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[448] hundred thousand dollars in gold changed hands in the space of a few minutes, to the profit of Uncle Sam and his handy mariners. The main chance being secure, the romance can be dispensed with. But to the record.

On the fifth of February, as the Cumberland was making the best of her way toward Mobile, her captain and passengers felicitating themselves on the speedy termination of a prosperous run, with large profits looming up in perspective, a check was suddenly put to their gayety by the appearance of the much-dreaded enemy. At the time she was sighted from the deck of the De Soto, about half-past 8 o'clock in the morning, the Cumberland was in twenty-nine degrees forty minutes north latitude, and eighty-seven degrees thirty minutes west Latitude. On sighting her the De Soto immediately gave chase, and was soon running at the rate of twelve and a half knots, gaining on the Cumberland (which the stranger was known to be) very fast, although she had been reported as a fifteen-knot vessel. At twenty minutes past ten the Cumberland was under the guns of the De Soto, from which a boat was hoisted to board the prize. Captain Blakeney, commanding the Cumberland, together with her officers and crew, were then transferred to the De Soto, when a prize crew of twenty-seven men and two engineers, commanded by Acting Master Partridge, were sent from the cruiser to the Cumberland, and she was brought into this port under convoy of the De Soto, as already mentioned.

The cargo of the Cumberland is a well-assorted one, and very valuable. Among other things found on board, were one hundred barrels of gunpowder and a large number of Enfield rifles. She has also in her hold a very large quantity of fine gray rebel uniform cloth, and bales upon bales of superior navy blue, besides an immense number of ready-made rebel uniforms, boots and shoes — in short, every thing necessary for the outfit of both sea and land forces. I have it on good authority that the cargo cost seventy thousand pounds in gold, in England; that the ship was sold there for fifty thousand pounds, and that ten thousand pounds more were expended on her in Havana. The cargo has not yet been disturbed, and it is therefore impossible to tell whether there are any cannon in the hold, and the captain and passengers, of course, keep dark on the subject; although, as the captain was engaged only in Havana, and most of the passengers are from that place, it is just possible that they know nothing about the matter.

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