sympathize with the weaker party in all conflicts.
It was gratefully acknowledged, but the Stonewall
had been built to fight, not to run — especially in this case, where the pursuer would have the speed of two to one of the pursued.
Her boats, save one at the stern, had been sent on shore, lest they should obstruct the free use of the after-guns in time of action, for if sunk or captured the boats of her kind friends
would be amply sufficient to rescue from a watery grave those who might be on the surface.
The gallant spirits on board of the Stonewall
were not dismayed in the face of this superior force; but trusting in the Omnipotent Ruler
, and in the justice of the cause represented by that emblem at the “peak,” they were of one mind to do their duty.
The small sum of Government money on hand was sent on shore, and the officers sent, each one, his watch — a memento of his last gallant deeds — to some dear relative.
One bright spring morning, after the men had broken their fast, the Stonewall
“put to sea,” to face the momentous ordeal awaiting her, as it was supposed.
She was followed by a very imposing Spanish frigate, whose object — doubtless coupled with a little curiosity to witness a fight — was to see that in the impending conflict between the belligerents there should be no violation of Spanish territory.
A few minutes only served to put them both in blue water.
Doubtless the anticipations of the frigate's officers were wrought to the highest pitch of interesting excitement; but they were destined to disappointment.
When the Stonewall
had passed beyond the “marine league” from the Spanish
coast, the frigate fired a gun, from which the inference was that she had got beyond Spanish jurisdiction.
Assuming an imaginary line between the headlands of the crescent-formed coast, the Stonewall
“stood” on that line, to and fro, taking care not to approach either headland within three marine miles.
, lying in Corunna
, were plainly in sight, with “steam up” and issuing from the steam pipe.
The sloping sides of the mountains, both north and south, presented a beautiful panoramic spectacle.
Curiosity had led thousands of persons from both Corunna
, as on some gala occasion, to assemble on these mountain slopes to witness the anticipated conflict; but they, too, were destined to disappointment, and as the day waned, convinced that no performance would come off, they retired to their homes, as it was reported, giving vent to their feelings in no measured terms, against those actors who were