14 Chapter XII: The Indians Bring Us Food (Excerpt)

The Indians Bring Us Food

Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

At sunset, the Indians thinking that we had not 
gone, came to seek us and bring us food; but when 
they saw us thus, in a plight so different from what it 
was before, and so extraordinary, they were alarmed 
and turned back. I went toward them and called, 
when they returned much frightened. I gave them to 
understand by signs that our boat had sunk and three 
of our number had been drowned. There, before 
them, they saw two of the departed, and we who re- 
mained were near joining them. The Indians, at sight 
of what had befallen us, and our state of suffering and 
melancholy destitution, sat down among us, and from 
the sorrow and pity they felt, they all began to lament 
so earnestly that they might have been heard at a dis- 
tance, and continued so doing more than half an hour. 
It was strange to see these men, wild and untaught, 
howling like brutes over our misfortunes. It caused 
in me as in others, an increase of feeling and a livelier 
sense of our calamity.


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