intended as a means to induce the Indians to beat a cowardly retreat. It is quite certain that everything was done to make the passengers aboard the two ships aware of the feeling on shore, and to make it clear to Mr. Gandhi especially that he would have a warm reception should he land. Probably, the Demonstration was mainly "bluff," but when a spirit of mob-violence has been evoked, it is not, as a rule, easily controlled. Mr. Gandhi and his fellow-passengers, however, had no thought of retreat. The Colonists might do what they pleased, but legally they dared not refuse the landing, and there was one at least on board who knew that.
During the whole of this time the ships had been detained in quarantine, and letters and appeals remained unanswered. On the 12th January, the ships-owners wrote to Mr. Escombe: "The steamers have now been at the outer anchorage for 24 days, at a cost of £150 per diem to us; so we trust you will see the reasonableness of your giving us full answer by noon to-morrow, and we think it right to inform you that, failing a definite reply giving us an assurance that we shall be paid £150, from Sunday last, and that you are taking steps to suppress the rioters so as to enable us to disembark the steamers,