CURSE OF THE DERSE
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Francisco didn’t much like being a conquistador. But his father and his father before him had been conquistadors. His father’s father’s father had cobbled shoes and Francisco despised working near people’s feet. So conquistador it was.

 

There were aspects of his profession that Francisco enjoyed. His Christian name afforded him certain privileges that allowed for a comfortable conquistador lifestyle. And he had always been fond of the conquistador attire, especially the pointy metal hat and poofy shoulder pads. His half pants had a tendency to ride up during long expeditions but one must take the good with the bad or as his grandfather would have put it “I’ll wear whatever the fuck I gots to, if I can kill some Incas once I’s been wearing it.” This had always been the kind of language that drew a wince from Francisco; a gentile characteristic that earned him little respect from his fellow conquistadors. But Francisco had other virtues that he had always held as admirable; his dignified style of dress for one, he had always been quite adventurous when it came to trying new foods, and he also possessed a certain flare for self-promotion. This may have been how he landed himself the lead position in yet another outing to find the seven cities of gold, which the Queen had slated for early spring 1537. According to local Aztec legend the cities were said to hold vast quantities of gold and Mexicans.

 

Now Francisco found himself arriving in the New World; a place which he never had any interest in visiting. Why, Francisco thought would anyone of noble Spaniard blood choose to come to such an awful climate on the far side of the world? The natives were as ugly as Original Sin and the ghastly sea voyage took an unbearable two months. Francisco had spent the entirety of the ocean trek avoiding the numerous criminals and debtors that occupied the ship and shared his profession. All the while, Francisco continually told himself “climb the ladder, in six months Pizarro is sure to give you that promotion.”

 

 

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