street, up Holborn, and down Cheapside, to the Bank
(astonishing the natives as we went) we drove, and
from thence to St. Katherine’s Dock, where was
moored the trim little steamboat chartered to convey
Mr. Pierce’s plenipotentiaries safe to Ostend.
Buck was in a sad state of excitement when we stopped;
he resembled an individual just escaped from a perilous
adventure. He discharged himself clumsily from
the wagon, his face undergoing singular changes of
color the while, and cast a few savage glances at
Saunders, who very composedly sat on the box endeavoring
with might and main to suppress a vagabond laugh.
‘Now, Saunders,’ indistinctly sputtered
the old man, as that bluff-sided individual turned
upon his seat, rather knavely casting a comical glance
over his shoulder, ’I’m not afraid—my
courage never fails me; but that steamer don’t
take me to Ostend if you’re a passenger!
Mind that now!’ Saunders lowered himself gravely
from the box, and with serious countenance assured
the old man that no danger could result while he drove
the team. In reply to this, the old man declared
that with Saunders on board a blowing-up was certain.
The much-dreaded gentleman, however, soon quieted
the envoy’s fears by assuring him that accompanying
us to Ostend was farthest from his thoughts, he having
made all the necessary arrangements for throwing a
bomb-shell into the camp from this side of the water,
as directed by the Uncle Caleb and the boy Fourney.
Boxes one, two, and three being safely on board, we
supported the old governor after them—Saunders
on one side, and Smooth on the other. Then the
bell rang, and the steam thundered and roared, and
the little craft glided on her way, Saunders waving
his adieus from the wharf, and crying out at the very
top of his voice—’Don’t forget
Cuba!’ and ‘go it, Buck! Go it, Smooth!!’
ARRIVAL AND GRAND RECEPTION AT OSTEND.
“Our passage was attended with extremely pleasant
weather; and nothing remarkable occurred, except that
the Dutch crew thought Mr. Buckhanan a very great
man, and the object of his mission the overthrow of
European dynasties in general. Twice they undertook
to regale him with sour-krout, which he pronounced
inferior to that made in York county, Pennsylvane.
As to me, they declined to be convinced that I was
not Governor of Kentucky, having a singular belief
in the peculiarities of that State for growing long
citizens—the tallest man always being elected
governor. Perhaps I should have added that the
Schiedam was only tolerable, the brandy bad; and that
Buck, having forgotten his tobacco, was compelled
to resort to very bad Dutch loggerhead, with which
he kept the swabs busily employed.