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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/307

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 285 they erected so many, that it was a distance of more than three or four bowshots from the first to the last. Your Majesty will understand that the causeway leading over the deepest part of the lake was so wide, that these huts were built on either side of it, leaving a street in the middle along which we could come and go, on foot or horseback, at pleasure ; and there were constantly in the camp, including Spaniards and the Indians who waited on them, more than two thousand persons. All the rest of our division consisting of allies, were quar- tered at Cuyoacan, a league and a half from the camp. The people of those towns (above mentioned) also sup- plied us with some articles of food, (of which we had need enough,) especially fish and cherries ; the latter being so abundant that they are sufficient during the five or six months that they last for double the population of the country.* As we had now entered the city two or three days in succession from our camp, besides three or four former visits, and had always come off victorious, having with our guns, crossbows, and musketry destroyed a host of people, we expected every hour that they would be in- duced to send us proposals of peace, which we desired as a means of safety ; but no progress was made by us in drawing them to this conclusion. In order to make the necessity of peace greater to them, and to see if I could constrain them to it, I resolved to enter the city every day and attack the inhabitants with the force I

  • According to Nuttall there are more native species of the plum and cherry

in North America than any other part of the world. No modern botanist seems to have visited the central portions of Mexico ; some parts of California were explored by the late Mr. Douglas, of London, and by Mr. Nuttall from the Uni- ted States, who have greatly enriched the North American Flora by their inte- resting contributions from that quarter. 37