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The army started from Cicuye, leaving the village at peace and, as it seemed, contented, and under obligations to maintain the friendship because their governor and captain had been restored to them. Proceeding toward the plains, which are all on the other side of the mountains, after four days’ journey they came to a river with a large, deep current, which flowed down toward Cicuye, and they named this the Cicuye river.[166] They had to stop here to make a bridge so as to cross it. It was finished in four days, by much diligence and rapid work, and as soon as it was done the whole army and the animals crossed. After ten days more they came to some settlements of people who lived like Arabs and who are called Querechos in that region. They had seen the cows for two days. These folks live in tents made of the tanned skins of the cows. They travel around near the cows, killing them for food. They did nothing unusual when they saw our army, except to come out of their tents to look at us, after which they came to talk with the advance guard, and asked who we were. The general talked with them, but as they had already talked with the Turk, who was with the advance guard, they agreed with what he had said. That they were very intelligent is evident from the fact that although they conversed by means of signs they made themselves understood so well that there was no need of an interpreter.[167] They said that there was a very large river over toward where the sun came from, and that one could go along this river through an inhabited region for ninety days without a break from settlement to settlement. They said that the first of these settlements was called Haxa, and that the river was more than a league wide and that there were many canoes on it. These folks started off from here next day with a lot of dogs which dragged their possessions. For two days, during which the army marched in the same direction as that in which they had come from the settlements—that is, between north and east, but more toward the north[168]—they saw [p505] other roaming Querechos and such great numbers of cows that it already seemed something incredible. These people gave a great deal of information about settlements, all toward the east from where we were. Here Don Garcia broke his arm and a Spaniard got lost who went off hunting so far that he was unable to return to the camp, because the country is very level. The Turk said it was one or two days to Haya (Haxa). The general sent Captain Diego Lopez with ten companions lightly equipped and a guide to go at full speed toward the sunrise for two days and discover Haxa, and then return to meet the army, which set out in the same direction next day. They came across so many animals that those who were on the advance guard killed a large number of bulls. As these fled they trampled one another in their haste until they came to a ravine. So many of the animals fell into this that they filled it up, and the rest went across on top of them. The men who were chasing them on horseback fell in among the animals without noticing where they were going. Three of the horses that fell in among the cows, all saddled and bridled, were lost sight of completely.

As it seemed to the general that Diego Lopez ought to be on his way back, he sent six of his companions to follow up the banks of the little river, and as many more down the banks, to look for traces of the horses at the trails to and from the river. It was impossible to find tracks in this country, because the grass straightened up again as soon as it was trodden down. They were found by some Indians from the army who had gone to look for fruit. These got track of them a good league off, and soon came up with them. They followed the river down to the camp, and told the general that in the 20 leagues they had been over they had seen nothing but cows and the sky. There was another native of Quivira with the army, a painted Indian named Ysopete. This Indian had always declared that the Turk was lying, and on account of this the army paid no attention to him, and even now, although he said that the Querechos had consulted with him, Ysopete was not believed.[169]

The general sent Don Rodrigo Maldonado, with his company, forward from here. He traveled four days and reached a large ravine like those of Colima,[170] in the bottom of which he found a large settlement of people.

Cabeza de Vaca and Dorantes had passed through this place, so that they presented Don Rodrigo with a pile of tanned skins and other things, and a tent as big as a house, which he directed them to keep until the army came up. He sent some of his companions to guide the army to that place, so that they should not get lost, although he had been making piles of stones and cow dung for the army to follow. This was the way in which the army was guided by the advance guard. [p506]

When the general came up with the army and saw the great quantity of skins, he thought he would divide them among the men, and placed guards so that they could look at them. But when the men arrived and saw that the general was sending some of his companions with orders for the guards to give them some of the skins, and that these were going to select the best, they were angry because they were not going to be divided evenly, and made a rush, and in less than a quarter of an hour nothing was left but the empty ground.

The natives who happened to see this also took a hand in it. The women and some others were left crying, because they thought that the strangers were not going to take anything, but would bless them as Cabeza de Vaca and Dorantes had done when they passed through here. They found an Indian girl here who was as white as a Castilian lady, except that she had her chin painted like a Moorish woman. In general they all paint themselves in this way here, and they decorate their eyes.


[166] The Rio Pecos. The bridge, however, was doubtless built across the upper waters of the Canadian.

[167] There is an elaborate account of the sign language of the Indians, by Garrick Mallery, in the first annual report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1879–80.

[168] Mota Padilla, xxxiii, 3, p. 165, says: “Hasta allí caminaron los nuestros, guiados por el Turco para el Oriente, con mucha inclinacion al Norte, y desde entônces los guió vía recta al Oriente; y habiendo andado tres jornadas, hubo de hacer alto el gobernador para conferir sobre si seria acertado dejarse llevar de aquel indio, habiendo mudado de rumbo, en cuyo intermedio un soldado, ó por travesura, ó por hacer carne, se apartó, y aunque lo esperaron, no se supo mas de él; y á dos jornadas que anduvieron, guiados todavía del indio, pasaron una barranca profunda, que fué la primera quiebra que vieron de la tierra desde Tigües.” Compare the route of the expedition in the Introduction, and also in the translation of Jaramillo.

[169] Compare the Spanish. Temaux: “Mais cette fois on n’avait pas voulu le croire; les Querechos ayant rapporté la même chose que le Turc.”

[170] Ternaux read this Coloma. The reference is clearly to the district of Colima in western Mexico, where one of the earliest Spanish settlements was made.