suburb, and set a detail of men at work on the lumber.
After a stately and decorous interview with the queens of society of St. Mary's,--is it Scott
who says that nothing improves the manners like piracy?-I peacefully withdrew the men when the work was done.
There were faces of disappointment among the officers,--for all felt a spirit of mischief after the last night's adventure,--when, just as we had fairly swung out into the stream and were under way, there came, like the sudden burst of a tropical tornado, a regular little hail-storm of bullets into the open end of the boat, driving every gunner in an instant from his post, and surprising even those who were looking to be surprised.
The shock was but for a second; and though the bullets had pattered precisely like the sound of hail upon the iron cannon, yet nobody was hurt.
With very respectable promptness, order was restored, our own shells were flying into the woods from which the attack proceeded, and we were steaming up to the wharf again, according to promise.
Who shall describe the theatrical attitudes assumed by the old ladies as they reappeared at the front-door,being luckily out of direct range,--and set the handkerchiefs in wilder motion than ever?
They brandished them, they twirled them after the manner of the domestic mop, they clasped their hands, handkerchiefs included.
Meanwhile their friends in the wood popped away steadily at us, with small effect; and occasionally an invisible field-piece thundered feebly from another quarter, with equally invisible results.
Reaching the wharf, one company, under Lieutenant
, was promptly deployed in search of our assailants, who soon grew silent.
Not so the old ladies, when I announced to them my purpose, and added, with extreme regret, that,