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[111] horse, on the other side of the camp, being cut off from access by the interposition of the assailants.

He had advanced only a few steps from the door of the tent, when he was challenged by a mounted soldier, who presented his carbine and ordered him to “surrender.” The answer was: “I never surrender to a band of thieves.” The carbine was still presented, but the man refrained from firing — it is but fair to presume from an unwillingness to kill his adversary-while the President continued to advance. This was not from desperation or foolhardy recklessness, but of deliberate purpose. I take the risk of going perhaps a little beyond the limits of the authorized use of information obtained in the freedom of personal confidence, in stating that, with the rapid process of thought and formation of design which sometimes takes place in moments of imminent peril, Mr. Davis recalled an incident of his own experience that had occurred many years before. On the field of Buena Vista, while riding along a ravine in search of a slope that his horse could ascend, he was fired at and missed by the whole front rank of a squadron of Mexican cavalry on the crest of the bank above. Remembering this, and observing that the man, who was finely mounted, was so near as to be considerably above him, he had little apprehension of being hit, and believed that, by taking advantange of the excitement of the shot, he might easily tip him from the saddle and get possession of his horse. The feasibility of this design was not to be tested, however, for at this moment Mrs. Davis, seeing only his danger, and animated by a characteristic and heroic determination to share it, ran forward and threw her arms around his neck, with some impassioned exclamation, which probably none of the parties present would be able to repeat correctly. The only hope of escape had depended upon bringing the matter to an immediate issue, and, seeing that this was now lost, the President simply said, “God's will be done,” as he quietly turned back and seated himself upon a fallen tree, near which a camp-fire was burning.

While these events were occurring, there had been some sharp firing around the camp. It appeared afterward that the assailants had been divided into two parties, and, approaching from different directions, had encountered and fired upon each other by mistake,

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