Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/128

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After the death in prison of their king Chimalpopoca, the Mexicans did not hesitate to elect as his successor, Itzcoatl, the third son of their first sovereign, brother to their last, and general-in-chief of their armies, in which capacity he had shown himself of great force and valor.

When Maxtla heard of this he was full of wrath, having vainly imagined that the murder of the late king's children would have put an end to that line forever. He immediately began to make preparations to destroy utterly the Mexicans, still nominally his vassals.

Itzcoatl at once sent messengers to Nezahualcoyotl, the rightful heir of the Texcucans, proposing an alliance for the overthrow of the tyrant. Nezahualcoyotl, as we have seen, had already recovered a part of his inheritance, and feeling himself strong enough for the effort, he accepted the proposals of the Mexican sovereign.

Maxtla, to anticipate this step, sent open commands to his vassals, the Mexicans, that they should hold themselves in readiness to join his whole army in an attack upon Texcuco, since, as he announced,