They Arrived At Length At A Place Named
_Coaque_ On The Sea Side, Which Was Well Peopled, And Where They
Procured Abundance Of Provisions To Refresh And Restore Them After The
Hardships And Privations They Had Undergone.
From that place, Pizarro sent
back one of his vessels to Panama, and the other to Nicaragua, sending by
them above 30,000 _castillanas_ of gold, which he had seized at Coaque,
to encourage fresh adventurers to join him, by giving a specimen of the
riches of the country.
At Coaque the Spaniards found some excellent
emeralds, as this country being under the line, is the only place where
such precious stones are to be had. Several of these were destroyed by the
Spaniards, who broke them in order to examine their nature; as they were
so ignorant as to believe that good emeralds ought to bear the hammer
without breaking, like diamonds. Believing therefore that the Indians
might impose false stones upon them, they broke many of great value
through their ignorance. The Spaniards were here afflicted by a singular
disease, formerly mentioned, which produced a dangerous kind of warts or
wens on their heads faces and other parts of their body, extremely sore
and loathsome, of which some of the soldiers died, but most of them
recovered, though almost every one was less or more affected.
Leaving Coaque on account of this strange disease, which Pizarro
attributed to the malignity of the air, he marched on to that province or
district in which _Puerto Viejo_ now stands, and easily reduced all the
surrounding country to subjection.
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