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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/292

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270 LETTERS OF CORTES. that, on the other side of the city, there was a causeway which led to the villages on the main land, together with a small one connected with it, by means of which the in- habitants entered and went out when they pleased ; and he believed that when they saw themselves compelled by necessity, they would all make their escape that way. Although I rather desired their departure from the city, as we could succeed better against them on terra firma than in a great fortress on the water ; nevertheless, in order that they might be wholly surrounded, and without the power of making any progress on the main land, I ordered the alguazil mayor, wounded as he was, to es- tablish his quarters in a small town to which one of the two causeways referred to extended.* He accordingly went thither with twenty-three horse, one hundred foot, and eighteen bowmen and musketeers, leaving me the other fifty foot, which I had with my own force ; and on his arrival he encamped where I had directed him. Thus from that time the city of Temixtitan was invested on all sides, wherever it communicated by causeways with terra firma. I had, most powerful Sire, in the camp on the cause- way two hundred Spanish infantry, amongst whom were twenty-five archers and musketeers, exclusive of the men in the brigantines, who were more than two hundred and fifty in number. In order that we might keep the enemy closely invested, and retain a large number of warriors for our allies, I resolved to enter the city as far as possi- ble, and that the brigantines should afford us their sup- port on both sides of the causeway. I also directed that some of the horse and foot from the division at Cuyoacan should repair to the camp, that they might enter with us,

  • Now Tepayac, on the north side of the city, called by Bemal Diaz TepeaquiUa.