"Then What's The Use Of Asking Us At All?" Said Marco.
"Why, what you will say may modify my judgment.
I did not say that I
shall decide according to my judgment as it is now, but as it will be
after I have heard what you will have to say. I shall be influenced
perhaps by your reasons, but I shall decide myself. That is the theory
of a council of war. The commander may be influenced by the arguments
of his subalterns, but he is not governed by their votes."
Forester then called upon each of the boys, in succession, to give his
opinion on the point. Marco was in favor of going down the river, but
all the rest, though they said that they should like to go very much,
thought it would not answer, as it would be almost impossible to get
the boat up again over the rips. After the consultation was concluded,
Forester said, "Well, boys, you have all given wise opinions except
Marco, and his is not wise. Now we'll go aboard the boat."
"_Crew aboard!_" said Forester. The other orders followed in
rapid succession: _Attention! Toss! Let fall! Backwater! Oars! Give
way!_ The boys considered it settled, on hearing what Forester had
said of the wisdom of their several opinions, that they were now going
back toward the mill; but how they were going to get the boat back
above the dam they did not know, though they did not doubt that
Forester had some good plan which he had not explained to them.
Instead, however, of turning the head of the boat up the stream,
Forester pointed it toward the river.
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