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[799] Fairfax followed, and here he encountered an obstacle in the person of Miss Slidell who, filling the doorway, said: “Mr. Fairfax, I met you as a gentleman in Havana on Thursday. You outrage our hospitality by this proceeding, and I swear to heaven you shall not go into this cabin to my father.” At this there was more excitement, and the passengers clustered in little groups, and spoke in loud tones. From where I stood I saw Mrs. Slidell approach the door and beg Mr. Fairfax to go away. He replied: “Madam, my orders are imperative. I shall obey them;” and just then Mr. Slidell began a most ungraceful movement out of the window of his cabin, which opened into a small gangway.

It was evident that Mr. Slidell was scared, perhaps excited is a better word, for his fingers twitched nervously, and for a minute or two he was unable to speak. Then Mr. Mason came out of his cabin, and Lieutenant Fairfax asked him if he was ready to go on board the “San Jacinto.” Mason was cooler and more collected than his confrere, and replied with moderation in his tone: ] “No, sir; I decline to go with you.” Fairfax, turning to his own officers, said: “Gentlemen, lay your hands on Mr. Mason,” which we accordingly did. Mr. Mason then said: “I yield to force.” Whereupon Commander Williams shouted: “Under protest, Mr. Mason, under protest.” “Yes,” said Mr. Mason, in the. same tone as before, “precisely, under protest,” and then walked down the companion ladder to the boat. Meanwhile, Mr. Slidell had recovered his equanimity to an extent which enabled him to say: “I will never go on board that ship.” Mr. Fairfax took him by the collar, Engineer Houston and Boatswain Grace taking each one of his arms, marched him to the gangway; Miss Slidell in the meantime being in the enjoyment of an aggravated attack of hysterics. Other lady passengers were similarly occupied, while the gentlemen on board the ship had retreated in sullen silence to the taffrail, where they scowled defiance at the boarding party. There is no doubt in my mind that, had the Trent been an armed ship, she would have manifested a resistance of no small energy. The spirit prevailing on her decks may, without any stretch of truth, be called warlike. Captain Williams, Royal navy, who was in charge of the Central American and Mexican mails, now came out of his cabin, and passing to Mr. Charles B. Dahlgren, master's mate, handed him an unfolded paper, which Mr. Dahlgren declined to receive. Lieutenant Fairfax was on the lower deck, and Captain Williams, finding no officer who would accept the note, finally shoved it in his pocket; subsequently, it fluttered to the deck, and a marine stationed inside the cabin door secured it, and after

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