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The Zempoallans And Quiavistlans

About this time, Bernal Diaz and another sentinel being stationed on the beach, at some distance from the camp, perceived five Indians of a different appearance from any hitherto seen, approaching them upon the level sands. Diaz conducted them to the general, who learned, by Marina s interpretation, that they came in behalf of the cacique of Zempoala, or Cempoal, to proffer the services of their king and his people. This tribe held the Mexicans in great fear and detestation, and rejoiced in the opportunity now presented for attempting some retaliation for former oppressions and injuries. The exploring expedition had discovered a desirable location, at the town of Quiavistlan, a few leagues north of the encampment, and Hernando Cortez concluded to move thither immediately. Before taking further steps, he established himself more firmly in command by resigning his commission under Valasquez, and taking the vote of his followers as to whether he should be their captain. This being settled to his satisfaction, he marched for Quiavistlan, passing the river at the spot where Vera Cruz was afterwards built. Zempoalla lay in his route, and there the army was met by a deputation from the cacique, he being too corpulent to come in person. Sweet-smelling flowers were offered as tokens of friendship to the Spanish officers. The town was well built, and ornamented with shade trees. The inhabitants collected in innumerable but orderly crowds to witness the entrance of the cavalcade. The “fat cacique” entertained his guests handsomely, making grievous complaints of the oppressions and ex actions suffered by him and his tribes at the hands of Montezuma s officers....

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