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[625] cargo, for Shanghai. There was no claim of neutral cargo among her papers, and as soon as we could remove the crew, and some necessary articles, we consigned her also, to that torch which Yankee malice had kept burning so brightly in our hands.

The rebellion of the Taepings was still going on in China, and we found a nice little ‘speculation’ in-connection with it, embarked on board the Talisman. The speculators had put on board four very pretty rifled 12-pounder brass guns, and steam boilers and machinery for a gun-boat; the design being to build, and equip one of this class of vessels in the East, and take part in the Chinese war. I am afraid I spoiled a ‘good thing.’ With a Yankee Mandarin on board, and a good supply of opium, and tracts, what a smashing business this little cruiser might have done? We took a couple of these brass pieces on board the Alabama, and in due time, sent them afloat after the Yankee commerce, as the reader will see.

The next vessel that we overhauled was a ‘converted’ ship —that is, a Yankee turned into an Englishman. I desired very much to burn her, but was prevented by the regularity of her papers and the circumstances surrounding her. She was a Maine-built ship, but had evidently been bona fide transfeared, as her master and crew were all Englishmen, and she was then on a voyage from London to Calcutta. She received on board from us, a couple of the passengers—an Irishman and his wife—captured on board of the Talisman, who were anxious to go to Calcutta. For the next two or three days, we had a series of blows, amounting almost to gales of wind. We had arrived off the Abrolhos Shoals—a sort of Brazilian Cape Hatteras, for bad weather. On the 9th and 10th of June, we were reduced to close reefs; and, which was remarkable, we had a high barometer all the time. We had, for some days, experienced a northerly current. The whole coast of Brazil is coral-bound, and it is, for this reason, very dangerous. The coral shoals rise abruptly, from great depths, and are sometimes found in very small patches, with deep water all around them. Many of these patches have been missed by the surveyor, and are not laid down on any charts, in consequence. Hence it behooves the prudent mariner, to give the banks that fringe the coasts of Brazil, a pretty wide berth.

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