At last he was ready: "When, on the twenty-eight of April ... I called all my men out on parade and reckoned eighty-six horsemen, 118 crossbowmen and harquebusiers, some 700 foot soldiers with swords and bucklers, three large iron guns, fifteen small bronze field guns and ten hundredweight of powder, ... [t]hey knew well ... that God had helped us more than we had hoped, and ships had come with horses, men and arms."67 After only a few days of battle, it was clear to many of the towns surrounding Tenochtitlan how well supplied the Spanish now were. "The natives of Xochimilco ... and certain of the Otomi, ... came to offer themselves as Your Majesty's vassals, begging me to forgive them for having delayed so long." After a major defeat suffered by the Spanish, in which forty were captured and
sacrificed, many of the Spaniards' allies withdrew again. It is commonly accepted that they returned only when the Nahua priests' predictions of a great victory to occur within the ensuing eight days did not come true. Cortes, though, outlines events as follows: first messengers arrived from Vera Cruz telling of the arrival of yet another ship and bringing powder and crossbows to prove it, and then, in the next sentence, "all the lands round about" demonstrated their good sense and came
over to the Spaniards' side.68 Perhaps, after all, the Indians' decisions were less spiritually than practically motivated.