Cortes sent at this time for me and one Martin Ramos, who had been on the former voyages, inquiring our opinion respecting the word Castillano, which was so often repeated by the Indians of Cotoche when we accompanied Cordova, saying he was convinced it had allusion to some Spaniards who were in that country.
Next day the same chief came off with twelve large canoes, inviting our captain to go on shore, repeating frequently con-escotoch, con-escotoch, which we understood to mean, come to our town, and from this circumstance we named the place Punta de Cotoche. We resolved to accept the invitation, but using the precaution to go in a body at one embarkation, as we saw many Indians on shore.
After thirteen days' sailing, Grijalva reached the Island of Cozumel on the coast of Yucatan, doubled the Cape of Cotoche, and entered the Bay of Campeachy.
He likewise sent two of our smallest vessels, under the command of Diego de Ordas, with twenty musketeers and cross-bows; directing one of these ships to remain eight days at Cape Cotoche, waiting the return of the messengers, while the other was to return with a report of the proceedings.
Great numbers of men, women, and children, flocked to look at them, shewing signs of great amazement, though some of them smiled. Soon afterwards, two parties of armed men appeared in good order, clothed and armed like those they had seen at Cotoche. In the next place, ten men in very long white mantles came from one of the temples, having their long black hair twisted up in rolls behind.
The Spaniards, who were rather weak, as two of the men wounded at Cotoche had died, and the rest were not yet quite recovered, thought it prudent to retire to the shore, which they did in good order, followed by the armed Indians, and embarked without any conflict.
Their cacique said to him, “Conèx cotoch,” meaning “Come to our town.” The Spaniard, supposing he had mentioned the name of the place, immediately named the projecting point of land “Cape Cotoche,” and it is called so still. At that time the country was occupied by the people still known as Mayas.
They returned next day with twelve canoes, and their cacique continually called out conez cotoche, that is Come to my house, for which reason this place was called Cape Cotoche. After the Spaniards had consulted together, they hoisted out their boats, and went on shore with their arms, where a prodigious multitude of people waited to see them.
When they had seriously considered this, and put themselves into a good posture of defence, lest they should be treacherously used as they had already been at Cotoche, they accompanied the Indians to certain temples or places of worship, built of stone and lime, where there were many idols of very ugly shapes, with fresh signs of blood, and several painted crosses, at which last they were much amazed.
As the natives who had been taken on board at Cape Cotoche did not perfectly understand the language spoken by the inhabitants of Tabasco, the stay here was but of short duration, and the ships again put to sea.