HMS Comus

HMS Comus

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HMS Comus

HMS Comus was a Caroline class light cruiser that spent the First World War with the Grand Fleet, fighting at the battle of Jutland. In May 1915 she was commissioned into the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, remaining there for the rest of the war. On 29 February 1916 she took part in the sinking of the German raider Grief, arriving after her crew had been forced to abandon ship, but in time to take part in the actual sinking of the ship.

At the battle of Jutland HMS Comus formed part of the anti-submarine screen for the battleships of the Grand Fleet on their journey towards the battle. She then took part in the destroyer battle between the fleets during the main engagement (7.15-7.30pm). Finally she was one of the last British ships to fire on the German battleships at the end of the main engagement, and was still firing at 8.30pm by which time the British battle ships had lost sight of the Germans.

In October 1917 Comus and the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron were sent to patrol off the Norwegian coast during efforts to find a German fleet known to be at sea. In the event that fleet was able to attack one of the Scandinavian convoys and then return safely to Germany.

After the war HMS Comus joined the 1st LCS (1919), before undergoing a refit and joining the 4th LCS in the East Indies (1919-1923). She spent the next year with the 3rd LCS in the Mediterranean,. From 1925 until 1920 she was part of the 2nd LCS of the Atlantic Fleet, before entering the reserve in 1930.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – deck


- belt


- conning tower





Two 6in Mk XII guns
Eight 4in quick firing Mk IV guns
One 13pdr anti-aircraft gun
Four 3pdr guns
Four 21in above-water torpedo tubes

Crew complement



16 December 1914


January 1915

Sold for break up



A. G. Hotham (1916)

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War

Construction and career

Comus, the second ship of her name to serve in the Royal Navy, Α] was ordered with the name of Comet on 15 May 1821, laid down in October 1826 at Pembroke Dockyard, Wales, and launched on 14 August 1828. ΐ] She was completed on 28 February 1829 at Plymouth Dockyard and commissioned on November 1828. The ship was renamed Comus on 31 October 1832. Ώ]

On 17 November 1833, Comus ran aground on the North Bank in Liverpool Bay during a voyage from Liverpool, Lancashire, England, to Dublin, Ireland. Β]

On 25 September 1847, Comus was driven ashore and sank near Montevideo, Uruguay. Γ] Subsequently refloated, she was repaired and returned to service. Δ]

Comus was broken up on 10 May 1862.

Palvelukseen otettaessa alus liitettiin Suuren laivaston (engl. Grand Fleet ) 4. kevyt risteilijäviirikköön. Alus otti osaa 29. helmikuuta 1916 saksalaisen saarronmurtajan Greifin upotukseen. Skagerrakin taistelussa alus kuului 4. kevyt risteilijäviirikköön yhdessä sisaralustensa HMS Carolinen ja HMS Cordelian kanssa. [1]

Maaliskuusta huhtikuuhun 1919 alus oli 1. kevyt risteilijäviirikössä ennen siirtoa telakalle Rosythissä. Alus palasi palvelukseen lokakuussa ja liitettiin 4. kevyt risteilijäviirikköön Itä-Intian asemalle. Alus oli viirikön tilapäisenä lippulaivana 1921. [1]

Alus oli telakalla Portsmouthissa marraskuusta 1922 heinäkuuhun 1923 ja sen jälkeen tilapäisesti sijoitettiin 3. kevyt risteilijäviirikköön Välimerelle, missä se oli joulukuuhun 1924, jolloin se siirrettiin Noren reserviin. [1]

Syyskuussa 1925 alus palautettiin palvelukseen Atlantin laivaston 2. kevyt risteilijäviirikköön ja huollon jälkeen uudelleen samaan yksikköön elokuussa 1927, josta risteilijä HMS Norfolk vapautti sen toukokuussa 1930. [1]

Alus siirrettiin reserviin Devonportiin ollen vanhemman lippu-upseerin sijoituspaikkana huhtikuusta 1931, kunnes alus joulukuussa 1933 sijoitettiin poistolistalle. Alus myytiin romutettavaksi heinäkuussa 1934. [1]

Captain Conway Shipley

(photo located here)
We briefly mention Commander Conway Shipley in the story below, Capture of l’Egyptienne. In that story he is the 21 year old commander of HMS Hippomenes who gave chase to, and captured, the 36-gun privateer l’Egyptienne in the Windward Islands. But sometimes these marginal notes become interesting stories in their own right.

Shipley was the son of William Davies Shipley, the dean of St. Asaph, who had achieved some degree of notoriety in his own right as the subject of a libel prosecution by the Crown.

We don’t know much about Shipley. We can presume that he went to sea in his early teens and had probably been carried on the muster roll of one or more ships since age five or so because he was already a commander at age 21. Based on his encounter with l’Egyptienne he seems to have been an energetic officer and after that adventure he remained in command of Hippomenes until November when he was posted captain.

He didn’t immediately receive another ship. His first posting was to the Irish Sea Fencibles and from there he was posted to HMS Comus (22) which was under construction at Yarmouth. He commissioned Comus in November 1806 and Admiral Samuel Hood, his patron from the Caribbean, requested his attachment to Hood’s squadron operating off the Canary Islands.

When that expedition was completed, Shipley and Nymphe found themselves blockading the Tagus River as Portugal had fallen to Napoleon.

While patrolling off Lisbon with HMS Blossom (18) under Commander George Pigot, Shipley received intelligence that the 20-gun brig Garotta, manned by a French crew of 150, was lying under the guns of Belem Castle, pictured below. Shipley conducted a personal reconnaissance, rowing up the Tagus in a small boat to confirm the story was true. He then set about to cut out Garotta using a expedition composed of 150 men and eight boats detailed from Nymphe and Blossom for the task.

The expedition had two false starts for reasons that aren’t clear, perhaps the heavy rains which had an inadvertent impact on the raid, but finally on April 22 the expedition set out around 9pm. The expedition was configured into two divisions, one being the boats from the Nymphe and the other being the boats from the Blossom. The boats from the Nymphe were her gig with Shipley in charge, her large cutter was led by Lieutenant Richard Standish Haly, her launch under Lieutenant Thomas Hodgkinson, and her barge under the master’s mate Michael Raven. Accompanying Shipley in the gig was his brother, Charles Shipley, who was serving on Nymphe as a volunteer without rank.

Blossom’s division was composed of ther gig under Commander Pigot, the large cutter under Lieutenant John Undrell, the launch commanded by Lieutenant William Cecil, and the Blossom’s small cutter under the master’s mate Thomas Hill.

The general plan called for the boats to be roped together until detected, then they would cast off the ropes with Nymphe’s division making for one side of the targeted vessel and Blossom’s making for the other. As a navigation aid, the Nymphe’s master, Henry Andrews, was stationed in Nymphe’s jolly boat down river with orders to hoist a light as a navigational aid upon the approach of the captured Garotta.

The raiders approached their target on a flood tide and Shipley halted them to wait until the tide had slacked before proceeding. He intended to quickly carry Garotta and use the ebb tide to assist in bringing his prize out. He hadn’t counted on a heavy flow of fresh water down the Tagus as a result of heavy rains inland. This caused a current of about six to eight miles per hour which the boats now had to fight. Despite the difficulty, they reached their objective around 2:30am . The watch aboard Galotta challenged them and according to plan the tow ropes were cast off and the boats raced to the attack. One of the first up the side of Galotta was Shipley. Coming up the forechains he encountered boarding nets and started cutting them away when he was shot in the forehead by a musket fired by a defender. Shipley was dead before he hit the water.

At this point Shipley’s brother panicked and ordered the gig, which hadn’t emptied of its boarders, to shove off in an effort to retrieve his brother’s body. Charles Shipley had no command authority whatsoever, but one presumes that the seamen had been taught to exhibit some deference to the captain’s brother and did as they were ordered.

Now the cost of Shipley’s waiting for slack tide became readily apparent. The long row against the flow of water out of the Tagus and its tributaries had delayed the arrival of the expedition until the tide was on ebb. Now the ebb tide was accelerated by the extra flow of water down the Tagus.

As the gig was pushed off it was swept down the side of Garotta and collided with the Haly’s large cutter which was trying to board on the larboard quarter. These two boats then caromed into the launch. All three were caught in the current but managed to halt their seaward progress by coming to a halt alongside a floating platform moored astern of Garotta that was being used to re-caulk Garotta’s seams.

Haly managed to separate the cutter from the mess and tried again. He was, however, unable to bring the cutter alongside Garotta. In the attempt he did lose a midshipman and a sailor killed and a marine wounded. Pigot’s division, perhaps deterred by hearing to Shipley’s death, made no attempt to board Garotta.

Shipley’s body washed ashore and his fellow officers raised a subscription to pay for a monument in his honor, pictured at the top of this story, where his body was recovered. According to the blog which has posted the photo of the monument, the inscription reads, in part:

Sacred to the Memory of CONWAY SHIPLEY, Esq. late Captain of His Britannic Majesty’s Ship La Nymphe, who was killed in an attempt to cut an enemy’s vessel out of the Tagus, on the 22d of April, 1808, aged 25 Years.

Circumstances, which human wisdom could not foresee, nor any exertion of human courage obviate, rendered the attempt unsuccessful, and closed the short but distinguished career of the Gallant Leader of it. Etc., etc.

Carnival history: Mistick Krewe of Comus 1873 Parade, “Missing Link to Darwin’s Origins of Species”

A typical Mardi Gras masquerade seeing as krewes were organized around white affluent cosmopolites.

In 1873, the Mistick Krewe of Comus, and most all other krewes, were comprised of wealthy, white aristocrat males. The Krewe of Comus was secretive – comprised of bank presidents, cotton merchants, and lumber barons — who joined by invitation. The cost of joining the krewe was high, so only the wealthiest of the upper class could join. The most elite, powerful men were crowned the kings, and that title reinforced their status.[1] This perpetuated the culture of white supremacy not only within the Krewe of Comus, but within all of the Mardi Gras krewes at the time.

The Mistick Krewe of Comus’ 1873 parade theme was entitled “The Missing Links to Darwin’s Origins of Species.” This was one of the first Mardi Gras parades to take an actively political stance in the era of Reconstruction. This parade was a direct attack on Reconstruction politics, Carpetbaggers, and the status of black people in society.

The parade included elaborate costumes representing unnatural specimens, critiquing the “unnatural direction” that Reconstruction had taken New Orleans. Notable political figures such as Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Butler, Henry Warmoth, and Algernon Badger were parodied and represented as mockable creatures.[2] In order to fully understand the nuances of the 1873 parade, it is important to understand the unique politics of Reconstruction in New Orleans prior to Mardi Gras of 1873.

Images depicting the struggles felt and voiced during the Reconstruction Era in New Orleans.

Prior to Reconstruction, New Orleans was seen as an anomaly among southern states and cities. The South’s largest city, its major port, and its financial and intellectual capitol, it had fallen into the hands of the Union early in war [3]. New Orleans had a black population of approximately 50,000 people at the time. That population included a large population of free blacks, many of whom were free, wealthy, and highly educated, French-speaking, Catholic Creoles a peculiarity not seen in other southern cities.

Despite the distinctiveness of New Orleans, the racial tensions that came with the Reconstruction period were as bad as any other southern city. In the 1865 elections the Democrats promoted rhetoric such as “God forbid the negro ever be elevated to our level,” which made it clear that black suffrage was unacceptable by most southern white men[4].

Throughout the late 1860’s there were a number of race riots that exacerbated the racial tensions and exposed the vulnerability of the black population in New Orleans[5]. Slavery ended with the war, but Democrats in New Orleans fought to uphold the idea that black people, even though they were no longer slaves, were inferior. The establishment of New Orleans under military rule following the passage of the Reconstruction acts further worsened race relations in the city[4].

At the time, New Orleans was governed by Henry Clay Warmoth, a Republican who was despised among the Democrats, who saw him as an incompetent, corrupt, carpetbagger[5]. Warmoth created the Metropolitan Police in order to work around the prohibition of state militia. The creation of the Metropolitan Police increased animosity towards Warmth from the white supremacists. It was not only the establishment of this pseudo-militia that upset the Democrats, but also the fact that black men served beside white men as a part of the force. Black men had been legally armed and put into authority by Warmoth, and the Democrats saw this as a threat to their status[6]. In 1869, Algernon Badger became superintendent of the Metropolitan Police he was seen by Democrats as another incompetent northern Republican.

Political paraodies from the 1872 election in New Orleans led to parade costumes full of mockery and criticism.

The election of 1872 was the first in which the Confederates had their right to vote reinstated and there was a possibility of Democratic control. Yet, Democratic influence was diminished, and as a result Republican William Kellogg replaced Warmoth as governor of Louisiana, with support from President Ulysses S. Grant.

Former Confederates hated Kellogg even more vehemently than Warmoth, further agitating racial tensions in New Orleans as Kellogg worked for desegregation and other Republican issues[7]. It is important to note that Grant’s support of Kellogg was perceived negatively by the Democrats of New Orleans, and furthered the hatred for him that had been sparked by the passage of the Reconstruction acts. The 1872 election was still fresh in the minds of the white supremacists as the 1873 Mardi Gras parades approached and the Krewe of Comus prepared to make their collective political statement.

Political figures Henry Warmoth, Algernon Badger, and Ulysses S. Grant were main points of mockery during the Missing Links parade. They were targeted specifically due to their Republican views and actions that supported a more equitable and desegregated New Orleans. Clearly, the white elite that made up the Mistick Krewe of Comus opposed the political state of the city, and decided to express their discontent through the 1873 parade. The parade did not have floats, but rather a series of paper mache costumes depicting various unnatural species. Many of these costumes were seemingly random creations, but there were many that held deep political significance.

Henry Warmoth was portrayed as a rattlesnake in the parade to show the citizen’s disdain for him and his ideologies.

Henry Warmoth was one of the many political figures attacked throughout the parade. He was portrayed as a snake, most likely referring to the fact that he was despised for being a Carpetbagger, a derogatory term applied to northern men who moved to the South during the Reconstruction era and became involved in local politics. Democrats detested the fact that Warmoth became involved in local politics when he had no local ties to the city or the area. They saw him as corrupt, exploiting the people and the city for his own personal gain. The political hatred Warmoth earned among white elite led to his portrayal as a venomous snake, one of the Missing Links.

Algernon Badger was another point of mockery in the parade. He was caricatured as a bloodhound, most likely because he was often met with opposition from the White League and other white supremacist groups.

Warmoth created the Metropolitan Police in response to the ban on state militias. The force was integrated, meaning that black officers had been given the same power and authority as white officers in situations of conflict. Due to this, the head of the Metropolitan Police, Algernon Badger was another point of mockery in the parade. He was caricatured as a bloodhound, most likely because he was often met with opposition from the White League and other white supremacist groups[8]. It was no surprise that he was portrayed as a bloodhound in the parade, making a mockery of both him and the police force.

Even president Ulysses S. Grant was not off limits from the mockery and criticism during the parade.

Ulysses S. Grant had been president and had just been reelected for a second term. Having been arguably the most important general in the Union Army, former Confederates despised him. Grant had approached Reconstruction with the intention of protecting and preserving civil rights for the former slaves. His support of the Fifteenth Amendment and his policies against the terrorist acts of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups intensified the opposition against him[9].

Grant was portrayed as a tobacco grub in the parade, mocking his incessant cigar smoking. In the original watercolor done of the creature depicting Grant, he is holding a box under his arm that says “tax paid,”perhaps attacking the corruption scandals that were brought against him [figure above].

The racist actions and portrayals of black southerners was not only part of the history of the white supremacist parades, but the racist actions were also shown in their portrayal of blacks in the parade.

Not only was the Missing Links parade an attack on the current political climate of the times, it was also a scathing attack on the social climate as well. In a blatant display of racism, the parade portrayed a half man, half gorilla as the ‘Missing Link,’ who closely resembled a black man.

And — last link in the might cable that binds unwilling Man to the indifferent Monads, appeared the gorilla a specimen, too, so amazingly like the broader-mouthed varieties of our own citizens, so Ethiopian in his exuberant glee, so fixedly at home in his pink shirt collar, so enraptured with himself and so fond of his banjo, that the Darwinian chain wanted no more links, and the people no stronger argument [10].

A tableaux depicting the fears of white supremacists, that blacks would overtake them and pull control from the whites.

One of the tableaux displayed the gorilla when he was crowned and opened the gate to an old plantation that was supposed to represent “Darwin’s Eden”[11]. In the final tableaux the gorilla stands atop a set of stairs, surrounded by the unnatural creatures that had walked in the parade. The tableaux depicted the King of Comus at the bottom of the stairs, supposedly under the rule of the Gorilla, yet unaffected by the creatures around him[12].

This inverted hierarchy represented the seemingly backwards turn that social standings had taken in the Reconstruction era with the perpetuation of desegregation and other political policies that granted rights to freedmen.

The white supremacists that made up the Krewe of Comus were threatened by the changing social order. The consensus among former Confederates was that this social progression was backwards and went against natural social order. Representing the black man and various prominent Republicans as the creatures that made up the Missing Links stated that they were subhuman creatures, less than the likes of the white man and deserving of a lower status.

A depiction of The White League.

The inversion of the gorilla and the King of Comus on the tableaux followed the carnival tradition of flipping things upside down. It was mocking what the white supremacists incorrectly saw as the Republican ideology – black men having power over white men. This was a White League interpretation of Reconstruction “the most absurd inversion of the relations of race” [13]. For so long white supremacists held top positions of power in society. When any social change threatened to disturb that status, the desire for power and control overruled any moral compass – leading to public displays of racist political commentary, such as the 1873 parade.

The Missing Links parade, while not an event in a political arena, was an inherently political attack. The message was clear: black men were inferior. They were subhuman. They were less evolved than the white man and closer to an ape than to a human.

While the white supremacists may have had limited political power at the time, they used the social capital they possessed as members of a Mardi Gras krewe to make their own kind of political statement. Using the Mardi Gras parade as a political platform allowed the members to hide behind their masks of secrecy, shielding their personal identities from any backlash they may have faced if they made a stance openly. Despite the fact that individual members’ identities were secret, the group as a whole was known. It was the rich, white Democrats who had advocated for a system of inequality from the beginning.

[1] Elizabeth Leavitt, “Southern Royalty: Race, Gender, and Discrimination During Mardi Gras From the Civil War to the Present Day,” Representing Women in the Civil War Era, (February 2015) Online article.
[2] Joseph Roach, “Carnival and the Law in New Orleans”, TDR 37 (Fall 1993), 63-66.

[3] Melinda Meek Hennessey, “Race and Violence in Reconstruction New Orleans: The 1868 Riot,” Louisiana History 20 (Winter, 1979). 77-89.
[4] Joe Gray Taylor, “New Orleans and Reconstruction”, Louisiana History Vol.9 No. 3, p.192, (Summer, 1968).
[5] Hennessey, “Race and Violence in Reconstruction New Orleans: The 1868 Riot,” 79, 80, &84.
[6] Taylor, “New Orleans and Reconstruction,” 196.
[7] Taylor, “New Orleans and Reconstruction”, 201.

[8] Thomas Hunt, “1874 White League Riots in New Orleans”, Writers of Wrongs, published September 14, 2017,

[9] John Y. Simon, “Ulysses S. Grand”, Britannica, last updated April 20, 2018,

[10] “Mistick Krewe. Their Coming Out and Going in. An Object Lesson in Ancestry. Comus’s Cabinet”, Times-Picayune, February 26, 1873.

[11] Roach, “Carnival and the Law in New Orleans”, 64.
[12] Jennifer Atkins, New Orleans Carnival Balls: The Secret Side of Mardi Gras, 1870-1920, (LSU Press, 2017) p.69-72, Google Books.

[13] Ellin Diamond, Performance and Cultural Politics, (Routledge, 1996), p. 226-229, Google Books.

HMS Constance (R71)

HMS Constance oli toukokuussa 1945 valmistajan koeajoissa. Valmistuttuaan 6. kesäkuuta alus liitettiin 8. hävittäjälaivueeseen ja se aloitti vastaanottotestit, joiden päätyttyä alus varustettiin palvelusta varten. Alus oli koulutettavana Kotilaivastossa heinäkuusta elokuuhun, minkä päätyttyä se jatkoi palvelustaan kotivesillä miehistövajeen estäessä aluksen siirtymisen Kaukoitään. [1]

Alus lähti tammikuussa 1946 Hongkongiin liittyäkseen laivueeseensa, jonka muut alukset olivat HMS Cossack, HMS Comet, HMS Comus, HMS Concord, HMS Consort, HMS Contest ja HMS Cockade. Alus palveli laivueen mukana Kaukoidässä osallistuen muun muassa kommunistien liikehdinnän torjuntaan Malesiassa. [1]

Kesäkuussa 1950 alus aloitti Yhdistyneiden kansakuntien joukkojen sotatoimien tukemisen Korean niemimaalla. Tehtävän aikana aluksen kotisatamana oli Sasebo Japanissa, jossa se vietti lepo ja täydennysjaksot. Sotatoimien lisäksi alus partioi muun muassa Malesian rannikolla. Alus määrättiin 1954 palaamaan Britteinsaarille reserviin sijoitettavaksi. [1]

Alus lähti 1955 Chathamiin, jossa se poistettiin palveluksesta sekä sijoitettiin reserviin. Alus sijoitettiin poistolistalle vuotta myöhemmin ja se myytiin BISCOlle, joka siirsi sen edelleen T. W. Wardille romutettavaksi. Alus saapui Inverkeithingiin romutettavaksi 8. maaliskuuta 1956. [1]

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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Have Some Fun Today!

Owner Doug Yurechko's father, Lou Yurechko, used to preach this simple motto as a way of life. Born from this spirit and rooted in family values, The Comus Inn pays homage to the simplest of ideas: that having a little bit of fun every day is the key to a happy and healthy life.

A throwback to a simpler time, The Comus Inn is, first and foremost, a community recreation and entertainment destination that encourages its visitors (and their four-legged friends) to hang out and leisurely enjoy their day in good company. While there, The Comus Inn offers a variety of activities, amenities, games, and special events for all age groups.

Offering unequaled panoramic views, sweeping landscapes and historic charm, we are located on 5.26 stunning acres at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in Montgomery County, Maryland. With sprawling park-like grounds, The Comus Inn provides ample exploration and play opportunities for adults and children alike.

Promising accessible farm-to-table cuisine, The Comus Inn has welcomed Chef Sammy D as its Culinary Director. Originally from New York City, Chef Sammy D’s career has taken his culinary ingenuity all over the world to places like Australia, Canada, Dubai, Thailand and most recently with restaurants in The Bellagio in Las Vegas & The Kimpton Hotel in Amsterdam. Now ready to get back to his roots in the kitchen, Chef Sammy D’s involvement with The Comus Inn promises craft culinary experiences that are both local and farm fresh.

Featuring a world-class chef led restaurant, a craft beer garden, and a unique marketplace, all of our food & beverage offerings are created with a focus on a local approach. While our hope is that you always enjoy your time with us, our true goal is that you also leave The Comus Inn with fun memories of spending time with family & friends.

HMS Comus - History

Part of the C-class light cruisers sub-class Caroline consisting of the Caroline, Carysfort, Cleopatra, Comus, Conquest and Cordelia, preceded by the Arethusa-class and succeeded by the Danae-class.

Laid down by Swan Hunter, Wallsend-on-Tyne, England on 13 November 1913, launched on 16 December 1914, completed in May 1915, commissioned on 15 May 1915, decommissioned ion December 1924, decommissioned in September 1925, decommissioned in December 1933 and sold to Thos W. Ward, Barrow-in-Furness, England be broken up on 28 July 1934.

Displacement 3.750 (normal)-4.219 (loaded)-4.733 (deep) tons and as dimensions 130-136 (over all) x 12,6 x 5 (maximum) metres or 420-446 x 41.5 x 16 feet. The Parsons turbines supplied via 4 shafts 40.000 shp allowing a speed of 28,5 knots. Fuel oil bunker capacity 405 tons. Crew numbered 325 men. Armament consisted of 2x1-15,2cm/6” cal 45 Mk XII guns, 8-10,2cm/4” cal 45 Mk V quick firing guns, 1-6pd gun and 4-53,3cm/21” torpedo tubes. Later replaced by 4-15,2cm/6” cal 45 Mk XII guns, 2-7,8cm/3” anti aircraft guns and 4-53,3cm/21” torpedo tubes. The armour consisted of a 2,5cm/1”-7,6c7,/3” thick belt and 2,5cm/1” thick decks.

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