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The Broken Empire Epub 92 \/\/FREE\\\\


By last spring, he had sold Pergamon Press, a publisher of scientific journals and reference books, which was the foundation stone of his empire. He also tried to shed some of his interests in Israel and announced plans to sell 49 percent of the stock of the Mirror newspaper group. As collateral for his staggering private loans, he had put up the shares of his public companies, but short sellers were driving down the value of the stock. Maxwell responded by using his secrecy-shrouded trusts in Liechtenstein and his privately owned companies to shuffle around hundreds of millions of dollars in a scheme to buy his own stock in order to boost its price and thereby prop up the collateral that underpinned his bank loans. Eventually, he would go as far as to siphon off money from the pension funds and treasury of the Mirror newspapers, and manipulate shares of stock in Berlitz International, owned by Maxwell Communications, by pledging them to nine different parties.




the broken empire epub 92



Just to make sure of that, Maxwell assembled a high-priced group of prominent consultants and lawyers to help him make his way in America. The roster included former senators Howard Baker and John Tower and Republican Party stalwart Robert Keith Gray, who was director of communications for the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign.


It was at that time, in late summer, that Maxwell appeared frequently at London's casinos, playing three tables at once, dropping $2.5 million in a single night. For years he had been an inveterate gambler, but this was the behavior of a desperate man. He knew that time was running out. The Wall Street Journal was preparing a piece on his crumbling empire. Seymour Hersh, the American reporter, was bringing out a book on Israel's secret nuclear arsenal called The Samson Option, in which it was alleged that Maxwell had close ties to the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad.


Photographs and fingerprints were taken, and when Betty Maxwell arrived, she was asked to identify the body. She looked down at the remains of her sixty-eight-year-old husband and nodded her head. "His face was totally smooth and serene," she later told a close friend, contradicting speculation that he had been beaten and had his nose broken. "He looked more handsome than at any time in recent years." Her son Philip covered his face with his hand.


The fall of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, was a decisive event in the Spanish conquest of the empire. It occurred in 1521 following extensive manipulation of local factions and exploitation of pre-existing political divisions by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. He was aided by indigenous allies, and his interpreter and companion La Malinche.


Day now began to dawn, and we emboldened each other to meet thecoming severe conflict by putting our trust in God and commending ourcause to him, while every one was determined to defend himself to theutmost. As soon as daylight had fully broken forth, we perceivedmore troops of armed natives moving towards the coast with flyingcolours. They had on their feather-knots, and were provided withdrums, bows, lances, shields, and joined themselves to the others whohad arrived in the night. They divided themselves into different bodies,surrounded us on all sides, and commenced pouring forth such showersof arrows, lances, and stones, that more than eighty of our men werewounded at the first onset. They next rushed furiously forward andattacked us man to man: some with their lances, others with theirswords and arrows, and all this with such terrible fury that we werecompelled also to show them earnest. We dealt many a good thrustand blow amongst them, keeping up at the same time an incessant firewith our muskets and crossbows; for while some loaded others fired.At last, by dint of heavy blows and thrusts we forced them to give way;but they did not retreat further than was necessary, in order that theymight still continue to hem us in in all safety; constantly crying out intheir language, Al calachoni, al calachoni; which signifies, kill thechief! And sure enough our captain was wounded in no less thantwelve different places by their arrows. I myself had three; one ofwhich was in my left side and very dangerous, the arrow having piercedto the very bone. Others of our men were wounded by the enemy'slances, and two were carried off alive; of whom, one was called AlonzoBote, the other was an old Portuguese.


For memory's sake I will here likewise describe the horses andmares which we took with us on our expedition. Cortes had adark chesnut stallion, which died afterwards at St. Juan de Ulua.Pedro de Alvarado and Hernando Lopez d'Avila had jointly anexcellent brown mare, which had been broken-in for the field of battleas well as for tournaments. After our arrival in New Spain, Alvaradobought Lopez's share, or perhaps took forcible possession of it. AlonsoHernandez Puertocarrero had a grey-coloured mare, which Cortes hadpurchased for him with the golden borders of his state-robe, it wascapitally trained for the field of battle. Juan Velasquez de Leon'smare was of the same colour, a noble and powerful animal, full of fireand eager for battle: we commonly termed it the "short tail."


Cortes, however, took very little heed of their threats, but commandedthe idols to be pulled down, and broken to pieces; which wasaccordingly done without any further ceremony. He then ordered aquantity of lime to be collected, which is here in abundance, and withthe assistance of the Indian masons a very pretty altar was constructed,on which we placed the image of the holy Virgin. At the same timetwo of our carpenters, Alonso Yañez and Alvaro Lopez made a crossof new wood which lay at hand, this was set up in a kind of chapel,which we built behind the altar. After all this was completed, fatherJuan Diaz said mass in front of the new altar, the caziques and priestslooking on with the greatest attention.


He said, though still in broken Spanish, that his name was Geronimod'Aguilar, and was a native of Ecija. About eight years ago he hadbeen shipwrecked with fifteen men and two women, on a voyage betweenDarien and the island of St. Domingo, which they had undertakenon account of a lawsuit between a certain Enciso and a certainValdivia. They had 10,000 pesos on board, and papers relating to thelawsuit. The ship struck against a rock, and they had not been ableto get her off again. The whole of the crew then got into the boat, inthe hopes of making the island of Cuba or Jamaica, but were drivenon shore by the strong currents, where the Calachionies had takenthem prisoners and distributed them among themselves. The most ofhis unfortunate companions had been sacrificed to their gods, andsome had died of grief, of which also both the women pined away;being soon worn out by the hard labour of grinding, to which theyhad been forced by the Indians. He himself had also been doomed asa sacrifice to their idols, but made his escape during the night, andfled to the cazique, with whom he had last been staying, whose name,however, I cannot now remember. Of all his companions, he himselfand a certain Gonzalo Guerrero, were only living. He had tried hisbest to induce him to leave, but in vain.


Cortes thanked them for their kindness, through Aguilar and DoñaMarina, presented them with some blue glass beads, and ordered somemeat and drink to be placed before them. After they had taken somerefreshment, he told them we were merely come here to make theiracquaintance, and open a trade with them: we had not the remotestintention of doing them an injury, nor need they apprehend anythingfrom our arrival. The ambassadors now returned, well contented, totheir homes. The following morning, Good Friday, we disembarkedour horses and cannon near some sand-hills which here run along thewhole coast. Our artilleryman Mesa placed the cannon on a veryadvantageous spot, and we erected an altar where mass was immediatelyperformed: for Cortes and the other chief officers huts were constructedof green boughs; the rest of us likewise constructed huts, and sleptthree together: the horses also were well provided for. The whole ofGood Friday was spent in this work; and on the Saturday manyIndians arrived, who had been sent by a man of distinction, namedQuitlalpitoc, governor under Motecusuma: this personage was afterwardschristened Ovandillo. They had axes with them, and cut off anadditional quantity of branches to make a better finish to Cortes's hut,[Pg 87]which they then overhung with large pieces of cloth, to keep out theheat, which was already very great. They also brought along withthem fowls, maise-bread, and plums, which were then nice and ripe;also, if I rightly recollect, they had with them some gold trinkets. Allthese things they handed over to Cortes, adding, that the governorhimself would come the next day and bring with him a further supplyof provisions. Cortes joyfully accepted of these presents, and orderedvarious kinds of toys we had brought for barter to be given them, withwhich they were uncommonly delighted. On Easter day, the governorindeed appeared in person, as had been assured us. His name wasTeuthlille, and he was one of the farmer generals of the Mexican empire.He was accompanied by another person of distinction, called Quitlalpitoc.We subsequently learnt that both these personages were appointedgovernors over the provinces Cotastlan, Tustepec, Guazpaltepec,and Tlatateteclo, and other townships recently subdued. They werefollowed by a great number of Indians, carrying the presents, consistingof fowls and greens. Teuthlille having ordered the others to standback a little, walked up to Cortes, and made him three most reverentialbows, after the Indian fashion, which he repeated on turning tous who stood nearest. Cortes bid both welcome, then embraced them,and desired them to wait a little, as he would afterwards give them amore circumstantial answer. In the meantime he ordered the altar tobe fitted up as prettily as possible. Francisco Bartolome and fatherJuan Diaz performed mass. Both the governors and the principalpersonages of their suite were present during the ceremony, afterwhich Cortes sat down to dinner with them.


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