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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/71

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 49 which they informed me was near this place, as it proved to be. I had also been informed by them that the natives of this province were their allies, but deadly enemies of Mutecziima ; and they desired me to form an alliance with them, because they were a numerous and powerful nation. Their country, they also added, bordered upon that of Muteczuma throughout its whole extent, with whom they were constantly at war ; and it was thought they would be pleased with me, and take my part in case Muteczuma should endeavor to get the advantage of me. The messengers did not return during the eight days that I remained in the valley, and I asked some other Cempoallans who accompanied me why they did not return ? They answered that the place must be very far off, and that they could not get back yet on account of the distance. Seeing that they did not arrive, and being assured b}'- several leading Cempoallans of the friendship and protection of the people of that province, I resolved to set out on my way thither. On leaving the valley, I met with a large wall of dry stone about nine feet in height, which extended across the valley from one mountain to the other ; it was twenty feet in thickness and surmounted throughout its whole extent by a breastwork a foot and a half thick, to enable them to fight from the top of the wall. There was but one entrance, about ten paces wide, where one portion of the waU was encircled by the other, in the manner of