How he stowed himself into rowing posture I have not the least idea, but eventually we were moving sluggishly out into the open water, his head just visible in the bows. We had started from what appeared to be the head of a narrow loch, and were leaving behind us the lights of a big town. A long frontage of lamp-lit quays was on our left, with here and there the vague hull of a steamer alongside.
As the current hit us, he let out the guys, which maneuver caused the boat to swing stern downstream. When it pointed obliquely, he made fast the guys again. I saw that this served two purposes: the current struck, slid alongside, and over the stern, which mitigated the danger, and at the same time helped the boat across. To look at the river was to court terror, but I had to look.
One night, as she is led from the hall of trial to her prison, Marie Antoinette becomes so exhausted, so overpowered, that staggering, she murmurs, "I can see no longer! I can go no farther! I cannot move!" One of the gendarmes walking alongside of her offers his arm, and supported by it Marie Antoinette totters up the three stone steps which lead into the prison.
Stallings as he trudged alongside his two yoke of oxen. About ten o'clock in the morning, George Jacklin, the foreman of the Millet herd, rode up with several of his men, and seeing the bridge taking shape, turned in and assisted in dragging brush for the foundation.
Our road lay alongside of the canal, where there were more trees and less dust. On the way we first visited the Five Pagoda Buddhist Temple, which seems to belong to a different world from that of to-day. It is a square mass of masonry fifty feet high, covered with old colored tiles and with beautiful reliefs of camels.
This was language that required no interpreter. It was a mandate that must be obeyed. The helm was ordered "hard-a-lee," the foresail hauled up, and the topsail laid to the mast. The armed brig hoisted British colors, and her boat was soon alongside the Dolphin. An officer sprang on board, followed by several sailors.
As men ran against or alongside of each other, their breathless question was ever, 'Where is it? and no one could tell; so they pressed onwards into the market-place, sure of obtaining the information desired there, where the fire-bell kept calling out with its furious metal tongue.
As we wanted to see a lightship, the yacht was hove-to, and we went alongside in the boat. She was a stout, tub-like, Dutch-built-looking vessel, with bow and stern much alike, and rising high out of the water, which is very necessary, considering the heavy seas to which she is at times exposed.
The expedition had succeeded in locating the two ships on the previous night before the setting of the moon, and had then lain in ambush behind a point only some two cables lengths from their prey until about two o'clock the next morning, when, with muffled oars, they had pulled alongside the two craft simultaneously, boarded them without resistance, surprised and overpowered the anchor-watch, and secured the crews under hatches.
We were as secret as possible about it, but in some unfathomable way the friends ashore got word to the beleaguered Italians to keep their eyes open. On the night we were to put our ruse into effect, Charley and I took up our usual station in our rowing skiff alongside the Lancashire Queen.