Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/162

This page needs to be proofread.

140 LETTERS OF CORTES. all persons v/ho were with Narvaez, that they should not treat, nor obey, the said Narvaez as captain or ma- gistrate ; but on the other hand, that within a certain time which I indicated in the order, they should appear before me, that I might be able to instruct them what they should do in the service of your Highness ; declaring, that if they did otherwise, 1 would proceed against them as traitors and perfidious subjects in rebellion against their king, and plotting to usurp his lands and dominions, to give them to persons to whom they did not belong, and who were destitute of all claim and just right thereto. And that to carry this order into execution, in case they did not appear before me, nor perform what was enjoined in said order, I should proceed to arrest and imprison them conformably to the law. As an answer to my proceedings, Narvaez caused the notary and one other person by whom Lhad sent my notices, to be apprehended, together with several Indians who had gone with them., all of whom were detained until another messenger arrived from me, to inquire what had become of the others. He then caused all his force to pass in review before them, and uttered threats against them and me, if we did not deliver up the land. Seeing this, and that there was no way in which I could avoid so great a calamity, and that the natives of the country were becoming restless, and growing more so from day to day, commending myself to God, and disregarding all fear of the loss that might ensue — reflecting that if I died in the service of my king, and in the defence and pro- tection of his dominions, to prevent their being usurped, sufficient glory would accrue to me and my companions — I gave orders to Gonzalo de Sandoval, alguazil mayor,*

  • This office corresponds in a certain degree to that of High Sheriff.