I did not even glance at him as he lay, covered with dust and blackened by the smoke of his beloved nine-pounders, a little to the left of Noon, and behind me as I knelt at the latter's side. After a while his eyes grew brighter, and he began to look about him. He turned his head, painfully, for the muscles of his neck were injured, and caught sight of the gunner's uniform.
I therefore most reluctantly gave the order for the discharge of the six nine-pounders which the battery mounted right into the thickest of the crowd the men to immediately afterwards rush for the boat, secure their muskets and ammunition, and at once return to the battery.
And instantly afterwards I heard him say to his own men in Spanish "Now, lads, you have them all in a cluster, let them have it. Fire!" The sharp, ringing report of the brigantine's nine-pounders immediately pealed out, and even through the shock and concussion of the discharge I thought that, as I stood with my ear at the open port, I caught the sound of a crash.
On the gun-deck, where he found himself, it was impossible to stand upright and equally impossible to lie at length, every foot of room between the tiers of nine-pounders being occupied by kits, knapsacks, chests and mattresses littered about in all conceivable disorder, and the intervals between these bridged by the legs of his brothers-in-arms.
At the distance of a mile, with the sea running, it was but occasionally that you could perceive her long black hull so low was she in the water, and so completely were her bulwarks pared down; yet her breadth of beam was very great, and her tonnage considerable, as may be inferred when it is stated that she mounted sixteen long brass nine-pounders, and was manned with one hundred and thirty men.
"We'll give them a salute to show them that we're wide-awake." We carried four nine-pounders, which we forthwith fired. It was the first time we had to use them during the voyage. It was hoped that this would awe the natives, and that we should not be molested during the night.
Although the chief reason for Spanish occupancy was to hold the country, the provisions for defense were not only inadequate but careless. Thomes says, in Land and Sea, that the fort at Monterey was "armed with four long brass nine-pounders, the handsomest guns that I ever saw all covered with scroll work and figures. They were mounted on ruined and decayed carriages.
"I will send fifty marines with you." "But artillery?" "There are some nine-pounders and one long thirty-two at the village. Muster your men, hasten there at once, and do the best you can." "But, general, you have not yet told me the name of the village." "Mariana." "What?" gasped Fernando, starting to his feet. "Did you say Mariana. Perhaps I misunderstood you." "No; I mean Mariana.
Major-General Sir Joseph Thackwell, under whom was Brigadier Scott, held in reserve on our left, ready to act as circumstances might demand, the rest of the cavalry. "Our battery of nine-pounders, enlarged into twelves, opened near the little Sobraon with a brigade of howitzers formed from the light field-batteries and troops of horse artillery, shortly after daybreak.
Through the sharp ringing explosion of our antagonists' nine-pounders we distinctly heard the crashing of the shot through the schooner's timbers, and then O God! I shall never forget it the piercing shrieks and groans of mortal agony which uprose beneath our feet!