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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/305

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 283 good houses on that street. By this time it was evening, and the hour to return to camp, which was attended with httle less danger than taking the bridges ; for as soon as they saw us retire, the inhabitants recovered themselves to such a degree that it seemed as if they had been vic- torious, and that we were flying before them ; it was likewise necessary for our safe return, that the space oc- cupied by the bridges should be well filled up so as to be even with the street, that the cavalry might be able to move freely from one side to the other. Sometimes when thus returning to camp, and the enemy pursued us so ravenously, we would pretend to fly, and then turn about suddenly upon them, and take twelve or thirteen of the boldest of them prisoners. By these means, and the ambuscades we laid for them, into which they were con- stantly falling, they always suffered ; and their conduct was certainly worthy of admiration, for however great the evils and losses to which they were exposed in ha- rassing our march, they did not relax their pursuit till they saw us out of the city. Thus we returned to our camp, when the captains of the other posts informed me that they had succeeded well the same day, and had de- stroyed many of the enemy by land and water ; and Pedro de Alvarado, in particular, who was stationed at Tacuba, wrote me that he had taken two or three bridges; but as he was on the causeway that leads from the mar- ket-place of Mexico to Tacuba, and the three brigantines I had given him could come up on one side so as to touch the causeway, he was not exposed to so much danger as on the previous days. In that quarter there were more bridges and a greater number of breaches in the cause- way, but fewer terraces, than in the others. During all this time the inhabitants of Iztapalapa, Oi-