Jaquentas is to ‘jackass’ as Don Quixote is to ‘donkey.’ I couldn’t find a name for the dwarf who came with Pedro Hernandez and helped found St. Augustine, Florida, so I used a bit of imperfect wordplay to create a name.
‘Cross and Sword’, by American playwright Paul Green, is the state play of Florida and inspired the symbolization. Green’s play features the same events I allude to in the two slides taken from my book trailer — Menendez massacring the French Huguenots which gave Matanzas its name.
Native Americans tried to marry off a chief’s daughter to Menendez, but he was already married and the offer wasn’t the younger and prettier daughter which may have swayed Menendez’s decision. I decided to marry off the dwarf. Many cultures associate Little People with the gods and this link helped Cortes conquered the Aztecs with a handful of men. Superstitions are powerful things. I can’t say for sure that Florida’s natives were swayed by the dwarf, but it’s possible.