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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/253

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CONQUEST OP MEXICO. 231 nearly a quarter of it was consumed. They did this because when we were before driven out of Temixtitan, in passing through this place its inhabitants joined with those of Temixtitan in making cruel war upon us, and destroyed the lives of many Spaniards. During the six days that we were in the city of Ta- cuba, there was not one in which we did not have many rencounters and skirmishes with the enemy. The Tlascallan captains and their men sent many challenges to the Mexicans, and they fought one another with great valor, exchanging words together, uttering threats and injurious expressions that were curious to hear ; and du- ring this time many of the enemy were constantly fall- ing, without any loss on our side, although we several times passed into the streets and on the bridges of the city, where being strongly fortified they made a stout resistance. They often pretended to invite us to enter the city [of Mexico], saying, " Go in, go in, and enjoy yourselves ;" and at another time they said to us, " Do you think there is now a second Muteczuma to do every thing you wish.?" Whilst these speeches were passing, I came to a bridge which they had abandoned,' and see- ing them on the other side, I beckoned to our people to be silent ; and the enemy, perceiving that I wished to speak to them, likewise commanded their people to be quiet. I then asked them, " Why they were so foolish as to seek their own ruin ?" and " that if there was amongst them any principal chief from the city, he should make his appearance, as I wished to speak to him." They answered, "that the whole multitude of warriors that I saw there were chiefs, and that I might therefore say what I pleased." When they found I made no re-