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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/375

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 353 died ; an event deeply lamented by us all, for he was a good subject of your Majesty, and a great friend to the Christians. His younger brother who was baptized, and had assumed the name of Don Carlos, succeeded him in the caciqueship, in your Majesty's name, with the ap- probation of the nobles and principal persons of that city and province ; and so far as is known to the present time, he follows in the footsteps of his brother, and takes much pleasure in conforming to our habits and mode of life. In my former relation I informed your Majesty that near the provinces of Tlascala and Guajocingo, there is a conical mountain of great height, from which smoke issues almost continually, and mounts in a straight column like an arrow.* As the Indians told us it was dangerous to ascend this mountain, and fatal to those who made the attempt, I caused several Spaniards to undertake it, and examine the character of the sum- mit. At the time they went up, so much smoke pro- ceeded from it, accompanied by loud noises, that they were either unable or afraid to reach its mouth. After- wards I sent up some other Spaniards, who made two attempts, and finally reached the aperture of the moun- tain whence the smoke issued, which was two bow-shots wide, and about three-fourths of a league in circumfer- ence ; and they discovered some sulphur around it, which the smoke deposited. During one of their visits they heard a tremendous noise, followed by smoke, when they made haste to descend, but before they reached the middle of the mountain there fell around them a heavy shower of stones, from which they were

  • Popocatepetl.