Alala! Alala!—Santiago! Battle cries split the air as Indians and Spaniards pitted arrow against sword on the narrow Yucatan beach. The year was 1518, and Hernando Cortes, Captain General to the King of Spain, had begun his conquest of Mexico.
To a man, the army followed their tall, bearded leader into the first of many bloody battles. And among them marched a proud triumvirate—young Ricardo Ayelon, foot soldier; the black-eyed Orteguilla, page to Cortes; and the veteran fighter Diego. Together these three would eagerly follow Cortes into the land of the powerful and elusive Aztec ruler, Montezuma.
Tlaxcala...Cholula. Ricardo and Orteguilla quickly proved their courage, as Cortes' army conquered one Indian nation after another. This Spanish god, as they thought him, struck fear in the hearts of the caciques, the Indian chiefs. Yet the Spaniards shuddered equally before the Indians' savage cries of "We will sacrifice your hearts to our gods!"
After each defeat, ambassadors of the great chief Montezuma appeared, bearing gifts of gold, pearls, and jade, in an attempt to turn back Cortes. But the conquest was almost completed. Before it was finished, Ricardo and Orteguilla would look upon the great god Huitzilopochtli and enter the white-walled city of the Aztecs.
We Were There books are easy to read and provide exciting, entertaining stories, based upon true historic events. Each story is checked for factual accuracy by an outstanding authority on this particular phase of our history. Though written simply enough for young readers, they make interesting reading for boys and girls well into their teens.
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