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glowing terms

A letter from Pizarro's secretary to the Spanish king, Charles V, describes in glowing terms the cargo of the Inca trading raft captured in 1527:

'They were carrying many pieces of silver and gold as personal ornaments, including crowns and diadems, belts and bracelets, armour for the legs and breastplates; tweezers and rattles and strings and clusters of beads and rubies; mirrors decorated with silver, and cups and other drinking vessels. They were carrying many wool and cotton mantles and Moorish tunics, and other pieces of clothing coloured with cochineal, crimson, blue, yellow and other colours, and worked with different types of ornate embroidery, in figures of birds, animals, fishes and trees. They had some tiny weights to weigh gold. There were small stones in bead bags, emeralds and chalcedonies and other jewels and pieces of crystal and resin. They were taking all this to trade for fish shells from which they make counters, coral-coloured, scarlet and white.'

Quoted John Hemming The Conquest of the Incas 1970, page 25

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