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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/208

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186 LETTERS OF CORTES. sive information as to the state of things in the great city of Temixtitan ; in particular, how after the death of Muteczuma, his brother, named Cuetravacin, lord of the city of Iztapalapa, had succeeded him in the govern- ment ; since the son of Muteczuma who was the heir to the throne had perished at the bridges, and of his two other sons who had been left by us alive, one was an idiot and the other paralytic. For these reasons the brother had succeeded to the throne, who had already declared war against us, and was esteemed by them a valiant and prudent man. I was also informed that the Mexicans were erecting fortifications both in the city and in other parts of their dominions, and were engaged in preparing walls, subterranean j)assages, ditches, and different kinds of arms. Of the latter were heavy lances, like pikes, for horsemen, some of which we had already seen in the province of Tepeaca, where the enemy had fought with them; and also in the farm-houses and buildings in which the Culuans had been quartered in Guacachula, many of these arms had been found. Of many other things I was likewise informed ; but not wishing to be prolix in my accounts to your Majesty, I omit the recital- I despatched to the island of Espanola four ships, to bring immediately horses and men for our relief; and I also sent to purchase four others for the purpose of trans- porting from the same island and the city of St. Domingo, horses, arms, crossbows and powder, as being the most wanted in this country ; for foot soldiers bearing small bucklers are of but little use alone, in the midst of so great multitudes of people, possessing such strong and extensive cities and fortifications. I also wrote to the Licentiate, Rodrigo de Figueroa and the officials of your Highness,