Open main menu

Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/408

This page needs to be proofread.


386 LETTERS OF CORTES. tains, Pedro de Alvarado and Gonzalo Dovalle, were encamped, with an order to take up the deposit, and re- store the arms and horses to each one, informing them that it was my intention to assist and befriend them in every way their necessities might require, without giving any uneasiness, or disturbing the country by our dissen- sions. At the same time the alcalde mayor sent another order to Alvarado, bidding him grant them every indul- gence, and not to interfere in any way with their affairs or cause them any trouble ; with which he accordingly complied. At this time, most powerful Sire, the ships of the Ade- lantado lay at the mouth of the river Panuco, near the sea, in an offensive attitude towards the inhabitants of the town of Santistevan, which I had built there ; but it was three leagues up the river to the place where the ships that arrived at the port were accustomed to anchor. On this account Pedro de Vallejo, my lieutenant in the town, in order to guard against any danger from the ships, required their captains and masters to ascend to the har- bor, and anchor there in a peaceable manner without dis- turbing the country ; at the same time directing that if they had any orders from your Majesty to enter or settle the country, or of any other purport, they should exhibit ■ them, and promising to obey them when exhibited in re- lation to whatever your Majesty should command. To this requisition those officers gave a formal answer, the conclusion of which was that they refused to do what was required by the lieutenant. The latter therefore is- sued a second order of a similar character, directed to the same officers, to which a penalty was added ; to this they replied as before. Thus they remained with their ships for more than two months at the mouth of the river, /