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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/75

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 63 in the midst of more than /one hundred thousand war- ] riors, who surrounded us on all sides; the battle lasted' the whole day until an hour before sunset, when they drew off. In this contest, with six pieces of ordnance, five or six handguns, forty archers and thirteen horse* that remained with me, I did them much injury, without suffering from them any other inconvenience than the labor and fatigue of fighting and hunger. And it truly seemed that God fought on our side, since with such a multitude of the enemy opposed to us, who discovered so great courage and skill in the use of arms, of which they had many kinds, we nevertheless came off unhurt. The same night I took up my quarters in a tower of idols that stood on a hill ; and before daylight I lelt in the camp two hundred men and all the artillery ; and in order to attack the enemy, I sallied forth with the horse and a hundred foot, together with four hundred Indians who had accompanied me from Cempoal, and three hun- dred from Yztacmestilan. Before they had time to col- lect their forces I destroyed five or six small villages of a hundred houses each, and took four hundred prisoners, including men and women. I then returned to the camp, fighting my way, but without suffering any loss. After- wards, at daylight, more than bne hundred and forty-/ nine thousand men, who covered the land, made an at- tack in so determined a manner upon our camp, that some of them forced an entrance and engaged the Span- iards at the point of the sword ; when it pleased our Lord to afford us his aid to such a degree, that in four hours they no longer annoyed us in our camp, although they still continued their attacks. And thus we were engaged in fighting until evening, when the enemy at length drew off. 8