350 LETTERS OF CORTES. I received letters from Pedro de Alvarado, in which he in- formed me that he had entered the province ; that three or four towns in it had attempted some resistance, but did not hold out, and he had gone to the town and, city of Tatutepeque, where he was well received, so far as ap- peared ; that the cacique had desired him to lodge in some of his large houses with thatched roofs, but the situation being inconvenient for the cavalry, they had sought another in a lower part of the city, which was more level ; that he had also m.ade this change for an- other cause, having received an intimation that they had planned to destroy him and his w^hole party by setting fire to the houses in which all the Spaniards were lodged, in the middle of the night, and burning them .to death. God having revealed this plot to him, he had dissembled his knowledge of it, and took with him to the lower situa- tion the cacique of the province and his son, whom he had detained, and still kept in his power as prisoners; that they had given him 25,000 castellanos, and he be- lieved, as informed by the vassals of the cacique, that he possessed much treasure ; that all the province was as tranquil as possible, and the markets and places of busi- ness were open as usual ; that the country was rich in gold mines, and in his presence they had taken out a spe- cimen, which he sent to me ; and that three days before he had been to the sea, and taken possession of it for your Majesty, from which in his presence they had obtained a specimen of pearls, which he also sent me, and which together with the gold I transmit to your Majesty. As God our Lord had prospered this expedition, and was about to filfil the desire I had of serving your Ma- jesty on this South Sea, a matter of deep importance, I made active arrangements for the construction of two
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