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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/350

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328 LETTERS OF CORTES. in a canoe with some of his nobles, without knowing what course to take. We thus made our arrangements for en- tering the city on the following morning. As soon as it was day, I caused our whole force to be in readiness, and the heavy guns to be brought out ; and the day before I had ordered Pedro ,de Alvarado to wait for me in the square of the market-place, and not to at- tack the enemy until i arrived. Being all assembled, ,and the brigantines drawn up ready for action on the fight of the houses situated on the water, where the .enemy were stationed, I directed that when they heard the discharge of a musket the land force should enter the small part of the city that remained to be taken and drive the enemy towards the water where the brigan- tines lay ; and I enjoined much upon them to look for Guautimuein, and endeavor to take him alive, as in that case the war would cease. I then ascended a terrace, and before the combat began addressed some of the nobles whom I knew, asking them " for what reason their lord refused to come to me, when they were reduced to such extremities?" adding, "that there was no good cause why they should all perish, and that they should go and call him, and have no fears." Two of the prin- cipal nobles then went to call their lord. Alter a short time there returned with them one of the most considerable of all these personages, named Ciguacoacin, a captain and governor over them all, by whose counsels the whole affairs of the war were conducted ; and I received him with great kindness, that he might feel perfectly secure and free from apprehensions. At last he said, " that the cacique would by no means come into my presence, pre- ferring rather to die ; and that his determination grieved him much, but that I must do whatever I desired ;" and