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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/289

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 267 condition, that the army might move with great caution, and annoy the enemy as much as possible ; yet on the day I landed upon the causeway and took the two towers, I determined to occupy that position with my camp, and to assemble the brigantines near the towers. I also or- dered half of the force at Cuyoacan and fifty other foot soldiers belonging to the alguazil mayor's division to repair to the same place on the next day. These mea- sures being taken, we remained there that night with the utmost caution ; for we were exposed to great dan- ger, as all the people of the city had poured forth along the causeway and on the water for the common defence ; and at midnight a great multitude came in canoes and on the causeway to attack our camp. We were thrown into some degree of alarm by this movement of the enemy, especially as it was night, and they were never known to make an assault by night unless fully assured of victory. But as our men were well prepared to re- ceive them, we began to engage in the fight, opening a fire on them with the small field pieces in the brigantines, (each of which carried one,) and also from the archers and musketeers. ■ By this means their advance was checked before they had been able to do us any harm, and we passed the remainder of the night without any further annoyance. The next morning at day-light, there arrived in the camp on the causeway, where I was posted, fifteen archers and musketeers, fifty men armed with sword and buckler, and seven or eight horse, from the division of Cuyoacan ; and at the time of their coming we were engaged in bat- tle with the people from the city in canoes and along the causeway, and the multitude was so great that neither by land or water could we see any thing but human be-