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The tropical breeze blew gently that glorious morning in Boriquén, bringing the aroma of the casave prepared by the Taino women in the batey. The kids ran naked all around the place with their nets, ready to go fishing or to seek for gold in the nearby rivers. Naboiras, brought the recently caught jutías and hung them on the ceiba tree's lower branches, ready to peel the rodent-like animals.

Inside his cottage, Don Cristobal, the Spanish conqueror in charge of the gold hunt in the island, and his men drew a map of the surrounding forests and marked the places where they would look for the gilded precious metal the morning ahead. In that precise moment, Guanina, the Spanish conquistador Taino lover, entered the living area where the men where reunited. Her eyes, big and round like onyx, showed great distress.

"I must talk to you, my love." She said.

Don Cristobal, spell bounded by the beauty of the Taino woman, pleased her in whatever she wished for. She was a princess, sister of Guaybaná, the chief cacique of the region. She was a woman of great beauty; a dark and shiny mane cascaded down her naked back and a perfectly carved curved-lined bronzed body showed in all its splendor the natural comeliness of the native island's women. Only covered by a nagua, her round and firm breasts were proudly exposed, yet no one dared to touch Guanina, other than Don Cristobal de Sotomayor.

"¡Fuera todos! My love wants to be alone with me." Don Cristobal commanded and all the men left the cottage. "Tell me, my goddess, what troubles you? I don't like that look on your eyes?" The man grabbed Guanina's by her thin waist and kissed her forehead tenderly.

"Oh my love, death is coming right to you! A group of soldiers, skillful nitaynos, are planning an attack to this settlement. They say you've betrayed them calling you a false Guaitiao. They don't want to recollect more gold or food for the conquerors and guasábara is planned for tomorrow morning!"

"Are you sure of what you're saying my love?"

"Yes I am! Come, let's hide you in the caves up north. I know them well. You can stay there safely. Tainos believe them sacred and won't come in after you! Please. Let's go right now!"

The conversation was interrupted when Don Juan González, the translator, came in running into the cottage, breathing heavily and visibly fatigued. "Mi señor, we must go in this moment! Tainos are dancing an areyto in the nearby yucayeque preparing to battle. They want your head calling you a traitor. They are leaded by the cacique Mabó Damáca and a chief Bohique. Other dissident groups will join them tonight!"

"You see Cristobal! They are coming! We are on time to go!" Guanina hugged tightly Don Cristobal and cried.

"I would not leave! Never a Sotomayor has given his back to the enemy! I'm not a coward... We will confront them! Juan, go and bring the men! We must concert the defensive attack. Ask the women to put the gold in sacks and hide it. We'll be ready in the morning when they come."

The next morning everything was set to battle. The Taino warriors chants nearing by the woods announced that a violent guasábara strike was to be unleashed. They were almost two hundred men marching barefooted but heavily armed with bows, arrows and macanas.

Don Cristobal and his men, about fifty of them, were strategically placed guarding the settlement. They wore light armor and swords, axes and a few muskets.

The first row of Taino warriors showed and once they stepped on settlement ground, they charged, screaming and running with their macanas high in their hands. The muskets fired, and a few aborigine warrior fell, yet it was not enough to contain the attack. The Taino kept running and were dangerously approaching the settlement cottages, so Don Cristobal gave the order, "¡Ataquen!"

It was a violent body to body confrontation. Both groups fused in a gory fight and blood tainted the once peaceful island's soil. The Taino outnumbered the Spaniards and one by one fell under the heavy strike of the macanas that crushed skulls and broke bones and swords.

Don Cristobal kept fighting. He and Mabó Damáca were face to face. The Spanish conqueror lifted his sword, but it tangled in a liana. The man tried in vain to loose his weapon when a warrior stroke his macana and broke it leaving Don Cristobal unarmed.

"Don't kill Don Cristobal!" Guaybaná shouted from the back. But it was too late to be heard by a furious Mabó Damáca who hit the Spaniard with the stone-made weapon in his head, crushing his helmet and inflicted a fatal wound that killed him in the act.

"My sister loved him. We must bring Guanina to sacrifice her on his body so they could be together in the afterlife."

The battle ended. Taino warriors took the Spanish settlement and gathered the soldiers dead bodies to bury them according to their customs. Rites were about to begin when one of the nitaynos came to Guaybaná. "We've found Guanina."

When the cacique arrived, he found his sister dead, covered in blood and holding a dagger in her hand. She laid hugging her lover's body.

"She didn't allowed us to take Don Cristobal's body and sacrificed herself before we did." The Taino warrior said.

"Now they're together, loving each other in another place and time."

***This is a legend dated from the Spanish Conquista to the Island. It's said that people have seen both Don Cristobal and Guanina's ghosts running and kissing each other deep in the woods or in the mountains where their souls still love each other in the after life. Some had even heard her singing her Taino songs to her eternal love.

Taíno words Glossary:

Areyto: ceremonial dance and songs.

Batey: village or house front yard.

Bohique: Taino priest.

Cacique: a Taino chief.

Guaitiaos: people who had sworn in agreement of peace and friendship.

Guasábara: Guerrilla attack.

Jutías- like a capybara, rodent like big mammal.

Mabó Damáca: Taino chief.

Naboira: servants.

Nitayno: Cacique helpers and warriors.

Nagua: skirt like clothe that covered only the frontal pelvic part of the married women.

Yucayeque: Taino village.

Romance (A collection of short stories)Dove le storie prendono vita. Scoprilo ora