The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 357
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Spanish Search for La Salle's Colon, 1685-1689
vasion. He therefore decided to endeavor to capture the man,
and learn his designs. On May 18 Leon set out with a force of
eighteen picked men from the presidio of Coahuila. Among this
number were Captain Martin de Mendiondo, of Nuevo Leon, and
the chaplain, Father Buenaventura Bonal. After traveling for a
week toward the northeast, they crossed the Rio Grande, some
forty leagues from the presidio. Here five soldiers were left in
charge of the horses and the camp, and Leon pressed on with
the rest of his little force. About twenty leagues further they
found the rancheria described by the Indian, Agustin. The Span-
iards soon found the house of the chief, and dismounted in front
of the entrance, which was guarded by a force of forty-two Indians
armed with bows and arrows. Captains Leon and Mendiondo and
Father Bonal entered the house, and found the Frenchman seated
between two attendants, just as Agustin had described him. As
the priest approached, the man knelt in his seat and kissed the
sacred robe. He then shook hands with Leon and Mendiondo
with great courtesy, crying out in broken Spanish again and again,
"Yo Frances, Yo Frances" (I French, I French). After much
persuasion and diplomacy, Leon succeeded in spiriting away the
Frenchman, telling the Indians that he would be taken good care
of, and soon brought back to, the rancheria. The return trip was
made without difficulty, and the presidio reached on June 6.8
Although Captain Leon had already attempted to question the
prisoner, he had been able to understand very little of what he
said, and upon arrival at the presidio a formal examination was
held in order to see if something definite could be learned concern-
ing the French settlement, from which, it was supposed, the man
had wandered. An Indian, named Ignacio, of the mission of
Caldera, who knew the tongue of the Indians among whom the
Frenchman had been found, acted as interpreter. The prisoner
said that he had been christened Francisco, but that his country-
men usually called him "Captain Monsieur Yan Jarri (Jean
Henri); that he was a native of St. Jean de Orleans, in France;
and that he had come by order of a Monsieur Philip, governor
of a town which had been built on a large river, to win over
all of the Indian tribes to the allegiance of the king of France.
"SThe diary and derrotero of this journey is in Ibid., 16-20. The list
of soldiers is given in Ibid., 16-17.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/384/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.