CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 169 pie who had been friendly, on hearing of our discom- fiture, had broken into rebellion. In order to ascertain the truth, I forthwith despatched messengers, accompanied by Indians as guides, to whom I gave directions to avoid the beaten road until they arrived at Vera Cruz, and that they should inform me as soon as possible of the state of things there. It pleased our Lord that they should find the Spaniards well and the natives very quiet in that place. This intelligence made full amends for our losses and troubles ; although to our people there the news of what had befallen us and our overthrow was very painful. I remained in this province of Tascaltecal twenty days, for the purpose of healing my wounds,* which had grown much worse, especially the wound on my head, from want of attention on our march ; and likewise to heal the wounded of my company, some of whom, however, died in consequence both of their wounds and excessive fatigue ; others remained maimed and lame, from the severity of their wounds, and the want of proper atten- tion. I myself lost two fingers from my left hand.
- Cortes was wounded severely in the head, leg, and hand. — L.