CONQUEST OP MEXICO. 75 nevertheless, since I should not relinquish my purpose of seeing him, that it would be better it should be done in a friendly manner, and that no obstacles be thrown in my way, as otherwise it would be attended with injury to himself, and I should much regret any such occur- rence. As soon as he saw that it was my determined desire to visit him and his country, he sent to say that it was well ; that he should expect me in the great city where he was, and that several of his people would join me, as soon as I had entered his territory. These persons desired me to* take a certain route,* on which they might contrive to have an attack made upon me, as it after- wards appeared ; since a number of Spaniards whom I afterwards sent through the country saw how it was ; I should have found on that route so many bridges and difficult passes, that as I went through it they would have been able to execute their designs with safety to them- selves. But as God has ever seen fit to guide your sacred Majesty from your infancy in the right way, and as I and those who accompanied me, were engaged in the royal service, another route was pointed out to us, somewhat rough,t indeed, but not so dangerous as the other, and this I took. Eight leagues from the city of Cholula are two very lofty and remarkable mountains ; in the latter part of August their summits are covered with snow ; and from the highest, by night as well as by day, a volume of smoke arises, equal in bulk to a spacious house ; it as- cends above the mountain to the clouds as straight as an arrow, and v/ith such force, that although a very strong wind is always blowing on the mountain, it does
- This route was through Calpulalpa. — L.
t That of Rio Trio, along the side of the Sierra Nevada. — L.