Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/126

This page needs to be proofread.

104 LETTERS OF CORTES. that should we resolve on war, it would be attended with much danger, as he was a great lord, and possessed much strength and many people ; and he could not be attacked without the risk of great destruction of life. But that there were several of the principal persons of Cacamazin who resided in Mexico at his charge, and that he would speak to them on the subject, in order to induce some of Cacamazin' s followers to come to Mexi- co, and thus being secured, they might favor our attempt, and their master be taken without risk. And so it turn- ed out ; Muteczuma laid his plans in such a manner, that a number of his leading men persuaded Cacamazin to meet them in the city of Tezcuco, for the purpose of taking measures in relation to the affairs of the state, (in which their station entitled them to a voice,) and who were grieved by the course he was pursuing, which would involve the ruin of the country. Accordingly they as- sembled in a splendid palace of Cacamazin, situated near the shore of the lake, which was built in such a manner that canoes could pass under it, and from thence issue forth upon the lake. At that place a number of boats were stationed, properly manned and equipped, in case Cacamazin should offer any resistance when taken. While he was consulting with his chiefs, they seized him, and before it was discovered by his attendants, they secured him in a boat, and launched out upon the lake, directing their course to the great city, which, as I have already stated, was six leagues distant. Having arrived there, they placed him on a litter, as his condition re- quired, and they had been accustomed to do, and brought him to me ; I immediately caused him to be put in irons, and to be carefully guarded. Having advised with Mu- J:ec2uma, I conferred the government of the province on