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[89] cones, conches, that are used for cutting,1 and a fruit like a bean, of the highest value among them, which they use as a medicine, and employ in their dances and festivities. There are sea-beads also, and other articles. Such were what I carried into the interior; and, in barter for them, I brought back skins, ochre, with which they rub and color their faces, and flint for arrow-points, cement and hard canes, of which to make arrows, and tassels that are made of the hair of deer, ornamented, and dyed red.

This occupation suited me well; for the travel gave me liberty to go where I wished. I was not obliged to work, and was not a slave. Wherever I went, I received fair treatment; and the Indians gave me to eat for the sake of my commodities. My leading object, while journeying in this business, was to find out the way by which I should have to go forward; and I became well known to the inhabitants. They were pleased when they saw me, and I had brought for them what they wanted; and those that did not know me sought and desired my acquaintance for my reputation. The hardships that I underwent in this it were long to tell, as well of peril and privation, as of storms and cold. Many of them found me in the wilderness and alone; but I came forth from them all, by the great mercy of God our Lord. Because of them, I ceased to pursue the business in winter; for it is a season in which the natives themselves retire to their villages and huts, sluggish, and incapable of exertion.

I was in this country nearly six years,2 alone among

1 The sea-snails and conches (or conchs) were shells of various species.

2 From 1528 to 1533.

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