Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/31

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INTRODUCTION.

"Those Indians in certain of the provinces, who eat men, and others at the bottom of the gulf of Uraba and in the extensive flooded parts near the great river of San Juan and round the gulf, at the entrance of the flat country of the province of Davaive, have no workshops, nor do they support themselves on anything but fish, which they exchange for maize. These are worthless people, and when canoes of Christians have gone on the great river of San Juan, they have come against them, and have killed some of our people. The country where the Indians eat men is very bad and useless, and can never at any time be turned to account. But these Indians of Caribana have richly deserved death a thousand times over, for they are a very evil race, and have killed many of our Christians when we lost the ship. I would not make slaves of so bad a people, but would order them to be destroyed, both old and young, that no memory may remain of them. I speak now of Caribana and for twenty leagues inland, the people being evil, and the country sterile and worthless. And it will be serviceable to your Highness to give permission to take these natives to Española and the other islands occupied by Christians, to be sold and made profitable, that other slaves may be bought for their price; for it is impossible to keep them even for a day, the country being very extensive, where they can run away and hide. Thus the settlers in these parts, not having Indians secured, cannot work for the service of your Highness, nor extract any gold from the mines. The settlers would also beseech your Highness to grant them permission to bring Indians from Veragua, from a gulf called San Blas, which is fifty leagues from this town, down the coast. Your Highness will be well served in granting this request, because it is a very worthless land, covered with great swamps and forests, and, seen from the sea, it appears to be inundated. So that no profit whatever can be made out of these Indians of Veragua and Caribana, except in this way, by bringing them