Prince of Mexico – Chapter Three
By: Mark Kodama

III.

Cortes landed at Tabasco, expecting to find friendly Indians. But fortune
Is fickle and one must expect the unexpected at all times. The Tabascans
Refused to let him land, so Cortes landed his men on a small island upstream.
He split his army into two parts, sending one hundred men behind the Tabascans.
Cortes attacked the Indians with his remaining forces in a frontal assault.
Cortes and his men waded through the water and up the muddy banks. A
Hail of arrows, darts and burning pieces of wood cascaded down upon them.
After Cortes lost his shoes in the mud, he fought barefoot, urging his men
To attack the tens of thousands of Indians before them. They fired cannon
And musket, causing terrible wounds to the Tabascans. Their obsidian blades
Were no match for Spanish steel. The Tabascans wavered, faltered and fled
Behind a timber breastwork and the palisade that ringed their city. Cortes’s
Men behind the Tabascans, now fell on the Indian flank, sending the
Indians into full flight. The Spaniards cut them down as they ran. Cortes
And his army slept that night in Tabasco.

The next day, Cortes sent his horsemen behind the Tabascans His infantry,
Packed in tight formation, attacked the Indian army. The arquebusiers
And cannons ripped the Indians to pieces. The Spanish cavaliers, led by
Cortes attacked the Tabascan flank, aiming their lances at the faces of
The Indians. The Tabascans broke and ran in disordered flight. The
Spaniards lost two men and suffered less than one hundred injured. The Tabascan
Cacique gave Cortes twenty female slaves, including Dona Marina, who
Became Cortes’s translator and mistress. On Palm Sunday, the soldiers, led by their
Priests, marched in a cavalcade, palm leaf in their right hand, to the temple.
The soldiers replaced the stone idols with images of the Virgin and Child. Defeat
Of the warlikeTabascans sent fear throughout the land.

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