Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/116

This page needs to be proofread.

94 LETTERS OF CORTES. than that, finally, he expressed his willingness to go with me. He immediately gave orders to have the apart- ment he wished to occupy put in order for his use, which was well situated and handsomely fitted up ; and this being done, many nobles came to him, stripped of their robes, which they carried hanging upon their arms, and bare-footed, bringing a litter, not in the best order, on which, with tears in their eyes, they placed him in deep silence ; and in this manner we proceeded to the quar- ters which I occupied, without exciting any commotion in the city, although some signs of a disturbance began to appear. But as soon as Muteczuma heard of it, he sent orders forbidding any movement j and thus all remained quiet as before, and continued so during the whole time that Muteczuma was my prisoner, since he was entirely at his ease, with the same attendance that he had been accustomed to in his own palace, which was very large and splendid, as I shall hereafter relate ; and I and my companions did every thing in our power to gratify his wishes. Fifteen or twenty days after his imprisonment, the messengers arrived that Muteczuma had sent in quest of Qualpopoca and the others concerned in the murder of the Spaniards ; and they brought with them that chief and his sons^ together with fifteen persons who were said to be men of rank, and implicated in the affair. Qualpopoca was brought on a litter, much in the style of a governor, as in fact he was. They were delivered into my hands, and I caused them to be placed under a strong guard ; and when they acknowledged that they had killed the Spaniards, I directed them to be asked if they were the vassals of Muteczuma ? Qualpopoca re- plied — " If I have any other sovereign, who is it^" as