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[46] desired the governor to return, since the country opened
Chap. II.} 1539.
no brilliant prospects. ‘I will not turn back,’ said 1539. Soto, ‘till I have seen the poverty of the country with my own eyes.’1 The hostile Indians, who were taken prisoners, were in part put to death, in part enslaved. These were led in chains, with iron collars about their necks; their service was, to grind the maize and to carry the baggage. An exploring party discovered Ochus,2 the harbor of Pensacola; and a message was sent to Cuba, desiring that in the ensuing year supplies for the expedition might be sent to that place.3

Early in the spring of the following year, the wan-

540. Mar. 3.
derers renewed their march, with an Indian guide, who promised to lead the way to a country, governed, it was said, by a woman, and where gold so abounded, that the art of melting and refining it was understood. He described the process so well, that the credulous Spaniards took heart, and exclaimed, ‘He must have seen it, or the devil has been his teacher!’ The Indian appears to have pointed towards the Gold Region of North Carolina.4 The adventurers, therefore, eagerly hastened to the north-east; they passed the Alatamaha; they admired the fertile valleys of Georgia, rich, productive, and full of good rivers. They passed a northern tributary of the Alatamaha, and a southern branch of the Ogechee; and, at length, came upon the Ogechee itself, which, in April, flowed with a full
channel and a strong current. Much of the time, the Spaniards were in wild solitudes, they suffered for want of salt and of meat. Their Indian guide affected madness; but ‘they said a gospel over him, and the ’

1 Portuguese Relation, c. XI.

2 Ibid, c. XII.

3 Portuguese Relation, c. VI.—XII. Vega, . II. part i. and II.

4 Siliman's Journal, XXIII. 8, 9.

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