CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 326 but that he had deputed others, who would perform what- ever I should command. We were gratified by the ap- pearance of these nobles, although the cacique himself did not appear ; for the road seemed now open to a speedy conclusion of diflSculties in this whole affair. I received them with a cheerful countenance, and immediately or- dered them to be served with something to eat and drink, when they exhibited proofs of the want and privation they had endured. After they had finished their repast, I bade them tell their sovereign that there was no occasion for his fears, and that I would promise before he came into my presence to do him bo injury, nor detain him ; but that without him nothing could be effected with perfect agreement and good understanding. I directed provi- sions to be given them to take to their lord ; and they pro- mised to do every thing in their power to promote the ob^ ject in view ; and so they departed. In two hours they returned, bringing me some fine mantles o'f cotton, such as they wore, and informed me that Guautimucin, their lord, would by no means come, nor did he desire to do so, but wished to be excused from conferring on^ the subject in question. I then repeated to them, that I knew no cause why he should fear to come before me, when he saw that I treated well the persons who to my knowledge had been the chief promoters of the war, whom I suflTered to go and come in safety without receiving the slightest harm ; and I begged them to return and urge him much to make his appearance,^ as it would be for his interest, and I would render it of great advantage to him. They consented to do so,- and promised to re- turn the next day with his answer. So they went away, and we returned.to our camp. Early the next morning some nobles visited our camp, 42
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