Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/27
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cut to liberty in the premises. It was now too late to apply for habfiis corpus, and we, therefore, proceeded to make Beers as com- lortaMr as possible in the jail, providing him a good supper and a comfortable bed, he protesting, meanwhile, that he needed nothing, or, at h-ast, could suffer no real inconvenience that one night.
In the morning the Mayor's Court room in the old City Hall was crowded, many gentlemen of position, who had heard Beers' story, bring in attendance. I do not remember whether the papers made anv report of the case, either that or the following morning. Mr. Ben. Gray and I were the main witnesses for Beers. Of course, there could be no doubt as to his discharge, and, but for a ludicrous and unexpected turn of affairs, the case would have been disposed of in a few minutes. When the testimony was all in, his Honor proceeded to deliver his decision discharging the prisoner, but, at the same time, justifying and approving his arrest, concluding with the state- ment, uttered with all the emphasis of a solemn proclamation, that he considered it his duty to arrest any and every man who arrived in the city from the North, unless he was informed as to his antece- dents and they were entirely beyond and above suspicion, adding, with increased emphasis: " And this duty I intend to discharge." A declaration which seemed to meet the approval of every one pres- ent, save and except Mr. Edward Gray dear old Ned now and for years past in the Commissioner's office with Bob Munford, a man as brave and true as God ever created, and as quick to burst into flame, at what he considered injustice, especially to one of his friends.
A HOT-HEADED CHAMPION.
Ned's hearing was then, as now, somewhat defective, and he did not quite catch the limitations his Honor had embodied in his procla- mation. He sprang to his feet, and, looking toward Mr. Mayo and flinging out his right arm and shaking his right forefinger threat- ningly, first toward Beers and then toward my brother and myself, he shouted fiercely: "No, you won't, sir! No you won't ! You arrested that man yesterday, who left everything and came down here to fight for us against his own people. Now, sir; these two came down with him, I dare you to arrest them."
The courf-room was in an uproar on the instant, which we took
advantage of to hustle Ned out and away. When the hubbub had
subsided, Mr. Ben Gray rose and made an admirable statement, first
logizing for his brother's excitement, and then going into a full