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Chapter 35: the Gulf of Mexico.

Moving at sunrise out of Galveston harbour we sail into a thick and golden mist, which hides the lowlying shores of Saline Pass and the adjoining country from our sight. The waves are long and smooth. A flock of snow-birds flutter in our wake, and swoop with easy undulation on their prey. A semi-tropical languor lies on every face.

As day comes on the mist clears off, and through the vanishing haze we catch along the shores a fringe of cypress and cotton-wood, with roots in swamp and pool, and branches hung with vegetable filth — the noisome and funereal weed called Spanish moss.

Our vessel, plying between Indianola, in Texas, and Brashear, in Louisiana, skirts two of the rich Gulf States, and connects the port of Galveston with the river at New Orleans. She carries few natives,

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