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[41] of October, 1541, reported to Charles the Fifth, that
Chap. II.} 1541.
poor as were the villages on the Del Norte, nothing better had been found, and that the region was not fit to be colonized. Persuaded that no discoveries could be made of lands rich in gold or thickly enough settled to be worth dividing as estates, Coronado, in 1542,
with the hearty concurrence of his officers, returned to New Spain. His failure to find a Northern Peru threw him out of favor; yet what could have more deserved applause than the courage and skill of the men who so thoroughly examined the country north of Sonora, from Kanzas on the one side to the chasm of the Colorado on the other, and portrayed it so accurately, that succeeding travellers verify their description!

The expedition from Mexico had not yet been be-

gun, when, in 1537, Cabeza de Vaca, landing in Spain, addressed to the Imperial Catholic King a narrative of his adventures, that they might serve as a guide to the men who should go under the royal banners to conquer those lands; and the tales of ‘the Columbus of the continent’ quickened the belief, that the country between the river Palmas and the Atlantic was the richest in the world.

The assertion was received even by those who had seen Mexico and Peru. To no one was this faith more disastrous than to Ferdinand de Soto, of Xeres. He had been the favorite companion of Pizarro, and at the storming of Cusco had surpassed his companions in arms. He assisted in arresting the unhappy Atahualpa, and shared in the immense ransom with which the credulous Inca purchased the promise of freedom. Perceiving the angry jealousies of the conquerors of Peru, Soto had seasonably withdrawn, to display his opulence in Spain, and to solicit advancement.

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