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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/101

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 79 certain sum {certum quid), which they would carry to the sea, or wherever I wished. I received them kindly, and spoke to them of our Spain, of which they had heard much, addressing myself especially to the one who was said to be a brother of Muteczuma. In answer to their official communication, I said, — that if it was in my power to return, I would do so to oblige Muteczuma; but that I had come into this country by the command of your Majesty, and that I was particularly charged to render an account of Muteczuma and his great city, of the fame of which your Highness had long since heard — that they might assure him from me, that I was ex- tremely desirous he should take my visit to him in good part, since it would be productive of no injury, but rather of advantage to his person and country ; that after I had seen him, if it was still his wish not to have my company, I would then return ; and that we should be better able to agree in person, as to the homage he should render to your Highness, than through the agency of others, however trustworthy they might be. With this answer they returned. Judging from the appear- ance of our quarters, and the arrangements made re- specting them, it struck me that the Indians intended to attack us that night ; but on perceiving this, I took such precautions as, coming to their knowledge, changed their determination ; and they drew off that night very secretly a large force, which they had placed in the mountains adjacent to our camp, as was observed by many of our scouts and sentinels. As soon as it was day I set out for a town two leagues distant, called Amaqueruca,* in the province of Chalco, ♦ Now Amecameca.