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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/309

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 287 order as on the former days, and gave thanks to God for so great a victory, since in the parts where we entered no resistance appeared to be made to us ; and the enemy retreated with such rapidity, that we seemed to have gained three fourths of the city ; and they also passed in great haste in the direction of the camp of Pedro de Alvarado. Both this day and the day before I was quite certain that they would sue for peace, for which I was always prepared, whether victorious or not. But notwithstanding, we never found any sign of peace on their part ; and that day we returned with great plea- sure to our camp, although it did not cease to oppress my mind to see the inhabitants of the city so determined on their fate. During the past days Pedro de Alvarado had taken several bridges, and in order to retain them he placed sentries of foot soldiers in the day time, and horsemen at night to guard them; the rest of his force repaired to his camp, which was three-quarters of a league dis- tant. As this labor was insupportable, he resolved to remove his camp to the head of the causeway leading to the market-place of Temixtitan, which is a square some- what larger than that of Salamanca, and entirely sur- rounded by covered walks ; and in order to reach it, it was only necessary to gain two or three other bridges, which, however, were very wide and difficult to be taken, and kept him employed several days, during which he fought incessantly, though with success. On the day above mentioned, when he saw indications of weakness , on the part of the enemy, and that in the quarter where I was I had been engaged in continued and vigorous as- saults, he was so much flushed with the heat of victory in gaining so many bridges and entrenchments, that he