net 168 "The flag-officer has signalled for the Vernon to come alongside," interposed another seaman who had heard the question. When the commander went on deck, the fog had disappeared, and the shore was to be seen at the distance of about six miles from the steamer. At eight bells, or noon, a steamer was discovered coming out of the bay by a channel between two islands. She carried the American flag over the Confederate, and no one doubted that she was the Floridian. In half an hour she was alongside, and she looked like a fine vessel, for she had come from the other side of the ocean as a blockade-runner. 298 "We chased a good-sized steamer out last night, and she gave us a long run; but we picked her up, and she is now on her way to New York. She is good for eighteen knots an hour, and the Government is sure to buy her when she is condemned. Mr. Ballard, the second lieutenant, has gone in her as prize-master. He is in poor health, and will get leave of absence till he is better; but I do not believe he will ever come down here again. Were you in earnest in what you said about not liking your present position, Christy?" "He is quite safe; he is a prisoner of war below, with a pair of handcuffs on his wrists," replied Christy. "You and he together made the nest for him, and he must sleep in it. I cannot say what the commodore will do with you."