212 LETTERS OF CORTES. who took the lead in the passed war against us were now dead; that the past was past, and they should not seek to give me fresh provocation to lay waste their lands and cities, as it would distress me much. With these words I dismissed them, and they departed, pro- mising to bring me an ansv^er. • The caciques of Coatin^ chan, Guaxuta, and myself, were by this affair rendered greater friends, and bound together in a closer confede- racy. I forgave them their past errors, and thus they left us well satisfied. After having been seven or eight days in this city of Tesaico without being engaged in hostilities, or encoun- tering any one, fortifying our quarters, and regulating other matters necessary for our defence, as well as for offensive operations against the enemy ; and finding that they did not come to attack me, I sallied forth from the city with two hundred Spaniards, amongst whom were eighteen horse, thirty bowmen, and ten musketeers, to-* gether with three or four thousand Indians, our allies. I proceeded along the coast of the lake to a city called Iztapalapa, which is by water two leagues from the great city of Temixtitan, and six from Tesaico ; it contains about ten thousand families, and half or two thirds of it are situated on the water. Its lord, who was a brother of Muteczuma, and whom the Indians after the death of the latter had made his successor, was the most active in making war upon us, and driving us out of the city. On this account, as well as because I had known its inhabi-* tants were ill disposed towards us, I determined to pro- ceed directly towards the city of Iztapalapa. As soon as I was discovered by them, when two leagues distant, and before I had arrived, there appeared immediately in the field some hostile Indians, and others in their canoes on
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