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VASCO NUÑEZ DE BALBOA, DISCOVERER OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN.
EXPEDITION OF MORALES AND PIZARRO TO THE
SHORES OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN-THEIR VISIT TO THE PEARL ISLANDS—THEIR DISASTROUS RETURN ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS.
NHE Bishop of Darien, encouraged by the
success of his intercession, endeavored to persuade the Governor to permit the
departure of Vasco Nuñez on his expedition to the South Sea. The jealousy of Pedrarias, however, was too strong to allow him to listen to such counsel. He was aware of the importance of the expedition, and was anxious that the Pearl Islands should be explored, which promised such abundant treasures ; but he feared to increase the popularity of Vasco Nuñez, by adding such an enterprise to the number of his achievements. Pedrarias therefore set on foot an expedition, consisting of sixty men, but gave the command to one of his own relations, named Gaspar Morales. The latter was accompanied by Francisco Pizarro, who had already been to those parts in the train of Vasco Nuñez, and who soon rose to importance in the present enterprise by his fierce courage and domineering genius.
A brief notice of the principal incidents of this expedition is all that is necessary for the present narration.
Morales and Pizarro traversed the mountains of the isthmus by a shorter and more expeditious route than that which had been taken by Vasco Nuñez, and arrived on the shores of the South Sea at the territories of a cacique named Tutibrà, by whom they were amicably enter
Pearl Islands. The cacique, however, had but four canoes, which were insufficient to contain their whole party. One half of their number, therefore, remained at the village of Tutibrà, under the command of a captain named Peñalosa ; the residue embarked in the canoes with Morales and Pizarro. After a stormy and peril