CHAPTER 14: The Disappearance of the Greek

NEXT MORNING [October 28] I broke up thirty of their canoes, which we used for fire; the north wind, which raised yet another storm, confined us to land in the cold. When the storm subsided, we returned to sea, navigating three days [three or four, says the Joint Report ]. We had only a few containers to carry water, so could take but a little supply. Soon we were reduced again to the last extremity.

Continuing along the coast, we entered an estuary [Mobile Bay] where we saw a canoe of Indians coming toward us. We hailed them and, when they drew close to the Governor's boat, he asked for water. They showed themselves willing to get some if we furnished containers. That Greek, Doroteo Teodoro, whom I spoke of before, said he would go, too. The Governor and others failed to dissuade him. He took along a Negro, and the Indians left two of their number as hostages.

lt was night when the Indians returned, without water in the containers and without the Christians.

When these returning lndians spoke to our two hostages, the latter started to dive into the water; but some of our soldiers held them back in the barge. The canoe sped away, leaving us very confused and dejected over the loss of our comrades.

[De Soto's soldiers some twelve years later learned from Indians in this vicinity of the arrival of the barges in need of water, and of the two men who had remained behind. The Indians produced a dagger that had belonged to Teodoro. One suspects that Teodoro insisted on accompanying the canoemen for water because he thought it his best hope to survive; i.e. he had no intention of returning to the barges. He and his servant may, in fact, have lived for some time longer and migrated as slaves to tribes farther inland].