The Cruelty of Lolonois

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Eventually, after discussions with his lieutenants, Lolonois decided they should enter Lake Nicaragua and plunder all the surrounding towns and villages.

Having firmly resolved on this enterprise, Lolonois assembled a force of some 700 men. Three hundred he put on board the large vessel taken in Maracaibo; the rest he disposed on smaller ships, five in number, making a fleet of six ships in all. Their rendezvous was on Hispaniola, at a place called Bayaha, where they took on board salt meat for their victuals.

Having drawn up their agreement and provisioned the ships, they set sail for Matamano, on the south side of Cuba. Their plan was to steal all the canoes they could find, for many turtle-fishers live at this place, catching and salting turtles to send to Havana. The buccaneers needed canoes to carry their men upriver to Nicaragua, where it was too shallow for their ships to navigate.

Having robbed these poor folk of their tools of trade and also carried off some of the men themselves, the buccaneers put to sea, steering for Cabo Gracias a Dios, situated on the mainland coast at a latitude of 15°, about 100 leagues from the Island of Pines. But they met with a calm, and drifted on the currents into the Gulf of Honduras. They did their best to regain their course, but wind and currents were against them, and Lolonois’ great ship could not follow the others. Worst of all, they began to run short of food, so they were obliged to seek fresh supplies. At last, hunger drove them to make a landing at the first river mouth they came to. They sent a few canoes up the Rio Xagua, whose shores are inhabited by Indians. They pillaged all the Indian dwellings they could find, bringing back to their ships a quantity of Spanish wheat, which they call maize, together with pigs, poultry, turkeys, and everything they’d been able to land their hands on.

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