She was the largest, fastest, and latest thing in seagoing destroyers, and though the specifications called for but thirty-six knots' speed, she had made thirty-eight on her trial trip, and later, under careful nursing by her engineers, she had increased this to forty knots an hour-five knots faster than any craft afloat-and, with a clean bottom, this speed could be depended upon at any time it was needed. She carried four twenty-one-inch torpedo tubes and a battery of six twelve-pounder, rapid-fire guns; also, she carried two large searchlights and a wireless equipment of seventy miles reach, the aërials of which stretched from the truck of her short signal mast aft to a short pole at the taffrail. Her crew was not on board, however. Newly scraped and painted in the dry dock, she had been hauled out, stored, and fueled by a navy-yard gang, and now lay at the dock, ready for sea-ready for her draft of men in the morning, and with no one on board for the night but the executive officer, who, with something on his mind, had elected to remain, while the captain and other commissioned officers went ashore for the night.
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