ลกก888 The Bronx continued to dart ahead at her best speed, and no sound came from the fort. It was only a question of minutes now before the steamer reached a point inside of the island where she could accomplish her mission by the capture of the Sphinx. The officers remained on deck, but they were protected by the bulwarks, the masts, and especially under the shelter of the top-gallant forecastle. Christy had earnestly warned the second and third lieutenants not to expose themselves needlessly to the musketry of the fort, and Mr. Flint was discreet enough to need no such warning. 298 "We chased a good-sized steamer out last night, and she gave us a long run; but we picked her up, and she is now on her way to New York. She is good for eighteen knots an hour, and the Government is sure to buy her when she is condemned. Mr. Ballard, the second lieutenant, has gone in her as prize-master. He is in poor health, and will get leave of absence till he is better; but I do not believe he will ever come down here again. Were you in earnest in what you said about not liking your present position, Christy?" "I should thank you, Captain Battleton, for the compliment, if I were not under suspicion of being some other person. May I ask when it will be convenient for you to settle the question, for it is not pleasant for me to feel that I am looked upon as even a possible impostor?"