Page:The Pathfinder of the Seas.djvu/37

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11
HIS THREE CRUISES

ant David Farragut, who was to become one of the very greatest American naval leaders.

On the 8th of September the Brandywine set sail from the mouth of the Potomac, where Lafayette had been received on board the ship. She passed down the Chesapeake through a brilliant rainbow which was apparently supported on the Virginia and Maryland shores, as if Nature had reserved to herself the honor of erecting the last of the numerous triumphal arches that had been dedicated to the great Frenchman during his extraordinary visit. As the ship made her way to sea, almost the last glimpse which Lafayette had of America was the bluffs of the York River where he had so materially aided the American cause at the Battle of Yorktown.

The voyage turned out to be not a very pleasant one, for the ship had hardly gotten under way when she began to leak and for a time it was thought that she would have to return to port. But as it was reported that the leak was under control, Lafayette advised the captain to continue the voyage, and when the planks of the vessel swelled from immersion in the water the leak gradually diminished. The weather, however, then became stormy, and during most of the passage the distinguished passenger suffered so severely from sea-sickness and gout that he was unable to join the officers at dinner or to visit the deck. They were thus deprived, much to their regret, from listening as much as they desired to the reminiscences of the great general's interesting and eventful life. There was another unpleasantness that affected the midshipmen in particular. This was caused by a steward who, in cleaning an officer's uniform, upset a bottle of turpentine, the contents of which ran into a barrel of sugar belonging to the midshipmen's mess.