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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/33

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INTRODUCTION. 15 with Diego Velasquez in the outfit of the expedition ; also requiring it to be attended by a treasurer and surveyor on the part of the crown, to look after the king's fifths, as was usual. As soon as the license was received, Cortes set about pre- paring for the voyage. No sooner had he made known his commission than great numbers began to flock to his standard ; he then purchased a caravel and brigantine, beside the caravel in which Pedro de Alvarado had returned from Grijalva's ex- pedition ; Diego Velasquez furnished only a single brigantine. Cortes also procured small arms, artillery, and munitions of war, together with wine, oil, and other provisions. He expended seven hundred pesos of gold in the purchase of cheap articles for barter with the natives. Velasquez gave him a thousand pesos belonging to Panfilo de Narvaez, which he had in his hands, during the absence of the latter, declaring at the same time that he had not a penny left of his own. The agreement was finally executed between them in the presence of a public notary on the twenty-third day of October, in the year 1518. In the mean time Grijalva himself arrived, contrary to the expectations of the governor, who had given him up for lost. Various causes now induced Velasquez to withdraw from his engagement with Cortes, and to render him unwilling to furnish money towards his enterprise ; amongst othei's, he wished to send back the ships of Grijalva on his own account alone ; and seeing the lavish manner in which Cortes expended money, he imagined that he intended to set up for himself ; especial- ly as he was taught by Bermudez and others to distrust him, as a subtle, proud and aspiring Estremaduran, who would not be likely to forget past griefs. Bermudez had begun to regret having himself declined the command, since Grijalva had returned in safety, bringing with him many striking proofs of the richness of the new countries. Supposing that Cortes would abandon the enterprise on his withdrawal, Velasquez sent to him the royal treasurer, Anador de Lares, to pursuade him to relinquish the design, promising to repay him all that he had expended. Cortes understanding the object of Velasquez, told Lares that he would be ashamed to relinquish the enter- prise, nor would he give up the agreement ; that if the gover-