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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/250

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228 LETTERS OF CORTES. as the latter would occasion most embarrassment in case of their meeting with obstructions, which was more likely to occur in front than rear. But Chichimecatl, who had charge of the planks, and had always led the van with his warriors, took offence at this arrangement, and it was a hard matter to induce him to consent to be left in the rear guard, because he courted whatever danger might occur in the transportation ; and when he finally yielded to the arrangement, he was not willing that any Spaniards should remain in the rear guard, as he was a man of great energy and sought to gain honor to him- self. The same captains had under their charge two thousand Indians loaded with provisions. It was in this order, and according to this arrangement that they took up the line of march, in which they con- sumed three days, and on the fourth entered this city [Tezcuco] with great rejoicing and noise of kettle-drums, when I went out to receive them. As I have mentioned above, the people stretched out to so great a distance, that from the time those in front began to enter until the last had come up, more than six hours had passed with- out breaking the line of people. After they had arrived, and I had expressed my gratification to the caciques for their good services, I provided quarters for them together with the best supplies that could be procured. They' assured me that they had come with a strong desire to engage with the Culuans, and that I should see that whatever might be my commands, they and their people had come with the desire and determination to be re- venged, or die with us. I thanked them, and begged they would take some repose, promising that I would soon give them their hands full.*

  • Yo les di las gracias, y dije que reposasen, y que presto lee daria las manos