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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/352

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330 LETTERS OF CORTES. cautions were insufficient to prevent it, and that day more than fifteen thousand lost their lives. At the same time the better classes and the warriors of the city were pent up within narrow limits, confined to a few terraces and houses, or sought refuge on the water, but no con- cealment prevented our seeing their miserable condition and weakness with sufficient clearness. As the evening approached, and no signs of their surrender appeared, I ordered the two pieces of ordnance to be levelled to- wards the enemy to try their effect in causing them to yield : but they suffered greater injury when full license was given to the allies to attack them than from the can- non, although the latter did them some mischief. As this was of little avail, I ordered the musketry to be fired ; when a certain angular space where they were crowded together was gained, and some of the people thrown into the water ; those that remained there yielded themselves prisoners without a struggle. In the mean time, the bri- gantines suddenly entered that part of the lake, and broke through the midst of the fleet of canoes, the war- riors who were in them not daring to make any resistance. It pleased God, that the captain of a brigantine, named Garci Holguin came up behind a canoe in which there seemed to be persons of distinction ; and when the archers who were stationed in the bow of the brigantine took aim at those in the canoe, they made a signal that the cacique was there, that the men might not discharge their arrows ; instantly our people leaped into the canoe, and seized in it Guautimucin, and the lord of Tacuba, together with other distinguished persons that accompa- nied the cacique. Immediately after this occurrence, Garci Holguin, the captain, delivered to me on a terrace adjoining the lake, where I was standing, the cacique of