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[250] of neutral laws and get us into difficulty with the local government. We hauled out on the marine railway or slip, and at one time our enemies so far succeeded, despite our constant efforts to keep all men not belonging to the ship from getting on board, that one man was reported as on board and the authorities demanded to search the ship. This was positively and firmly refused, we saying that as a vessel of war we would not allow it, but would search her ourselves and send anyone, not on the vessel when we came in, ashore. This did not satisfy them, and pending reference to the law officer, the slip or railway was embargoed and all of her majesty's subjects forbidden to launch or work on the vessel.

A formal demand, in the name of our government, for the removal of the embargo was being drawn up when the law officer decided in our favor and our work continued. She was repaired and launched, and notice as requested given of when we would sail. At request of the authorities I was ordered to have her thoroughly searched for any stowaways. I selected several of the best officers, who made a conscientious search, and reported that they had examined carefully and could find no one not on the vessel when she came. In the meantime, however, when we gave our men liberty, the American consul or his emissaries persuaded several of our crew to desert. Application for assistance to arrest them was made to the authorities, but denied. Thus it is clear that the Victorian Government treated us badly.

We got some 250 tons of coal, and on February 18 A. M., sailed. We had received an intimation of a suggested plot among some Americans to go on board, go to sea and capture the vessel. but we were on the alert and never saw anything to cause us to think that they did more than to talk of this desperate attempt. We were numerically weak, but it would have been fatal for all who had entered into any such plot.

Getting well to sea, outside the jurisdiction, after discharging the pilot, forty-two men, who had stowed themselves away, some in the hollow bowsprit and some in the coal all where the officers of the ship could not find them, came on deck and wanted to enlist. We wanted men after our losses in Melbourne, but we were suspicious, after the intimated plot. The

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