Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/90

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75
IN SOUTH AFRICA

Mr. Escombe replied that he (the Captain) had better see him again first. Having made a similar communication to the Naderi, Mr. Escombe pulled ashore to address the crowd. The Naderi and Courland were laid side by side near to the Bluff passengers' jetty. the Courland being nearest to land."

Now that the scare had failed, it was Mr. Escombe's policy to try and disperse the crowd. So he addressed them with his most honeyed eloquence, and persuaded them that they had done all that was needful. He promised that an early session of Parliament should deal with the matter. Then he commanded them, in the name of the Queen, to disperse. After a few other speeches had been made, the command was effective, and the great Demonstration melted away.

Two hours later, the passengers landed in small batches in ferry-boats. A message, however, reached Mr. Gandhi from Mr. Escombe, advising him not to land with others, but to wait until evening, when the Superintendent of the Water Police would take him ashore. This advice he was willing to accept. But shortly afterwards, Mr. Laughton, of the firm of Messrs. Goodricke, Laughton, and Cook, Solicitors, came on board and proposed that Mr. Gandhi