cording to the taste of the time, with silver, gold, and precious stones, that an impartial reader is placed in the dilemma of either refusing credence to the veracity of the explorer, or to the veracity of the three-tongued mouth on the map. Pineda's fable of the golden ornaments of the Indians of the Espiritu Santo was the ignis fatuus that lured Pamphilo de Narvaez, in 1528, to his expedition, ship-wreck, and death in the Delta.
One comes into clear daylight in the history of the Mississippi only with Hernandez de Soto. The river burst, in 1542, in all its majesty and might, upon the gaze of that fanatical seeker of El Dorado, as he marched across the continent. But it could not impede or detain him. When the blur disappeared at last from before his bewildered vision, and his gold-struck eyes recovered sight, and beheld his haggard desperation, he turned his steps back to the great river, and, hard pressed now by starvation, fever, and goading disappointment, he but gained its banks in time to die u
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