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THE RUINED HARVEST-THE EMIGRANTS
IN A STRANGE LAND .
TIE INCA'S TREaSR. ...
A WICD DE .
TH S.-MIN. .
JuAN S ro .
TREASURE OF THE INCA.
THE RUINED HARVEST-THE EMIGRANTS.
HE harvest was at hand; the
golden ears were ripening
upon the field, and waved their
heavy heads in the wind. Far-
S mer Anger stood with his wife
before the gateway of his yard,
and looked with satisfaction over the blessed
fields, whose excellent condition seemed to
promise a rich return for all his labor and
IO THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
"A glorious sight it is, mother" said he.
"Our barns will be fuller than ever they
have been since we secured this farm from
our landlord, the Count; and this year, at
least, we shall have no trouble in paying the
rent of our farm. On the contrary, I think
we can lay by a goodly sum for our Joseph,
with which, one day, when the good God
closes my eyes for ever, he may purchase
the little property, and farm upon his own
grounds. This, mother, is the dearest wish
of my life. To cultivate our own ground is
quite another thing from being tenant of a
property from which we may be driven any
moment it pleases the lord of the manor.
Therefore the harvest gladdens me, mother!
It will bring us more money than we ever
saw before at one time "
"God grant it!" answered Frau Lisbeth,
from a full heart. It is true, indeed, that
the good God has richly blessed our labor;
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. II
but, I know not why it is, I feel as though
a stone lay upon my heart, and I cannot
rejoice. It seems to me as if some mis-
fortune would yet come upon us."
"Don't be so desponding, Lisbeth!"
laughed the farmer, tapping his wife good-
humoredly on the shoulder. What can
possibly happen now to injure us? Day
after to-morrow, we begin to reap; the
scythes are already as sharp as razors: so
you can dismiss all fear from your mind."
"Well, God grant all may be well!"
answered the wife, with a half-suppressed
sigh. But until we have everything under
shelter, I shall not be free from anxiety."
"You women are ever borrowing trouble;
it is always so, and I'm used to it in you,
Lisbeth," answered the farmer, playfully.
"I must only have patience, and when the
good God's blessing is complete, I will
laugh at your fears right heartily. But see.
12 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
there comes our Joseph with the hay-
wagon Look, Lisbeth! A smart youth,
our boy, and he will one day make a thor-
ough farmer. Only see how he can guide
the team already, and he has scarcely en-
tered his sixteenth year See how sharp
he turns the corner !-there is not a hand
on the farm could do it better: how proud
you must be of him!"
"Yes, that I am," returned Frau Lisbeth,
with emphasis, and over her still somewhat
melancholy face there flitted a ray of joy.
"Joseph is my pride and my delight! any
mother would rejoice in such a son. Has
he ever caused us trouble, the good youth?
Ever diligent, active, and careful, for his
years. The school-master even had to praise
him, although he did not like it that our
Joseph threw his Franz so much in the
shade. And now that Joseph has left school,
and is constantly upon the farm, it is truly
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 13
wonderful how skilfully and earnestly he
applies himself to everything."
"Yes, Lisbeth, he is thoroughly calculated
for a farmer," assented the father, nodding
his head approvingly. "This is why I wish
so earnestly that I may one day see him as
a freeholder upon his own land."
That you can easily enough do," said a
strange voice, that had heard the last words
of the farmer. "You need only go, as so
many thousands do, where ground is not so
dear, and where a German manor can be
procured for a mere song. It is not so far
to America that one cannot go thither in a
few weeks; and once there, it is as good as
being a baron. Yes, yes, only consider
neighbor; I'm quite in earnest, and I have
thought very often whether it would not be
better for me to give up teaching, and emi-
grate, with my Franz, to the New World.
14 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
There life is quite a different thing from
what it is with us."
The farmer shook his head. "Would it
be so easy for you to tear yourself away
from your native soil?" he answered the
school-master. "I don't know, but I think
it would break my heart if I should turn my
back forever upon the dear land that has
given me my daily bread. My maxim is,
'Stay at home, and support yourself hon-
"And mine is, 'Ubi bene, ibi atria;' in
English, my country is where I can make
the most money!" answered the school-
master, with an ill-concealed smile at the
old-fashioned notions of the farmer. "My
Franz thinks as I do, for he's a sensible fel-
low, and not wanting in shrewdness. But
Franz and I would rather not go over alone,
for company makes settling in a strange land
easier and pleasanter. What do you think,
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. IS
neighbor, have you no desire to emigrate I
You, and perhaps some other farmers in the
neighborhood, might go with me ?" Farmer
Anger looked smilingly at his wife, and
asked: "What do you think, Lisbeth?
What our neighbor the school-master says
is all true enough, for I myself have read
many good books about emigration, and
have everywhere found it stated that one
can buy a beautiful piece of land for a few
hundred dollars. To become one's own
' master there, is comparatively easy."
"I believe it," answered Frau Lisbeth,
earnestly--"believe everything that the
school-master has told us about the New
World over the sea; but I say he who sits
well should not change. What do we need
here at home, father, that we should be dis-
satisfied, and wish for something better?
There are, indeed, many who are richer and
more prosperous than we, but are they any
16 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
happier? No, father! Let us be satisfied
with what the good God has given us, for
it is enough to make us happy. We are
healthy, we have a fart that supports us,
a good landlord who does not oppress us,
and God has blessed our labor: what more
do we want?"
Farmer Anger shook his head approv-
ingly. "You have spoken sensibly and
well, wife, and quite to my mind," said he.
"You have heard, neighbor: what do you
say to it?"
"Well, I think," answered the school-
master, "that all this is very well; but who
can say that it will remain so ? There may
be a failure of crops, or disease may carry
off your cattle; the rent may be raised so
high that you can scarcely pay it; and more'
than all, you are not sure that a new land-
lord may not drive you from the land en-
tirely? Who knows what we may experi-
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 17
ence in the next few days? I have news
from the city: our master, the old Count,
is lying very ill; and if he should die, there
will be many changes here. It's true, I
don't know the Count's heir, but so good a
landlord as you have had, you will not
easily find again."
"That is true, very true," said the farmer;
"the Count has ever been to us a good,
kind master, and I only hope that he is not
so ill as you pay. However, if we do our
duty, and pay the rent punctually and
honestly, a new landlord will not force us
suddenly from house and farm."
"Well, I hope so," answered the school-
master. "But with me things are much
worse than with you. My calling scarcely
supports me, and now I must and shall care
for my Franz. What's to become of the
boy here at home? The little property of
18 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
his mother is of small moment to him here,
while, over in the New World, well invested,
it would yield a large interest. And then,
when he has made a great deal of money,
then what's to prevent his returning to the
old home? I am in earnest, neighbor Anger;
I think seriously of emigrating; and it seems
to me it would do you no harm if you
would join with me, and make it a mutual
affair. Think over it! Come time, come
No, no, neighbor," answered the farmer,
declining the proposal, "you needn't count
upon me. My soul cares not for riches, but
only for a modest competence; and so long
as my Heavenly Father permits me to find
my daily bread at home, I long not for the
gold ad silver of America. My nt,
you know, is, Stay at home, and support
Well, perhaps one day you may talk
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA, 19
differently," said the school-master. "And
if this should be the case, think of me,
neighbor. God be with you till then "
S And nodding his head carelessly, he left.
Farmer Anger looked after him thought-
"If he should be right-if we should get
a new landlord, a hard, cruel, wicked mas-
ter, who has no heart for us poor people, as
our good Count has, it would be bad indeed,"
said the wife, a little while after. "Only
think, Anger, how great the drought was
three years ago, and the great scarcity there
was, so that we could not pay the farm-rent.
What would we have done if the Count had
not been so considerate? Another perhaps
would have driven us from the farm imme-
d4 ly, and without mercy. And what
tl, Anger, what then ? "
"Well, we could then still have put our
trust in the good God," answered the far-
20 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
mer. God forsakes no one who looks up
to Him, nor would He have deserted us.
Don't be influenced by the foolish talk of
the school-master, mother. I know himl [
If he wants us to go over to the strange
country with him, he wishes it more for his
sake than for ours. He can't do much there
himself, for he must carry on farming there,
and that he knows nothing about. Do not
then let yourself be blinded by frivolous
reasons. As a cloud does not appear so
dark when near as it does far off, so present
happiness is never so perfect as it seems
when at a distance. Therefore let us be
satisfied with what we have. If it is not
much, still it suffices for our simple habits
The sensible talk of the farmer waft
without its effect upon his wife. "Yes,'se
replied, I will be thoroughly satisfied and
heartily thankful if God only preserves to
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 21
us what we have. More than this I neither
ask nor desire, dear husband."
With this the conversation ended. Even-
ing approached; servant and maid returned
from the meadow, where they had been cut-
ting hay,'and the housewife must look after
the cooking, and provide for the hungry and
the thirsty. The call to supper soon sounded
from the interior of the house: the farmer
cast one more satisfied look upon the grain-
fields, glowing in the red splendor of the
sky, and then went into the room to take,
according to custom, the upper seat at the
table. Night came on; all retired early to
rest, in order to be fresh for work the next
morning, and the good farmer Anger did
not once dream of the disastrous day that
a ted him.
sunrise he was again at his post, look-
ing after his men, and seeing that his cat-
tle were properly attended to. He had
22 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
no cause to be dissatisfied; but when he
stepped from the stables into the open air,
and cast a careful look about him, his face
was not free from anxiety. There was not
a breath of air; the sun hung over the hori-
zon like a huge, dazzling silver shield; the
sky was clear and cloudless, but, notwith-
standing the early hour, the air did not pos-
sess the rare freshness of a bright summer
morning, but rose above the earth sultry and
"This will be a warm day," said the far-
mer; "the men will have a hard day's work
in the sun! "
Toward noon, the sky became overcast
with white-gray clouds that gathered thicker
and thicker, and veiled the sun, so that it
stood in the sky like a pale disk, and an lr
later disappeared entirely behind the bl
veil, and a broad, pale-gray wall of cloud
approached rrom the west. The sultriness of
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 23
the air became almost insupportable, and
Frau Lisbeth watched with anxious looks
the threatening sky.
God protect us, dear husband," said she.
S"A fearful thunder-storm seems to be ap-
"If it only is nothing worse," answered
the farmer, with a look from which had dis-
appeared entirely the cheerful confidence of
yesterday. God help us- it comes nearer
and nearer, and already large drops are fall-
ing. 'Tis well that the cattle are in the
stalls. You, Joseph, look after the win-
dows in the house: I will go through the
barn, and will see that everything is in order
Joseph, who stood with his parents before
Sgate, at once obeyed his father's com-
Snd, and the mother went with him. The
father went to the stables, saw that every-
thing was right, and admonished the men
24 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
to watch, and to be at hand if anything
unusual should occur.
As he re-entered the yard and hastened
into the house to his anxious family, a daz-
zling flash of lightning shot like a huge glit-
tering serpent athwart the dark sky, and a
crashing clap of- thunder followed, that
seemed to shake the very ground. At the
same time great drops of rain began to fall
and splash heavily upon the stone pavement
Ili ... i A few moments later the rain
~ nts, and a sudden, mighty storm
of wind dashed it against the windows on
the weather side of the house. Suddenly
they rattled as though handfuls of gravel
had been thrown against them, and before
farmer Anger could cry out with pale, trem-
bling lips, 0 God! protect us, a hail-
storm!" the shattered window-panes already
crashed in the room, and large hail-stones
mingled with rain poured after. In a few
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 25
moments the room was filled with water,
and Frau Anger, trembling and weeping,
hung upon her husband's neck, who gazed
with terrified looks out into the storm.
Joseph, pale, and with folded hands, stood
by their side.
It was, indeed, a terrible sight which the
unfettered power of nature displayed with-
out The hail fell in heavy masses, the
storm howled around the house fiercely and
wildly, the roaring thunder mingled with
the rattling of the hail, and heaven and
earth seemed to be convulsed in the turmoil.
Yet it did not last long: the storm was soon
over, and the sun again shone brightly
through the rent clouds. But alas! what
sad, cheerless destruction did it reveal to the
tearful eyes of the family! Father, mother,
and son stepped out before the door, and
looked anxiously around.
"Alas! alas!" sighed the mother.
26 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
"We are ruined!" murmured the father,
with quivering lips, and Joseph wept aloud.
It was, indeed, a sight to bring tears to
the eyes! Hail-stones covered meadow and
field; the yellow grain lay crushed, bruised,
broken, and beaten into the earth; all pros-
pect of a plentiful harvest was gone, and
misery and want smiled in derision upon the
unfortunate family from the desolate fields
which only a few hours before promised so
rich a return.
"Ah, my presentiment, my fearful pre-
sentiment!" lamented Frau Lisbeth, wring-
ing her hands. "What a terrible misfor-
tunel A few moments have rendered us
The farmer, meantime, had become calm,
and had lifted his crushed heart in silent
prayer to God. He stood there, pale, it is
true, with suppressed terror, but his manly
courage gradually returned, and he felt him-
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 27
self strong to administer comfort and con-
solation to his wife.
"The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken
away; blessed be the name of the Lord!"
solemnly he spoke. Complain not, and
despair not, dear wife, but trust in the Lord,
that He will lift us up again, after having
humbled and tried us so severely. That
which comes from His hand, be it good or
ill, mustbe borne submissively and patiently.
Who can comprehend the thoughts of God?
Therefore be comforted: the Lord doeth all
things well, even though it may not so
appear to us blind mortals!"
"But what shall become of us? lamented
the wife. "The whole harvest is destroyed,
the bread is taken from us, and we must sell
everything we have to make up the rent.
And how then shall we live? We are sorely
"Take no thought for your life, what ye
28 THE TREASURE OF TIE INCA.
shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet
for your body what ye shall put on,"
answered Father Anger, in the words of the
blessed Saviour. "The Lord who feeds the
fowls of the air, and clothes the lilies of the
field, will not forget us His children, in our
great need! To-morrow morning early I
will set out, and go to our landlord. When
he hears what has happened us, his heart
will not be closed to its usual goodness.
Therefore look up to heaven, wife! The
good God still reigns, and in Him will we
put our trust! "
Frau Anger sighed, and her tears flowed
fast, and fell upon the ground. She could
not recover so soon from the heavy blow,
and the comforting words of her husband
did not cheer her. She grieved and lamented
the whole day long, and could not acquiesce,
however much her husband and Joseph en-
deavored to awaken in her new hope and
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. ;9
cheerful confidence. The next morning,
when Farmer Anger bade her adieu, before
riding over to the city, only a few miles dis-
tant, to tell the landlord of his misfortune,
her eyes were still filled with tears, and a
gloomy cloud hung upon her forehead.
"You will see," said she, sadly, "your
journey will be in vain However well the
Count has dealt with us heretofore, this time
he will not offer you a helping hand. I
know well, misfortunes never come singly,
and the good God has not yet entirely emp-
tied the vials of His wrath. I feel it here:
I have the same anxious forebodings that
oppressed me day before yesterday, and I
am only too well convinced that I am not
deceived. Your going is in vain, my poor,
dear husband "
Farmer Anger sadly shook his head. "It
pains me, Lisbeth," said he, "that you have
so little trust in God, and so little confidence
.i THE TREASURE OF THE INCA,
in the kindness of the Count. But only
have patience; I will be back before even-
ing, and I confidently hope that I shall
bring with me good news. The Count is
not hard and inexorable, as you seem to
Think, but a kind, generous man. I am
sure he will not refuse my request, since it
is by no fault of ours that we have been
unfortunate. Take courage! I will be back
With these words he shook her hand,
mounted his horse, and rode away. In two
hours he arrived at the city, and dismounted
before the house of the Count. Maturely
and carefully he had considered on the
way what he should say to his landlord, and
was fully persuaded that the Count would
willingly and readily grant his prayer. He
wished, indeed, nothing more than a respite
of interest until the next year. The Count
was a rich, a very rich man; he had always
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. Ut
been kind to him, and to his other tenants;
he could not, therefore, refuse this reasona-
Thus confident, Father Anger, after he
had fastened his horse, entered the beauti-
ful house, and asked the servant that met
him in the hall, whether he could speak
immediately with the Count ? He stared at
him in surprise; saying: "My good Anger,
have you not heard that our good master
died yesterday morning? We sent out
a messenger at once to inform the ten-
The poor farmer stood as though struck
by lightning. Worse news could not have
been told him, for he loved the deceased
Count sincerely, and then, too, he feared
that perhaps his request would find no favor-
able reception with the heir. The gloomy
forebodings of his wife fell heavily upon his
heart, and, with no little dread, he asked to
32 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
whom he must apply for remission of the
rent, or at least, for delay of payment."
"Remission of the rent-delay of pay-
ment ? said the servant, compassionately.
" This will be hard to get. Our new master
is not like the old one. He is cruel, proud,
and avaricious, as we, the house-servants,
have often enough experienced. One-half
of our number he has dismissed already,
although the Count has scarcely closed his
eyes, and he has also announced to the rest
that their wages would be reduced. He
calls us nothing but useless rabble and lazy
eye-servants. The most of them will remain
no longer than till their time is up, and I
am one of them. Yes, Anger, the good
times are gone since our good, kind master
is dead. How does it happen that you are
in want ? I thought you had a splendid
harvest upon the field "
Farmer Anger narrated the misfortune
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 33
that had happened him, and the servant
shook his hand compassionately.
"That is bad, very bad !" said he. "Our
old master, I know, would not only have
remitted you the whole rent, but would have
shown you many kindnesses besides. But
the new one-I doubt if you will meet with
a kind reception. Nevertheless, you must
try, Anger; and I will announce you, even
should I lose my place by doing so."
But tell me, Johann, who the new mas-
ter is?" asked the farmer. "And where
does he come from ? "
He's a distant relation of our late mas-
ter, a Baron Syltberg," answered the servant.
"We have not known him until this sum-
mer, when he first came here and made his
home with the Count. He is now the heir
of all his property, because there is no
nearer relative. You can soon learn to
34 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
know him personally, Anger. Wait only a
little while. I will announce you at once."
The servant went into the inner apart-
ment, but soon after returned and beckoned
the farmer to approach. The poor man fol-
lowed with a heavy heart, and stood in a
moment before the Baron, who measured
him with a searching look from head to
foot. His features were hard and repulsive,
and his voice, asking, "Who are you, sir;
what do you want?" sounded anything but
friendly to the farmer's ears. Nevertheless,
he took courage, told his misfortune in a
few touching words, and besought him for
kind indulgence in the payment of the rent.
The Baron knit his brow darkly.
Pure knavery and lies," he answered,
roughly. I know how you farmers always
try to deceive the landlords. But I am not so
silly as to let myself be taken in thus. Hear
your answer once for all: If you do not pay
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 35
the rent to the last penny on the appointed
day, you will be driven from the farm the
day after. Depend upon that: I will use no
ceremony. And with this, begone !"
A motion toward the door accompanied
the latter words; but Farmer Anger, in his
terror and anxiety, understood it not, but,
with tears in his eyes, begged once more
for relief, while at the same time he asserted
his honesty and integrity.
"Once for all," cried the Baron to him,
"if you do not pay, you will be driven
from your nest, and that quickly! I have
not come here to be pulled about by the
nose by you knaves. And now be off! I
have more to do than to listen to your hypo-
"Well, then, may God forgive you for
driving a poor family from house and farm,
and plunging them into hopeless misery,"
said Farmer Anger, touched to the quick by
36 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
the scornful treatment he had received.
" May you never stand before one higher
and mightier than yourself, and be treated
as I am treated now."
Begone, begone, impudent fellow! "
furiously roared the Baron. "Begone at
once, or I will call my servants and order
them to put you out! Offwith you!"
The poor farmer saw now that he could
not succeed in touching this merciless heart.
He suppressed the tears that welled up warm
from his heart, and departed with tottering
steps. The servant waited for him without,
and tapped him kindly on the shoulder.
"I see it has turned out as I expected,
my poor Anger," said he. "But courage,
friend i There are other farms in the world,
and you will find another, where you will
Farmer Anger shook his head sadly.
"Without money, and without a friend,
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 37
never!" he answered. I am a ruined man!
God help my poor wife and my boy!"
Discouraged and much depressed, he
mounted his horse again, and returned
home. As soon as his wife saw his face,
she knew that her anxious forebodings had
been realized. With a painful smile she
extended to him her hand, and said: "Cour-
age, dear husband God will help us !"
Strange! The feeble wife, who was de-
spondent so long as the decision of her fate
was uncertain, was now, when the worst had
happened, all at once courageous and strong
-stronger than her husband, whom it was
now her turn to comfort and strengthen.
"Something must be done," she said, a
few days later, as the farmer, lost in deep
thought, sat in his arm-chair before the fire,
and stared before him with fixed eyes
"Since we cannot retain the farm without
assistance, we must needs think about some-
38 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
thing else. I have been thinking a great
deal of what the school-master lately said.
If we sold everything we have, there would
be enough to pay the rent of the farm, and
we could have a few hundred dollars besides.
This would not be sufficient, it is true, for
us to begin again upon our present farm, or
even upon another; but it might be enough
to enable us to acquire a new home in a
strange land. We are driven from house
and farm; hope blooms for us no longer in
the fatherland; therefore, I think it no wrong
to turn our backs upon it, and to go wher-
ever we may hope to gain an honest liveli-
hood. If God be with us, He will enable
us to attain our object, and perhaps His
blessing will extend so far as to permit us
to return, even though it should be when
we are old, to our home, and end our
lives here. Think about it, dear husband!
You can count upon me; whatever you
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 39
may think best, you will ever find me faith-
ful at your side!"
The farmer was all attention while his
wife spoke thus soberly and sensibly; his
stern features relaxed, his eyes sparkled
again, and heartily he seized the hand of his
Lisbeth," said he, "have you then been
able to read my mind i I have just been
thinking of this very thing myself, and
feared that you would not consent. And
now you yourself propose it! Yes, you are
right: the period has arrived which, the
school-master foresaw-we are as good as
driven from house and home; we cannot
accomplish our wishes for our son here in
our fatherland; therefore I think it is time
to seek elsewhere a field for our labor. I
will speak about it to the school-master.
We are not yet so old, you and I, but that
we can do a full day's work; and I know
40 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
our Joseph will help us, faithfully and cheer
fully, as well over the sea as here. You are
right, Lisbeth! The times are changed,
and so, trusting in God, we must make new
No sooner said than done. The farmer
went to the school-house, told the school-
teacher how it was with him, and expressed
his willingness to join him in emigrating to
America. The school-master could not con-
ceal his delight threat, and smiled and
rubbed his hands.
"You've come just at the right time,
neighbor Anger," said he. "See, I've just
been reading a book about Peru, in South
America, and it has determined me to make
my future home at the foot of the Andes.
The land is fruitful, costs little or nothing,
and the climate is represented to be salubri-
ous and delightful The necessaries of life
cost but little care; and if we are lucky, we
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 41
may find a silver mine, which in a few years
will make us rich, rich. Instances of the
kind have frequently occurred, and many a
beggar has returned thence a millionaire.
Take this book with you, and read it, neigh-
bor Anger. When you have made yourself
familiar with its contends, we will talk about
it again. But my resolution is taken : go
to Peru! Only think, neighbor, if we should
find a silver mine there! What a grand
thing it would bd !"
"I do not long for riches, if by industry
and diligence I can but find an honest com-
petence," answered the farmer. "This, and
a favorable prospect for my son, is all I ask
from my Heavenly Father."
Well, your expectations are modest,
very modest, and I doubt not they will
speedily be realized," answered the school-
master. "For my part, I think, the more
42 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
the better. One can never have too much
silver and gold!"
"And I say, 'Give me content with god-
liness,' which is far better than soulless
metal," replied the farmer, with much earn-
estness. "However, every one to his taste !
I'll take the book with me, Herr School-
master, and after I have read it, I will re-
In the evening, the farmer and Joseph
read the book by turns to the mother, and
when they had become familiar with its
contents, deliberated what they should do.
After much conversation, they determined
to emigrate to Peru. The father would have
preferred to go to North America, but since
he desired the company of the school-mas-
ter, and as the climate in the south seemed
better, he decided upon South America.
The next day the farmer told the school-
master his decision.
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 43
"Then we are of one mind," said the lat-
ter, much pleased. "We can start the begin-
ning of the year, and meanwhile we must
make use of our time in learning a little
Spanish, so that we can make ourselves
understood by the inhabitants. This is im-
Farmer Anger quite agreed in this, and
he began at once to prepare for his de-
parture. The school-master procured the
necessary bobks, and scarcely an evening
passed which he and his son Franz did not
spend with the farmer's family, in studying
the Spanish language. By the time spring
came, and the snow melted on the moun-
tains, they all understood the foreign lan-
guage tolerably well.
The school-master had rendered good
service in this, and the diligence of the rest
crowned his efforts with success.
Father Anger was free from all embarrass-
44 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
ment. He had sold by degrees all his effects,
had paid punctually and honestly, with the
proceeds, the farm rent, and still had a few
hundred dollars left, which sufficed to pay
the expense of the voyage to America, and
to purchase a piece of land. The school-
master had resigned his place to another,
and nothing now remained to delay their
starting. The farmer's family took leave of
their friends, receiving many a hearty bless-
ing. The neighbors all regretted the de-
parture of the worthy family, and would
willingly have prevented it. But, alas! that
could not be, and so they must see their
friends set out with heavy hearts. The sep-
aration from house and home and native
land, from everything that was dear to
them, was a sad trial to them. The mother
shed hot tears as she stepped across the
threshold of the house for the last time; and
the father, too, could not evade a pang of
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 45
grief; though outwardly, he restrained his
feelings, and even comforted his sorrowing
Be calm, Lisbeth," said he, gently. "Nei-
ther sloth nor folly drives us hence. It is
God's will that we should go, and we must
submit to the dispensation of Heaven with
patience and resignation. The Lord knows
what is best for us, and will deal well with
The school-master bore the separation
from home more easily than his com-
panions. He was not concerned about what
he left behind him: his thoughts dwelt en-
tirely upon the future, which he pictured in
the most brilliant colors. He built magnifi-
cent air-castles, dreamed of nothing but
great possessions, and of inexhaustible silver-
mines, which it would be an easy matter for
him to discover; and apparently he did not
doubt for a moment that, if he pleased,.he
46 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
might return to his fatherland in a few years
a very rich man. His son Franz shared
these extravagant hopes, and his eyes
sparkled with covetousness when his father
spoke of the vast wealth of silver which,
according to his assertions, lay concealed
everywhere under the earth in Peru, and
needed only to be sought for and dug up.
Farmer Anger, on the other hand, smiled at
all these representations, which he con-
sidered nothing but empty dreams. He had
no sympathy with the sordid aspirations of
the school-master, but cherished the most
"Take care, friend," he sometimes said,
when the former would discourSe about the
unbounded wealth of the strange land; be-
ware of such chimeras, for you may after-
ward lament them bitterly. Trust in God,
and work honestly: contentment and the
blessing of Providence will surely follow.
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 47
All else is empty prattle. Indeed, silver and
gold exist in any fertile land, but one must
know how to win them by diligence and
perseverance, and not by vain searching for
The school-master and his son, however,
were not influenced by these cool observa-
tions, but built their air-castles higher than
ever, till at last Father Anger ceased his
remonstrances, since he saw that all his sen-
sible words were spoken to the wind. Thus,
outwardly, was peace and friendship between
the two families; but in their real opinions
and in their views they were far apart. Which
was the wiser will appear in the end. Each
now thinks he has chosen the better part.
IN A STRANGE LAND.
safe voyage, off the coast of
SPeru, landed in the harbor of Cal-
lao, and went without delay to
Lima, the capital of the country,
a where they purposed staying for
a while, and making inquiries regarding the
purchase of land. A fortunate circumstance
favored them. At the inn where they put
up they found in the host a countryman,
who received them cordially. He had
scarcely heard their intention of settling in
Peru as farmers, when he clapped his hands
joyfully and cried: I can help you. There
has lived in my house for some weeks a
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 49
Spanish Don, Ramiro by name, who owns a
beautiful tract of land, in the valley of Jauja,
near the village of Mito. He wants to sell
it, house and farm, cattle, and everything,
because he has discovered a silver-mine
near Pasco, which he wishes to develop.
The property would suit you. It is beauti-
fully situated at the foot of the Andes; the
soil is productive, the climate the most
healthful in all Peru. If you wish, I will
negotiate with Don Ramiro for its pur-
The school-master, impelled by his rest-
less impatience, especially when he heard
from the host of the discovery of a new sil-
ver-mine, had a great desire to purchase the
plantation forthwith, without any further
consideration. Farmer Anger, however,
went to work more circumspectly, and
inquired carefully about the situation of the
valley and its distance from Callao, as well
50 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
as the size of the plantation offered them.
Herr Keller, the host, cheerfully told him
all he knew, and at last brought the owner
himself, that they might inquire more par-
ticularly from him. Don Ramiro, a man of
open and noble bearing, in a few plain words
described his property, the situation, and its
size, which was considerable; and finally,
asked so reasonable a price for the whole
property, that' even Father Anger was as-
tonished at it. The money he had remain-
ing on hand, together with that of the
school-master, was more than enough to
pay for the property, leaving a sum with
which they could purchase a few necessary
implements, and fire-arms, which they could
use for hunting as well as for defence against
the Indians, in case the latter should make
an attack upon them.
"This," continued Don Ramiror "very
rarely happens; still, it is always better to
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 51
be prepared for it at any time. With fire-
arms you can always, by determination and
bravery, repel the wild bands, especially if
you keep on good terms with the neighbors
in the village of Mito. These are brave
people, and I have never had to complain
of them, although I have lived near-them
for more than ten years. Only once during
these ten years have we been forced to de-
fend ourselves against a hostile attack of
the Indians. A few well-aimed musket-
shots showed them our vigilance, and drove
them off, perhaps forever; for since then
they have not shown themselves."
Notwithstanding the assurance of Don
Ramiro, Frau Lisbeth exhibited some un-
easiness at the mention of the Indians,
although the purchase of the property
seemed so advantageous that she soon for-
got her fears. The school-master was anx-
ious to conclude the bargain; the others, too,
52 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
were favorable to it. Father Anger alone
withheld his consent.
"If I could only see the property before-
hand," he said. "I do not like to purchase
blindly what perhaps may not answer our
purpose, and may even become a burden."
You are right, selor," answered Don
Ramiro. "Go and look for yourself. If
the property pleases you, take possession of
it; and in order that you may have no diffi-
culty in doing so, I will give you a letter to
my steward. If it does not please you, you
can take up your staff and go farther. I do
not ask any money from you now-not until,
after seeing the property, you conclude to
purchase. In four weeks, I myself will go
to Mito, and then we can conclude the busi-
This open and disinterested proposal of
Don Ramiro removed the last scruple of
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 53
"Well, let it be so," said he. "In four
weeks we will either conclude the purchase,
or ask your pardon for having given you
Good," answered the Don. I am satis-
fied you will be pleased with the property in
Mito. Farewell till then. The letter to my
steward you shall receive within an hour."
With these words the Spaniard made a
polite bow and took his leave. The others
then hastened to make their preparations for
the journey. Herr Keller, the host, kindly
assisted them in this, took them to the places
where they could buy what they wished
cheap and good, took care that they were
not cheated or overcharged by cunning
dealers, and gave them good advice for
their guidance. By evening everything was
provided: on their return to the inn, they
found Don Ramiro's letter to his steward,
and thus nothing now remained to prevent
54 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
their departure to their future home on the
following morning. Early in the day they
started, and arrived safely, after a journey
of several days, in the valley of Jauja, whose
fertile soil, watered by silver-clear brooks,
and enclosed with high mountains, was
about to become their new home.
Toward noon, they reached the village of
Mito, were shown at once to the plantation
of Don Ramiro, which was only a mile from
the village, and were received by the stew-
ard, after they had given him the letter from
the Don, in the most friendly and hospitable
manner. The house into which they were
conducted was, indeed, neither very large
nor beautiful, nor convenient, but in the
several little apartments there were at least
sleeping-places, and in the store-room food
and drink in abundance to satisfy and re-
fresh our hungry and weary travellers.
As it was rapidly growing dark, they
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 55
could not examine the surroundings of the
house, and the fields and herds. Father
Anger reserved this for the next day,
although he was already convinced, from
the answers the steward made to his various
questions, that the owner had not spoken
too highly of the fruitfulness and the beau-
tiful situation of the property. He retired
to rest with his family, quite satisfied. On
the contrary, the school-master and his son
still remained awake, and kept the steward
busy answering questions about the sur-
roundings of the valley, and whether there
might be any hope of discovering in the
neighborhood a rich silver vein. The eager-
ness of the school-master frequently pro-
voked a smile from the steward, who, never-
theless, answered cheerfully, and gave him
all the information in his power.
Silver ore does not seem to be so plentiful
in this neighborhood as in many other places
56 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
in Peru; as, for instance, on the Cerro de
Pasco," said he, where the richest veins are
found, and where sometimes the pure silver
appears on the surface. Nevertheless, there
is no doubt that the mountains around us
here conceal many a treasure for those who
have eyes sharp enough to discover it. Here
and there, some have succeeded in finding
silver; but any one can do better by concern-
ing himself about his land and herds, than
by looking for silver in the ravines and gul-
lies on the mountains. Seldom, and even
then by mere accident, does one succeed in
such searches. It would be different, indeed,
were you to gain the confidence of the
Indians living scattered about the neighbor-
hood, and induce them to reveal their secret
knowledge of the mines. There are plenty
among them who know many a rich mine;
but they will never reveal their location to a
white man. They know full well the trou
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 57
bles that follow mining, that it brings them
much labor and little profit, and therefore
prefer to leave the treasure in the earth and
never to make use of it, except in case of
extreme necessity. The knowledge of the
richest silver-mines has been transmitted
among them from father to son for genera-
tions, as an inviolable secret; but, as I said,
no white man has succeeded in worming the
secret from the reserved Indian; and even
brandy, which they drink so freely, is in this
case useless. Therefore save yourself the
trouble, senior, of looking for silver mines:
and why should you trouble yourself? The
soil here produces, with proper diligence, so
abundantly, that with very little labor it will
support you in comfort."
The school-master hearkened attentively
to every word of the steward. His heart's
desire for riches grew stronger and stronger,
and it was the same with his son Franz,
58 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
who had listened in breathless suspense.
They both pressed the steward to relate to
them still more about the discovery of the
silver-mines, and their great wealth, until,
weary, he declined to talk further upon the
"No more to-night, seniors, if you please,"
said he. It is already late-you need rest;
and we shall have many days yet during
which we can renew our conversation.
Good night, senors, good night "
The greedy pair must perforce consent,
and for the time, at least, are obliged to re-
strain their ruling passion. The steward
showed them to their room, and left them
with the wish that they might find undis-
turbed rest. But this wish was not gratified.
The excited imaginations of the school-
master and his son Franz revelled in glow-
ing pictures of untold wealth, and banished
slumber from their eyes. It was late before
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA, 59
they could sleep, and their rest was dis-
turbed by wild, fantastic dreams, that heated
their blood and shattered their nerves.
When Anger's strong voice awoke them in
the morning, they felt more tired and ex-
hausted than when they lay down, and
appeared with pale, sallow faces in the
family-room, where the rest were already
waiting the delayed breakfast, which the
steward had taken care to prepare early for
Let us make haste," said Father Anger.
"I cannot rest till I have gone over the
plantation from one end to the other. You,
too, friend Wagner, are no doubt curious to
take a view of our future home."
The school-master merely nodded, ate
hastily a few of the warm tortillas, (thin-
baked cakes of maize,) and drank his choco-
late in silence; after which, he and his son
and the Angers followed the steward, who
60 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
had kindly offered to show them over the
The experienced Farmer Anger observed
closely everything he saw during his walk
over the fields. He found that Don Ramiro
had not exaggerated in his description.
The fruitful soil produced coffee, maize, to-
bacco, oranges, bananas, and pine-apples in
rich abundance, and Anger knew well that
by a little effort the present yield of the
plantation could be doubled, or even tripled.
The steward also called his attention to the
fact that there could be collected in the
neighboring woods abundance of Peruvian
bark, balsam, rosin, honey, and wax, which
could be sold in Lima as readily as the pro-
ducts of the fields, and that the receipts of
the planter could thus be greatly increased
without much additional labor. The old
farmer therefore felt more and more inclined
to settle upon this plantation, and expressed
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA, 61
his opinion unreservedly to the school-
"I am inclined to remain," said he.
"What do you think, neighbor Wagner?"
"I quite agree with you," answered the
school-master, without reflection, although,
on his way over the plantation, he had
scarcely cast a wandering look upon the cul-
tivated fields. "We remain here-that's
On their return to the dwelling, they
passed by some huts built of cane, the walls
of which were plastered with a clayey earth.
The roof was made partly of corn-stalks
and partly of palm-leaves.
"What huts are these?" asked Anger of
"They are the dwellings of the Christian
Indians, who have hitherto worked for Don
Ramiro," returned the steward. I would ad-
vise you also, senior, to make a contract with
62 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
them. They understand the nature of the
soil, and the best means of preparing it. If
well treated, they are faithful and honest
laborers; and their wages are small in pro-
portion to their work, since they have but
few wants. They expect a piece of land
from which they can obtain their supply of
maize and cocoa; and beyond this they
want scarcely anything."
"I will speak to them," said Anger.
"And I too," said Wagner, whose eyes
sparkled at the mention of the Indians.
"Ha!" he thought, "if only the Indiar.
will work upon our plantation, it can be n.
difficult matter to induce them, by kindness,
or, if necessary, by force, to reveal their
secret. Patience! one or the other will be-
tray to me, ere long, where the rich treasure
lies hid in the earth."
They proceeded farther. Till now, they
had seen only the coffee-trees that sur-
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 63
rounded the dwelling and the huts. Far-
ther on, along the extended maize-frelds,
stood various kinds of fruit-trees, as well as
bananas, which skirted the banks of the
stream which flowed-through the valley,
and finally, higher up, and more exposed to
the sun, were whole rows of rare pine-
apples, whose juice in that warm climate is
so wholesome and refreshing. And now,
when they had passed the huts of the In-
dians, they entered upon a tract of land lying
somewhat lower, where, stretched over the
lowlands, were green fields of reeds, that
filled Anger with astonishment.
"What is that?" he asked. "This is no
common reed! Can it really be sugar-
cane ? "
"You have guessed aright, senor," an-
swered the steward; "and a little farther on,
higher up the slope, you will see the buildings
in which the cane is pressed and the sweet
64 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
juice extracted. All is in good order. Don
Ramiro takes great pride in keeping his
plantation in the best of trim, and you will
therefore do well, senior, by purchasing it."
"I have determined to do so, for my ex-
pectations are more than realized," replied
Anger, with an expression of entire satisfac-
tion. "What think you, Lisbeth? Do you
think that you can feel contented and happy
"Certainly," she responded. "Wherever
you are pleased, dear husband, I can be
"And you, Joseph?" asked the father.
Oh this rich, beautiful country delights
me," returned Joseph, with alacrity. "'Tis
true, everything seems strange to me, and I
think it will take some trouble to accustom
myself to the entirely new mode of living
and cultivating the land; but believe me,
dear father, I shall not fail in diligence and
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 65
industry, and I shall, be sure, stand faithfully
by your side, and help you with all my
"Well, then, with trust in God, I have no
fears," spoke the father. "We find every-
thing here we need for our support; and
with care and economy, I hope we shall
soon be able to save enough to enable us to
return to our dear old fatherland, which we
can never forget."
I hope so, selor; I believe you will ac-
complish your purpose," added the steward,
who had listened to the conversation. "Dil-
igence, frugality, and a little prudent fore-
sight, as a rule, are generally sure of an
abundant reward. Only, guard against ex-
travagant expectations! These indeed are
"Seldom perhaps, but sometimes for all
that," muttered the school-master to him-
self. "It depends upon the persons who
66 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
cherish them. Patience! I shall first thor-
oughly sound the steward, and then try my
luck with the Indians. It were strange in-
deed, if one or the other would not bring
me upon a path that would lead to brilliant
They had now inspected the whole planta-
tion, and the party returned to the dwelling.
The rest of the day Anger and the school-
master were occupied in dividing the land.
Wagner resigned to Anger the larger por-
tion, notwithstanding Anger was unable to
pay for it in full, which he hoped to do,
however, as soon as he had gathered the
harvest. The house was to be occupied in
common until Anger could build another
upon his own ground. At Anger's request,
the steward promised to remain for a time
upon the plantation, and, in a manner, to
teach the new settlers. The very next day,
Anger, Joseph, and Frau Lisbeth began to
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 67
work. The Indians also were induced to
work on the same terms as before, and it
was not many weeks before Father Anger
and his son were tolerably familiar with the
management of the land and its products.
Their previous experience was most service-
able to them, while the excellent instruction
of the steward more than made up for their
When Don Ramiro arrived at the planta-
tion at the appointed time, he found every-
thing in the best of order, received the
purchase-money for the property, and in-
spected the condition of the fields. He was
astonished that the one portion of the land
was in the finest state of cultivation, while
the other showed unmistakable marks of
"How is this ?" he inquired.
Father Anger shrugged his shoulders.
The steward, however, replied: "No wonder
68 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
it looks so. These neglected fields belong
to Senor Wagner, who, with his son, spends
more time and trouble looking for veins of
silver than in farming. If he continues this
course much longer, he may expect but poor
We trust our young readers will mark the
difference between the humble Christian
farmer and the worldly, infatuated school-
master. Our Saviour himself has said,
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God."
THE INCA'S TREASURE.
li ', I I .
TT T,- I ,
surrounding country, and often, for days at
a time, would not make their appearance at
home. From the very beginning, Wagner
had troubled himself but little about his
portion of the plantation, but had sounded,
first the steward, and then the Indians, with
regard to the mineral wealth of the neigh-
boring mountains, and had thus heard many
things that increased still more his avarice.
70 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
Neither the steward nor the Indians con-
cealed the fact that in the neighboring
mountains there were veins of almost pure
silver; but the former did not know where
they were to be found, and the latter could
not be induced, either by entreaties or prom-
ises, to lead them to the spot, or to give
them the least clue to the situation. They
only made merry over the greed of Selor
Wagner, and even delighted in increasing
it, and in exciting his sordid desires almost
to madness. They told him wonderful sto-
ries about the wealth of the mountains, and
one and another would even show him now
and then a piece of rich ore which, he as-
sured him, he had procured in the neigh-
borhood only the day before; but no per-
suasion could induce any of them to disclose
the spot. The school-master at last made
a special effort. He one day invited a few
Indians to his dwelling, placed before them
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 71
food and drink, and gave them as much rum
as they desired, hoping that some one of
them would forget himself in his drunken-
ness, and divulge his secret.
The Indians came, and, when the fiery,
intoxicating drink loosened their tongues,
related, as usual, their wonderful stories con-
cerning the hidden treasures of the moun-
tains; but the school-master listened in vain
for the slightest hint that could lead him to
the coveted place. Finding it impossible to
unfetter the well-guarded tongues of the
Indians, he tried to provoke their pride by
contradiction, and asserted flatly that their
grandiloquent statements were all false, and
that there were no silver-mines at all in
If he hoped that the Indians in their
zeal would let themselves be excited to re-
veal their well-kept secret, his hope was in
72 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
"Aha! senor," returned an old, gray-
haired Indian to his repeated denials, "I
can tell you what will astonish you more
than anything you have yet heard. In
Huancayo, the large village that lies several
miles from the plantation, there lived, years
ago, a Franciscan monk. He was a kind-
hearted man, and always friendly to our
brothers, who loved him, and who took him
birds, game, butter, and cheese. But he had
one great fault: he was a gamester, and often
lost his money, even to the last real. One
day he gambled away money that had been
intrusted to him, and fear of the disgrace
that would befall him, when his crime would
be discovered, troubled him greatly. One
of our brothers found him, and had com-
passion on him. He asked the monk the
cause of his grief, who told him his trou-
"'If that is all, senior, be comforted,' said
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 73
he. 'You can be assisted before another
day goes round.'
"The monk of course doubted; but the
following evening the red man brought him,
as he had promised, a large sack full of the
purest silver ore. The Padre was relieved
from his solicitude, and his joy was so
great that our brother frequently repeated
This unlooked-for liberality did not sat-
isfy the gambling monk; and the more he
received, the more he wanted. So one day
he earnestly besought the red man to lead
him, if but once, to the mine; and he finally
succeeded through his importunities in hav-
ing his request gratified. The red man
came in the night, with two comrades, to
the dwelling of the monk, took him, blind-
folded, upon his shoulders, and carried him,
with the help of his companions, several
miles into the mountains. At last the mine
74 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
was reached, and the Padre was let down
into a deep pit, where he could see glittering
before his eyes the most splendid treasures.
He feasted with delight upon the tempting
sight, and the red man readily perceived
that he was meditating some plan by which
he could visit the rich mine again without
the aid of the Indians. The monk was cun-
ning, but the red man was more than his
equal in the art of deception. He kept a
sharp watch on the churchman, and noticed
that the cunning monk dropped, from time
to time, on their way back, one bead after
another from his rosary, which should serve
the following day as a way-mark. But the
red man picked up every bead, and, as soon
as, they arrived at the dwelling of the monk,
gave him a whole handful of them, saying:
'Father, you have lost your rosary, but
luckily I have found it.'
"You see, then, Seior Wagner, there are
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 75
hidden mines in our mountains, and the
priest of Huancayo can testify to it."
"And yet, I don't believe it; I must see
it with my own eyes," answered the school-
The Indian shook his head.
"I could show you quite another thing
than miserable veins of silver," he answered,
"for I know where is hidden the TREASURE
OF THE INCA."
"The treasure of the Inca what is that?"
asked the school-master, hastily. "Tell me
all about it, man! "
"You wish to know, sePor?" answered
the Indian, earnestly. You had better not
know it; you might bitterly regret having
received the information. Your thirst for
gold would be excited beyond measure, and
yet could never be satisfied. Therefore,
sehor, permit me to keep silence "
"No, no, tell all you know about the
76 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
treasure," cried the fascinated school-mas-
"Well, then, listen," continued the Indian.
"At the time when the white strangers came
from the distant country beyond the great
water, into the kingdom of the Inca, Ata-
hualpa reigned over his children. The stran-
gers were mighty and strong, and although
our fathers fought bravely and stubbornly,
yet were they unable to resist successfully
the terrible fire-arms and flaming swords of
the strangers. Atahualpa gathered his forces
at Caxamarca, for a final stand; they battled
with desperation, the Inca at their head, and
again, so the gods willed, they were routed.
Many were slain, the Inca himself fell into
the hands of the enemy, and was carried
captive to Caxamarca. In his great extrem-
ity he promised the leader of the enemy,
the fierce Don Francisco Pizarro, an im-
mense ransom for his freedom. His prison
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 77
was twenty-two feet long, and seventeen feet
wide, and Atahualpa promised to fill it as
high with solid gold as Pizarro could mark
on the wall by a blow of his sword. The
rapacious captain of the white men accepted
the offer, and Atahualpa despatched his loyal
subjects to collect the ransom. But all the
gold which the Inca's followers could pro-
cure in Caxamarca and the neighborhood
hardly sufficed to fill half the specified space.
The Inca then sent messengers to Cuzco to
make up the deficiency from the royal treas-
ury; and by his command eleven thousand
lamas, each laden with a hundred pounds
of gold, set out from Cuzco to Caxamarca.
Then was done the infamous deed that
covers the white men with lasting disgrace.
Before the lamas arrived, the Spaniards
broke their agreement with the Inca, and put
him to a shameful death. This was done
by the advice of Don Diego de Almangra and
78 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
the Dominican monk Vicente de Valverde.
Do not be astonished, senior, at our minute
acquaintance with these details. The knowl-
edge of them passes from mouth to mouth,
and our remotest descendants will be as mi-
nutely informed as we. Enough, the fright-
ful murder was perpetrated, and the news
of it spread throughout the land like wild-
fire, till it reached the deputies of the butch-
ered Inca, as they were driving their heavily
laden lamas over the table-lands of middle
Peru. It was in this neighborhood, senor,
not far from the little village of Mito. On
the spot where the sad intelligence reached
them they unloaded all the lamas, without
delay, hid the costly treasure in a safe place,
and scattered in terror over the land. This,
senor, is the story of the treasure of the
"Eleven thousand lamas, each laden with
a hundred pounds of gold. It is impossible,
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 79
you lie cried the school-master, pale and
almost breathless, so much was he excited
by the mention of this immense wealth, the
magnitude of which he could scarcely com-
prehend. "You lie-there is not so much
gold in the whole world!"
"Matteo never lies," proudly answered the
Indian. "The gold is hidden upon the table-
land of Mito, and many of us know the
very place where it was concealed by our
forefathers in the bosom of the earth."
"But if you know it, why do you not
unearth this prodigious treasure?" inquired
the school-master. "It is a lie, a lie! And
even were it true that the gold was buried
there, it has long since been dug up by other
"You are mistaken," returned the Indian
coldly. None of us will disturb the gold
to which clings the blood of our last Inca;
and just so sure will it never fall into the
80 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
hands of the white men whose ancestors
have murdered our king. But enough! Let
us speak no more about it."
The Indian tried in vain to break off the
conversation. The ruling passion of the
avaricious school-master was too thoroughly
aroused, and his soul thirsted to hear more
and still more of the treasure of the Inca.
He abjectly implored the Indian to give him
more definite information, and promised him
hogsheads of fire-water if be would point
out more minutely the spot where the treas-
ure was hidden. Matteo looked steadily
into the impassioned features of the school-
master, and slowly shook his head. But
suddenly a grim smile shot lightning-like
across his swarthy features. He suddenly
raised his hand.
"Hold, senior," he said. "Never will
Matteo betray that which his fathers have
preserved as a sacred secret; but you are
THE TREASURE OF TIHE INCA. ST
friendly toward the poor red men, you give
them food and drink, you speak to them as
if they were your equals, and Matteo will
not be ungrateful. You doubt the truth of
his word; well, then, if you wish to see the
treasure of the Inca, Matteo will show it
Wagner uttered a cry of delight. To see
the treasure, was to him equivalent to pos-
sessing it. Sparkling dreams of boundless
wealth intoxicated his greedy soul. Yes,
he must see the treasure, he must exert all
his cunning to discover the place where it
lay, and it did not seem to him to be diffi-
cult, at least, not impossible, to deceive the
Indian, and frustrate all his watchfulness.
Should the worst happen, who could prevent
his using force against Matteo, throwing
him down, gagging him, or even killing
him, if he ventured to resist ? Who would
trouble himself to inquire after the fate of a
82 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
poor Indian? His plan was quickly laid.
He would first make Matteo drunk, and then
insist upon his son Franz accompanying
him. Thus, two against one, and those two
secretly armed, it would be an easy matter
to overpower Matteo. He expressed his
delight to the Indian in words teeming with
thanks. The Peruvian watched him sharply,
as though he would read the inmost thoughts
of his soul, and again a peculiar equivocal
smile disturbed his dark features.
Good said he. "In three days it will
be full moon. At ten o'clock at night be
ready; I shall come for you. But you must
agree to go with eyes blindfolded, and prom-
ise me to do nothing and practise no cun-
ning to mark the place for the purpose of
returning to it."
The school-master assented to the terms,
and promised everything, with a secret reser-
vation to keep only so much of his word as
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 83
would afterward suit his purposes. Upon
this Matteo gave a sign to the other Indians,
who all left the house of their host to return
to their own huts. The false-hearted Wag-
ner looked after them with a scowl, and
then, turning to his son, said:
"You have heard, Franz?"
"Not a word, not a syllable has escaped
me," replied the youth, with eyes that flamed
with no less avarice than those of his father.
"And what do you think about the bound-
less wealth of the Inca?" continued the
"It must be ours!" said Franz, with fierce
resolution. "Ours-even though Matteo
should never return to his hut again. I
accompany you on the journey, father?"
"It shall be so, my son," answered the
father. He 'then told Franz, in a few words, *
the plan upon which he had already deter-
mined. Franz expressed his approbation,
84 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
and both resolved, at any price and at all
risks, to secure for themselves the treasure
of the ill-fated Inca.
The three following days seemed almost
endless to the school-master, for he longed
with a morbid anxiety for a sight of the
wealth which Matteo had promised to show
him. At last, toward the evening of the
third day, he provided himself and his son
with a pair of small pistols, which they could
easily conceal in their pockets, and with
sharp daggers, which they stuck in their
girdles. Thus armed, the two awaited with
impatience the arrival of Matteo.
"Would it not be well to invite Anger
and his son to accompany us ? It would be
safer," inquired Franz, as the appointed hour
"No!" roughly returned the school-mas-
ter. "They need not know anything about
the treasure; why should they? We shall
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 85
deal with the old Indian alone, and then the
whole treasure will be our own; we cannot
afford to share it."
"You are right, father," answered Franz;
"it was a hasty thought of mine. No! no!
the undivided treasure must be ours-all!
The greedy wretch nodded, without fur-
ther notice of the remark, and watched
through the open window into the quiet
night. After listening a long time in vain,
he at last heard footsteps approaching, and
soon after he perceived by the dim starlight
the dark outline of a tall, manly figure.
"Matteo!" said he, in a smothered voice,
"you have kept us waiting a long time."
No longer than I promised," answered
the Indian. "The rising of yonder star
over the mountains marks the tenth hour.
Are you ready, selor ?"
86 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
"We are, Matteo. You will not object to
my son going with us."
"It is contrary to the agreement," an-
swered the Indian, after some hesitation.
"But, he can go along; only he must be
blindfolded like yourself, senor! We will
start at once, if you please."
Rejoiced at the consent of the Indian, they
both left the house and went into the open
air. But they were no little astonished when,
suddenly, instead of Matteo alone, as though
they had sprung up from the earth, five other
powerful Indians approached and surrounded
"Outwitted !" muttered Wagner, with dif-
ficulty suppressing his anger. You prom-
ised to come alone, Matteo!"
I promised to show you alone the treas-
ure of the Inca," answered the Indian, coolly;
"and I have permitted your son, Seior
Francisco, to go with you. Where is the
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA, 87
treason? If you do not wish to go, you
need not-we do not force you."
No, no, good Matteo, I have been too
hasty," cried the school-master, quickly.
"Let us be off; we are ready."
But you must first be blindfolded," said
the Indian; and woe to you if you venture
to take off the bands, or even to touch them
before you are bidden to do so. Certain
death will be your fate. Let us prepare."
"Weapons!" was the quick exclamation
of one of the Indians.
"I thought as much," said Matteo, with a
grim smile of scorn and derision. "Take
On the instant they were deprived of their
weapons, and the school-master saw, with
secret gnashing of teeth, that his plan was
entirely frustrated. He now discovered that
it was not so easy to deceive the watchful
Matteo, and he began to be almost afraid, as
88 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
he saw himself so entirely helpless in the
power of the Indians. He felt disposed to
give up the enterprise, and, instead of seeing
the treasure of the Inca, return to the house;
but the demon avarice once more overcame
all fear, and he again flattered himself with
the hope that some fortunate occurrence
might place him on the right track. He
even urged them forward; and, in the midst
of the Indians, who carefully guided him and
Franz by the arm, the journey to the table-
land of Mito was commenced. They hur-
ried along in deep silence. The school-mas-
ter counted his steps, but he soon found that
this would not help him. The path turned
now to the right, then to the left, at one
time with quite an ascent, and then again
straight and level. By this time they must
have reached the mountain plateau. They
now proceeded more rapidly, and when, after
a time, the school-master reckoned it could
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 89
not be far from midnight, Matteo's voice
suddenly called-halt! The Indians stood
still, and Matteo addressed his two white
companions in these words:
"Rest a little, sehors. We are at the spot;
but we must first make some preparations
and light our torches before we can disclose
to your eyes the treasure. Remain quiet,
and forget not the warning you have re-
ceived; you are watched!"
The closing sentence was spoken in a
tone so earnest and threatening that it was
impossible to mistake its meaning. Franz
and his father therefore took good care not
to touch the bands that covered their eyes.
Both, however, listened sharply for the
slightest noise that might help them after-
ward to find the spot. The school-master
carefully felt the ground upon which, tired
from his long night-march, he had thrown
himself; but he discovered with his hands
90 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
nothing but a few tufts of grass, with which
the whole table-land was covered. It oc-
curred to him to tear up a tuft here and
there, but he deferred doing so until the
moment when he should again be called by
This did not happen for some length of
time, and, indeed, an hour must have passed
since the command to halt was given, before
Matteo's voice was again heard:
"Come, the entrance to the treasure-cave
Wagner and his son arose, the former not
forgetting his intention to pull up the near-
est tufts of grass around him. But scarcely
had he succeeded in uprooting two or three
when he felt his hand seized, as an earnest
voice whispered threateningly into his ear:
"As you value your life, senior, do not at-
tempt this again."
He was then seized by both arms and led
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 91
rapidly away. After he had gone perhaps a
hundred steps, he suddenly breathed a dif-
ferent atmosphere than that of the pure
open air; it was damp and moist, as though
it had been long confined. At the same
time an icy coldness seized upon him, and a
shudder ran through his frame. He judged
that he must be at the entrance of a cave,
and his conjecture was soon confirmed.
"We are at the spot," said Matteo. "You
may uncover your eyes, seniors."
In a moment the school-master and Franz
tore the bandages off, and saw that they
were in a wide, high, spacious cavern, bril-
liantly illuminated by means of numerous
torches. The school-master uttered a cry of
amazement, and his son, staggering, fell upon
his knees. The Indian Matteo had not de-
ceived them; before their eyes lay immense
heaps of the precious yellow metal, part in
bars and coined gold, and part in golden
92 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
vessels of various forms, which were thrown
together like a mass of worthless stones.
Gold, gold, all gold !" faltered the school-
master. "But, no; it's a deception-a delu-
sion of the cave! These heaps cannot be
gold, for there would be enough wherewith
to buy a kingdom! "
Go nearer, senior, and satisfy yourself
that it is all gold-pure gold," said Matteo,
with a smile which did not entirely conceal
the scorn he felt in his heart for the greedy
white man. "You can test these bars and
coins and vessels to your heart's content,
only you dare hot remove a moiety of
them. The treasure of the Inca is sacred!"
Wagner stooped, took up a few bars from
the mass, weighed them in his hand, and
could now doubt no longer that he really
beheld the treasure of the Inca. There it
lay, heavy and bright; there was no longer
any room for doubt. This mountain of
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 93
metal was veritable gold-pure, unalloyed
gold, and, besides, numerous rare jewels
glittered and sparkled, in the bright light
of the torches, on the numberless vessels of
singular form that lay around like common
"Gold, gold, indeed!" he cried, in trem-
ulous tones, as he stared, with wild looks, at
the countless wealth that lay within reach
before his eyes. Franz, his son, was equally
"Father, one single plunge into this sea
of gold, and we should be happy for all
time he at last exclaimed, in his native
tongue, which the Indians could not under-
stand. Think, father; we must find a way
to insure possession of this treasure. It is
a shame that Matteo has overreached us by
taking away our weapons. Unarmed, we
are a match for him alone, and, with our
arms, fully able to cope with the party. But
94 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
now I could cry for rage; surrounded by
so many, we are powerless."
"Softly, softly, my son!" returned the
schopl-master, in a low voice, still devouring
the rich treasure with his' covetous eyes.
"Nothing can be done by force--at least,
not at present, with the odds so fearfully
against us; but prudence and cunning will
enable us at last to gain our end. We now
know that the treasure is not a myth; and
if we cannot, by our own efforts, reach this
cave a second time, and even if we must
depend on Matteo, yet will he never have
the upper hand of us again. Patience and
caution! Sooner or later will I have him
in my power, and then-no torture shall be
spared to force the secret from him. Cau-
tion patience! our turn will come!"
With these words he once more bathed his
hands in the golden pile, cast one more long-
ing, lingering look at the sparkling treasure,
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 95
the countless bars and heaps of massive
gold, and then, with a sudden impulse, threw
himself prostrate before Matteo.
"Matteo," he implored, with an almost
bursting heart, "permit me to take with me
only a little of the treasure. Why should
it lie dead and useless in the earth? The
thousandth part of this wealth would make
me happy! I beseech you, Matteo, give me
that which you and your brothers hold in
"Do not waste words, senior," answered
the Indian, with apparent coolness, while in-
wardly he experienced a diabolical pleasure
at the torment which he had prepared for
the avaricious white man, by the sight of
the treasure which was ever to remain be-
yond his reach. Matteo hated the white
men, who had oppressed his forefathers,
and had practically reduced them to slavery;
and the revenge which was in his power to
96 THE TREASURE OF THE INCA.
take upon one of the hated race filled his
heart with delight.
"Look at it as much as you wish," he
continued; "revel in the sight of this gold,
but renounce all hope that a single ounce of
it shall come into your hands. I repeat it:
the treasure of the last of the Incas is
sacred, and dare never be profaned by the
use of the white man, a descendant of those
who have murdered our Inca."
"But I am not a descendant of those
blood-thirsty Spaniards who oppressed your
people," asserted the school-master, impetu-
ously. "My fathers lived in Germany, far
from Spain, and no one of them has ever
done you or yours any wrong. But I, Mat-
teo, I love the Indians, I love your people,
I love you, and have often given you to-
kens of my friendship and kindness. I have
always shared with you everything I had.
Only think, good Matteo! Remember how
THE TREASURE OF THE INCA. 97
many a glass of rum you have received at
my hands, and do not longer hesitate to
share with me the treasure which you can
command. Hear me, my dear, good Mat-
teo! Only give me a small portion of this
treasure, and I will be your friend for-
ever, and will protect you from my white
brothers, if they should wish to treat you
"Matteo can protect himself, and needs
not the protection of the white man,"
answered the Indian, with dignity. "But
enough! you have seen, senior, and time
flies. Before the break of day we must be
upon the plantation. Forward, forward,
then! On with the bandages once more.
Time presses I"
The wretched school-master tried once
again, most earnestly, to move the flinty
heart of the Indian, who turned his back
upon him coldly, and at his nod the caps