The Tour of the world project:

Pedro Ordóñez de Ceballos,
El viaje del mundo (Madrid: 1614).

Book I, Chapter 16 (Part 2)

Uploaded on 22 October 2012 by .

Permalink for this paragraph 0 [38v continued]

Permalink for this paragraph 0 My lieutenant ran up the hill, and his retreat was as valuable as victory. The black man was bleeding to death, and not worth my attention. I took the woman aside, to where we had first spoken, where she said: ‘you did not leave me to kill my General. Now you must defeat me’. She struck me with furious blows, and although I could have wounded her, I slowly retreated, thinking it would not be fair, that it would not end the war. I thought that if I defeated her with kindness, because she and her man were the leaders, I would be more successful. And so I said, ‘look, what I told you is true, I swear on my life that I will give you your freedom and an income’. She came towards me, wanting to hurt me, and I struck her with a blow that could have killed her. I added, ‘Cordobesa, I could have killed you just now’. She responded with a manly fury, and grabbed my arm with both hands, and showed me the dagger she was holding. ‘Cordobés’, she said, ‘now you’re mine’. I took out a small pistol I was carrying, and said, ‘I will be, if you do what I say. Just look at how many times I have spared your life. Recognise the mercy of God, since you are a Christian’. She asked me whether I was wounded, and I told her that I was (although it was nothing), because she had hit me with her second dart in the thigh, and the black man had struck me in the head, even if it was but a scratch. She said, ‘go and withdraw your people, in order, and I will calm mine tonight.’ She handed me her dagger, saying ‘help your men’. I took my sword, and turned to climb the hill, and barely managed it from my tiredness. At the summit, I sat down in the greatest melancholy, from witnessing such strife.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 [39r]

Permalink for this paragraph 0 When lieutenant Bartolomé Pérez came up, our men had begun to retreat, because the rebels had fought them with great valour, and we had run out of gunpowder. They had been forced to fight the enemy with the strength of their arms, and I was told that if it had not been for Pedro de Lomelín and lieutenant Pérez, they would all have been killed. We paid a heavy price that day. On their side, fifty black women and thirty black men had been killed. On ours, apart from the three men I mentioned, another two black men and three Indians had lost their lives. Almost everyone had been wounded. Pedro de Lomelín and Polonia were not, spared as they were by their great fortune, but all the others had – some with up to nine wounds. It was very late now, and I blew a horn I wore around my neck with the signal to withdraw. And so our men retreated, with composure, as our enemies made faces at the Spaniards, and threw darts and stones from some sticks they make — smaller than clubs but as strong as iron, with a bow at the end about the size of the palm of your hand, slung with strips of rope, with a thick part where they put a stone and shoot it out with such fury that it is as if they shot it out of a rifle. They did the greatest damage with these weapons.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 The black General, Martín, and another demon, one Francisco Iolofo, who had been captured in Monomotapa1 and taken to Arabia Felix2 and Turkey as an idolatrous gentile, where he had become a Moor.3 Thence, captured on a Turkish shop near Cape Gata,4 which the Turks call the Cape of Silver. He was taken to Seville, where he became a Christian, and then to the Indies. But as an unreliable runaway, he became a Cimarrón,5 and performed the role of Maestre de Campo6 and had fought the most that day. Because they saw our people retreat, and heard the sound of the horn, they let our men retreat in order and hid half-way up the hill. [39v] They then crept to where I was, and I heard a great voice say, ‘Martín, down here’. I turned my head, and saw a dart flying towards me, that would have killed me if I had not moved out of the way. Then two stones were thrown, which hit my buckler, one after the other. I leapt twice with great lightness (I was very nimble back then), and found myself so close to that Martín that I was able to stab him in the stomach. It made a large wound, but not a fatal one, although he now had to use one of his hands to stop his innards spilling out. Just then, Ortíz and two Indians arrived, and one shot an arrow into Martín’s eye. The other demon, Iolofo, knocked the Indian out with a stone, and then did the same to the other Indian with his spear. I was able to wound his leg, and he turned like a wounded bull and hit me with his spear, avoiding the buckler, and stabbing my shoulder. He wounded me, and I fainted. Ortíz grabbed his arm, and at the same time stabbed the General once more, cutting off his hand and releasing the innards it was holding in. Now everyone arrived, from both sides, and took their wounded: we took ours and they took theirs. We retreated to our camps, and there I tended to my wound, and those of another twenty soldiers. The others did the same, tending to each other’s wounds.

  1. i.e. the Kingdom of Mutapa, in southern Africa. []
  2. i.e. the southern parts of Arabia. []
  3. i.e. a Muslim. []
  4. Near Almería, in southern Spain. []
  5. i.e. a runaway slave. []
  6. i.e. commander. []