After crossing the Isthmus of Panama and seeing the South Sea for the first time, Balboa began to look for gold and pearls on the beach he found, and then one of the casques of the region scornfully slapped his gold scale, so that the precious sand flew to the ground, and exclaimed: »If that is the one you are so eagerly looking for, because you have left your distant homeland and risked your life, then I can tell you about a land where you eat and drink from golden vessels, where gold is as cheap as your iron.» He meant the land of the Incas. Balboa also got his hands on a camel-like clay figure made in that country, representing a llama (vert. II, p. 225). The executioner’s sword prevented him himself from going in search of the fairy land, but the executioner heard the same words, and he found the land and usurped its treasures. This man was Francisco Pizarro.
The name Peru first became known through an excursion that Andogoya made following the shore of the South Sea towards the south. He came to a small province called Biru, which was the furthest point he reached, not very far from the Isthmus of Panama. From that, the coast was called Biru, and as far as it was explored towards the south, the name stretched, until it finally came to encompass the great empire of the Incas.
The inhabitants of Biru were warlike, but a small Spanish expedition nevertheless penetrated a short distance into the country and heard there that the sought-after gold land was farther south.
Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro.
Francisco Pizarro was born in 1471 in Truxillo in Estremadura and was the illegitimate son of Colonel Gonzalo Pizarro, a soldier who gained fame in the wars of Italy and Navarre. His mother was of low birth. Francisco did not learn to write or read, and as a boy he had to make a living as a pig herder. But then, when everyone who could manage went to the New World to find their fortune, Francisco Pizarro also ran away, arrived in Seville and left there with other fortune seekers across the sea. Nothing else is known about his youth. In 1510 he was in Hispaniola, was involved in many enterprises and gained the trust of his superiors through his sharp intellect and bravery. He was with Ojeda in Venezuela and then ended up in the Isthmus of Panama, where he served both Balboa, that Pedrarias Davila and led the expedition sent to conquer Helmisaari. Andogoya, after being crippled himself, entrusted the continuation of his enterprise to the hands of Pizarro, and with that, the latter exerted all his strength and means to find and conquer the rumored gold. Pizarro had no funds, but he got a Panamanian priest named de Luque to bow to him and provide funds, and as a third man joined the alliance was Diego de Almagro, an adventurer of whose earlier steps and ancestry little is known. He was a foundling and when he grew up to be a man, he went to the New World with the others to find his happiness. Almagro was a man of a different nature than Pizarro, brave as well, but also straightforward, a hater of intrigue and subterfuge, although often violent and violent when enraged. Almagro was praised for being such a good walker,
Pizarro equipped three small vessels and Almagro washed 112 men; Luque remained in Panama to take care of his post and provide the expedition with any help it needed.
On the coast of Biru.
Pizarro left Panama on the 14th of November. 1524, Almagro was to follow a little later. The expedition arrived with two ships on the shores of Biru, after suffering a whole lot of damage in the storms, because it was. not knowing the climate, having set out on a journey in the rainy season. The coast was rugged and densely forested as far as the eye could see. The Spaniards tried, ax in hand, to clear a road through the primeval forest, where it dripped with perpetual rain, where there was hardly any life except for countless insects and reptiles. At times, you had to cross stony lands, where your footwear fell apart and your feet were bloody. The soldiers, in their heavy armor and strong uniforms, suffered from the heat, so that the weaker ones fell exhausted on the ground and had to be carried. They tried in vain to reach the inhabited regions through this primeval forest; had to get back to the ships and sail further south. We first sailed a short distance following the shore, then extended a little farther out to sea, but the fierce storms with thunder and heavy rains held the ships so badly that it was feared they would break up. There started to be a lack of water and other things. We therefore returned to the coast, but encountered the same thickets and thickets again, there was nothing to eat but berries, no dwellings anywhere, not to mention golden temples. The soldiers began to forcefully insist that they had to return to Panama, but Pizarro made them stay with his beautiful promises when he sent one of the ships to Panama to collect food supplies. Those who remained, while waiting for its return, suffered terrible deprivation. They ate half-rotten berries that fell to the ground, among which there were poisonous ones, shells from the seashore, hairy buds of palm trees and foul-tasting grasses. The body of those who ate poisonous berries became badly bloated, others died of starvation. Pizarro, who knew that the success of his enterprise depended entirely on the fidelity of his soldiers, shared with them all their privations, and mitigated their sufferings, if possible. Week after week passed, and there was no word of the ship sent to Panama returning. In the end, even the bravest spirit was discouraged, twenty men had already died and others were about to starve, but then a small village was finally found in the forest, the inhabitants were frightened into flight and the corn and cocoa that they could find were seized. When the residents finally dared to come back, so Pizarro heard from them confirmation of the rumors that there was a rich country in the south. Twelve days away, behind the mountains, there lived a mighty ruler, who had just at that time been attacked by another even more mighty. Finally, after 47 days, the ship sent to Panama returned; it had experienced as great privations and dangers on the way, but had done its business well, and strong nourishment soon restored the survivors. But the port was given the name Puerta de la Hambre — port of hunger. and strong nourishment soon restored the survivors. But the port was given the name Puerta de la Hambre — port of hunger. and strong nourishment soon restored the survivors. But the port was given the name Puerta de la Hambre — port of hunger.
In his mind, Pizarro would have sailed to the open sea, but how does he know where to go? Even though the shore was so uninhabited and difficult to navigate, it was at least a safe direction of travel, and the expedition therefore, following it, sailed farther and farther south, got ashore at the headlands, and step by step looked for a way to the promised land of gold, of which nothing else was known, except that it had to be somewhere in the south . From an Indian village, the inhabitants of which had been driven to flight, clumsy ornaments of gold were obtained, and they excited minds again; human meat was also seen being fried, and this somewhat diluted the enthusiasm. From there, the coast was covered with mangroves extending into the sea, whose underwater roots made it difficult to get ashore. But judging from the trailheads, the country was inhabited. We disembarked at a certain place and after a short march we found a town well protected by stilt fences on a hill. When the Spaniards approached, the inhabitants fled, and the city was richly captured with provisions and gold. When the ship was badly damaged, Pizarro decided to send it to Panama to be repaired and stay in this city himself, because it was easy to defend. However, he sent his sub-commander first to explore the region of Montenegro and, if possible, to talk with the inhabitants of the country. But it was a warlike tribe. The city had been abandoned only to save the wives and children, the soldiers of the tribe had kept an eye on the Spaniards all the time, and after noticing that they had divided their military forces, they attacked Montenegro when he had penetrated the passes between the hills. Scared of the naked, savages painted in motley colors, who swarmed upon them from every quarter, the Spaniards were for a moment thrown into disorder, three of them fell, and many were wounded. But they soon regrouped, fired at the enemy with their bow guns, and then boldly counter-attacked with sword in hand and drove the Indians away. The savages retreated and turned on Pizarro, which they, through their better knowledge of the country, reached before Montenegro, who also turned on the return journey. The Indians suddenly rushed out of the forest and charged the Spaniards with arrows and spears, some of which penetrated the seams of the armor or pierced the thick cotton armor that the Spaniards had adopted to the Indians. It was soon discovered that Pizarro was the chief of the whites, and he was now attacked in the front. He quickly received seven wounds, but defended himself bravely with sword and shield until suddenly he fell. With fierce war cries, a few Indians attacked him to give him a death blow, but Pizarro was suddenly on his feet again, beat the two vanguards to the ground with a powerful hand and drove the others back with his men. At the same time, Montenegro also arrived to help and the Spaniards were saved. When there were a lot of wounded and their care necessarily needed a safe place to stay, when Pizarro also found that he was too weak to continue the fight, he returned to Panama to refresh himself and gain more strength. beat the two vanguards to the ground with a strong hand and drove the rest back with his men. At the same time, Montenegro also arrived to help and the Spaniards were saved. When there were a lot of wounded and their care necessarily needed a safe place to stay, when Pizarro also found that he was too weak to continue the fight, he returned to Panama to refresh himself and gain more strength. beat the two vanguards to the ground with a strong hand and drove the rest back with his men. At the same time, Montenegro also arrived to help and the Spaniards were saved. When there were a lot of wounded and their care necessarily needed a safe place to stay, when Pizarro also found that he was too weak to continue the fight, he returned to Panama to refresh himself and gain more strength.
Meanwhile, Almagro had already set off on a small ship. He looked for his companion on the appointed shore without meeting him anywhere, and came even to the vicinity of the place where the above-mentioned skirmish had taken place. Almagronk was attacked by the Indians: he received a wound in the head and lost one of his eyes, but he won and, despite the wound, continued his journey towards the south, until he began to meet more and more gold and signs of the proximity of a great rich kingdom. From the mouth of the Juan River, 4°N. breadth, he returned when Pizarro was neither seen nor heard of, and when he himself had too few men to continue the journey alone. In Panama, Almagro met Pizarro, and when they both compared their notes, they by no means urged the enterprise to be abandoned, but, on the contrary, to continue by all means, for a considerable amount of gold had already been obtained. The triumvirate of Pizarro, Almagro and Luque drew up a well-defined agreement on the conquest of the Peruvian goldfield based on the information they had obtained. Luque got the money again — 20,000 gold pesos, and he thought it good to get a third of the conquered land and usurped gold. On behalf of Almagro and Pizarro, who could not even write their names, two Panamanian immigrants and a Notary confirmed the contract. Then it was solemnly sworn with an oath and the Lord’s Supper. Luque convinced the landowner, Pedrarias Davila, to continue to support the company; this one had already intended to completely forbid its continuation, as it was only consuming energy, which he thought was better needed for his own work. Larger and sturdier built ships, abundant food and other necessities, better weapons and a few horses were now procured. The equipment was slowed down a lot by the fact that Davila was at the same time trying to make a trip to Nicaragua to discipline one of the local civil servants. In the end, 160 men were gathered, including the 50 who were alive from the previous trip. Bartolomeo Ruiz, an experienced and knowledgeable man who knew the customs of the South Sea better than anyone else, was appointed as the pilot.
The second expedition of Pizarro and Almagro.
The expedition now sailed straight for the San Juan River, the most southerly point reached by Almagro, and the season being more favorable, the voyage was successful without accident. The village at the mouth of the river was stormed and a whole bunch of gold ornaments were obtained from it. Pizarro and Almagro decided that a large booty obtained with such little effort would surely attract new adventurers, and Almagro therefore returned to Panama to show it off. Pizarro and the main force had to stay on the shore of San Juan and wait, because the natives had heard that further inland there was a large open region. Ruiz was sent south to investigate the beach. We will follow his steps first.
Ruiz sailed along the coast all the way to Gallo Island at 2 degrees north latitude and anchored there. Until then, the rumor about the appearance of the whites had already spread, and the inhabitants were in full readiness to start a battle. However, Ruiz did not surrender to the fight, but sailed on. Cultivation seemed to be getting better towards the south and many people were seen on the shores wondering about the strange wanderer, in many places thinking it was sent by heaven. As he continued sailing, Ruiz then saw a sailing ship in the sea ahead of the bow, which greatly surprised him, since he probably knew that it could not be any European, and until then he had not seen natives use sails. When we got closer, the ship was noticed as a large raft, a »balsa», which was built of very light logs firmly tied together, covered with a reed roof. In the center of the ship were two masts that supported a large square cotton sail. To resist the wind, the ship had a removable board keel. Even today, the same original vessel is used on the same coast and its rivers. Ruiz landed next to it and noticed that it was full of Indians, men and women, who were carrying gold and silver articles to the shores for trade. But even more he marveled at their clothes made of woolen cloth, which were very finely woven, embroidered with pictures of birds and flowers, and brilliantly colored. There was also a scale on the ship, which was used to weigh gold and silver. Two of the Indians were from Tumbez, a coastal town still farther south, and they beckoned to him, that there were great herds of those animals from which wool was obtained, and that there was as much gold and silver in the palace of their ruler as there was wood elsewhere. Ruiz took both of Tumbez’s men and a few other Indians on board to take them to Pizarro to share his knowledge and at the same time learn the Castilian language, so that interpreters could be obtained. He then calmly let Balsa go. He followed the coast to the Punto de Pasado, half a degree south of the equator, and from there turned back to tell Pizarro his news—and to save him from a most dangerous plight. Ruiz took both of Tumbez’s men and a few other Indians on board to take them to Pizarro to share his knowledge and at the same time learn the Castilian language, so that interpreters could be obtained. He then calmly let Balsa go. He followed the coast to the Punto de Pasado, half a degree south of the equator, and from there turned back to tell Pizarro his news—and to save him from a most dangerous plight. Ruiz took both of Tumbez’s men and a few other Indians on board to take them to Pizarro to share his knowledge and at the same time learn the Castilian language, so that interpreters could be obtained. He then calmly let Balsa go. He followed the coast to the Punto de Pasado, half a degree south of the equator, and from there turned back to tell Pizarro his news—and to save him from a most dangerous plight.
Pizarro, with his troops, had marched inland, in search of an open region of which he had heard rumours. But the forest only grew thicker and darker, The further he went, and the trees rose so high that they had not seen their equals in this country either. At the same time the land became more and more hilly, the more they approached the mighty mountain ranges of the Andes, whose snow-covered hills shone high in the sky behind the nearer mountains. The Spaniards saw in these wooded hills the most diverse and sometimes quite strange animal kingdom, monkeys, a huge boa snake, immense numbers of parrots and crocodiles in rivers, which plucked many men from the crowd. Others were killed by the poison arrows of the lurking Indians. Pizarro once lost fourteen men in the same wound, whose canoe caught on a shoal on the river trip. In addition to other hardships, famine soon began to oppress us, and we had to look for wild potatoes and the fruits of the unprocessed cocoa tree for food. But even more unbearable than the forest was the coast, because there the mosquitoes swarmed so profusely that the men had to dig themselves up to their faces in the sand. Most of the expeditioners were anxious to get away, but Pizarro and his most faithful remained rigid.
This was the position of affairs when Ruiz returned, and Almagrok soon arrived from Panama, bringing provisions and new soldiers. Almagro’s trip had been a great success. When he came to Panama, Davila was replaced by a new governor who was in every way favorable to their company. Pizarro’s men sprang up and gained new courage, and all now wanted to continue their journey south. But the favorable season had already been lost, the winds were against the weather all the time and also stormy, and the sea current also came against us. The thunderstorms were terrible, the waves terrible, but finally we reached Gallo Island, where Ruiz had already visited. We stayed there for a couple of weeks, repaired the ships and refreshed ourselves from the stresses of the sea voyage. Then we sailed on. All agreed that the land and cultivation still improved towards the south, the forests alone changed, the monotonous mangroves were left behind and instead of them you could see ebony, mahogany and other most valuable hardwoods on the beach. Sandalwood and many unknown sweet-smelling trees spread everywhere their sweet fragrance, and between the groves were large tracts of cultivated land, corn and potatoes growing on the hills, cocoa-bushes blooming in the lower places. At Takamez we saw quite a town with streets. Both men and women had a lot of gold and precious stone ornaments, some in their ears, others dangling from their noses, necks and arms. The country was already Quito, which the Peruvian Incas had conquered a couple of generations earlier. It was already very rich in gold in these regions, which was washed in the rivers. And here was the lovely Smaragd River, named after the emerald mines on its banks,
The Spaniards were sure that they had now entered the long-sought land of gold; but its inhabitants acted warlike and determined to keep their treasure themselves. A vast force of ten thousand soldiers assembled on the beach, and seemed to be only waiting for an opportunity to begin the fight. Pizarro had gone ashore, with quite a detachment, intending to make friendly terms with the Indians. But a skirmish ensued and it would have been bad for the Spaniards, as the superiority of the Indians was so immense, if it had not been a crazy incident, according to the historians of the expedition, that had saved them. One of the knights accidentally fell from his horse, and the Indians, who had thought horse and man to be one being, were so astonished at the splitting of this being into two,