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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/321

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 299 been usual on other days ; and in addition to our other losses, we had been told that the brigantines had fallen into the hands of the enemy, who attacked them with their canoes in the rear ; but it pleased God, this was not true, although the brigantines and the canoes of our allies had been seen in danger enough, and even a bri- gantine came near being lost, the captain and master of it being wounded, the former of whom died eight days afterwards. That day and the following night, the enemy made great rejoicings with horns and kettle-drums, appearing to be overwhelmed with joy ; and they opened all the streets and bridges as they were before, and in setting their fires and sentries at night, they came within two bow-shots of our camp; but as we had returned discom- fited, wounded, and destitute of arms, there was need of rest and recruiting. In the mean time, the rulers of the city took occasion to send messengers to their subjects in many provinces, to say that they had gained a signal victory and destroyed many Christians, and that soon they would put an end to us, charging them by no means to make peace with us ; and the messengers carried with them as credentials two heads of horses that they had killed, and some others of Christians, which they displayed for the purpose of showing wherever it seemed advisable that there was more rea- son for the rebellious to persevere than before. But notwithstanding all this, as the enemy did not grow more presumptuous, nor sensible of our weakness, every day some Spaniards, on foot or horse, with many of our allies, made sallies into the city, though they were un- able to gain more than a few bridges in the next street before coming to the square.