livewinpro "I have, captain; and it is in my own handwriting," replied the officer addressed. 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. "Hold the sloop as she is, and I will board you," said Mr. Pennant, as he saw the skipper filling away again. "I say I am abused, and dragged from below like a dog."
dk7com Christy had looked into the ward room as he passed the door, for the captain's cabin was not provided with a separate companion-way, as is usual on men-of-war, for the space could not be spared in so small a vessel. All was still there, but two men stood near the door waiting for the signal to rush to the deck. dk7com "Yes; but don't frighten him," replied Mr. Pennant. "I am not so sure of that." "Ten and a half feet!" reported the bowman. "If we keep her due west we shall be all right; and I know this coast as well as I do my father's plantation," replied Mr. Galvinne; and Christy heard him open the door. 74 "I should say there would be no difficulty in settling this question," said Mr. Salisbury. The commodore shook his head, but he looked very good-natured. Christy narrated the part Dave had taken in the capture of Captain Flanger in the cabin, and in recovering possession of the Bronx when it was shown that the officers were rebels. Mr. Flint was sent for. He was quite as earnest in his plea for the steward as the commander had been, and the written appointment of Mr. David Davis was in Christy's hands when the flag-officer took his leave of the wounded commander. 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. "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." 366 He was too feeble from the effects of his wounds, for that in the thigh had proved to be more severe than the surgeons had indicated, to tell the exciting story of the escapade of Corny Passford; but when he did relate it, three weeks later, it thrilled the listeners for three whole evenings. "Precisely so; in this cause, though I drink whiskey, chew, and smoke, and never swear except when I am excited, I am a religious man," said the intruder, laughing. akih "Only one, sir: a steamer of five hundred tons, called the Floridian." He had seen the commission which Corny presented to the captain of the Vernon, and recognized it as his own. In spite of the statements his cousin had made, Christy saw that the handwriting of the report he submitted as a copy of the genuine document was in Corny's usual handwriting. 99 Where had he obtained the commission, and where the original report? These were not hard questions, now that the preliminaries of the plot had been fully developed. "Stand by to lay on your oars," said Mr. Pennant in the lowest tones that could be heard by the crew. "Oars!" "If I did, you did not pick them up." "I should thank you, Captain Battleton, for the compliment, if I were not under suspicion of being some other person. May I ask when it will be convenient for you to settle the question, for it is not pleasant for me to feel that I am looked upon as even a possible impostor?" "That's so!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant, feeling of his left arm as he spoke; for he had been wounded there, though the injury had not for a moment abated his energy. "But she will signal the fort to fire upon us." pgslot168 "One thing more, Captain Passford," continued the flag-officer; "the ship's steward of the Mercidita has been very sick for three weeks, and has applied for a sick-leave. I shall be obliged to transfer Mr. Nawood of the Bronx to his place." "Good, Corny!" exclaimed Christy, dropping upon the divan of the cabin and laughing heartily. Christy obeyed the order of Captain Battleton when he was directed to report below; but he felt that he was permitting the plot of his cousin to be carried out without any opposition, and without any attempt to check its progress. But he was a prisoner, and he realized that he could do nothing. His case had been tried, and he had been condemned to his present condition. It was useless to appeal to the captain, for he had already passed upon all the facts that had been presented before him. "You have him on board, and perhaps he had better answer the question himself," replied Colonel Passford with a smile. "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." "It is evident from what we have heard, and from the documents submitted to me that one of these gentlemen is Lieutenant Christopher Passford," said Captain Battleton; "but we have no means of identifying the officer. In what vessels have you served, Mr. Passford?" "I shall find no fault with my accommodations, whatever they are," replied Christy. "Well, Captain Passford, if you fail to comprehend my purpose, it is the fault of your understanding, and not of my plain and explicit declaration, for I assuredly said that I intended to replace the Floridian with the Teaser, or the Bronx as you have named her, though she will not be called by any such nut-cracking name after I get her," replied the daring privateersman, as blandly and pleasantly as though he were planning a picnic. "Bonnydale!" repeated the officer, after using his handkerchief, and thus improving his utterance of the word. "I don't quite understand this matter," said the surgeon. "What are you doing, Mr. Passford?"
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dk7com 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 knew also that if he attempted to leave the cabin to procure assistance, Flanger would shoot him with as little remorse as he would kill a coon in the woods. Watching his opportunity without trying to get behind the intruder till the decisive moment came, he sprang into the position he had selected in advance, and brought down the heavy head of the feather duster upon the temple of the privateersman. But he had no intention of again approaching the fort, and he headed the boat to the south-east, or nearly so, and then ordered the men to give way. He called the attention of the coxswain to the range, and directed him to keep it. The bowman was required to keep the lead going all the time. "Sail ahead!" shouted the bow oarsman, looking behind him. "If he isn't there, we can't have him; but hurry up, Uncle Job, and come over and tell us if he isn't there," said the soldier, as he hurried away as rapidly as he came, evidently believing that hope was a panacea to a sick man. In accordance with the directions he had left with the first lieutenant, Christy was called with the watch at four o'clock in the morning. Though the first lieutenant is not a watch officer, he may be required to do duty as such when the number of commissioned officers is reduced below three, and Mr. Flint had remained in charge of the mid-watch, which had been called to the deck at midnight. The captain relieved him and Camden, and both of them went below, the new appointee taking the stateroom of the second lieutenant. By this time the commander began to feel that sleep was a necessity for him, for he had hardly rested at all the night before, and he turned in at two bells. He dropped asleep almost instantly, and did not wake till he heard eight bells in the morning. It was quite light in his stateroom, and he realized that it was eight o'clock, instead of four, as he at first supposed. When the commander went on deck, the fog had disappeared, and the shore was to be seen at the distance of about six miles from the steamer. At eight bells, or noon, a steamer was discovered coming out of the bay by a channel between two islands. She carried the American flag over the Confederate, and no one doubted that she was the Floridian. In half an hour she was alongside, and she looked like a fine vessel, for she had come from the other side of the ocean as a blockade-runner. "And a quarter three!" cried the leadsman. "Who were the men with muskets on board of the sloop?" slot bg "I have heard about that; and I know that your cousin Christopher is no chicken." "Florry was very well the last time I saw her, not more than two weeks ago, and she talked a great deal about you, Paul," answered her brother, partly in a whisper. "I am sure he will get a commission as soon as he applies for it, captain," added the first lieutenant, pleased with the prompt decision. "Now, who is your man?" 74 "I should say there would be no difficulty in settling this question," said Mr. Salisbury. "Precisely so; West India rum and wines." "Up oars! Let fall!" said Mr. Pennant. "Stern, all! Give way!" The Bronx had been absent from the station hardly more than thirty hours; but she had accomplished the mission with which she had been charged in her secret orders. The Vernon was still at anchor near the flag-ship. Christy hastened on board of the latter to make his report, which he had written out during the passage; in fact, he had two reports, one of the capture of the Bronx, and the other of the Floridian. ซปเปอรสลอต369 228 "We were going to Appalachicola after a while, where we were to pilot out some vessels loaded with cotton." "But they may have captured her," suggested Christy. "Can you form any idea where we are, Captain Passford?" asked the lieutenant. 42 "I never heard of the place before, sir," persisted the seaman. dk7com 309 "Was I ever there, captain? I lived there a year!" exclaimed the contraband. "I was in the fishing business at that time," he added with a significant smile on his face. "That's bad," added Mr. Flint, shaking his head. Dave Receives his Appointment as Steward.—Page 364. "Nothing at all; you can turn in as soon as you like and sleep through the whole, for there will be nothing at all to disturb you. As I said, 161 Flint is the only person on board who is likely to make the least trouble, and he will be asleep in his berth. If he asks hard questions when he comes on deck at eight bells for the mid-watch, our men will secure him. That is the whole of it. I must go on deck now, for I can smell the fog." "I don't see that we can help ourselves," 212 replied the spokesman in a surly tone; for the prospect before him was not very pleasant, especially as a volley had been fired from the sloop, presumably by his order, for he was the one who had made the threat in the first place.
dk7com "Well, Dave, how is your prisoner?" he asked, halting at the door. "Thank you, sir," said the rower, as he pulled with more vigor even than before, and did not say another word till the boat was alongside the Vernon. "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. "Does your patient below seem to be improving, doctor?" he asked. "I don't know; do you, Rockton?" replied the 105 one addressed; and it was evident to the listener that the men were at least persons of average education with but little of the common sailor in it. As only one of the broadsides of the gunboat was available in the action with the fort, the starboard battery was transferred to the captured vessel. Men enough to handle them were put on board, and Mr. Camden was put in command of her. It was late in the afternoon when all this work had been done, and then the Bronx led the way through the Pass, her mission fully accomplished. It was now the turn of Captain Battleton to be puzzled, if not mystified, by the statement of his passenger, and he looked inquiringly into his face as if to ascertain if he was not the victim of a practical joke. But naval officers on duty are not given to pleasantries; and if he had any such suspicion, he banished it at once, for there was nothing in the appearance of the lieutenant to warrant it. "Of course Corny asked for his appointment, for Mr. Galvinne was the real leader of the enterprise. I think you and some of the rest of us have narrowly escaped a Confederate prison." "You took splendid aim, Captain Passford," said the surgeon, smiling. "Take a force of twelve men, with pistols and cutlasses, Mr. Pennant, in the first cutter, and pull down to the south-east. Whatever you find in the shape of a vessel or a boat, capture it, and return to the Bronx. Get off with as little noise as possible, and muffle your oars." "I don't want him to take me simply because my father desires him to do so," answered the young commander, shaking his head. pxj เครดตฟร 68 "You seem to have a man ready for every vacant position. Who is he?" asked the commodore with a pleasant smile. "I don't like to contradict my cousin, but I was brought up in the North," said Christy, hoping Captain Battleton would notice the difference in the phraseology. 319 "'Pears like I do; I reckon you's Massa Cap'n Flanger." "Perhaps not; but I should not care to have the Bronx sunk by a columbiad in the attempt to find out the strength of the fort." dk7com "I find no fault with you on that account, doctor," added Christy. crow789 "I find him—I thought I found him; but he appears to be on deck," replied the surgeon, as he fixed his gaze upon Christy, preluded by a start, dramatic enough to prove that he was astonished to find his patient was not in his room below. "I left him not five minutes ago, for I have not yet been able to discover what ails him. He 58 complained of a severe headache and pains in his bones; but he has not a particle of fever, or any symptom of anything that I can discover. I am glad to see you on deck, Mr. Passford. How is your headache?" "You are one now, at any rate. Were you bound to Appalachicola?" "Can you form any idea where we are, Captain Passford?" asked the lieutenant. Ensign McLinn, who had served on board of the little steamer, but had recently been on sick leave, was appointed second lieutenant of the Bronx, while Mr. Camden, outranked by the other officers, remained as third lieutenant. Christy and Mr. Pennant were transferred to the Sphinx, with a prize crew; and that same evening the Bronx sailed under her new commander, with sealed orders, to the eastward. "That's my name—Byron, sir, at your service," said the man, as he touched his cap to the lieutenant, and rushed forward in answer to the call of his superior, evidently glad to escape from the inquisition to which he had been subjected. "On deck!" he added, as he made his way to the forecastle. "No, sar; all de family done leave, an' was gwine to New Orleans. Arter a while I go to de fort and tell de sodgers the doctor done gone," replied Job. "For sufficient reasons, I have; with the assistance of the loyal members of the ship's company, I have taken possession of the vessel, and we are 186 now on our way to carry out the orders of the flag-officer.—Conduct the prisoner to his future quarters," said Christy, in a very business-like manner. "A steamer, sir," answered Gorman. CHAPTER VIII THE PRISONER OF WAR The course was believed to be correct for the point indicated by the captain, and in less than half an hour the boat grounded; but the shore was bold enough to enable the men to land. Mr. 316 Pennant went to the forward part of the boat and took a careful look all around him. All was as silent as a tomb. Stepping into the fore-sheets, he leaped on shore, directing the Russian to follow him. "You must excuse me, Mr. Blowitt, for I am sailing under sealed orders, and the commodore hurried me off as soon as I returned with the Bronx from St. Andrew's Bay; and I do not know that my mission admits of any delay," said 297 Christy. "I have a prisoner on board, and I want to get rid of him, for he is a dangerous character;" and he briefly related the incident of the evening with Captain Flanger. Though the lieutenant of the Bronx was not a physician, he was not altogether a pretender, for in the capacity of mate and temporary commander, he had done duty in the healing art in the absence of a more skilful person.
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dk7com "He is quite safe; he is a prisoner of war below, with a pair of handcuffs on his wrists," replied Christy. "You and he together made the nest for him, and he must sleep in it. I cannot say what the commodore will do with you." "The telltale is honest, and tells no lies," replied Christy. Under the vigorous pulling of eight stalwart men, the cutter leaped forward at a speed that would have won an ordinary boat race, and in ten minutes more, the sloop could be distinctly made out, the cutter running across her bow. She was close-hauled, with the wind from the south-west, and very little of it. On board of her were at least ten men, as the quartermaster counted them, and there might have been more in her cuddy under the hail-deck forward. "Why not, my son?" "I am glad to see you, Captain Passford," said Mr. Blowitt, who was properly received when he stepped down upon the deck. "I see her; it is the Bronx," added Mr. Pennant. CHAPTER XXI A NON-COMBATANT ON BOARD THE BRONX "Then you are older than you appear to be," continued Christy; and he proceeded to question the seaman in regard to his education and experience as a seaman. "I am not going to banter with you, Passford. Where are your orders?" demanded the first lieutenant in a tyrannical manner. "Of course my cousin Corny intends to hand the vessel over to the Confederate government." "Do you know where we are bound, Mike?" asked Christy. 66 "It is a family party, captain," replied the sick officer, smiling as cheerfully as though he had never had any practical knowledge of headache and pains in the bones, which was the description of his malady given to the surgeon. "As I have hinted before, my cousin Corny is a rebel of the first order; and you can imagine my astonishment at finding him in the uniform of a lieutenant on board a United States naval vessel." crow789 "I can say with entire confidence that I was in command of the Vixen," added Christy. "He has enlisted as a seaman, and seems to be a good one. By the way, where did you learn that my cousin attempted to take the Bronx into Pensacola Bay?" asked Christy curiously, though he was using up the time he could not yet improve. "Bonnydale sounds like a fancy name, such as any gentleman might give to his estate, as Sunnyside was the home of Washington Irving. Is this the fact?" asked Mr. Salisbury. "What are you about?" demanded the prisoner, attempting to shake off his captor when he felt the cold iron. "If you will get out of the berth yourself, I will allow you to do so," added Christy. 107 "I do not; I am that person myself," replied Christy very decidedly. "By the way, I wonder that the commander did not subject the two claimants to an examination in navigation and seamanship. It might have thrown some light on the subject." "Are you sure of this information, Mike?" "Then I shall put you in irons, and take you on board of the steamer," added the officer sternly. "That is my name," added Christy, smiling at the earnestness of the skipper. "It is possible that the Russian knows something about this region," suggested Mr. Flint. ยฟา168 Suddenly the officer started back, and began to look very sharply at the presumed sailor. But the file pressed behind him, and Christy was too glad to move with it to delay a moment longer. He went below to the familiar quarters of the crew, and saw many of his old seamen still on board, though many of them had been taken to reinforce other vessels. "Well, what is there over there?" "Now I will see where I can find a place for you to berth," said the captain as he left the cabin. Mr. Flint went to his stateroom, and turned in; but Christy spread his chart of the Gulf of Mexico, and using his parallel ruler, he found that the present course of the Bronx would take her to the Pass à Loutre, the most northerly entrance of the Mississippi River. He went to the bridge at once, and directed the officer of the deck to make the course south-west by south. Everything was going well on deck, and Mr. Pennant had proved that he was a competent officer. "I am not; but I am his nephew," replied the commander, willing to be perfectly frank with him. dk7com "The boats are in good condition, sir, and they will be ready in five minutes," replied Mr. Flint, who had come on deck at the call for all hands, and had hardly learned the results of the recent boat expedition. "Then I will wait till I have time to attend to it," replied the heroic officer who treated the injury with contempt; "I have not finished my report to the captain yet. I will be in the ward room as soon as the captain is done with me." "Then I will wait till I have time to attend to it," replied the heroic officer who treated the injury with contempt; "I have not finished my report to the captain yet. I will be in the ward room as soon as the captain is done with me." Dressing himself hastily, Christy hastened on deck, and to the bridge, where he found Mr. Flint, who informed him that the Bronx was off the South Pass of the Mississippi. The fleet of the flag-officer of the Western Gulf squadron had 306 gone up the river, with the exception of a single vessel, which had not been able to get over the bar. There were a few sail in sight.
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win888 wallet "Make the course west north-west," said he to the first lieutenant, as he joined him on the bridge. "We are within a mile of the fort, Mr. Sampson, and I mean to run by it. We shall be exposed to the fire of musketry for about half a mile, and the quicker we make this distance, the less the danger to the men," said the commander, when the engineer presented himself. "We will not get under way till you have all the steam you need to give the steamer her best speed." "It is not necessary to obey the orders of the 150 Yankee flag-officer under present circumstances," answered Mr. Galvinne in a chuckling tone, as it sounded to the listener. The contraband touched his cap, for he had been rigged out in a new suit of seaman's clothes. The commander retired to his cabin, and again devoted himself to the study of the chart of the locality. His first purpose must be to obtain accurate information in regard to the strength of the fort, and the position of the steamer, if there were such a craft in the bay. He decided to approach the entrance by the East Channel, though it would not be possible for the Bronx to reach the Grand Pass from that direction, for there were hardly more than six feet of water at low tide; and the rise and fall was less than a foot and a half. The lieutenant had closely watched the movements of the Bronx. He had made the signal that the fort was not very dangerous to the well-being of the gunboat, and he understood her present movement. The light was increasing, and the Bronx could be distinctly seen, headed to the south-east, or in other words, making for the deep water outside the bar. Mr. Pennant still kept the cutter headed to the south. "No, sir; I was not wounded. Your men did not fire into our party, as we did into your boat. The fact is, Captain Passford, I have an ornament on my left wrist which I am a little timid about displaying before people, though I do not object to showing it to you," replied the guest, as he held up his left hand, and from the wrist a pair of handcuffs hung down, for he had succeeded in removing it only from his right hand.
tiger711 member "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?" "I beg your pardon, Captain Flanger; but do I understand that you intend, single-handed and alone, to capture the Bronx?" asked the commander, with a smile of incredulity on his face.
tiger 711 Christy went to the library, and busied himself in considering whether or not the sudden departure of Walsh had any connection with the mysterious midnight intruder. The two events had been near together in point of time; but he could establish no other relation between them. Then it flashed upon his mind that the man-servant had been the person who had opened or closed his door, and visited his room; but he was sure he had seen a man near the grand entrance of the estate. He had been all around the house, and Walsh could not have escaped his observation. He had answered the bell, and admitted him after his search. He concluded that the servant was not the person who had disturbed his slumbers. Captain Flanger had been handcuffed and made fast to the rail of the vessel with the other prisoners, and with them he had been transferred to the flag-ship. It was probably in this removal that he had found the means of securing his liberty, 263 and had made his way on board in some manner not at all apparent to the commander of the Bronx, who had been in conference with the commodore when the change was made.
ufa365 ทางเขา 322 This seemed to be reasonable to the lieutenant, and in accordance with the belief of his superiors on board of the Bronx, for no union man-of-war of any size could pass through the water courses to the great river. It looked as though the big guns had been replaced with those of smaller calibre. 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. "Mullygumps!" exclaimed Dave, as he suspended his labors on the trunk.