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The History Of The Conquest Of Peru by William H. Prescott

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following up his advantage, he inflicted on them such a severe
chastisement, that, although they still continued to hover in the
distance and cut off his communications with the interior, they
did not care to trust themselves on the other side of the Rimac.

The accounts that the Spanish commander now eceived of the state
of the country filled him with the most serious alarm. He was
particularly solicitous for the fate of the garrison at Cuzco,
and he made repeated efforts to relieve that capital. Four
several detachments, amounting to more than four hundred men in
all, half of them cavalry, were sent by him at different times,
under some of his bravest officers. But none of them reached
their place of destination. The wily natives permitted them to
march into the interior of the country, until they were fairly
entangled in the passes of the Cordilleras. They then enveloped
them with greatly superior numbers, and, occupying the heights,
showered down their fatal missiles on the heads of the Spaniards,
or crushed them under the weight of fragments of rock which they
rolled on them from the mountains. In some instances, the whole
detachment was cut off to a man. In others, a few stragglers
only survived to return and tell the bloody tale to their
countrymen at Lima. *26

[Footnote 26: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 5. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap 5. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 28.

According to the historian of the Incas, there fell in these
expeditions four hundred and seventy Spaniards. Cieza de Leon
computes the whole number of Christians who perished in this
insurrection at seven hundred, many of them, he adds, under
circumstances of great cruelty. (Cronica, cap. 82.) The estimate,
considering the spread and spirit of the insurrection, does not
seem extravagant]

Pizzaro was now filled with consternation. He had the most
dismal forebodings of the fate of the Spaniards dispersed
throughout the country, and even doubted the possibility of
maintaining his own foothold in it without assistance from
abroad. He despatched a vessel to the neighbouring colony at
Truxillo, urging them to abandon the place, with all their
effects, and to repair to him at Lima. The measure was,
fortunately, not adopted. Many of his men were for availing
themselves of the vessels which rode at anchor in the port to
make their escape from the country at once, and take refuge in
Panama. Pizarro would not hearken to so dastardly a counsel,
which involved the desertion of the brave men in the interior who
still looked to him for protection. He cut off the hopes of
these timid spirits by despatching all the vessels then in port
on a very different mission. He sent letters by them to the
governors of Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico,
representing the gloomy state of his affairs, and invoking their
aid. His epistle to Alvarado, then established at Guatemala, is
preserved. He conjures him by every sentiment of honor and
patriotism to come to his assistance, and this before it was too
late. Without assistance, the Spaniards could no longer maintain
their footing in Peru, and that great empire would be lost to the
Castilian Crown. He finally engages to share with him such
conquests as they may make with their united arms. *27 - Such
concessions, to the very man whose absence from the country, but
a few months before, Pizarro would have been willing to secure at
almost any price, are sufficient evidence of the extremity of his
distress. The succours thus earnestly solicited arrived in time,
not to quell the Indian insurrection, but to aid him in a
struggle quite as formidable with his own countrymen.

[Footnote 27: "E crea V. S *a sino somos socorridos se perdera el
Cusco, ques la cosa mas senalada e de mas importancia que se
puede descubrir, e luego nos perderemos todos: porque somos pocos
e tenemos pocas armas, e los Indios estan atrevidos." Carta de
Francisco Pizarro a D. Pedro de Alvarado, desde la Ciudad le los
Reyes. 29 de julio, 1536, Ms.]
It was now August. More than five months had elapsed since the
commencement of the siege of Cuzco, yet the Peruvian legions
still lay encamped around the city. Peruvian legions still lay
encamped around the city. The siege had been protracted much
beyond what was usual in Indian warfare, and showed the
resolution of the natives to exterminate the white men. But the
Peruvians themselves had for some time been straitened by the
want of provisions. It was no easy matter to feed so numerous a
host; and the obvious resource of the magazines of grain, so
providently prepared by the Incas, did them but little service,
since their contents had been most prodigally used, and even
dissipated, by the Spaniards, on their first occupation of the
country. *28 The season for planting had now arrived, and the
Inca well knew, that, if his followers were to neglect it, they
would be visited by a scourge even more formidable than their
invaders. Disbanding the greater part of his forces, therefore,
he ordered them to withdraw to their homes, and, after the labors
of the field were over, to return and resume the blockade of the
capital. The Inca reserved a considerable force to attend on his
own person, with which he retired to Tambo, a strongly fortified
place south of the valley of Yucay, the favorite residence of his
ancestors. He also posted a large body as a corps of observation
in the environs of Cuzco, to watch the movements of the enemy,
and to intercept supplies.
[Footnote 28: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim. y Seg., Ms.]

The Spaniards beheld with joy the mighty host which had so long
encompassed the city, now melting away. They were not slow in
profiting by the circumstance, and Hernando Pizarro took
advantage of the temporary absence to send out foraging parties
to scour the country, and bring back supplies to his famishing
soldiers. In this he was so successful that on one occasion no
less than two thousand head of cattle - the Peruvian sheep - were
swept away from the Indian plantations and brought safely to
Cuzco. *29 This placed the army above all apprehensions on the
score of want for the present.
[Footnote 29: "Recoximos hasta dos mil cavezas de ganado." Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Yet these forays were made at the point of the lance, and many a
desperate contest ensued, in which the best blood of the Spanish
chivalry was shed. The contests, indeed, were not confined to
large bodies of troops, but skirmishes took place between smaller
parties, which sometimes took the form of personal combats. Nor
were the parties so unequally matched as might have been supposed
in these single rencontres; and the Peruvian warrior, with his
sling, his bow, and his lasso, proved no contemptible antagonist
for the mailed horseman, whom he sometimes even ventured to
encounter, hand to hand, with his formidable battle-axe. The
ground around Cuzco became a battle-field, like the vega of
Granada, in which Christian and Pagan displayed the
characteristics of their peculiar warfare; and many a deed of
heroism was performed, which wanted only the song of the minstrel
to shed around it a glory like that which rested on the last days
of the Moslem of Spain. *30

[Footnote 30: Pedro Pizarro recounts several of these deeds of
arms, in some of which his own prowess is made quite apparent.
One piece of cruelty recorded by him is little to the credit of
his commander, Hernando Pizarro, who , he says, after a desperate
rencontre, caused the right hands of his prisoners to be struck
off, and sent them in this mutilated condition back to their
countrymen! (Descub. Conq., Ms.) Such atrocities are not often
noticed by the chroniclers; and we may hope they were exceptions
to the general policy of the Conquerors in this invasion.]
But Hernando Pizarro was not content to act wholly on the
defensive; and he meditated a bold stroke, by which at once to
put an end to the war. This was the capture of the Inca Manco,
whom he hoped to surprise in his quarters at Tambo.

For this service he selected about eighty of his best-mounted
cavalry, with a small body of foot, and, making a large detour
through the less frequented mountain defiles, he arrived before
Tambo without alarm to the enemy. He found the place more
strongly fortified than he had imagined. The palace, or rather
fortress, of the Incas stood on a lofty eminence, the steep sides
of which, on the quarter where the Spaniards approached, were cut
into terraces, defended by strong walls of stone and sunburnt
brick. *31 The place was impregnable on this side. On the
opposite, it looked towards the Yucay, and the ground descended
by a gradual declivity towards the plain through which rolled its
deep but narrow current. *32 This was the quarter on which to
make the assault.

[Footnote 31: "Tambo tan fortalescido que hera cosa de grima,
porquel assiento donde Tambo esta es muy fuerte, de andenes muy
altos y de muy gran canterias fortalescidos" Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 32: "El rio de yucay ques grande por aquella parte va
muy angosto y hondo." Ibid., Ms.]

Crossing the stream without much difficulty, the Spanish
commander advanced up the smooth glacis with as little noise as
possible. The morning light had hardly broken on the mountains;
and Pizarro, as he drew near the outer defences, which, as in the
fortress of Cuzco, consisted of a stone parapet of great strength
drawn round the inclosure, moved quickly forward, confident that
the garrison were still buried in sleep. But thousands of eyes
were upon him; and as the Spaniards came within bow-shot, a
multitude of dark forms suddenly rose above the rampart, while
the Inca, with his lance in hand, was seen on horseback in the
inclosure, directing the operations of his troops. *33 At the
same moment the air was darkened with innumerable missiles,
stones, javelins, and arrows, which fell like a hurricane on the
troops, and the mountains rang to the wild war-whoop of the
enemy. The Spaniards, taken by surprise, and many of them sorely
wounded, were staggered; and, though they quickly rallied, and
made two attempts to renew the assault, they were at length
obliged to fall back, unable to endure the violence of the storm.
To add to their confusion, the lower level in their rear was
flooded by the waters, which the natives, by opening the sluices,
had diverted from the bed of the river, so that their position
was no longer tenable. *34 A council of war was then held, and it
was decided to abandon the attack as desperate, and to retreat in
as good order as possible.

[Footnote 33: "Parecia el Inga a caballo entre su gente, con su
lanca en la mano." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap.
[Footnote 34: "Pues hechos dos o tres acometimientos a tomar este
pueblo tantas vezes nos hizieron bolver dando de manos. Ansi
estuvimos todo este dia hasta puesta de sol; os indios sin
entendello nos hechavan el rrio en el llano donde estavamos, y
aguardar mas perescieramos aqui todos." Pedro Pizarro Descub. y
Conq. Ms.]

The day had been consumed in these ineffectual operations; and
Hernando, under cover of the friendly darkness, sent forward his
infantry and baggage, taking command of the centre himself, and
trusting the rear to his brother Gonzalo. The river was happily
recrossed without accident, although the enemy, now confident in
their strength, rushed out of their defences, and followed up the
retreating Spaniards, whom they annoyed with repeated discharges
of arrows. More than once they pressed so closely on the
fugitives, that Gonzalo and his chivalry were compelled to turn
and make one of those desperate charges that effectually punished
their audacity, and stayed the tide of pursuit. Yet the
victorious foe still hung on the rear of the discomfited
cavaliers, till they had emerged from the mountain passes, and
come within sight of the blackened walls of the capital. It was
the last triumph of the Inca. *35

[Footnote 35: Ibid., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib.
8, cap. 7.]

Among the manuscripts for which I am indebted to the liberality
of that illustrious Spanish scholar, the lamented Navarrete, the
most remarkable, in connection with this history, is the work of
Pedro Pizarro; Relaciones del Descubrimiento y Conquista de los
Reynos del Peru. But a single copy of this important document
appears to have been preserved, the existence of which was but
little known till it came into the hands of Senor de Navarrete;
though it did not escape the indefatigable researches of Herrera,
as is evident from the mention of several incidents, some of them
having personal relation to Pedro Pizarro himself, which the
historian of the Indies could have derived through no other
channel. The manuscript has lately been given to the public as
part of the inestimable collection of historical documents now in
process of publication at Madrid, under auspices which, we may
trust, will insure its success. As the printed work did not
reach me till my present labors were far advanced, I have
preferred to rely on the manuscript copy for the brief remainder
of my narrative, as I had been compelled to do for the previous
portion of it.

Nothing, that I am aware of, is known respecting the author, but
what is to be gleaned from incidental notices of himself in his
own history. He was born at Toledo in Estremadura, the fruitful
province of adventurers to the New World, whence the family of
Francis Pizarro, to which Pedro was allied, also emigrated. When
that chief came over to undertake the conquest of Peru, after
receiving his commission from the emperor in 1529, Pedro Pizarro,
then only fifteen years of age, accompanied him in quality of
page. For three years he remained attached to the household of
his commander, and afterwards continued to follow his banner as a
soldier of fortune. He was present at most of the memorable
events of the Conquest, and seems to have possessed in a great
degree the confidence of his leader, who employed him on some
difficult missions, in which he displayed coolness and gallantry.
It is true, we must take the author's own word for all this. But
he tells his exploits with an air of honesty, and without any
extraordinary effort to set them off in undue relief. He speaks
of himself in the third person, and, as his manuscript was not
intended solely for posterity, he would hardly have ventured on
great misrepresentation, where fraud could so easily have been
After the Conquest, our author still remained attached to the
fortunes of his commander, and stood by him through all the
troubles which ensued; and on the assassination of that chief, he
withdrew to Arequipa, to enjoy in quiet the repartimiento of
lands and Indians, which had been bestowed on him as the
recompense of his services. He was there on the breaking out of
the great rebellion under Gonzalo Pizarro. But he was true to
his allegiance, and chose rather, as he tells us, to be false to
his name and his lineage than to his loyalty. Gonzalo, in
retaliation, seized his estates, and would have proceeded to
still further extremities against him, when Pedro Pizarro had
fallen into his hands at Lima, but for the interposition of his
lieutenant, the famous Francisco de Carbajal, to whom the
chronicler had once the good fortune to render an important
service. This, Carbajal requited by sparing his life on two
occasions, - but on the second coolly remarked, "No man has a
right to a brace of lives; and if you fall into my hands a third
time, God only can grant you another." Happily, Pizarro did not
find occasion to put this menace to the test. After the
pacification of the country, he again retired to Arequipa; but,
from the querulous tone of his remarks, it would seem he was not
fully reinstated in the possessions he had sacrificed by his
loyal devotion to government. The last we hear of him is in
1571, the date which he assigns as that of the completion of his
Pedro Pizarro's narrative covers the whole ground of the
Conquest, from the date of the first expedition that sallied out
from Panama, to the troubles that ensued on the departure of
President Gasca. The first part of the work was gathered from
the testimony of others, and, of course, cannot claim the
distinction of rising to the highest class of evidence. But all
that follows the return of Francis Pizarro from Castile, all, in
short, which constitutes the conquest of the country, may be said
to be reported on his own observation, as an eyewitness and an
actor. This gives to his narrative a value to which it could
have no pretensions on the score of its literary execution.
Pizarro was a soldier, with as little education, probably, as
usually falls to those who have been trained from youth in this
rough school, - the most unpropitious in the world to both mental
and moral progress. He had the good sense, more over, not to
aspire to an excellence which he could not reach. There is no
ambition of fine writing in his chronicle; there are none of
those affectations of ornament which only make more glaring the
beggarly condition of him who assumes them. His object was
simply to tell the story of the Conquest, as he had seen it. He
was to deal with facts, not with words, which he wisely left to
those who came into the field after the laborers had quitted it,
to garner up what they could at second hand.
Pizarro's situation may be thought to have necessarily exposed
him to party influences, and thus given an undue bias to his
narrative. It is not difficult, indeed, to determine under whose
banner he had enlisted. He writes like a partisan, and yet like
an honest one, who is no further warped from a correct judgment
of passing affairs than must necessarily come from preconceived
opinions. There is no management to work a conviction in his
reader on this side or the other, still less any obvious
perversion of fact. He evidently believes what he says, and this
is the great point to be desired. We can make allowance for the
natural influences of his position. Were he more impartial than
this, the critic of the present day, by making allowance for a
greater amount of prejudice and partiality, might only be led
into error.

Pizarro is not only independent, but occasionally caustic in his
condemnation of those under whom he acted. This is particularly
the case where their measures bear too unfavorably on his own
interests, or those of the army. As to the unfortunate natives,
he no more regards their sufferings than the Jews of old did
those of the Philistines, whom they considered as delivered up to
their swords, and whose lands they regarded as their lawful
heritage. There is no mercy shown by the hard Conqueror in his
treatment of the infidel.

Pizarro was the representative of the age in which he lived. Yet
it is too much to cast such obloquy on the age. He represented
more truly the spirit of the fierce warriors who overturned the
dynasty of the Incas. He was not merely a crusader, fighting to
extend the empire of the Cross over the darkened heathen. Gold
was his great object; the estimate by which he judged of the
value of the Conquest; the recompense that he asked for a life of
toil and danger. It was with these golden visions, far more than
with visions of glory, above all, of celestial glory, that the
Peruvian adventurer fed his gross and worldly imagination.
Pizarro did not rise above his caste. Neither did he rise above
it in a mental view, any more than in a moral. His history
displays no great penetration, or vigor and comprehension of
though. It is the work of a soldier, telling simply his tale of
blood. Its value is, that it is told by him who acted it. And
this, to the modern compiler, renders it of higher worth than far
abler productions at second hand. It is the rude ore, which,
submitted to the regular process of purification and refinement,
may receive the current stamp that fits it for general

Another authority, to whom I have occasionally referred, and
whose writings still slumber in manuscript, is the Licentiate
Fernando Montesinos. He is, in every respect, the opposite of
the military chronicler who has just come under our notice. He
flourished about a century after the Conquest. Of course, the
value of his writings as an authority for historical facts must
depend on his superior opportunities for consulting original
documents. For this his advantages were great. He was twice sent
in an official capacity to Peru, which required him to visit the
different parts of the country. These two missions occupied
fifteen years; so that, while his position gave him access to the
colonial archives and literary repositories, he was enabled to
verify his researches, to some extent, by actual observation of
the country.
The result was his two historical works, Memorias Antiguas
Historiales del Peru, and his Annales, sometimes cited in these
pages. The former is taken up with the early history of the
country, - very early, it must be admitted, since it goes back to
the deluge. The first part of this treatise is chiefly occupied
with an argument to show the identity of Peru with the golden
Ophir of Solomon's time! This hypothesis, by no means original
with the author, may give no unfair notion of the character of
his mind. In the progress of his work he follows down the line
of Inca princes, whose exploits, and names even, by no means
coincide with Garcilasso's catalogue; a circumstance, however,
far from establishing their inaccuracy. But one will have little
doubt of the writer's title to this reproach, that reads the
absurd legends told in the grave tone of reliance by Montesinos,
who shared largely in the credulity and the love of the
marvellous which belong to an earlier and less enlightened age.

These same traits are visible in his Annals, which are devoted
exclusively to the Conquest. Here, indeed, the author, after his
cloudy flight, has descended on firm ground, where gross
violations of truth, or, at least, of probability, are not to be
expected. But any one who has occasion to compare his narrative
with that of contemporary writers will find frequent cause to
distrust it. Yet Montesinos has one merit. In his extensive
researches, he became acquainted with original instruments, which
he has occasionally transferred to his own pages, and which it
would be now difficult to meet elsewhere.

His writings have been commended by some of his learned
countrymen, as showing diligent research and information. My own
experience would not assign them a high rank as historical
vouchers. They seem to me entitled to little praise, either for
the accuracy of their statements, or the sagacity of their
reflections. The spirit of cold indifference which they manifest
to the sufferings of the natives is an odious feature, for which
there is less apology in a writer of the seventeenth century than
in one of the primitive Conquerors, whose passions had been
inflamed by long-protracted hostility. M. Ternaux-Compans has
translated the Memorias Antiguas with his usual elegance and
precision, for his collection of original documents relating to
the New World. He speaks in the Preface of doing the same kind
office to the Annales, at a future time. I am not aware that he
has done this; and I cannot but think that the excellent
translator may find a better subject for his labors in some of
the rich collection of the Munoz manuscripts in his possession.

Book IV: Civil Wars Of The Conquerors

Chapter I

Almagro's March To Chili. - Suffering Of The Troops. - He Returns
And Seizes Cuzco. - Action Of Abancay. - Gaspar De Espinosa. -
Almagro Leaves Cuzco. - Negotiations With Pizarro.


While the events recorded in the preceding chapter were passing,
the Marshal Almagro was engaged in his memorable expedition to
Chili. He had set out, as we have seen, with only part of his
forces, leaving his lieutenant to follow him with the remainder.
During the first part of the way, he profited by the great
military road of the Incas, which stretched across the table-land
far towards the south. But as he drew near to Chili, the Spanish
commander became entangled in the defiles of the mountains, where
no vestige of a road was to be discerned. Here his progress was
impeded by all the obstacles which belong to the wild scenery of
the Cordilleras; deep and ragged ravines, round whose sides a
slender sheep-path wound up to a dizzy height over the precipices
below; rivers rushing in fury down the slopes of the mountains,
and throwing themselves in stupendous cataracts into the yawning
abyss; dark forests of pine that seemed to have no end, and then
again long reaches of desolate table-land, without so much as a
bush or shrub to shelter the shivering traveller from the blast
that swept down from the frozen summits of the sierra.

The cold was so intense, that many lost the nails of their
fingers, their fingers themselves. and sometimes their limbs.
Others were blinded by the dazzling waste of snow, reflecting the
rays of a sun made intolerably brilliant in the thin atmosphere
of these elevated regions. Hunger came, as usual, in the train of
woes; for in these dismal solitudes no vegetation that would
suffice for the food of man was visible, and no living thing,
except only the great bird of the Andes, hovering over their
heads in expectation of his banquet. This was too frequently
afforded by the number of wretched Indians, who, unable, from the
scantiness of their clothing, to encounter the severity of the
climate, perished by the way. Such was the pressure of hunger,
that the miserable survivors fed on the dead bodies of their
countrymen, and the Spaniards forced a similar sustenance from
the carcasses of their horses, literally frozen to death in the
mountain passes. *1 - Such were the terrible penalties which
Nature imposed on those who rashly intruded on these her solitary
and most savage haunts.

[Footnote 1: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 10, cap. 1 - 3.
- Oviedo Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 9, cap. 4. -
Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

Yet their own sufferings do not seem to have touched the hearts
of the Spaniards with any feeling of compassion for the weaker
natives. Their path was everywhere marked by burnt and desolated
hamlets, the inhabitants of which were compelled to do them
service as beasts of burden. They were chained together in gangs
of ten or twelve, and no infirmity or feebleness of body excused
the unfortunate captive from his full share of the common toil,
till he sometimes dropped dead, in his very chains, from mere
exhaustion! *2 Alvarado's company are accused of having been more
cruel than Pizarro's; and many of Almagro's men, it may be
remembered, were recruited from that source. The commander looked
with displeasure, it is said, on these enormities, and did what
he could to repress them. Yet he did not set a good example in
his own conduct, if it be true that he caused no less than thirty
Indian chiefs to be burnt alive, for the massacre of three of his
followers! *3 The heart sickens at the recital of such atrocities
perpetrated on an unoffending people, or, at least, guilty of no
other crime than that of defending their own soil too well.

[Footnote 2: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.

The writer must have made one on this expedition, as he speaks
from personal observation. The poor natives had at least one
friend in the Christian camp. "I si en el Real havia algun
Espanol que era buen rancheador i cruel i matava muchos Indios
tenianle por buen hombre i en grand reputacion i el que era
inclinado a hacer bien i a hacer buenos tratamientos a los
naturales i los favorecia no era tenido en tan buena estima, he
apuntado esto que vi con mis ejos i en que por mis pecados anduve
porque entiendan los que esto leyeren que de la manera que aqui
digo i con mayores crueldades harto se hizo esta jornada i
descubrimiento de Chile"]

[Footnote 3: "I para castigarlos por la muerte destos tres
Espanoles juntolos en un aposento donde estava aposentado i mando
cavalgar la jente de cavallo i la de apie que guardasen las
puertas i todos estuviesen apercividos i los prendio i en
conclusion hizo quemar mas de 30 senores vivos atados cada uno a
su palo" (Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.) Oviedo, who always shows
the hard feeling of the colonist, excuses this on the old plea of
necessity, - fue necesario este castigo, - and adds, that after
this a Spaniard might send a messenger from one end of the
country to the other, without fear of injury Hist. de las Indias,
Ms, Parte 3 lib. 9, cap. 4.]

There is something in the possession of superior strength most
dangerous, in a moral view, to its possessor. Brought in contact
with semi-civilized man, the European, with his endowments and
effective force so immeasurably superior, holds him as little
higher than the brute, and as born equally for his service. He
feels that he has a natural right, as it were, to his obedience,
and that this obedience is to be measured, not by the powers of
the barbarian, but by the will of his conqueror. Resistance
becomes a crime to be washed out only in the blood of the victim.
The tale of such atrocities is not confined to the Spaniard.
Wherever the civilized man and the savage have come in contact,
in the East or in the West, the story has been too often written
in blood.

From the wild chaos of mountain scenery the Spaniards emerged on
the green vale of Coquimbo, about the thirtieth degree of south
latitude. Here they halted to refresh themselves in its abundant
plains, after their unexampled sufferings and fatigues.
Meanwhile Almagro despatched an officer with a strong party in
advance, to ascertain the character of the country towards the
south. Not long after, he was cheered by the arrival of the
remainder of his forces under his lieutenant Rodrigo de Orgonez.
This was a remarkable person, and intimately connected with the
subsequent fortunes of Almagro.

He was a native of Oropesa, had been trained in the Italian wars,
and held the rank of ensign in the army of the Constable of
Bourbon at the famous sack of Rome. It was a good school in
which to learn his iron trade, and to steel the heart against any
too ready sensibility to human suffering. Orgonez was an
excellent soldier; true to his commander, prompt, fearless, and
unflinching in the execution of his orders. His services
attracted the notice of the Crown, and, shortly after this
period, he was raised to the rank of Marshal of New Toledo. Yet
it may be doubted whether his character did not qualify him for
an executive and subordinate station rather than for one of
higher responsibility.

Almagro received also the royal warrant, conferring on him his
new powers and territorial jurisdiction. The instrument had been
detained by the Pizarros to the very last moment. His troops,
long since disgusted with their toilsome and unprofitable march,
were now clamorous to return. Cuzco, they said, undoubtedly fell
within the limits of his government, and it was better to take
possession of its comfortable quarters than to wander like
outcasts in this dreary wilderness. They reminded their
commander that thus only could he provide for the interests of
his son Diego. This was an illegitimate son of Almagro, on whom
his father doated with extravagant fondness, justified more than
usual by the promising character of the youth.

After an absence of about two months, the officer sent on the
exploring expedition returned, bringing unpromising accounts of
the southern regions of Chili. The only land of promise for the
Castilian was one that teemed with gold. *4 He had penetrated to
the distance of a hundred leagues, to the limits, probably, of
the conquests of the Incas on the river Maule. *5 The Spaniards
had fortunately stopped short of the land of Arauco, where the
blood of their countrymen was soon after to be poured out like
water, and which still maintains a proud independence amidst the
general humiliation of the Indian races around it.

[Footnote 4: It is the language of a Spaniard; "i como no le
parecio bien la tierra por no ser quajada de oro." Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms.]
[Footnote 5: According to Oviedo, a hundred and fifty leagues,
and very near, as they told him, to the end of the world; cerca
del fin del mundo. (Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 9,
cap. 5.) One must not expect to meet with very accurate notions
of geography in the rude soldiers of America]

Almagro now yielded, with little reluctance, to the renewed
importunities of the soldiers, and turned his face towards the
North. It is unnecessary to follow his march in detail.
Disheartened by the difficulty of the mountain passage, he took
the road along the coast, which led him across the great desert
of Atacama. In crossing this dreary waste, which stretches for
nearly a hundred leagues to the northern borders of Chili, with
hardly a green spot in its expanse to relieve the fainting
traveller, Almagro and his men experienced as great sufferings,
though not of the same kind, as those which they had encountered
in the passes of the Cordilleras. Indeed, the captain would not
easily be found at this day, who would venture to lead his army
across this dreary region. But the Spaniard of the sixteenth
century had a strength of limb and a buoyancy of spirit which
raised him to a contempt of obstacles, almost justifying the
boast of the historian, that "he contended indifferently, at the
same time, with man, with the elements, and with famine!" *6
[Footnote 6: "Peleando en un tiempo con los Enemigos, con los
Elementos, i con la Hambre." Herrera, Hist General, dec. 5, lib.
10, cap. 2]
After traversing the terrible desert, Almagro reached the ancient
town of Arequipa, about sixty leagues from Cuzco. Here he
learned with astonishment the insurrection of the Peruvians, and
further, that the young Inca Manco still lay with a formidable
force at no great distance from the capital. He had once been on
friendly terms with the Peruvian prince, and he now resolved,
before proceeding farther, to send an embassy to his camp, and
arrange an interview with him in the neighbourhood of Cuzco.

Almagro's emissaries were well received by the Inca, who alleged
his grounds of complaint against the Pizarros, and named the vale
of Yucay as the place where he would confer with the marshal.
The Spanish commander accordingly resumed his march, and, taking
one half of his force, whose whole number fell somewhat short of
five hundred men, he repaired in person to the place of
rendezvous; while the remainder of his army established their
quarters at Urcos, about six leagues from the capital. *7
[Footnote 7: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib.
9, cap. 6]
The Spaniards in Cuzco, startled by the appearance of this fresh
body of troops in their neighbourhood, doubted, when they learned
the quarter whence they came, whether it betided them good or
evil. Hernando Pizarro marched out of the city with a small
force, and, drawing near to Urcos, heard with no little
uneasiness of Almagro's purpose to insist on his pretensions to
Cuzco. Though much inferior in strength to his rival, he
determined to resist him.

Meanwhile, the Peruvians, who had witnessed the conference
between the soldiers of the opposite camps, suspected some secret
understanding between the parties, which would compromise the
safety of the Inca. They communicated their distrust to Manco,
and the latter, adopting the same sentiments, or perhaps, from
the first, meditating a surprise of the Spaniards, suddenly fell
upon the latter in the valley of Yucay with a body of fifteen
thousand men. But the veterans of Chili were too familiar with
Indian tactics to be taken by surprise. And though a sharp
engagement ensued, which lasted more than an hour, in which
Orgonez had a horse killed under him, the natives were finally
driven back with great slaughter, and the Inca was so far
crippled by the blow, that he was not likely for the present to
give further molestation. *8
[Footnote 8: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 4. - Conq. i
Pob. del Piru, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 21.]

Almagro, now joining the division left at Urcos, saw no further
impediment to his operations on Cuzco. He sent, at once, an
embassy to the municipality of the place, requiring the
recognition of him as its lawful governor, and presenting at the
same time a copy of his credentials from the Crown. But the
question of jurisdiction was not one easy to be settled,
depending, as it did, on a knowledge of the true parallels of
latitude, not very likely to be possessed by the rude followers
of Pizarro. The royal grant had placed under his jurisdiction
all the country extending two hundred and seventy leagues south
of the river of Santiago, situated one degree and twenty minutes
north of the equator. Two hundred and seventy leagues on the
meridian, by our measurement, would fall more than a degree short
of Cuzco, and, indeed, would barely include the city of Lima
itself. But the Spanish leagues, of only seventeen and a half to
a degree, *9 would remove the southern boundary to nearly half a
degree beyond the capital of the Incas, which would thus fall
within the jurisdiction of Pizarro. *10 Yet the division-line ran
so close to the disputed ground, that the true result might
reasonably be doubted, where no careful scientific observations
had been made to obtain it; and each party was prompt to assert,
as they always are in such cases, that its own claim was clear
and unquestionable. *11

[Footnote 9: "Contando diez i siete leg as i media por grado."
Herrera Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 5.]

[Footnote 10: The government had endeavoured early to provide
against any dispute in regard to the limits of the respective
jurisdictions. The language of the original grants gave room to
some misunderstanding; and, as early as 1536, Fray Jomas de
Berlanga, Bishop of Tierra Firme, had been sent to Lima with full
powers to determine the question of boundary, by fixing the
latitude of the river of Santiago, and measuring two hundred and
seventy leagues south on the meridian. But Pizarro, having
engaged Almagro in his Chili expedition, did not care to revive
the question, and the Bishop returned, re infecta, to his
diocese, with strong feelings of disgust towards the governor.
Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 1.]
[Footnote 11: "All say," says Oviedo, in a letter to the emperor,
"that Cuzco falls within the territory of Almagro." Oviedo was,
probably, the best-informed man in the colonies. Yet this was an
error. Carta desde Sto. Domingo, Ms., 25 de Oct. 1539.]

Thus summoned by Almagro, the authorities of Cuzco, unwilling to
give umbrage to either of the contending chiefs, decided that
they must wait until they could take counsel - which they
promised to do at once - with certain pilots better instructed
than themselves in the position of the Santiago. Meanwhile, a
truce was arranged between the parties, each solemnly engaging to
abstain from hostile measures, and to remain quiet in their
present quarters.

The weather now set in cold and rainy. Almagro's soldiers,
greatly discontented with their position, flooded as it was by
the waters, were quick to discover that Hernando Pizarro was
busily employed in strengthening himself in the city, contrary to
agreement. They also learned with dismay, that a large body of
men, sent by the governor from Lima, under command of Alonso de
Alvarado, was on the march to relieve Cuzco. They exclaimed that
they were betrayed, and that the truce had been only an artifice
to secure their inactivity until the arrival of the expected
succours. In this state of excitement, it was not very difficult
to persuade their commander - too ready to surrender his own
judgment to the rash advisers around him - to violate the treaty,
and take possession of the capital. *12

[Footnote 12: According to Zarate, Almagro, on entering the
capital, found no appearance of the designs imputed to Hernando,
and exclaimed that "he had been deceived." (Conq. del Peru, lib.
3, cap. 4.) He was probably easy of faith in the matter.]

Under cover of a dark and stormy night (April 8th, 1537), he
entered the place without opposition, made himself master of the
principal church, established strong parties of cavalry at the
head of the great avenues to prevent surprise, and detached
Orgonez with a body of infantry to force the dwelling of Hernando
Pizarro. That captain was lodged with his brother Gonzalo in one
of the large halls built by the Incas for public diversions, with
immense doors of entrance that opened on the plaza. It was
garrisoned by about twenty soldiers, who, as the gates were burst
open, stood stoutly to the defence of their leader. A smart
struggle ensued, in which some lives were lost, till at length
Orgonez, provoked by the obstinate resistance, set fire to the
combustible roof of the building. It was speedily in flames, and
the burning rafters falling on the heads of the inmates, they
forced their reluctant leader to an unconditional surrender.
Scarcely had the Spaniards left the building, when the whole roof
fell in with a tremendous crash. *13

[Footnote 13: Carta de Espinall, Tesorero de N. Toledo, 15 de
Junio, 1539. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3,
lib. 8, cap. 21.]
Almagro was now master of Cuzco. He ordered the Pizarros, with
fifteen or twenty of the principal cavaliers, to be secured and
placed in confinement. Except so far as required for securing
his authority, he does not seem to have been guilty of acts of
violence to the inhabitants, *14 and he installed one of
Pizarro's most able officers, Gabriel de Rojas, in the government
of the city. The municipality, whose eyes were now open to the
validity of Almagro's pretensions, made no further scruple to
recognize his title to Cuzco.

[Footnote 14: So it would appear from the general testimony; yet
Pedro Pizarro, one of the opposite faction, and among those
imprisoned by Almagro, complains that that chief plundered them
of their horses and other property. Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

The marshal's first step was to send a message to Alonso de
Alvarado's camp, advising that officer of his occupation of the
city, and requiring his obedience to him, as its legitimate
master. Alvarado was lying, with a body of five hundred men,
horse and foot, at Xauxa, about thirteen leagues from the
capital. He had been detached several months previously for the
relief of Cuzco; but had, most unaccountably, and, as it proved,
most unfortunately for the Peruvian capital, remained at Xauxa
with the alleged motive of protecting that settlement and the
surrounding country against the insurgents. *15 He now showed
himself loyal to his commander; and, when Almagro's ambassadors
reached his camp, he put them in irons, and sent advice of what
had been done to the governor at Lima.
[Footnote 15: Pizarro's secretary Picado had an encomienda in
that neighbourhood, and Alvarado, who was under personal
obligations to him, remained there, it is said, at his
instigation. (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap. 7.)
Alvarado was a good officer, and largely trusted, both before and
after, by the Pizarros; and we may presume there was some
explanation of his conduct, of which we are not possessed.]
Almagro, offended by the detention of his emissaries, prepared at
once to march against Alonso de Alvarado, and take more effectual
means to bring him to submission. His lieutenant, Orgonez,
strongly urged him before his departure to strike off the heads
of the Pizarros, alleging, "that, while they lived, his
commander's life would never be safe"; and concluding with the
Spanish proverb, "Dead men never bite." *16 But the marshal,
though he detested Hernando in his heart, shrunk from so violent
a measure; and, independently of other considerations, he had
still an attachment for his old associate, Francis Pizarro, and
was unwilling to sever the ties between them for ever.
Contenting himself, therefore, with placing his prisoners under
strong guard in one of the stone buildings belonging to the House
of the Sun, he put himself at the head of his forces, and left
the capital in quest of Alvarado.

[Footnote 16: "El muerto no mordia." Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 2, cap.
That officer had now taken up a position on the farther side of
the Rio de Abancay, where he lay, with the strength of his little
army, in front of a bridge, by which its rapid waters are
traversed, while a strong detachment occupied a spot commanding a
ford lower down the river. But in this detachment was a cavalier
of much consideration in the army, Pedro de Lerma, who, from some
pique against his commander, had entered into treasonable
correspondence with the opposite party. By his advice, Almagro,
on reaching the border of the river, established himself against
the bridge in face of Alvarado, as if prepared to force a
passage, thus concentrating his adversary's attention on that
point. But, when darkness had set in, he detached a large body
under Orgonez to pass the ford, and operate in concert with
Lerma. Orgonez executed this commission with his usual
promptness. The ford was crossed, though the current ran so
swiftly, that several of his men were swept away by it, and
perished in the waters. Their leader received a severe wound
himself in the mouth, as he was gaining the opposite bank, but,
nothing daunted, he cheered on his men, and fell with fury on the
enemy. He was speedily joined by Lerma, and such of the soldiers
as he had gained over, and, unable to distinguish friend from
foe, the enemy's confusion was complete.

Meanwhile, Alvarado, roused by the noise of the attack on this
quarter, hastened to the support of his officer, when Almagro,
seizing the occasion, pushed across the bridge, dispersed the
small body left to defend it, and, falling on Alvarado's rear,
that general saw himself hemmed in on all sides. The struggle
did not last long; and the unfortunate chief, uncertain on whom
he could rely, surrendered with all his force, - those only
excepted who had already deserted to the enemy. Such was the
battle of Abancay, as it was called, from the river on whose
banks it was fought, on the twelfth of July, 1537. Never was a
victory more complete, or achieved with less cost of life; and
Almagro marched back, with an array of prisoners scarcely
inferior to his own army in number, in triumph to Cuzco. *17

[Footnote 17: Carta de Francisco Pizarro al Obispo de Tierra
Firme, Ms., 28 de Agosto, 1539. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq.,
Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., ubi supra. - Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms. - Carta de Espinall, Ms.]

While the events related in the preceding pages were passing,
Francisco Pizarro had remained at Lima, anxiously awaiting the
arrival of the reinforcements which he had requested, to enable
him to march to the relief of the beleaguered capital of the
Incas. His appeal had not been unanswered. Among the rest was a
corps of two hundred and fifty men, led by the Licentiate Gaspar
de Espinosa, one of the three original associates, it may be
remembered, who engaged in the conquest of Peru. He had now left
his own residence at Panama, and came in person, for the first
time, it would seem, to revive the drooping fortunes of his
confederates. Pizarro received also a vessel laden with
provisions, military stores, and other necessary supplies,
besides a rich wardrobe for himself, from Cortes, the Conqueror
of Mexico, who generously stretched forth his hand to aid his
kinsman in the hour of need. *18
[Footnote 18: "Fernando Cortes embio con Rodrigo de Grijalva en
vn proprio Navio suio, desde la Nueva Espana, muchas Armas,
Tiros, Jaeces, Aderecos, Vestidos de Seda, i vna Ropa de Martas."
Gomara, Hist de las Ind., cap. 136.]

With a force amounting to four hundred and fifty men, half of
them cavalry, the governor quitted Lima, and began his march on
the Inca capital. He had not advanced far, when he received
tidings of the return of Almagro, the seizure of Cuzco, and the
imprisonment of his brothers; and, before he had time to recover
from this astounding intelligence, he learned the total defeat
and capture of Alvarado. Filled with consternation at these
rapid successes of his rival, he now returned in all haste to
Lima, which he put in the best posture of defence, to secure it
against the hostile movements, not unlikely, as he thought, to be
directed against that capital itself. Meanwhile, far from
indulging in impotent sallies of resentment, or in complaints of
his ancient comrade, he only lamented that Almagro should have
resorted to these violent measures for the settlement of their
dispute, and this less - if we may take his word for it - from
personal considerations than from the prejudice it might do to
the interests of the Crown. *19

[Footnote 19: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 2, cap. 7]
But, while busily occupied with warlike preparations, he did not
omit to try the effect of negotiation. He sent an embassy to
Cuzco, consisting of several persons in whose discretion he
placed the greatest confidence, with Espinosa at their head, as
the party most interested in an amicable arrangement.

The licentiate, on his arrival, did not find Almagro in as
favorable a mood for an accommodation as he could have wished.
Elated by his recent successes, he now aspired not only to the
possession of Cuzco, but of Lima itself, as falling within the
limits of his jurisdiction. It was in vain that Espinosa urged
the propriety, by every argument which prudence could suggest, of
moderating his demands. His claims upon Cuzco, at least, were
not to be shaken, and he declared himself ready to peril his life
in maintaining them. The licentiate coolly replied by quoting
the pithy Castilian proverb, El vencido vencido, y el vencidor
perdido; "The vanquished vanquished, and the victor undone."

What influence the temperate arguments of the licentiate might
eventually have had on the heated imagination of the soldier is
doubtful; but unfortunately for the negotiation, it was abruptly
terminated by the death of Espinosa himself, which took place
most unexpectedly, though, strange to say, in those times,
without the imputation of poison. *20 He was a great loss to the
parties in the existing fermentation of their minds; for he had
the weight of character which belongs to wise and moderate
counsels, and a deeper interest than any other man in
recommending them.

[Footnote 20: Carta de Pizarro al Obispo de Tierra Firme, Ms. -
Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 2, cap. 13. - Carta de
Espinall, Ms.]
The name of Espinosa is memorable in history from his early
connection with the expedition to Peru, which, but for the
seasonable, though secret, application of his funds, could not
then have been compassed. He had long been a resident in the
Spanish colonies of Tierra Firme and Panama, where he had served
in various capacities, sometimes as a legal functionary presiding
in the courts of justice, *21 and not unfrequently as an
efficient leader in the early expeditions of conquest and
discovery. In these manifold vocations he acquired high
reputation for probity, intelligence, and courage, and his death
at the present crisis was undoubtedly the most unfortunate event
that could befall the country.

[Footnote 21: He incurred some odium as presiding officer in the
trial and condemnation of the unfortunate Vasco Nunez de Balboa.
But it must be allowed, that he made great efforts to resist the
tyrannical proceedings of Pedrarias, and he earnestly recommended
the prisoner to mercy. See Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib.
2, cap. 21, 22.]

All attempt at negotiation was now abandoned; and Almagro
announced his purpose to descend to the sea-coast, where he could
plant a colony and establish a port for himself. This would
secure him the means, so essential, of communication with the
mother-country, and here he would resume negotiations for the
settlement of his dispute with Pizarro. Before quitting Cuzco, he
sent Orgonez with a strong force against the Inca, not caring to
leave the capital exposed in his absence to further annoyance
from that quarter.

But the Inca, discouraged by his late discomfiture, and unable,
perhaps, to rally in sufficient strength for resistance,
abandoned his strong-hold at Tambo, and retreated across the
mountains. He was hotly pursued by Orgonez over hill and valley,
till, deserted by his followers, and with only one of his wives
to bear him company, the royal fugitive took shelter in the
remote fastnesses of the Andes. *22

[Footnote 22: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Conq. i Pob.
de Piru Ms.]

Before leaving the capital, Orgonez again urged his commander to
strike off the heads of the Pizarros, and then march at once upon
Lima. By this decisive step he would bring the war to an issue,
and for ever secure himself from the insidious machinations of
his enemies. But, in the mean time, a new friend had risen up to
the captive brothers. This was Diego de Alvarado, brother of
that Pedro, who, as mentioned in a preceding chapter, had
conducted the unfortunate expedition to Quito. After his
brother's departure, Diego had attached himself to the fortunes
of Almagro, had accompanied him to Chili, and, as he was a
cavalier of birth, and possessed of some truly noble qualities,
he had gained deserved ascendency over his commander. Alvarado
had frequently visited Hernando Pizarro in his confinement,
where, to beguile the tediousness of captivity, he amused himself
with gaming, - the passion of the Spaniard. They played deep, and
Alvarado lost the enormous sum of eighty thousand gold
castellanos. He was prompt in paying the debt, but Hernando
Pizarro peremptorily declined to receive the money. By this
politic generosity, he secured an important advocate in the
council of Almagro. It stood him now in good stead. Alvarado
represented to the marshal, that such a measure as that urged by
Orgonez would not only outrage the feelings of his followers, but
would ruin his fortunes by the indignation it must excite at
court. When Almagro acquiesced in these views, as in truth most
grateful to his own nature, Orgonez, chagrined at his
determination, declared that the day would come when he would
repent this mistaken lenity. "A Pizarro," he said, "was never
known to forget an injury; and that which they had already
received from Almagro was too deep for them to forgive."
Prophetic words!

On leaving Cuzco, the marshal gave orders that Gonzalo Pizarro
and the other prisoners should be detained in strict custody.
Hernando he took with him, closely guarded, on his march.
Descending rapidly towards the coast, he reached the pleasant
vale of Chincha in the latter part of August. Here he occupied
himself with laying the foundations of a town bearing his own
name, which might serve as a counterpart to the City of the
Kings, - thus bidding defiance, as it were, to his rival on his
own borders. While occupied in this manner, he received the
unwelcome tidings, that Gonzalo Pizarro, Alonso de Alvarado, and
the other prisoners, having tampered with their guards, had
effected their escape from Cuzco, and he soon after heard of
their safe arrival in the camp of Pizarro.

Chafed by this intelligence, the marshal was not soothed by the
insinuations of Orgonez, that it was owing to his ill-advised
lenity; and it might have gone hard with Hernando, but that
Almagro's attention was diverted by the negotiation which
Francisco Pizarro now proposed to resume.

After some correspondence between the parties, it was agreed to
submit the arbitration of the dispute to a single individual,
Fray Francisco de Bovadilla, a Brother of the Order of Mercy.
Though living in Lima, and, as might be supposed, under the
influence of Pizarro, he had a reputation for integrity that
disposed Almagro to confide the settlement of the question
exclusively to him. In this implicit confidence in the friar's
impartiality, Orgonez, of a less sanguine temper than his chief,
did not participate. *23

[Footnote 23: Carta de Gutierrez al Emperador, Ms., 10 de Feb.
1539. - Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., Ms.,
ubi supra. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6 lib. 2, cap. 8-14. -
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y. Conq., Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru,
lib. 3, cap. 8. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

An interview was arranged between the rival chiefs. It took
place at Mala, November 13th, 1537; but very different was the
deportment of the two commanders towards each other from that
which they had exhibited at their former meetings. Almagro,
indeed, doffing his bonnet, advanced in his usual open manner to
salute his ancient comrade; but Pizarro, hardly condescending to
return the salute, haughtily demanded why the marshal had seized
upon his city of Cuzco, and imprisoned his brothers. This led to
a recrimination on the part of his associate. The discussion
assumed the tone of an angry altercation, till Almagro, taking a
hint - or what he conceived to be such - from an attendant, that
some treachery was intended, abruptly quitted the apartment,
mounted his horse, and galloped back to his quarters at Chincha.
*24 The conference closed, as might have been anticipated from
the heated temper of their minds when they began it, by widening
the breach it was intended to heal. The friar, now left wholly
to himself, after some deliberation, gave his award. He decided
that a vessel, with a skilful pilot on board, should be sent to
determine the exact latitude of the river of Santiago, the
northern boundary of Pizarro's territory, by which all the
measurements were to be regulated. In the mean time, Cuzco was to
be delivered up by Almagro, and Hernando Pizarro to be set at
liberty, on condition of his leaving the country in six weeks for
Spain. Both parties were to retire within their undisputed
territories, and to abandon all further hostilities. *25

[Footnote 24: It was said that Gonzalo Pizarro lay in ambush with
a strong force in the neighbourhood to intercept the marshal, and
that the latter was warned of his danger by an honorable cavalier
of the opposite party, who repeated a distich of an old ballad,

"Tiempo es el Caballero
Tiempo es de andar de aqui."

(Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 4.) Pedro Pizarro
admits the truth of the design imputed to Gonzalo, which he was
prevented from putting into execution by the commands of the
governor, who, the chronicler, with edifying simplicity, or
assurance, informs us, was a man that scrupulously kept his word.
"Porque el marquez don Francisco Picarro hera hombre que guardava
mucho su palabra." Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 25: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta de
Espinall, Ms.]
This award, as may be supposed, highly satisfactory to Pizarro,
was received by Almagro's men with indignation and scorn. They
had been sold, they cried, by their general, broken, as he was,
by age and infirmities. Their enemies were to occupy Cuzco and
its pleasant places, while they were to be turned over to the
barren wilderness of Charcas. Little did they dream that under
this poor exterior were hidden the rich treasures of Potosi.
They denounced the umpire as a hireling of the governor, and
murmurs were heard among the troops, stimulated by Orgonez,
demanding the head of Hernando. Never was that cavalier in
greater danger. But his good genius in the form of Alvarado
again interposed to protect him. His life in captivity was a
succession of reprieves. *26

[Footnote 26: Espinall, Almagro's treasurer, denounces the friar
"as proving himself a very devil" by this award. (Carta al
Emperador, Ms.) And Oviedo, a more dispassionate judge, quotes,
without condemning, a cavalier who told the father, that "a
sentence so unjust had not been pronounced since the time of
Pontius Pilate"! Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap.
Yet his brother, the governor, was not disposed to abandon him to
his fate. On the contrary, he was now prepared to make every
concession to secure his freedom. Concessions, that politic
chief well knew, cost little to those who are not concerned to
abide by them. After some preliminary negotiation, another
award, more equitable, or, at all events, more to the
satisfaction of the discontented party, was given. The principal
articles of it were, that, until the arrival of some definitive
instructions on the point from Castile, the city of Cuzco, with
its territory, should remain in the hands of Almagro; and that
Hernando Pizarro should be set at liberty, on the condition,
above stipulated, of leaving the country in six weeks. - When the
terms of this agreement were communicated to Orgonez, that
officer intimated his opinion of them, by passing his finger
across his throat, and exclaiming, "What has my fidelity to my
commander cost me!" *27

[Footnote 27: "I tomando la barba con la mano izquierda, con la
derecha hico senal de cortarse la cabeca, diciendo: Orgonez,
Orgonez, por el amistad de Don Diego de Almagro te han de cortar
esta." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 9.]

Almagro, in order to do greater honor to his prisoner, visited
him in person, and announced to him that he was from that moment
free. He expressed a hope, at the same time, that "all past
differences would be buried in oblivion, and that henceforth they
should live only in the recollection of then ancient friendship."
Hernando replied, with apparent cordiality, that "he desired
nothing better for himself." He then swore in the most solemn
manner, and pledged his knightly honor, - the latter, perhaps, a
pledge of quite as much weight in his own mind as the former, -
that he would faithfully comply with the terms stipulated in the
treaty. He was next conducted by the marshal to his quarters,
where he partook of a collation in company with the principal
officers; several of whom, together with Diego Almagro, the
general's son, afterward escorted the cavalier to his brother's
camp, which had been transferred to the neighbouring town of
Mala. Here the party received a most cordial greeting from the
governor, who entertained them with a courtly hospitality, and
lavished many attentions, in particular, on the son of his
ancient associate. In short, such, on their return, was the
account of their reception, that it left no doubt in the mind of
Almagro that all was at length amicably settled. *28 - He did not
know Pizarro.

[Footnote 28: Ibid., loc. cit. - Carta de Descub. y Conq., Ms. -
Zarate Gutierrez, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3,
cap. 9.]

Chapter II

First Civil War. - Almagro Retreats To Cuzco. - Battle Of Las
Salinas. - Cruelty Of The Conquerors. - Trial And Execution Of
Almagro. - His Character.

Scarcely had Almagro's officers left the governor's quarters,
when the latter, calling his little army together, briefly
recapitulated the many wrongs which had been done him by his
rival, the seizure of his capital, the imprisonment of his
brothers, the assault and defeat of his troops; and he concluded
with the declaration, - heartily echoed back by his military
audience, - that the time had now come for revenge. All the
while that the negotiations were pending, Pizarro had been busily
occupied with military preparations. He had mustered a force
considerably larger than that of his rival, drawn from various
quarters, but most of them familiar with service. He now
declared, that, as he was too old to take charge of the campaign
himself, he should devolve that duty on his brothers; and he
released Hernando from all his engagements to Almagro, as a
measure justified by necessity. That cavalier, with graceful
pertinacity, intimated his design to abide by the pledges he had
given, but, at length yielded a reluctant assent to the commands
of his brother, as to a measure imperatively demanded by his duty
to the Crown. *1

[Footnote 1: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 10.]
The governor's next step was to advise Almagro that the treaty
was at an end. At the same time, he warned him to relinquish his
pretensions to Cuzco, and withdraw into his own territory, or the
responsibility of the consequences would lie on his own head.

Reposing in his false security, Almagro was now fully awakened to
the consciousness of the error he had committed; and the warning
voice of his lieutenant may have risen to his recollection. The
first part of the prediction was fulfilled. And what should
prevent the latter from being so? To add to his distress, he was
laboring at this time under a grievous malady, the result of
early excesses, which shattered his constitution, and made him
incapable alike of mental and bodily exertion. *2

[Footnote 2: "Cayo enfermo i estuvo malo a punto de muerte de
bubas i dolores" (Carta de Espinall, Ms.) It was a hard penalty,
occurring at this crisis, for the sins, perhaps, of earlier days;

"The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us."]

In this forlorn condition, he confided the management of his
affairs to Orgonez, on whose loyalty and courage he knew he might
implicitly rely. The first step was to secure the passes of the
Guaitara, a chain of hills that hemmed in the valley of Zangalla,
where Almagro was at present established. But, by some
miscalculation, the passes were not secured in season; and the
active enemy, threading the dangerous defiles, effected a passage
across the sierra, where a much inferior force to his own might
have taken him at advantage. The fortunes of Almagro were on the
His thoughts were now turned towards Cuzco, and he was anxious to
get possession of this capital before the arrival of the enemy.
Too feeble to sit on horseback, he was obliged to be carried in a
litter; and, when he reached the ancient town of Bilcas, not far
from Guamanga, his indisposition was so severe that he was
compelled to halt and remain there three weeks before resuming
his march.

The governor and his brothers, in the mean time, after traversing
the pass of Guaitara, descended into the valley of Ica, where
Pizarro remained a considerable while, to get his troops into
order and complete his preparations for the campaign. Then,
taking leave of the army, he returned to Lima, committing the
prosecution of the war, as he had before announced, to his
younger and more active brothers. Hernando, soon after quitting
Ica, kept along the coast as far as Nasca, proposing to penetrate
the country by a circuitous route in order to elude the enemy,
who might have greatly embarrassed him in some of the passes of
the Cordilleras. But unhappily for him, this plan of operations,
which would have given him such manifest advantage, was not
adopted by Almagro; and his adversary, without any other
impediment than that arising from the natural difficulties of the
march, arrived, in the latter part of April, 1538, in the
neighbourhood of Cuzco.

But Almagro was already in possession of that capital, which he
had reached ten days before. A council of war was held by him
respecting the course to be pursued. Some were for making good
the defence of the city. Almagro would have tried what could be
done by negotiation. But Orgonez bluntly replied, - "It is too
late; you have liberated Hernando Pizarro, and nothing remains
but to fight him." The opinion of Orgonez finally prevailed, to
march out and give the enemy battle on the plains. The marshal,
still disabled by illness from taking the command, devolved it on
his trusty lieutenant, who, mustering his forces, left the city,
and took up a position at Las Salinas, less than a league distant
from Cuzco. The place received its name from certain pits or vats
in the ground, used for the preparation of salt, that was
obtained from a natural spring in the neighbourhood. It was an
injudicious choice of ground, since its broken character was most
unfavorable to the free action of cavalry, in which the strength
of Almagro's force consisted. But, although repeatedly urged by
the officers to advance into the open country, Orgonez persisted
in his position, as the most favorable for defence, since the
front was protected by a marsh, and by a little stream that
flowed over the plain. His forces amounted in all to about five
hundred, more than half of them horse. His infantry was
deficient in fire-arms, the place of which was supplied by the
long pike. He had also six small cannon, or falconets, as they
were called, which, with his cavalry, formed into two equal
divisions, he disposed on the flanks of his infantry. Thus
prepared, he calmly awaited the approach of the enemy.

It was not long before the bright arms and banners of the
Spaniards under Hernando Pizarro were seen emerging from the
mountain passes. The troops came forward in good order, and like
men whose steady step showed that they had been spared in the
march, and were now fresh for action. They advanced slowly across
the plain, and halted on the opposite border of the little stream
which covered the front of Orgonez. Here Hernando, as the sun
had set, took up his quarters for the night, proposing to defer
the engagement till daylight. *3

[Footnote 3: Carta de Gutierrez, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y
Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 1 - 5.
- Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap.
10, 11. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2 lib. 2, cap. 36, 37.]

The rumors of the approaching battle had spread far and wide over
the country; and the mountains and rocky heights around were
thronged with multitudes of natives, eager to feast their eyes on
a spectacle, where, whichever side were victorious, the defeat
would fall on their enemies. *4 The Castilian women and children,
too, with still deeper anxiety, had thronged out from Cuzco to
witness the deadly strife in which brethren and kindred were to
contend for mastery. *5 The whole number of the combatants was
insignificant; though not as compared with those usually engaged
in these American wars It is not, however, the number of the
players, but the magnitude of the stake, that gives importance
and interest to the game; and in this bloody game, they were to
play for the possession of an empire.

[Footnote 4: Herrera, Hist. General, dec 6, lib. 4, cap. 5, 6.]
[Footnote 5: Ibid., ubi supra.]

The night passed away in silence, unbroken by the vast assembly
which covered the surrounding hill-tops. Nor did the soldiers of
the hostile camps, although keeping watch within hearing of one
another, and with the same blood flowing in their veins, attempt
any communication. So deadly was the hate in their bosoms! *6

[Footnote 6: "I fue cosa de notar, que se estuvieron toda la
Noche, sin que nadie de la vna i otra parte pensase en mover
tratos de Paz: tanta era la ira i aborrecimiento de ambas
partes." Ibid., cap. 6.]

The sun rose bright, as usual in this beautiful climate, on
Saturday, the twenty-sixth day of April, 1538. *7 But long before
his beams were on the plain, the trumpet of Hernando Pizarro had
called his men to arms. His forces amounted in all to about seven
hundred. They were drawn from various quarters, the veterans of
Pizarro, the followers of Alonso de Alvarado, - many of whom,
since their defeat, had found their way back to Lima, - and the
late reinforcement from the isles, most of them seasoned by many
a toilsome march in the Indian campaigns, and many a hard-fought
field. His mounted troops were inferior to those of Almagro; but
this was more than compensated by the strength of his infantry,
comprehending a well-trained corps of arquebusiers, sent from St.
Domingo, whose weapons were of the improved construction recently
introduced from Flanders. They were of a large calibre, and
threw double-headed shot, consisting of bullets linked together
by an iron chain. It was doubtless a clumsy weapon compared with
modern fire-arms, but, in hands accustomed to wield it, proved a
destructive instrument. *8
[Footnote 7: A church dedicated to Saint Lazarus was afterwards
erected on the battle-ground, and the bodies of those slain in
the action were interred within its walls. This circumstance
leads Garcilasso to suppose that the battle took place on
Saturday, the sixth, - the day after the Feast of Saint Lazarus,
- and not on the twenty-sixth of April, as commonly reported.
Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap 38. See also Montesinos,
(Annales, Ms., ano 1538,) - an indifferent authority for any

[Footnote 8: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 8. -
Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 36.]

Hernando Pizarro drew up his men in the same order of battle as
that presented by the enemy, - throwing his infantry into the
centre, and disposing his horse on the flanks; one corps of which
he placed under command of Alonso de Alvarado, and took charge of
the other himself. The infantry was headed by his brother
Gonzalo, supported by Pedro de Valdivia, the future hero of
Arauco, whose disastrous story forms the burden of romance as
well as of chronicle. *9

[Footnote 9: The Araucana of Ercilla may claim the merit, indeed,
- if it be a merit, - of combining both romance and history in
one. Surely never did the Muse venture on such a specification
of details, not merely poetical, but political, geographical, and
statistical, as in this celebrated Castilian epic. It is a
military journal done into rhyme.]

Mass was said, as if the Spaniards were about to fight what they
deemed the good fight of the faith, instead of imbruing their
hands in the blood of their countrymen. Hernando Pizarro then
made a brief address to his soldiers. He touched on the personal
injuries he and his family had received from Almagro; reminded
his brother's veterans that Cuzco had been wrested from their
possession; called up the glow of shame on the brows of
Alvarado's men as he talked of the rout of Abancay, and, pointing
out the Inca metropolis that sparkled in the morning sunshine, he
told them that there was the prize of the victor. They answered
his appeal with acclamations; and the signal being given, Gonzalo
Pizarro, heading his battalion of infantry, led it straight
across the river. The water was neither broad nor deep, and the
soldiers found no difficulty in gaining a landing, as the enemy's
horse was prevented by the marshy ground from approaching the
borders. But, as they worked their way across the morass, the
heavy guns of Orgonez played with effect on the leading files,
and threw them into disorder. Gonzalo and Valdivia threw
themselves into the midst of their followers, menacing some,
encouraging others, and at length led them gallantly forward to
the firm ground. Here the arquebusiers, detaching themselves
from the rest of the infantry, gained a small eminence, whence,
in their turn, they opened a galling fire on Orgonez, scattering
his array of spearmen, and sorely annoying the cavalry on the

Meanwhile, Hernando, forming his two squadrons of horse into one
column, crossed under cover of this well-sustained fire, and,
reaching the firm ground, rode at once against the enemy.
Orgonez, whose infantry was already much crippled, advancing his
horse, formed the two squadrons into one body, like his
antagonist, and spurred at full gallop against the assailants.
The shock was terrible; and it was hailed by the swarms of Indian
spectators on the surrounding heights with a fiendisn yell of
triumph, that rose far above the din of battle, till it was lost
in distant echoes among the mountains. *10
[Footnote 10: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 6. -
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta de Espinall, Ms. -
Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 11.

Every thing relating to this battle, - the disposition of the
forces, the character of the ground, the mode of attack, are told
as variously and confusedly, as if it had been a contest between
two great armies, instead of a handful of men on either side. It
would seem that truth is nowhere so difficult to come at, as on
the battle-field.]

The struggle was desperate. For it was not that of the white man
against the defenceless Indian, but of Spaniard against Spaniard;
both parties cheering on their comrades with their battle-cries
of "El Rey y Almagro," or "El Rey y Pizarro," - while they fought
with a hate, to which national antipathy was as nothing; a hate
strong in proportion to the strength of the ties that had been
rent asunder.

In this bloody field well did Orgonez do his duty, fighting like
one to whom battle was the natural element. Singling out a
cavalier, whom, from the color of the sobre-vest on his armour,
he erroneously supposed to be Hernando Pizarro, he charged him in
full career, and overthrew him with his lance. Another he ran
through in like manner, and a third he struck down with his
sword, as he was prematurely shouting "Victory!" But while thus
doing the deeds of a paladin of romance, he was hit by a
chain-shot from an arquebuse, which, penetrating the bars of his
visor, grazed his forehead, and deprived him for a moment of
reason. Before he had fully recovered, his horse was killed
under him, and though the fallen cavalier succeeded in
extricating himself from the stirrups, he was surrounded, and
soon overpowered by numbers. Still refusing to deliver up his
sword, he asked "if there was no knight to whom he could
surrender." One Fuentes, a menial of Pizarro, presenting himself
as such, Orgonez gave his sword into his hands, - and the
dastard, drawing his dagger, stabbed his defenceless prisoner to
the heart! His head, then struck off, was stuck on a pike, and
displayed, a bloody trophy, in the great square of Cuzco, as the
head of a traitor. *11 Thus perished as loyal a cavalier, as
decided in council, and as bold in action, as ever crossed to the
shores of America.
[Footnote 11: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera
Hist. General, ubi supra. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, ubi supra.]
The fight had now lasted more than an hour, and the fortune of
the day was turning against the followers of Almagro. Orgonez
being down, their confusion increased. The infantry, unable to
endure the fire of the arquebusiers, scattered and took refuge
behind the stone-walls, that here and there straggled across the
country. Pedro de Lerma, vainly striving to rally the cavalry,
spurred his horse against Hernando Pizarro, with whom he had a
personal feud. Pizarro did not shrink from the encounter. The
lances of both the knights took effect. That of Hernando
penetrated the thigh of his opponent, while Lerma's weapon,
glancing by his adversary's saddle-bow, struck him with such
force above the groin, that it pierced the joints of his mail,
slightly wounding the cavalier, and forcing his horse back on his
haunches. But the press of the fight soon parted the combatants,
and, in the turmoil that ensued, Lerma was unhorsed, and left on
the field covered with wounds. *12

[Footnote 12: Herrera, Hist. General, ubi supra. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 36.

Hernando Pizarro wore a surcoat of orange-colored velvet over his
armour, according to Garcilasso, and before the battle sent
notice of it to Orgonez, that the latter might distinguish him in
the melee. But a knight in Hernando's suite also wore the same
colors, it appears, which led Orgonez into error.]

There was no longer order, and scarcely resistance, among the
followers of Almagro. They fled, making the best of their way to
Cuzco, and happy was the man who obtained quarter when he asked
it. Almagro himself, too feeble to sit so long on his horse,
reclined on a litter, and from a neighbouring eminence surveyed
the battle, watching its fluctuations with all the interest of
one who felt that honor, fortune, life itself, hung on the issue.
With agony not to be described, he had seen his faithful
followers, after their hard struggle, borne down by their
opponents, till, convinced that all was lost, he succeeded in
mounting a mule, and rode off for a temporary refuge to the
fortress of Cuzco. Thither he was speedily followed, taken, and
brought in triumph to the capital, where, ill as he was, he was
thrown into irons, and confined in the same in the same apartment
of the stone building in which he had imprisoned the Pizarros.

The action lasted not quite two hours. The number of killed,
variously stated, was probably not less than a hundred and fifty,
- one of the combatants calls it two hundred, *13 - a great
number, considering the shortness of the time, and the small
amount of forces engaged. No account is given of the wounded.
Wounds were the portion of the cavalier. Pedro de Lerma is said
to have received seventeen, and yet was taken alive from the
field! The loss fell chiefly on the followers of Almagro But the
slaughter was not confined to the heat of the action. Such was
the deadly animosity of the parties, that several were murdered
in cold blood, like Orgonez, after they had surrendered. Pedro
de Lerma himself, while lying on his sick couch in the quarters
of a friend in Cuzco, was visited by a soldier, named Samaniego,
whom he had once struck for an act of disobedience. This person
entered the solitary chamber of the wounded man, took his place
by his bed-side, and then, upbraiding him for the insult, told
him that he had come to wash it away in his blood! Lerma in vain
assured him, that, when restored to health, he would give him the
satisfaction he desired. The miscreant, exclaiming "Now is the
hour!" plunged his sword into his bosom. He lived several years
to vaunt this atrocious exploit, which he proclaimed as a
reparation to his honor. It is some satisfaction to know that
the insolence of this vaunt cost him his life. *14 - Such
anecdotes, revolting as they are, illustrate not merely the
spirit of the times, but that peculiarly ferocious spirit which
is engendered by civil wars, - the most unforgiving in their
character of any, but wars of religion.

[Footnote 13: "Murieron en esta Batalla de las Salinas casi
dozientos hombres de vna parte y de otra." (Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms.) Most authorities rate the loss at less.
The treasurer Espinall, a partisan of Almagro, says they
massacred a hundred and fifty after the fight, in cold blood.
"Siguiecon el alcanze la mas cruelmente que en el mundo se ha
visto, porque matavan a los hombres rendidos e desarmados, e por
les quitar las armas los mataban si presto no se las quitaban, e
trayendo a las ancas de un caballo a un Ruy Diaz viniendo rendido
e desarmado le mataron, i desta manera mataron mas de ciento e
cinquenta hombres" Carta, Ms.]

[Footnote 14: Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 38.

He was hanged for this very crime by the governor of Puerto
Viejo, about five years after this time, having outraged the
feelings of that officer and the community by the insolent and
open manner in which he boasted of his atrocious exploit.]

In the hurry of the flight of one party, and the pursuit by the
other, all pouring towards Cuzco, the field of battle had been
deserted. But it soon swarmed with plunderers, as the Indians,
descending like vultures from the mountains, took possession of
the bloody ground, and, despoiling the dead, even to the minutest
article of dress, left their corpses naked on the plain. *15 It
has been thought strange that the natives should not have availed
themselves of their superior numbers to fall on the victors after
they had been exhausted by the battle. But the scattered bodies
of the Peruvians were without a leader; they were broken in
spirits, moreover, by recent reverses, and the Castilians,
although weakened for the moment by the struggle, were in far
greater strength in Cuzco than they had ever been before.
[Footnote 15: "Los Indios viendo la Batalla fenescida, ellos
tambien se dejaron de la suia, iendo los vnos i los otros a
desnudar los Espanoles muertos, i aun algunos vivos, que por sus
heridas no se podian defender, porque como paso el tropel de la
Gente, siguiendo la Victoria, no huvo quien se lo impidiese; de
manera que dexaron en cueros a todos los caidos." Zarate, Conq.
del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 11]

Indeed, the number of troops now assembled within its walls,
amounting to full thirteen hundred, composed, as they were, of
the most discordant materials, gave great uneasiness to Hernando
Pizarro. For there were enemies glaring on each other and on him
with deadly though smothered rancor, and friends, if not so
dangerous, not the less troublesome from their craving and
unreasonable demands. He had given the capital up to pillage,
and his followers found good booty in the quarters of Almagro's
officers. But this did not suffice the more ambitious cavaliers;
and they clamorously urged their services, and demanded to be
placed in charge of some expedition, nothing doubting that it
must prove a golden one. All were in quest of an El Dorado.
Hernando Pizarro acquiesced as far as possible in these desires,
most willing to relieve himself of such importunate creditors.
The expeditions, it is true, usually ended in disaster; but the
country was explored by them. It was the lottery of adventure;
the prizes were few, but they were splendid; and in the
excitement of the game, few Spaniards paused to calculate the
chances of success.

Among those who left the capital was Diego, the son of Almagro.
Hernando was mindful to send him, with a careful escort, to his
brother the governor, desirous to remove him at this crisis from
the neighbourhood of his father. Meanwhile the marshal himself
was pining away in prison under the combined influence of bodily
illness and distress of mind. Before the battle of Salinas, it
had been told to Hernando Pizarro that Almagro was like to die.
"Heaven forbid," he exclaimed, "that this should come to pass
before he falls into my hands!" *16 Yet the gods seemed now
disposed to grant but half of this pious prayer, since his
captive seemed about to escape him just as he had come into his
power. To console the unfortunate chief, Hernando paid him a
visit in his prison, and cheered him with the assurance that he
only waited for the governor's arrival to set him at liberty;
adding, 'that, if Pizarro did not come soon to the capital, he
himself would assume the responsibility of releasing him, and
would furnish him with a conveyance to his brother's quarters."
At the same time, with considerate attention to his comfort, he
inquired of the marshal "what mode of conveyance would be best
suited to his state of health." After this he continued to send
him delicacies from his own table to revive his faded appetite.
Almagro, cheered by these kind attentions, and by the speedy
prospect of freedom, gradually mended in health and spirits. *17

[Footnote 16: "Respondia Hernando Pizarro, que no le haria Dios
tan gran mal, que le dexase morir, sin que le huviese a las
manos." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6 lib. 4, cap. 5.]

[Footnote 17: Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 9.]

He little dreamed that all this while a process was industriously
preparing against him. It had been instituted immediately on his
capture, and every one, however humble, who had any cause of
complaint against the unfortunate prisoner, was invited to
present it. The summons was readily answered; and many an enemy
now appeared in the hour of his fallen fortunes, like the base
reptiles crawling into light amidst the ruins of some noble
edifice; and more than one, who had received benefits from his
hands, were willing to court the favor of his enemy by turning on
their benefactor. From these loath some sources a mass of
accusations was collected which spread over four thousand folio
pages! Yet Almagro was the idol of his soldiers! *18
[Footnote 18: "De tal manera que los Escrivanos no se davan
manos, i ia tenian oscritas mas de dos mil hojas." Ibid., dec. 6,
lib. 4, cap. 7.
Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. -
Carta de Gutierrez, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. -
Carta de Espinall, Ms.]
Having completed the process, (July 8th, 1538,) it was not
difficult to obtain a verdict against the prisoner. The
principal charges on which he was pronounced guilty were those of
levying war against the Crown, and thereby occasioning the death
of many of his Majesty's subjects; of entering into conspiracy
with the Inca; and finally, of dispossessing the royal governor
of the city of Cuzco. On these charges he was condemned to
suffer death as a traitor, by being publicly beheaded in the
great square of the city. Who were the judges, or what was the
tribunal that condemned him, we are not informed. Indeed, the
whole trial was a mockery; if that can be called a trial, where
the accused himself is not even aware of the accusation.

The sentence was communicated by a friar deputed for the purpose
to Almagro. The unhappy man, who all the while had been
unconsciously slumbering on the brink of a precipice, could not
at first comprehend the nature of his situation. Recovering from
the first shock, "It was impossible," he said, "that such wrong
could be done him, - he would not believe it." He then besought
Hernando Pizarro to grant him an interview. That cavalier, not
unwilling, it would seem, to witness the agony of his captive,
consented; and Almagro was so humbled by his misfortunes, that he
condescended to beg for his life with the most piteous
supplications. He reminded Hernando of his ancient relations
with his brother, and the good offices he had rendered him and
his family in the earlier part of their career. He touched on
his acknowledged services to his country, and besought his enemy
"to spare his gray hairs, and not to deprive him of the shore
remnant of an existence from which he had now nothing more to
fear." - To this the other coldly replied, that "he was surprised
to see Almagro demean himself in a manner so unbecoming a brave
cavalier; that his fate was no worse than had befallen many a
soldier before him; and that, since God had given him the grace
to be a Christian, he should employ his remaining moments in
making up his account with Heaven!" *19
[Footnote 19: "I que pues tuvo tanta gracia de Dios, que le hico
Christiano, ordenase su Alma, i temiese a Dios." Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 6, lib. 5, cap. 1.]

But Almagro was not to be silenced. He urged the service he had
rendered Hernando himself. "This was a hard requital," he said,
"for having spared his life so recently under similar
circumstances, and that, too, when he had been urged again and
again by those around him to take it away." And he concluded by
menacing his enemy with the vengeance of the emperor, who would
never suffer this outrage on one who had rendered such signal
services to the Crown to go unrequited. It was all in vain; and
Hernando abruptly closed the conference by repeating, that "his
doom was inevitable, and he must prepare to meet it." *20
[Footnote 20: Ibid., ubi supra.

The marshal appealed from the sentence of his judges to the
Crown, supplicating his conqueror, (says the treasurer Espinall,
in his letter to the emperor,) in terms that would have touched
the heart of an infidel. "De la qual el dicho Adelantado apelo
para ante V. M. i le rogo que por amor de Dios hincado de
rodillas le otorgase el apelacion, diciendole que mirase sus
canas e vejez e quanto havia servido a V. M. i qe el havia sido
el primer escalon para que el 1 sus hermanos subiesen en el
estado en que estavan, i diciendole otras muchas palabras de
dolor e compasion que despues de muerto supe que dixo, que a
qualquier hombre, aunque fuera infiel, moviera a piedad." Carta,

Almagro, finding that no impression was to be made on his
iron-hearted conqueror, now seriously addressed himself to the
settlement of his affairs. By the terms of the royal grant he
was empowered to name his successor. He accordingly devolved his
office on his son, appointing Diego de Alvarado, on whose
integrity he had great reliance, administrator of the province
during his minority. All his property and possessions in Peru,
of whatever kind, he devised to his master the emperor, assuring
him that a large balance was still due to him in his unsettled
accounts with Pizarro. By this politic bequest, he hoped to
secure the monarch's protection for his son, as well as a strict
scrutiny into the affairs of his enemy.

The knowledge of Almagro's sentence produced a deep sensation in
the community of Cuzco. All were amazed at the presumption with
which one, armed with a little brief authority, ventured to sit
in judgment on a person of Almagro's station. There were few who
did not call to mind some generous or good-natured act of the
unfortunate veteran. Even those who had furnished materials for
the accusation, now startled by the tragic result to which it was
to lead, were heard to denounce Hernando's conduct as that of a
tyrant. Some of the principal cavaliers, and among them Diego de
Alvarado, to whose intercession, as we have seen Hernando
Pizarro, when a captive, had owed his own life, waited on that
commander, and endeavoured to dissuade him from so high-handed
and atrocious a proceeding. It was in vain. But it had the
effect of changing the mode of execution, which, instead of the
public square, was now to take place in prison. *21

[Footnote 21: Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms.,
ano 1538.
Bishop Valverde, as he assures the emperor, remonstrated with
Francisco Pizarro in Lima, against allowing violence towards the
marshal; urging it on him, as an imperative duty, to go himself
at once to Cuzco, and set him at liberty. "It was too grave a
matter," he rightly added, "to trust to a third party." (Carta al
Emperador, Ms.) The treasurer Espinall, then in Cuzco, made a
similar ineffectual attempt to turn Hernando from his purpose.]

On the day appointed, a strong corps of arquebusiers was drawn up
in the plaza. The guards were doubled over the houses were dwelt
the principal partisans of Almagro. The executioner, attended by
a priest, stealthily entered his prison; and the unhappy man,
after confessing and receiving the sacrament, submitted without
resistance to the garrote. Thus obscurely, in the gloomy silence
of a dungeon, perished the hero of a hundred battles! His corpse
was removed to the great square of the city, where, in obedience
to the sentence, the head was severed from the body. A herald
proclaimed aloud the nature of the crimes for which he had
suffered; and his remains, rolled in their bloody shroud, were
borne to the house of his friend Hernan Ponce de Leon, and the
next day laid with all due solemnity in the church of Our Lady of
Mercy. The Pizarros appeared among the principal mourners. It
was remarked, that their brother had paid similar honors to the
memory of Atahuallpa. *22
[Footnote 22: Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General,
loc. cit. - Carta de Valverde al Emperador, Ms. - Carta de
Gutierrez, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. -
Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1538.
The date of Almagro's execution is not given; a strange omission;
but of little moment, as that event must have followed soon on
the condemnation.]

Almagro, at the time of his death, was probably not far from
seventy years of age. But this is somewhat uncertain; for
Almagro was a foundling, and his early history is lost in
obscurity. *23 He had many excellent qualities by nature; and his
defects, which were not few, may reasonably be palliated by the
circumstances of his situation. For what extenuation is not
authorized by the position of a foundling, - without parents, or
early friends, or teacher to direct him, - his little bark set
adrift on the ocean of life, to take its chance among the rude
billows and breakers, without one friendly hand stretched forth
to steer or to save it! The name of "foundling" comprehends an
apology for much, very much, that is wrong in after life. *24

[Footnote 23: Ante, vol. I. p. 207.]

[Footnote 24: Montesinos, for want of a better pedigree, says, -
"He was the son of his own great deeds, and such has been the
parentage of many a famous hero!" (Annales, Ms., ano 1538.) It
would go hard with a Castilian, if he could not make out
something like a genealogy, - however shadowy.]
He was a man of strong passions, and not too well used to control
them. *25 But he was neither vindictive nor habitually cruel. I
have mentioned one atrocious outrage which he committed on the
natives. But insensibility to the rights of the Indian he shared
with many a better-instructed Spaniard. Yet the Indians, after
his conviction, bore testimony to his general humanity, by
declaring that they had no such friend among the white men. *26
Indeed, far from being vindictive, he was placable, and easily
yielded to others. The facility with which he yielded, the
result of good-natured credulity, made him too often the dupe of
the crafty; and it showed, certainly, a want of that
self-reliance which belongs to great strength of character. Yet
his facility of temper, and the generosity of his nature, made
him popular with his followers. No commander was ever more
beloved by his soldiers. His generosity was often carried to
prodigality. When he entered on the campaign of Chili, he lent a
hundred thousand gold ducats to the poorer cavaliers to equip
themselves, and afterwards gave them up the debt. *27 He was
profuse to ostentation. But his extravagance did him no harm
among the roving spirits of the camp, with whom prodigality is
apt to gain more favor than a strict and well-regulated economy.

[Footnote 25: "Hera vn hombre muy profano, de muy mala lengua,
que en enojandose tratava muy mal a todos los que con el andavan
aunque fuesen cavalleros. "(Descub. y Conq., Ms.) It is the
portrait drawn by an enemy.]

[Footnote 26: "Los Indios lloraban amargamente, diciendo, que de
el nunca recibieron mal tratamiento." Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 6, lib. 5, cap. 1.]

[Footnote 27: If we may credit Herrera, he distributed a hundred
and eighty roads of silver and twenty of gold among his
followers! "Mando sacar de su Posada mas de ciento i ochenta
cargas de Plata i veinte de Oro, i las repartio." (Dec. 5, lib.
7, cap. 9.) A load was what a man could easily carry. Such a
statement taxes our credulity, but it is difficult to set the
proper limits to one's credulity, in what relates to this land of
He was a good soldier, careful and judicious in his plans,
patient and intrepid in their execution. His body was covered
with the scars of his battles, till the natural plainness of his
person was converted almost into deformity. He must not be
judged by his closing campaign, when, depressed by disease, he
yielded to the superior genius of his rival; but by his numerous
expeditions by land and by water for the conquest of Peru and the
remote Chili. Yet it may be doubted whether he possessed those
uncommon qualities, either as a warrior or as a man, that, in
ordinary circumstances, would have raised him to distinction. He
was one of the three, or, to speak more strictly, of the two
associates, who had the good fortune and the glory to make one of
the most splendid discoveries in the Western World. He shares
largely in the credit of this with Pizarro; for, when he did not
accompany that leader in his perilous expeditions, he contributed
no less to their success by his exertions in the colonies.

Yet his connection with that chief can hardly be considered a
fortunate circumstance in his career. A partnership between
individuals for discovery and conquest is not likely to be very
scrupulously observed, especially by men more accustomed to
govern others than to govern themselves. If causes for discord
do not arise before, they will be sure to spring up on division
of the spoil. But this association was particularly
ill-assorted. For the free, sanguine, and confiding temper of
Almagro was no match for the cool and crafty policy of Pizarro;
and he was invariably circumvented by his companion, whenever
their respective interests came in collision.

Still the final ruin of Almagro may be fairly imputed to himself.
He made two capital blunders. The first was his appeal to arms
by the seizure of Cuzco. The determination of a boundary-line
was not to be settled by arms. It was a subject for arbitration;
and, if arbitrators could not be trusted, it should have been
referred to the decision of the Crown. But, having once appealed
to arms, he should not then have resorted to negotiation, - above
all, to negotiation with Pizarro. This was his second and
greatest error. He had seen enough of Pizarro to know that he
was not to be trusted. Almagro did trust him, and he paid for it
with his life.

Chapter III

Pizarro Revisits Cuzco. - Hernando Returns To Castile. - His long
Imprisonment. - Commissioner Sent To Peru. - Hostilities With The
Inca. -Pizarro's Active Administration. - Gonzalo Pizarro.


On the departure of his brother in pursuit of Almagro, the
Marquess Francisco Pizarro, as we have seen, returned to Lima.
There he anxiously awaited the result of the campaign; and on
receiving the welcome tidings of the victory of Las Salinas, he
instantly made preparations for his march to Cuzco. At Xauxa,
however, he was long detained by the distracted state of the
country, and still longer, as it would seem, by a reluctance to
enter the Peruvian capital while the trial of Almagro was

He was met at Xauxa by the marshal's son Diego, who had been sent
to the coast by Hernando Pizarro. The young man was filled with
the most gloomy apprehensions respecting his father's fate, and
he besought the governor not to allow his brother to do him any
violence. Pizarro, who received Diego with much apparent
kindness, bade him take heart, as no harm should come to his
father; *1 adding, that he trusted their ancient friendship would
soon be renewed. The youth, comforted by these assurances, took
his way to Lima, where, by Pizarro's orders, he was received into
his house, and treated as a son.

[Footnote 1: "I dixo, que no tuviese ninguna pena, porque no
consentiria, que su Padre fuese muerto." Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 3.]
The same assurances respecting the marshal's safety were given by
the governor to Bishop Valverde, and some of the principal
cavaliers who interested themselves in behalf of the prisoner. *2
Still Pizarro delayed his march to the capital; and when he
resumed it, he had advanced no farther than the Rio de Abancay
when he received tidings of the death of his rival. He appeared
greatly shocked by the intelligence, his whole frame was
agitated, and he remained for some time with his eyes bent on the
ground, showing signs of strong emotion. *3

[Footnote 2: "Que lo haria asi como lo decia, i que su de seo no
era otro, sino ver el Reino en paz; i que en lo que tocaba al
Adelantado, perdiese cuidado, que bolveria a tener el antigua
amistad con el." Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 9.]

[Footnote 3: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.

He even shed many tears, derramo muchas lagrimas, according to
Herrera, who evidently gives him small credit for them. Ibid.,
dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 7. - Conf. lib 5 cap. 1.]

Such is the account given by his friends. A more probable
version of the matter represents him to have been perfectly aware
of the state of things at Cuzco. When the trial was concluded,
it is said he received a message from Hernando, inquiring what
was to be done with the prisoner. He answered in a few words: -
"Deal with him so that he shall give us no more trouble." *4 It
is also stated that Hernando, afterwards, when laboring under the
obloquy caused by Almagro's death, shielded himself under
instructions affirmed to have been received from the governor. *5
It is quite certain, that, during his long residence at Xauxa,
the latter was in constant communication with Cuzco; and that had
he, as Valverde repeatedly urged him, *6 quickened his march to
that capital, he might easily have prevented the consummation of
the tragedy. As commander-in-chief, Almagro's fate was in his
hands; and, whatever his own partisans may affirm of his
innocence, the impartial judgment of history must hold him
equally accountable with Hernando for the death of his associate.
[Footnote 4: "Respondio, que hiciese de manera, que el Adelantado
no los pusiese en mas alborotos." (Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 6, cap.
7.) "De todo esto," says Espinall, "fue sabidor el dicho
Governador Pizarro a lo que mi juicio i el de otros que en ello
quisieron mirar alcanzo." Carta de Espinall, Ms.]
[Footnote 5: Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 5, cap. 1.

Herrera's testimony is little short of that of a contemporary,
since it was derived, he tells us, from the correspondence of the
Conquerors, and the accounts given him by their own sons. Lib.
6, cap. 7.]

[Footnote 6: Carta de Valverde al Emperador, Ms.]

Neither did his subsequent conduct show any remorse for these
proceedings. He entered Cuzco, says one who was present there to
witness it, amidst the flourish of clarions and trumpets, at the
head of his martial cavalcade, and dressed in the rich suit
presented him by Cortes, with the proud bearing and joyous mien
of a conqueror. *7 When Diego de Alvarado applied to him for the
government of the southern provinces, in the name of the young
Almagro, whom his father, as we have seen, had consigned to his
protection, Pizarro answered, that "the marshal, by his
rebellion, had forfeited all claims to the government." And, when
he was still further urged by the cavalier, he bluntly broke off
the conversation by declaring that "his own territory covered all
on this side of Flanders"! *8 - intimating, no doubt, by this
magnificent vaunt, that he would endure no rival on this side of
the water.

[Footnote 7: "En este medio tiempo vino a la dicha cibdad del
Cuzco el Gobernador D. Franco Pizarro, el qual entro con
tronpetas i chirimias vestido con ropa de martas que fue e luto
con que entro." Carta de Espinall, Ms.]

[Footnote 8: Carta de Espinall, Ms.

"Mui asperamente le respondio el Governador, diciendo, que su
Governacion no tenia Termino, i que llegaba hasta Flandes."
Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 7.]

In the same spirit, he had recently sent to supersede Benalcazar,
the conqueror of Quito, who, he was informed, aspired to an
independent government. Pizarro's emissary had orders to send
the offending captain to Lima; but Benalcazar, after pushing his
victorious career far into the north, had returned to Castile to
solicit his guerdon from the emperor.
To the complaints of the injured natives, who invoked his
protection, he showed himself strangely insensible, while the
followers of Almagro he treated with undisguised contempt. The
estates of the leaders were confiscated, and transferred without
ceremony to his own partisans. Hernando had made attempts to
conciliate some of the opposite faction by acts of liberality,
but they had refused to accept any thing from the man whose hands
were stained with the blood of their commander. *9 The governor
held to them no such encouragement; and many were reduced to such
abject poverty, that, too proud to expose their wretchedness to
the eyes of their conquerors, they withdrew from the city, and
sought a retreat among the neighbouring mountains. *10

[Footnote 9: "Avia querido hazer amigos de los principales de
Chile, y ofrecidoles daria rrepartimientos y no lo avian aceptado
ni querido." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 10: "Viendolas oy en dia, muertos de ambre, fechos
pedazos e adeudados, andando por los montes desesperados por no
parecer ante gentes, porque no tienen otra cosa que se vestir
sino ropa de los Indios, ni dineros con que lo comprar" Carta de
Espinall, Ms.]

For his own brothers he provided by such ample repartimientos, as
excited the murmurs of his adherents. He appointed Gonzalo to
the command of a strong force destined to act against the natives
of Charcas, a hardy people occupying the territory assigned by
the Crown to Almagro. Gonzalo met with a sturdy resistance, but,
after some severe fighting, succeeded in reducing the province to
obedience. He was recompensed, together with Hernando, who aided
him in the conquest, by a large grant in the neighbourhood of
Porco, the productive mines of which had been partially wrought
under the Incas. The territory, thus situated, embraced part of
those silver hills of Potosi which have since supplied Europe
with such stores of the precious metals. Hernando comprehended
the capabilities of the ground, and he began working the mines on
a more extensive scale than that hitherto adopted, though it does
not appear that any attempt was then made to penetrate the rich
crust of Potosi. *11 A few years more were to elapse before the
Spaniards were to bring to light the silver quarries that lay
hidden in the bosom of its mountains. *12

[Footnote 11: "Con la quietud," writes Hernando Pizarro to the
emperor, "questa tierra agora tiene han descubierto i descubren
cada dia los vecinos muchas minas ricas de oro i plata, de que
los quintos i rentas reales de V. M. cada dia se le ofrecen i
hacer casa a todo el Mundo." Carta al Emperador, Ms., de Puerto
Viejo, 6 de Julii, 1539.]
[Footnote 12: Carta de Carbajal al Emperador, Ms., del Cuzco, 3
de Nov. 1539. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Montesinos,
Annales, Ms., ano 1539.

The story is well known of the manner in which the mines of
Potosi were discovered by an Indian, who pulled a bush out of the
ground to the fibres of which a quantity of silver globules was
attached. The mine was not registered till 1545. The account is
given by Acosta, lib. 4, cap. 6.]
It was now the great business of Hernando to collect a sufficient
quantity of treasure to take with him to Castile. Nearly a year
had elapsed since Almagro's death; and it was full time that he
should return and present himself at court, where Diego de
Alvarado and other friends of the marshal, who had long since
left Peru, were industriously maintaining the claims of the
younger Almagro, as well as demanding redress for the wrongs done
to his father. But Hernando looked confidently to his gold to

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