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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/63

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 41 .on the outside.* They also confessed that others had been desirous of sending information to Diego Velazquez. Upon their confessions, I punished the delinquents as jus- tice, the necessity of the case, and the service of your Highness required. But besides those who from having been the servants and friends of Velazquez wished to leave the country, there were others that entered into the same views, on beholding the great number and power of the people of the country, while the Spaniards were so few and inconsiderable. Believing, therefore, that if I left the ships there they would mutiny, and all be induced to depart, leaving me almost alone, and by this means the great service rendered to God and your Majes- ty be made of no availĀ ; I determined, under the pretext that the ships were not seaworthy, to cause them to be stranded on the coastĀ ; thus taking away all hope of leav- ing the country, I pursued my route with greater feelings of security, having no fears that after our backs were turned the people I had left at Vera Cruz would desert me. Eight or ten days after the ships were stranded, hav- ing gone from Vera Cruz towards the city of Cempoal, which is four leagues distant, in order to proceed from thence on my route, I received intelligence from the former place that four ships had arrived on the coast, and that the captain I had left in command there had gone out to them in a boat, when he was told they belonged to Francisco de Garay, Lieutenant and Governor of the island of Jamaica, and had come on a voyage of dis- covery. The captain informed them that I had founded a colony in the country, in the name of your Highness,

  • That is, to the north of Cuba, through the Bahama Channel.