414 LETTERS OP CORTES. mention to your Majesty of a mountain in this province, from which much smoke issues ; out of it sulphur has been taken by a Spaniard, who descended seventy or eighty fathoms by means of a rope attached to his body below his arms ;* from which source we have so far been enabled to obtain sufficient supplies, although as it is at- tended with danger, it is hoped that it will not be neces- sary for us to resort to this means of procuring it. I have constantly written to Spain for supplies, and your Ma- jesty has been pleased that there should be no bishop to prevent our receiving them. After having settled the town of Santistevan on the river Panuco, completed the conquest of the province of Tututepeque, and despatched a captain to Impilcingo and Coliman, as I have mentioned in a preceding section of this despatch, I proceeded, before returning to this city, to the towns of Vera Cruz and Medellin, in order to visit them, and make such arrangements in regard to those ports as circumstances seemed to require. When I found that, on account of there being no Spanish set- tlement nearer the port of San Juan de Chalchiqueca than the town of Vera Cruz, ships went to the latter place to discharge their cargoes, and that many of them were lost in consequence of the insecurity of the harbor, which was exposed to the violence of the northers that prevail on that coast, I went to the port of San Juan to seek a suitable site for a town. Although at the time of my first arrival there diligent search was made, in which
- This Sjjaniard was Francisco Montano, as appears from a patent of Charles
V. which I have seen, and in which the fact is stated. Indeed, it is now settled beyond dispute, that Diego Ordas was the first to explore around the volcano, and that afterwards Montaiios and others returned and extracted sulphur from it for making powder, which no one has since succeeded in doing. L. — See also Humboldt. Nouv. Esp. 673, 4to.