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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/400

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378 LETTERS OF CORTES. massacred ; and we had found the faces of the Spaniards flayed in their temples, that is to say, their skins pre- served in such a manner that many of them could be recognized. Even when the Adelantado Francisco de Garay arrived in this country, as I shall hereafter relate to your Majesty, neither himself nor any who came with him would have escaped alive ; for being compelled by stress of weather to land thirty leagues below the river Panuco, where they lost some of their ships, and all were driven ashore in distress, they would have perished if the people on the coast had not been at peace with us, who took pains to convey them to a Spanish town. Thus it is of no slight advantage to have this land in the en- joyment of peace. In a preceding part of this despatch, most excellent Prince, I stated that when on my return from the reduc- tion of the province of Panuco, I had conquered the pro- vince of Tututepeque, which had rebelled, at the same time relating all that took place on that occasion ; when I received information respecting a province near the South Sea, called Impilcingo, of the same character as that of Tututepeque, rendered strong by sierras and the inequality of the ground, and inhabited by a people not less warlike, who had done much injury to the vassals of your imperial Majesty, their neighbors ; the latter had come to me with their complaints to solicit aid. Although my troops were somewhat wearied, and the distance from one sea to the other by that route was two hundred leagues, I immediately detached twenty-five horse and seventy or eighty foot, under the command of a captain, and ordered them to proceed to that province. In the instructions that he carried, I directed him to labor to draw them by gentle means to the service of your High-