ufa959 Without much difficulty Christy dropped his valise into the boat, and then dropped himself in after it. The belated passenger cast an earnest look at the Vernon, which had just begun to move, though at a snail's pace, and he hoped he should be able to get on board of her. The strength of the Bronx was mainly in her heavy midship gun. The commander had ascertained the range of the twenty-four pounder barbette guns of the fort, and made his calculations accordingly. He could batter down the masonry of the works at his leisure, if he chose to waste his time and ammunition in that way; but the Confederates proposed to abandon the fort, and it would not pay to destroy it. The negro hurried the officer and Mike into one of the cabins, and shoved them into a sort of closet, while he went to the door himself. He passed out into the lane, as the man came into it from the middle of the field, for he had not been near enough to the shore to discover the boat. Christy heard the footsteps of the late second lieutenant of the Vernon as he left the cabin. He had listened to the details of the plan formed by the naval officer, and it agreed with the prediction of Mr. Flint. While he was thinking of what he had just learned, he heard the step of Corny—for it could not be that of any other person so soon—coming into the stateroom; then he saw his feet from behind his barricade of bags and baggage. Before he reached the sacred limits of the quarter-deck, Christy met a quartermaster, of whom he inquired the name of the commander.