So it was a very grim-visaged, uncompromising-looking group of Englishmen at whom the newcomers stared upward when the boat arrived within easy hailing-distance and lay upon her oars. An elderly man, attired in the usual mariner's costume of the period, rose in the stern-sheets of the boat and, doffing his cap, opened the conversation by remarking in English: "Good morning, gentlemen!
There would be a chance of getting some provisions, the man thought. The girl thought of nothing except to get away. They rode hard, and soon came within hailing-distance of the people ahead of them, and asked a few questions. No, there were no houses to the north until you were over the Canadian line, and the trail was hard to follow. Few people went that way. Most went down to Malta.
We altered the sloop's course at once so as to bring her across the stranger's bows, for having neither ensign to reverse, nor gun wherewith to fire a signal of distress, it was a matter of life and death for us to get within hailing-distance. "What is she! Can you make her out?" I asked Yawl, as trembling with excitement, we looked longingly at the noble ship in which centered our hopes.
Percy steered very well, and Christy had enough to do to watch the steamer astern and the boat ahead. The long-boat, with the increased experience of its crew, was doing very well, and it would soon be within hailing-distance of the Bellevite.
The two men in the chains reported the depth as rapidly as they could heave the lead, and it was soon evident that the steamer could not pass the extensive bar to the westward of the ship-channel. "Steamer ahoy!" shouted the captain of the tug, as he stopped his screw within hailing-distance of the Bellevite. "Reply to that hail, Mr. Percy," said the commander to the young gentleman in uniform.
My friend John seemed rather moody and dogged; however, we soon got within hailing-distance; and having provided myself with a speaking-trumpet John having forgot his I esteemed it good policy to, in a social way, have a small quantity of talk with Jacob, who, although a common sort of person, I felt assured must be well posted on matters and things concerning manifest destiny.
Marshall therefore called upon Winter, one of his lieutenants, to take a party of twenty men, and with them return to the Adventure, cast her adrift from the prize, and lie off within easy hailing-distance of the latter.
But he reached the water in safety, and struck out for the vessel. A few random shots were fired at him, which Archie heard as they whistled past him; but his good fortune had not deserted him, and he again escaped unhurt. The reports of the guns on board the Boxer pointed out the direction in which he was to go, and in a quarter of an hour he was within hailing-distance of the vessel.
"I was in the pilot-house at the time, though the weather was so thick that I could hardly make her out as she slipped off from our starboard bow, and went on her course." "Didn't she hail you, and offer to stand by you?" inquired the commander. "I heard something like a shout coming from her, and in a moment she was beyond hailing-distance.
By half-past nine the "Wasp" was within hailing-distance, and an officer posted on the bow hailed the stranger several times; but as she returned no satisfactory answer, and refused to heave to, the "Wasp" opened upon her with a twelve-pound carronade, and soon after poured a broadside into her quarter. The two ships ploughed through the black water, under full sail, side by side.