Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/213

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181
DOÑA MARINA.

his father, now at peace with all the vast empire he has conquered for his sovereign, she passes a tranquil, happy life.

Suddenly, to break in upon this dream, comes the news that Doña Catalina Juarez Cortés has landed at Vera Cruz, and is approaching the capital.

Very likely Cortés had forgotten to mention his marriage to Marina. Perhaps he had forgotten it himself. But the reader will remember Doña Catalina, the cause of the jealousy of Velasquez in the early days of Fernando's career. It is said that his first ardor for her cooled off after a time, and that the marriage would never have taken place but for the persistence of the Doña. It was not happy, and the adventurer sailed away, without regret for the cheerless home he left behind in Cuba.

Her name was never mentioned during the long period which passed between the landing of the Spaniards and their successful establishment in Mexico. But the deeds of Fernando Cortés were known to all the world, and especially sounded about in the island whence he set out. Doña Catalina, with every right on her side, set out to join her recusant spouse, encouraged by Diégo Velasquez, who saw with no pleasure the continued triumphs of Cortés.

Bernal Diaz says that Cortés hated his wife, but he dared not bring down upon himself the wrath of the Church by ignoring her, and Doña Catalina was received on her arrival with all the honors due to the wife of the great conqueror. She made a splendid entrance into the capital, and at once stepped into