previous next


III.—Cabeza de Vaca's Captivity.

[the eighty men taken by the Indians were soon reduced by death to fifteen. These were made slaves, and were severely treated.]

I was obliged to remain with the people of the island more than a year; and because of the hard work they put upon me, and their harsh treatment, I determined to flee from them, and go to those of Charruco, who inhabit the forests and country of the main; for the life I led was insupportable. Beside much other labor, I had to get out roots from below the water, and from among the cane where it grew in the ground. From this employment I had my fingers so worn, that, did a straw but touch them, it would draw blood. Many of the canes were broken, so that they often tore my flesh; and I had to go in the midst of them with only the clothing on me I have mentioned.

Accordingly, I put myself to work to get over to the other Indians; and afterward, while I was with them, affairs changed for me somewhat more favorably. I set myself to trafficking, and strove to turn my employment to profit in the ways I could best contrive; and by this means I got from the Indians food and good treatment. They would beg me to go from one part to another for things of which they have need; for, in consequence of continual hostilities, they cannot travel the country, nor make many exchanges. With my merchandise and trade I went into the interior as far as I pleased; and I travelled along the coast forty or fifty leagues. The chief of my wares was pieces of sea-snails and their

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Cabeza Vaca (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: