Passing the night there, we were about to leave in the morning of the next day, but the chief Alcalde entreated us to stay. He said that by remaining we would render a great service to God and Your Majesty, as the country was depopulated, lying waste, and well nigh destroyed. That the Indians were hiding in the woods, refusing to come out and settle again in their villages. He suggested that we should have them sent for, and urge them, in the name of God and of Your Majesty, to return to the plain and cultivate the soil again.
This struck us as difficult of execution. We had none of our Indians with us, nor any of those who usually accompanied us and understood such matters. At last we ventured to select two Indians from among those held there as captives, and who were from that part of the country. These had been with the Christians whom we first met, and had seen the people that came in our company, and knew, through the latter, of the great power and authority we exercised all through the land, the miracles we had worked, the cures we had performed, and many other particulars. With these Indians we sent others from the village, to jointly call those who had taken refuge in the mountains, as well as those from the river of Petlatlan, where we had met the Christians first, and tell them to come, as we wished to talk to them. In order to insure their coming, we gave the messengers one of the large gourds we had carried in our hands (which were our chief insignia and tokens of great power.)
Thus provided and instructed, they left and were absent seven days. They came back, and with them three chiefs of those who had been in the mountains, and with these were fifteen men. The presented us with beads, turquoises, and feathers, and the messengers said the people from the river whence we had started could not be found, as the Christians had again driven them into the wilderness.
Melchior Diaz told the interpreter to speak to the Indians in our name and say that he came in the name of God, Who is in heaven, and that we had travelled the world over for many years, telling all the people we met to believe in God and serve Him, for He was the Lord of everything upon earth, Who rewarded the good, whereas to the bad ones He meted out eternal punishment of fire. That when the good ones died He took them up to heaven, where all lived forever and there was neither hunger nor thirst, nor any other wants -- only the greatest imaginable glory. But that those who would not believe in Him nor obey His commandments he thrust into a huge fire beneath the earth and into the company of demons, where the fire never went out, but tormented them forever. Moreover, he said that if they became Christians and served God in the manner we directed, the Christians would look upon them as brethren and treat them very well, while we would command that no harm should be done to them; neither should they be taken out of their country, and the Christians would become their great friends. If they refused to do so, then the Christians would ill treat them and carry them away into slavery.
To this they replied through the interpreter that they would be very good Christians and serve God.
Upon being asked whom they worshipped and to whom they offered sacrifices, to whom they prayed for health and water for the fields, they said, to a man in Heaven. We asked what was his name, and they said Aguar, and that they believed he had created the world and everything in it.
We again asked how they came to know this, and they said their fathers and grandfathers had told them, and they had known it for a very long time; that water and all good things came from him. We explained that this being of whom they spoke was the same we called God, and that thereafter they should give Him that name and worship and serve Him as we commanded, when they would fare very well.
They replied that they understood us thoroughly and would do as we had told.
So we bade them come out of the mountains and be at ease, peaceable, and settle the land again, rebuilding their houses. Among these houses they should rear one to God, placing at its entrance a cross like the one we had, and when Christians came, they should go out to receive them with crosses in their hands, in place of bows and other weapons, and take the Christians to their homes, giving them to eat of what they had. If they did so, the Christians would do them no harm, but be their friends.
They promised to do as we ordered, and the captain gave them blankets, treating them handsomely, and they went away, taking along the two captives that had acted as our messengers.
This took place in presence of a scribe (notary) and of a great many witnesses.
As soon as the Indians had left for their homes and the people of that province got news of what had taken place with us, they, being friends of the Christians, came to see us, bringing beads and feathers. We ordered them to build churches and put crosses in them, which until then they had not done. We also sent for the children of the chiefs to be baptized, and then the captain pledged himself before God not to make any raid, or allow any to be made, or slaves captured from the people and in the country we had set at peace again. This vow he promised to keep and fulfill so long until His Majesty and the Governor, Nuņo de Guzman, or the Viceroy, in his name, would ordain something else better adapted to the service of God and of His Majesty.
After baptizing the children we left for the village of San Miguel, where, on our arrival, Indians came and told how many people were coming down from the mountains, settling on the plain, building churches and erecting crosses; in short, complying with what we had sent them word to do. Day after day we were getting news of how all was being done and completed.
Fifteen days after our arrival Alcaraz came in with the Christians who had been raiding, and they told the captain how the Indians had descended from the mountains and settled on the plains; also that villages formerly deserted were not well populated, and how the Indians had come out to receive them with crosses in their hands, had taken them to their houses, giving them of what they had, and how they slept the night there. Amazed at these changes and at the sayings of the Indians who said they felt secure, he ordered that no harm be done to them, and with this they departed. May God in his infinite mercy grant that in the days of Your Majesty and under your power and sway, these people become willingly and sincerely subjects of the true Lord Who created and redeemed them. We believe they will be, and that your Majesty is destined to bring it about, as it will not be at all difficult.
For two thousand leagues did we travel, on land, and by sea in barges, besides ten months more after our rescue from captivity; untiringly did we walk across the land, but nowhere did we meet either sacrifices or idolatry. During all that time we crossed from one ocean to the other, and from what we very carefully ascertained there may be, from one coast to the other and across the greatest width, two hundred leagues. We heard that on the shores of the South there are pearls and great wealth, and that the richest and best is near there.
At the village of San Miguel we remained until after the fifteenth of May, because from there to the town of Compostela, where the Governor, Nuņo de Guzman, resided, there are one hundred leagues of deserted country threatened by hostiles, and we had to take an escort along. There went with us twenty horsemen, accompanying us as many as forty leagues; afterwards we had with us six Christians, who escorted five hundred Indian captives. When we reached Compostela, the Governor received us very well, giving us of what he had, for us to dress in; but for many days I could bear no clothing, nor could we sleep, except on the bare floor. Ten or twelve days later we left for Mexico. On the whole trip we were well treated by the Christians; many came to see us on the road, praising God for having freed us from so many dangers. We reached Mexico on Sunday, the day before the vespers of Saint James, and were very well received by the Viceroy and the Marquis of the Valley, who presented us with clothing, offering all they had. On the day of Saint James there was a festival, with bull-fight and tournament.