continued from previous post.
While this was going on the commandant slipped down-stairs and dispatched his orderly for a guard. Soon the sound of tramping feet was heard. In a voice of thunder the Major ordered them to arrest his seranders, and the guard closed round. However, the quartette was soon secured, especially the one who was asleep; but the performers, using their instruments in a manner never intended by their manufacturers, made most vigorous resistance. Forgetting that they had ceased to be free American citizens, at present devoted to the muses, they knocked and banged and struck out valorously, while the guard, not willing to use their weapons, closed in on the musical fighters, and after a fierce struggle and with many bruises, mastered them one by one. The cornet flattened his weapon on the corporal's occiput, raising a bump unnamed in phrenology; the fiddle was smashed to atoms over some other skull, while the banjo came down squarely, or rather roundly, on the top of a guard's head; he wore it as a necklace, the handle sticking out behind like a gigantic queue. The flute, just about the size of a police officer's club, might have been a dangerous weapon, only being hollow it shivered to pieces at the first blow, its sound and fury signifying nothing. The bass viol performed prodigious antics, describing a huge parabolic curve, and striking with fearful force the cranium of yet another guard; there was a confused jangling of the strings and down went the guard prone on the ground; a second blow and one more guard fell, while a third man was happy enough to catch the blow on the butt of his musket. This finished the irate old 'big fiddle,' but with the head-piece the serander laid about with such vigor that victory might have perched thereon, only, seeing the odds, the valorous warrior broke out of the surroundings and took to his heels; in short, the whole party were lugged to the guard-house, where they remained all next day. As for the bass viol, he was found in the morning sound asleep on a pile of planks in Smott's lumber yard, with the head-piece firmly clutched in his hand. It is safe to say no more permissions were granted serenading parties.
If I knew band practice could be so fun, I would have taken up music as a kid.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!