CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 93 bling a seal, which he wore upon his arm, and ordered them to go to the city of Almeria, which is sixty or seventy leagues from Mextitan, [Mexico,] and conduct Qualpopoca hither ; and having ascertained what others were concerned in the murder of the Spaniards, to have them come likewise ; that if they refused to come volun- tarily, they should be brought as prisoners ; and if they resisted, they should call upon the communities adjacent to that city, which he indicated to them, for an armed force to assist in taking the offenders ; and that they should by no means return without them. These per- sons departed at once, and when they had gone, I said to Muteczuma, that I was pleased with his diligence in this matter, since I should have to render an account to your Majesty of the Spaniards who had been killed. As for what remained of my duty in the premises, I must have him in my quarters until the truth was more clearly ascertained, and himself shown to be free from blame j and I begged him to suffer no uneasiness on this account, as he would not be treated as a prisoner, but left in the full possession of his liberty ; that no obstacle should be interposed to his enjoying the service of his followers, who would continue to be at his command; that he might select an apartment, such as would please him, in the palace I occupied, where he would be at his ease ; that he might rest assured that nothing should be allow- ed to give him pain or inconvenience ; and that in addi- tion to his own servants, my companions would cheer- fully obey all his commands. Much conversation and discourse followed in regard to this arrangement, too long to be described at length, and even to be repeated to your Majesty, being not only prolix, but scarcely ma- terial to the case ; and, therefore, I shall say no more 13
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