The ships were all of the same size, measuring about one hundred and twenty tons, and each carried about eighty persons, officers and men. They were accompanied by a store ship of two hundred tons, under the command of Gonzalo Nunez, which was to continue with them only a part of the way, and to supply them with provisions and stores.
Donna Ynez Bravo, who was sister to the prisoner and wife to Nicolas de Ribeira, one of the fugitives, on hearing the situation of her brother, hastened to the camp accompanied by her father, and threw herself at the feet of Gonzalo, whom she earnestly implored to spare the life of her brother.
In this array, the whole column of march moved towards the house of the oydor Ortiz de Zarate, where the other judges were assembled. Ortiz had feigned sickness, on purpose to avoid attending the royal court of audience at the reception of Gonzalo, but his brethren adjourned the sitting to his house on the occasion.
The barons now prepared to push home their advantage and complete the victory; but the Pope checkmated them by an appeal to Gonzalo de Cordoba, who promptly responded and came with Prospero Colonna to the aid of the Church.
Hernando proposed to lead the assault in person, but Juan interposed with the remark that he had objected to its seizure in the first instance, and to him rightfully belonged the leadership of the forlorn hope to repair the error. Hernando consented. Juan and Gonzalo, with their commands and fifty of their best horse, were detailed for the purpose.
He was disposed to have put Rodrigo Mexia, another of these prisoners, to death at the same time; but the son of Gonzalo pleaded strongly to save his life, by representing how kindly he had been used by Mexia while in his custody. Vela Nunnez was conducted to Quito, where he was pardoned by Gonzalo, yet admonished to behave very carefully for the future, as the slightest suspicion would be fatal.
He assured him, that, in accepting the charge of his conveyance as a prisoner, he had been entirely actuated by the desire of serving him, that he might get him from under the power of Cepeda, and prevent him from falling into the hands of Gonzalo Pizarro, who was expected to arrive shortly at Lima.
Gonzalo therefore immediately marched for Quito, determined to give battle to the viceroy without delay; and although the viceroy was perfectly aware of the advantages possessed by Pizarro in the superior discipline and equipment of his troops, he courageously resolved to run the risk of battle, and even to expose himself personally to all its dangers.
In this state of things, some looked to the Audience, and yet more to Gonzalo Pizarro, to protect them. That chief was slowly advancing towards Lima, from which, indeed, he was removed but a few days' march. Greatly perplexed, Blasco Nunez now felt the loneliness of his condition.
Some of the inhabitants however, fled into the mountains, being unwilling to attach themselves to either of the parties which now divided the unhappy colony, while others went to join Gonzalo Pizarro.