CHAPTER XLVIII
SUGAR AND POSTAGE

O NE day, on the street, I encountered the man whom, of all men, I most wished to see-- Horace Bixby; formerly pilot under me--or rather, over me--now captain of the great steamer City of Baton Rouge, the latest and swiftest addition to the Anchor Line. The same slender figure, the same tight curls, the same spring step, the same alertness, the same decision of eye and answering decision of hand, the same erect military bearing; not an inch gained or lost in girth, not an ounce gained or lost in weight, not a hair turned. It is a curious thing, to leave a man thirty-five years old, and come back at the end of twenty-one years and find him still only thirty-five. I have not had an experience of this kind before, I believe. There were some crow'sfeet, but they counted for next to nothing, since they were inconspicuous.

His boat was just in. I had been waiting several days for her, purposing to return to St. Louis in her. The captain and I joined a party of ladies and gentlemen, guests of Major Wood, and went down the river fifty-four miles, in a swift tug, to ex Governor Warmoth's sugar-plantation. Strung along below the city was a number of decayed, ram-

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