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For s?mb~ minutes w? lay'thus" "side by
side, and as wo lay a great wonder and
gratitudo grew In my heart, wonder that
a woman could bo so bravo, gratitude tor
the love she gave me, scaling it with her
lifeblood, because Otomie loved me so
well that she desired to dio thus at my sido
rather than to live on in greatness and
honor without ma Of a sudden, In a mo
For some minute? we lay thus side by side.
ment while I thought of this marvel, a
now light shone upon my heart, and lt was
changed toward her. I felt that no wom
an could ever be so dear to me as this glo
rious woman-no, not even my betrothed.
I felt-nay, who can say what I did feel?
But I know this-that the tears rushed to
my eyes and ran down my painted face,
and I turned my head to look at her. Sho
was lying as much upon her left side as
hor bands would allow; her long hair fell
from tho stone to the paving, where it lay
in masses, and her face was toward me.
So close was it indeed that there was not
an inch between our lips.
"Otomie," I whispered, "listen tomo.
I love you, Otomio. " Now I saw her breast
heave beneath tho bands and the color
come upon her brow.
"Then I am repaid," she answered, and
our lips clung together In a kiss, tho first,
and, as wo thought, the last. Yes, thora
wc kissed, on tho stone of sacrifice, be
neath tho knife of the priest and the
shadow of death, and if there has boen a
stranger love scene in tho world I have
never heard its story.
"Oh, I om repaid," 6he said again. "I
would gladly die a score of deaths to win
thia moment. Indeed I pray that I may
die before you tako back your words, for,
Toule, I know well that thero is one who
is dearer to you than I am, but now your
heart is softened by tho faithfulness of au
Indian girl, and you think that you lovo
her. Let mo die, then, believing that the
dream is true."
"Talk not so, " I answered heavily, for
even at that moment the memory of Lily
came into my mind. ''You givo your life
for me, and I love you for it."
"My lifo is nothing, and your love is
much," she answered, smiling. "Ah,
Teule, what majic havo you that you can
bring me.'Montezuma's daughter, to the
altar of tho gods, and of my own free will?
Well, I desire no softer bcd, and for tho
why and wherefore it will soon be known
by both of us, and with it many other
THE TRIUMPH OF THE CROSS.
"Otomie," I said presently, "when will
^they kill us?"
"When the point of light lies within the
ring that is painted over your heart," she
Now I turned my head from her and
looked at the sunbeam which pierced the
shadow above us like a golden pencil. It
rested at my side about six inches from
me, and I reckoned that it would lie in
tho scarlet ring painted upon my breast
within somo 15 minutes. Meanwhile the
clamor of battle grew louder and nearer.
Shifting myself so far as tho cords would
allow, I strained my head upward and
saw that tho Spaniards had gained the
crest of the pyramid, since tho battle now
raged upon Its edge, and I have rarely
seen so terrible a fight, for tho Aztecs
fought with tho fury of despair, thinking
little of their own lives if they could only
bring a Spaniard to his death. But for
tho most part their rude weapons would
not pierce tho coats of mail, so that there
remained only one way to compass their ?
desire-namely, by costing thc white men
over tho edge of tho teocali! to be crushed
like eggshells upon the pavement 200 feet
below. Thus tho fray broke itself up Into
groups of foes, who rent and torc at each
other upon tho brink of the pyramid, now
and again to vanish down its sido, 10 or
12 of them togethor. Some of tho priests
also joined in thc fight, thinking lesa of
their own deaths than of the desecration
of their temples, for I saw one of them, a
man of huge strength and stature, seize a
Spanish soldier round tho middle and leap
with him into space. Still, though very
slowly, the Spaniards and Tlascalans
forced their way toward the center of tho
platform, and as they came the danger of
this dreadful end grew less, for the Aztecs
must drag them farther.
Now, the fight drew near to tho stone of
sacrifice, and all who remained alive of
the Aztecs, perhaps some 250 of them, be
sides the priests, ranged themselves round
ns and lt in a circle; also the oater rim
of the sunbeam that fell through the gold
en funnel, creeping on remorselessly,
touched my painted aide, which lt seemed,
to burn as hot iron might, tar, alas, I could
not command tho sun to stand still while
tho battlo raged, as did Joshua in the val
ley of Ajalon. When lt touched me, five
priests seized my limbs and h?td, and the
father of them, ho who had conducted me
from tho palace, clasped his flint knife In
both hands. Now a deathly sickness took
me, and I shut my eyes, dreaming that all
was done, but at that moment I heard a
wild eyed man, Whom I had noted stand
ing by, call out to tho minister of death:
"Not yet, O priest of Tezcatl If you
smito beforo tho sunbeam lies upon the
victim's heart, your gods aro doomed, and
doomed aro the peoplo of Anahuac."
Tho priest gnashed his teeth with rago
and glared first at the creeping point of
light and then over his shoulder ac tho ad
vancing battle. Slowly tho ring .>.' war
riors closed in upon us, slowly tho golden I
ray crept up my breast till its puter aim j
touched tho rod circle pointed upon my j
heart. Again the priest heaved up his
awful knife, again I shut my oyes, and,.
again I heard the shrill scream-of the as- ?
tronomer: "Not yet, not yet, or your
gods are doomed I" "
Then I heard another sound. It was
the voice of Otomie crying for help.
"Savo us, Teules! They murder usl"
Bho shrieked in so piercing a noto that lt
reached the ears of tho Spaniards, for one
shouted in answer and in tho Castillan
tongue: "On, my comrades, onl Tho-dogs
do murder on their altars!"
Then thero was a mighty rush, and the
defending Aztecs were swept in upon tho
altar, lifting tho priest of sacrifice from
his feet and throwing him across my body.
Thrice thot rush carno, like a rush of tho
sea, and each time tho stand of tho Aztecs
weakened. Now thou* circle was broken,
and tho swords of tho Spaniards dashed
up on every side, and now tho red ray lay
wi rain thc ring upon my heart.
"Smite, priest of Tezcat," screamed tho
voice of tho astronomer. "Smite homo
for thc glory of your god!"
With a fearful yell, thc priest lifted the
knifo. I saw tho golden sunbeam that
rested full upon my heart shlno on it.
Then as lt was descending I saw tho samo
sunbeam shine upon a yard nf steel that
flashed across me and lost itself In the
breast of the niurderer priest. Down came
the great flint knife, but its aim was lost.
It struck indeed, hut not upon my bosom,
though I did not escape lt altogether.
Full upon thc altar of sacrifice lt foll and
was shattered there, piercing between my
side and that of Otomio and gashing the
flesh of both so that our blood was min
gled upon tho stone, making us ono in
deed. Down. too. como tho uri eat -across
our T5?dj?$"f?r"O?~fe?cond time,"b??To rise
no more, for be writhed dying on thoso
whom he would have slain. Then, as in
i a dream, I heard the wail of the astron -
I omer singing the dirge of the gods of Ana
"The priest is dead, and his gods are
fallen," ho cried. "Tezcat has rejected
bis victim and is fallen. Doomed are tho
gods of Anahuac! Victory is to the cross
of the Christians*"
Thu? he walled. Then came the sound
of sword blows, and I knew that this proph
et was dead also.
Now a strong arm pulled the dying
priest from off us, and he staggered beek
till he fell over the altar where the eternal
fire burned, quenching it with his blood
and body after it had flared for many gen
erations, and a knife Out the rope that
I sat up, staring round me wildly, and
a voloe spoke above me in Castillan, not
to me Indeed, but to some comrade,
"These two went near to lt, poor dev
ils!" said the voioe. "Had my out been
one second later that savage would havo
drilled a hole in him as big es my head.
3y all the saints, the girl is lovely, or
would be If she were washed! I shall beg
her of Cortes as my prize. "
The voice spoke, and I knew the voice.
None other ever had that bard, clear ring.
I knew it even then and looked up, slip
ping off the death stone as I looked. Now
ii saw. Before me, clad in mail, was my
enemy, De Garcia It was his sword that
by the good providence of God had pierced
the breast of the' priest. Ho had saved
me, who, had he known, would as soon
lia ve turned his steel against his own heart
as on that cf my destroyer.
I gazed at bim, wondering if I dreamed.
Then my lips spoke without my will, as id
He staggered back at tba Bound of my
voice, like a man struck by a shot; -then
He staggered back at the sound of my
stired ot me, rubbed his eyes with his
hand and stared again. Now at length he
knew me through my paint
"Mother of God!" he gasped, "it ls the
knave Thomas Wingfield, and I have saved
By this time my senses had come back
to me, and knowing all my folly I turned,
seeking escape. But De Garcia had no
mind to suffer this. Lifting his sword, he
sprang at mo with a beastlike scream of
rage an d hate. Swiftly as thought I slipped
round .the stone of sacrifice, and after me
came the uplifted sword of my enemy. It
would have overtaken me soon enough, for
I was weak with fear and fasting, and my
limbs were cramped with bonds, but at
that moment a cavalier, whom by his dress
and port I guessed to bo none other than
Cortes himself, struck up De Garcia's
"How now, Sarceda? Are you mad
with the lust of blood that you would take
to sacrificing victims like an Indian priest?
Let the poor devil go."
; "He ls no Lidian. He is an English
spy," cried De Garcia and once more
struggled to get at ma <
' "Decidedly our friend is mad," said
Cortes, scanning me. "He says that this
wretched creature is an Englishman.
Come, be off, both of you, or somebody else
may make the same mistake," and he
waved his sword in token to us to go,
deeming that I could not understand bis
words, tuen added angrily as De Garcia,
speechless with rage, made a new attempt
to get at me:
No, by heaven! I will not suffer it
We are Christians and como to save vic
tims, not to slay them. Here, comrades,
hold this fool who would stain his soul
Now the Spaniards clutched De Garcia
by the arms, and he cursed and raved at
them, for, as I have said, his rage was
that of a beast rather than of a mon.
But I stood bewildered, not knowing
whither to fly. Fortunate it was for me
indeed that one was by who, though she
understood no Spanish, yet bad a quicker
wit for while I stood thus Otom?a
clasped my hand and whispering, "Fly, fly
swiftly!" led me away from the stone of
"Whither shall we go?" Z said at length.
"Were lt not better to trust to the mercy
Of the Smniardsf "
"To the mercy of that man devtt ^th
thesword?" she answered. "Peace, Teule,
and follow me."
i Kow she led me on, and the Spaniards
Set us by unhanned-aye, and even spoke
words of pity as we passed) for they knew
?we were victims snatched from saori
Indeed, when a certain brute, a
colan Indian, rushed at us, purposing
to slay us with a club, one of the Span
iards ran him through the shoulder, t?
that he fell wounded to the pavement.
So we went on, and at tho edge of the
pyramid we glanced back and saw that
Do Garcia had broken from thosjf who
hold 1dm, or perhaps ho found his longue
and explained thc truth to them, fit tlt#
least ho was bounding from the altar o?
sacrifice, nearly 50 yards away, anil com
ing toward us with uplifted sword. TL*q
fear cavo us strength, and wo ilod like tie
wira Along thc steep path wo ruaho?
side by sido, leaping down tho steps &o4
over tho hundreds of dead and dying, enV
pausing now and again to savo ourself
from being smitten into space by th*
bodies of tho priests whom tho Spttxuar&i
were hurling from tho crest of the- tsucam
Once, looking up, I caught sight of Sf
Garclir pursuing far above us, trat aft??
that we* saw him no moro. Doubtless hy
wearied.of the chase or feared to full Ino}
tho hands of such of thc A /.rec waniora ?J
still clustered round tho foot of tho pjnfi?
After that I remember nothing till li
found myself once more in my ggmrtaMllU
in Montczuma's palace, which I nevCf
hoped to seo again. Otornie was by rxfy
and sho brought ino water to wash t Si)
paint off from my body and tho blood froil
my wound, which, leaving her own un
tended, sho dressed skillfully, for the cir?
of tho priest's knife was deep, and I bau
bled much; also sho clothed herself afresh
In a while robo and brought mo raiment
to wear, with food and drink, and I par
took of them. Then I bado her cat some
thing herself, and When she had dono so I
gathered my wits together and spoke to
"What next?" I said. "Presently Jhe
priests will be on us, and wo shall be drag
ged back to sacrifice. There is no hope for
me hore. I must fly to the Spaniards and
trust to their mercy."
"To the mercy of that man with tho
?word? Say, Tculo, who ls be?"
"He ls that Spaniard of whom I have
spoken to you, Otomia He ls my mortal
enemy, whom I have followed across tho
"And now you would put yourself into
bis power. Truly, you aro foolish, Teulo."
"It is better to fall into tho hands of
Christian men than into those of your
.' ' I tEiwsarsiL .... . - ...
"Have no lear, " sho said- "Tho priests
aro harmless for you. You havo escaped
thom, und there's an end. Few havo ever
come alive from their clutches before, and
he who docs so is a wizard indeed. For
tho rest, I think that your God is stronger
than our gods, for surely ho must havo
cast bis mantle over us when we lay yon
der on the stone. Ah, Teule, to what havo
you brought me that I should live to
doubt my gods! Aye, and to call upon tho
foes of my country for succor in your need!
Believe me, I had not dono it for my own
sake, since I would have died with your
kiss upon my lips and your word of lovo
echoing in my ears, who now must livo
knowing that these joys havo passed from
"How so?" I answered. "What I havo
said I have said. Otomio, you would
have died with me, and you saved my lifo
by your wit in calling oh the Spaniards.
Henceforth it is yours, for there is no
other woman in tho world so tender and so
brave, and I say it again, Otomie, my
wife, I love you. Our blood has mingled
on the stone of sacrifice, and there wo
nave kissed. Let these be our marriage
rites. Perhaps I have not long to live, but
till I die I am yours, Otomie, my wife. "
Thus I spoke from the fullness of my
heart, for my strength and courage, were
shattered. Horror and loneliness had
taken hold of me. But two things were
left to me In tho world-my trust in Prov
idence and ?ho love of this woman, who
had dared so much for me. Therefore I
forgot my troth and clung to her as a
child to its mother. Doubtless it was
wrong, but I will be bold to say that few
men BO placed would havo acted other
wise. Moreover, I could not toke back
the fateful words that I had spoken on
the stone of sacrifice. When I said them,
I was expecting death indeed, but to re
nounce them now that its shadow was
lifted from me, if only for a little while,
would have been the act of a coward. For
good or evil I had given myself to Monte
zuma's daughter, and I must abide by it
or be shamed. Still such was the noble
ness of this Indian lady that even then she
would not take me at my word. For a
little while 6ho stood smiling 6adly and
drawing a lock of her long hair through
the hollow of her hand. Then she spoke:
"You aro not yourself, Teule, and I
should be base indeed if I made so solemn
a compact with ono who docs not know
what he sells. Yonder on tho altar and
in a moment of death you said that you
loved me, and doubtless lt was true.
But now you havo come back to life, and
say, lord, who set that golden ring upon
your hand, and what is written in its cir
cle? Yet even if tho words aro truo that
you have spoken and you love mo a little,
there is one across tho sea whom you lovo
"That I could bear, for my heart is fixed
on you alone among men, and at the least
you would bo kind to mo, and I should
move in the sunlight of your presence. But
having known tLo light, I winnot 1 ive to
wander in tho darkness. You do not un
derstand. I fear that if-if wo wero w ^d
you would weary of mo as men do, ar x
that memory would grow too strong fo :
you. Then by and by it might be possible
for you to find your way back across tho
waters to your own land and your own
love, and so you would desert me, Teule.
This is what I could not bear, Teule. I
can forego you now, aye, and remain your
friend. But I cannot bo put aside liko a
dancing girl, tiio companion of a month,
I, Montezuma's daughter, a lady o' my
own land. Should you wed me, it must
be i*or life, Teule, and that is perhaps moro
than you would wish to promise, though
you could kiss mo on yonder stone, and
there is blood fellowship between us," and
she glanced at tho red stain in thc linen
robe that covered the wound upon her side.
"And now, Teule, I leavo you awhile,
that I may find Guatemoc, if ho still lives,
and others who, now that the strength of
the priests is shattered, havo power to pro
tect you and advance you to honor. Think
then on all that I have said and do not be
hasty to decide. Or would you mako an
end at once and fly to tho white men if I
can find a means of escape?"
"I am too weary to fly anywhere, " I an
swered, tleven if I could. Moreover, I for
get My enemy is among tho Spaniards,
he whom I have sworn to kill; therefore
his friends are my foes, and his foes my
friends. I will not fly, Otomie. "
"There you are wiso," she said, "for if
you come among the Teules that man will
murder you. By fair means or foul he will
murder you within a day; I saw lt in his
es. Kow rest while I seek your safety,
there is any safety in this blood stained
THOMAS IS MARRIED.
Otomie turned and went. I watched the
golden curtains close behind her. Then I
Sank back upon the couch and instantly
was lost in sleep, for I was faint and weak
and so dazed with weariness that at the
time I scarcely know what had happened
or the purpose of our talk. Afterward,
however, it came back to me I must have
slept for many hours, for when I awoke it
was far into the night. It was night but
not dark, for through the barred window
places come the sound of tumult and fight
ing and red rays of light cast by the flames
of burning h on sos. One of these windows
was above my couch, and standing on tho
bed I seized tho sill with my hands. With
much pain, because of the flesh wound in
my side, I drew myself up till I could look
through the bars. Then I saw that tho
Spaniards, not content with the capture of
the teocalli, had made a night at\aok and
set fire to hundreds of housed in the city.
The glare of the flames was that of a lurid
day, and by lt I could see the white men
retreating to their quarters, pursued by
thousands of Aztecs, who hung upon their
flanks, shooting at them with stones and
Now I dropped down from tho window
place and began to think as to what I
should do, for again my mind was waver
ing. Should I desert Otomio and escape
to the Spaniards, if lt were possible, tak
ing my chance of death at tho hands of De
Garcia? Or should I stay among tho
Aztecs, if they would give me shelter, and
wed Otomie? There was a third choico
I indeed-to stay with them and leave Oto
mie alone, though it would bo difficult to
do this and keep my honor. Ono thing I
understood-if I married Otomio it must
bo at her own price, for thon I must bo
come an Indian and glvo over all hope of
returning to England and to my botrothod.
Of this indeed there was little chanco.
Still, while lifo remained to mc, it might
como about if I was freo. But once my
hands were tied by this marriago it could
never bo during Otomio's lifetime, and so
far as Lily Bozard was concerned I should
bo dead. How could I bo thus faithless to
her memory* and my troth, and, on thc
other hand, how could I discard tho wom
an who hod risked ull for me, and who, to
speak truth, had grown so dear to mo,
though thero was one yet dearer?
While I sat musing on tho couch tho
curtain was drawn, and a man entered
bearing a torch. It was Guatemoc as he
hod como from tho fray, which, except for
its harvest of burning houses, was finished
for that night. Tho plumes wero shorn
from his head, his golden armor was
hacked by tho Spanish swords, and he
bled from a shot wound in thc neck.
..Greeting, Toulo," ho said. "Certainly
I never thought to seo you allvo tonight,
or myself oithor, for that matter. But it
is-a strange world, and now, if never bo
fore in Tonoctitlan, those things happen
for which we look tho least But I havo
no time for words. I como to summon
you before tho oouncll."
.'What ls to bo my fato?" I asked.
MTo bo dragged back to tho stone of sacri
"Kay, have no fear of that. But for
the rest I cannot say. In an hour you
may bo dead or great among us, if any of
VA can be called great in these days of
shame. Otomie has worked well for you
among tho princes and tho counselors, so
.he says, and if you havo a heart you
should be grateful to her, for it seems to
me that few women have loved a man so
much. As for mo, I have boon employed
elsewhere," and he glanced at his rent
armor, "but I will lift up my voico for
Eon. Kow come, friend, for tho torch
urns low. By phis timo you must be
wei) seasoned in dangers. Ono moro or
less will matter as little to you as to mo. "
Then I rose and followed him Into th?
great cedar paneled ball whoro that very
morning I had received adoration as a
god. Now I was a god no longer, but a
prisoner on trial for his lifo. Upon tho
dais whoro I had stood in tho hour of my
rodhc&d wero ca t h o red those of tho Drinces
and counselors who were lett alive-, tio?
of them, like Guatcmoc, were clad in rei
and bloody mail, others in their customaj
dress, and one in a priest's robe. Thoy hs
only two things in common among theJ
-the sternness of their faces and tl
greatness of their rank-and they 6at thei
this night not to decide my fate, whlc
was but a little thing, but to take couns
as to how they might expel the Spaniarc
beforo the city was destroyed.
When I entered, a man in mall, who BI
in the center of the half circle, and 1
whom I knew Cultlahua, who would 1
tho emperor should Montezuma die, lookc
np quickly and said:
."Who is this, Guatemoc, that you brin
with you? Ah, I remember-tho Teul
that was the god Tczcat, and who escape
the sacrifice today! Listen, nobles. Wbi
is to bo dono with this man? Say, is i
lawful that he be led back to sacrifice?"
Then tho priest answered: "I grieve t
say that it is not lawful, most nob!
prince. This man has lain on the alte
of tho god-he has even been wounded b
tho holy knife. But tho god rejected hil
in a fateful hour, and he must lio there n
more. Slay him if you will, but not upo
the stone of sacrifice."
"What, then, shall be done with him?'
said tho prince again.
"He is of the blood of tho Teules, an'
therefore an enemy. One thing is certal
-ho must not be suffered to join tb
white devils and give them tidings of ou
distress. Is lt not best that he be pu
Now several of tho council nodded thei
heads, but others sat silent, making n
"Come," said Cultlahua, "we have n
time to waste over this man when th
lives of thousands are hourly at stake
Tho question is, Shall the Teule be slain?'
Thon Guatomoc rose and spoke, saying
"Your pardon, noble kinsmen, bnt I hoi?
that wo may put this prisoner to bette
uso than to kill him. I know him well
Ho is brave and loyal, as I have proved
Moreover, ho ls not all a Teule, but hal
of another race that hates them as he hate
them; also he has knowledge of the!
customs and mode of warfare, whioh w<
lack, and I think that he maybe able U
give us good counsel in our strait."
"Tho counsel of tho wolf to the dee
perhaps," said Cultlahua coldly, "coan
sol that shall lead us to the fangs of thi
Teules. Who shall answer for this foreigz
devil, that he will not betray us if wo
"I will answer with my life, " answered
"Your lifo is of too great worth to be Mt
on such a stake, nephew. Men of thii
white breed are liars, and his own word h
of no value oven if he gives lt 1 thin!)
that it will be best to kill him and ha vt
dono with doubts. "
"This man is wed to O tom ie, prince*
of the Otomie, Montezuma's daughter,
your niece," said Guatemoc again, "and
sho loves him so well that she offered her
self upon the stone of sacrifice with him.
Unless I mistake she will answer for him
also. Shall sho be summoned before you?"
"If you wish, nephew, but a woman in
love is a blind woman, and doubtless he
has deceived hor also. Moreover, sho was
hi9 wife aqcording to tho rule of religion
only. Is it your desire that the princess
should bo summoned beforo you, com
Now some said nay, but tho most, those
whoso interest Otomio had gained, said
yea, and the end of it was that ono of theil
number was sent to summon her.
Presently she came, looking very weary,
but proud in mien and royally attired, and
bowed boforo thc council.
"This is tho question, princess," said
Cultlahua, "whethor this Teule shall be
slain forthwith, or whether ho shall bc
sworn as ono of us, should he bo willing tc
tako tho oath? The Prince Guatemoc hore
vouches for him, and ho says, moreover,
that you will vouch for him also. A wom
an can do this in ono way only, by taking
him she vouches as her husband. You are
already wod to this foreigner by the rule
of religion. Aro you willing to marry him
according to tho custom of our land and
to answer for his faith with your own
"I am willing," Otomie answered quiet
ly, "If he ls willing." .
"In truth, it is a groat honor that you
would do this white dog," said Cultlahua
"Bothink you, you are princess of the Oto
mie and one of our master's daughters. It
is to you that wo look to bring back the
mountain clans of tho Otomie, of whom
you are chieftalness, from thoir unholy al
liance with tho accursed Tlascalans, the
slaves of tho Teules. Is not your life too
precious to bo set on such a stako as this
foreigner's faith, for learn, Otomie, If he
proves falso your rank shall not help you?"
"I know it all," sho replied quietly.
"Foreigner or not, I love this man, and I
will answer for him with my blood. More
over, I look to him to assist me to win
back tho pcoplo of tho Otomio to their al
legiance. But lot him speak for himself,
my lord, ls may happen that he has no
dosiro to tako mc in marriage"
Cultlahua smiled grimly and said,
"When tho choice lies between the breast
of death and thoso fair arms of yours,
nieco, it is easy to guess his answer. Still
speak, Toulo, and swiftly. "
"I have littlo to say, lord. If tho Prin
cess Otomio is willing to wed me, I am
willing to wed hor, " I answered, and thus
in tho moment of my danger all my doubts
and scruples vanished. As Cultlahua had
said, lt was easy to guess the choice cf one
sot between death and Otom?a
Sho heard and looked at mo warningly,
saying In a low voice: "Remember our
words, Toula In such a marriage you re-'
nounco your past and give mo your fu
"I remember," I answered, and while I
Bpoke there came before my eyes a vision
of Lily's face as it had been when I bade
her farewell. This, thon, was the end of
the vows that I had sworn. Cultlahua
looked at mo with a glance which seemed
to search my heart and said:
"I hear your words, Teula You, a
white wanderer, are graciously willing to
tako this princess to wlfo and by her to be
lifted high among tho groat lords of' this
land. But, say, how can we trust you? If
you fail us, your wife dies indeed, but that
may bo naught to you."
"I am ready to swear allegiance," I an
swered. "I bato tho Spaniards, and among
them is my bitterest enemy whom I fol
lowed across tho sea to kill-tho man who
strovo to murder mo this very day. I can
say no more. If you doubt my words, it
were best to make an cud of mo. Already
I havo suffered much at tho hands of your
people. It matters littlo if I dio or liva"
"Boldly spoken, Teule. Now, lords, I
ask your judgmout Shall this man be
given to Otomio as husband and bo sworn
as one of us, or shall ho bo killed instant
ly? You know thc matter. If lie can bo
trusted, as Guatemoc and Otomio bellovo,
ho will bo worth an army to us, for ho is
j acquainted with tho language, tho cus
I toms, tho weapons and tho modes of war
fare of these white devils whom tho gods
havo let looso upon us. If, on tho other
hand, ho Is not to bo trusted, nnd it is hard
for us to put faith in ono of his blood, he
may do us much injury, for in tho end he
will escape to tho Teules and betray our
counsels and our strength or the lack of
I it It ls for you to judgi. lorda"
Now tho counselors consulted together,
and somo said ono thing and some anoth
er, for they wero not by any means of a
mind in tho matter. At length, growing
weary, Cultlahua called nn them to put
tho question to tho vote, and this they 'did
by a lifting of hands. First those who
wore in favor of my death held up their
hands, then thoso who thought it would bo
wiso to spare ma There wore 26 counsel
ors present, not counting Cultlahua, and
of theso 13 voted for my execution, and 13
were for saving mo aliva
"Now it seems that I must givo a cast
ing vote," 6ald Cultlahua when tho talo
had been rendered, and my blood turned
cold at his words, for I had seen that his
mind was sot against mc. Then lt was
that Otomio broke in, saying:
"Your pardon, my uncle, but before you
speak I have tv word to say. You need my
services, do you not for if tho pooplo of
thc Otomie will listen to any and suffer
themselves to bo led from their ovil path
lt is to me? My mother was by birth their
chieftaiucss, the last of a long Uno, and I
am her only child. Moreover, my father
is their emperor. Therefore my lifo is of
no small worth now in this timo of trou
ble, fort bongil I am nothing }n myself
yet it may chanco that I can bring 80,000
warriors to your standard. The priests
know this on yonder pyramid, and whon
j claimed my right to lio at tho sJdjLof the
'J.?U1U UiCj (,....i?uiu lui;, ijui liuUlU UiuV
Huffer it, though they hungered for tho
royal hlood, till I called down tho vengo
anco of tho gods upon them. Now, my
uncle and you, lords, I tell you this: Slay
yonder man if you will, but know that
then you must find another than me to
lure the Otomle from their rebellion, for
then I complete what I began today and
follow him to the grave."
Sho ceased, and a murmur of amazement
went round the chamber, for none had
looked to find such love and courage in
thin lady's heart. Only Cuitlahua grew
"Disloyal girl, " he said, "do you dare
to Bet your lover before your country?
Shame upon you, shameless daughter of
our king! Why, it ls In the blood-as the
father ls, so is the daughter. Did not Mon
tezuma forsake his people and choose to
lie among these Teulcs, the false children
of Quetzal? And now this Otomle follows
in his path. Tell us how is it, woman,
that you and your lover alone escaped
from tho teocalll yonder when all the rest
were killed. Are you then in league with
these Te ules? 1 say to you, niece, that if
things were otherwise and I had my way
yon should win your desire indeed, for you
should be alain at this man's side and
within tho hour." And he ceased for lack
of breath and looked upon her fiercely.
But Otoraie never quailed. She stood
before him pale and quiet, with folded
hands and downcast eyes, and answered:
"Forbear to reproach me because my
love is strong, or reproach mo if you will,
I haye spoken my last word. Condemn
this manto die, and, prince, you must seek
gome other envoy to win book the Otomle
to tho cause of A nah une. "
Kow Cuitlahua pondered, staring Into
the gloom above him and pulling at his
beard, and tho silence was great, for none
knew what his judgment would ba At
last he spoke:
"So bo it. Wo have need of Otomle, my
niece, and it ls of no avail to fight against
a woman's love. To ule, we give you life,
and with tho lifo honor and wealth, and
tho greatest of our women in marriage,
and a place in our councils. Take these
gifts and her, but I say to you both be
ware how you use them. If you betray us
-nay, if you but think ou treachery-I
swear to you that you shall dio a death so
slow and horrible that the very namo of
lt would turn your heart to water, you
and your wife, your children and your
servants. Come, let him bo sworn !"
I heard, and my bc-id swam, and a mist
gathered before my eyes. Once again I
was saved from Instant death.
Presently it cleared, and looking up my
eyes mot those of the woman who had
saved mo, Otomle, my wife, who smiled
upen mo somewhat 6udly. Then the priest
came forward bearing a wooden bowl,
carved about with strange signs, and a
flint knifo, and bode mu bare my arm. Ho
out my flesh with the knife, so that blood
ran from lt Into thu buwl. Some drops of
this blood he emptied on to the ground,
muttering invocations thuwliilo. Then he
turned and looked nt Cuitlahua as though
in question, und Cuitlahua answered with
a bitter luugli:
"Let him bo baptized with thc blood of
tho Princess Otomio, my niece, for sho is
bail for him."
"Nay, lord," said Guatemoc, '-these two
have mingled bloods already upon the
stone of sacrifice, and thoy aro man and
wife. But I also have vouched for him,
and I offer minc in earnest of my faith."
"This Toulo has good friends," said
Cuitlahua l,You honor him overmuch.
But so bc it."
Then . Guatemoc como forward, and
when the priest would have cut him with
tho knifo ho laughed and said, pointing to
tho bullet wound upon his neck:
"No need for that, priest Blood runs
hero that was shed by the Teules. None
can bo litter for this purpose."
So tho priest drow away tho bandage
and suffered tho blood of Guatemoc to drop
into a second smaller bowl. Then ho carno
to mo, and dipping his finger into tho
blood ho drew the sign of a cross upon my
forehead as a Christian priest draws it
upon tho forehead of an infant and said:
"In the presence and tho name of God,
our Lord, who ls everywhere and sees all
things, I sign you with this blood and
make you of this blood. In the presence
and the nameof God, our Lord, who is ev
erywhere and sees all things, I pour forth
your blood upon the earth I" (Here he
poured as he spoke.) "As this blood of
yours sinks into the earth, so may the
memory of your past life sink and bo for
gotten, for you aro born again of the peo
ple of Anahuac In the presence and the
namo of God, our Lord, who is everywhere
and secs all things, I minglo these bloods"
(here ho poured from one bowl into the
other), "and with them I touch your
tongue" (herc, dipping his finger into tho
bowl,, ho touched thc tip of my tor. gu o with
it) "and bid you swear thus:
" 'L Toulo, swear to bo faithful to the
people of Anonuac and to their lawful gov
ernors. I swear to wage war upon their
foes and to compass their destruction, and
more especially upon the Teules, till they
are driven into the sea. I swear te offer
no affront to the gods of Anahuoo. I swear
myself in marriage to Otomle, princess of
the Otomie, the daughter of Montezuma,
my lord, for so long as her lifo shall on
dure. I swear to attempt no escape from
these shores. I swear to renounce my fa
ther and my mother, and the land where
I was born, and to cling to this land of
my new birth, and this my oath shall en
dure till the volcano Popo ceases to vomit
smoke and fire, till there is no king in
Tenootitlan, till no priest serves tho altars
of the gods and the people of ?nohuao are
nb more a people.' "
When I had sworn, Guatemoc came for
ward and embraced mo, saying: "Wel
come, Teule, my brother in blood and
heart. Now you are ono of us, and we
look to you for help and counsel. Come,
be seated by ma"
I looked toward Cuitlahua doubtfully,
but he smiled graciously and said: "Teulo,
your trial is over. We have aooepted you,
and you have tworo the solemn oath of
brotherhood, to break which is to dio hor
ribly in this world and to. be tortured
through eternity in the nazi Forget all
that xnay have been said in the hour of
vour weighing, for the balance is in your
favor, and be sure that if you give us no
cause to doubt you, you shall find none to
doubt us. Now, as the husband of Otomio,
you are a lord among the lords, having
honor and great possessions, and as such
be seated by your brother Guatemoc and
join our council. "
I did as ho bod o me, and Otomio with
drew from our presence. Then Cuitlahua
spoke again, no longer of me and my mat
ters, but of the urgent affairs of state. Ho
spoke in slow words and woighty, and
more than onco his voice broke iii his sor
row. Ho told of tho griovous misfortunes
that had overcome tho country, of tho
death of hundreds of its bravest warriors,
of tho slaughter of tho priests and soldiers
that day on the teocalll and tho desecra
tion of his notion's gods. What was to be
done in this extremity? ho asked. Monte
zuma lay dying, a prisoner in the camp of
tho Teules, and the fire that he had nursed
with his breath devoured tho land. No ef
forts of theirs could break the iron strength
of those white devils, armed with strange
and terrible weapons. Day by day dis
aster overtook the arms of the Aztecs.
What wisdom had they now that tho pro
tecting gods were shattered in tholr Very
shrines, when tho altars ran red with the
blood of their ministering priests, whon
the oracles wore dumb or answered only in
the accents of despair?
Then ono by ono princes and generals
arose and gavo counsel according to their
lights. At length all had spoken, and
Cuitlahua said, looking toward mo:
' We have a now counselor among us
who ls skilled in the warfare and customs
of tho white man, who till an hour ago
was himself a white man. Has ho no word
of comfort for us?"
"Speak, my brother," said Guatomoa
Then I spoko. "Most noble Cuitlahua,
and you, lords and prince?, you honor mo
by asking my counsel, and lt is this, in
few words and brief: You waste your
strength by hurling your armies contin
ually against steno walls and the weapons
of Teules. So you shall not prevail against
them. Your devices must bo changed if
you would win victory. Tho Spaniards
aro Uko other men. They are no gods, as
the ignorant imagine, and the creatures
upon which they lido aro not demons, but
beasts of burden, suoh as are used for
many purposes in the land where I waa
bon?. . - -?*
_TO BF. CONTlNt'gn.
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