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The towering stacks of the steamboat “Mediterranean” sent their clouds of smoke, black and wind rent, across the sky; her sharp bow cut the yellow waters of the Mississippi and dashed the spray as high as her rails. The cabins were thronged with passengers; the forward deck was tiered high with bales and barrels and boxes of merchandise. Two boys sat by the rail upon the upper deck; their faces were earnest and they talked in low tones. “Are you quite sure that Sam Davidge is on board, Walt?” asked one. “I’d know him among a whole city-full, let alone a cabin-full,” answered Walter Jordan. “And I’ve seen him three times to-day.” The other boy frowned and looked out over the wide river toward the Arkansas shore.