'A statue tall, on a pillar of stone, Telling its story to great and small Of the dust reclaimed from the sand-waste lone.'
THE STORY OF EMUND (A.D. 1020)
THERE was a man named Emund of Skara; lawman in Western Gautland, and very wise and eloquent. Of high birth he was, had a numerous kin, and was very wealthy. Men deemed him cunning, and not very trusty. He passed for the man of most weight in West Gautland now that the Earl was gone away.
At the time when Earl Rognvald left Gautland the Gauts held assemblies, and often murmured among themselves about what the Swedish king was intending. They heard that he was wroth with them for having made a friendship with Olaf, King of Norway, rather than quarrel. He also charged with crime those men who had accompanied his daughter Astridr to Norway's king. And some said that they should seek protection of the Norse king and offer him their service; while others were against this, and said that the West Gauts had no strength to maintain a quarrel against the Swedes, 'and the Norse king is far from us,' they said, 'because the main power of his land is far: and this is the first thing we must do, send men to the Swedish king and try to make agreement with him; but if that cannot be done, then take we the other choice of seeking the protection of the Norse king.'
So the landowners asked Emund to go on this mission, to which he assented, and went his way with thirty men, and came to East Gautland. There he had many kinsmen and friends, and was well received. He had there some talk with the wisest men about this difficulty, and they were quite agreed in thinking that what the King was doing with them was against use and law. Then Emund went on to Sweden, and there talked with many great men; and there too all were of the same mind. He then held on his way till he came on the evening of a day to Upsala. There they found them good lodging and passed the night. The next day Emund went before the King as he sat in council with many around him. Emund went up to the King, and bowed down before him, and greeted him. The King looked at him, returned his greeting, and asked him what tidings he brought.
Emund answered: 'Little tidings are there with us Gauts. But this we deem a novelty: Atti the Silly in Vermaland went in the winter up to the forest with his snowshoes and bow; we call him a mighty hunter. On the fell he got such store of grey fur that he had filled his sledge with as much as he could manage to draw after him. He turned him homeward from the forest; but then he saw a squirrel in the wood, and shot at him and missed. Then was he wroth, and, loosing from him his sledge, he ran after the squirrel. But the squirrel went ever where the wood was thickest, sometimes near the tree roots, sometimes high among the boughs, and passed among the boughs from tree to tree. But when Atti shot at him, the arrow always flew above or below him, while the squirrel never went so that Atti could not see him. So eager was he in this chase that he crept after him for the whole day, but never could he get this squirrel. And when darkness came on, he lay down in the snow, as he was wont, and so passed the night; 'twas drifting weather. Next day Atti went to seek his sledge, but he never found it again; and so he went home. Such are my tidings, sire.'
Said the King: 'Little tidings these, if there be no more to say.'
Emund answered: 'Yet further a while ago happened this, which one may call tidings. Gauti Tofason went out with five warships by the river Gaut Elbe; but when he lay by the Eikr Isles, some Danes came there with five large merchant ships. Gauti and his company soon captured four of the merchant ships without losing a man, and took great store of wealth; but the fifth ship escaped out to sea by sailing. Gauti went after that one ship, and at first gained on it; but soon, as the wind freshened, the merchant ship went faster. They had got far out to sea, and Gauti wished to turn back; but a storm came on, and his ship was wrecked on an island, and all the wealth lost and the more part of the men. Meanwhile his comrades had had to stay at the Eikr Isles. Then attacked them fifteen Danish merchant ships, and slew them all, and took all the wealth which they had before gotten. Such was the end of this covetousness.'
The King answered: 'Great tidings these, and worth telling; but what is thy errand hither?'
Emund answered: 'I come, sire, to seek a solution in a difficulty where our law and Upsala law differ.'
The King asked: 'What is it of which thou wouldst complain?'
Emund answered: 'There were two men, nobly born, equal in family, but unequal in possessions and disposition. They quarrelled about lands, and each wrought harm on the other, and he wrought the more who was the more powerful, till their dispute was settled and judged at the general assembly. He who was the more powerful was condemned to pay; but at the first repayment he paid wildgoose for goose, little pig for old swine, and for a mark of gold he put down half a mark of gold, the other half-mark of clay and mould, and yet further threatened with rough treatment the man to whom he was paying this debt. What is thy judgment herein, sire?'
The King answered: 'Let him pay in full what was adjudged, and to his King thrice that amount. And if it be not paid within the year, then let him go an outlaw from all his possessions, let half his wealth come into the King's treasury, and half to the man to whom he owed redress.'
Emund appealed to all the greatest men there, and to the laws valid at Upsala Thing in witness of this decision. Then he saluted the King and went out. Other men brought their complaints before the King, and he sat long time over men's suits.
But when the King came to table he asked where was lawman Emund.
He was told that he was at home in his lodging.
Then said the King: 'Go after him, he shall be my guest to-day.'
Just then came in the viands, and afterwards players with harps and fiddles and other music, and then drink was served. The King was very merry, and had many great men as his guests, and thought no more of Emund. He drank for the rest of the day, and slept that night.
But in the morning, when the King waked, then he bethought him of what Emund had talked of the day before. And so soon as he was dressed he had his wise men summoned to him. King Olaf had ever about him twelve of the wisest men; they sate with him over judgments and counselled him in difficulties; and that was no easy task, for while the King liked it ill if judgment was perverted, he yet would not hear any contradiction of himself. When they were met thus in council, the King took the word, and bade Emund be called thither.
But the messenger came back and said: 'Sire, Emund the lawman rode away yesterday immediately after he had supped.'
Then spake the King: 'Tell me this, noble lords, whereto pointed that law question of which Emund asked yesterday?'
They answered: 'Sire, thou wilt have understood it, if it meant more than his mere words.'
The King said: 'By those two nobly-born men of whom he told the story that they disputed, the one more powerful than the other, and each wrought the other harm, he meant me and Olaf Stout.'
'It is even so, sire,' said they, 'as thou sayest.'
The King went on: 'Judgment there was in our cause at the Upsala Thing. But what did that mean which he said about the under-payment, wildgoose for goose, little pig for old swine, half clay for gold?'
Arnvid the Blind answered: 'Sire,' said he, 'very unlike are red gold and clay, but more different are king and thrall. Thou didst promise to Olaf Stout thy daughter Ingigerdr, who is of royal birth on both sides, and of Up-Swedish family, the highest in the North, for it derives from the gods themselves. But now King Olaf has gotten to wife Astridr. And though she is a king's child, yet her mother is a bondwoman and a Wendlander.'
There were three brothers then in the council; Arnvid the Blind, whose sight was so dim that he could scarce bear arms, but he was very eloquent; the second was Thorvid the Stammerer, who could not speak more than two words together, he was most bold and sincere; the third was called Freyvid the Deaf, he was hard of hearing. These brothers were all powerful men, wealthy, of noble kin, prudent, and all were dear to the King.
Then said King Olaf: 'What means that which Emund told of Atti the Silly?'
None answered, but they looked at one another.
Said the King, 'Speak now.'
Then said Thorvid the Stammerer: 'Atti quarrelsome, covetous, ill-willed, silly, foolish.'
Then asked the King, 'Against whom is aimed this cut?'
Then answered Freyvid the Deaf: 'Sire, men will speak more openly, if that may be with thy permission.'
Said the King: 'Speak now, Freyvid, with permission what thou wilt.'
Freyvid then took the word: 'Thorvid my brother, who is called the wisest of us, calls the man Atti quarrelsome, silly, and foolish. He calls him so because, ill-content with peace, he hunts eagerly after small things, and yet gets them not, while for their sake he throws away great and good things. I am deaf, but now so many have spoken that I have been able to understand that men both great and small like it ill that thou, sire, keepest not thy word with the King of Norway. And still worse like they this: that thou makest of none effect the judgment of the General Assembly at Upsala. Thou hast no need to fear King of Norway or of Danes, nor anyone else, while the armies of Sweden will follow thee. But if the people of the land turn against thee with one consent, then we thy friends see no counsel that is sure to avail.'
The King asked: 'Who are the leading men in this counsel to take the land from me?'
Freyvid answered: 'All the Swedes wish to have old law and their full right. Look now, sire, how many of thy nobles sit in council here with thee. I think we be here but six whom thou callest thy counsellors; all the others have ridden away, and are gone into the provinces, and are holding meetings with the people of the land; and, to tell thee the truth, the war-arrow is cut, and sent round all the land, and a high court appointed. All we brothers have been asked to take part in this counsel, but not one of us will bear this name and be called traitor to his king, for our fathers were never such.'
Then said the King: 'What expedient can we find? A great difficulty is upon us: give ye counsel, noble sirs, that I may keep the kingdom and my inheritance from my fathers; I wish not to contend against all the host of Sweden.'
Arnvid the Blind answered: 'Sire, this seems to me good counsel: that thou ride down to Aros with such as will follow thee, take ship there, and go out to the lake; there appoint a meeting with the people. Behave not with hardness, but offer men law and land right; put down the war-arrow, it will not have gone far round the land in so short a time; send men of thine whom thou canst trust to meet those men who have this business in hand, and try if this tumult can be quieted.'
The King said that he would accept this counsel. 'I will,' said he, 'that ye brothers go on this mission, for I trust you best of my men.'
Then said Thorvid the Stammerer: 'I will remain behind, but let thy son Jacob go; this is needful.'
And Freyvid said: 'Let us do, sire, even as Thorvid says; he will not leave thee in this peril; but I and Arnvid will go.'
So this counsel was followed. King Olaf went to his ships and stood out to the lake, and many men soon joined him there. But the brothers Freyvid and Arnvid rode out to Ullar-acre, taking with them Jacob, the King's son, but his going they kept secret. They soon got to know that there was a gathering and rush to arms, and the country people held meetings both by day and night.
But when Freyvid and his party met their kinsmen and friends they said that they would join their company, and this offer all accepted joyfully.
At once the deliberation was referred to the two brothers, and numbers followed them, yet all were at one in saying that they would no longer have Olaf king over them, and would not endure his breaches of law and his arrogance, for he would hear no man's cause, even though great chiefs told him the truth.
But when Freyvid found the vehemence of the people, then he saw into what danger matters had come, and he held a meeting with the chiefs, and thus spoke before them: 'It seems to me that if this great measure is to be taken, to remove Olaf Ericsson from the kingdom, we Up-Swedes ought to have the ruling of it; it has always been so, that what the chiefs of the Up-Swedes have resolved among them, to this the other men of the land have listened. Our fathers needed not to receive advice from the West Gauts about their ruling of the land. Now are we not so degenerate that Emund need teach us counsel; I would have us bind our counsel together, kinsmen and friends.'
To this all agreed, and thought it well said. After that the whole multitude of the people turned to join this union of the Up-Swedish chiefs; so then Freyvid and Arnvid became chiefs over the people. But when Emund found this, he guessed how the matter would end. So he went to meet these brothers, and they had a talk together; and Freyvid asked Emund: 'What mean ye to do if Olaf Ericsson is killed; what king will ye have?'
Emund answered; 'Whosoever suits us best, whether of royal family or not.'
Freyvid answered: 'We Up-Swedes will not that the kingdom in our days go out of the family who from father to son have long held it, while such good means may be taken to shun that as now can be. King Olaf has two sons, and we will have one of them for king. There is, however, a great difference between them; one is nobly born and Swedish on both sides, the other is a bondwoman's son and half Wendish.'
At this decision there was great acclaim, and all would have Jacob for king.
Then said Emund: 'You Up-Swedes have power to rule this for the time; but I warn you that hereafter some of those who will not hear now of anything else but that the kingdom of Sweden go in the royal line, will themselves live to consent that the kingdom pass into other families, and that will turn out better.'
After this the brothers Freyvid and Arnvid caused Jacob the King's son to be led before the assembly, and there they gave him the title of king, and therewith the Swedes gave him the name Onund, and henceforth he was so called. He was then ten or twelve years old.
Then King Onund took to him guards, and chose chiefs with such force of men about them as seemed needful; and he gave the common people of the land leave to go home. Thereafter messengers passed between the kings, and soon they met and made their agreement. Olaf was to be king over the land while he lived; he was to hold to peace and agreement with the King of Norway, as also with all those men who had been implicated in this counsel. Onund was also to be king, and have so much of the land as father and son might think fit; but was to be bound to follow the landowners if King Olaf did any of those things which they would not tolerate.
After this messengers went to Norway to seek King Olaf with this errand, that he should come with a fleet to Konunga Hella (Kings' Stone) to meet the Swedish king, and that the Swedish king wished that they should there ratify their treaty. King Olaf was still, as before, desirous of peace, and came with his fleet as proposed. The Swedish king also came, and when father-in-law and son-in-law met, they bound them to agreement and peace. Olaf the Swedish king showed him affable and gentle.
Thorstein the Learned says that there was in Hising a portion of land that had sometimes belonged to Norway, sometimes to Gautland. The kings agreed between them that for this possession they would casts lots with dice; he was to have it who should cast the higher throw. The Swedish king threw two sixes, and said that King Olaf need not cast.
He answered, while shaking the dice in his hand: 'There are yet two sixes on the dice, and it is but a little thing for God to let them turn up.' He cast, and turned up two sixes. Then Olaf the Swedish king cast, and again two sixes. Then cast Olaf, King of Norway, and there was six on one die, but the other split in two, and there were then seven. So he got the portion of land. We have heard no more tidings of that meeting. The kings parted reconciled.
THE MAN IN WHITE
'A LITTLE while ago,' writes Mademoiselle Aisse, the Greek captive who was such a charming figure in Paris during the opening years of Louis XV.'s reign, 'a little while ago a strange thing happened here, which caused a great deal of talk. It cannot be more than six weeks since Besse the surgeon received a note, begging him to come without fail that afternoon at six o'clock to the Rue au Fer, near the Luxembourg Palace. Punctually at the hour named the surgeon arrived on the spot, where he found a man awaiting him. This man conducted the surgeon to a house a few steps further on, and motioning him to enter through the open door, promptly closed it, and remained himself outside. Besse was surprised to find himself alone, and wondered why he had been brought there; but he had not to wait long, for the housekeeper soon appeared, who informed him that he was expected, and that he was to go up to the first story. The surgeon did as he was told, and opened the door of an anteroom all hung with white. Here he was met by an elegant lackey, dressed also in white, frizzed and powdered, with his white hair tied in a bag wig, carrying two torches in his hand, who requested the bewildered doctor to wipe his shoes. Besse replied that this was quite unnecessary, as he had only just stepped out of his sedan chair and was not in the least muddy, but the lackey rejoined that everything in the house was so extraordinarily clean that it was impossible to be too careful.
'His shoes being wiped, Besse was next led into another room, hung with white like the first. A second lackey, in every respect similar to the other, made his appearance; again the doctor was forced to wipe his shoes, and for the third time he was conducted into a room, where carpets, chairs, sofas, and bed were all as white as snow. A tall figure dressed in a white dressing-gown and nightcap, and having its face covered by a white mask, sat by the fire. The moment this ghostly object perceived Besse, he observed, "My body is possessed by the devil," and then was silent. For three-quarters of an hour they remained thus, the white figure occupying himself with incessantly putting on and taking off six pairs of white gloves, which were placed on a white table beside him. The strangeness of the whole affair made Besse feel very uncomfortable, but when his eyes fell on a variety of firearms in one corner of the room he became so frightened that he was obliged to sit down, lest his legs should give way.
'At last the dead silence grew more than he could bear, and he turned to the white figure and asked what they wanted of him, and begged that his orders might be given him as soon as possible, as his time belonged to the public and he was needed elsewhere. To this the white figure only answered coldly, "What does that matter, as long as you are well paid?" and again was silent. Another quarter of an hour passed, and then the white figure suddenly pulled one of the white bell-ropes. When the summons was answered by the two white lackeys, the figure desired them to bring some bandages, and commanded Besse to bleed him, and to take from him five pounds of blood. The surgeon, amazed at the quantity, inquired what doctor had ordered such extensive blood-letting. "I myself," replied the white figure. Besse felt that he was too much upset by all he had gone through to trust himself to bleed in the arm without great risk of injury, so he decided to perform the operation on the foot, which is far less dangerous. Hot water was brought, and the white phantom removed a pair of white thread stockings of wonderful beauty, then another and another, up to six, and took off a slipper of beaver lined with white. The leg and foot thus left bare were the prettiest in the world; and Besse began to think that the figure before him must be that of a woman. At the second basinful the patient showed signs of fainting, and Besse wished to loosen the mask, in order to give him more air. This was, however, prevented by the lackeys, who stretched him on the floor, and Besse bandaged the foot before the patient had recovered from his fainting fit. Directly he came to himself, the white figure ordered his bed to be warmed, and as soon as it was done he lay down in it. The servants left the room, and Besse, after feeling his pulse, walked over to the fireplace to clean his lancet, thinking all the while of his strange adventure. Suddenly he heard a noise behind him, and, turning his head, he saw reflected in the mirror the white figure coming hopping towards him. His heart sank with terror, but the figure only took five crowns from the chimneypiece, and handed them to him, asking at the same time if he would be satisfied with that payment. Trembling all over, Besse replied that he was. "Well, then, be off as fast as you can," was the rejoinder. Besse did not need to be told twice, but made the best of his way out. As before the lackeys were awaiting him with lights, and as they walked he noticed that they looked at each other and smiled. At length Besse, provoked at this behaviour, inquired what they were laughing at. "Ah, Monsieur," was their answer, "what cause have you to complain? Has anyone done you any harm, and have you not been well paid for your services?" So saying they conducted him to his chair, and truly thankful he was to be out of the house. He rapidly made up his mind to keep silence about his adventures, but the following day someone sent to inquire how he was feeling after having bled the Man in White. Besse saw that it was useless to make a mystery of the affair, and related exactly what had happened, and it soon came to the ears of the King. But who was the Man in White? Echo answers "Who?"'
THE ADVENTURES OF 'THE BULL OF EARLSTOUN'
THIS is the story of the life of Alexander Gordon, of Earlstoun in Galloway. Earlstoun is a bonny place, sitting above the waterside of the Ken in the fair strath of the Glenkens, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. The grey tower stands ruinous and empty to-day, but once it was a pleasant dwelling, and dear to the hearts of those that had dwelt in it when they were in foreign lands or hiding out on the wild wide moors. It was the time when Charles II. wished to compel the most part of the people of Scotland to change their religion and worship as he bade them. Some obeyed the King; but most hated the new order of things, and cleaved in their hearts to their old ways and to their old ministers, who had been put out of their kirks and manses at the coming of the King. Many even set themselves to resist the King in open battle rather than obey him in the matter of their consciences. It was only in this that they were rebellious, for many of them had been active in bringing him again to the throne.
Among those who thus went out to fight were William Gordon and his son Alexander. William Gordon was a grave, courteous, and venerable man, and his estate was one of the best in all the province of Galloway. Like nearly all the lairds in the south and west he was strongly of the Presbyterian party, and resolved to give up life and lands rather than his principles. Now the King was doubtless ill-advised, and his councillors did not take the kindly or the wise way with the people at this time; for a host of wild Highlanders had been turned into the land, who plundered in cotter's hut and laird's hall without much distinction between those that stood for the Covenants and those that held for the King. So in the year 1679 Galloway was very hot and angry, and many were ready to fight the King's forces wherever they could be met with.
So, hearing news of a revolt in the West, William Gordon rode away, with many good riders at his back, to take his place in the ranks of the rebels. His son Alexander, whose story we are to tell, was there before him. The Covenanting army had gained one success in Drumclog, which gave them some hope, but at Bothwell Bridge their forces were utterly broken, largely through their own quarrels, by the Duke of Monmouth and the disciplined troops of the Government.
Alexander Gordon had to flee from the field of Bothwell. He came home to Earlstoun alone, for his father had been met about six miles from the battle-field by a troop of horse, and as he refused to surrender, he was slain there and buried in the parish of Glassford.
Immediately after Bothwell, Alexander Gordon was compelled to go into hiding with a price upon his head. Unlike his father, he was very ready-witted, free with his tongue, even boisterous upon occasion, and of very great bodily strength. These qualities stood him in good stead during the long period of his wandering and when lying in concealment among the hills.
The day after Bothwell he was passing through the town of Hamilton, when he was recognised by an old retainer of the family.
'Save us, Maister Alexander,' said the man, who remembered the ancient kindnesses of his family, 'do you not know that it is death for you to be found here?'
So saying he made his young master dismount, and carried away all his horseman's gear and his arms, which he hid in a heap of field-manure behind the house. Then he took Earlstoun to his own house, and put upon him a long dress of his wife's. Hardly had he been clean-shaven, and arrayed in a clean white mutch (cap), when the troopers came clattering into the town. They had heard that he and some others of the prominent rebels had passed that way; and they went from door to door, knocking and asking, 'Saw ye anything of Sandy Gordon of Earlstoun?'
So going from house to house they came to the door of the ancient Gordon retainer, and Earlstoun had hardly time to run to the corner and begin to rock the cradle with his foot before the soldiers came to ask the same question there. But they passed on without suspicion, only saying one to the other as they went out, 'My certes, Billy, but yon was a sturdy hizzie!'
After that there was nothing but the heather and the mountain cave for Alexander Gordon for many a day. He had wealth of adventures, travelling by night, hiding and sleeping by day. Sometimes he would venture to the house of one who sympathised with the Covenanters, only to find that the troopers were already in possession. Sometimes, in utter weariness, he slept so long that when he awoke he would find a party searching for him quite close at hand; then there was nothing for it but to lie close like a hare in a covert till the danger passed by.
Once when he came to his own house of Earlstoun he was only an hour or two there before the soldiers arrived to search for him. His wife had hardly time to stow him in a secret recess behind the ceiling of a room over the kitchen, in which place he abode several days, having his meals passed to him from above, and breathing through a crevice in the wall.
After this misadventure he was sometimes in Galloway and sometimes in Holland for three or four years. He might even have remained in the Low Countries, but his services were so necessary to his party in Scotland that he was repeatedly summoned to come over into Galloway and the West to take up the work of organising resistance to the Government.
During most of this time the Tower of Earlstoun was a barracks of the soldiers, and it was only by watching his opportunity that Alexander Gordon could come home to see his wife, and put his hand upon his bairns' heads as they lay a-row in their cots. Yet come he sometimes did, especially when the soldiers of the garrison were away on duty in the more distant parts of Galloway. Then the wanderer would steal indoors in the gloaming, soft-footed like a thief, into his own house, and sit talking with his wife and an old retainer or two who were fit to be trusted with the secret. Yet while he sat there one was ever on the watch, and at the slightest signs of King's men in the neighbourhood Alexander Gordon rushed out and ran to the great oak tree, which you may see to this day standing in sadly-diminished glory in front of the great house of Earlstoun.
Now it stands alone, all the trees of the forest having been cut away from around it during the subsequent poverty which fell upon the family. A rope ladder lay snugly concealed among the ivy that clad the trunk of the tree. Up this Alexander Gordon climbed. When he arrived at the top he pulled the ladder after him, and found himself upon an ingeniously constructed platform built with a shelter over it from the rain, high among the branchy tops of the great oak. His faithful wife, Jean Hamilton, could make signals to him out of one of the top windows of Earlstoun whether it was safe for him to approach the house, or whether he had better remain hidden among the leaves. If you go now to look for the tree, it is indeed plain and easy to be seen. But though now so shorn and lonely, there is no doubt that two hundred years ago it stood undistinguished among a thousand others that thronged the woodland about the Tower of Earlstoun.
Often, in order to give Alexander Gordon a false sense of security, the garrison would be withdrawn for a week or two, and then in the middle of some mirky night or early in the morning twilight the house would be surrounded and the whole place ransacked in search of its absent master.
On one occasion, the man who came running along the narrow river path from Dairy had hardly time to arouse Gordon before the dragoons were heard clattering down through the wood from the high-road. There was no time to gain the great oak in safety, where he had so often hid in time of need. All Alexander Gordon could do was to put on the rough jerkin of a labouring man, and set to cleaving firewood in the courtyard with the scolding assistance of a maid-servant. When the troopers entered to search for the master of the house, they heard the maid vehemently 'flyting' the great hulking lout for his awkwardness, and threatening to 'draw a stick across his back' if he did not work to a better tune.
The commander ordered him to drop his axe, and to point out the different rooms and hiding-places about the castle. Alexander Gordon did so with an air of indifference, as if hunting Whigs were much the same to him as cleaving firewood. He did his duty with a stupid unconcern which successfully imposed on the soldiers; and as soon as they allowed him to go, he fell to his wood-chopping with the same stolidity and rustic boorishness that had marked his conduct.
Some of the officers came up to him and questioned him as to his master's hiding-place in the woods. But as to this he gave them no satisfaction.
'My master,' he said, 'has no hiding-place that I know of. I always find him here when I have occasion to seek for him, and that is all I care about. But I am sure that if he thought you were seeking him he would immediately show himself to you, for that is ever his custom.'
This was one of the answers with a double meaning that were so much in the fashion of the time and so characteristic of the people.
On leaving, the commander of the troop said, 'Ye are a stupid kindly nowt, man. See that ye get no harm in such a rebel service.'
Sometimes, however, searching waxed so hot and close that Gordon had to withdraw himself altogether out of Galloway and seek quieter parts of the country. On one occasion he was speeding up the Water of Ae when he found himself so weary that he was compelled to lie down under a bush of heather and rest before proceeding on his journey. It so chanced that a noted King's man, Dalyell of Glenae, was riding homewards over the moor. His horse started back in astonishment, having nearly stumbled over the body of a sleeping man. It was Alexander Gordon. Hearing the horse's feet he leaped up, and Dalyell called upon him to surrender. But that was no word to say to a Gordon of Earlstoun. Gordon instantly drew his sword, and, though unmounted, his lightness of foot on the heather and moss more than counterbalanced the advantages of the horseman, and the King's man found himself matched at all points; for the Laird of Earlstoun was in his day a famous sworder.
Soon the Covenanter's sword seemed to wrap itself about Dalyell's blade and sent it twirling high in the air. In a little he found himself lying on the heather at the mercy of the man whom he had attacked. He asked for his life, and Alexander Gordon granted it to him, making him promise by his honour as a gentleman that whenever he had the fortune to approach a conventicle he would retire, if he saw a white flag elevated in a particular manner upon a flagstaff. This seemed but a little condition to weigh against a man's life, and Dalyell agreed.
Now the Cavalier was an exceedingly honourable man and valued his spoken word. So on the occasion of a great conventicle at Mitchelslacks, in the parish of Closeburn, he permitted a great field meeting to disperse, drawing off his party in another direction, because the signal streaming from a staff told him that the man who had spared his life was amongst the company of worshippers.
After this, the white signal was frequently used in the neighbourhood over which Dalyell's jurisdiction extended, and to the great credit of the Cavalier it is recorded that on no single occasion did he violate his plighted word, though he is said to have remarked bitterly that the Whig with whom he fought must have been the devil, 'for ever going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.'
But Alexander Gordon was too great a man in the affairs of the Praying Societies to escape altogether. He continually went and came from Holland, and some of the letters that he wrote from that country are still in existence. At last, in 1683, having received many letters and valuable papers for delivery to people in refuge in Holland, he went secretly to Newcastle, and agreed with the master of a ship for his voyage to the Low Countries. But just as the vessel was setting out from the mouth of the Tyne, it was accidentally stopped. Some watchers for fugitives came on board, and Earlstoun and his companion were challenged. Earlstoun, fearing the taking of his papers, threw the box that contained them overboard; but it floated, and was taken along with himself.
Then began a long series of misfortunes for Alexander Gordon. He was five times tried, twice threatened with torture—which he escaped, in the judgment hall itself, by such an exhibition of his great strength as terrified his judges. He simulated madness, foamed at the mouth, and finally tore up the benches in order to attack the judges with the fragments. He was sent first to the castle of Edinburgh and afterwards to the Bass, 'for a change of air' as the record quaintly says. Finally, he was despatched to Blackness Castle, where he remained close in hold till the revolution. Not till June 5, 1689, were his prison doors thrown open, but even then Alexander Gordon would not go till he had obtained signed documents from the governor and officials of the prison to the effect that he had never altered any of his opinions in order to gain privilege or release.
Alexander Gordon returned to Earlstoun, and lived there quietly far into the next century, taking his share in local and county business with Grierson of Lag and others who had hunted him for years—which is a strange thing to think on, but one also very characteristic of those times.
On account of his great strength and the power of his voice he was called 'the Bull of Earlstoun,' and it is said that when he was rebuking his servants, the bellowing of the Bull could plainly be heard in the clachan of Dalry, which is two miles away across hill and stream.
 See the story of 'How they held the Bass for King James.'
THE STORY OF GRISELL BAILLIE'S SHEEP'S HEAD
THE Lady Grisell Baillie, as she was called after her marriage, was the daughter of a very eminent Covenanter, Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth. Grisell was born in 1665, and during all the years of her girlhood her father was seldom able to come home to his house of Polwarth, for fear of the officers of the Government seizing him. On one occasion he was taken and cast into prison in Dumbarton Castle for full fifteen months. Grisell was but a little girl at the time, but she had a wisdom and a quaint discretion beyond her years. Often she was entrusted with a letter to carry to him past the guard, and succeeded in the attempt where an elder person would certainly have been suspected and searched.
When her father was set at liberty, it was not many weeks till the soldiers again came seeking him; for new troubles had arisen, and the suspicion of the King was against all men that were not active in his service.
Parties of soldiers were continually searching the house in pursuit of him. But this occasioned no alarm to his family, for they all, with three exceptions, thought him far from home.
Only Sir Patrick's wife, his little daughter Grisell, and a carpenter named James Winter were trusted with the secret. The servants were frequently put to the oath as to when they saw their master; but as they knew nothing, all passed off quite well.
With James Winter's assistance the Lady Polwarth got a bed and bed-clothes carried in the night to the burying-place, a vault under the ground at Polwarth Church, a mile from the house. Here Sir Patrick was concealed a whole month, never venturing out. For all light he had only an open slit at one end, through which nobody could see what was below.
To this lonely place little Grisell went every night by herself at midnight, to carry her father victuals and drink, and stayed with him as long as she could with a chance of returning home before the morning. Here in this dismal habitation did they often laugh heartily at the incidents of the day, for they were both of that cheerful disposition which is a continual feast.
Grisell had ordinarily a terror of the churchyard, especially in the dark, for being but a girl, and having been frightened with nursery stories, she thought to see ghosts behind every tomb. But when she came to help her father, she had such anxious care for him that all fear of ghosts went away from her. She stumbled among the graves every night alone, being only in dread that the stirring of a leaf or the barking of a dog betokened the coming of a party of soldiers to carry away her father to his death. The minister's house was near the church. The first night she went, his dogs kept up such a barking that it put her in the utmost fear of a discovery. The next day the Lady Polwarth sent for the curate, and, on pretext of a mad dog, got him to send away all his dogs. A considerate curate, in sooth!
There was great difficulty in getting victuals to carry to Sir Patrick without the servants, who were not in the secret, suspecting for what purpose they were taken. The only way that it could be done was for Grisell to slip things off her plate into her lap as they sat at dinner.
Many a diverting story is told about this. Sir Patrick above all things was fond of sheep's head. One day while the children were eating their broth, Grisell had conveyed a whole sheep's head into her lap. Her brother Sandy (who was afterwards Lord Marchmont) looked up as soon as he had finished, and cried out with great astonishment, 'Mother, will ye look at our Grisell. While we have been supping our broth, she has eaten up the whole sheep's head!'
For indeed she needed to be looked to in these circumstances. This occasioned great merriment when she told her father of it in his hiding-place at night. And he desired that the next time there was sheep's head Sandy should have a double share of it.
His great comfort and constant entertainment while in this dreary abode (for he had no light to read by) was to repeat over and over to himself Buchanan's Latin Psalms. And to his dying day, nearly forty years after, he would give the book to his wife, and ask her to try him at any place to see if he minded his Psalms as well as he had done in the hiding-hole among the bones of his ancestors in Polwarth Kirkyard.
After this, James Winter and the Lady Polwarth made a hole in the ground under a bed that drew out of a recess in the wall. They lifted the boards and took turns at digging out the earth, scratching it with their hands till they were all rough and bleeding, for only so could they prevent a noise being heard. Grisell and her mother helped James Winter to carry the earth in bags and sheets to the garden at the back. He then made a box bed at his own house, large enough for Sir Patrick to lie in, with bed and bed-clothes, and bored holes in the boards for air. But in spite of all this, the difficulty of their position was so great, and the danger so certainly increasing, that it was judged better that Sir Patrick should attempt to escape to Holland.
It was necessary to tell the grieve, John Allen, who was so much astonished to hear that his master had been all the time about the house, that he fainted away. However, he made up willingly enough a story that he was going to Morpeth Fair to sell horses, and Sir Patrick having got forth from a window of the stables, they set out in the dark. Sir Patrick, being absent-minded, let his horse carry him whither it would, and in the morning found himself at Tweedside, far out of his way, at a place not fordable and without his servant.
But this also was turned to good. For after waiting a while he found means to get over to the other side, where with great joy he met his servant. Then the grieve told him that he had never missed him till, looking about, he heard a great galloping of horses, and a party of soldiers who had just searched the house for Sir Patrick, surrounded him and strictly examined him. He looked about everywhere and could not see his master, for he was in much fear, thinking him to be close behind. But in this manner, by his own absent-mindedness, Sir Patrick was preserved, and so got safely first to London and afterwards to Holland.
Thence Sir Patrick sent home for his wife and family. They came to him in a ship, and on the way had an adventure. The captain was a sordid and brutal man, and agreed with them and with several other people to give them a bed on the passage. So when there arose a dispute who would have the bed, the Lady Polwarth said nothing. But a gentleman coming to her said, 'Let them be doing. You will see how it will end.' So two of the other gentlewomen lay on the bed, the Lady Polwarth with Grisell and a little sister lying on the floor, with a cloak-bag of books she was taking to Sir Patrick for their only pillow.
Then in came the captain, and first ate up all their provisions with a gluttony incredible. Then he said to the women in the bed, 'Turn out, turn out!' and laid himself down in place of them. But Providence was upsides with him, for a terrible storm came on, and he had to get up immediately and go out to try to save the ship. And so he got no more sleep that night, which pleased the gentlewomen greatly in spite of all their own fears and pains. They never saw more of him till they landed at the Brill. From that they set out on foot for Rotterdam with one of the gentlemen that had been kind to them on the crossing to Holland.
It was a cold, wet, dirty night. Grisell's little sister, a girl not well able to walk, soon lost her shoes in the dirt. Whereupon the Lady Polwarth took her upon her back, the gentlemen carrying all their baggage, and Grisell going through the mire at her mother's side.
At Rotterdam they found their eldest brother and Sir Patrick himself waiting to conduct them to Utrecht, where their house was. No sooner were they met again than they forgot everything, and felt nothing but happiness and contentment.
And even after their happy and prosperous return to Scotland they looked back on these years in Holland, when they were so poor, and often knew not whence was to come the day's dinner, as the happiest and most delightful of their lives. Yet the years of Grisell Baillie's after-life were neither few nor evil.
THE CONQUEST OF PERU
THE YOUTH OF PIZARRO
AT the time when the news of the conquest of Mexico by Cortes, and the report of its marvellous stores of treasure, were inflaming the minds of the men of Spain with an ardent desire for fresh discoveries, there happened to be living in the Spanish colony of Panama a man named Francisco Pizarro, to whose lot it fell to discover and conquer the great and flourishing empire of Peru. He was a distant kinsman of Hernando Cortes, but had from his childhood been neglected and left to make his living as best he might. He could neither read nor write, and had chiefly been employed as a swineherd near the city of Truxillo, where he was born. But as he grew older and heard the strange and fascinating stories of adventure in the New World which were daily more widely circulated, he took the first opportunity of escaping to Seville, from which port he, with other Spanish adventurers, embarked to seek their fortunes in the West, the town being at this time left almost entirely to the women, so great was the tide of emigration. Thenceforward he lived a stirring life. We hear of him in Hispaniola, and serving as lieutenant in a colonising expedition under Alonzo de Ojeda. After this he was associated with Vasco Nunez de Balboa in establishing a settlement at Darien, and from Balboa he may first have heard rumours of Peru itself, for it was to Balboa that an Indian chief had said concerning some gold which had been collected from the natives: 'If this is what you prize so much that you are willing to leave your homes and risk even life itself for it, I can tell you of a land where they eat and drink out of golden vessels, and gold is as common as iron with you.' Later, Pizarro was sent to traffic with the natives on the Pacific side of the isthmus for gold and pearls, and presently from the south came Andagoya, bringing accounts of the wealth and grandeur of the countries which lay beyond, and also of the hardships and difficulties endured by the few navigators who had sailed in that direction. Thus the southern expeditions became a common subject of talk among the colonists of Panama.
Pizarro does not at first seem to have shown any special interest in the matter, nor was he rich enough to do anything without assistance; but there were two people in the colony who were to help him. One of them was a soldier of fortune named Diego Almagro, an older man than Pizarro, who in his early life had been equally neglected; the other was a Spanish ecclesiastic, Hernando de Luque, a man of great prudence and worldly wisdom, who had, moreover, control of the necessary funds. Between these three, then, a compact was made, most of the money being supplied by De Luque, Pizarro taking command of the expedition, and Almagro undertaking the equipment of the ships. Only about a hundred men could be persuaded to join the explorers, and those but the idle hangers-on in the colony, who were eager to do anything to mend their fortunes. Everything being ready, Pizarro set sail with these in the larger of the two ships, in the month of November 1524, leaving Almagro to follow as soon as the second vessel could be fitted out. With such slender means did Pizarro begin his attack on a great people, and invade the mysterious empire of the Children of the Sun.
THE EMPIRE OF THE INCAS
At this time the Peruvian Empire stretched along the Pacific from about the second degree north to the thirty-seventh degree of south latitude; its breadth varied, but was nowhere very great. The country was most remarkable, and seemed peculiarly unfitted for cultivation. The great range of mountains ran parallel to the coast, sometimes in a single line, sometimes in two or three, either side by side or running obliquely to each other, broken here and there by the towering peaks of huge volcanoes, white with perpetual snows, and descending towards the coast in jagged cliffs and awful precipices. Between the rocks and the sea lay a narrow strip of sandy soil, where no rain ever fell, and which was insufficiently watered by the few scanty streams that flow down the western side of the Cordilleras. Nevertheless, by the patient industry of the Peruvians, these difficulties had all been overcome; by means of canals and subterranean aqueducts the waste places of the coast were watered and made fertile, the mountain sides were terraced and cultivated, every form of vegetation finding the climate suited to it at a different height, while over the snowy wastes above wandered the herds of llamas, or Peruvian sheep, under the care of their herdsmen. The Valley of Cuzco, the central region of Peru, was the cradle of their civilisation. According to tradition among the Peruvians, there had been a time, long past, when the land was held by many tribes, all plunged in barbarism, who worshipped every object in nature, made war as a pastime, and feasted upon the flesh of their slaughtered captives. The Sun, the great parent of mankind, pitying their degraded condition, sent two of his children, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo Huaco, to govern and teach them. They bore with them as they advanced from the neighbourhood of Lake Titicaca a golden wedge, and were directed to take up their abode at the spot where this sacred emblem should sink easily into the ground. This happened in the Valley of Cuzco; the wedge of gold sank into the earth and disappeared for ever, and Manco Capac settled down to teach the men of the land the arts of agriculture, while Mama Ocllo showed the women how to weave and spin. Under these wise and benevolent rulers the community grew and spread, absorbing into itself the neighbouring tribes, and overrunning the whole tableland. The city of Cuzco was founded, and, under the successors of the Children of the Sun, became the capital of a great and flourishing monarchy. In the middle of the fifteenth century the famous Topa Inca Yupanqui led his armies across the terrible desert of Atacama, and, penetrating to the southern region of Chili, made the river Maule the boundary of his dominions, while his son, Huayna Capac, who succeeded him, pushed his conquests northward, and added the powerful kingdom of Quito to the empire of Peru. The city of Cuzco was the royal residence of the Incas, and also the 'Holy City,' for there stood the great Temple of the Sun, the most magnificent structure in the New World, to which came pilgrims from every corner of the empire.
Cuzco was defended on the north by a high hill, a spur of the Cordilleras, upon which was built a wonderful fortress of stone, with walls, towers, and subterranean galleries, the remains of which exist to this day and amaze the traveller by their size and solidity, some of the stones being thirty-eight feet long by eighteen broad, and six feet thick, and so exactly fitted together that, though no cement was used, it would be impossible to put the blade of a knife between them. As the Peruvians had neither machinery, beasts of burden, nor iron tools, and as the quarry from which these huge blocks were hewn lay forty-five miles from Cuzco, over river and ravine, it is easy to imagine the frightful labour which this building must have cost; indeed, it is said to have employed twenty thousand men for fifty years, and was, after all, but one of the many fortifications established by the Incas throughout their dominions. Their government was absolutely despotic, the sovereign being held so far above his subjects that even the proudest of the nobles only ventured into his presence barefooted, and carrying upon his shoulders a light burden in token of homage. The title of Inca was borne by all the nobility who were related to the king, or who, like himself, claimed descent from the Children of the Sun; but the crown passed from father to son, the heir being the eldest son of the 'coya,' or queen. From his earliest years he was educated by the 'amautas,' or wise men of the kingdom, in the ceremonial of their religion, as well as in military matters and all manly exercises, that he might be fitted to reign in his turn.
At the age of sixteen the prince, with the young Inca nobles who had shared his studies, underwent a kind of public examination, their proficiency as warriors being tested by various athletic exercises and by mimic combats which, though fought with blunted weapons, generally resulted in wounds, and sometimes in death. During this trial, which lasted thirty days, the young prince fared no better than his comrades, wearing mean attire, going barefoot, and sleeping upon the ground—a mode of life which was supposed to give him sympathy with the destitute. At the end of that time, the candidates considered worthy of the honours of this barbaric chivalry were presented to the sovereign, who reminded them of the responsibilities of their birth and station, and exhorted them, as Children of the Sun, to imitate the glorious career of their ancestor. He then, as they knelt before him one by one, pierced their ears with a golden bodkin, which they continued to wear until the hole was made large enough to contain the enormous pendants worn by the Incas, which made the Spaniards call them 'Orejones.' Indeed, as one of the conquerors remarked, 'The larger the hole, the more of a gentleman,' and the sovereign wore so massive an ornament that the cartilage of his ear was distended by it nearly to the shoulder. After this ceremony the feet of the candidates were dressed in the sandals of the order, and girdles, and garlands of flowers were given them. The head of the prince was then encircled with a tasselled fringe of a yellow colour, which distinguished him as the heir apparent, and he at once received the homage of all the Inca nobility; and then the whole assembly proceeded to the great square of the capital, where with songs, dances, and other festivities the ceremony was brought to an end. After this the prince was deemed worthy to sit in the councils of his father, and to serve under distinguished generals in time of war, and finally himself to carry the rainbow banner of his house upon distant campaigns.
The Inca lived with great pomp and show. His dress was of the finest vicuna wool, richly dyed, and ornamented with gold and jewels. Round his head was a many-coloured turban and a fringe like that worn by the prince, but of a scarlet colour, and placed upright in it were two feathers of a rare and curious bird called the coraquenque, which was found in a desert country among the mountains. It was death to take or destroy one of these birds; they were reserved exclusively to supply the king's headgear. In order to communicate with their people, the Incas were in the habit of making a stately progress through their land once in every few years. The litter in which they travelled was richly decorated with gold and emeralds, and surrounded by a numerous escort. The men who bore it on their shoulders were provided by two cities specially appointed for the purpose, and the service was no enviable one, since a fall was punished by death. Halts were made at the 'tambos,' or inns regularly kept up by the Government along all the principal roads, and the people assembled all along the line, clearing stones from the road and strewing it with flowers, and vying with one another in carrying the baggage from village to village. Here and there the Inca halted to listen to the grievances of his subjects, or to decide points referred to him by the ordinary tribunals, and these spots were long held in reverence as consecrated by his presence. Everywhere the people flocked to catch a glimpse of their ruler, and to greet him with acclamations and blessings.
The royal palaces were on a magnificent scale, and were scattered over all the provinces of the great empire. The buildings were low, covering a large space, the rooms not communicating with each other, but opening upon a common square. The walls were of stone rough hewn, and the roofs of rushes; but inside all was splendour. Gold, silver, and richly-coloured stuffs abounded, covering the walls, while in niches stood images of animals and plants curiously wrought in the precious metals. Even the commonest household utensils were of gold. The favourite residence of the Incas was the delicious valley of Yucay, about twelve miles from Cuzco; there they loved to retreat to enjoy their exquisite gardens, and luxurious baths replenished with clear water, which flowed through subterranean channels of silver into basins of gold. The gardens were full of flowers and plants, which flourished in this temperate climate of the tropics; but strangest of all were those borders which glowed with various forms of vegetable life, cunningly fashioned in gold and silver. Among these is specially recorded the beautiful Indian corn, its golden grain set off by broad silver leaves, and crowned with a light tassel of silver. But all the wealth displayed by the Inca belonged to himself alone. When he died, or, as they put it, 'was called home to the mansions of his father the Sun,' his palaces were abandoned, and all his treasures and possessions were suffered to remain as he left them, lest his soul should at any time return to its body, and require again the things it had used before. The body itself was skilfully embalmed and removed to the great Temple of the Sun at Cuzco, where were the bodies of all the former Incas and their queens, ranged in opposite files. Clothed in their accustomed attire, they sat in chairs of gold, their heads bent, their hands crossed upon their breasts, their dusky faces and black, or sometimes silver, hair retaining a perfectly natural look. On certain festivals they were brought out into the great square of Cuzco, invitations were issued in their names to all the nobles' and officers of the Court, and magnificent entertainments were held, when the display of plate, gold, and jewels was such as no other city in the world ever witnessed. The banquets were served by the retainers of the respective houses, and the same forms of courtly etiquette were used as if the living monarch had presided, instead of his mummy. The nobility of Peru consisted of two Orders—the Incas or relatives of the sovereign, and the Curacas, or chiefs of the conquered nations. The former enjoyed many privileges; they wore a peculiar dress, and spoke a peculiar dialect. Most of them lived at Court, sharing the counsels of the king, and dining at his table. They alone were admissible to the great offices of the priesthood, and had the command of armies and the government of distant provinces.
The whole territory of the empire was divided into three parts: one for the Sun, another for the Inca, and the last for the people. The revenue from the lands assigned to the Sun supported the numerous priests, and provided for the maintenance of the temples and their costly ceremonial. The land of the people was parted equally among them, every man when he was married receiving enough to support himself and his wife, together with a house. An additional piece was granted for every child, the portion for a son being double that for a daughter. The division of the soil was renewed every year, and the possession of the tenant increased or diminished according to the number of his family. The country was wholly cultivated by the people. First the lands of the Sun were tilled; then those of the old or sick, the widow and orphan, and soldiers on active service; after this each man was free to attend to his own, though he was still obliged to help any neighbour who might require it. Lastly, they cultivated the land of the Inca. This was done with great ceremony by all the people in a body. At break of day they were called together, and men, women, and children appeared in their gayest apparel as if decked for some festival, and sang as they worked their popular ballads, which told the heroic deeds of the Inca. The flocks of llamas belonged exclusively to the Sun and the Inca, they were most carefully tended and managed, and their number was immense. Under the care of their shepherds they moved to different pastures according to the climate. Every year some were killed as sacrifices at the religious festivals or for the consumption of the Court, and at appointed seasons all were sheared and their wool stored in the public magazines. Thence it was given out to each family, and when the women had spun and woven enough coarse garments to supply their husbands and children they were required to labour for the Inca. Certain officers decided what was to be woven, gave out the requisite material, and saw that the work was faithfully done. In the lower and hotter regions cotton, given out in the same way, took the place of wool. Occupation was found for all, from the child of five years to the oldest woman who could hold a distaff. Idleness was held to be a crime in Peru, and was severely punished, while industry was publicly commended and rewarded. In the same way all the mines in the kingdom belonged to the Inca, and were worked for his benefit by men familiar with the service, and there were special commissioners whose duty it was to know the nature of the country and the capabilities of its inhabitants, so that whatever work was required, it might be given into competent hands, the different employments generally descending from father to son. All over the country stood spacious stone storehouses, divided between the Sun and the Inca, in which were laid up maize, coca, woollen and cotton stuffs, gold, silver, and copper, and beside these were yet others designed to supply the wants of the people in times of dearth. Thus in Peru, though no man who was not an Inca could become rich, all had enough to eat and to wear.
To this day the ruins of temples, palaces, aqueducts, and, above all, the great roads, remain to bear witness to the industry of the Peruvians. Of these roads the most remarkable were two which ran from Quito to Cuzco, diverging again thence in the direction of Chili. One ran through the low lands by the sea, the other over the great plateau, through galleries cut for leagues from the living rock, over pathless sierras buried in snow. Rivers were crossed by filling up the ravines through which they flowed with solid masses of masonry which remain to this day, though the mountain torrents have in the course of ages worn themselves a passage through, leaving solid arches to span the valleys. Over some of the streams they constructed frail swinging bridges of osiers, which were woven into cables the thickness of a man's body. Several of these laid side by side were secured at either end to huge stone buttresses, and covered with planks. As these bridges were sometimes over two hundred feet long they dipped and oscillated frightfully over the rapidly-flowing stream far below, but the Peruvians crossed them fearlessly, and they are still used by the Spaniards. The wider and smoother rivers were crossed on 'balsas,' or rafts with sails. The whole length of this road was about two thousand miles, its breadth did not exceed twenty feet, and it was paved with heavy flags of freestone, in parts covered with a cement which time has made harder than stone itself. The construction of the lower road must have presented other difficulties. For the most part the causeway was raised on a high embankment of earth, with a wall of clay on either side. Trees and sweet-smelling shrubs were planted along the margin, and where the soil was so light and sandy as to prevent the road from being continued, huge piles were driven into the ground to mark the way. All along these highways the 'tambos,' or inns, were erected at a distance of ten or twelve miles from each other, and some of them were on an extensive scale, consisting of a fortress and barracks surrounded by a stone parapet. These were evidently intended as a shelter for the Imperial armies when on the march.
The communication throughout the country was by means of runners, each of whom carried the message entrusted to him with great swiftness for five miles, and then handed it over to another. These runners were specially trained to their work and wore a particular dress; their stations were small buildings erected five miles apart along all the roads. The messages might be verbal, or conveyed by means of the 'quipus.' A quipu was a cord two feet long, composed of differently coloured threads twisted together, from which were hung a number of smaller threads, also differently coloured and tied in knots. Indeed, the word 'quipu' means 'a knot.' By means of the colours and the various knots the Peruvians expressed ideas—it was their method of writing—but the quipus were chiefly used for arithmetical purposes. In every district officers were stationed who were called 'keepers of the quipus'; their duty was to supply the Government with information as to the revenues, births, deaths, and marriages, number of population, and so on. These records—in skeins of many-coloured thread—were inspected at headquarters and carefully preserved, the whole collection constituting what might be call the national archives. In like manner the wise men recorded the history of the empire, and chronicled the great deeds of the reigning Inca or his ancestors. The Peruvians had some acquaintance with geography and astronomy, and showed a decided talent for theatrical exhibitions, but it was in agriculture that they really excelled. The mountains were regularly hewn into stone-faced terraces, varying in width from hundreds of acres at the base to a few feet near the snows. Water was conveyed in stone-built aqueducts for hundreds of miles, from some snow-fed lake in the mountains, fertilising all the dry and sandy places through which it passed. In some of the arid valleys they dug great pits twenty feet deep and more than an acre in extent, and, after carefully preparing the soil, planted grain or vegetables. Their method of ploughing was primitive indeed. Six or eight men were attached by ropes to a strong stake, to which was fastened a horizontal piece of wood upon which the ploughman might set his foot to force the sharp point into the earth as it was dragged along, while women followed after to break up the clods as they were turned.
Much of the wealth of the country consisted in the huge flocks of llamas and alpacas, and the wild huanacos and vicunas which roamed freely over the frozen ranges of the Cordilleras. Once a year a great hunt took place under the superintendence of the Inca or some of his officers. Fifty or sixty thousand men encircled the part of the country that was to be hunted over, and drove all the wild animals by degrees towards some spacious plain. The beasts of prey they killed, and also the deer, the flesh of the latter being dried in strips and distributed among the people. This preparation, called 'charqui,' was the only animal food of the lower classes in Peru. The huanacos and vicunas were only captured and shorn, being afterwards allowed to escape and go back to their haunts among the mountains. No district was hunted over more than once in four years. The Peruvians showed great skill in weaving the vicuna wool into robes for the Inca and carpets and hangings for his palaces. The texture was as delicate as silk, and the brilliancy of the dyes unequalled even in Europe. They also were expert in the beautiful feather-work for which Mexico was famous, but they held it of less account than the Mexicans did. In spite of some chance resemblances in their customs, it seems certain that the Mexicans and Peruvians were unaware of each other's existence. They differed in nothing more utterly than in their treatment of the tribes they conquered. While the Mexicans kept them in subjection by force and cruelty, the Peruvians did everything they possibly could to make the conquered people one with the rest of the nation.
RELIGION OF THE PERUVIANS
In religion the Peruvians acknowledged one Supreme Being as creator and ruler of the universe, whom they called Pachacamac, or Viracocha. In all the land there was only one temple dedicated to him, and this had existed before the Incas began to rule. They also worshipped many other gods, but the Sun was held far above the rest. In every town and village were temples dedicated to him, and his worship was taught first of all to every conquered tribe. His temple at Cuzco was called 'the Place of Gold,' and the interior was a wonderful sight. On the western wall was a representation of the Sun-god, a human face surrounded by numberless rays of light. This was engraved upon a huge and massive plate of gold, thickly powdered with emeralds and other precious stones. The beams of the morning sun striking first upon this, and being reflected again upon all the plates and studs of burnished gold with which the walls and ceiling were entirely covered, lighted the whole temple with a more than natural radiance. Even the cornices were of gold, and outside the temple a broad belt of the precious metal was let into the stonework. Adjoining this building were several smaller chapels. One consecrated to the Moon, held next in reverence as the mother of the Incas, was decorated in an exactly similar way, but with silver instead of gold, those of the Stars, the Thunder and Lightning, and the Rainbow were equally beautiful and gorgeous. Every vessel used in the temple services was of gold or silver, and there were beside many figures of animals, and copies of plants and flowers The greatest Sun festival was called 'Raymi;' at it a llama was sacrificed, and from the appearance of its body the priest sought to read the future. A fire was then kindled by focussing the sun's rays with a mirror of polished metal upon a quantity of dried cotton, or when the sky was clouded over, by means of friction; but this was considered a bad omen. The sacred flame was entrusted to the care of the Virgins of the Sun, and if by any chance it went out it was considered to bode some great calamity to the nation. The festival ended with a great banquet to all the people, who were regaled upon the flesh of llamas, from the flocks of the Sun, while at the table of the Inca and his nobles were served fine cakes kneaded of maize flour by the Virgins of the Sun. These young maidens were chosen for their beauty from the families of the Curacas and inferior nobles, and brought up in the great convent-like establishments under the care of certain elderly matrons, who instructed them in their religious duties, and taught them to spin and embroider, and weave the vicuna wool for the temple hangings and for the use of the Inca. They were entirely cut off from their own people and from the world at large, only the Inca and the queen having the right to enter those sacred precincts. From them the brides of the Inca were chosen, for the law of the land allowed him to have as many wives as he pleased. They lived in his various palaces throughout the country, and at his death many of them sacrificed themselves willingly that they might accompany him into his new existence. In this wonderful monarchy each successive Inca seems to have been content with the policy of his father, to have carried out his schemes and continued his enterprises, so that the State moved steadily forward, as if under one hand, in its great career of civilisation and conquest.
This, then, was the country which Pizarro with a mere handful of followers had set out to discover and subdue. He had sailed at a most unfavourable time of year, for it was the rainy season, and the coast was swept by violent tempests. He steered first for the Puerto de Pinas, a headland which marked the limit of Andagoya's voyage. Passing this, Pizarro sailed up a little river and came to anchor, and then landed with his whole force to explore the country; but after most toilful wanderings in dismal swamps and steaming forests they were forced to return exhausted and half-starved to their vessel, and proceed again on their voyage to the southward. Now they met with a succession of terrific storms, their frail ship leaked, and their stock of food and water was nearly gone, two ears of Indian corn a day being all that could be allowed to each man. In this strait they were glad to turn back and anchor once more a few leagues from their first halting-place. But they soon found that they had gained very little; neither bird nor beast was to be seen in the forest, and they could not live upon the few unwholesome berries which were all the woods afforded. Pizarro felt that to give up at this juncture would be utter ruin. So to pacify his complaining followers he sent an officer back in the ship to the Isle of Pearls, which was only a few leagues from Panama, to lay in a fresh stock of provisions, while he himself with half the company made a further attempt to explore the country. For some time their efforts were vain; more than twenty men died from unwholesome food and the wretched climate, but at last they spied a distant opening in the woods, and Pizarro with a small party succeeded in reaching the clearing beyond it, where stood a small Indian village. The Spaniards rushed eagerly forward and seized upon such poor stores of food as the huts contained, while the astonished natives fled to the woods; but finding presently that no violence was offered to them they came back, and conversed with Pizarro as well as they could by signs. It was cheering to the adventurers to hear that these Indians also knew of a rich country lying to the southward, and to see that the large ornaments of clumsy workmanship which they wore were of gold. When after six weeks the ship returned, those on board were horrified at the wild and haggard faces of their comrades, so wasted were they by hunger and disease; but they soon revived, and, embarking once more, they joyfully left behind them the dismal scene of so much suffering, which they had named the Port of Famine. After a short run to the southward they again landed, and found another Indian settlement. The inhabitants fled, and the Spaniards secured a good store of maize and other food, and gold ornaments of considerable value; but they retreated to their ship in horror when they discovered human flesh roasting before a fire in one of the huts.
Once more they set sail, and encountered a furious storm, which so shattered their vessel that they were glad to gain the shore at the first possible landing-place. There they found a considerable town, the inhabitants of which were a warlike race who speedily attacked them. After some fighting the Spaniards were victorious, but they had lost two of their number, and many were wounded. It was necessary that the ship should be sent back to Panama for repairs, but Pizarro did not consider that this place, which they had named Pueblo Quemado, would be a safe resting-place for those who were left behind; so he embarked again for Chicama, and when he was settled there his treasurer started for Panama with the gold that had been collected, and instructions to lay before Pedrarias, the governor, a full account of the expedition. Meanwhile Almagro had succeeded in equipping a small caravel, and started with about seventy men. He steered in the track of his comrade, and by a previously concerted signal of notches upon the trees he was able to recognise the places where Pizarro had landed. At Pueblo Quemado the Indians received him ill, though they did not venture beyond their palisades. This enraged Almagro, who stormed and took the place, driving the natives into the woods. He paid dearly for his victory, however, as a wound from a javelin deprived him of the sight of one eye. Pursuing his voyage, he discovered several new places upon the coast, and collected from them a considerable store of gold; but being anxious as to the fate of Pizarro, of whom he had lost all trace for some time, he turned back at the mouth of the San Juan River, and sailed straight to the Isle of Pearls. Here he gained tidings of his friend and proceeded at once to Chicama, where the two commanders at length met, and each recounted his adventures.
After much consultation over what was next to be done, Pizarro decided to remain where he was while Almagro returned to Panama for fresh supplies, and so ended the first expedition. But when Almagro reached Panama he found the Governor anything but inclined to favour him and his schemes, and but for the influence of De Luque there would have been an end to their chance of discovering Peru. Fortunately, however, he was able to settle the difficulties with Pedrarias, who for about 2,500l. gave up all claim to any of the treasures they might discover, and ceased to oppose their plans. A memorable contract was then entered into by Father De Luque, Pizarro, and Almagro, by which the two last solemnly bound themselves to pursue the undertaking until it was accomplished, all the lands, gold, jewels, or treasures of any kind that they might secure to be divided between the three, in consideration of the funds which De Luque was to provide for the enterprise. Should they fail altogether, he was to be repaid with every morsel of property they might possess. This being arranged, two vessels were bought, larger and stronger than the ones with which they had started before, and a greater supply of stores put on board, and then a proclamation was made of 'an expedition to Peru.' But the citizens of Panama showed no great readiness to join it, which was, perhaps, not surprising, seeing that of those who had volunteered before only three-fourths had returned, and those half-starved. However, in the end about one hundred and sixty men were mustered, with a few horses and a small supply of ammunition, of which there was probably very little to spare in the colony. The two captains, each in his own vessel, sailed once more, and this time having with them an experienced pilot named Ruiz, they stood boldly out to sea, steering direct for the San Juan River. This was reached without misadventure, and from the villages on its banks Pizarro secured a considerable store of gold and one or two natives. Much encouraged by this success, the two chiefs felt confident that if this rich spoil, so soon acquired, could be exhibited in Panama it would draw many adventurers to their standard, as a larger number of men was absolutely necessary to cope with the thickening population of the country. Almagro therefore took the treasure and went back for reinforcements. Pizarro landed to seek for a place of encampment, while Ruiz, with the second ship, sailed southward.
Coasting along with fair winds he reached what is now called the Bay of St. Matthew, having seen by the way many densely-populated villages in a well-cultivated land. Here the people showed no signs of fear or hostility, but stood gazing upon the ship of the white men as it floated on the smooth waters of the bay, fancying it to be some mysterious being descended from the skies. Without waiting to undeceive them, Ruiz once more headed for the open sea, and was soon amazed to see what appeared to be a caravel of considerable size, advancing slowly, with one large sail hoisted. The old navigator was convinced that his was the first European vessel that had ever penetrated into these latitudes, and no Indian nation yet discovered was acquainted with the use of sails. But as he drew near he saw it was one of the huge rafts, called 'balsas,' made of logs and floored with reeds, with a clumsy rudder and movable keel of planks. Coming alongside, Ruiz found several Indians, themselves wearing rich ornaments, who were carrying articles of wrought gold and silver for traffic along the coast. But what attracted his attention even more was the woollen cloth of which their robes were made. It was of fine texture, dyed in brilliant colours, and embroidered with figures of birds and flowers. They also had a pair of balances for weighing the gold and silver—a thing unknown even in Mexico. From these Indians he learned that two of their number came from Tumbez, a Peruvian port further to the south; that their fields were full of large flocks of the animals from which the wool was obtained; and that in the palaces of their king gold and silver were as common as wood. Ruiz only half believed their report, but he took several of them on board to repeat the tale to his commander, and also to learn Castilian, that they might serve as interpreters. Without touching at any other port, Ruiz then sailed southward as far as Punta de Pasado, being the first European who, sailing in this direction, had crossed the equinoctial line, after which he returned to the place where he had left Pizarro.
He did not reach it too soon. The little band had met with nothing but disaster. Instead of being able to reach the open country of which they had heard, they had been lost in dense forests of gigantic tropical vegetation. Hill rose behind hill, barring their progress, alternating with ravines of frightful depth. Monkeys chattered above their heads, hideous snakes and alligators infested the swamps. Many of the Spaniards were miserably killed by them, while others were waylaid by lurking natives, who on one occasion cut off fourteen men whose canoe had unhappily stranded on the bank of a stream. Their provisions gave out, and they could barely sustain life on the few cocoa-nuts or wild potatoes they found. On the shore life was even less tolerable, for the swarms of mosquitoes compelled the wretched wanderers to bury themselves up to their very faces in the sand. Worn-out with suffering, their one wish was to return to Panama. This was far from being the desire of Pizarro, and luckily for him at this crisis Ruiz returned, and very soon after Almagro sailed into port with a fresh supply of provisions and a band of eighty military adventurers, who had but lately come to Panama, and were burning to make their fortunes in the New World. The enthusiasm of these new recruits, and the relief of their own immediate miseries, speedily revived the spirits of Pizarro's men, and they eagerly called upon their commander to go forward; but the season of favouring winds was past, and it was only after many days of battling with fearful storms and contrary currents that they reached the Bay of St. Matthew, and anchored opposite the port of Tacamez. This was a large town, swarming with people who wore many ornaments of gold and jewels, for they belonged to the recently annexed province of Quito, and had not yet been forced to reserve all such things for the Inca, as the Peruvians did. Moreover, this part of the country was specially rich in gold, and through it flowed the River of Emeralds, so called from the quarries on its banks, from which quantities of those gems were dug. The Spaniards longed to possess themselves of all these treasures, but the natives were too numerous, and showed no fear of the white men. On the contrary, they were quite ready to attack them; and Pizarro, who had landed with some of his followers in the hope of a conference with the chiefs, found himself surrounded by at least ten thousand men, and would have fared but ill had not one of the cavaliers chanced to fall from his horse. This sudden division into two parts of what they had looked upon as one creature so astonished the Indians that they fell back, and left a way open for the Spaniards to regain their vessels. Here a council of war was held, and once again Almagro proposed to go back for more men while Pizarro waited in some safe spot. But the latter commander had grown rather weary of the part always assigned to him, and replied that it was all very well for Almagro, who passed his time sailing pleasantly to and fro, or living in plenty at Panama, but that for those who remained behind to starve in a poisonous climate it was quite another matter. Almagro retorted angrily that he was quite willing to be the one to stay if Pizarro declined, and the quarrel would soon have become serious had not Ruiz interposed. Almagro's plan was adopted, and the little island of Gallo, which they had lately passed, was chosen as Pizarro's headquarters.
This decision caused great discontent among the men, who complained that they were being dragged to this obscure spot to die of hunger, and many of them wrote to their friends bewailing their deplorable condition, but Almagro did his best to seize all these letters, and only one escaped him. This was concealed in a ball of cotton sent as a present to the wife of the Governor; it was signed by several of the soldiers, and begged that a ship might be sent to rescue them from this dismal place before they all perished, and it warned others from joining the expedition. This letter fell into the Governor's hands, and caused great dismay in Panama. Almagro's men looked sufficiently haggard and dejected to make it generally believed that the few ill-fated survivors were being detained against their will by Pizarro, to end their days on his desolate island. The Governor was so enraged at the number of lives which this unsuccessful expedition had cost the colony, that he utterly refused the applications of Almagro and De Luque for further help, and sent off two ships, under a cavalier named Tafur, to bring back every Spaniard from Gallo.
Meanwhile Pizarro and his men were suffering great misery from the inclement weather, for the rainy season had set in, and for lack of proper food, such crabs and shell-fish as they could pick up along the shore being all that they had. Therefore the arrival of Tafur with two well-provisioned ships was greeted with rapture, and the only thought of the soldiers was to embark as soon as possible, and leave for ever that dismal island. But the ships had brought letters from Almagro and De Luque to Pizarro, imploring him to hold fast to his original purpose, and solemnly promising to send him the means for going forward in a short time.
THE CHOICE OF PIZARRO
For Pizarro a very little hope was enough, but knowing that he could probably influence such of his followers as he cared to retain more by example than by word, he merely announced his own purpose in the briefest way possible. Drawing his sword, he traced a line upon the sand from east to west.
'Friends and comrades,' said he, turning to the south, 'on this side are toil, hunger, the drenching storm, desertion, and death; on that side ease and pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches, here Panama and its poverty. Choose each man what best becomes a brave Castilian. For my part I go to the south.'
So saying he stepped across the line, followed by Ruiz, Pedro de Candia, and eleven others, and Tafur, after vainly trying to persuade them to return, reluctantly departed, leaving them part of his store of provisions. Ruiz sailed with him to help Almagro and De Luque in their preparations. Not long after Pizarro and his men constructed a raft, and transported themselves to an island which lay further north. It was uninhabited, and being partly covered with wood afforded more shelter. There was also plenty of good water, and pheasants and a species of hare were fairly numerous. The rain fell incessantly, and the Spaniards built rude huts to keep themselves dry, but from the swarms of venomous insects they could find no protection. Pizarro did all he could to keep up the spirits of his men in this dreary place. Morning prayers were duly said, the evening hymn chanted, the Church festivals carefully observed, and, above all, a keen look-out was kept across the ocean for the expected sail; but seven months had passed before one small vessel appeared. The Governor had at last allowed De Luque and Almagro to fit out this ship; but she carried no more men than were needed to work her, and Pizarro was commanded to report himself in Panama within six months, whatever might be happening.
Taking with him his faithful followers and the natives of Tumbez, Pizarro speedily embarked, and under the guidance of Ruiz sailed to the south for twenty days, and reached at length the Gulf of Guayaquil. Here the voyagers were abreast of some of the grandest heights of the Cordilleras. Far above them in the still air rose the snowy crests of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, while only a narrow strip of green and fertile land lay between the mountains and the sea. Tumbez proved to be a large town, and the inhabitants received the Spaniards well, supplying them plentifully with fruit and vegetables, game and fish, and sending on board their ship a number of llamas, which Pizarro then saw for the first time. The 'little camel,' as the Spaniards called it, was an object of much interest to them, and they greatly admired its mixture of wool and hair, from which the beautiful native fabrics were woven. The Indians were much astonished to find two of their own countrymen on board the strange vessel, but through their favourable report of the harmless intentions of the Spaniards, and by their help as interpreters, Pizarro was able to collect much valuable information. At that time there happened to be an Inca noble in Tumbez, distinguished by his rich dress, the huge gold ornaments in his ears, and the deference paid him by the citizens. Pizarro received him on board his ship, showing him everything, and answering his numerous questions as well as he could. He also took the opportunity of asserting the lawful supremacy of the King of Spain over the empire of Peru, and of expounding some of the doctrines of his own religion, to all of which the chief listened in silence. Several parties of the Spaniards landed at different times, and came back with wondrous tales of all they had seen: the temples blazing with silver and gold, and the convent of the Virgins of the Sun, the gardens of which glowed with imitations of fruits and flowers in the same metals. The natives greatly admired one of the Spaniards, a man named Alonso de Molina, who was of fair complexion and wore a long beard. They even invited him to settle among them, promising him a beautiful wife; and on his homeward voyage Pizarro actually left him there, with one or two others, thinking that at some future time it might be useful to him that some of his own men should understand the Indian language. In return he took on board his ship several of the Peruvians, and one of them, named by the Spaniards Felipillo, played an important part in after-events.
Having now learnt all he could, Pizarro pursued his voyage, touching at all the principal points as he coasted along, and being everywhere received by the people with kindness and much curiosity, for the news of the coming of the white men spread rapidly, and all were eager to see the 'Children of the Sun,' as they began to be called from their fair complexions, their shining armour, and their firearms, which were looked upon as thunderbolts.
Having gone as far south as the port of Santa, and having heard enough to make the existence and position of the empire of Peru an absolute certainty, Pizarro turned and sailed to the northward, landing once or twice by the way, and being hospitably entertained by an Indian princess, and after an absence of more than eighteen months anchored again off Panama. Great was the joy caused by their arrival, for all supposed them to have perished; yet even now, in spite of all they had discovered, the Governor refused his aid, and the confederates, being by this time without funds, had no alternative but to apply directly to the King of Spain. The mission was entrusted to Pizarro, who set out in the spring of 1528, taking with him some of the natives, two or three llamas, and specimens of the cloth and of the gold and silver ornaments, to attest the truth of his wonderful story.
PIZARRO GOES TO SPAIN AND RETURNS
It would take too long to tell how Pizarro fared in his native country, but the matter ended in the King's being convinced of the importance of his discoveries, and bestowing many honours and rewards upon him. He was also empowered to conquer and take possession of Peru, and expressly enjoined to preserve the existing regulations for the government and protection of the Indians, and to take with him many priests to convert them. All being settled to Pizarro's satisfaction, he found time to revisit his own town, where, his fortunes having somewhat mended since he turned his back upon it, he found friends and eager followers, and among these his own four half-brothers, Hernando, Gonzalo, and Juan Pizarro, and Francisco de Alcantara. It was not without many difficulties that Francisco Pizarro got together the two hundred and fifty men he had agreed to raise, and escaped from the delays and intrigues of the Spanish Court; but it was done at last, and the adventurers in three vessels started from Seville, and after a prosperous voyage reached Nombre de Dios, and there met De Luque and Almagro. Disagreements speedily arose, for the latter naturally felt aggrieved that Pizarro should have secured for himself such an unfair share of the riches and honours as the King had bestowed on him without putting forward the claims of his comrade, and matters were made worse by the insolent way in which Hernando Pizarro treated the old soldier, whom he looked upon as an obstacle in the path of his brother. Matters got to such a pass that Almagro was actually preparing ships to prosecute the expedition on his own account, but De Luque at last succeeded in reconciling the two commanders—at least for the moment—and the united band started for the third time. Though the number of men in the three ships did not exceed one hundred and eighty, yet they had twenty-seven horses, and were now much better provided with arms and ammunition. Pizarro's intention was to steer for Tumbez, but the wind being contrary he anchored instead in the Bay of St. Matthew, where the troops disembarked and advanced along the coast, while the vessels proceeded in the same direction, keeping as close inshore as possible. When Pizarro and his men reached a town of some importance they rushed in upon it sword in hand, and the inhabitants, without offering any resistance, fled to the woods, leaving the invaders to rifle their dwellings, from which they collected an unexpectedly large store of gold, silver, and emeralds, some of the stones being of great size. Pizarro sent the treasure back to Panama in the ships, and continued his march, his soldiers suffering terribly in crossing the sandy wastes under the burning sun, which beat upon their iron mail or quilted cotton doublets till they were nearly suffocated. Here, too, they were attacked by a dreadful disease, terrible warts of great size breaking out upon them, of which several died. This plague, which was quite unknown before, attacked the natives also, spreading over the whole country. Everywhere as they advanced the Indians fled before them; the land was poor, and the Spaniards began to grumble and wish to retreat; but at this juncture one of the ships appeared, and the march along the coast was continued. Reaching the Gulf of Guayaquil, Pizarro persuaded the friendly natives of Tumbez to transport himself and his men to the island of Puna, where he encamped for the rainy season; but the islanders resented the presence of their enemies the men of Tumbez, a suspicion of treachery arose, and Pizarro allowed ten or twelve prisoners, men of Puna, to be massacred. Then the whole tribe fell upon the Spaniards and there was a great battle, in which the white men were victorious; but after this their position was a most uncomfortable one, the enemy being ever on the watch to cut off stragglers and destroy provisions, besides making night attacks upon the camp. Fortunately the other two ships came back at this juncture, bringing a hundred volunteers and some more horses, and with them Pizarro felt strong enough to cross to the mainland and resume his march. He had lately learned something of the state of affairs in the country, which he thought he might be able to turn to his own advantage. It seemed that the Inca Huayna Capac, who conquered Quito, had left three sons—Huascar the heir, the son of the Queen, Manco Capac his half-brother, and Atahuallpa, son of the Princess of Quito, who had been married to Huayna Capac after the conquest. To Atahuallpa the Inca at his death left the kingdom of Quito, enjoining him to live at peace with his brother Huascar, who succeeded to the empire of Peru. This happened about seven years before Pizarro reached Puna. For five years the brothers ruled their respective kingdoms without dispute. Huascar was of a gentle and peaceable disposition, but Atahuallpa was warlike, ambitious, and daring, and constantly endeavouring to enlarge his territory. His restless spirit at length excited alarm at Cuzco, and Huascar sent to remonstrate with him, and to require him to render homage for the kingdom of Quito. This at once provoked hostilities. A great battle took place at Ambato, in which Atahuallpa was victorious, and he marched on in the direction of Cuzco, carrying all before him, and only experiencing a slight check from the islanders of Puna. After more desperate encounters, in one of which Huascar was taken prisoner, Atahuallpa possessed himself of Cuzco, and, assuming the diadem of the Incas, received the homage of the whole country.