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In my mind, I tried to picture this man-god I was about to meet. If he were de Soto's leader, I figured he would have to be even taller than de Soto, and even more broad-shouldered and powerful looking. He would be blond, like the sun, of course, and his eyes would be of a cold blue that would pierce a man's mind like a dagger. Perhaps he would wear armor of gold.
The man I met, however, did not at first look like a god at all. In the thin morning light that filtered through the one small window, I saw that he was not much taller than I--maybe five-foot-seven inches to my five-five, and though his build was sturdy enough, mine compared favorably. His face was pale white and the skin of his neck was thick and grotesquely ruffled and whiter than his face. He was richly dressed in a glossy black cloak, a pair of black pants that puffed out to just below the knee, long black stockings and pointed shiny black leather shoes. And his hair was as gray as my father's, who I knew was almost sixty years of age.
But it was his face that drew my eyes again. It was not what I had expected, but it was what convinced me that I could, indeed, be in the presence of a god. Though his upper lip and chin were hidden by an inch or two of black beard, I could still see that his mouth was wide, and in repose, slightly upturned at one corner so that it conveyed an impression of a cruel humor. And his eyes, beneath a heavy, furrowed brow and bushy black eyelashes, were large and of a blackness even more penetrating than Valverde's. This, I decided was a man to fear ... perhaps not the equal of the Inca Atahuallpa, but quite enough for the moment.