AN ATTACK IN WHICH DRAKE IS WOUNDED
On the 28th of October the Elizabeth also came to harbor near the point of Cape Horn, thus having beaten around in almost the same course as that over which the Golden Hind had been driven. And being unable to come up with Drake the Captain, now thoroughly discouraged and thinking his companion lost, sailed up the coast of Brazil and in the following year returned to England with report that Drake had probably been lost, which report seemed substantiated by his prolonged absence. The severe season having ended, and the weather become somewhat calm, Drake turned the course of his vessel again westward, and doubling the cape, set sail a second time northward, following as closely as was advisable the main coast.
On the 25th of November the expedition anchored at the island of Mocha, which is along the coast of Chili, where Drake landed and was pleased to discover large numbers of cattle and sheep, and to see promising crops of maize and potatoes. The Indians whom he met on this shore appeared pacific in their demeanor until two of the seamen were sent in quest of water, when they were set upon and killed, and others going to their assistance were fiercely assailed with arrows and stones, and the whole more or less severely wounded, among the number being Drake himself, who was struck with a stone in the face and on the head. Being unable to carry on satisfactory intercourse with the natives, who were too strong in number to be successfully opposed, Drake set sail again on the 3Oth of November, and anchored in a bay about 30 degrees south, where he sent out a boat to examine the shores, and finding a lone Indian fishing in a canoe, captured him and brought him on board. By very kind treatment, and the presentation to him of many trinkets, his confidence was gained, and being sent on shore, he induced many of his people to enter into exchanges with the crew, by which Drake was enabled to secure poultry, hogs, and a quantity of fruits. While lying in this harbor Drake learned through one of the Indians that at the port of Valparaiso, which was only six leagues distant, there lay at anchor a Spanish vessel which was believed to contain a quantity of gold and silver. Upon receipt of this information he at once determined to make an effort to overhaul the Spanish galleon and putting on a spread of canvass, succeeded in coming up and capturing her without difficulty, and in examining her cargo was pleased to discover 60,000 pesos ($60,000) of gold, besides jewels, merchandise, and 1770 jars of Chili wine. Having taken the vessel and appropriated her contents, the crew of Drake's ship entered the town, which consisted of only nine families, and there engaged in a general pillage of wine, bread, bacon, and such other things as they could find to refresh themselves, or as they thought sufficiently valuable to carry on board. Some of the crew entered a small chapel of Valparaiso, which they plundered of a silver chalice, two cruets, and an altar-cloth, which were presented to Mr. Fletcher, the chaplain of the fleet.
On the 8th Drake set sail again with his prize, but taking only one of the crew, named Griego, who was capable of piloting them to Lima. Up to this time Drake had been on the lookout for the Marigold and the Elizabeth, for the Hind being too large a vessel to run near the coast, put in at Coquimbo, with the intention to set up another pinnace to conduct the search more thoroughly in the smaller bays into which it was possible one of the missing vessels had taken refuge from the frequent storms that visit that region. But scarcely had the English landed and sent a watering party of fourteen a little distance from the shore when they were surprised by a body of Spanish, consisting of 300 horse and 200 foot. All but one of the English succeeded in making their escape by a precipitate retreat; one seaman, however, fell a victim to his braggadocio and fool-hardiness.
THE CAPTURE OF A WONDERFULLY RICH TREASURE.
Leaving Coquimbo, Drake proceeded a few miles further, and entering a safe harbor he set up a pinnace in which he himself embarked to make a search for the lost ships; but the wind soon becoming adverse, he was compelled to return to his own vessel. They continued thence northward until accidentally landing at a port called Tarapaza they found a Spaniard lying on the shore asleep and beside him thirteen bars of silver. These latter the English quickly appropriated, and without waking the sleeping treasurer they proceeded further north to secure water, where they fell in with a Spaniard and an Indian, both driving eight llamas, each of which was laden with leather bags containing fifty pounds of silver. These animals, sometimes called Peruvian sheep, were used among the Indians as beasts of burden, as the Arabs use the camel to-day. But thongh well adapted as carriers in that rough country, yet in later years they have been discarded and mules substituted. These two remarkable finds led the crew to suppose that the coast of Peru was literally strewn with gold, while pure silver, they believed, was found so richly mixed with the soil that every hundred-weight of common earth yielded, on a moderate calculation, five ounces; and it must be confessed that they had some good reasons for entertaining such a belief, remarkable as it was.
AN EXCITING CHASE.
After the precious prizes that had been secured from the eight llamas had been brought on board, the Golden Hind entered the port of Arica, where three small barks lay, which were easily rifled, as the crews were on shore, in no wise apprehensive of danger. Having spoiled the barks, the Golden Hind put to sea again in pursuit of a vessel which was said to be richly laden, and concerning which Drake had obtained intelligence from an Indian where they had last landed. The ship which he now started to pursue had in some manner obtained notice of the proximity of Drake, and set out with great expedition with its precious freight of 800 bars of silver, the property of the King of Spain. In order to expedite his purpose Drake now prepared for active measures by ridding himself of every incumbrance, turning loose the small sails which he had captured, as described, to drift withersoever the winds might carry them. Now spreading all the canvas that he could crowd on the Golden Hind, he pushed on towards Lima, for which port the treasure-ship was bound.
The Spanish galleon, however, had time to land her freight of silver and to despatch overland to the governor of Lima tidings of the appearance of English ships on the coast. Notwithstanding these precautions Drake was able to surprise the Spanish ships lying at Callao, the port of Lima, on the 13th of September. But on none of these did he find any considerable treasure, and his only compensation for such a prolonged and expensive pursuit was the receipt of information that three days before, the Spanish ship Cacafuego, laden with treasure, had sailed for Panama, the point from which all goods were carried across the Isthmus. Without any delay Drake set out in pursuit of this vessel and as a measure of precaution the mainmasts of the two largest prizes found in the port were cut away; the cables of the smaller ones were severed and the goods and people being previously removed, the whole were abandoned to the mercy of the winds and waves so that pursuit from these would not be feared.
CAPTURE OF ANOTHER RICH GALLEON.
Having thus crippled the Spanish ships at the port of Callao, Drake bore northward under full sail, so intent on overtaking the treasure-ship that when the wind lulled his vessel was towed by boats which his crew rowed with a will. But notwithstanding his despatch and determination, there was so little wind that the Golden Hind still remained in sight of the port of Callao nearly two days. This interval enabled the Viceroy at Lima to prepare a force of two thousand horse and foot, and two vessels were put in sailing order as expeditiously as possible, in which two hundred fighting men were embarked. These now set out in all haste, intent on the capture of Drake, who was at this time evidently believed to be a Spanish pirate. But scarcely had they gotten under way when a fresh gale sprung up which enabled the English ship to easily outstrip her pursuers, especially when the crews of the latter had not used the precaution to provide themselves with provisions that would enable them to make a sail of more than one or two days. Upon their return three other ships were equipped and despatched, but they arrived too late, and being unable to overtake the Hind put into a bay and there waited a period of nearly two weeks the return of Drake, which was confidently expected. But in
DRAKE CONCEIVES A NEW AMBITION.
The capture of this prize might have induced a less ambitious man than Drake to abandon his original project of making discoveries in the South Sea, and caused him to return home where he might have enjoyed, the remainder of his days, the rich gains thus acquired. But Drake was more ambitious than he was covetous, and though he had thus gained a fortune, he was more desirous of earning a lasting reputation by discovering a north-west passage, which had been the ambition of so many distinguished voyagers before him. Having thus formed his plans, he unfolded them to his company in such an eloquent manner that he inspired them with an enthusiasm similar to that which he felt himself. In fact, Drake possessed the unbounded confidence of his company to such a degree that they were ready to blindly follow him in any undertaking which he might propose. Having unfolded his purpose, he said to his men, "our next object shall be to seek out some convenient place to trim the ship, and store it with wood, water, and such provisions as can be found, and thence forward to hasten our intended journey for the discovery of the said passage, through which we may with joy return to our longed homes."
Having thus resolved upon a new enterprise, Drake set sail for Nicaragua, and on the 16th of March he came to anchor in a small bay on the west side of the island of Canno. Here the Golden Hind remained for eight days, replenishing her stores while Drake examined papers which had been captured from the last ship taken, among which was discovered a letter from the King of Spain to the governor of the Philippines, and also sea-charts which afterwards proved of considerable use to the English. Having repaired his ship and taken on an abundant supply of water and provisions, Drake continued his course northward. He overhauled another Spanish vessel on the 6th of April, from which was captured a considerable quantity of silk, linen, porcelain, and the image of a falcon wrought of gold, in the breast of which was a large emerald. This latter valuable Drake retained for himself, but divided the other things captured fairly with his crew. Ten days later, the expedition put into the coast and sacked a small village, from which, however, a very small quantity of spoils was obtained. Here also the Portuguese pilot, Nuna Silva, who had been taken with one of the prizes, as already described, was set at liberty, and afterwards made his way back to Spain where he wrote an account of his unfortunate adventure with Drake.
AMONG THE NATIVES OF CALIFORNIA.
On the 16th of April the fleet moved northward again, and on the 3d of June had gone 1400 leagues, beating about in different courses, without discovering any land. Having reached a latitude of 43 degrees, the cold was becoming so severe that meat froze almost upon the instant that it was removed from the fire. They now sought a bay which they fortunately discovered on the 5th, and there took shelter until the weather had somewhat moderated. But proceeding again, they made another landing on the 17th of June on the western coast of California, entering a bay, which is supposed to have been the harbor of San Francisco. When the Hind approached the shore several natives were seen coming down, headed by an ambassador, who put off in a canoe, and by gesticulations appeared to offer a hearty welcome to the ship. He finally approached the vessel, and after delivering himself of an oration, returned again to the shore, and receiving some articles, consisting of a bunch of feathers and a basket of rushes, he brought these back and offered them as tributes to Sir Francis Drake. The crowd on the shore continually augmented until quite a thousand had collected. The men were entirely naked, but the females wore a sort of petticoat composed of rushes and the inner bark of trees, which they had hackled until it had the appearance of hemp. Upon opening the basket which had been brought by the ambassador Drake discovered that it contained an herb which the Indians called tabah, but which has since been ascertained to have been tobacco, Europeans not being familiar with the product at that time. From this fact, it is maintained that Drake was the first to introduce the use of tobacco among Europeans.
THE CAMP ON SHORE.
The weather continuing cold, and the ship having sprung a leak, Drake decided to take advantage of the excellent harbor which was now afforded, and to go into camp on shore until the warm season advanced, utilizing the time also to repair his vessel. When the Indians observed the English preparing to spread their tents on the shore, they gave exhibition of suspicion and dissatisfaction, but they laid aside their bows and arrows when requested to do so. Finding the English peaceably disposed, a further exchange of presents was made, and friendship was soon established. When they retired again in the evening, the Indians seeking a high elevation 011 which their huts were built, they set up a great howling and lamentation which lasted throughout the night. The voices of the females rose high above those of the men, proving plainly that they were suspicious of some appalling calamity befalling them through the instrumentality of the white visitors. Drake seems to have had some fears also of hostility from the natives, and to provide for his security, he began an intrenchment of the tents, and threw up some fortifications which would enable him to resist an attack of the natives, if they decided to make one.
On the following day, however, no Indians were to be seen, but two days later they reappeared in greater numbers, when it was observed that an orator opened the ceremonies which were about to take place by making a long harangue or proclamation to his people. As he spoke, frequent exclamations of approval were heard, and at the conclusion, a deputation struck their bows into the earth, and bearing gifts of feathers and rush-baskets of tobacco, descended towards the fort. As the deputation approached the English, the women, who had remained behind on the elevation, set up anew their shrieks and howls, and began to tear their flesh with their nails, and to dash themselves on the ground with such violence that their bodies were soon bruised or bleeding from the cuts they had thus received. This ceremony was afterwards understood to be the orgies of their idol or demon worship, performed for the purpose of insuring the favor of the spirits which the Indians believed to preside over them. Seeing the women thus violently mistreating themselves, and the deputation approaching, Drake ordered his company to sing psalms, or some simple chants of the Old Church, which had a remarkable effect upon the simple Indians. They seemed to be deeply affected and so charmed that they afterwards repeatedly requested their visitors to sing to them.
DRAKE RECEIVES THE INDIAN KING.
After another exchange of presents, the Indians a second time withdrew, and did not show themselves again until the 26th, when two heralds or couriers arrived at the camp of the English, asking an audience with Captain Drake to convey to him a message which they were sent to deliver by their hioh, or King. One of the couriers with great exhibition of majesty delivered himself of a long harangue before Drake, and in concluding requested tokens of friendship and assurance of safe-conduct for the King who had a desire to visit the white men. These were, of course, given, and directly after the native King approached in all the glory of his native majesty. Immediately preceding him was the club-bearer, who was a tall and handsome man of noble presence. His club, the mace of office, was quite five feet in length and made of a wood resembling ebony; the larger end was ornamented with a net-work of a thin, bony substance, curiously and delicately wrought. He had also with him a basket of tabah, or tobacco. The King followed immediately behind his club-bearer or chief minister, and was in turn succeeded by a man of giant stature, who exhibited a majesty of appearance which struck the English visitors with amazement. Next came the royal guard, consisting of a hundred picked men, all of them tall and martial looking, though clothed in skins. A few wore head-dresses made of feathers, and others of a soft substance which they gathered from a plant peculiar to the country. The King was distinguished from his officers by wearing over his shoulders a robe made of skins of a species of marmot, or possibly prairie dog. Behind the royal guard were the common people, all painted in a variety of patterns, and feathers generally sticking out of their hair. The women and children, who brought up the rear, each carried a propitiatory gift of a basket containing either tobacco, broiled fish, or a sweet root which the natives ate with a great relish.
SINGULAR CEREMONIES, AND KINGLY INVESTITURE.
The royal cavalcade was such a large one that, to provide against possible surprise, Drake assembled his men under arms, within his fortification and in a block-house which he had erected. When the procession had approached within a few paces of the fortification, it stopped, and after a deep silence of a few moments, the minister or club-bearer began a harangue which lasted fully half an hour,
The ceremony having been completed, the natives distributed themselves about the fort, showing great admiration for every unusual thing which their eyes beheld, and rendered idolatrous homage to their \isitors by frequently throwing themselves at their feet and embracing their legs. After some time thus spent in camp the Indians formed a circle about the whites, and while gazing intently upon them, began to howl and tear their flesh till bloody streams covered their bodies, this being their method of demonstrating the strength of their affection for their visitors.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INDIANS AND THEIR VILLAGES.
Afterwards Drake visited some of the villages of these natives, where he was hospitably received and royally entertained. The men were robust and powerful, and their strength was equal to that of two ordinary seamen. For weapons they used bows and arrows, but they were of little use and practical only in hunting very small game which permitted of a close approach. Their dwellings were of a circular form, built of rushes and generally roofed with pieces of wood joined together at a common centre and sometimes terminating in a spire. But in every case fully one-half of the house was under ground, while the fire was placed in the middle and beds of rushes spread on the floor, by which means the natives were able to make themselves comfortable in the most inclement weather. The country abounded in vast herds of deer and a small species of cony, which Drake declares had heads and faces like rabbits in England, while their paws were like those of the mole, and their tails were like those of rats; under their chin on each side was a pouch, which served as a store-house for meat to feed their young with, or to serve themselves in times of scarcity. The natives ate the flesh of these little animals and greatly prized the skins, which they converted into state robes such as were worn by the King in his interview with Drake.
The Admiral named this fertile country New Albion, and erected a monument of his discovery to which a brass plate was nailed bearing the name, effigy and arms of her majesty, Queen Elizabeth, and asserting her territorial rights and the date of possession.