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When Don Ferdinando had obtained the gouernment, there came a Gentle man from the Indies to the Court, named Cabeça de Vaca, which had been with the gouernour Pamphilo de Naruaez which died in Florida, who reported that Naruaez was cast away at sea with all the companie that went with him.

Without hesitation Trant turned and pushed hastily with one brigade to the Cabeça Negro mountain behind the bridge of Almeida, and reached it just as the French drew near, driving 200 Spaniards before them across the plain.

Moscoso was searching for Coronado, and he was one of the most humane of all the officers of De Soto's command, for he evidently bent every energy to extricate his men from the dreadful environments of their situation; despairing of reaching the Gulf by the Mississippi, he struck westward, hoping, as Cabeca de Vaca had done, to arrive in Mexico overland.

While this design was in agitation, Cabeca de Vaca, one of those who had survived the expedition of Narvaez, appeared in Spain, and for purposes of his own spread abroad the mischievous falsehood, that Florida was the richest country yet discovered. De Soto's plans were embraced with enthusiasm.

It will be remembered by the student of the early history of our country, that when Alvar Nunez Cabeca de Vaca, a follower of the unfortunate Panphilo de Narvaez, and who had been long thought dead, landed in Spain, he gave such glowing accounts of Florida and the neighbouring regions that the whole kingdom was in a ferment, and many a heart panted to emigrate to a land where the fruits were perennial, and where it was thought flowed the fabled fountain of youth.

And out of Salamanca and Iaen, and Valencia, and Albuquerque, and from other partes of Spaine, many people of Noble birth assembled at Siuil: insomuch that in Saint Lucar many men of good account which had sold their goods remained behind for want of shipping, whereas for other known and rich Countries, they are wont to want men: and this fell out by occasion of that which Cabeça de Vaca told the Emperour, and informed such persons as hee had conference withall touching the State of that Countrie.

In the last year above referred to, however, Buckingham Smith, of Florida, an eminent Spanish scholar, and secretary of the American Legation at Madrid, discovered among the archives of State the Narrative of Alvar Nunez Cabeca de Vaca, where for nearly three hundred years it had lain, musty and begrimed with the dust of ages, an unread and forgotten story of suffering that has no parallel in fiction.

Another strong confirmatory fact is, that, in 1884, a group of mounds was discovered in McPherson County, Kansas, which were thoroughly explored by the professors of Bethany College, Lindsborg, who found, among other interesting relics, a piece of chain-mail armour, of hard steel; undoubtedly part of the equipment of a Spanish soldier either of the command of Cabeca de Vaca, De Soto, or of Coronado.

There, hundreds of miles from the sea, he stood, probably the only European, save for his companions, inside the continent, between Mexico and the Pole; for De Soto had not yet started for his burial in the Mississippi; the fathers of the Pilgrim Fathers were still in their cradles; Narvaez's men had come a little way in shore and vanished; Cabeca de Vaca was making his almost incredible journey from the Texas coast to the Pacific; Captain John Smith was not yet born; and Henry Hudson's name was to remain obscure for three quarters of a century.

The Emperour made him the Gouernour of the Isle of Cuba, and Adelantado or President of Florida, with a title of Marques of certaine part of the lands which he should conquer. Chap. II. How Cabeça de Vaca came to the Court and gave relation of the Countrie of Florida: And of the Companie that was assembled in Siuil to goe with Ferdinando de Soto.