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.
THE ARISING OF PAPANTZIN
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