When the night was far advanced the general and his secretary retired to their cabins, where they slept soundly, and awoke on the following morning, to find the ship safely moored in a snug little cove or harbor, opposite the Village of Buzabub, a seaport on the Coast of Kalorama, and so buried in Mango and Pride of India trees, as nearly to conceal the few shabby dwellings it contained. The general was up before the monkeys began to chatter, and anxiously paced the deck, in his new uniform, seeming to care for no one but old Battle, whom he every few minutes stopped to congratulate on the termination of the voyage, all of which the faithful animal seemed perfectly to understand. In truth, the general had evinced so much solicitude for his horse during the passage, that the officers and men were quite as much diverted with the proofs of affection displayed by the faithful animal, as they were at the eccentricities of his master.
When then the general had paced the deck a sufficient length of time, he repaired to the cabin of his secretary, saying: “Friend Tickler, my learned secretary, get speedily up, for this is to be the most important day of my life, outshining, by far, the day of my reception in New York. Get up, write me a speech that shall become this remarkable event, and so mix it up with Latin sentences, that these savages will take me for a profound scholar, and pay me courtesy accordingly; for I have a fear of their knives, which, I am told, have terminated the existence of several ambassadors.”
One of the most truthful accounts of how general Potter spent A night among the dead.
Tickler rose quickly from his bath, and applied himself diligently to the manufacturing of a most wonderful speech for his master. Nor was he at a loss for Latin sentences; for, having provided himself with a book of Latin proverbs, he could have supplied a mob of politicians with speeches, every word of which was Latin.
And so anxious was Tickler to serve his master, that he broke not his fast during the morning; nor, indeed, was he aware that breakfast was over, until the booming of thirteen guns brought him to a sense of his position. And those thirteen guns were intended for a salute, and were quite enough for a town so poor that it had not wherewith to answer them; and on that score, excused itself, for what might otherwise have been set down for a grave insult. But the general set every gun down in honor of himself, and was so vain of his exalted position, that he approached the commander, saying: “I thank you heartily for the great honor you have just paid me in the guns; and, let me tell you, sir, I value the compliment more, since it comes from one so worthy of his country as yourself. You have displayed great fortitude and valor during this perilous voyage, which I shall not forget to mention in my dispatches, while my secretary will make due note of it in his letters to the newspapers, and I say it to you in confidence, he is correspondent for no less than seven.” The commander bowed, and, smiling, thanked the general for this expression of his high regard.