Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/85

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THE FALL OF MAXIMILIAN'S EMPIRE.

landing, and claimed to be still master of the situation. But as this was very doubtful, and as the slightest weakness, feigned or real, on his part would have been fraught with evil consequences, Captain Roe determined to take the law in his own hands and resort to prompt and vigorous measures.

He had no boat at hand, and as the day was well advanced and one could not be had from the "Tacony" for some hours, he asked Captain Aynesley to grant him the use of his cutter, which was cheer fully done. The English ensign, of course, could not be lowered from an English boat, and Roe could not do what he wanted under any but the American colors. The problem was solved by borrowing the consular flag, and lashing it to the boat's flagstaff alongside of the English. In this way, with both colors flying, with the English midshipman in charge of the boat but the American commander directing her movements, they pulled alongside of the "Virginia," and asked to see General Santa Ana, who was seated on the quarter deck. Roe, on being presented, asked him politely if he would not like to go and pass a quiet night on board the "Tacony" at Sacrificios. The general was naturally surprised at so sudden and cordial an invitation, and asked for an explanation. This led to a dispute, only ended by Roe finally saying, in a tone perhaps more forcible than polite, that he had no further explanations to make; it was intended