Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/126

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attractive in appearance and very decided. Probably if she had been in command the Delphine would have escaped she said so. There was a stiff breeze blowing and I think the Delpine was the faster ship. As it was she declined to respond to the conventional blank cartridge and only luffed up when a shot from one of our Whitworths passed between her fore and mainmast.

DESOLATE ISLES IN THE INDIAN OCEAN.

In the Indian Ocean, about three thousand miles due south of the Island of Ceylon, by themselves, are the islands of Amsterdam and St. Paul's. We sighted St. Paul's on the 2d of January. A boat with some of the officers made an excursion ashore. It returned with a quantity of fish caught in a very short time, also a penguin, a curiosity at close quarters, toimost of us. This was the only land we had seen since leaving Tristan da Chuna on the 4th of December. The harbor reminds one of the crater of a sunken volcano. It was a desolate looking place, occupied by three Frenchmen. It seemed so far away from everywhere. The effect was oppressive. It was a relief when the boat was hoisted and the ship filled away on her course.

JOHN BULL COULD NOT SCARE CAPTAIN WADDELL.

In about three weeks we came to anchor in the harbor of Mel- bourne, Australia. Our machinery needed repairs and the supply of coal was low. While at this port, party feeling about our war ran up to fever heat. Captain Waddell received a number of anony- mous letters threatening the safety of the ship, and other letters warning him to be on the lookout for torpedoes, etc. Many of our crew deserted, and great inducements were offered for all of them to do so. However, we were not at all embarrassed by this, for about forty ' ' stowaways ' ' appeared on deck when we got to sea and more than made up for our losses. At one time things looked very squally, as if the end had come then and there. While in the dry dock, the government insisted upon searching the ship, it having been reported that we had increased our crew by the shipment of men since our arrival (which was untrue), and when the permission to search was refused, all work was suspended, leaving us with our machinery in pieces, high and dry in the dock. Captain Waddell at once in- formed the government that unless we were permitted to complete our repairs, he would abandon his ship to them and take his officers