(ATA) : Scenes 13-15


The Incan camp – Atahualpa’s apartments, a gallery looking down on a garden – walls are plaster’d with bright red bitumen – wood stained with same dye – Atahualpa is sat on a low seat at the door of the lodging – there are many caciques around him including the royal concubines – these have their faces hidden behind masks of beaten gold, their gowns adorn’d with precious stones, their bodies shaded by canopies – Enter Ciquinchara

Your majesty

Are you Ciquinchara

I am

You’ve spent time with the Spanish, yes

I have

Tell me, are they truly the gods
Have you seen any miracles perform’d

If they are gods, give them obedience
To make you even more powerful, sire

They are not gods – they’re men & men only
When I first saw them I was frighten’d true
& felt that they were gods but very soon
I watch’d them conversing with my people
& do no harm to any one, but those
Who tried to give them harm

Where is their realm

At the far ends of the earth

Well, these must be
The gods who live at the ends of the earth

How many are they

Two hundred, or more

Well, now they are firm in Caxamalca
& some of them are due any minute
So, you shall translate for me, you do speak
Their tongue, I was led as much to believe

I speak enough

Coya Asarpay
Tell us, how do they look

These men come so well cloth’d no skin appears,
But for the hands & their half-bearded faces

Would they consume our flesh if they kill’d us

The only meat I’ve ever seen them eat
Are sheep & lambs & ducks, deer & pigeons

They’re not worth the shit that drools out their arse

Whatever they are, whether gods or shit
They are now here

Let them enter

Yes, sire

Enter Captain de Soto, Hernando & Felipe with Ruminagui


He’s Atahualpa
(please dont look at him)
(dont go anywhere near him)
(you be dead if you do that)
(with your head on a brushmat)

He is A-ta-hu-al-pa he is the King of the Inca…

White Ones welcome to my country
So very welcome to be here
As long as you’ll accept that I am your lord

He is A-ta-hu-al-pa he is the King of the Inca…
He’s Atahualpa

Atahualpa sits down – Ciquinchara speaks to Felipe – a look of love passes between Cuxirimay & Felipe

You may speak to the emperor, captain

De Soto
Through you

No, thro’ Felipe, he better speaks

De Soto
Tell him my name is Captain de Soto
Hernando de Soto, the governor
Of Spain’s empire is in Caxamalca
Who sends me here today to visit thee
To say how much desires he to see you
& greatly shall be pleas’d if you’ll agree
To go tomorrow into the city
& there become his friend, what say you sir

Felipe translates – Atahualpa does not answer – speaks to Ciquinchara instead

He says if seeking peace why cometh arm’d

De Soto
Say we have a right to defend ourselves,

Defend yourselves? or indiscriminate
Slaughter, Maizabilica, speak your truth

He was on the Zuricara river
When the Spanish ill-treated its caciques
Wrapp’d their limbs in chains, & about their necks
Slung collars of the heaviest iron
Then slit their throats in outrage heinous

Sire, this is Hernando Don Pizarro
Who assures his majesty these men were held
In just constraint, as due to criminals
Such as stole on us in the secret night
& murder’d three men & stallions slew
A rogue operation, I am quite sure
Your majesty would never have deign’d it
But if he did Hernando says this,
His brother’s Don Pizarro, a great man,
Whose promis’d fair treatment to the peaceful
But will attack until he has destroy’d
All foolish enough to make war on him
& likewise, the enemies of his friends,
Shall also be obliterated, so
As to be Atahualpa’s friend seeks he
& if that friendship seal’d just say the word
Then he would ride to face & fight thy foes
Upon his mighty battlesteeds of war

Hi majesty is happy you are here
& wishes friendship also, as the ways
Of Inca celebrate such amity
The company shall drink

Atahualpa orders female servants to get the drinks

We’d rather not

{to De Soto)
You must, there’s no choice, insults are treason
If Atahualpa bids a man to drink
If he does not he’ll never drink again

He says four marches from this royal camp
There are many rebellious subjects
Still to his brother loyal, all despite
Him being Sapa Inca… these must die –
If the Governor wants to be his friend
His men shall march with yours to slay traitors

You warriors are better off as guards
However large an army they could field
The rebels will be destroy’d easily
By only ten Christians on horses

De Soto
Your soldiers are unnecessary, sire,
Except, perhaps, to search for those conceal’d

On hearing the translation Atahualpa laughs

He says he’ll discuss all this tomorrow
With the Governor

Enter Ekkoko women with gold cups, 8 inches high, full of wine – each woman drinks from her cup before passing it on to the Spanish & the caqiques & returning to her place

Friends of the Inca
The seeds of amity planted today
Shall into friendship flower by the morn

The drinks are down’d – Atahualpa summons a woman who offers him her palm into which he spits

De Soto
Your majesty, there is another point
On which my Governor your word awaits

He says speak

Our lodgings in the city
He wishes not your hospitality
Offended, by some sacrilegious act
Perform’d in ignorance to Incan law

Lodge where you want, except the well-built fort
Beside the square, leave that a neutral space

De Soto
Thank him

He says to take another drink

We must refuse his generous offer
The Governor did not grant permission
For us to dawdle in a drinking bout
His anger’s goat is not worth the pricking

Atahualpa gestures to the women

He says take another drink – he insists

De Soto
It is a very decent beverage

Very well, we’ll consume another draft

There’s something else he wishes to ask you


He’s heard many damaging reports
That say as you ravag’d his provinces
Many gold & silvers have we stolen
& says to tell the Governor, before
They can be friends he wants it all return’d

De Soto
Tell Lord Atahualpa, with all respect,
Go cautious with his visionary brain
Tell him Don Pizarro is a good man
& will alleviate his discontent

The drinks are brought out once more – Atahualpa holds out the vessel for a moment then drains his glass – the Spanish follow suit

He says tomorrow he’ll be very pleas’d
To meet the Governor & be a friend
Of Christians, since they are all good men

Thank him for allowing us this time
An honour we shall entreasure always

He says there’s a chamber in the courtyard
Where he shall lodge tomorrow, keep it free
But anywhere else in Caxamalca
Is ours, & all within, to aid our stay

Thank his majesty

De Soto
It is time to go

The Spanish & Felipe withdraw with a bow

Ruminagui, I should end your life now

Your majesty

Why did you not kill them

But, but

I am very upset

But sire,
We dared not attack, for if they escaped
Whatever plans we would have tomorrow
Would be corrupted, they’ll all be captur’d
In the trap of Caxamalca

My lord
The Christians are not good warriors
We could defeat them with a hundred men
& we are fifty thousand

He’s right, sire
The White Ones are few & very lazy,
Tiring easily, must ride giant sheep
They call horses

Coya Asarpay
Are you sure we will win

For as long as the dawn comes each morning
The children of the sun shall hold the throne
Their children after them throughout all time
& from failure are forever immune

Take alive as many as possible,
Some to be castrated, then guard my wives
& as our custom is the rest shall die
In solar sacrifice to thank the gods
But now the drink turns weary, let us sleep,
& energize our best for the contest

Atahualpa enters his house – the rest of the Incas are reverential – the queens also exit

It is a fine moon tonight, like the one
We saw that night oer the Quipaipán plains

I hope you are correct Ruminagui

I cannot for tomorrow wait to face
Pathetic & proselytizing scum
Cough’d up by the sick goddess of the sea
Let our greatest indignation prevail
Perfervid, as we spring the spider’s trap
Their fire-sticks are few, our spears galore
So, let them come, when we shall kill them all

Our victory is certain

Yes, it is!
So let us clean our mean macana clubs
& we will see how much fresh blood we’ve spill’d

Exit Ruminagui, Apumayta & Maizabilica / Quicihincara follows

I do not like the omens I have seen
I fear for Atahualpa tomorrow

What could we do

Suggest to him to hide
In the province of the Chachapoyaqs
In a place called Labando, wait there ‘til
The White Ones wilt away

I will ask him
But cannot imagine the concession
Of Caxamalca

His pride is too strong
& alas, that shall serve a swift downfall

Scene 14: Caxamalca

Caxamalca square – the Spanish are waiting – enter Felipe

This is a sunny day, the sun feels good

Don Francisco Pizarro
I sense we hold the bulldog by its leash
It pulls & jerks & gnashes but is ours

Don Pizarro
I sense the same but still this day’s in doubt
Immortal fame & infamy are sired
By Destiny, whose pre-determin’d moods
No man can know until he’s on the verge
Of triumph, or mud-trampl’d in the dirt

Enter Felipe & an Incan woman

Governor Don Pizarro

Don Pizarro
What is it

This girl is from my very own village
She was enslaved by Atahualpa’s men
& snook away this morning, risking death
With information on the treachery
Awaiting us today

Don Pizarro
What does she say

She says to run away, you all are doom’d


What perfidy is this

Don Pizarro
It was to be expected after all
Titanic struggles lurch to denouement
There’s only this single variable
How ready are our arms

Gonzola Pizarro
We are ready
The men secreted secretly about,
While all our cannons train’d upon the mass
Of men that move towards us this morning

Don Pizarro
How many

Gonzola Pizarro
I would say thirty thousand
Each wielding spears as long as Spanish pikes


Don Pizarro
Steady your weapons, cabalerros

Enter Quiz-Quiz – he speaks with Felipe

What does he want

He says because you came
To Atahualpa’s camp baring your arms
Then he shall do the same with an escort

Don Pizarro
Tell him that the king might come as he likes
& when he does a brother shall he be

Felipe & Quizquiz converse

The king suggests he’ll be sequester’d
In the House of the Serpent, a statue
Within provides the name

Don Pizarro
It shall be so

Felipe & Quizquiz converse / exit Quizquiz

Don Pizarro
& so, the stage is set, the hour is hot
Today the Spanish conquer the Inca
My distant cousin, Hernando Cortez,
Massacring the people of Choula
Did Montezuma sieze, after that day
The peasants, hidaglos & artisans
Of his little, unentitl’d army
Burst thro’ Iberia’s rigid strata
& founded priceless fiefdoms of their own

It is all because they carried the cross
& are the vanguard of Emmanuel
The Indians have sinn’d, so we must purge
Their faults & all their pagan progeny
Deliver irredeemable defeat
To sacrificial rites of human flesh
Idolatrous practices, abhorrent
Customs & sexual depravities,

Don Pizarro
The Indians fight in a rigid host
Following, like catterpillar’s legs,
Their captains crowing orders, if we slice
The head off that vast host the rest shall fright
This is my plan, to seize Atahualpa


Don Pizarro
A co-ordinated battleplan,
Of course, & carefully executed
Our arsenal contains traps & treachery
If we can snatch the king, then spring surprise
Of deathly blows upon his men, morale
Will plummet to the panic-pits of rout

De Soto
If, buts & maybes, the scourges of fate

Are you afraid, then, Captain de Soto

De Soto
Of course not, just concern’d, there’s no escape
For those without a horse, if things turn sour

Then this day’s another in the Indies
Small-pox, eruptions, floods & privateers,
Famines & cyclones & murd’rous revolts
But thro’ them all the bold Conquistador
Pour’d waters of the oceans thro’ our roars

Enter Pedro

Sir, the King is very close

Don Pizarro
This day’s work
Is about to begin, let us go
& arm ourselves in strictest concealments
Restrain your men when the enemy here
Until you hear the fire of Spanish guns
Then rush the plaza with speed & fury
Coming out fiercely, fight them steadily
& when you charge take care that the horses
Avoid all collisions, we must be seen
As a brutally unstoppable force

This is the intercession of our lives
Men, I exhort you to display courage
For it shall make a fortress of your hearts
Since you have no other, & no other
Help except from God who aids his servants
In keenest moments of their greatest need
Since the Divine will must ever favour
Such important, necessary enterprise

Don Pizarro
& there is one firm thing to remember
We need to take Atahualpar alive
Vengeance the only force that masters fear

De Soto
It shall be done

Don Pizarro
& God be with you all

Exit all – enter Atahualpa carried by men in blue livery – the litter is litter lined with multicolour’d feathers & gold/silver plates – he is preceded by singing Incas in red & white chequer’d livery wearing gold & silver crowns – two carry banners on lances – they clean the square of straw as they proceed – Atahualpa orders silence

Well, what has become of the bearded ones

They must be hidden sire

They are frighten’d

Wait, there’s one, with the traitor who translates

Enter de Valverde with a bible in hand, & Felipe

You, who speaks the tongue of the White Ones


Where is their principle cacique

He waits
In his lodgings, invites Atahualpa
There to dine

Well, tell him these things first
We will not leave this place without a vow
To restitute all that he has usurp’d
Across these realms, all property purloin’d
Must be restor’d to its rightful owners

Atahualpa rises up in his litter & gestures to hi men to draw their weapons / Felipe translates to Valverde who responds with Felipe translating intermittently

What is this soaring, caustic insolence
Atuahualpa, king of Inca, repent!
The spirits ye call gods are nothing but
The strangest creations of pagan minds
No – let me tell you of the only God
Who made us Earth & Heaven & devode
His sacred omniscience into three;
The Son, the Father & the Holy Ghost !
Of how he form’d our primal ancestors,
Made Adam His first man who trod the world
Who gave to God a rib, from which there grew
His womanlove, fair Eve, of Eden green,
Of whom we’re all engender’d, you & I
Their features share, their marrowbones & blood
Alas, in fruity disobedience,
From Paradise rejected, centuries
Of epic generations slowly pass’d
Until, at last, our Lord, in His mercy,
Now Knowing Humankind could not achieve,
Following faultless lives of good events,
The grace of seeing Him up in Heaven,
Sent Christ the Redeemer via virgin
To save us all, from passion-thorns, thro’ death,
Resurrection & blessed Ascension,
Leaving the world evangelical laws,
Led by his representative on Earth,
Saint Peter first, the rock that Jesus knew,
& follow’d on the Popes in succession
Down to this day, administering truth
From regal Rome, of distant Italy
Who to the kings & princes of Europe
Entrusted each with Christian conquest
& thus, this vast Peruvian province
Was given to his majesty in Spain,
In whose great name Governor Pizarro
Given the task this day shall satisfy
Surrender yourselves & souls to Jesus
Treat Don Pizarro as a living saint
Who says, if you choose to believe, receive
The waters of baptism, & obey
This awesome government of Christendom
His Majesty will act thy defender
Maintaining peace & justice thro’ thy land
As in all other countries who’ll accept
His rule, without the risk of cruel war
But if, Prince Atahuallpa, ye should spurn
Such an offer of dignity in peace,
The governor is free to raise his lance
& drive it deep into your beating heart.

You say we are pagans, but I listen’d
To thy tale intently, & all I heard
Were subjects teeming with absurdities
What makes you think these lands belong to Spain
My father & his ancestors took them
Where were your beards & boats when then we bath’d
In all the blood of fighting’s sacrifice
Since when we’ve held hereditary rights
That to Huascar came & then to me
As he’s my familial prisoner
I am Atahuallpa, King of Inca
& as for your Saint Peter, who is he
Decreeing lands that Oceania parts
Belong to other Princes – not at all,
His powers hold no significance here

That is a very foolish utterance

I own my thoughts – as for your Son of God
& how he is his father all the same
I never have heard anything like it
God is the sun, look there he is, so bright
Life prospers in His rays, there, that is God

Blasphemer! Ye confounded troglodyte!
Your perpetual damnation assur’d,
The sun was created for us by God,
But is not God

Where is your proof

The truth
Is written in this book call’d the Bible
The Lord speaks here, voicing sacred scriptures
Thro the mouthpiece of his son, Lord Jesus

That cannot be, I am the sun’s own sun
& the sun is god, if Jesus his son
We would be brothers – yet I know him not

Chalcuchima, QuizQuiz & Ruminagui
Yes, Atahualpa he is our only lord

Let me peruse this little book of yours

Adam is in the text of Genesis
That beginneth this beautiful Bible
Jesus comes later, in the four Gospels,
Whose perfect, glorious earthly sojourn
Witness’d by saintly Matthew, John, Mark, Luke

{turning the pages slowly}
Is this the word of God, to me it speaks
Nothing –
{throws Bible to the ground}
In fact it does not speak at all

Ye fiend ! Demon dog ! At them ! At them !
Christians, on you I call to avenge
This insult to the name of Jesus Christ

A gun is fired from the ramparts at the Incan army – the Spanish attack the plaza – Felipe flees

Jesus, King Don Carlos & Pizarro!
Draw strength from honour, safety from prayer
Advance ! Advance ! Fate’s blessing closes fast
Maintain the day, slacken not from slaying

Atahualpa’s litter is attacked & slash’d, its bearers slain, some losing arms & using bleeding, mutilated stumps to support him – Atahualpa receives a wound to the ear Don Pizarro grabs his hair throws him to the ground, putting a knife to his throat – at this point his warriors become frozen in disbelief, mesmerized by the sight of their living god in captivity

Don Pizarro
Back ! Back ! All of you get back, else I’ll slit
Thy king’s naked throat – Atahuallpa lives
Or dies on your choice
{To Atahuallpa}
Do you want to live

Atahualpa cannot understand Don Pizarro

Don Pizarro
Where is Felipe, get me Felipe

Yes sir

Atahualpa’s warriors begin to surround them led by Ruminagui

Don Pizarro
Back, back I tell you, or your king shall die
(to Atahualpa}
You shall be slain if they take one more step

Don Pizarro urges on Atahualpa the urgency of the situation without words – Atahualpa stills his soldier with a wave of his hand

Enter Felipe

Don Pizarro
Tell the king he is now our prisoner
His states are forfeit to us & to Spain
That his army must leave Caxamalca
If they do not I will slice off his head

Felipe translates Atahualpa orders his men to withdraw – the Spanish soldiers start pushing them back – some begin shooting – the Indian drop their weapons & begin to rout

Don Pizarro
Captain De Soto, let the hunt begin
Slay all you come across, no mercy hold
We have the head, lets strip the serpent’s scales
& you Atahualpa, Felipe, tell him
Let’s turn his defeat into victory
When, proud partner of imperial Spain,
All honour will be given to his reign

Felipe translates – Atahualpa nods / Don Pizarro passes him to Pedro

Don Pizarro
Take him, keep a musket keep deep in his back
& take him to my lodgings to await
This day’s fair outcome by heaven ordain’d
Whose grace of God has given us glory
As he gave us his son, to victory

The Spanish cheer in celebration

Scene 15: The royal apartments of Caxamalca

Atahualpa is meditating – enter Hernando & Felipe

Your majesty… ask him if he’s content

He says he is

& the wound to his ear

He says it is healing, the pain has gone
He wonders on his wives’ whereabouts

Tell him that they are safe & very near,
That we went to his camp & found them there
With many costly treasures; silver, gold,
Emeralds, but the beauty of his wives
Were jewels without price

Atahualpa laughs at the translation

He wants to know
If ever he shall see his treasures, both
Flesh & precious stone, both cherish’d by him

His wives, when all is settl’d, he shall see
His treasures now the property of Spain

Enter Don Pizarro & the Valverde carrying a bible & an Incan idol

Don Pizarro
Is he well?

Yes brother

Don Pizarro
Felipe, listen
Please tell the king these words as best you’ll hear
Upon these unruly moments in time
Two destinies convergent, his & mine,
& thro’ this alchemy their springeth change
The nursemaid of humanity, so strange
When coming, our mind’s armour disturbing
Thro mankind its energy reverbing
But Change is necessary to convert
Grief into joy & happiness to hurt
& now, King Atauhalpa, change has come
On thee, the Incan leadership, your thumb
Releas’d from the jaguar’s jugular
The land’s you once posses’d have been wrested
Forfeited to the family of Spain
A wond’rous, worldwide, welter of nations
Ten thousand languages & dialects
A tapestry of famous architects
In Mesoamerica, the Mayas
Mosca & Aztecs, acknowledge my king
& made Castalian the common tongue,
As you will too, all of these lands once yours
Have come directly to the reign of Spain
& you will govern peacefully, as long
As you accept this change

He says he does

Tell him also this, our Lord Emperor,
Who is lord of the whole world, order’d us
To let the Incas understand our faith
In case good Christians they’d deign to be
This is my Bible, this is your idol
One word of God, the other rough-hewn stone
You fear this devil more than us, I know,
Not from devotion, but for augurs crude,
That fester on the tongues of your warlock

Don Pizarro
You’ve witness’d our Christian victory

Perhaps, it was the judgement of his gods
That not enough respect to them was shown
He might have overstepp’d by mortal task
When dealing with his brother

Don Pizarro

Yes, that is his brother’s name

Don Pizarro
Where is he

He is being held captive
By Atahualpa’s men

Don Pizarro
That will not do
I wish to hold all here, who might attempt
To raise an army thro’ kingly prestige

He’s very well secur’d

Don Pizarro
Have Atahualpa bring his brother here
To Caxamalca

His majesty asks
When he shall be allow’d to leave this place

Don Pizarro
While armies are at large he will remain
In residence & royal comfort, here…
What says he now

He speaks of so much gold



Don Pizarro
You speak Spanish your majesty

He says that he will learn your language soon
But gold the lingua franca of the world!

What of the very excellence of gold?
That turns mens’ liquid promises to stone
That even sends our souls to paradise

He says as the Governor’s prisoner
He hopes he will be treated properly
Says he possesses enormous riches
& knows the Spanish are hungry for gold
& so, to accelerate his release
He promises a ransom to fulfil
& fill up this tamba from floor to roof
With treasures summon’d from his realms, more gold
Than you have ever counted in your dreams

Don Pizarro
Is that so, how long will it take

Two months

Don Pizarro
I cannot see how that might be acheiv’d

He says he will send troupes of messengers
To all parts of his empire

Don Pizarro
His empire?
Remind him there’s no empire anymore
& all belongs to Spain, but very well,
I will accept this ransom, tho’ far-fetch’d,
& hope it appears here as so promis’d

He says you should not doubt an Incan King
His reach, his power, & his gold is great

Don Pizarro
Very well, tell him he shall see his wives
Without partition, they might warm his bed,
As soon as we have seen first glimpse of gold
Beyond what we have taken already

Don Pizarro
Hernando stay here with Atahualpa
& Felipe, teach the king of Spanish ways

Of course

Exit Don Pizarro & Valverde

Felipe, pass me a sharpen’d stick
{Felipe gets the stick}
Tell Atahualpa this is Europa
& this is Spain & this the mighty sea
We call Atlantic, this America….


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