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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/427

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 405 the command of Rodrigo Rarigel, alcalde of this city, who went on a similar expedition against the same peo- ple a year, ago, but on account of its being the rainy season was unable to effect any thing, and returned after an absence of two months. This captain set out with his party on the fifth of February of the present year, [1524] ; and I trust that by the favor of God, having a good force, and going at a favorable season, accompanied by a large number of native warriors, skilled in arms, both of this city and its vicinity, success will attend him ; from which no little service will re- dound to the imperial crown of your Highness, as the people in question not only refuse allegiance, but annoy those who are well disposed towards us. The country is also very rich in mines of gold ; and the neighboring people say that when they are reduced they will go and take their gold from them, on account of their having been so rebellious ; although often required to yield obe- dience, and having on one occasion even offered them- selves as vassals of your Highness, they had yet killed several Spaniards, and committed so much mischief, that they deserved to be made slaves. I therefore ordered that those who were taken alive should be marked with the brand of your Highness, and after set- ting apart the number appertaining to your Majesty, the rest should be distributed amongst their conquerors. Your royal Excellency may consider it certain that the smallest of these expeditions which have just been fitted out has cost me more than 5000 pesos of gold ; and that the two under Pedro de Alvarado and Cristobal Dolid have cost me more than 50,000 pesos in money, without reckoning other charges on my estates, which are not carried to the account. But should all this tend to ad- 52