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Francis L. Galt (search for this): chapter 50
baby to be nursed, it would have been all the same. On my return to the city, next day, I lunched, by invitation, at the officers' mess. English porter, ale, and cheese, cold meats, and a variety of wines were on the table. An English officer carries his habits all over the world with him, without stopping to consider climates. No wonder that so many of them return from the east with disordered hepatic arrangements. When I returned to the ship, in the evening, I found that Kell and Galt had made such good use of their time, that everything was on board, and we should be ready for sea on the morrow. Our coaling had occupied us but ten hours— so admirable are the arrangements of the P. and O. Steamship Company, at whose wharf we had coaled. A pilot was engaged, and all the preparations made for an early start. There was nothing more to be done except to arrange a little settlement between the Queen and myself, similar to the one which had taken place at the Cape of Good Hop
crew. We were under way again, the next morning at six o'clock; the weather was clear, with a few passing clouds, and the look-out had not been long at the mast-head before he cried sail ho! twice, in quick suggestion. Upon being questioned, he reported two large ships at anchor, that looked sort oa Yankee. We soon began to raise these ships from the deck, and when we got a good view of them through our powerful glasses, we were of the same opinion with the look-out. They were evidently Yankee. As they were at anchor, and helpless—waiting for a fair wind with which to run out of the Strait—we had nothing to gain by a concealment of our character, and showed them at once the Confederate flag. That flag—beautiful though it was—must have been a terrible wet blanket upon the schemes of these two Yankee skippers. It struck them dumb, for they refused to show me any bunting in return. 1 captured them both, with the flaunting lie stowed away snugly in their cabins. They were monste
ple of companies—to police this large population. I sent an officer, as usual, to call on him and acquaint him with my wants and intention as to time of stay. Mr. Beaver, of the firm of Cumming, Beaver & Co., a clever English merchant, came on board, and offered to facilitate us all in his power, in the way of procuring suppliesBeaver & Co., a clever English merchant, came on board, and offered to facilitate us all in his power, in the way of procuring supplies. I accepted his kind offer, and put him in communication with the paymaster, and the next day rode out, and dined, and spent a night with him at his country-seat. He lived in luxurious style, as do most European merchants in the East. The drive out took us through the principal streets of the city, which I found to be laid outes having a semiEnglish, semi-Oriental air. The houses of the better classes were surrounded by lawns and flower-gardens, and cool verandahs invited to repose. Mr. Beaver's grounds were extensive, and well kept, scarcely so much as a stray leaf being visible on his well mown lawns. His household—the lady was absent in England—wa<
the China Sea. There are no duties on exports or imports; and the only tonnage due paid by the shipping, is three cents per ton, register, as a lighthouse tax. The currency is dollars and cents; Spanish, Mexican, Peruvian, and Bolivian dollars are current. Great Britain, with an infinite forecaste, not only girdles the seas with her ships, but the land with her trading stations. In her colonization and commerce consists her power. Lop off these, and she would become as insignificant as Holland. And so beneficent is her rule, that she binds her colonies to her with hooks of steel. A senseless party in that country has advocated the liberation of all her colonies. No policy could be more suicidal. Colonization is as much of a necessity for Great Britain as it was for the Grecian States and for Rome, when they became overcrowded with population. Probably, in the order of nature, colonies, as they reach maturity, may be expected to go off to themselves, but for each colony which
n I had stripped off the disguise, and the ship stood forth as American, unfortunately for the owner of the cargo, no document could be presented to show that it was English; for the very attempt to document it would have exposed the fraud. Unfortunate Englishman! He had lost sight of the copy he had been used to transcribe at school—Honesty is the best policy. It was still early in the afternoon when we resumed our course, and gave the ship steam. After a few hours had elapsed, and Captain Pike—for this was the name of the master of the captured ship—had realized that his ship was no more, I sent for him, into my cabin, and directing my clerk to produce writing materials, we proceeded to take his formal deposition; preliminary to which, my clerk administered to him the usual oath. I felt pretty sure now of getting at the truth, for I had resorted to a little arrangement for this purpose quite common in the courts of law—I had released the interest of the witness. As soon, the
December 9th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 50
I permitted the masters and crews of both these ships to hoist out, and provision their own boats, and depart in them for Singapore. The ships when overhauled were lying just inside of the light-ship, at the western entrance of the Strait of Malacca, and it was only pleasant lake or river sailing to Singapore. Having fired the ships, we steamed out past the lightship, and were once more in the Indian Ocean. We found on board one of the prizes a copy of the Singapore Times, of the 9th of December, 1863, from which I give the following extract. At the date of the paper, we were at Pulo Condore, and the Yankee ships were still flocking into Singapore:— From our to-day's shipping-list it will be seen that there are no fewer than seventeen American merchantmen at present in our harbor, and that they include some of the largest ships at present riding there. Their gross tonnage may be roughly set down at 12,000 tons. Some of these have been lying here now for upward of three month
December 1st (search for this): chapter 50
he enemy's shipping in the China sea the multitude flock to see the Alabama curious rumor concerning her author rides to the country, and Spends a night the Chinese in possession of all the business of the place Alabama leaves Singapore capture of the Martaban, Alias Texan Star Alabama touches at Malacca capture of the Highlander and Sonora Alabama once more in the Indian Ocean. It turned out as I had conjectured in the last chapter. The Wyoming had been at Singapore on the 1st of December. She had gone thence to the Rhio Strait, where a Dutch settlement had given her a ball, which she had reciprocated. Whilst these Yankee and Dutch rejoicings were going on, the Alabama was crossing the China Sea, from Borneo to Pulo Condore. All traces of the Wyoming had since been lost. She had doubtless filled with coal at Rhio, and gone northward. We had thus a clear sea before us. A very gratifying spectacle met our eyes at Singapore. There were twenty-two American ships the
December 25th (search for this): chapter 50
still very early, and the excitement of the morning's row, and the novelty of the presence of the Alabama seemed greatly to excite our new friends. The males grasped our hands as though they had been our brothers, and the ladies smiled their sweetest smiles —and no one knows how sweet these can be, better than the sailor who has been a long time upon salt water, looking upon nothing but whiskers and mustachios. They were very pressing that we should remain a day, and partake of their Christmas dinner with them. But we excused ourselves, telling them that war knows no holidays. They left us after a short visit, and at half-past 9 A. M., our boats having returned, we were again under steam. Bartelli was seen lugging a basketfull of fine Malacca oranges into the cabin, soon after the return of our boats—a gift from some of our lady friends who had visited us. I have observed by Mr. Seward's little bill, before referred to, that Pike, having been foiled in that game of flags whic
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