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Montezuma's Daughter by H. Rider (Henry Rider) Haggard
page 2 of 478 (00%)
this parish, whereof these pages tell, your own can almost equal them
in these latter days, and, since a fellow feeling makes us kind, you at
least they may move to a sigh of sympathy. Among many a distant land
you know that in which he loved and fought, following vengeance and his
fate, and by your side I saw its relics and its peoples, its volcans
and its valleys. You know even where lies the treasure which, three
centuries and more ago, he helped to bury, the countless treasure that
an evil fortune held us back from seeking. Now the Indians have taken
back their secret, and though many may search, none will lift the graven
stone that seals it, nor shall the light of day shine again upon the
golden head of Montezuma. So be it! The wealth which Cortes wept over,
and his Spaniards sinned and died for, is for ever hidden yonder by
the shores of the bitter lake whose waters gave up to you that ancient
horror, the veritable and sleepless god of Sacrifice, of whom I would
not rob you--and, for my part, I do not regret the loss.

What cannot be lost, what to me seem of more worth than the dead hero
Guatemoc's gems and jars of gold, are the memories of true friendship
shown to us far away beneath the shadow of the Slumbering Woman,* and it
is in gratitude for these that I ask permission to set your name within
a book which were it not for you would never have been written.

I am, my dear Jebb,

Always sincerely yours,


* The volcano Izticcihuatl in Mexico.
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