Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/277

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of a native kingdom, which fell with that of Montezuma. No ruins here, or remains of the sacred edifices that existed at the first coming of the Spaniards, save a low mound and scattered TLM D277 Tree of Noche Triste.jpgTREE OF NOCHE TRISTE. fragments of pottery. Both villages are easily reached from the city, and both contain religious establishments, that of Atzcapotzalco being of great proportions.

The church, or chapel, standing hard by the tree of noche triste, seems abandoned to the Indians, and is very old,—old enough to carry the thoughts back to that sad night of the first of July, 1520. The Aztecs relaxed their pursuit here at Popotla, else not a Spaniard would have remained alive to tell the tale; and, though harassed by the inhabitants of the towns about, the soldiers made good their escape, on the day following, to Otancalpolco, where they fortified themselves in a temple on a hill. Thence, after a brief night of rest, they marched under guidance of a single Indian towards Tlascala, their place of refuge; though not without another battle, in which they came near being annihilated. Upon the hill where they obtained their first relief, and a little time to