168 LETTERS OF CORTESi (which I then had with me,) in order to be less encum- bered on my march, if any obstacles should present them- selves, and my papers, including the treaties that I had made with the natives of these parts, should be lost ; I had left also the clothing of the Spaniards who accom- panied me except what they required for use, together with their bedding. I was informed that another servant of mine had come to this place from the town of Vera Cruz, who brought provisions and other things for me, attended by five horse, and forty-five foot, and had taken away the persons I had left there, together with all the silver, clothing, and other things, both belonging to me and my companions, including 70,000 pesos of molten gold, which I had left there in two chests, besides other jewels, and more than 14,000 pesos of gold in pieces, which had been presented to a certain captain in the province of Tuchitebequa, whom I had sent to establish the town of Cuacucalco, together with many other things, of the value of more than 30,000 pesos of gold ; and that the Indians of Culua had killed them all on the road, and taken away their treasures. I was also informed that many other Spaniards had been destroyed by the same people, while on their way to the city of Temixtitan, supposing that I was in peaceable possession of the city, and that the roads were secure, as I had before found them. On the receipt of this intelligence I assure your Majesty that we were all filled with sorrow, as great as can be conceived ; since besides the loss of the Spaniards and of the treasure, it brought fresh to our minds the death and loss of those of our countrymen who had perished in the city at the bridges and on the road ; and especially it excited our suspicions as to the fate of the people left in the town of Vera Cruz, lest the peo-
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