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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/151

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CONQUEST OP MEXICO. 129 to your Majesty, the chief ruler of the country being a prisoner in my hands ; that I was then in the great city, describing its character, and the gold and jewels which I held for your Majesty ; and that I had transmitted to your Majesty an account of this country. And I begged them to inform me who they were, and that if they were native subjects of the kingdoms and dominions of your Highness, they would write me whether they had come to this land by the command of your Majesty to found colonies and abide here, or intended to proceed farther, or to return home again ; or if they were in distress, I would supply them with every thing in my power. But should they not belong to your Highness' dominions, I begged that they would notwithstanding inform me whe- ther they had suffered any disaster, as I would do all in my power for their relief. If it were otherwise, I desired them, on behalf of your Majesty, that they would at once depart from your territory without landing upon it — inti- mating that if they did not, I should march against them with all the forces under my command, both Spanish and native, and capture or put them to death, as intruders upon the realm and dominions of the king my master. The priest having departed with this despatch, there arrived five days after at the city of Temixtitan, twenty Spaniards, of the number of those whom I had stationed at the town of Vera Cruz, who brought with them a priest and two lay brothers taken in that place ; from the latter I learned that the fleet and men in that port were acting under the orders of Diego Velazquez, [Governor of Cuba,] and were commanded in person by one Pan- filo Narvaez, an inhabitant of the island Fernandina [Cuba] ; that they had brought eighty horses, several pieces of artillery, and eight hundred foot soldiers,