Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/129

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THE FALL OF MAXIMILIAN'S EMPIRE.

armed would seem almost equivalent to fitting out a pirate, so he told the officers that they must disarm their men. But they shook their heads and replied: "They will not submit to that." Mr. Saulnier proved himself equal to the emergency. Without a moment's hesitation he strode to the nearest soldier and told him to give up his musket; the man refused. Pointing to the "Tacony," the consul then said in a loud tone: "That ship has orders to fire on this landing if I wave my handkerchief; the gates leading to the city are closed and your retreat is cut off; unless you instantly lay down your guns I will make the signal." While speaking he had taken his handkerchief in his hand. The effect was magical; one swift glance at the vessel showed the long threatening muzzles pointing ominously, with tompions out, and apparently ready to hurl shrapnel and destruction on them; down went the arms with a clash, and each man before stepping into the boat submitted to a personal inspection to prove that he had no arms secreted.

By noon all were on board the "Tabasco," and she moved out and anchored near the "Jason" to get water from her, preparatory to going to sea.

At three the consular government turned the city over to the Mexican civil officers who immediately opened the gates, and sent a deputation to wait upon General Benavides, and invite him to enter. Out behind this deputation streamed an army of hot