48 LETTERS OF CORTES. parted with it; and if he commanded him he would give me the gold, his own person, and whatever else he pos- sessed. In order not to compromise myself nor throw obstacles in the way of my designs or my journey, I dis- sembled as well as I could, and remarked to him that he would soon receive orders from Muteczuma to give me the gold, and whatever else he had. There came to meet me here two other Caciques, whose lands were in the same valley, the one four leagues below, and the other two leagues above. They gave me several chains of gold of small weight and value, and seven or eight slaves. Leaving them very well satisfied, I set off, after having remained there four or five days, and arrived at the residence of the Cacique mentioned as being two leagues distant in the upper part of the valley ; it is called Yztecmastitan.* The domains of this man are covered with inhabitants for three or four leagues without interruption, and are situated along the level ground of the valley on the banks of a small river that flows through it. His residence stands on a lofty eminence, protected by a larger fortress than is found in half of Spain, which is well defended by walls, barba- cans and moats ; on the summit of this high ground there is a population of five or six thousand, dwelling in good houses, and a somewhat richer people than those who in- habit the valley below. Here, likewise, I was well re- ceived, and the Cacique told me that he was a vassal of Muteczuma. I remained here three days, as well to re- cruit from the effects of our journey through the desert country, as to wait for four messengers, natives of Cem- poal, that had accompanied me, whom I had sent from Caltanmi to a very extensive province called Tascalteca,t
- Now called YxtacamaxtUlan. — L. t Now Tlascala.