% CONQUEST OF MEXICO. 873 the road a large force of the enemy, and engaged with them ; but on account of the great number of our alhes, who came to our assistance, and the level ground well suited to the movements of the cavalry, the battle did not last long, although several of my horses and men were wounded, and some of our allies killed ; the enemy suf- fered most, great numbers of them being killed, and their whole force routed. I remained there in the town two or three days, both to cure the wounded, and receive the peo- ple who came to acknowledge themselves vassals of your Highness. They followed me to the port, and rendered us every service in their power. In no part of the route did I again encounter an enemy 5 but, on the other hand, as I proceeded along the road, the inhabitants came out to beg my pardon for their past offences, and to offer pro- fessions of allegiance to your Highness. Having arrived at the harbor and river, I took up my quarters in a town five leagues from the sea, called Chila, which had been depopulated and burnt, in consequence of the defeat of the captain and people of Francisco de Garay at that place. From thence I sent messengers to the other side of the river, and to the lakes, on all of which are situated large towns, proclaiming to the inhabitants that they need entertain no fears that I would make them suffer for the past, for I well knew it was in consequence of the ill treatment they had received from our people that they had risen against them, for which they deserved no blame. Nevertheless none of them would come in, but they abused the messengers, and even killed some of them ; and as on the other side of the river there was fresh water from which we obtained our supplies, they posted themselves there, and fell upon those who went for the water. Thus I remained more than fifteen days, think- 48
Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/395
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