Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/197

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165
LA NOCHE TRISTE.

his men, and united the dispersed remnants of his army.

This sanctuary is now the abode of an image of the Holy Virgin, of which the legend is that it was brought to Mexico by one of the soldiers of Cortés, and that during the first stay of the Spaniards in Tenochtitlan it was permitted to be set up in a shrine of the great teocalli among the Aztec gods. It was carried thence on the fatal Noche triste, by its possessor, when he sought shelter in this very temple with the rest of the shattered Spanish army. And there he left it hidden under a maguey, being too sorely wounded to carry it farther, where it was found and made an object of veneration.

The accounts of losses in this conflict are varying. According to our present authority, the Spaniards lost four hundred and fifty men, twenty-six horses, and about four thousand allied Indians. On the Mexican losses it is impossible to speculate, but the artillery and firearms of their enemies must have made frightful havoc in the crowds of people who swarmed through the streets during the night.

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