Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Transcript

Plate XXXI
How They Destroy the Enemy's Towns During the Night

Burning with revenge, the enemy will sometimes creep up at night, as silently as possible, to see if the sentinels are asleep. If they hear nothing, they approach the town. The points of their arrows are already trimmed with dry moss which they set alight and then shoot the arrows at the roofs of the houses which are made of branches, dried out by the heat of summer. When they see the roofs in flames, they quickly withdraw, before the inhabitants have noticed anything. They run so fast that it is difficult to catch them. In any case the people in the town have enough to do trying to extinguish the fire and make it easy for the incendiaries to escape. Such is the strategy used by the Indians to destroy a town of an enemy. The loss is not very great, though, because the construction of new houses merely requires some extra work.


All transcriptions are taken from Discovering the New World, Based on the Works of Theodore de Bry, edited by Michael Alexander (New York: Harper & Row, 1976).