Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/167

This page needs to be proofread.

CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 145 CHAPTER VII. I REMAINED at Cempoal with the rest of the men to provide for the interests of your Majesty. I also de- spatched a messenger to the city of Temixtitan, by whom I made known to the Spaniards I had left there the suc- cess of my enterprise. This messenger returned from thence in twelve days, and brought me letters from the alcalde whom I had left in authority, in which he in- formed me that the Indians had attacked the garrison on all sides, and set fire to it in many places ; that they had sunk mines about it, placing our people in imminent danger ; all of whom would perish, unless Muteczuma should command the hostile operations to cease ; that at the present moment they were closely invested, and al- though the fighting had been discontinued, yet no one was suffered to go two steps from the garrison. It was added, that a great part of their supplies had been for- cibly seized, and that the enemy had burned the four brigantines I had built there ; and finally, that our people were in extreme distress, and begged me to come to their aid with the- greatest possible haste. Seeing to what extremities they were reduced, and that if I did not instantly fly to their relief, not only would their lives be sacrificed, together with all the gold, silver, and jew- els, of which we had become possessed, as well the por- tion appertaining to your Highness, as that assigned to the army and myself; but that it would also involve the loss of the greatest and noblest city in the whole new world, and with it every thing we had gained, since it