each man's weapons and equipment, scrutinising the flints in the locks of the pistols, and otherwise satisfying himself of the efficiency of our hurried preparations. While the inspection was still in progress the captain came on deck, with his sword girded to his side and a brace of pistols thrust into his belt, and stood quietly looking on until the inspection was completed and Mr Perry had reported that everything was in order.
Then the skipper announced that he would personally lead the attack in his own gig, manned by eight oarsmen, a coxswain, and a midshipman-- myself; while the first cutter, manned by sixteen oarsmen, a coxswain, and a midshipman--Jack Keene--was to be commanded by Mr Purchase, the second lieutenant; and the second cutter, with twelve oarsmen, a coxswain, and Nugent, the master's mate, was to be under the command of the boatswain. Thus the attacking party was to consist of forty-five persons, all told, which was as many, I suppose, as the skipper felt justified in taking out o
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