Excerpt from History, Fuck Yeah: Cross-Country Conquistadors

King Charles V of Spain has sent Pánfilo Narváez to arrest Hérnan Cortés for conquestin’ the Aztecs without the proper paperwork. Things don’t go according to plan…

From their hiding places on the outskirts of town, Cortés and his men watched as Narváez put on his nightie and gave his men some sleep masks and melatonin tablets. Just after they’d all dozed off, the turncoats inside gave the signal and Cortés and his army entered the town and proceeded to turn Narváez’s butthole inside out. Those who hadn’t joined Cortés were being struck down not only by their enemies but by their former pals.

Someone ran to wake up Narváez, but it was already too late. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, Cortés and his forces had worked their way through the village with meteoric speed. By the time he had rolled out of bed and into his slippers, Cortés and a small detachment of men were already on their way up the stone steps of the pyramid. Narváez fought valiantly, but ended up taking a spear directly to the eye and decided that was a good time to call it quits.

In a moment of irony which couldn’t have been lost on anyone, Cortés shackled Narváez and brought him outside of the pyramid to address those among Narváez’s men who still fought in the streets below. “Hey, guys,” he said. “Narváez—who, as we can all see here, is clearly a bitch—lied to all of you. In case you haven’t heard from your friends, there’s a lot of gold here in Mexico … and the citizens have a pretty laissez-faire attitude about the raping of their women … and I feel bad about killing most of you, because honestly I’m a pretty nice guy. So how about you just join us and we’ll all get rich together? Or—alternatively—we can continue to kill all of you and just call it a day.”

The survivors looked at their leader—one-eyed and piss-pantsed—and then at the spears, swords, and guns surrounding them—and then back at Narváez. And they thought, Okay, fair enough.

So Narváez not only got his fucking eye poked out; but also was arrested by the guy he was supposed to arrest, and then watched as his men quickly bailed on him. That’s one of those things where you’re probably better off just leaving a gap on your resume for that period and telling interviewers you took some time backpacking around Europe to “find yourself.”

In the end Cortés spared him—although you can figure that Narváez was probably subjected to repeated bag tags from Cortés and his men, along with the occasional “Two for Flinching.” 

As Cortés had predicted, the emperor really loved all the gold, slaves, and new territory Cortés had won for him. So when confronted by an understandably perturbed Velázquez, he sort of whistled and looked the other way.

Narváez sat in a jail cell for the duration of Cortés’s campaign against the Aztecs, but eventually made his way back to Spain. Despite the advice of his friend Velázquez to enjoy a nice retired life in Cuba and forget about the swashbuckling adventures of younger men, Narváez planned to return to the Americas as soon as possible. Filled with a generous dose of shame and anger, he vowed that he would not give up until he had achieved a glorious conquest greater than that of his rival, that thunderous cunt Cortés.


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