Moctezuma Learns of Strange Visitors
From Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, The Florentine Codex, Book 12, Chapter 2 (Mexica)
Here it is told about those who first came by boat, which, they say, was a single canoe steward of Cuetlaxtlan went in person [to see the strangers]. [He was accompanied by] the high stewards of Mictlanquauhtla, Yaotzin and of Teuciniyocan, named Teuciniyocan. In fourth place, Cuitlalpitoc, was no more than a guide who walked with the others. In fifth place [was] Téntitl, also more of a guide.
They went to investigate [the strangers]. They went on the pretext of seeking trade. So they went in disguise, to find out about them. They went to trade them mantles, which were richly made with fine threads, [which meant that] they were probably mantles Moctezuma used. No one else might wear them; they were for his exclusive use; they were is very own.
They went by boat in order to see them. As they did so, Pinotl said, "We will not give false news to Moctezuma, for we no longer would live. We will go, even if we die, so he can rightfully hear all [the news] that we bring him. (Moctezuma is the name of he who controls; as ruler of Tlacatecuhtli, [he] is 'lord of all men.'")
At that moment, they went into the water. They jumped in their boats and maneuvered them on the high seas, as the rowers rowed them.
And when they were near the Spaniards, then, in their presence, they kissed the prows of the boats, as they did in ceremonies when they kissed the earth. [For] they had the opinion of the time that our Prince Quetzalcoatl had come.
The Spaniards called them, asked them: "Who are you? From where have you come? Where is your home?"
At that moment they told them, "We have come from México."
Then they asked, "If truly you are Mexicas, what is the name of the ruler of México?"
[They replied], "Our lords, his name is Moctezuma."
Then they gave them a variety of richly made mantles that they had with them: one with a sun, another with blue fringe, another with figured cups, one with eagle down, one with the face of a snake, one with the wind jewel, one in the color of turkey blood, one with whirlpool designs, and the one with the smoky mirrors. They gave them all these goods, these fine mantles.
[The Spaniards] gave them gifts in return. The Spaniards gave them green and yellow necklaces, which looked like amber. And when they had seen them, much did they marvel.
And the Spaniards addressed them, they told them: "Go! Now we will go to Castile. [But] we will not be long; we will arrive in México."
Then they [the Spaniards] left. Similarly, the others left and turned back. And when they reached dry land, they left immediately for México.
Day and night, they came walking to communicate with Moctezuma, to tell him and to give him the truth that he had to know.
They went bringing the gifts that they had received. And they declared to him: "Oh, our Lord, my son, it puts an end to us! This is what we have seen. This is what we have done. [We went] there where your grandfathers guard the surface of the sea, we went to see our lords, our gods, in the middle of the water. We gave them all of your mantles; here are your gifts; they gave them to us. They said: 'if you truly have come from México, you shall give [these gifts] to the ruler Moctezuma, [for] with these, he shall know us.'"
They told everything to Moctezuma, told him all that [the Spaniards] had said to them in the water.
Then Moctezuma told them: "You have suffered fatigue; you are very tired; rest. We will keep this a secret. No one shall open his lips. No one shall mumble a word; nothing public, nothing from one's lips. Keep it only to yourselves."