the mine-laying peril as close to zero as possible."
"Very good, sir," replied Lieutenant Fernald. That capable executive officer had nothing more to say at present, for his quick mind was already devising methods for keeping the crew unusually alert.
An hour and a half after sailing night had settled down. The English shore was but a vague, distant line. A short, choppy sea was running. In the sky was a new moon that would set early.
The watch had changed, but Dave and his executive officer remained on the bridge. Down in the wardroom such officers as were off duty were stowing away food in record time.
Half a mile off to the west steamed the "Reed." Suddenly the lookouts on both craft reported a vessel ahead. Orders quietly given sent the men to gun stations. All eyes were turned on the approaching craft. Then her identification signal shone forth in the night. The stranger was a British scout cruiser racing back to port from some errand.
In almost the same instant Dave a
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