A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 764 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04.

From this place, continuing his march, Alvarado was continually harassed by the Indians of Quetzaltenango, and came at length to a defile in a high mountain, where the ascent was about a league and a half.  On arriving at the summit, a remarkably fat woman was found in the act of sacrificing a dog, which is an infallible token of intended hostilities; and immediately afterwards, great numbers of armed Indians were seen advancing on all sides, in a difficult broken ground, where the cavalry of Alvarado were unable to act.  In this rough and impracticable place, above 6000 of the warriors of Utatlan, a district adjoining to Quetzaltenango, made an attack upon our troops; and being soon put to flight, they rallied shortly after, reinforced by great numbers of fresh troops, who waited the advance of our forces, and fought them bravely hand to hand.  On this occasion, three or four of the enemy uniting their efforts, used to seize a horse before and behind, endeavouring to pull him to the ground, and it required the most strenuous exhortations both of Alvarado and Father Olmedo to animate the exertions of our troops, who at length succeeded in defeating and dispersing the Indians.  Our army halted in the field of battle for three days, unmolested by the enemy, and then marched to Quetzaltenango, where Alvarado hoped to have given his troops some repose; but he found two xiquipils of warriors, or 16,000 men assembled to oppose him in a plain, where he gave them so complete a defeat, with so heavy a loss of warriors, that they remained for a long time under complete awe of the Spaniards.  The chiefs of these Indians sent a deputation to Alvarado, offering peace and submission, under which they had concealed a plan for destroying his army in the following manner.  At a short distance there was a place called Utatlan, in a very difficult rugged country, and surrounded by defiles, to which they invited him to march, intending to fall upon him there with all their forces, as in that place the cavalry could not act.

Alvarado accordingly marched to Utatlan, a town of considerable strength, which had only two gates, the ascent to one of which was by a stair of about twenty-five steps, and the other opened to a very bad broken causeway, the streets likewise being very narrow, and the houses very close together.  Observing the bad situation of this place, and that the women and children had disappeared, Alvarado began to suspect that some mischief was in contemplation; and he was informed by some Indians of the place he had last quitted, that a number of warriors were concealed all round the place, to which they meant to set fire in the night, and then assault him with all their forces.  Alvarado immediately called his troops to arms, and marched out into the open country, telling the chiefs that he did so for the purpose of procuring grass for his horses.  They did not seem pleased with this change; and as soon as Alvarado was completely clear of the town,

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