352 LETTERS OF CORTES. cert with a number of persons, whom he mentioned in his confession, to seize and kill me, and assume the go- vernment of the country for Diego Velazquez ; that it was actually proposed to appoint a captain and an alcalde mayor, and that he himself was to have been alguazil mayor and to seize me and put me to death ; that many persons were implicated in the plot, whose names were contained in a list found in his quarters, though torn in pieces ; and that not only at Tesaico, but also during the war in the province of Tepeaca, these treasonable designs had been agitated and planned. When I heard the confession of this man, whose name was Antonio de Villafaiia, a native of Zamora, as his guilt was proved by his own confession, an alcalde and myself condemned him to suffer death, which sen- tence was accordingly carried into effect. Although we found others were implicated in this affair, I dissembled with them, treating them as friends ; and as I was per- sonally concerned, although your Majesty's interests were more properly involved, I did not wish to proceed rigorously against them. This lenity, however, did not prove of much advantage ; since from that time to this, the partizans of Diego Velazquez have laid many snares for me, and secretly committed many scandalous out- rages, so that I was obliged to be more on my guard against them than even our enemies. But God our Lord has ever guided us to such a course, that without resort- ing to punishment we have been able to maintain peace and tranquillity ; and should I hereafter perceive any other demonstrations of a similar kind, I shall visit it with a punishment conformable to justice. After the fall of the city of Temixtitan, since my resi- dence at Cuyoacan, Don Fernando, cacique of Tesaico,
Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/374
This page needs to be proofread.