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[22] troop, and have fled in such haste, at the approach of our men, that the fathers forsook their children, and the children their fathers.

This timidity did not arise from any loss or injury that they had received from us; for, on the contrary, I gave to all I approached whatever articles I had about me, such as cloth, and many other things, taking nothing of theirs in return: but they are naturally timid and fearful. As soon, however, as they see that they are safe, and have laid aside all fear, they are very simple and honest, and exceedingly liberal with all that they have, none of them refusing any thing he may possess when he is asked for it, but, on the contrary, inviting us to ask them. They exhibit great love towards all others in preference to themselves: they also give objects of great value for trifles, and content themselves with very little, or nothing, in return. I, however, forbade that these trifles and articles of no value—such as pieces of dishes, plates and glass, keys, and leather straps— should be given to them, although, if they could obtain them, they imagined themselves to be possessed of the most beautiful trinkets in the world. It even happened that a sailor received for a leather strap as much gold as was worth three golden nobles; and for things of more trifling value offered by our men, especially newly coined blancas,1 or any gold coins, the Indians would give whatever the seller required; as, for instance, an ounce and a half or two ounces of gold, or thirty or forty pounds of cotton; with which commodity they were already acquainted.


1 A small coin, worth less than a cent. A noble was a gold coin, worth about $1.60.

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