Journal Entry #3: November 8, 1519
The past days have been dreadful, it often rained down on us, soaking us to our bones, but Cortes and the others were having none of it, pushing on. I assume that the hard work has paid off, as we had finally arrived at the city of Tenochtitlan.
All of us, including Cortes, had been cautious about entering the city of the most feared tribe, but a tall man with a headdress of the most beautiful and vibrant shade of green who called himself Montezuma, the leader of the Aztecs, had welcomed us. Moctezuma had seemed prepared; he had been willing to let us enter their city without any hesitation, I however certainly did, wondering if he had even heard of the trouble we had been making on our path to the Aztecs. I had suspected that he did not since he gave us words of encouragement to enjoy the luxuries offered to us. I would have been even more apprehensive if we did not have a translator to interpret the meaning of his words. This is all thanks to Malinche, who was a part of a tribe we had conquered, she is very talented with languages, and so Cortes believed her a valuable ally. She has not only acted as our translator, yet also as our spies, telling Cortes of what she hears others whisper amongst themselves. According to her, Moctezuma is willing to give up the land to us along with all the goods and people. We have Moctezuma under guard now, as our prisoner, and will most likely use him to persuade his people onto our side.
I couldn’t see how someone could give up a city as luxurious and ethereal as this jewel of a city. Even though I hate to admit this, the moment I had entered the walls of Tenochtitlan I was amazed, they had many buildings, a market full of people, bridges, and architecture that was like our aqueducts, bringing them drinking water. The beauty of the city is not all to the enchantment of this area, the clothes they wear are even more impressive, boldly coloured, with beautiful feathers of exotic birds, their necks covered with exquisite jewelry and gold. However, even their clothing cannot hide the atrocity of their crimes; part of the city is riddled with may temple soaring, almost touching the sky, but they are not as magnificent as it seems. I had walked towards one, once, the temple had been littered with rotting bodies, and fresh blood, dripping onto the floor. After looking around, I had heard that this was a part of their beliefs, they would kill many people in horrendous ways to please their multiple gods. The Aztecs were as brutal in war and very strategic in their alliances, which is something I must respect them for. The Aztecs had many bizarre weapons, including a barbaric looking club they used to knock out their opponents, and even a spear, which was made of woods, and against our muskets, metal armour, and horses, they did not have a chance.
Many of us realize that the impending war against the Aztecs, which they do not know of, will destroy the city, and the beauty it holds. So consequently, we spend much of our time, getting to immerse ourselves into the riches that this city can provide. This war is alleged to bring us glory, fame, and gold for our country, Cortes promised us that we will soon be the richest men who would ever cross the seas, and I, along with many of us agree.