The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901 Page: 31
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Route of Cabeza de Vaca.
buffalo south in winter when Cabeza de Vaca was the slave of the
one-eyed Mariame .and have -encountered them and the Iguaces be-
tween the Nueces and the Rio Grande, or on the San Antonio river
where they went to eat the nuts, and there met the four Spaniards,
and learned of there being many such people farther south. In-
deed, this old man may have been among those who -Cabeza de Vaca
says came down and lived upon the cows. All this was possible;
and if the old man was a Comanche, then it is even probable, since
his tribe roamed along the country between the Bravo and Nueces
to the coast, and often as far south as where Victoria, the capital
of Tamaulipas, is now. In fact, as late as 1818 they went down
there, and on their return, on the left margin of the Bravo in front
of where Matamoros is now, captured Victoriano Chapa, who was
recovered from them at San Antonio, by the commandant of that
place, in 1829, and is still alive. But as to the old man having
seen the Spaniards "near there," that is, near where Jaramillo
speaks of, and as to his statement that "we so understood him, and
presumed that it was Dorantes and Cabeza de Vaca and those [he]
had mentioned," it is fully answered in what is said above as to their
having gone through the barranca; and needs only the application
here of what Mr. Winship says: "But in trying to trace these early
dealings of Europeans with the American aborigines, we must never
forget how much may be explained by the possibilities of misinter-
pretation on the part of the white men, who so often heard of what
they wished to find, and who learned, very gradually and in the -end
imperfectly, to understand only a few of the native languages and
dialects."46 Indeed, it seems one leading desire was to make it
appear that they had found traces of Cabeza de Vaca and his three
comrades, as 'evidence of their having followed their back track and
being on the right way to Quivira, which was connected with the
route of these survivors of the Narvaez 'expedition only by gossip
first circulated in Mexico.
'This blind, bearded, old Indian is perpetuated in the memory of
letters, whether he ever saw Cabeza de Vaca or not; and possibly
Jaramillo's imagination enabled him to "so understand" the state-
ment made by signs, while the blind Indian who made them would
4"Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Parnt I, p. 394.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901, periodical, 1901; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101018/m1/37/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.