Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/203

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171
CONQUEST.

than before, seeing that his work was not only to restore the capital, but to prepare the country for another conflict. He collected great stores of corn in the warehouses, fortified all the places he considered exposed to attack, shattered the calzadas, or causeways, and got ready a large fleet of canoas. He worked with all diligence, for he was kept well informed of the proceedings of the enemy, and knew that Cortés had arrived safe within the boundaries of Tlaxcalla. And, indeed, before the end of the year the renewed attack began.

The distance from Otumba to Tlaxcalla was short, and the Spaniards were not further interrupted. The returned Tlaxcallans were received at home with great honors, and in spite of the disasters of the Spaniards, they remained faithful to the stranger. Cortés reposed among them, recovering from his own wounds, and giving his companions time to rest and refresh themselves. Meanwhile, he was forming new projects and drawing closer the bond of friendship with his hosts. The wise old Maxixcatzin, his first friend and constant supporter, died at that time, but the other Tlaxcallans continued their favor.

By December, only six months from his return to Tlaxcalla, Cortés had succeeded in making a new army of respectable proportion. Ixtlilxochitl now ruled undisturbed over the whole of Texcuco, after the death of his brothers, who had resisted the cause of the invaders. He was the fourteenth and last monarch of his country, of which he was the greatest enemy, fatal to it as well as to his own race and