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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/345

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CONQUEST OP MEXICO. 323 who was a prisoner, having been taken two or three days before by an uncle of Don Fernando, lord of Tezcuco, while fighting in the city, and severely wounded ; and I asked him if he wished to return to the city ? he an- swered, yes ; and when the next day we entered it, I sent him. with some Spaniards who would deliver him to the inhabitants. With this person of rank I conferred much, in order that he might address the cacique and other important personages on the subject of peace ; and he promised me that he would do every thing in his power. He was received by the inhabitants with great respect as a person of high standing ; but when he was taken before Guautimucin, his lord, and began to address him on the subject of peace, he immediately ordered him to be slain and sacrificed. The answer we were ex- pecting was given by them in loud cries, vociferating that " death was all they wished ;" when they began to assail us with a shower of darts, arrows and stones, and to fight furiously, so much so that they killed one of our horses with a dalle that a man carried, made of one of our swords ; but in the end it cost them dear, for many of them fell. After this we returned to our camp. The next day we returned to the city ; but the enemy were so much reduced that great numbers of our allies had ventured to pass the night there. When arrived in sight of the enemy, we no longer sought to contend with them, but went dehberately through the city ; for we expected every hour and every moment that they would come to us with offers of peace. In order to lead them to this step, I rode to an entrenchment of theirs, which was very strong, and called to certain chiefs who were behind it, whom I knew, and said — " Since they saw themselves in a desperate situation, and knew that if I