They directed their steps towards the northwest, towards a province named Utiangue, which was said to be situated on the borders of a great lake, at the distance of about two hundred and forty miles. They hoped that this lake might prove an arm of the sea, through which they could open communications with their friends in Cuba, and return to them by water.
In conversing with the Chickasaws, for instance, he commenced with the Floridian, who carried the word to a Georgian, the Georgian to the Coosa, the Coosa to the Mobilian, and the latter to the Chickasaw. In the same tedious manner the reply was conveyed to him and reported to De Soto." During the winter at Utiangue, the views and feelings of the Governor apparently experienced quite a change.
The journey was melancholy in the extreme, through a desolate country occupied by wandering bands of ferocious savages, who were constantly assailing them from ambuscades by day and by night. At length they reached the village of Utiangue, the capital of the province. It was pleasantly situated on a fine plain upon the banks of a river, which was probably the Arkansas.