214 LETTERS OF CORTES. When we reached the water, at almost nine in the even- ing, it was so deep, and the current so strong, that we passed it half running and half flying ; some of our In- dian allies were drowned, and all the spoil was lost that had been taken in the city. And I assure your Ma- jesty, that if we had not passed the water that night, or had remained in the city three hours longer, none of us would have escaped,* but we should have been sur- rounded by water without being able to find a passage out in any direction. When it was day-light we saw that the water of one lake was on a level with that of the other, and there was no current ; and all the salt lake was covered with canoes, filled with warriors, thinking to take us at this place. The same day I re- turned to Tesaico, fighting occasionally by the way with those who were on the lake, although we could do them little harm, as they escaped readily in their canoes ; and arriving at the city of Tesaico, I found the people I had left there perfectly secure, without having had a single hostile encounter ; and our return and victory gave them much pleasure. The next day after our return a Spa- niard died who had come back wounded ; and he was the first one killed in the field by the Indians to the pre- sent time. The next day certain messengers came to this city fi-om the city of Otumba,t and four other cities adjacent to it, which are four, five, and six leagues distant from
- Part of the town of Iztapalapa was built on land, and part on the water ;
and the Indians broke the dikes that formed a communication between the two lakes. — L. t It bears the same name at the present day ; and in its neighborhood are San Juan Teotihuacan, Ajapusco, Cuatlanzingo, (which was very large,) Osto- ticpac, Tecpayucan, WtepeCj Nopaltepec, and the hacienda of Ometusco. — L.