Cayetano Coll y Toste
translated and adapted by Jose Ramirez Rivera
These twelve historically flavored Caribbean vignettes provide a pleasurable perception of the Puerto Rican way of life in previous centuries. The stories provide insights into the lives of the Spanish conquerors, Taino Indians, and African slaves who populated the island. They provide a unique view of a Caribbean melting pot where the Spanish, French, English, Dutch, and Corsicans blended with each other and with the Taino and the African into the ethnic group we proudly identify as Puerto Rican.
Table of Contents
Map of Puerto Rico
FOREWORD - in English and Spanish
TALES OF ADVENTURE
The Gold Nugget
The Shark Killer
Roberto Cofresi: The Pirate
Carabali: The Rebellious Slave
TALES OF ROMANCE
The Diamond Ring
The Daughter of the Executioner
A Good Toledan Sword
The Eleven Thousand Virgins
TALES OF RELIGION AND SUPERSTITION
The Miracle of Hormigueros
The Church of Christ the Healer
The Bell of the Sugar Mill
IMPORTANT HISTORICAL EVENTS
Map of Old San Juan
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The afternoon ended in a sea of crimson, and Don Cristobal de Sotomayor, seated in the comfortable room he had built in the Indian village of Chief Agueybana, breathed with abandon the senesual aroma which the breeze brought from the nearby woods. The young man was half-yearning for the court at Valladolid where he had left his mother, the countess of Camina. Suddenly, a graceful Indian girl entered the room. Her hair was gathered in tresses in the old Castilian style. Her expressive eyes, filled with tears, betrayed her agitation.
"What has happened, my dear Guanina? Why are you frightened?"
"Flee, my lord! Flee, my dear love! Your death is sought by all the chieftains of Borinquen. I know the hidden caves in our island, and I will hide you in one of them."
"Are you delirious, Guanina? Your people are already conquered," answered Don Cristobal. He drew the attractive Indian girl toward him and kissed her on the forehead.
"Do not believe, my lord, that my people are vanquished because my Uncle Agueybana encouraged the natives of Borinquen to receive you with peace and with hospitality. The Indians believed then that you Spaniards were our brothers, but facts have shown differently. You are neither brothers nor friends; you seek to be our masters. Your people abuse our gentleness. The heavy work in the gold fields has made my people desperate. Some prefer to die by their own hand rather than to wash those accursed sands."
"I see, Guanina, that you also are rebellious," said Don Cristobal, while seating her by his side and kissing her.
"I must tell you what I feel. I want to save you. I don't want you to die." Her eyes again filled with tears as she embraced the young nobleman who tried to comfort her....
Ediciones Libero, 1977
Order Information / Blue Dolphin Publishing Home