Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/170

This page needs to be proofread.


148 LETTERS OF CORTES. the Baptist, I proceeded on my route, and at night lodged three leagues from the great city. The next day after hearing mass I resumed the march, and about noon entered the city j* seeing but few persons, and ob- serving the gates removed from the cross streets, I did not like the appearance of things, although I thought that the people were alarmed at what had taken place, and that when I should be re-established in the city all would be quiet again. I marched directly to the fortress, in which, and in the great temple adjoining it, all my troops were quartered ; those in the fortress received us with as great joy as if we had restored their hves to them, which they had already considered as lost ; and we passed that day and the following night in extreme joy, believing that peace had again returned. The next day, after mass, I sent a messenger to the town of Vera Cruz, to carry the good nev;s that the Christians were alive, and that I had entered the city, which was quiet. The messenger returned in half an an hour after his departure, covered with bruises and injuries, ciying aloud that all the Indians of the city were in arms, and that they had raised the bridges ; and soon after an attack was made upon us by so great a multi- tude of people on all sides, that neither the streets nor the roofs of the houses were visible, on account of the crowd, from whom proceeded the most violent outcries and terrible shouts that could be conceived. Stones thrown by slings fell in such numbers upon the garrison that it seemed as if they came down like rain from the clouds ; and darts and arrows were so thick that the houses and squares were filled with them, and almost

  • June 24th, 1520.