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[169] Edward, of New Bedford, went up in flame and smoke. Christmas-day saw us flying before a twelve-knot breeze under a cloudless sky.

Surprising latitudes these to a landsman, who, when from days to days, finds himself going before a sweeping gale without one cloud to be seen, naturally asks: Where does the wind come from? On the 27th of December we came in the harbor of the Island of Tristan de Acunha, the principal of a group of islands in the South Atlantic. In its seventeen families nearly all the principal nations are represented. Here we landed our prisoners, and left them a three-months' supply of provisions. Fortunately for us, we made a short stop at this island, for afterwards, when in Europe, we were told that just twelve hours after we had left the harbor the United States manof-war Iroquoise steamed in, and hurriedly taking on board the prisoners, weighed anchor and stood for Cape Town, a favorite rendezvous of the Alabama. Happily, we were bound for Melbourne, and did not stand near the Cape in doubling it. Two days later the little island of St. Paul, about four miles in extent, and rising in beautiful plateaus, swelled up before us, and the weather being calm, we laid — to outside its harbor. Entering its basin in a yawl, we found that the waters must be over an extinct crater, as they were hot enough to boil penguin eggs. These birds rose like clouds before us. Here we found, to our surprise, three Frenchmen. They were employed curing fish, while their vessel was off for another catch. Besides their rude quarters, we were taken to visit the residence of the owner of the island, who lived in France, and were astonished to find here, afar from all the world, apartments displaying all that luxury, wealth and culture suggested, including a library of nearly 1,000 volumes. No bolt held or key unlocked this; it was all as open as the Garden of Eden to our first parents. On our departure the hospitable Frenchmen presented us with a supply of cured fish and half a barrel of penguin eggs.

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