m4win "Do you think it advisable to do so at once?" asked Corny; and his motive seemed to be simple curiosity, for he was not competent to give advice on a naval question, though he was in nominal command of the steamer. Christy was a passenger on board of the Vernon, and he had nothing to do. The commanding officer appeared to be engaged in the details of his duty, though the steamer was in charge of a pilot. He could see from his shoulder straps that he was an ensign, and the officers in the waist and on the forecastle were of the same rank. If there were any other passengers on board of the vessel who were commissioned officers, they were not visible on the deck, though they might be in their staterooms, arranging their affairs for the voyage.