Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 41

Malinche: The Voice of a Nation 37 woman in both the Spanish and Aztec cultures. She convinced him that the Spaniards would treat him with respect and intimated that Cortes was the reincamation o f the feathered serpent, Quetzalcoatl. The Aztec leader invited the Spanish into the city and provided them with suitable accommodations. He took Cortes to the top o f his great temple. Speaking through his young interpreter, Cortes asked the Emperor o f the Aztecs if he would remove the pagan idols, so that the Spaniards could erect a cross and an image o f Our Lady. Montezuma replied, “If I had known you were going to utter these insults I would not have shown you my gods” (Diaz 237). Eight days later Cortes took Montezuma prisoner. Cortes forced Montezuma to call his chief nobles to a special meeting. He demanded that the Aztecs come under the protection o f the Spanish king and took hostages ffom noble families to ensure that they kept their word. W hen Montezuma ordered his people to acquiesce to the demands o f Cortes, a struggle broke out. In the ensuing melee, the Aztecs killed Montezuma. Cuitlahuac, his successor, continued the resistance. When the Aztecs prevailed, Cortes ordered his soldiers to fill the causeways with debris and led them out o f the city at night, La Noche Triste. Düring this escape, Malinche separated from the main body o f soldiers. When they reunited, Diaz commented, “how glad we were to see our Dofia Marina” (302). The Spanish lost the gold they had looted from M ontezuma’s treasure house, but escaped with their lives and took reftige with the tribal groups that opposed the Aztecs. Meanwhile, the indigenous people feil victim to small pox, a disease unknown in the Americas before the arrival o f the Spaniards. According to Sahagun, the disease “spread over the people with great destruction o f men” and weakened “the brave Mexican warriors” (64). The defense o f Tenochtitlan crumbled. Spanish soldiers recaptured the Capital in 1521. Malinche and Cortes settled in Coyoacan, a village near Tenochtitlan, where she gave birth to the conquistador’s son, Martin Cortes, in 1522. Most Mexicans regard Martin as the first mestizo. In actuality, Gonzalo Gurerrero, a shipwrecked sailor fathered several children before the birth o f M alinche’s son. In 1524, Malinche and Cortes joum eyed to Honduras in pursuit o f Spanish rebels. Düring this expedition, Malinche reunited with her mother and forgave her, according to Diaz (86). After his Spanish wife arrived from Cuba, Cortes insisted Malinche marry one o f his lieutenants. Diaz stated that Malinche