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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/197

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 175 me several messengers from the lord of a city five leagues distant from this province, called Guacahula,* situated at the entrance of a mountain pass, which is on the route from thence to Mexico, who on behalf of that lord said to me, that several days since they would have come tome to render your Majesty the obedience they owed, and to offer themselves as vassals ; that I must not blame them by supposing that the failure was with their consent ; but they would inform me that several Culuan chiefs were lodged in their city ; and in it and a league from it there were thirty thousand men in garrison,t guarding that pass to prevent our going through it, and also to prevent the inhabitants of the city and the neighboring provinces from serving your Highness, or being our friends. That they would have come to offer their loyal service if those people had not hindered, and they gave me this information that I might devise a remedy ; since, be- sides the obstacles thrown in the way of their wishes, the citizens and all the neighboring people were greatly injured by this state of things; and as there were many armed men collected, the people were aggrieved and ill- treated by them, being deprived of their women, farms, &c. ; and I might see they were ready to do whatever I directed, if I only afforded them protection. Immediately after having thanked them for their in- formation and offers, I gave them thirteen horse and two hundred foot, to go with them, together with about thirty thousand of our Indian allies. The plan was to make the attack by surprise, and that when they ap- proached the city, the lord and the natives, and the rest of his vassals and supporters, should be in readiness and surround the quarters in which the officers were lodged,

  • Huaquechula — a republic. — L. t These were Culuan or Mexican troops.