Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/45

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age. Thanks also to the fresh meat and vegetables so courteously provided, the health of the "Tacony's" crew remained perfect. In this respect they were far better off than their colleagues, though Roe did not at all detract from his popularity with the other captains by sending to each an occasional savory beefsteak.

The frequent trips of the "Tacony's" launch to the shore did not fail to cause distrust among the Imperialist authorities, who had been surprised at the outset by General Barranda's visit to the ship; and they soon began to manifest some curiosity regarding the strictness of the American's neutrality. When the subject was broached to the consul, he replied that an American vessel-of-war was free to receive visits from all nations, from the officers of the Juarist government, or from the gentlemen in power in Vera Cruz, if they desired to hold any intercourse. At the same time he notified the commander of the "Tacony," who returned assurances that he would maintain the most honorable neutrality, but that he held the right to communicate with Vera Cruz, Boca del Rio, Tampico, or any other part of the coast. At the same time American residents in the city were cautioned to be particularly guarded in expressions of opinion, and to do nothing that could give umbrage to the ruling authorities.

This did not seem to satisfy Señor Bureau,