A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 764 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04.
to our general, in the name of many of his principal nobles, requesting that all their women of rank who had been taken by our soldiers, might be restored to their husbands and fathers.  This was a matter of considerable difficulty; yet the general allowed a search to be made, with an assurance that all should be delivered up who were inclined to return.  Every house was accordingly searched; and though many were found, three only of the whole number were inclined to return to their families; all the rest expressed their abhorrence at the idolatry of their countrymen, besides which, many of them declared that they were pregnant, and refused to quit the soldiers to whom they were attached.

One of the first public works undertaken in Mexico was an arsenal for the reception of our flotilla which had been of such signal service during the siege.  To the best of my remembrance, Alvarado was appointed alcalde, or chief magistrate, till the arrival of Salazar de la Pedrada.  It was currently reported that Guatimotzin had thrown great quantities of gold, silver, and jewels, into the lake four days before his capture, and it was well known that our allies had got large plunder as well as our own men who served in the brigantines, and many of us suspected that Cortes was well pleased that Guatimotzin had concealed much treasure, as he expected to procure the whole for himself.  It was then proposed in the army, that Guatimotzin and the prince of Tacuba, his most confidential counsellor, should be put to the torture, to extort confession of where the treasure was secreted; this horrid act was certainly greatly against the inclination of Cortes, yet he was forced to leave the unfortunate king and the lord of Tacuba at the disposal of those avaricious wretches, who alleged that our general objected to this infernal measure that he might secure the gold for himself.  In answer to all interrogatories on the subject of the treasure, the royal Mexican officers uniformly protested that no more existed than what had been produced; which, when melted, did not exceed the value of 380,000 crowns; so that, when the royal fifth and that for Cortes were deducted, those of the conquerors who were not friends to Cortes were exceedingly dissatisfied.  All that could be extorted by the inhuman procedure of torture from the king and prince was, that they had thrown some treasure into the lake, together with the muskets and other arms captured during our flight from Mexico in the preceding year, four days before the surrender.  The place indicated was repeatedly searched to no purpose by our best divers; but a sun of solid gold, similar to one we got from Montezuma, with many ornaments of small value, were found in a deep pond near his residence.  The prince of Tacuba declared under the torture that he had buried some gold at a place about four leagues from Tacuba; but when Alvarado and six soldiers accompanied him there, of whom I was one, he declared he had no gold, and had only

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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