Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/183

This page needs to be proofread.

CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 161 Having reached the city of Tacuba, I found all our people gathered together in the square, not knowing where to go; I gave immediate directions to march into the coun- try, before the inhabitants should collect in greater num- bers in the city, and that they should take possession of the terraces, as the enemy would be likely to do us much injury from them. Those w^ho had led the van saying, that they knew not in which direction to leave the city, I bade them remain with the rear, while I took command of the van until I had led them out into the open fields, where I waited till the rest came up. When the rear arrived, I saw that they had suffered some loss, and that some of the Spaniards and Indians had fallen, and that they had left on the road much gold which the Indians had seized. I remained there until all our people had arrived, closely pursued by the enemy. I kept the enemy at bay until the infantry had taken possession of a hill on which there was a tower with a strong building, which they took without suffering any loss, and I maintained my position, not suffering the enemy to advance, until the hill was taken ;* and God only knows the toil and fa- tigue with which it was accomplished ; for of twenty-four horses that remained to us, there was not one that could move briskly, nor su horseman able to raise his arm, nor a foot soldier unhurt who could make any effort. When we had reached the building, we fortified ourselves in it ; and the enemy invested it, remaining till night without allowing us an hour of rest. In this defeat it was ascertained that one hundred and fifty Spaniards lost their lives, together with forty-five

  • Called the hill of Muteczuma, on which is now the celebrated sanctuary of

Our Lady de los Remedies. — L. (See Madame Calderon's Life in Mexico, vol. 1, p. 226.)