188 LETTERS OF CORTES. the whole river or land ; from whence they inferred that on account of what had occurred, the people had aban- doned the country. Those in the caravel also informed me, that two other ships of Francisco de Garay had sailed soon after them, with men and horses, and they believed they must have passed down the coast. It seemed to me that it would promote the service of your Highness to prevent those ships and the men in them from being lost, and to guard against the natives doing them even greater injury than the former party uninformed as they were of what had occurred in the country ; I there- fore sent the caravel in search of the two ships, in order to apprize them of what had passed, and advise their coming to Vera Cruz, where was the first captain sent by Francisco de Garay, waiting their arrival, should it please God that they fall in with them, and in time to prevent their landing ; since the natives were already on the look out for them, and the Spaniards not being aware of it I had reason to fear would suffer much injury, to the great disservice of God our Lord and your Highness ; for it would be the means of whetting the appetites of those blood-thirsty dogs, and give them resolution and spirit to attack those who should come after. I have already mentioned that I heard of the elevation of a brother of Muteczuma to the government after the death of the latter, and that this prince, who was named Cue- travecin [Cuithahuatzin], was preparing many kinds of arms, and fortifying the great city and other cities around the lakes. I have since learned that Cuetravecin has sent his messengers throughout the land, the provinces, and cities subject to his power, to declare to and assure his vassals, that he will acquit them for one year of all tributes and services that they are bound to pay, and that
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