“A sailor usually considers himself as out of the pale of respectable society, and he longs for an opportunity to become the only thing he thinks he can be-a brute!
At Port Mahon, a short party once managed out with the officers. The crew were becoming so restive at confinement on board that Perry allowed about a hundred men to go ashore for a run on the uninhabited side of the harbor opposite the town.
No sooner were they assure that a jocose bugler in the party sounded a well-known ditty, over the hills and far away. Then, relates Garrison, there was “such scampering and scudding it was laughable; every man running for the head of the harbor to get into town.
“Perry, seeing what was happening, ordered the gun signal “recall quote to be fired, and sent boats away to enforce it. About thirty men obeyed, but the rest spent the night in Port Mahon. Next morning they came on board, to be served with a dozen lashes after breakfast; all except one who escaped punishment because he pleased the Commodore by telling the truth when I asked where he got the money for a drink: “I sold my jacket!”
From “Old Bruin”Commodore Matthew C. Perry 1794-1858 “The American Naval Officer who helped found Liberia, hunted pirates in the West Indies, practiced diplomacy with the Sultan of Turkey and the King of the two Sicilies, commanded the Gulf Squadron in the Mexican war, promoted the steam Navy in the shell gun, and conducted the Naval expedition which opened Japan” by Samuel Elliott Morison