322 LETTERS OF CORTES. they addressed our people and said, that as we had not yet put an end to them they wished me to be called in great haste, for they desired to confer with me. As all the Spaniards desired this war to be brought to a con- clusion, and deplored the unhappy effects attending it, they were much pleased with this announcement, think- ing that the Indians sought peace ; and they came to call and importune me to go to a certain entrenchment, where were some of the leaders of the enemy who wished to confer with me. Although I was aware that my going would have little effect, I was determined to go as desired, being at the same time sensible that the refusal to surrender rested solely with the cacique and three or four nobles of the city, for the rest of the people, living or dead, had already desired a deliverance. When arrived at the entrenchment, they said to me : " That since they regarded me as the offspring of the sun, and the sun in so short a space of time as one day and one night revolved around the whole world, I ought there- fore to despatch them out of life in as brief a space as possible, and thus deliver them from their troubles ; for they desired to die and go to Heaven to their Orchilobus, who was waiting to receive them into a state of peaceful repose." This is the idol for which they entertain the highest veneration. I answered in terms designed to in- duce them to surrender, but without effect, although they saw in us more indications and signs of peace than were ever shown to a conquered people before, we with the aid of our Lord being conquerors. The enemy being reduced to the last extremity, as may be inferred from what is above related, in order to shake their resolution, as they seemed bent on death, I conferred with a personage of high rank amongst them
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