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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/373

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 351 caravels of moderate capacity, and two brigantines, at one of the three points where I had discovered the sea ; the caravels for voyages of discovery, and the brigantines for coasting. For this purpose I despatched thither under the charge of a discreet person full forty Spaniards, amongst whom were master-workmen, ship-carpenters, sawyers, smiths, and seamen ; and I had procured from the town [Vera Cruz] a supply of nails, sails, and other necessary articles for the vessels ; I also directed the greatest possible haste to be made in finishing and launch- ing them. When this is accomplished, your Majesty may be assured it will be the greatest achievement, and the one that will redound more to the service of your Majesty than any thing since the discovery of the Indies. While in the city of Tesaico before going to besiege the city of Temixtitan, and in the midst of our prepara- tions for that enterprise, without attending to the move- ments of individuals, there came to me one of a band of conspirators with the disclosure, that certain friends of Diego Velazquez amongst my followers had plotted to take my life, and that they had chosen from their number a captain, alcalde mayor, alguazil, and other officials. I saw at once the necessity of taking measures to arrest this movement, for besides the mischief that would fol- low from my death, not a Spaniard would escape when we should be seen at variance with one another ; for we should find not only the enemy acting against us, but even those who had been our alhes laboring for our de- struction. When I perceived the enormity of these treasonable designs, I gave thanks to our Lord, for to that our safety is to be attributed. I immediately caused one who was the principal aggressor to be apprehended, who voluntarily confessed that he had planned in con«'