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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/249

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 227 with our Indian friends pursued them, killing many, and taking a large number of women and children pri- soners, who were condemned to slavery ; but moved by compassion, he endeavored as much as possible to spare their lives ; and before his departure from the place, he caused the survivors to be collected together, and put them in possession of the town, which at this time is very populous, and its inhabitants regretful of the past. The alguazil mayor passed on five or six leagues to a village of Tascaltecal, the nearest to the border of Culua, where he found the Spaniards and people prepared to transport the brigantines. The day after his arrival, they set out from thence with the planks and cross-timbers, which more than eight thousand men weje engaged in transporting ; a sight wonderful to behold, and as it ap- pears to me, to hear of, the transportation of thirteen vessels eighteen leagues by land ; and I assure your Ma- jesty that from the advance guard to the rear was a dis- tance of full two leagues. When they began to move, eight horsemen and one hundred Spanish foot went be- fore ; and in the van, and along the flanks, were more than ten thousand men of war, commanded by captains, at the head of whom were Yutecad (Aientecatl) and Teutipil, two of the principal chiefs of Tascaltecal ; in the rear guard came another hundred and more Spa- niards, with eight horsemen, and ten thousand men of war, well disposed, commanded by Chichimecatecle, one of the principal men of that province, together with other captains who accompanied him. At the time they first set out, Chichimecatl commanded the van with the plank, and the two other captains brought up the rear with the cross-timbers ; but when entering the territory of Culua, the masters of the brigantines directed the cross timbers to be carried in front, and the plank in the rear>