As the ship nears Cuban waters, how does Captain Cawthorne manage to get the right to anchor in "The Slave Dancer"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Cawthorne uses a ruse in order to land safely in Cuban waters by cunningly changing the flags as needed.  In the chapter titled "The Spaniard," Jessie describes how the trick was accomplished:

"Three days after leaving the island, the Spanish flag flew from The Moonlight, giving us, declared Purvis, the...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Cawthorne uses a ruse in order to land safely in Cuban waters by cunningly changing the flags as needed.  In the chapter titled "The Spaniard," Jessie describes how the trick was accomplished:

"Three days after leaving the island, the Spanish flag flew from The Moonlight, giving us, declared Purvis, the right to anchor in Cuban waters..."We're a Spanish ship now," he said, "and no American warship will take the chance of searching us and risk getting into trouble with the Spanish government."

"But if we're seen by a British warship?"

"Then we'll run up an American flag."

The game of cat-and-mouse played with the flags helps illustrate the difficulty of stopping the slave trade. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team