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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/383

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CONQUEST OP MEXICO. 361 but that I had ever esteemed them as friends and vassals of your Highness, in which relation they would find me disposed to do every thing for them in my power; and finally, that in order to favor and protect them under any circumstances of necessity whatever in which they might be placed, I had sent these people to form a colony in their province. The alguazil mayor with the force under his command proceeded and acted according to my or- ders, but did not meet with that favorable disposition on the part of the inhabitants which they had before shown; on the contrary, they were found in a warlike attitude, ready to dispute the entrance of our people into their ter- ritory. He managed, however, to surprise a village by an attack in the night, where he took prisoner a woman of superior rank, whom all in that region obeyed ; through whose means peace was made, for she called in the no- bles and ordered them to execute whatever commands I should issue in your Majesty's name, as she herself in- tended to do. Thus they reached the river in question, [the Guasacualco,] and at a place four leagues from where it discharges into the sea, (no suitable site being found within a less distance,) a settlement was commenced and a town founded, to which was given the name of Espiritu Santo ; and there the alguazil mayor sojourned for some days, until peace was made with many other neighboring provinces, and their allegiance secured to your Catho- lic Majesty. Of this number were Tabasco, on the river Victoria, or Grijalva, as sometimes called ; Chimaclan, Quechula, Quizaltepeque, and others that I omit to men- tion from their small extent ; and the natives of these provinces placed themselves under the protection of the inhabitants of the new town, whom they have continued to serve until now ; except that some of them, I speak of