Page:A history of Chile.djvu/63
THE COLONIAL PERIOD
ernment of the provinces he had conquered. He also sought to open up more direct communication with Spain by sea, and with that end in view dispatched Ulloa to examine the Straits of Magellan.
Valdivia now supposed that he had practically finished the conquest of Chile. Alas, his seven cities were as cut off from the world and from each other as the seven golden cities of the mediaeval legend situated on a mythical island in the mid-Atlantic! The would-be Marquis of Arauco had overreached himself, Arauco was not yet his.
The Araucanians had, in the meantime, become dissatisfied with their toqui, Lincoyan. An old chieftain, by name Colocolo, with a passionate love for his country animating his heart, determined to arouse his countrymen to heroic exertion. With this end in view, he traversed the Araucanian provinces and sought to arouse the natives, and to induce them to select a new leader and make a desperate resistance against the encroachments of the invaders.
His appeals were successful; the various ulmenes immediately assembled at the accustomed national trysting place, a feast was ordered and plans for a campaign discussed. There were many competitors for the military toquiship—Andalican, Elicura, Ongolmo, Renco, and Tucapel, being the most distinguished. Tucapel was foremost, but the contention was so heated, that Colocolo suggested the name of Caupolican, ulmen of Pilmayquen (a district of Tucapel), a modest and valiant man. This choice pleased the assembled ulmenes, and forthwith Caupolican, a true Patagonian in stature, with a wise looking face despite the fact that he had but one eye, assumed the authority as vice-toqui, curbed the excited ones,