Books: Generals, Saints & Goblins

THE KNIGHTS OF THE CAPE, AND OTHER STORIES OF RICARDO PALMA—Translated by Harriet de Onis—Knopf ($2.50).

Bloodshed and treachery, in delicate balance, had brought Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, discoverer and conqueror of Peru, a long way from herding swine under the oaks of Estredemadura.

There had been, for example, the terrible hardships he and his 13 companions had gone through to spy out the Inca empire (and the side deal with Charles V to cut Pizarro's 13 companions out of most of the loot). Now, at 70, Don Francisco was weary of bloodshed and treachery. In his garden the first fig tree...

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