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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/396

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374 LETTERS OF CORTES. ing I could bring them over by kind acts, and with the hope that seeing the good treatment of those who came in, they might be induced to follow their example ; but they had so much confidence in the security afforded by their lakes, on which they abode, that none of them would come. When I discovered that nothing was gained in this way, I began to seek a remedy ; besides the canoes that we had there from the beginning, we took others, and by means of them landed horses and men on the other side of the river during the night, without being ob- served by the enemy. I passed over myself, leaving the camp carefully guarded ; and as soon as we were dis- covered, a large body of the enemy came up and attacked us with greater vigor and boldness than I have ever wit- nessed since I have been in this country ; they killed two horses, and wounded more than ten others so badly that they were unable to go. By the aid of our Lord, how- ever, we succeeded in routing them, and pursued them about a league, when many of their number perished. With about thirty horse that remained to me, and a hundred foot, I still continued advancing, and at night lodged in a town three leagues from my camp, which was desert- ed by its inhabitants ; in the temple of this place several articles were found that belonged to the party of Fran- cisco de Garay, who were killed by the natives. The next day I advanced along the coast of a lake to find a passage to the other side, where we saw inhabi- tants and towns ; but we spent the whole day without discovering any end to the lake, or place where we could cross it. About the hour of vespers we came in sight of a handsome town, and proceeded towards it; it was situated on the shore of the lake, and when we arrived at the place, it was already evening, and no inhabitants were seen. But to insure our safety, I ordered ten horse-