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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/387

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 365 commonalty and appointing new alcaldes, and against the wishes of the captain whom Pedro de Alvarado had left in his place, they abandoned the town, and went in- to the province of Guaxaca, thus occasioning much un- easiness and disturbance in that quarter. As soon as I was informed of this movement by the captain left there, I despatched Diego de Ocampo, the alcalde mayor, to obtain a knowledge of what had taken place, and punish the guilty. When they heard of this, the persons in question withdrew, and were absent several days, until I apprehended them ; so that the alcalde mayor was unable to arrest more than one of the rebels, whom he sentenced to death, but the man appealed to me. When the others were taken, I delivered them to the alcalde mayor, who proceeded against them and sentenced them as he had done the other to death ; they also appealed to me. When they had been tried a second time before me, and with the same result, I determined, although the offence was a serious one, yet on account of the time that had elapsed since they were arrested, to commute the punishment of death to which they had been sen- tenced to a civil death, that is, to banish them from these parts and forbid their return, without the license of your Majesty, under the penalty of incurring their original sentence. In the mean time, the lord of the province of Tututepeque died ; and that province and the others adjacent rebelled ; whereupon I sent Pedro de Alvarado with a force, accompanied by a son of the deceased lord, whom I had in my power ; and although some rencoun- ters had taken' place, in which several Spaniards lost their lives, the provinces returned to your Majesty's ser- vice, and now remain tranquil, obedient to the Spaniards, although for want of people, the town is not resettled 47