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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/172

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150 LETTERS OP CORTES. who were to be engaged without ; at the same time I caused suitable care to be taken of the wounded, who amounted to more than eighty in number. As soon as it was dayh'ght, the enemy renewed the combat with still greater vigor than the day before, for the number of them was so immense that there was no need of levelling the guns, but only to direct them against the mass of Indians. And although the fire-arms did much injury, for we played ojfF thirteen arquebuses be- sides matchlocks and crossbows, they produced so little impression that their effect scarcely seemed to be felt ; since where a- discharge cut down ten or twelve men, the ranks were instantly closed up by additional numbers, and no apparent loss was perceived. Leaving in the garrison a sufficient force for its defence, and as large as I could spare, I sallied forth with the rest, and took from the enemy several bridges, setting fire to a number of hou&es and destroying the people who defended them ; but they were so numerous, that although we did them much injury, the effect was still imperceptible. Our men were compelled to fight all day long without cessation, while the enemy were relieved at intervals by fresh forces, and still had a superabundance of men. But we had none of our Spanish force killed on this day, although fifty or sixty were wounded, and we continued the con- test till night, when we withdrew wearied into the gar- rison. Seeing the great mischief done us by the enemy in wounding and slaying our people, while they were either unharmed, or if we caused them any loss, it was imme- diately repaired by their great numbers, we spent all that night and the next day in constructing three engines of timber, each of which would contain twenty men,