Page:Yule Logs.djvu/372

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hooks of suspense; but at length another hail, in low, cautious tones, came down from the mast-head—

"On deck, there! there's something coming out of the river, sir! No mistake about it this time, because her canvas has just shut out a star that's risin'. And she's comin' along fast, too, sir; I can make her out quite distinct with the naked heye."

"Capital!" I exclaimed; "that is good news indeed! Can you make out how she is heading?"

"Well, only in a general sort of way, sir," was the reply. "She's steerin' this way, o' course, but she's edgin' away to the nor'ard too. I reckon that if we stays where we are now, she'll pass us about a matter of three or four mile to the nor'ard."

"Very well," I responded. "Keep your eye upon her; do not lose sight of her for an instant. Now, Mr. Adams," I continued to the midshipman in charge of the deck, "have all hands called, if you please, and let some of them man the capstan and get the anchor to the bows, while the rest get the fore-topmast on end and the yards across. And, remember, they will have to see with their hands, for no lights whatever must be shown. With only ordinary care we ought to nab that fellow easily."

And we did, regulating our movements so accurately that, although we were soon afterwards discovered, we contrived to get alongside her within an hour, ranging up on her weather quarter and hailing her to heave-to, which she did without attempting any resistance; and a few minutes later we found ourselves masters of the St. Iago de Cuba—the brig I had boarded in the river—with three hundred and eighty-four slaves in her hold! I could spare but a very small prize crew to take her into Sierra Leone, I therefore took the precaution to put the whole of her people in irons; having done which, I sent her away in charge of my senior mid and ten men, giving him instructions to carry on day and night until his