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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/67

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 45 from Spain, with which he was greatly pleased, so much so, that when he saw other ships of the abovementioned Francisco de Garay, (of whom I shall hereafter give your Majesty some account,) the said Lord of Panuco sent to inform me that those ships were in another river, five or six days journey from thence ; at the same time he gave them to Understand that if the persons in the ships were countrymen of mine, he would give them whatever they wanted ; and accordingly carried them some women, together with chickens and other articles of food. I was three days, most powerful Sire, in passing through the country and dominion of Cempoal, where I was well received and hospitably entertained by all the inhabitants. On the fourth day I entered a province called Sienchima- len, in which there is a very strong town, occupying a com- manding situation on one side of a rocky sierra, accessi- ble only by a single passage, which it is impossible to penetrate except on foot, and even then with great diffi- culty if the natives should wish to defend the pass. In the open country there are many villages and hamlets, consisting of two, three, or five hundred families, which contain altogether five or six thousand warriors ; and these are under the authority of Muteczuma. They received me here very favorably, and supplied in the most liberal manner the necessary provision for my route. At the same time they informed me that they knew I was going to see Muteczuma their sovereign, and added that he was certainly my friend, having sent them instructions to give me a good reception, as in so doing they would promote his service. I made a suitable acknowledgment of their civility, saying that your INlajesty had possessed some knowledge of Muteczuma, and had ordered me to visit 7