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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:07:16
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  The supplies fell off from day to day; the natives no longer presseddown to the harbor; the trinkets, with which food had been bought, hadlost their charm; the Spaniards began to fear that they should starve on theshore of an island which, when Columbus discovered it, appeared to be the abode of plenty. It was at this juncture, when the natives were becomingmore and more unfriendly, that Columbus justified himself by the tyrant'splea of necessity, and made use of his astronomical science, to obtain asupernatural power over his unfriendly allies.

  But no tales of eclipses would keep the Spaniards quiet. Anotherconspiracy was formed, as the eight remaining months of exile passed by,among the survivors. They meant to seize the remaining canoes, and withthem make their way to Hispaniola. But, at the very point of the outbreakof the new mutiny, a sail was seen standing toward the harbor.

  All this curious speculation as to the make-up of the world encourageshim to beg their Highnesses to go on with the noble work which they havebegun. He explains to them that he plants the cross on every cape andproclaims the sovereignty of their Majesties and of the Christian religion.

  The island is now uninhabited, but arrow heads and stone hatchets aresometimes found; and in places there are piles of stones supposed to havebeen made by the aborigines. Most of the growth is scrubby, with a fewscattered trees.

  Columbus observed that this cacique looked with interest on thehangings of his ship-bed, and made a present of them to him, in return forhis offering, with some amber beads from his own neck, some red shoesand a flask of orange flower water.

  They also brought tidings of the King of Canoaboa, of whom they hadheard before, and he is called by the name of Caunebo himself.[*] He wasafterwards carried, as a prisoner or as a hostage, on the way to Spain; butdied on the passage.

  It is probable that at this time he urged on his countrymen, theGenoese, the importance of his great plan; and tried to interest them tomake the great endeavor, for the purpose of reaching the Indies by awestern route. As it proved, the discovery of the route by the Cape ofGood Hope was, commercially, a great injury to Genoa and the othermaritime cities of Italy. Before this time, the eastern trade of Europe cameby the ports of the eastern Mediterranean, and the Italian cities.

  Sunday, the thirtieth, brought "tropic-birds" again, "a very clear sign ofland." Monday the journal shows them seven hundred and seven leaguesfrom Ferro. Tuesday a white gull was the only visitor. Wednesday they hadpardelas and great quantities of seaweed. Columbus began to be sure thatthey had passed "the islands" and were nearing the continent of Asia.


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