History: Pizarro and the conquest of Peru

By: Frederick A. Ober

Chapter 17


PIZARRO now had wealth beyond any expectation in which he had ever indulged; he had honors, also, greater than any his proud father had enjoyed; for, as Marquis of AtaviUos, he had been admitted to the aristocracy of Spain. Such an elevation, of one who in youth had been a swineherd, might have turned the head of FranciscD Pizarro if it had come to him at a previous period of his life; but he was now old enough to measure his honors by the proper standarr 1. He had received no more than he meritcfl, and, aside from the vast wealth he had won,’ his rewards were, in truth, hardly aderjuato for the thirty long years of persistent endeavor. Of one thing he was convinced: that he had had enough of fighting, and nrm de^ed only to spend his last years, if not in retirement, at least in peace.

The founding of cities and the promotion of agriculture were now more congenial to his temperament than the wielding of the sword. But he was not to be allowed to rest, for, after having, as he thought, conquered and pacified the country, he was sudI I : denly called upon to gird himself again for battle, and thereafter was in constant ttu*moil. The cause of his next anxiety was the young Inca, Manco Capac, whom he had left virtually a captive in charge of Juan and Gonzalo Pizarro. We have seen that he had ;!; never abandoned the idea of assuming the authority which had been denied him, and was merely awaiting the right moment for striking a blow for liberty.

The dissensions of the Spaniards seemed to offer him this opportunity, and he promptly availed himself of it, as soon as the two great leaders, Pizarro and Almagro, had turned their backs upon Cuzco. Soon after Almagro’s departure, the Peruvian high – priest, Villaoma, stealthily returned to Cuzco and held a long interview with the Inca. Hernando Pizarro was in command at the time, having superseded his brothers because of his superior ability. Though cruel and tyrannical, he had, somehow, won the sympathy of the Indians, who recalled that Atahuallpa had said, just before his death, that if Hernando had been in Cassamarca he would not have suffered so cruel a fate.