Semmes now ordered all steam and sail to be crowded on the Alabama, while his crew became greatly excited, thinking from the strangers' firing a gun that a fight was about to ensue.
It was midnight before the Alabama overhauled the chase, which loomed up very large in the darkness.
The ship had a white streak like a man-of-war, and with a night glass five guns could be seen protruding through her side.
A voice from the Alabama cried out: What ship is that?
Her Britannic Majesty's ship Diomede!
was the reply.
When the British officer was informed that the pursuing vessel was the Confederate States steamer Alabama, he remarked: I suspected as much when I saw you making sail by the light of the burning ship.
It may be remarked that Semmes did not ask to see the stranger's commission, to ascertain whether he was really one of her Majesty's cruisers, and his sailors were somewhat uneasy at their proximity to a British ship-of-war, as a search might have taken place for deserter