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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/315

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 293 directed that whenever a bridge or entrenchment was taken, that it should be immediately filled up ; and for this purpose they had twelve men with pickaxes, together with many more of our allies who were very useful in this kind of work. The two other streets also lead from that of Tacuba to the market-place, and are narrower and full of causeways, bridges and water-streets, (or canals.) I ordered two captains* to take the widest of these, with eighty men and more than ten thousand of our Indian allies ; and at the head of the street of Tacuba I placed two heavy cannon with eight horse to guard them. With eight other horse and about one hundred foot, including twenty-five or more bowmen and musketeers, and an in- numerable host of our allies, I took up the line of march along the other narrow street, intending to penetrate as far as possible. At its entrance I caused the cavalry to halt, and ordered them by no means to pass from there, nor to come in my rear, unless I first sent them orders to that effect ; and I then alighted from my horse, and we came to an entrenchment that had been raised in front of a bridge, which we carried by means of a small field- piece, and the archers and musketeers, and then proceeded along the causeway, which was broken in two or three places, where we encountered the enemy. So great was the number of our allies who ascended the terraces and other places, that it did not appear possible any thing could stop us. When we had gained the two bridges, the entrenchments and causeway, our allies followed along the street without taking any spoil ; and I remained be- hind with about twenty Spanish soldiers on a small island, for I saw that some of our Indians were getting into trou- • Those were Andres de Tapia and George Alvarado, 3S