342 LETTERS OF CORTES. your Majesty may be assured that it will go on increas- ing to such a degree that, as it was formerly the capital and mistress of all these provinces, it will still be so hereafter. It is built so far, and will be completed, in such a manner as to render the Spaniards strong and secure, greatly superior to the natives, and wholly un- assailable by them. In the mean time, the cacique of the province of Teco- antepeque, situated towards the South Sea, which the two Spaniards explored, sent to me certain chiefs by whom he offered himself as a vassal of your Majesty, and at the same time sent presents of jewels and pieces of gold, and feathered ornaments, all which were de- livered to the treasu rer of your Majesty. I thanked the messengers for what they had declared on the part of their lord, and gave them a number of things, which they took and returned much pleased to their own coun- try. There also arrived at this time the two Spaniards who had gone to the province of Mechuacan, through which, as the messengers sent by the cacique had reported, one route lay to the South Sea, except that it also led across the territory of another cacique who was his enemy. With these Spaniards came a brother of the cacique of Mechuacan, and several other nobles, attended by a reti- nue of more than a thousand servants, whom I received with many marks of regard. They brought me for your Majesty on the part of the cacique of the province called Calcucin, a present of silver shields, that weighed many marks,* and numerous other articles, which were deliv- ered to the treasurer of your Majesty. In order that they might see our mode of manoeuvring, and report it ♦ A mark weighs eight ounces — hence called apiece of eight.
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