Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/56

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concerned, seeing that Cogolludo says they were unable to procure any information on the subject. "It seems to me that it is time," he says, "to speak of the various things pertaining to this country, and of its natives; not, however, with the extension some might desire, mentioning in detail their origin and the countries whence they may have come, for it would be difficult for me to ascertain now that which so many learned men were unable to find out at the beginning of the Conquest, even inquiring with great diligence, as they affirm, particularly since there exist no longer any papers or traditions among the Indians concerning the first settlers from whom they are descended; our evangelical ministers, who imported the faith, in order to radically extirpate idolatry, having burned all characters and paintings they could get hold of in which were written their histories, and that in order to take from them all remembrances of their ancient rites." [1]

Those who undertook to write the narrative of the Conquest and the history of the country, in order to procure the necessary data for this, had naturally to interrogate the natives. These were either unable or unwilling to impart the knowledge sought. It may be that some of those from whom inquiries were made were descendants of the Nahuatls, ignorant of the ancient history of the Mayas. Others may have been some of the Mexican mercenaries who dwelt on the coasts, where they were barely tolerated by the other inhabitants, because of their sanguinary practices. They, from the first, had welcomed the Spaniards as friends and allies — had maintained with them intimate relations during several years,[2] be-

  1. Cogolludo, Historia de Yucathan, lib. iv., chap, iii., p. 170.
  2. Nakuk Pech. An ancient document concerning the Nakuk Pech family, Lords of Chicxulub, Yucatan. This is an original document belonging to Srs. Regil y Peon, of Merida, Yucatan.