There was a great stirring up on deck, more so than the usual sound of men about their watches. The stir was followed shortly by a choir of excited voices and cheers from every man on deck from the focsle to the quarterdeck. The Doctor put on his coat and went up to see what was afoot.
Once there, he noted that it seemed as though every man aboard the Acasta was up on her deck looking across to the water larboard at the flags that Valiant had hoisted.
On the quarterdeck, Captain Freymann had the younger Midshipmen rooting through a well worn copy of Popham's Telegraph Signal Book to decipher the signal. Young Calhoun sat on the deck with his legs folded, the large book on his lap, the older boys looking over his shoulder and instructing him on where to look, urging him to turn the pages faster.
"Good Afternoon Doctor!" Freymann's face shone with joy as the ship's surgeon drew near.
"Indeed it would seem to be." The Doctor replied, referring to the general sense of mirth among the men, "What have I missed?" he asked, appearing a bit confused.
Freymann looked across the water toward the Valiant again through his glass before he continued, "About two hours ago the Flag received her mail. Then a few minutes ago they made our number, and followed it up with this!" The Captain passed his telescope carefully to the Doctor, who had a reputation for dropping them and cracking lenses.
He took up the glass, steadied it against a rope as he had been instructed years ago and looked across to the Valiant, he espied the signal right away, "It's a short one." the Doctor observed.
"That it is, but it is the most beautiful thing!" Captain Freymann replied, smiling.