402 LETTERS OF CORTES. should discover lands of extraordinary richness and ex- lent, inhabited by many different people ; I therefore re- solved to adhere to my original purpose, and besides availing myself of the provision before made for the ex- pedition, I re-appointed Pedro de Alvarado to command it ; whom I accordingly despatched fram this city on the sixth of December, 1523. He took with him one hundred and twenty cavaliers, making with the led horses one hundred and sixty horses in all ; and three hundred foot, including one hundred and thirty bowmen and mus- keteers ; together with four pieces of artillery and a large quantity of powder and other munitions of war. He was accompanied by several of the principal natives, both of this city and other neighboring cities, who were followed by their people, but not in great numbers, on account of the extensive route of the expedition. I received news of them when they had reached the province of Tecuantepeque, in good condition, on the twelfth of January ; may it please our Lord to guide them all in the w^ay to promote his service ; for I believe fully, that being devoted to his service, and acting in the name of your imperial Majesty, they cannot fail to have good success. I also charged Pedro de Alvarado to take especial care to draw up a full and particular account of whatever should occur, that I might transmit it to your Highness. I consider it certain, according to the infor- mation I have concerning the country and its configuration, that Pedro de Alvarado and Cristobal Dolid will meet, unless the strait divides them. Many journeys would have been made to that country, and I should have ac- quired much knowledge of it, had not the disturbances occasioned by the arrival of armadas prevented. I assure your sacred Majesty that, owing to this cause, great in-
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