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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/337

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 315 attacked an immense multitude of the enemy. But they consisted of a miserable class of people, who had gone out to seek for food, most of them unarmed, and women and children, of whom more than eight hundred were either killed or made prisoners in our route through that quarter of the city. The brigantines also took many prisoners, as well as canoes that were engaged in fish- ing, and committed great ravages upon the enemy. When the captains and principal persons of the city saw us making our usual progress through it, they had been so much struck with terror by the former ambush, that none dared to attack us ; and so we returned to the camp with much spoil and food for our allies. The next morning we returned to the city ; and as our allies had seen the order and regularity with which we proceeded in destroying it, the multitude that accompa- nied us was innumerable. This day we at length ob- tained possession of the whole street of Tacuba, and re- paired all the breaches in it, so that the division of Pedro de Alvarado could communicate with us by the city ; and two other bridges were gained by the princij)al street leading to the market place. The water was filled up, and the palace of the cacique of the city burnt. He was a young man of eighteen years of age, named Guatimucin, who was the second since the death of Muteczuma. In these buildings the Indians had fortified themselves, as they were large, strong, and surrounded by water. We also gained two other bridges on other streets, that were adjacent to that leading to the market place, and filled up many ditches, so that three of the four quarters of the city were now in our possession, and the Indians could only retreat to the strongest, which comprised the houses most enclosed by water.