ฝาก1รบ20 He had decided upon his method of operations, and then wished again that he was not in command of the steamer; for the expedition he intended 311 to send out was one he would have been glad to command in person, instead of remaining inactive on board of the Bronx. As soon as he had arranged his plan, he went on deck. To the astonishment of the first lieutenant, he changed the course of the steamer to the north, and at noon let go the anchor in four fathoms of water. The vessel remained there till it was dark, and then proceeded to the westward, sounding all the time. The boat's crew had already lowered the first cutter into the water. The oars were muffled, for the chances were that no one in the vicinity of the plantation had discovered the presence of the Bronx, and it was not advisable to alarm the people. Vincent acted as cockswain of the boat, while the Russian, as most of the officers and men 315 insisted upon calling him, was seated in the stern sheets with the third lieutenant. The eight men at the oars formed the rest of the crew. "Mr. Flint has not had his breakfast yet, and he will come below for it very soon," added Dave. "He was just coming down for it when he got the signal to come alongside the flag-ship." At the last order the men levelled their oars, feathering the blades, and remained like eight statues in their seats. Vincent listened with all his ears in the dead silence which prevailed. "I don't think I am ever rash, mother; and if I have been exceedingly fortunate, it was more because the circumstances favored me than because I ran great risks," replied Christy very seriously, for he was sensitive on the point his mother had brought up. "Father has said a great deal to me on this subject, and I have always done my best to carry out his principles. It is not my fault that I have a friend at court, and have had opportunities that have not been offered to many others. But the tide may turn against me on my next cruise."