Mr. Manning to Mr. Bayard.
Mexico , March 9, 1887. (Received March 17.)
Sir: Mr. Mariscal requested an interview with me to-day, which was had at 12 noon. He showed me a dispatch received from Mr. Romero, at Washington, dated yesterday, stating that you had given the Mexican [Page 694] Government the option to deliver the offenders at Nogales to the American authorities for punishment, or for the Mexican Government itself to inflict adequate punishment. He said, the President was deeply sensible of the kind feeling and moderation displayed by you in giving this alternative, and that the President had determined to follow the latter course, and would punish the perpetrators of the outrage promptly and adequately.
I said, as the Mexican Government had determined to avail itself of this option, I presumed it would feel the more incumbent to make the punishment so severe that the United States would have no reason to complain, and I added that this was a good opportunity to punish such an offense as this so rigorously as to act as a deterrent to others in the future.
Mr. Mariscal replied that the course the Mexican Government would take in the matter, he felt assured, would be entirely satisfactory to the United States Government.
He then recounted to me the actual occurrence, which is slightly different from that supposed by you, and is as follows:
A street in Nogales separates the territories of the two nations. A Lieutenant Gutierrez committed some offense on the American side, and was arrested and held in custody by the American authorities. His superior officer, Colonel Arvizu, took his soldiers across the line and effected the release of Gutierrez, who made his escape, and is not yet apprehended. Mr. Mariscal says that the Government is on his track, and will catch and punish him, and a greater punishment will be inflicted upon the colonel, who is really the most guilty party in the affair.
On leaving, Mr. Mariscal repeated his sense of your kindness and forbearance, and said his Government accepted it as a renewed proof of the cordial and friendly feeling of the United States to Mexico. He was pleased to add that he had spoken to me with entire frankness and unreserve, as I had requested him to do when such difficulties arose, and he felt that they could be, better and more promptly settled in a personal interview than through the slow forms usual to diplomacy.
I am, etc.,