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A Middy in Command:A Tale of the Slave Squadron

A Tale of the Slave Squadron

Library of Alexandria
Our first prize. The first faint pallor of the coming dawn was insidiously extending along the horizon ahead as H.M. gun-brig Shark—the latest addition to the slave-squadron—slowly surged ahead over the almost oil-smooth sea, under the influence of a languid air breathing out from the south-east. She was heading in for the mouth of the Congo, which was about forty miles distant, according to the master’s reckoning. The night had been somewhat squally, and the royals and topgallant-sails were stowed; but the weather was now clearing, and as “three bells” chimed out musically upon the clammy morning air, Mr Seaton, the first lieutenant, who was the officer of the watch, having first scanned the heavens attentively, gave orders to loose and set again the light upper canvas. By the time that the men aloft had cast off the gaskets that confined the topgallant-sails to the yards, the dawn—which comes with startling rapidity in those latitudes—had risen high into the sky ahead, and spread well along the horizon to north and south, causing the stars to fade and disappear, one after another, until only a few of the brightest remained twinkling low down in the west