The Transatlantique line steamer Toulouse lay off the breakwater of Vera Cruz, smoking fiercely, anchor up, passengers all aboard, ready to sail for Havre. Her departure had been delayed nearly eighteen hours by a fierce “norther,” which had not yet exhausted its fury. They had been anxious hours for Brainard, who had gone aboard the night before, in the expectation of sailing immediately. Now the black smoke pouring from the funnel indicated that the captain had decided to proceed, and Brainard’s spirits rose.
Nothing had been seen or heard of the stenographer