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p. 148

IV. Chapter 3

Afterwards the tribes held council again.

"What shall we do with them? in truth, their estate is very great," they said when they assembled again in council.

"Well, then, we shall waylay them, we shall kill them, we shall arm ourselves with bows and with shields. Perchance, are we not many? Let there not be one or two among us who remains behind." This they said when they held council. And all the people armed. Many were the warriors when all the people gathered together for the killing.

Meanwhile, there were Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam, they were on the mountain Hacavitz, on the hill of this name. They were there in order to save their sons who were on the mountain.

And they did not have many people, they did not have multitudes such as the multitudes of the tribes. The summit of the mountain where they had their place was small, and for that reason when the tribes assembled together and rose, they decided to kill all of them.

In this manner, then, took place the reunion of all the people, all armed with their bows and their shields. It is impossible to describe the richness of their arms; the appearance of all the chiefs and men was very beautiful, and certainly all obeyed their orders.

p. 149

"They shall positively be destroyed, and as for Tohil. he shall be our god, we shall worship him, if we take him prisoner," they said to each other. But Tohil knew everything and so did Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, and Mahucutah. They heard all the plans, because they did not sleep, or rest, from the time the warriors armed themselves.

Then all the warriors rose up and started out on the road, intending to enter [the town] by night. But they did not arrive, for all the warriors were watching on the road, and then they were destroyed by Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, and Mahucutah.

All remained watching along the road, but they heard nothing and they finally fell asleep. Then they [Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, and Mahucutah] began to pull out their eyelashes and their beards; they took off the metal ornaments from their throats--their crowns and necklaces. And they took the metal from the handles of their spears. They did this to punish them and humiliate them, and give them an example of the power of the Quiché people.

When they [the warriors] awoke, they wanted to take their crowns and their staffs, but they no longer had metal in the staff-handles, nor their crowns. "Who has stripped us? Who has torn out our beards? Whence have they come to rob us of our precious metals?" said all of the warriors. "Can it be these devils who are carrying off the men? But they shall not succeed in frightening us. We shall enter their town by force, and we shall again see the face of our silver; this we shall do," said all the tribes, and all truly intended to carry out their word.

Meanwhile the hearts of the priests and the sacrificers on the summit of the mountain were calm. And Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam 1 having

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talked together, they built a wall at the edge of the town and enclosed it with boards and thorns. Then they made figures in the form of men, and put them in rows on the wall, armed them with shields and arrows and adorned them, putting metal crowns on their heads. These they put on the simple wooden figures, they adorned them with the metal which they had taken from the tribes on the road and with them they decorated the figures.

They made a moat around the town, and then they asked advice of Tohil: "Shall they kill us? Shall they overcome us?" their hearts said to Tohil.

"Do not be troubled! I am here. And this you will use. Do not be afraid," he [Tohil] said to Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam, when they were given the bumblebees and the wasps. This is what they went to fetch. And when they came, they put them inside four big gourds which were placed around the town. They shut the bumblebees and wasps inside the gourds, in order to fight the people with them.

The city was watched from afar, spied upon and observed by the scouts of the tribes. "They are not many," they said. But they saw only the wooden figures which lightly moved their bows and their shields. In truth, they had the appearance of men, had in truth the appearance of warriors when the tribes looked at them, and all the tribes were happy because they saw that they were not many.

There were many tribes; it was not possible to count the people, the warriors and soldiers who were going to kill Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, and Mahucutah, who were on the mountain Hacavitz, the name of the place where they were found.

Now we shall tell about their arrival.


150:1 p. 237 Ta x-e naohin cut Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, Iqui-Balam, in the original.

Next: IV. Chapter 4