Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/118

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there remained that Foreign Legion. Mercenaries are ever apt to be treacherous and turbulent, and the hirelings in Vera Cruz remained true to the traditions of their cloth. On the 24th Captain Roe received the following letter from the consul:

Consulate of the U. S. A.,

Vera Cruz, June 24, 1867.

Commander F. A. Roe,
U.S.S. "Tacony."

Dear Sir:—At the request of Don Domingo Bureau I beg of you to come up with your ship immediately into the harbor; the difficulty is with the foreign troops. Bureau sends out a flag of truce at 11.30 o'clock, a.m. As this is secret I dare not ask a pilot.

Yours truly,

[Signed,] E. H. Saulnier,

U.S. Consul,

Come up immediately.

Such a letter spoke volumes. Fires were immediately spread in the boilers, and the stream anchor was weighed; the drum sounded to quarters, the battery was cleared for action and the guns loaded. While these preparations were being made, Captain Roe recognizing the fact that the fighting power of the "Tacony" was none too great, and that more harm than good might be done by their going up alone, went on board the "Jason" and represented to her captain that it was now a question of acting up to the spirit of their orders and taking steps to protect life and property. The delay in surrender-