arrival. This done, we parted company, and I returned to my former lurking-place off the mouth of the Congo, where I was next day fortunate enough to capture a fine brigantine with three hundred and twelve slaves under hatches.
"CAPITAN ST. CROIX"
The prize crew necessary to man this second capture left me so very short-handed that, after due consideration, I decided to escort her to Sierra Leone in the schooner, which would enable me to get my men back quickly, and would at the same time afford me an opportunity to replenish my stores and water. This I accordingly did, arriving only a few hours later than the St. Iago de Cuba. I soon had reason, however, to regret the decision at which I had arrived, for several unexpected difficulties arose over the adjudication of my prizes, involving so serious a delay that when at length we got to sea again I was tormented with anxiety lest the Josefa should have arrived upon the coast, shipped another cargo of slaves, and slipped off again ere I could obtain news of her. I had been given to understand, however, that, although somewhat erratic in her movements, she chiefly frequented the Congo; I determined, therefore, to make the best of my way back to that river in the first place, trusting to chance for information as to her whereabouts upon my arrival.
I was not destined, however, to wait so long, for while slipping across the Gulf of Guinea, in the latitude of the island of St. Thomas, we sighted a small felucca, to which we at once gave chase. This craft, however, instead of attempting to avoid us, promptly bore up and came running down to meet us. She ran down across our stern,