Page:Omniana.djvu/157

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139
OMNIANA.

undertook this desperate service. Just as he was about to embark he was seized and the papers found upon him. Velazquez at first was about to hang him: but upon intercession, contented himself with putting him in irons, and embarking him on board ship to send him to Hispaniola. He contrived to rid himself of his fetters, and while the crew were asleep, got overboard, and trusted himself upon a log of wood, for he could not swim: it was ebb tide, and he was carried a league out from the ship; the flow drove him upon shore, but he was so exhausted that he was on the point of letting loose his hold and resigning himself to his fate. It was not yet day; he hid himself, knowing search would be made for him as soon as he was mist on board; and when the church doors were opened he took sanctuary.

Near this church there dwelt one Juan Xuares, who had a handsome sister of excellent character. Cortes liked her,