Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/30

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xiv
INTRODUCTION.

who understand ship-building. Your most Royal Highness should also send two hundred cross-bows with very strong stays and fittings, and with long ranges. They should not weigh more than two pounds; and money would thus be saved, because each man in this place ought to have one or two cross-bows, as they are very good arms against the Indians, and useful in the chase of birds and other game. Two dozen very good hand-guns, of light metal, are also required; for those made of iron are soon damaged by the constant damp, and are eaten away with rust. They should not weigh more than, from twenty-five to thirty pounds, and they should not be long, so that a man may be able to carry one of them wherever it may be necessary. Very good powder is also wanted.

"For the present, it is necessary that as large a reinforcement of troops as possible should be sent to the province of Darien, because it is a land very full of hostile tribes. There should also be a force at the mines of Tubanama, in the province of Comogre, because it is also a very populous region. At present, most puissant lord, the troops cannot build with lime and stone, nor with mud, but are obliged to make double palisades of very strong wood, with mud between them, surrounded by a good strong ditch. And those who tell your most Royal Highness that forts may be built of stone and lime, or of other material, have not seen the quality of the land. What I would urge, most puissant lord, is that people should come, so that the land may be explored from these two stations of Davaive and Comogre, and that the secrets of it may be known, as well as those of the sea on the other side towards the south, and all other matters. Your most Royal Highness should also send workmen to look after the cross-bows, for everyday they get out of order, owing to the constant damp. In all the matters which I have named, your most Royal Highness would gain money, and it would cost nothing beyond the order to send people here.