He looked at the hatchways, shot-racks, and magazines; and, surveying the hammock-hooks on the berth-deck, said, 'You'll have a large crew for a merchant-steamer. We had taken on board some heavy oak plank, that lay on the main deck; the officer remarked that they were for anchor-stocks, and was shortly answered, 'Wouldn't make bad gun-platforms, sir, which, indeed, was just what they were intended for.
Before he came to me, I could never have believed it possible that I could have obeyed him; but somehow or other I did contrive to crawl up the ladder to the main-deck, where I sat down on the shot-racks and cried bitterly. What would I have given to have been at home again! It was not my fault that I was the greatest fool in the family, yet how was I punished for it!
As all hands were pretty well tired, we lay down, with our heads on shot-boxes, and soon went to sleep. In speaking of the canvass that was set, I ought to have said something of the state of our decks. The guns had the side-tackles fastened as I have mentioned. There was a box of canister, and another of grape, at each gun, besides extra stands of both, under the shot-racks.
He surveys the supposed enemy, and his duty is to revolve the tower, take aim, and let go the firing machinery, i.e. pull the trigger. The outsiders stand by the locking bolt, levers, shot-racks, etcetera. Then, in the attitude of ready-for-action, all become motionless attentive statues a regular tableau-vivant. "Stentor again shouts, `Cast loose. To my ignorant eye energetic confusion ensues.
Before he came to me, I could never have believed it possible that I could have obeyed him; but somehow or another I did contrive to crawl up the ladder to the main-deck, where I sat down on the shot-racks and cried bitterly. But, by degrees, I recovered myself, and certainly felt a great deal better, and that night I slept very soundly. The next morning O'Brien came to me again.
I had already noticed several charges of grape ranged along the shot-racks; and it now occurred to me that one of these discharged into the thick of our enemies might help very materially to mitigate their ardour.