Early in the evening, the two steamers were standing out into the Gulf headed to the south-east. In the middle of the afternoon of the next day, Mr. Flint reported to the flag-officer off Pensacola Bay. The wounded captain was as comfortable as a young man could be with two bullet-holes in his limbs. It was the first time he had been wounded so as to disable him; but he felt that he had faithfully done his duty to his country, and he was as cheerful as a man in his condition could be. Dr. Connelly reported that he would not be fit for service again for six or eight weeks.
"The flag-officer has signalled for the Vernon to come alongside," interposed another seaman who had heard the question.
"But why are you out doors at this time of night?" Mrs. Passford insisted. "You will catch a cold that will lay you up, if you go out in that condition."
The quartermaster obeyed the order, and four of the party were placed in the bow and stern sheets of the cutter. Six oarsmen were directed to take their places on the thwarts. The lieutenant retained his place in the stern sheets, which he had not left during the affray or the conference. Three seamen, with a pistol in one hand and a cutlass in the other, were directed to remain on board of the sloop; but the party had been disarmed, and their muskets were in the bottom of the cutter, and they were not likely to attempt any resistance. The painter of the sloop was made fast to the stern of the Bronx's boat, and Mr. Pennant gave the order for the crew to give way.
"Who's there?" demanded Christy Passford, sitting up in his bed, in the middle of the night, in his room on the second floor of his father's palatial mansion on the Hudson, where the young lieutenant was waiting for a passage to the Gulf.
Christy handed him the appointment just made, and the steward danced about like a madman. He 365 had expected nothing for his meritorious service, and he found himself in a position of trust and responsibility. He expressed his gratitude in the most earnest language, and without using a single objectionable phrase, for his education was better than his habit in the use of speech.