An Account of the Conquest of Peru
by Pedro Sancho
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Edition limited to 250 copies of which ten are on Kelmscott paper

This copy is Number









The work of Pedro Sancho is one of the most valuable accounts of the Spanish conquest of Peru that we possess. Nor is its value purely historical. The "Relacion" of Sancho gives much interesting ethnological information relative to the Inca dominion at the time of its demolition. Errors Pedro Sancho has in plenty; but the editor has striven to counteract them by footnotes.

In every instance the translator has preserved Pedro Sancho's spelling of proper names, calling attention to the modern equivalent on the first occurrence of each name. In a few instances, where the text was unusually obscure, close translation has not been adhered to.

The virtues, as well as the shortcomings of this account, are so obvious that an extended reference to them here is superfluous. It must always be borne in mind that this document partook of the nature of an "apologia pro vita sua" and that it was directly inspired by Pizarro himself with the purpose of restoring himself to the Emperor's favor. Its main purpose was to nullify whatever charges Pizarro's enemies may have been making to the sovereign. Consequently there are numerous violations of the truth, all of which are, for us, easy to recognize.

A word as to the previous editions of Pedro Sancho may not be out of place here. The original manuscript is lost. An Italian translation of it appears in the "Viaggi" of Giovanni Battista or Giambattista Ramusio, published in Venice about 1550. The numerous editions of Ramusio's great work do not need to be listed here. Occasionally the translator has referred to that of 1563, a copy of which is in his possession. The edition which has served as a text for the present translation is that issued and edited by Don Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta, Mexico, 1849. This edition, like all of Icazbalceta's work, is painstaking. Professor Marshall Saville has been good enough to lend me his copy of this edition, which is very rare, in order that I might have it to work with. Finally, a small portion of Pedro Sancho's narrative was issued by the Hakluyt Society of London. The editor, Sir Clements Markham, included it in the same volume with the reports of Xeres, Miguel de Estete, Hernando Pizarro. The volume, entitled "Reports on the Discovery of Peru," was issued by the Hakluyt Society in 1872.



Of the events that took place during the conquest and pacification of these provinces of New Castile, and of the quality of the land, and of the manner in which the Captain Hernando Pizarro afterward departed to bear to His Majesty the account of the victory of Caxamalca[1] and of the capture of the Cacique Atabalipa.[2]


Concerning the great quantity of silver and gold which was brought from Cuzco, and of the portion thereof which was sent to H. M. the emperor as the royal fifth: How the imprisoned Cacique Atabalipa declared himself free of his promise which he had made to the Spaniards to fill a house with gold for ransom: And of the treason which the said Atabalipa meditated against the Spaniards, for which betrayal they made him die.

The Captain Hernando Pizarro had departed with the hundred thousand pesos of gold and the five thousand marks of silver which were sent to His Majesty as his royal fifth; after that event, some ten or twelve days, the two Spaniards who were bringing gold from Cuzco arrived, and part of the gold was melted at once because it was in very small pieces; it equalled the sum of[3] ... five hundred-odd plates of gold torn from some house-walls in Cuzco; and even the smallest plates weighed four or five pounds apiece; other, larger ones, weighed ten or twelve pounds, and with plates of this sort all the walls of that temple were covered. They brought also a seat of very fine gold, worked into the form of a foot-stool, which weighed eighteen thousand pesos.[4] Likewise, they brought a fountain all of gold and very subtilely worked which was very fair to see as much for the skill of the work as for the shape which it had been given; and there were many other pieces such as vases, jars, and plates which they also brought. All this gold gave a quantity which came to two millions and a half [pesos], which, on being refined to pure gold, came to one million, three hundred and twenty-odd thousand pesos, from which was subtracted the fifth of His Majesty, or, two hundred and seventy-odd thousand pesos. Fifty thousand marks of silver were found, of which ten thousand were set aside for H. M. One hundred and seventy thousand pesos and five thousand marks were handed over to the treasurer of H. M. The remaining hundred thousand pesos and five marks were taken, as has been said, by Hernando Pizarro to help meet the expenses which His Caesarian Majesty was encountering in the war against the Turks, enemies of our Holy Faith, as they say. All that remained, beyond the royal fifth, was divided among the soldiers and companions of the Governor. He gave to each one what he conscientiously thought he justly merited, taking into consideration the trials each man had passed through and the quality of his person, all of which he did with the greatest diligence and speed possible in order that they might set out from that place and go to the city of Xauxa.[5]

And because there were among those soldiers some who were old and more fit for rest than for fatigues, and who in that war had fought and served much, he gave them leave to return to Spain. He procured their good will so that, on returning, these men would give fairer accounts of the greatness and wealth of that land so that a sufficient number of people would come thither to populate and advance it. For, in truth, the land being very large and very full of natives, the Spaniards who were in it then were all too few for conquering it, holding it and settling it, and, although they had already done great things in conquering it, it was owing more to the aid of God who, in every place and occasion, gave them the victory, than to any strength and means which they had for succeeding, with that further aid they were confident He would sustain them in the future.

That melting of the metals completed, the Governor commanded the notary to draw up a document in which it said that the cacique Atabalipa was free and absolved from the promise and word which he had given to the Spaniards, who were to take the house full of gold in ransom for himself. This document the Governor caused to be proclaimed publicly and to the sound of trumpets in the plaza of that city of Caxamalca, making it known, at the same time, to the said Atabalipa by means of an interpreter, and also he [the Governor] declared in the same proclamation, that, because it suited the service of H. M. and the security of the land, he wished to maintain the cacique as a prisoner with good guard, until more Spaniards should arrive who should give added security; for, the cacique being free, he being so great a lord and having so many soldiers who feared and obeyed him, prisoner though he was, and three hundred leagues [from his capital], he could not well do less in order to free himself from all suspicion; all the more so because many times it had been thought almost certain that he had given orders for warriors to assemble to attack the Spaniards. This, as a matter of fact, had been ordered by him, and the men were all in readiness with their captains, and the cacique only delayed the attack because of the lack of freedom in his own person and in that of his general Chilichuchima,[6] who was also a prisoner. After some days had passed, and when the Spaniards were on the point of embarking in order to return to Spain, and the Governor was making the rest ready for setting out for Xauxa, God Our Lord, who with his infinite goodness was guiding affairs toward all that was best for his service, as will be [seen], having already in this land Spaniards who were to inhabit it and bring to the knowledge of the true God the natives of the said land so that Our Lord might always be praised and known by these barbarians and so that his Holy Faith might be extolled, permitted the discovery and chastisement of the evil plans which this proud tyrant had in mind as a return for the many good works and kind treatment which he had always received from the governor and from each one of the Spaniards of his company; which recompense, according to his intention, was to have been of the sort he was wont to give to the caciques and lords of the land, ordering [his men] to kill without let or cause whatever. For it chanced that our discharged soldiers [were] returning to Spain, he, seeing that they were taking with them the gold that had been got from his land, and mindful of the fact that but a short while ago he had been so great a lord that he held all those provinces with their riches without dispute or question, and without considering the just causes for which they had despoiled him of them, had given orders that certain troops who, by his command, had been assembled in the land of Quito, should come, on a certain night at an hour agreed upon, to attack the Spaniards who were at Caxamalca, assaulting them from five directions as they were in their quarters, and setting fire wherever possible. Thirty or more Spanish soldiers were marching outside of Caxamalca, having been to the city of San Miguel in order to place the gold for H. M. on board ship, and [the Inca] believed that as they were so few he would be able easily to kill them before they could join forces with those in Caxamalca[7] ... of which there was much information from many caciques and from their chiefs themselves, that all, without fear of torments or menaces, voluntarily confessed this plot: [telling] how fifty thousand men of Quito and many Caribes[8] came to the land, and that all the confines contained armed men in great numbers; that, not finding supplies for them all thus united, he had divided them into three or four divisions, and that, though scattered in this fashion, there were still so many that not finding enough to sustain themselves, they had cut down the still green maize and dried it so that they might not lack for food. All this having been learned, and being now a public matter to all, and as it was clear that they were saying in his [the Inca's] army that they were coming to kill all the Christians, and the governor seeing in how much peril the government and all the Spaniards were, in order to furnish a remedy, although it grieved him much, nevertheless, after seeing the information and process drawn up, assembled the officials of H. M. and the captains of his company and a Doctor who was then in this army, and the padre Fray Vicente de Valverde, a religious of the order of Santo Domingo sent by the Emperor our Lord for the conversion and instruction of the people of these realms; after there had been much debate and discussion over the harm and the profit that might follow upon the continued life or the death of Atabalipa, it was resolved that justice should be done upon him. And because the officials of H. M. asked for it and the doctor regarded the information as sufficient, he was finally taken from the prison in which he was, and, to the sound of a trumpet, his treason and perfidy were published, and he was borne to the middle of the plaza of the city and tied to a stake, while the religious was consoling him and teaching him, by means of an interpreter, the things of our christian faith, telling him that God wished him to die for the sins which he had committed in the world, and that he must repent of them, and that God would pardon him if he did so and was baptised at once. He, [the Inca] moved by this discourse, asked for baptism. It was at once given to him by that reverend padre who aided him so much with his exhortation that although he was sentenced to be burned alive, he was given a twist of rope around his neck, by means of which he was throttled instead[9] but when he saw that they were preparing for his death, he said that he recommended to the governor his little sons, so that he might take them with him, and with these last words, and while the Spaniards who stood around him said the creed for his soul, he was quickly throttled. May God take him to his holy glory, for he died repentant of his sins with the true faith of a Christian. After he was thus hung, in fulfilment of the sentence, fire was cast upon him so that a part of his clothes and flesh was burnt. That night [because he had died in the late afternoon] his body remained in the plaza in order that all might learn of his death, and on the next day the Governor ordered that all the Spaniards should be present at his interment, and, with the cross and other religious paraphernalia, he was borne to the church and buried with as much solemnity as if he had been the chief Spaniard of our camp. Because of this all the principal lords and caciques who served him received great pleasure, considering as great the honour which was done them, and knowing that, because he was a christian, he was not burned alive, and he was interred in church as if he were a Spaniard.


They choose as lord of the state of Atabalipa his brother Atabalipa[10] in whose coronation they observed ceremonies in accordance with the usage of the caciques of those provinces. Of the vassalage and obedience which Atabalipa and many other caciques offered to the Emperor.

This done, the governor commanded the immediate assembling in the chief plaza of that city of all the caciques and principal lords who were then living there in company with the dead lord; they were many, and from distant lands, and his intention was to give them another lord who should govern them in the name of H. M., for, as they were accustomed to give always their obedience and tribute to a sole lord, great confusion would result if it were not thus, for each of them would rise up with his own lordship, and it would cost much toil to bring them into friendship with the Spaniards and into the service of H. M. For this and many other reasons the Governor made them assemble, and finding among them a son of Gucunacaba[11] called Atabalipa, a brother of Atabalipa to whom by law the realm belonged, he said to all that now that they saw how Atabalipa was dead because of the treason he had plotted against him [the Governor], and because they were all left without a lord who should govern them and whom they should obey, he wished to give them a lord who would please them all, and that he [the lord] was Atabalipa who was there present, to whom that kingdom legitimately belonged as he was the son of that Gucunacaba whom they had loved so much. He [Atabalipa] was a young man who would treat them with much love and who had enough prudence to govern that land. He [the Governor] urged them, nevertheless, to look well to it that they wished him for a lord, for if not, they were to name another, and if he were capable, the governor would give him to them as lord. They replied that since Atabalipa was dead, they would obey Atabalipa or whomever else he should give them, and so it was arranged that they should yield obedience another day according to the accustomed manner. When the next day had come, once more they all assembled before the door of the governor where was placed the cacique in his chair and near him all the other lords and chiefs, each in his proper position. And due ceremonies having been held, each one came to offer him a white plume as a sign of vassalage and tribute, which is an ancient custom dating from the time that this land was conquered by these Cuzcos.[12] This done, they sang and danced, making a great festivity, in which the new king neither arrayed himself in clothes of price nor placed the fringe upon the forehead in the manner in which the dead lord was wont to wear it. And when the governor asked him why he did so, he replied that it was the custom of his ancestors when they took possession of the realm to mourn the dead cacique and to pass three days in fasting, shut up within their house, after which they used to come forth with much pomp and solemnity and hold great festivities, for which reason he, too, would like to spend two days in fasting. The Governor replied that since it was an ancient custom he might keep it, and that soon he would give him many things which the Emperor our Lord sent to him, which he would give to him and to all the lords of those provinces. And at once the cacique was placed for his fast in a place apart from the assembly of the others, which was a house that they had built for this purpose since the day that notice was given by the Governor; it was near the Governor's lodging; on account of it the said Governor and the other Spaniards were greatly astonished, seeing how, in so short a time, so large and fine a house had been built. In it he was shut up and retired without anyone's seeing him or entering that place save the servants who waited on him and brought him food, or the Governor when he wished to send him something. When the fast was over, he came forth richly clad and accompanied by many troops, caciques and chiefs who guarded him, and all the places where he was to sit were adorned with costly cushions, and beneath his feet were placed fine cloths. Seated near him was Calichuchima, the great general of Atabalipa who conquered this land, as was told in the account of the affairs at Caxamalca, and near him was also the captain Tice, one of the chiefs, and on the other side were certain brothers of the lord, while on both hands were other caciques and captains and governors of provinces and other lords of great lands, and, in short, no one sat there who was not of quality. They all ate together on the ground, for they use no other table, and when they had eaten, the cacique said that he wished to give his obedience in the name of H. M., as his chiefs had given it. The Governor told him to do it in the way that seemed best, and soon he [the cacique] offered him [the governor] a white plume which had been given to him by his caciques, saying that it was given as a token of obedience. The Governor embraced him with much love and received it, saying that he wished to tell him the things which he was to tell in the name of the Emperor, and it was agreed between the two that they should meet again for this purpose the following day. When it had arrived, the Governor presented himself in the assembly dressed as well as possible in silken clothes and accompanied by the officials of H. M. and by some noblemen of his company who assisted well-dressed for the greater solemnity of this ceremony of friendship and peace, and by his side he stationed the ensign with the royal standard. Then the Governor began asking each [cacique] in turn his name and that of the land of which he was the lord, and he ordered that it be taken down by his secretary and scrivener, and there were as many as fifty caciques and chiefs. Then, facing all those people, he told them that D. Carlos our lord of whom they were servants and vassals who were in his company, had sent him to that land in order to give them understanding and to preach to them of how a sole Lord Creator of the sky and of the earth, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three distinct persons in one sole true God, had created them and given them life and being, and had brought to bear the fruits of the land whereby they were sustained, and that to this end he would teach them what they were to do and observe in order to be saved. And he told them how, by the command of the all-powerful God, and of his vicars upon earth, because he had gone to heaven where he now dwells and will be eternally glorified, those lands were given to the Emperor in order that he might have charge of them, who had sent him [Pizarro] to instruct them in the christian faith and place them under his obedience. He added that it was all in writing and that they should listen to it and fulfil that which he had read to them, by means of an interpreter, word for word. Then he asked them if they had understood, and they replied that they had, and that since he had given them Atabalipa for a lord, they would do all that he commanded them to do in the name of H. M., holding as supreme lord the Emperor, then the Governor, then Atabalipa, in order to do as much as he commanded in his [H. M.'s] name. Then the Governor took in his hands the royal standard which he raised on high three times, and he told them that, as vassals of the Caesarian Majesty, they ought to do likewise, and the cacique took it, and afterwards the captains and the other chiefs, and each one raised it aloft twice; then they went to embrace the Governor who received them with great joy through seeing their good will, and with how much contentment they had heard the affairs of God and of our religion. The Governor wished that all this be drawn up as testimony in writing, and when it was over, the caciques and chiefs held great festivities, so much so that every day there were rejoicings such as games and feasts, usually held in the house of the Governor.


While leading a new colony of Spaniards to settle in Xauxa, they receive news of the death of Guaritico,[13] brother of Atahualpa. Afterwards they passed through the land of Guamachucho,[14] Adalmach,[15] Guaiglia,[16] Puerto Nevado, and Capo Tombo,[17] and they hear that in Tarma many Indian warriors are waiting to attack them, on account of which they take Calichuchima prisoner, and then proceed intrepidly on their journey to Cachamarca,[18] where they find much gold.

At this time he [the Governor] had just finished distributing the gold and silver which were in that house among the Spaniards of his company, and Atabalipa gave the gold belonging to the royal fifths to the treasurer of H. M. who took charge of it in order to carry it to the city of Xauxa where he [the Governor] intended to found a colony of Spaniards on account of the reports he had of the good surrounding provinces and of the many cities which there were about it. To this end, he had the Spaniards arranged in order and provided with arms and other things for the journey, and when the time for departure came, he gave them Indians to carry their gold and burdens. Before setting out, having heard how few soldiers there were in San Miguel[19] for the purpose of holding it, he took, from among those Spaniards whom he was to take with him, ten cavalrymen and a captain, a person of great cautiousness, whom he ordered to go to that city where he was to maintain himself until ships should arrive with troops who might guard it, after which he was to go to Xauxa where he himself was about to found a village of Spaniards and melt the gold which he bore, promising that he would give them all the gold that was due them with as much punctuality as if they were actually present, because his [the captain's] return [to San Miguel] was very necessary, that being the first city to be settled and colonized for the Caesarian Majesty as well as the chief one because in it they would have to wait there to receive the ships which should come from Spain, to that land.[20]

In this manner they set out with the instructions which the Governor gave them as to what they were to do in the pacification of the people of that region. The Governor set out one Monday morning, and on that day travelled three leagues, sleeping by the shore of a river where the news reached him that a brother of Atabalipa called Guaritico had been killed by some captains of Atabalipa at his command. This Guaritico was a very important person and a friend of the Spaniards, and he had been sent by the Governor from Caxamalca to repair the bridges and bad spots in the road. The cacique pretended to feel great heaviness because of his death, and the Governor himself regretted it because he liked him, and because he was very useful to the Christians. The next day the Governor set out from that place, and, by his marches, arrived in the land of Guamachucho, eighteen leagues from Caxamalca. Having rested there two days, he set out for Caxamalca[21] nine leagues ahead, and arrived there in three days, and rested four in order that his troops might have repose and opportunity to collect supplies for the march to Guaiglia, twenty leagues from there. Having left this village, he came in three days to the Puerto de Nevado, and a morning's march brought him within a day's journey of Guaiglia; and the governor commanded a captain of his, who was the Marshal D. Diego de Almagro, to go with troops and take a bridge two leagues from Guaiglia, which bridge was built in a manner that will soon be related. This captain captured the bridge, which is near a strong mountain that dominated that land. The Governor did not delay in arriving at the bridge with the rest of his men, and having crossed it, he went on, in another morning, which was Sunday, to Guaiglia. Arrived there, they soon heard mass and afterwards entered certain good rooms; having rested there eight days, he set forth with the soldiers, and the next day crossed another bridge of osiers,[22] which was above the said river which here passes through a very delectable valley. They journeyed thirty leagues to the point where captain Hernando Pizarro came when he went to Pachacamac,[23] as will be seen in the long account which was sent to H. M. of all that was done on that journey to Pachacamac, from there to the city of Xauxa and back to Caxamalca, on the occasion on which he took with him the captain Chilichuchima and other matters which do not concern us here. The Governor changed his route, and, by forced marches, arrived at the land of Caxatambo.[24] From there he went on without doing more than to ask for some Indians who should carry the gold of H. M. and of the soldiers, and always using great vigilance in learning of the affairs which took place in the land, and always having both a vanguard and a rear-guard as had been done up to that time for fear that the captain Chilichuchima whom he had with him, would hatch some treasonable plot, all the more so on account of the suspicion he felt owing to the fact that neither in Caxatambo nor in the eighteen leagues after it had he met with any warriors, nor were his fears lessened during a halt in a village five leagues beyond because all the people had fled without leaving a living soul. When he had arrived there, a Spaniard's Indian servant, who was from that land of Pambo[25] distant from here some ten leagues, and twenty from Xauxa, came to him saying that he had heard that troops had been assembled in Xauxa to kill the Christians who were coming, and that they had as captains Incorabaliba, Iguaparro, Mortay[26] and another captain, all four being important men who had many troops with them, and the servant added that they had placed a part of this force in a village called Tarma five leagues from Xauxa in order to guard a bad pass that there was in a mountain and to cut and break it up in such a way that the Spaniards could not pass by. Informed of this, the governor gave orders that Chilichuchima should be made a prisoner, because it was held to be certain that that force had been made ready by his advice and command, he thinking to flee the Christians and to go to join it. Of these matters the cacique Atabalipa was unaware, and on this account, these [Spanish] troops did not permit any Indian to pass by in the direction of the cacique who might give notice of these affairs. The reason why these Indians had rebelled and were seeking war with the Christians was that they saw the land being conquered by the Spaniards, and they themselves wished to govern it.

The Governor, before setting out from that place, sent a captain with troops to take a snowy pass three leagues ahead and then to pass the night in some fields near Pombo,[27] all of which the captain did, and he passed the pass with much snow, but without encountering any obstacle. And the Governor crossed it likewise, without any opposition save for the inconvenience caused by the snow falling upon them. They all spent the night in that waste without a single hut, and they lacked for wood and victuals. Having arrived in the land of Pombo, the Governor provided and commanded that the soldiers should be lodged with the best order and caution possible, because he had news that the enemy were increasing every moment, and it was held to be certain that he would come here to assail the Spaniards, and because of this, the Governor caused the patrols and sentinels to be increased, always spying upon the progress of the enemy. After he had waited there another day for certain envoys whom the cacique Atabalipa had sent to learn what was going on in Xauxa, one came who told how the warriors were five leagues from Xauxa on the road from Cuzco and were coming to burn the town so that the Christians should not find shelter, and that they intended afterward to return to Cuzco to combine under a captain named Quizquiz who was there with many troops who had come from Quito by command of Atabalipa for the security of the land. When this was learned by the Governor, he caused to be made ready seventy-five light horse, and with twenty peones who guarded Chilichuchima, and without the impediment of baggage, he set out for Xauxa, leaving behind the treasurer with the other troops who were guarding the camp baggage and the gold of H. M., and of the company. The day on which he set out from Pombo, he travelled some seven leagues, and he halted in a village called Cacamarca,[28] and here they found seventy thousand pesos of gold in large pieces, to guard which the Governor left two Christians from the cavalry in order that when the rear-guard should arrive, it might be conducted well guarded. Then, in the morning, he set forth with his men in good array, for he had word that three leagues from there were four thousand men. And on the march three or four light horsemen went ahead so that, if they should meet a spy of the enemy's, they might take him prisoner to prevent his giving warning of their coming. At the hour of noon, they arrived at that bad pass of Tarma where warriors were said to be waiting to defend it. The pass seemed to be so full of difficulties that it would be impossible to go up it, because there was a bad road of stone down into the gully where all the riders had to dismount, after which it was necessary to go up the heights by a slope about a league long, the greater part of which was steep and difficult forest, all of which was crossed without any Indians who were said to be armed making an appearance. And in the afternoon, after the hour of vespers, the Governor and his men arrived at that village of Tarma where, because it was a bad site and because he had news that Indians were coming to it to surprise the Christians, he did not wish to linger longer than was necessary for feeding the horses and allaying their own hunger and fatigue so as to enable them to go forth prepared from that place which had no other level spot than the plaza as it was on a small slope surrounded by mountains for the space of a league. As it was already night, he made his camp here, being always on the alert and having the horses saddled. And the men were without [proper] food and even without any comfort because there was neither fire-wood nor water, nor had they brought their tents with them to shelter them, because of which they all nearly died of cold on account of the fact that it rained much early in the night and then snowed so that the arms and clothes were drenched. But each one sought the best remedy he could, and so that evil and troublous night passed to the dawn when he commanded that all mount their horses so as to arrive early at Xauxa which was four leagues from there. When two had been crossed over, the Governor divided the seventy-five soldiers between three captains, giving fifteen to each, and taking with him the remaining twenty and the twenty peones who were guarding Chilichuchima. In this order they journeyed to Porsi a league from Xauxa, having given each captain orders as to what he was to do, and they all halted in a small village which they encountered. Then they all marched on in complete accord, and gave a look at the city. They all halted again on a slope within a quarter of a league of it.


They arrive at the city of Xauxa; they leave some soldiers there to guard that place, and others go against the army of the enemy with which they fight. They win a victory, and return to Xauxa.

The natives all came out along the road in order to look at the Christians, celebrating much their coming because they thought that, through it, they would issue forth from the slavery in which that foreign army [the Incas] held them. [The Spaniards] wished to await a later hour in the day at this place, but, seeing that no warriors appeared, they began their journey so as to enter the city. On going down that little slope, they saw running toward them at great speed an Indian with a lance erect, and when he came up to them it was found that he was a servant of the Christians who said that his master had sent him to inform them that they must hold themselves in readiness because their enemies were in the city, and that two Christians from the cavalry had been sent ahead of the rest, and that they had entered the city to see the buildings there, and while they were inspecting it, they saw some twenty Indians who came out of certain houses with their lances and other arms, calling to others to come forth and join with them. The two Christians, seeing them thus assemble, without heeding their cries and clamour, attacked them, killed several, and put the others to flight; the latter soon joined with others who came to their aid, and they formed a mass of some two hundred which the Spaniards again attacked, in a narrow street, and broke, forcing them to retreat to the bank of a great river which passes by that city, and then one of these Spaniards sent the Indian as I have said, with raised lance as a sign that there were armed enemies in the city. This having been heard, the Spaniards set spur to their horses, and, without delay, arrived at the city and entered it; and when they joined their companions, the latter told them what had occurred with those Indians. The captains, running in the direction in which the enemy had retreated, arrived at length at the bank of the river, which was then very full, and on the other shore, at a distance of a quarter of a league, they descried the squadrons of their enemies. Then, having passed the river with no little toil and danger, they gave chase to them. The Governor remained guarding the city because it was said that there were enemies hidden within it, as well. The Indians perceiving that the Christians had crossed the river, they began to retreat, drawn up in two squadrons. One of the Spanish captains, with his fifteen light horsemen, spurred ahead toward the slope of the hill for which they [the Indians] were making so that they could not retreat thither and fortify themselves. The other two captains kept right up with them, overtaking them in a field of maize near the river. There they put them in disorder and routed them, capturing as many as possible, so that of six hundred [Indians] not more than twenty or thirty, who took to the mountains before the other captain with his fifteen men could arrive, saved themselves. Most of the Indians made for the water, thinking to save themselves in it, but the light horsemen crossed the river almost by swimming after them, and they did not leave one alive save some few who had hidden themselves in their flight after their army was broken in pieces. Then the Spaniards ran through the country as far as a league below without finding a single Indian. Then, having returned, they rested themselves and their horses, which were in great need of it; both because of the long journey of the day before and on account of their having run those two leagues, they were rather crippled. When the truth was learned as to what troops those were [with whom the Spaniards had fought], it was found that the four captains and the main body were encamped six leagues down the river from Xauxa, and that, on that very day, they had sent those six hundred men to complete the burning of the city of Xauxa, having already burned the other half of it seven or eight days before, and that they had then burned a great edifice which was in the plaza, as well as many other things before the eyes of the people of that city, together with many clothes and much maize, so that the Spaniards should not avail themselves of them. The citizens were left so hostile to those other Indians that if one of the latter hid, they showed him to the Christians so that they would kill him, and they themselves aided in killing them, and they would even have done so with their own hands if the Christians had permitted it. The Spanish captains, having studied the place where these enemies were found as well as the road, along a part of which they journeyed, they determined not to shut themselves up in Xauxa, but to pass onward and attack the main body of the army which was four leagues off before it should receive news of their coming. With this intention, they commanded the soldiers to make ready, but their proposal did not come to pass because they found the horses so weary that they held it to be better council to retire, which they did. Arrived in Xauxa, they recounted to the Governor all that had happened, with which he was well pleased, and he received them cheerfully, thanking them all for having borne themselves so valorously. And he told them that by all means he intended to attack the camp of the enemy because, although they were advised of the victory, it was certain that they would be waiting. At once he ordered his master of the camp to lodge the men and let them rest during what remained of the day and through the night until moon-rise, and that then they should make ready to go and attack their enemies. At that hour fifty light horsemen were in readiness, and at the sound of the trumpet they presented themselves, armed and with their horses, at the lodging of the Governor who despatched them very soon upon their road. Fifteen horsemen remained with him in the city together with the twenty peones who made the guard all of each night with the horses saddled, until the captain of that sally returned, which was in five days. He related to the governor all that had happened from the time of his departure, telling how, on the night he left Xauxa, he journeyed some four leagues before dawn, with much eagerness to attack the enemy's camp before they were warned of his coming; and being now near [the enemy] at dawn, they saw a great mass of smoke in the place of their encampment, which seemed to be two leagues further on. And so he spurred on with his men at a great pace, thinking that the enemy, warned of his approach, had fled and that the buildings that there were in a village were burning. And so it was, because they had fled, after having set fire to that wretched hamlet. Arrived at that place, the Spaniards followed the footsteps of the warriors through a very broad valley. And as they overtook them they collided with the enemy who were going more slowly with many women and children in their rear-guard, and the Spaniards, leaving these behind them in order to catch up with the men, ran more than four leagues, and caught up with some of their squadrons. As some of them [the Indians] saw the Castilians from some distance, they had time to take shelter on a mountain and save themselves; others, who were few, were killed, leaving in the power of the Spaniards (who, because their horses were tired, did not wish to go up the mountain) many spoils and women and children. And as it was already night, they returned to sleep in a village which they had left behind. And the following day these Spaniards determined to follow them as they fled back to Cuzco so as to take from them certain bridges of net-work and to prevent their crossing. But, because of lack of pasturage for their horses, they found themselves obliged to fall back, to the dissatisfaction of the Governor because they had not at least followed and taken those bridges so as to prevent the Indians from returning to Cuzco; it was feared that, being strange people, they would do great harm to the citizens of those places.


They name new officials in the city of Xauxa in order to establish a settlement of Spaniards, and, having had news of the death of Atabalipa, with great prudence and much craftiness in order to keep themselves in the good graces of the Indians, they discuss the appointment of a new lord.

And for this reason, as soon as the baggage and the rear-guard, which he had left at Pombo, had arrived, he [the Governor] published an edict to the effect that whereas he was determined to found a settlement of Spaniards in the name of H. M., all those who wished to settle there might do so. But there was not one Spaniard who wished to remain, and they said that so long as there were warriors all about in that land with arms in their hands the natives of that province would not be at the service and disposal of the Spaniards and in obedience to H. M. When this was observed by the Governor, he determined not to lose time then in that matter, but to go against the enemy in the direction of Cuzco in order to drive them from that province and rout them from all of it. In the meanwhile, in order to put in order the affairs of that city, he founded the village in the name of H. M., and created officials of justice for it [and for its citizens] who were eighty in number, of whom forty were light horsemen whom he left there as a garrison, and, [leaving also] the treasurer, who was to guard the gold of H. M. and to act in all matters as head and chief in command of the government.[29] While these things were being done, the cacique Atabalipa came to die, of his illness; because of this, the Governor and all the other Spaniards felt great sorrow, because it was certain that he was very prudent and had much love for the Spaniards. It was given out publicly that the captain Calichuchima had caused his death because he desired that the land should remain with the people of Quito and not with either those of Cuzco or with the Spaniards, and if that cacique ["Atabalipa"] had lived, he [Calichuchima] would not have been able to succeed in what he desired to do. At once, the Governor had Calichuchima and Tizas[30] and a brother of the cacique and other leading chiefs and caciques who had come from Caxamalca summoned to him; to them he said that they must know very well that he had given them Atabalipa as a lord and that, now that he was dead, they ought to think of whom they would like as lord in order that he might give him to them. There was a great difference of opinion between them on this subject because Calichuchima wished the son of Atabalipa and brother of the dead cacique Aticoc[31] as lord, and others, who were not of the land of Quito, wished the lord to be a native of Cuzco and proposed a brother of Atabalipa (as lord). The Governor said to those who wished as lord the brother of Atabalipa that they should send and have him summoned and that after he had come, if he found him to be a man of worth, he would appoint him. And with this reply that meeting came to an end. And the Governor, having called aside the captain Calichuchima, spoke to him in these words: "You already know that I loved greatly your lord Atabalipa and that I have always wished him to leave a son after he died, and that this son should be lord, and that you, who are already a prudent man, should be his captain until he had reached the age of governing his dominions, and for this reason I greatly desire that he should be called soon, because, for love of his father, I love him much, and you likewise. But at the same time, since all these caciques who are here are your friends and since you have much influence with the soldiers of their nation, it would be well that you send them word by messengers to come in peace, because I do not wish to be enraged against them and to kill them, as you see I am doing, when I wish that the affairs of these provinces should be quiet and peaceful." This captain had a great desire, as has been said, that the son of Atabalipa should be lord, and knowing this, the Governor slyly spoke these words to him and gave him this hope, not because he had any intention of carrying it out,[32] but in order that, in the meanwhile, that son of Atabalipa might come for this purpose (and) might cause those caciques who had taken up arms [also] to come to him in peace. It was likewise agreed that he should say to Aticoc and to the other lords of the province of Cuzco that he [the Governor] would give them as lord him whom they wished, because it was necessary that those things which were for the good of all should thus be governed in the state. He tried to give to Calichuchima words that [would enable him] to cause the people who were in Cuzco with arms to lay them down in order that they might do no harm to the people of the country, and those of Cuzco, because they were true friends of the Christians, gave them notice of all that the enemy were trying to do and of all that was going on in the country, and for this reason and others the Governor said this with great prudence. Chilichuchima, to whom he told it, showed as much pleasure at these words as if he had been made lord of the whole world, and he replied that he would do as he was ordered and that it would cause him much pleasure if the caciques and soldiers were to come in peace[33] and that he would despatch messengers to Quito in order that the son of Atabalipa might come. But he feared that two great captains who were with him would prevent it, and would not let him come. Nevertheless he would send such a person of importance with the embassy that he thought that all would conform with his wish. And soon he added, "Sir, since you wish me to cause these caciques to come, take off this chain [which I wear] for, seeing me with it, no one wishes to obey me." The Governor, in order that he should not suspect that he had feigned what he had said to him, told him that he was pleased to do so, but on the condition that he was to put a guard of Christians over him until after he had caused those soldiers who were at war to come in peace and until the son of Atabalipa had come.[34] He [Chalcuchima] was satisfied with this, and so he was released, and the Governor put him under a good guard, because that captain was the key [the possession of which ensured] having the land quiet and subjected. This precaution taken, and the troops who were to go with the Governor toward Cuzco being made ready, the number of whom was one hundred horsemen and thirty peons, he [the Governor] ordered a captain to go ahead with seventy horsemen and some peons in order to rebuild the bridges which had been burned, and the Governor remained behind while he was giving orders for many matters touching the welfare of the city and Republic which he was to leave already well established, and in order to await the reply of the Christians whom he had sent to the coast in order to examine the ports and set up crosses in them in case some one should come to reconnoitre the land.


Description of the bridges which the natives are wont to make in order to cross the rivers; and of the toilsome journey which the Spaniards had, in going to Cuzco, and of the arrival at Panarai and Tarcos.

This captain departed with those who were to follow him on Thursday, and the Governor with the rest of the troops, and Chilichuchima with his guard left the following Monday. In the morning they were all ready with their arms and other necessary things; the journey they were to make being long, they were to leave all the baggage in Xauxa, it not being convenient to carry it with them on that journey. The Governor journeyed two days down the valley along the bank of the Xauxa River, which was very delectable and peopled in many places, and on the third day he arrived at a bridge of net-work which is over the said river and which the Indian soldiers had burned after they crossed over, but already the captain who had gone ahead had made the natives rebuild it. And in the places where they build these bridges of net-work, where the rivers are swollen, this inland country far from the sea being densely populated, and because almost none of the Indians knows how to swim, because of which even though the rivers are small and might be forded, they nevertheless throw out these bridges, and after this fashion; If the two banks of the river are stony, they raise upon them large walls of stone, and then they place four [ropes of] pliable reeds two palms or a little less in thickness, and between them, after the fashion of wattle-work, they weave green osiers two fingers thick and well intertwined, in such a way that some are not left more slack than others, and all are well tied. And upon these they place branches crosswise in such a way that the water is not seen, and in this way they make the floor of the bridge. And in the same manner they weave a balustrade of these same osiers along the side of the bridge so that no one may fall into the water, of which, in truth, there is no danger, although to one who is not used to it, the matter of crossing appears a thing of danger because, the span being long, the bridge bends when one goes over it, so that one goes continually downward until the middle is reached, and from there he keeps going up until he has finished crossing to the other bank, and when the bridge is being crossed, it trembles very much, so that it goes to the head of him who is not accustomed to it. Ordinarily they make two bridges close together, so that, as they say, the lords may cross by one and the common people by another. They keep guards over them, and the lords of all the land keep them there continuously in order that if someone should steal gold or silver or anything else from him or from some other lord of the land, he would not be able to cross. And those who guard these bridges have their houses nearby, and they always have in their hands osiers and wattles and cords in order to mend the bridges if they are injured or even to rebuild them if need were. The guards who were in charge of this bridge when the Indians who burned it passed over, hid the materials which they had for mending it, for otherwise the Indians would have burned them also, and for this reason they rebuilt it in so short a space of time in order that the Spaniards might cross over. The Spanish cavalry and the Governor crossed by one of these bridges, although, on account of its being new and not well made, they had much trouble because the captain who had gone ahead with seventy cavalrymen had made many holes in it so that it was half destroyed. Still, the horses got over without endangering themselves, although nearly all stumbled because the bridge moved and trembled so, but, as I have said, the bridge was made in such a way that even though they were thrown upon their knees, they could not fall into the water. As soon as all were over, the Governor encamped in some groves near which ran some streams of beautiful clear water. Later they proceeded on their journey two leagues along the shore of that river through a narrow valley on both sides of which were very high mountains, and in some places, this valley through which the river passes has so little space that there is not more than a stone's throw from the foot of the mountain to the river, and in other places, because of the slope of the mountain, there is but little more. Two leagues of this valley having been travelled, they came to another bridge, a small one over another river, over which the troops passed on foot while the horses forded, as much on account of the bridge being in bad order as on account of the fact that the water was low at that time. Having crossed the river, he [the Governor] began to climb a very steep and long mountain all made of steps of very small stones.[35] Here the horses toiled so much that, when they had finished going up, the greater part of them had lost their shoes and worn down the hoofs of all four feet. That mountain, which lasted for more than half a league, having been overcome, and having journeyed for a bit in the evening along a slope, the Governor with his men arrived at a village which the hostile Indians had sacked and burned, on account of which neither people nor maize was found in it, nor any other food, and the water was very far off because the Indians had broken the aqueducts which came to the city, which was a great evil and of much inconvenience for the Spaniards who, because they had found the road hard, toilsome and long on that day, needed good lodging. The next day the Governor set out from there and went to sleep in another village which, although it was very large and fine and full of houses, had as little food in it as the last one; and this village is called Panarai. The Governor wondered greatly with his men at finding here neither food nor anything else, because this place belonged to one of the lords who had been with Atabalipa and with the dead lord in the company of the Christians, and he had come in their company as far as Xauxa, [where] he said he wished to go ahead in order to prepare in this land his victuals and other things necessary for the Spaniards. And when they found here neither him nor his people, it was held to be certain that the country-side had revolted. And not having had any letter from the captain who had gone ahead with the seventy horsemen, save which let them know that he was going right after the hostile Indians, it was feared that the foe had taken some step whereby he was prevented from sending any messenger. The Spaniards sought so much, that they found some maize and ewes, ... and the next day, early, they set out and arrived at a village called Tarcos, where they met the cacique of the district and some men who told them of the day on which had passed that way some Christians who were going to fight with the enemy who had established their camp in a neighboring settlement. All received this news with great pleasure, and they found a good reception in that place, because the cacique had brought to the plaza a large quantity of maize, fire-wood, ewes, and other things of which the Spaniards had great need.


While proceeding on their journey they have news sent by the forty Spanish horsemen of the state of the Indian army with which the latter had fought victoriously.

On the next day, which was Saturday, All Saints' day, the friar who was with this company said mass in the morning, according to the custom of saying it on such a day, and later all set out and journeyed until they arrived at a full river three leagues beyond, always descending from the mountains by a rough and long slope. This river, likewise, had a net-work bridge which, being broken, made it necessary to ford the stream, and afterwards a very large mountain was ascended which, looked at from below, seemed impossible of ascent by the very birds of the air, and still more so by men on horseback toiling over the ground. But the climb was made less arduous for them by the fact that the road went up in spirals, and not straight. The greater part, however, was made of large steps of stone which greatly fatigued the horses and wore down and injured their hoofs, even though they were led by the bridle. In this manner a long league was surmounted, and another was traversed by a more easy road along a declivity, and in the afternoon the Governor with the Spaniards arrived at a small village of which a part was burned, and in the other part, which had remained whole, the Spaniards settled. And in the evening two Indian couriers, sent by the captain who was ahead, arrived. They brought news, in letters to the Governor, that the captain had arrived with all speed at the land of Parcos[36] which he had left behind him, having had news that the [Indian] captains were thereabout with all the hostile forces; [but] he did not encounter them, and it was held to be certain that they had withdrawn to Bilcas,[37] and through so much of the road as he traversed until coming to [a place] within five leagues of Bilcas, where he spent the night, he marched secretly in order not to be forestalled by certain spies who were placed a league from Bilcas. And having news that the enemy were in a town without having warning of his coming, the captain was delighted, and, having gone down the rather difficult slope where that place was, at dawn he entered [the town where some warriors were lodged with few precautions].[38] The Spanish cavalry began to attack them in the plazas until so many had been killed or had fled that no one remained; because there were a few Indian soldiers who had retired to a mountain on one side of the road who, as soon as the day became bright and they saw the Spaniards, assembled in squadrons, and came against them crying out Ingres,[39] which name they hold to be very insulting, being that of a contemned people who live in the hot lands of the sea-coast, and because that province was cold and the Spaniards wore clothes over their flesh, [the Indians] called them Ingres and threatened them with slavery as they were few, not more than forty, and defying them by saying that they would come down to where they were. The captain, although he knew that that was a bad place for fighting on horseback, of which position the Spaniards could little avail themselves there, nevertheless, in order that the enemy should not think that he would not fight from lack of spirit, took with him thirty horsemen, leaving the rest to guard the town, and went down through a cleft[40] in the mountain by a very painful slope. The enemy boldly awaited them and in the shock of battle they killed one horse and wounded two others, but finally, all being dispersed, some fled in one direction and others in another over the mountain [by] a very rough road where the horses could neither follow them nor injure them. At this juncture, an [Indian] captain who had fled from the village, and who knew that they had killed one horse and wounded two, said "Come, let us turn back and fight with these men until not one is left alive, for there are but a few of them!" and at once all returned with more spirit and greater impetuosity than before, and in this way a sharper battle than the first was fought. At the end, the Indians fled and the horsemen followed them in all directions as long as they could. In these two encounters more than six hundred men were left dead, and it is believed also that Maila, one of their captains, died, and the Indians affirmed it also, and they, on their part, when they killed a horse, cut off his head and put it on a lance which they bore before them like a standard. [The Spanish captain] likewise informed [his men] that he intended to rest there for three days out of consideration for the wounded Christians and horses, and that later they would set out to take, first of all, a bridge of net-work which was near there, so that the fugitive enemies should not cross it and go to join with Quizquiz[41] in Cuzco and with the garrison of troops he had there, which was said to be waiting for the Spaniards in a bad pass near Cuzco. But, although they found it to be more than bad, they hoped in God who, in whatever place that battle might be fought, even in a land all rough and stony, would not permit the Indians to be able to defend themselves any where, no matter how difficult and toilsome it might be, nor to attack the Spaniards in any bad pass. And, having set out from here and having crossed the bridge three leagues from Cuzco [the captain declared] that he would there await the Governor as he had informed him by swift messenger Indians of what had occurred.


After having suffered various inconveniences, and having passed the cities of Bilcas and of Andabailla,[42] and before arriving at Airamba,[43] they have letters from the Spaniards in which they ask for the aid of thirty cavaliers.

Having received this letter, the Governor and all the Spaniards who were with him were filled with infinite content over the victory which the captain had obtained, and at once he sent it, together with another, to the city of Xauxa, to the treasurer and to the Spaniards who had remained there in order that they might share in the gladness over the victory of the captain. And likewise he sent despatches to the captain and the Spaniards who were with him congratulating them much on the victory they had won, and begging them and counseling them to be governed in these matters more by prudence than by confidence in their own strength, and commanding, at all events, that, having passed the last bridge, they should await him [the Governor] there so that they might then enter the city of Cuzco all together. This done, the Governor set out the following day and went by a rough and tiring road through rocky mountains and over ascents and descents of stone steps from which all believed they could only bring their horses with difficulty, considering the road already traversed and that still to be traversed. They slept that night in a village on the other side of the river, which here, as elsewhere, had a bridge of net-work. The horses crossed through the water and the footsoldiers and the servants of the Spaniards by the bridge. On the next day they had a good road beside the river where they encountered many wild animals, deer and antelope; and that day they arrived at nightfall at some rooms in the vicinity of Bilcas where the captain who was going ahead had made halt in order to travel by night and so enter Bilcas without being found out, as he did enter it, and here was received another letter from him in which he said that he had left Bilcas two days before, and had come to a river four leagues ahead which he had forded because the bridge had been burned, and here he had understood that the captain Narabaliba was fleeing with some twenty Indians and that he had met two thousand Indians whom the captain of Cuzco had sent to him as aid who, as soon as they knew of the rout at Bilcas, turned around and fled with him, endeavouring to join with the scattered remnants of those who were fleeing, in order to await them [the Spaniards] in a village called Andabailla,[44] and [the Spanish captain said] that he was resolved not to stay his course until he should encounter them. These announcements being understood by the Governor, he first thought of sending aid to the captain, but later he did not do so because he considered that if there were to be a battle at all it would have occurred already and the aid would not arrive in time, and he determined furthermore not to linger a single day until he should catch up with him, and in this way he set out for Bilcas which he entered very early the following day, and on that day he did not wish to go further. This city of Bilcas[45] is placed on a high mountain and is a large town and the head of a province. It has a beautiful and fine fortress; there are many well built houses of stone, and it is half-way by road from Xauxa to Cuzco. And on the next day the Governor encamped on the other side of the river, four leagues from Bilcas, and although the day's march was short, it was nevertheless toilsome because it was entirely a descent almost all composed of stone steps, and the troops waded the river with much fatigue because it was very full, and he set up his camp on the other bank among some groves. Scarcely had the Governor arrived here, when he received a letter from the captain who was reconnoitring in which the latter informed him that the enemy had gone on five leagues and were in waiting on the slope of a mountain in a land called Curamba,[46] and that there were many warriors there, and that they had made many preparations and had arranged great quantities of stones so that the Spaniards would not be able to go up. The Governor, when he understood this, although the captain did not ask him for aid, believed that it was necessary now, and he at once ordered the Marshal D. Diego de Almagro to get ready with thirty light horsemen, well equipped as to arms and horses, and he did not wish him to take a single peon with him, because he ordered him [Almagro] not to delay for anything until he should come up with the captain who was ahead with the others. And when he [Almagro] had set out, the Governor likewise started, on the following day, with ten horsemen and the twenty peons who were guarding Chilichuchima, and he quickened his pace so much that day that of two days' marches he made one. And just as he was about to arrive at the village called Andabailla, where he was to sleep, an Indian came to him on the run to say that on a certain slope of the mountain, which he pointed out with his finger, there had been discovered hostile troops of war, on which account, the Governor, armed as he was and on horseback, went with the Spaniards he had with him to take the summit of that slope, and he examined the whole of it without finding the warriors of whom the Indian had spoken, because they were troops native to the land who were fleeing from the Indians of Quito because the latter did them very great harm. The Governor and company having arrived at that village of Andabailla, they supped and spent the night there. On the next day, they arrived at the village of Airamba from where the captain had written that he was with the armed troops waiting for them upon the road.[47]


Having arrived at a village, they find much silver in plates twenty-feet long. Proceeding on their journey, they receive letters from the Spaniards relating the brisk and adverse struggle they had had against the army of the Indians.

Here were found two dead horses,[48] from which it was suspected that some misfortune had befallen the captain. But, having entered the village, they learned, from a letter that arrived before they retired for the night, that the captain had here encountered some warriors, and that, in order to gain the mountain, he had gone up a slope where he had found assembled a great quantity of stone, a sign which showed that they [the Indians] wished to guard [the pass], and that they were gone in search of [other] Indians because they had warning that [the Spaniards] were not far off and that the two horses had died of so many changes from heat to cold. He [the captain] wrote nothing of the aid which the Governor had sent to him, because of which it was thought that it had not yet arrived. The next day the Governor set out from there, and slept [the next night] by a river whose bridge had been burned by the enemy, so that it was necessary to ford it, with great fatigue on account of the fact that the current was very swift and the bottom very stony. On the next day, they encamped at a town in the houses of which was found much silver in large slabs twenty feet long, one broad, and one or two fingers thick. And the Indians who were there related that those slabs belonged to a great cacique and that one of the lords of Cuzco had won them and had carried them off thus in plates, together with those of which the conquered cacique had built a house.[49] The next day, the Governor set out in order to cross the last bridge, which was almost three leagues from there. Before he arrived at that river, a messenger came with a letter from the captain in which he informed him that he had arrived at the last bridge with great speed in order that the enemy should not have opportunity to burn it; but that, at the time of his arrival there, they had finished burning it, and as it was already late, he did not wish to cross the river that same day, but had gone to camp in a village which was nearby. The next day, he [the captain] had passed through the water, which came to the breasts of the horses, and had proceeded straight along the road to Cuzco which was twelve leagues from there; and as, on the way, he was informed that, on a neighbouring mountain [where] forts had been built, all the enemies were hoping that the next day Quizquiz would come to their aid with reenforcements from the troops which he had in Cuzco, for this reason he [the captain] had spurred ahead with all speed together with fifty horsemen,[50] for ten had been left guarding the baggage and certain gold which had been found in the rout of Bilcas. And one Saturday, at noon, they had begun to go up on horseback a slope which lasted well over a league, and, being wearied by the sharp ascent and by the mid-day heat, which was very great, they stopped awhile and gave to the horses some maize which they had because the natives of a village nearby had brought it to them. Then, proceeding on their journey, the captain, who rode a cross-bow shot ahead, saw the enemy on the summit of the mountain, which they entirely covered, and [he saw] that three or four thousand were coming down in order to pass the point where they [the Spaniards] were. Because of this, although he called to the Spaniards to put themselves in battle-array, he could not hope to join them, because the Indians were already very near and were coming with great rapidity. But with those who were in readiness, he advanced to give battle [to the Indians], and the Spaniards who kept coming up mounted the slope of the mountain, some on one hand, others on the other. They dashed among those of the enemy who were foremost without waiting for the beginning of the fight, save for defending themselves against the stones which were hurled upon them, until they mounted to the summit of the mountain, in which deed they thought they saw a certain victory to be accomplished. The horses were so tired that they could not get breath in order to attack with impetuosity such a multitude of enemies, nor did the latter cease to inconvenience and harass them continually with the lances stones and arrows which they hurled at them, so they fatigued all to such an extent that the riders could hardly keep their horses at the trot or even at the pace. The Indians, perceiving the weariness of the horses, began to charge with greater fury, and five Christians, whose horses could not go up to the summit of the slope, were charged so furiously by so many of the throng that to two of them it was impossible to alight, and they were killed upon their horses. The others fought on foot very valorously, but at length, not being seen by any companions who could bring them aid, they remained prisoners, and only one was killed without being able to lay hand upon his sword or to defend himself, the cause of which was that a good soldier was left dead beside him, the tail of his horse having been seized which prevented his going ahead with the rest. They [the Indians] opened the heads of all by means of their battle-axes and clubs; they wounded eighteen horses and six Christians; but none of the wounds were dangerous save those of one horse which died of them. It pleased God Our Lord that the Spaniards should gain a plain which was near that mountain, and the Indians collected on a hill nearby. The captain commanded half of his men to take the bridles off their horses and let them drink in a rivulet that ran there, and then to do the same for the other half, which was done without being hindered by the enemies. Then, the captain said to all: "Gentlemen, let us withdraw from here step by step down this declivity in such a way that the enemy may think that we are fleeing from them, in order that they may come in search of us below, for, if we can attract them to this plain, we will attack them all of a sudden in such a manner that I hope not one of them will escape from our hands. Our horses are already somewhat tired, and if we put the enemy to flight, we shall end by gaining the summit of the mountain." And thus it was that some of the Indians, thinking that the Spaniards were retreating, came down below, throwing stones at them, with their slings, and shooting arrows.[51] When this was seen by the Christians, [they knew] that now was their time, [and] they turned their horses' heads, and before the Indians could gather together on the mountain where they were before, some twenty of them were killed. When this was seen by the others, and when they perceived that there was little safety in the place where they were, they left that mountain and retired to another one which was higher. The captain, with his men, finished climbing the mountain, and there, because it was already night, he camped with his soldiers. The Indians also camped two cross-bow shots away, in such a manner that in either camp could be heard the voices in the other. The captain caused the wounds to be cared for and posted patrols and sentinels for the night, and he ordered that all the horses were to remain saddled and bridled until the following day, on which he was to fight with the Indians. And he tried to cheer his men up and renew their valor, saying: "that by all means it was necessary to attack the enemy the following morning without delaying an instant, because he had news that the captain Quizquiz was coming with great reenforcements, and by no means should they wait until he joined forces with them." All showed as much spirits and confidence as if they already had the victory in their hands, and again the captain comforted them, saying: "he held the day just passed through to be more perilous than that which awaited them on the morrow, and that God Our Lord who had delivered them from danger in the past would grant them victory in the future, and that they should look to it whether, on the day before, when their horses were so weary, they had attacked their enemies with disadvantage and had routed them and driven them from their fortresses, even though their own number did not exceed fifty, and that of the enemy eight thousand; ought they not, then, to hope for victory when they were fresh and rested?" With these and other spirited conversations, that night was passed, and the Indians were in their own camp, uttering cries and saying: "Wait, Christians, until dawn, when you are all to die, and we shall take away from you just as many horses as you have!"[52] and they added insulting words in their language having determined to enter into combat with the Christians as soon as it should dawn, believing them and their horses to be weary on account of the toil of the day before and because they saw them to be so few in numbers and because they knew that many of the horses were wounded. In this manner the same thought prevailed on the one side and on the other, but the Indians firmly believed that the Christians would not escape from them.[53]


News comes of the victory won by the Spaniards, even to their putting the Indian army to flight. They command that a chain be placed about the neck of Chilichuchima, holding him to be a traitor. They cross the Rimac[54] and all reunite once more at Sachisagagna,[55] where they burn Chilichuchima.

This news reached the Governor near the last river, as I have said, and he, without showing any change in his countenance, communicated it to the ten horsemen and twenty peons whom he had with him, consoling them all with good words which he spoke to them, although they were greatly disturbed in their minds, for they thought that if a small number of Indians, relatively to the number anticipated, had maltreated the Christians in such a manner in the first action, they would bring upon them still greater war on the following day when their horses were wounded and when the aid of thirty horsemen, which had been sent to them, had not yet arrived among the Spaniards. But all showed that they knew how to place their hopes in God, and they arrived at the river which they crossed in balsas, swimming the horses, because the bridge was burned down. And the river being very full, they delayed in crossing it the rest of that day and the next one until the hour of siesta when the Governor, smiling [determined] to set out without waiting for the Indian allies to cross.[56] [Just then] a Christian was seen coming, and when all saw him from afar, they judged that the captain with the horsemen had been routed and that this man was bringing the news in his flight. But when he had arrived in the presence of the Governor, he gave great consolation to the minds of all with the news that he brought, relating that God Our Lord, who never abandons his faithful servants even in the direst extremities, ordained that while the captain with the others [of his company] was passing that night cautiously and encouraging his men for the combat on the morrow, the Marshal arrived with the reenforcements of thirty horsemen which had been sent, and these, together with the ten others whom they had left behind, made forty altogether, and when all perceived this, the first group felt as much pleasure as if they had resuscitated that day [just lived through], holding it to be certain that the victory would be theirs on the following day. When day had come, which was Sunday, they all mounted at dawn, and, disposed in a wing formation in order to present a better front, they attacked the rear of the Indians who, during the night, had determined to attack the Christians, but who, in the morning, seeing so many soldiers, thought that some aid must have come to them during the night, on account of which, not having the courage to put on a bold front, and seeing that the Spaniards were coming up the slope in pursuit of them, turned their backs and retired from mountain to mountain. The Spaniards did not follow them because the land was rough, and besides, a mist arose which was so thick that they could not see one another, and yet withal, on the slope of a hill, they killed many of the enemy. At this juncture, a thousand Indians in a squadron commanded by Quizquiz arrived in aid of the Indians who, seeing the Christians on horseback and so warlike, judged it time to withdraw to the mountain.[57] At the same time, the Christians assembled in their [the Indians'] fort, whence the captain had sent this messenger to the Governor to tell him that he would await him there until he should arrive. When this news was heard by the Governor, he rejoiced greatly over the victory which God Our Lord had given him when he least expected it, and without delaying an instant he ordered that all should go forward with the dunnage and the remaining Indians, because, jointly with this news, he had received warning that in the retreat of this hostile force of soldiers, four thousand men had split off from the rest, and that therefore he should proceed cautiously, and should also be very sure that Chilichuchima was arranging and commanding all this and was giving advice to the enemy as to what they were to do, and that, on this account, he should bear himself with caution. When the Governor had finished his day's march, he had chains put upon Chilichuchima and said to him: "Well you know how I have always borne myself toward you and how I have always tried [to be generous with you], making you the captain who should rule all this land until the son of Atabalipa should come from Quito in order to be made lord [of it], and although I have had many causes for putting you to death, I have not wished to do so, believing always that you would mend your ways. Likewise, I have asked you many times to urge these hostile Indians, with whom you have influence and friendliness, to calm themselves and lay down their arms, since, although they had done much harm and had killed Guaritico[58] who came from Xauxa at my command, I would pardon them all. But in spite of all these admonitions of mine you have wished to persist in your evil attitude and intentions, thinking that the advice which you gave to the hostile captains was powerful enough to make your wicked design succeed. But now you can see how, with the aid of our God, we have always routed them, and that it will always be so in the future, and you may be very sure that they will not be able to escape nor to return to Quito whence they came, nor will you ever again see Cuzco[59] because as soon as I have arrived at the place where this captain is with my soldiers, I shall cause you to be burned alive because you have known how to keep so ill the friendship which, in the name of Caesar,[60] my lord, I have agreed upon with you. Have no doubt that this will be done unless you urge these Indian friends of yours to lay down their arms and come in peace, as I have asked you to do many times before." To all these reasonings Chilichuchima listened attentively without returning a word. But always firm in his obstinacy, he [at length] replied: "that those captains had not done as he had ordered them to do because they did not wish to obey him, and, for that reason he had not remained to make them understand that they must come in peace," and with such words he excused himself from what was attributed to him. But the Governor, who already knew of certain of his dealings, left him with his evil thoughts and did not return to speak to him upon the matter. Then, having crossed the river in the afternoon, the Governor went forward with those soldiers and arrived by night in a village called Rimac[61] a league from that river. And there the Marshal arrived, with four horsemen, to wait for him, and after they had talked together, they set out the next day for the camp of the Spaniards where they arrived in the afternoon, the captain and many others having come out to meet them, and all rejoiced greatly at seeing themselves all together again. The Governor gave each one thanks, according to his merits, for the valour they had shown, and all set out together in the evening and arrived two leagues further on at a village called Sachisagagna.[62] The captains informed the Governor all that had happened, just as I have related it. When they were all lodged in this village, the captain and the Marshal urged the Governor to do justice on Chilichuchima, because he ought to know that Chilichuchima advised the enemy of all that the Christians did, and that he it was who had made the Indians come out of the mountains of Bilcas, exhorting them to come and fight with the Christians who were few and who, with their horses, could not climb those mountains save step by step and on foot, and giving them, at the same time, a thousand other counsels as to where they were to wait and what they were to do, like a man who had seen those places and who knew the skill of the Christians with whom he had lived so long a time. Informed of all these things, the Governor gave orders that he was to be burned alive in the middle of the plaza, and so it was done, for his chiefs and most familiar friends were those who were quickest in setting fire to him.[63] The religious[64] tried to persuade him to become a Christian, saying to him that those who were baptized and who believed with true faith in our saviour Jesus Christ went to glory in paradise and that those who did not believe in him went to hell and its tortures. He made him understand this by means of an interpreter. But he [Chilichuchima] did not wish to be a Christian, saying that he did not know what sort of thing this law was, and he began to invoke Paccamaca[65] and captain Quizquiz that they might come to his aid. This Paccamaca the Indians have as their God and they offer him much gold and silver, and it is a well-known thing that the demon is in that idol and speaks with those who come to ask him something.[66] And of this matter I have spoken at length in the relation which was sent to H. M. from Caxamalca. In this way this captain paid for the cruelties which he committed in the conquests of Atabalipa, and for the evils which he plotted to the hurt of the Spaniards and in disservice of H. M. All the people of the country rejoiced infinitely at his death, because he was very much abhorred by all who knew what a cruel man he was.[67]


A son of the cacique Guainacaba[68] visits them; they agree upon friendship with him, and he tells them of the movements of the army of hostile Indians with which they have some encounters before entering Cuzco, where they establish as lord the son of Guainacaba.[69]

Here the Spaniards rested that night, having set good guards, because they were given to understand that Quizquiz was close by with all his men. And on the following morning, came to visit the Governor a son of Guainacaba and a brother of the dead cacique Atabalipa,[70] and the greatest and most important lord who was then in that land; and he had ever been a fugitive so that those of Quito might not kill him. This man said to the Governor that he would aid him to the extent of his power in order to drive from that

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