268 LETTERS OP CORTES. ings, who uttered such dreadful howls and outcries that it seemed as if the world would come to an end. We fought them on the causeway, and gained possession of a bridge which they had abandoned and an entrenchment they had made at its entrance. With the aid of our guns and the cavalry, we made such an impression on them, that we drove them for refuge almost into the nearest houses of the city. As on the other side of the causeway, to which the brigantines could not pass, many canoes came up, and annoyed us much with the arrows and darts that they discharged along the causeway, I caused an opening to be made in it near our camp, and four brigan- tines to pass through, which, as they passed, dispersed all the canoes, which fled to the settled part of the city ; so that they were unable to sally forth into any part of the lake. On the other side of the causeway, the eight brig- antines contended with the canoes, and drove them in amongst the houses of the city, pursuing them into the same quarter, where we had not ventured before on ac- count of the many shallow places and stakes that inter- rupted our progress. When we discovered the canals by which a secure entrance was afforded -to the city, we en- gaged with the canoes in the suburbs, and took some of them, and burned many houses in that quarter of the city. All this day we spent in combating with the enemy, as I have related. The following day the alguazil mayor with the people whom he had at Iztapalaj^a, both Spaniards and allies, departed for Cuyoacan, from which place a causeway extends to the main land, a distance of about a league and a half. At the commencement of his march, the alguazil mayor arrived at a small city [Mexicaltzingo] about a quarter of a league from Iztapalapa, which was
Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/290
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