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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)

Chapter 4: The town of Cacheu, a place of treasure, and the condition of its population,   pp. 1-8

Page 7

left for dead. Of our men, only one was killed and only 4 were wounded,
compared with 80 of them (?) The captain, Gaspar de Setuval, who at the
present time is serving as factor, was outstanding for his skill and the
wisdom of his counsel.(i) Nor must I forget the courage of Diogo Serrao,
a native of Santiago Island. Not having time to load his gun in order to
drive off an enemy soldier who was trying to slice his head off with a
cutlass, he seized it by the point of the barrel and struck the savage
a blow which laid him dead at his feet. No less distinguished in the
battle were other residents of the port not here named. A Christian army
whose Flower in. the Fieldipatron is the Mother of God can expect no less
success, she alone being the reason for the victory, she through whose
hands the Lord wholly dispenses His f-avours to His own. It was His will
that there should be built a temple in which there would be invocation of
Our Lady of Victory, so that, as well as preserving to eternity the name
of His most holy Mother in this the leading and busiest port of Ethiopia
Minor, through the name there should be perpetuated among future generations
the remembrance of His singular goodness.
Although the victory was gained, we were henceforth apprehensive
of heathen rebellion. This is why the moat was made which runs around and
protects the settlement. From then on watch was kept, and for some time
the inhabitants remained secure. Then followed a reconciliation on the part
of the heathen with our people, self-interest being dominant with them.
This reconciliation was confirmed by an oath, for which they killed a white
puppy and a cock with the superstitious ceremonies they employ on solemn
occasions. Our people also took an oath and promised to respect it utterly
as long as the /f.17v/ savages did not fail in theirs. Once the agreement
had been accepted and approved by both parties, musical instruments such
as drums and flutes began to be played. To these harmonious sounds, and
with other festive demonstrations, everyone went marching to the factor's
house, where they were received with all the tokens of goodwill. Until

(i) Antonio Rodrigues, brother of Luis Lopes Rebelo, knocked down
two with the butt of his musket.


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