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behind him, but an insuperable though somewhat ludicrous obstacle presented itself to his wishes. Having long since given over all expectation of a return to civilized life, he had conformed to the customs of the country and had adopted the external signs and decorations that marked him as a warrior and a man of rank. His face and hands were indelibly painted or tattooed, his ears and lips were slit to admit huge Indian ornaments, and his nose was drawn down almost to his mouth by a massy ring of gold and a dangling jewel. Thus curiously garbled and disfigured, the honest seaman felt that however he might be admired in Yucatan, he should be apt to have a hooting rabble at his heels in Spain. He made up his mind therefore to remain a great man among the savages, rather than run the risk of being shown as a man-monster at home. Finding that he had declined accompanying him, Geronimo de Aguilar set off for the point of Cotoche, escorted by three Indians. The time he had lost in waiting for Guerrero had nearly proved fatal to his hopes, for when he arrived at the point, the caravels sent by Cortez had departed, though several crosses of reeds set up in different places gave tokens of the recent presence of Christians. The only hope that remained was that the

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