The story

The Letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha (part 4)

The Letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha (part 4)

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And there with all the others he said Mass, which was said by Father Friar Henrique in a sung voice and officiated with that same voice by the other priests and priests, who were all there. Which mass, according to my opinion, was heard by all with great pleasure and devotion.

There with the Captain was the banner of Christ, with which he went out of Bethlehem, which was always raised from the Gospel.

When the service was over, the priest disengaged and climbed into a high chair; and we all thrown into this sand. And he preached a solemn and profitable preaching of the history of the Gospel, at the end of which he dealt with our coming and the finding of this earth, conforming himself to the sign of the Cross, under whose obedience we have come, which was very intimate and devoted. .

While we were at Mass and preaching, there would be so many people on the beach, a little more or less like yesterday, with their bows and arrows, which was hanging around. And looking at us, they sat down. And when the service was over, while we were seated in preaching, many of them arose, whistled like a horn or horn, and began to leap and dance. And some of them got into slogans — two or three they had there — which aren't made like the ones I've seen; there are only three beams, tied together. And there were four or five, or those who wanted to get away from the earth almost nothing but as long as they could take their feet.

After the preaching was over, the Captain, with all of us, returned to the baptisms with our high flag. We boarded and went all the way to the land to pass along where they were, going, in the lead, by order of the Captain, Bartolomeu Dias on his coffin, with a stick of a thrashing which the sea had brought to them; and we all stone-work behind him.

As the bier of Bartolomeu Dias saw, they all soon reached the water, getting into it as far as they could. They beckoned them to rest their bows; and many of them would soon set them ashore; and others not.

There was one who talked a lot to others who walked away, but not that it seemed to me that they were complacent or afraid. The one who walked away with them carried his bow and arrows, and was red with red tincture over his breasts, buttocks, hips, thighs, and legs, but the voids with his belly and stomach were his own color. And the tincture was so red that the water neither ate nor undone it, but when it came out of the water, it seemed redder.

A man came out of the bier of Bartolomeu Dias and walked among them, implying nothing with him to harm him. They gave him water gourds before, and beckoned to those of the coffin to go ashore.

With this Bartolomeu Dias turned to the Captain; and we came to the ships to eat, singing pipes and trumpets, without giving them any more oppression. And they set back on the beach and so they stayed.

In this islet, where we went to hear mass and preaching, the water spreads a lot, leaving a lot of sand and a lot of gravel uncovered. While we were there, some went for shellfish and found only a few short, thick shrimps, among which came one so large and so thick, as I have never seen size. They also found cockles and clams shells, but they didn't bump into any whole pieces.

So much so that we ate, and all the captains came to this ship at the command of the Captain-General with whom he departed, and I in company. And he asked everyone if we thought it good to send the news of this land to Your Highness by the ship of supplies, for the best to have it discovered and known more than we could now know, as we departed from our voyage.

And among the many lines that were made in this case, it was all or most said that it would be fine. And in this they concluded. And so much so that the conclusion was drawn, it asked more if it seemed well to them to take here by force a pair of these men to send them to your Highness, leaving here for them two other of these exiled ones.

On this they agreed that it was not necessary to take men by force, because it was the general custom of those who thus took men by force to say that there is of all that they ask them there; and what better and much better information on earth would give two men of these bastards to leave here, than they would give if they took them, because they are people no one understands. Nor would they soon learn to speak so that they know so well that much better bursts do not say, when Your Highness here sends.

And, therefore, that they would not take care of taking anyone here by force or making a scandal, in order to tame and soothe them at all, but only to leave the two deposed here when we left.
And so, as best as everyone seemed, it was determined.

When this was done, the captain said that we should go to the baptisms ashore, and see what the river looked like, and to enjoy it.

We all went to the ground bunkers, armed and the flag with us. They walked there on the beach, at the mouth of the river, where we went; and before we came, by the teaching which they had before, they set all the bows, and beckoned us to go out. But as long as the barges set their prows ashore, they soon passed beyond the river, which is no wider than a set of bearings. And as soon as we disembarked, some of ours soon passed the river, and went among them. Some waited; others drifted away. But it was the thing that everyone was mixed up with. They offered these bows with their arrows for linen shades and hoods or whatever they gave them.

They passed beyond so many of ours, and were thus mingled with them, that they dodged and drifted away. And from them some went up where others were.

Then the captain had two men take him in his lap, passed the river, and turned them all back.