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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/334

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312 LETTERS OF CORTES. that as soon as they knew as much of the city to have been destroyed as was possible in that time, to pursue the enemy by a quick movement until they took refuge in their entrenchments, and beyond the water-streets, where they should keep them till the hour for leaving the city. In the mean time, I would throw my party of thirty horse, without being observed, into an ambuscade in some of the large buildings near those on the square. The Spanish troops faithfully obeyed my directions 5 and at one o'clock in the afternoon, I took the road to the city with thirty horse, and having reached it, I posted them in certain buildings, while I went myself and ascended to the top of a lofty tower in my usual manner. Some Spaniards who were there opened a tomb, and found in it the value of more than 1500 castellanos in articles of gold. When the hour had arrived for retiring from the city, I directed our people to fall back in the best order, and that as soon as they reached the square, the cavalry should show a disposition to attack the enemy, but with the appearance of not daring to do so. This demonstra- was made when the enemy had collected in great num- bers about the square and on it. The men in ambush were already impatient for the hour to arrive for their movement, being eager to acquit themselves well and weary of delay. I now joined them, as the Spanish foot and horse with our Indian allies, (to whom the ambush was known,) were retiring from the square, and the enemy were in full pursuit, shouting as if they had gained the greatest victory in the world. The nine horsemen made a feint of attacking them, and then hastily retired ; after they had repeated this at two different times, the enemy were thrown into such a fury that they rushed upon the horsemen, and pursued them until they had passed the