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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/398

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376 LETTERS OF CORTES. taining a goodly number of jars of that beverage.* During that day we fell in with none of the inhabitants, and slept in the country, where we found some fields of maize, with which our men and horses were somewhat refresh- ed ; and in this manner I proceeded for two or three days, seeing no one although we passed several towns, until overcome by the want of food, (having had during all this time but fifty pounds of bread amongst us all,) we returned to the camp, where I found our people in good condition, not having encountered the enemy during our absence. It occurred immediately to me that all the inhabi- tants of this quarter had gone to that part of the lake which I had been unable to cross ; I therefore at night embarked some men and horses in canoes to go in that direction, while the bowmen and musketeers went up the lake, and the rest of the people proceeded by land. In this manner the combined force attacked a large town, in which many of the enemy were surprised and slain ; in conse- quence of which, finding there was no safety for them although surrounded by water, being still liable to unex- pected assaults, they began to sue for peace ; and thus in about twenty days the whole country was subdued, and the inhabitants submitted themselves as vassals of your Majesty. As soon as peace had been thus established, I commis- sioned several persons to visit every part of this region, and to bring me a report of the towns and inhabitants j when this was done, I sought for the best location that I could find, where I planted a town, with the name of Santistevan del' Puerto. In addition to those who desi- red to remain there to inhabit the new town, I transferred

  • Probably the same kind of liquor still made in that quarter from the sugar-cane.