Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/181

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 159 that they would also destroy the remaining causeway, as they had done the others, and when that was effected death would be our inevitable fate ; and moreover, hav- ing been often entreated by all my companions to abandon the place, the greater part of whom were so badly wounded as to be disabled from fighting, I determined to quit the city that night. I took all the gold and jew- els belonging to your Majesty that could be removed, and placed them in one apartment, where I delivered it in parcels to the officers of your Highness, whom I had designated for this purpose in the royal name ; and I begged and desired the alcaldes, regidores, and all the people, to aid me in removing and preserving this trea- sure ; I gave up my mare to carry as much as she could bear j and I selected certain Spaniards, as well my own servants as others, to accompany the gold and the mare, and the rest the magistrates above mentioned and my- self distributed amongst the Spaniards, to be borne by them. Abandoning the garrison, together with much wealth belonging to your Highness, the Spaniards and myself, I went forth as secretly as possible, taking with me a son and two daughters of Muteczuma and Caca- macin, cacique of Aculuacan, with his brother, whom I had appointed in his place, and several other governors of provinces and cities that I had taken prisoners. Arriving at the bridges, (now broken up,) which the Indians had left, the bridge that I carried was thrown over where the first of them had been, without much difl&culty, as there was none to offer resistance, except some watchmen who were stationed there, and who ut- tered so loud cries that before we had arrived at the second an immense multitude of the enemy assailed us, fighting in every direction, both by land and water.