Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/58

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selves to Bureau, who replied in writing, fixing the 6th as the day for the parley, which was communicated to the Liberal general, who acquiesced and promised to hold himself in readiness. A white flag at the "Tacony's" foremast-head was to be the signal to cease firing on both sides, the hostilities to be suspended so long as that emblem of a truce should remain flying.

Unfortunately, on the day appointed one of those heavy northers, that are the terror of visitors to Vera Cruz, had sprung up and prevented any communication with the shore. By the 8th the wind and sea had gone down, and the English and American captains went up to town, and the two consuls selected the 9th as the most convenient day for the meeting; but on applying to the Commissary for his opinion and wishes in the matter, he peremptorily refused to hold any meeting whatever, except upon the basis of the removal of the Liberal forces three days march from Vera Cruz, and, of course, the consequent abandonment of their batteries and investing lines. This was tantamount to another refusal to carry out his own propositions, and it only remained for Roe and Aynesley to express their disgust and retire.

In view of the fact that this was the second time that Bureau had behaved in this way, having each time himself requested the parley that would cause