The Virgin of the Sun eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 295 pages of information about The Virgin of the Sun.

When this was known five thousand of the best and bravest of the Chancas, young soldiers who sought adventure and battle and whom I had trained, stepped forward at once and swore themselves to my service.  Bidding farewell to Huaracha, with these troops I returned to Cuzco, sending messengers ahead to explain the reason of their coming to Kari, who welcomed them well and gave them quarters round the palace which was allotted to me.

A few days later we advanced on the town Huarina, a great host of us, and outside of it met the yet greater host of Urco in a mighty battle that endured for a day and a night, and yet, like that of the Field of Blood, remained neither lost nor won.  When the thousands of the dead had been buried and the wounded sent back to Cuzco, we attacked the city of Huarina, I leading the van with my Chancas, and stormed the place, driving Urco and his forces out on the farther side.

They retreated to the mountains and there followed a long and tedious war without great battles.  At length, although the Inca’s armies had suffered sorely, we forced those of Urco to the shores of the Lake Titicaca, where most of them melted away into the swamps and certain tree-clad, low-lying valleys.  Urco himself, however, with a number of followers, escaped in boats to the holy island in the lake.

We built a fleet of balsas with reeds and blown-out sheepskins, and followed him.  Landing on the isle we stormed the city of temples which were more wondrous and even fuller of gold and precious things than those of Cuzco.  Here the men of Urco fought desperately, but driving them from street to street, at length we penned them in one of the largest of the temples of which by some mischance a reed roof was set on fire, so that there they perished miserably.  It was a dreadful scene such as I never wish to behold again.  Also, after all Urco and some of his captains, breaking out of the burning temple under cover of the smoke escaped, either in balsas or, as many declare, by swimming the lake.  At least they were gone nor search as we might on the mainland could they be found.

So all being finished, except for the escape of Urco, we returned to Cuzco which Kari entered in triumph, I marching at his side, wearied out with war and bloodshed.

CHAPTER XI

THE HOUSE OF DEATH

Now at one time during this long war against Urco victory smiled upon him, though afterwards the scale went down against him.  Kari was defeated in a pitched battle and I who commanded another army was almost surrounded in a valley.  When everything seemed lost, afterwards I escaped by leading my soldiers round up the slope of a mountain and surprising Urco in the rear, but as it ended well for us I need not speak of that matter.

It was while all was at its blackest for us that a certain officer was brought to me who was captured while striving to desert, or at least to pass our outposts.  As it happened I knew this man again having, unseen myself, noted him on the previous day talking earnestly to the high-priest Larico, who, with other priests, accompanied my army, perhaps to keep a watch on me.  I took this captain apart and questioned him alone, threatening him with death by torment if he did not reveal his errand to me.

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The Virgin of the Sun from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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