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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/201

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 179 we had yet seen, for they wore jewels of gold, silver, and feathers ; and as the city is large, they began to set fire to it at the quarter where they entered ; this soon came to the knowledge of the natives, and I salhed forth with only the horse, as the foot were very much fatigued. We rushed upon them, when they drew back into a nar- row pass, which we entered, following in their rear, and pursued them up a very rugged declivity ; so that when we had reached the top of the elevation, neither the ene- my nor ourselves were able to advance or retreat. Many of them fell down dead there from the effects of the heat, without any wounds ; and two horses were unable to move, and some died. We did them much injury. Ma- ny of our Indian allies came to our assistance, and being fresh, while the enemy were almost dead, they despatched many of them. In this manner the field was soon cleared of those that survived, although somewhat covered with the dead ; and w^e reached the barracks they had newly built in the fields, which were divided into three parts, each of which seemed a good sized village ; since besides the soldiers they had large retinues of servants and ex- tensive supplies for their camp ; and I afterwards learn- ed that there were many persons of distinction among them. The whole was despoiled and consumed by the Indians, our allies, of whom I assure your Majesty there were assembled more than one hundred thousand men.* Having by this victory driven the enemy out of the coun- try, pursuing them until they had passed certain bridges and narrow defiles, we returned to the city, where we were well received and quartered by the inhabitants ;

  • On account of these acts of the people of Huaquechula, many privileges

were granted them, which they retain to this day. — L.