Winslow, it seemed clear "That there never was a position or a case where forcible action by all nationalities could and should more properly interfere in behalf of duty and right." But so long as Englishmen and Americans remained individually unharmed there was no reasonable excuse for interference. A single authoritative demand, coupled with offensive measures, might possibly have compelled that man, who acknowledged himself to be without a master, to surrender his command. Roe was in good accord with the English and French captains, but there was no authority for them to do what humanity daily and hourly appealed to them to do. To engage, without orders, in open hostilities with a nation (as Maximilian's Empire was acknowledged to be by most powers), was a more serious step than would be sanctioned by the broadest interpretation of instructions. Most especially were Aynesley's and Pritzbuer's hands tied, as Maximilian's was still acknowledged by their country to be the de facto government.
One other thing was beginning to worry the American commander; his stay in port was approaching an end, from the fact that the provisions in the ship were beginning to be used up. Fresh beef and vegetables twice a week were a great boon, but had no very material effect in putting off the evil day. The bread, it was seen, would not last beyond the end of the month, and although by