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[54] his ramble in this direction. The mountains offered
Chap. II.} 1541.
neither gems nor gold; and the disappointed adventurers marched to the south.1 They passed through a succession of towns, of which the position cannot be fixed; till, at length, we find them among the Tunicas,2 near the hot springs and saline tributaries of the Washita.3 It was at Autiamque, a town on the same river,4 that they passed the winter; they had arrived at the settlement through the country of the Kappaws.

The native tribes, every where on the route, were found in a state of civilization beyond that of nomadic hordes. They were an agricultural people, with fixed places of abode, and subsisted upon the produce of the fields, more than upon the chase. Ignorant of the arts of life, they could offer no resistance to their unwelcome visitors; the bow and arrow were the most effective weapons with which they were acquainted. They seem not to have been turbulent or quarrelsome; but as the population was moderate, and the earth fruitful, the tribes were not accustomed to contend with each other for the possession of territories. Their dress was, in part, mats wrought of ivy and bulrushes, of the bark and lint of trees; in cold weather, they wore mantles woven of feathers. The settlements were by tribes; each tribe occupied what the Spaniards called a province; their villages were generally near together, but were composed of few habitations. The Spaniards treated them with no other forbearance than their own selfishness demanded, and enslaved such as offended, employing them as porters and guides. On a slight suspicion, they would cut off the hands of

1 Portuguese Rel. XXV.—XXVII.

2 Charlevoix, Jour. Hist. l. XXXI.

3 Portuguese Narrative, c. XXVI. Nuttall's Arkansas, 215, 216, 257.

4 The river of Autiamque, Cayas, the saline regions, and afterwards of Nilco, was the same Portuguese Relation, c. XXVIII.

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