The Emperor said, “I will not leave this place until you have restored all that you have taken in my land. I know well who you are and what you have come for.”
Continuing Pizarro Conquers the Incan Empire,
with a selection from a letter in Reports on the Discovery of Peru by Hernando Pizarro published in dictated to his brother.. For works benefiting from the latest research see the “More information” section at the bottom of these pages. This selection is presented in 5 easy 5 minute installments.
Previously in Pizarro Conquers the Incan Empire
Place: Cajamarca, Peru
The captain told me that, until I came, he had not been able to get him to speak, but that one of his chiefs had answered for him, while he always kept his head down. He was seated in all the majesty of command, surrounded by all his women, and with many chiefs near him. Before coming to his presence there was another group of chiefs, each standing according to his rank. At sunset I said that I wished to go, and asked him to tell me what to say to the Governor. He replied that he would come to see him on the following morning, that he would lodge in three great chambers in the court-yard, and that the centre one should be set apart for himself.
That night a good lookout was kept. In the morning he sent messengers to put off his visit until the afternoon; and these messengers, in conversing with some Indian girls in the service of the Christians, who were their relations, told them to run away because Atahualpa was coming that afternoon to attack the Christians and kill them. Among the messengers there came that captain who had already met the Governor on the road. He told the Governor that his lord Atahualpa said that, as the Christians had come armed to his camp, he also would come armed. The Governor replied that he might come as he liked. Atahualpa set out from his camp at noon, and when he came to a place which was about half a quarter of a league from Cajamarca he stopped until late in the afternoon. There he pitched his tents, and formed his men in three divisions. The whole road was full of men, and they had not yet left off marching out of the camp.
The Governor had ordered his troops to be distributed in the three halls which were in the open court-yard, in form of a triangle; and he ordered them to be mounted and armed until the intentions of Atahualpa were known. Having pitched his tents, Atahualpa sent a messenger to the Governor to say that as it was now late he wished to sleep where he was, and that he would come in the morning. The Governor sent back to beg him to come at once, because he was waiting for supper, and that he should not sup until Atahualpa should come. The messengers came back to ask the Governor to send a Christian to Atahualpa, that he intended to come at once, and that he would come unarmed. The Governor sent a Christian, and presently Atahualpa moved, leaving the armed men behind him. He took with him about five or six thousand Indians without arms, except that, under their shirts, they had small darts and slings with stones.
He came in a litter, and before him went three or four hundred Indians in liveries, cleaning the straws from the road and singing. Then came Atahualpa in the midst of his chiefs and principal men, the greatest among them being also borne on men’s shoulders. When they entered the open space, twelve or fifteen Indians went up to the little fortress that was there and occupied it, taking possession with a banner fixed on a lance. When Atahualpa had advanced to the centre of an open space, he stopped, and a Dominican friar, who was with the Governor, came forward to tell him, on the part of the Governor, that he waited for him in his lodging, and that he was sent to speak with him. The friar then told Atahualpa that he was a priest, and that he was sent there to teach the things of the faith if they should desire to be Christians. He showed Atahualpa a book which he carried in his hands, and told him that that book contained the things of God. Atahualpa asked for the book, and threw it on the ground, saying: “I will not leave this place until you have restored all that you have taken in my land. I know well who you are and what you have come for.” Then he rose up in his litter and addressed his men, and there were murmurs among them and calls to those who were armed. The friar went to the Governor and reported what was being done and that no time was to be lost. The Governor sent to me; and I had arranged with the captain of the artillery that, when a sign was given, he should discharge his pieces, and that, on hearing the reports, all the troops should come forth at once. This was done, and as the Indians were unarmed they were defeated without danger to any Christian. Those who carried the litter and the chiefs who surrounded Atahualpa were all killed, falling round him. The Governor came out and seized Atahualpa, and in protecting him he received a knife-cut from a Christian in the hand. The troops continued the pursuit as far as the place where the armed Indians were stationed, who made no resistance whatever, because it was now night. All were brought into the town where the Governor was quartered.
We want to take this site to the next level but we need money to do that. Please contribute directly by signing up at https://www.patreon.com/history