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To such a people such a man was sent. He was first met by submissive chiefs, who made him magnificent presents; so many, the chroniclers say, that it required five thousand cargadores to carry them. The natives asked him whether the Spaniards would speak the truth in all that they would say, and inquired what their object was in invading the continent. He replied that they always spoke the truth, and that they were sent by the invincible King of Spain, the servant of the Almighty, to teach them Christianity and show them the way to immortal life. The chief asked if they were mortals, and if they were not stronger than men. Alvarado replied that they were mortals, but with the aid of the God they worshiped, whose sacred law they were publishing in those parts, they were accustomed to conquer.

Alvarado took with him from Mexico on the 6th of December, 1523, three hundred infantry, one hundred and twenty cavalry, four cannon from which round bowlders were fired, several hundred Mexican warriors, and thousands of slaves to carry the baggage. The Quiches, who were the most powerful nation in Guatemala, would make no terms with the invaders and met them in battle, with the usual result. Alvarado continued his march, with occasional collisions with the natives, who retreated before him, until he was brought to a halt by an army of naked warriors, whose numbers he reported to be eighteen or twenty thousand. A desperate struggle occurred on the plains before the present city of Quesaltenango, and the water of the river, it is said, was tinted for days with the blood of the dead and the dying.

Here Alvarado rested to allow his soldiers to perform their religious vows and remove the rusting blood from their arms. Then the march was resumed as far as the city of Utatlan, where the Spaniards received a submissive and hospitable welcome. But when their commander entered the town and saw what manner of place it was, with narrow streets and inflammable houses, he retired to the plains below, where, he explained, it pleased God

that his dragoons could operate with better effect. Suspecting that the invitation to occupy the city was a ruse to encompass their destruction, the Spaniards tried the two kings of the Quiches by court-martial for treachery, and condemned them to the stake. The sentence was executed during Holy Week, April 1524, and the town was burned on Good Friday.

"As I found that they had such a bad disposition toward His Majesty," writes Alvarado, apologetically, "and as was also good for the pacification of the country, I burned them; and I commanded the city to be burned, and razed to its foundations, for it is so dangerous and so strong that it appeared more like a robbers' hold than an inhabited town."

From Utatlan he marched in two days to Guatemala, and was as well received, according to his own account, "as if I had come to my own father's house." But in the mean time the neighboring chiefs gathered a still larger army, and another battle occurred near Lake Amatitlan. The slaughter of the natives was terrific, but the Spaniards suffered little. Thereafter the resistance was feeble and disorganized, and on the 25th of July, 1524, Alvarado formally proclaimed the sovereignty of the King of Spain over the kingdom of Guatemala, and selected the native town of Almolonga (long spring) as the site of his capital, which he christened, with great ceremony, “The city of St. James, the Gentleman." He called upon the natives to bring him all the gold and silver they possessed, but the most of them scattered among the forests, where the war of extermination was carried.

While several thousand Indians were employed in building the city, Alvarado returned to Mexico, and thence to Spain to give an account of his conquests. He was received with great favor by Charles V, who made him governor adelantado and captaingeneral of Guatemala and its dependencies. The new governor strengthened himself at court by marrying Dona Beatrice de la Cueva, the daughter of an illustrious and influential family, from

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