Monday, September 06, 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

losing contact

They are so skilled in running that without resting or tiring they run from morning until night following a deer. And in this way they kill many of them, because they follow them until they tire them, and sometimes they take them alive.
Many times when we were with these people, we went three or four days without eating, because nothing was available. To cheer us up, they told they told us that we should not be sad, because soon there would be prickly pears, and we would eat many and drink of their juice, and our bellies would be big, and we would be very content and happy without hunger whatsoever.
And when the time of the prickly pears returned, we again gathered in the same place. Inasmuch as we had resolved to to flee and had set the day to do so, that same day the Indians separated us, and each one of us went his own way. And I said to my companions that I would wait for them at the prickly pear grounds until the moon was full. And this day was the first of September [1534], and the first day of the new moon.* And I informed them that if they did not come during this time as we agreed, I would go alone and leave them behind.

- Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

* Cabeza de Vaca's references to specific dates six years after losing contact with Spanish civilization cannot be taken literally.

related: running after antelope &c.