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found on the coast for a long time, and it was evident they must have foundered at sea or made their way back to Panamá. This last he deemed most probable; as the vessel might have passed him unnoticed under the cover of the night or of the dense fogs that sometimes hang over the coast.

Impressed with this belief, he felt no heart to continue his voyage of discovery, for which, indeed, his single bark, with its small complement of men, was altogether inadequate. He proposed, therefore, to return without delay. On his way he touched at the Isle of Pearls, and there learned the result of his friend's expedition and the place of his present residence. He directed his course at once to Chicamá, where the two cavaliers soon had the satisfaction of embracing each other and recounting their several exploits and escapes. Almagro returned even better freighted with gold than his confederate, and at every step of his progress he had collected fresh confirmation of the existence of some great and opulent empire in the South. The confidence of the two friends was much strengthened by their discoveries; and they unhesitatingly pledged themselves to one another to die rather than abandon the enterprise.

The best means of obtaining the levies requisite for 50 formidable an undertaking—more formidable, as it now appeared to them, than before—were made the

20

20 Xerez, ubi supra.—Naharro, Relacion sumaria, MS.-Zarate, Conq. del Peru, loc. cit.—Balboa, Hist. du Pérou, chap. 15.—Relacion del primer Descub., MS.-Herrera, Hist. general, dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 13.—Levinus Apollonius, fol. 12.-Gomara, Hist. de las Ind.,

cap. 108.

subject of long and serious discussion. It was at length decided that Pizarro should remain in his present quarters, inconvenient and even unwholesome as they were rendered by the humidity of the climate and the pestilent swarms of insects that filled the atmosphere. Almagro would pass over to Panamá, lay the case before the governor, and secure, if possible, his good will towards the prosecution of the enterprise. If no obstacle were thrown in their way from this quarter, they might hope, with the assistance of Luque, to raise the necessary supplies; while the results of the recent expedition were sufficiently encouraging to draw adventurers to their standard in a community which had a craving for excitement that gave even danger a charin, and which held life cheap in comparison with gold.

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CHAPTER III.

THE FAMOUS CONTRACT.-SECOND EXPEDITION.-RUIZ

EXPLORES THE COAST.-PIZARRO'S SUFFERINGS IN THE FORESTS. — ARRIVAL OF NEW RECRUITS. -FRESH DISCOVERIES AND DISASTERS.-PIZARRO ON THE ISLE OF GALLO.

1526–1527

On his arrival at Panamá, Almagro found that events had taken a turn less favorable to his views than he had anticipated. Pedrarias, the governor, was preparing to lead an expedition in person against a rebellious officer in Nicaragua; and his temper, naturally not the most amiable, was still further soured by this defection of his lieutenant and the necessity it imposed on him of a long and perilous march. When, therefore, Almagro appeared before him with the request that he might be permitted to raise further levies to prosecute his enterprise, the governor received him with obvious dissatisfaction, listened coldly to the narrative of his losses, turned an incredulous ear to his magnificent promises for the future, and bluntly de. manded an account of the lives which had been sacri. ficed by Pizarro's obstinacy, but which, had they been spared, might have stood him in good stead in his present expedition to Nicaragua. He positively declined to countenance the rash schemes of the two adventurers any longer, and the conquest of Peru would have been crushed in the bud, but for the efficient interposition of the remaining associate, Fernando de Luque.

This sagacious ecclesiastic had received a very different impression from Almagro's narrative from that which had been made on the mind of the irritable governor. The actual results of the enterprise in gold and silver thus far, indeed, had been small, -forming a mortifying contrast to the magnitude of their expectations. But in another point of view they were of the last importance; since the intelligence which the adventurers had gained at every successive stage of their progress confirmed, in the strongest manner, the previous accounts, received from Andagoya and others, of a rich Indian empire at the south, which might repay the trouble of conquering it as well as Mexico had repaid the enterprise of Cortés. Fully entering, therefore, into the feelings of his military associates, he used all his influence with the governor to incline him to a more favorable view of Almagro's petition; and no one in the little community of Panamá exercised greater influence over the councils of the executive than Father Luque, for which he was indebted no less to his discretion and acknowledged sagacity than to his professional station.

But while Pedrarias, overcome by the arguments or importunity of the churchman, yielded a reluctant assent to the application, he took care to testify his displeasure with Pizarro, on whom he particularly charged the loss of his followers, by naming Almagro as his equal in command in the proposed expedition. This mortification sank deep into Pizarro's mind. He suspected his comrade, with what reason does not appear, of soliciting this boon from the governor. A temporary coldness arose between them, which subsided, in outward show at least, on Pizarro's reflecting that it was better to have this authority conferred on a friend than on a stranger, perhaps an enemy. But the seeds of permanent distrust were left in his bosom, and lay waiting for the due season to ripen into a fruitful harvest of discord.”

Pedrarias had been originally interested in the enterprise, at least so far as to stipulate for a share of the gains, though he had not contributed, as it appears, a single ducat towards the expenses. He was at length, however, induced to relinquish all right to a share of the contingent profits. But in his manner of doing so he showed a mercenary spirit better becoming a petty trader than a high officer of the crown. He stipulated that the associates should secure to him the sum of one thousand pesos de oro in requital of his good will, and they eagerly closed with his proposal, rather than be encumbered with his pretensions. For so paltry a consideration did he resign his portion of the rich spoil of the Incas !' But the governor was not gifted with the

• Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. iii. p. 180.—Montesinos, Annales, MS., año 1526.-Herrera, Hist. general, dec. 3, lib. 8, cap.

12.

1

Such is the account of Oviedo, who was present at the interview between the governor and Almagro when the terms of compensation were discussed. The dialogue, which is amusing enough, and well told by the old Chronicler, may be found translated in Appendix No. 5. Another version of the affair is given in the Relacion, often quoted by me, of one of the Peruvian conquerors, in which Pedrarias is said to have gone out of the partnership voluntarily, from his disgust at the unpromising state of affairs : “Vueltos con la dicha gente á Pa

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