Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/58

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much that the name became the word to mean builders. The few ruins left of their capital attest their skill. They felt themselves to be a superior race to that they found in their new home. The Toltecs were tall, robust, and well-formed, of light-sallow complexion, with but little hair on their face. They were wonderful for running, and could run at the greatest speed for hours. Their manners were gentle and refined, as well as their tastes. Yet they were cruel in war as well as brave.

Arrived in their new country, they set themselves to work to till the ground and plant it with all the crops the favorite climate permits. They had Indian corn, chile, frijoles, the beans so beloved to this day by the Mexicans, and other vegetables; these they cultivated with better processes than the former inhabitants had known. Nevertheless, and although the proud Toltecas must have looked down on the native tribes, they took a step dictated by a wise diplomacy, in order to preserve harmony and good-fellowship with their neighbors. They invited the ruler of the Chichemecs, a tribe to the north of them, to provide them a chief from his family, and, much flattered, he sent them his second son.

Some Toltec Richelieu must have planned this scheme, with the intention of keeping the real power in his own hands.

Precious-stone-who-shines(Chalchiuhtlatonac),well pleased to sparkle in a new setting, came to them from the powerful neighboring tribe of the Chichemecs, and governed peacefully for the space of fifty-two years, while the Toltecs planted and reaped, and pursued their gentle way.