The stranger was a steamer, apparently a warship. If of the U.S. Navy, the Shenandoah had to avoid her, but the courses converged.
"The sun was thirty minutes high and the sky was cloudless. We could make no change in course of the ship or quantity of sail she carried, for to arouse the suspicions of the sail might expose the Shenandoah to investigation. Whatever she was she had seen our ship and might be waiting to speak to her.
"The Shenandoah was perceptibly shortening the distance between herself and the sail, and there was danger that she would approach too near during daylight for she could already be seen from our deck."
Wondering What Happened Next. --Old B-R'er