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“  am one of the men who blew up the ‘Albemarle.’ ” “My golly, massa!” said the negro, “dey kill you if dey catch you. You dead gone sure.” Cushing asked him if he could trust him to go into the town and bring him back the news. The negro assented, and Cushing gave him all the money he had, and sent him off. He then climbed up a tree and opened his jack-knife, the only weapon he had, and prepared for any attack which might be made. After a time the negro came back, and to Cushing's joy, reported the “Albemarle” sunk and the people leaving the town. Cushing then went further down the river, and found a boat on the opposite bank belonging to a picket guard. He once more plunged into the chilly river, and detached the boat, but, not daring to get into it, let it drift down the river, keeping himself concealed. At last, thinking he was far enough away to elude observation, he got into the boat, and paddled for eight hours, until he reached the squadron. After hailing them, he fell into the bottom of the boat, utterly exhausted by hunger, cold, fatigue, and excitement, to the surprise of the people in the squadron, who were somewhat distrustful of him when he first hailed, thinking him a rebel who was trying some trick. Nothing, indeed, but an overruling Providence and an iron will ever saved Cushing from death. He saw two of his men drown, who were stronger than he, and said of himself, that when he paddled his little boat, his arms and his will were the only living parts of his organization. One man of the party returned on the “Valley city,”
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