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Adelantado with ninety foot-soldiers and some horsemen against them. It may be truthfully added that about three thousand of the islanders who had suffered from the invasions of the Ciguana tribe, who were their sworn enemies, joined forces with the Spaniards. The Adelantado led his troops to the bank of a great river which waters the plain between the sea and the two extremes of the mountain chain of Ciguana, of which we have already spoken. He surprised two of the enemy's spies who were concealed in the underbrush, one of whom sprang into the sea, and, swimming across the river at its mouth, succeeded in escaping to his own people. From the one who was captured, it was learned that six thousand natives of Ciguana were hidden in the forest beyond the river and were prepared to attack the Spaniards when they crossed over. The Adelantado therefore marched along the river bank seeking a ford. This he soon found in the plain, and was preparing to cross the river when the Ciguana warriors rushed out from the forest in compact battalions, yelling in a most horrible manner. Their appearance is fearsome and repulsive, and they march into battle daubed with paint, as did the Thracians and Agathyrses. These natives indeed paint themselves from the forehead to the knees, with black and scarlet colours which they extract from certain fruits similar to pears, and which they carefully cultivate in their gardens. Their hair is tormented into a thousand strange forms, for it is long and black, and what nature refuses they supply by art. They look like goblins emerged from the infernal caverns. Advancing towards our men who were trying to cross the river, they contested their passage with flights of arrows and by throwing pointed sticks; and such was the multitude of projectiles that they half darkened the light of the sun, and had not the Spaniards received the blows on their shields the engagement would have ended badly for them.
A number of men were wounded in this first encounter, but the Adelantado succeeded in crossing the river and the enemy fled, the Spaniards pursuing them, though they killed few, as the islanders are good runners. As soon as they gained the protection of the woods, they used their bows to repulse their pursuers, for they are accustomed to woods, and run naked amongst underbrush, shrubs, and trees, like wild boars, heedless of obstacles. The Spaniards, on the contrary, were hindered amongst this undergrowth by their shields, their clothes, their long lances, and their ignorance of the surroundings. After a night passed uselessly in the woods the Adelantado, realising the next morning that they could catch nobody, followed the counsel of those islanders who are the immemorial enemies of the Ciguana tribe, and under their guidance marched towards the mountains where the King Maiobanexius lived at a place called Capronus. Twelve miles' march brought them to the village of another cacique, which had been abandoned by its terrified inhabitants, and there he established his camp. Two natives were captured, from whom it was learned that King Maiobanexius and ten caciques with eight thousand soldiers were assembled at Capronus. During two days there were a few light skirmishes between the parties, the Adelantado not wishing to do more than reconnoitre the country. Scouts were sent out the following night under the guidance of some islanders who knew the land. The people of Ciguana caught sight of our men from the heights of their mountains, and prepared to give battle, uttering war-cries as is their custom. But they did not venture to quit their woods, because they thought the Adelantado had his entire army with him. Twice on the following day, when the Adelantado marched on with his men, the natives tested the fortune of war; hurling themselves against the Spaniards with fury, they wounded many before they could protect themselves with their shields, but the latter, getting the better of them, pursued them, cutting some in pieces, and taking a large number prisoners. Those who escaped took refuge in the forests, from which they were careful not to emerge. The Adelantado selected one of the prisoners, and sending with him one of his allies, he despatched them both to Maiobanexius with the following message: “The Adelantado has not undertaken to make war upon you and your people, O Maiobanexius, for he desires your friendship; but he formally demands that Guarionex, who has taken refuge with you and has drawn you into this conflict to the great damage of your people, shall be delivered to him to be punished as he merits. He counsels you, therefore, to give up this cacique; if you consent, the Admiral will count you among his friends and protect and respect your territory. If you refuse you will be made to repent, for your entire country will be devastated with fire and sword, and all you possess will be destroyed.” Maiobanexius, upon hearing this message, replied: “Everybody knows that Guarionex is a hero, adorned with all the virtues, and therefore I have esteemed it right to assist and protect him. As for you, you are violent and perfidious men, and seek to shed the blood of innocent people: I will neither enter into relations with you, nor form any alliance with so false a people.” When this answer was brought to the Adelantado, he burnt the village where he had established his camp and several others in the neighbourhood. He again sent envoys to Maiobanexius, to ask him to name one of his trusty advisers to treat for peace. Maiobanexius consented to send one of the most devoted of his counsellors, accompanied by two other chiefs. The Adelantado earnestly conjured them not to jeopardise the territory of Maiobanexius solely in the interests of Guarionex. He advised Maiobanexius, if he did not wish to be ruined himself and to be treated as an enemy, to give him up. When his envoys returned, Maiobanexius called together his people and explained the conditions. The people cried that Guarionex must be surrendered, cursing and execrating the day he had come amongst them to disturb their tranquillity. The cacique reminded them, however, that Guarionex was a hero, and had rendered him services when he fled to him for protection, for he had brought him royal presents. Moreover, he had taught both the cacique himself and his wife to sing and dance, a thing not to be held in mediocre consideration. Maiobanexius was determined never to surrender the prince who had appealed to his protection, and whom he had promised to defend. He was prepared to risk the gravest perils with him rather than to merit the reproach of having betrayed his guest. Despite the complaints of the people, the cacique dissolved the assembly, and calling Guarionex to him, he pledged himself for the second time to protect him and to share his fortunes as long as he lived. Maiobanexius resolved to give no further information to the Adelantado: on the contrary he ordered his first messenger to station himself with some faithful soldiers at a place on the road where the Adelantado's envoys usually passed, and to kill any Spaniards who appeared, without further discussion. The Adelantado had just sent his messengers, and both these men, one of whom was a prisoner from Ciguana and the other from amongst the native allies, were decapitated. The Adelantado, escorted by only ten foot-soldiers and four horsemen, followed his envoys and discovered their bodies lying in the road, which so incensed him that he determined to no longer spare Maiobanexius. He invaded the cacique's village of Capronus with his army. The caciques fled in every direction, abandoning their chief, who withdrew with his entire family into places of concealment in the mountain districts. Some others of the Ciguana people sought to capture Guarionex, since he was the occasion of the catastrophe; but he succeeded in escaping and concealed himself almost alone amidst the rocks and desert mountains. The soldiers of the Adelantado were exhausted by this long war, which dragged on for three months; the watches, the fatigues, and the scarcity of food. In response to their request they were authorised to return to Concepcion, where they owned handsome plantations of the native sort; and thither many withdrew. Only thirty companions remained with the Adelantado, all of whom were severely tried by these three months of fighting, during which they had eaten nothing but cazabi, that is to say, bread made of roots, and even they were not always ripe. They also procured some utias, or rabbits, by hunting with their dogs, while their only drink had been water, which was sometimes exquisitely fresh, but just as often muddy and marshy. Moreover the character of the war obliged them to pass most of the time in the open air and perpetual movement. With his little troop the Adelantado determined to scour the mountains to seek out the secret retreats where Maiobanexius and Guarionex had concealed themselves. Some Spaniards, who had been driven by hunger to hunt utias for want of something better, met two servants of Maiobanexius, whom the cacique had sent into the villages of his territory, and who were carrying back native bread. They forced these men to betray the hiding-place of their chief, and under their leadership, twelve soldiers who had stained their bodies like the people of Ciguana succeeded by trickery in capturing Maiobanexius, his wife, and his son, all of whom they brought to the Admiral at Concepcion. A few days later hunger compelled Guarionex to emerge from the cavern where he was concealed, and the islanders, out of fear of the Admiral, betrayed him to the hunters. As soon as he