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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/227

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 205 advice was good, but it did not appear to them proper to return to me till they had discovered some of the enemy, or ascertained how far this road extended." They then resumed their course, and when they saw that the road continued a great distance, they stopped, and sent one of the foot soldiers to inform me of what they had dis-^ covered. And when I had brought up the vanguard with the cavalry, commending ourselves to God Ve proceeded forward on that road, and I sent word to the rear-guard to make great haste, and entertain no fears, for we should soon come out upon the open land, free from obstructions. As soon as I had overtaken the four horsemen, we be- gan to advance together, but not without encountering serious irapediments and difficulties ; until at the dis- tance of half a league it pleased God that we should enter upon the open ground, and there I took breath while waiting for the rest of the people to come up. When they had arrived, I bade them give thanks to our Lord, who had brought us in safety to that spot from whence we could see all the provinces of Mexico and Temixtitan, both on the lakes and around them. But although we regarded them with great satisfaction, this feeling was not unmixed with sadness when we recalled the losses we had experienced there, and we all resolved never to quit the country again without victory, even should it cost us our lives. With this determination we proceeded forward with as much alacrity as if we had been going on a party of pleasure. As soon as the enemy perceived us, they began on a sudden to kindle signal fires, many and large, throughout the country ; and I begged and urged upon the Spaniards to do as they had ever done, and as was expected from them, by observing the utmost 27