Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/194

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Due respect was shown to his memory; his body was committed to the charge of his subjects, and borne by nobles, it is said, to Chapultepec, to be laid among the tombs of his ancestors, under the sad ahuehuetes. At least, this is the received account. A Mexican story says that on the night of the departure of the Spaniards the corpse of the monarch was dashed to pieces, by his enraged people, upon a tortoise of stone which stood in a corner of the palace of Axayacatl. And here, say the indios, wanders the melancholy spirit of Montezuma, under the gloomy cypress, restless and unable to sleep the sleep of death, lamenting the lost Tenochtitlan and the happy days of the Aztecs. Here comes also Malintzi, whom, when she meets him, the sad shade accosts: "Why, Malintzi, didst thou betray me to the stranger, why didst thou plead with me for his cause?"

And the other sighs and wrings her hands and asks herself the same vain question.

There are other shadows, too, that frequent the moss-hung alleys of Chapultepec, but these are creatures of a later day and unheeded by the sorrowful phantoms of the victims of the Conquest.

As this is the story of the Mexicans, and not of the Conquest only, and as moreover that period of Mexican history is fully elsewhere described, we must pass slightly over the continued adventures of Cortés.

When the adventurer saw that the presence of the monarch had produced no good effect upon his subjects, he withdrew to head-quarters, and after a con-