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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/423

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 401 artillery, (of which they took a great deal of the best kind,) and for the settlement of a colony. They were then to despatch at once three of the larger ships to the port of Trinidad in the island of Cuba, as most con- veniently situated on their route, and where an agent was to be left to get ready a cargo of such things as they required, for which the captain should send. The smaller ships and the brigantine with the principal pilot and a cousin of mine named Diego Hurtado, for captain, were to run along the coast of the Bay of Ascension in quest of the strait that was believed to be there, and to remain until they had explored every part of it ; and in case they discovered the strait, they should return to the place where captain Cristobal Dolid was, and from thence despatch one of the ships to me with an account of the discovery, and all the information Cristobal Dolid might have acquired concerning the country, and also the occurrences of the expedition ; in order that I might be able to forward a full report thereof to your Catholic Majesty. I also stated that I had prepared to send a party under the command of Pedro de Alvarado to the cities of Ucla- clan [Utlatlan] and Guatemala, of which I have made mention above, and to some other provinces concerning which I had received information, that were situated farther up the coast than the former ; this proposed ex- pedition was also suspended by the arrival of the Ade- lantado Francisco de Garay. But as I had already been at much expense, both in horses, arms, artillery and mu- nitions, and in advancing their pay to the men ; and as I believed that the service of God our Lord and your sa- cred Majesty would be promoted by it, since from the information I had received I had reason to think we