Volume 2 Page 339


The passage in Isis Unveiled to which H. P. B. refers, in connection with the Incas gold and the mysterious hieroglyphics upon a certain rock, is as follows:

“The ruins which cover both Americas, and are found on many West Indian islands, are all attributed to the submerged Atlanteans. As well as the hierophants of the old world, which in the days of Atlantis was almost connected with the new one by land, the magicians of the new submerged country had a network of subterranean passages running in all directions. In connection with those mysterious catacombs, we will now give a curious story told to us by a Peruvian, long since dead, as we were travelling together in the interior of his country. There must be truth in it; as it was afterward confirmed to us by an Italian gentleman who had seen the place and who, but for lack of means and time, would have verified the tale himself, at least partially. The informant of the Italian was an old priest, who had had the secret divulged to him, at confession, by a Peruvian Indian. We may add, moreover, that the priest was compelled to make the revelation, being at the time completely under the mesmeric influence of the traveller.
“The story concerns the famous treasures of the last of the Incas. The Peruvian asserted that since the well-known and miserable murder of the latter by Pizarro, the secret had been known to all the Indians, except the Mestizos who could not be trusted. It runs thus: The Inca was made prisoner, and his wife offered for his liberation a room full of gold, ‘from the floor up to the ceiling, as high up as his conqueror could reach,’ before the sun would set on the third day. She kept her promise, but Pizarro broke his word, according to Spanish practice. Marvelling at the exhibition of such treasures, the conqueror declared that he would not release the prisoner, but would murder him, unless the Queen revealed the place whence the treasure came. He had heard that the Incas had somewhere an inexhaustible mine; a subterranean road or tunnel running many miles underground, where were kept the accumulated riches of the country. The unfortunate Queen begged for delay, and


Page 340

went to consult the oracles. During the sacrifice, the chief-priest showed her in the consecrated ‘black mirror’ the unavoidable murder of her husband, whether she delivered the treasures of the crown to Pizarro or not. Then the Queen gave the order to close the entrance, which was a door cut in the rocky wall of a chasm. Under the direction of the priest and magicians, the chasm was accordingly filled to the top with huge masses of rock, and the surface covered over so as to conceal the work. The Inca was murdered by the Spaniards and his unhappy Queen committed suicide. Spanish greed overreached itself and the secret of the buried treasures was locked in the breasts of a few faithful Peruvians.
“Our Peruvian informant added that in consequence of certain indiscretions at various times, persons had been sent by different governments to search for the treasure under the pretext of scientific exploration. They had rummaged the country through, but without realizing their object. So far this tradition is corroborated by the reports of Dr. Tschudi and other historians of Peru. But there are certain additional details which we are not aware have been made public before now.
“Several years after hearing the story, and its corroboration by the Italian gentleman, we again visited Peru. Going southward from Lima, by water, we reached a point near Arica at sunset, and were struck by the appearance of an enormous rock, nearly perpendicular, which stood in mournful solitude on the shore, apart from the range of the Andes. It was the tomb of the Incas. As the last rays of the setting sun strike the face of the rock, one can make out, with an ordinary opera-glass, some curious hieroglyphics inscribed on the volcanic surface.
“When Cuzco was the capital of Peru, it contained a temple of the sun, famed far and near for its magnificence. It was roofed with thick plates of gold, and the walls were covered with the same precious metal; the eave-troughs were also of solid gold. In the west wall the architects had contrived an aperture in such a way that when the sunbeams reached it, it focused them inside the building. Stretching like a golden chain from one sparkling point to another, they encircled the walls, illuminating the grim idols, and disclosing certain mystic signs at other times invisible. It was only by understanding these hieroglyphics—identical with those which may be seen to this day on the tomb of the Incas—that one could learn the secret of the tunnel and its approaches. Among the latter was one in the neighborhood of Cuzco, now masked beyond discovery. This leads directly into an immense tunnel which runs from Cuzco to Lima, and then, turning southward, extends


Page 341

into Bolivia. At a certain point it is intersected by a royal tomb. Inside this sepulchral chamber are cunningly arranged two doors; or rather, two enormous slabs which turn upon pivots, and close so tightly as to be only distinguishable from the other portions of the sculptured walls by the secret signs, whose key is in the possession of the faithful custodians. One of these turning slabs covers the southern mouth of the Liman tunnel—the other, the northern one of the Bolivian corridor. The latter, running southward, passes through Tarapaca and Cobija, for Arica is not far away from the little river called Pay’quina,* which is the boundary between Peru and Bolivia.
“Not far from this spot stand three separate peaks which form a curious triangle; they are included in the chain of the Andes. According to tradition the only practicable entrance to the corridor leading northward is in one of these peaks; but without the secret of its landmarks, a regiment of Titans might rend the rocks in vain in the attempt to find it. But even were someone to gain an entrance and find his way as far as the turning slab in the wall of the sepulchre, and attempt to blast it out, the superincumbent rocks are so disposed as to bury the tomb, its treasures, and—as the mysterious Peruvian expressed it to us—’a thousand warriors’ in one common ruin. There is no other access to the Arica chamber but through the door in the mountain near Pay’quina. Along the entire length of the corridor, from Bolivia to Lima and Cuzco, are smaller hiding-places filled with treasures of gold and precious stones, the accumulation of many generations of Incas, the aggregate value of which is incalculable.
“We have in our possession an accurate plan of the tunnel, the sepulchre, and the doors, given to us at the time by the old Peruvian. If we had ever thought of profiting by the secret, it would have required the co-operation of the Peruvian and Bolivian governments on an extensive scale. To say nothing of physical obstacles, no one individual or small party could undertake such an exploration without encountering the army of smugglers and brigands with which the coast is infested; and which, in fact, includes nearly the whole population. The mere task of purifying the mephitic air of the tunnel, which had not been entered for centuries, would also be a serious one. There, however, the treasure lies, and there the tradition says it will lie till the last vestige
* Pay’quina or Payaquina, so called because its waves used to drift particles of gold from Brazil. We found a few specks of genuine metal in a handful of sand that we brought back to Europe.


Page 342

of Spanish rule disappears from the whole of North and South America” (Vol. I, pp. 595-98).

While no “accurate plan of the tunnel, the sepulchre, and the doors” mentioned by H. P. B. has ever been found among her papers, there is nevertheless a curious document in the Archives of The Theosophical Society at Adyar, which it has been thought advisable to include in the present Volume.
This document consists of a folded sheet of foolscap containing drawings and writings on three of its four pages. At the top of the front page appear two separate inscriptions. One of them reads: “For those I love and protect. Try.” It is signed by H. Moore. This, in spite of the spelling, could very well be Henry More (1614-1687), the famous English Platonist of the Cambridge school, whose collaboration in the writing of Isis Unveiled is described by Col. Olcott (see Old Diary Leaves, I, 237-39). It might be tempting to think of this signature as being that of an initiate who signed himself as Robert More on a letter addressed to Col. Olcott by the Brotherhood of Luxor (see Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series, Letter No. 3), were it not again for the different spelling of the name and for the fact that the initial looks more like a capital H. The other short sentence is in the old-fashioned script-type used by John King and is signed by him, advising “to ponder and discuss.”
On the side of these brief sentences and somewhat below them is a drawing of the West Coast of South America, showing a number of coastal and inland towns, as well as the former boundary line between Peru and Bolivia. At the side of the map and below it are explanatory notes and a sketch. Some have thought the notes to be in H. P. B.’s handwriting, but this is hardly so, especially as they are in a rather peculiar and ungrammatical mixture of French and Italian which would be most unlikely in H. P. B.’s case, as she spoke both languages fluently. One short line is in English, and one other in some script which might be Oriental.
The towns and other geographical localities on the map are: Guayaquil, Trujillo, Callao, Lima, Ayacucho, Cuzco (“ancient capital of the Incas”), Pisco, the Island of Chincha, Aucari, Caraveli, Arequipa, Arica; and farther down Tarapaca, Iquique and Cobija The Payequina (or Pay’quina) river is said to cross the dividing line between Bolivia and Peru, and to carry particles of gold from Brazil. Under the sketch, the explanatory note says that this is a rock cut perpendicularly with hieroglyphics, and in the interior of which is the tomb of the Inca Kings.
The last third of the front page and the whole of the second are


Page 343

occupied with a text in a peculiar Italian, the approximate translation of which is given below:
“This was confided to me about fifteen years ago by an old priest in Peru who makes journeys into the interior, and who told me this secret, which had been disclosed to him by an Indian at confession, who said it had been revealed to him by his parents. It concerned the famous mine where they found the gold which the Spaniards carried off soon after the conquest of Peru.
“I was told that the last King of the Incas having been taken prisoner by Pizarro, there was offered for his ransom a room full of gold, which they got in three days. Pizarro, astounded by so much treasure, would only release the imprisoned King on condition that they would tell from what mine the treasure came. The Queen gave the order to close the ventilating shafts of the great tunnel, so that the mine should be for ever lost to the rapacious Spaniards. After much search by commissions from various nations and by naturalists, it still remains an impenetrable secret.
“By a strange coincidence it happened that, after this secret had been communicated to me while travelling with the priest, I arrived, as the sun was setting, at Arica; a hill or high rock perpendicular on the side facing the sea showed that it had on it some hieroglyphics, of which I could get no explanation from the same priest. But some months later, when we were back at Lima, he told me the following secret: that Cuzco was the capital of Peru, where the Temple of the Sun used to be, and from a volcanic aperture in the ground a great gold chain was thrown which encircled the Temple with all its idols, etc., etc.
“In the neighborhood (still undiscovered) is the entrance to a tunnel which extends from Cuzco to Lima, passing through the Andes and past Arica, where the rock bearing the hieroglyphics is, and at the foot of which are to be found the tombs of the Inca kings. Inside the mortuary chambers are said to be two closed doors, difficult to discover; one opens into the tunnel that goes to Cuzco, and the door opposite leads towards Bolivia, passing through Tarapaca and Cobija. On the boundary between Peru and Bolivia there is a river which is called Pay’quina, and in this area there are three hills in a triangle (a continuation of the chain of the Andes). In one of these three hills—I cannot now remember which—about half way up, is the door to the end of the tunnel.”

On the fourth page of the document a range of mountains is shown as seen from the sea, giving the location of various coastal towns and the line of the tunnels mentioned in the text.