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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/413

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 391 comply for sixteen or seventeen reasons that they as- signed. One of these was, that some of those who ac- companied him had died of hunger ; with others of no great weight, which they addressed to him personally. He likewise stated that all the diligence used in detain- ing his men proved of no avail ; that those who were with him at night disappeared in the morning, and those one day delivered up as prisoners, regained their liberty the next day ; and that two hundred men had deserted in one night. Finally, he begged in the most piteous terms that the alcalde mayor would not set out until he had arrived, for he wished to accompany him for the pur- pose of meeting me at this city ; and that if he left him behind, he thought he should hang himself from vexa- tion. The alcalde mayor on seeing his letter resolved to wait for him ; he arrived in two days, as he had written ; w^hen a messenger was despatched to me, by whom the alcalde mayor apprised me of the Adelantado's coming to see me in this city, and said that they would travel slowly until they reached the town of Cicoaque, within the limits of these provinces, where he would await my answer. The Adelantado also wrote me, describing the miserable condition of his ships, and the bad con- duct of his men, and declared his belief that I had it in my power to remedy his difficulties by providing him with men and other things of which he was in want, but that he knew he could not expect assistance from any other quarter ; he had therefore determined to come to me in person. At the same time he offered me his oldest son together with all that he possessed, and hoped that he should be able to make him my son-in-law, by marrying him to my little daughter. In the mean time