THE COURT OF THE VICEROY

The Story of Estevanico


By Marshall C. Harrold


A Page:


Your highness, here are the wanderers from the northland.
They arrived this day with a slave train from the west.
They claim they were exploring for our King,
But now seek simple lodging you might think best.

Don Antonio Mendoza:

Welcome, gentlemen, from your long and arduous journey.
We thank our Gracious Lord who led your way.
Tomorrow there shall be a celebration
To honor you with a special kind of day.

You have suffered through a terrifying period.
You must rest now and regain a peaceful state,
Then later in a very private hearing
We shall listen to the tales vou can relate.

Cabeza de Vaca:

Your honor, we are grateful just to be here.
Our faith has led us forward like a bell.
We praise our Lord for being our protector,
He has kept us through those years of living hell.

I must report the sorry woes of misadventure
That befell our expedition from the start.
Our King must know this land of great potential,
Thus for Spain and home then, let us soon depart.

Mendoza:

Come back then when you are fully ready,
There are many things that we should understand.
My duties are the wishes of the Crown
To make New Spain a rich and prosperous land

A later meeting.

Cabeza de Vaca reports:

The places we have travelled are enormous,
They extend far more than any man has known.
The natives almost always were quite friendly
But the virtues of our Church nust now be shown.

Slavery cannot longer be continued,
The Indians must be assured that wars will cease.
Then let our Christian Faith be most progressive
And teach them all the way to lasting peace,

Yes, we saw towns, we saw houses with many people
And fertile crops of many kinds abound.
We saw cotton cloth and leather hides of cattle
But signs of gold and silver we never found.

These many years and many miles have been exhausting,
The report of all these things must be begun.
My waining strength must take me to the homeland
Where the record for the King can patiently be done.

Castillo:

No more will I explore this endless country
Where only luck can keep one from great harm.
I will wed a wealthy widow from the city
And explore the many reasons for her charm.

Dorantes:

No more will I explore those mighty mountains,
Nor walk again those miles on endless miles.
I too will seek another wealthy widow
And revel in the beauty of her smiles.

Estevanico:

Your honor, I alone am left to do your bidding.
I will gladly guide the way to distant lands.
There is a whole New World there to be fashioned,
As a free man, I can go with helping hands.


NEXT: MEXICO CITY - SUMMER, 1536


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