Page:Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy (1918).djvu/68

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we could establish an empire in the face of France, Spain, and England.

What the American commissioners did, however, was simple enough. They went to Richard Oswald, and laid the matter frankly before him. And he agreed to send at once for new instructions to negotiate with a free and independent United States.

And then the plot thickened. These were hectic days for the Americans, two months from any instructions, with the destiny of not only America but the Anglo-Saxon and, as it now appears, perhaps of all the world in their hands, marooned in a babel of cabals and intrigues. On the 9th of September they received certain word that Reyneval was setting out for England in the greatest secrecy, and that the Conde d'Aranda had galloped out to Versailles in the greatest haste to confer with him before he left. No wonder it looked to John Jay as if the goose was to be cooked in London and carved by the three kings, with America left to freeze outside the door.