Prince of Mexico – Chapter Four
By: Mark Kodama

IV.

Cortes anchored off the island of San Juan de Ulua. A group of Indians on
The beach, launched their canoes from the mainland and rowed to Cortes’
Flagship, the largest vessel in fleet. The natives boarded the ship, bearing
Gifts of gold, fruits and flowers. Aguilar knew Mayan but did not speak

Nahuatl, the language of the visitors. Marina, who spoke Mayan and Nahuatl,
Translated Nahuatl into Mayan for Aguilar. Aguilar translated the Mayan into
Spanish For Cortes. Marina became Cortes’s mistress and one of his most
Important advisers. The Indians said they were subjects of the great Montezuma,
Ruler of the Aztec Empire. Teuhtile was governor. Cortes gave the men presents and
asked to see Teuhtile.

On Good Friday, Cortes landed on the mainland, across From San Juan de Ulua.
Cortes placed his cannons on sandy hillocks on the beach. Mosquitoes mercilessly
Attacked the men, spreading malaria and killing thirty men. On Easter Sunday,
Teuhtile and his entourage visited Cortes’s camp. Cortes said he represented King
Charles V, a great and powerful ruler from across the sea. He told Teuhtile he came
To deliver a personal message to Montezuma from Charles V. Teuhtile
Replied: "How is it that you have been here for just two days and you
Demand to see the great Montezuma?" Teuhtile said. He said he was surprised
To hear of another ruler as powerful as Montezuma. If this was true,
Montezuma would speak with him. He would deliver Cortes’s request
To Montezuma.

The Aztecs gave the Spaniards fine cotton, feather works, and gold jewelry.
Cortes gave the Aztecs a carved wood chair, felt cap, a gold medallion
And crystal glass necklaces and bracelets. Teuhtile asked for a Spanish
Battle helmet which looked like the crown worn by their god Quetzalcoatl.
Was Cortes the white-skinned, bearded god who left long ago on a raft of
Serpents? Cortes gave Teuhtile a battle helmet and said he hoped he would
Returned it filled with grains of gold so he could compare the quality of the
Mexican gold to Spanish gold. "The Spanish suffer from the disease of
The heart that only can be cured by gold," Cortes said.

An Aztec artist drew the Spaniard’s armor, weapons, ships and horses.
Cortes drilled his horsemen on the beach and fired his cannons into
The trees. Teuhtile told locals to provide food and water to the strangers.
Ten days later, the Spaniards were given gold but were told to proceed no further.

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