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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/178

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156 LETTERS OF CORTES. ranks the day before, to be repaired and got in readi- ness. In order to follow up the victory God had granted us, I sallied forth at break of day into the same street where they had routed us the day before, and I found the ene- my not less prepared for defence than they were on the former occasion. But as our lives and honor were now at stake, and as that street led to a causeway that re- mained unbroken,* extending to the main land, although interrupted by eight bridges very large and high, and the street itself was filled with lofty terraces and towers ; we put forth so much resolution and spirit, that, with the aid of our Lord, we secured that day four of the bridges, and burned all of the terraces, houses and towers, as far as the last of these bridges. They had erected during the previous night, on all the bridges, many strong breastworks of unburnt bricks and clay,' so that neither the guns nor the crossbows made any impression on them. We filled up the space occupied by the four bridges with the unburnt bricks and the earth from the breastworks, together with a great quantity of stones and timber from the burnt houses, although this was not effected without danger, and many Spaniards were wounded. The same night I used much precaution in guarding the bridges, lest the enemy should succeed in recovering them. The next day in the morning, I made another sally from our quarters, and God gave us again success and victory, although the enemy appeared in great numbers, and defended the bridges, protected by strong entrench- ments and ditches which they had formed during the

  • This is the street to Tacuba, now a village on solid ground, which was then

covered entirely by the lakes.