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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/243

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 221 About two days after this there came to me the lords of Coatinchan and Guaxuta, and gave me information that there was no doubt all the power of Culua would be brought against me and the Spaniards, the whole country being full of our enemies; and that I must consider whether they should bring their women and children where I was, or take them to the mountains, as they were filled with consternation. I encouraged them, and bade them dismiss their fears, and remain in their houses without making any change ; adding, that nothing would please me more than to see the Culuans in the field. I charged them to be vigilant, placing their scouts and sentinels in every quarter, and that as soon as they saw or heard the movements of the enemy, they should im- mediately inform me. So they went away with the de- termination to do as I had directed. The same night I got our whole force in readiness, and set many sentries and scouts in all directions where it seemed necessary ; and during the whole night we had no sleep, and thought of nothing else but the enemy, both that night and the following day, in consequence of what we had been told by the lords of Guaxuta and Guatinchan. The next day I learned that some of the hostile Indians had been prowling along the coast of the lake for the sake of plunder, and with the expectation of cutting off the Indians of Tascaltecal, who were coming and going in the service of the camp ; and I likewise as- certained that they had confederated with two people subject to Tesaico, and dwelling near the lake, to do us all the mischief in their power. I caused redoubts, ditches, and other works to be constructed in that quarter as a means of defence ; and the day after I took twelve horse, two hundred foot, and two small field pieces, and went 29