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[203] he had chased, but with due consideration gives him credit for being ‘the coolest man that ever walked a quarterdeck.’

The Susanna was built on the Clyde, and was a long, low steamer built for speed and concealment. Time after time she had run into Galveston harbor through the fleet collected outside, but always before at night. Her arrival was regular and always on time. When expected she always turned up tied at the wharf in the morning.

Her last run was momentous. Leaving Havana with a cargo of gunpowder and provisions, calculations had been made, as formerly, to arrive off the harbor under cover of darkness, but a break in the machinery caused delay. Steaming along, Captain Austin found himself one morning but a few miles off Galveston and in sight of the blockading fleet.

As yet he was unseen, owing to the low construction of his ship, and he decided to run out to sea; but inquiry below elicited the information that the supply of coal would not be sufficient for twelve hours more. The only alternative was to make for a place of concealment under the shore, and thither the prow was turned.

But the overhanging smoke had attracted the attention of the fleet, and a ship of war was fast bearing down upon the daring blockade runner. Without a moment's hesitancy Captain Austin determined to run the gauntlet. The course was again changed and the Susanna headed directly for the bar. A dozen shipps barred her way.

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