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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/329

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Conquest of Mexico. 807 Matalcingo, the caciques of that province and Marinalco, and of the province of Cuiscon, which is large and of great importance, and whose people had also been re- belhous, entered our camp, and asked us to pardon the past, promising to be faithful hereafter, as they ac- cordingly were, and have continued to this day. While the alguazil mayor was engaged in his expedi- tion to Matalcingo, the inhabitants of the city resolved to sally forth by night, and attack the camp of Alvarado : and at early dawn they made the assault. As soon as the sentinels, both horse and foot, discovered them, they sounded the alarm, " to arms /" and the troops that were on the spot rushed upon the enemy, who, when they saw the cavalry, threw themselves into the water, and in the mean time our troops came up and fought with them for three hours. But when we heard in our camp the report of the field-piece that was fired, we had some fear that our men would not be able to repulse the enemy ; and I therefore ordered an attack upon the city, in order to draw them off from the contest with Alvarado ; and as the Indians found the Spaniards in that quarter so re- solute, they determined to return to the city, where we made a descent the same day. At that time those of us who had been wounded in the defeat were recovered ; the ship of Juan Ponce de Leon had arrived at Villa Rica, after being driven from the continent or island of Florida ;* and the inhabitants of that city sent me some powder and cross-bows, of which we were in extreme want ; although, thanks to God, there was not left a single country in the whole land about us that had not declared in our favor. But seeing that the inhabitants of this city were so rebellious, and

  • The same navigator discovered Florida a few years before.