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the camp. Towards the end of winter Coronado, riding at the ring on a festival day, fell beneath the hoofs of his companion's horse and was dangerously injured in the head. His illness and his failures preyed on his mind; and he resolved to seek no farther for wealth, but to return to his wife in Mexico. In April, 1542, he and his disappointed band turned homeward. At that very time, far to the east, Hernando de Soto also was giving up the Golden Quest and turning his face towards Mexico, to die of a broken spirit a month later. Hungry and tattered, and harassed by Indians, Coronado and his army painfully made their way back towards New Galicia. The soldiers were in open revolt; they dropped out by the score and went on pillaging forays at their pleasure. With barely a hundred followers, Coronado presented himself before Mendoza, bringing with him nothing more precious than the gold-plated armor in which he had set out two years before. He had enriched neither himself nor his King, so his end is soon told: "he lost his reputation, and shortly thereafter the government of New Galicia."
Two soldiers had been left in Kansas; their fate is not known. Fray Juan Padilla, Fray Juan de la Cruz, and a lay brother, Luis Descalona, remained with six companions in New Mexico. The friars were resolved to bring about the conversion of these Indians, whose settled modes of living seemed to promise a good opportunity. La Cruz, an old man, was well treated at first by the chiefs at Tiguex but was killed eventually. Descalona went east to the Pecos River and presumably was slain. Fray Juan Padilla, with a Portuguese, two oblates, and some native guides went back to Quivira, that is, to Kansas. He won the love of the Indians of that region; but, not content with this harvest, he set out for the towns of some of their foes. On the way he was mur dered, either by natives of the towns he sought or by his own guides from Tiguex. The Portuguese and the two oblates witnessed his martyrdom from a neighboring hill; and in time they made their way across Oklahoma and Texas to Panuco, where they told the story. And, says a Spanish writer of the day, it was then recalled that "great prodigies" were seen at his death, "as it were the earth flooded, globes of fire, comets, and obscurations of the sun."
Today we may doubt the pious historian's "great prodigies." But we look over that land, where many temple spires rise in security to V
proclaim cne Christ, however variously sought, and we are moved to honor the zeal and devotion of Fray Juan Padilla and his two brother monks — the first unarmed mission of the Church upon tfa^ soil of the United States.
/"Know that on the right hand of the Indies tnere is an island called California, very close to the side of the Terrestrial Paradise; and it was peopled by black women, without any man among them, for they lived in the fashion of Amazons. They were of strong and hardy bodies, of ardent courage and great force. Their island was the strongest in all the world, with its steep cliffs and rocky shores. Their arms were all of gold, and so was the harness of the wild beasts which they tamed to ride; for in the whole island there was no metal but gold." So wrote Montalvo, the author of Esplandidn, a romance which, first published in 1510, rapidly became the "best seller" of its day, running through at least four editions. This book may have influenced the Emperor Charles V in banning fiction from the Indies, where the imaginations of both Spaniards and natives needed no artificial stimulation. At all events, both Spaniards and Indians were forbidden to peruse these romances. Probably the Indians obeyed the wise decree. But evidently in the case of the Spaniards the mischief had already been done; and hence the name, California, applied long since to a region which has seen more romance and produced more gold than ever were conceived of in the imagination of the ancient Spanish author.
The legend of the Amazons was curiously interwoven with both the discovery and the naming of California. While Guzman and Coronado were moving north by land others were advancing by sea. Cortes, conqueror of Mexico, was urged north especially by rumors of a rich province inhabited only by women, like the island in Montalvo's tale. His nephew, Francisco Cortes, was sent from Colima to follow the clue (1524). The Amazon province was not found, nor yet was belief in it shattered. Nine years later Jimenez^ one of Cortes's explorers, discovered the Peninsula of Lower California, thought it to be an island, and reported it to have pearls. A pearl bearing island, "down the coast toward India," fitted in with Cortes's notions of geography. So he personally led a colony to the "island," which he named Santa Cruz.
The dismal failure of the colony was only a temporary discouragement. Hoping to forestall Viceroy Mendoza, Cortés rushed an exploring expedition north under Francisco de Ulloa (1539). Nearly a year before Alarcón, whom Mendoza sent to aid Coronado, Ulloa reached the head of the Gulf, rounded the peninsula, and returned with the news that it was not after all an island, but tierra firme. Now the name Santa Cruz gave way to “California,” the change being a new application of the old belief in the Amazon island, as recorded in Montalvo's novel. Perhaps Cortés, grim soldier, had a passion for light reading — even as today captains of industry refresh themselves with Sherlock Holmes—for the historian Herrera states that it was he who bestowed the name upon the peninsula which he tried in vain to colonize. Possibly the name was bestowed in derision, but just when, or how, or by whom, no one has established with certainty. Ulloa's voyage marks the close of Cortés's efforts to explore the northern Pacific, but the work was continued by Viceroy Mendoza. Through the death of Alvarado, the dashing conqueror of Guatemala, in the Mixton War (1541), Mendoza inherited a fleet which had been prepared for exploration in the Pacific, and with it he carried