CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 213 the lake ; and thus we proceeded two leagues, fighting all the way, both with those on land and those on the water, until we reached that city. When we had arrived within about two thirds of a league, they opened a dike, situated between the fresh and salt water lakes, as may be seen on the map of the city of Temixtitan that I sent to your Majesty. When the causeway or dike was opened, the water of the salt lake began to flow with great impetuosity towards the fresh lake, although the lakes are more than half a league distant from one another ; and not looking for any deception, in our eager- ness for victory, we passed along very well, and followed the track of the enemy, until we entered the city at the same time with them. As the people were apprised of our coming, all the houses on the main land were desert- ed, and the people with their effects took refuge in the houses on the lake, where were assembled all those who had fled before us, who fought with great desperation. But it pleased our Lord to give such strength to his people that we pursued them into the water, sometimes where it was breast deep, in other places swimming ; and we took many of their houses situated on the water. More than six thousand of the people, men, women, and children, perished ; for the Indians, our allies, seeing we were victorious, would listen to nothing, but only cut to the right and left. As night approached, I collected the people and set fire to some of the houses ; and while these were burn- ing, it seemed that our Lord inspired me, by bringing to my recollection the causeway or mole, which we had seen broken on our route, and the great danger in which it placed us ; and hastening with my collected force, I departed out of the city, it being already quite dark. 28
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