Our hero is a young midshipman called FitzgeraldBurnett, but always known as Fitz. The warship in which he serves is on Channel Patrol, and they are on the lookout for a smuggler who is running arms to a friendly Central American small Republic. They get more caught up in the struggle that is going on in that country, and so take part in several small fights and other tense situations.
of beating fast, Fitz Burnett's heart now continued its pulsations in jerks in his excitement lest the schooner should glide by them and leave them behind.
It was a near thing, but the lieutenant had taken his measures correctly. He was standing up once again grasping the rudder-lines till almost the last moment, before dropping them and giving two orders, to the coxswain to hook on, and to the crew to follow--unnecessary orders, for every man was on the qui vive, knew his task, and meant to do it in the shortest possible time.
And now a peculiar sense of unreality attacked the young midshipman, for in the darkness everything seemed so dream-like and unnatural. It was as if they were rowing with all their might towards a phantom ship, a misty something dimly-seen in the darkness, a ship-like shape that might at any moment die right away; for all on board was black, and the silence profound. There was nothing alive, as it were, but the schooner itself, careening gently over in their dir