- May 30, 2004
Basically, Montezuma's tax collectors arrive. Cortes instructs the locals, who hate Montezuma and his tax men (who take whatever money and women they want), to arrest them and string them up, winning the favor of the locals, essentially deifying Cortes' party. Then Cortes secretly frees two of the strung up tax collectors and summons them, pretending to have no awareness or involvement of the events that transpired, seeing as how he and his men took no part in the arrest themselves. He treats them well and tells them to relay to Montezuma that he is their friend and ally, which they of course do since they were about to be sacrificed by the locals, and Cortes had just "saved" them. Upon returning to Mexico City, the freed tax collectors convince Montezuma that Cortes is not actually hostile to them, and this confuses Montezuma and stops him from mobilizing his army, setting up Cortes' party for their peaceful arrival to Mexico City and all the subsequent events that transpire in Cortes' favor.