Which deals with the death of Cristobal de Sotomayor and other Christians; and how Juan González, the interpreter, escaped with four deep wounds and how he walked wounded like that all night, without treating his wounds, and other matters touching upon the course of history.

Marta Candelas ’23

Returning to the story of the Indian uprising, I say that after their leaders confederated for their rebellion, “it fell to the cacique Agueybana, the highest lord on the land, to kill Cristóbal de Sotomayor, his master, whom the cacique himself served and to whom he had been assigned by repartimiento, as I have been told, and in whose household he lived; and they made a wager when they played their ball game, which they called batey, to kill him. And one of the cacique’s sisters, who was Cristóbal’s friend, warned him and told him: “Sir, leave this place, as my brother is a knave and wants to kill you.” And an interpreter Cristóbal had, named Juan González, got naked one night and painted himself with that red ointment described in Book VIII, Chapter VI, that the Indians called bixa, with which they paint themselves to go to battle or for their areytos, and when they want to look good. And because Juan Gonzalez was naked and painted and it was night, he joined those singing the chorus of the areyto and saw and heard how they chanted Cristóbal de Sotomayor’s death and that of the Christians with him; and leaving the celebration when he had the opportunity and it seemed right, he warned Cristóbal of the Indians’ evil and what they had sung at the areyto and planned. Which was to no avail since, as he had not believed the Indian cacica, nor did he believe Juan González, who told him: “Sir, tonight we can both leave, and please believe that your life depends on it: I will lead you where they will not find us.” But since his time had come, he would not do it. Nonetheless, as another day dawned, he was stirred and somewhat suspicious and agreed to go; but there was no time left: and he told the cacique that he wanted to go where the governor Juan Ponce de León was, and he told him to go and sent Indians with him to carry his belongings and clothes, and he gave them good instructions of what they had to do; and he commanded that when they saw their people they would rise with their companions, and so it happened: that when Cristóbal departed, the cacique went after him with people, and reached him a league from his settlement, at a river called Cauyo. And before they reached him, they caught Juan González, the interpreter, and they took his sword and wounded him, and wanted to finish him off; and as Agueybana arrived the interpreter said in the Indian language: “Sir, why are you ordering to kill me? I will serve you and be your Naboria” and so the cacique said: “Go ahead, go ahead, to my datihao (which means my master, or the one who is named like me), leave that knave.” And so they left him, but with three deep and dangerous wounds, and so they went and killed Cristóbal and the Christians that were with him (which were four), with truncheons; I mean with those clubs they use as weapons, and with arrows. And that done, they went back to finish killing Juan González, the interpreter; but he had climbed up a tree and saw how they looked for him by tracking his blood, and God did not want him to be seen or found since the earth is really thick with trees and branches, and he had deflected from the path and the ambush, and he escaped this way. And it would have been really a misfortune if Juan Gonzalez had died there because he was a great interpreter; after it got dark, he got down from the tree and walked so far that he crossed the Jacagua sierra, and it is thought that he was guided my God or by the angel, and with their favor he had the strength and life force for it, as he was badly wounded. He finally reached Coa, a royal estate, but he thought it was Otuao, where he thought they would kill him, because it was rebels’ territory; but his surmise was born out of fear, and he had walked fifteen leagues further than he thought. And since there were Christians there, they saw him, and he was so bloody and skinny that he blindly fell to the ground. But given his condition, they were quick to give him something to eat and drink and he gained a bit of strength and vigor, and he could talk, although with effort, and he told what had happened. And they sent word to captain Juan Ponce, notifying him of all that has been said, and he readied his people to punish the Indians and wage war against them. At the same time Diego de Salazar arrived with the people who had escaped with him, as was told in the previous chapter. And then Juan Ponce sent captain Miguel de Toro with forty men to search for Cristóbal, who they found buried (because the cacique had ordered so) so shallowly that his feet were uncovered. And this captain and the ones with him buried him properly and marked the grave with a large, tall cross. And this was the start and cause of the war against Agueybana and the other Indians of the island of Boriquen, now called San Juan.