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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/285

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 263 Tesaico, in a direct course to the citj'- of Iztapalapa, six short leagues distant ; at a little past noon they arrived there, and immediately began to set fire to the city and attack the inhabitants. As soon as they saw the large force under the command of the alguazil mayor, (for he had with him 35 or 40,000 men of our allies,) the people took refuge in their canoes on the lalie. The alguazil mayor, with his whole force, took up his quarters in that city, and remained there a day, waiting my orders and watching my movements. After I had despatched the alguazil mayor, I imme- diately went on board the brigantines, and by the aid of sails and oars we took our departure ; and while the algua- zil mayor was engaged in j&ghting and setting fire to the city of Iztapalapa, we arrived in sight of a large and strongly fortified hill near that city, occupying an insu- lated situation in the lake ; there were many people on it, as well of those dwelling round the lake, as from Te- mixtitan ; for they knew well that the first encounter would be with the people of Iztapalapa, and they were there to defend themselves, and if possible to attack us. As soon as they saw our fleet approach, they began to shout and make great smokes as a signal to inform all the cities of the lakes of our coming, that they might be in readiness to meet us. Although my plan was to attack the part of the city of Iztapalapa that was situated on the water, we turned against this hill, and I leaped upon it with one hundred and fifty men. It was very steep and high, and it was with much difficulty that we began to ascend it ; and we took by storm the entrenchments which they had raised on its summit for their defence. We came upon them in such a manner that not one of them escaped except the women and children ; and in