slot u31 140 "But you had no witnesses then. You have twenty or thirty of them now. I know you, and so do all the members of the old crew." The first lieutenant inspected the work, and reported to the captain, who immediately ordered him to weigh the anchor. The chief engineer had been directed to be ready to proceed, and the steam was hissing with a merry music. The midship gun was of no service now, and Mr. Flint had been directed to keep up a steady fire with the 354 broadside guns at the embrasures of the fort as soon as the Bronx was in range. "Why did you bless the Lord that you were here at last?" "So far as I have seen, there is not."
mm88fifa "Of course you cannot expect me to betray the confidence of the commodore; that would not be kind or friendly on your part, Captain Flanger, for you can see that this is a delicate matter," said Christy, halting in front of the table. "I cannot explain it—how can I?" replied Christy. "Whoever took out my papers and put the blanks in their place, did not make me his confidant in the operation." mm88fifa "But, Christy, something has happened; and you must tell me about it, or I shall not sleep another wink to-night," persisted the lady, concluding that her son was trying to conceal something from her, as indeed he was, for he feared it would alarm her if he told her some one had come into the house. "All right, captain; it is not necessary for me to say a single word," added the intruder, as he made a slight demonstration with the weapon in 267 his right hand, which was not lost upon the commander. "With your permission, I will proceed with my remarks." "Look up the log slate, for I suppose they have made the entries, and when we have run eighty knots from the station, keep a sharp lookout for the land. Now I will go to my cabin, and find the 174 envelope that contains the orders, and look them over." Instead of obeying the order, the boatman hauled in his sheet, and the sloop began to fill away. Mr. Pennant could form no idea of what the party were. It was possible that they were private citizens, and non-combatants; if they were, they had only to prove they were such by submitting to a further inquiry. "I did not aim at his nose, but at his head in a general way," replied the commander. "I fired in a hurry, and I meant to reach his brains, if he had any. Take him away; I am disgusted." The rattle of musketry became quite sharp, and the bullets were penetrating the bulwarks. Two had been wounded at one of the guns, and carried below. Christy stepped over to the end of the 355 bridge to call a hand to take the place of Boxie, and at that moment he felt a sharp sting, as it were, in his right arm, above the elbow. Involuntarily he raised his hand to the place, and felt the warm blood oozing from the wound. It produced a momentary faintness; but he braced himself up, and wound his handkerchief around his arm, calling upon the wheelman to tie it, as he hastened to the aid of Vincent. He said not a word about the accident. "I cannot explain the matter at present, and 94 you must excuse me from offering merely vague suspicions and conjectures." The weather continued favorable till the end of the cruise, and then on the eighth day the Vernon arrived near her destination off Pensacola Bay. Thus far no attempt had been made to capture the steamer, and the plot was as dark as it had been in the beginning. Christy thought that Corny was becoming somewhat nervous when the vessels of the squadron were made out in the distance. pg slots Christy had crawled out of his narrow quarters under the berth as soon as Dave began to operate on the sleeper above him, and he stood ready to assist the steward if his services were required; but there was hardly anything like a struggle, for Corny had been so completely surprised that he was incapable of doing anything in self-defence. With his hands strapped behind him, and with the gag still in his mouth, he was permitted to remain in the berth under the guard of Dave. "The first cutter of the United States steamer Bronx! Heave to, and give an account of yourselves," hailed the officer in command. "Stand by to lay on your oars!" he added in a lower tone to his crew. "Oars!" "Ten feet!" shouted the man at the lead. "That will do, Mr. Flint; stop her, and let go the anchor. Get out a spring astern and make it fast to that buoy," said the commander. There were nine men left in the standing room, including the gentleman in black; they were coarse and rough-looking persons, and not one of them appeared to be the social peer of him who had condemned the firing upon the boat. The skipper remained at the tiller of the boat, and he looked as though he might have negro blood in his veins, though he was not black, and probably was an octoroon. He said nothing and did nothing, and had not used a musket when the others fired. He 216 behaved as though he intended to be entirely neutral. A few drops of negro blood in his veins was enough to condemn him to inferiority with the rude fellows on board of the sloop, though his complexion was lighter than that of any of his companions. "He is the coachman. I am not sorry that Walsh has gone, for he has saved me the trouble of discharging him. Wilder, who had been with us so many years, took it into his head to enlist in the army, and I was not willing to persuade him to shirk his duty. Walsh has not been here quite two weeks. He said he was born in the West Indies; but he was always prying into matters that did not concern him, and I have several times found him standing at the door when we were talking about family matters. I reproved him for it; but it did no good. Your father 30 intended to discharge him as soon as he returned from Washington." Possibly the man under examination was not wholly responsible for his distortion of the name of Captain Passford's estate, as Christy was beginning to reap the penalty of his imprudence the night before, in exposing himself barefooted and half-clothed to the chill midnight air, and was developing a cold in the head that already affected his enunciation. "Mind yore eye, Massa Gumboat!" exclaimed Job, in a low tone, but with great earnestness. "I cannot explain the matter at present, and 94 you must excuse me from offering merely vague suspicions and conjectures." "Of course you cannot expect me to betray the confidence of the commodore; that would not be kind or friendly on your part, Captain Flanger, for you can see that this is a delicate matter," said Christy, halting in front of the table. fun88 กฬา The commander of the Bronx left the cabin where the interview had taken place. On the 251 deck he met his uncle, who was curious to know what was to be done with him. "I find no fault with you on that account, doctor," added Christy. "I should take him for a young man of twenty or twenty-one, but he says he is only eighteen. He is a very young officer to be put in charge of a steamer, for I understand that he is ordered 61 to the command of the Bronx. But then he has made a reputation as the commander of that vessel, which doubtless justifies his appointment." "He remembers me," said Mike turning to the lieutenant. "We have struck the right man. But he don't mean that I am any wickeder than the rest of the world. I used to be called here by my last name, and Job invented the pun he has just used." Before the close of the conference the Atlantic had begun to be quite "sloppy," and the Vernon was now laboring in an ugly cross sea, which caused her to roll heavily. "If he can he will not, if they were engaged in an operation in the interest of the Confederates," added Christy with a smile. "That gentleman is Colonel Homer Passford." "Precisely; that is the vessel we are after. But what was my uncle doing on board of your sloop, with Captain Flanger and the rest of your party?" The young lieutenant choked down his emotions, and tried to think of the future; his case was not different from that of hundreds of thousands of others who had gone forth to fight the battles of their country, many thousands of whom slumber in hallowed graves far away from home and friends. As the train moved on towards the great city, he obtained the command of his emotions, and felt a new inspiration of patriotic ardor. "Then I was very fortunate in capturing her," added Christy with a smile. "The crew all know me, and I dare say I can 201 get along without a uniform till we get back to the station, where I could get one from the store-ship; but it is not likely that I shall need one then."
mm88fifa "That will amount to their being made ensigns when you go north again if they prove to be worthy of promotion," added the executive officer, with a chuckle. "That was what happened to Baskirk and Amden." The prisoners appeared to be quite as much interested in the proceedings on deck as the ship's company, and closely observed everything that was done. Michael Bornhoff was quite excited, and walked the deck hurriedly, as though he was 231 in search of something to do; but he was very careful not to go near the place where Captain Flanger was made fast to the rail. The Bronx dashed upon her course, and in a moment more she was out of the reach of the balls from the muskets. Half a mile farther up the Pass, the captain ordered Vincent to strike two bells. The Sphinx was in sight, not half a mile distant, with a small steamer on each side of her. Doubtless her captain had full confidence in the ability of the fort to protect his vessel, and he continued his operations as though he was in no possible danger. He had not expected his cousin to make any full examination of the room to be occupied by the commander of the gunboat, for his stay on board would be short, and he could not feel any great interest in the room. His curiosity might lead him to make a closer examination of the interior of the apartment than would be agreeable to his cousin. He felt that he was in danger of being discovered in his hiding-place; but he instantly 155 made up his mind as to what he would do in the event of such an accident. He had hoped to be spared from any personal conflict with his cousin, and he had made his plan so as to avoid any such disagreeable necessity. "I do not, Paul; I think it wears upon me, though I am willing to do my duty wherever I am ordered." "I am sorry to have kept you waiting for your supper, sir," replied Christy, falling in with the humor of his involuntary guest. "But that was the fault of my steward, who ought to have informed me that I was to have the pleasure of your company at supper." He had no premises on which to base an argument for or against one thing or another. All was dark to him, and he could not get hold of anything. After he had raised up a variety of suppositions, and combated vigorously with them, the darkness seemed only to become more dense, and he was compelled to abandon the subject without arriving at any reasonable explanation. Under the instruction of his father, he had cultivated "a judicial mind," which compelled him to reject all mere speculation. "Have you anything to say in regard to it?" "I hardly think so, though I should be pleased to have it so." ผลสลากลาว "He's just what he was before, when you was on board; he is the second lieutenant, and we have a new man for first, I believe they call him Gallivan," replied Dave, who was intelligent enough to comprehend what he saw on deck. 32 "No one knows what is going to happen, and I may spend the next year or two in a Confederate prison. I don't think my Uncle Homer would cry his eyes out if such should be my fate, for he has lost several vessels and cargoes of cotton on my account," returned Christy. "I figured up the course a while ago, and I think we are off St. Andrew's Bay. If they had not put her about and run for an hour or more to the westward, I should be satisfied in regard to my position; as it is, I am not quite clear in regard to it," replied the commander. "Do you surrender?" asked the lieutenant of the principal man on the forecastle as he came alongside of him. "You were very considerate," answered Christy, looking at the steward, who had stationed himself behind the unwelcome guest. "How is your patient, Dr. Connelly?" asked Captain Battleton, joining them at this moment. "I'm the one for your money," returned the oarsman, as he headed his boat into the slip. "That is a bad name for this child," said the octoroon, shaking his head. "Are you the son of Colonel Passford?" The Sphinx sailed the next day for New York, and made a tolerably quick passage. Of course Christy was received with open arms by the family at Bonnydale, and with a profusion of blushes by Bertha Pembroke, who happened to be there on a visit. His father and mother looked with no little anxiety at the pale face of their son, though he was still cheerful and happy. He had lost a portion of his flesh, and his uniform hung rather loosely upon him. pgslot909 "I have done something in the business, and perhaps I can cure the man who is sick, if they have the proper medicine," added the officer. "Can you tell me what position Mr. Flint has on board?" "The sail is reported on the port bow, which looks as though she might be coming in from sea," continued Christy, as he went into his stateroom with his navy revolver in his hand. "I am a sort of peace officer," added Dr. Connelly, when the captain glanced at him, "and I will express no opinion as to the status of the officer, though it appears to be as you describe it." mm88fifa "It may be he was; I don't know about that. You say that we have met before, but to save my life, I cannot recall the time, and I am sorry to add that I do not identify your face as that of any person I ever saw before. I have the pleasure of introducing myself to you as Lieutenant Christopher Passford, commanding the United States steamer Bronx." "While I acknowledge that I am somewhat prepossessed in favor of the Lieutenant Passford who came on board this morning, I do not think he has established his claim to be the true Lieutenant Christopher Passford. The other uses some peculiarly Southern phrases, as though he had been 'raised' in the South, and he is not perfect in the geography of Bonnydale. I think 88 the commission is the only evidence upon which you can properly rely," replied the first lieutenant. Again the steamer darted ahead at a speed which would soon carry her beyond the reach of the musket ball of the soldiers. Christy still remained upon the bridge, observing the fort and all that was done on the deck of the Bronx. He directed his glass frequently at the barbette of the fort; but the prudent commander of the garrison had evidently concluded to confine his efforts to the casemates. At least one-fourth of his men had been disabled.
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mm88fifa "Corny on board of this steamer!" exclaimed the father. "In irons too!" "But where did you learn this history of Corny's operations?" asked his uncle, knitting his brow as though he did not quite believe the narrative. "I am glad to see you, Captain Passford," said Mr. Blowitt, who was properly received when he stepped down upon the deck. "He is a good man, and quite as intelligent as any of our seamen. He is a pilot on the coast of Florida, and may be farther to the westward so far as I know. He is forty-seven years old, though he does not look it, and has been to sea all his life. By the way, that Captain Flanger has done some business as a smuggler, Mike informs me." "I am confident there will be a vacancy in the Bellevite, for Mr. Ballard will not come back: Dr. Linscott said as much as that to me," added the engineer. "You can have his place if you want it." As soon as the Bronx had lost her headway, the screw was stopped, and a drift lead was dropped into the water. A sharp lookout had been kept, 313 and some flickering lights had been reported. The weather had become cloudy since noon, but there was no fog and no wind. On his arrival in New York he hastened across the ferry to the navy-yard. As he approached the opposite shore, he discovered a steamer getting under way. He had not seen the vessel on board of which he was ordered to report as a passenger, but when he asked a deck hand what the steamer was, he was informed that it was the Vernon. The ferry-boat had just gone into the slip, and Christy was terribly startled to learn that he was late. He was still two hours ahead of the time indicated in his orders, and the Vernon was actually getting under way. "I will go below and see what can be done with them. I desire to make them as comfortable as possible, though I do not believe they will be satisfied with any location to which I may assign them." "If you don't, I will send for the second lieutenant 146 and a file of men to put you out of my cabin." "I done bring you something more to eat, Massa Christy," said the steward, who appeared to have suffered some lapse in his grammar and pronunciation during the absence at the North of his instructor; and as he spoke he handed in a piece of pie and a large slice of cake. "Thank you; I will have one of those lamb's tongues," replied Christy. "That was a sensible thing to do. You are aware that we are short of officers, I suppose," said the commander. "Invite the first lieutenant to the captain's cabin," said Dave. "Yes, sir;" and the steward left the cabin. "But where did you learn this history of Corny's operations?" asked his uncle, knitting his brow as though he did not quite believe the narrative. พาโล777 "I do not stand on mere forms, Dr. Connelly; but if you continue to call me simply 'mister,' I shall understand from it that you do not recognize me as the rightful commander of the Bronx," replied Christy, as he invited the surgeon with a gesture to enter the captain's cabin. "I have plenty of it for this job. You said five dollars, I believe, sir," added the man, looking earnestly at his passenger. "Boat, ahoy!" shouted Christy, with almost frantic earnestness. "I do; one of the officers told me all about it not half an hour ago," answered Rockton. "The fellow who is asleep there is the other Passford." mm88fifa "That is plain enough; and we only escaped it because you took it into your head to leave the Vernon at the time you left her. I think the Bronx would have gone into Pensacola Bay without 172 the least trouble, for I have no doubt Galvinne knew just what signals to make to Fort McRae, and just as well what ones to make to Fort Pickens. The ship would have been there by midnight, and up to that time I should have been asleep in my stateroom; and they would not have taken the trouble to call the watch below at that hour." "If there had been no setback, Corny would have gone into Pensacola Bay in a few hours more, in nominal command of the steamer, though of course Galvinne was the real commander." "Is he really sick, doctor?" asked Christy, with a smile which meant something. "I can mention just the right person to take Mr. Nawood's place," said Christy eagerly. "Certainly, Mr. Salisbury. This is not a court-martial, but an informal investigation, and I shall be glad to have you and Dr. Connelly entirely free to ask any questions you please," replied the captain, who was anything but a martinet. By this time the executive officer had beat the crew to quarters, and every man was at his station. "I say I am abused, and dragged from below like a dog." "Do you say that Captain Flanger has been a smuggler in these waters?" superslot รบเครดตฟร 50 "I'm the one for your money," returned the oarsman, as he headed his boat into the slip. "I have plenty of it for this job. You said five dollars, I believe, sir," added the man, looking earnestly at his passenger. "Pardon me, Mr. Passford, but were you not sick when you came on board of the Vernon last evening?" asked the commander, with something like a frown upon his brow as the situation became more bewildering. The commander looked at his watch after they had conversed a little while longer, and then invited Christy to visit his cabin with him. The other Lieutenant Passford was seated in an arm-chair at the table. Christy looked at him with the deepest interest, but the back of the other was turned to him, and he did not get a full view of his face. The sick man was dressed in the naval uniform with the shoulder straps of a lieutenant. "You certainly could not have been aware that your official envelope contained only blank paper. I cannot believe that one more simple-minded than I believe you to be would have had the effrontery to present such matter as evidence that he was an officer of the United States Navy," continued Captain Battleton, with a look of greater severity than he had before assumed, possibly because he realized that the real Lieutenant Passford was higher in rank than he was himself. "Mr. Flint," called the commander to the first lieutenant, as soon as the crew were assembled on deck, "there is a steamer of five hundred tons in St. Andrew's Bay, all ready to come out at a given signal from the party just captured by the first cutter. I propose to capture her with the boats, and you will take the command of the expedition. The first and second cutters will be employed, and you will see that they are ready." "Peach says he has taken his valise with him, which indicates that he has gone for good." The commander was disposed to carry the investigation a little farther in the same direction, and he sent Christy into the ward room, where he was instructed to remain until he was sent for. Captain Passford, senior, was well known to all the officers present by reputation, and he had assisted Dr. Connelly in procuring his appointment, so that the latter had had occasion to visit Bonnydale three times.
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mm88fifa "I am confident there will be a vacancy in the Bellevite, for Mr. Ballard will not come back: Dr. Linscott said as much as that to me," added the engineer. "You can have his place if you want it." "Dave, sir," replied he, evidently deeply impressed by the visitor for some reason not yet apparent to the captain. "Well, Dave, how is your prisoner?" he asked, halting at the door. "We must be about forty miles off the station of the blockaders before the entrance to Mobile Bay," said Christy, after he had thought the matter over for a moment. "It was a great mistake," repeated the dignified gentleman, shaking his head. "Then you have reversed the decision of Captain Battleton?" "But I have no uniform, Captain Passford," suggested the appointee. "Yes, sir; the Vixen was fully armed and manned to protect the fleet of prize vessels she convoyed." "I did not think it was so late; but that reminds me that I have eaten nothing since my breakfast was brought to me early this morning," said Christy. "Mark under water three!" shouted the leadsman, with an earnestness inspired by the occasion. "Well, Mr. Flint, we have been more successful than I feared we might be," said Christy, after the prisoners except Corny had been put in irons, though they consisted of only five officers and seamen. superslot รบเครดตฟร 50 "He is the coachman. I am not sorry that Walsh has gone, for he has saved me the trouble of discharging him. Wilder, who had been with us so many years, took it into his head to enlist in the army, and I was not willing to persuade him to shirk his duty. Walsh has not been here quite two weeks. He said he was born in the West Indies; but he was always prying into matters that did not concern him, and I have several times found him standing at the door when we were talking about family matters. I reproved him for it; but it did no good. Your father 30 intended to discharge him as soon as he returned from Washington." 35 "Naval officer, sir?" interrogated the boatman. "If you will excuse me for making an indirect reply, captain, I did not come on board of the Vernon last evening," answered Christy, his smile becoming still more decided; and if he had not been on the quarter-deck of a vessel in service, he might have suspected that he was himself the victim of a practical joke. "Nothing is the matter, mother," called Christy. "I am all right." 237 The young commander did not feel entirely sure that his ruling was correct, for a naval officer must be learned in a great variety of subjects which he had not had time to study; but he was willing to take the responsibility in the present instance. 279 "I am in command, Dave, and there must be no more 'massa' now," added Christy. "I think you ought to know it by this time, Captain Passford," answered Dave; and the remark was enough to condemn the impostor in the opinion of the servant. "You lived in here when you were in command of the vessel." Mr. Pennant reported in all its details upon his expedition. Dr. Connelly said his patient was severely, but not dangerously, wounded; he would recover, but he would not be fit for duty for two or three weeks. "Hardly; both of them claim to be the same officer, and I have invited you to assist me in deciding which is the real Mr. Passford." pgslot168vip "I don't like to have a man stand behind me, and you will take your place in the rear of Captain Passford, who is more worthy of your attention than I am;" and though Dave was a brave fellow, he obeyed the order. "But there is a third lieutenant who may deserve promotion," suggested Christy. "Very well the last time I saw them, which was three weeks ago. They are busy making garments for the soldiers," answered the planter. "All right; I think we understand the situation up here," said Mr. Pennant, as he led the way in the direction from which they had come. "South-west," said Mr. Flint, after the port watch had been dismissed, leaving the starboard with Mr. Camden as watch officer on deck. "I thought it probable that we should be sent to Appalachicola after the information the Russian gave us." 335 "But the fort can protect your vessels in the bay," suggested the lieutenant of the Bronx. "I know what he means," interposed the Russian. "I know that steamer, for she came in at Cedar Keys when I was there. He means the Sphinx." mm88fifa When the cutter was about half a mile from the shore, making it about three-quarters of a mile from the fort, the peal of a cannon was heard, and a puff of smoke could be seen as it rose on the clear, starred sky, for the clouds had rolled away during the night. The shot dropped into the water a short distance abreast of the cutter. The dishes rattled for a moment, and then the fugitive heard the step and the voice of Dave in the stateroom. "I can make nothing of it," added the surgeon. "It looks to me as though the commission alone would have to settle this matter." "Now, give way with a will, my men!" called Mr. Pennant in brisk tones, "for we shall soon have a twenty-four pound shot chasing us out." "This appears to be a family party," interposed Captain Battleton, who was very much amused to hear each of the young officers call the other by the same name, and both of them appeared to be Corny Passford.
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phoenix slot "It is Mr. Christy, ma'am; nothing is the matter," replied Walsh; but then he appeared to think that he had replied without proper consideration, and he revised his speech. "I don't know that anything's the matter, ma'am," and still he gazed at the young gentleman, as though he deemed it possible that he had suddenly gone crazy. "I said one of the officers; and you know as well as I do which one." Not a particle of noise had been made in the stateroom; at least, none that could be heard on the deck above. Christy hastened from the little apartment through the cabin to the gangway, where he found Mr. Flint at the head of the stairs prepared to execute the part of the work assigned to him, which was to fall upon Mr. Galvinne; 165 but he did not appear to be in a favorable position for the attack. "Shall we find no one at the negro quarters?" asked the lieutenant with interest.
jokerxo The surgeon went on deck with Christy, where he was presented in due form to Mr. Flint, though he had been introduced to him before in his former position as second lieutenant. The commander went forward to the bridge and pilot-house, and consulting the log slate, found that the last entry gave seventy-eight knots from the station. But it was foggy, as Mr. Galvinne had predicted that it would be, and the quartermaster conning the wheel said it was as "dark as a stack of black cats." Nothing could be seen in any direction, and the commander decided that it was not prudent to proceed any farther. "Yes, sar; what's dat, massa?"
beer777 mobile "He stole that officer's commission and other papers while he was sleeping in his own home," added Christy. "I hardly think so, though I should be pleased to have it so." Dave looked as solemn as an owl, and his ivories seemed to be sealed up in his expansive mouth. He attempted to make a sign to the captain, but it was not understood. At that moment, the stranger raised his finger and beckoned to the steward.