ทางเขา ufabet 169 "I did not mean to allow the sloop to be captured by a boat load of men like that," replied Captain Flanger; "and if our men had used their bayonets we should have been all right. I told them to fix their bayonets, but they paid no attention to me." "Four bells, Mr. Flint!" added the commander when the Bronx was fairly under way.
dimon96 Christy planked the deck with Mr. Flint just 349 abaft the foremast. Both of them were as cool and self-possessed as though they had been sitting at the cabin-table; but neither of them felt that the battle had been won, for the officer in command of the fort was evidently a man of ability, who had not yet exhausted his resources. The first lieutenant had watched the works very closely with his glass, and he had informed the captain that something was in progress there, though he could not tell what it was. "Where is your bag?" asked Mr. Flint, as Christy, the actual commander of the Bronx, passed him. "What are you doing with a valise?" dimon96 193 "And a half ten!" shouted the leadsman, as though he meant to have his figures understood, as they indicated the shoaling of the depth. Captain Battleton would soon begin his investigation, and Christy was confident that the sick officer would be proved to be the impostor. He was not at all worried or even disturbed in regard 60 to the result, for he felt that "truth is mighty and must prevail." His only solicitude was to unravel the plot. Bands of Confederates had been put on board of several steamers for the purpose of capturing them; and it was possible that this plan had been adopted to obtain possession of the Vernon, for she was a good vessel, and was fitted out as a man-of-war. "It was a superfluous question, for I know all about him. He is the captain of the Floridian, though that would not make him a combatant unless he fights his ship; and that is what he did on board of the Magnolia. I regard him and his companions, except the skipper of the sloop, as prisoners of war. You proved by your words and conduct that you were not a combatant, and you are at liberty to depart when you please." "If you will name one, I will name another," added Christy. The commander read his orders through. It was believed that vessels were loading with cotton there, towed down in flatboats by small steamers, and that a steamer of four hundred tons was fitting out in the bay as a privateer. It might not be practicable for the Bronx to go into the bay; but she was to do what she could to capture the 305 cotton vessels and the steamer when they came out. kingofufa "I am very much obliged to you, Captain Passford, for this favor; and I know you would not give me the place if you did not think me worthy of it," replied the seaman as he went forward and called the watch to the mainmast. "Friends," replied the lieutenant. "If you are the genuine Lieutenant Passford, in spite of the captain's decision, your cousin has told lies enough to-day to swamp a reprobate, to to say nothing of a Christian," added the surgeon, seating himself at the side of the berth. "Now burn your roman candle, and let us get 337 off as soon as possible," said Mr. Pennant. "Bowman, help this man to a seat in the stern sheets;" and he assisted Uncle Job to get in himself. "What do you know about the fort?" 326 "Can't you spell it?" 260 I have already learned that you have an excellent cook on board. I should judge from these potatoes that he was brought up in New Orleans." "I have a plain frock in my valise which I wore when the Teaser was captured," added Christy with a smile. "I will remove my coat and wear that." ufa1199 241 "He did not do that in person; but employed Byron to do it for him; and for several weeks this actor was a house-servant at Bonnydale," answered Christy, as he proceeded to narrate the adventure more in detail. "It is not an old story, for the last event occurred on board of the Bronx at about eight o'clock last evening." It was less than halt a mile to the cutter, and they soon reached it. The Russian was standing on the shore, and most of the men were asleep on the thwarts, though Vincent was wide awake. Mike recognized the form of the old negro, and reported that the lieutenant was coming. He had aimed at the head of Flanger, and he saw that he had hit him, for his face was instantly covered with blood. He did not think it necessary 282 to fire a second shot, but he was careful not to let the opportunity pass by if it was needed to reduce the privateersman to subjection. Flanger dropped his weapon instantly, and Dave as instantly picked it up. It was clear to Christy then that the battle had been fought and won, though the defeated party had another revolver in his pocket. "Beat to quarters, Mr. Flint!" said Christy, trying to make out what mischief had been done by the shot; but he could only see that it had cut the wheel ropes. CHAPTER V LIEUTENANT PASSFORD AND HIS APPARENT DOUBLE "I done count only four ob dem w'en I was dar last time." "I tell you the truth, Dave; but things are mixed," added Christy.
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dimon96 "Do the people there really expect to put down the Rebellion, as they call it, nephew?" asked Colonel Passford, in a tone which indicated his confidence in the final success of his cause. CHAPTER V LIEUTENANT PASSFORD AND HIS APPARENT DOUBLE "They are in my pocket," replied Corny sourly. "Oh, I am the officer whom Corny personated," replied the commander with a quiet smile. "The story is not a second-handed one, uncle Homer." "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." "The officer in command of that fort is not idle," said Mr. Flint, who had been using his glass very industriously since the firing ceased. "The soldiers are busy setting up the guns again, or some of them." "But what became of Corny?" asked Colonel Passford, with no little anxiety on his face. betflixusa "On board the steamer!" replied Mr. Flint from the bridge. Then he listened for any sounds that might come to him from the direction of the shore; but 194 all was as still as the tomb itself. The screw stopped in obedience to the order of the executive officer, who went down to the deck to supervise the anchoring of the steamer, as he had no inferior officer to attend to this duty. "You will let Mr. Pennant command this expedition, Mr. Flint," said Christy. "He will take the first cutter, with ten men, including Quartermaster Vincent and Bornhoff." "Dis nigger's 'feered de doctor done gone away." When he had completed his toilet Christy looked at his watch, and was rather surprised to find that it was a full hour later than usual when the call bell had been rung. He went down-stairs, and found his mother and Florry very busy in the dining-room, setting the table. This was the man's work, and the young officer was astonished to see his mother and sister doing it. "I cannot say as to that. When you go forward take a look at the prisoners, and report to me," added Christy, as Mr. Pennant went below. "You decline to give me your sealed orders? Do I correctly understand you, Captain Passford?" 276 demanded the privateersman with a frown upon his brow. "I am afraid he is fond of whiskey, though I do not know that he is." The temporary berth was finished, the bedding put into it, and Christy took possession of it. For the present he had done all the thinking he cared to do, and he felt that his present duty was in action. He was a prisoner of war, and as such he was in disgrace in a loyal ship's company; at least, he felt that he was so under present circumstances. He was not disgusted at his failure to establish his identity, nor disheartened at the prospect before him. More than ever before in the two years of his experience as a naval officer, he realized that it was his duty to "Stand by the union." "We may not be able to help ourselves." "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." "Of course I should like to see my son." loginjoker 63 "Can you make anything of this affair yet, Mr. Passford?" asked Captain Battleton. "About the same the last time I saw him. He 62 ate all the toast I sent to him, and seemed to enjoy it. I don't think he is in a dangerous condition," replied the surgeon. "All right; get him up if you can. Is he able to walk?" The carpenter and his assistants were still at work on the berth, and Christy, placing his valise near it, seated himself by it. For the first time since he came on board of the Vernon he had an opportunity to reflect upon the events of the day. Corny Passford was the present master of the situation. He had not been aware till he met him in the captain's cabin, that his cousin was even in the vicinity of New York. With an amount of assurance for which he had not given him credit, 98 Corny had undertaken to personate his nautical relative, and was now actually on his way to the Gulf to take command of the Bronx. dimon96 When he had completed his toilet Christy looked at his watch, and was rather surprised to find that it was a full hour later than usual when the call bell had been rung. He went down-stairs, and found his mother and Florry very busy in the dining-room, setting the table. This was the man's work, and the young officer was astonished to see his mother and sister doing it. "I submit to your authority, Captain Battleton," replied Christy, bowing to the commander. "Did you learn his name?" asked Christy, greatly interested in what the officer was about to say. "He is as tough as a he-bear, and can walk a hundred miles on a stretch," replied Mike. "He knows everything that is going on in these times."
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dimon96 "Any seaman?" "That sounds like a story for a novel," added the planter, smiling. "Can you get into it?" "There appear to be only three steamers in sight," said the captain, who had come into the waist to observe the fleet. "I don't think it will, Galvinne. Behave like a gentleman, and we shall have no difficulty," added Corny. "Who is it? What is the matter?" demanded the lady of the mansion, in tones which indicated anxiety if not alarm. "Dr. Connelly!" exclaimed Christy. 332 "A glass of water and a teaspoon," said he to the soldier-nurse; and they were promptly brought to him. เฟด เฟ บอล "I done do what I thought was right, Captain Passford, though folks like that fellow think a poor nigger is no account," replied the steward, putting every tooth in his head on exhibition. "He might have taken Florry's watch, she was so careless as to leave on the table in the sitting-room," added she. 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. dimon96 Without much difficulty Christy dropped his valise into the boat, and then dropped himself in after it. The belated passenger cast an earnest look at the Vernon, which had just begun to move, though at a snail's pace, and he hoped he should be able to get on board of her. 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. "A ball went through my arm; but it is all right," replied Christy with a ghastly smile. "I am very glad to see you, Corny," said he of the South, "and not the less glad because the meeting is so unexpected." 113 Christy recognized the Bronx if others did not, for none of the officers had been on this station before. He wondered if the present deception was likely to be carried out to the accomplishment of the end the conspirators had in view. He could see nothing to prevent its accomplishment. "Now tell me what you know about that expedition on board of the Magnolia," said Christy more earnestly. "Mr. Pennant reports that your passengers claimed that they were peaceable citizens, and that your sloop was bound to Appalachicola. Was that true?" "Is he really sick, doctor?" asked Christy, with a smile which meant something. 4ufa "That is very true; I went on board of the flag-ship, 261 but I am somewhat fastidious in my notions, and I concluded not to remain there," replied Captain Flanger. "Without any intention of flattering you, Captain Passford, candor compels me to say that I prefer your company to that of the commodore. Can I help you to anything more on my side of the table?" 113 Christy recognized the Bronx if others did not, for none of the officers had been on this station before. He wondered if the present deception was likely to be carried out to the accomplishment of the end the conspirators had in view. He could see nothing to prevent its accomplishment. "You were very considerate," answered Christy, looking at the steward, who had stationed himself behind the unwelcome guest. He could not get in, and he walked around the building to find a window which had not been closed. His mother had a reasonable dread of robbers, and she always looked out for the windows before she retired. He did not wish to arouse the family by ringing the great gong bell, but it was too cold to spend the rest of the night out-doors in his half-clothed condition, for he was as liable to take a severe cold as any less brilliant individual, and he might have to spend a month in his chamber, instead of reporting to the flag-officer of the Eastern Gulf squadron, in command of the Bronx. "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." "Michael Bornhoff," replied the prisoner. When he realized that the scheme of his cousin, or whoever had devised it, was in a fair way to accomplish its object, Christy felt that he must do something. Though he was a prisoner and in 116 disgrace, he did not feel that he was absolved from the duty of attempting to save the Bronx to the union. He had refused to accept a parole, or anything of that kind, and his honor as an officer did not require him to submit to the discipline of his situation. He was a prisoner; but the responsibility of retaining him as such belonged to the captain of the Vernon for the present. "Don't you know me, Dave?" asked Christy, speaking out plainly so that the steward might recognize his voice. He peered into the gloom of the night with all his eyes, and listened with all his ears for over an hour; and then, watchful and careful officer as he was, there were five hundred chances against him to one in his favor, of finding the intruder, and he reluctantly returned to the mansion. "I think I shall go on deck and see the fun, if there is any, and turn in if there is none," added Christy.
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dimon96 "I have been wanting to see you, Christy," said the planter, as he approached his nephew. "I learn, with no little astonishment, that you are the commander of this steamer." The petty officer did not hear his remarks, for he had been called by the second lieutenant in the waist, and, with a touch of his cap, hastened away. The lieutenant opened his eyes very wide, as he looked down at the seams in the deck, and wondered whether he were asleep or awake. He had been quite sick, and he had come on board the 46 night before! It was very strange that he was not at all aware of either of these facts. He felt reasonably confident that he had slept in his own chamber at Bonnydale the night before, and at that time he was certainly in a very robust state of health, however it might be at the present moment. Even now, he could not complain of anything more severe than an embryo cold in the head, which the medicine his mother had given him would probably reduce to a state of subjection in a day or two. "But she will signal the fort to fire upon us." The entire party then seated themselves at the table. "It won't take a six-mule team to draw that one," added the privateersman, rather sourly for the first time. "Of course I understood that it would not be advisable for the commodore to let it be known exactly where the steamer is bound, and that you have sealed orders. I shall have to trouble you, Captain Passford, to produce the envelope." "No, sir; but I was named after a Russian sailor Captain Flanger picked up in Havana. I don't mean this Captain Flanger that was on board of the Magnolia, but his father," replied the stout fellow. "This is an outrage," said the man on the forecastle, who could not help seeing that the whole party were in a fair way to be annihilated if they made any further resistance. "You may retire now, if you please, Mr. Passford," added the commander. As soon as the steward had taken him to the steerage, Mr. Pennant made his report in full, even to the number and calibre of the guns at the fort, and including the cure he had wrought upon the Confederate soldier. Christy was amused at this last part of the narrative; but he had no time to waste in conversation. It was a humiliating posture for the actual commander of the vessel, but he promptly got down upon the floor of the stateroom, and crawled under the berth. He placed the trunk and some other articles there so as to form a sort of breast-work, behind which he carefully bestowed himself. It was not an uncomfortable position, for the floor was carpeted and an old satchel filled with his cast-off garments furnished him a pillow sufficiently soft for a person on extraordinary duty. 4ufa "Your views, if you please, Dr. Connelly." "Good, Corny!" exclaimed Christy, dropping upon the divan of the cabin and laughing heartily. The naval officer read the orders aloud for the benefit of his associate. The flag-officer had obtained information that a steamer was loading with cotton at St. Andrew's Bay, and Captain Passford was instructed to visit that locality and capture the vessel, and any others that might be found there. "But I am sure he has no ill-will against you." "Four bells, Mr. Flint!" added the commander when the Bronx was fairly under way. 245 "I suppose the steamer has a supply of coal on board, Mr. Flint." "I hope it will all come out right," added Corny. naza สลอต This result was followed by emphatic cheers from the forty-five men on deck. 84 "I could not very well forget them in so short a time," replied Corny, upon whom the gaze of the commander had again rested as he looked about him. "What is the matter, Captain Passford?" asked the first lieutenant, as he halted on the deck. "You are as pale as a ghost." "Good-evening, Captain Passford; I hope you are all right. I waited a reasonable time for you to come below to supper; but as you did not appear, I have made myself at home, for my appetite has been somewhat stimulated to-day," said the stranger. "I spoke to you, Walsh," said the lieutenant, in the tone he had learned to use when he intended to enforce respect and obedience. "I can easily imagine your astonishment, Mr. Passford, for it seems to me to be a very remarkable state of things," added the captain, as he looked from one to the other of the claimants. "One thing seems to be admitted by both of you, that you are both Passfords, and that you are cousins." "Dave," called the captain. With the aid of his speaking trumpet he gave the same order to Mr. Camden on board of the Sphinx; but he had hardly uttered the command before his left leg gave way under him, and he sunk to the floor of the bridge. A ball had struck him in the thigh, and he could feel the blood flowing down his limb. He grasped the rail of the bridge, and drew himself up. There he stood like a statue, supporting himself with his well arm, till the Bronx had passed out of musket-shot range. dimon96 "What is your opinion, Mr. Salisbury?" asked the captain, when the claimants had retired, careful not to indicate his own conclusion. "It was a great mistake," repeated the dignified gentleman, shaking his head.
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betflik789 th "Uncle Job," said Mike, placing his hand on the shoulder of the sleeper on the side of the bed nearest to him. It was less than halt a mile to the cutter, and they soon reached it. The Russian was standing on the shore, and most of the men were asleep on the thwarts, though Vincent was wide awake. Mike recognized the form of the old negro, and reported that the lieutenant was coming. "Certainly not; for as soon as it was seen on board of the flag-ship that the commander of the Bronx was disobeying his orders, we should be chased by the two ships on the station and fired upon."
198hilo Christy certainly felt very anxious, and he could not help asking himself whether or not he was engaged in a foolhardy enterprise in attacking the fort. His orders related only to the steamer that was loading in the bay, and he had been warned in his instructions to take the fort into consideration in his operations. He felt that he had given proper attention to the fort, inasmuch as he had disabled all its guns. He might have simply blockaded the entrance to the Pass; but he might have stayed in the offing a month before she ventured to come out. He was still willing to believe that he had not overstepped his orders. "Beat to quarters, Mr. Flint!" said Christy, trying to make out what mischief had been done by the shot; but he could only see that it had cut the wheel ropes. "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. "But why are you out at this time of night, my son? It is nearly two o'clock in the morning," said Mrs. Passford, as she descended the stairs. "You are not half dressed, Christy." "Who are you?" demanded the soldier.
ufa329 ทางเขา "Do you refer to the lieutenant appointed to the command of the Bronx on our arrival in the Gulf?" asked Dr. Connelly, laughing. 83 "If I am correctly informed, you came home as prize master of the Vixen, convoying quite a fleet of steamers and schooners," continued Captain Battleton, looking about the cabin as though the inquiry had become wearisome to him. "Did she?" added Paul with a gush. "Then she has not forgotten all about me. I almost wish I were not an engineer, for then I might be sent home once in a while in charge of a prize."
ambbetufa He had hardly left the cabin before the steward entered the stateroom, and reported that he had seen Ralph Pennant, and that he had told him all he knew about the loyalty and the disloyalty of the new hands in the crew. Ralph reported that he had "spotted" the four seamen whose names had been given him before the Vernon reached the station. He identified Rockton and Warton, but not the other two who had formed the group near his berth, on his first visit to the deck. On the fourth day out, he saw one of these men talking cautiously to the second lieutenant. Following up this clew he satisfied himself that Mr. Galvinne was the black sheep in the officers' quarters. Corny came on deck that day, for the sea was comparatively smooth, and took a seat on the quarter-deck.