ABSTRACT

W HEN Cortes saw that he possessed such a goodly Sl:ore of muskets and powder and crossbows and realized the Sl:rong desire of all of us, both Captains and soldiers, again to attack the great City of Mexico, he decided to ask the Caciques of Tlaxcala to give him ten thousand Indian warriors to join us on an expedition to Texcoco; which after Mexico is one of the largeSl: cities in the whole of New Spain. Xicotenga the elder promptly said that he would give him with the utmoSl: willingness not only ten thousand men but many more if he chose to take them, and that another valiant Cacique, our great friend Chichimecatec1e would go as their captain. On the day after the feaSl: of the Nativity in the year 1520 we be~an our march, and slept at (Tesmelucan) a pueblo subJetl: to Tlaxcala, and the people of the town gave us what we needed. From there onward it was Mexican territory, and we went more cautiously, for it was well known in Mexico and Texcoco that we were marching towards their city. That day we met no obSl:ac1es whatever and camped at the foot of the Sierra, a march of about three leagues. The night was very cold, but we got through it safely thanks to our patrols, and scouts. When the dawn came we began to ascend a small pass and in some difficult places like barrancas the hillside had been cut away so that we could not pass, and many pine trees and other

timber had been placed across the track, but having so many friendly Tlaxcalans with us, a clearing was soon made, and sending a company of musketeers and crossbowmen in advance we marched on with the utmo~ caution, our allies cutting and pushing aside trees to enable the horsemen to pass, until we got to the top of the range. Then we descended a little and caught sight of the lake of Mexico and its great cities Standing in the water, and when we saw it we gave great thanks to God for allowing us to see it again.