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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/365

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 343 to their cacique, I caused all the cavalry to parade on the square, and run and skirmish before themĀ ; the in- fantry also marched out in order, and the musketeers discharged their piecesĀ ; at the same time, the artillery jBred at a tower, and the natives were astonished to see the effect produced, as well as by the running of the horses. I then took them to survey the desolate ruins of the city of Temixtitan, and they were surprised on be- holding the strength with which it had been built, with its fortresses, situated as it was in the midst of the water. After four or five days, when I had given them many things for their cacique, such as were most prized by them, and also for themselves, they departed much pleased with their visit. I have already given your Majesty an account of the river Panuco, fifty or sixty leagues distant from Vera Cruz along the coast, to which the ships of Francisco de Garay had made several visits, when they met with a rude reception from the natives, on account of the bad management of the captains in trading with them. Sub- sequently, when I saw that there was a deficiency of harbors along the whole coast of the North Sea, and no one equal to that afforded by the river in question, and recollecting that some of the natives had formerly come to offer themselves as your Majesty's vassals, who now were making war on our allies, I determined to send there a captain with a small force to reduce all that pro- vince, and if the country was suitable for a colony, to establish one on the river, in order to secure the tranquil- lity of all that region.* Although we were few in num- ber, our force being scattered in three or four different directions, and on this account I met with opposition to,

  • Tampico is now situated at the mouth of the river Panuco.