JEAN DE BÉTHENCOURT, 1339-1425, I

The governor was obliged to weigh anchor without exploring the island; he went to Ferro Island, and coasting along it arrived next at Gomera; it was night, and the sailors were attracted by the fires that the natives had lighted on the shore. When day broke Gadifer and his companions wished to land; but the islanders would not allow them to proceed when they reached the shore, and drove them back to their vessel. Much disappointed by his reception, Gadifer determined to make another attempt at Ferro Island; there he found that he could land without opposition, and he remained on the island twenty-two days. The interior of the island was very beautiful. Pine-trees grew in abundance, and clear streams of water added to its fertility. Quails were found in large numbers, as well as pigs, goats, and sheep.

From this fertile island the party of explorers went to Palma, and anchored in a harbour situated to the right of a large river. This is the furthest island of the Canary group; it is covered with pine and dragon-trees; from the abundance of fresh water the pasturage is excellent and the land might be cultivated with much profit. Its inhabitants are a tall, robust race, well made, with good features and very white skin. Gadifer remained a short time on this island; on leaving it he spent two days and two nights sailing round the other islands, and then returned to the fort on Lancerota. They had been absent three months. In the meantime, those of the party who had been left in the fort had waged a petty war with the natives, and had made a great number of prisoners. The Canarians, demoralized, now came daily to cast themselves on their mercy, and to pray for the consecration of baptism. Gadifer was so pleased to hear of this, that he sent one of his companions to Spain to inform Béthencourt of the state of the colony.