South American Fights and Fighters - Cyrus T. Brady

Peru and the Pizarros

A Study in Retribution
"They that take the sword shall perish by the sword."

The Chief Scion of a Famous Family

The reader will look in vain on the map of modern Spain for the ancient province of Estremadura, yet it is a spot which, in that it was the birthplace of the conquerors of Peru and Mexico—to say nothing of the discoverer of the Mississippi—contributed more to the glory of Spain than any other province in the Iberian peninsula. In 1883, the ancient territory was divided into the two present existing states of Badajoz and Caceres. In the latter of these lies the important mountain town of Trujillo.

Living there in the last half of the fifteenth century was an obscure personage named Gonzalo Pizarro. He was a gentleman whose lineage was ancient, whose circumstances were narrow and whose morals were loose. By profession he was a soldier who had gained some experience in the wars under the "Great Captain," Gonsalvo de Cordova. History would take no note of this vagrom and obscure cavalier had it not been for his children. Four sons there were whose qualities and opportunities were such as to have enabled them to play a somewhat large part in the world's affairs in their day. How many unconsidered other progeny, male or female, there may have been, God alone knows—possibly, nay probably, a goodly number.

The eldest son was named Francisco. His mother, who was not married to his father—indeed not married to anybody at any time so far as I can find out—was a peasant woman named Francisca Gonzales. Francisco was born about the year 1471. His advent was not of sufficient importance to have been recorded, apparently, and the exact date of his terrestrial appearance is a matter of conjecture, with the guesses ranging between 1470 and 1478. A few years after the arrival of Francisco, there was born to Gonzales, and this time by his lawful wife, name unknown, a second son, Hernando. By the woman Gonzales, a score of years later, this promiscuous father had two more illegitimate sons, one of whom he named Gonzalo after himself, and the third he called Juan. Francisca Gonzales also bore a fourth son, of whom Gonzalo Pizarro was not the father, who was known as Martin de Alcantara. Thus Hernando, the second, was legitimate; Gonzalo and Juan were his illegitimate half-brethren, having the same father but a different mother; while Alcantara was a uterine brother to the three illegitimate Pizarros, having the same mother but a different father. There must have been marvelous qualities in the original Pizarro, for such a family is rarely to be met with in history.

Such a mixed state of affairs was not so shocking in those days as it would be at present. I do not find that anybody cast any stones at the Pizarros on account of these irregularities in their birth. In fact, they had plenty of companions in their anomalous social relations, and it is a speaking commentary on the times that nobody seemed to consider it as especially disgraceful or even very remarkable.

Hernando, the second son, received a good education for the day. The others were thrown mainly on their own resources. Legend says that Francisco was suckled by a sow. The statement may be dismissed as a fable, but it is more than probable that the assertion that he was a swineherd is correct. It is certain that to the day of his death he could neither read nor write. He never even learned to sign his own name, yet he was a man of qualities who made a great figure in history in spite of these disabilities, leaving behind him an immortal if unenviable name. His career was humble and obscure to the vanishing point for forty years, of which practically nothing is known. It is alleged that he made a campaign in Italy with his father, but this is doubtful. A father who left him to tend the swine, who did nothing for his education, would not have bothered to take him a-soldiering.

We leave the field of conjecture, however, and meet him in far-off America in 1510 as an officer under Alonzo de Ojeda—that Don Quixote among discoverers. His qualities had obtained for him some preferment, for when Ojeda left the miserable remnants of his colony at San Sebastian on the Gulf of Darien, and returned to Cuba for help, Pizarro was put in charge, with instructions to wait a certain time, and if succour did not reach him to leave. He waited the required time, indeed waited longer, until enough people died to enable the brigantine that had been left with them to carry the survivors, and then sailed away. He was a member of Encisco's expedition to Darien, in which he fell in with the youthful and romantic Vasco Nunez de Balboa. With Balboa he marched across the Isthmus, and was the second white man to look upon the Great South Sea in 1513. Subsequently, he was an officer under that American Nero, Pedro Arias de Avila, commonly called Pedrarias, the founder and Governor of Panama, the conqueror of Nicaragua and parts adjacent. Oviedo says that between his seventieth year, which was his age when he came to America, and his eighty-sixth year, when he died, the infamous Pedrarias caused more than two million Indians to be put to death, besides a numerous lot of his own countrymen. If we lop off two ciphers, the record is still bad enough.

In 1515, Pizarro and Morales, by direction of Pedrarias, made an expedition to the south of the Gulf of San Miguel, into the territory of a chieftain named Biru, from whom they early got into the habit of calling the vague land believed to exist in the South Sea, the "Land of Biru," or Peru. It was on this expedition that the Spaniards, hotly pursued by the natives, stabbed their captives one by one and left them dying at intervals in the pathway to check pursuit. The practice was effective enough and the action throws an interesting light on the Spanish conquistador in general and Pizarro in particular.

It fell to the lot of Pizarro also to arrest his old captain, Balboa, just as the latter was about to sail on a voyage of discovery to the fabulous gold country of Peru in 1517. ("What is this, Francisco Pizarro?" Balboa asked, in great astonishment, of his former lieutenant and comrade, meeting him and his soldiers on the way with the order of arrest. "You were not wont to come out in this fashion to receive me!") When Balboa and Pizarro had crossed the Isthmus six years before, the son of the Cacique Comagre, observing their avidity for gold, told them that it abounded in a mysterious land far toward the south, and the young Indian made a little clay image of a llama further to describe the country.

To conquer that El Dorado had been Balboa's cherished dream. Well would it have been for the country had not the jealousy of Pedrarias cut short Balboa's career by taking off his head, thus forcing the enterprise to be undertaken by men of coarser mould and meaner clay. It does not appear that Pizarro had any hand in the judicial murder of Balboa, and no reflection can be made on his conduct for the arrest, which was simply a matter of military duty, probably as distasteful to Pizarro as it was surprising to Balboa.

The Terrible Persistence of Pizarro

In 1519, Pizarro was living in Panama in rather straightened circumstances. His life had been a failure. A soldier of fortune, he possessed little but his sword. He was discontented, and although now nearly fifty years of age, he still had ambition. With remembrance of what he had heard the young Indian chief tell Balboa, constantly inciting him to a further grapple with hitherto coy and elusive fortune, he formed a partnership with another poverty-stricken but enterprising veteran named Diego de Almagro, whose parentage was as obscure as Pizarro's—indeed more so, for he is reputed to have been a foundling, although Oviedo describes him as the son of a Spanish laboring man. The two men supplemented each other. Pizarro, although astute and circumspect, was taciturn and chary of speech, though fluent enough on occasion; he was slow in making up his mind, too, but when it was made up, resolute and tenacious of his purpose. Almagro was quick, impulsive, generous, frank in manner, "wonderfully skilled in gaining the hearts of men," but sadly deficient in other qualities of leadership. Both were experienced soldiers, as brave as lions and nearly as cruel as Pedrarias himself—being indeed worthy disciples of his school.

The two penniless, middle-aged soldiers of fortune determined to undertake the conquest of that distant empire—a stupendous resolution. Being almost without means, they were forced to enlarge the company by taking on a third partner, a priest named Luque, who had, or could command, the necessary funds. With the sanction of Pedrarias, who demanded and received a share, largely gratuitous, in the expedition, they bought two of the four vessels which Balboa had caused to be taken to pieces, transported them across the Isthmus, then set them up again, and relaunched in the Pacific. Enlisting one hundred men under his banner, Pizarro set sail with the first vessel on the 14th of November, 1524. Almagro was to follow after with reenforcements and supplies in the second ship. One Andagoya had made a short excursion southward some time before, but they soon passed his latitude and were the first white men to cleave those southern seas.

With only their hopes to guide them, without pilot, chart or experience, being, I suspect, indifferent sailors and wretched navigators, they crept along the forbidding shore in a crazy little ship, landing from time to time, seeing no evidence of the empire, being indeed unable to penetrate the jungles far enough to find out much of anything about the countries they passed. Finally, at one place, that they afterwards called "Starvation Harbor," the men rebelled and demanded to be led back. They had seen and heard little of importance. There seemed to be nothing before them but death by starvation.

Pizarro, however, who has been aptly described as "terribly persistent," refused to return. He sent the ship back to the Isles of Pearls for provisions, and grimly clung to the camp on the desolate shore. When twenty of his men were dead of starvation, the ship came back with supplies. In one of their excursions, during this wait at Starvation Harbor, they had stumbled upon and surprised an Indian village in which they found some clumsy gold ornaments, with further tales of the El Dorado to the southward. Instead of yielding to the request of his men that they immediately return in the ship, therefore, the indomitable Spaniard made sail southward. He landed at various places, getting everywhere little food and less gold, but everywhere gaining more and more confirmation that the foundation of his dreams was not "the baseless fabric of a vision."

In one place they had a fierce battle with the Indians in which two of the Spaniards were killed and a large number wounded. Pizarro now determined to return to Panama with the little gold he had picked up and the large stories he had heard, there to recruit his band and to start out again. Almagro meanwhile had set forth with his ship with sixty or seventy additional adventurers. He easily followed the traces of Pizarro on the shore but the ships did not meet. Almagro went farther south than Pizarro. At one landing-place he had a furious battle with the natives in which he lost an eye. He turned back after reaching the mouth of the river San Juan in about the fourth parallel of north latitude. He, too, had picked up some little treasure and a vast quantity of rumor to compensate for his lost optic and bitter experience. But the partners had little to show for their sufferings and expenditures but rumors and hopes.

Pedrarias in disgust withdrew from the expedition for a price, which, with the money necessary to send out a second expedition, was furnished through Luque by the Licentiate Espinosa. About September, 1526, with two ships, the two captains set forth once more. This time they had with them a capable pilot named Ruiz. They avoided the coast and steered direct for the mouth of the San Juan River. Pizarro surprised a village here, carried off some of the natives, and a considerable amount of gold. This Almagro, as the best "persuader," took back to Panama in the hope that by exhibiting it he could gain much needed reenforcements for their expedition.

The ships were very much undermanned. The experience of the first expedition, as related by the survivors, had been so horrible that it was with difficulty that they could get anybody to go with them on the second. Pizarro agreed to remain at the mouth of the river and examine the vicinity, while Ruiz with the second ship sailed southward to see what he could discover. Pizarro's men found no gold, although they explored the country with prodigious labor. Indians fell upon them, at one time killing fourteen who had stranded in a canoe on the bank of a river. Many other Spaniards perished, and all except Pizarro and a few of the stoutest hearts begged to return to Panama.

Ruiz came back just as they had begun to despair. He had crossed the Equator, the first European to cross it from the north, (Magellan had crossed it from the south five years before) and had sailed half a degree south from the line.

He brought back some Indians, further specimens of gold and silver ornaments, exquisitely woven woollen garments, et cetera, which he had taken from a craft cruising near the shore, which were proofs positive of the existence of the long-desired country.

Almagro now made his appearance with reenforcements and the keels were soon turned to the south. Coasting along the shore, they saw increasing evidence of cultivation in the valleys and uplands, backed by the huge snow-crowned range of the Andes. Large villages appeared here and there. Finally, they anchored opposite a considerable town laid out in well-defined streets, containing about two thousand houses, many of them built of stone. From their position close to the shore they thought that they could make out that the inhabitants wore ornaments of gold. Several canoes approached the ship, one of them crowded with warriors carrying a species of gold mask as an ensign.

There appeared to be at least ten thousand warriors assembled on the shore but Pizarro landed with the few horses which he had brought along in the ship. A sharp engagement ensued, and the result might have been disastrous to the Spaniards had not one of them fallen from his horse during the fray. This diversion of what they considered a single animal into two, both living, alarmed the Indians so much, that they desisted from the attack and withdrew, the Spaniards taking advantage of the chance to return to the ships.

What to do next was the problem. They had not sufficient force or supplies with them to encounter the natives, or conquer or even explore the country. The expedition was about as meagrely equipped as it well could be and be an expedition at all. There were long discussions on the ships and a fierce quarrel between the two partners. Finally, it was composed outwardly, and it was decided that Pizarro should remain at the coast at some convenient point while Almagro, the traverser, went back for reenforcements. Pizarro elected to pitch his camp on the little Island of Gallo which they had discovered. Those who were appointed to remain with him rebelled at the decision which left them marooned on a desolate island with no adequate provisions for their needs. Pizarro, however, insisted and Almagro sailed with the other ship. Shortly afterward, Pizarro sent the remaining ship with the most obstinate of the mutineers to Panama. A letter revealing their sad plight, which was concealed in a ball of cotton sent as a present to the wife of the governor by one of the men on the island of Gallo, was smuggled ashore at Panama when Almagro's ship reached that point, despite his vigilant efforts to allow no such communications to pass.

There was a new governor in Panama, Pedro de los Rios. Incensed by the loss of life and the hardships of the two expeditions, with the lack of definite and tangible results, and disregarding the remonstrances of Almagro, he dispatched two ships under one Pedro Tafur to bring them back. Life on the island of Gallo had been a hideous experience. Famine, disease and inclement weather had taken off many and had broken the spirit of the most of the rest of the band. Nothing could break that of Pizarro. When Tafur appeared, he refused to return. Drawing an east-and-west line upon the sand with his sword, he made a brief soldierly address to his men.

"Friends and comrades," he said, facing the south, "on that side of the line are toil, hunger, nakedness, the drenching storm, destruction and death. On this side," turning to the north, "are ease and pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches. Here, Panama with its poverty. Choose each man as best becomes a cavalier of Castile. For my part, I go to the south."

Such was the effect of his electrifying words, that, as he stepped over the line, a number of his comrades, led by Ruiz, the pilot, and Pedro de Candia, a Greek gunner, followed him. The number varies from thirteen to sixteen according to different authorities. The weight of evidence inclines me to the smaller number.

Tafur raged and threatened, but Pizarro and his men persisted. They got themselves transferred to the Island of Gorgona where there were water and game and no inhabitants, and there they stayed while Tafur returned.

Less than a score of men marooned on a desert island in an unknown sea, opposite a desolate and forbidding coast, without a ship or any means of leaving the island, not knowing whether Almagro and Luque would be able to succor them; their position was indeed a desperate one. It shows, as nothing else could, the iron determination of the indomitable Spaniard. At that moment when Pizarro drew the line and stepped across it after that fiery address, he touched at the same time the nadir of his fortunes and the zenith of his fame. Surely it stands as one of the great dramatic incidents of history. The conquest of Peru turned upon that very instant, upon the determination of that moment; and upon the conquest of Peru depended more things in the future history of the earth than were dreamed of in the narrow philosophy of any Spaniard there present, or of any other man in existence in that long-past day.

Peru has played a tremendously important part in the affairs of men. It was the treasure of Peru that armed the soldiers of Alva and laid the keels of the Armada. It was the treasure of Peru that relieved the Spanish people of the necessity of wresting a national revenue out of a soil by agriculture; which abrogated the auxiliary of agriculture, manufactures; which precluded the possibility of the corollary of the other two, commerce. It was the treasure of Peru that permitted the Spanish people to indulge that passion for religious bigotry which was stifling to liberty and throttling to development, and which put them hopelessly out of touch with the onward and progressive movement of humanity in one of the most vital periods and movements in history. It was the treasure of Peru that kindled the fires of the Inquisition, in which the best blood of the nation lighted it to its downfall, and blazed the way for Manila and Santiago. Philip II, and his decadent and infamous successors depended upon the mines of Potosi and the mines of Potosi hung upon Pizarro and his line in the sand. The base-born, ignorant, cruel soldier wrecked in one moment a nation, made and unmade empires, and changed the whole course of the world.

It was largely the Spanish zeal and intolerance that developed and made perfect the Reformation, for no great cause has ever won success without opposition, nay, persecution. "The blood of the martyr," says St. Augustine, "is the seed of the church."

To return to the situation. Tafur presently reached Panama and reported. The governor and the people of that city looked upon Pizarro as a madman. Luque and Almagro were unwearying in their efforts and importunities, however, and finally they wrung a reluctant permission from De los Rios for Ruiz and one small ship and a few men to go to the rescue, with the proviso that a return must be made within six months. One can imagine the joy with which the desperate adventurers on the island saw the sails of that ship whitening the horizon. Once more they set sail to the south, arriving finally before a large and populous town called Tumbez. Here they saw undoubted signs of the existence of a great empire in a high state of civilization. The little party had some pleasant intercourse with the natives of Tumbez.

They gathered a considerable amount of gold and silver, some of it exquisitely wrought by cunning artificers into the forms of beautiful and unknown plants and animals. There was no possible doubt as to the truth of their golden dreams. The empire of Peru in all its magnificence lay before them.

Too meagre a force to embrace the opportunity, there was nothing to do but to return to Panama. There it was agreed that Pizarro, with De Candia, should go over to Spain, taking with him Peruvians and treasures, tell what he had seen, and secure the royal countenance and support for their future undertaking, while Almagro and Luque remained at Panama preparing for the final expedition. Pizarro had no sooner set foot in Spain than he was arrested for debt on some ancient charge by Encisco, but he was too big a man, now, for such petty persecution and he was at once released and ordered to present himself at court. The rough, blunt soldier, with his terrible yet romantic tale with its infinite possibilities, was received with astonishing cordiality. He gained a royal commission to discover and conquer the empire of Peru for Spain for the distance of two hundred leagues south of the Santiago River, and received the title of Governor and Captain-General with large powers and revenue appertaining, which it was easy for the crown to bestow since Pizarro had to get them himself.

Almagro, who justly felt himself slighted and his services inadequately valued, was made Governor of Tumbez; Luque was appointed Bishop for the same place and Protector of the Peruvians; Ruiz was named Grand Pilot of the Southern Ocean; De Candia, a General of Artillery; and every one of the thirteen who had crossed the line at Gallo was ennobled and made an Hidalgo of Spain.

Then Pizarro went back to Trujillo. Certainly it must have been a happy moment for the neglected bastard who had been a swineherd to return to his native village under such enviable conditions. He set sail for America early in 1530, with three ships. His four brothers came with him, the able Hernando being made second in command. Almagro and Luque were very much chagrined at the meagre reward that had fallen to them, and Almagro looked with deep antagonism upon the advent of the Pizarros, who, he realized instinctively, would undermine his influence with his partner. This hatred the new Pizarros repaid in kind. Some sort of peace, however, was patched up between them, and in January, 1531, with three small ships and one hundred and eighty-three men, including thirty-seven horses, Francisco set forth on his final voyage of conquest.

Nearly seven years had elapsed since the first attempt was made. As yet they had little but empty titles, large powers, purely potential, however, and drained purses to show for their heroic endeavor, but the persistence of Pizarro was about to triumph at last. After a voyage of thirteen days, the squadron arrived at San Mateo, where the horses and soldiers were landed and ordered to march along the shore southward, while the ships were sent back for reenforcements which Almagro was gathering as usual. They returned with thirty more men and thirty-six additional horses. Arriving at the Gulf of Guayaquil, Pizarro established himself on the island of Puna, opposite Tumbez, which he cleared of its inhabitants by a series of desperate battles. There he was reenforced by a detachment of one hundred men with an additional number of horses under the command of young Hernando de Soto, another gallant Estremaduran, and quite the most attractive among this band of desperadoes, whose design was to loot an empire and proclaim the Holy Gospel of Christ as the Spanish people had received the same. I have no doubt at all that the desire to propagate their religion was quite as real and as vividly present to them at all times as was their greed for gold. They had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge; like the men of the Middle Ages who bore the cross on their hauberks, every Spaniard was a crusader. Aside from De Soto, there is no single character of all those, either Indian or Spaniard, who for fifteen years made Peru a bloody battle-ground, except the unfortunate young Inca Manco Capac, who is entitled to the least admiration or affection.

In April, 1532, Pizarro embarked his men on the ships and landed, not without some fierce fighting, at Tumbez, on the coast of Peru. At last the expedition was on solid ground and nothing prevented its further advance. On the 18th of May, therefore, they took up the march for the interior, little dreaming of the ultimate fate that awaited them all.

"A Communistic Despotism."

The empire of Peru well deserved the title of Magnificent. The highest civilization attained on the Western Hemisphere had been reached on this South American coast. A form of government unique in history had been developed and put in operation by a capable and enlightened people. It was a "communistic despotism," a community with a despot and a ruling class superimposed upon its socialism. The sway of these despots was exceedingly mild and gentle, even if absolute. With wonderful ingenuity and a rare capacity for organization, upon the ruins of an older civilization, they built the Inca Empire.

The Incas were the ruling tribe, the Emperor being the Inca par excellence. Their empire was as thoroughly organized as it is possible for a community to be. Indeed, it was organized to death; the Inca was the empire, and one source of the empire's speedy downfall was due to the fact that the national spirit of the Peruvians had been so crushed by the theocratic despotism of their rulers that they viewed the change of masters with more or less indifference. When the Incas conquered a country and people they so arranged affairs as to incorporate the people as part of the empire. They called their domains grandiloquently "the four quarters of the earth." They did not govern this great territory by brute force as did the Aztecs—although they knew how to use the sword if necessary—but by methods dictated by prudent and profound policy, productive of peaceful success. The mild government of the Incas was at once patriarchal, theocratic and despotic. Whatever it was, from the Incas' point of view it was absolute and satisfactory.

Prescott's account of the Inca civilization reads like a romance, yet it is practically borne out by all chroniclers who have discussed the subject, some of whom appear to desire to find the great American historian at fault. Large and populous cities existed, communication between which was had by great national roads traversing every part of the land. Vast herds of llamas were domesticated, from the hair of which the exquisitely woven cloth was made. Agriculture flourished. The country, upraised from the sea by the great range of mountains, afforded every variety of climate from temperate to tropic, and the diversified products of the soil corresponded with the opportunities presented. And every foot of space was utilized for a population of millions of industrious workers, with an economy and resourcefulness only emulated by the Chinese in the working of their country. Even the mountain-sides were terraced by tiny farms.

The Peruvians had made some progress in the arts, less in science. They lacked the art of writing, although they possessed a highly developed system of mnemonic aids in the form of curiously knotted and particolored strings called quipus. Their literature, if the contradiction be permitted, was handed down like their history, by oral tradition.

Great as had been their achievements, however, they were in a curious state of arrested development. With the Peruvians, says Helps, "everything stopped short." They had not arrived at a finality anywhere, save perhaps in their mode of government. They could erect enormous time-defying buildings, but they knew of no way to roof them except by thatching them. Their roads were marvels of engineering construction, but they could not build bridges except frail ones made out of osier cables. No wheels ran along the smooth, well-paved, magnificent highways. They could refine gold and silver and make weapons of tempered copper, but they were entirely ignorant of the use of iron. The greatest human development has depended upon that last metal. The great nations are those which have had the steel-tempered sword blades in their hands. They could administer a colony in a way to excite the admiration of the world, and yet not write a line. There is little probability that they would have progressed much beyond the state at which they had arrived, for there was no individual liberty in the land. That was the fatal defect in their system. It was the lack which put that touch of finality to their otherwise marvelously developed condition and which limited inexorably their civilization. The unchangeable conditions were stifling to ambition and paralyzing to achievement. The two things the country lacked were the two vital things to human progress and human success—letters and liberty.

The religious development of the Peruvians was very high. They worshipped an unknown Supreme Being and they worshipped him, it is conclusively demonstrated, without human sacrifice. Objectively they paid their chief adoration to the sun, moon and stars, and to the Inca as the child or earthly representative of the sun. Sun-worship is the noblest and highest of all the purely natural religions. When to this was superadded an instinctive feeling for a great First Cause, of which the solar magnificence was but a manifestation, the religion of the Peruvians is entitled to great respect.

Their history ran back into the mists of the past. At the time of the arrival of Pizarro, a curious condition, anomalous in their records, had arisen. Huayna Capac, one of the greatest monarchs of the Inca line, had extended his dominion by force of arms over the rich province of Quito, far to the north. He had taken as one of his concubines the daughter of the conquered monarch of Quito and by her had a son named Atahualpa.

The son of the monarch by his sister, his only legal wife, or Coya—the irrevocable Peruvian method of providing for the Inca succession—was named Huascar. Huayna on his deathbed, after a glorious reign of forty years, made the fatal mistake of dividing his dominion between Huascar, to whom was given ancient Peru, and Atahualpa, who took Quito to the north. World-history, of which Huayna could have known nothing, has shown conclusively enough that such a policy has always brought about civil war, and this startling reversal of Peruvian custom by a doting monarch on his deathbed produced the usual results.

The armies of Atahualpa, led by two famous soldiers called Quiz-Quiz and Chalcuchima, had met and defeated the troops of Huascar in a series of bloody battles. They had taken that unhappy monarch prisoner and, by a series of terrible massacres instigated by Atahualpa, had striven with large success to cut off the family of the unfortunate Inca root and branches. The land had been devastated by the fierceness of the internecine conflict, towns had been carried by storm, the inhabitants put to the sword; the ordinary course of events had been interrupted and agriculture had languished; the empire lay gasping under the paw of the Peruvian usurper when Pizarro landed upon the shore. The strife that was to ensue was between two base-born, cruel-hearted soldiers of fortune, one at the head of a little body of white men, but with all the prestige of their color and development in warfare, and weapons, the other, the now undisputed monarch of a vast if prostrate and exhausted empire, at the head of great armies flushed with victory and eager for new conquests.

What would the result of the struggle be?