286 LETTERS OF CORTES. carried, in three or four clifFerent places ; and I sum- moned to my aid all the people of the cities on the water in their canoes ; on the morning of that day I had in my camp more than one hundred thousand men of our allies. I ordered the four brigantines with half of the canoes, about fifteen hundred in number, to go to one quarter ; and the three others with the same number of canoes to go to another quarter ; and that they should direct their course so as to surround the city, set fire to it, and do all the mischief in their power. I made my entry by the principal street, which I found free from impediments as far as the great houses on the square ; none of the bridges were raised, and I passed into the street that leads to Tacuba, on which were six or seven bridges. From thence I caused a captain to enter by another street with sixty or seventy men, followed by six horse- men for security ; and with them went more than ten or twelve thousand Indians of our allies. I ordered ano- ther captain to do the same on another street ; and I with the people that were left followed on the street of Tacuba, and took three bridges, which were filled up. The other bridges I left for another time, because it was evening, and they could be better taken on a future oc- casion. I was very desirous of securing this noble street, in order that the force in the camp of Pedro de Alvarado might communicate with ours, and pass from one to the other ; and also that the brigantines should have a similar communication. On that day I was quite victorious both by land and water, and obtained consi- derable spoil from the city. The alguazil mayor and Pedro de Alvarado were also successful with their divi- sions. The following day I returned to the city in the same
Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/308
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