But a secret which is diffused among many is easily divulged, so that Alonzo Sanchez de Caravajal, who was the most skilful among the captains of these three ships, was soon aware of the rebellion and discord, and began immediately to make overtures of peace to Roldan, in hopes of persuading him to submit to the lieutenant.
Before proceeding on his intended voyage for discovering the continent, the admiral appointed a council to govern the island in his absence, of which he appointed his brother Don James Columbus president: the others were F. Boyl and Peter Fernandez Coronell regents, together with Alonzo Sanchez de Caravajal, rector of Bracca, and Juan de Luxan of Madrid, gentleman to their Catholic majesties.
Caravajal promptly appeared, but he did not impress me very favorably. He was old and cranky, yet, as he seemed anxious to do his best, I sent him over to Brownsville, with credentials, authorizing him to cross into Mexico, and followed him myself by the next boat. When I arrived in Brownsville, matters in Matamoras had already reached a crisis.
Caravajal went to the rebels at the Conception, who received the admirals proffered pardon in derision, and haughtily said, that he would soon have occasion to ask a pardon from them.
When the other captains came with the caravels to St Domingo, Caravajal came there by land under protection of a guard of rebels, the chief of whom, Gamir, had been two days and two nights on board his ship. Caravajal wrote to the rebels when they came to Bonao, and sent them presents and provisions.
He there gave out that their Catholic majesties had appointed him and Caravajal as councillors to the admiral, that he might not do any thing they thought prejudicial to the service; and that he had it in command to pay every one in ready money for their services in the island, and as the admiral was not just enough to do that, he was ready to go along with them to St Domingo to compel him to pay them immediately, and to turn him out of the island dead or alive.
One of those was Pedro de Arana, cousin to that Arana who died in Hispaniola, the second was Alonzo Sanchez de Caravajal, and the third his own kinsman John Anthony Columbus. To these captains he gave particular instructions for the conduct of their voyage, directing that each of them should have the command a week in his turn.
Once again Dragut faded away beyond the skyline, "leaving Andrea Doria with the dog to hold," in the quaint language of the chronicler of these events, Don Luys de Marmol Caravajal.
Having examined this agreement, made by Alonzo Sanchez de Caravajal and James de Salamanca with Francis Roldan and his company, this day, being Wednesday the 21st of November 1498; I agree to its being fully observed, upon condition that said Francis Roldan and his followers shall not receive into their company any other Christians of the island of any state or condition whatsoever."
Roldan had written to the admiral that he was drawing near to St Domingo by the advice of Caravajal, to be nearer him to treat for an accommodation on his arrival; and now that the admiral was arrived, his actions not suiting with his letter, it was to be presumed that Caravajal had invited him thither to the end that, if the admiral had been long of coming, or had not come at all, he as the admirals associate and Roldan as chief judge might have usurped the government of the island to the exclusion of the lieutenant.