CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 229 CHAPTER IL After all the warriors of Tascaltecal had reposed in Tesaico three or four days, (when it appeared manifest that compared with others of the country they were a superior people,) I ordered to be in readiness twenty-five horse, three hundred foot, and fifty archers and muske- teers, with six small field-pieces, and without saying aught to any one as to our destination, I left the city at nine o'clock in the morning ; and with me went the cap- tains abovementioned, and more than thirty thousand men, arranged in squadrons according to their manner. At four leagues from this city, when it was hardly dark, we encountered a squadron of the enemy's warriors ; our cavalry at once broke through them, and we put them to route. The Tlascallans, as they are swift of foot, followed us, and many of the enemy were slain ; that night we slept on the field, keeping a strict watch. The next morning we resumed our march, and I in- formed no one whither it was my intention to go, because I feared lest some of the Tesaicans who were with us should give information of my plans to those of Mexico and Temixtitan, as I could not feel entirely secure of their fidelity. We arrived at a village called Jultoca, situated in the midst of a lake, and around it we found many large ditches full of water ; it was so strongly for- tified that our cavalry could not effect an entrance, and the enemy uttered many loud cries, discharging upon us great numbers of darts and arrows ; but the infantry 30
Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/251
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