Montezuma's Daughter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 532 pages of information about Montezuma's Daughter.
of a strange white race, which, as it was truly prophesied, would bring his empire to nothingness, the omens seemed very evil.  Indeed, if they had any doubt as to their meaning, it was soon to be dispelled, in their minds at least.  For as we stood wonder-struck, a messenger, panting and soiled with travel, arrived among us and prostrating himself before the majesty of the emperor, he drew a painted scroll from his robe and handed it to an attendant noble.  So desirous was Montezuma to know its contents, that contrary to all custom he snatched the roll from the hands of the counsellor, and unrolling it, he began to read the picture writing by the baleful light of the blazing sky and temple.  Presently, as we watched and he read, Montezuma groaned aloud, and casting down the writing he covered his face with his hands.  As it chanced it fell near to where I stood, and I saw painted over it rude pictures of ships of the Spanish rig, and of men in the Spanish armour.  Then I understood why Montezuma groaned.  The Spaniards had landed on his shores!

Now some of his counsellors approached him to console him, but he thrust them aside, saying: 

’Let me mourn—­the doom that was foretold is fallen upon the children of Anahuac.  The children of Quetzal muster on our shores and slay my people.  Let me mourn, I say.’

At that moment another messenger came from the palace, having grief written on his face.

‘Speak,’ said Montezuma.

’O king, forgive the tongue that must tell such tidings.  Your royal sister Papantzin was seized with terror at yonder dreadful sight,’ and he pointed to the heavens; ‘she lies dying in the palace!’

Now when the emperor heard that his sister whom he loved was dying, he said nothing, but covering his face with his royal mantle, he passed slowly back to the palace.

And all the while the crimson light gleamed and sparkled in the east like some monstrous and unnatural dawn, while the temple of Quetzal burned fiercely in the city beneath.

Now, I turned to the princess Otomie, who had stood by my side throughout, overcome with wonder and trembling.

‘Did I not say that this country was accursed, princess of the Otomie?’

‘You said it, Teule,’ she answered, ‘and it is accursed.’

Then we went into the palace, and even in this hour of fear, after me came the minstrels as before.



On the morrow Papantzin died, and was buried with great pomp that same evening in the burial-ground at Chapoltepec, by the side of the emperor’s royal ancestors.  But, as will be seen, she was not content with their company.  On that day also, I learned that to be a god is not all pleasure, since it was expected of me that I must master various arts, and chiefly the horrid art of music, to which I never had any desire.  Still my own wishes were not

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Montezuma's Daughter from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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