It is recorded that when Pizarro met Balboa with the order for his arrest Balboa thus addressed him: “It is not thus, Pizarro, that you were wont to greet me!” Pizarro’s jealousy and ill-will are evident in the recorded facts, though he does not appear to have been actually guilty of treachery to his general.
COLD O’ THE MOON
Alone with all the stars that rule mankind
Ruy Faleiro sought to read the fate
Of his close friend—now by the King’s rebuke
Sent stumbling out of Portugal to seek
His fortune on the sea-roads of the world.
But when Faleiro read the horoscope
It seemed to point to glory—and a grave
Beyond the sunset.
The prophecy, he smiled, and steadfastly
Held on his way to that young Emperor,
The blond shy stripling with the Austrian face,
And in due time was Admiral of the Fleet
To sail the seas that lay beyond the world.
Mid-August was it when the fleet set forth,
December, when in that Brazilian bay,
Santa Lucia, they dropped anchor,—then
Set up a little altar on the beach
And knelt at Mass in that gray solitude.
Carvagio the pilot knew the
And said the folk were kindly,—brown, straight-haired,
Wore feather mantles, used no poisoned flints,
And only ate man’s flesh on holidays.
Whereat a little daunted, not with fear,
The mariners met them running to the shore,
Bought swine of them, and plantains, cassava,
And for one playing card, the king of clubs,
The wild men gave six fowls! There were brown roots
Formed like the turnip, chestnut-like in taste
And called patata in ship-Spanish—cane
Wherefrom is made the sugar and the wine
Of Hispaniola, and the pineapple
That was like nectar to their sea-parched throats.
And thus they feasted and were satisfied.
Like an enchanted Eden seemed
For birds on dazzling many-colored wings
Made the trees blossom—parrots red, green, blue,
Humming-birds like live jewels in the air,
Strange ducks with spoon-shaped bills,—and overhead
Like some fantastic frieze of living gold,
The little yellow monkeys leaped and swung
Chattering of Setebos in their unknown tongue.
The old men lived beyond their
Or so the people said. They made canots
Of logs that they carved out with heated stones.
They slept in hamacs, woven cotton swings.
Their chiefs were called cacichas—you may find
All this put down in the thrice precious book
Written by Pigafetta of Vicenza
For a queen’s pleasure when the voyage was done.