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which was a line nearly a thousand miles long drawn east from the Cordilleras of Colombia nearly to the mouth of the Orinoco, and the apex of which was in Paraguay two thousand miles to the south, ceaselessly marched the expeditions. The El Dorado country of the exploring parties—the region which knew their tread—was thus a territory of about a million square miles. It repeated the general lines of the continent itself, an enclave of illusion surrounded by the realities of mountain and coast.

Into this triangle from all sides struck the Spanish columns. They moved east, north, and south from Quito, south from the Caribbean, south and west from Trinidad, north from Asuncion. They climbed mountains, forded rivers, penetrated deserts. They froze in the passes of the Andes, sickened in the flooded, fever-haunted valley of the Amazon, died of hunger in the pathless plains; and everywhere the poisoned Indian arrows found their targets. Three of the columns, one of which had been on the road for five years, entered the plateau of Cundina. marca at the same time—a coincidence without parallel in history. Germans and Englishmen also essayed the adventure. As for Spain, when de Silva appealed for funds and followers, the country could have been depopulated, says Padre Simon, so strong was the belief in the Gilded Land.

Under the fable of the Gilded King ran other delusions. It was thought that the northern part of South America was rich in the precious metals. It was thought that the auriferous steeps of Peru and New Granada swept eastward almost to the mouth of the Orinoco. There was no comprehension of the continental extent of intertribal trade, and the presence of gold among Indian tribes was thought to be proof that it could be had in their country, even when this was flat prairie or inundated forest. Native traders followed their own path from the Andes to the Caribbean; it is significant that the site of the legendary city moved along it through successive generations almost from end to end.

The search for it falls into four chapters—the quest of El Dorado of Cundinamarca; the quest of El Dorado of Canelas; the quest of El Dorado of the Omaguas; the quest of El Dorado of Manoa.

By the chance meeting of three expeditions, already noted,

the end of the quest for El Dorado of Cundinamarca is sheer pageantry. Belalcazar, lieutenant of Pizarro and governor of Quito, had sent his captains in 1535 to discover what he conceived to be a golden valley between Pasto and Popayan in the Cordilleras of southern Colombia, not far from the South Sea. The following year he undertook the search in person and pushed it farther north to the plateau of Bogota. There he found two other expeditions already in contact. Quesada had started from Santa Marta with eight hundred men and a hundred horses. With this command he had subjugated the Chibcha nation, numbering a million persons if the chroniclers are right, and dispersed an army of twenty thousand men which they had put in the field. After difficult marching and fighting he brought a handful of men-a hundred foot and sixty horse to the neighborhood of Bogota. Soon he saw approach the remnants of an expedition which had left the coast of Venezuela five years before. The German, Federmann, brought to the plateau a hundred ragged men out of the four hundred well-equipped soldiers with whom he had started.

The three commands bivouacked almost within striking distance of each other. They presented a spectacular contrast, for the men from Peru were in Spanish steel and scarlet, those from Santa Marta wore Indian fabrics, while the men from Venezuela were clad in the skins of wild animals. The clergy labored feverishly to avert the expected appeal to arms, and for once in the history of New World exploration resolute men of the Iberian strain settled their differences without fighting. The three captains went back to Spain together where each laid his claim to the governorship of New Granada before the throne. Only Belalcazar was recognized and he only with the post of Adelantado in the Popayan region.

The quest of El Dorado of Canelas is the story of the expedition of Gonzalo Pizarro and the secession therefrom of his lieu. tenant, Orellana. Across all the history of Spanish exploration flashes the treacherous and brilliant deed of Orellana, somewhat as the “moving equator”--the Amazon—which he discovered, cuts across the meridians of longitude between the Andes and the Atlantic. Canelas was the Land of Cinnamon, and here, and here only upon the soil of America, the two leading motives of exploration—the search for gold, the search for spices—were interwoven. Pizarro had heard of a fabled spiceland hard by the territories of the Gilded King, and this was his avowed objective. But his imagination roved further. In the valley of the Napo, a stream which for a space forms the boundary be. tween Ecuador and modern Colombia, there were plains where the inhabitants wore armor of “massy gold.” Gonzalo would have a look at this armor. He set forth with 500 Spaniards, 4,000 Indians, 150 horses, 1,000 dogs, and 5,000 swine and “Peruvian sheep.”

While threading the passes at the very threshold of the jour. ney a tremendous earthquake rocked the mountains under his feet, and an Indian village with hundreds of houses sank out of sight. Followed the tempests, and for six weeks tropical rainstorms with incessant thunder and lightning beat upon the men. It was a prelude in keeping with the disasters to come. The Land of Cinnamon was found, and left behind as too remote to offer present profit. A brigantine was built on the Napo, and Orellana was sent ahead with it to gather supplies in the Indian settlements. The party never came back, but swept down the Amazon in a wild adventure to the Atlantic sea, whence their tales of the mighty river, its warrior women, its still stranger peoples, and its temples roofed with gold, set Spain on fire. Gonzalo waited for months, but he was of the strain of the Pizarros—all hero as well as all scoundrel—and did not succumb when he knew he had been betrayed. In a march of over a year

he led the remnant of his command back to Quito. All his Indians had died or deserted, and only eighty Spaniards remained. When they entered the City of the Line in June 1542, it seemed, says Prescott, as if the charnel-house had given

up its dead.

El Dorado of the Omaguas had many seekers, and in some measure unveiled itself before the eyes of Philip Von Hutten. After him, the Gilded Land had for a time a place certain on the map. It was the region between the Guaviare and Caqueta rivers in southeastern Colombia and northwestern Brazil the territory of the Omaguas, a rich and numerous Indian nation.

Von Hutten was a relative of the Welsers, the Augsburg bankers to whom Charles V had ceded a large tract in Tierra.

firma, and who had already sent out Federmann for the adventure of Cundinamarca. The second German expedition began almost humbly. Von Hutten had only 130 men, and when he found that Quesada was ahead of him with 250 men, he was content to follow in his tracks, hoping to share the rewards of discovery. But when Quesada reached the headwaters of the Caqueta, he had seen enough, and Von Hutten pushed ahead into the unknown.

His Indian guide told him of a populous city called Macatoa in a country rich with gold, and he even displayed small golden apples which came from there. The winter rains overtook the command on its road to this halfway house to El Dorado, and, marooned on high ground, the men subsisted on maize and ants, and on grubs, beetles, and roots. Their very hair and beards fell off, but at length they reached Macatoa, and went on to the land of the Omaguas.

From a hill they saw at last the city they sought. It stretched beyond the utmost range of the vision—long streets and densely clustered houses, and a temple. In the temple, the guide said, were idols of gold as tall as small children, and one golden statue as tall as a woman, with other treasures above price. Beyond, he assured them, lay still richer cities. What they saw and what they heard were enough for Von Hutten and his band. There were only forty left of them, and within the city, they were told, was a large force of native warriors. The adventurers clapt spurs to their horses and dashed in—and then dashed out again, their leader wounded and fifteen thousand Indians in pursuit. The figures are their own, as well as the statement that they beat off the attacking force and retired. Afterward Von Hutten was murdered by his men.

To die on the march, to be stabbed by one's companions, or to be beheaded by one's king, seemed the lot predestined for captains who sought the Gilded Devil.

As was proved again when the Spaniards quested for Cibola, an Indian town is a deceptive thing when seen at a distance. What Von Hutten really saw was probably a collection of closely grouped villages, and among them a council house or temple, larger than the others but no more imposing than the bark communal houses under which at that time Algonquins

were living upon Manhattan Island. Yet the bruit of his discovery launched expedition after expedition from New World and Old. Martin de Proveda, starting from Peru, reached the country of the Omaguas and went on to Bogota. Pedro de Silva brought a party of six hundred out of Spain, and in a six months' journey across the llanos of Venezuela saw all but thirty die or desert. He tried again with another party of 170 Spaniards going up the Orinoco. Famine, disease, and Indian arrows accounted for every member of his party save one.

There is evidence that unruly spirits were encouraged to seek El Dorado in order to rid the settled places of the New World of their turbulence. Such was the expedition which Pedro de Ursua led out of Peru in 1559. A rabble of lawless adventurers had been attracted thither by the civil wars which followed the conquest. The viceroy was glad to commission this young officer and see him depart with these “Gentlemen and old souldiers of Peru” as Lopez Vaz called them. When they reached the Indian villages of Omagua the expected happened. The men murdered their leader, and the command fell to Aguirre, who told them that whoever spoke further of El Dorado should die. With his followers he set forth to reach the Atlantic and return by way of Panama to Peru, where he purposed to seize “riches, bread, wine, flesh, and faire women also.” His men murdered him in turn, but not until he had done an amazing thing. Starting down the Amazon, his boats won the sea by way of the Orinoco, having used the Cassiquiare to cross from one river system to the other.

The Omagua chapter ends with the great and tragic expedition of Gonsalo Ximenes de Quesada, conqueror of New Granada, and one of the largest figures among the conquistadors, brother of the Quesada who had sunk his means in a like search eighteen years before. With 350 Spanish soldiers, 1,500 Indians, a number of negro slaves, and a train of cattle and swine, Ximenes left Bogota in 1579. Torrential rains, inundated lands, prairie fires, mosquitoes, Indian warfare, disease, famine —the disastrous routine of other expeditions—were repeated on a larger canvas. Quesada got as far as the confluence of the Guaviare and Orinoco, and then had to return. He brought back seventy-four Spaniards and four Indians, and he left

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