because we wouldn't let ye. I deny your right of search.
D'ye understand that?”
“ I am sorry,” quietly returned the officer, “to say I shall use force to carry out my orders, and, thanking you, sir, for your advice, I decline to return to the ship in any such a way as you propose.”
The passengers, some forty or fifty in number, had gathered aft around the officer, and the crew also stood about.
As Captain Moir
made his assertion regarding the right of search the passengers applauded, and a young lady, whom I afterward learned was Miss Slidell
, sprang on to a companion-way skylight, and said: “Quite right, captain; very right!”
then came to the side of the ship to summon the boat crews, but the tones of the discussion had been highly pitched, and his call had a response before he made it. The blue jackets, twenty in number, and the marines, of whom there were ten, the former with cutlasses and pistols, and the marines with muskets and bayonets, sprung aft at once.
A detachment was ordered to the lower deck, and the rest of the men formed in a line across the main deck, cutting off communication from abaft the mainmast to the forecastle.
During this movement there appeared on the deck an officer, with a parrot-like voice, wearing the uniform of the Royal
Strutting up to Lieutenant Fairfax
, he said: “I am the Queen
's representative, sir
, and I protest against this unwarrantable action under Her Majesty's flag, and on the deck of a British ship.”
The lieutenant paid no attention to this speech, delivered with great pomposity of manner, but turned to Captain Moir
, and said: “You see I have force enough to carry out my orders;” and at this juncture Mr. Slidell
and Mr. Mason
came out of the cabin and stood in the crowd.
Amid cries of “Piracy!”
“Did you ever hear of such an outrage?”
“They would not have dared to do it had there been an English man-of-war in sight!”
stepped forward, and said: “Do you wish to see me?”
, just beside him, echoed “to see me?”
vainly tried to induce them to accompany him to the “San Jacinto
,” and as they positively refused to go, he said: “Gentlemen, you may as well prepare to go at once, peaceably if you want to, but by force if necessary, for in twenty minutes you shall be on board that ship.”
The excitement was intense, and cries of “Shame!”
from the passengers, in shrill crescendo, mingled with the stern tones of the boarding officers, as they ordered the men on guard at different points of the ship.
In three minutes, Mason
, having the while stood hesitating before the cabin, turned and walked into their state-rooms.