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[91]

We desired to be informed of the country ahead, and of the subsistence in it; and they said there was nothing in it to eat, and [it] was thin of people, who suffered of cold, having no skins or other thing to cover them. They told us, also, if we wished to see those three Christians, two days from that time the Indians who had them would come to eat walnuts a league from there, on the margin of that river; and, that we might know what they had told us of the ill usage to be true, they slapped my companion, and beat him with a stick, and I was not left without my portion. They frequently threw fragments of mud at us; and every day they put their arrows to our hearts, saying that they were inclined to kill us in the way they had destroyed our friends. Lope Oviedo, my comrade, in fear, said that he wished to go back with the women who had crossed the bay with us, the men having remained some distance behind. I contended strongly with him against his returning, and I urged many objections; but in no way could I keep him. So he went back, and I remained alone with those savages.


Iv.—The Indians of the gulf of Mexico.

These are the most watchful in danger of any people I have ever seen. If they fear an enemy, they are awake the night long, with each a bow by his side, and a dozen arrows. He that sleeps tries his bow; and, if it is not strung, he gives the turn necessary to the cord. They often come out from their houses, bending to the ground in such manner, that they cannot be seen, and

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