Book V, Chapter IX
On the arrival of Don Enrique and his Indians near the town of Azua, to see and hear about the status of the peace accord and about what had happened to an Indian named Gonzalo, whom he had sent with Captain Francisco de Barrionuevo, and other things related to the narrative of related events.
Translated by Chloe Richards ’22
Matters being in the state described above, on Wednesday the 26th of August of the same year 1533 this Cacique Don Enrique came within two leagues from the town of Azua and stationed himself at the entrance or foothills of the Pedernales mountains, and from there he sent out to ask the town’s people if they would consent to speak to him. He had brought up to fifty or sixty men with him, it was suspected (although he did not let so many men be seen), and those who came were well-armed and fitted for war, and he left the greater part of his Indians in a hideaway, near where he would be speaking later to the Christians. And they sent word to him that he had come at a good time, since Their Royal Majesties had forgiven him, and he was now a friend of the Christians; and some gentlemen and honorable men who were in the town by chance came out to receive him, and likewise the mayors and neighbors of the town, amounting to about twenty five or thirty men on horseback, and fifty or more men on foot, well-armed for peace and war, if resorting to the use of arms became necessary. And they dismounted and joined Don Enrique, and he embraced the Christians and they him and all his Indians, and what was understood from their talk was that Don Enrique had come to know and hear of the state of the peace agreement he had reached with Captain Francisco de Barrionuevo; because he had not seen or encountered his messenger, the aforementioned Gonzalo, or received what had been sent through him. Said Indian had left the same town of Azua four days before in a caravel in which he and some Christians had gone to seek Don Enrique, and he was very happy to hear it. And Enrique then sent one of his own men to follow along the coast in search of the caravel, and he settled in, showing his pleasure in seeing the Christians, who had brought much food and drink, including many chickens and capons and legs of pork and good veal, and the best bread and wine there was. And most of the Christians and the principal Indians ate together, and all ho were there experienced much pleasure and joy; but the Cacique Don Enrique did not eat nor drink anything, even though Francisco Dávila, who is now councilman of this city (having settled here), and the other Christians begged him to do so. And he offered as an excuse that he did not feel well, and that he had eaten shortly before, and spoke to them very seriously, without laughing, with a countenance and aspect of much calm and authority, showing and saying that he was very happy and content with the peace and good friendship with the Christians. This went on for four hours of eating and particularly of drinking (since these Indians very willingly drink wine when it is offered to them). There were up to thirty Indians with Don Enrique at this banquet, who found themselves in these festivities armed with spears, swords, shields and some with daggers.
Afterwards, the mayors and gentlemen told him that all the Christians would be his friends and do him good, since the Emperor King, our lord, had ordered it so, and because they were now friends; and that he would find much truth and great friendship among the Christians of this island, and that he and his men could come alone or accompanied to this city of Santo Domingo and to all the cities and towns of this island without fear, and they would give him all the mercies he wished to receive; and that this had been proclaimed everywhere, and he said that he would now be a brother and friend of all. And embracing the Christians as he had done before, he and his Indians said goodbye without going to the town of Azua because he only wanted to go and look for the caravel, so that the Christians and his Indian Gonzalo would not have to look for him along the coast. And the Christians told him he should do as he wished and so Don Enrique and his Indians left through the Pedernales mountains, which were in parts exceedingly rough and mountainous.
After he had gone some distance from where they had met, the Christians opined that he had left with more people than had attended the meal, and those who had been present understood that Don Enrique had been amazed to see so many people come out of Azua to greet him, so quickly and well disposed, both those on horseback as on foot, with many Black slaves and Indians bringing food to eat and people to attend to the horses. The surprise stemmed from the town being so small and it being reasonable to be amazed and to think that the land was in good hands, because half of the good men there were in Francisco Dávila’s company and were neighbors from this city and had perhaps come from the city of San Juan de la Maguana to visit their estates, while others had come to Azua on businesses. From which Don Enrique could conjecture that since there were such men and people there, there would be many more in the larger towns and in this city of Santo Domingo, which Don Enrique knew well because he had been raised here.
A few days after the cacique and his Indians had left, the caravel returned with the Christians who had gone in it, and they brought Gonzalo and the present already mentioned; and they said that Don Enrique and his wife and all his other Indians had been very pleased. And later he sent in the same caravel four or five Black slaves and other fugitive Indians he was holding for the Christians, and he sent word that he should be informed if any Black or Indian slave had escaped from the Christians, that he would look for them and return them bound to their owners, in accordance with their agreement. So as to begin these payments, he was given by the owners of the Blacks and Indians he sent the rate and terms that had been agreed between him and Captain Francisco de Barrionuevo; and his assessor and the Indians he sent for this purpose received the payment of so much per head, and were satisfied with their dealings, and they returned to their Cacique Don Enrique with some things they had bought with that money.
Image retrieved from John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.