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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/311

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 289 Indians possessed in it. Moreover, Alvarado's men ob- served that I was continually pursuing my attacks on the city, and would be likely to take the market-place before them ; and as they were nearer to it than we, they considered it a point of honor to be the first to reach it. For this reason Pedro de Alvarado was greatly im- portuned, and the same thing occurred to me in my camp ; for all the Spaniards earnestly solicited me to enter through one of three streets that led to the market- place, as we should meet with no resistance, and that being gained, we should have less trouble hereafter. I made every pretence in my power for not yielding to their wishes, but concealed the true cause ; which was on account of the obstacles and perils that presented themselves to my mind ; since on entering the market- place, there would be in our way innamerable terraces, bridges, and breaches in the causeways, so that every house that we should have to pass would be like an island in the midst of the water. As on that evening when I returned to camp I was informed of the defeat of Pedro de Alvarado, I deter- mined to go the next morning to his quarters and reprove him for what had occurred, and at the same time to see what he had gained, and where he had removed his camp, instructing him as to the measures necessary for his safety and the annoyance of the enemy. But on arriving at his camp, I was astonished to see how far he had advanced into the city, and the dangerous passes and bridges he had gained, and I no longer thought him deserving of as much censure as I had supposed; so that having conversed with him respecting what remained to be done, I returned the same day to my own quarters. After this I effected several entries into the city at the