The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 167
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Route of Cabeza de Vaca.
wealth. Every explorer believed that in this new land lay his
Mexico, his palace of Montezuma, waiting for him its Cortez.
One of the many expeditions bearing the Spanish flag was that of
de Narvaez, with whom as we have said went Cabeza de Vaca as
treasurer. The tract which had been granted to Narvaez stretched
from the southern part of Florida to the Rio de las Palmas, which
has been identified with the Rio Grande. As was usual, the expe-
dition first stopped in Cuba. While waiting here, two vessels were
sunk by a terrible storm and sixty men were lost. Terrified by
this, Narvaez waited here until the following spring, when, a pilot
having been found, he sailed for his grant. When only a few days
out, a strong westerly wind arose, and, beaten out of their track,
the ships were driven off the coast of Florida. The pilot assured
the Spaniards they were near the Rio de las Palmas. Narvaez
then, strongly advised to the contrary by Cabeza, divided his men
into two parties, one to sail the vessels along the coast, the other to
make an inland expedition, of which he himself was to be the
leader. These two parties, he said, would unite at some good har-
bor; and taking with him some three hundred men with whom was
Cabeza, he started inland. Let me anticipate here, and say that
after a year's fruitless searching, those aboard the vessels returned
to the islands, bearing the sad news that Narvaez and his men had
perished on the mainland.
What, in truth, was the fate of this luckless expedition? Neces-
sarily unable to carry but a few days' provisions, they soon began
to suffer from hunger. True, they found Indian villages, but in
them there was little food, and no treasure. Farther on, the
Indians said, in the village of Appalache, there are treasures, and
all those things that white men desire. Weary and worn, they
pushed on. Twice they went to the coast, but could find no har-
bor; no welcome vessel came in sight. At last they came to the
village of Appalache, which proved a bitter disappointment.
No treasure was found, and the Indians were treacherous and hos-
tile. However, they stayed here several months, living chiefly on
maize. The Indians here told them of another village, Aute, nine
or ten days south of there, on the seacoast. Toward this point
they directed their course.
They reached Aute in the last stages of despair, after fighting
their way through swamps and forests, frequently in water that
came above the knees. The Indians were hostile; there was little
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/188/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.