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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/239

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 217 At the time I left the province of Tascaltecal for Mexico and Temixtitan, he remained there with seve- ral Spaniards ; and I shall hereafter inform your Majesty of what afterwards occurred to him. The day following my return from Iztapalapa to the city of Tesaico, I determined to despatch Gonzalo de Sandoval, alguazil mayor of your Majesty, in command of twenty horsemen and two hundred foot soldiers, to- gether with bowmen, musketeers, and men armed with sword and buckler, to accomplish two very necessary purposes ; first, to escort out of this province certain messengers that I proposed to send to the city of Tes- caitecal, to ascertain what progress had been made on the thirteen brigantines which were building there, and to provide things necessary both for the men stationed at Vera Cruz, as well as for my own company ; and in the second place, to render secure that part of the coun- try, so that the Spaniards could come and go without danger ; since heretofore we were unable to leave the province of Aculuacan without passing through the ene- my's country, nor could the Spaniards at Vera Cruz and other places come to us without great peril from the enemy. I also directed the alguazil mayor, that after he had escorted the messengers to a place of safety, he should go to a province called Calco, bordering on that of Aculuacan, in order to obtain a confirmation of the statement that the people of that province were desirous, although belonging to the Culuan league, to surrender themselves as vassals of your Majesty, and that they were prevented from doing so by reason of a garrison of Culuans that existed amongst them. The captain departed, and with him went all the In- dians of Tascaltecal who had transported our baggage,