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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/409

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 387 giving rise to difficulties amongst the Spaniards who re- sided there, as well as the natives. At length one Cas- tromocho, master of one of the ships, and Martin de San Juan Guipuscuano, master of another, sent privately their messengers to the lieutenant, informing him that they de- sired peace and would obey the commands of the ma- gistrate ; they wished therefore the lieutenant to come on board of the two ships, where they would receive him and comply with his orders ; adding that they would find means to induce the other ships to adopt the same course. The lieutenant therefore resolved to go with only five men to those ships ; and when he reached them, he was received by the masters ; from thence he sent to the cap- tain Juan de Grijalva, the commander of the whole arma- ment, who was on board of the flag-ship, requiring him to yield obedience to the orders of which the lieutenant had before given him notice. He not only refused, but directed the other ships to join his own, and when they had all collected around the flag-ship, except the two abovementioned, he ordered the captains to fire their guns upon two ships until they sunk them. As the order was publicly given, in the hearing of all, the lieutenant commanded the guns of the two ships to be got ready in their defence, which was accordingly done. At this mo- ment the officers of the ships around the flag-ship refused to obey the orders of Juan de Grijalva, and in the mean time Grijalva sent a notary named Vicente Lopez to the lieutenant ; after he had delivered his message, the lieu- tenant answered, justifying the course he had taken, and declaring that he had come with pacific intentions, in order to prevent difiiculties that would ensue from the ships lying outside of the harbor in which it was cus- tomary for vessels to anchor, being like pirates in a sus-