Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/339

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CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 317 two large ditches, that had been excavated in the sohd earth of the same street ; we then went to a small tower of idols, in which we found several heads of Christians, being those of our men whom they had killed ; a spec- tacle that excited in us the deepest sorrow. From this tower, the street led directly to the causeway of Sando- val's camp ; and on the left hand, another street ran to the market place, in which there was no water except a single ditch that they defended. We proceeded no farther that day, but fought much with the Indians. As God our Lord always granted us victory, the enemy as constantly felt our superiority. As soon as it was evening, we re- turned to our camp. As we were getting ready the next day for returning to the city at nine o'clock, we saw from our camp a smoke issuing from two very lofty towers that stood in the Tlate- bulco, or market-place of the city, and were unable to imagine what it could be ; as it seemed much greater than the fumigations the Indians are accustomed to make to their idols, we conjectured that the division of Pedro de Alvarado had arrived there, but although this was really the case, we could not bring ourselves to credit it. Most certainly on that day Pedro de Alvarado and his party conducted in a very gallant manner, for there were many bridges and entrenchments to be carried, and the greater part of the city always aided in defending them. But when he saw that we had gone on straitening the enemy from our quarter, he labored to the utmost of his ability to enter the market-place, since the chief strength of the enemy was concentrated at that point ; he was not able, however, to do more than penetrate within sight of it, and take those towers, and several others adjacent to the market-place, which itself is as broad as the en-. 41