365slot "Mullygumps!" exclaimed Dave, as he suspended his labors on the trunk. 365slot "Hold the sloop as she is, and I will board you," said Mr. Pennant, as he saw the skipper filling away again. Job conducted him to the fort, which was over a mile distant. The lieutenant was not dressed in his uniform with the shoulder straps, though he had procured one from the store ship at the station; but he had adjusted his garments to the needs of the occasion, so that, if captured he could hardly be recognized as a union officer. But he had his navy revolvers in his hip pockets, though they were covered by the skirts of the frock coat he wore, for he had borrowed this garment of the surgeon. "Then you can do my errand for me," added the soldier. The Vernon continued on her course, and in another hour the pilot had been discharged. Christy had puzzled his brains over the events of the day and the night before without being able to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion. He was extremely anxious to see the officer who had taken his name and assumed his character, as he was to obtain all the information within his reach. His reflections assured him that some one had chosen the rôle of an impostor for the purpose of accomplishing some treasonable object, and he was anxious to fathom the mystery for his country's sake rather than his own. "Probably the odd time means something." 128 In a few minutes, when he had made the cabin tidy for the reception of "Massa Cap'n Passford," he transferred his labors to the stateroom. He worked in the berth and all its surroundings, including the desk, which still contained the real commander's papers, and then gave his attention to the trunk beneath. The boatswain's whistle sounded through the steamer. In a moment, as it were, all hands were in their stations. Nothing like a drill with the present ship's company had been possible, though the men had been trained to some extent at the navy-yard and on board of the Vernon; but the majority of the crew were old men who had served some time on board of the Bronx, and under the present commander. "I see; that is plain enough," added Corny. "How far is it to St. Andrew's?" ดบอนสด "Will you deny that you were employed as a servant at the house of Captain Passford, at Bonnydale on the Hudson?" demanded Christy, with not a little energy in his tones and manner. "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." "We are bound to the westward, and the course looks as though we might be ordered up the Mississippi," suggested Mr. Flint. "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. "How many guns has it? I mean big guns, Uncle Job?" 266 Christy yawned, or pretended to do so, and in the act he rose from the table. Captain Flanger was silent as he did so, and watched the captain with the eye of a lynx, as the latter placed himself behind the chair he had occupied. He was in position to make a movement of some kind, and the intruder deliberately drew from his right-hand coat pocket a heavy revolver. Holding this in his hand, he drew another from the left-hand pocket, and threw it on the table. 124 "I don't think you will, sir, after the circumstances have been explained." ไทสลอต88 "I had the same thing once before, and I was 333 sure I should die with it this time," said the sick soldier, "It lasted me all night and part of the next day the other time." The fort had become harmless so far as the use of its guns was concerned; but the channel of the Grand Pass was hardly a quarter of a mile in width, and even twenty soldiers with muskets could pick off the men on the deck of the Bronx. Christy's orders required him to capture the steamer that was fitting out in the bay, and he intended to do it. The order to weigh the anchor and cast off the spring was given, and the commander sent for the chief engineer. "I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with my third lieutenant's mode of operations," replied Christy, laughing, though his mirth was of the graveyard order. "But Mr. Pennant is a new officer, and that was the first active duty he had been called upon to perform. Very likely he will suit you better next time." "While you are here, doctor, I will show you my arm, which is beginning to be somewhat uncomfortable," said the third lieutenant with a cheerful smile. "What are you waiting for, Mr. Flint?" asked Christy in a whisper, as he joined the second lieutenant. At the present time his father was in Washington, and he could not have neglected to close the door. He had been to the railroad station to meet the last train, thinking it possible that his father might return, and he was confident that he had been the last to enter the house. He was very sure that he had not left the door unfastened, and this assurance made him confident that some person had entered the house. The noise at the door of his chamber was not an illusion or a dream: though it had been made by closing rather than by opening it, or he would have been likely to find the intruder in his room when he lighted his lamp. "Wounded, you"— "Yes, sir; most of the guns have been removed to points where they can be used to greater advantage than here. The few we have are twenty-four pounders, mounted en barbette," replied Lieutenant Fourchon. "The fort is practically abandoned; and in a short time will be entirely so, for the enemy's ships of war can do no harm here, and there is not water enough above to permit their passage into the Mississippi." "All your guns seem to be mounted outside," said the naval officer as he halted on the parade. "I don't like the responsibility, in the first place, and the inactivity, in the second. When I am forty or fifty years old, I shall like a command better. Others seem to look upon me now as a boy, capable of any sort of quixotism, however prudent I may be, and point at me as one who has been 367 made a commander of a steamer by influence at court. There is a vacancy at the present time on board of the Bellevite, for the second lieutenant will be compelled to resign on account of his health." "I don't believe he would attempt to run in while it is broad daylight," suggested Mr. Flint. "Captain Corny already has his sailing orders. They are sealed, but he is to proceed to the eastward. I should say that he would obey orders, and when it is time for him to break the seals this evening, he will come about, hug the shore of St. Rosa's till he comes to the entrance of the bay, when he will go in." "Have you anything to say in regard to it?" "No, sir."
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365slot 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. "Then you were not at Bonnydale?" demanded Christy sharply. "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. "It is a bad wound though not a dangerous one," said Dr. Connelly, who had approached the victim of his own conspiracy near enough to obtain a view of the injured nose. "The ball has torn away the middle of the member, and it hangs in pieces from the wound." "You were not sick last evening?" It was probable that the greater part of his new crew would be made up from the men now on board of the Vernon; and this belief caused him to regard these men with more interest than he might otherwise have done. He had no fault to find after the glance he had bestowed upon them, for they presented a very trim appearance in their new uniform, and looked a great deal more tidy than they would after they had been on duty a few weeks. The commander thought it very strange that there should be a person on board of the steamer, and especially in possession of his cabin, who was an entire stranger to him. He looked at the intruder, who was a stoutly built man of rather more than forty years of age, with his hair and full beard somewhat grizzled by age. He was 258 dressed like a seaman in blue clothes, though he was evidently not a common sailor, but might have been the master or mate of a vessel. "West north-west, sir," repeated the executive officer, as he gave it to the quartermaster at the wheel. Mr. Pennant concluded that the sail could not be far off, or it could not be seen, and it would be useless to maintain the dead silence, which was 208 painful to all in the boat. He stood up in his place, and, after looking for a couple of minutes, he made out the sail himself. So far as he could judge from what he saw, the craft was a small sloop of not more than thirty-five feet in length. ทเดด บอล ชด พรงน "Yes; but don't frighten him," replied Mr. Pennant. "I heard men's voices off to the eastward," said this man, when he had mounted the bridge, and touched his hat to the officers there; and he spoke in a whisper, in conformity with the orders given. When he rushed back to the cabin, Flanger had got the better of his foe, and had risen to his feet, with his grasp upon the throat of the steward. Then he hurled him from him with a vigorous movement with his left hand, while he raised the right with the evident intention of shooting him. The commander saw the imminent peril of Dave; he took a hasty aim and fired before the intruder had time to do so. He was a good shot with the navy revolver, for he had taken lessons and practised a good deal with the weapon. "An excellent simile, Captain Passford, and I could not have invented a better myself," returned the privateersman. "I think we understand each other perfectly, and therefore it is not necessary to 272 use up any more time in explanations. You are too intelligent a person to fail to comprehend my plan. As an epitome of the whole scene, I may add that I propose to do what my friend Galvinne undertook with that cousin of yours: I intend to take the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and have her used in the service of the righteous cause in which the people of the South are engaged," continued Captain Flanger, as though he believed in all he was saying. CHAPTER XXVI THE MEETING WITH THE BELLEVITE AT NIGHT "At Bonnydale, on the Hudson," answered Corny, as we may call him now that the reader knows who he is. The Bronx continued to dart ahead at her best speed, and no sound came from the fort. It was only a question of minutes now before the steamer reached a point inside of the island where she could accomplish her mission by the capture of the Sphinx. The officers remained on deck, but they were protected by the bulwarks, the masts, and especially under the shelter of the top-gallant forecastle. Christy had earnestly warned the second and third lieutenants not to expose themselves needlessly to the musketry of the fort, and Mr. Flint was discreet enough to need no such warning. "Take him away!" added Christy with energy; and the two seamen dragged him out of the cabin, leaving only Mr. Flint, the surgeon, and the steward in the cabin. "Dave," he continued, stepping up to the last, and taking him by the hand, "you have behaved remarkably well, and I thank you for the good service you have rendered to me and the cause of your country." "Not exactly; but she is well filled with his people," replied Mr. Pennant, laughing. pgslot80 "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. "I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with my third lieutenant's mode of operations," replied Christy, laughing, though his mirth was of the graveyard order. "But Mr. Pennant is a new officer, and that was the first active duty he had been called upon to perform. Very likely he will suit you better next time." "I think the Russian said so." "Ten feet!" shouted the man at the lead. 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. 365slot 156 "What does he say in regard to me?" asked Christy. "What is she doing now in the bay?"
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365slot Job conducted him to the fort, which was over a mile distant. The lieutenant was not dressed in his uniform with the shoulder straps, though he had procured one from the store ship at the station; but he had adjusted his garments to the needs of the occasion, so that, if captured he could hardly be recognized as a union officer. But he had his navy revolvers in his hip pockets, though they were covered by the skirts of the frock coat he wore, for he had borrowed this garment of the surgeon. "Then you have reversed the decision of Captain Battleton?" 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. "Do you think he could go out into the cabin, doctor?" asked the captain. "I wish to see him on a matter of the utmost importance. Is he dressed?" "You took the bull by the horns at an opportune moment, my son," said Captain Passford, Senior. "If you had not done so you would have been in a rebel prison at this moment. As it is, poor Corny has got back to Fort Lafayette, with Galvinne and our man-servant, whom I never should have suspected of being a Confederate officer." 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. "Captain Battleton," repeated Christy, to assure himself that he had correctly understood the name. "That is very odd," mused the officer, wondering whether this sudden disappearance had anything to do with the principal event of the preceding night. "Who was the other officer?" "He must have come into your room, my son, or you would not have heard him at the door. Perhaps he has robbed you," suggested Mrs. Passford. "Make the course about south, Vincent," said the officer, as soon as he discovered that the steamer was in motion. "Not a bad wound at all, Captain Passford," said Mr. Pennant. "The doctor says I am still fit for duty." iprobet "If I were still at Brooklyn doubtless I could find the boatman who put me on board of the Vernon not more than an hour ago," continued Christy, willing to convince his auditor that he was entirely in earnest in his statement. "So can I, if you please, captain," added the lieutenant, smiling as pleasantly as though he had been free from pain, as he could not have been with the wound in his arm. "I wish to say a few words about the gentleman in black we captured on board of the sloop." illustration of quoted scene 365slot "Who's there?" demanded Christy Passford, sitting up in his bed, in the middle of the night, in his room on the second floor of his father's palatial mansion on the Hudson, where the young lieutenant was waiting for a passage to the Gulf. "I have been living on a hot gridiron for the last ten days, and in the first moments of freedom I overstepped the limits of propriety. I hope we understand each other now, for we are engaged in an important enterprise, and we cannot afford to be at variance," replied the naval officer. "Our work is yet unfinished, though it has progressed admirably so far. Have I your permission to open this sealed envelope?" "Yes, sar; I knows it like my own name, but I can't spoke it if I die for't," answered Job, laughing. "How old a man does he appear to be?" "Dar's a steamer ober dar, an' I speck de Yankee 324 gumboat's gwine in dar to look arter dat steamer," said Uncle Job, chuckling as though he enjoyed the prospect of such an event. "Say, Massa Ossifer, is Massa Linkum in yore gumboat?" 55 "The brilliant officer who bears this name is too well known to hide his light under a bushel. I have not the honor to be personally acquainted with him, and therefore I am unable to decide which of the gentlemen who report to me under that name is the real one." 184 "Is he a prisoner?" asked Corny, as he got out of the berth. 1234super "Come aft, Kingston!" called the third lieutenant to the nearest man in the bow, and the one indicated crawled aft with all the haste he could make. "Take Hilton's oar!" added Mr. Pennant, as with his right arm he drew the wounded man back into the stern sheets. Christy was satisfied that all was going well in regard to the capture of the Bronx, and he went to sleep after he had disposed of his dinner, and arranged the final details of the enterprise with the second lieutenant. Mr. Flint was somewhat impatient to carry out his plan; but Christy insisted that nothing should be done till the orders of the flag-officer had been actually disobeyed. It was decided that coming about, and heading the Bronx to the westward would constitute disobedience. Seated on the side of his berth he considered the situation very faithfully. The Bronx lay off St. Rosa's Island; she was on the blockade, evidently ready to trip her anchor, whenever occasion should require. In regard to her officers Christy only knew that Mr. Flint was in temporary command of her, in place of Mr. Blowitt, 115 who had become the executive officer of the Bellevite. The other officers must have been appointed for temporary service. "Clear as a bell, and bright starlight," replied the executive officer. "Only one, sir: a steamer of five hundred tons, called the Floridian." "Ensign Frederick Jones," answered Corny, with some hesitation. "That is exactly the situation, Dave. Can you tell me what they are doing on deck?" asked Christy, who began to feel more hopeful of the future.
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365slot The three officers promptly obeyed the order, and laid violent hands on Captain Flanger, Mr. Flint taking the weapon from his pocket. They seized him by the collar of his coat, and the executive officer held his left arm, with the handcuffs on the wrist. The victim of the affray still held on to his nose, though Mr. Camden took possession of the arm. "Only twenty, sar; all gone ober to New Orleans, sar." "I came on board of the Bronx, and put myself in a place where you were least likely to look for me,—under the berth in the captain's stateroom. I was at home there, for I had occupied the room while I was the acting commander of the vessel on her voyage to the Gulf. But you must excuse me now, for I am ordered to get under way at once; and the ship's company of the Floridian have reported on board." "Clear as a bell, and bright starlight," replied the executive officer. "It dropped from some of the men that were captured in the sloop." 31 The breakfast was rather a sad gathering on account of this parting, for Christy was to leave in another hour. Bertha Pembroke and her father were quite as sad as the mother and sister, and the young officer did his best to cheer up the family and the guests. He tried to make them laugh, but he found it was up-hill work. As he spoke, Boxie dropped in his place at the wheel, and Vincent grasped the spokes. The blood was streaming down the face of the old man, and he did not move after he fell. Two sailors bore him below; but the surgeon promptly declared that he was dead. "The Magnolia, bound to Appalachicola," replied 209 the spokesman of the craft. "What boat is that?" "The doctor!" exclaimed the soldier. "Is there a doctor there?" "The Bronx is taking in provisions, stores, and ammunition. They say the captain has his orders, but I don't know about that." 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. 1234super "A prisoner of war!" exclaimed the steward. "The commander of the ship a prisoner!" "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." Christy was still on the bridge, and he watched with intense interest the effect of the shot. In a moment he saw the carriage of the only gun that seemed to be mounted on the barbette flying in pieces in every direction. He directed the gunner to use a shell next time; but the soldiers had hastened away from the place, bearing with them two of their companions, doubtless wounded by the splinters. "Dr. Connelly!" exclaimed Christy. "Of course I can't say that Sayles and Nichols are not rebels; but they have done nothing that is suspicious, and one of our men has pumped them both," answered Ralph. 203 The captain went on the bridge; but he could not see the light. He descended to the deck, and then mounted the fore-rigging. The lookout saw him, and said he could not see the light any longer; it had been in sight a couple of minutes, and then had disappeared. It was useless to look for it if gone, and Christy returned to the bridge, where Mr. Pennant was attentively studying the compass. "My master was the captain of the Floridian, and we came out here to see if there was any blockader near, that had come up in the fog. The steamer was to be brought out by the 229 pilot, who has been on board of her for three days." แขวง การ ทาง แมฮองสอน "Not till you change your tone. I wish you to understand that I am in command of this ship, and I have my commission in my pocket. I intend to be treated with decency at least." "So far we do not disagree by the breadth of a hair. My cousin Corny was raised in the South, while I was raised in the North," continued the sick passenger. 57 "I must say that any man who will take upon himself the position and reputation of the real Lieutenant Passford is a bold man, and even, if he succeeds in taking his place, he will fail in playing the rôle." "He has gone into the waist," replied the officer in waiting. "He will be back in a moment." 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. "And a quarter three!" cried the leadsman. 365slot The boatswain's whistle sounded through the steamer. In a moment, as it were, all hands were in their stations. Nothing like a drill with the present ship's company had been possible, though the men had been trained to some extent at the navy-yard and on board of the Vernon; but the majority of the crew were old men who had served some time on board of the Bronx, and under the present commander. 338 "South, sir," replied the quartermaster. "I am very glad to see you, Corny," continued 65 he who bore that name in reality. "I did not expect to find you on board of the Vernon. How are uncle Homer, aunt Lydia, and Gerty?"
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เวบruay "The evidence might have perplexed him; if he had done anything, he would have been more likely to retain both of you on board of the flag-ship, and appointed a new officer in command of the Bronx, rather than go back of the evidence of the commission," argued Mr. Galvinne. "Perhaps you builded better than you knew; but if you had not escaped from the Vernon, and managed the whole affair, it would have been a success," added Mr. Flint. While he was still considering the subject, he heard the call for "All the port watch!" on deck, and Mr. Camden came below to wake the third lieutenant, for the routine was hardly in working order on board of the steamer. The commander went into his stateroom, and soon returned with the sealed envelope in his hand. He was deeply interested in its contents, for he hoped his vessel was ordered to take part in the Mississippi expedition, which was to attack Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and capture the city of New Orleans. Eight bells had been struck, indicating midnight, which was the hour at which he was directed to break the seal. The first lieutenant was quite as much interested in ascertaining the destination of the Bronx as the commander. Christy had invited him to his cabin.
ทางเขา123plus "The happiest moment I have had since I saw you last!" exclaimed the engineer, as he grasped the commander of the Bronx with his right hand, while he threw his left around the neck of his friend, and would have hugged him if Christy had not gently avoided such a "gush" in presence of the watch on deck. "I wish you were back in the Bellevite, Christy." "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." "I came on board to pay my respects to you, Captain Passford," said Captain Battleton of the Vernon, who had been waiting for him. "Things have changed since I last saw you. I do not know whether I ought to apologize to you for my decision on board of the Vernon, or not."
wowgame777 "Invite the first lieutenant to the captain's cabin," said Dave. "Yes, sir;" and the steward left the cabin. "If you wish to get back into the Bellevite, of course you can do so, for it is not every fellow 296 that wears shoulder-straps who has such a backing as you have. You have only to speak, and anything reasonable is yours. But how are all at home, Christy?"