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Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

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Author Topic: Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic  (Read 3240 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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Posts: 4693

« Reply #90 on: January 27, 2009, 11:39:19 pm »

from the boats, a procession marched slowly up the beach, beginning with a few lay brethren, carrying tools for digging; then acolytes bearing tall crosses; and then white-robed priests; the seven bishops being carried on litters, the archbishop most conspicuously of all. Solemn chants were sung as the procession moved through the calm water towards the placid shore, and the gentle savages joined in kneeling while a solemn mass was said, and the crosses were uplifted which took possession of the new-found land in the name of the Church.

These solemn services occupied much of the day; later they carried tents on shore, and some of them occupied large storehouses which the natives had built for drying their figs; and to the women, under direction of Juanita, was allotted a great airy cave, with smaller caves branching from it, where the natives had made palm baskets. Day after day they labored, transferring all their goods and provisions to the land,--tools, and horses, and mules, clothing, and simple furniture. Most of them joined with pleasure in this toil, but others grew restless

p. 162

as they transferred all their possessions to land, and sometimes the women especially would climb to high places and gaze longingly towards Spain.

One morning a surprise came to Luis. Every night it was their custom to have a great fire on the beach, and to meet and sing chants around it. One night Luis had personally put out the blaze of the fire, as it was more windy than usual, and went to sleep in his tent. Soon after midnight he was awakened by a glare of a great light upon his tent's thin walls, and hastily springing up, he saw their largest caravel on fire. Rushing out to give the alarm, he saw a similar flame kindled in the second vessel, and then, after some delay, in the third. Then he saw a dark boat pulling hastily towards the shore, and going down to the beach he met their most trusty captain, who told him that the ships had been burnt by order of the archbishop, in order that their return might be hopeless, and that their stay on the island might be forever.

There was some lamentation among the emigrants when they saw their retreat thus cut off,

p. 163

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