220 DRAMATIC MOMENTS
noon, March 31. I have sincere belief that ar- rangement will then be reached, honourable to Spain and satisfactory to the United States and Cuba. I beg you to withhold all action until you receive my report * * * Thursday night, March 31."
On the next day the reconcentration orders were revoked.
That afternoon at 4 :30 the Spanish Cabinet agreed to the American terms, with one fatal exception. They insisted that the offer of the armistice should originate with the insurgents.
Here was a pretty thing for grown-up na- tions to go to war about. Woodford might well call it a punctilio. Punctilio it was. But to the Spanish mind it was everything. To make the offer, these officers believed, would be to raise a whirlwind in Spain. Rather all go down together.
But this was not all. The Pope, at this juncture, offered his services. The Spanish jumped at the chance to get out of this hole their national pride had placed them in. They