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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/203

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 181 had again erred, they should be surely punished. I added, that if they proved to be loyal subjects of your Highness, they would receive favor and assistance at my hands in the royal name ; and they promised ac- cordingly. This city of Guacachula is situated on a plain, bounded on one side by a range of lofty and precipitous moun- tains ; the other sides are bordered by two streams, run- ning through large and deep ravines, two bow-shots distant from one another. The avenues to the city are few in number, and extremely difficult both in the ascent and descent, so that they can hardly be passed on horse- back. The whole city is surrounded by a wall of great strength, built of stone and lime, more than twenty feet in height on the outside, and almost even with the ground on the inside. Along the wall there is erected a breast- work or battlement nearly three feet high, to protect them in fighting ; and there are four entrances, so broad that one can pass through on horseback. At each entrance there are three or four bends in the extremities of the wall, doubling over one another; and each of these bends of the wall has its breastwork on it for fighting. Throughout the whole circuit of the walls there are heaps of stones, large and small, and of all shapes, for use in combat. The city contains five or six thousand families, and there are as many more in the villages subject to it. The situation is uncommonly fine, and within the city are numerous gardens, filled as usual with fruits and sweet scented herbs.^ After having reposed three or four days in this city,

  • Clavigero says, " Quauhquechallan is called by the Spaniards Guaqueechula,

or Htuwachula. At present it is a pleasant Indian village, abounding with good fruit." 24