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The Aztec Account of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico
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 Cortes Demands Gold

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Join date : 2009-05-11
Location : Central Oklahoma

PostSubject: Cortes Demands Gold   Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:12 pm

When the fighting had ended, Cortes demanded the gold his men had abandoned in the Canal of the Toltecs during the Night of Sorrows. He called the chiefs together and asked them: "Where is the gold you were hiding in the city?"

The Aztecs unloaded it from canoes: there were bars of gold, gold crowns, gold ornaments for the arms and legs, gold helmets and disks of gold. They heaped it in front of the Captain, and the Spaniards came forward to take possession of it. Cortes said: "Is this all the gold in the city? You must bring me all of it."

Tlacotzin replied: "I beg the lord to hear me. All the gold we owned was kept in our palaces. Is it not true that our lords took all of it with them?"

La Malinche told Cortes what Tlacotzin had said. Then ,he translated the Captain's answer: "Yes, it is true. We took it and stamped it with our seal. But we lost in the Canal of the Toltecswhen your warriors surprised us. You must bring all back."

Tlacotzin replied: "I beg the god to hear me. The people of Tenochtitlan do not know how to fight in canoes; it is not their custom. This is done only by the people of Tlatelolco, who fought in canoes to defend themselves from your attacks. Is it not possible that the Tlatelolcas took the gold? "

Then Cuauhtemoc said to Tlacotzin: "Yes, it is very possible. Our lords may have taken the wrong people prisoners. Everything suggests it. The rest of the gold must be in Texopan.The gold our lords took is here." Cuauhtemoc pointed at the heap they had unloaded from the canoes.

The Captain replied: "Only this little? "

Tlacotzin said: "Perhaps someone has stolen the rest. Why not search for it? Why not bring it to light? "

La Malinche told him what the Captain replied: "You must bring us two hundred bars of gold of this size." And she held her hands apart to show them the size.

Tlacotzin said: "Perhaps some woman has hidden the gold under her skirts. Why not search for it? Why not bring it to fight?"

Ahuelitoc the Mixcoatlailotlac said: "I beg our lord and master to hear me. Even as late as the reign of Motecuhzoma, the Tepanecas. and the Acolhuas joined the people of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco in conquering our enemies. We all went out together to defeat them; and when they had surrendered, we each went back to our own city. Then the conquered tribes brought us the tribute we had imposed: quetzal feathers, gold, jade, turquoise and other kinds of precious stones, as well as birds with rich plumage, such as the bluejay and the bird with acrimson ruff. All these things were brought here to Tenochtitlan: all the tribute, all the gold. . . ."
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