numbers of the natives, for punishment or intimida-
while the young cavaliers, from desire of seeming valiant, ceased to be merciful, and exulted in cruelties and carnage.
The guide who was unsuccessful, or who purposely led them away from the settlements of his tribe, would be seized and thrown to the hounds.
Sometimes a native was condemned to the flames.
Any trifling consideration of safety would induce the governor to set fire to a hamlet.
He did not delight in cruelty; but the happiness, the life, and the rights of the Indians, were held of no account.
The approach of the Spaniards was heard with dismay; and their departure hastened by the suggestion of wealthier lands at a distance.
In the spring of the following year, Soto
to descend the Washita
to its junction, and to get tidings of the sea. As he advanced, he was soon lost amidst the bayous and marshes which are found along the Red River
and its tributaries.
Near the Mississippi
, he came upon the country of Nilco, which was well peopled.
The river was there larger than the Guadalquivir at Seville
At last, he arrived at the
province where the Washita
, already united with the Red River
, enters the Mississippi
The province was called Guachoya.
anxiously inquired the distance to the sea; the chieftain of Guachoya could not tell.
Were there settlements extending along the river to its mouth?
It was answered that its lower banks were an uninhabited waste.
Unwilling to believe so disheartening a tale, Soto
sent one of his men, with eight