Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/64

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sounded, if any thing, too plausible and courteous, and knowing the craftiness of the speaker, and knowing also the universal distrust among Imperialists regarding the attitude of the United States, Roe thought best to make capital of it, and therefore replied that serious affairs would certainly grieve him very much; that while there were within reach at Tampico, Brazos, and New Orleans an army and a fleet, it would be a matter of deep regret to him to be forced to call upon them for assistance. This little piece of bluster had its effect, and the war tax was not levied. In the city of Mexico and other places a like protecting arm would have been gladly welcomed to avert a similar blow.

At this juncture the fleet was increased by the arrival of another English man-of-war, the "Barracouta." As her commander was junior in rank to the commander of the "Jason," his arrival did not in any way nullify the good effect of the entente cordiale existing between Aynesley and the other captains; on the contrary, he now had an increased force at his command.

In the meanwhile, matters of serious import were occurring in the interior. The treachery of Colonel Lopez had borne its immediate fruit, and, towards midnight of the 16th of May, a note was received on board the "Tacony," from General Benavides, announcing that Querétaro had fallen, and that