshipped and injured. Captain Martin
Pinzon shouted that he would overcome it, binding it
somehow in place, and would overtake us, the _Pinta_ being
faster sailer than the Santa Maria or the Nina. But the
Admiral would not agree, and we took in all sail and lay
tossed by a rough sea until afternoon when the Pinta
signaled that the rudder was hung. But by now the sky
stretched straight lead, and the water ran white-capped.
We made no way till morning, when without a drop of rain
all the cloud roof was driven landward and there sprang
out a sky so blue that the heart laughed for joy. The
violent wind sank, then veered and blowing moderately
carried us again southward. All the white sails, white and
new, were flung out, and we raced over a rich, green plain.
That lasted through most of the day, but an hour before
sunset the _Pinta_ again signaled trouble. The rudder was
once more worse than useless.

Again it was mended. But when the next morning it
happened the third time and a kind of wailing grumble
went through the Santa Maria, there came pronouncement
from the Admiral. "The Canaries lie straight ahead. In
two days we shall sight them. Very good! we shall rest
there and make a new rudder for the _Pinta_. The Nina will
do better with square sails and we can change these.
Fresh meat and water and some rambling ashore!"

Beltran the cook had been to the Canaries, driven there
by a perverse wind twenty years ago when he was boatswain
upon a big carrack. He said it was no great way and one
or two agreed with him, but others declined to believe the
Admiral when he said that in two days we should behold
the volcano. Some were found to clamor that the wind had
driven us out of all reckoning! We might never find the
Canaries and then what would the _Pinta_ do? Whereas, if
we all turned back to Palos--

"If--if!" answered Beltran the cook, who at first
seemed strangely and humorously there as cook until one
found that he had an injured leg and could not climb mast
nor manage sail. " `If' is a seaman without a ship!--
He's a famous navigator."

"Martin Pinzon?"

"Him too. But I meant our Admiral."

"He hasn't had a ship for years!"

"He was of the best when he had one! I've heard old
Captain Ruy tell--"

"Maybe he wasn't crazy in those days, but he's crazy

That was Fernando. I think it was from him that certain
of the crew took the word "crazy." They used it
until one would think that for pure variety's sake they
would find another!

The sixth day from Palos there lifted from sea the peak
of Teneriffe.

This day, passing on some errand the open door of the
great cabin, I saw the Admiral seated at the table. Looking
up, he saw me, gazed an instant, then lifted his voice.
Come in here!"

He sat with a great chart spread upon the table before
him. Beside it the log lay open, and he had under his hand
a book in which he was writing. Door framed blue sky
and sea, a pleasant wind was singing in a pleasant warmth,
the great cabin which, with the rest of the ship, he made
to be kept very clean, was awash with light and fineness of
air. "Would you like to look at the chart?" he asked, and I
came and looked over his shoulder.

"I made it," he said. "There is nothing in the world
more useful than knowing how to make maps and charts!
While I waited for Kings to make up their minds I earned
my living so." I glanced at the log and he pushed it to me
so that I might see. "Every day from Palos out." His
strong fingers touched the other book. "My journal that
I keep for myself and the Queen and King Ferdinand and
indeed for the world." He turned the leaves. The bulk of
them were blank, but in the front showed closely covered
pages, the writing not large but clear and strong. "This
voyage, you see, changeth our world! Once in Venice I heard
a scholar learned in the Greek tell of an old voyage of a
ship called _Argo_, whence its captain and crew were named
Argonauts, and he said that it was of all voyages most
famous with the ancients. This is like that, but probably
greater." He turned the pages. "I shall do it in the manner
of Caesar his Commentaries."

He knew himself, I thought, for as great a man as Caesar.
All said, his book might be as prized in some unentered
future. He did not move where time is as a film, but where
time is deep, a thousand years as a day. He could not see
there in detail any more than we could see tree and house
in those Canaries upon which we were bearing down.

I said, "Now that printing is general, it may go into far
lands and into multitude of hands and heads. Many a voyager
to come may study it."

He drew deep breath. "It is the very truth! Prince
Henry the Navigator. Christopherus Columbus the Navigator,
and greater than the first--"

Sun shone, wind sang, blue sea danced beyond the door.
Came from deck Roderigo Sanchez and Diego de Arana.
The Admiral made me a gesture of dismissal.

The Canaries and we drew together. Great bands of
cloud hid much of the higher land, but the volcano top came
clear above cloud, standing bare and solemn against blue
heaven. Leaving upon our right Grand Canary we stood for
the island of Gomera. Here we found deep, clear water
close to shore, a narrow strand, a small Spanish fort and
beginnings of a village, and inland, up ravines clad with a
strange, leafless bush, plentiful huts of the conquered
Guanches. Our three ships came to anchor, and the Admiral
went ashore, the captains of the _Pinta_ and the Nina following.
Juan Lepe was among the rowers.

The Spanish commandant came down to beach with an
armed escort. The Admiral, walking alone, met him between
sea and bright green trees, and here stood the two
and conversed while we watched. The Admiral showed him
letters of credence. The commandant took and read, handed
them back with a bow, and coming to water edge had presented
to him the two captains, Martin and Vicente Pinzon.
He proved a cheery old veteran of old wars, relieved that
we were not Portuguese nor pirates and happy to have late
news from Spain. It seemed that he had learned from a
supply ship in June that the expedition was afoot.

The _Santa Maria_ and the Nina rode close in shore. Captain
Martin Pinzon beached the Pinta and unshipped the
hurt and useless rudder. Work upon a new one began at
once. The Admiral, the two captains and those of rank upon
the ships supped with the commandant at his quite goodly
house, and the next day he and his officers dined aboard the
Santa Maria. The Admiral liked him much for he was more
than respectful toward this voyage. A year before, bathing
one day in the surf, there had come floating to his hand a
great gourd. None such grew anywhere in these islands,
and the wind for days had come steadily from the west. The
gourd had a kind of pattern cut around it. He showed it to
the Admiral and afterwards gave it to him. The latter
caused it to pass from hand to hand among the seamen. I
had it in my hands and truly saw no reason why it might
not have been cut by some native of the West, and, carried
away by the tide or dropped perchance from a boat, have at
last, after long time, come into hands not Indian. Asia tossing
unthinkingly a ball which Europe caught.

The _Pinta_ proved in worse plight than was at first thought.
The Nina also found this or that to do besides squaring her
Levant sails. We stayed in Gomera almost three weeks.
The place was novel, the day's task not hard, the Admiral
and his captains complaisant. We had leisure and island
company. To many it was happiness enough. While we
stopped at Gornera we were at least not drifting upon lodestone,
equator fire and chaos!

Here on Gomera might be studied the three Pinzon brothers.
Vicente was a good, courageous captain, Francisco a
good pilot, and a courageous, seldom-speaking man. But
Martin Alonso, the eldest, was the prime mover in all their
affairs. He was skillful navigator like his brothers and
courageous like them, but not silent like Francisco, and
ambitious far above either. He would have said perhaps that
had he not been so, been both ambitious and shrewd, the
Pinzons would never have become principal ship-owning,
trading and maritime family of Palos and three leagues
around. He, too, had family fortunes and aggrandizement
at heart, though hardly on the grand, imperial scale of the
Admiral. He had much manly beauty, daring and strength.
His two brothers worshipped him, and in most places and
moments his crew would follow him with a cheer. The
Admiral was bound to him, not only in that he had volunteered
and made others to go willingly, but that he had
put in his ship, the _Nina_, and had furnished Master Christopherus
with monies. That eighth of the cost of the expedition,
whence else could it come? If it tied Martin Pinzon to
the Admiral, seeing that only through success could those
monies be repaid, it likewise made him feel that he, too, had
authority, was at liberty to advise, and at need to become

But the Admiral had the great man's mark. He could acknowledge
service and be quite simply and deeply grateful
for it. He was grateful to Martin Pinzon who had aided him
from his first coming to Palos, and also I think he loved
the younger man's great blond strength and beauty. He
had all of Italy's quickness to beauty, be it of land or sea,
forest, flower, animal or man. But now and again, even
so early as this, he must put out hand to check Pinzon's
impetuous advice. His brows drew together above gray eyes
and eagle nose. But for the most part, on Gomera, they
were very friendly, and it was a sight to see Admiral and
captains and all the privileged of the expedition sit at wine
with the commandant.

Juan Lepe had no quarrel with any of them. Jayme de
Marchena swept this voyage into the Great Voyage.

The _Pinta_ was nearly ready when there arrived
a small ship from Ferro bringing news that three
large Portuguese ships had sailed by that island. Said
the commandant, "Spain and Portugal are at peace. They
would not dare to try to oust us!" He came to waterside
to talk to the Admiral. "Not to fight you," said the Admiral,
"but me! King John wishes to keep India, Cipango
and Cathay still veiled. So he will get time in which to have
from the Holy Father another bull that will place the Portuguese
line west and west until he hath the whole!" He
raised his hand and let it fall. "I cannot sail to-morrow,
but I will sail the day after!"

We were put to hard labor for the rest of that day, and
through much of the moonlit night. By early morning again
we labored. At mid-afternoon all was done. The _Pinta_,
right from stem to stern, rode the blue water; the Nina had
her great square sails. The Guanches stored for us fresh
provisions and rolled down and into ship our water casks.
There was a great moon, and we would stand off in the night.
Nothing more had been seen of the Portuguese ships, but
we were ready to go and go we should. All being done,
and the sun two hours high, we mariners had leave to rest
ashore under trees who might not for very long again see
land or trees.

There was a grove that led to a stream and the waterfall
where we had filled the casks. I walked through this alone.
The place lay utterly still save for the murmuring of the
water and the singing of a small yellowish bird that abounds
in these islands. At the end of an aisle of trees shone the
sea, blue and calm as a sapphire of heaven. I lay down
upon the earth by the water.

Finding of India and rounding the earth! We seemed
poor, weak men, but the thing was great, and I suppose the
doers of a great thing are great. East--west! Going west
and yet east.--The Jew in me had come from Palestine,
and to Palestine perhaps from Arabia, and to Arabia--who
knew?--perhaps from that India! And much of the Spaniard
had come from Carthage and from Phoenicia, old Tyre
and Sidon, and Tyre and Sidon again from the east. From
the east and to the east again. All our Age that with all
lacks was yet a stirring one with a sense of dawn and sunrise
and distant trumpets, now was going east, was going
Home, going east by the west road. West is home and East
is home, and North and South. Knowledge extendeth and
the world above is fed.

The sun made a lane of scarlet and gold across Ocean-
Sea. I wondered what temples, what towns, what spice ships
at strange wharfs might lie under it afar. I wondered if
there did dwell Prester John and if he would step down to
give us welcome. The torrent of event strikes us day and
night, all the hours, all the moments. Who can tell with
distinctness color and shape in that descending stream?


AN hour after moonrise we were gone from Gomera.
At first a light wind filled the sails, but when the
round moon went down in the west and the sun rose,
there was Teneriffe still at hand, and the sea glassy. It
rested like a mirror all that day, and the sails hung empty
and the banner at maintop but a moveless wisp of cloth.
In the night arose a contrary wind, and another red dawn
showed us Teneriffe still. The wind dropping like a shot,
we hung off Ferro, fixed in blue glass. Watch was kept
for the Portuguese, but they also would be rooted to sea
bottom. The third morning up whistled the wind, blowing
from Africa and filling every sail.

Palos to the Canaries, we had sailed south. Now for long,
long days the sun rose right aft, and when it set dyed with
red brow and eyes and cheek and breast of the carved
woman at our prow. She wore a great crown, and she
looked ever with wide eyes upon the west that we chased.
Straight west over Ocean-Sea, the first men, the first ships!
If ever there had been others, our world knew it not. The
Canaries sank into the east. Turn on heel around one's self,
and mark never a start of land to break the rim of the vast
sea bowl! Never a sail save those above us of the _Santa
Maria_, or starboard or larboard, the Pinta and the Nina.
The loneliness was vast and utter. We might fail here, sink
here, die here, and indeed fail and sink and die alone!

Two seamen lay sick in their beds, and the third day
from Gomera the Santa Maria's physician, Bernardo Nunez,
was seized with the same malady. At first Fray Ignatio
tried to take his place, but here the monk lacked knowledge.
One of the sailors died, a ship boy sickened, and the
physician's fever increased upon him. Diego de Arana began
to fail. The ship's master came at supper time and looked
us over. "Is there any here who has any leechcraft?"

Beltran the cook said, "I can set a bone and wash a
wound; but it ends there!"

Cried Fernando from his corner. "Is the plague among
us!" The master turned on him. "Here and now, I say
five lashes for the man who says that word again! Has any
man here sense about a plain fever?"

None else speaking, I said that long ago I had studied
for a time with a leech, and that I was somewhat used to
care of the sick. "Then you are my man!" quoth the
master, and forthwith took me to the Admiral. I became
Juan Lepe, the physician.

It was, I held, a fever received while wandering through
the ravines and woods of Gomera. Master Bernardo had
in his cabin drugs and tinctures, and we breathed now all
the salt of Ocean-Sea, and the ship was clean. I talked
to Beltran the cook about diet, and I chose Sancho and a
man that I liked, one Luis Torres, for nurses. Two others
sickened this night, and one the next day, but none afterward.
None died; in ten days all were recovered. Other
ailments aboard I doctored also. Don Diego de Arana was
subject to fits of melancholy with twitchings of the body. I
had watched Isaac the Physician cure such things as this,
and now I followed instruction. I put my hands upon the
patient and I strengthened his will with mine, sending into
him desire for health and perception of health. His inner
man caught tune. The melancholy left him and did not
return. Master Bernardo threw off the fever, sat up and
moved about. But he was still weak, and still I tended the
others for him.

The _Pinta_ had signaled four men ill. But Garcia Fernandez,
the Palos physician, was there with Martin Pinzon,
and the sick recovered. The Nina had no doctor and now
she came near to the Santa Maria and sent a boat. She had
five sick men and would borrow Bernardo Nunez.

The Admiral spoke with Nunez, now nearly well. Then
the physician made a bundle of drugs and medicaments, said
farewell to all and kindly enough to me, and rowed away to
the _Nina_. He was a friend of the Pinzons, and above the
vanity of the greater ship. The sick upon the Nina prospered
under him.

But Juan Lepe was taken from the forecastle, and slept
where Nunez had slept, and had his place at the table in the
great cabin. He turned from the sailor Juan Lepe to the
physician Juan Lepe, becoming "Doctor" and "Senor."
The wheel turns and a man's past makes his present.

A few days from Gomera, an hour after sunset, the night
was torn by the hugest, flaming, falling star that any of us
had ever seen. The mass drove down the lower skirt of the
sky, leaving behind it a wake of fire. It plunged into the
sea. There is no sailor but knows shooting stars. But this
was a hugely great one, and Ocean-Sea very lonely, and to
most there our errand a spectral and frightening one. It
needed both the Admiral and Fray Ignatio to quell the panic.

The next day a great bird like a crane passed over the
_Santa Maria_. It came from Africa, behind us. But it spoke
of land, and the sailors gazed wistfully.

This day I entered the great cabin when none was there
but the Admiral, and again he sat at table with his charts
and his books. He asked of the sick and I answered.
Again he sat looking through open door and window at blue
water, a great figure of a man with a great head and face
and early-silvered hair. "Do you know aught," he asked,
"of astrology?"

I answered that I knew a little of the surface of it.

"I have a sense," he said, "that our stars are akin, yours
and mine. I felt it the day Granada fell, and I felt it on
Cordova road, and again that day below La Rabida when
we turned the corner and the bells rang and you stood beside
the vineyard wall. Should I not have learned in more
than fifty years to know a man? The stars are akin that
will endure for vision's sake."

I said, "I believe that, my Admiral."

He sat in silence for a moment, then drew the log between
us and turned several pages so that I might see
the reckoning. "We have come well," I said. "Yet with
so fair a wind, I should have thought--"

He turned the leaves till he rested at one covered with
other figures. "Here it is as it truly is, and where we
truly are! We have oversailed all that the first show, and
so many leagues besides."

"Two records, true and untrue! Why do you do it so?"

"I have told them that after seven hundred leagues we
should find land. Add fifty more for our general imperfection.
But it may be wider than I think. We may not
come even to some fringing island in eight hundred leagues,
no, nor in more than that! If it be a thousand, if it be two
thousand, on I go! But after the seven hundred is passed,
it will be hard to keep them in hand. So, though we are
covering more, I let them think we are covering only this."

I could but laugh. Two reckonings! After all, he was
not Italian for nothing!

"The master knows," he said, "and also Diego de Arana.
But at least one other should know. Two might drown or
perish from sickness. I myself might fall sick and die,
though I will not believe it!" He paused a moment, then
said, looking directly at me, "I need one in whom I can
utterly confide. I should have had with me my brother
Bartholomew. But he is in England. A man going to seek
a Crown jewel for all men should have with him son or
brother. Diego de Arana is a kinsman of one whom I
love, and he partly believes. But Roderigo Sanchez and the
others believe hardly at all. There is Fray Ignatio. He
believes, and I confess my sins to him. But he thinks only
of penitents, and this matter needs mind, not heart alone.
Because of that sense of the stars, I tell you these things."

The next day it came to me that in that Journal which
he meant to make like Caesar's Commentaries, he might put
down the change in the _Santa Maria's_ physicians and set my
name there too often. I watched my chance and finding it,
asked that he name me not in that book. His gray eyes
rested upon me; he demanded the reason for that. I said that
in Spain I was in danger, and that Juan Lepe was not my
name. More than that I did not wish to say, and perchance
it were wiser for him not to know. But I would not that the
powerful should mark me in his Journal or elsewhere!

Usually his eyes were wide and filled with light as
though it were sent into them from the vast lands that he
continuously saw. But he could be immediate captain and
commander of things and of men, and when that was so,
the light drew into a point, and he became eagle that sees
through the wave the fish. Had he been the seer alone,
truly he might have been the seer of what was to be discovered
and might have set others upon the path. But he
would not have sailed on the _Santa Maria_!

In his many years at sea he must many times have met
men who had put to sea out of fear of land. He would
have sailed with many whose names, he knew, were not
those given them at birth. He must have learned to take reasons
for granted and to go on--where he wished to go on.
So we gazed at each other.

"I had written down," he said, "that you greatly helped
the sick, and upon Bernardo Nunez's going to the _Nina_, became
our physician. But I will write no more of you, and
that written will pass in the flood of things to come." After
a moment, he ended with deliberation, "I know my star to
be a great star, burning long and now with a mounting
flame. If yours is in any wise its kin, then there needs must
be histories."


IT was a strange thing how utterly favoring now was the
wind! It blew with a great steady push always from
the east, and always we ran before it into the west.
Day after day we experienced this warm and steadfast driving;
day after day we never shifted sail. The rigging sang
a steady song, day and night. The crowned woman, our
figurehead, ran, light-footed, over a green and blue plain,
and where the plain ended no man might know!  "Perhaps
it does not end!" said the mariners.

Of the hidalgos aboard I like best Diego de Arana who
had cast off his melancholy. He was a man of sense, candid
and brave. Roderigo Sanchez sat and moved a dull, good
man. Roderigo de Escobedo had courage, but he was factious,
would take sides against his shadow if none other
were there. Pedro Gutierrez had been a courtier, and had
the vices of that life, together with a daredevil recklessness
and a kind of wild wit. I had liking and admiration for
Fray Ignatio, but careful indeed was I when I spoke with

The wind blew unchanging, the stark blue shield of sea, a
water-world, must be taken in the whole, for there was no
contrasting point in it to catch the eye. Sancho, forward,
in a high sweet voice like a jongleur's voice, was singing to
the men an endless ballad. Upon the poop deck Escobedo
and Gutierrez, having diced themselves to an even wealth
or poverty, turned to further examination of the Admiral's
ways. Endlessly they made him and his views subject of
talk. Roderigo Sanchez listened with a face like an owl,
Diego de Arana with some irony about his lips. I came and
stood beside the latter.

They were upon the beggary of Christopherus Columbus.
"How did the Prior of La Rabida--?"

"I'll tell you, for I heard it. One evening at vesper
bell comes our Admiral--no less a man!--to Priory gate
with a young boy in his hand. Not Fernando his love-child,
but Diego the elder, who was born in Lisbon. All dusty
with the road, like any beggar you see, and not much better
clad, foot-sore and begging bread for himself and the boy.
And because of his white hair, and because he carried himself
in that absurd way that makes the undiscerning cry,
`Ah, my lord king in disguise!' the porter must have him
in, and by and by comes the prior and stands to talk with
him, `From where?' `From Cordova.' `Whither?' `To
Portugal.' `For why?' `To speak again with King John!'
`Are you in the habit of speaking with kings?' `Aye, I
am!' `About what, may I ask?' `About the finding of
India by way of Ocean-Sea, the possession of idolatrous
countries and the great wealth thereof, and the taking of
Christ to the heathen who else are lost!' "

"Ha, ha! Ha, ha!" This was Escobedo.

"The prior thinks, `This is an interesting madman.' And
being a charitable good man and lacking entertainment that
evening, he brings the beggar in to supper and sits by him."

Roderigo Sanchez opened his mouth. "All Andalusia
knows Fray Juan Perez is a kind of visionary!"

"Aye, like to like! `Have you been to our Queen and
the King? ' `Aye, I have!' saith the beggar, `but they are
warring with the Moors and will pull Granada down and
do not see the greater glory!' "

All laughed at that, and indeed Gutierrez could mimic to
perfection. We got, full measure, the beggar's loftiness.

"So the siren sings and the prior leaps to meet her, or
tarantula stings him and be dances! `I am growing mad
too,' thinks Fray Juan Perez, and begins presently to tell
that last week he dreamed of Prester John. The end is
that he and the beggar talk till midnight and the next morning
they talk again, and the prior sends for his friends
Captain Martin Alonzo Pinzon and the physician Garcia
Fernandez. The beggar gains them all!"

"Do you think a beggar can do that?" I said. "Only a
giver can do that."

Pedro Gutierrez turned black eyes upon Juan Lepe, whom
he resented there on the poop deck. "How could you have
learned so much, Doctor, while you were making sail and
washing ship?" He was my younger in every way, and I
answered equably, "I learned in the same way that the Admiral
learned while he begged."

"Touched!" said Diego de Arana. "So that is the way
the prior came into the business?"

"He enters with such vigor," said Gutierrez, "that what
does he do but write an impassioned letter to the Queen,
having long ago, for a time, been her confessor? What he
tells her, God knows, but it seems that it changes the world!
She answers that for herself she hath grieved for Master
Columbus's departure from the court and the realm, and
that if he will turn and come to Santa Fe, his propositions
shall at last be thoroughly weighed. Letter finds the beggar
with his boy honored guest of La Rabida, touching heads
with Martin Pinzon over maps and charts and the `Book
of Travels' of Messer Marco Polo. There is great joy!
The beggar hath the prior's own mule and his son a jennet,
and here we go to Santa Fe! That was last year. Now the
boy that whimpered for bread at convent gate is Don Diego
Colon, page to Prince Juan, and the Viceroy sails on the
_Santa Maria_ for the countries he will administer!"

Gutierrez shook the dice in the box. "Oh, Queen Luck,
that I have served for so long! Why do you not make me

Said Escobedo, "Viceroy of the continent of water and
Admiral of seaweed and fishes!"

Diego de Arana took that up. "We are obliged to find
something! No sensible man can think like some of those
forward that this goes on forever and we shall sail till the
wood rots and sails grow ragged and wind carries away their
shreds or they fall into dust!"

"Who knows anything of River-Ocean? We may not
find the western shore, if there be such a thing, for a year!
By that time storm will sink us ten times over, or plague
will take us--"

"There's not needed plague nor storm. Just say, food
won't last, and water is already half gone!"

"That's the undeniable truth," quoth Roderigo Sanchez,
and looked with a perturbed face at the too-smooth sea.

Smooth blue sea continued, wind continued, pushing like
a great, warm hand, east to west. The Admiral spent hours
alone in his sleeping cabin. There were men who said that
he studied there a great book of magic. He had often a
book in his hand, it is true, but Juan Lepe the physician
knew what he strove to keep from others, that the gout that
at times threatened crippling was upon him and was easier
to bear lying down.

Sunset, vesper prayer and _Salve Regina_. As the strains
died, there became evident a lingering on the part of the
seamen. The master spoke to the Admiral. "They've found
out about the needle, sir! Perhaps you'd better hear them
and answer them."

Almost every day he heard them and answered them.
To make his seamen, however they groaned and grumbled
and plotted, yet abide him and his purpose was a day-after-day arising task! Now he said equably, in the 
tone almost
of a father, "What is it to-day, men?"

The throng worked and put forward a spokesman, who
looked from the Admiral to the clear north. "It is the star,
sir! The needle no longer points to it! We thought you
might explain to us unlearned--What we think is that distance
is going to widen and widen! What's to keep needle
from swinging right south? Then will we never get home
to Palos and our wives and children--never and never and

Said the Admiral, "It will not change further, or if it
does a very little further!" In his most decisive, most convincing
voice he explained why the needle no longer pointed
precisely to the star. The deviation marked and allowed
for, it was near enough for practical purposes, and the
reasons for the wandering--

I do not know if the wisdom of our descendants will confirm
his explanation. It is so often to explain the explanation!
But one as well as another might do here. What
the _Santa Maria_ wanted was reassurance, general and large,
stretching from the Canaries to India and Cathay and back
again. He knew that, and after no great time spent with
compass needle and circularly traveling polar star, he began
to talk gold and estate, and the pearls and silk and spices
they would surely take for gifts to their family and neighbors,
Palos or Huelva or Fishertown!

It was truly the hope that upheld many on a voyage that
they chose to think a witches' one. He talked now out of
Marco Polo and he clad what that traveler had said in more
gorgeous attire. He meant nothing false; his exalted imagination
saw it so. He was painter of great pageants, heightening
and remodeling, deepening and purifying colors, making
humdrum and workaday over to his heart's desire. The
Venetian in his book, and other travelers in their books, had
related wonders enough. These grew with him, it might be
said--and indeed in his lifetime was often said--into
wonders without a foot upon earth. But if one took as
figures and symbols his gold roofs and platters, temples and
gardens, every man a merchant in silks and spices, strange
fruit-dropping trees and pearls in carcanets, the Grand Khan
and Prester John--who could say that in the long, patient
life of Time the Admiral was over-esteeming? The pity
of it was that most here could not live in great lengths of
time. They wanted riches now, now! And they wanted
only one kind of riches; here and now, or at the most in
another month, in the hands and laps of Pedro and Fernando
and Diego.


THERE grew at times an excited feeling that he was a
prophet, and that there were fabulously great things
before us. As I doctored some small ill one day in
the forecastle, a great fellow named Francisco from Huelva
would tell me his dream of the night before. He had already
told it, it seemed, to all who would listen, and now again he
had considerable audience, crowding at the door. He said
that he dreamed he was in Cipango. At first he thought it
was heaven, but when he saw golden roofs he knew it must
be Cipango, for in heaven where it never rained and there
were no nights, we shouldn't need roofs. One interrupted,
"We'd need them to keep the flying angels from looking

"It was Cipango," persisted Francisco, "for the Emperor
himself came and gave me a rope of pearls. There were
five thousand of them, and each would buy a house or a
fine horse or a suit of velvet. And the Emperor took me by
the hand, and he said, `Dear Brother--' You might have
thought I was a king--and by the mass, I was a king!
I felt it right away! And then he took me into a garden,
and there were three beautiful women, and one of them
would push me to the other, and that one to the third, and
that to the first again, as though they were playing ball,
and they all laughed, and I laughed. Then there came a
great person with five crowns on his head, and all the light
blazed up gold and blue, and somebody said, `It's Prester

His dream kept a two-days' serenity upon the ship. It
came to the ear of the Admiral, who said, " `In dreams will
I instruct thee.'--I have had dreams far statelier than

Pedro Gutierrez too began to dream,--fantastic things
which he told with an idle gusto. They were of wine and gold
and women, though often these were to be guessed through
strange, jumbled masks and phantasies. "Those are ill
dreams," said the Admiral. "Dream straight and high!"
Fray Ignatio, too, said wisely, "It is not always God who
cometh in dreams!"

But the images of Gutierrez's dreams seemed to him to
be seated in Cathay and India. They bred in him belief
that he was coming to happiness by that sea road that
glistered before us. He and Roderigo de Escobedo began
to talk with assurance of what they should find. Having
small knowledge of travelers' tales they made application
to the Admiral who, nothing loth, answered them out of
Marco Polo, Mandeville and Pedro de Aliaco.

But the ardor of his mind was such that he outwent his
authors. Where the Venetian said "gold" the Genoese
said "Much gold." Where the one saw powerful peoples
with their own customs, courts, armies, temples, ships and
trade, the other gave to these an unearthly tinge of splendor.
Often as he sat in cabin or on deck, or rising paced to and
fro, we who listened to his account, listened to poet and
enthusiast speaking of earths to come. Besides books like
those of Marco Polo and John Mandeville and the Bishop
of Cambrai he had studied philosophers and the ancients and
Scripture and the Fathers. He spoke unwaveringly of
prophecies, explicit and many, of his voyage, and the rounding
out of earth by him, Christopherus Columbus. More
than once or twice, in the great cabin, beneath the swinging
lantern, he repeated to us such passages, his voice making
great poetry of old words. "Averroes saith--Albertus
Magnus saith--Aristotle saith--Seneca saith--Saint Augustine
saith--Esdras in his fourth book saith--" Salt air
sweeping through seemed to fall into a deep, musical beat
and rhythm. "After the council at Salamanca when great
churchmen cried Irreligion and even Heresy upon me, I
searched all Scripture and drew testimony together. In
fifty, yea, in a hundred places it is plain! King David saith
--job saith--Moses saith--Thus it reads in Genesis--"

Diego de Arana smote the table with his hand. "I am
yours, senor, to find for the Lord!" Fray Ignatio lifted
dark eyes. "I well believe that nothing happens but what is
chosen! I will tell you that in my cell at La Rabida I heard
a cry, `Come over, Ignatio the Franciscan!' "

And I, listening, thought, "Not perhaps that ancient
spiritual singing of spiritual things! But in truth, yes, it
is chosen. Did not the Whole of Me that I can so dimly
feel set my foot upon this ship?" And going out on deck
before I slept, I looked at the stars and thought that we
were like the infant in the womb that knows not how nor
where it is carried.

We might be four hundred leagues from Spain. Still
the wind drove us, still we hardly shifted canvas, still the
sky spread clear, of a vast blue depth, and the blue glass
plain of the sea lay beneath. It was too smooth, the wind
in our rigging too changeless of tune. At last, all would
have had variety spring. There began a veritable hunger
for some change, and it was possible to feel a faint horror.
_What if this is the horror--to go on forever and ever like

Then one morning when the sun rose, it lit a novel thing.
Seaweed or grass or herbage of some sort was afloat about
us. Far as the eye might reach it was like a drowned
meadow, vari-colored, awash. All that day we watched it.
It came toward us from the west; we ran through it from
the east. Now it thinned away; now it thickened until it
seemed that the sea was strewn with rushes like a castle
floor. With oars we caught and brought into ship wreaths
of it. All night we sailed in this strange plain. A yellow
dawn showed it still on either side the _Santa Maria_, and
thicker, with fewer blue sea straits and passes than on yesterday.
The Pinta and the Nina stood out with a strange,
enchanted look, as ships crossing a plain more vast than the
plain of Andalusia. Still that floating weed thickened. The
crowned woman at our prow pushed swathes of it to either
side. Our mariners hung over rail, talking, talking. "What
is it--and where will it end? Mayhap presently we can
not plough it!"

I was again and again to admire how for forty years
he had stored sea-knowledge. It was not only what those
gray eyes had seen, or those rather large, well molded ears
had heard, or that powerful and nervous hand had touched.
But he knew how to take, right and left, knowledge that
others gathered, as he knew that others took and would
take what he gathered. He knew that knowledge flows.
Now he stood and told that no less a man than Aristotle
had recorded such a happening as this. Certain ships of
Gades--that is our Cadiz--driven by a great wind far
into River-Ocean, met these weeds or others like them,
distant parents of these. They were like floating islands
forever changing shape, and those old ships sailed among
them for a while. They thought they must have broken
from sea floor and risen to surface, and currents brought
other masses from land. Tunny fish were caught among

And that very moment, as the endless possibilities of
things would have it, one, leaning on the rail, cried out
that there were tunnies. We all looked and saw them in a
clear canal between two floating masses. It brought the
Admiral credence. "Look you all!" he said, "how most
things have been seen before!"

"But Father Aristotle's ship--Was he `Saint' or

"He was a heathen--he believed in Mahound."

"No, he lived before Mahound. He was a wise man--"

"But his ships turned back to Cadiz. They were afraid
of this stuff--that's the point!"

"They turned back," said the Admiral. "And the splendor
and the gold were kept for us."

A thicker carpet of the stuff brushed ship side. One of
the boys cried, "Ho, there is a crab!" It sat indeed on a
criss-cross of broken reeds, and it seemed to stare at us
solemnly. "Do not all see that it came from land, and land
to the west?"

"But it is caught here! What if we are caught here too?
These weeds may stem us--turn great crab pincers and
hold us till we rot!"

"If--and if--and if" cried the Admiral. "For
Christ, His sake, laugh at yourselves!"

On, on, we went before that warm and potent wind, so
steadfast that there must be controlling it some natural law.
Ocean-Sea spread around, with that weed like a marsh at
springtide. Then, suddenly, just as the murmuring faction
was murmuring again, we cleared all that. Open sea, blue
running ocean, endlessly endless!

The too-steady sunshine vanished. There broke a cloudy
dawn followed by light rain. It ceased and the sky cleared.
But in the north held a mist and a kind of semblance of far-
off mountains. Startled, a man cried "Land!" but the next
moment showed that it was cloud. Yet all day the mist hung
in this quarter. The _Pinta_ approached and signaled, and
presently over to us put her boat, in it Martin Pinzon. The
Admiral met him as he came up over side and would have
taken him into great cabin. But, no! Martin Pinzon always
spoke out, before everybody! "Senor, there is land yonder,
under the north! Should not we change course and see
what is there?"

"It is cloud," answered the Admiral. "Though I do not
deny that such a haze may be crying, `Land behind!' "

"Let us sail then north, and see!"

But the Admiral shook his head. "No, Captain! West
--west--arrow straight!"

Pinzon appeared about to say, "You are very wrong,
and we should see what's behind that arras!" But he
checked himself, standing before Admiral and Don and Viceroy,
and all those listening faces around. "I still think," he

The other took him up, but kept considerate, almost deferring
manner. "Yes, if we had time or ships to spare!
But now it is, do not stray from the path. Sail straight

"We are five hundred leagues from Palos."

"Less than that, by our reckoning. The further from
Palos, the nearer India!"

"We may be passing by our salvation!"

"Our salvation lies in going as we set forth to go." He
made his gesture of dismissal of that, and asked after the
health of the _Pinta_. The health held, but the stores were
growing low. Biscuit enough, but bacon almost out, and
not so many measures of beans left. Oil, too, approached
bottom of jars. The Nina was in the same case.

"Food and water will last," said the Admiral. "We have
not come so far without safely going farther."

Martin Alonso Pinzon was the younger man and but
captain of the Pinta_, while the other stood Don and Admiral,
appointed by Majesty, responsible only to the Crown.
But he had been Master Christopherus the dreamer, who
was shabbily dressed, owed money, almost begged. He
owed large money now to Martin Pinzon. But for the Pinzons,
he could hardly have sailed. He should listen now,
take good advice, that was clearly what the captain of the
_Pinta thought! Undoubtedly Master Christopherus dreamed
true to a certain point, but after that was not so followable!
As for Cristoforo Colombo, Italian shipmaster, he had, it
was true, old sea wisdom. But Martin Pinzon thought
Martin Pinzon was as good there!--Captain Martin Alonso
said good-by with some haughtiness and went stiffly back
over blue sea to the Pinta.

The sun descended, the sea grew violet, all we on the
_Santa Maria_ gathered for vesper prayer and song. Fray
Ignatio's robe and back-thrown cowl burned brown against
the sea and the sail. One last broad gold shaft lighted the
tall Admiral, his thick white hair, his eagle nose, his strong
mouth. Diego de Arana was big, alert and soldierly; Roderigo
Sanchez had the look of alcalde through half a lifetime.
I had seen Roderigo de Escobedo's like in dark streets
in France and Italy and Castile, and Pedro Gutierrez wherever
was a court. Juan de la Cosa, the master, stood a
keen man, thin as a string. Out of the crowd of mariners
I pick Sancho and Beltran the cook, Ruiz the pilot, William
the Irishman and Arthur the Englishman, and two or three
others. And Luis Torres. The latter was a thinker, and
a Jew in blood. He carried it in his face, considerably
more markedly than I carried my grandmother Judith. But
his family had been Christian for a hundred years. Before
I left forecastle for poop I had discovered that he was
learned. Why he had turned sailor I did not then know,
but afterwards found that it was for disappointed love. He
knew Arabic and Hebrew, Aristotle and Averroes, and he
had a dry curiosity and zest for life that made for him the
wonder of this voyage far outweigh the danger.

There was a hymn that Fray Ignatio taught us and that
we sang at times, beside the Latin chant. He said that a
brother of his convent had written it and set it to music.

 Thou that art above us,
 Around us, beneath us,
 Thou who art within us,
 Save us on this sea!
 Out of danger,
 Teach us how we may
 Serve thee acceptably!
 Teach us how we may
 Crown ourselves, crowning Thee!

Beltran the cook's voice was the best, and after him
Sancho, and then a sailor with a great bass, William the
Irishman. Fray Ignatio sang like a good monk, and Pedro
Gutierrez like a troubadour of no great weight. The Admiral
sang with a powerful and what had once been a sweet
voice. Currents and eddies of sweetness marked it still.
All sang and it made together a great and pleasurable
sound, rolling over the sea to the _Pinta_ and the Nina, and
so their singing, somewhat less in volume, came to us. All
grew dusk, the ships were bat wings sailing low; out sprang
the star to which the needle no longer pointed. The great
star Venus hung in the west like the lantern of some ghostly
air ship, very vast.

 Thou that art above us,
 Around us, beneath us,
 Thou that art within us,
 Save us on this sea!


WE were a long, long way from Spain. A flight of
birds went over us. They were flying too high for
distinguishing, but we did not hold them to be sea
birds. We sounded, but the lead touched no bottom. West
and west and west, pushed by that wind! Late September,
and we had left Palos the third of August.

The wind shifted and became contrary. The sea that
for so long had been glassy smooth took on a roughness.
A bird that was surely a forest bird beaten to us perched
upon a stretched rope and uttered three quick cries. A
boy climbed and softly took it from behind. It fluttered in
the Admiral's two hands. All came to look. Its plumage
was blue, its breast reddish. We wondered, but before we
could make it a cage, it strongly strove and was gone. One
flash and all the azure took it to itself.

In the night the waves flattened. Rose-dawn showed
smooth sea and every sail filled again with that westward
journeying wind. Yesterday's roughness and the bird tossed
aboard were as a dream.

A day and a day and a day. As much Ocean-Sea as ever,
and Asia a lie, and alike at this end and that of the
vessel a dull despondency, and Pedro Gutierrez's wit grown
ugly. So naked, so lonely, so indifferent spread the Sea
of Darkness!

Another day and another and another. When half the
ship was at the point of mutiny signs reappeared and thickened.
Birds flew over the ships; one perched beside the
Admiral's banner and sang. More than that, a wood dove
came upon the deck and ate corn that was strewed for it.
"Colombo--Colombo!" quoth the Admiral. "I, too, am
`dove.' " And he opened a window and sent forth a "dove"
to find if there were land!' "

Almost the whole ship from Jason down took these two
birds for portents. Fray Ignatio lifted hands. "The
Blessed Francis who knew that birds have souls to save
hath sent them!" We passed the drifting branch of a
tree. It had green leaves. The sea ran extremely blue and
clear, and half the ship thought they smelled frankincense,
brought on the winds which now were changeable. At evening
rose a great cry of "Land!" and indeed to one side the
sinking sun seemed veritable cliffs with a single mountain
peak. The Admiral, who knew more of sea and air than
any two men upon those ships, cried "Cloud--cloud!"
but for a time none believed him. There sprang great commotion,
the _Pinta_ too signaling. Then before our eyes
came a rift in the mountain and the cliffs slipped into the sea.

But now all believed in land ahead. It was as though
some one had with laughter tossed them that assurance over
the horizon straight before us. Every mariner now was
emulous to be the lookout, every man kept eyes on the west.
Now sprang clear and real to them the royal promise of
ten thousand maravedies pension to him who first sighted
Cipango, Cathay or India. The Admiral added a prize of a
green velvet doublet.

We had come nigh eight hundred leagues.

In the cabin, upon the table he spread Toscanelli's map,
and beside it a great one like it, of his own making, signed
in the corner _Columbus de Terra Rubra_. The depiction was
of a circle, and in the right or eastern side showed the coasts
of Ireland and England, France, Spain and Portugal, and
of Africa that portion of which anything was known. Out
in Ocean appeared the islands gained in and since Prince
Henry's day. Their names were written,--Madeira, Canaria,
Cape de Verde and Azores. West of these and filling
the middle map came Ocean-Sea, an open parchment field
save for here a picture of a great fish, and here a siren and
here Triton, and here the Island of the Seven Cities and here
Saint Brandon's Isle, and these none knew if they be real
or magical! Wide middle map and River-Ocean! The eye
quitting that great void approached the left or western side
of the circle. And now again began islands great and small
with legends written across and around them. The great
island was Cipango, and across the extent of it ran in fine
lettering. "Marco Polo was here. It is the richest of the
eastern lands. The houses are roofed with gold. The people
are idolaters. There are spices and pearls, nutmegs, pepper
and precious stones. Very much gold so that the common
people use it as they wish."

We read, the Admiral seated, we, the great cabin group,
standing, bending over the table. After the islands came
mainland. "Cathay" ran the writing. "Mangi. Here
is the seat of the Great Khan. His city is Cambalu." South
of all this ran other drawings and other legends. "Here,
opposite Africa, near the equator, are islands called Manillas.
They have lodestone, so that no ship with iron can sail to
them. Here is Java of all the spices. Here is great India
that the ancients knew."

"We are bearing toward Cipango," said the Admiral. "I
look first for small outward islands, where perhaps the folk
are uncouth and simple, and there is little gold."

And again days passed. When many times upon the
_Santa Maria_ and as often on the _Pinta_ and the _Nina_ some
one had cried "Land!" and the ships been put in commotion
and the land melted into air before our eyes, and another
as plausible island or coast formed before us only to
vanish, despair seized us again. Witchcraft and sorcery and
monstrous ignorance, and fooled to our deaths! "West--
west--west!" till the west was hated. The Pinzons thought
we should change course. If there were lands we were
leaving them in the north where hung the haze. But the
Madman or the Black Magician, our Italian Admiral, would
not hear good advice! It was Gutierrez's word, under his
breath when the Admiral was in earshot, and aloud when
he was not. "Our Italian--our Italian! Why did not
Italy keep him? And Portugal neither would have him!
Castile, the jade, takes him up!"

Then after absence began again the signs. Flocks of birds
went by us. I saw him watching, and truly these flights
did seem to come from south of west. On the seventh of
October he altered course. We sailed southwest. This day
there floated by a branch with purple berries, and we saw
flying fish. Dolphins played about the ship. The very sea
felt warm to the hand, and yet was no oppression, but light
and easily breathed air, fragrant and lifting the spirits.

And now we saw floating something like a narrow board
or a wide staff. The master ordered the boat lowered; we
brought it in and it was given dripping into the Admiral's
hand. "It is carved by man," he said. "Look!" Truly
it was so, rudely done with bone or flint, but carved by man
with something meant for a picture of a beast and a tree.

We sailed west by south this day and the next. No more
man-wrought driftage came our way, but other signs multiplied.
We saw many birds, the water was strangely warm
and clear, when the wind blew toward us it had a scent,
a tone, that cried land breeze! Then came by a branch
with yellow flowers, and upon one a butterfly. After this
none doubted, not Fernando nor any. "Gold flowers--
gold flowers--gold, gold!"

This night we lay by so that we should not slip past land
in the darkness. When day came there showed haze south
and west. A gentle wind sang in our rigging. On board
the _Santa Maria_, the Pinta and the Nina all watched for
land. Excitement and restlessness took us all. The Admiral's
eyes burned like deep gray seas. I could read in
them the images behind. _Prester John and the Release of
the Sepulchre. The Grand Khan a tributary Prince. Argosies
of gold, silk and spices, sailing steady, sailing fast over
a waterway unblocked by Mahound and his soldans. All Europe
burning bright, rising a rich Queen. Holy Church with_
_another cubit to her stature. Christopherus Columbus, the
Discoverer, the Enricher, the Deliverer! Queen Isabella, and
on her cheeks a flush of gratitude; all the Spanish court bowing
low. All the friends, the kindred, all so blessed! Sons,
brothers; Genoa, and Domenico Colombo clad in velvet, dining
with the Doge_.

Dolphins were all about us; once there rose a cry from
the mariners that they heard singing over the waves. We
held breath and listened, but if they were sirens they ceased
their song. But at eve, the sky pale gold, the water a
sapphire field, we ourselves sang mightily our "_Salve Regina_."

The Admiral would speak to us. Now all loved him,
with golden India rising to-morrow from the sea, with his
wisdom proving itself! He had this eve a thrilling voice.
God had been good to us; who could say other? This very
eve, at Palos, they thought of us. At Santa Maria de la
Rabida, chanting vesper hymn, they prayed for us also.
In Cordova the Queen prayed. In Rome, the Holy Father
had us in mind. Would we lessen ourselves, disappointing
so many, and very God, grieving very Christ? "No! But
out of this ship we shall step on this land to come, good
men, true men, servants and sons of Christ in His kingdom.
This night, in India before us, men sigh, `We weary of our
idols! Why tarrieth true God?' There the learned think,
bending over their maps, `Why doth not some one put forth,
bringing all the lands into one garland?' They look to
their east whence we come, and they may see in dream tonight these three ships!" His voice rang. "I tell 
these Three Ships shall be known forever! Your grandchildren's
grandchildren shall say, `The _Santa Maria_, the
Pinta and the Nina--and one that was our ancestor sailed
in this one or in that one, to the glory and gain of the
world, wherefore we still make festival of his birthday!' "

At this they stirred, whether from Palos or Huelva or
Fishertown. They looked at him now as though indeed he
were great mage, or even apostle.

That evening I heard Roderigo de Escobedo at an enumeration.
He seemed to have committed to memory some
Venice list. "Mastic, aloes, pepper, cloves, mace and cinnamon
and nutmeg. Ivory and silk and most fine cloth, diamonds,
balasses, rubies, pearls, sapphires, jacinth and emeralds.
Silver in bulk and gold common as iron with us.

Pedro Gutierrez was speaking. "Gold to carry to Spain
and pay my debts, with enough left to go again to court--"

Said Escobedo, "The Admiral saith, `No fraud nor
violence, quarreling nor oppression'!"

Gutierrez answered: "The Admiral also thinks to pay
his debts! He may think he will be strict as the Saints, but
he will not!"

The Admiral was walking the deck. He stopped beside
Juan Lepe who leaned upon the rail and watched a strange,
glistering sea. It was that shining stuff we see at times
at night in certain weather. But to-night Luis Torres, passing,
had said, "Strewn ducats!"

The Admiral and Juan Lepe watched. "Never a sail!"
said I. "How strange a thing is that! Great populous
countries that trade among themselves, and never a sail on
this sea rim!"

He drummed upon the rail. "Do not think I have not
thought of that! I looked to meet first a ship or ships.
But now I think that truly there may be many outlying
islands without ships. Or there may be a war between
princes, and all ships drawn in a fleet to north or south.
One beats one's brains--and time brings the solution, and
we say, `How simple!' "

Turning his great figure, he mounted to our castle built
up from deck, whence he could see great distances. The
wind had freshened; we were standing to the west; it was
behind us again and it pushed us like a shuttle in a giant's
hand. The night was violet dark and warm; then at ten
the moon rose. Men would not sleep while the ship sailed.
A great event was marching, marching toward us. We
thought we caught the music of it; any moment heralds,
banners, might flame at end of road. We were watching
for the Marriage Procession; we were watching for Kings,
for the Pope, for I know not what! But there was certain
to be largesse.

I went among the mariners. Sancho met me, a young
man whom then and afterwards I greatly liked. "Well,
we've had luck, senor! Saint Noah himself, say I, wasn't
any luckier!"

"Yes, we've done well!"

Beltran the cook's great easy voice rolled in. "Fear's
your only barnacle, say I!"

Luis Torres said, "When I studied Arabic and the Hebrew,
I thought it was for the pleasure of it. They said
around me, `How you waste your time!' But now some
about the Grand Khan should know Arabic. I will be of

Pedro said, "Well, it has turned out better than any reasonable
man could have expected!" and Fernando, "Yes,
it has! Of course there may be witches. I've heard it said
there are great necromancers in India!"

"Necromancers! That's them that show you a thing
and then blow it away--"

I said, "Do you not know that all of us are the only

"Did you see," asked Sancho, "the glistering in the
water? Are we going to lie to after midnight? Saint
George! I would like to plunge in and swim!"

On poop deck, Diego de Arana called me to him. "Well,
Doctor, how goes it?" He and I rested good friends. I
said, "Why, it goes well."

"I was thinking, watching the moon, how little I ever
dreamed, being no sea-going man, of such a thing as this.
Who knows his fate? A man's a strange matter!"

"He is a ballad," I answered., "One stave leads to another
and the story mounts."

"I cannot think what to-morrow may show us!"

"Nor can I! But it will be important. We enter by a
narrow strait great widths of the future."

"There will be great changes, doubtless. Our world is
growing little. Everybody feels that we must push out!
It isn't only Spain, but all kingdoms."

Pedro Gutierrez joined us. "You are a learned man,
Doctor! What like are the women of Cipango?"

The moon, past the full yet strong enough to silver
this vast shield, rose higher. The sails of the _Pinta_ and the
Nina were curves of pearl, our sails above us pale mountains.
The light dimmed our lanterns. Crowned woman
at our prow would be bathed in it as she ran across Ocean-
Sea. It washed our decks, pricked out our moving men.
They cast shadows. The master had served out an extra
draught of wine. It was hardly needed. We were all lifted,
with visions drumming in our heads. Fray Ignatio stood
against the mast, and I knew that he felt a pulpit and was
making his sermon. After a time, Diego de Arana and
Pedro Gutierrez moving away, I was alone. Mind and
heart tranquilized, and into them stepped Isabel, and she
and I, hand in hand, walked fields of the west.

The moon shone. The Admiral's voice came from above
us where he watched from the castle. "Come up here, one
or two of you!" Gutierrez was nearest the ladder. He
mounted and I after him, and we stood one on either hand
the Admiral. He pointed south of west. "A light!" His
voice was an ocean. "It is as it should be. I, Christopherus
Columbus, have first seen the Shore of Asia!"

We followed his extended hand. Clear under sail we saw
it, dimmed by the moon, but evident, a light as it were of
a fire on a beach. Diego de Arana came up also and
saw it. It was, we thought, more than a league away, a
light that must be on land and made by man. It dwindled,
out it went into night and there ran only plain silver. We
waited while a man might have swam from us to the _Pinta_,
then forth it started again, red star that was no star. Some
one below us cried, "Ho, look!" The Admiral raised his
voice, it rang over ship. "Aye! I saw it a time ago, have
seen it thrice! I, the Admiral, saw first." Men were
crowding to the side to look, then it went out as though
a wave had crept up and drenched it. We gazed and gazed,
but it did not come again.

It might have been not land, but a small boat afire. But
that is not probable, and we upon the _Santa Maria_ held
that to see burning wood on shore, though naught showed
of that shore itself, was truly first to view, first of all of
us, that land we sought. He did not care for the ten
thousand maravedies, but he cared that it should be said
that God showed it first to him.

The wind pushed us on with the flat of a great hand.
Midnight and after midnight. At the sight of that flame
we should have fired our cannon, but for some reason this
was not done. Now the silver silence beyond the ship was
torn across by the _Pinta's_ gun. She fired, then came near
us. "Land! Land!" Now we saw it under the moon,
just lifting above the sea,--lonely, peaceful, dark.

It was middle night. The Santa Maria, the Pinta and the
Nina went another league, then took in sail and came to


THE Admiral set a watch and commanded all beside
to sleep. To-morrow might be work and wakefulness
enough! The ship grew silent. With the _Pinta_
and the Nina it lay under the moon, and all around was
silver water.

He did not sleep this night, I am sure. At all times he
was a provident and wakeful sea king who knew his ship
through and through. His habit was light sleep and not
many hours of that. He studied his books at night while
others slept. Lying in his bed, with eyes open or eyes shut,
he watched form in the darkness lands across sea.

This night so far from Europe passed. The sense of day
at hand wrapped us. In the east arose a cool, a stern and
indifferent pallor. It changed, it flushed. We carried in
the _Santa Maria_ a cock and hens. Cock crew.

Christopherus Columbus had Italian love for fit, harmonious
noting of vast events. This morning the trumpeter
also of the Santa Maria waked those who slept. The
clear and joyful notes were heard by the Pinta and the
Pinta, too, answered with music. The Nina took it from
her. Beltran the cook and his helpers gave us a stately
breakfast. The Admiral came forth from his cabin in a
dress that a prince might have worn, crimson and tawny,
and around his throat a golden chain. Far and near rushed
into light, for in these lands and seas the dawn makes no
tarrying. It is almost night, then with a great clap of
light it is day.

We had voyaged, all thought, to Asia over an untrodden
way. Every eye turned to land. Not haze, not dissolving
cloud, not a magic nothing in the thought, but land, land,
solid, palpable, like Palos strand! Had we seen a great port
city, had we seen ships crowding harbor, had we seen a
citadel on some height, armed and frowning, had we marked
temples and palaces and banners afloat in this divine cool
wind of morning, many aboard us would have had now no
surprise, would have cried, "Of course, I really knew it,
though for the fun of it I pretended otherwise!"

But others among us could not expect such as this after
the quiet night; no light before us save that one so soon
quenched, no stir of boat at all or large or small; an unearthly
quiet, a low land still as a sleeping marsh under

The light brightened. The water about us turned a blue
that none there had ever seen, so turquoise, so cerulean, so
penetrable by the eye! Before us gentle surf broke on a
beach bone-white. The beach with little rise met woodland;
thick it seemed and of a vivid greenness and fairly covering
the island. It was island, masthead told us, who saw
blue ribbon going around. Moreover, there were two others,
no greater, upon the horizon. Nor, though the woodland
seemed thick as pile of velvet, was it desolate isle. We
made out in three places light plumes of smoke. Now some
one uttered a cry, "Men!"

They were running out of the wood, down upon the white
beach. There might be a hundred.

"Naked men! They are dark--They are negroes!"--
"Or magicians!"

The Admiral lifted his great voice. "Mariners all! India
and Cathay are fringed with islands, as are many parts
of Europe. A dozen of you have sailed among the Greek
islands. There may be as many here as those. This is a
small island and its folk simple. They are not Negroes,
but the skin of the Indian is darker than ours, and that
of Cipango and Cathay is yellow. As for clothing, in all
warm lands the simpler folk wear little. But as for ma-
gicians, there may be magicians among them as there are
among all peoples, but it is falseness and absurdity to speak
of all as magicians! Nonsense and cowardice! The man
who cried that goes not ashore to-day!"

Not Great India before us nor Golden Cipango! But
it was land--land--it was solid, there were folk! How
long had flowed the sea around us, for this was the twelfth
of October, five weeks since Gomera and above two months
since Palos had sunk away and we had heard the last faint
bell of La Rabida! And there had been strong doubt if
ever we should see again a white beach, or a tree, or a
kindly fire ashore, or any men but those of our three ships,
or ever another woman or a child. But land--land! Here
was land and green woods and crowds of strange folk.
The mariners laughed, and the tears stood in their eyes
and friends embraced. And they grew mightily respectful
to the Admiral.

So many were to go ashore in the first boat, and so many
in the second. The _Pinta_ and the Nina were lowering their
boats. Our hidalgos aboard, Diego de Arana, Roderigo
Sanchez and the rest, had also fine apparel with them--
seeing that the Grand Khan would have a court and our
Sovereigns must be rightly represented--and this morning
they suited themselves only less splendidly than did the
Admiral. The great banner of Castile and Leon was ready
for carrying. Trumpet, drum and fife should land. Fray
Ignatio was ready--oh, ready! His liquid dark eyes had
an unearthly look. Gifts were being sorted out. There
were aboard rich things, valued in any land of ours, for
gifts to the Grand Khan and his ministers, or the Emperor
of Cipango and his. For Queens and Empresses and Ladies
also. And there was a wondrous missal for Prester John
did we find him! But this was evidently a little island afar,
and these were naked, savage men. The expedition was
provident. It had for all. The Portuguese, our great navigators,
had taught what the naked African liked. A basket
stood at hand filled with pieces of colored cloth, beads, caps,
hawk bells, fishhooks, toys of sorts. For that we might
have trouble, four harquebus men and four crossbows were
going. The _Santa Maria_ carried two cannon. Now at the
Admiral's signal, one of these was discharged. It was a
voice not heard before in this world. If he wished to produce
awe that should accompany him like the ancient pillars
of cloud and fire, he had success. When the smoke cleared
we saw the wild men prostrate upon the ivory beach as
though a scythe had cut them down. They lay like fallen
grain, then rose and made haste for the wood. We could
thinly hear their shouting.

Christopherus Columbus descended into the boat of the
_Santa Maria_, Fray Ignatio after him. Diego de Arana,
Roderigo Sanchez, Escobedo, Gutierrez and Juan Lepe the
physician followed. Juan de la Cosa stayed with the ship, it
not being wise to take away all authority. Our armed men
came after and the rowers. We drew off and the small boat
filled. Boats of the Pinta and the Nina joined us. The
great banner over us, the Admiral's hand upon its standard,
we rowed for Asia.

Nearer and nearer. The water hung about us, plain marvel,
not dark blue, but turquoise and clear as air. We could
see the strange, bright-hued fish and the white bottom. The
air breathed Maytime, and now we thought we could tell
the spices. And so ivory-white it was, the long curved
beach, and so gayly bright the emerald of the wood! There
were many palms with other trees we knew not. It was
low, the island, and it shone before us silver and green, and
the trees moved gently in a wind more sweet, we thought,
than any Andalusian zephyr. Pedro Gutierrez stared.

It was not what we had looked for, but it was good
enough. It seemed divine, that morning!

Nearer we drew, nearer. The beach was now bare. We
made out the dark, naked folk at edge of the wood, in tree
shadows, watching us. Were they strange to us, be sure
we were stranger to them!

The azure water, so marvelous, met that sand white like
crushed bone, strewn with delicate shells. Never was wind
so sweet as that which blew this morning! Green plumes,
the palms brushed the sky; there seemed to us fruit trees
also, with satin stems and wide-laden boughs. When we
looked over shoulder the _Santa Maria_, the Pinta and the
Nina each rode double, mast and hull in sky, mast and hull
in mirror sea. Something strange and divine was about
us, over us. We wished to laugh, we wished to weep.

Boat head touched clean sand. The oars rested. Christopherus
Columbus the Admiral stepped from boat first and
alone, all waiting as was right. He took with him the banner
of Spain. He walked a few yards, then struck the
standard into the sand. There was air enough to open the
folds, to make them float and fly. Kneeling, he bowed himself
and kissed the earth. We heard his strong voice praying.
"_Domine Deus, aeterne et omnipotens, sacro tuo verbo
coelum, et terra, et mare, creasti_--"

We also bowed our heads. He rose and cried to Fray
Ignatio. The Franciscan was the next to enter this new
world. After him sprang out Diego de Arana and the others.
The Pinzons, too, were now leaving their boats. All were
at last gathered about the Admiral, between blue water and
green wood. Fifty Spaniards, we gathered there, and we
heard our fellows left upon the ships cheering us. We
kneeled and Fray Ignatio thanked God for us.

We rose, drew long breath and looked about us, then
turned to the Admiral with loud praise and gratulation. He
was girded with a sword, cross-hilted. Drawing it, he set
its point in the sand. Then with one hand upon the cross,
and one lifted and wrapped in the banner folds, he, with a
great voice, proclaimed Spain's ownership. To the King
and Queen of the Spains all lands unchristian and idolatrous
that we might find and use and hold, all that were clearly
away from the line of the King of Portugal, drawn for him
by the Holy Father! In the name of God, in the name of
Holy Church, in the name of Isabella, Queen of Castile,
and Ferdinand, King of Aragon and their united Power,
amen and amen! He motioned to the trumpeter who put
trumpet to his lips and blew a blast to the north and the
south and the east and the west. At the sound there seemed
to come a cry from the fringing wood, a cry of terror.

The island was ours,--if all this could make it ours.

A piece of scarlet cloth spread upon the sand had heaped
upon it necklaces of glass and three or four hawk bells
with other toys. We placed it there, then stood back. At
the Admiral's command the harquebus and crossbow men
laid their weapons down, though watchful eye was kept.
But no arrow flights had come from the wood, and as far
as could be seen some kind of lance, not formidable looking,
was their only weapon. Next the Admiral made our fifer to
play a merry and peaceful air.

We had noted a clump of trees advanced into the sand
and we thought that the bolder men were occupying this.
Now a man started out alone, a young man by the looks of
him, drawn as he was against the white sand, and a paladin,
for he marched to meet alone he knew not what or whom.
"Blackamoor!" exclaimed De Arana beside me, but as he
came nearer we saw that the dead blackness was paint, laid
in a fantastic pattern upon his face and body. Native hue
of skin, as we came presently to find in the unpainted, was
a pleasing red-brown. He advanced walking daintily and
proudly, knowing that his people were watching him. Single
Castilian, single Moor, had advanced so, many a time, between
camps, or between camp and fortress.

Halting beside the red cloth he stooped and turned over
the trinkets. When he straightened himself he had in hand
a string of great beads, rose and blue and green. He fingered
these, seemed about to put the necklet on, then refrained
as too daring. Laying it gently back upon the scarlet he
next took up a hawk bell. These bells, as is known, ring
very clear and sweet. I was afterwards told that the Portuguese
had noted their welcome among the African people.
There was no nail's breadth of information that this man
Columbus could not use! He had used this, and in a list
for just possibly found savage Indians had put down, "good
number of hawk bells."

The red man painted black, took up the hawk bell. It
chimed as he moved it. He dropped it on the sand and gave
back a step, then picked it up and set it tinkling. His face,
the way in which he moved, said "Music from heaven!"

The Admiral motioned to Fray Ignatio to move toward
him. That good man went gently forward. The youth
gave back, but then braced himself, under the eyes of his
nation. He stood. The Franciscan put out a gowned arm
and a long, lean kindly hand. The youth, naked as the
bronze of a god, hesitated, raised his own arm, let it drop
upon the other's. Fray Ignatio, speaking mild words,
brought him across and to the Admiral. The latter, tallest
of us all and greatly framed, lofty of port, dressed with
magnificence, silver-haired, standing forth from his officers
and men, the banner over him, would be taken by any for
Great Captain, chief god of these gods, and certes, at the
first they thought that we were gods! The Indian put his
hands to his face, shrank like a girl and came slowly to his
knees and lower yet until his forehead rested upon the earth.
The Admiral lifted him, calling him "son."

Those of his kind watching from the wood now sent forth
a considerable deputation. There came to us a dozen naked
men, fairly tall, well-shaped, skin of red copper, smeared
often with paint in bars and disks and crescents. Their
hair was not like the Negro's, the only other naked man our
time knew, but was straight, black, somewhat coarse, not
bushy but abundant, cut short with the men below the ear.
They are a beardless people. Our beards are an amazement
to them, as are our clothes. A fiercely quarrelsome folk, a
peace-keeping, gentle folk will sound their note very soon.
These belonged to the latter kind. Their lances were not our
huge knightly ones, nor the light, hard ones of the Moors.
They were hardly more than stout canes, the head not iron
--they had no iron--but flint or bone shaped by a flint
knife. Where the paint was not splashed or patterned over
them, their faces could be liked very well. Lips were not over
full, the nose slightly beaked, the forehead fairly high, the
eyes good. They did not jabber nor move idly but kept
measure and a pleasant dignity. They seemed gentle and
happy. So were they when we found them.

Their speech sounded of no tongue that we knew. Luis
Torres and I alike had knowledge of Arabic. We had no
Persian that might be nearer yet, but Arabia being immemorially
caravan-knit with India, it was thought that it
might be understood. But these bare folk had no notion
of it, nor of the Hebrew which Luis tried next. The Latin
did not do, the Greek of which I had a little did not do.
But there is an old, old language called Gesture. If,
wherever there is a common language there is one people,
then in end and beginning surely we are one folk around
the earth!

We were to be friends with these islanders. "Friends
first and last!" believed the Admiral. Indeed, all felt it
so, this bright day. If they were not all we had imaged,
sailing to them, yet were they men, and unthreatening, novel,
very interesting to us with their island and their marvelous
blue water. All was heightened by sheer joy of landing,
and of finding--finding something! And what we found
was not horrible nor deathful, but bright, promising, scented
like first fruits.

To them we found we were gods! They moved about us
with a kind of ceremony of propitiation. Two youths came
with a piece of bark carried like a salver, piled with fruits
and with thin cakes of some scraped root. Another brought
a parrot, a great green and rose bird that at once talked,
though we could not understand his words. Two older
men had balls, as large as melons, of some wound stuff that
we presently found to be cotton loosely twisted into yarn.
The Admiral's eyes glowed. "Now if any bring spices or
pepper--" But they did not, nor did they bring gold.

All these things they put down before us, in silence or
with words that we thought were petitions, moving not
confusedly but with a manner of ritual. The Admiral took a
necklace and placed it round the throat of the young man
who first had dared, and in his hand put a hawk bell. That
was enough for himself to do, who was Viceroy. Three of
us finished the distribution. They who had brought presents
were given presents. All would have us go with them
to their village, just behind the trees. A handful of men
we left with the boats and the rest of us crossed sand.
Harquebuses and crossbows went with us, but we had no need
of them. The island apparently followed peace, and its
folk greatly feared to give offense to gods from the sky.
Above the ships held a range of pearly clouds, out of which
indeed one might make strange lands and forms. The Indians
--Christopherus Columbus called them "Indians"--
pointed from ships to cloud. They spoke with movements
of reverence. "You have come down--you have come
down!" We understood them, though their words were not

Now the greenwood rose close at hand. The trees differed,
the woven thickness of it, the color and blossom, from any
wood at home. A space opened before us, and here was
the village of these folk,--round huts thatched with palm
leaves, set on no streets, but at choice under trees. Earth
around was trodden hard, but the green woods pressed close.
Here and there showed garden patches with plants whose
names and uses we knew not. Now we came upon women
and children. Like the men the women were naked. Well-
shaped and comely, with long, black, braided hair, they
seemed to us gentle, pleasing and fearless. The children
were a crew that any might love.

Time lacks to say all that we did and heard and guessed
this day upon this island! It was first love after long weeks
at sea, and our cramped ships and all our great uncertainty!
If it was not what we had expected, still here it was, tangible
land that never had been known, wonderful to us, giving
us already rich narrative for Palos and Huelva and Fishertown, for Cordova and the Queen and King. We 
were sure
now that other land was to be met, so soon as we sailed a
reasonable distance to meet it. Under the horizon would
be land surely, and surely of an import that this small island
lacked, like Paradise though it seemed to us this day! Any
who looked at the Admiral saw that he would make no long
tarrying here. He named this island San Salvador, but we
would not wait in San Salvador.

This day in shifts, all our men were brought ashore, each
division having three hours of blessed land. So good was
earth under foot, so good were trees, so delectable the fruit,
so lovely to move and run and watch every moving, running,
walking thing! And these good, red-brown folk, naked it
was true, but mannerly after their own fashion, who thought
every seaman a god, and the ship boys sons of gods! And
we also were good and mannerly, the _Santa Maria_, the
Pinta and the Nina. I look back and I see a strange, a
boyish and a happy day.

The sun was westering. We felt the exhaustion of a
long holiday with novelties so many that at last the senses
did not answer. Perhaps the Indians felt it too. Often and
often have I seen great wisdom guide the Admiral. An
hour before approaching night might have said "Go!" he
took us one and all back to the ships. "_Salve Regina_" was
a sound that evening to hear, and afterwards it was to
sleep, sleep,--tired as from the Fair at Seville!


AT first, the day before, we had not made out that the
Indians had boats. Later, straying here and there,
we had seen them drawn upon the shore and covered
with boughs of trees. They called them "canoes", made
them, large and small, out of trunks of trees, hollowed by
fire, and with their stone knives. We had seen one copper
knife. Asked about that, they pointed to the south and
seemed to say that yonder dwelled men who had all they
wished of most things.

From dark the east grew pale, from pallor put on roses.
This day no mariner grumbled at the call to awake. Here
still lay our Fortunate Isle, our San Salvador; here our
ivory beach, our green wood. Up went the little curls of

We had breakfast. So great was now the deference to
him who three days ago had been "madman" and "black
magician", "dreaming fool" and "spinner without thread!"
Now it was "Admiral", "Excellency", and "What shall
we do next?" and "What is your opinion, sir?"

The immediate thing to do proved to be to come forth
from cabin and mark the beach thronging with thrice the
number of yesterday, and the canoes putting off to us. We
counted eight. Only one was a long craft, holding twenty
men; the others came in cockle boats, with one or two or
three. Not only canoes, but they came swimming, men and
boys, all a dark grace in the cerulean, lucid sea. They were
so fearless--for we came from heaven and would not harm
them. We were going to make them rich; we were going
to "save" them.

A score perhaps were helped aboard the _Santa Maria_.
The Pinta, the Nina, had others. They were like children,
touching, staring, excitedly talking and gesturing among
themselves, or gazing in a kind of fixed awe, asking of the
least sailor with all reverence, bowing themselves before the
Admiral, the over-god. The Admiral moved richly dressed,
rapt and benignant, yet sparing a part of himself to keep
all order, measure, rightness on the ship, and another part
to find out with keen pains, "What of other lands? What
of folk who must be your superiors?"

They had brought offerings. Half a dozen parrots perched
around, very gorgeously colored, loquacious in a speech we
did not know. We had stacks of the large round thin
cakes baked on stones which afterwards we called cassava,
and great gourds, "calabashes" filled with fruit, and balls
of cotton in a rude thread. We gave beads, bits of cloth,
little purses, and the small bells that caused extravagant
delight. But ever the Admiral looked for signs of gold,
for he must find for princes and nobles and merchants gold
or silver, or precious stones or spice, or all together. If he
found them not, half his fortunes fell; a half-wind only
would henceforth fill his sails.

And at last came in a canoe with three a young Indian
who wore in his ear a knob of gold. Roderigo Sanchez
saw this first and brought him to the Admiral. The latter,
taking up an armlet of green glass and a hawk bell, touched
the gold in the ear. "Do you trade?" Glad enough was
the Indian to trade. It lay in the Admiral's palm, a piece
of gold as great as a filbert.

Juan Lepe watched him make inquisition, Diego de
Arana, Sanchez and Escobedo at his elbow. He did it
to admiration, with look, gesture and tone ably translating
his words. "Gold--gold?" The Indian said, or we put
down in this wise what he said, "Harac."

Was there more harac on the island? We would give
heavenly things for harac. The Indian was doubtful; he
thought proudly that he had the only harac. "Where did
he get it?" He indicated the south.

"Little island like this one?"

"No. Great land. Harac there in many ears. Much

So we understood him. "Cipango!" breathed the Admiral.
"Or neighbor to Cipango, increasingly rich and civilized
as we go."

He took a case of small boxes, each box filled with merchandise
of spice which he desired. Cinnamon, nutmeg,
pepper, saffron, cloves and others. He made the islander
smell and taste. "Had they aught like these?"

The Indian seemed to say they had not, but would like
to have. He looked about for something with which to
trade, a parrot, or heap of cakes, or ball of cotton. I
thought that it was the box of boxes that he extremely
wished, but the Admiral thought it was the spicery, and
that he must have known them wherever he got the gold.
"Were they found yonder?"

The Admiral stretched arm out over blue sea and the
Indian followed his gesture. He shot out his own arm,
"South--southwest--west," nodded the Admiral. "Many
islands, or the mainland. Gates open before us!"

"Had the Indian been to these lands?" No, it seemed,
but one had come in a boat, wearing this knob of gold,
and he had told them. Was he living? No, he was not
living. What kind of a person was he? Such as us?
Emphatically no. Not such as us! Much, we gathered, as
was the Indian himself. "Pearls have come from Queen's
neck to Queen's neck," quoth the Admiral, "by a thousand
rude hands and twisting ways!"

There was one woman among the visitors to the _Santa
Maria_, a young woman, naked, freely moving and smiling.
Eyes dwelled on her, eyes followed her. She was with an
Indian who might be brother or husband. The Admiral
gave her a worked, Moorish scarf. She tied it about her
head, and the bright ends fell down beside her long, black,
braided hair. None touched her, but they were woman-
starved, and they looked at her hungrily. She had beauty
in her way, and a kind of innocence both frank and shy.
She was like a doe in the green forest, come silently upon
at dawn.

Fed full of marvel at last, these Indians left us. But
no sooner had they reached land and told of great kindness
on the part of the inhabitants of heaven than other canoes
and other swimmers put forth. This might go on all day,
so we checked it by ourselves going ashore.

This day we filled our water casks and took aboard much
fruit and all the cakes that they brought us. Moreover
we explored the island, finding two villages of a piece with
the first, and in the middle land a fair pool of water. This
day like yesterday was blissful wine.

All blessed Christopherus Columbus. No man now but,
for a while, did his bidding with an open heart.

In the morning we sailed away, not without plentiful
promises of return. When we put up our white sails they
cried out and pointed to the cloud sierra. No! We would
not go back to heaven--or if we did so we would come
again, loving so our gentle friends upon earth! We sailed,
and in all our after wanderings we never came back to this
island. And never again, I think, while Columbus voyaged,
did there come to us just the bright, exquisite thrill of that
first land after long doubt and no land. San Salvador--
Holy Saviour Island!


WE were in a throng of islands. We might drop all
for a little while, then from masthead "Land ho!"
None were great islands, many far smaller than
San Salvador. At night we lay to, not knowing currents
and shoals; then broke the day and we flung out sail.

We had with us upon the _Santa Maria_ three San Salvador
men. They had come willingly, two young, fearless
men, and one old man with a wrinkled, wise, interested
face. Assiduous to gain their tongue and impart our own,
the Admiral, beside his own effort, told off for especial
teachers and scholars Luis Torres and Juan Lepe. We
did gain knowledge, but as yet everything was imperfect,
without fine shading, and subject to all miscomprehension.
But like the rest of us, the Admiral guessed in
accordance with his wishes and his previous belief.

All these islands lay flat or almost flat upon the sea. All
showed ivory beach, vivid wood, surrounding water, transparent
and heavenly blue, inhabited by magically colored
fish. When we dropped anchor, took boat and landed, it
was to find the same astonished folk, naked, harmless, holding
us for gods, bringing all they had, eager for our toys
which were to them king's treasures and holy relics. Every
island the Admiral named; he gave them goodly names!
Over and over the Indians pointed south and west. We
understood great lands, clothed men, much gold. But when
we next came to anchor, like small island, like men, women
and children. We traded for a few more knobs of gold,
but they were few.

Toscanelli's map and the Admiral's map lay on cabin
table. "Islands in the Sea of Chin--Polo and Mandeville
alike say thousands--all grades then of advance. Beyond
any manner of doubt, persevering west or west by south,
we shall come to main Asia." So long as he ruled, there
would be perseverance!

At Santa Maria de la Concepcion a solitary large canoe
crowded with Indians was rowing toward us. One of the
San Salvador young men aboard us fancied some slight,
experienced some fear, or may even,--who knows?--have
wearied of the gods. Springing upon the rail he threw
himself into sea and made off with great strokes toward the
canoe. Pedro behind him shouted "Escape!" There was
a rush to the side to observe. Fernando bawled, "Come
back! or we'll let fly an arrow."

He swam, the dark, naked fellow, like a fish. Reaching
the canoe, the Indians there took him in; he seemed to have
a tale to tell, they all broke into talk, the canoe went round,
they rowed fast back to land. The _Nina_, lying near us, had
her boat filling to go ashore. Her men had seen the leap
overboard and the swimmer. Now they put after, rowing
hard for the canoe, that having the start came first to beach.
The Indians sprang out, the San Salvador man with them.
Leaving canoe, they ran across sand into wood. The _Nina's_
men took the canoe and brought it to the _Santa Maria_. In
it were balls of cotton and calabashes filled with fruit and a
chattering parrot. It was the first thing of this kind that
had happened, and the Admiral's face was wrathful. He
had a simple, kindly heart, and though he could be vexed
or irritated, he rarely broke into furious anger. But first
and last he desired peaceful absorption, if by any means
that were possible, of these countries. We absorbing them,
they absorbing us; both the gainers! And he had warm
feeling of romance-love for all this that he was finding.
He saw all his enterprise milk-white, rose-bright. And his
pride was touched that the Indian who had seemed contented
had not truly been so, and that the _Nina_'s men had disobeyed strict commands for friendliness. He would 
that content if possible, and he would have no more unordered
chasing of canoes. The Nina's men got anger and
rebuke, Captain Cristoforo Colombo mounting up in the

He would let nothing in the canoe be touched. Instead
he had placed aboard a pot of honey and a flask of wine
and three pieces of cloth, then with a strong shove it was
sent landward, and the tide making in, it came to shore.
We saw two venture from the wood and draw it up on

In a little while came around a point of shore a canoe
with one Indian who made toward us, using his oar very
dexterously, and when he entered our shadow holding up
cotton and fruit. It was to be seen that he had had no
communication with the men of the large canoe.

The Admiral himself called out encouragingly and snatching
the first small thing at hand held it up. The Indian
scrambled on board. He stood, as fine a piece of bronze
as any might see, before the Genoese, as great a figure as
might be found in all Italy--all Spain--all Europe.

The elder touched the younger, the white man the red
man, as a king, a father, might have touched a prince, a
son. He himself took the youth over our ship, showing
him this, showing him that, had the music play for him,
brought him to Fray Ignatio who talked of Christ, pointing
oft to heaven. (To my thinking this action, often repeated,
was one of the things that for so long made them
certain we had come from the skies.) In the cabin he
gave the Indian a cup of wine and a biscuit dipped in honey.
He gave him a silken cap with a tassel and himself put
round his throat one of our best strings of beads, and into
his hand not one but three of the much-coveted hawk bells.
He was kinder than rain after drought. First and last, he
could well lend himself to the policy of kindness, for it was
not lending. Kindness was his nature.

In an hour this Indian, returned to his canoe, was rowing toward shore with a swelling heart and a 
loyalty. He touched the island, and we could trust him to
be missionary, preaching with all fervor of heaven and the

Ay, me!

Whatever the other's defection, he more than covered it,
the return of the canoe aiding. Santa Maria de la Concepcion
became again friendly. But the Admiral that evening
gave emphatic instruction to Martin and Vicente Pinzon
and all the gathered Spaniards. Just here, I think, began
the rift between him and many. Many would have by prompt
taking, as they take in war. Were not all these heathen
and given? But he would have another way round, though
often he compromised with war; never wanting war but
forced by his time and his companions. Sometimes, in the
future, forced by the people we came among, but far
oftener forced by greed and lust and violence of our own.
Alas, again! Alas, again and again!

After Santa Maria de la Concepcion, Fernandina, and
after Fernandina the most beautiful of islands, Isabella,
where we lay three days. People upon this island seemed
to us more civilized than the Salvador folk. The cotton
was woven, loin cloths were worn, they had greater variety
of calabashes, the huts were larger, the villages more regular.
They slept in "hamacs" which are stout and wide
cotton nets slung between posts, two or three feet above
earth. Light, space-giving, easy of removal, these beds
greatly took our fancy.

Here we sought determinedly for spice-giving trees and
medicinal herbs and roots. It was not a spicery such as
Europe depended upon, but still certain things seemed valuable!
We gathered here and gathered there what might
be taken to Spain. There grew an emulation to find. The
Admiral offered prizes for such and such a commodity
come upon.

We sailed from Isabella and after three days came to


CUBA! At first he called it Juana, but we came afterwards
still to use the Indian name. Cuba! We saw
it after three days, and it was little enough like
Isabella, Fernandina, Concepcion, San Salvador and the
islets the Admiral called Isles de Arena. It covered all our
south, no level, shining thing that masthead could see around,
but a mighty coast line, mountainous, with headlands and
bays and river mouths. Now after long years, I who outlive
the Admiral, know it for an island, but how could he
or I or any know that in November fourteen hundred and
ninety-two? He never believed it an island.

He stood on deck watching. "Cuba--Cuba! Have you
not read of Cublai Khan? The sounds chime!"

"Cublai Khan. He lives in Quinsai."

"Ay. His splendid, capital city. Buildings all wonderful,
and gardens like Mahound's paradise!"

"But if it is Cipango?"

"Ay. It may be Cipango. We have no angel here to tell
us which. I would one would fly down and take us by the
hand! Being men, we must make guesses."

Beautiful to us, splendid to us, was this coast of Cuba!
We sailed by headlands and deep, narrow-necked bays, river
mouths and hanging forests and bold cliffs. We sailed west
and still headland followed headland, and still the lookout
cried, "It stretched forever like the main!"

We came to a river where ships might ride. Sounding,
we found deep water, entered river mouth and dropped
anchor, then went ashore in the boats. Palms and their
water doubles, and in the grove a small abandoned village.
We had seen the people flee before us, and they were no
more nor other kind of people than had showed in Concepcion
or Fernandina. Yet were they a little wealthier. We
found parrots on their perches, and two dogs, small and
wolf-like that never barked. In one hut lay a harpoon
tipped with bone, and a net for fishing. In another we
found a wrought block of wood which Fray Ignatio pronounced
their idol.

We went back to our ships, and leaving river, sailed on
in a bright blue sea. The next day we doubled a cape and
found a great haven, but silent and sailless, with no maritime
city thronging the shore. What was this world, so huge, so
sparely, rudely peopled?

We came to anchor close under shore in this haven.
Again the marvelous water, but now it laved a bold and
great country! We landed. Canoes fastened in a row,
another village, most of the folk decamped, but a few
brave men and women tarrying to find out something about
heaven and its inmates. With toys again and pacific gestures
we wiled them to us.

There was upon the _Santa Maria_ a young Indian who
had chosen to come with us from Fernandina. He had courage
and intelligence, was willing to receive instruction and
baptism from Fray Ignatio, and first and last followed the
Admiral with devotion. The latter had him christened
Diego Colon. We taught him Spanish as fast and soundly as
we might, and used him as interpreter. The tongue of his
island was not just the tongue of Cuba, but near enough to
serve. All these Indians have a gift of oratory and dote to
speak at length, with firm voice and great gestures. Now
we set Diego Colon to his narration. We of Castile had so
much of the tongue by now that we could in some wise

Forth it poured! We were gods come from heaven.
Yonder stood the chief god that the others obeyed. He
was very great, strong, good, wise, kind, giving beautiful
gifts! We were all kind--no one was going to be hurt.
We made magic with harac--which we called "gold."
In heaven was not enough harac. So important is it to the
best magic that a chief god has come to earth to seek it.
We also liked cotton and things to eat, especially cassava
cakes, and we liked a very few parrots. But it was gold
that in chief we wanted. The man who brought the gods
gold might go home with gifts so beautiful that there was
never anything seen like them! Especially is there something
that the gods call "bells" that ring and sound in
your hand when you dance! Gold--do you know where
to find it? Another thing! They desire to find a god who
dropped out of the sky a long time ago, and has now a people
and a great, marvelous village. Thinking he might be
here, they have dived down to our land, for they dive in
the sky as we dive in water! The name of the god they
hunt is Grand Khan or Cublai Khan, and his village is
Quinsai. Have you heard of him? They are very anxious
to find him. The chief god with white hair and wonderful
clothes--It is what they call clothes; under it they are as
you and me, only the color is different--the chief god will
give many bells to any folk who can show him the way to
Quinsai. Gold and Quinsai where lives the god Grand

As might have been expected, this brought tidings. "Cubanacan!
Cubanacan!" Whatever that might mean, they
said it with assurance, pointing inland. Diego Colon interrupted
their further speech. "There is a river. Go up
it three days and come to great village. Cacique there
wearing clothes. All men there have gold!"

Pedro Gutierrez spoke. "They'll promise anything for a
hawk bell!"

"What do they understand and what do they not understand?
What do they say and what do they not say?"
That was Martin Pinzon. "Between them all we are

The Admiral, who was gazing inland after the dark
pointing finger, turned and spoke. "At the root of all
things sit Patience and Make Trial!

"Well, I know," answered Pinzon, "that if these ships
be not careened and mended we shall have trouble! Weather
changes. There will be storm!"

He was right as to ships and weather, and the Admiral
knew it and said as much. I never saw him grudge recognition
to Martin Pinzon. It has been said that he did, but
I never saw it.

That night, on board the _Santa Maria_ there was held a
great council. At last it was settled that we should rest
here a week and overhaul the ships, and that while that
was doing, there should be sent two or three with Indian
guides to find, if might be, this river and this town.
And there were chosen, and given a week to go and come,
Juan Lepe, Luis Torres and a seaman Roderigo Jerez,
with Diego Colon, the Fernandina youth. Likewise there
would go two Indians of this village, blithe enough to
show their country to the gods and the gods to their country.

The next day being Sunday, Fray Ignatio preached a sermon
to the Indians. He assumed, and at this time I think
the Admiral assumed, that these folk had no religion. That
was a mistake. I doubt if on earth can be found a people
without religion.

Men and women they watched and listened, still, attentive,
knowing that it had somehow to do with heaven. After
sermon and after we had prayed and sung, we fashioned
and set up a great cross upon cliff brow. Again the Indians
watched and seemed to have some notion of what we

The remainder of the day we rested, and on Monday
early Roderigo Jerez, Luis Torres and Juan Lepe with
Diego Colon and two Cuba men made departure, We had
a pack of presents and a letter from the Admiral. For we
might meet some administrator or commandant or other,
from Quinsai or Zaiton or we knew not where. This was
the first of many--ah, so many--expeditions, separations
from main body and return, or not return, as the case
might be!


FOREST endless and splendid! We white men often
saw no path, but the red-brown men saw it. It ran
level, it climbed, it descended; then began the three
again. It was lost, it was found. They said, "Here path!"
But we had to serpent through thickets, or make
way on edge of dizzy crag, or find footing through morass.
We came to great stretches of reeds and yielding grass,
giving with every step into water. It was to toil through
this under hot sun, with stinging clouds of insects. But
when they were left behind we might step into a grove of
the gods, such firmness, such pleasantness, such shady going
or happy resting under trees that dropped fruit.

We met no great forest beasts. There seemed to be none
in this part of Asia. And yet Luis and I had read of great
beasts. Dogs of no considerable size were the largest four-
footed things we had come upon from San Salvador to
Cuba. There were what they called _utias_, like a rabbit,
much used for food, and twice we had seen an animal the
size of a fox hanging from a bough by its tail.

If the beasts were few the birds were many. To see the
parrots great and small and gorgeously colored, to see those
small, small birds like tossed jewels that never sang but
hummed like a bee, to hear a gray bird sing clear and loud
and sweet every strain that sang other birds, was to see
and hear most joyous things. Lizards were innumerable;
at edge of a marsh we met with tortoises; once we passed
coiled around a tree a great serpent. It looked at us with
beady eyes, but the Indians said it would not harm a man.
A thousand, thousand butterflies spread their painted fans.

The trees! so huge of girth and height and wherever was
room so spreading, so rich of grain, so full, I knew, of
strange virtues! We found one that I thought was cinnamon,
and broke twigs and bark and put in our great pouch
for the Admiral. Only time might tell the wealth of this
green multitude. I thought, "Here is gold, if we would wait
for it!" Fruit trees sprang by our path. We had with us
some provision of biscuit and dried meat, and we never
lacked golden or purple delectable orbs. We found the
palm that bears the great nut, giving alike meat and

By now Luis Torres and I had no little of Diego Colon's
tongue and he had Spanish enough to understand the simplest
statements and orders. Ferdandina tongue was not
quite Cuba tongue, but it was like enough to furnish sea
room. We asked this, we asked that. No! No one had
ever come to the end of their country. When one town
was left behind, at last you came to another town. One
by one, were they bigger, better towns? They seemed to
say that they were, but here was always, I thought, doubtful
understanding. But no one had ever walked around their
country--they seemed to laugh at the notion--land that
way, always land! On the other hand, there was sea yonder
--like sea here. They pointed south. Not so far there!
"It must be," said Luis, "that Cuba is narrow, though
without end westwardly. A great point or tongue of

The Cubans were strong young men and not unintelligent.
"Chiefs?" Yes, they had chiefs, they called them
_caciques_. Some of them were fighters, they and their people.
Not fighters like Caribs! Whereupon the speaker
rose--we were resting under a tree--and facing south,
used for gesture a strong shudder and a movement as if to

South--south--always they pointed south! We were
going south--inland. Would we come to Caribs? But
no. Caribs seemed not to be in Cuba, but beyond sea, in

Luis and I made progress in language and knowledge.
Roderigo Jerez, a simple man, slept or tried the many kinds
of fruit, or teased the slender, green-flame lizards.

We slept this night high on the mountainside, on soft grass
near a fall of water. The Indians showed no fear of attack
from man or beast. They could make fire in a most
ingenious fashion, setting stick against larger stick and
turning the first with such skill, vigor and persistence that
presently arose heat, a spark, fire. But they seemed to need
or wish no watch fire. They lay, naked and careless, innocent--
fearless, as though the whole land were their castle.
Luis tried to find out how they felt about dangers. We
pieced together. "None here! And the Great Lizard takes
care!" That was the Cuban. Diego Colon said, "The
Great Turtle takes care!"

Luis Torres laughed. "Fray Ignatio should hear that!"

"It is on the road," I said and went to sleep.

The second day's going proved less difficult than the first.
Less difficult means difficult enough! And as yet we had met
no one nor anything that remotely favored golden-roofed
Cipango, or famous, rich Quinsai, or Zaiton of the marble
bridges. Jerez climbed a tall tree and coming down reported
forest and mountain, and naught else. Our companions
watched with interest his climbing. "Do you go
up trees in heaven?"

This morning we had bathed in a pool below the little
waterfall. Diego Colon by now was used to us so, but the
Cuba men displayed excitement. They had not yet in mind
separated us from our clothes. Now we were separated and
were found in all our members like them, only the color differing.
Color and the short beards of Luis Torres and Juan
Lepe. They wished to touch and examine our clothes
lying upon the bank, but here Diego Colon interfered.
They were full of magic. Something terrible might happen!
When Luis and I came forth from water and dried
ourselves with handfuls of the warm grass, they asked:
"Do they do so in heaven?" The stronger, more intelligent
of the two, added, "It is not so different!"

I said to Luis as we took path after breakfast, "It is
borne in upon me that only from ourselves, Admiral to
ship boy, can we keep up this heaven ballad! Clothes,
beads and hawk bells, cannon, harquebus, trumpet and
banner, ship and sails, royal letters and blessing of the Pope
--nothing will do it long unless we do it ourselves!"

"Agreed!" quoth Luis. "But gods and angels are beginning
to slip and slide, back there by the ships! We have
the less temptation here."

He began to speak of a sailor and a brown girl upon
whom he had stumbled in a close wood a little way from
shore. She thought Tomaso Pasamonte was a god wooing
her and was half-frightened, half-fain. "And two hours
later I saw Don Pedro Gutierrez--"

"Ay," said Juan Lepe. "The same story! The oldest
that is!" And as at the word our savages, who had been
talking together, now at the next resting place put forward
their boldest, who with great reverence asked if there were
women in heaven.

Through most of this day we struggled with a difficult
if fantastically beautiful country. Where rock outcropped
and in the sands of bright rapid streams we looked
for signs of that gold, so stressed as though it were the
only salvation! But the rocks were silent, and though in
the bed of a shrunken streamlet we found some glistening
particles and scraping them carefully together got a small
spoonful to wrap in cloth and bestow in our pouch of
treasures, still were we not sure that it was wholly gold. It
might be. We worked for an hour for just this pinch.

Since yesterday morning our path had been perfectly
solitary. Then suddenly, when we were, we thought, six
leagues at least from the ships, the way turning and entering
a small green dell, we came upon three Indians seated
resting, their backs to palm trees. We halted, they raised
their eyes. They stared, they rose in amazement at the sight
of those gods, Roderigo Jerez, Luis Torres and Juan Lepe.
They stood like statues with great eyes and parted lips. For
us, coming silently upon them, we had too our moment of

They were three copper men, naked, fairly tall and well
to look at. But each had between his lips what seemed a
brown stick, burning at the far end, dropping a light ash
and sending up a thin cloud of odorous smoke. These burning
sticks they dropped as they rose. They had seemed so
silent, so contented, so happy, sitting there with backs to
trees, a firebrand in each mouth, I felt a love for them!
Luis thought the lighted sticks some rite of their religion,
but after a while when we came to examine them, we found
them not true stick, but some large, thickish brown leaf
tightly twisted and pressed together and having a pungent,
not unpleasing odor. We crumbled one in our hands and
tasted it. The taste was also pungent, strange, but one
might grow to like it. They called the stick tobacco, and
said they always used it thus with fire, drinking in the smoke
and puffing it out again as they showed us through the
nostrils. We thought it a great curiosity, and so it was!

But to them we were unearthly beings. The men from
the sea told of us, then as it were introduced Diego Colon,
who spoke proudly with appropriate gesture, loving always
his part of herald Mercury--or rather of herald Mercury's
herald--not assuming to be god himself, but cherishing
the divine efflux and the importance it rayed upon him!

The three Indians quivered with a sense of the great
adventure! Their town was yonder. They themselves had
been on the path to such and such a place, but now would
they turn and go with us, and when we went again to the
sea they, if it were permitted, would accompany us and
view for themselves our amazing canoes! All this to our
companion. They backed with great deference from us.

We went with these Indians to their town, evidently the
town which we sought. And indeed it was larger, fitter, a
more ordered community than any we had met this side
Ocean-Sea, though far, far from travelers' tales of Orient
cities! It was set under trees, palm trees and others, by
the side of a clear river. The huts were larger than those
by the sea, and set not at random but in rows with a great
trodden square in the middle. From town to river where
they fished and where, under overhanging palms, we found
many Canoes, ran a way wider than a path, much like a
narrow road. But there were no wheeled vehicles nor
draught animals. We were to find that in all these lands
they on occasion carried their caciques or the sick or hurt
in litters or palanquins borne on men's shoulders. But for
carrying, grinding, drawing, they knew naught of the wheel.
It seemed strange that any part of Asia should not know!

In this town we found the cacique, and with him a _butio_
or priest. Once, too, I thought, our king and church were
undeveloped like these. We were looking in these lands
upon the bud which elsewhere we knew in the flower. That
to Juan Lepe seemed the difference between them and us.

The people swarmed out upon us. When the first admiration
was somewhat over, when Diego Colon and the two
seaside men and the Cubans of the burning sticks had made
explanation, we were swept with them into their public
square and to a hut much larger than common where we
found a stately Indian, the cacique, and an ancient wrinkled
man, the _butio_. These met us with their own assumption
of something like godship. They had no lack of manner,
and Luis and I had the Castilian to draw upon. Then came
presents and Diego Colon interpreting. But as for the
Admiral's letter, though I showed it, it was not understood.

It was gazed upon and touched, considered a heavenly
rarity like the hawk bells we gave them, but not read nor
tried to be read. The writing upon it was the natural
veining of some most strange leaf that grew in heaven, or
it was the pattern miraculously woven by a miraculous
workman with thread miraculously finer than their cotton!
It was strange that they should have no notion at all--not
even their chieftains and priests--of writing! Any part
of Asia, however withdrawn, surely should have tradition
there, if not practice!

In this hut or lodge, doored but not windowed, we found
a kind of table and seats fashioned from blocks of some
dark wood rudely carved and polished. The cacique would
have us seated, sat himself beside us, the _butio_ at his hand.

There seemed no especial warrior class. We noted that,
it being one of the things it was ever in order to note. No
particular band of fighting men stood about that block
of polished wood, that was essentially throne or chair of
state. The village owned slender, bone or flint-headed lances,
but these rested idly in corners. Upon occasion all or any
might use them, but there was no evidence that those occasions
came often. There was no body of troops, nor armor,
no shields, no crossbows, no swords. They had knives,
rudely made of some hard stone, but it seemed that they
were made for hunting and felling and dividing. No clothing
hid from us any frame. The cacique had about his middle
a girdle of wrought cotton with worked ends and some
of the women wore as slight a dress, but that was all. They
were formed well, all of them, lithe and slender, not lacking
either in sinew and muscle, but it was sinew and muscle of
the free, graceful, wild world, not brawn of bowman and
pikeman and swordman and knight with his heavy lance.
In something they might be like the Moor when one saw
him naked, but the Moor, too, was perfected in arms, and
so they were not like.

We did not know as yet if ever there were winter in this
land. It seemed perpetual, serene and perfect summer. Behind
these huts ran small gardens wherein were set melons
and a large pepper of which we grew fond, and a nourishing
root, and other plants. But the soil was rich, rich, and
they loosened and furrowed it with a sharpened stick. There
were no great forest beasts to set them sternly hunting.
What then could give them toil? Not gathering the always
falling fruit; not cutting from the trees and drying the
calabashes, great and small, that they used for all manner
of receptacle; not drawing out with a line of some stouter
fiber than cotton and with a hook of bone or thorn the
painted fish from their crystal water! To fell trees for
canoes, to hollow the canoe, was labor, as was the building
of their huts, but divided among so many it became light
labor. In those days we saw no Indian figure bowed with
toil, and when it came it was not the Indian who imposed

But they swam, they rowed their canoes, they hunted in
their not arduous fashion, they roved afar in their country
at peace, and they danced. That last was their fair, their
games, their tourney, their pilgrimage, their processions to
church, their attendance at mass, their expression of anything
else that they felt altogether and at once! It was like
children's play, renewed forever, and forever with zest. But
they did not treat it as play. We had been showed dances
in Concepcion and Isabella, but here in Cuba, in this inland
town, Jerez and Luis and I were given to see a great and
formal dance, arranged all in honor of us, gods descended
for our own reasons to mix with men! They danced in the
square, but first they made us a feast with _hutias_ and cassava
and fish and fruit and a drink not unlike mead, exhilarating
but not bestowing drunkenness. Grapes were all over these
lands, purple clusters hanging high and low, but they knew
not wine.

Men and women danced, now in separate bands, now
mingled together. Decorum was kept. We afterwards
knew that it had been a religious dance. They had war
dances, hunting dances, dances at the planting of their corn,
ghost dances and others. This now was a thing to watch,
like a beautiful masque. They were very graceful, very supple;
they had their own dignity.

We learned much in the three days we spent in this town.
Men and women for instance! That nakedness of the body,
that free and public mingling, going about work and adventure
and play together, worked, thought Juan Lepe no
harm. Later on in this vast adventure of a new world,
some of our churchmen were given to asserting that they
lived like animals, though the animals also are there slandered!
The women were free and complaisant; there were
many children about. But matings, I thought, occurred
only of free and mutual desire, and not more frequently
than in other countries. The women were not without modesty,
nor the men without a pale chivalry. At first I thought
constraint or rule did not enter in, but after a talk with their
priest through Diego Colon, I gathered that there prevailed
tribe and kinship restraints. Later we were to find that a
great network of "thou shalt" and "thou shalt not" ran
through their total society, wherever or to what members
it might extend. Common good, or what was supposed to
be common good, was the master here as it is everywhere!
The women worked the gardens, the men hunted; both men
and women fished. Women might be caciques. There were
women caciques, they said, farther on in their land. And it
seemed to us that name and family were counted from the
mother's side.

The Admiral had solemnly laid it upon us to discover the
polity of this new world. If they held fief from fief, then
at last we must come through however many overlords to
the seigneur of them all, Grand Khan or Emperor. We
applied ourselves to cacique and butio, but we found no
Grand Seigneur. There were other caciques. When the
Caribs descended they banded together. They had dimly,
we thought, the idea of a war-lord. But it ended there, when
the war ended. Tribute: He found they had no idea of
tribute. Cotton grew everywhere! Cotton, cassava, calabashes,
all things! When they visited a cacique they took
him gifts, and at parting he gave them gifts. That was all.

Gold? They knew of it. When they found a bit they kept
it for ornament. The cacique possessed a piece the size
of a ducat, suspended by a string of cotton. It had been
given to him by a cacique who lived on the great water.
Perhaps he took it from the Caribs. But it was in the mountains, too. He indicated the heights beyond. 
they scraped it from sand under the stream. He seemed indifferent
to it. But Diego Colon, coming in, said that it
was much prized in heaven, being used for high magic, and
that we would give heavenly gifts for it. Resulted from that
the production in an hour of every shining flake and grain
and button piece the village owned. We carried from this
place to the Admiral a small gourd filled with gold. But it
was not greatly plentiful; that was evident to any thinking
man! But we had so many who were not thinking men.
And the Admiral had to appease with his reports gold-thirsty
great folk in Spain.

We spent three days in this village and they were days for
gods and Indians of happy wonder and learning. They
would have us describe heaven. Luis and I told them of
Europe. We pointed to the east. They said that they knew
that heaven rested there upon the great water. The town
of the sun was over there. Had we seen the sun's town? Was
it beside us in heaven, in "Europe"? The sun went down
under the mountains, and there he found a river and his
canoe. He rowed all night until he came to his town. Then
he ate cassava cakes and rested, while the green and gold
and red Lizard [These were "Lizard" folk. They had a
Lizard painted on a great post by the cacique's house.] went
ahead to say that he was coming. Then he rose, right out
of the great water, and there was day again! But we must
know about the sun's town; we, the gods!

Luis and I could have stayed long while and disentangled
this place and loved the doing it.

But it was to return to the Admiral and the waiting ships.

The three tobacco men would go with us to see wonders,
so we returned nine in number along the path. Before we
set out we saw that a storm threatened. All six Indians
were loth to depart until it was over, and the cacique would
have kept us. But Luis and I did not know how long the
bad weather might hold and we must get to the ships. It
was Jerez who told them boastfully that gods did not fear
storms,--specimen of that Spanish folly of ours that worked
harm and harm again!

We traveled until afternoon agreeably enough, then with
great swiftness the clouds climbed and thickened. Sun went
out, air grew dark. The Indians behind us on the path, that
was so narrow that we must tread one after the other, spoke
among themselves, then Diego Colon pushed through marvelously
huge, rich fern to Luis and me. "They say, `will
not the gods tell the clouds to go away?' " But doubt like
a gnome sat in the youth's eye. We had had bad weather off
Isabella, and the gods had had to wait for the sun like
others. By now Diego Colon had seen many and strange
miracles, but he had likewise found limitations, quite numerous
and decisive limitations! He thought that here was
one, and I explained to him that he thought correctly. Europeans
could do many things but this was not among them.
Luis and I watched him tell the Cubans that he, Diego
Colon, had never said that we three were among the highest
gods. Even the great, white-headed, chief god yonder in the
winged canoe was said to be less than some other gods in
heaven which we called Europe, and over all was a High
God who could do everything, scatter clouds, stop thunder
or send thunder, everything! Had we brought our butio
with us he might perhaps have made great magic and helped
things. As it was, we must take luck. That seeming rational
to the Indians, we proceeded, our glory something diminished,
but still sufficient.

The storm climbed and thickened and evidently was to
become a fury. Wind began to whistle, trees to bend, lightnings
to play, thunder to sound. It grew. We stood in
blazing light, thunder almost burst our ears, a tree was riven
a bow-shot away. Great warm rain began to fall. We
could hardly stand against the wind. We were going under
mountainside with a splashing stream below us. Diego
Colon shouted, as he must to get above wind and thunder.
"Hurry! hurry! They know place." All began to run.
After a battle to make way at all, we came to a slope of loose,
small stones and vine and fern. This we climbed, passed
behind a jagged mass of rock, and found a cavern. A
flash lit it for us, then another and another. At mouth
it might be twenty feet across, was deep and narrowed
like a funnel. Panting, we threw ourselves on the cave

The storm prevailed through the rest of this day and far
into the night. "_Hurricane!_" said the Cubans. "Not great
one, little one!" But we from Spain thought it a great
enough hurricane. The rain fell as though it would make
another flood and in much less than forty days. We must
be silent, for wind and thunder allowed no other choice.
Streams of rain came into the cavern, but we found ledges
curtained by rock. We ate cassava cake and drank from a
runlet of water. The storm made almost night, then actual
night arrived. We curled ourselves up, hugging ourselves
for warmth, and went to sleep.

The third day from the town we came to the sea and the
ships. All seemed well. Our companions had felt the
storm, had tales to tell of wrenched anchors and the _Pinta's_
boat beat almost to pieces, uprooted trees, wind, lightning,
thunder and rain. But they cut short their recital, wishing
to know what we had found.

Luis and I made report to the Admiral. He sat under a
huge tree and around gathered the Pinzons, Fray Ignatio,
Diego de Arana, Roderigo Sanchez and others. We related;
they questioned, we answered; there was discussion; the
Admiral summed up.

But later I spoke to him alone. We were now on ship,
making ready for sailing. We would go eastward, around
this point of Asia, since from what all said it must be
point, and see what was upon the other side. "They all
gesture south! They say `Babeque--Babeque! Bohio!' "

I asked him, "Why is it that these Indians here seem glad
for us to go?"

He sighed impatiently, drawing one hand through the
other, with him a recurring gesture. "It is the women!
Certain of our men--" I saw him look at Gutierrez who

"Tomaso Passamonte, too," I said.

"Yes. And others. It is the old woe! Now they have
only to kill a man!"

He arraigned short-sightedness. I said, "But still we are
from heaven?"

"Still. But some of the gods--just five or six, say--
have fearful ways!" He laughed, sorrowfully and angrily.
"And you think there is little gold, and that we are very
far from clothed and lettered Asia?"

"So far," I answered, "that I see not why we call these
brown, naked folk Indians."

"What else would you call them?"

"I do not know that."

"Why, then, let us still call them Indians." He drummed
upon the rail before him, then broke out, "Christ! I think
we do esteem hard, present, hand-held gold too much!"

"I say yes to that!"

He said, "We should hold to the joy of Discovery and
great use hereafter--mounting use!"


"Here is virgin land, vast and beautiful, with a clime like
heaven, and room for a hundred colonies such as Greece and
Rome sent out! Here is a docile, unwarlike people ready to
be industrious servitors and peasants, for which we do give
them salvation of their souls! It is all Spain's, the banner
is planted, the names given! We are too impatient! We
cannot have it between dawn and sunset! But look into the
future--there is wealth beyond counting! No great amount
of gold, but enough to show that there is gold."

I followed the working of his mind. It was to smile
somewhat sorrowfully, seeing his great difficulties. He was
the born Discoverer mightily loving Discovery, and watching
the Beloved in her life through time. But he had to
serve Prince Have-it-now, in the city Greed. I said, "Senor,
do not put too much splendor in your journal for the King
and Queen and the Spanish merchants and the Church and
all the chivalry that the ended war releases! Or, if you
prophesy, mark it prophecy. It is a great trouble in the
world that men do not know when one day is talked of or
when is meant great ranges of days! Otherwise you will
have all thirsty Spain sailing for Ophir and Golden Chersonesus,
wealth immediate, gilding Midas where he stands!
If they find disappointment they will not think of the future;
they will smite you!"

I knew that he was writing in that book too ardently,
and that he was even now composing letters to great persons
to be dispatched from what Spanish port he should
first enter, coming back east from west, over Ocean-Sea,
from Asia!

But he had long, long followed his own advice, stood by
his own course. The doing so had so served him that it
was natural he should have confidence. Now he said only,
"I do the best I can! I have little sea room. One Scylla
and Charybdis? Nay, a whole brood of them!"

I could agree to that. I saw it coming up the ways that
they would give him less and less sea room. He went on,
"Merchandise has to be made attractive! The cook dresses
the dish, the girl puts flowers in her hair. . . . Yet, in the
end the wares are mighty beyond description! The dish is
for Pope and King--the girl is a bride for a paladin!"

Again he was right afar and over the great span. But
they would not see in Spain, or not many would see, that
the whole span must be taken. But I was not one to
chide him, seeing that I, too, saw afar, and they would not
see with me either in Spain.


WE sailed for two days east by south. But the
weather that had been perfection for long and
long again from Palos, now was changed. Dead
winds delayed us, the sea ridged, clouds blotted out the
blue. We held on. There was a great cape which we called
Cape Cuba. Off this a storm met us. We lived it out and
made into one of those bottle harbors of which, first and
last, we were to find God knows how many in Cuba!

The Admiral named it Puerto del Principe, and we raised
on shore here a very great cross. We had done this on
every considerable island since San Salvador and now twice
on this coast. There were behind us seven or eight crosses.
The banner planted was the sign of the Sovereignty of Spain,
the cross the sign of Holy Church, Sovereign over sovereigns,
who gave these lands to Spain, as she gave Africa
and the islands to Portugal. We came to a great number
of islets, rivers of clear blue sea between. The ships lay
to and we took boat and went among these. The King's
Gardens, the Admiral called them, and the calm sea between
them and mainland the Sea of Our Lady. They were
thickly wooded, and we thought we found cinnamon, aloes
and mastic. Two lovely days we had in this wilderness
of isles and channels where was no man nor woman at all,
then again we went east and south, the land trending that
way. Very distant, out of eastern waste, rose what seemed
a large island. The Admiral said that we should go discover,
and we changed course toward it, but in three hours'
time met furious weather. The sea rose, clouds like night
closed us in. Night came on without a star and a contrary
wind blew always. When the dawn broke sullenly we were
beaten back to Cuba, and a great promontory against which
truly we might have been dashed stood to our north and
shut out coast of yesterday. Here we hung a day and
night, and then the wind lulling and the sea running not
so high, we made again for that island which might be
Babeque. We had Indians aboard, but the sea and the
whipping and groaning of our masts and rigging and sails
and the pitching of the ship terrified them, and terror made
them dull. They sat with knees drawn up and head buried
in arms and shivered, and knew not Babeque from anything

Christopherus Columbus could be very obstinate. Wishing
strongly to gain that island, through all this day he had
us strive toward it. But the wind was directly ahead and
strong as ten giants. The master and others made representations,
and at last he nodded his gray head and ordered
the _Santa Maria_ put about and the Pinta and the Nina
signaled. The Nina harkened and turned, but the Pinta.
at some distance seemed deaf and blind. Night fell while
still we signaled. We were now for Cuba, and the wind
directly behind us, but yet as long as we could see, the Pinta
chose not to turn. We set lights for signals, but her light
fell farther and farther astern. She was a swifter sailer
than we; there was no reason for that increasing distance.
We lay to, the _Nina_ beside us. Ere long we wholly lost
the Pinta's light. Night passed. When morning broke
Captain Martin Alonso Pinzon and the Pinta were gone.

The sea, though rough, was not too perilous, and never
a signal of distress had been seen nor heard.

"Lost? Is the Pinta lost?"

"Lost! No!--But, yes. Willfully lost!"

It was Roderigo Sanchez who knew not much of the
sea who asked, and the Admiral answered. But having
spoken it that once, he closed his strong lips and coming
down from deck said he would have breakfast. All that
day was guessing and talk enough upon the _Santa Maria_;
silent or slurred talk at last, for toward noon the Admiral
gave sharp order that the Pinta should be left out of
conversation. Captain Martin Pinzon was an able seaman.
Perhaps something (he reminded us of the rudder before
the Canaries) had gone wrong. Captain Pinzon may have
thought the island was the nearer land, or he may have
returned to Cuba, but more to the north than were we. He
looked for the _Pinta_. again in a reasonable time. In the
meantime let it alone!

So soon as the sea allowed, Vicente Pinzon came in his
boat to the Santa Maria, but he seemed as perplexed as we.
He did not know his brother's mind. But Martin Pinzon
forever and always was a good sea captain and a Castilian
of his word, knowing what was proper observance to his
Admiral. If he did this or that, it would be for good reasons.
So Vicente, and the Admiral was cordial with him, and
saw him over rail and down side with cheerful words. He
was cheerful all that day in his speech, cheerful and suave
and prophesying good in many directions. But I knew the
trouble behind that front.

In some ways the _Pinta_ was the best of our ships. Martin
Pinzon was a bold and ready man, and those aboard
with him devoted to his fortunes. He did not lack opinions
of his own, and often they countered the Admiral's.
He was ambitious, and the Admiral's rights were so vast
and inclusive that there seemed not much room to make
name and fame. Much the same with riches! What
Martin Pinzon had loaned would come back to him beyond
doubt, back with high interest and a good deal more.
But still it would seem to him that room was needed. In
his mind he had said perhaps many times to the Admiral,
"Do not claim too much soil! Do not forget that other
trees want to grow!"

Martin Pinzon might have put back to Spain, but who
knew the man would not think that likely. Far more probable
that he might be doing discovery of his own. Perhaps
he would rejoin us later with some splendid thing to his
credit, claim that Spain could not deny!

Cuba coast rose high and near. It is a shore of the fairest
harbors! We made one of these into which emptied a little
river. He named haven and river Saint Catherine. In the
bed of this stream, when we went ashore, we found no little
gold. He took in his hand grains and flakes and one or
two pieces large as beans. It was royal monopoly, gold, and
every man under strict command--to bring to the Admiral
all that was found. Seamen and companions gathered
around him, Admiral, Viceroy and Governor, King Croesus
to be, a tenth of all gold and spoil filling his purse! And
they, too, surely some way they would be largely paid! The
dream hovered, then descended upon us, as many a time it
descended. Great riches and happiness and all clothed in
silk, and every man as he would be and not as he was, a
dim magnificence and a sense of trumpets in the air, acclaiming
us! I remember that day that we all felt this mystic
power and wealth, the Admiral and all of us. For a short
time, there by Saint Catherine's River, we were brought into
harmony. Then it broke and each little self went its way
again. But for that while eighty men had felt as though
we were a country and more than a country. The gold
in the Admiral's hand might have been gold of consciousness.

After this day for days we sailed along Cuba strand,
seeing many a fair haven and entering two or three. There
were villages, and those dusk, naked folk to whom by now
we were well used, running to beach or cliff brow, making
signs, seeming to cry, "Heaven come down, heaven, heaven
and the gods!" The notion of a sail had never come to
them, though with their cotton they might have made them.
They were slow to learn that the wind pushed us, acting
like a thousand tireless rowers. We were thrillingly new to
them and altogether magical. To any seeing eye a ship under
full sail is a beautiful, stately, thrilling thing! To these
red men there was a perilous joy in the vision. If to us in
the ships there hung in this voyage something mystic, hidden,
full of possibility, inch by inch to unroll, throbbing all
with the future which is the supernatural, be sure these, too,
who were found and discovered, moved in a cloud of mystery
torn by strange lightnings!

Sometimes we came into haven, dropped anchor and lowered
sails, whereupon those on the shore again cried out.
When we took our boats and went to land we met always
the same reception, found much the same village, carried on
much the same conversations. Little by little we collected
gold. By now, within the Admiral's chest, in canvas bags,
rested not a little treasure for Queen Isabella and King
Ferdinand. And though it was forbidden, I knew that many
of our seamen hid gold. All told we found enough to whet
appetite. But still the Indians said south, and Babeque and

At last we had sailed to the very eastern end of Cuba and
turned it as we might turn the heel of Italy. A great spur
that ran into the ocean the Admiral dubbed Alpha and
Omega, and we planted a cross.

It fell to me here to save the Admiral's life.

We had upon the _Santa Maria_ a man named Felipe who
seemed a simple, God-fearing soul, very attentive to Fray
Ignatio and all the offices of religion. He was rather a silent
fellow and a slow, poor worker, often in trouble with boatswain
and master. He said odd things and sometimes wept
for his soul, and the forecastle laughed at him. This man
became in a night mad.

It was middle night. The _Santa Maria_ swung at anchor
and the whole world seemed a just-breathing stillness.
There was the watch, but all else slept. The watch, looking
at Cuba and the moon on the water, did not observe Felipe
when he crept from forecastle with a long, sharp two-edged
knife such as they sell in Toledo.

Juan Lepe woke from first sleep and could not recover
it. He found Bernardo Nunez's small, small cabin stifling,
and at last he got up, put on garments, and slipped forth
and through great cabin to outer air. He might have found
the Admiral there before him, for he slept little and was
about the ship at all hours, but to-night he did sleep.

I spoke to the watch, then set myself down at break of
poop to breathe the splendor of the night. The moon bathed
Alpha and Omega, and the two ships, the _Nina_ and the Santa
Maria. It washed the Pinta but we saw it not, not knowing
where rode the Pinta and Martin Alonzo Pinzon. So bright,
so pleasureable, was the night!

An hour passed. My body was cooled and refreshed,
my spirit quiet. Rising, I entered great cabin on my way
to bed and sleep. I felt that the cabin was not empty, and
then, there being moonlight enough, I saw the figure by the
Admiral's door. "Who is it?" I demanded, but the unbolted
door gave to the man's push, and he disappeared. I
knew it was not the Admiral and I followed at a bound. The
cabin had a window and the moonbeams came in. They
showed Felipe and his knife and the great Genoese asleep.
The madman laughed and crooned, then lifted that Toledo
dagger and lunged downward with a sinewy arm. But I
was upon him. The blow fell, but a foot wide of mark.
There was a struggle, a shout. The Admiral, opening eyes,
sprang from bed.

He was a powerful man, and I, too, had strength, but
Felipe fought and struggled like a desert lion. He kept
crying, "I am the King! I will send him to discover Heaven!
I will send him to join the prophets!" At last we had him
down and bound him. By now the noise had brought the
watch and others. A dozen men came crowding in, in the
moonlight. We took the madman away and kept him fast,
and Juan Lepe tried to cure him but could not. In three
days he died and we buried him at sea. And Fernando,
creeping to me, asked, "senor, don't you feel at times that
there is madness over all this ship and this voyage and _him_
--the Admiral, I mean?"

I answered him that it was a pity there were so few
madmen, and that Felipe must have been quite sane.

"Then what do you think was the matter with Felipe,

I said, "Did it ever occur to you, Fernando, that you had
too much courage and saw too far?" At which he looked
frightened, and said that at times he had felt those symptoms.


MARTIN PINZON did not return to us. That tall,
blond sea captain was gone we knew not where. The
_Santa Maria_ and the Nina sailed south along the foot
of Cuba. But now rose out of ocean on our southeast quarter
a great island with fair mountain shapes. We asked
our Indians--we had five aboard beside Diego Colon--
what it was. "Bohio! Bohio!" But when we came there,
its own inhabitants called it Hayti and Quisquaya.

The Admiral paced our deck, small as a turret chamber,
his hands behind him, his mind upon some great chart drawn
within, not without. At last, having decided, he called Juan
de la Cosa. "We will go to Bohio."

So it was done whereby much was done, the Woman with
the distaff spinning fast, fast!

As this island lifted out of ocean, we who had said of
Cuba, "It is the fairest!" now said, "No, this is the fairest!"
It was most beautiful, with mountains and forests and
vales and plains and rivers.

The twelfth day of December we came to anchor in a
harbor which the Admiral named Concepcion.

On this shore the Indians fled from us. We found a
village, but quite deserted. Not a woman, not a man, not a
child! Only three or four of those silent dogs, and a great
red and green parrot that screamed but said nothing.
There was something in this day, I know not what,
but it made itself felt. The Admiral, kneeling, kissed the
soil, and he named the island Hispaniola, and we planted a

For long we had been beaten about, and all aboard the
ships were well willing to leave them for a little. We had
a dozen sick and they craved the shore and the fruit trees.
Our Indians, too, longed. So we anchored, and mariners
and all adventurers rested from the sea. A few at a time,
the villagers returned, and fearfully enough at first. But
we had harmed nothing, and what greatness and gentleness
was in us we showed it here. Presently all thought they
were at home with us, and that heaven bred the finest folk!

Our people of Hispaniola, subjects now, since the planting
of the flag, were taller, handsomer, we thought, than the
Cubans, and more advanced in the arts. Their houses were
neat and good, and their gardens weeded and well-stocked.
The men wore loin cloths, the women a wide cotton girdle or
little skirt. We found three or four copper knives, but
again they said that they came from the south. As in Spain
"west--west" had been his word, so now the Admiral
brooded upon south.

These folk had a very little gold, but they seemed to say
that theirs was a simple and poor village, and that we should
find more of all things farther on. So we left Concepcion,
the cross upon the rock showing a long way through the pure

For two days we coasted, and at the end of this time we
came to a harbor of great beauty and back from it ran a
vale like Paradise, so richly sweet it was! Christopherus
Columbus was quick to find beauty and loved it when found.
Often and often have I seen his face turn that of a child
or a youth, filled with wonder. I have seen him kiss a
flower, lay a caress upon stem of tree, yearn toward palm
tops against the blue. He was well read in the old poets,
and he himself was a poet though he wrote no line of verse.

We entered here and came to anchor and the sails rattled
down. "Hispaniola--Hispaniola, and we will call this
harbor St. Thomas! He was the Apostle to India. And
now we are his younger brothers come after long folding
away. Were we more--did we have a fleet--we might
set a city here and, it being Christmas, call it La Navidad!"
Out came the canoes to us, out the swimmers, dark and
graceful figures cleaving the utter blue. Some one passing
that way overland, hurrying with news, had told these villages
how peaceful, noble, benevolent, beneficent we were.

The canoes were heaped with fruit and cassava bread, and
they had cotton, not in balls, but woven in pieces. And
these Indians had about neck or in ear some bits of gold.
These they changed cheerfully, taking and valuing what
trifle was given. "Gold. Where do you get your gold?
Do you know of Cipango or Cathay or India? Have ever
you heard of Zaiton, or of Quinsai and Cublai Khan?"
They gave us answers which we could not fully understand,
and gestured inland and a little to the east. "Cibao! Cibao!"
They seemed to say that there was all the gold
there that a reasonable mortal might desire. "Cibao?--
Cipango?" said the Admiral. "They might be the same."

"Like Cuba and Cublai Khan," thought Juan Lepe.

Around a point of shore darted a long canoe with many
rowers. Other canoes gave way for it, and the Indians already
upon the _Santa Maria_ exclaimed that it was the
boat of the cacique, though not the cacique but his brother
sat in it. Guacanagari was the cacique. His town was
yonder! They pointed to a misty headland beyond St.
Thomas's bay.

The Indian from the great canoe came aboard, a handsome
fellow, and he brought presents not like any we had
seen. There was a width of cotton embroidered thick with
bits of gleaming shell and bone, but what was most welcome
was a huge wooden mask with eyes and tongue of gold.
Fray Ignatio crossed himself. "The devil they worship,--
poor lost sheep!" The third gift was a considerable piece
of that mixed and imperfect gold which afterwards we
called guanin. And would we go to visit the cacique whose
town was not so far yonder?

It was Christmas Eve. We sailed with a small, small
wind for the cacique's village, out from harbor of St.
Thomas, around a headland and along a low, bright green
shore. So low and fitful was the wind that we moved
like two great snails. Better to have left the ships and gone,
so many of us, in our boats with oars, canoes convoying us!
The distance was not great, but distance is as the power
of going. "I remember," quoth the Admiral, "a calm,
going from the Levant to Crete, and our water cask broken
and not a mouthful for a soul aboard! That was a long,
long two days while the one shore went no further and the
other came no nearer. And going once to Porto Santo
with my wife she fell ill and moaned for the land, and we
were held as by the sea bottom, and I thought she would die
who might be saved if she could have the land. And I remember
going down the African coast with Santanem--"

Diego de Arana said, "You have had a full life, senor!"

He was cousin, I had been told, to that Dona Beatrix
whom the Admiral cherished, mother of his youngest son,
Fernando. The Admiral had affection for him, and Diego
de Arana lived and died, a good, loyal man. "A full outward
life," he went on, "and I dare swear, a full inward

"That is God's truth!" said the Admiral. "You may
well say that, senor! Inside I have lived with all who have
lived, and discovered with all who have discovered!"

I remember as a dream this last day upon the _Santa Maria_.
Beltran the cook had scalded his arm. I dressed it each
day, and dressing it now, half a dozen idling by, watching
the operation, I heard again a kind of talk that I had heard
before. Partly because I had shipped as Juan Lepe an
Andalusian sailor and had had my forecastle days, and
partly because men rarely fear to speak to a physician, and
partly because in the great whole there existed liking between
them and me, they talked and discussed freely enough
what any other from the other end of ship could have
come at only by formal questioning. Now many of the
seamen wanted to know when we were returning to Palos,
and another number said that they would just as soon never
return, or at least not for a good while! But they did not
wish to spend that good while upon the ship. It was a
good land, and the heathen also good. The heathen might
all be going to burn in hell, unless Fray Ignatio could get
them baptized in time, and so numerous were they that
seemed hardly possible! Almost all might have to go to hell.
But in the meantime, here on earth, they had their uses, and
one could even grow fond of them--certainly fond of the
women. The heathen were eager to work for us, catch
us coneys, bring us gold, put hammocks for us between
trees and say "Sleep, senor, sleep!" Here even Tomaso
Passamonte was "senor" and "Don." And as for the
women--only the skin is dark--they were warm-hearted!
Gold and women and never any cold nor hunger nor toil!
The heathen to toil for you--and they could be taught to
make wine, with all these grapes dangling everywhere?
Heathen could do the gathering and pressing, and also the
gold hunting in rocks and streams. Spain would furnish the
mind and the habit of command. It were well to stay and
cultivate Hispaniola! The Admiral and those who wanted
to might take home the ships. Of course the Admiral would
come again, and with him ships and many men. No one
wanted, of course, never to see again Castile and Palos
and his family! But to stay in Hispaniola a while and
rest and grow rich,--that was what they wanted. And no
one could justly call them idle! If they found out all about
the land and where were the gold and the spices, was there
not use in that, just as much use as wandering forever on
the _Santa Maria_?

Mother earth was kind, kind, here, and she didn't have a
rod like mother country and Mother Church! They did not
say this last, but it was what they meant.

"You don't see the rod, that is all," said Juan Lepe.

But there had eventually to be colonies, and I knew that
the Admiral was revolving in his head the leaving in this
new world certain of our men, seed corn as it were, organs
also to gather knowledge against his speedy return with
power of ships and men. For surely Spain would be
grateful,--surely, surely! But he was not ready yet to set
sail for Spain. He meant to discover more, discover further,
come if by any means he could to the actual wealth of great,
main India; come perhaps to Zaiton, where are more merchants
than in all the rest of the world, and a hundred
master ships laden with pepper enter every year; or to
Quinsai of the marble bridges. No, he was not ready to
turn prow to Spain, and he was not likely to bleed himself
of men, now or for many days to come. All these who
would lie in hammocks ashore must wait awhile, and even
when they made their colony, that is not the way that colonies
live and grow.

Beltran said, "Some of you would like to do a little
good, and some are for a sow's life!"

It was Christmas Eve, and we had our vespers, and we
thought of the day at home in Castile and in Italy. Dusk
drew down. Behind us was the deep, secure water of
St. Thomas, his harbor. The Admiral had us sound and
the lead showed no great depth, whereupon we stood a little
out to avoid shoal or bar.

For some nights the Admiral had been wakeful, suffering,
as Juan Lepe knew, with that gout which at times troubled
him like a very demon. But this night he slept. Juan de la
Cosa set the watch. The helmsman was Sancho Ruiz than
whom none was better, save only that he would take a risk
when he pleased. All others slept. The day had been long,
so warm, still and idle, with the wooded shore stealing so
slowly by.

Early in the night Sancho Ruiz was taken with a great
cramp and a swimming of the head. He called to one of
the watch to come take the helm for a little, but none answered;
called again and a ship boy sleeping near, uncurled
himself, stretched, and came to hand. "It's all safe, and
the Admiral sleeping and the master sleeping and the watch
also!" said the boy. Pedro Acevedo it was, a well-enough
meaning young wretch.

Sancho Ruiz put helm in his hand. "Keep her so, while I
lie down here for a little. My head is moving faster than
the _Santa Maria_!"

He lay down, and the swimming made him close his
eyes, and closed eyes and the disappearance of his pain, and
pleasant resting on deck caused him to sleep. Pedro Acevedo
held the wheel and looked at the moon. Then the
wind chose to change, blowing still very lightly but bearing
us now toward shore, and Pedro never noticing this grow
larger. He was looking at the moon, he afterwards said
with tears, and thinking of Christ born in Bethlehem.

The shore came nearer and nearer. Sancho Ruiz slept.
Pedro now heard a sound that he knew well enough. Coming
back to here and now, he looked and saw breakers upon a
long sand bar. The making tide was at half, and that and
the changed wind carried us toward the lines of foam. The
boy cried, "Steersman! Steersman!" Ruiz sat up, holding
his head in his hands. "Such a roaring in my ears!"
But "Breakers! Breakers!" cried the boy. "Take the

Ruiz sprang to it, but as he touched it the _Santa Maria_
grounded. The shock woke most on board, the immediate
outcry and running feet the rest.

The harm was done, and no good now in recriminations!
It was never, I bear witness, habit of Christopherus Columbus.

The Santa Maria listed heavily, the sea pounding against
her, driving her more and more upon the sand. But order
arrived with the Admiral. The master grew his lieutenant,
the mariners his obedient ones. Back he was at thirty, with a
shipwreck who had seen many and knew how to toil with
hands and with head. Moreover, the great genius of the
man shone in darkness. He could encourage; he could
bring coolness.

We tried to warp her off, but it was not to be done. We
cut away mast to lighten her, but more and more she grew
fast to the bank, the waves striking all her side, pushing her
over. Seams had opened, water was coming in. The _Nina_ a
mile away took our signal and came nearer, lay to, and sent
her boat.

The Santa Maria, it was seen, was dying. Nothing more
was to be done. Her mariners could only cling to her like
bees to comb. We got the two boats clear and there was the
boat of the Nina. Missioned by the Admiral, Juan Lepe
got somehow into cabin, together with Sancho and Luis
Torres, and we collected maps and charts, log, journal, box
with royal letters and the small bags of gold, and the Admiral's
personal belongings, putting all into a great sack
and caring for it, until upon the _Nina_ we gave it into his
hand. Above us rang the cry, "All off!"

From Christopherus Columbus to Pedro Acevedo all left
the Santa Maria and were received by the Nina. Crowded,
crowded was the Nina! Down voyaged the moon, up came
with freshness the rose-chapleted dawn. A wreck lay the
Santa Maria, painted against the east, about her a low thunder
of breakers. Where was the _Pinta_ no man knew! Perhaps
halfway back to Spain or perhaps wrecked and drowned
like the flagship. The Nina, a small, small ship and none too
seaworthy, carried all of Europe and Discovery.


IN the small, small cabin of the _Nina_ Christopherus Columbus
sat for a time with his head bowed in his arms,
then rose and made up a mission to go to the cacique
Guacanagari and, relating our misfortune, request aid and
shelter until we had determined upon our course. There
went Diego de Arana and Pedro Gutierrez with Luis Torres
and one or two more, and they took Diego Colon and the
two St. Thomas Indians. It was now full light, the shore
and mountains green as emerald, the water its old unearthly

The _Nina_ swung at anchor just under the land and the
now receding tide uncovered more and more those sands
where the Santa Maria lay huddled and dying. The Admiral
gazed, and the tears ran down his face. He was so great
that he never thought to hide just emotion. He spoke as
though to himself. "Many sins have I, many, many! But
thou wilt not, O God, cast me utterly away because of them!
I will not doubt Thee, nor my calling!"

There was little space about him. The _Nina_ seemed to
quiver, packed and dark with men. His deep voice went on,
and they could hear him, but he did not seem to know that
they were there. "As though upon a raft, here a thousand
leagues in Ocean-Sea! Yet wilt Thou care for thy Good
News. I will come to Spain, and I will tell it. Chosen, and
almost by very name pointed out in Thy Book! The first
Christian shore that I touch I will walk barefoot and in my
shirt at the head of twelve to the first shrine. And, O my
Lord, never more will I forget that that tomb in which
thou didst rest, still, still is held by the infidel!" He beat
his breast. "_Mea culpa! mea culpa!_"

His voice sank, he looked at the sky, then with a turn
of the wrist at the wheel he put that by and became again
the vigilant Admiral of a fleet of one. "She will hold together
yet a while! When the tide is out, we can get to her
and empty her. Take all ashore that can be carried or floated
and may be of use. Up and down--down and up!"

The inhabitants of Hispaniola were now about us in
canoes or swimming. They seemed to cry out in distress
and sympathy, gazing at the _Santa Maria_ as though it were
a god dying there. Their own canoes were living things to
them as is any ship to a mariner, and by analogy our great
canoe was a Being dying, more of a Being than theirs, because
it had wings and could open and fold them. And
then back came our boat with Diego de Arana and the others,
and they had with them that same brother of the cacique who
had come to us in St. Thomas Harbor. And had we been
wrecked off Palos, not Palos could have showed more concern
or been more ready to help than were these men.

We had three boats and the Indian canoes and hands
enough, white and copper-hued. Now at low tide, we could
approach and enter the _Santa Maria_. A great breach had
been made and water was deep in her hold, but we could
get at much of casks and chests, and could take away sails
and cordage, even her two cannon. Eventually, as she broke
up, we might float away to shore much of her timber. When
I looked from the wreck to the little Nina, I could see,
limned as it were in air, the Viceroy's first colony, set in
Hispaniola, beside Guacanagari's town. All Christmas day
we toiled and the Indians at our side. We found them ready,
not without skill, gay and biddable.

Toward sunset came Guacanagari. All the little shore was
strewn and heaped with our matters. And here I will say
that no Indian stole that day though he might have stolen,
and though our possessions seemed to him great wonders
and treasure beyond estimation. What was brought from
the _Santa Maria_ lay in heaps and our men came and went.
The most of our force was ashore or in the boats; only so
many on the Nina. The Admiral, just returned to the ship,
stretched himself upon the bench in her small cabin. Powerful
was his frame and constitution, and powerfully tried
all his life with a thousand strains and buffetings! It seemed
still to hold; he looked a muscular, sinewy, strong and ruddy
man. But there were signs that a careful eye might find.
He lay upon the bench in the cabin and I, who was his
physician, brought him wine and biscuit and made him eat
and drink who, I knew, had not touched food since the
evening before; after which I told him to close eyes and
go away to Genoa and boyhood. He shut them, and I sitting
near brought my will as best I could to the quieting
of all heavy and sorrowful waves.

But then the cacique came. So small was the _Nina_ that
we could hear well enough the word of his arrival. The
Admiral opened his eyes and sat stiffly up. He groaned
and took his head into his hands, then dropped these and
with a shake of his shoulders resumed command. So many
and grievous a sea had dashed over him and retreated and
he had stood! What he said now was, "The tide of the
spirit goes out; the tide comes back in. Let it come back a
spring tide!"

Guacanagari entered. This cacique, whose fortunes now
began to be intertwined with ours, had his likeness, so far
as went state and custom, to that Cuban chieftain whom Luis
Torres and I had visited. But this was an easier, less
strongly fibred person, a big, amiable, indolent man with
some quality of a great dog who, accepting you and
becoming your friend, may never be estranged. He was
brave after his fashion, gifted enough in simple things. In
Europe he would have been an. easy, well-liked prince or
duke of no great territory. He kept a simple state, wore
some slight apparel of cotton and a golden necklet. He
brought gifts and an unfeigned sympathy for that death
upon the sand bar.

He and the Admiral sat and talked together. "Gods
from heaven?"--"Christian men and from Europe," and
we could not make him, at this time, understand that that
was not the same thing. We began to comprehend that
"heaven" was a word of many levels, and that they ascribed
to it everything that they chose to consider good and that
was manifestly out of the range of their experience.

In his turn the Admiral was ready for all that Guacanagari
could tell him. "Gold?" His eyes were upon the
Indian's necklet. Removing it, the cacique laid it in the
god's hand. All Indians now understood that we made
high magic with gold, getting out of it virtues beyond their
comprehension. In return the Admiral gave him a small
brazen gong and hammer. "Where did they get the gold?"
Again like the Cuban chief this cacique waved his hand to
the mountains. "Cibao!" and then turning he too pointed
to the south. "Much gold there," said Diego Colon. "Inland,
in the mountains," quoth the Admiral, "and evidently,
in very great quantity, in some land to the south! This is
not Cipango, but I think that Cipango lies to the south."
He asked who ruled Hayti that we called Hispaniola. We
understood that there were a number of caciques, but that
for a day's journey every way it was Guacanagari's country.

"A cacique who ruled them all?" No, there was no such

"Had ships like ours and clothed men ever before come
to them?"

No, never! But then he seemed to say that there was
undoubtedly a tradition. Gods had come, and would come
again, and when they did so great things would follow!
But no cacique nor priest nor any knew when the gods
had come.

The Admiral made some question of Caribs. Again there
was gesture southward, though it seemed to us that something
was said of folk within this great island who were
at least like Caribs. And where was the most gold and
the greatest other wealth that they knew of? Again south,
though this time we thought it rather south by west. The
Admiral sighed, and spoke of Cuba. Yes, Guacanagari
knew of Cuba. Had it end far yonder to the westward, or
no end? Had any one ever come to its end? The cacique
thought not, or knew not and assumed deliberation. Luis
and I agreed that we had not met among these Indians
any true notion of a continent. To them Hayti was vast,
Cuba was vast, the lands of the Caribs, wherever they were,
were vast, and vast whatever other islands there might be.
To them this was the _OEcumene_, the inhabited and inhabitable
world, Europe--Asia--Africa? Their faces stayed
blank. Were these divisions of heaven?

Guacanagari would entertain and succor us. This canoe
--oh, the huge marvel!--was too crowded! Yonder lay his
town. All the houses that we might want were ours, all
the hammocks, all the food. And he would feast the gods.
That had been preparing since yesterday, A feast with
dancing. He hoped the great cacique and his people from
far nearer heaven than was Guacanagari would live as long
as might be in his town. Guarico was his town. A big,
easy, amiable, likeable man, he sat in nakedness only not
utter, save for that much like a big hidalgo offering sympathy
and shelter to some fire-ousted or foe-ousted prince!
As for the part of prince it was not hard for the Admiral
to play it. He was one naturally.

He thanked the cacique to whom, I could see, he had taken
liking. Seven houses would be enough. To-night some of
us would sleep upon the beach beside the heaped goods.
To-morrow we would visit Guacanapri. The big, lazy,
peaceable man expressed his pleasure, then with a wide and
dignified gesture dismissing all that, asked to be shown


GUACANAGARI'S town was much perhaps as was
Goth town, Frank town, Saxon town, Latin town,
sufficient time ago. As for clothed and unclothed,
that may be to some degree a matter of cold or warm
weather. We had not seen that ever it was cold in this

Guacanagari feasted us with great dignity and earnestness,
for he and his people held it a momentous thing our
coming here, our being here. Utias we had and iguana,
fish, cassava bread, potato, many a delicious fruit, and
that mild drink that they made. And we had calabashes,
trenchers and fingers, stone knives with which certain officers
of the feast decorously divided the meat, small gourds for
cups, water for cleansing, napkins of broad leaves. It was
a great and comely feast. But before the feast, as in Cuba,
the dance.

I should say that three hundred young men and maidens
danced. They advanced, they retreated, they cowered, they
pressed forward. They made supplication, arms to heaven
or forehead to ground, they received, they were grateful,
they circled fast in ease of mind, they hungered again and
were filled again, they flowed together, they made a great
square, chanting proudly!

Fray Ignatio beside me glowered, so far as so good a
man could glower. But Juan Lepe said, "It is doubt and
difficulty, approach, reconciliation, holy triumph! They
are acting out long pilgrimages and arrivals at sacred cities
and hopes for greater cities. It is much the same as in
Seville or Rome!" Whereupon he looked at me in astonishment,
and Jayme de Marchena said to Juan Lepe, "Hold
thy tongue!"

Dance and the feast over, it became the Admiral's turn.
He was set not to seem dejected, not to give any Spaniard
nor any Indian reason to say, "This Genoese--or this
god--does not sustain misfortune!" But he sat calm,
pleased with all; brotherly, fatherly, by that big, easy,
contented cacique. Now he would furnish the entertainment!
Among us we had one Diego Minas, a huge man and as
mighty a bowman as any in Flanders or England. Him
the Admiral now put forward with his great crossbow and
long arrows. A stir ran around. "Carib! Carib!" We
made out that those mysterious Caribs had bows and arrows,
though not great ones like this. Guacanagari employed
gestures and words that Luis Torres and I strove
to understand. We gathered that several times in the
memory of man the Caribs had come in many canoes, warred
dreadfully, killed and taken away. More than that, somewhere
in Hayti or Quisquaya or Hispaniola were certain
people who knew the weapon. "Caonabo!" He repeated
the name with respect and disliking. "Caonabo, Caonabo!"
Perhaps the Caribs had made a settlement.

Diego fastened a leaf upon the bark of a tree and from
a great distance transfixed it with an arrow, then in succession
sent four others against the trunk, making precisely
the form of a cross. The Indians cried, "Hai! Hai!"
But when the four harquebus men set up their iron rests,
fixed the harquebuses, and firing cut leaves and twigs from
the same tree, there was a louder crying. And when there
was dragged forth, charged with powder and fired, one of
the lombards taken from the _Santa Maria_, wider yet sprang
the commotion. Pedro Gutierrez and a young cavalier from
the _Nina_ deigned to show lance play, and Vicente Pinzon
who had served against the Moors took a great sword and
with it carved calabashes and severed green boughs. The
sword was very marvelous to them. We might have danced
for them for Spain knows how to dance, or we might have
sung for them, for our mariners sing at sea. But these
were not the superior things we wished to show them.

Guacanagari, big and easy and gentle, said, "Live here,
you who are so great and good! We will take you into
the people. We shall be brothers." We understood them
that the great white heron was their guardian spirit and
would be ours. I said, "They do not think of it as just
those stalking, stilly standing birds! It is a name for something
hovering, brooding, caring for them."

The Viceroy spoke with energy. "Tell them of Father,
Son and Holy Ghost!"

Fray Ignatio stood and spoke, gentle and plain. Diego
Colon made what headway he could. Guacanagari listened,
attentive. The Franciscan had a certainty that presently
he might begin to baptize. His face glowed. I heard him
say to the Admiral, "If it be possible, senor, leave me
here when you return to Spain! I will convert this chief
and all his people--by the time you come again there shall
be a church!"

"Let me ponder it yet a while," answered the other.

He was thoughtful when he went back to the _Nina_.
Vicente Pinzon, too, was anxious for light. "This ship
is crowded to sinking! If we meet wretched weather, or if
sickness break out, returning, we shall be in bad case!"
Roderigo Sanchez also had his word. "Is it not very important,
senor, that we should get the tidings to the Sovereigns?
And we have now just this one small ship, and so
far to go, and all manner of dangers!"

"Aye, it is important!" said the Admiral. "Let me
think it out, senor."

He had not slept at all, thought Juan Lepe, when next
morning he came among us. But be looked resolved, hardy
to accomplish. He had his plan, and he gave it to us in
his deep voice that always thrilled with much beside the
momentary utterance. We would build a fort here on shore,
hard by this village, felling wood for it and using also the
timbers of the _Santa Maria_. We would mount there her
two guns and provide an arsenal with powder, shot, harquebuses
and bows. Build a fort and call it La Navidad, because
of Christmas day when was the wreck. It should
have a garrison of certainly thirty men, a man for each
year of Our Lord's life when He began his mission. So
many placed in Hispaniola would much lighten the _Nina_,
which indeed must be lightened in order with safety to recross Ocean-Sea. For yes, we would go back to 
Go, and come again with many and better ships, with hidalgos
and missionary priests, and very many men! In the
meantime so many should stay at La Navidad.

"In less than a year--much less, I promise it--I the
Admiral will be here again at La Navidad, when will come
happy greeting between brothers in the greatest service of
our own or many ages! Sea and land, God will keep us
so long as we are His!"

All loved Christopherus Columbus that day. None was to
be forced to stay at La Navidad. It was easy to gain
thirty; in the end there tarried thirty-eight.

The building of the fort became a pleasurable enterprise.
We broke up with singing the Santa Maria, and
with her bones built the walls. Guacanagari and his people
helped. All was hurried. The Admiral and Viceroy, now
that his mind was made up, would depart as soon as might

We built La Navidad where it might view the sea, upon
a hillside above a brown river sliding out to ocean. Beyond
the stream, in the groves, a quarter-league away, stood the
hundred huts of Guarico. We built a tower and storehouse
and wall of wood and we digged around all some kind
of moat, and mounted three lombards. All that we could
lift from the Santa Maria and what the _Nina_ could spare
us of arms, conveniences and food went into our arsenal
and storehouse. We had a bubbling spring within the enclosure.
When all was done the tower of La Navidad,
though an infant beside towers of Europe, might suffice
for the first here of its brood. It was done in a week from
that shipwreck.

Who was to be left at La Navidad? Leave was given to
volunteer and the mariners' list was soon made up, good
men and not so good. From the poop there volunteered
Pedro Gutierrez and Roderigo de Escobedo. The Admiral
did not block their wish, but he gave the command not to
Escobedo who wished it, but to Diego de Arana whom
he named to stay, having persuaded him who would rather
have returned with the _Nina_. But he could trust Diego de
Arana, and, with reason, he was not sure of those other hidalgos.
De Arana stayed and fulfilled his trust, and died a brave
man. Fray Ignatio would stay. "Bring me back, Senor, a
goodly bell for the church of La Navidad! A bell and a

Juan Lepe would stay. There needed a physician. But
also Jayme de Marchena would stay. He thought it out.
Six months had not abolished the Holy Office nor converted
to gentleness Don Pedro nor the Dominican.

But the Admiral had assigned me to return with the
_Nina_. I told him in the evening between the sunset and
the moonrise what was the difficulty. He was a man profoundly
religious, and also a docile son of the Church. But
I knew him, and I knew that he would find reasons in
the Bible for not giving me up. The deep man, the whole
man, was not in the grasp of bishop or inquisitor or papal

He agreed. "Aye, it is wiser! I count two months to
Spain, seeing that we may not have so favorable a voyage.
Three or maybe four there, for our welcome at court, and
for the gathering a fleet--easy now to gather for all will
flock to it, and masters and owners cry, `Take my ship--
and mine!' Two months again to recross. Look for me it
may be in July, it may be in August, it may be in September!"

The Viceroy spoke to us, gathered by our fort, under
the banner of Castile, with behind us on hill brow a cross
gleaming. Again, all that we had done for the world and
might further do! Again, we returning on the _Nina_ or
we remaining at La Navidad were as crusaders, knights
of the Order of the Purpose of God! "Cherish good--
oh, men of the sea and the land, cherish good! Who
betrays here betrays almost as Judas! The Purpose of God
is Strength with Wisdom and Charity which only can make
joy! Therefore be ye here at La Navidad strong, wise and

He said more, and he gave many an explicit direction,
but that was the gist of all. Strength, wisdom and charity.

Likewise he spoke to the Indians and they listened and
promised and meant good. An affection had sprung
between Guacanagari and Christopherus Columbus. So different
they looked! and yet in the breast of each dwelled much
guilelessness and the ability to wonder and revere. The
Viceroy saw in this big, docile ruler of Guarico however
far that might extend, one who would presently be baptized
and become a Christian chief, man of the Viceroy of Hispaniola,
as the latter was man of the Sovereigns of Spain. All
his people would follow Guacanagari. He saw Christendom
here in the west, and a great feudal society, acknowledging
Castile for overlord, and Alexander the Sixth as its spiritual

Guacanagari may have seen friends in the gods, and
especially in this their cacique, who with others that they would
bring, would be drawn into Guarico and made one and whole
with the people of the heron. But he never saw Guacanagari
displanted--never saw Europe armed and warlike,
hungry and thirsty.

The _Nina_ and La Navidad bade with tears each the other
farewell. It was the second of January, fourteen hundred
and ninety-three. We had mass under the palm trees, by
the cross, above the fort. Fray Ignatio blessed the going,
blessed the staying. We embraced, we loved one another, we
parted. The _Nina_ was so small a ship, even there just
before us on the blue water! So soon, so soon, the wind
blowing from the land, she was smaller yet, smaller, smaller,
a cock boat, a chip, gone!

Thirty-eight white men watched her from the hill above
the fort, and of the thirty-eight Juan Lepe was the only one
who saw the Admiral come again.


THE butio of this town had been absent for some reason
in the great wood those days of the shipwreck and
the building of La Navidad. Now he was again here,
and I consorted with him and chiefly from him learned
their language. The Admiral had taken Diego Colon to
Spain, and to Spain was gone too Luis Torres, swearing
that he would come again. To Spain was gone Sancho, but
Beltran the cook stayed with us. Pedro and Fernando also.

Time passed. With the ending of January the heat increased.
The butio knew all manner of simples; he was
doctor and priest together. He had a very simple magic.
He himself did not expect it to reach the Great Spirit, but
it might affect the innumerable _zemes_ or under and under-
under spirits. These barbarians, using other words for
them, had letter-notion of gnome, sylph, undine and salamander.
All things lived and took offense or became propitious.
Effort consisted in making them propitious. If
the effort was too great one of them killed you. Then you
went to the shadowy caves. There was a paradise, too,
beautiful and easy. But the Great Spirit could not be hurt
and had no wish to hurt any one else, whether _zemes_ or men.
To live with the Great Spirit, that was really the Heron
wish, though the little herons could not always see it.

This butio--Guarin his name--was a young man with
eyes that could burn and voice that fell naturally into a
chant. He took me into the forest with him to look for a
very rare tree. When it was found I watched him gather
plants from beneath it and scrape bits off its bark into a
small calabash. I understood that it was good for fever,
and later I borrowed from him and found that he had
grounds for what he said.

La Navidad and Guarico neighbored each other. The
Indians came freely to the fort, but Diego de Arana made
a good _alcayde_ and he would not have mere crowding within
our wooden wall. Half of our thirty-eight, permitted at a
time to wander, could not crowd Guarico. But in himself
each Spaniard seemed a giant. At first a good giant, profoundly
interesting. But I was to see pleased interest become
a painful interest.

Women. The first complaint arose about the gods or the
giants and women. Guacanagari came to La Navidad with
Guarin and several old men his councilors. Diego de Arana
received them and there was talk under the great tree within
our gate. Then all the garrison was drawn up, and in the
presence of the cacique Arana gave rebuke and command,
and the two that had done the outrage had prison for
a week. It was our first plain showing in this world that
heaven-people or Europeans could differ among themselves
as to right and wrong, could quarrel, upbraid and punish.
But here was evidently good and bad. And what might be
the proportion? As days went by the question gathered in
this people's bosom.

It was not that their women stood aloof from our men.
Many did not so in the least! But it was to be free will and
actual fondness, and in measure.--But there were those
among us who, finding in lonely places, took by force. These
became hated.

Diego de Arana was to collect the gold that was a royal
monopoly. Trading for gold for one's self was forbidden.
Assuredly taking it by force--assuredly all robbery of that
or anything else--was forbidden. But there came a robbery,
and since it was resisted, murder followed. This
was a league from Guarico and from La Navidad. The
slain Indian's companion escaping, told.

This time Diego de Arana went to Guarico and Guacanagari. He took with him a rich present, and he 
showed how
the guilty men were punished. "You do not slay them?"
asked Guacanagari. Arana shook his head. He thought
we were too few in this land to be ridding of life the violent
and lustful. But the Indians seemed to think that he said
that he could not. They still doubted, I think, our mortality.
As yet they had seen no mighty stranger bleed or die.

Arana would have kept his garrison within the walls.
But indeed it was not healthful for them there, and at the
very word of confinement faction rose. There were now
two parties in La Navidad, the Commandant's party and
Escobedo's party.

The heat increased. It was now March. An illness fell
among us. I took Guarin into counsel and gave in water the
bitter inner bark of that tree shredded and beaten fine. Those
who shook with cold and burned with fever recovered.

Fray Ignatio was among those who sickened. He left
after some days his hammock, but his strength did not come
back to him. Yet, staff in hand, he went almost daily to
Guarico. Then, like that! Fray Ignatio died. He died
--his heart stopped--on the path between Guarico and
La Navidad. He had been preaching, and then, Guarin told
me, he put his hand to his side, and said, "I will go home!"
He started up the path, but at the big tree he dropped. Men
and women ran to him, but the butio was dead.

We buried Fray Ignatio beneath the cross on the hilltop.
The Indians watched, and now they knew that we could

The heat increased.

At first Diego de Arana sent out at intervals exploring
parties. We were to learn, at least, Guacanagari's country.
But the heat was great, and so many of those left at La
Navidad only idle and sensual. They would push on to a
village--we found in Guacanagari's country many hamlets,
but no other town like Guarico--and there they would
stop, with new women, new talk, and the endless plenty
to eat and sleep in the shade. When, at their own
sweet will, they returned to La Navidad, the difficulties
had been too great. They could not get to the high mountains
where might or might not be the mines. But what
they did was to spread over the country scandalous news of
scandalous gods.

At last Arana sorted out those who could be trusted
at least to strive for knowledge and self-control and sent
these. But that weakened him at La Navidad, draining
him of pure blood and leaving the infected, and by mid-April he ceased any effort at exploration. It must 
until the Admiral returned, and he began to be hungry indeed
for that return.

Escobedo and Pedro Gutierrez were not hungry for
it--not yet. These two became the head and front of ill,
encouraging every insubordinate, infuriating all who suffered
penalties, teaching insolence, self-will and license. They
drew their own feather to them, promising evil knows what
freedom for rapine.

All the silver weather, golden weather, diamond weather
since we had left Gomera in the Canaries--how many ages
since!--now was changed. We had thought it would last
always, but now we entered the long season of great heat
and daily rain. At first we thought these rains momentary,
but day after day, week after week, with stifling heat, the
clouds gathered, broke, and came mighty rain that at last
ceased to be refreshing, became only wearying and hateful.
It did not cool us; we lived in a sultry gloom. And the
garrison of La Navidad became very quarrelsome. La Navidad
showed the Indians Europeans cursing one another,
giving blows, only held back by those around from rushing
at each other, stabbing and cutting. Finally they saw Tomaso
Passamonte kill one Jacamo. Diego de Arana hung Tomaso
Passamonte. But what were the Indians to think? Not
what they thought when first we came from the winged
canoes to their beaches.

The last of April fell the second sickness and it was far
worse than the first. Eleven men died, and we buried them.
When it passed we were twenty-five Spaniards in Hispaniola,
and we liked not the Indians as well as we had done, and
they liked not us. Oh, the pity--pity--pity, the pity and
the blame!

Guacanagari came to visit the commandant, none with
him but the butio Guarin, and desiring to speak with
Arana out of the company. They talked beneath the big
tree, that being the most comfortable and commodious council
chamber. Don Diego was imperfect yet in the tongue
of Guarico, and he called Juan Lepe to help him out.

It was a story of Caonabo, cacique of Maguana that ran
into the great mountains of Cibao, that cacique of whom
we had already heard as being like Caribs. Caonabo had
sent quite secretly two of his brothers to Guacanagari. He
had heard ill of the strangers and thought they were demons,
not gods! He advised the cacique of Guarico to surprise
them while they slept and slay them. It was in his experience
that all who ate and slept could be slain. If his brother
Guacanagari needed help in the adventure, Caonabo would
give it. He would even come in person.

Diego de Arana said, "What did you answer, O Cacique."

Guacanagari spoke at some length of our Great Cacique
and his longing that he might return. Everything had gone
well while he was here! "He will return," said Arana.
"And he has your word."

Guacanagari stated that he meant to keep his word. He
had returned answer to Caonabo that there had been misfortunes
but that the mighty strangers were truly mighty,
and almost wholly beneficent. At any rate, he was not
prepared to slay them, did not wish to slay them.

Arana spoke vigorously, pointing out to the cacique all
the kindliness that had attended our first intercourse. The
unhappinesses of February, March and April he attributed
to real demons, not to our own fiend but to small powers
at large, maleficent and alarmed, heathen powers in short,
jealous of the introduction of the Holy Catholic religion.
Guacanagari seemed to understand about these powers. He
looked relieved. But Guarin who was with him regarded
the sea and I saw his lip curl.

The commandant wished to know if there were any danger
of Caonabo, alone, descending upon us from the mountains.
But no! Maguana and Guarico were friends. They
had not always been so, but now they were friends. De
Arana looked doubtfully, and I saw him determine to keep
watch and ward and to hold the men within or near to fort.
But Guacanagari sat serene. He repeated that there were
always preliminaries before wars, and that for a long time
there had only been peace between Guarico and Maguana.
"Caonabo is Carib," said the young copper priest. The
cacique answered, "Carib long ago. Not now."

At sunset, the rain ceasing for a little, the earth smoking,
the west a low, vaporous yellow, the swollen river sounding,
Diego de Arana had summoned by the drum every man in
La Navidad. He stood beneath our banner and put his
hand upon the staff and spoke earnestly to those gathered
before him, in their duty and out of their duty. He told
of Caonabo, and of his own sense that Guacanagari was
too confident. He told of Guacanagari's fidelity to the Admiral,
and he appealed to every Christian there to be at
least as faithful. We were few and far from Spain, and
we had perhaps more than we could conceive in trust. "Far
from Spain, but no farther than we will from the blessed
saints and the true Christ. Let us put less distance there,
being few in this land and in danger!"

He knew that he had a dozen with him, and looked straight
at Escobedo.

The latter said, "Live in the open and die there, if need
be! To live in this rat hole, breathing plague, is dying
already! Caonabo is a fable! These people! Spaniards
have but to lift voice and they flee!"

He received from his following acquiescent sound. Spoke
Pedro Gutierrez. "Guacanagari wishes to bottle us here;
that is the whole of it. Why play his game? I never saw
a safer land! Only La Navidad is not safe!"

Those two had half and perhaps more than half of the
garrison. Arana cried, "Don Roderigo de Escobedo and
Don Pedro Gutierrez, you serve the Queen ill!"

"You, Senor," answered Gutierrez, "serve my Lady Idle
Fear and my Lord Incapacity!"

Whereupon Arana put him in arrest and he lay that night
in prison. The cloud was black over La Navidad.


IT did not lighten. Escobedo waited two days, then in
the dark night, corrupting the watch, broke gaol for
Pedro Gutierrez and with him and nine men quitted
La Navidad. Beltran the cook it was who heard and procured
a great smoking torch, and sent out against them a
voice like a bull of Bashan's. Arana sprang up, and the
rest of us who slept. They were eleven men, armed and
alert. There were shouts, blows, a clutching and a throwing
off, a detaining and repelling. In the east showed long
ghost fingers, the rain held away. They were at the gate
when we ran upon them; they burst it open and went forth,
leaving one of their own number dead, and two of them
who stayed with Arana desperately hurt. We followed
them down the path, through the wood, but they had the
start. They did not go to Guarico, but they seized the boat
of the _Santa Maria_ which the Admiral had left with us and
went up the river. We heard the dash of their oars, then
the rain came down, with a weeping of every cloud.

The dead man they left behind was Fernando. I had seen
Pedro in the gate, going forth.

Fourteen men, two of whom were ill and two wounded,
stayed at La Navidad. Arana said with passion, "Honest
men and a garrison at one! There is some gain!"

That could not be denied. Gain here, but how about it

It was May. And now the rain fell in a great copious
flood, huge-dropped and warm, and now it was restrained
for a little, and there shone a sun confused and fierce. Earth
and forest dripped and streamed and smoked. We were
Andalusians, but the heat drained us. But we held, we fourteen
men. Arana did well at La Navidad. We all did
what we could to live like true not false Castilians, true not
false Christians. And I name Beltran the cook as hero and
mighty encourager of hearts.

We went back and forth between La Navidad and Guarico,
for though the Admiral had left us a store of food we got
from them fruit and maize and cassava. They were all
friendly again, for the fourteen withheld themselves from
excess. Nor did we quarrel among ourselves and show
them European weakness.

Guacanagari remained a big, easy, somewhat slothful,
friendly barbarian, a child in much, but brave enough when
roused and not without common sense. He had an itch for
marvels, loved to hear tales of our world that for all one
could say remained to them witchcraft and cloudland, world
above their world! What could they, who had no great
beasts, make of tales of horsemen? What could their huts
know of palace and tower and cathedral, their swimmers of
stone bridges, their canoes of a thousand ships greater far
than the_ Santa Maria_ and the _Nina_? What could Guarico
know of Seville? In some slight wise they practiced barter,
but huge markets and fairs to which traveled from all quarters
and afar merchants and buyers went with the tales of
horsemen. And so with a thousand things! We were the
waving oak talking to the acorn.

But there were among this folk two or three ready for
knowledge. Guarin was a learning soul. He foregathered
with the physician Juan Lepe, and many a talk they had,
like a master and pupil, in some corner of La Navidad, or
under a palm-thatched roof, or, when the rain held, by river
or sounding sea. He had mind and moral sense, though
not the European mind at best, nor the European moral
sense at highest. But he was well begun. And he had
beauty of form and countenance and an eager, deep eye.
Juan Lepe loved him.

It was June. Guacanagari came to La Navidad, and his
brown face was as serious as a tragedy. "Caonabo?" asked
Diego de Arana.

A fortnight before this the cacique, at Arana's desire,
had sent three Indians in a canoe up the river, the object
news if possible of that ten who had departed in that direction.
Now the Indians were back. They had gone a long
way until the high mountains were just before them, and
there they heard news from the last folk who might be
called Guarico and the first folk who might be called Maguana.
The mighty strangers had gone on up into the
mountains and Caonabo had put them to death.

"To death!"

It appeared that they had seized women and had beaten
men whom they thought had gold which they would not
give. They were madmen, Escobedo and Gutierrez and
all with them!

Guacanagari said that Caonabo had invited them to a feast.
It was spread in three houses, and they were divided so,
and around each Spaniard was put a ring of Indians. They
were eating and drinking. Caonabo entered the first house,
and his coming made the signal. Escobedo and Pedro
Gutierrez were in this house. They raised a shout, "Undone,
Spaniards!" But though they were heard in the
other houses--these houses being nothing more than booths
--it was to no use. There followed struggle and massacre;
finally Gutierrez and Escobedo and eight men lay dead.
But certain Indians were also killed and among them a son
of Caonabo.

It was July. We began to long toward the Admiral's
return. A man among us went melancholy mad, watching
the sea, threatening the rain when it came down and
hid the sea, and the Admiral might go by! At last he threw
himself into ocean and was drowned. Another man was
bitten by a serpent, and we could not save him. We were
twelve Spaniards in La Navidad. We rested friends with
Guarico, though now they held us to be nothing more than
demigods. And indeed by now we were ragged!

Then, in a night, it came.

Guacanagari again appeared. It had reached him from
up the river that Caonabo was making pact with the cacique
of Marien and that the two meant to proceed against us.
Standing, he spoke at length and eloquently. If he rested
our friend, it might end in his having for foes Maguana
and Marien. There had been long peace, and Guarico did
not desire war. Moreover, Caonabo said that it was idle
to dread Caribs and let in the mighty strangers! He said
that all pale men, afraid of themselves so that they covered
themselves up, were filled with evil _zemes_ and were worse
than a thousand Caribs! But Caonabo was a mocker and a
hard-of-heart! Different was Guacanagari. He told us
how different. It all ended in great hope that Caonabo would
think better of it.

We kept watch and ward. Yet we could not be utterly
cooped within La Navidad. Errands must be done, food
be gathered. More than that, to seem to Guarico frightened,
to cry that we must keep day and night behind wall with
cannon trained, notwithstanding that Caonabo might be
asleep in the mountains of Cibao, would be but to mine
our own fame, we who, for all that had passed, still seemed
to this folk mighty, each of us a host in himself! And as
nothing came out of the forest, and no more messengers of
danger, they themselves had ceased to fear, being like children
in this wise. And we, too, at last; for now it was
late August, and the weather was better, and surely, surely,
any day we might see a white point rise from blue ocean,
--a white point and another and another, like stars after
long clouded night skies!

So we watched the sea. And also there was a man to
watch the forest. But we did not conceive that the dragon
would come forth in the daytime, nor that he could come
at any time without our hearing afar the dragging of his
body and the whistling of his breath.

It was halfway between sunrise and noon. Five of us
were in the village, seven at La Navidad. The five were
there for melons and fruit and cassava and tobacco which
we bought with beads and fishhooks and bits of bright cloth.
Three of the seven at La Navidad were out of gate, down

at the river, washing their clothes. Diego Minas, the archer,
on top of wall, watched the forest. Walking below, Beltran
the cook was singing in his big voice a Moorish song
that they made much of year before last in Seville. I had a
book of Messer Petrarca's poems. It had been Gutierrez's,
who left it behind when he broke forth to the mountains.

Beltran's voice suddenly ceased. Diego the archer above
him on wall had cried down, "Hush, will you, a moment!"
Diego de Arana came up. "What is it?"

"I thought," said the archer, "that I heard a strange
shouting from toward village. Hark ye! There!"

We heard it, a confused sound. "Call in the men from
the river!" Arana ordered.

Diego Minas sent his voice down the slope. The three
below by the river also heard the commotion, distant as
Guarico. They were standing up, their eyes turned that
way. Just behind them hung the forest out of which slid,
dark and smooth, the narrow river.

Out of the forest came an arrow and struck to the heart
Gabriel Baraona. Followed it a wild prolonged cry of many
voices, peculiar and curdling to the blood, and fifty--a
hundred--a host of naked men painted black with white
and red and yellow markings. Guarico did not use bow
and arrow, but a Carib cacique knew them, and had so
many, and also lances flint or bone-headed, and clubs with
stones wedged in them and stone knives. Gabriel Baraona
fell, whether dead or not we could not tell. Juan Morcillo
and Gonzalo Fernandez sent a scream for aid up to La
Navidad. Now they were hidden as some small thing by
furious bees. Diego de Arana rushed for his sword. "Down
and cut them out!"

Diego Minas fired the big lombard, but for fear of hurting
our three men sent wide the ball. We looked for terror
always from the flame, the smoke and great noise, and so
there was terror here for a moment and a bearing back in
which Juan and Gonzalo got loose and made a little way up
path. But a barbarian was here who could not long be
terrified. Caonabo sent half his horde against Guarico, but
himself had come to La Navidad. That painted army rallied
and overtook the fleeing men.

Shouting, making his swung sword dazzle in light, Diego
de Arana raced down path, and Diego Minas and Beltran
the cook and Juan Lepe with him. Many a time since then,
in this island, have I seen half a dozen Christians with their
arms and the superstitious terror that surrounded them put
to flight twenty times their number. But this was early,
and the spirit of these naked men not broken, and Caonabo
faced us. It was he himself who, when three or four had
been wounded by Arana, suddenly rushed upon the commandant.
With his stone-headed club he struck the sword
away, and he plunged his knife into Arana's breast. He
died, a brave man who had done his best at La Navidad.

Juan Morcillo and Gonzalo Fernandez and Diego Minas
were slain. I saw a lifted club and swerved, but too late.

Blackness and neither care nor delight. Then, far off,
a little beating of surf on shore, very far and nothing to do
with anything. Then a clue of pain that it seemed I must
follow or that must follow me, and at first it was a little
thin thread, but then a cable and all my care was to thin
it again. It passed into an ache and throb that filled my
being like the rain clouds the sky. Then suddenly there
were yet heavy clouds but the sky around and behind. I
opened my eyes and sat up, but found that my arms were
bound to my sides.

"We aren't dead, and that's some comfort, Doctor, as
the cock said to the other cock in the market pannier!"
It was Beltran the cook who spoke and he was bound like
me. Around us lay the five dead. A score of Indians
warded us, mighty strangers in bonds, and we heard the
rest up at the fort where they were searching and pillaging.

Guarico, and the men there?

We found that out when at last they were done with La
Navidad and they and we were put on the march. We came
to where had been Guarico, and truly for long we had smelled
the burning of it, as we had heard the crying and shouting.
It was all down, the frail houses. I made out in the loud
talking that followed the blending of Caonabo's bands what
had been done and not done. Guacanagari, wounded, was
fled after fighting a while, he and his brother and the butio
and all the people. But the mighty strangers found in the
village, were dead. They had run down to the sea, but
Caonabo's men had caught them, and after hard work killed
them. Juan Lepe and Beltran, passing, saw the five bodies.

I do not think that Caonabo had less than a thousand
with him. He had come in force, and the whole as silent
as a bat or moth. We were to learn over and over again
that "Indians" could do that, travel very silently, creatures
of the forest who took by surprise. Well, Guarico was destroyed,
and Guacanagari and Guarin fled, and in all Hispaniola
were only two Spaniards, and we saw no sail upon the
sea, no sail at all!


WE turned from the sea. Thick forest came between
us and it. We were going with Caonabo to the
mountains. Beltran and I thought that it had been
in question whether he should kill us at once, or hold us in
life until we had been shown as trophies in Maguana, and
that the pride and vanity of the latter course prevailed. After
two days in this ruined place, during which we saw no
Guarico Indian, we departed. The raid was over. All their
war is by raid. They carried everything from the fort
save the fort itself and the two lombards. In the narrow
paths that are this world's roads, one man must walk after
another, and their column seems endless where it winds and
is lost and appears again. Beltran and I were no longer
bound. Nor were we treated unkindly, starved nor hurt in
any way. All that waited until we should reach Caonabo's

Caonabo was a most handsome barbarian, strong and
fierce and intelligent, more fierce, more intelligent than Guacanagari.
All had been painted, but the heat of the lowland
and their great exertion had made the coloring run and
mix most unseemly. When they left Guarico they plunged
into the river and washed the whole away, coming out clear
red-brown, shining and better to look upon. Caonabo
washed, but then he would renew his marking with the
paint which he carried with him in a little calabash.

A pool, still and reflecting as any polished shield, made his
mirror. He painted in a terrific pattern what seemed meant
for lightning and serpent. It was armor and plume and
banner to him. I thought of our own devices, comforting
or discomforting kinships! He had black, lustrous hair, no
beard--they pluck out all body hair save the head thatch
--high features, a studied look of settled and cold fierceness.
Such was this Carib in Hispaniola.

Presently they put a watch and the rest all lay down and
slept, Beltran beside me. The day had been clear, and now
a great moon made silver, silver, the land around. It
shone upon the Spanish sailor and upon the Carib chief
and all the naked Manguana men. I thought of Europe,
and of how all this or its like had been going on hundred
years by hundred years, while perished Rome and quickened
our kingdoms, while Charlemagne governed, while the Church
rose until she towered and covered like the sky, while we
went crusades and pilgrimages, while Venice and Genoa
and Lisbon rose and flourished, while letters went on and
we studied Aristotle, while question arose, and wider knowledge.
At last Juan Lepe, too, went to sleep.

Next day we traveled among and over mountains. Our
path, so narrow, climbed by rock and tree. Now it overhung
deep, tree-crammed vales, now it bore through just-
parted cliffs. Beltran and Juan Lepe had need for all their
strength of body.

The worst was that that old tremor and weakness of one
leg and side, left after some sea fight, which had made Beltran
the cook from Beltran the mariner, came back. I saw his
step begin to halt and drag. This increased. An hour later,
the path going over tree roots knotted like serpents, he
stumbled and fell. He picked himself up. "Hard to keep
deck in this gale!"

When he went down there had been an exclamation from
those Indians nearest us. "Aiya!" It was their word for
rotten, no good, spoiled, disappointing, crippled or diseased,
for a misformed child or an old man or woman arrived
at helplessness. Such, I had learned from Guarin, they
almost invariably killed. It was why, from the first, we
hardly saw dwarfed or humped or crippled among them.

We had to cross a torrent upon a tree that falling had
made from side to side a rounded bridge. Again that old
hurt betrayed him. He slipped, would have fallen into the
torrent below, but that I, turning, caught him and the Indian
behind us helped. We managed across. "My ship," said
Beltran, "is going to pieces on the rocks."

The path became ladder steep. Now Beltran delayed all,
for it was a lame man climbing. I helped him all I could.

The sun was near its setting. We were aloft in these
mountains. Green heads still rose over us, but we were
aloft, far above the sea. And now we were going through a
ravine or pass where the walking was better. Here, too, a
wind reached us and it was cooler. Cool eve of the heights
drew on. We came to a bubbling well of coldest water and
drank to our great refreshment. Veritable pine trees, which
we never saw in the lowlands, towered above and sang. The
path was easier, but hardly, hardly, could Beltran drag himself
along it. His arm was over my shoulder.

Out of the dark pass we came upon a table almost bare
of trees and covered with a fine soft grass. The mountains
of Cibao, five leagues--maybe more--away, hung in emerald
purple and gold under the sinking sun. The highest
rocky peaks rose pale gold. Below us and between those
mountains on which we stood and the golden mountains
of Cibao, spread that plain, so beautiful, so wide and long,
so fertile and smiling and vast, that afterwards was
called the Royal Plain! East and west one might not see
the end; south only the golden mountains stopped it. And
rivers shone, one great river and many lesser streams. And
we saw afar many plumes of smoke from many villages,
and we made out maize fields, for the plain was populous.
_Vega Real_! So lovely was it in that bright eve! The very
pain of the day made it lovelier.

The high grassy space ran upon one side to sheer precipice,
dropping clear two hundred feet. But there was camping
ground enough--and the sun almost touched the far,
violet earth.

The Indians threw themselves down. When they had
supper they would eat it, when they had it not they would
wait for breakfast. But Caonabo with twenty young men
came to us. He said something, and my arms were caught
from behind and held. He faced Beltran seated against a
pine. "Aiya!" he said. His voice was deep and harsh, and
be made a gesture of repugnance. There was a powerfully
made Indian beside him, and I saw the last gleam of the
sun strike the long, sharp, stone knife. "Kill!" said the

A dozen flung themselves upon Beltran, but there was no
need, for he sat quite still with a steady face. He had time
to cry to Juan Lepe, who cried to him, "That's what I say!
Good cheer and courage and meet again!"

He had no long suffering. The knife was driven quickly
to his heart. They drew the shell to the edge of the precipice
and dropped it over.

It was early night, it was middle night, it was late night.
They had set no watch, for where and what was the danger
here on this mountain top?

One side went down in a precipice, one sloping less steeply
we had climbed from the pine trees and the well, one of a
like descent we would take to-morrow down to the plain,
but the fourth was mountain head hanging above us and
thick wood,--dark, entangled, pathless. And it chanced
or it was that Juan Lepe lay upon the side toward the peak,
close to forest. The Indians had no thought to guard me.
We lay down under the moon, and that bronze host slept,
naked beautiful statues, in every attitude of rest.

The moon shone until there was silver day. Juan Lepe
was not sleeping.

There was no wind, but he watched a branch move. It
looked like a man's arm, then it moved farther and was a
full man,--an Indian, noiseless, out clear in the moon,
from the wood. I knew him. It was the priest Guarin,
priest and physician, for they are the same here. Palm
against earth, I half rose. He nodded, made a sign to rise
wholly and come. I did so. I stood and saw under the
moon no waking face nor upspringing form. I stepped
across an Indian, another, a third. Then was clear space,
the wood, Guarin. There was no sound save only the constant
sound of this forest by night when a million million
insects waken.

He took my hand and drew me into the brake and wilderness.
There was no path. I followed him over I know
not what of twined root and thick ancient soil, a powder
and flake that gave under foot, to a hidden, rocky shelf
that broke and came again and broke and came again. Now
we were a hundred feet above that camp and going over
mountain brow, going to the north again. Gone were Caonabo
and his Indians; gone the view of the plain and the
mountains of Cibao. Again we met low cliff, long stony
ledges sunk in the forest, invisible from below. I began
to see that they would not know how to follow. Caonabo
might know well the mountains of Cibao, but this sierra
that was straight behind Guarico, Guarico knew. It is a
blessed habit of their priests to go wandering in the forest,
making their medicine, learning the country, discovering,
using certain haunts for meditation. Sometimes they are
gone from their villages for days and weeks. None indeed
of these wild peoples fear reasonable solitude. Out of all
which comes the fact that Guarin knew this mountain. We
were not far, as flies the bird, from the burned town of
Guarico, from the sea without sail, from the ruined La
Navidad. When the dawn broke we saw ocean.

He took me straight to a cavern, such another as that in
which Jerez and Luis Torres and I had harbored in Cuba.
But this had fine sand for floor, and a row of calabashes,
and wood laid for fire.

Here Juan Lepe dropped, for all his head was swimming
with weariness.

The sun was up, the place glistered. Guarin showed how
it was hidden. "I found it when I was a boy, and none but
Guarin hath ever come here until you come, Juan Lepe!"
He had no fear, it was evident, of Caonabo's coming. "They
will think your idol helped you away. If they look for you,
it will be in the cloud. They will say, `See that dark mark
moving round edge of cloud mountain! That is he!' "
I asked him, "Where are Guacanagari and the rest?"

"Guacanagari had an arrow through his thigh and a
deep cut upon the head. He was bleeding and in a swoon.
His brother and the Guarico men and I with them took
him, and the women took the children, and we went
away, save a few that were killed, upon the path that we
used when in my father's time, the Caribs came in canoes.
After a while we will go down to Guacanagari. But now

He looked at me, and then from a little trickling spring
he took water in a calabash no larger than an orange and
from another vessel a white dust which he stirred into it,
and made me drink. I did not know what it was, but I
went to sleep.

But that sleep did not refresh. It was filled with heavy
and dreadful dreams, and I woke with an aching head and
a burning skin. Juan Lepe who had nursed the sick down
there in La Navidad knew feebly what it was. He saw in
a mist the naked priest, his friend and rescuer, seated upon
the sandy floor regarding him with a wrinkled brow and
compressed lips, and then he sank into fever visions uncouth
and dreadful, or mirage-pleasing with a mirage-ecstasy.

Juan Lepe did not die, but he lay ill and like to die for
two months. It was deep in October, that day at dawn
when I came quietly, evenly, to myself again, and lay most
weak, but with seeing eyes. At first I thought I was alone
in the cavern, but then I saw Guarin where he lay asleep.

That day I strengthened, and the next day and the next.
But I had lain long at the very feet of death, and full
strength was a tortoise in returning. So good to Juan Lepe
was Guarin!

Now he was with me, and now he went away to that
village where was Guacanagari. He had done this from
the first coming here, nursing me, then going down through
the forest to see that all was well with his wounded cacique
and the folk whose butio he was. They knew his ways and
did not try to keep him when he would return to the mountain,
to "make medicine." So none knew of the cavern or
that there was one Spaniard left alive in all Hayti.

I strengthened. At last I could draw myself out of cave
and lie, in the now so pleasant weather, upon the ledge
before it. All the vast heat and moisture was gone by;
now again was weather of last year when we found San

I could see ocean. No sail, and were he returning, surely
it should have been before this! He might never return.

When Guarin was away I sat or lay or moved about a
small demesne and still prospered. There were clean rock,
the water, the marvelous forest. He brought cassava cake,
fruit, fish from the sea. He brought me for entertainment
a talking parrot, and there lived in a seam of the rock a
beautiful lizard with whom I made friends. The air was
balm, balm! A steady soft wind made cataract sound in
the forest. Sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight, were great

It was November; it was mid-November and after.

Now I was strong and wandered in the forest, though
never far from that cliff and cavern. It was settled between
us that in five days I should go down with Guarin
to Guacanagari. He proposed that I should be taken formally
into the tribe. They had a ceremony of adoption,
and after that Juan Lepe would be Guarico. He would
live with and teach the Guaricos, becoming butio--he and
Guarin butios together. I pondered it. If the Admiral
came not again it was the one thing to do.

I remember the very odor and exquisite touch of the
morning. Guarin was away. I had to myself cave and
ledge and little waterfall and great trees that now I was
telling one from another. I had parrot and lizard and spoke
now to the one and now to the other. I remember the
butterflies and the humming birds.

I looked out to sea and saw a sail!

It was afar, a white point. I leaned against the rock for
I was suddenly weak who the moment before had felt strong.
The white point swelled. It would be a goodly large ship.
Over blue rim slipped another flake. A little off I saw a
third, then a fourth. Juan Lepe rubbed his eyes. Before
there came no more he had counted seventeen sail. They
grew; they were so beauteous. Toward the harbor sailed
a fleet. Now I made out the flagship.

O Life, thou wondrous goddess of happenings!

An hour I sat on cliff edge and watched. They were
making in, the lovely white swans. When they were fairly
near, when in little time the foremost would bring to, down
sail and drop anchor, Juan Lepe, gathering his belongings
together, bidding the lizard farewell and taking the parrot
with him on shoulder, left cavern and cliff and took Guarin's
path down through the forest.

Halfway to level land he met Guarin coming up; the
two met beneath a tree huge and spreading, curtained with
a vine, starred with flowers. "He has come!" cried the
Indian. "They have come!" In his voice was marveling,
awe, perturbation.

The sun in the sky shone, and in the bay hung that wonder
of return, the many ships for the _Nina_. Juan Lepe and
Guarin went on down through wood to a narrow silver
beach, out upon which had cast itself an Indian village.

Guacanagari was not here. He waited within his house
for the Admiral. But his brother, and others of Guarico,
saw me and there rose a clamor and excitement that for the
moment took them from the ships. Guarin explained and
Juan Lepe explained, but still this miraculous day dyed also
for them my presence here. I had been slain, and had come
to life to greet the Great Cacique! It grew to a legend. I
met it so, long afterwards in Hispaniola.


ONE by one were incoming, were folding wings, were
anchoring, Spanish ships. Three were larger each
than the _Santa Maria_ and the _Pinta_ together; the
others caravels of varying size. Seventeen in all, a fleet,
crowded with men, having cannon and banners and music.
Europe was coming with strength into Asia! The Indians
on the beach were moved as by an unresting wind. They
had terror, they had delight, and some a mere stupidity of
staring. The greatest ship, the first to anchor, carried the
banner of Castile and Leon, and the Admiral's banner.
Now a boat put off from her, boats also from the two ships
next in grandeur.

As they came over the blue wave Juan Lepe stepped down
sand to water edge. Not here, but somewhat to the west,
before La Navidad would one look for this anchoring. He
thought rightly that the Admiral came here from La Navidad,
where he found only ruin, but also some straying Indian
who could give news. So it was, for presently in the
foremost boat I made out two Guarico men. They had told
of Caonabo and of Guacanagari's fortunes, and of every
Spaniard dead of that illness or slain by Caonabo. They
would put Juan Lepe among these last, but here was Juan
Lepe, one only left of that thirty-eight.

The boat approached. I saw the bared head, higher than
any other, the white hair, the blue-gray eyes, the strong
nose and lips, the whole majestic air of the man, as of a
great one chosen. Master Christopherus--Don Cristoval
--_el Almirante_! One of the rowers, and that was Sancho
with whom I had walked on the Fishertown road, first saw
me and gave a startled cry. All in the boat turned head.
I heard the Admiral's voice, "Aye, it is! It is!"

Boat touched sand, there was landing. All sprang out.
The Admiral took me in his arms. "You alone--one

I answered, "One only. The most died in their duty."

He released me. "senors, this is senor Juan Lepe, that
good physician whom we left. Now tell--tell all--before
we go among this folk!"

By water edge I told, thirty men of Spain around me.
A woeful story, I made it short. These men listened, and
when it was done fell a silence. Christopherus Columbus
broke it. "The wave sucks under and throws out again,
but we sail the sea, have sailed it and will sail it!--Now
were these Indians false or fair?"

I could tell how fair they had been--could praise Guarico
and Guacanagari and Guarin. He listened with great satisfaction.
"I would lay my head for that Indian!"

Talk with him could not be prolonged, for we were in
a scene of the greatest business and commotion. When I
sought for Guarin he was gone. Nor was Guacanagari yet
at hand. I looked at the swarming ships and ship boats,
and the coming and coming upon the beach of more and
more clothed men, and at the tall green palms and the feathered
mountains. This host, it seemed to me, was not so
artlessly amazed as had been we of the _Santa Maria_, the
_Pinta_ and the _Nina_, when first we came to lands so strange
to Europe. Presently I made out that they had seen others
of these islands and shores. Coming from Spain they had
sailed more southerly than we had done before them. They
had made a great dip and had come north-by-west to Hispaniola.
I heard names of islands given by the Admiral, Dominica,
Marigalante, Guadaloupe, Santa Maria la Antigua,
San Juan. They had anchored by these, set foot
upon them, even fought with people who were Caribs, Caribals
or Cannibals. They had a dozen Caribs, men and
women, prisoners upon the _Marigalante_ that was the Admiral's

This group about Juan Lepe, survivor of La Navidad,
talked like seasoned finders and takers. For the most part
they were young men and hidalgos, fighters against the
Moors, released by the final conquest of those paynims, out
now for further wild adventure and for gold with which to
return, wealthy and still young, to Spanish country, Spanish
cities, Spanish women! They had the virtue and the vice
of their sort, courage, miraculous generosities and as miraculous
weaknesses. Gold, valor, comradeship--and eyes resting
appraisingly upon young Guarico women there upon the
silver beach with Guarico men.

I heard one cry "Master Juan Lepe!" and turning found
Luis Torres. We embraced, we were so glad each to see
the other. My hidalgos were gone, but before I could
question Luis or he me, there bore down upon us, coming
together like birds, half a dozen friars. "We bring twelve
--number of the Apostles!" said Luis. "Monks and
priests. Father Bernardo Buil is their head. The Holy
Father hath appointed him Vicar here. You won't find him
a Fray Ignatio!"

A bull-necked, dark-browed, choleric looking man addressed
me. His Benedictine dress became him ill. He
should have been a Captain of Free Lances in whatever
brisk war was waging. He said, "The survivor, Juan
Lepe?--We stopped at your La Navidad and found ruin
and emptiness. There must have been ill management--

"They are all dead," I answered. "None of us manage
the towers so very well!"

He regarded me more attentively. "The physician, Juan
Lepe. Where did you study?"

"In Poitiers and in Paris, Father."

"You have," he said, "the height and sinew and something
of the eye and voice of a notable disappeared heretic,
Jayme de Marchena, who slipped the Dominicans. I saw
him once from a doorway. But that the Prior of La Rabida
himself told me that he had accurate knowledge that
the man was gone with the Jews to Fez, I could almost think
--But of course it is not possible, and now I see the differences."

I answered him with some indifferent word, and we came
to the Haytiens, and how many had Fray Ignatio made
Christian? "I knew him," said the Benedictine. "A good
man, but weak, weak!"

Juan Lepe asked of the Indians the Admiral had taken
to Spain. "But six reached us alive. We instructed them
and baptized them. A great event--the Grand Cardinal
and the King and the Queen attending! Three died during
the summer, but blessedly, being the first of all their people
in all time to enter heaven. A great salvation!"

He looked at the forest and mountains, the sands, the
Guaricos, as at a city he was besieging.

"Ha!" said Father Buil, and with his missionaries moved
up the beach.

Luis and I began to talk. "No need to tell me that Spain
gave you welcome!"'

"The royalest ever! First we came to Lisbon, driven
in by storm, and had it there from King John, and then to
Palos which, so to speak, went mad! Then through Spain
to Barcelona, where was the court, and all the bells in every
town ringing and every door and window crowded, and here
is the Faery Prince on a white charger, his Indians behind
him and gold and parrots and his sailors! Processions and
processions--alcalde and alcayde and don and friar and
priest, and let us stop at the church and kneel before high
altar, and vow again in seven years to free the Sepulchre!
He hath walked and ridden, waked and slept, in a great, high
vision! Most men have visions but he can sustain vision."

"Aye, he can!"

"So at last into Barcelona, where grandees meet us, and
so on to the court, and music as though the world had turned
music! And the King and Queen and great welcome, and,
`Sit beside us, Don Cristoval Colon!' and `Tell and tell
again', and `Praise we Most High God!' "

"It is something for which to praise! Ends of the earth
beginning to meet."

"Aye! So we write that very night to the Pope to be
confirmed that the glory and profit under God are to Castile
and Aragon. But the Queen thought most of the heathen
brought to Christ. And the Admiral thinks of his sons
and his brothers and his old father, and of the Holy Sepulchre
and of the Prophecies, and he has the joy of the
runner who touches the goal!--I would you could have
seen the royalty with which he was treated--not one day
nor week but a whole summer long--the flocking, the bowing
and capping, the `Do me the honor--', the `I have a
small petition.' Nothing conquers like conquering!"

"He had long patience."

"Aye. Well, he is at height now. But he has got with
him the old disastrous seeds.--Fifteen hundred men, and
among them quite a plenty like Gutierrez and Escobedo!
But there are good men, too, and a great lot of romantical
daredevils. No pressing this time! We might have brought
five thousand could the ships have held them. `Come to the
Indies and make your fortune!'--`Aye, that is my desire!' "

I said, "I am looking now at a romantical daredevil
whom I have seen before, though I am sure that he never
noticed me."

"Don Alonso de Ojeda? He is feather in cap, and sometimes
cap, and even at stress head within the cap! Without
moving you've beckoned him."

There approached a young man of whom I knew something,
having had him pointed out by Enrique de Cerda in
Santa Fe. I had before that heard his name and somewhat
of his exploits. In our day, over all Spain, one might find or
hear of cavaliers of this brand. War with the Moor had
lasted somewhat longer than the old famed war with Troy.
It had modeled youth; young men were old soldiers. When
there came up a sprite like this one he drank war like wine.
A slight young man, taut as a rope in a gale, with dark
eyes and red lips and a swift, decisive step, up he came.

"Oh, you are the man who lived out of all your fort?
How did you manage it?"

"I had a friend among these friendly Indians who rescued

"Yes! It is excellent warfare to have friends.--You
have seen no knight nor men-at-arms, nor heard of such?"

"Not under those names."

"How far do you think we may be from true houses
and cities, castles, fortresses?"

"I haven't the least idea. By the looks of it, pretty far."

"It seems to me that you speak truth," he answered.
"Well, it isn't what we looked for, but it's something! Room
yet to dare!" Off he went, half Mercury, half Mars,
and a sprig of youth to draw the eyes.

"Was there nothing ever heard," I asked Luis, "of the
_Pinta_ and Martin Pinzon?"

"He is dead."

"You saw the wreck?"

"No, not that way, though true it is that he wrecked
himself! I forget that you know nothing. We met the
_Pinta_ last January, not a day from here, with Monte Cristi
there yet in sight. When he came aboard and sat in the
great cabin I do not know what he said, except that it was
of separation by that storm, and the feeling that two parties
discovering would thereby discover the more, and the better
serve their Majesties. The Admiral made no quarrel with
him. He had some gold and some news of coasts that we
had not seen. And he did not seem to think it necessary
to seem penitent or anything but just naturally Martin
Pinzon. So on we sailed together, he on the _Pinta_ and the
Admiral on the _Nina_. But that was a rough voyage home
over Ocean-Sea! Had we had such weather coming, might
have been mutiny and throat-cutting and putting back,
Cathay and India being of no aid to dead men! Six times
at least we thought we were drowned, and made vows,
kneeling all together and the Admiral praying for us, Fray
Ignatio not being there. Then came clear, but beyond
Canaries a three days', three nights' weather that truly drove
us apart, the _Pinta_ and the _Nina_. We lost each other in the
darkness and never found again. We were beaten into the
Tagus, the _Pinta_ on to Bayonne. Then, mid-March, we came
to Palos, landed and the wonder began. And in three days
who should come limping in but the _Pinta_? But she missed
the triumph, and Martin Pinzon was sick, and there was
some coldness shown. He went ashore to his own house,
and his illness growing worse he died there. Well, he had

"Aye," I answered, with a vision of the big, bluff, golden-haired man.

"Vicente Pinzon is here; his ship the _Cordera_ yonder.
What's the stir now? The Admiral will go to see Guacanagari?"

That, it seemed, was what it was, and presently came
word that Juan Lepe should go with him. A body of cavaliers
sumptuously clad, some even wearing shining corselet,
greaves and helm, was forming about him who was himself
in a magnificent dress. Besides these were fifty of the
plainer sort, and there lacked not crossbow, lance and arquebus.
And there were banners and music. We were going
like an army to be brotherly with Guacanagari. Father
Buil was going also, and his twelve gowned men. "Who,"
I asked Luis, "is the man beside the Admiral? He seems
his kin."

"He is. It is his brother, Don Diego. He is a good
man, able, too, though not able like the Admiral. They
say the other brother, Bartholomew, who is in England or
in France, is almost as able. How dizzily turns the wheel
for some of us! Yesterday plain Diego and Bartholomew,
a would-be churchman and a shipmaster and chart-maker!
Now Don Diego--Don Bartholomew! And the two sons
watching us off from Cadiz! Pages both of them to the
Prince, and pictures to look at! `Father!' and `Noble
father! and `Forget not your health, who are our Dependance!' "

Waiting for all to start, I yet regarded that huge dazzle
upon the beach, so many landed, so many coming from
the ships, the ships themselves so great a drift of sea birds!
As for those dark folk--what should they think of all
these breakers-in from heaven? It seemed to me to-day
that despite their friendliness shown us here from the first,
despite the miracle and the fed eye and ear and the excitement,
they knew afar a pale Consternation.

At last, to drum and trumpet, we passed from shining
beach into green forest. I found myself for a moment beside
Diego Colon--not the Admiral's brother, but the young
Indian so named. Now he was Christian and clothed, and
truly the Haitiens stared at him hardly less than at the
Admiral. I greeted him and he me. He tried to speak in
Castilian but it was very hard for him, and in a moment we
slipped into Indian.

I asked him, "How did you like Spain?"

He looked at me with a remote and childlike eye and began
to speak of houses and roads and horses and oxen.

A message came from the Admiral at head of column. I
went to him. Men looked at me as I passed them. I was
ragged now, grizzle-bearded and wan, and they seemed to
say, "Is it so this strange land does them? But those first
ones were few and we are many, and it does not lie in our
fortune! Gold lies in ours, and return in splendor and
happiness." But some had more thoughtful eyes and truer
sense of wonder.

We found Guacanagari in a new, large, very clean house,
and found him lying in a great hammock with his leg bound
with cotton web, around him wives and chief men. He sat
up to greet the Admiral and with a noble and affecting air
poured forth speech and laid his hand upon his hidden hurt.

Now I knew, because Guarin had told me so, that that
wound was healed. It had given trouble--the Caribs poisoned
their darts--but now it was well. But they are
simpler minded than we, this folk, and I read Guacanagari
that he must impress the returning gods with his fidelity.
He had proved it, and while Juan Lepe was by he did not
need this mummery, but he had thought that he might need.
So, a big man evidently healthful, he sighed and winced and
half closed his eyes as though half dying still in that old
contest when he had stood by the people from the sky. I
interpreted his speech, the Admiral already understanding,
but not the surrounding cavaliers. It was a high speech or
high assurance that he had done his highest best.

"Do I not believe that, Guacanagari?" said the Admiral,
and thinking of Diego de Arana and Fray Ignatio and others
and of the good hope of La Navidad, tears came into his

He sat upon the most honorable block of wood which was
brought him and talked to Guacanagari. Then at his gesture
one brought his presents, a mirror, a rich belt, a knife, a pair
of castanets. Guacanagari, it seemed, since the sighting of
the ships, had made collection on his part. He gave enough
gold to make lustful many an eye looking upon that scene.

The women brought food and set before the Spaniards
in the house. I found Guarin and presently we came to
be standing without the entrance--they had no doors;
sometimes they had curtains of cotton--looking upon that
strange gathering in the little middle square of the town.
So many Spaniards in the palm shadows, and the women
feeding them, and Alonso de Ojeda's hand upon the arm of
a slender brown girl with a wreath of flowers around her
head. Father Buil was within with the Admiral, truculently
and suspiciously regarding the idolater who now had left
the hammock and seemed as well of a wound as any there!
But here without were eight or ten friars, gathered together
under a palm tree, making refection and talking
among themselves. One devout brother, sitting apart and
fasting, told his beads.

Said Guarin, "I have been watching him. He is talking
to his _zeme_.--They are all butios?"

"Yes. Most of them are good men."

"What is going to happen here to all my people? Something
is over against me and my people, I feel it! Even
the cacique has fear."

"It is the dark Ignorance and the light Ignorance, the
clothed Ignorance and the naked Ignorance. I feel it too,
what you feel. But I feel, O Guarin, that the inner and
true Man will not and cannot take hurt!"

He said, "Do they come for good?"

I answered, "There is much good in their coming. Seen
from the mountain brow, enormous good, I think. In the
long run I am fain to think that all have their market here,
you no less than I, Guacanagari no less than the Admiral."

"I do not know that," he said. "It seems to me the
sunny day is dark."

I said, "In the main all things work together, and in the
end is honey."

Out they came from palm-roofed house, the Admiral of
the Ocean-Sea and Viceroy of what Indies he could find
for Spain and Spain could take, and the Indian king or
grandee or princeling. Perceiving that what he did was
appreciated for what it was, Guacanagari had recovered his
lameness. The cotton was no longer about his thigh; he
moved straight and lightly,--a big, easy Indian.

It was now well on in the afternoon, but he would go with
the Mighty Stranger, the Great Cacique his friend, to see
the ships and all the wonders. His was a childlike craving
for pure novelty and marvel.

So we went, all of us, back through vast woodland to
cerulean water. Water was deep, the _Marigalante_ rode close
in, and about and beyond her the _Santa Clara_, the _Cordera_,
the _San Juan_, the _Juana_, another _Nina_, the _Beatrix_ and
many another fair name. They were beautiful, the ships
on the gay water and about them the boats and the red
men's canoes.

We went to the _Marigalante_, I with the Admiral. Dancing
across in the boat there spoke to me Don Diego Colon,
born Giacomo Colombo, and I found him a sober, able man,
with a churchly inclination. Here rose the Marigalante,
and now we were upon it, and it was a greater ship than the
_Santa Maria_, a goodly ship, with goodly gear aboard and
goodly Spaniards. Jayme de Marchena felt the tug of
blood, of home-coming into his country.


FINDING young Sancho upon the _Marigalante_, I kept
him beside me for information's sake. He, too, had
his stories. And he asked me how Pedro and Fernando

In this ship were two sets of captives, animals brought
from Spain and Indians from those fiercer islands to the
south. The _Monsalvat_ that was a freight ship had many
animals, said Sancho, cattle and swine and sheep and goats
and cocks and hens, and thirty horses. But upon the _Marigalante_,
well-penned, the Admiral had a stallion and two
mares, a young bull and a couple of heifers, and two dogs
--bloodhounds. The Caribs were yonder, five men in all.

He took me to see them. They were tall, strong, sullen
and desperate in aspect, hardier, fiercer than Indians of
these northward lands. But they were Indians, and their
guttural speech could be made out, at least in substance.
They asked with a high, contemptuous look when we meant
to slay and eat them.

"They eat men's flesh, every Caribal of them! We saw
horrid things in Guadaloupe!"

Away from these men sat or stood seven women. "They
were captives," said Sancho. "Caribs had ravished them
from other islands and they fled in Guadaloupe to us."

These women, too, seemed more strongly fibred, courageous,
high of head than the Hayti women. There was among
them one to whom the others gave deference, a chieftainess,
strong and warlike in mien, not smoothly young nor after
their notions beautiful, but with an air of sagacity and pride.
A ship boy stood with us. "That is Catalina," he said.
"Ho, Catalina!"

The woman looked at him with disdain and what she
said was, "Young fool with fool-gods!"

"They came to us for refuge," said Sancho. "We think
they are Amazons. There was an island where they fought
us like men--great bow-women! Don Alonso de Ojeda
first called this one Catalina, so now we all call her Catalina.
At first they liked us, but now that they are safe away from
Caribs--all but these five and they can't hurt them--
they sit and pine! I call it ungrateful, Catalina!"

We moved away. There came from the great cabin where
they had wine and fine sweet cakes the Admiral and Guacanagari,
with them Don Diego and three or four cavaliers.
Guarin was not with the cacique, upon the _Marigalante_.
He would not come. I had a vision of him, in the forest,
seated motionless, communing with the deepest self to
which he could reach, seeking light with the other light-seekers.

Christopherus Columbus beckoned me and I went the
round of the ship with him and others and his guest, this
far-away son of Great India. So, presently, he was taken to
view the horses and the cattle. Whoever hath seen lions
brought to a court for show hath seen some shrinking from
too-close and heard timorous asking if the bars be really
strong. And the old, wild beasts at Rome for the games.
If one came by chance upon them in a narrow quarter
there might be terror. And the bull that we goad to madness
for a game in Spain--were barriers down would come
a-scrambling! This cacique had never seen an animal larger
than a fox or a dog, Yet he stood with steadiness, though
his glance shot here and there. The stallion was restless
and fiery-eyed; the bull sent forth a bellow. "Why do they
come? What will they do here? Will you put them in the
forest? The people will be afraid to wander!"

He looked away to sky and sea and shore. "It grows
toward night," he said. "I will go back to my town."

The Admiral said, "I would first show you the Caribs,"
and took him there where they were bound. The Haytien
regarded them, but the Caribs were as contemptuously silent
as might have been Alonso de Ojeda in like circumstances.
Only as Guacanagari turned away, one spoke in a fierce,
monotonous voice. "You also, Haytien, one moon!"

"You lie! Only Caribs!" Guacanagari said back.

The cacique stood before the woman whom they called
Catalina. She broke into speech. It was cacique to
cacique. She was from Boriquen--she would return in a
canoe if she were free! Better drown than live with the
utterly un-understandable--only that they ate and drank
and laid hold of women whether these would or would not,
and were understandable that far! Gods! At first she
thought them gods; now she doubted. They were magicians.
If she were free--if she were free--if she were free!
Home--Boriquen! If not that, at least her own color and
the understandable!"

Guacanagari stood and listened. She spoke so fast--the
Admiral never became quite perfect in Indian tongues, and
few upon the _Marigalante_ were so at this time. Juan Lepe
understood. But just as he was thinking that in duty bound
he must say to the Admiral, "She is undermining reputation.
Best move away!" Guacanagari made a violent gesture
as though he would break a spell. "Where could they
come from with all that they have except from heaven?
Who can plan against gods? It is sin to think of it! _El
Almirante_ will make you happy, Boriquen woman!"

We left the women. But Guacanagari himself was not
happy, as he had been that Christmas-tide when first the
gods came, when the _Santa Maria_ was wrecked and he gave
us hospitality.

The Admiral did not see that he was unhappy. The Admiral
saw always a vast main good, and he thought it pearl
and gold in every fiber. As yet, he saw no rotted string,
no snarl to be untangled. It was his weakness, and maybe,
too, his strength.

The sunset hung over this roadstead and the shore. The
mountains glowed in it, the nearer wood fell dark, the beach
showed milky white, a knot of palms upon a horn of land
caught full gold and shone as though they were in heaven.
Over upon the _Cordera_ they were singing. The long cacique-canoe shot out from the shadow of the 

Sun dipped, night cupped hands over the world. The long
day of excitement was over. Mariners slept, adventurers
gentle and simple, the twelve friars and Father Buil. Seventeen
ships, nigh fifteen hundred men of Europe, swinging
with the tide before the land we were to make Spanish.

The watch raised a cry. Springing from his bed Juan Lepe
came on deck to find there confusion, and under the moon
in the clear water, swimming forms, swimming from us
in a kind of desperate haste and strength. There was shouting
to man the boat. One jostling against me cried that
they were the captive Indians. They had broken bonds,
lifted hatch, knocked down the watch, leaped over side.
Another shouted. No, the Caribs were safe. These were
the women--

  The women--seven forms might be made out--were
not far from land. I felt tingling across to me their hope
and fear. Out of ship shadow shot after them our boat.
Strongly rowed, it seemed to gain, but they made speed
strongly, strongly. The boat got into trouble with the
shallows. The swimmers now stood and ran, now were
racers; in a moment they would touch the dry, the shining
beach. Out of boat sprang men running after them, running
across low white lines of foam. The women, that
strong woman cacique ahead, left water, raced across sand
toward forest. Two men were gaining, they caught at the
least swift woman. The dark, naked form broke from
them, leaped like a hurt deer and running at speed passed
with all into the ebony band that was forest.

Alonso de Ojeda burst into a great laugh. "Well done,

The Admiral's place could ever be told by his head over
all. Moreover his warm, lifted, powerfully pulsing nature
was capable of making around him a sphere that tingled
and drew. One not so much saw him as felt him, here,
there. Now I stood beside him where he leaned over rail.
"Gone," he said. "They are gone!" He drew a deep
breath. I can swear that he, too, felt an inner joy that they
had escaped clutching.

But in the morning he sent ashore a large party under
his brother, Don Diego. We received another surprise. No
Indians on the beach, none in the forest, and when they
came to the village, only houses, a few parrots and the
gardens, dewy fresh under the sun's first streaming. No
Indians there, nor man nor woman nor child, not Guacanagari,
not Guarin, not Catalina and her crew--none! They
were gone, and we knew not where, Quisquaya being a huge
country, and the paths yet hidden from us or of doubtful
treading. But the heaped mountains rose before us, and
Juan Lepe at least could feel assured that they were gone
there. They vanished and for long we heard nothing of
them, not of Guacanagari, nor of Guarin who had saved
Juan Lepe, not of Catalina, nor any.

This neighborhood, La Navidad and the shipwreck of the
_Santa Maria_, burned Guarico and now this empty village,
perpetual reminder that in some part our Indian subjects
liked us not so well as formerly and could not be made
Christian with a breath, grew no longer to our choice.
Something of melancholy overhung for the Admiral this part
of Hispaniola. He was seeking a site for a city, but now
he liked it not here. The seventeen ships put on sail and,
a stately flight of birds greater than herons, pursued their
way, easterly now, along the coast of Hispaniola.

Between thirty and forty leagues from the ruin of La
Navidad opened to us a fair, large harbor where two rivers
entered the sea. There was a great forest and bright protruding
rock, and across the south the mountains. When
we landed and explored we found a small Indian village that
had only vaguely heard that gods had descended. Forty
leagues across these forests is a long way. They had heard
a rumor that the cacique of Guarico liked the mighty
strangers and Caonabo liked them not, but as yet knew
little more. The harbor, the land, the two rivers pleased us.
"Here we will build," quoth the Viceroy, "a city named


CHRISTMASTIDE, a year from the sinking of the
_Santa Maria_, came to nigh two thousand Christian men
dwelling in some manner of houses by a river in a
land that, so short time before, had never heard the word
"Christmas." Now, in Spain and elsewhere, men and
women, hearing Christmas bells, might wonder, "What
are they doing--are they also going to mass--those
adventurers across the Sea of Darkness? Have they converted
the Indies? Are they moving happily in the golden,
spicy lands? Great marvel! Christ now is born there as

Juan Lepe chanced to be walking in the cool of the evening
with Don Francisco de Las Casas, a sensible, strong man,
not unread in the philosophers. He spoke to me of his son,
a young man whom he loved, who would sooner or later
come out to him to Hispaniola, if he, the elder, stayed here.
So soon as this we had begun to speak thus, "Come out to
Hispaniola." "Come out to Isabella in Hispaniola." What
a strong wind is life, leaping from continent to continent and
crying, "Home wherever I can breathe and move!" This
young man was Bartolome, then at Salamanca, at the University.
Bartolome de Las Casas, whom Juan Lepe should
live to know and work with. But this evening I heard the
father talk, as any father of any promising son.

With us, too, was Don Juan Ponce de Leon, who had a
story out of Mandeville of a well by the city of Polombe in
Prester John's country. If you drank of the well, though
you were dying you would never more have sickness, and
though you were white-bearded you would come young

The palms waved above Isabella that was building behind
the camp by the river. It was beginning, it was planned
out; the stone church, the stone house of the Viceroy were
already breast-high. A Spanish city building, and the bells
of Europe ringing.

Out sprang the noise of a brawl.--There was that in the
Admiral that would have when it could outward no less
than inward magnificence. He could go like a Spartan or
Diogenes the Cynic, but when the chance came--magnificence!
With him from Spain traveled a Viceroy's household.
He had no less than thirty personal servants and
retainers. Hidalgos here at Isabella had also servants,
but no one more than two or three. It was among these
folk that first arose our amazing jealousies and envies. Now
and again the masters must take part. Not the Viceroy
who in such matters went very stately, but certain of our
gentlemen. Loud and angry voices rose under the palms,
under a sky of pale gold.

Sent for, I found the Admiral lying on his bed, not yet
in his stone house but in a rich and large pavilion brought
out especially for the Viceroy and now pitched upon the
river bank, under palms. I came to him past numbers out
of that thirty. Idle here; they certainly were idle here!
With him I found a secretary, but when he could he preferred
always to write his own letters, in his small, clear,
strong hand, and now he was doing this, propped in bed,
in his brow a knot of pain. He wrote many letters. Long
afterwards I heard that it had become a saying in Spain,
"Write of your matters as often as Christopherus Columbus!"

I sat waiting for him to finish and he saw my eyes upon
yet unfolded pages strewing the table taken from the _Marigalante_
and set here beside him. "Read if you like," he said.
"The ships set sail day after to-morrow."

I took and read in part his letter to a learned man with
whom, once or twice, Jayme de Marchena had talked. It
was a long letter in which the Admiral, thinker to thinker,
set forth his second voyage and now his city building, and
at last certain things for the mind not only of Spain but of
France and Italy and England and Germany. "All lands
and all men whom so far we have come to," wrote the Admiral,
"are heathen and idolaters. In the providence of
God all such are given unto Christendom. Christendom
must take possession through the acts of Christian princes,
under the sanction of Holy Church, allowed by the Pope who
is Christ our King's Viceroy. Seeming hardship bringeth
great gain! Millions of souls converted, are baptized. Every
infant feeleth the saving water. Souls that were lost now
are found. Christ beameth on them! To that, what is it
that the earthly King of a country be changed?"

His quill traveled on over paper. Another sheet came
into my hand. I read it, then sat pondering. He sighed
with pain, pushed all aside and presently bade the secretary
forth. When the man was gone he told me of an agony
behind his eyes that now stabbed and now laid him in a
drowsiness. I did what I could for him then waited until
the access was over. It passed, and he took again his pen.

I said, "You advise that there be made a market for
Carib slaves, balancing thus the negroes the Portuguese are
bringing in, and providing a fund for our needs--"

He said, "They are eaters of men's flesh, intractable and
abominable, not like the gentler people we find hereabouts!
It is certain that before long, fleet after fleet coming, our
two thousand here growing into many thousands, more
cities than Isabella arising, commerce and life as in Europe
beginning--Well, these fiercer, Caribal islands will be overrun,
taken for Spain! What better to do with their people?
I do not wish to slay them and eat them!"


"How many Moors in Castile and Arragon, slaves and
none the worse for it, being baptized, being kindly enough
entreated! And now the Portuguese bring Negroes, and
are they the worse off, being taken from a deep damnation?
Long ago, I have read, the English were taken to Rome and
sold in the market place, and the blessed Gregory, seeing
them, cried, `Christ shall be preached in their nation!'
Whereupon he sent Augustine and all England was saved.--
Look you, this world is rude and worketh rudely! But it
climbs in the teeth of its imperfections!"

"I do not doubt that," I said. "When it wills to climb."

"I do but lay it before the Sovereigns," he answered.
"I do not know what they will think of it there. But truly
I know not what else to do with these Asiatics when they
withstand us! And even in slavery they must gain from
Christians! What matters masters when they find the True

Juan Lepe brooded still while the pen scratched and
scratched across the page. The noise ceased. I looked up
to see if he were in pain again, and met gray-blue eyes as
longing as a child's. "What I would," he said, "is that
the Lord would give to me forever to sail a great ship, and
to find, forever to find! The sea is wider than the land,
and it sends its waves upon all lands. Not Viceroy, but
the Navigator, the Finder--"

Juan Lepe also thought that there streamed his Genius.
Here he was able, but there played the Fire. But he, like
many another, had bound himself. Don Cristoval Colon--
Viceroy--and eighths and tenths!


TWELVE of our ships went home to Spain.

February wheeled by. March was here, and every
day the sun sent us more heat.

The Indians around us still were friendly--women and
all. From the first there was straying in the woods with
Indian women. Doubtless now, in the San Salvador islands,
in Cuba and in Hispaniola, among those Guaricos fled from
us to the mountains, would be infants born of Spanish
fathers. Juan Lepe contemplated that filling in the sea between
Asia and Europe with the very blood.

Sickness broke out. It was not such as that first sickness
at La Navidad, but here were many more to lie ill. Besides
Juan Lepe, we now possessed three physicians. They
were skillful, they labored hard, we all labored. Men died
of the malady, but no great number. But now among the
idle of mind and soul and the factious arose the eternal
murmur. Not heaven but hell, these new lands! Not wealth
and happy ease, but poverty and miserable toil! Not forever
new spectacle and greedy wonder, but tiresome river,
forest and sea, tiresome blue heaven, tiresome delving and
building, tiresome rules, restrictions, commandments, yeas
and nays! Parties arose, two main parties, and within each
lesser differings.

The Viceroy stiffly withstood the party that was not his,
and upon some slur and insolence took from a man his office.
Followed a week of glassy smoothness. Then suddenly, by
chance, was discovered the plot of Bernal Diaz de Pisa--the
first of many Spanish conspiracies. It involved several hundred men and was no less a thing than the 
seizure in the dark
night of the ships and the setting sail for Spain, there to
wreck the fame of Christopherus Columbus and if possible
obtain the sending out of some prince over him, who would
beam kindly on all hidalgos and never put them to vulgar
work. A letter was found in Bernal Diaz's hand, and if
therein any ill was left unsaid of the Admiral and Viceroy,
I know not what it might be! The "Italian", the "Lowborn",
the "madly arrogant and ambitious", the "cruel"
and "violent", the "tyrant" acted. Bernal Diaz was made
and kept prisoner on Vicente Pinzon's ship. Of his following
one out of ten lay in prison for a month. Of the seamen
concerned three were flogged and all had their pay

One might say that Isabella was builded. Columbus himself
stood and moved in better health. Now he would go
discovering on dry land, to Alonso de Ojeda's glee, glee indeed
of many. The mountains of Cibao, where might be
the gold,--and gold must be had!

And we might find Caonabo, and what peoples were behind
our own mountains, and perhaps come upon Guacanagari.
We went, four hundred men and more, an army with
banners. We wished to impress, and we took any and all
things that might help in that wise. Drum and trumpet
beat and sang. Father Buil was not with us. But three of
his missionaries accompanied us, and they carried a great
crucifix. There were twenty horses, and terrible were these
to this land as the elephants of the Persians to the Greeks.
And much we marveled that Cuba and Hayti had no memory
nor idea of elephants. A throng of Indians would go with
us, and in much they carried our supplies. It was first
seen clearly at this time, I think, the uses that might be
drawn from our heathen subjects. Alonso de Ojeda, Juan
Ponce de Leon and Pedro Margarite rode with the Admiral.
Others followed on black and bay and white horses. Juan
Lepe marched with the footmen. He was glad to find Luis

Before setting out we went to mass in the new church.
Candles burned, incense rose in clouds, the friars chanted,
the bell rang, we took the wafer, the priest lifted the chalice.

The sun rose, the trumpets rang, we were gone. South,
before us, the mountain line was broken by a deep notch.
That would be our pass, afar, and set high, filled with an
intense, a burning sapphire. We had Indian guides.

Day, evening, camp and night. Dawn, trumpets, breakfast
and good understanding and jollity. After breakfast
the march, and where was any road up the heights? And
being none we would make one and did, our hidalgos toiling
with the least. By eve we were in the high pass, level
ground under our feet, above us magnificent trees. We
called it the Pass of the Hidalgos. We threw ourselves down
and slept. At sunrise we pushed on, and presently saw what
Juan Lepe once before had seen, the vast southward-lying
plain and the golden mountains of Cibao.

There rose a cry, it was so beautiful! The Admiral
named it Vega Real, the Royal Plain.

Sweating, panting, we came at last down that most difficult
descent into rolling forest and then to a small bright stream,
beside it garden patches and fifty huts. The inhabitants
fled madly, we heard their frightened shouts and the screaming
of children. Thereafter we tried to keep in advance a
small body of Indians, so that they might tell that the gods
were coming, but that they would not injure.

Acclivity and declivity fell away. We were fully in an
enormous, fertile and populous plain.

The horses and the horsemen! At first they thought that
these were one. When some cowering group was surrounded
and kept from breaking away, when Alonso de Ojeda or
another leaped from steed to earth, from earth again to
steed, they moaned with astonishment and some relief. But
the horses, the horses--never to have seen any great four-footed things, and now these that were proud and 
pawed the
earth and neighed and--De Ojeda's black horse--reared,
curvetted, bounded, appeared to threaten! The eyes, the
mane, the great teeth!--There grew a legend that they
were fed upon men's flesh, red men's flesh!

How many red men were in Quisquaya I do not know. In
some regions they dwelled thickly, in others were few folk.
In this wide, long, laughing plain dwelled many, in clean
towns sunk among trees good to look at and dropping fruit;
by river or smaller stream, with plantings of maize, batata,
cassava, jucca, maguey, and I know not what beside. If
the stream was a considerable one, canoes. They had parrots;
they had the small silent dogs. In some places we saw
clay pots and bowls. They wove their cotton, though not
very skillfully. They crushed their maize in hand mills. We
found caciques and butios, and heard of their main cacique,
Gwarionex. But he did not come to meet us; they said he
had gone on a visit to Caonabo in Cibao. They brought us
food and took our gifts in exchange; they harangued us in
answer to our harangues; they made dances for us. The
children thronged around, fearless now and curious. The
women were kind. Old men and women together, and sometimes
more women than men, sat in a council ring about some
venerable tree.

There was no quarrel and no oppression upon this adventure.
I look back and I see that single journey in Hispaniola
a flower and pattern of what might be.

They gave us what gold they had--freely--and we gave
in return things that they prized. But always they said
Cibao for gold.

We rode and marched afoot, with many halts and turns
aside, five leagues across plain. A large river barred our
way,--the Yaqui they called it. Here we spent two days
in a village a bowshot from the water. We searched for
gold, we sent from Indian to Indian rumor that it was the
highest magic, god-magic that of all things in the world we
most desired and took it from their hands, yet still we paid
for it in goods for which they lusted, and we neither forced
nor threatened force. And though we were four hundred,
yet there might be in the Royal Plain forty thousand, and
their hue and their economy was yet prince in the land, and
the Spaniard a visitor. And there commanded the four hundred
a humane man, with something of the guilelessness of
the child.

We crossed the Yaqui in canoes and upon rafts. White,
brown and black, the horses swam the stream. Again nigh
impenetrable forest, again villages, again clear singing and
running waters. But ever the mountains came closer. At
last we entered hilly country and the streams pushed with
rapidity, flowing to the Yaqui, flowing to the sea. Now we
began to find gold. It glistened in the river sands. Sometimes
we found nuts of it, washed from the rocks far above.
There came upon us the gold fever. Mines--we must open
mines! Fermin Cedo, our essayer, would have it that it
was not Ophir, but at that time he was hardly believed.
The Admiral wrote a letter about these golden mines.

An Indian brought him a piece of amber; another, a
lump of blue stone. We found jasper, we were sure of

We came to a natural rampart, wide at top, steeply descending
on three sides, set in a loop of a little clear river
named Yanique. "Ho!" cried Alonso de Ojeda. "Here is
the cradle for the babe! Round tower, walls, barbican
yonder, and Mother Nature has dug the moat!" He sent
his voice across to the Viceroy. "A fort, senor, a fort!"

Council was held by the Yanique. A fort,--a luckier than
La Navidad! Men left here to collect gold, establish a road,
keep communication with Isabella which in turn should forward
supplies and men. The returning fleet might bring
two thousand--nay, five thousand men! It would certainly
bring asses and mules as well as horses. We should have
burden-bearers. Moreover, a company of Indians might be
trained to come and go as carriers. Train them, set some
sort of penalty for malfeasance.

"They should be taught to mine for us," said Pedro
Margarite. "Pay them? Of course--of course! But do
not pay them too much. Do not we protect them from
Caribs and save their souls to boot? Take it as tribute!"
It was the first time the word was said, in Spanish, here.

We built a fort much after the model of La Navidad
and named it St. Thomas. When after days it was done,
and commandant must be chosen, the Viceroy's choice fell
upon Pedro Margarite. And that was great pity. But he
could not know Margarite then as afterwards he came to
know him. Fifty-six men he left with Margarite, and the
rest of us marched home across the Vega and the northern
mountains to Isabella.

Sickness. Quarrels. Idleness, vanity, dissensions and
accusations. Heat, more sickness, wild quarrels.

Tidings from Margarite at St. Thomas. The Indians
would no longer bring food. Caonabo was threatening from
the higher mountains. The Viceroy wrote to Margarite.
Compel the Indians to bring food, but as it were to compel
them gently!

Quarrels--quarrels at Isabella. Two main parties and
all the lesser ones. Disease and scarcity. Fray Geronimo
arrived from St. Thomas. He had stories. The Viceroy
grew dark red, his eyes lightened. Yet he believed that what
was told pertained to men of Margarite, not to that cavalier
himself. He wrote to Margarite--I do not know what.
But presently a plan arose in his mind and was announced.
Don Alonso de Ojeda was to command St. Thomas. Don
Pedro Margarite should have a moving force of several
hundred Castilians, mainly for exploration, but at need for
other things. Going here and there about the country, it
might impress upon Caonabo that the Spaniard though
gentle by nature, was dangerous when aroused.

Alonso de Ojeda, three hundred men behind him, went
forth on his black horse, to trumpet and drum, very gay
and ready to go. In a week he sent into Isabella six Indians
in chains. These had set upon three of Margarite's
men coming with a letter to the Viceroy and had robbed
them, though without doing them bodily injury. Alonso de
Ojeda had cut off their ears and sent them all in heavily
chained. The Viceroy condemned them to be beheaded, but
when they were on their knees before the block reprieved
them, one by one. He kept them chained for a time for
all visiting Indians to see, then formally pardoned them
and let them go.

Matters quieted. Sickness again sank, a flood retiring,
leaving pools. Alonso de Ojeda and Pedro Margarite reported
peace in Hispaniola. The Admiral came forth from
his house one day and said quietly to this one and that one
that now he meant again to take up Discovery.

He gave authority in Isabella to Don Diego, and made him
a council where sat Father Buil, Caravajal, Coronel and
Juan de Luxan. Then out of five ships we took the _Cordera_,
the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_, and we set sail on April
the twenty-fourth.


THE island, we learned, was named Jamaica. The Admiral
called it Santiago, but it also rests Jamaica.

Of all these lands, outside of the low, small islands
to which we came first, Cuba seemed to us the peaceable
land. Jamaica gave us almost Carib welcome. Its folk had
the largest canoes, the sharpest, toughest lances. Perhaps
they had heard from some bold sea rover that we had come,
but that we were not wholly gods!

Our crossbow men shot amongst them. The arrows failed
to halt them, but when we sent a bloodhound the dog did
our work. It was to them what griffon or fire-breathing
dragon might be to a Seville throng. When the creature
sprang among them they uttered a great cry and fled.
Jamaica is most beautiful.

For not a few days we visited, sailing and anchoring,
lifting again and stopping again. Once the people were
pacified, they gave us kindly enough welcome, trading and
wondering. We slipped by bold coasts and headlands which
we must double, mountains above us. They ran by inland
paths, saving distance, telling village after village. When
we made harbor, here was the thronged beach. Some of
these people wore a slight dress of woven grass and palm
leaves, and they used crowns of bright feathers. We got
from them in some quantity golden ornaments. But south
for gold, south--south, they always pointed south!

The _Cordera_, the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_ set sail
out of the Harbor of Good Weather, in Santiago or Jamaica.
A day and a night of pleasant sailing, then we saw
the great Cuba coast rise blue in the distance. The weather

There was first a marvelous green hush, while clouds
formed out of nothing. We heard a moaning sound and we
did not know its quarter. The sea turned dead man's
color. Then burst the wind. It was more than wind; it
seemed the movement of a world upon us. Bare of all
sails, we labored. We were driven, one from the other.
The mariners fell to praying.

A strange light was around us, as though the tempest
itself made a light. By it I marked the Admiral, upright
where he could best command the whole. He had lashed
himself there, for the ship tossed excessively. His great
figure stood; his white, blowing hair, in that strange light,
made for him a nimbus. It was strange, how the light seemed
to seize that and his brow and his gray-blue eyes. Below
the eyes his lips moved. He was shouting encouragement,
but only the intention could be heard. The intention was
heard. He looked what he was, something more than a bold
man and a brave sea captain, and there streamed from him
comfort. It touched his mariners; it came among them
like tongues of flame.

Darkness increased. We were now among lightnings like
javelins and loud thunder. Then fell the rain, in torrents,
in drops large as plums. It was as though another ocean
was descending upon us.

It lasted and we endured. After long while came lessening
in that weight of rain, and then cessation. Suddenly
the tempest was over. There shone a star -- three stars and
on topmast and bowsprit Saint Elmo's lights.

Our mariners shouted, "Safe--safe! Saint Elmo!"

Suddenly, over all the sky, were stars shining. The Admiral
raised his great voice. "Sing, all of us!

 'Stella Maris--
 Sancta Maria!' "

With the morning the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_,
beaten about, some injury done, but alive! And the coast
of Cuba, nearer, nearer, tall and blue--and at last very tall
and green and gold.

Off Cuba and still off Cuba, the southern coast now, as
against the northern that once we tried for a while. Sail
and come to land, stay a bit, and shake out sails once

Wherever we tarried we found peaceable if vastly excited
Indians. But still naked, but still unwise as to gold
and spices, traders and markets. Cambalu, Quinsai and
Zaiton of the marble bridges!

" `Somewhere,' saith Messer Marco, `in part the country
is savage, filled with mountains, and here come few
strangers, for the king will not have them, in order that his
treasures and certain matters of his kingdom come not into
the world's knowledge.' And again he saith, `The folk here
are naked.'--What wonder then," said the Admiral, "that
we find these things! Yea, I feel surprised at the incessancy,
but I check myself and think, how vast is Asia, and what
variousness must needs be!"

But we moved in a cloud of differences, and while on
the one hand this world was growing familiar, on the other
the sense increased. "How vast indeed must be Asia, if
all this and yet we come not--and now it is going on two
years--to any clear hint of other than this!"

He himself, the Admiral, began to feel this strangeness.
Or rather, he had long felt it and fought the feeling, but
now strongly it came creeping over.

We were among the hugest number of small islands. Starboard
loomed, until it was lost in the farness, that coast
that we were following, but the three ships were in a half-land, half-water world. We wandered in this 
keeping with difficulty our way, so crooked and narrow the
channels, so many the sandbars. From deck it minded me
of that sea of weed we met in the first passage.

Waves of fragrance struck us. "Ha!" cried the Admiral.
"Can you not smell cinnamon, spikenard, nutmeg,
cloves and galingal?" His faith was so strong that we did
smell. From one of these islands, the _Cordera_ lying at
anchor and a boat going ashore, we took a number of pigeons.
So unafraid were these birds that our men approached them
easily and beat them down with a pike. We had them for
supper, and when their crops were opened, the cook found
and brought to the Admiral a number of brown seeds. The
Admiral dropped them into clear water, then smelled and
tasted. "Cloves? Are they not cloves?" He gave to Juan
de la Cosa and to me who also tasted and thought they might
be cloves. But we did not find their tree, and we saw no
signs of ever a merchant of Cathay or Mangi or Ind.

Christopherus Columbus leaned upon the rail of the _Cordera_.
In this islet world we lay at anchor for the night.
"Do you know what it is," he asked, "to have a word color
the whole day long?" He glanced around, but none was
very near. "My Word to-day is _magic_. I'd not give it to
any but you, and I drop my voice in saying it. I'll sail on
through magic and against magic, for I have Help from
Above! But I'll not lay a fearsome word among those who
are not so accorded! All say India hath high magic, and
the Grand Khan takes from that country his astrologers
and sorcerers. I have read that at Shandu, if there be long
raining, they will mount a tower by the palace and wave it
back, so that the falling rain makes but a pleasant wall
around the king's fair garden that itself rests in sunshine.
Also that without touching them they cause the golden
flagons to fill with red wine and to move through air, with
no hand upon them, to the king's table. That was long ago.
We have had no news of them of late. They may do now
more marvelous, vaster things."

"And the moral?"

"I said, `They do them there.' Perhaps this is there."

"I take you!" I said and half-laughed. "We may be in
Cathay all this while, under the golden roofs, with the bells
strung from the eaves. Yonder line of cranes standing in
the shallow water, watching us, may, God wot, be tall magicians
in white linen and scarlet silk!"

He crossed himself. The cranes had lifted themselves
and flown away. "If they heard--"

"Are you in earnest?"

He put his hands over his eyes. "Sometimes I think it
may be fact, sometimes not! Sorcery is a fact, and who
knows how far it may go? At times my brain is like to
crack, I have so cudgeled it!"

That he cudgeled it was true, and though his brain never
cracked and to the end was the best brain in a hundred, yet
from this time forth I began to mark in him an unearthliness.

These islands we named the Queen's Gardens, and escaping
from them came again to clean coast. On we went for
two days, and this part of Cuba had many villages, at sea
edge or a little from the water, and all men and women were
friendly and brought us gifts.

I remember a moonlight night. All were aboard the _Cordera_,
the _Santa Clara_ and the _San Juan_, for we meant to
sail at dawn. We had left a village yet dancing and feasting.
The night was a miracle of silver. Again I stood beside
Christopherus Columbus; from land streamed their
singing and their thin, drumming and clashing music. At
hand it is rather harsh than sweet, but distance sweetened

"What will be here in the future--if there are not already
here, after your notion, great cities and bridges and
shipping, and only our eyes holden and our hands and steps
made harmless? Or nearly harmless, for we have slain
some Indians!"

He had made a gesture of deprecation. "Ah, that, I
hardly doubt, was my fancy! But in the future I see them,
your cities!"

"Do you see them, from San Salvador onward and everywhere,
--Spanish cities?"

"Necessarily--seeing that the Holy Father hath given
the whole of the land to Spain." He looked at the moon
that was so huge and bright, and listened to the savage
music. "If we go far enough--walking afar--who
knoweth what we shall find?" He stood motionless. "_I_
do not know. It is in God's hands!"

"Do you see," I asked, "a great statue of yourself?"

"Yes, I see that."

The moon shone so brightly it was marvel. Land breeze
brought perfume from the enormous forest. "It is too fair
to sleep!" said the Admiral. "I will sit here and think."

He slept little at any time. His days were filled with action.
Never was any who had more business to attend to!
Yet he was of those to whom solitude is as air,--imperiously
a necessity. Into it he plunged through every crack and
cranny among events. He knew how to use the space in
which swim events. But beside this he must make for himself
wide holdings, and when he could not get them by day
he took from night.

We came again to a multitude of islets like to the Queen's
Gardens. And these were set in a strange churned and
curdled sea, as white as milk. Making through it as best
we might, we passed from that silverness and broken land
into a great bay or gulf, so deep that we might hardly find
bottom, and here we anchored close to a long point of Cuba
covered thick with palms.

We went ashore for water and fruit. Solitary--neither
man nor woman! We found tracks upon the sand that some
among us would have it were made by griffons. One of
our men had the thought that he might procure some large
bird for the Admiral's table. Taking a crossbow he passed
alone through the palms into the deeper wood. He was gone
an hour, and when he returned it was in haste, with a chalk
face and great eyes. I was seated in the boat with the master
of the _Cordera_ and heard his tale. He had found what he
thought a natural aisle of the forest and had stolen down
it, looking keenly for pigeon or larger bird. A tree with
drooping branches stood across the aisle, he said. He went
around the trunk, which was a great one, and it was as
though he had turned into the nave of the cathedral. There
was space, but trees like pillars on either side, and at the
end three great trees covered to the tops with vine and purple
grapes. And here he saw before him, under the greatest
tree, a man in a long white gown like a White Friar.
The sight halted him, turned him, he averred, to stone.
Two more men in white dresses but shorter than that of
the first, came from among the trees and he saw behind
these a number in like clothing. He could not tell, now
he thought of it, if they were carrying lances or palms.
We had looked so long for clothed folk that it was the
white clothes he thought of. The same with their faces--
he could not tell about them--he thought they were fair.
Suddenly, it seemed, Pan had fallen upon him and put him
forth in terror. He had turned and raced through the
forest, here to the sea. He did not think the white-clad
men had seen him.

We took him to the Admiral who listened, then brought
his hands together. "Hath it not--hath it not, I ask you
--sound of Prester John?"

With the dawn he had men ashore, and there he went
himself, with him Juan de la Cosa and Juan Lepe. The
crossbowman--it was Felipe Garcia--showed the way.
We found indeed the forest aisle and nave, and the three
trees and the purple grapes, a vast vine with heavy clusters,
but we found no men and no sign of men.

The Admiral was not discouraged. "If he truly saw
then, and I believe he did, then are they somewhere--"

We beat all the neighborhood. Solitary, solitary! He
divided the most determined of us--so many from each
ship--into two bands and sent in two directions. We were
to search, if necessary, through ten leagues. We went, but
returned empty of news of clothed men. We found desolate
forest, and behind that a vast, matted, low growth,
impenetrable and extending far away. At last we determined
that Felipe Garcia had seen white cranes. Unless it were

We sailed on and we sailed on. The _Cordera_, the _Santa
Clara_ and the _San Juan_ were in bad case, hurt in that
storm between Jamaica and Cuba, and wayworn since in
those sandy seas, among those myriad islets. Our seamen
and our shipmasters now loudly wished return to Isabella.
He pushed us farther on and farther on, and still we did
not come to anything beyond those things we had already
reached, nor did we come either to any end of Cuba. And
what was going on in Hispaniola--in Isabella? We had
sailed in April and now it was July.

It became evident to him at last that he must turn. The
Viceroy and the Admiral warred in him, had long warred
and would war. Better for him had he never insisted upon
viceroyship! Then, single-minded, he might have discovered
to the end of his days.

We turned, the _Cordera_, the _Santa Clara_ and the _San
Juan_, and still he believed that the long, long coast of Cuba
was the coast of the Asia main. He saw it as a monster
cape or prolongation, sprouting into Ocean-Sea as sprouts
Italy into Mediterranean. Back--back--the way we had
come, entering again that white sea, entangled again among
a thousand islets!

At last we came again to that Cape of the Cross to which
we had escaped in the Jamaica tempest. One thing he would
yet do in this voyage and that was to go roundabout homeward
by Jamaica and find out further things of that great
and fair island. We left Cuba that still we thought was
the main. Santiago or Jamaica rose before us, dark blue
mountains out of the dark blue sea. For one month we
coasted this island, for always the weather beat us back
when we would quit it, setting our sails for Hispaniola.

We came to Hayti upon the southern side, and because
of some misreckoning failed of knowing that it was Hayti,
until an Indian in a canoe below us, called loudly "El Almirante!"
And yet Isabella was the thickness of the island
from us, and the weather becoming foul, we beat about
for long days, struggling eastward and pushed back, and
again parting upon a stormy night one ship from the others.
The _Cordera_ anchored by a tall, rocky islet and rode out the
storm. Here, when it was calm, we went ashore, but found
no man, only an unreckonable number of pigeons. The
Admiral lay on clean, warm sand and rested with his eyes
shut. I was glad we were nigh to Isabella and his house
there, for I did not think him well. He sat up, embracing
his great knees and looking at the sea and the _Cordera_.
"I have been thinking, Doctor."

"For your health, my Admiral, I wish you could rest a
while from thinking!"

"We were upon the south side of Mangi. I am assured
of that! Could I, this time, have sailed on--Now I see

He dropped his hands from his knees and turned full
toward me. I saw that lying thus for an hour he had gathered
strength and now was passed, as he was wont to pass
after quiet, into a high degree of vision, accompanied by
forth-going energy. "Now I see, and as soon as I may,
I will do! Beyond Mangi, Champa. Beyond Champa, the
coast trending southward, India of the Ganges and the
Golden Chersonese. Land of Gold--Land of Gold!--are
they not forever pointing southward? But it is not of gold
--or wholly gold--that now I think! _Aurea Chersonesus_
maketh a vast peninsula, greater maybe than Italy, Greece
and Spain taken together. But I will round it, and I will
come to the mouth of Ganges! Then again, I read, we go
southward! There is the Kingdom of Maabar where Saint
Thomas is buried, and the Kingdom of Monsul where the
diamonds are found. Then we come to the Island of Zeilan,
where is the Tomb of our Father Adam. Here are sapphires,
amethysts, topaz, garnet and rubies. There is a
ruby here beyond price, large as a man's two fists and a
well of red fire. But what I should think most of would
be to stand where Adam laid him down.--Now from the
Island of Zeilan I sail across the India sea. And I go still
south, three hundred leagues, and I find the great island of
Madagascar whose people are Saracens and there is the
rukh-bird that can lift an elephant, and they cut the red
sandal there and find ambergris. Then lifteth Zanzibar
whose women are monsters and where the market is in
elephant teeth. And so I come at last to the extremity of
Africa which Bartholomew Diaz found--my brother, Don
Bartholomew being with him--and named Good Hope.
So I round Good Hope, and I come home by Cape Bojador
which I myself have seen. I will pass Fez and Ercilla and
the straits and Cadiz. I will enter the River Sagres at
Palos, for there was where I first put forth. The bells of
La Rabida will ring, for a thing is done that was never done
before, and that will not cease to resound! I shall have
sailed around the earth. Christopherus Columbus. Ten
ships. Ten chances of there being one in which I may come

"There have been worse dreams!" said Juan Lepe.

"I warrant you! But I am not dreaming."

He rose and stood with arms outstretched, crosswise.

" `Nought is hid,' saith Scripture, `but shall be found!'
Here is Earth. Do you not think that one day we shall go
all about it? Aye, freely, freely! With zest and joy, discovering
that it is a loved home. For every road some man
or men broke the clods!"

They hailed us from the _Cordera_. One had seen from
topmast the _Santa Clara_.

Still we sailed by the south coast of Hispaniola. We
knew now that it was not Cipango. But it was a great
island, natheless, and one day might be as Cipango. Beata,
Soana, Mona were the little islands that we found. We
sailed between them and our great island, and at last we
came to the corner and turned northward, and again after
days to another corner and sailed west once more, with hopes
now of Isabella. It was the first week in September.

In a great red dawn, Roderigo, the Admiral's servant,
roused Juan Lepe. "Come--come--come, Doctor!"

I sprang from my bed and followed him. Christopherus
Columbus lay in a deep swoon. Round he came from that
and said, "Roderigo, tell them that I am perfectly well, but
wish to see no one!" From that, he came to recognize me.
"Doctor, I am tired. God and Our Lady only know how
tired I am!"

His eyes shut, his head sank deep into the bed. He said
not another word, that day nor the next nor the next. Roderigo
and I forced him to swallow a little food and wine, and
once he rose and made as if to go on deck. But we laid
him down again and he sank into movelessness and a sleep
of all the faculties. Juan de la Cosa took care of the _Cordera_.
So we sighted Isabella and in the harbor four caravels
that had not been there when we had sailed in April.


TWO men came into the cabin, Don Diego Colon, left
in charge of Hispaniola, and with him a tall, powerful,
high-featured man, gray of eye and black and silver
of hair and short beard. As he stood beside the bed, one
saw that he must be kinsman to the man who lay upon it.
"O Bartholomew! And is this the end?" cried Don Diego,
and I knew that the stranger was that brother, Bartholomew,
for whom the Admiral longed.

These three brothers! One lay like a figure upon a tomb
save for the breathing that stirred his silver hair. One,
Don Diego, tall, too, and strong, but all of a gentle, quiet
mien sank on his knees and seemed to pray. One, Don
Bartholomew, stood like rock or pine, but he slowly made the
sign of the cross, and I saw his gray eyes fill.
It seemed to me that the Admiral's eyelids flickered.
"Speak to him again," I said. "Take his hand."

Bartholomew Columbus, kneeling in the _Cordera's_ cabin,
put his arm about his great brother. That is what he called
him,--"Christopher, my great brother, it is Bartholomew!
Don't you know me? Don't you remember? I must go to
England, you said, to see King Henry. To tell him what
you could do--what you have done, my great brother!
Don't you remember? I went, but I was poor like you who
are now Viceroy of the Indies--and I was shipwrecked
besides and lost the little that we had scraped--do you
remember?--and must live like you by making maps and
charts, and it was long before I saw King Henry!--
Christopher, my great brother! He lies like death!"

I said, "He is returning, but he is yet a long way off.
Keep speaking."   

"But King Henry said at last, `Go bring us that brother
of yours, and we think it may be done!' And he gave me
gold. So I would come back to Spain for you, and I reached
Paris, and it was the summer of 1493. Christopher, my
great brother, don't you hear me? For it was at Paris that
I heard, and it came like a flood of glory, fallen in one
moment from Heaven! I heard, `Christopherus Columbus!
He has found the Indies for King Ferdinand and Queen
Isabella!'--Don't you hear, Christopher? All the world
admiring--all the world saying, `Nothing will ever go just
the same way again!' You have done the greatest thing,
my great brother! Doctor, is he dying?"

"He will not die," I said. "You are cordial to him,
though he hears you yet from leagues and leagues away.
Go on!"

"Christopher, from Paris I got slowly, slowly, so
slowly I thought it!--to Seville. But I was not poor.
They gave me gold, the French King gave it, their nobles,
their bishops. I walked in that glory; it flooded me from
you! All your people, Christopher, your sons and your
brothers and our old father. You build us again, you are
our castle and great ship and Admiral! When I came to
Barcelona, how they praised you! When I came to Toledo,
how they praised you! When I came to Seville, how they
praised you! But at Seville I learned that I was too late,
and you were gone upon your second voyage. Then I went
to Valladolid and the Queen and the King were there, and
they said, `He has just sailed, Don Bartholomew, from
Cadiz with sixteen ships--your great brother who hath
crossed Ocean-Sea and bound to us Asia!'--But, sweet
Jesu, what entertainment they gave me, all because I had
lain in our old wooden cradle at Genoa a couple of years or
so after you!--Genoa!--They say Genoa _aches_ because
she did not send you. Christopher, do you remember the
old rock by the sea--and you begged colors from Messer
Ludovico and painted upon it a ship and we called it the
Great Doge--"

The Admiral's eyes opened slowly like a gray dawn; he
moved ever so slightly in the bed, and his lips parted.
"Brother," he whispered.

We got him from the _Cordera_ to Hispaniola shore, and
so in a litter to his own house in Isabella. All our town
was gathered to see him carried there. He began to improve.
The second day he said to Don Bartholomew, "You
shall be my lieutenant and deputy. Adelantado--I name
you Adelantado."

Don Bartholomew said bluntly, "Is not that hard upon

"No, no, Bartholomew!" answered Don Diego, who was
present. "If it were question of a prior of Franciscans, now!
But Christopher knows and I know that I took this stormy
world but for lack of any other in blood to serve him. Our
Lady knows that I never held myself to be the man for the
place! Be Adelantado and never think of me!"

The Admiral upon his bed spoke. "We have always
worked together, we Colombos. When it is done for the
whole there is no jealousy among the parts. I love Diego,
and I think he did well, constraining his nature to it, here
among the selfish, the dangerous and factious! And others
know that he did well. I love him and praise him. But
Bartholomew, thou art the man for this!"

Accordingly, the next noontide, trumpets, and a proclamation
made before the great cross in the middle of our town.
The Viceroy's new-come brother had every lieutenant power.

I do not know if he ever disappointed or abused it. He
became great helper to his great brother.

These three! They were a lesson in what brothers might
be, one to the other, making as it were a threefold being.
Power was in this family, power of frame and constitution,
with vital spirit in abundance; power of will, power of mind,
and a good power of heart. Their will was good toward

They had floods to surmount and many a howling tempest
to out-endure. By and large they did well with life,--very
well. There was alloy, base metal of course, even in the
greatest of the three. They were still men. But they were
such men as Nature might put forward among her goodly

The Viceroy lay still in his bed, for each time he would
rise came faintness and old fatigue. The Adelantado acted.

There was storm in Hispaniola, storm of human passions.
I found Luis Torres, and he put me within leg-stride of the

Margarite! It seemed to begin with Don Pedro Margarite.

He and his men had early made choice between the
rich, the fruitful, easy Vega and the mountains they were
to pierce for gold and hunt over for a fierce mountain
chief. In the Vega they established themselves. The Indians
brought them "tribute", and they exacted over-tribute,
and reviled and slew when it pleased them, and they took
the Indian women, and if it pleased them they burned a
village. "Sorry tale," said Luis. "Old, sorry tale!"

Indians came to Isabella and with fierce gesture and eyes
that cast lances talked to Don Diego. Don Diego sent a
stern letter to Don Pedro Margarite. Don Pedro answered
that he was doing soldier's duty, as the Sovereigns would
understand when it came before them. Don Diego sent
again, summoning him upon his allegiance to Isabella. He
chose for a month no answer to that at all, and the breezes
still brought from the Vega cries of anger, wails of sorrow.
Then he appeared suddenly in Isabella.

Don Diego would have arrested him and laid him in prison
to await the Admiral's return. But with suddenness, that
was of truth no suddenness, Margarite had with him three
out of four of our hidalgos, and more than that, our Apostolic
Vicar of the Indies! Don Diego must bend aside, speak
him fair, remonstrate, not command. The Viceroy of the
Indies and Admiral of Ocean-Sea? Dead probably!--and
what were these Colombos? Italian wool-combers! But here
stood hidalgos of Spain!--"Old story," said Luis Torres.
"Many times, many places, man being one in imperfection."

A choppy sea had followed Margarite's return. Up and
down, to and fro, and one day it might seem Margarite was
in control, and the next, Don Diego, but with Margarite's
wave racing up behind. Then appeared three ships with men
and supplies and Don Bartholomew! Margarite saw Don
Diego strengthened. He was bold enough, Margarite! on
a dark night, at eve, there were so many ships before Isabella
but when morn broke they were fewer by two. Margarite
and the Apostolic Vicar and a hundred disaffected were
departed the Indies!  "Have they gotten to Spain? And
what do they say? God, He knoweth!--There have been
great men and they have been stung to death."

"Ay, ay, the old story!" I said, and would learn about
the pacification of the Indians.

"Why, they are not pacified," answered Luis. "Worse
follows worse. Pedro Margarite left two bands in the
Vega, and from all I hear they turned devils. It looked like
peace itself, didn't it, this great, fair, new land, when first
we stepped upon it, and raised the banner and then the cross?
It's that no longer. They're up, the Indians, Caonabo and
three main caciques, and all the lesser ones under these. In
short, we are at war," ended Luis. "Alonso de Ojeda at
the moment is the Cid. He maneuvers now in the Vega."

I looked around. We were sitting under palm trees, by
the mud wall of our town. Beyond the forest waved in the
wind, and soft white clouds sailed over it in a sky of essential
sapphire. "There's an aspect here of peace!"

"That is because Guacanagari, from his new town, holds
his people still. For that Indian the scent of godship has
not yet departed! He sees the Admiral always as a silver-haired hero bringing warmth and light. He is like a 
for fidelity!--But I saw three Indians from outside his
country curse him in the name of all the other tribes, with a
kind of magical ceremony. Is he right, or is he wrong,
Juan Lepe? Or is he neither the one nor the other, but
Something moves him from above?"

"Have you never seen again the butio, Guarin?"


We sat and looked at the rich forest, and at that strange,
rude, small town called Isabella, and at the blue harbor with
the ships, and the blue, blue sea beyond. Over us--what
is over us? Something seemed to come from it, stealing
down the stair to us!

The fourth day after his return, Don Francisco de Las
Casas, Don Juan Ponce de Leon, and others told to the
Viceroy, lying upon his bed in his house, much what Luis
Torres told Juan Lepe. "Sirs," he said, when they had
done, "here is my brother, Don Bartholomew, who will take
order. He is as myself. For Christopherus Columbus, he
is ill, and must be ill awhile."

The sixth day came Guacanagari, and sat in the room and
talked sorrowfully. Caonabo, Gwarionex, Behechio, Cotubanama,
said, "Were these or were these not gods, yet would
they fight!"

The Admiral said, "The Future is the god. But there
are burrs on his skirt!"

Guacanagari at last would depart. He stood beside the
bed and the silver-haired great cacique from heaven. The
Admiral put forth a lean, knotted, powerful hand and laid
it on the brown, slim, untoiled hand. "I wish peace," he
said. "My brother Bartholomew and I will do what we
can do to gain it. Good peace, true peace!"

Without the room, I asked the cacique about Guarin. He
was gone, he said, to the mountains. He would not stay
with Guacanagari, and he would not go to Caonabo or
Gwarionex. "All old things and ways are broken," said
Guacanagari. "All our life is broken. I do not know what
we have done. The women sit and weep. And I, too, sometimes
I weep!"

The seventh day came in Alonso de Ojeda from St.

The Viceroy and the Adelantado and Ojeda talked alone
together in the Viceroy's house. But next day was held a
great council, all our principal men attending. There it
was determined to capture, if possible, Caonabo, withdrawing
him so from the confederacy. The confederacy might then
go to pieces. In the meantime use every effort to detach
from it Gwarionex who after Guacanagari was our nearest
great cacique. Send a well-guarded, placating embassy to
him and to Cotubanama. Try kindness, kindness everywhere,
kind words and good deeds!--And build another
fort called Fort Concepcion.

Take Caonabo! That was a task for Alonso de Ojeda!
He did it. Five days after the council, the Viceroy being
now recovered and bringing strength to work that needed
strength, the Adelantado vigorously helping, Isabella in a
good mood, the immediate forest all a gold and green peacefulness,
Don Alonso vanished, and with him fourteen picked
men, all mounted.

For six weeks it was as though he had dropped into the
sea, or risen into the blue sky above eyesight.

Then on a Sunday he and his fourteen rode into town.
We had a great church bell and it was ringing, loudly, sonorously.
He rode in and at once there arose a shout, "Don
Alonso de Ojeda!" All his horsemen rode with him, and
rode also one who was not Castilian. On a gray steed a
bare, bronze figure--Caonabo!

The church bell swung, the church bell rang. Riding
beneath the squat tower, all our people pouring forth from
our poor houses upon the returned and his captive, the
latter had eyes, it seemed to me, but for that bell. A
curious, sardonic look of recognition, appraisal, relinquishment,
sat in the Indian's face. From wrist to wrist of Caonabo
went a bright, short chain. The sun glittered upon the
bracelets and the links. I do not know--there was for a
moment--something in the sound of the bell, something
in the gleam of the manacles, that sent out faint pity and
horror and choking laughter.

All to the Viceroy's house, and Don Alonso sitting with
Christopherus Columbus, and Caonabo brought to stand before
them. Indians make much of indifferent behavior, taunting
calm, when taken. It is a point of honor, meeting death
so, even when, as often befalls, their death is a slow and hard
one. Among themselves, in their wars, it is either death
or quick adoption into the victor's tribe. They have no
gaols nor herds of slaves. Caonabo expected death. He
stood, a strong, contemptuous figure. But the Viceroy
meant to send him to Spain--trophy and show, and to be
made, if it could be, Christian.


IT did not end the war. For a fortnight we thought that
it had done so. Then came loud tidings. Caonabo's
wife, Anacaona, had put on the lioness. With her was
Caonabo's brother Manicoatex and her own brother Behechio,
cacique of Xaragua. There was a new confederacy,
Gwarionex again was with it. Only Guacanagari remained.
Don Alonso marched, and the Adelantado marched.

At dawn one morning, four sails. We all poured forth
to watch them grow bigger and yet bigger. Four ships from
Cadiz, Antonio de Torres commanding, and with him colonists
of the right kind, mechanics and husbandmen.

Many proposals, much of order, came with Torres. The
Admiral had gracious letters from the Queen, letters somewhat
cooler from King Ferdinand, a dry, dry letter from
Fonseca. Moreover Torres brought a general letter to all
colonists in Hispaniola. The moral of which was, Trust
and Obey the Viceroy of the Indies, the Admiral of the

"Excellent good!" said Luis Torres. "Don Pedro Margarite
and the Apostolic Vicar had not reached Cadiz when
Don Antonio sailed!"

The Admiral talked with me that night. Gout again crippled
him. He lay helpless, now and then in much pain.
"I should go home with Antonio de Torres, but I cannot!"

"You are not very fit to go."

"I do not mean my body. My will could drag that on
ship. But I cannot leave Hispaniola while goes on formal
war. But see you, Doctor, what a great thing their Majesties
plan for, and what courtesy and respect they show me! See
how the Queen writes!"

I knew that it was balm and wine to him, how she wrote.
The matter in question was nothing more or less than an
amicable great meeting between the two sovereigns and the
King of Portugal, the wisest subjects of both attending.
A line was to be drawn from top to bottom of Ocean-Sea,
and Portugal might discover to the east of it, and Spain to
the west! The Holy Father would confirm, and so the
mighty spoil be justly divided. Every great geographer
should come into counsel. The greatest of them all, the
Discoverer, surely so! The Queen urged the Admiral's presence.

But he could not go. Sense of duty to his Viceroyship
held him as with chains. Then Bartholomew? But Bartholomew
was greatly needed for the war. He sent Don
Diego, a gentle, able man who longed for a cloister and a few
hundred monks, fatherly, admirably, to rule.

Antonio de Torres stayed few weeks in Hispaniola. The
Viceroy and Admiral would have his letter in the royal
hands. Torres took that and took gold and strange plants,
and also six hundred Indian captives to be sold for slaves.

War went on in Hispaniola, but not for long. We had
horses and bloodhounds and men in armor, trained in the
long Moorish strife. There was a battle in the Vega that
ended as it must end.

Behechio and Anacaona fled to the high mountains. Manicoatex
and Gwarionex sued for peace. It was granted, but
a great tribute was imposed. Now all Hayti must gather
gold for Spain.

Now began, a little to-day and a little to-morrow, long
woe for Hayti! It was the general way of our Age. But
our Age sinned.

The year wheeled to October. Juan Aguado came with
four caravels to Isabella, and he brought letters of a different
tenor from those that Torres brought. We heard in
them the voice of Margarite and the Apostolic Vicar.

But now the Admiral was well again, the Indians defeated,
Hispaniola basking in what we blithely called peace.
Aguado came to examine and interrogate. He had his letters.
"Cavaliers, esquires and others, you are to give Don
Juan Aguado faith and credit. He is with you on our part
to look into--"

Aguado looked with a hostile eye toward Viceroy and
Adelantado. Where was a malcontent he came secretly if
might be, if not openly, to Aguado. Whoever had a grudge
came; whoever thought he had true injury. Every one who
disliked Italians, fire-new nobles, sea captains dubbed Admirals
and Viceroys came. Every one who had been restrained
from greed, lust and violence came. Those who
held an honest doubt as to some one policy, or act, questioned,
found their mere doubt become in Aguado's mind
damning certainty. And so many good Spaniards dead in
war, and so many of pestilence, and such thinness, melancholy,
poverty in Isabella! And where was the gold? And
was this rich Asia of the spices, the elephants, the beautiful
thin cloths and the jewels? The friends of Christopherus
Columbus had their say also, but suddenly there arose all
the enemies.

"When he sails home, I will sail with him!" said the Admiral,
"My name is hurt, the truth is wounded!"

In the third week of Aguado's visit, arose out of far
ocean and rushed upon us one of those immense tempests
that we call here "hurricane". Not a few had we seen
since 1492, but none so great, so terrible as this one. Eight
ships rode in the harbor and six were sunk. Aguado's four
caravels and two others. Many seamen drowned; some got
ashore half-dead.

"How will I get away? I must to Spain!" cried Aguado.
The Admiral said, "There is the _Nina_."

The _Nina_ must be made seaworthy, and in the end we
built a smaller ship still which we called the _Santa Cruz_.
Aguado waited, fretting. Christopherus Columbus kept
toward him a great, calm courtesy.

It was at this moment that Don Bartholomew found,
through Miguel Diaz, the mines of Hayna, that was a great
river in a very rich country. The Adelantado brought to
Isabella ore in baskets. Pablo Belvis, our new essayer,
pronounced it true and most rich. Brought in smaller measures
were golden grains, knobs as large as filberts, golden
collars and arm rings from the Indians of Bonao where
flowed the Hayna.

"Ophir!" said the Admiral. "Mayhap it is Ophir!
Then have we passed somewhere the Gulf of Persia and

With that gold he sailed, he and Aguado and two small
crowded ships. With him he carried Caonabo. It was early
March in 1496.

But Juan Lepe stayed in Hispaniola, greatly commended
by the Admiral to the Adelantado. A man might attach
himself to the younger as well as the elder of these brothers.
Don Bartholomew had great qualities. But he hardly
dreamed as did Christopherus Columbus. I loved the latter
most for that--for his dreams.

Days and days and days! We sought for gold in the
Hayna country and found a fair amount. And all Hayti
now, each Indian cacique and his country, must gather for
us. _Must_, not may. We built the fortress of San Cristoval,
and at last, to be nearer the gold than was Isabella,
the Adelantado founded the city of San Domingo, at the
mouth of the Ozema, in the Xaragua country. Spaniards
in Hispaniola now lived, so many in Isabella, so many in
San Domingo, and garrisons in the forts of St. Thomas,
Concepcion, and San Cristoval.

Weeks--months. July, and Pedro Alonzo Nino with
three caravels filled with strong new men and with provisions.
How always we welcomed these incoming ships
and the throng they brought that stood and listened and
thought at first, after the sea tossing and crowding, that
they were come to heaven! And Pedro Nino had left Cadiz
in June, three days after the arrival there of the _Nina_ and
the _Santa Cruz_. "June! They had then a long voyage!"
--"Long enough! They looked like skeletons! If the
Admiral's hair could get whiter, it was whiter."

He had letters for the Adelantado from the great brother,
having waited in Cadiz while they were written.

Juan Lepe had likewise a letter. "I was in the _Nina_,
Don Juan de Aguado in the Santa Cruz. We met at once
head winds that continued. At first I made east, but at last
of necessity somewhat to the southward. We saw Marigalante
again and Guadaloupe, and making for this last, anchored
and went ashore, for the great relief of all, and for
water and provision. Here we met Amazons, wearing plumes
and handling mightily their bows and arrows. After them
came a host of men. Our cannon and arquebuses put them
to flight but three of our sailors were wounded. Certain prisoners
we took and bound upon the ships. In the village
that we entered we found honey and wax. They are Cannibals;
they eat men. After four days we set sail, but met
again tempest and head winds, checking us so that for
weeks we but crept and crawled over ocean. At last we
must give small doles of bread and water. There grew
famine, sickness and misery. I and all may endure these
when great things are about. But they blame me. O God,
who wills that the Unknown become the Known, I betake
myself to Thy court! Famine increased. There are those,
but I will not name them, who cried that we must kill the
Indians with us and eat them that we might live. I stood
and said, `Let the Cannibals stand with the Cannibals!'
But no man budged.--I will not weary thee, best doctor,
with our woes! At last St. Vincent rose out of sea, and
we presently came to Cadiz. Many died upon the voyage,
and among them Caonabo. In the harbor here we find
Pedro Alonzo Nino who will bear my letters.

"In Cadiz I discover both friends and not friends. The
sovereigns are at Burgos, and thither I travel. My fortunes
are at ebb, yet will the flood come again!"

Time passed. Hispaniola heard again from him and
again. When ships put forth from Cadiz -and now ships
passed with sufficient regularity between Spain in Europe
and Spanish Land across Ocean-Sea-he wrote by them.
He believed in the letter. God only knows how many he
wrote in his lifetime! It was ease to him to tell out, to
dream visibly, to argue his case on fair paper. And those
who came in the ships had stories about him-El Almirante!

Were his fortunes at ebb, or were they still in flood?
There might be more views here than one. Some put in
that he was done for, others clamored that he was yet

But he wrote to the Adelantado and also to Juan Lepe
that he sat between good and bad at court. The Queen
was ever the great head of the good. We knew from him
that Pedro Margarite and Father Buil and Juan Aguado
altered nothing there. But elsewhere now there were warm
winds, and now biting cold. And warm and cold, he could
not get the winds that should fill his sails. He begged for
ships--eight he named--that he might now find for the
sovereigns main Asia--not touch here and there upon Cuba
shore, but find the Deep All. But forever promised, he was
forever kept from the ships! True it was that the sovereigns
and the world beside were busy folk! There were
Royal Marriages and Naples to be reconquered for its king.

We heard of confirmations of all his dignities and his
tithes of wealth. He was offered to be made Marquess,
but that he would not have. "The Admiral" was better
title. But he sued for and obtained entail upon his sons
and their sons forever of his nobility and his great Estate
in the West. "Thus," he wrote, "have I made your fortunes,
sons and brothers! But truly not without you and
your love and strengthening could I have made aught! A
brother indeed for my left hand and my right hand, and to
beckon me on, two dear sons!"


TWO years! It was March, 1496, when he sailed in the
_Nina_. It was the summer of 1498 when Juan Lepe
was sent as physician with two ships put forth from
San Domingo by the Adelantado upon a rumor that the
Portuguese had trespassed, landing from a great carrack
upon Guadaloupe. Five days from Hispaniola we met a
hurricane that carried us out of all reckoning. When stillness
came again we were far south. No islands were in
sight; there was only the sea vast and blue. There seemed
to breathe from it a strangeness. We were away and away,
said our pilots, from the curve, like a bent bow, of the Indian
islands. A day and a night we hung in a dead calm.
Dawn broke. "Sail, ho! Sail, ho!"

We thought that it might be the Portuguese and made
preparation. Three ships lifted over the blue rim. There
was now a light wind; it brought them nearer, they being
better sailers than the _Santa Cruz_ and the _Santa Clara_. We
saw the banner. "Castile!" and a lesser one. "El Almirante!"

Now we were close together. The masters hailed, "What
ships?"--"From Hispaniola!"--"From Cadiz. The
Admiral with us! Come aboard, your commander!"

That was Luis Mendez, and in the boat with him went
Juan Lepe. The ships were the _Esperanza_, the _San Sebastian_
and the _San Martin_, the first fairly large and well decked,
the others small. They who looked overside and shouted
welcome seemed a medley of gentle and simple, mariners,
husbandmen, fighting men and hidalgos.

The Admiral! His hair was milk-white, his tall, broad
frame gaunt as a January wolf. Two years had written in
his face two years' experience--fully written, for he was
sensitive to every wind of experience. "Excellency!"--
"Juan Lepe, I am as glad of you as of a brother!--And
what do you do, senors, here?"

Luis Mendez related. "I think it false news about the
Portuguese," said the Admiral and gave reasons why. "Then
shall we keep with you, sir?"

"No, since you are sent out by my brother and must give
him account. Have you water to spare? We will take that
from you. I am bound still south. I will find out what is

Further talk disclosed that he had left Spain with six
ships, but at the Canaries had parted his fleet in two, sending
three under Alonzo de Caravajal upon the straight
course to Hispaniola, and himself with three sailing first to
the Green Cape islands, and thence southwest into an unknown

So desolate, wide and blue it looked when the next day we
parted,--two ships northward, three southward! But Juan
Lepe stayed with the _Esperanza_ and the Admiral. As long
since, between the _Santa Maria_ and the _Pinta_, there had been
exchange of physicians, so now again was exchange between
the _Santa Cruz_ and the _Esperanza_.

Days of blue sea. The _Esperanza_ carried a somewhat
frank and friendly crew of mariners and adventurers. Now
he would sail south, he said, until he was under the Equator.

Days of stark blue ocean. Then out of the sea to the south
rose a point of land, becoming presently three points, as it
were three peaks. The Admiral stared. I saw the enthusiasm
rise in his face. "Did I not write and say to the
Sovereigns and to Rome that in the Name of the Holy
Trinity, I would now again seek out and find? There!
Look you! It is a sign! Trinidad--we will name it

The next morning we came to Trinidad, and the palms
trooped to the water edge, and we saw sparkling streams,
and from the heights above the sea curls of smoke from
hidden huts. We coasted, seeking anchorage, and at last
came into a clear, small harbor, and landing, filled our water
casks. We knew the country was inhabited for we saw the
smokes, but no canoes came about us, and though we met
with footprints upon the sand the men who made them
never returned. We weighed anchor and sailed on along the
southern coast, and now to the south of us, across not many
leagues of blue water, we made out a low shore. Its ends
were lost in haze, but we esteemed it an island, and he
named it Holy Island. It was not island, as now we know;
but we did not know it then. How dreamlike is all our
finding, and how halfway only to great truths! Cuba we
thought was the continent, and the shore that was continent,
we called "island."

Now we came to a long southward running tongue of
Trinidad. Point Arenal, he named it. A corresponding
tongue of that low Holy Island reached out toward it, and
between the two flowed an azure strait. Here, off Point
Arenal, the three ships rested at anchor, and now there
came to us from Holy Island a big canoe, filled with Indians.
As they came near the _Esperanza_ we saw that they
were somewhat lighter in hue than those Indians to whom
we were used. Moreover they wore bright-colored loin
cloths, and twists of white or colored cotton about their
heads, like slight turbans, and they carried not only bows
and arrows to which we were used, but round bucklers to
which we were not used. They looked at us in amazement,
but they were ready for war.

We invited them with every gesture of amity, holding
out glass beads and hawk bells, but they would not come
close to us. As they hung upon the blue water out of the
shadow of the ship, the Admiral would have our musicians
begin loudly to play. But when the drums began, the fife
and the castanets, the canoe started, quivered, the paddlers
dipped, it raced back to that shore whence it came, that shore
that we thought island.

"Lighter than Haytiens!" exclaimed the Admiral. "I
have thought that as we neared the Equator we should find
them black!"

Afterwards he expanded upon this. "Jayme Ferrer thinks
as I think, that the nearer we come to the Equator the more
precious grow all things, the more gold, the more diamonds,
rubies and emeralds, the more prodigal and delicious the
spices! The people are burnt black, but they grow gentler
and more wise, and under the line they are makers of white
magic. I have not told you, Juan Lepe, but I hold that now
we begin to come to where our Mother Earth herself climbs,
and climbs auspiciously!"

"That we come to great mountains?"

"No, not that, though there may be great mountains. But
I have thought it out, and now I hold that the earth is not
an orb, but is shaped, as it were, like a pear. It would take
an hour to give you all the reasons that decide me! But
I hold that from hereabouts it mounts fairer and fairer, until
under the line, about where would be the stem of the pear,
we come to the ancient Earthly Paradise, the old Garden
of Eden!"

I looked to the southward. Certainly there is nowhere
where there is not something!

He gazed over the truly azure and beauteous sea, and
the air blew soft and cool upon our foreheads, and the
fragrance which came to us from land seemed new. "Would
you not look for the halcyons? Trinidad! Holy Island!
We approach, I hold, the Holy Mountain of the World.
And hark to me, Juan Lepe, make vow that if it be permitted
I will found there an abbey whence shall arise perpetual
orison for the souls of our first parents!"

We found that night that the ships swung, caught in a
current issuing from the strait before us. In the morning
we made sail and prepared to pass through this narrow
way between the two lands, seeing open water beyond. We
succeeded by great skill and with Providence over us, for
we met as it were an under wall of water ridged atop with
strong waves. The ships were tossed as by a tempest, yet
was the air serene, the sky blue. We came hardly through
and afterwards called that strait Mouth of the Serpent.
Now we were in a great bay or gulf, and still the sea shook
us and drove us. Calm above, around, but underneath an
agitation of waters, strong currents and boilings. Among
our mariners many took fright. "What is it? Are there
witches? We are in a cauldron!"

Christopherus Columbus himself took the helm of the
_Esperanza_. Many a man in these times chose to doubt
what kind of Viceroy he made, but no man who ever sailed
with him but at last said, "Child of Neptune, and the
greatest seaman we have!"

We outrode danger and came under land to a quiet anchorage,
the _San Sebastian_ and the _San Martin_ following
us as the chickens the hen. Still before us we saw that
current ridge the sea. The Admiral stood gazing upon the
southward shore that hung in a dazzling haze. Now we
thought water, now we thought land. He called to a ship
boy and the lad presently brought him a pannikin of water
dipped from the sea. The Admiral tasted. "Fresh! It is
almost fresh!"

He stood with a kindling face. "A river runs into sea
from this land! Surely the mightiest that may be, rushing
forth like a dragon and fighting all the salt water! So great
a river could not come from an island, no, not if it were
twice as large as Hispaniola! Such a river comes downward
with force hundreds of leagues and gathers children to itself
as it comes. It is not an island yonder; it is a great main!"

We called the gulf where we were the Gulf of the Whale.
Trinidad stood on the one hand, the unknown continent on
the other. After rest in milky water, we set sail to cross
the width of the Whale, and found glass-green and shaken
water, but never so piled and dangerous as at the Mouth of
the Serpent. So we came to that land that must be--we
knew not what! It hung low, in gold sunlight. We saw no
mountains, but it was covered with the mightiest forest.

Anchoring in smooth water, we took out boats and went
ashore, and we raised a cross. "As in Adam we all die,
so in Christ we be alive!" said the Admiral, and then,
"What grandeur is in this forest!"

In truth we found trees that we had not found in our
islands, and of an unbelievable height and girth. Upon the
boughs sat parrots, and we were used to them, but we were
not used to monkeys which now appeared, to our mariners'
delight. We met footprints of some great animal, and presently,
being beside a stream, we made out upon a mud bank
those crocodiles that the Indians call "cayman." And never
have I seen so many and such splendid butterflies. All this
forest seemed to us of a vastness, as the rivers were vast.
There rang in our ears "New! New!"

And at last came an Indian canoe--two--three, filled
with light-hued, hardly more than tawny, folk, with cloth
of cotton about their middles and twisted around their heads,
with bows and arrows and those new bucklers. But seeing
that we did not wish to fight, they did not wish to fight either;
and there was all the old amaze.

Gods--gods--gods! We sought the Earthly Paradise,
and they thought we came therefrom.

Paria. We made out that they called their country Paria.

They had in their canoes a bread like cassava, but more
delicate, we thought, and in calabashes almost a true wine.
We gave them toys, and as they always pointed westward
and seemed to signify that there was _the_ land, we returned
after two hours to the ships and set ourselves to follow the
coast. Two or three of this people would go with the

We came to that river mouth that troubled all this sea.
What shall I say but that it was itself a sea, a green sea,
a fresh sea? We crossed it with long labor. The men of
Paria made us understand that their season of rain was
lately over, and that ever after that was more river. Whence
did it come? They spoke at length and, Christopherus Columbus
was certain, of some heavenly country.

The dawn came up sweet and red. The country before us
had hills and we made out clearings in the monster forest,
and now the blue water was thronged with canoes. We
anchored; they shot out to us fearlessly. The Jamaica canoe
is larger and better than the Haytien, but those of this
land surpass the Jamaican. They are long and wide and
have in the middle a light cabin. The rowers chant as they
lift and dip their broad oars. If we were gods to them,
yet they seemed gay and fearless of the gods. I thought
with the Admiral that they must have tradition or rumor,
of folk higher upon the mount of enlightenment than themselves.
Perhaps now and again there was contact. At any
rate, we did not meet here the stupefaction and the prostrations
of our first islands. We had again no common tongue,
but they proved masters of gesture. Gold was upon them,
and that in some amount, and what was extraordinary,
often enough in well-wrought shapes of ornament. A seaman
brought to the Admiral a golden frog, well-made,
pierced for a red cotton string, worn so about a copper-
colored neck. He had traded for it three hawk bells. The
Admiral's face glowed. "It has been wrought by those
who know how to work in metals! Tubal-cain!"

Moreover, now we found pearls. There came to us singing
a great canoe and in it a plumed cacique with his wife
and daughters. All wore twists of pearls around throat
and arms. They gave them freely for red, blue and green
beads, which to them were indeed rubies, sapphires and
emeralds.--Whence came the pearls? It seemed from the
coast beyond and without this gulf. Whence the gold? It
seemed from high mountains far behind the country of
Paria. It was dangerous in the extreme to go there!
"Because of the light which repels all darkness!" said the
Admiral. "When we go there, it must be gently and humbly
like shriven men."

It was August. He knew that Don Bartholomew in
Hispaniola craved his return. The three ships, too, were
weatherworn, with seams that threatened gaping. And as
for our adventurers and the husbandmen and craftsmen,
they were most weary of the sea. The mariners were used
to it, the Admiral had lover's passion for it, but not they!
Here before us, truly, loomed a promising great land, but
it was not our port; our port was San Domingo! There,
there in Hispaniola, were old Castilians in plenty to greet
and show. There were the mines that were actually working,
gold to pick up, and Indians trained to bring it to you!
There, for the enterprising and the lucky, were gifts of land,
to each his _repartimentio_! There was companionship, there
was fortune, there was ease! Others were getting, while
we rode before a land we were too few to occupy. They
went in company to the Admiral. We had discovered. Now
let us go onto Hispaniola! The ships--our health.

When it came to health it was he who had most to endure.

The gout possessed him often. His brow knotted with
pain; his voice, by nature measured and deep, a rolling
music, became sharp and dry. He moved with difficulty,
now and then must stay in bed, or if on deck in a great
chair which we lashed to the mast. But now a trouble seized
his eyes. They gave him great pain; at times he could
barely see. Bathe them with a soothing medicine, rest them.
But when had he rested them, straining over the ocean
since he was a boy? He was a man greatly patient under
adversity, whether of the body or of the body's circumstance,
but this trouble with the eyes shook him. "If I
become blind--and all that's yet to do and find! Blessed
Mother of God, let not that happen to me!"

I thought that he should go to Hispaniola, where in the
Adelantado's house in San Domingo he might submit to
bandaging, light and sea shut out.

At last, "Well, well, we will turn! But first we must
leave this gulf and try it out for some distance westward!"

We left this water by a way as narrow as the entering
strait, as narrow and presenting the like rough confusion
of waters, wall against wall. We called it the Mouth of
the Dragon. Mouth of the Dragon, Mouth of the Serpent,
and between them the Gulf of the Whale or of Paria. Now
was open sea, and south of us ran still that coast that he
would have mount to the Equator and to that old, first
Garden Land where all things yet were fair and precious!
"I can not stay now, but I will come again! I will find
the mighty last things!" His eyes gave him great pain.
He covered them, then dropped his hands and looked, then
must again cover.

A strange thing! We were borne westward ever upon a
vast current of the sea, taking us day and night, so that
though the winds were light we went as though every sail
was wholly filled.

Christopherus Columbus talked of these rivers in ocean.
"A day will come when they will be correctly marked. Aye,
in the maps of our descendants! Then ships will say, `Now
here is the river so and so,' as to-day the horseman says,
`Here is the Tagus, or the Guadalquiver!' "

Another thing he said was that to his mind all the islands
that we had found in six years, from San Salvador to Cubagua,
had once been joined together. Land from this shore
to Cuba and beyond. So the peoples were scattered.

He talked to us much upon this voyage of the great earth
and the shape of it, and its destinies; of the stars, the needle,
the Great Circle and the lesser ones, and the Ocean. He
had our time's learning, gained through God knows how
many nights of book by candle! And he had a mind that
took eagle flights with spread of eagle wings, and in many
ways he had the eagle's eye.

It was not Cipango and Cathay that now he talked of,
but of this great land-mass before us which he would have
rise to Equator and all Wonder. And he talked also of some
water passage, some strait lying to the westward, by which
we might sail between lands and islands to the further Indian
Ocean, and so across to the Sea of Araby, and then
around Africa by Good Hope and then northward, northward,
to Spain, coming into Cadiz with banners, having
sailed around the world!

He talked, and all the time his pain ate him, and he must
cover eyes to keep the sword-light out.

In middle August we turned northward from our New
Land, and a fortnight later we came to San Domingo, that
Christopherus Columbus had never seen, though to us in
Hispaniola it was an old town, having been builded above
two years.

The Viceroy and the Adelantado clasped hands, embraced;
tears ran down their bronzed cheeks.

Not later than a day after our anchoring, the ships being
unladed, all San Domingo coming and going, trumpets blew
and gathered all to our open place before the Viceroy's
house. Proclamation--Viceregal Proclamation! First,
thanks to God for safe return, and second, hearty approval
of the Adelantado, all his Acts and Measures.

There were two parties in San Domingo, and one now
echoed in a shout approval of the Adelantado, and the other
made here a dead silence, and here a counter-murmur. I
heard a man say, "Fool praises fool! Villain brother upholding
villain brother!"

Now I do not think the Adelantado's every act was wise,
nor the Viceroy's either, for that matter. But they were
far, far, those brothers, from fool and villain!

The Proclamation arrived at long thunders against Francisco
Roldan his sedition. Here again the place divided as
before. Roldan, I had it from Luis Torres, was in Xaragua,
safe and arrogant, harking on Indian war, undermining
everywhere. Our line of forts held for the Adelantado,
but the two or three hundred Spaniards left in Isabella
were openly Roldan's men. The Viceroy, through the voice
of Miguel the Herald, recited, denounced and warned, then
left Francisco Roldan and with suddenness made statement
that within a few days five ships would sail for Spain, and
that all Spaniards whomsoever, who for reasons whatsoever
desired Home, had his consent to go! Consent, Free Passage,
and No Questioning!

Whereat the place buzzed loudly, and one saw that many
would go.

Many did go upon the ships that sailed not in a few days
but a few weeks. Some went for good reasons, but many
for ill. Juan Lepe heard afar and ahead of time the great
tide of talk when they should arrive in Spain! And though
many went who wished the Admiral ill, many stayed, and
forever Roldan made for him more enemies, open or secret.

He sent, it is true, upon those ships friends to plead his
cause. Don Francisco de Las Casas went to Spain and
others went. And he sent letters. Juan Lepe, much in his
house, tending him who needed the physician Long-Rest
and Ease-of-Mind, heard these letters read. There was
one to the Sovereigns in which he related with simple eloquence
that discovery to the South, and his assurance that
he had touched the foot of the Mount of all the World.
With this letter he sent a hundred pearls, the golden frog
and other gold. Again he took paper and wrote of the
attitude of all things in Hispaniola, of Roldan and evil
men, of the Adelantado's vigilance, justice and mercy, of
natural difficulties and the need to wait on time, of the
Indians. He begged that there be sent him ample supplies
and good men, and withal friars for the Indian salvation,
and some learned, wise and able lawyer and judge, much
needed to give the law upon a thousand complaints brought
by childish and factious men. And if the Sovereigns saw
fit to send out some just and lofty mind to take evidence
from all as to their servant Christopherus Columbus's deeds
and public acts and care of their Majesties' New Lands
and all the souls therein, such an one would be welcomed
by their Graces' true servant.

So he himself asked for a commissioner--but he never
thought of such an one as Francisco de Bobadilla!

So the ships sailed. Time passed.


UP and down went the great Roldan scission. Up and
down went Indian revolt, repression, fresh revolt,
fresh repression. On flowed time. Ships came in,
one bearing Don Diego; ships went out. Time passed.
Alonso de Ojeda, who by now was no more than half his
friend, returned to Spain and there proposed to the Sovereigns
a voyage of his own to that Southern Continent
that never had the Admiral chance to return to! The Sovereigns
now were giving such consent to this one and to that
one, breaking their pact with Christopherus Columbus. In
our world it was now impossible that that pact should be
letter-kept, but the Genoese did not see it so. Ojeda sailed
from Cadiz for Paria with four ships and a concourse of
adventurers. With him went the pilot Juan de la Cosa,
and a geographer of Florence, Messer Amerigo Vespucci.

It came to us in Hispaniola that Ojeda was gone. Now
I saw the Admiral's heart begin to break. Yet Ojeda in
his voyage did not find the Earthly Paradise, only went
along that coast as we had done, gathered pearls, and returned.

Time passed. Other wild and restless adventurers beside
Roldan broke into insurrections less than Roldan's. The
Viceroy hanged Moxica and seven with him, and threw into
prison Guevara and Requelme. Roldan, having had his long
fling--too powerful still to hang or to chain in some one
of our forts--Roldan wrote and received permission, and
came to San Domingo, and was reconciled.

Suddenly, after long time of turmoil, wild adventure and
uncertainty, peace descended. Over all Hispaniola the Indians
submitted. Henceforth they were our subjects; let
us say our victims and our slaves! Quarrels between Castilians
died over night. Miraculously the sky cleared. Miraculously,
or perhaps because of long, patient steering
through storm. For three months we lived with an appearance
of blossoming and prospering. It seemed that it might
become a peaceful, even a happy island.

The Viceroy grew younger, the Adelantado grew younger,
and Don Diego, and with them those who held by them
through thick and thin. The Admiral began to talk Discovery.
It was two years since there, far to the south, we
had passed in by the Mouth of the Serpent, and out by the
Mouth of the Dragon.

The Viceroy, inspecting the now quiet Vega, rode to an
Indian village, near Concepcion. He had twenty behind him,
well-armed, but arms were not needed. The people came
about him with an eagerness, a docility. They told their
stories. He sat his horse and listened with a benignant
face. Certain harshnesses in times and amounts of their
tribute he redressed. Forever, when personal appeal came
to him, he proved magnanimous, often tender, fatherly and
brotherly. At a distance he could be severe. But when I
think of the cruelties and high-handedness of others here,
the Adelantado and the Viceroy shine mildly.

We rode back to Concepcion. I remember the jewel-like
air that day, the flowers, the trees, the sky. Palms rustled
above us, the brilliant small lizards darted around silver
trunks. "The fairest day!" quoth the Admiral. "Ease
at heart! I feel ease at heart."

This night, as I sat beside him, wiling him to sleep, for
he always had trouble sleeping--a most wakeful man!--
he talked to me about the Queen. Toward this great woman
he ever showed veneration, piety, and knightly regard. Of
all in Spain she it was who best understood and shared that
religious part in him that breathed upward, inspired, longed
and strained toward worlds truly not on the earthly map.
She, like him--or so took leave to think Juan Lepe--received
at times too docilely word of authority, or that which
they reckoned to be authority. Princes of the Church could
bring her to go against her purer thought. The world as
it is, dinging ever, "So important is wealth--so important
is herald-nobility--so important is father-care in these respects
for sons!" could make him take a tortuous and complicated
way, could make him bow and cap, could make
him rule with an ear for world's advice when he should
have had only his book and his ship and his dream and a
cheering cry "Onward!" Or so thinks Juan Lepe. But
Juan Lepe and all wait on full light.

He talked of her great nature, and her goodness to him.
Of how she understood when the King would not. Of how
she would never listen to his enemies, or at the worst not
listen long.

He turned upon his bed in the warm Indian night. I
asked him if I should read to him but he said, not yet. He
had talked since the days of his first seeking with many a
great lord, aye, and great lady. But the Queen was the
one of them all who understood best how to trust a man!
Differences in mind arose within us all, and few could find
the firm soul behind all that! She could, and she was great
because she could. He loved to talk with her. Her face
lighted when he came in. When others were by she said
"Don Cristoval", or "El Almirante", but with himself
alone she still said "Master Christopherus" as in the old

At last he said, "Now, let us read." Each time he came
from Spain to Hispaniola he brought books. And when
ships came in there would be a packet for him. I read to
him now from an old poet, printed in Venice. He listened,
then at last he slept. I put out the candle, stepped softly
forth past Gonsalvo his servant, lying without door.

An hour after dawn a small cavalcade appeared before
the fort. At first we thought it was the Adelantado from
Xaragua. But no! it was Alonzo de Carvajal with news
and a letter from San Domingo, and in the very statement
ran a thrilling something that said, "Hark, now! I am
Fortune that turns the wheel."

Carvajal said, "senor, I have news and a letter for your
ear and eye alone!"

"From my brother at San Domingo?"

"Aye, and from another," said Carvajal. "Two ships
have come in."

With that the Admiral and he went into Commandant's

The men at Concepcion made Carvajal's men welcome.
"And what is it?" "And what is it?" They had their
orders evidently, but much wine leaked out of the cask. If
one wished the Viceroy and his brothers ill, it was found
to be heady wine; if the other way round, it seemed thin,
chilly and bitter. Here at Concepcion were Admiral's friends.

After an hour he came again among us, behind him Carvajal.

Now, this man, Christopherus Columbus, always appeared
most highly and nobly Man, most everlasting and universal,
in great personal trouble and danger. It was, I hold, because
nothing was to him smally personal, but always pertained
to great masses, to worlds and to ages. Now, looking
at him, I knew that trouble and danger had arrived. He
said very little. If I remember, it was, "My friends, the
Sovereigns whom we trust and obey, have sent a Commissioner,
Don Francisco de Bobadilla, whom we must go
meet. We ride from Concepcion at once to Bonao."

We rode, his company and Carvajal's company.

Don Francisco de Bobadilla! Jayme de Marchena had
some association here. It disentangled itself, came at last
clear. A Commander of the Order of Calatrava--about
the King in some capacity--able and honest, men said.
Able and honest, Jayme de Marchena had heard said, but
also a passionate man, and a vindictive, and with vanity
enough for a legion of peacocks.

We came to Bonao and rested here. I had a word that
night from the Admiral. "Doctor, Doctor, a man must
outlook storm! He grew man by that."

I asked if I might know what was the matter.

He answered, "I do not know myself. Don Diego says
that great powers have been granted Don Francisco de
Bobadilla. I have not seen those powers. But he has demanded
in the name of the Sovereigns our prisoners, our
ships and towns and forts, and has cited us to appear before
him and answer charges--of I know not what! I well
think it is a voice without true mind or power behind it--
I go to San Domingo, but not just at his citation!"

Later, in the moonlight, one of our men told me that
which a man of Carvajal had told him. All the Admiral's
enemies, and none ever said they were few, had this fire-new
commissioner's ear! A friend could not get within hail.
Just or unjust, every complaint came and squatted in a ring
around him. Maybe some were just--such as soldiers
not being able to get their pay, for instance. There was
never but one who lived without spot or blemish. But of
course we knew that the old Admiral wasn't really a tyrant,
cruel and a fool! Of course not. Carvajal's man was prepared
to fight any man of his own class who would say
that to his face! He'd fight, too, for the Adelantado. Don
Francisco de Bobadilla had no sooner landed than he began
to talk and act as though they were all villains. Don Diego
--whom it was laughable to call a villain--and all. He
went to mass at once--Don Francisco de Bobadilla--and
when it was over and all were out and all San Domingo
there in the square, he had his letters loudly read. True
enough! He is Governor, and everybody else must obey
him! _Even the Admiral!_

At dawn Juan Lepe walked and thought. And then he
saw coming the Franciscan, Juan de Trasiena and Francisco
Velasquez the Treasurer. That which Juan de Trasiena
and Francisco Velasquez brought were attested copies
of the royal letters.

I saw them. "Wherefore we have named Don Francisco
de Bobadilla Governor of these islands and of the main
land, and we command you, cavaliers and all persons whatever,
to give him that obedience which you do owe to us."
And to him, the new Governor: "Whomsoever you find
guilty, arrest their persons and take over their goods." And,
"If you find it to our service that any cavaliers or other
persons who are at present in these islands should leave
them, and that they should come and present themselves
before us, you may command it in our names and oblige
it." And, "Whomsoever you thus command, we hereby
order that immediately they obey as though it were ourselves."
"And if thus and thus is found to be the case,
the said Admiral of the Ocean-Sea shall give into your
hands, ships, fortresses, arms, houses and treasure, and he
shall himself be obedient to your command."

The Admiral said, "If it be found thus and thus! But
how shall he find it, seeing that it is not so?"

We rode to San Domingo, but not many rode. He would
not have many. "No show of force, no gaud of office!"

He rode unarmored, on his gray horse. The banner that
was always borne with him--"Yea, carry it still, until
he demands it!"

We were a bare dozen, but when we entered San Domingo
one might think that Don Francisco de Bobadilla feared
an army, for he had all his soldiers drawn up to greet us!
The rest of the population were in coigns, gazing. We saw
friends--Juan Ponce de Leon and others--but they were
helpless. For all the people in it, the place seemed to me
dead quiet, hot, sunny, dead quiet.

The Admiral rode to the square. Here was his house,
and the royal banner over it. He dismounted and spoke to
men before the door. "Tell Don Francisco de Bobadilla
that Don Cristoval Colon is here."

There came an officer with a sword, behind him a dozen
men. "Senor, in the name of the Sovereigns, I arrest

Christopherus Columbus gazed upon him. "For what,

The other, an arrogant, ill-tempered man, answered loudly
so that all around could hear, "For ill-service to our lord
the King and Queen, and to their subjects here in the Indies,
and to God!"

"God knows, you hurt the truth!" said the Admiral.
"Where is my brother, Don Diego?"

"Laid by the heels in the Santa Catarina," answered the
graceless man; then to one of the soldiers, "Take the banner
from behind him and rest it against the wall."

The Admiral said, "I would see Don Francisco de Bobadilla."

"That is as he desires and when he desires," the other
replied. "Close around him, men!"

The fortress of San Domingo is a gloomy place. They
prisoned him here, and they put irons upon him. I saw
that done. One or two of his immediate following, and I
his physician might enter with him.

He stood in the dismal place where one ray of light came
down from a high, small, grated window, and he looked at
the chains which they brought. He asked, "Who will put
them on?"

He looked at the chains and at the soldier who brought
them. "Put them on, man!" he said. "What! Once thou
didst nail God's foot to a cross! As for me, I will remember
that One who saved all, and be patient."

They chained him and left him there in the dark.

I saw him the next day, entering with his gaoler. Had
he slept?  "Yes." 

"How did he find himself?"

"How does my body find itself? Why, no worse than
usual, nowadays that I am getting old! My body has been
unhappier a thousand times in storm and fight, and thirst
and famine."

"Then mind and soul?" I asked.

"They are well. There is nothing left for them but
to feel well. I am in the hand of God."

I did what service for him I could. He thanked me.
"You've been ever as tender as a woman. A brave man
besides! I hope you'll be by me, Juan Lepe, when I die."

"When you die, senor, there will die a great servant of
the world."

I spoke so because I knew the cordial that he wanted.

His eyes brightened, strength came into his voice. "Do
you know aught of my brother the Adelantado?"

"No. He may be on his way from Xaragua. What would
you wish him to do, sir?"

"Come quietly to San Domingo as I came. This Governor
is but a violent, petty shape! But I have sworn to
obey the Queen and the King of the Spains. I and mine
to obey."

I asked him if he believed that the Sovereigns knew this
outrage. I could believe it hardly of King Ferdinand, not
at all of the Queen.

Again I felt that this was cordial to him. I had spoken
out of my conviction, and he knew it. "No," he said. "I
do not believe it. I will never believe it of the Queen!
Look you! I have thought it out in the night. The night
is good for thinking out. You would not believe how many
enemies I have in Spain. Margarite and Father Buil are
but two of a crowd. Fonseca, who should give me all aid,
gives me all hindrance. I have throngs of foes; men who
envy me; men who thought I might give them the golden
sun, and I could not; hidalgos who hold that God made
them to enjoy, standing on other men's shoulders, eating
the grapes and throwing down the empty skins, and I made
them to labor like the others; and not in Heaven or Hell
will they forgive me! And others--and others. They have
turned the King a little their way. I knew that, ere I went
to find that great new land where are pearls, that slopes
upward by littles to the Height of the World and the Earthly
Paradise. Turned the King, but not the Queen. But now
I make it they have worked upon her. I make it that she
does not know the character of Don Francisco de Bobadilla. I make it that, holding him to be far wiser than 
is, she with the King gave him great power as commissioner.
I make it that they gave him letters of authority, and a
last letter, superseding the Viceroy, naming him Governor
whom all must obey. I make it that he was only to use this
if after long examination it was found by a wise, just man
that I had done after my enemies' hopes. I make it that
here across Ocean-Sea, far, far from Spain, he chose not
to wait. He clucked to him all the disaffected and flew with
a strong beak at the eyes of my friends." He moved his
arms and his chains clanked. "I make it that this severity
is Don Francisco de Bobadilla's, not King Ferdinand's, not
--oh, more than not--the good Queen's!"

Juan Lepe thought that he had made out the probabilities,
probably the certainties.

"If I may win to Spain!" he ended. "It all hinges on
that! If I may see the Sovereigns--if I may see the good
Queen! I hope to God he will soon chain me in a ship and
send me!"

Had he seen Don Francisco de Bobadilla?

No, he had not seen Don Francisco de Bobadilla. He
thought that on the whole that Hidalgo and Commander of
Calatrava was afraid.

Outside of the fortress that afternoon Juan Lepe kept
company with one who had come with the fire-new Governor,
a grim, quiet fellow named Pedro Lopez. He and
Luis Torres had been neighbors in Spain; it was Luis who
brought us together. I gave him some wine in Doctor Juan
Lepe's small room and he told readily the charges against
the Viceroy that Bobadilla, seizing, made into a sheaf.

Already I knew what they were. I had heard them. One
or two had, I thought, faint justification, but the mass, no!
Personal avarice, personal greed, paynim luxury, arrogance,
cruelty, deceit--it made one sorrowfully laugh who knew
the man! Here again clamored the old charge of upstartness.
A low-born Italian, son of a wool-comber, vindictive
toward the hidalgo, of Spain! But there were new charges.
Three men deposed that he neglected Indian salvation. And
I heard for the first time that so soon as he found the Grand
Khan he meant to give over to that Oriental all the islands
and the main, and so betray the Sovereigns and Christ and
every Spaniard in these parts!

The Adelantado arrived in San Domingo. He came with
only a score or two of men, who could have raised many
more. Don Francisco de Bobadilla saw to it that he had
word from his great brother, and that word was "Obedience."
The Adelantado gave his sword to Don Francisco.
The latter loaded the first with chains and put him aboard
a caravel in the harbor. He asked to be prisoned with his
brother; but why ask any magnanimity from an unmagnanimous

Out in the open now were all the old insurgents. Guevara
and Requelme bowed to the earth when the Governor
passed, and Roldan sat with him at wine.


THE caravel tossed in a heavy storm. Some of her
mariners were old in these waters, but others, coming
out with Bobadilla, had little knowledge of our breadths
of Ocean-Sea. They had met naught like this rain, this
shaken air, these thunders and lightnings. There rose a cry
that the ship would split. All was because they had chained
the Admiral!

Don Alonso de Villejo, the Captain taking Christopherus
Columbus to Spain, called to him Juan Lepe. "Witness
you, Doctor, I would have taken away the irons so soon as
we were out of harbor! I would have done it on my own
responsibility. But he would not have it!"

"Yes, I witness. In chains in Hispaniola, he will come
to Spain in chains."

"If the ship goes down every man must save himself. He
must be free. I have sent for the smith. Come you with

We went to that dusky cabin in the ship where he was
prisoned. "It is a great storm, and we are in danger,
senor!" said Villejo. "I will take away these irons so
that if--"

The Admiral's silver hair gleamed in the dusk. He moved
and his gyves struck together. "Villejo!" he said, "if I
lie to-night on the floor of Ocean-Sea, I will lie there in these
chains! When the sea gives up its dead, I will rise in them!"

"I could force you, senor," said Villejo.

The other answered, "Try it, and God will make your
hands like a babe's!"

Villejo and the smith did not try it. There was something
around him like an invisible guard. I knew the feel of it,
and that it was his will emerged at height.

"Remember then, senor, that I would have done it for
you!" Villejo touched the door. The Admiral's voice came
after. "My brother, Don Bartholomew, he who was responsible
to me and only through me to the Sovereigns,
free him, Villejo, and you have all my thanks!"

We went to take the gyves from Don Bartholomew. It
would have been comfort to these brothers to be together in
prison--but that the Governor of Hispaniola straitly forbade.
When Villejo had explained what he would do, the
Adelantado asked, "What of the Admiral?"

"I wish to take them from him also. But he is obstinate
in his pride and will not!"

"He will go as he is to the Queen and Spain and the
world," said Juan Lepe.

"That is enough for me," answered the Adelantado. "I
do not go down to-night a freed body while he goes down a
chained.--Farewell, senor! I think I hear your sailors

Villejo hesitated. "Let them have their will, senor,"
said Juan Lepe. "Their will is as good as ours."

Don Bartholomew turned to me. "How fares my brother,
Doctor? Is he ill?"

"He is better. Because he was ill I was let to come with
him. But now he is better."

"Give him my enduring love and constancy," said the
Adelantado. "Good night, Villejo!" and turned upon his
side with a rattling of his chain.

Returning to the Admiral, Juan Lepe sat beside him
through the night. The tempest continuing, there were
moments when we thought, It may be the end of this life!
We thought to hear the cry "She sinks!" and the rush of

At times when there fell lulls we talked. He was calmly

"It seems to me that the storm lessens. I have been
penning in my mind, lying here, a letter to one who will
show it to the Queen. Writing so, I can say with greater
freedom that which should be said."

"What do you say?"

He told me with energy. His letter related past events
in Hispaniola and the arrival of Bobadilla and all that took
place thereupon. He had an eloquence of the pen as of
speech, and what he said to Dona Juana de la Torre moved.
A high simplicity was his in such moment, an opening of
the heart, such as only children and the very great attain.
He told his wrongs, and he prayed for just judgment, "not
as a ruler of an ordered land where obtain old, known,
long-followed laws, and where indeed disorder might cry
`Weakness and Ill-doing!' But I should be judged rather
as a general sent to bring under government an enemy people,
numerous, heathen, living in a most difficult, unknown and
pathless country. And to do this I had many good men,
it is true, but also a host that was not good, but was factious,
turbulent, sensual and idle. Yet have I brought these strange
lands and naked peoples under the Sovereigns, giving them
the lordship of a new world. What say my accusers? They
say that I have taken great honors and wealth and nobility
for myself and my house. Even they say, O my friend!
that from the vast old-and-new and fairest land that I have
lately found, I took and kept the pearls that those natives
brought me, not rendering them to the Sovereigns. God
judge me, it is not so! Spain becometh vastly rich, and
the head of the world, and her Sovereigns, lest they should
scant their own nobility, give nobility, place and wage to
him who brought them Lordship here. It is all! And out
of my gain am I not pledged to gather an army and set it
forth to gain the Sepulchre? Have I fallen, now and again,
in all these years in my Government, into some error? How
should I not do so, being human? But never hath an error
been meant, never have I wished but to deal honestly and
mercifully with all, with Spaniards and with Indians, to
serve well the Sovereigns and to advance the Cross. I call
the saints to witness! All the way has been difficult, thorns
of nature's and my enemies' planting, but God knoweth, I
have trodden it steadily. I have given much to the Sovereigns,
how much it is future days brighter than these will
show! I have been true servant to them. If now, writing
in chains, upon the caravel _Santa, Marta_, I cry to them for
justice, it is because I do not fear justice!"

He ceased to speak, then presently, "I would that all
might see the light that I see over the future!--Thou seest
it, Juan Lepe."

"Aye, I see light over the future."

By littles the storm fell. Ere dawn we could say, "We
shall outlive it!" He slept for an hour then waked. "I
was dreaming of the Holy Land--but do you know, Juan
Lepe, it was seated here in the lands we found!"

"Seated here and everywhere," I said. "As soon as we
see it so and make it so."

"Aye, I know that the sea is holy, and so should be all
the land! The prophet sees it so--"

The dawn came faintly in upon us. All was quieter, the
footing overhead steady, not hasting, frightened. Light
strengthened. A boy brought him breakfast. He ate with
appetite. "You are better," I said, "and younger."

"It is a strange thing," he answered, "but so it had been
from my boyhood. Is the danger close and drear, is the
ship upon the reef, then some one pours for me wine! Some
one, do I say? I know Whom!"

I began to speak of the Adelantado. "Aye, there he is
the same! `Peril--darkness? Well, let's meet it!' We
are alike, we three brothers, alike and different. Diego
serves God best in a monastery, and I serve best in a ship
with a book and a map to be followed and bettered. Bartholomew
serves best where he has been, Adelantado and Alcayde.
He is powerful there, with judgment and action. But
he is a sea master too, and he makes a good map.--I thank
God who gave us good parents, and to us all three mind
and a firm will! The inheritance passes to my sons. You
have not seen them? They are youths of great promise!
A family that is able and at one, loving and aiding each the
other, honoring its past and providing for its future, becomes,
I tell you, an Oak that cannot be felled--an Ark
that rides the waters!"

As he moved, his chains made again their dull noise. "Do
they greatly gall you?"

"Yes, they gall! Flesh and spirit. But I shall wear
them until the Queen saith, `Away with them!' But ever
after I shall keep them by me! They shall hang in my
house where forever men shall see them! In my son's
house after me, and in his son's!"

Alonso de Villejo visited him. "The tempest is over,
senor. I take it for good augury in your affair!"

Juan Lepe upon the deck found beside him a man whom
he knew. "What d'ye think? At the worst, in the middle
night, there came to Don Alonso and the master the old
seamen and would have him freed so that he might save us!
They said that they had seen his double upon the poop,
looking at the sea and waving his arm. Then it vanished!
They wanted the whole man, they wanted the Admiral! The
master roared at them and sent them back, but if it had come
to the worst--I don't know!"

Cadiz--the _Santa Marta_ came to Cadiz. Before us had
arrived Bobadilla's ships, one, two and three. What he found
to say through his messengers of the Admiral and Viceroy
was in the hands and eyes and ears of all. He said at the
height of his voice, across the ocean from Hispaniola, violent
and villainous things.

Cadiz--Spain. We crowded to look.. Down plunged
anchor, down rattled sails, around us came the boats. The
Admiral and the Adelantado rested in chains. The corregidor
of Cadiz took them both thus ashore and to a house
where they were kept, until the Sovereigns should say,
"Bring them before us!"

Juan Lepe the physician was let to go in the boat with
him. Juan Lepe--Jayme de Marchena. It was eight years
since I had quitted Spain. I was older by that, grizzled,
bearded and so bronzed by the Indies that I needed no
Moorish stain. I trusted God that Don Pedro and the Holy
Office had no longer claws for me.

Cadiz, and all the people out, pointing and staring. I remembered
what I had been told of the return from his first
voyage, and the second voyage. Then had been bells and
trumpets, flowers, banners, grandees drawing him among
them, shouts and shouts of welcome!

He walked in gyves, he and the Adelantado, to the house
of his detention. Once only a single voice was raised in a
shout, "El Almirante!" We came to the house, not a
prison, though a prison for him. In a good enough room
the corregidor sought to have the chains removed. The Admiral
would not, keeping back with voice and eye the men
who wished to part them from him. When the Sovereigns
knew, and when the Sovereigns sent--then, but not before!

Seven days in this house. Then word from the Sovereigns,
and it was here indignant, and here comforting.
The best was the Queen's word; I do not know if it was
so wholly King Ferdinand's. There were letters to the alcalde
and corregidor. Release the Admiral of the Ocean-Sea!
Don Francisco de Bobadilla had grossly misunderstood!
Soothe the Admiral's hurt. Show him trust and
gratitude in Cadiz that was become through him a greater
city! Fulfill his needs and further him upon the way to
Granada. Put in his purse two thousand ducats. But the
letter that counted most to Christopherus Columbus was
one to himself from the Queen.

Juan Lepe found him with it in his hand. From the
wrist yet hung the chain. Tears were running down his
cheeks. "You see--you see!" he said. "I thank thee,
Christ, who taketh care of us all!"

They came and took away his chains. But he claimed
them from the corregidor and kept them to his death. Came
hidalgos of Cadiz and entreated him away from this house
to a better one. Outside the street was thronged. "The
Admiral! The Admiral! Who gave to Spain the Indies!"

Don Bartholomew was by him, freed like him. And there
too moved a slender young man who had come from Granada
with the Queen's letter, Don Fernando, his eldest son.
A light seemed around them. Juan Lepe thought, "Surely
they who serve large purposes are cared for. Even though
they should die in prison, yet are they cared for!"


JUAN LEPE lay upon the sand beyond Palos. The Admiral
was with the court in Granada, but his physician,
craving holiday, had borne a letter to Juan Perez, the
Prior of _Santa Maria_ de la Rabida.

I thought the Admiral would go again seafaring, and that
I would go with him. Up at La Rabida, Fray Juan Perez
was kind. I had a cell, I could come and go; he did
not tell Palos that here was the Admiral's physician, who
knew the Indies from the first taking and could relate
wonders. I lived obscure, but in Prior's room, by a light
fire, for it was November, he himself endlessly questioned
and listened.

Ocean before me, ocean, ocean! Lying here, those years
ago, I had seen ocean only. Now, far, far, I saw land, saw
San Salvador, Cuba that might be the main, Hayti, Jamaica,
San Juan, Guadaloupe, Trinidad, Paria that again seemed
main. Vast islands and a world of small islands, vast mainlands.
Then no sail was seen on far Ocean-Sea; now out
there might be ships going from Cadiz, coming, returning
from San Domingo. Eight years, and so the world was

I thought, "In fifty years--in a hundred years--in two
hundred? What is coming up the long road?"

Ocean murmured, the tide was coming in. Juan Lepe
waited till the sands had narrowed, till the gray wave foamed
under his hand. Then he rose and walked slowly to La

After compline, talk; Fray Juan Perez, the good man,
comfortable in his great chair before the fire. He had hungered
always, I thought, for adventure and marvel. Here
it happened--? And here it happened--?

To-night we fell to talk of the Pinzons--Martin who
was dead, and Vicente who now was on Ocean-Sea, on a
voyage of his own--and of others who had sailed, and
what they found and where they were. We were at ease
about the Admiral. We had had letters.

He was in Granada, dressed again in crimson and gold,
towering again with his silver head, honored and praised.
When first he came into the Queen's presence she had
trembled a little and turned pale, and there was water in her
eyes. "Master Christopherus, forgive us! Whereupon,"
said the letter, "I wept with her."

Apparently all honors were back; he moved Admiral and
Viceroy. His brothers, his sons, all his house walked in a
spring sun. He had been shown the letters from Bobadilla,
and he who was not lengthy in speech had spoken an hour
upon them. His word rang gold; Christ gave it, he said,
that his truth was believed. Don Francisco de Bobadilla
would quit Hispaniola--though not in chains.

Fray Juan Perez stirred the fire. Upon the table stood a
flask of wine and a dish of figs. We were comfortable in
La Rabida.

Days passed, weeks passed, time passed. Word from
the Admiral, word of the Admiral, came not infrequently
to white La Rabida. He himself, in his own person, stood
in bright favor, the Queen treasuring him, loving to talk
with him, the Court following her, the King at worst only
a cool friend. But his affairs of office, Fray Juan Perez
and I gathered, sitting solicitous at La Rabida, were not in
so fair a posture. He and his household did not lack.
Monies were paid him, though not in full his tithe of all
gains from his finding. What never shook was his title of
The Admiral. But they seemed, the Sovereigns, or at least
King Ferdinand, to look through "Viceroy" as though it
were a shade. And in Hispaniola, though charged, reproved,
threatened, still stayed Bobadilla in the guise of Governor!

"They cannot leave him there," I said. "If the Colombos
are not men for the place, what then is Bobadilla?"

Fray Juan Perez stirred the fire. "King Ferdinand, I
say it only to you and in a whisper, has not a little of the
King of the Foxes! Not, till he has made up his mind,
doth he wish there a perfect man. When he has made it
up, he will cast about--"

"I do not think he has any better than the Adelantado!"

" `Those brothers are one. Leave him out!' saith the
King. I will read you his mind! `Master Christopherus
Columbus hath had too much from the beginning. Nor is
he necessary as he was. When the breach is made, any
may take the fortress! I will leave him and give him
what I must but no more!' He will send at last another
than Bobadilla, but not again, if he can help it, the old Viceroy!
Of course there is the Queen, but she has many sorrows
these days, and fails, they say, in health."

"It may be," said Juan Lepe. "I myself were content
for him to rest The Admiral only. But his mind is yet a
hawk towering over land and sea and claiming both for
prize. He mingles the earthly and the heavenly."

"It is true," said Fray Juan Perez, "that age comes upon
him. And true, too, that King Ferdinand may say, `Whatever
it was at first, this world in the West becomes far too
vast a matter for one man and the old, first, simple ways!' "

"You have it there," I answered, and we covered the
embers and went to bed in La Rabida.

Winter passed. It was seen that the Admiral could not
sail this week nor the next.

Juan Lepe, bearded, brown as a Moor, older than in the
year Granada fell, crossed with quietness much of Castile
and came on a spring evening to the castle of Don Enrique
de Cerda. Again "_Juan Lepe from the hermitage in the
oak wood_."

Seven days. I would not stay longer, but in that time the
ancient trees waved green again.

Don Enrique had been recently to Granada. "King Ferdinand
will change all matters in the West! Your islands
shall have Governors, as many as necessary. They shall
refer themselves to a High Governor at San Domingo, who
in his turn shall closely listen to a Council here."

"Will the High Governor be Don Cristoval Colon?"

"No. I hear that he himself agrees to a suspension of
his viceroyalty for two years, seeing well that in Hispaniola
is naught but faction, everything torn into `Friends of the
Genoese' and `Not friends!'. Perhaps he sees that he cannot
help himself and that he less parts with dignity by acceding.
I do not know. There is talk of Don Nicholas de Ovanda,
Commander of Lares. Your man will not, I think, be sent
before a steady wind for Viceroy again--never again. If
he presses too persistently, there can always be found one
or more who will stand and cry, `He did intend, O King--
he doth intend--to make himself King of the Indies!'
And King Ferdinand will say he does not believe, but it is
manifest that that thought must first die from men's minds.
The Queen fails fast. She has not the voice and the hand
in all matters that once was so."

"He is one who dies for loyalties," I said. "He reverences
all simply the crowns of Castile and Leon. For his
own sake I am not truly so anxious to have him Viceroy
again! They will give him ships and let him discover until
he dies?"

"Ah, I don't think there is any doubt about that!" he

We talked somewhat of that great modern world, evident
now over the horizon, bearing upon us like a tall, full-rigged
ship. All things were changing, changing fast. We talked
of commerce and inventions, of letters and of arts, of religion
and the soul of man. Out of the soil were pushing
everywhere plants that the old called heretical.

Seven days. We were, as we shall be forever, friends.

But Juan Lepe would go back to La Rabida. He was, for
this turn of life, man of the Admiral of the Ocean-Sea. So
we said farewell, Enrique de Cerda and Jayme de Marchena.

Three leagues Seville side of Cordova I came at eve to
a good inn known to me of old. Riding into its court I
found two travelers entering just before me, one a well-formed hidalgo still at prime, and the other a young 
evidently his son. The elder who had just dismounted
turned and I recognized Don Francisco de Las Casas. At
the same instant he saw me. "Ha, Friend! Ha, Doctor!"

We took our supper together in a wide, low room, looking
out upon the road. Don Francisco and Juan Lepe talked
and the young man listened. Juan Lepe talked but his
eyes truly were for this young man. It was not that he
was of a striking aspect and better than handsome, though
he was all that--but I do not know--it was the future in
his countenance! His father addressed him as Bartolome.
Once he said, "When my son was at the University at
Salamanca," and again, "My son will go out with Don
Nicholas de Ovando." Juan Lepe, sitting in a brown study,
roused at that. "If you go, senor, you will find good memories
around the name of Las Casas."

The young man said, "I will strive in no way to darken
them, senor."

He might be a year or two the younger side of thirty.
The father, it was evident, had great pride in him, and
presently having sent him on some errand--sending him,
I thought, in order to be able to speak of him--told me that
he was very learned, a licentiate, having mastered law,
theology and philosophy. He himself would not return to
Hispaniola, but Bartolome wished to go. He sighed, "I
do not know. Something makes me consent," and went
on to enlist Doctor Juan Lepe's care if in the island ever
arose any chance to aid--

   The son returned. There was something--Juan Lepe
knew it--something in the future.

Later, Don Francisco having gone to bed, the young man
and I talked. I liked him extraordinarily. I was not far from
twice his age, as little man counts age. But he had soul and
mind, and while these count age it is not in the short, earthly
way. He asked me about the Indians, and again and again
we came back to that, pacing up and down in the moonlight
before the Spanish inn.

The next morning parting. They were going to Cordova,
I to the sea.

The doves flew over the cloister of La Rabida. The bells
rang; in the small white church sang the brothers, then
paced to their cells or away to their work among the vines.
Prior had a garden, small, with a tree in each corner, with
a stone bench in the sun and a stone bench in the shade,
and the doves walked here all day long. And here I found
the Adelantado with Fray Juan Perez.

The Admiral was well?

Aye, well, and next month would come to Seville. A new

We sat under the grape arbor and he told me much, the
Prior listening for the second time. The doves cooed and
whirred and walked in the sun and shadow. According to
Don Bartholomew, half in his pack was dark and half was

Ovando? We heard again of all that. He was going
out, Don Nicholas de Ovando, with a great fleet.

The Adelantado possessed a deal of plain, strong sense.
"I do not think that Cristoforo will ever rule again in
Hispaniola! King Ferdinand has his own measure and goes
about to apply it. The Queen flinches now from decisions.
--Well, what of it? After all, we were bred to the sea,
I have a notion that his son Diego--an able youth--may
yet be Viceroy. He has established his family, if so be he
does not bring down the structure by obstinating overmuch!
He sees that, the Admiral, and nods his head and steps
aside. As for native pride and its hurt he salves that with
great enterprises. It is his way. Drouth? Frost? Out of
both he rises, green and hopeful as grass in May!"

"What of the Voyage?" asked Juan Lepe.

"That's the enterprise that will go through. Now that
Portugal and Vasco da Gama are actually in at the door,
it behooves us--more and more it behooves us," said Bartolomeo
Colombo, "to find India of All the Wealth! Spain
no less than Portugal wants the gold and diamonds, the
drugs and spices, the fine, thin, painted cloths, the carved
ivory and silver and amber. `Land, land, so much land!'
says King Ferdinand. `But _wealth_? It is all out-go! Even
your Crusade were a beggarly Crusade!' "

"Ha! That hurt him!" quoth Fray Juan Perez.

"Says the King. `Pedro Alonso Nino has made for us
the most profitable voyage of any who have sailed from
Cadiz.' `From Cadiz, but not from Palos,' answers the

"Ha! Easy 'tis when he has shown the way!" said
Fray Juan Perez.

Don Bartholomew drew with the Prior's stick in the
sand at our feet. "He conceives it thus. Here to the north
is Cuba, stretching westward how far no man knoweth.
Here to the south is Paria that he found--no matter what
Ojeda and Nino and Cabral have done since!--stretching
westward how far no man knoweth, and between is a great
sea holding Jamaica and we do not know what other islands.
Cuba and Paria curving south and north and between them
where they shall come closest surely a strait into the sea
of Rich India!" He drew Cuba and Paria approaching
each the other until there was space between like the space
from the horn of Spain to the horn of Africa. "Rich
India--now, now, now--gold on the wharves, canoes of
pearls, not cotton and cassava, is what we want in Spain!
So the King says, `Very good, you shall have the ships,'
and the Queen, `Christ have you in his keeping, Master
Christopherus!' So we go. All his future hangs, he knows,
on finding Rich India."

"How soon do we go?"

"As soon as he can get the ships and the men and the supplies.
He wants only three or four and not great ones.
Great ships for warships and storeships, but little ships for

"Aye, I hear him!" said Fray Juan Perez. "September

But it was not until March that we sailed on his last


THE ships were the _Consolacion_, the _Margarita_, the
_Juana_ and the _San Sebastian_, all caravels and small
ones, the _Consolacion_ the largest and the flagship.
The _Margarita_, that was the Adelantado's ship, sailed badly.
There was something as wrong with her as had been with
the _Pinta_ when we started from Palos in '92.

The men all told, crews and officers and adventurers,
were less than two hundred.

Pedro de Terreros, Bartholomew Fiesco, Diego Tristan,
Francisco de Porras were the captains of the caravels Juan
Sanchez and Pedro Ledesma the chief pilots. Bartholomew
Fiesco of the _Consolacion_ was a Genoese and wholly devoted
to the greater Genoese. We had for notary Diego Mendez.
There were good men upon this voyage, and very bold men.

The youth Fernando Colon sailed with his father. He was
now fourteen, Don Fernando, slim, intelligent, obedient and
loving always to the Admiral.

Days of bright weather, days and days of that marvelous
favorable wind that blows over Ocean-Sea. The twenty-
fifth of May the Canaries sank behind us. On and on, all
the sails steady.

We were not first for Hispaniola. All must be strange,
this voyage! Jamaica, not San Domingo, was our star.
Rest there a moment, take food and water, then forth and
away. West again, west by south. He was straitly forbidden
to drop anchor in any water of Hispaniola. "For
why?" said they. "Because the very sight of his ships
will tear asunder again that which Don Nicholas de Ovando
is healing!"

The _Margarita_, that was next to the _Consolacion_ in greatness,
sailed so infirmly that mercy 'twas the seas were
smooth. It was true accident. She had been known at
Palos, Cadiz and San Lucar for good ship. But at Ercilla
where we must stop on the Sovereigns' business, a storm
had beaten her upon the shore where she got a great wound
in her side. That was staunched, but all her frame was
wrenched and she never did well thereafter. In mid-June
we came to an island of the Caribs which they called Mantineo.
Here we rested the better part of a week, keeping
good guard against the Caribs, then sailed, and now north
by west, along a vast curve, within a world of islands.
They are great, they are small, they are of the extremest
beauty! San Martin, Dominica, Guadaloupe, San Juan--
the Boriquen whence had come, long ago, that Catalina whom
Guacanagari aided--and untouched at, or under the horizon,
many another that the Admiral had named; _Santa Maria_ la
Antigua, Santa Cruz, Santa Ursula, Montserrat, Eleven
Thousand Virgins, Marigalante and all beside. What a
world! Plato his Atlantis. How truly old we are God
only knows!

The _Margarita_ sailed most badly. At San Juan that is the
neighbor great island to Hispaniola, council, two councils,
one following the other. Then said the Admiral, "We are
to find the Strait that shall at last carry us to clothed Asia
of all the echoes, and to find we have but four small ships
and one of them evidently doomed. And in that one sails
my brother. What is the Sovereigns' command? `Touch
not on your outward way at Hispaniola!' What is in their
mind here? `Hale and faring well, you have no need.'--
But if we are not hale and faring well by a fourth of our
enterprise? They never meant it to a drowning man, or
one whose water cask was empty! Being Christian, no!
We will put into San Domingo and ask of Don Nicholas de
Ovando a ship in place of the _Margarita_."

Whereat all cheered. We were gathered under palms,
upon a fair point of land in San Juan le Bautista. Next day
we weighed anchor, and in picture San Domingo rose before

He felt no doubt of decent welcome, of getting his ship.
Fifteen sail had gone out with Ovando. Turn the cases
around, and he would have given Ovando welcome, he would
give him a good ship. How much more then Christopherus
Columbus! The enterprise was common in that all stood
to profit. It was royal errand, world service! So he thought
and sailed in some tranquillity of mind for San Domingo.

But the Adelantado said in my ear. "There will be a
vast to-do! Maybe I'll sail the _Margarita_ to the end." He
was the prophet!

It was late June. Hispaniola rose, faint, faint, upon the
horizon. All crowded to look. There, there before us
dwelled countrymen, fellow mariners, fellow adventurers
forth from the Old into the New! It was haven; it was
Spain in the West; it was Our Colony.

The Admiral gazed, and I saw the salt tears blind his
eyes. His son was beside him. He put his hand upon the
youth's shoulder. "Fernando, there it is--I found and
named it Hispaniola!"

The weather hung perilously still, the sea glass. It was
so clear above, below, around, that we seemed to see by
added light, and yet there was no more sunlight. All the
air had thinned, it seemed, away. Every sail fell slack.
Colors were slightly altered. The Admiral said, "There
is coming a great storm."

The boy Fernando laughed. "Why, father!"

"Stillness before the leap," said the Admiral. "Quiet
at home because the legions have gone to muster."

It was hard to think it, but too often had it been proved
that he was in the secret of water and air. Now Bartholomew
Fiesco the Genoese said. "Aye, aye! They say
on the ships at Genoa that when it came to weather, even
when you were a youngster, you were fair necromancer!"

The sky rested blue, but the sea became green oil. That
night there were all around us fields of phosphorescence.
About midnight these vanished; it was very black for all
the stars, and we seemed to hear a sighing as from a giant
leagues away. This passed, and the morning broke, silent
and tranquil, azure sky and azure sea, and not so sharply
clear as yesterday. The great calm wind again pushed us.

Hispaniola! Hispaniola! Her mountains and her palms
before us.

We coasted to the river Hayna and the Spanish city of
San Domingo. Three hours from sunset down in harbor
plunged our anchors, down rattled our sails.

The _Consolacion's_ long boat danced by her side. The
Admiral would send to land but one boat, and in it for envoy
Pedro de Terreros, a well-speaking man and known to Don
Nicholas de Ovando. Terreros was envoy, but with him
the Admiral sent Juan Lepe, who through the years in
Hispaniola had tried to heal the sick, no matter what their
faction. The Admiral stayed upon the _Consolacion_, the
Adelantado upon the _Margarita_.

The harbor was filled with ships. We counted eighteen.
We guessed that they were preparing for sailing, the little
boats so came and went between. And our entry had caused
excitement. Ship and small boat hailed us, but to them we
did not answer. Then came toward us from the shore a
long boat with the flag of Spain and in it an official.

Our wharf! Juan Lepe had left it something more than
a year and a half ago. San Domingo was grown, many
Spaniards having sailed for the west in that time. I saw
strangers and strangers, though of Spanish blood. Walking
with the officer and his people to the Governor's house
gave time for observation and swift thought. Throng was
forming. One had early cried from out it, "That's the
doctor, Juan Lepe! 'Tis the Admiral out there!" That
it was the Admiral seemed to spread. San Domingo buzzed
like the air about a hive the first spring day. Farther on,
out pushed a known voice. "Welcome, welcome, Doctor!"
I looked, and that was Sancho. Luis Torres was in Spain.
I had seen him in Cadiz. The crowd was thickening--
men came running--there was cry and query. Suddenly
rose a cheer. "The Admiral and the Adelantado in their
little ships!" At once came a counter-shout. "The Genoese!
The Traitors!"

I saw--I saw--I saw that there was some wisdom in
King Ferdinand!

The Governor's house that used to be the Viceroy's house.
State--state! They had cried out upon the Genoese's
keeping it--but Don Nicholas de Ovando kept more. While
we waited in the antechamber I saw, out of window and the
tail of my eye, files of soldiery go by. Ovando would not
have riot and disturbance if twenty Admirals hung in the
offing! He kept us waiting. He would be cool and distant
and impregnable behind the royal word. Juan Lepe
saw plainly that that lavish and magnanimous person aboard
the _Consolacion_ would not meet here his twin. The Adelantado
must still, I thought, sail the _Margarita_. And yet,
looking at all things, that exchange of ships should have
been made. A Spaniard, wheresoever found, should have
cried "Aye!" to it.

The Governor's officer who still kept by us was not averse
to talk. All those preparing ships in the harbor? Why,
they were the returning fleet that brought Don Nicholas
in. Sailing to-morrow--hence the hubbub on land and
water. They had a lading now! He gazed a moment at us,
and as we seemed sober folk, saw no reason why we should
not have the public news. Forth it came like water out of
bottle. Bobadilla was returning. "A prisoner?" "Why,
hardly that! Roldan, too." "A prisoner?" "Why, not
precisely so." Many of the old regime--Bobadilla's regime
--were returning and Roldan men likewise. Invited to go,
in fact, though with no other harsh treatment. One of
the ships would be packed with Indian rebels, Gwarionex
among them. Chained, all these. The notable thing about
the fleet, after all that, was the gold that was going! A
treasure fleet! Bobadilla _had_ gathered gold for the crown.
He was taking, they said, a sultan's ransom. He had one
piece that weighed, they said, five thousand castellanos.
Roldan too had gold. And the Governor was sending no
man knew how much. More than that--" He looked
at us, then, being a kindly soul, quoth, "Why shouldn't the
Admiral know? Alonso de Carvajal has put on board the
_Santa Clara_ for the Admiral's agent in Cadiz five thousand
pieces--fully due, as the Governor had allowed."

Door was opened. "His Excellency the Governor will
see you now."

Why tarry over a short story? Don Nicholas de Ovando
pleaded smoothly the Sovereign's most strict command
which _in any_ to disobey were plain malfeasance! As he
spoke he looked dreamily toward blue harbor and the
_Consolacion_. And as to a ship! Every ship, except two or
three, old and crippled and in the hands of the menders,
no whit better it was certain than the _Margarita_, was laded
and on the point of sailing. Literally he had none, absolutely
not one! He understood that Jamaica was expressly named
to the Admiral for resting and overhauling. Careen the
_Margarita_ there and rectify the wrong--which he trusted
was not great. If ships had been idle and plentiful--but
he could not splinter any from the fleet that was sailing
to-morrow. He was sorry--and trusted that the Admiral
was in health?

Terreros said, "His ship is worse off than you think,
Excellency. He has great things to do, confided into his
hands by the Sovereigns who treasure him who found all.
Here is emergency. May we carry to him invitation to
enter San Domingo for an hour and himself present his

But no--but no--but no! Thrice that!

The Governor rose. Audience was over.

For the rest he was courteous--asked of the voyage--
and of the Admiral's notion of the Strait. "A great man!"
he said. "A Thinker, a Seer." He sent him messages of
courtesy three-piled. And so we parted.

This was the Governor of whom one said long afterwards,

"He was a good governor for white men, but not for Indians."

As life and destiny would have it, in the place without
the Governor's house I met him who was to say it. Terreros
and I with the same escort were for the water side,
the _Consolacion's_ long boat. The crowd kept with us, but
His Excellency's soldiers held it orderly. Yet there were
shouts and messages for the Admiral, and for this one and
that one aboard our ships. Then came a young man, said
a word to the officer with us, and put out his hand to mine.
It was that Bartolome de Las Casas with whom I had
walked the white road, under moon, before the inn between
Seville and Cordova.


THE Admiral took it with some Italian words under
breath. Then he wheeled and left the cabin. A minute
later I heard the master from the _Consolacion_ hail the
_Margarita_ that lay close by. "_Margarita_, ahoy! Orders!
Clap on sail and follow!" The trumpet cried to the Juana
and the _San Sebastian_, "Make ready and follow!"

Our mariners ran to make sail. But the long boat waited
for some final word that they said was going ashore. Terreros
would take it. We were so close that we saw the
yet watching crowd, wharf and water side, and the sun
glinting upon Ovando's order-keeping soldiery. The Admiral
called me to him. I read the letter to the Governor,
Terreros would deliver to our old officer, probably waiting
on the wharf to see us quite away. The letter--there
was naught in it but the sincerest, gravest warning that a
hurricane was at hand. A great one; he knew the signs.
It might strike this shore late to-morrow or the next day
or the next. Wherefore he begged his Excellency the Governor
to tarry the fleet's sailing. Let it wait at least three
days and see if his words came not true! Else there would
be scattering of ships and destruction--and he rested his
Excellency's servant. _El Almirante_.

Terreros went, delivered that letter, and returned to the
_Juana_. And our sails were made and our anchors lifted, and
it was sunset and clear and smooth, and every palm frond
of San Domingo showed. Eighteen ships in harbor, and
fifteen, they said, going to Spain, and around and upon them
all bustle of preparation. One saw in fancy Bobadilla and
Roldan and Gwarionex and the much gold, including that
piece of virgin ore weighing five thousand castellanos. Fifteen
ships preparing for Spain, and San Domingo, of which
the Adelantado had laid first stone, and a strange, green,
sunset sky. And the _Consolacion_, the _Margarita_, the Juana
and the _San Sebastian_ away to the west, to the sound of
music, for the Admiral cried to our musicians, "Play, play
in God's name!"

Night passed. Morning broke. So light was the wind
that the shore went by slowly. There gathered an impatience.
"If we must to Jamaica, what use in following every curve
of Hispaniola that is forbid us?" At noon the wind almost
wholly failed, then after three hours of this rose with a
pouncing suddenness to a good breeze. We rounded a point
thronged with palms. Before us a similar point, and between
the two that bent gently each to the other, slept a
deep and narrow bight. "Enter here," said the Admiral.

We anchored. There was again a strange sunset, green
and gold in the lower west, but above an arc of clouds
dressed in saffron and red. And now we could hear, though
from very far off, a deep and low murmur, and whether it
was the forest or the sea or both we did not know. But
now all the old mariners said there would be storm, and we
were glad of the little bay between the protecting horns.
The Admiral named it Bay of Comfort. The _Consolacion_
_Margarita_, _Juana_, _San Sebastian_, lay under bare masts, deep
within the bight.

The next day, an hour before noon, arrived that king

They are known now, these storms of Europe's west and
Asia's east. Take all our Mediterranean storms and heap
them into one!

Through the day our anchors held in our Bay of Comfort,
and we blessed our Admiral. But at eve the _Margarita_,
the _Juana_ and the _San Sebastian_ lost bottom, feared breaking
against the rocky shore and stood out for sea room. The
_Consolacion_ stayed fast, and at dawn was woe to see nothing at all of the three. In the howling tempest 
and the
quarter light we knew not if they were sunk or saved.

With the second evening the hurricane sank; at dawn
the seas, though running high, no longer pushed against us
like white-maned horses of Death. We waited till noon,
then the sea being less mountainous, quitted the Bay of
Comfort and went to look for the three ships.

The _Juana_ and the _San Sebastian_ we presently sighted
and rejoiced thereat. But the _Margarita_! We saw her
nowhere, and the Admiral's face grew gray. His son Fernando
pressed close to him. "My uncle is a bold man, and
they say the second seaman in the world! Let's hope and
hope--and hope!"

"Why, aye!" said the Admiral. "I'm a good scholar
in hope. I told them in San Domingo the ship was not
seaworthy. What cared they for that? They were willing
that all of my name should drown! God judge between

The _Juana_ came close and shouted that at eve they had
seen the Adelantado in great trouble, close to shore. Then
came down the night and once or twice they thought they
made out a light but they were not sure.

In this West the weather after a hurricane is weather
of heaven. We coasted in a high sea, but with safety under
a sky one sapphire, and with a right wind,--and suddenly,
rounding a palmy headland, we saw the _Margarita_ riding
safe in a little bay like the Bay of Comfort. The Admiral
fell upon his knees.

The _Margarita_ was safe indeed but was so crazed a ship!
The _San Sebastian_, too, was in bad case. Hispaniola truly,
but some leagues from San Domingo, and a small, desert,
lonely bay! We rested here because rest we must, and
mended our ships. Days--three days--a week. The Admiral
and the Adelantado kept our people close to the ships.
There was no Indian village, but a party sent to gather
fruit found two Indians biding, watching from a thicket.
These, brought to the Admiral, proved to be from a village
between us and San Domingo. They had been in that town
after the hurricane. It had uprooted the great tree before
the Governor's house and thrown down a part of the church.

"Had the fleet sailed?"

Yes, it seemed. The day before the storm. But these
men knew nothing of its fortunes. He kept the Indians
with us until we sailed, so as not to spread news of where
we were, then gave them presents and let them go.

But on the day we set to sail we did not sail, for along
the coast and into our bay came a small caravel, going with
men to our fort in Xaragua. The captain--Ruy Lopez it
was--met us as a wonder, San Domingo having held that
the hurricane must have sunk us, the sea swallowed us up.
He anchored, took his boat and came to the Admiral upon
the _Consolacion_.

"senor, I am glad to see you living!"

"Yes, I live, senor. Are you well in San Domingo?"

"Well in body, but sick at heart because of the fleet."

"Because of the fleet?"

"The fleet, senor, was a day away when the hurricane
burst. Half the ships were split, lost, sunken! The others,
broken, returned to us. One only went on to Spain. The
gold ships are lost. Only, they say, the gold that pertains to
you, goes on safely on that one to Cadiz. Gwarionex the
Indian is drowned, and Bobadilla and Roldan are drowned."


THE Indians called it Guanaja, but the Admiral, the
Isle of Pines. It was far, far, from Hispaniola, far,
far, from Jamaica, over a wide and stormy sea, reached
after many days of horrible weather. Guanaja, small, lofty,
covered with rich trees among which stood in numbers the
pines we loved because they talked of home. To the south,
far off, across leagues of water, we made out land. Mainland
it seemed to us, stretching across the south, losing itself
in the eastern haze. The weather suddenly became blissful.
We had sweet rest in Guanaja.

A few Indians lived upon this small island, like, yet in
some ways unlike all those we knew. But they were rude
and simple and they talked always of gods _to the west_. We
had rested a week when there came a true wonder to us
_from the west_.

That was a canoe, of the mightiest length we had yet
seen, long as a tall tree, eight feet wide, no less, with twenty-
five rowing Indians--tall, light bronze men--with cotton
cloth about their loins. Middle of this giant canoe was
built a hut or arbor, thatched with palm. Under this sat a
splendid barbarian, tall and strong, with a crown of feathers
and a short skirt and mantle of cotton. Beside him sat two
women wrapped in cotton mantles, and at their feet two
boys and a young maid. All these people wore golden ornaments
about their necks.

It was in a kind of amaze that we watched this dragon
among canoes draw near to and pass the ships and to the
shore where we had built a hut for the Admiral and the
Adelantado and the youth Fernando, and to shelter the rest
of us a manner of long booth. It seemed that it was upon a
considerable voyage, and wanting water, put in here. The
Guanaja Indians cried, "Yucatan! Yucatan!"

The Admiral stepped down to meet these strangers. His
face glowed. Here at last was difference beyond the difference
of the Paria folk!

We found that they were armed,--the newcomers.
Strangely made swords of wood and flint, lances, light
bucklers and _hatchets of true copper_. They were strong
and fearless, and they seemed to say, "Here before us is
great wonder, but wonder does not subdue our minds!"

Their language had, it is true, the flow and clink of Indian
tongues, yet was greatly different. We had work to
understand. But they were past masters of gesture.

The Admiral sent for presents. Again, these did not
ravish, though the cacique and his family and the rowers
regarded with interest such strange matters. But they
seemed to say, "You yourselves and your fantastic high
canoes made, it is evident, of many trees, are the wonder!"

But we, the Spaniards, searching now through ten years
--long as the War of Troy--for Asia in which that Troy
and all wealth beside had been placed, thought that at last
we had come upon traces. In that canoe were many articles
of copper, well enough wrought; a great copper bell, a
mortar and pestle, hatchets and knives. Moreover in Yucatan
were potters! In place of the eternal calabash here were
jars and bowls of baked clay, well-made, well-shaped, marked
with strange painted figures. They had pieces of cotton
cloth, well-woven and great as a sail. Surely, with this
stuff, before long the notion of a sail would arise in these
minds! We saw cotton mantles and other articles of dress,
both white and gayly dyed or figured. Clothing was not to
them the brute amaze we had found it with our eastern
Indians. Matters enough, strange to our experience, were
being carried in that great canoe. We found they had a
bread, not cassava, but made from maize, and a drink much
like English ale, and also a food called cacao.

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

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 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 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 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 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 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 
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?"

I answered, "I tell you what is in my mind, and I have
got it, I think, from your inmost mind, out of which you
will not let it come forth because you have had a great
theory and think you must stand to it. But what if this
that you have underneath is a greater one? What if the
world truly is larger than Alfraganus or the ancients thought?
What if all this that we have found since the first island
and that means only beginnings of what is to be found;
what if it is not Asia at all? What if it is a land mass,
great as Europe or greater, that no one knew anything of?
What if over by the sunset there is Ocean-Sea again, true
ocean and as many leagues to Asia as to Spain? What if
they cannot lead us to Quinsai, Cambaluc or Zaiton, or to
the Ganges' mouth, or Aurea Chersonesus, because they
never heard of them, and they have no ships to pass again
an Ocean-Sea? What if it is all New, and all the maps
have to be redrawn?"

He looked at me as I spoke, steadily and earnestly. What
Juan Lepe said was not the first entry into his mind of
something like that. But he was held by that great mass
of him that was bound by the thinking of the Venerable.
He was free far and far beyond most, but to certain things
he clung like a limpet. "The Earthly Paradise!" he said,
and he looked toward that Paria that we thought ran across
our south. "When our first parents left the Earthly Paradise,
they and their sons and daughters and all the peoples
to come wandered by foot into Chaldea and Arabia. So
it could not be!" His blue-gray eyes under that great
brow and shock of white hair regarded the south.

This faery island--the Garden he called it--and the
Cariari who came to us from the main. One day they saw
one of us take out pen and inkhorn and write down their
answers to our many questions. Behind us lay the blue
sea, before us the deep groves of the islet; between us and
the rich shade stood gathered a score of these Indians. They
looked at the one seated on the sand, industriously making
black marks upon a white sheet. The Indian speaking
stopped short and put up an arm in an attitude of defense;
another minute and they had all backed from us into the
wood. We saw only excited, huddled eyes. Then one
started forth, advancing over the sand, and he had a small
gourd filled with some powder which he threw before him.
He scattered it ceremonially between us and himself and
his fellows, a slow, measured rite with muttered words and
now and then a sharp, rising note.

Cried Juan Sanchez the pilot, "What's he doing?"

Juan Lepe answered before he thought, "He thinks the
notary yonder is a magician and the pen his wand. Something
is being done to them! Counter-magic."

"Then they are enchanters!" cried Alonso de Zamorro.

Our great cluster gave back. "Fix an arrow and shoot
him down!" That was Diego de Porras.

The Adelantado turned sharply. "Do no such thing!
There may be spells, but the worst spell here would be a
battle!" We let fly no arrow, but the belief persisted that
here was seen veritably at work the necromancy that all
along they had guessed.

A party crossed to the main with the Adelantado and
pushed a league into as tall and thick and shadowy a forest as
ever we met in all our wanderings. Here we found no village,
but came suddenly, right in the wood, upon a very great
thatched hut, and in it, upon a stone, lay in state a dead
cacique. He seemed long dead, but the body had not corrupted;
it was saved by some knowledge such as had the
Egyptians. A crown of feathers rested upon the head and
gold was about the neck. Around the place stood posts and
slabs of a dark wood and these were cut and painted with
I do not know what of beast and bird and monstrous idol
forms. We stared. The place was shadowy and very
silent. At last with an oath said Francisco de Porras, "Take
the gold!" But the Adelantado cried, "No!" and going
out of the hut that was almost a house we left the dead
cacique and his crown and mantle and golden breastplate.
Two wooden figures at the door grinned upon us. We saw
now what seemed a light brown powder strewed around
and across the threshold. One of our men, stooping, took
up a pinch then dropped it hastily. "It is the same they
threw against us!"

"Wizardry! We'll find harm from them yet!" That
song crept in now at every turn.

We sailed from the Garden south by east along the endless
coast that no strait broke. At first fair weather ran
with us. But the _Margarita_ was so lame! And all our
other ships wrenched and worm-pierced. And the Admiral
was growing old before our eyes. Not his mind or
his soul but his frame.

He bettered, left his bed and walked the deck. And then
we came to the coast we called the Golden Coast, and his
hope spread great wings again, and if our mariners talked
of magic it was for a time glistening white.

Gold, gold! A deep bay, thronged at the mouth with
islets so green and fair, they were marvel to us who were
sated with islands great and small. We entered under overhanging
trees, and out at once to us shot twenty canoes.
The Indians within wore gold in amount and purity far
beyond anything in ten years. Oh, our ships could scarce
contain their triumph! The Admiral looked a dreamer who
comes to the bliss center in his dream. Gold was ever to
him symbol and mystery. He did not look upon it as a
buyer of strife and envy, idleness and soft luxury; but as
a buyer of crusades, ships and ships, discoveries and discoveries,
and Christ to enter heathendom.

Gold! Discs of great size, half-moons, crescent moons,
pierced for a cotton string. Small golden beasts and birds,
poorly carved but golden. They traded freely; we gathered
gold. And there was more and more, they said, at Veragua,
wherever that might be, and south and east it seemed to be.

Veragua! We would go there. Again we hoisted sail
and in our ships, now all unseaworthy, crept again in a bad
wind along the coast of gold,--Costa Rico. At last we
saw many smokes from the land. That would be a large
Indian village. We beat toward it, found a river mouth and
entered. But Veragua must have heard of us from a swift
land traveler. When a boat from each ship would approach
the land--it was in the afternoon, the sun westering fast
--a sudden burst of a most melancholy and awful din came
from the forest growing close to water side.

One of our men cried "Wizards!" The Admiral spoke
from the stern of the long boat. "And what if they be
wizards? We may answer, `We are Christians!' "

The furious din continued but now we were nearer. "Besides,"
he said, "those are great shells and drums."

Our rowers held off. Out of the forest on to the narrow
beach started several hundred shell-blowing, drum-beating
barbarians, marvelously feathered and painted and with
bows and arrows and wooden swords.

An arrow stuck in the side of our boat, others fell short.
The Admiral rose, tall, broad-shouldered, though lean as
winter where there is winter, with hair as white as milk.
He held in his hand a string of green beads and another of
hawk bells which he made to ring, but he did not depend
more upon them than upon what he held within him of
powerful and pacific. He sent his voice, which he could
make deep as a drum and reaching as one of those great
shells. "Friends--friends! Bringing Christ!"

An arrow sang past him. His son would have drawn him
down, but, "No--no!" and "Friends--friends! Bringing

And whether they thought that "Christ" was the beads
and the bell, or whether the bowman in him did send over
good will and make it to enter their hearts, or whether it
was somewhat of both, they did suddenly grow friendly.
Whereupon we landed.

Gold! We took much gold from this place. One of our
men, touched by the sun, sat and babbled. "Oh, the faithful
golden coast! Oh, the gold that is to come! Great
golden ships sailing across blue sea! A hundred--no, a
thousand--what do I say? A million Indians with baskets
long and wide on their backs and the baskets filled with
gold! The baskets are so great and the gold so heavy that
the Indians are bowed down till they go on all fours. Gold,
--a mountain of pure gold and every Spaniard in Spain
and a few Italians--golden kings--" When we had all we
could get, up sail and on!

Sail on and on along the golden coast of Veragua! Come
to a river and land, for all that again we heard drums and
those great shells strongly blown. Make peace and trade.
And here again was gold, gold, gold. We were now assured
that the main was far richer than any island. Turbulent
hope,--that was the chief lading now of the four
ships. Gold! Gold! Golden moon disks and golden rude
figures. We found a lump of gold wrought like a maize

What was beyond that, by itself under trees, we found an
ancient, broken, true wall, stone and lime. The stones were
great ones, set truly, with care. The wall was old; the remainder
of house, if house or temple there had been, broken
from it. Now the forest overran all. We did not know
when or by whom it was built, and we found no more like
it. But here was true masonry. All of us said that the
world of the main was not the world of the islands.

Ciguarre. These Indians declared it was Ciguarre we
should seek. Now that we were in Veragua--seek Ciguarre.

So we sailed beyond Veragua hunting the strait which
we must pass through to Ganges and Ind of old history.


PUERTO BELLO! Beautiful truly, and a harbor
where might ride a navy. But no gold; and now
came back very evilly the evil weather. Seven days a
blast rocked us. We strained eyes to see if the _Margarita_
yet lived. The _San Sebastian_ likewise was in trouble. No
break for seven days. It was those enchanters of Cariari--
magic asleep for a while but now awake!

Storm. And two ships nigh to foundering. When wind
sank and blue came back, we left Puerto Bello and turned
again south by east, but now with crazy, crazy ships, weather-wrenched and worm-eaten, _teredo_ pierced. 
They looked old,
so old, with their whipped and darkened sails. And when
we dropped anchor in some bight there was no gold, but
all night we heard that harsh blowing of shells and beating
of drums.

Francisco and Diego de Porras, Alonso de Zamorra,
Pedro de Villetoro, Bernardo the Apothecary and others, the
most upon the _Consolacion_, others on the _Margarita_ and the
_Juana_, now began to brew mutiny.

We sailed on, and upon this forlorn coast we met no more
gold. Our ships grew so worn that now at any threat in
the sky we must look and look quickly for harborage, be
it good or indifferent bad. To many of us the coast now
took a wicked look. It was deep in November.

No gold. These Indians--how vast anyhow was India?--
were hostile, not friendly. Our ships were dying,
manifestly. If they sank under us and we drowned, the King
and Queen--if the Queen still lived--never would come
to know that Christopherus Columbus had found Veragua
thrice more golden even than Paria! Found Veragua, met
men of Yucatan; and heard of Ciguarre.

At last not only the mutinous but steadfast men cried, "If
there is a strait it is too far with these ships!"

For a time he was obstinate. _It must be found,--it must
be found!_ But one night there fell all but loss of the Margarita.
When next he slept he had a dream. "The good
Queen came to me and she had in her hand a picture of five
stout ships. Out of her lips came a singing voice. `Master
Christopherus, Master Christopherus, these wait for you,
riding in Cadiz harbor! But now will you slay your son
and your brother and all your men?' Then she said, `The
strait is hidden for a while,' and went."

That day we turned. "We will go back to Veragua and
lade with gold, and then we'll sail to Jamaica and to Hispaniola
where this time we shall be welcome! Then to Spain
where the Queen will give me a stronger fleet."

Our ships hailed the turning. Even the Adelantado, even
Diego Mendez and Juan Sanchez and Bartholomew Fiesco
who were of the boldest drew long breath as of men respited
from death.

Not so many have known and lived to tell of such weather
as now we met and in it rolled from wave to wave through
a long month.

Would we put to land we were beaten back. We had
never seen such waves, and at times they glowed with cold
fire. The sea with the wind twisted, danced and shouted.
We were deaf with thunder and blind with lightning. When
the rain descended, it was as though an upper ocean were
coming down. A little surcease, then return of the tempest,
like return of Polyphemus. Men died from drowning, and,
I think, from pure fright. One day the clouds drove down,
the sea whirled up. There was made a huge water column,
a moving column that fast grew larger. Crying out, our
sailors flung themselves upon their knees. It passed us
with a mighty sound, and we were not engulfed.

The Admiral said, "God tries us, but he will not destroy
us utterly!"

The boy Fernando, in a moment's wild terror who was
ordinarily courageous as any, clung to him. "O my son!
I would that you were in La Rabida, safe beside Fray Juan
Perez! My son and my brother Bartholomew!"

Now came to us all scarcity of food and a misery of sickness.
Now two thirds would have mutinied had we not
been going back--but we were going back--creeping,
crawling back as the tempest would allow us.

Christmas! We remembered our first Christmas in this
world, by Guarico in Hispaniola, when the _Santa Maria_
sank. Again we found a harbor, and we lay there between
dead and alive, until early January. We sailed and on
Epiphany Day entered a river that we knew to be in golden
Veragua. The Admiral called it the Bethlehem.

Gold again, gold! Not on the Bethlehem, but on the
river of Veragua, not far away, to which the Admiral sent
the Adelantado and two long boats filled with our stoutest
men. They brought back gold, gold, gold!

The cacique of these parts was Quibian, a barbarian whom
at the last, not the first, we concluded to be true brother of

With threescore of our strongest, the Adelantado pushed
again up the river of Veragua, too rough and shallow for
our ships. He visited Quibian; he traded for gold; he was
taken far inland and from a hill observed a country of the
noblest, vale and mountain and Indian smokes. The mountains,
the Indians said, were packed with gold. He brought
back much gold, Indians bearing it for him in deep baskets
that they made.

Quibian paid us a visit, looked sullenly around, and left
us. Not in the least was he Guacanagari! But neither,
quite yet, did he turn into Caonabo.

The Admiral sat pondering, his hands before him between
his knees, his gray-blue eyes looking further than the far
mountains. Later, on the shore, he and the Adelantado
walked up and down under palm trees. The crews watched
them, knowing they were planning.

What they planned came forth the next day, and it was
nothing short of a colony, a settlement upon the banks of
the river Bethlehem.

Christopherus Columbus spoke,--tall, powerful, gaunt,
white-headed, gray-eyed, trusted because he himself so
trusted, suasive, filled with the power of his vision. His
frame was growing old, but he himself stayed young. His
voice never grew old, nor the gray-blue light from his eyes.
Here was gold at last, and Veragua manifestly richer than all
Hispaniola; aye, richer than Paria! Behind Veragua ran Ciguarre
that was fabulously rich, that was indeed India sloping
to Ganges. The Indians were friendly enough for all
their drum-beating and shell-blowing. Quibian's first frowning
aspect had been but aspect. A scarlet cloak and a sack
full of toys had made all right. There was rest on land,
with fruit and maize as we saw. Build a fort--leave a
ship--divide our force. A half would rest here, first settlers
of a golden country with all first settlers' advantage.
Half sail with Christopherus Columbus back to Spain--
straight to Spain--for supplies and men. He would return,
he swore it, with all speed. A ship should be left,
and beyond the ship, the Adelantado.--It was for volunteers
for the fortress and city of Veragua!

In the end eighty men said "We will stay." We began
to build. How long since we had built La Navidad!

The River Bethlehem, that had been full when we entered,
now was half empty of its waters. The _Consolacion_, the
_Juana_, and the _San Sebastian_ that were to depart for Spain
could not pass. The Admiral hung, fitted to go, but waiting
perforce for rains that should lift the ships so they might
pass the bar.

Again Juan Lepe was to stay--so surely would the staying
need a physician.

"It is March," said the Admiral. "God aiding, I and
Fernando shall be back in October at latest."

These Indians seemed to us to have Carib markings. Yet
they all professed amity and continuously brought in gold.
We began to build by the fort a storehouse for much gold.

Suddenly we found--Diego Mendez, bold enough and
a great wanderer, doing the finding--that Quibian's village
up the river of Veragua contained many too, many young
men and men in their prime, and that by day and night
these continued to pour in. It had--Diego Mendez thought
--much the aspect of a camp whose general steadily received

Next day came to the Admiral an Indian who betrayed
his people. Quibian never meant to have in Veragua a
swarm of white caciques! When he had about him every
young man, he was coming, coming, coming through the

The Admiral sent the Adelantado. That strong man chose
fourscore Spaniards, armed them and departed. By boat
and through thick forest he reached Quibian's village, descended
upon it like a hurricane and seized Quibian, much
as long ago--long, long ago it seemed to us--Alonso de
Ojeda had seized Caonabo.

Juan Sanchez the pilot held Quibian in the long boat
while the Adelantado still wrought upon the land. Juan
Sanchez was strong and wary, and watchful; so they swore
were all the Spaniards in the boat. Yet when night was
fallen that Indian, bound as he was, broke with a shout
from them all and leaped from boat into black river.

They thought he perished, seeing him no more for all
their moving about and bringing the boat to the land. Juan
Sanchez was certain he sank, bound as he was. With other
captives and with a great mass of golden ornaments, came
back to the ships the Adelantado. The Indian camp was
broken, dispersed.

The rains began to fall. The river swelled; the fort and
store place and other houses were builded.

The eighty who were to stay and the something under
that number who were to go prepared to say farewell. We
went to mass under three palm trees, before our fort on the
river Bethlehem. That over, those who were to go went
aboard the three ships, and the sails were made, and they
began to sing as they passed down the Bethlehem. The
_Margarita_ and we watched their going.

They went a league, and then another--we thought they
were wholly gone. But out of the river, though the skies
were clear, again rushed against them an enemy wind. They
lay at anchor in river mouth, waiting on propitiousness. But
we, up the river, thought they were gone. That night, before
dawn, Quibian attacked us.

We had several killed, and the Adelantado was hurt in
the breast, and many others had their wounds. But we
thundered with our cannon and we loosed two bloodhounds
and we charged. For a time the brown, naked foe fought
desperately, but at last he broke. Far streamed five hundred
fleeing particles into the gloomy, the deep, the matted
forest. Up the river came a long boat, and we found it
to hold Diego Tristan and eight men sent by the Admiral
with a forgotten word for the Adelantado. Much we rejoiced
that the ships were not clean gone!

Diego Tristan took our news. The Adelantado--his hurt
was slight--wrote again to the Admiral. Again we said
farewell to Diego Tristan. The long boat passed a turn
in the Bethlehem; out of our sight. Once we thought we
heard a faint and distant shouting, but there was no telling.
But in five hours there staggered into fort Juan de Noya
who alone lived of that boatful, set upon by Quibian. Diego
Tristan dead, and seven men.

All that night we heard in the wood those throbbing Indian
drums and wild-blowing shells.

They were Caribs, now we were sure, and Quibian lived
and preached a holy war. Though we had driven them off,
we heard them mustering again. If we could not get food
--perhaps not water?

Sixty of ours came to the Adelantado. In truth, all might
have come, for massacre, slow or swift, was certain if we
stayed in Veragua. I read that the Adelantado, who was
never accused of cowardice or fickleness, was himself determined.
The settlement below the golden mines of golden
Veragua must wait a little.

We took our wounded and with the Adelantado, turned
Mars in these three days, came down to the Bethlehem, to
a pebbly shore from which the water had shrunken. Here
at least was our ship with us, and the river that bore to
the sea. Here, for the weather was ferocious and Quibian
howling around us, we built what shelter we might. Here
in much misery we waited days for the long and wild storm
to cease. We hoped the Admiral was yet at the mouth of
the Bethlehem, but could not do more than hope.

Then came through every peril that might be Pedro Ledesma,
from the ships. They waited! Break through--
come down!

The _Margarita_ could never pass the bar that now the falling
water left exposed. We made rafts, we dismantled her
and took what we could; we left her in Veragua for Quibian
to walk her deck and sail her if he might. Through danger
in multitude, with our rafts and two boats, with the loss
of six men, we went down the Bethlehem. Some of ours
wept when they saw the ships, and the Admiral wept when
he and the Adelantado met.

Away from Veragua!

Is it only the Spaniards who suffer, and for what at the
last, not at the first, did Quibian fight? In that strong raid
when we thought Quibian perished had been taken captive
brothers and kinsmen of that cacique. These were prisoned
upon the _Juana_, to be taken to Spain, shown, made Christian,
perhaps sold, perhaps--who knows?--returned to
their land, but never to freedom.

While the _Juana_ tossed where Bethlehem met the sea,
these Indians broke in the night time up through hatchway
and made for the side to throw themselves over. But the
watch gave a great cry and sprang upon them, and other
Spaniards came instantly. All but two were retaken. These
two, wrenching themselves free, sprang away into rough
water and dark night, and it is most likely that they drowned,
being a mile from shore. But the others were thrust back
and down under hatch which then was chained so that they
might not again lift it. But in the morning when the captain
of the _Juana_ went to look, all, all were dead, having
hanged themselves.


WE left one of our ships in the Bethlehem and we
lost another upon this disastrous coast ere we got
clear for Jamaica.

We were sea specters. We had saved our men from the
_San Sebastian_ as from the _Margarita_. Now all were upon
the _Consolacion_ and the _Juana_. Fifty fewer were we than
when we had sailed from Cadiz, yet the two ships crept
over-full. And they were like creatures overcome with eld.
Beaten, crazed, falling apart.

On the Eve of Saint John we came to Jamaica.

The ships were riddled by the _teredo_. We could not keep
afloat to go to Hispaniola. At Santa Gloria we ran them
in quiet water side by side upon the sand. They partly
filled, they settled down, only forecastle and poop above the
blue mirror. We built shelters upon them and bridged the
space between. The ocean wanderers were turned into a

Jamaica, we thanked all the saints, was a friendly land.
They brought us cassava and fruit, these Indians; they
swarmed about us in their canoes. The gods in trouble, yet
still the gods!

We were forty leagues from Hispaniola, and we had no

Again there volunteered Diego Mendez. We ourselves
had now but one Christian boat. But there existed canoes
a-plenty. Chose one, with six Indians to row! Leave Diego
Mendez with one other Spaniard of his choice to cross the
sea between us and Hispaniola, get to San Domingo, rouse
all Christian men, even Don Nicholas de Ovanda, procure
a large ship or two smaller ones, return with rescue!

We sent off Diego Mendez with strong farewells and
blessings. The vast blue sea and air withdrew and covered
from sight the canoe.

A week--two weeks. Grew out of the azure a single
canoe, and approached. "Diego Mendez--Diego Mendez!"

It was he alone, with a tale to tell of storm and putting
ashore and capture after battle by Jamaicans no longer
friendly, and of escape alone. But he would go again if
so be he might have with him Bartholomew Fiesco. They
went, with heavily paid Indians to row the staunchest canoe
we could find. This time the Adelantado with twenty kept
them company along the shore to end of the island, where
the canoe shot forth into clear sea, and the blue curtain
came down between the stranded and the going for help.
The Adelantado returned to us, and we waited. The weeks
crept by.

Great heat and sickness, and the Indians no longer prompt
to bring us supplies. Sooner or later, each of these dark
peoples found a Quibian or Caonabo.

The most of us determined that Diego Mendez and Fiesco
and their canoe were lost. Hispaniola knew nothing of us
--nothing, nothing! Suddenly the two Porras brothers
led a mad mutiny. "Leave these rotting ships--seize the
canoes we need--all of us row or swim to Hispaniola!"

There were fifty who thought thus. The Admiral withstood
them with strong words, with the reasoning of a
master seaman, and the counsel now--his white and long
hair, and eld upon him--of Jacob or Isaac or Abraham.
But they would not, and they would not, and at last they
departed from us, taking--but the Admiral gave them freely
--the dozen canoes that we had purchased, crowding into
these, rowing away with cries from that sea fortress, melancholy
indeed, in the blinding light.

They vanished. The next day fair, the next a mad storm.
Two weeks, and news came of them. They were not nigh
to Hispaniola; wrecked, they lost five men, but got, the rest
of them, to land, where they now roved from village to
village. Another week, and the Indians who came to us
and whom we kept friendly, related with passionate and
eloquent word and gesture evils that that band was working.
Pedro Margarite--Roldan--over and over again!

After much of up and down those mutineers came back
to us. They could not do without us; they could not get to
Hispaniola in Indian canoes. The Admiral received them

No sail--no sail. Long months and no sail. Surely
Diego Mendez and Bartholomew Fiesco were drowned!
Hispaniola, if it thought of us at all, might think us now
by Ganges. Or as lost at sea.

Christopherus Columbus dreamed again, or had a vision
again. "I was hopeless. I wept alone on a desert shore.
My name had faded, and all that I had done was broken into
sand and swept away. I repined, and cried, `Why is it thus?'
Then came a ship not like ours, and One stepped from it
in light and thunder. `O man of little faith, I will cover
thy eyes of to-day!' He covered them, and I _saw_.-- And
now, Juan Lepe, I care not! We will all come Home,
whether or no the wave covers us here."

To mariners and adventurers he said at no time any word
of despair. He said, "A ship will come! For if--which
the saints forfend--Bartholomew Fiesco and Diego Mendez
have not reached San Domingo, yet come at last will some
craft to Jamaica! From our island or from Spain. How
many times since '92 has there been touching here? Of
need now it will be oftener and oftener!"

But still many pined with hope deferred.--And then,
out of the blue, arose first Diego de Escobar's small ship,
and later the two good ships sent by Don Nicholas de

The Admiral of the Ocean-Sea lodged in the Governor's
house in San Domingo. Who so courteous as Don Nicholas,
saving only Don Cristoval?

Juan Lepe found certain ones and his own eyes to tell
him of island fortunes. Here was Sancho, a bearded man,
and yet looked out the youth who had walked from Fishertown
to Palos strand. "Oh, aye! San Domingo's growing!
It's to be as great as Seville, with cathedral and fortress and
palace. White men build fast, though not so fast as the

"The Governor?"

"Oh, he makes things spin! He's hard on the Indians--
but then they've surely given us trouble!"

He told of new forts and projected towns and an increasing
stream of ships, from Spain to Spain again. "We're
here to stay--as long as there's a rock of gold or anything
that can be turned into gold! The old bad times
are over--and that old, first simple joy, too, Doctor!--
Maybe we'll all ship for Ciguarre."

But no. The colony now was firm, with thousands of
Spaniards where once had stood fivescore. Luis Torres sat
with me and he told me of Indian war,--of Anacaona
hanged and Cotubanama hanged, of eighty caciques burned
or hanged, of _peace_ at last. Now the Indians worked the
mines, and scraped the sands of every stream, and likewise
planted cotton and maize for the conquerors. They were
gathered in _repartimentios, encomiendas_, parceled out, so
many to every Spaniard with power. The old word "gods"
had gone out of use. "Master" was now the plain and
accurate term.

The Governor was a shrewd, political, strong man,--not
without his generosities to white men. But no dreamer!
He put down faction, but there was now less faction to
put down. All had been united in mastering the Indian,
and now with peace the getting of wealth was regularized.
He had absolutely the ear of King Ferdinand, and help from
Spain whenever he called for it. Yes, he was fairly liked
by the generality. And had I noticed the growth in cowls
and processions? Mother Church was moving in.

The next day I met again Bartolome de Las Casas.

September now--and a ship from Spain, bringing the
news that the Queen was ill. There was another who was
ill, and that was the Admiral of the Ocean-Sea:

"I must go--and we quarrel here, this Governor-in-my-
place and I--I must go, rest at La Rabida with you, Doctor,
and Fray Juan Perez to help me. Then I must go to
court and see the Queen."

The Adelantado said, "Both you and the Queen will get
well. What, brother, your voyages are just begun! But
let us sail now for Spain. I think well of that."

And the son Fernando, Yes, yes, let us go home, father,
and see Diego!


IT was Seville, and an inn there, and the Admiral of the
Ocean-Sea laid in a fair enough room. His gout manacled
him, and another sickness crept upon him, but he
could think, talk and write, and at times, for serenity and
a breath of pleasure, read. He was ever a reader.

About him, all day long, came people. They called themselves
friends, and many were friends. But some used that
holy word for robber-mask. Others were the idlest wonder-seekers, never finding wonder within, always 
rushing for it
without. His heart, for all his much experience, or perhaps
because of that, was a simple heart. He took them for what
they said they were, for friends, and he talked of the Indies
and all his voyages past and to come, for he would
yet find Ciguarre and retake the Sepulchre.

He had not much money. All his affairs were tangled.
Yet he rested Admiral of the Ocean-Sea, and in name, at
least, Viceroy of the Indies. He was much concerned over
his mariners and others who had returned with him to Spain.
All their pay was in arrears. He wrote begging letters for
them, and with his sons forever in his mind, for himself.
Don Diego, Don Fernando, they were pleasant, able youths.

Fray Juan Perez came to Seville. He was worldly comfort,
but ghostly comfort too. The Admiral talked of Ciguarre
and Jerusalem, but also now of the New Jerusalem
and the World-to-come.

Late in November, at Medina del Campo Santo died the

He told me a dream or a vision that day. There was, he
said, a fair, tranquil shore, back of a fair, blue haven, and
his wife and his mother, long dead, walked there in talk.
Back of the shore rose, he said, a city with wonderful strong
walls and towers and a perpetual sweet ringing of church
bells. It seemed to climb to one great palace and church,
set about with orchards, with many doves. The whole
mounted like Monsalvat. The city seemed to be ready for
some one. They were hanging out tapestries and weaving
garlands and he heard musicians. Everywhere shone a light
of gladness. He returned to the seashore, and walking with
his wife and mother, asked them about the city. They said
that it was the Queen's City. Then, he said, he seemed to
hear trumpets, and far on the horizon made out a sail.--
Then city and shore and all were gone, and it was dark,
starry night, and he was in the Azores, alone, with a staff
in his hand that he had drawn from the sea.

It was Fray Juan Perez who brought him news of her
death. "Queen Isabella!" he said and turned to the wall
and lay there praying.

One day there came to see him Amerigo Vespucci who
sailing with Ojeda, knew Paria. They talked of that Vastness
to the south. The Venetian thought it might be a continent
wholly unknown alike to the ancients and the moderns.
"Known," answered the Genoese, "in the far, far past!
But unknown, I grant, for so long that it has become again
new. All a New World."

"How should we map it?" said the other. "Faith of
God! I should like to see the maps a hundred years
from now!"

He had something to say of Sebastian Cabot who was
finding northward for King Henry of England. But laying
a fine small hand upon the Admiral's mighty one, he called
him "_magister et dominus_, Christopherus Columbus."

Winter wore away. With the spring he seemed to be
better in health. He left his bed. But the physician, Juan
Lepe, believed that ports and havens, new lands, and service
of an order above this order were even now coloring and
thrilling within.

When all spring was singing high, the Admiral, having
had a letter from the king, said he would go to court. His
sons would have had him travel in a litter, but he waved
that away. The Adelantado procured him a mule, and with
his sons and brother and a small train beside he started,
the King being at Segovia. He had a hardly scraped together
purse of gold, and all his matters seemed dejected.
Yet his family riding with him rode as nobles of Spain,
and his son, Don Diego, should one day become Governor
of Hispaniola. Earthly speaking, for all his feeling "All
is vain!" he had made his family. Unlike many families
so made, this one was grateful.

On the road to Segovia, stayings, restings and meetings
were cordial enough to him, for here flocked the people to
see the Discoverer. If they heard his voice they were
happy; if some bolder one had a moment's speech with him
that fortunate went off with the air of, "My children's
children shall know of this!" There returned in this
springtide travel sunniness, halcyon weather, bright winds
of praise. The last health of the present body was his upon
this journey. Health and strength harked back. All noted
it. Jayme de Marchena held it for the leap of the flame
before sinking, before leaving the frame of this world.
But his sons and Don Bartholomew cried, "Why, father,
why, brother, you will outlive us yet!"

He rode firmly; he looked about with bright, blue-gray
eyes; his voice had the old, powerful thrill. It was happiness
to him when the simple came crowding, or when in
some halt he talked with two or three or with a solitary.
The New Lands and the Vast Change, and it would affect
all our life, this way, that way and the other way.

But when we came to Segovia, the King was dead, not
alive, to Christopherus Columbus. Not dead to the Indies,
no! But dead to their old discoverer. We had chilly
weather, miserable, and all the buds of promise went back.
Or rather there were promises, cold smiles, but even he, the
Genoese, saw at last that these buds were _simulacra_, never
meant to bloom.

The Queen was gone. The Court wore the King's color.
Then the King went to Laredo to meet his daughter Juana,
who was now Queen of Castile. With him went all of importance.
Segovia became a dull and somewhat hostile water
where rode at last anchor the ship of the Admiral.


DON FERNANDO met me at the door. "He is wandering
--he thinks he is in Cordova with my mother."
He came from that and said he would get up and
go to mass. Persuaded to lie quiet, he talked of his will,
drawn before his third voyage, and said that he would have
it read to him, and make a codicil.

This will. It ran at length through preamble and body.

"In the name of the most Holy Trinity who revealed it
to me that I could sail westward across Ocean-Sea--
   "As it pleased God, in the year one thousand, four hundred
and ninety-two, I discovered the Continent of the Indies
and many islands. I returned to Cadiz to their Majesties
who allowed my going a second voyage, and in this God gave
me victory over the island of Hispaniola, which covers six
hundred leagues, and I conquered it and made it tributary;
and I discovered many islands dwelled in by Caribals or
eaters of men's flesh, and also Jamaica which I named
Santiago, and three hundred and thirty leagues of Continent
from south to west--"

He recited his rights, dignities, tithes, emoluments,--
"whereto I have the sacred word of the Sovereigns." Then
came the heirship. All upon Don Diego and the heirs of
his body, with lavish provision for the younger son, "having
great qualities and most dear to me," and for the brothers,
but more especially the Adelantado. Followed gifts to friends
and companions, and then far-flung benefactions.

Son and son's son must give, year following year, a tenth
of revenue from the Indies to the help of needy men.

"In the city of Genoa in Italy is to be maintained a
man and his wife of the line of our family of which he is
to be the root in that city, from whence all good may derive
unto her, for I was born there and came from thence."

The taking of the Sepulchre. Into the Bank of Saint
George in Genoa, "that noble and potent city" was to be
put what moneys could be saved and collected for the purpose,
"and one day God will bring the purpose about."

His heirs must support the Crown of Spain, "seeing that
these Sovereigns, next to God, are responsible for my achieving
the property, though true it is that I came into this country
to invite them to the enterprise, and that a long while
passed before they allowed me to execute it, but this should
not surprise us as it was an undertaking of which all the
world was ignorant and no one had any faith in it." And
if schism arose in Christendom, his heirs must to their uttermost
support His Holiness the Pope, and give all and die,
if need be, defending the Church of God. And, where it
was possible and not contrary to the service and the claims
of the Sovereigns of Spain, "let them give aid and service
to that noble city of Genoa from which we all spring."

Such and such moneys, accruing, were to be applied to
making fit marriages for the daughters of the line.

And let Don Diego his son build in the island of Hispaniola
a church and call it Santa Maria de la Concepcion, a
church and a hospital and a chapel where masses might be
said for the good of the soul of Christopherus Columbus.
"Doubtless God will be pleased to give us revenue enough
for this and all purposes." And let them maintain in the
island of Hispaniola four good teachers of theology to
convert to the One Faith the inhabitants of the Indies, "to
which end no expense should be thought too considerable."

Many other things he provided for. He cared for that
Dona Beatrix who had given him Fernando. Where he had
met kindness, there he gave as best he might. Among other
small bequests was a silver mark to a poor Jew who had
done him service, who lived at the gate of the Ghetto in
Lisbon. He gave to many, and closed his will and signed
it with his signet letters and below these, EL ALMIRANTE.

After this there came a second leap of the flame. Queen
Juana was with her husband, King Phillip, in Laredo,--
Queen of Castile as had been the good Queen her mother.
The Admiral, utterly revering the Queen who was gone,
wrote to the daughter Queen a stately letter of high comfort
and offer and promise of service. He would have the
Adelantado, no less a man, bear this to Laredo. Don Bartholomew
spoke aside to Juan Lepe. "If I do as he wished,
I do not know if I will see him again."

"I do not know," I answered. "But his heart is set on..."

"Then I will go," he said. "And many's the time I
have thought, `I shall never see him again', and still we met."

For several days after this I thought that after all he
might recover. Perhaps even sail again on earthly discoveries.
Then, in a night, came the unmistakable stroke
upon the door.

He sank, and knew now that he was putting off the body.
Fray Juan Perez stayed beside him. His sons and his brother
Diego waited with reddened eyes. It was full May, and
the bland wind strayed in and out of window and fluttered
his many papers upon the great table. It was toward evening
of Ascension Day. His son Fernando threw himself on
the bed, weeping. The Admiral's great hand fell upon the
youth's head. He looked to the window and said clearly,
"A light--yonder is a light!" and after a moment, "_In
manus tuas Domine coinmendo spiritum meum_."

The sea by Palos and June in Andalusia. Juan Lepe,
staying at La Rabida, walked along the sands and saw Life
like a mighty, breathing picture. He stood by the sea
and the ripples broke at his feet, and he felt and knew the
Master of Life, there where feeling and knowing pass into

He walked a mile beside Ocean-Sea, then sat down beneath
ridged sand with the wind singing over. It sang, _Where now,
Jayme de Marchena--where now--where now_?

I sat still. Spain rose behind me, Spain and Europe.
Before me, out of sea, lifted the New Lands. There fell
a moment of great calm and quiet. Then, fleeting, like a
spirit, passed before me the Indian Guarin who had saved
me after La Navidad. I saw his dark eyes, then he went.
Still space without color or line or form, and outside, dreamily,
dreamily, the ocean sounding below La Rabida. Then, in
the clear field rose Bartolome de Las Casas. A quiet, singing
voice ran through Jayme de Marchena, and he knew that
he would return to Hispaniola and link his life with that
younger life which apparently had work to do in the Indies.


This file should be named c149211.txt or
Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks get a new NUMBER, c149212.txt
VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, c149211a.txt

Project Gutenberg eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the US
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we usually do not
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

We are now trying to release all our eBooks one year in advance
of the official release dates, leaving time for better editing.
Please be encouraged to tell us about any error or corrections,
even years after the official publication date.

Please note neither this listing nor its contents are final til
midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement.
The official release date of all Project Gutenberg eBooks is at
Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month.  A
preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment
and editing by those who wish to do so.

Most people start at our Web sites at: or

These Web sites include award-winning information about Project
Gutenberg, including how to donate, how to help produce our new
eBooks, and how to subscribe to our email newsletter (free!).

Those of you who want to download any eBook before announcement
can get to them as follows, and just download by date.  This is
also a good way to get them instantly upon announcement, as the
indexes our cataloguers produce obviously take a while after an
announcement goes out in the Project Gutenberg Newsletter. or

Or /etext03, 02, 01, 00, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 92, 91 or 90

Just search by the first five letters of the filename you want,
as it appears in our Newsletters.

Information about Project Gutenberg (one page)

We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work.  The
time it takes us, a rather conservative estimate, is fifty hours
to get any eBook selected, entered, proofread, edited, copyright
searched and analyzed, the copyright letters written, etc.   Our
projected audience is one hundred million readers.  If the value
per text is nominally estimated at one dollar then we produce $2
million dollars per hour in 2002 as we release over 100 new text
files per month:  1240 more eBooks in 2001 for a total of 4000+
We are already on our way to trying for 2000 more eBooks in 2002
If they reach just 1-2% of the world's population then the total
will reach over half a trillion eBooks given away by year's end.

The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to Give Away 1 Trillion eBooks!
This is ten thousand titles each to one hundred million readers,
which is only about 4% of the present number of computer users.

Here is the briefest record of our progress (* means estimated):

eBooks Year Month

    1  1971 July
   10  1991 January
  100  1994 January
 1000  1997 August
 1500  1998 October
 2000  1999 December
 2500  2000 December
 3000  2001 November
 4000  2001 October/November
 6000  2002 December*
 9000  2003 November*
10000  2004 January*

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation has been created
to secure a future for Project Gutenberg into the next millennium.

We need your donations more than ever!

As of February, 2002, contributions are being solicited from people
and organizations in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut,
Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West
Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We have filed in all 50 states now, but these are the only ones
that have responded.

As the requirements for other states are met, additions to this list
will be made and fund raising will begin in the additional states.
Please feel free to ask to check the status of your state.

In answer to various questions we have received on this:

We are constantly working on finishing the paperwork to legally
request donations in all 50 states.  If your state is not listed and
you would like to know if we have added it since the list you have,
just ask.

While we cannot solicit donations from people in states where we are
not yet registered, we know of no prohibition against accepting
donations from donors in these states who approach us with an offer to

International donations are accepted, but we don't know ANYTHING about
how to make them tax-deductible, or even if they CAN be made
deductible, and don't have the staff to handle it even if there are

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:

Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
PMB 113
1739 University Ave.
Oxford, MS 38655-4109

Contact us if you want to arrange for a wire transfer or payment
method other than by check or money order.

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation has been approved by
the US Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization with EIN
[Employee Identification Number] 64-622154.  Donations are
tax-deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law.  As fund-raising
requirements for other states are met, additions to this list will be
made and fund-raising will begin in the additional states.

We need your donations more than ever!

You can get up to date donation information online at:


If you can't reach Project Gutenberg,
you can always email directly to:

Michael S. Hart <>

Prof. Hart will answer or forward your message.

We would prefer to send you information by email.

**The Legal Small Print**

(Three Pages)

Why is this "Small Print!" statement here? You know: lawyers.
They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong with
your copy of this eBook, even if you got it for free from
someone other than us, and even if what's wrong is not our
fault. So, among other things, this "Small Print!" statement
disclaims most of our liability to you. It also tells you how
you may distribute copies of this eBook if you want to.

By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
eBook, you indicate that you understand, agree to and accept
this "Small Print!" statement. If you do not, you can receive
a refund of the money (if any) you paid for this eBook by
sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person
you got it from. If you received this eBook on a physical
medium (such as a disk), you must return it with your request.

This PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBook, like most PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBooks,
is a "public domain" work distributed by Professor Michael S. Hart
through the Project Gutenberg Association (the "Project").
Among other things, this means that no one owns a United States copyright
on or for this work, so the Project (and you!) can copy and
distribute it in the United States without permission and
without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth
below, apply if you wish to copy and distribute this eBook
under the "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark.

Please do not use the "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark to market
any commercial products without permission.

To create these eBooks, the Project expends considerable
efforts to identify, transcribe and proofread public domain
works. Despite these efforts, the Project's eBooks and any
medium they may be on may contain "Defects". Among other
things, Defects may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged
disk or other eBook medium, a computer virus, or computer
codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.

But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below,
[1] Michael Hart and the Foundation (and any other party you may
receive this eBook from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm eBook) disclaims
all liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including

If you discover a Defect in this eBook within 90 days of
receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any)
you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that
time to the person you received it from. If you received it
on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and
such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement
copy. If you received it electronically, such person may
choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to
receive it electronically.


Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or
the exclusion or limitation of consequential damages, so the
above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you
may have other legal rights.

You will indemnify and hold Michael Hart, the Foundation,
and its trustees and agents, and any volunteers associated
with the production and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm
texts harmless, from all liability, cost and expense, including
legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the
following that you do or cause:  [1] distribution of this eBook,
[2] alteration, modification, or addition to the eBook,
or [3] any Defect.

You may distribute copies of this eBook electronically, or by
disk, book or any other medium if you either delete this
"Small Print!" and all other references to Project Gutenberg,

[1]  Only give exact copies of it.  Among other things, this
     requires that you do not remove, alter or modify the
     eBook or this "small print!" statement.  You may however,
     if you wish, distribute this eBook in machine readable
     binary, compressed, mark-up, or proprietary form,
     including any form resulting from conversion by word
     processing or hypertext software, but only so long as

     [*]  The eBook, when displayed, is clearly readable, and
          does *not* contain characters other than those
          intended by the author of the work, although tilde
          (~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may
          be used to convey punctuation intended by the
          author, and additional characters may be used to
          indicate hypertext links; OR

     [*]  The eBook may be readily converted by the reader at
          no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent
          form by the program that displays the eBook (as is
          the case, for instance, with most word processors);

     [*]  You provide, or agree to also provide on request at
          no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the
          eBook in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC
          or other equivalent proprietary form).

[2]  Honor the eBook refund and replacement provisions of this
     "Small Print!" statement.

[3]  Pay a trademark license fee to the Foundation of 20% of the
     gross profits you derive calculated using the method you
     already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  If you
     don't derive profits, no royalty is due.  Royalties are
     payable to "Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation"
     the 60 days following each date you prepare (or were
     legally required to prepare) your annual (or equivalent
     periodic) tax return.  Please contact us beforehand to
     let us know your plans and to work out the details.

Project Gutenberg is dedicated to increasing the number of
public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed
in machine readable form.

The Project gratefully accepts contributions of money, time,
public domain materials, or royalty free copyright licenses.
Money should be paid to the:
"Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

If you are interested in contributing scanning equipment or
software or other items, please contact Michael Hart at:

[Portions of this eBook's header and trailer may be reprinted only
when distributed free of all fees.  Copyright (C) 2001, 2002 by
Michael S. Hart.  Project Gutenberg is a TradeMark and may not be
used in any sales of Project Gutenberg eBooks or other materials be
they hardware or software or any other related product without
express permission.]



This file was acquired from Project Gutenberg, and it is in the public domain. It is re-distributed here as a part of the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts ( by Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.) for the purpose of freely sharing, distributing, and making available works of great literature. Its Infomotions unique identifier is etext1692, and it should be available from the following URL:

Infomotions, Inc.

Infomotions Man says, "Give back to the 'Net."