No voice replied to hers; the carriage continued to roll on with rapidity; the officer seemed a statue.
Milady looked at the officer with one of those terrible expressions peculiar to her countenance, and which so rarely failed of their effect; anger made her eyes flash in the darkness.
The officer leaned forward, looked at her in his turn, and appeared surprised to see that face, just before so beautiful, distorted with passion and almost hideous.
However flattering this compliment, the officer made no reply; but drawing from his belt a little silver whistle, such as boatswains use in ships of war, he whistled three times, with three different modulations.
Then the officer, with the same calm politeness, invited his prisoner to enter the house.
The officer superintended all these details with the same calmness Milady had constantly seen in him, never pronouncing a word himself, and making himself obeyed by a gesture of his hand or a sound of his whistle.
Vronsky liked him both for his exceptional physical strength, which he showed for the most part by being able to drink like a fish, and do without sleep without being in the slightest degree affected by it; and for his great strength of character, which he showed in his relations with his comrades and superior officers
, commanding both fear and respect, and also at cards, when he would play for tens of thousands and however much he might have drunk, always with such skill and decision that he was reckoned the best player in the English Club.
But at the moment he was about to adopt this plan, he saw the officers
around him reading similar orders, which the passive agent of the thoughts of that infernal Colbert had distributed to them.
I knew that no more loyal officer wore the uniform of the navy.
Johnson, I intend retaining command of the ship, even though she crosses thirty, and I shall demand implicit obedience from every officer and man aboard until I am properly relieved from duty by a superior officer in the port of New York.
And now you may go below, and, when again you find it necessary to address me, you will please be so good as to bear in mind the fact that I am your commanding officer, and as such entitled to a salute.
I merely stated that I should refuse to submit to arrest, and that I should demand of him and every other officer and man implicit obedience to my every command until we docked at home.
Every officer and man aboard was tense with nervous excitement as we awaited the result of the reading.
All the officers agreed, with the one exception of Wardour, who still kept silence.
The casting of the lots went on rapidly among the officers and men.