Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/20

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iv
INTRODUCTION.

an account of all that has happened in these parts. I also wrote by a brigantine which left this town for the island of Española to let the admiral[1] know that we were in extreme distress; and now we have been supplied by two ships laden with provisions. We were then reduced to such extremities that, if succour had been delayed, it would no longer have been necessary. For no remedy could then have delivered us from the consequences of famine; and in our great need we lost 300 of the men we found here of those I commanded, of those of Uraba under Alonzo de Ojeda, and of those under Diego de Nicuesa at Veragua. With much labour I have united all these parties together, as your Royal Majesty will see in another letter which I write to your very Royal Highness, where I give an account of all that has taken place here. I sent, most Royal Highness, to order that the persons who were in the settlement of Diego de Nicuesa should be brought to this town, and I treated them with all the attention that was possible. Your most Royal Highness will be aware that, after Diego de Nicuesa came to this town and thence departed for Española, I took as much care of the people that were left in his settlement, as if they had been under my own charge, and had been conveyed from Castile by order of your Royal Highness. Wlien I found that they were in want, I remembered to send provisions to them one two or three times, until after a year and a half I conveyed them to this town, seeing that I should thus further the service of your most Royal Highness. For if I had not helped them they would have been lost, five or six dying of hunger every day, and the survivors being thinned by the Indians. Now all the men who were left behind by Diego de Nicuesa are in this town. From the first day of their arrival here they have boon treated as well as if they had been sent by

  1. The son of Christopher Columbus, who had inherited that title, and the government of Hispañiola, from his father.