The Conquest of Mexico, Part Three
"As the wind was fair, we bore down upon the midst of them, and although they fled as fast as possible, we broke an immense number of canoes, and destroyed many of the enemy in a style worthy of admiration. In the chase we followed them full three long leagues, till they were locked up amongst the houses of the city; and thus it pleased our Lord to grant us a greater and more complete victory than we had ventured to ask or desire."
"and when they had prepared the canons, they fired at the wall. The wall cracked and broke open. And the Second time it was hit, the wall fell to the ground, destroyed... the great warriors in vain took refuge behind the stone columns... None of them would come out into the open."
"As this affair was so sudden and I saw them killing our men, I resolved to remain there, and perish in the fight... Several Indians of the enemy already advanced to seize me, and would have borne me off had it not been for a captain of fifty men whom I always had with me and a youth in his company, to whom God I owed my life; and in saving mine, like a valiant man, he lost his own... The captain who was with me, Antonio de Quinones, said to me, "Let us leave, this place and save your life..."...we began to retreat... at this moment there came up a servant of mine on horseback, and made a little room; but presently he received a blow in his threat from a lance thrown from a low terrace that brought him to the ground... I mounted the horse, but not to fight... two mares on which two of my servants rode fell on the causeway into the water; one of them was killed by the Indians, but the other was saved by some of the infantry. Another servant of mine, Cristobal de Guzman, rode a horse they gave him at the little island to bring to me, on which I might make my escape; but the enemy killed both him and the horse before he reached me... some of the enemy threw in the way two or three heads of Christian men from the upper part of an entrenchment where they were fighting..."
"I ascended the highest tower that the Indians might know me, as I was sensible that it would disturb them much to see me in that place."
"When night had fallen, it rained and sprinkled off and on Then in the deepest darkness of the night there appeared in the heavens what was like a fire. It looked and appeared as if it was coming from the sky, like a whirlwind; it went spinning around and revolving. The blazing, turning ember seemed to explode; it was as if embers burst out of it--some very large, some very small, some like sparks. It rose up like a coppery wind; it arose, crackling, snapping, and exploding loudly. Then it circled the walls at the water, heading toward Coyonacazco, then it went into the midst of the lake and disappeared there No one struck his hand against his mouth; no one uttered a word."
Come back for Background History, Part Eight, coming January 1, 2015
Florentine Codex - https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/classroom-content/teaching-and-learning-in-the-digital-age/the-conquest-of-mexico/florentine-codex
Letters from Cortes - https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/classroom-content/teaching-and-learning-in-the-digital-age/the-conquest-of-mexico/letters-from-hernan-cortes
TTC Course: Maya to Aztec Ancient Mesoamerica revealed - http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/maya-to-aztec-ancient-mesoamerica-revealed.html