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During the time that Montejo was at Court he got for himself the conquest of Yucatan, although he might have had other things, and received the title of Admiral. He then went to Sevilla, and took with him a nephew thirteen years of age, bearing his own name. He also found his son, twenty-eight years of age, and took him along. He arranged a marriage with a rich widow of Sevilla, and was thus able to gather 500 men whom he embarked in three ships; setting sail he made port at Cozumel, an island of Yucatan. The Indians there did not oppose him, having been made friendly by the Spaniards under Cortés. There he learned many words of their language, and how to make himself understood by them, after which he sailed to Yucatan. Here he took possession, one of his Ensigns saying, banner in hand: "In the name of God I take possession of this land for God and the King of Castile."

In this way he sailed down the coast, which was then well populated, until he landed at Conil, a town of the coast; the Indians were alarmed at seeing so many horses and men, and sent word to all the country of what was happening, watching the purpose of the Spaniards.

The Indians of the province of Chicaca [Chuaca] came to visit the admiral in peace and were well received; among them came a man of great strength who, taking a cutlass from a young negro who bore it, tried to kill the admiral with it. The latter defended himself and the Spaniards came up and stopped the trouble; but they learned that it was necessary to proceed on their guard.

The admiral sought to learn what was the largest city and found it to be Tikoh [Tikoch], a city of the Chels, situated on the coast further down along the course the Spaniards were taking. The Indians thinking they were on their way to leave the country, were not aroused, nor did they oppose their march. In this way they came to Tikoch, and found it a much larger and finer city than they had supposed. It was fortunate that the chiefs of that country were not the Covohes of Champotón, who were always braver than the Chels. The latter with their priesthood, which still exists today, were not as haughty as the others, and hence allowed the admiral to make a settlement for his people, giving him the site of Chichén Itzá for the purpose, an excellent place seven leagues away. From this position he set out to the conquest of the country, a task rendered easy by the non-resistance of the people of Ahkin-Chel, and the assistance of those of Tutul-xiu, by reason whereof the others offered little resistance.

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In this way the admiral asked for men to build at Chichén Itzá, and in a short time he built a town, making the houses of wood and the roofs of certain palms and long grass used by the Indians. They say the smallest allotment contained 2000 or 3000 Indians. He also began to fix rules for the natives touching their services to the city, although he was moderate in his demands upon the Indians, and kept his plans hidden for the time.

Next: XIII. Montejo Leaves Yucatan With All His People and Returns to Mexico. His Son, Francisco De Montejo, Afterwards Pacifies Yucatan

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Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa, tr. William Gates, [1937]