South American Fights and Fighters - Cyrus T. Brady

Peru and the Pizarros (Continued)

The Treacherous and Bloody Massacre of Caxamarca

Having marched some thirty miles south of Tumbezin the pleasant spring weather, Pizarro, finding what he conceived to be a favorable location for a permanent colony, encamped his army, laid out and began to build a city, which he called San Miguel. The Spaniards were great builders and the city was planned and fortified on an extensive scale and the more important buildings erected, so that it was not until September that Pizarro considered his base of supplies had been made secure.

Meanwhile he had been assiduously seeking information on every hand concerning the internal dissensions in the Peruvian empire, so that he could undertake his conquest intelligently. On the 24th of September, 1532, the valiant little army was mustered and, after deducting a small garrison for San Miguel, those appointed for the expedition were found to include sixty-seven horsemen, three arquebusiers, twenty crossbowmen and eighty-seven footmen, in all one hundred and seventy-seven.

They were accompanied by two pieces of small artillery called falconets, each having a bore of two inches and carrying a shot weighing about a pound and a half, being, with the three arquebusiers, General De Candia's command. With this insignificant force, augmented, I suppose, by some Indian captives acting as pack-mules, Pizarro started out to conquer an empire conservatively estimated to contain from ten to twelve millions of people, supporting an army of disciplined soldiers whose numbers ran into the hundreds of thousands.

The Spanish forces were well equipped and in good condition, but as they left the sea-shore and advanced, without molestation, to be sure, through the populous country, some idea of the magnitude of their self-appointed task permeated the minds of the common soldiery, and evidences of hesitation, reluctance and dissension speedily appeared. The unwillingness of the men grew until Pizarro was forced to take notice of it. Halting on the fifth day in a pleasant valley, he met the emergency in his usual characteristic fashion. Parading the men, he addressed to them another of those fiery speeches for which he was famous, and the quality of which, from so illiterate a man, is amazingly high.

He painted anew the dangers before them, and then adroitly lightened the shadows of his picture by pointing to the rewards. He appealed to all that was best in humanity by saying that he wanted none but the bravest to go forward.

He closed his address by offering to allow all who wished to do so to return to San Miguel, whose feeble garrison, he said, he should be glad to have reenforced. And, with a subtler stroke of policy, he promised that those who went back should share in the rewards gained by their more constant brethren. But four infantrymen and five horsemen shamefacedly availed themselves of this permission. The rest enthusiastically clamored to be led forward. Both mutiny and timidity were silenced forever in that band.

On a similar occasion, Cortes had burnt his ships. It is hard to decide which was the better expedient. Certainly Cortes was incomparably a much abler man than Pizarro, but somehow Pizarro managed to rise to the successive emergencies which confronted him, just the same.

Greatly refreshed in spirits, the army, purged of the malcontents, proceeded cautiously on its way south. They were much elated from time to time at receiving envoys from Atahualpa, who coupled a superstitious reverence for the invaders as Children of the Sun with demands as to their purposes, and a request that they halt and wait the pleasure of the Inca. Pizarro dissembled his intentions and received them with fair words, but refusing to halt, kept steadily on, announcing his intention of visiting Atahualpa wherever he might be found.

Pursuing their journey, the Spaniards came early in November to the foot of the mountains. To the right of them, that is toward the south, extended a great well-paved road which led to the imperial capital of Cuzco. In front of them, a narrow path rose over the mountains. One was easy, the other hard. In spite of suggestions from his soldiery, Pizarro chose the hard way. He had announced his intention of visiting the Inca, and visit him he would although the way to the city of Cuzco was open and the place might easily be taken possession of. The seat of danger and the source of power were alike with the Inca, and not in Cuzco.

With sixty foot and forty horse, this old man, now past sixty years, led the way over the mountains, while his brother brought up the rear with the remainder. The passage was a terrible one, but the indomitable band, catching some of the spirit of their leader, surmounted all the obstacles, and a few days after from the summits of a mighty range, surveyed the fertile, beautiful plains spread out before them on the farther side of the mountain. Close at hand was the white-walled city, Caxamarca or Cajamarca, embowered in verdure in a fruitful valley. The place was an important position, well fortified and containing, under ordinary circumstances, a population of ten thousand. The reader should remember the name, for it was the scene of one of the most remarkable and determinative events in history. The conquest, in fact, was settled there.

Beyond the city, on the slopes of the hills, and divided from it by a river, over which a causeway led, stood the white tents of the fifty thousand soldiers of Atahualpa's army. The number of them filled the Spaniards with amazement, and in some cases with apprehension. There was no going back then, however; there was nothing to do but advance. At the hour when the bells of Holy Church in their home land were ringing vespers, in a cold driving rain mingled with sleet, the little cortege entered the city, which they found as the French found Moscow, deserted of its inhabitants. With the ready instinct of a soldier, Pizarro led his force to the public square, or Plaza, which was in the shape of a rude triangle surrounded on two sides by well-built, two-story houses of stone. On the other side, or base, rose a huge fortress with a tower overlooking the city on one hand and the Inca's camp on the other.

Without hesitation, the weary Spaniards made themselves at home in the vacant buildings around the square; guards were posted in order that the strictest watch might be kept, and other preparations made for defence. Here they prepared for the repose of the night. Meanwhile Hernando de Soto with twenty horse was sent as an ambassador to Atahualpa's camp. He had been gone but a short time when Pizarro, at the suggestion of his brother Hernando, who made the point that twenty horsemen were not sufficient for defense and too many to lose, despatched the latter with twenty more cavalrymen to reenforce the first party.

The two cavaliers and their escort found the Inca in the midst of his camp. The monarch was seated and surrounded by a brilliant assemblage of nobles in magnificent vestments. He was guarded by a great army of soldiers armed with war-clubs, swords and spears of tempered copper, and bows and slings. He received the deputation with the impassivity of a stone image, vouchsafing no answer to their respectful address until it had been several times repeated. At last he declared he would visit the strangers on the morrow, and directed them to occupy the buildings in the public square, and none other until he came to make arrangements. His demeanor was cold and forbidding to the last degree. The results of the embassy were highly unsatisfactory. One incident connected with the interview is worthy of mention.

De Soto, who was a most accomplished cavalier, a perfect centaur in fact, noticing the amazed and somewhat alarmed glances of the Inca's men at the movements of his restless horse, suddenly determined to exhibit his skill at the manege. Striking spurs to his charger, he caused him to curvet and prance in the open before the Inca, showing at the same time his own horsemanship and the fiery impetuosity of the high-spirited animal. He concluded this performance—shall I say circus?—by dashing at full speed toward the Inca, reining in his steed with the utmost dexterity a few feet from the royal person. What the Inca thought of this has not been recorded. I imagine he must have been terribly affronted. Some of his nobles and soldiers, less able to preserve their iron composure than their master, shrank back from the onrushing avalanche of steed and steel presented by De Soto and his horse. The Spaniards found their dead bodies the next day. It did not do to show cowardice in the presence of the Inca! They had been summarily executed by Atahualpa's order. Yet, I cannot think the Inca a man of surpassing bravery after all. Certainly he was not a man of sufficient ability worthily to hold the scepter of so great an empire. He made a frightful mistake in not stopping the invaders where it would have been easy for him to do so, in the narrow defiles of the mountains, and he did not even yet seem to have decided in his own mind how he should treat them. To be sure, according to some accounts, he looked upon them as belonging to the immortal gods, but there have been men brave enough in the defence of land and liberty to defy even the immortal gods! A vast deal of sympathy, indeed, has been wasted upon Atahualpa. Without doubt the Spaniards treated him abominably, and for that treatment the wretched monarch has claims to our consideration, but for his personal qualities or his past record, none. Helps explains his name as derived from two words meaning, "sweet valor!" Markham affirms that the words mean "A chance, or lucky, game-cock!" Neither appellation, in view of Atahualpa's history can be considered as especially apt or happy.

Much dissatisfied and thoroughly perturbed, De Soto and Hernando Pizarro returned to the city. Long and serious were the deliberations of the leaders that night. At length they arrived at a momentous decision, one for which they have been severely and justly censured, but which under the circumstances was the only possible decision which insured their safety. They had no business in that country. They had come there with the deliberate intention of looting it without regard to the rights of the inhabitants, and in that purpose lay the seeds of all their subsequent crimes, treachery, murder, outrage and all other abominations whatsoever. No surprise need be felt therefore, that they determined upon the seizure of the person of the Inca. The example of Cortes with Montezuma was before them. I have no doubt that his amazing exploits in Mexico had been talked over frequently by every camp-fire in the New and the Old World, and many bold spirits had longed for an opportunity to emulate his doings. The Spaniards in Peru had already learned enough of the local conditions to realize that with the person of the Inca they could control the government. To seize him was black treachery, of course; but being there, it was the only thing to do, from their point of view. The night was an anxious one and the morning found them engaged in preparations. De Candia was posted with two small falconets and three arquebusiers on the roof of the fortress. His guns pointed toward the Inca's camp, though he had instructions to turn them on the square as soon as the Peruvians arrived. De Soto and Hernando Pizarro divided the horse between them and occupied the houses on the other side of the square with them. The infantry were distributed at various points of vantage. Pizarro reserved twenty of the trustiest blades for his own escort. The arms of the men were carefully looked to, and nothing that the skill or experience of the captains could suggest was left undone to promote the success of their hazardous and bold undertaking.

Athualpa and Pizarro


Mass was said with great solemnity by the priest of the expedition, Fra Vincente de Valverde, an iron-souled, fierce-hearted Dominican, meet ecclesiastic for such a band. Refreshments were then provided liberally for the soldiers—it is not so stated, but it may be presumed that some of them were in liquid shape—and then the whole party settled down to await developments. Nothing seemed to be going on in the Peruvian camp during the morning. The Inca moved toward the city in the afternoon, but stopped just outside the walls, to the great annoyance of the Spaniards, who had found the long wait a trying experience indeed. Late in the afternoon, Pizarro received a message that Atahualpa had changed his mind and would not visit him until the following day. This did not suit his plans at all. He instantly returned an answer to the Inca, begging him not to defer his visit, saying that he had provided everything for his entertainment—which was quite true although in a very different sense from that conveyed by the words of his messenger—and requesting Atahualpa to arrange to sup with him without fail that night. Pizarro had previously assured the Inca that he would receive him as a "friend and brother"! What reasons actuated the Inca we have no means of ascertaining. Suffice it to say that he changed his mind and came.

A short time after sunset, therefore, the Inca, attended by a numerous retinue, entered the square. Atahualpa was borne aloft on a throne made of massive gold, supported on the shoulders of his attendants. He was dressed with barbaric magnificence in robes of exquisite texture, heavily embroidered and ornamented with gold and silver. Around his neck blazed a necklace of emeralds of wonderful size and great brilliancy. His forehead was hidden by a thick vivid scarlet fringe depending from a diadem almost to the eyebrows. This tassel (or borla, as the Spaniards called it; llauta, according to the Peruvians) was the supreme mark of the imperial dignity in that no one but the Inca could wear it. The Inca was surrounded by a gorgeously attired body of retainers who were preceded by hundreds of menials who cleared the streets of every obstacle which might impede the progress of their master, the Son of the Sun. The processions divided at the square, and the monarch was carried forward in the open. Not a Spaniard save the watchful sentries pacing the fort above, was to be seen.

"Where," asked Atahualpa, looking about in surprise, "are the strangers?"

At this moment, at the request of Pizarro, Father Valverde came forward in his canonicals, crucifix in one hand, breviary or Bible in the other. He was attended by one of the Peruvians whom Pizarro had taken back to Spain, who was to act as interpreter. This precocious little rascal, named Felippo, was the best interpreter that could be found, which is saying little, for his Spanish was bad and mainly picked up in the camps from the rude soldiery, and his Peruvian was only an uncouth dialect of the highly inflected and most flexible and expressive Quichua, the language of the educated, indeed of the most of the people. Approaching the litter of the Inca, Valverde delivered an extraordinary address. He briefly explained the doctrines of the Christian religion to the astonished Peruvian, requiring him to conform to this religion and acknowledge the spiritual supremacy of the Pope, and at the same time to submit to the sway of his Imperial Majesty Charles V. It was a pretty heavy demand to spring upon a great monarch in the midst of his people, and it was not to be wondered at that Atahualpa rejected these requests with contempt.

The Inca answered the friar not without shrewdness. He had gathered the idea from Felippo's vile mistranslation that the Christians worshipped four Gods, i. e. the Trinity and the Pope. He declared that he himself worshipped one, and there was its sign and symbol—pointing to the declining sun; that he believed one God was better than four. He rejected indignantly the idea that he, "The Lord of the Four Quarters of the Earth," owed allegiance to any Charles V. or any other earthly monarch, of whom he had never heard and who had assuredly never heard of him either.

Valverde had referred to the book in his hand as he had spoken and Atahualpa now asked to see it. The volume was a clasped one and he found it difficult to open. Valverde, probably thinking he could show him to unclasp the volume, stepped nearer to him. The Inca repulsed him with disdain. Wrenching open the covers he glanced rapidly at the book, and perhaps suddenly realizing the full sense of the insult which had been offered to him in the demands of the dogmatic and domineering Dominican, he threw the sacred volume to the ground in a violent rage.

"Tell your companions," he said, "that they shall give me an account of their doings in my land. I will not go hence until they have made me full satisfaction for all the wrongs they have committed!"

Then he turned and spoke to his people—the last word he was ever to address them as a free monarch from his throne. There was a loud murmur from the crowd.

Thereupon, according to some accounts, Valverde picked up the book through which Atahualpa had offered such a deadly insult to his religion and rushed back to Pizarro, exclaiming, "Do you not see that while we stand here wasting our breath in talking with this dog, full of pride as he is, the fields are filling with Indians? Set on at once! I absolve you for whatever you do!" I would fain do no man an injustice. Therefore, I also set down what other authorities say, namely, that Valverde simply told Pizarro what had occurred.

There is no dispute, however, as to what happened immediately. Pizarro stepped out from the doorway, and drawing a white scarf from his shoulders, threw it into the air. Instantly a shot roared from the fort above his head. The famous war-cry of the Spaniards, "St. Jago, and at them!" rang over every quarter of the square into which, with bared swords, couched lances and drawn bows, poured the mail-clad soldiery horse and foot.

They burst upon the astonished ranks of the unarmed Indians with the suddenness and swiftness of a tornado. From the roof above, the gunners discharged their bullets into the swaying, seething mass. With their wands of office, with their naked hands, with whatever they could seize, the Peruvians defended themselves. They rallied around the person of the Inca, freely offering their breasts to the Spanish blades with the vain attempt to protect their monarch.

Atahualpa sat upon his reeling throne gazing upon the bloody scene in a daze of surprise. Pizarro and the twenty chosen cut their way to the litter and, striking down the helpless bearers thereof, precipitated the Inca to the ground. The Spaniards were mad with carnage now, and were striking indiscriminately at any Indian. Then could be heard Pizarro's stern voice ringing above the melee, "Let no man who values his life strike at the Inca!" Such was the fierceness of his soldiery, however, that in his frenzied attempt to protect the monarch, Pizarro was wounded in one of his hands by his own men. As the Inca fell, he had been caught by Pizarro and supported, although a soldier named Estete snatched the imperial llauta from his head as he fell.

With the capture of the Inca, what little futile resistance the unarmed host had been able to make ceased. The Indians, relentlessly pursued by their bloody conquerors, fled in every direction, and, to anticipate events, the army deprived of its monarch and its generals, dispersed the next day without striking a blow. Indeed the army was helpless for offence while the Spaniards held the Inca as a hostage.

The estimates of the numbers slain in one half-hour's fighting in the square of Caxamarca vary from two to ten thousand. Whatever the number, it was great and horrible enough. An unparalleled act of treachery had been consummated, and Peru, in the space of thirty minutes had been conquered and Pizarro held it in the hollow of his hand. Not a Spaniard had been wounded except Pizarro himself, and his wound had been received from his own men while he tried to protect Atahualpa from the Spaniards' fury.

The Ransom and Murder of the Inca

Pizarro treated the Inca well enough, although he held him in rigorous captivity. Nobody else in Peru seemed to know what to do under the circumstances, and the Spaniards soon lost all apprehension of resistance. Quiz-Quiz and Chalcuchima still held Huascar a captive at Xuaca, a fortress between Caxamarca and Cuzco. Atahualpa, realizing how important such a man would be to the Spaniards, sent orders that he be put to death and the unfortunate deposed Inca was therefore executed by the two generals. Although he was captive, Atahualpa's orders were as implicitly obeyed as if he had been free. He was still the Inca, if only by the right of sword, and the forces of his generals were sufficiently great to render it impossible for the son of Huascar, named Manco Capac, who had escaped the massacre of his kinfolk and who was the legitimate heir to the throne, to claim the crown.

Pizarro, with a fine show of rectitude, affected to be horrified by this evidence of brutal cruelty, and although Atahualpa claimed no connection with the assassination of Huascar, it was impossible to acquit him of it. Greatly desiring his freedom, Atahualpa, who had observed the Spanish greed for gold, made an extraordinary proposition to Pizarro. They were together in a room twenty-two feet long by seventeen feet broad. Standing on his tiptoes and reaching as high as he could, probably about eight feet, for he was a tall man, Atahualpa offered to fill the room with gold to the height he had touched, if, when he had completed his undertaking, Pizarro would release him.

Pizarro jumped at the offer, and well he might for no such proposition had ever before been offered in the history of the world. The cubic contents enclosed by the figures mentioned are three thousand three hundred and sixty-six feet, or in round numbers, one hundred and twenty-five cubic yards. Such a treasure was even beyond the most delirious dreams of the conquerors.

As soon as these astonishing terms had been formally accepted in writing by Pizarro, the Inca sent orders to all parts of his dominion for the people to bring in their treasures. He also directed the royal palaces and temples to be stripped, and his orders were obeyed. He had stipulated that he be allowed two months in which to raise the ransom and day after day a stream of Indians poured into the city loaded with treasure which dazzled the eyes of the astonished and delighted conquerors. Atahualpa had stipulated also that the gold was not to be smelted—that is, he would not be required to fill the spaces solidly with ingots, but that it should be put into the room just as it was brought in and allowed to take up as much space as was required, even though it might be in the shape of a manufactured article.



Some of the gold was in the shape of ingenious plants and animals, one especially beautiful object being the corn plant with blades of gold and tassels of silver. Pizarro, to his credit, ordered that some of these specimens of exquisite workmanship should be preserved intact. Much of the treasure was in the shape of plates or tiles, from the interior of the temples or palaces which did not take up much space. The great temple of the Sun at Cuzco had a heavy outside cornice, or moulding, of pure gold. It was stripped of this dazzling ornament to satisfy the rapacity of the conquerors. There was also a vast quantity of silver which was stored in other chambers. Silver hardly counted in view of the deluge of the more precious metal.

Atahualpa did not quite succeed in filling the space, but he came so near it that Pizarro, in a formal agreement executed before a notary, declared that the Inca had paid his ransom and that he was released from any further obligation concerning it. That is the only release, however, which the unfortunate Inca ever got. Obviously, it was dangerous to turn loose such a man. Therefore, in spite of his legal quittance, he still was held in captivity. The Spaniards concluded finally that the only safe course was to get rid of him.

The ransom amounted in our money to over seventeen million dollars, according to Prescott; to nearly eighteen million dollars, according to Markham. Pizarro's personal share was seven hundred thousand dollars; Hernando received three hundred and fifty thousand dollars; De Soto two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Each horse soldier received nearly one hundred thousand; the principal foot soldiers, fifty thousand, and the others smaller sums in accordance with their rank and service. The precious metals were so plentiful that for the time being they lost their value, for men cheerfully paid thousands of dollars for a horse. Indeed so bulky and unwieldly was the treasure with which the soldiers were loaded, that it is solemnly averred that creditors avoided their debtors fearing lest the latter should pay them what they owed in further heaps of the bulky treasure; and it is certainly a fact that even the animals shared in the opulence of the conquest, for the horses were shod with silver. Silver was cheaper and easier to get than iron.

While they were revelling in the treasure, dividing the spoils and deliberating what was to be done with Atahualpa, Almagro arrived with his reenforcements. Naturally he and his men demanded a share of the booty. Great was their disgust and furious their anger when Pizarro and the other conquerors refused to give it up. Finally, the quarrels that ensued were composed by presenting Almagro and his followers certain sums, large in themselves though trifling in comparison with what Pizarro's men had received. Almagro's men were also given to understand that they could move on to the southwest at some convenient season and conquer another empire and take all they could for themselves. Unfortunately for them, there were no more empires like Peru on this or any other side of the world left them to conquer.

Hernando Pizarro was then dispatched to Spain to deliver the royal fifth to Charles, to give an account of the fortunes of the conquerors and to secure what further rewards and privileges he could for them. Atahualpa saw him leave with the greatest regret. He was a man of fierce, stern, implacable disposition, not a lovely character, according to any of the chroniclers, but he seems to have been fairer, and in his own way he had treated the unfortunate monarch better, than any of the others, unless it was De Soto. Possibly Hernando might have restrained his brother from the last infamy he was about to perpetrate if he had been there. Certainly De Soto would have sought to dissuade him. Pizarro realized this and got rid of De Soto by sending him away to investigate as to the truth of rumors that Atahualpa was conspiring to obtain his freedom. I have no doubt that he was so conspiring. I hope so, for if he was, it was about the only manly thing that he did. While De Soto was away, at the instigation of the soldiers, Pizarro with seeming reluctance, allowed Atahualpa to be brought to trial. I have no doubt that Pizarro instigated the soldiers himself. He was adroit enough to do it, and he would have no scruples whatever to deter him.

The Inca was tried on twelve charges, among which were included accusations that he had usurped the crown, and given its prerogatives to his friends (instead of to the Spaniards!). He was charged with being an idolator, an adulterer and a polygamist, and finally it was urged that he had endeavored to incite an insurrection against the Spaniards. Such accusations came with a peculiarly bad grace from the conquerors. The whole thing, charges and all, would have been a farce had it not been for the certain grim and terrible outcome.

Felippo, the Infamous, was the only interpreter. He had made love to one of the Inca's wives, whom the Spaniards had allowed to share his captivity. Atahualpa, furiously affronted, desired to have him put to death, but Felippo was too important to the Spaniards, and he was spared. How Atahualpa's defense suffered from Felippo's interpretations under such circumstances may easily be imagined. In spite of the courageous opposition of a few of the self-appointed judges, the Inca was convicted and sentenced to death, Father Valverde concurring, in writing, with the sentence.

When the verdict of the court was communicated to Atahualpa, he did not receive it with any remarkable degree of fortitude. He is a pitiful rather than a heroic figure.

"What have I done," he cried, weeping, "what have my children done, that I should meet with such a fate?" Turning to Pizarro, he added, "And from your hands, too, who have met with friendship and kindness from my people, to whom I have given my treasure, who have received nothing but benefit from my hands!"

He besought the conqueror to spare his life, promising anything, even to double the enormous ransom he had already paid, and offering to guarantee in any appointed way the safety of every Spaniard in the army. Pedro Pizarro, a cousin of the conqueror, who has left an account of the interview, says that Pizarro was greatly affected by the touching appeal of the unfortunate monarch, and that he wept in turn also. However that may be, he refused to interfere. A man may weep and weep, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "and be a villain!" There was no help for it; Atahualpa had to die.

It was on the 29th of August, 1533. The trial and deliberations had occupied the whole day. It was two hours after sunset before they were ready to execute him in the great square of Caxamarca. The Spanish soldiers, fully armed, arranged themselves about a huge stake which had been planted in the square. Back of them were groups of terrified, awe-struck Peruvians, helplessly weeping and lamenting the fate of their monarch which they were powerless to prevent. Flickering torches held by the troops cast an uncertain light over the tragic scene. Atahualpa was led forth in fetters and chained to the stake. He showed little of the firmness and fortitude of a proud monarch or a brave man. How feebly he appears when contrasted with the great Aztec Guatemotzin, calmly enduring the tortures of the red-hot gridiron and resolutely refusing to gratify either his captors' lust for treasure or desire for revenge by vouchsafing them a single fact or a single moan.

By Inca's side was Valverde, who had been assiduous in his endeavors to make him a Christian. The friar was ready to offer such grim consolation as he could to the wretched Peruvian in whose death sentence he had concurred. Atahualpa had hitherto turned a deaf ear to all his importunities, but at the last moment Valverde told him that if he would consent to receive baptism, he should be strangled instead of burnt to death. Atahualpa asked Pizarro if this was true, and being assured that it was, he abjured his religion to avoid the agonies of fire, and was thereupon baptised under the name of Juan de Atahualpa. The name John was given to him because this baptism in extremis took place on St. John the Baptist's day. Rarely, if ever, has there been a more ghastly profanation of the Holy Sacrament of Regeneration!

Before he was garroted, Atahualpa begged that his remains might be preserved at Quito with those of his mother's people. Then he turned to Pizarro and made a final request of that iron-hearted man, that he would look after and care for the Inca's little children. While he was strangled and his body was being burnt, the terrible soldiery could be heard muttering the magnificent words of the Apostolic Creed for the redemption of the soul of the monarch. Incidentally it may be noted that a little later the Spaniards burnt old Chalcuchima, of whom they had got possession by treacherous promises, at the stake. He did not embrace Christianity at the last moment, but died as he had lived, a soldier and a Peruvian.

The character of Atahualpa may be learned from his career. He was a cruel, ruthless usurper, neither magnanimous in victory nor resolute in defeat. As I have said, it is impossible to admire him, but no one can think of his fate and the treacheries of which he was a victim without being touched by his miseries. If he sowed the wind he reaped the whirlwind, and bad as he was, his conquerors were worse.

Pizarro placed the diadem on Toparca, a youthful brother of the late Inca. When he was alone with his attendants, the boy tore the llauta from his forehead, and trampled it under his foot, as no longer the badge of anything but infamy and shame, and in two short months he pined and died from the consciousness of his disgrace. Whereupon another Peruvian, Manco Capac, the legitimate heir of Huascar, appeared before Pizarro, made good his claim, and on the entry of the conquerors into Cuzco, was crowned Inca with all the ancient ceremonies. He soon realized that he was but a puppet in Pizarro's hands, however, and by and by he, too, made a bold stroke for freedom.

The conquest of Peru was complete. Charles V., dazzled by the report of Hernando Pizarro, and the substantial treasures placed before him, created Pizarro a Marquis of the country, confirmed him in the government of the country for two hundred and seventy leagues south of the Santiago River and gave Almagro authority to conquer everything beyond that limit. Almagro was very much dissatisfied with his share, but concluded, before he made any violent objections, to go to the south and find an El Dorado for himself.

Meanwhile Pizarro, who was almost as much of a builder as Rameses the Great, laid out the city of Lima and the Spaniards flocked into Peru from Spain in thousands. The natives were enslaved and the country divided into great estates, and Almagro and his discontented started for Chili. Hernando Pizarro, who was appointed governor of Cuzco, held young Manco in close confinement, and everything outwardly was as fine and lovely as a summer day. There was growing, however, a tremendous uprising in which hitherto somnolent Fate was about to lay her belated hands upon nearly all the actors of the great drama which had heretofore been so successfully played.