When the boat reached the cruiser again, preparations were at once begun for bombarding the town. The natives still stood upon the shore, and it could be seen that they were immensely proud of their present victory. It was amusing, then, to see the change in their behaviour when the great six-inch gun of the cruiser belched forth a cloud of fire and smoke, and a burning shell landed in the village street, apparently just in front of the administration building, which was soon afire. The poor natives fled in every direction, and the rebel soldiers followed their noble example, and took to their heels, too. Another shell followed the first, and soon several buildings were burning in the village. The admiral watched developments carefully, and finally he decided that they would be glad to surrender the village if another boat was sent ashore.
Accordingly, the same boat started out again, with three new men in place of those who were wounded, and for sake of effect the cruiser steamed farther in toward shore. This time there were no crowds upon the beach, and the thirty men marched to the burning buildings, where the natives fell before them, begging for mercy. The soldiers were nowhere to be seen, so the crew took possession of the town and slept there, in company with thirty more sailors, that night.
CONTINUING THE CRUISE— ANOTHER VILLAGE CAPTURED— THE ADMIRAL ARCHIE’S FRIEND— A GREAT BATTLE AND AN UNEXPECTED VICTORY— LONGING TO BE HOME AGAIN.
It may go without saying that the sixty men from the cruiser had a very interesting time before the night was over. The entire village was in a constant uproar; the poor natives, horrified by what they had witnessed during the afternoon, ran hither and thither, some even leaving the place entirely and starting for the interior with their goods and families. The rebel soldiers had evidently gone for good, and a small party sent out to look for traces of them returned without learning anything of their whereabouts. The bombardment of the village had certainly had great effect.