Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/198

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


TSOM D198 Page decoration.png

XVII.

CONQUEST.

The Mexicans drew a long breath after the departure of the enemy. It is true their emperor was ignominiously slain, covered with the contempt and scorn of his own subjects. His two sons, whom Cortés carried with him as prisoners, perished in the flight. The streets ran with blood and were strewn with corpses. The beautiful city was defaced, the causeways shattered, the bridges destroyed, and many of the houses burnt down. But it was freed from the odius presence of the stranger, who they imagined would never return. In fact the Aztecs conceived him and his army to be absolutely annililated. They set about restoring their tumbled down gods to their places, and contemplated appeasing Huitzilopochtli for the indignity with which he had been treated, by a new course of sacrifices.

Cuitlahuatzin, brother of Montezuma, was elected emperor. He had fought valiantly in the struggle, and shown heroic courage in driving Cortés from the capital, which it was his determination to enforce. He began the slow task of gathering the army together, and bringing order out of confusion, but a few days only after the great battle, he was attacked

166