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CRUISE OF THE
BY THE AUTHOR OF "TOM CRINGLE'S LOG.”
GEORGE DEAR BORN & CO., PUBLISHERS.
SOLD BY OTIS, BROADERS & co. BOSTON; DESILVER,
• How bright the sunshine dances in its joy,
CITY OF THE PLAGUE,
I had been for six months fourth lieutenant of H. M. S. Gazelle, on board of which Sir Oliver Oakplank had his broad pennant* hoisted, as the commander-in-chief on the African station. The last time we touched at Cape Coast we took in with us a Spanish felucca, that we had previously cut out of the Bonny river, with part of her cargo of slaves on board.
She had cost us a hard tussle, and several of our people had fallen by the sword in the attack, but more afterwards from dysentery and marsh fever, the seeds of which had doubtless been sown in the pestilential estuary at the time of the attack, although there is no disputing that they were much more virulently developed afterwards than they would otherwise have been
by a week's exposure in open boats to the deleterious changes of the at© mosphere. Our excellent commodore, therefore, the father of his crew,
seeing the undeniable necessity of lessening the exposure of the men in such a villanous climate, instantly wrote home to the admiralty, requesting that half a dozen small vessels might be sent to him, of an easy draught of water, so that they might take charge of the boats, and afford a comfortable shelter to their crews; at the same time that they should be able to get over the bars, without damage, of the various African rivers, where the contraband Guineamen were in the habit of lurking. To evince that he practised what he preached, he instantly fitted out the captured felucca, on his own responsibility, manned her with five-and-twenty men, and gave the command of her to our third lieutenant.
She had been despatched about a fortnight before in the direction of Fernando Po, and we had stood in on the morning of the day on which my narrative commences, to make Cape Formosa, which was the rendezvous fixed on between us. About three o'clock, P. M., when we were within ten miles of the cape, without any appearance of the tender, we fell in with a Liverpool trader, who was bound to the Brass river to load palm oil and sandal-wood. She reported that the night before they had come across a Spaniard, who fired into them when they sheered-to with an intent to speak him. The master said, that when first seen, the strange sail was standing right in for the river ahead of us; and, from the noises he heard, he was sure she had negroes on board. It was therefore conjectured that she was one of the vessels who had taken in part of her cargo of slaves at the Bonny river, and was now bound for the Nun or Brass river to complete it. They were if any thing more confirmed in this by the circumstance of his keeping away, and standing to the south-west, the moment he found they were
* A broad red swallow-tailed fag, carried at the main-royal-masthead, indicative of the rank of commodore.