The Conquistador (Casca, Book 10)
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Casca Longinus: Cursed by Christ on Golgotha. Condemned to outlive the ages and wander the globe as a constant soldier. Forever fighting, surviving, waiting for Him to return. Awakened from frozen slumber by the touch of a beautiful young woman, the mighty Casca journeys from the northern wasteland to legendary Constantinople and the war-ravaged shores of North Africa. Casca must struggle with the agony of an eternal curse and triumph over the razor-sharp fanaticism of the bloody Brotherhood.
The main sails were being ripped into shreds and had to be retied to keep them from being torn completely away. A cry from aloft was barely audible over the scream of the wind through the humming lines. The seaman's body was ripped from the rigging to fly with the winds, bouncing off the center mast, until his spine cracked. The body was blown away with a sheet of torn sail to be lost in the froth-driven waters of the Atlantic. Ortiz screamed for another man to take his place in the swaying,
recalled a distant moment when he had performed much the same act while passing through the Straits of Messina. The watch on the quarterdeck heard a cry for help come from the starboard side. He knew the voice well; it had chewed him out more than once and mocked him as it meted out twenty lashes with the knot. The seaman rushed to the side and looked down. He saw Casca and Juan standing there, looking back to where the voice now cried less loudly for help. The watch had a pretty good idea of
them and fill their souls with awe at the might of the conquistadors. "No! It will be done. I must see for myself, because even in Castile they say you are famous as brave warriors. Therefore, eat an early meal. I will also eat. So be of good cheer!" With this he let them leave the boats, knowing full well that they would not be found anywhere near his camp in the morning. They were not going to go against the wishes of their king, but he had achieved his purpose by proving the readiness of the
with no difficulty until the main force of Cempolans and Spaniards could enter. He turned the city over to his allies after making them promise not to hurt the civilians there. They were to disarm their prisoners and then set them free. This was a strange thing for the Indians to do, as they never released captives, but they obeyed his wishes. As usual, Cortes had reasons for everything he did. He wanted the survivors of the Culhuan force to go out into the countryside and spread his fame. They
the people of Mexico had been better than the Catholic invaders, he would have killed Cortes, without whose leadership the rest would have fled this land and returned to the safety of Cuba. At least they would have fled for a time, but in that time he could have shown the Aztecs how to use their great wealth to deal with the Spaniards, how to play one side against the other and make the best use of their gold to buy the services of those in Europe who could have kept their nation free. It was too