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I.—The strange voyage.

[Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca sailed for Florida in June, 1527, as treasurer of a Spanish armada, or armed fleet. In Cuba they encountered a hurricane, which delayed them; but they at last reached the coast of Florida in February, 1528, probably landing at what is now called Charlotte harbor. A portion of the party left their ships, and marched into the interior, reaching a region which they called Apalache, probably in what is now Alabama. Then they were driven back to the seashore, amid great hardships, losing one-third of their number before they reached Aute, now the Bay of St. Mark's. Near this they came to the sea; and here the narrative begins.]

It was a piteous and painful thing to witness the perplexity and distress in which we were. At our arrival, we saw the little means there were of our advancing farther: there was not anywhere to go, and, if there had been, the people could not move forward, because the greater part of them were sick, and there were few that could be of any use. . . . .

The governor called them all to him, and of each by himself he asked his advice what to do to get out of a country so miserable, and seek elsewhere that remedy

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