Cardinal Antonelli, in a letter dated December 27, 1864, after setting forth the grievances of the holy see, stated that the Holy Father hoped that Maximilian in abandoning the course marked out in his letter to the minister, Senor Escudero, would "spare the holy see the necessity of taking proper measures to set right in the eyes of the world the responsibility of the august chief of the church measures of which the least, certainly, would not be the recall of the pontifical representative in Mexico, in order that he may not remain there a powerless spectator of the spoliation of the church and of the violation of its most sacred rights."*
This plot was revealed only a few hours before the vessel was to have sailed, by the repentance of de Coria. All the before-mentioned conspirators were immediately seized, and having confessed the whole plot, they were all condemned to die except the priest, who was in a terrible fright. Escudero and Cermeno were hanged; Umbria had his feet cut off, and each of the sailors received 200 lashes.
At 8 o'clock a.m., they reached Santa Cruz, situated about half a mile up a small streamlet, called Paxanau. At this place they found Don Escudero to whom they had a letter of introduction, and who holds a civil appointment. They were kindly received by this gentleman and his brown lady, with their interesting family.
Cortes declared that he had no desire to detain any against their inclinations, even if he should remain alone. This pacified many of the malcontents; but Juan Velasquez de Leon, Diego de Ordas, Escobar, Escudero, and some others were so violent in their opposition, that Cortes was obliged to have them arrested, and they were detained for some time in irons.
Among the conspirators were, Escudero, Cermeno, Umbria a pilot, Bernardino de Coria, a clergyman named Juan Diaz, and some sailors who had been whipped at the island of Cozumel; but the plan had been suggested by some persons of consequence, who were enraged at Cortes for preventing their return to Cuba, and for having been deprived of their shares of the treasure which was sent to the emperor.
Thus, only a few years before, Col. Manuel Escudero had been killed by a shot fired through the window of a saloon, and still more recently Don Solomon Estrella had been found drowned in a vat of sheep-dip on his own ranch. He cited statistics to show that the percentage of convictions in murder trials in that State was exceedingly small.
Sancho with the paunch, Thou most famous squire, Fortune smiled as Escudero she did dub thee Tho' Fate insisted 'gainst the world to rub thee. Fortune gave wit and common-sense, Philosophy, ambition to aspire; While Chivalry thy wallet stored, And led thee harmless through the fire."
The other companions of our expedition from the household of the governor were F. de Morla, Escobar, Heredia, Ruano, Escudero, and Ramos de Lares, besides many other adherents of the governor.