No. 477.
Mr. Heap to Mr. Hunter.

No. 146.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatches Nos. 63, 64, and 65, dated 3d, 5th, and 6th instant respectively.

I obtained an interview with the Bey yesterday, and informed him of the instructions I had received relative to the murder of the dragoman of the consular agent at Bizerta, in consequence of the delay that had occurred in bringing the murderers to trial and punishment.
The Bey expressed, with much earnestness, his regret at this delay, acknowledged that my complaint was well founded, and gave positive assurance that the parties arrested for the crime should be brought before him for trial this week, and if found guilty should be sentenced to the highest penalty of the law. He promised to inform me of the result of the trial on or before next mail-day, June 3.
I wrote to Admiral Alden at Ville Franche, on the 27th instant, begging him to delay the execution of his instructions from the Navy Department until I should inform him that the presence of a naval force was necessary, but that if my just expectations of a satisfactory solution of the affair were not realized, I should communicate with him by the telegraph.
I informed the Bey that a naval force had been ordered to Tunis, but it will depend on himself to keep this detail from the public; for not wishing to humiliate him in the eyes of his subjects, I have preferred to let it appear that in rendering justice he is not acting under compulsion.
The prompt action of the Department will have a salutary effect, for it will convince the Bey that the United States Government will not allow the interests or safety of those entitled to its protection to be placed in jeopardy without a strict account being demanded, and retribution, if justice is denied or unduly delayed.

I have, &c.,