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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/173

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 151 covered with thick plank to protect them from the stones that were thrown from the terraces of houses. The per- sons to be conveyed in the machines were musketeers and archers, together with others provided with spades, pickaxes, and bars of iron, to demohsh the barricades erected in the streets, and pull down the houses. While we were building these machines, the enemy did not cease their attacks ; and so resolute were they, that when we sallied forth from our quarters, they attempted to enter them, and we had trouble enough to resist their progress. Muteczuma, who was still a prisoner, (to- gether with his son and many other persons of distinction, who had been secured at the beginning of operations,) now^ came forward and requested to be taken to the ter- race of the garrison, that he might speak to the leaders of his people and induce them to discontinue the contest. I caused him to be taken up, and when he reached a battlement projecting from the fortress,- and sought an opportunity to address the people who were fighting in that quarter, a stone thrown by some one of his own subjects struck him on the head with so much force that he died in three days after. I then gave his dead body to two Indians who were amongst the prisoners, and taking it upon their shoulders, they bore it away to his people ; what afterwards became of it I know not. The war, however, did not cease, but increased in violence and desperation every day.- On the same day a cry was heard in the quarter where Muteczuma had been wounded, some of the enemy calling to me to approach there, as certain of their cap- tains wished to confer with me. I accordingly did so, and we passed amongst them ; when after a long parley I asked them to discontinue their attacks, since they had