CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 313 entrance of the street where we were concealed in am- bush. As soon as we saw the Spaniards pass on beyond us, and heard the report of a musket, which had been agreed upon as a signal, we knew it was time to sally forth; and calling aloud ^^ Senor Santiago" we fell rude- ly upon the enemy, and drove them towards the square, attacking them with lances, overthrowing and cutting off great numbers that fell into the hands of our allies, who joined in the pursuit. Thus, by means of this ambus- cade, more than fifteen hundred of the enemy were slain, all persons of distinguished rank and valor ; and that night our allies were well supplied for their sup- per, as they took the bodies of the slain and cut them up for food. Such was the consternation of the enemy on account of this unexpected rout, that they neither spoke nor shouted during the whole evening, nor dared to appear in any street or on any terrace that was not removed from danger. As it was almost night when we retreated, the enemy ordered certain slaves, as it afterwards appeared, to watch whether we actually retired or not ; and when some of them began to appear in one of the streets, ten or twelve horsemen attacked them, and pursued them so closely that not one escaped. The enemy were so much alarmed by this victory of ours that they never ven- tured again, during the whole war, to enter the square when we retired from it, although but a single horseman was left there ; nor did they dare to pursue an Indian or a footsoldier belonging to our force, from the apprehension of another ambush. The events of this day, and the victory God our Lord granted us, were the principal cause of the city being earlier gained, the inhabitants having been struck with dismay, and our friends reani-
Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/335
This page needs to be proofread.