El Tesorio de Moctezuma… is it for real?
Wow!… a recent discovery of an unknown Aztec codex, tentatively dated early 1520s has re-ignited scholarly research into Meso-american communications and financial networks, and may have uncovered suspected links to the rest of the world. The provenance of the so-called Codex Lagos (from its discovery in a cache of rare documents purchased from an anonymous Nigerian seller n behalf of a recently deposed head of state), is a bit murky at this point and the hieroglyphs were only recently deciphered. While the original contained several glaring errors, they seem to be the result of wide dissemination, and it is expected that the more of these types of documents will surface. Nahatl scholars have painstakingly transliterated the original, then translating — complete with errors — the transliteration into English.
My dear friend:
I am Prince Atotlscam, next but two in line for succession to the throne of Emperor Cuauhtemoc. As you may seen in recent scrolls, there was a sudden change in government here in Tenochtitlán. During upheavals surrounding the death of Emperor Moctezuma, and the precipeious departure of the Castillian occupation forces, several tons of gold have mysteriously disappeared. While the Castillians have been spinning the story that our gold is lying at the bottom of Lake Tezcoco, I recently learned that my late uncle Moctezuma managed to deposit a thousand quills of gold, 140,000 feather capes and several millions in cocoa beans with the First Mayan Trust of Chichen Itzá. The worthy departed Moctezoma entrusted me with the account number of our family treasure, which in these trying times due to the siege of the navel of the world by the perfidious Cortés and his Tlaxcalan allies. Unable are we my family to make of use.
You, my dear sir, have been recommended as a person both tustworthy and destrete. In consultation with the high priests and sub-assistant Snake Woman for royal household Expenses, Ufelferatl, we have the honour of presenting to you the following proposition.
We sir, are willing to discount our treasure into your capable hands by sending you our cheque for payment against our account at First Mayan Turst of Chichen Itzá and trusting you to return to us a goodly twenty-five percent. We beg you please to remember, we must act with the utmost discretion and speediness. Our royal soothsayers inform us that the transfer of funds from the Mayan banks can be paid to you, my dear and trusted friend, in our cheque made in your name, and payable to you in doubloons and pieces of eight (four million three hundred and twelve doubloons and 1432 pieces of eight and two bits) as we trust you, our dear, dear friend, to hold our treasure
We are informed that to release to you the sum of four million three hundred and twelve doubloons and 1432 pieces of eight and two bits it is necessary for you to make a payment to clear Azteco-Mayan currency transfer fees, as recorded in regulation 356.231, sub-hieroglyph “third-finger-from-left” as displayed on the south wall, fourth skull down from the top in the third inner layer of the temple of Huitzipotchtli. In unsettled times like ours, to avoid fluctuations in the values of feathered capes, we thought it best, and best for our trusted and valued friends, to have these transactions processed under an international agreement with the Bank of the Knights Templars of Geneva, Switzerland. IN accordance with the DaVinci Code of International Asset Transfers, your cheque for four million three hundred and twelve doubloons and 1432 pieces of eight and two bits require you to remit the fees payable in an internationally recognized value, that being gold ducats. The deductions for the transfer fee amounts to two percent of the total released value, so sir, as you can see, should you be able to adequately manage the four million three hundred and twelve doubloons and 1432 pieces of eight and two bits, it behooves you to remit up to 15,000 ducats post-haste.
Were these normal times, sir, I would hesitate to prevail upon your upstanding reputation and honor, but these, my dear, are not such times. You need to make your deposit of 15,000 ducats before the next turn of the great calander. Again, sir, dear friend, I stress the need for speed and discretion in this transaction, as a Castillian-imposed banking regime may affect this profitable transaction within the next few weeks…
Alas… the Treasure of Moctezuma was already found: