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godjoker 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." "It may be delicate; I admit that it is so for you: but as my plans may depend somewhat upon a knowledge of your instructions, I really feel compelled to insist upon this point, Captain Passford," replied the intruder as blandly as ever. "But we are living just now in a state of war, and it is quite impossible to act with as much delicacy us one might desire." godjoker 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. "What have you here, Mr. Pennant?" asked the commander with a smile, as he pointed to Uncle Job, who seemed to be as bashful as a young girl, and utterly confounded by what he saw on the deck of the Bronx. "Now, gentlemen, I will thank you to retire to the ward room, and I will send for you to hear my decision," continued the commander, and the cousins retired together, and both of them appeared to be as good-natured as though they were in perfect accord on the question in dispute. 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 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?" ufa 700 "I have not the slightest objection to the presence of as many officers as you may choose to call in," added the invalid. 141 "But how is this desirable end to be accomplished?" inquired the second lieutenant, who seemed to be troubled with some doubts. "Without reflecting upon your decision, I must deny that I am a Confederate, and proclaim that my motto is 'Stand by the union!'" 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. "Boat, ahoy!" shouted a man on the forecastle of the sloop. "Never mind the regular dinner; but bring me something to eat, if it is only some crackers and cheese," added Christy; and the steward hastened to his pantry. The leadsman was ordered to sound, as the screw was stopped, and he reported sixteen fathoms with the deep-sea lead. Christy ordered the quartermaster to go ahead again, and keep the hand-line going all the time. Mr. Flint came forward, and took his place on the bridge, where the 192 officer of the deck was usually stationed on board of the Bronx. 199 "Do you ever drink whiskey, Pennant?" asked Christy abruptly. This result was followed by emphatic cheers from the forty-five men on deck. After half an hour of questioning, Corny was sent to the ward room, and Christy was called to 78 the captain's cabin. About the same questions were put to him as to his cousin; but both of them were prompt in their answers. In the last two years, Corny had been more at Bonnydale than Christy, and he was quite as much at home there, so that there was no reason why he should not be able to describe the mansion and its surroundings as accurately as the genuine Lieutenant Passford. "I have one in my stateroom; but it is altogether too small for you," replied the commander, glancing in the gloom of the night at the stalwart form of the third lieutenant, lacking not more than an inch of six feet, and his weight could not have been less than one hundred and eighty. "We will see what can be done in the morning." wwwufabet123scom CHAPTER XV A REBELLIOUS AND PREJUDICED PRISONER "I was sick, and I wished to be as near the Vernon as possible. I felt better in the afternoon and attended to my affairs; but I got bad again in the afternoon, and I came on board in the evening, for I was afraid I should not be able to 68 do so in the morning," answered the invalid, becoming as lively as before. "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!" But the boat seemed to be running too far away from the sloop, though it was near enough for the lieutenant and quartermaster to see that there was a decided commotion on board of her. The strange sail continued to approach; and, little by little, the first lieutenant, who had sailed in the Bellevite several years, identified her as that steamer. It was probable that she had chased some vessel, and was now returning to her station. As she came nearer, she fired a gun for the Bronx to come to; and when within hail of her, stopped her screw. "I am not a naval officer, though I have given a good deal of attention to the study of nautical subjects in connection with this enterprise, and I am not a cipher," continued Corny, after he had 149 handed the sealed envelope to his companion. "I expect to be treated with reasonable consideration, even while I defer to you in all nautical matters. Let us understand each other." "Oh, yes; we have a surgeon, for Dr. Spokeley is to go to New York in the Vernon, and the doctor of the store-ship is appointed to the Bronx." Both Christy and Dave kept their positions, each with a revolver in his hand, ready to finish the victim if he exhibited any symptoms of further violence. This was the tableau presented in the captain's cabin when the door was suddenly opened by the first lieutenant, who rushed in, followed by the second lieutenant and Quartermaster Vincent. Mr. Flint had been on the quarter-deck, 283 and had heard the report of Christy's revolver when he fired. Calling Mr. Camden and the quartermaster, he has come to ascertain the cause of the fracas; and the sight was certainly impressive when he entered. "I wish I were myself," replied the commander, in a tone so low that none but the visitors could hear him. "And because, in your present enterprise as you have outlined it, you cannot get along without me," said Christy. "What is the matter now?" asked the prisoner in the ward room, after he had rubbed his eyes for a time.

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godjoker "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. "Four bells, Mr. Flint!" added the commander when the Bronx was fairly under way. "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 nearest land is an island, and there is hardly anything like a village on the entire Bay of St. Andrew's. The region is deserted now, and I might wander about there for a month, till I starved to death, before I could get to a settled region." CHAPTER VII THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DECISION "Exactly north-east, sir," replied Mr. Pennant. ทางเขา bet1688 In due time this appointment was made, and Captain Flint, on the recommendation of Christy, was entirely satisfied to receive him as his first lieutenant. "Bless the Lord that I am here at last!" exclaimed the skipper, as he looked furtively about him. "All your guns seem to be mounted outside," said the naval officer as he halted on the parade. "They can't make us out soon enough to do us any harm, or not much, at any rate," replied Mr. Galvinne confidently. 120 The store-ship had been made fast to the flag-ship, and at this moment came a call for all hands to go aft. Christy could not endure the suspense any longer, and taking his valise in his hand he went on deck, just as the Bronx came alongside. Mr. Flint was on duty with a couple of young officers, and gave the orders to make her fast to the Vernon. Captain Battleton was going up the side of the flag-ship, followed by Corny. 74 "I should say there would be no difficulty in settling this question," said Mr. Salisbury. "I have not; they are sealed orders, and I am not to open them till nine o'clock this evening," replied Corny. "I should think he might have been. By the way, Corny, where is my commission that you and he stole from my pocket at Bonnydale?" "Corny pretended to be Christy, did he? Then you must have seen him if he took your commission." "I can just see the fort and the big house. It is not so very dark to-night," answered the Russian. "The circumstances favored me, sir," replied Christy, bowing. "I desire to call your attention to the first of the two reports I submit, for the first battle I was called upon to fight was on board of the Bronx." ufabet bet "Very easily, I think." 222 "That shows that he at least was a non-combatant," added Christy, pleased to hear this report of his uncle. When Christy awoke it was dark, or at least dusky, as far as he could judge in his concealment. He heard the rattle of dishes, knives and forks in the cabin, and he understood that the captain was taking his dinner. A conversation was in progress, and Christy concluded from the 159 voices he heard that Corny had invited his first lieutenant to dine with him. 118 "What does that mean, my man?" asked Christy of one of the men near him. "They appear to be weighing the anchor." godjoker "Then you will oblige me by getting him into the cabin; I mean my cabin. I will be there in ten minutes." 256 "He looks like a desperate character," added Christy, as he went below to attend to his supper, which he had so far neglected. "The boats of the Mercidita and Sagamore have captured the place, and picked up five or six small vessels loaded with cotton, I was informed by the commodore," replied Christy.

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godjoker "That is the shoalest we shall get," added the officer. "Of course I shall not raise an issue as to your veracity, Mr. Passford, but after the statement you have made to me, I must change the form of my phraseology," continued the commander, using a smile to cover any possible doubts or suspicions in his mind. "When I called at the stateroom of the officer who reported on board last evening as Lieutenant Christopher Passford, he told me that I was expected to get under way and proceed to my destination as soon as the officer and the seamen were on board." "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." "Why not?" 250 "I ask for no better officers, sir. They are well educated, and have had a great deal of experience as sailors outside of the navy," replied Christy. customerwin999bet In ten minutes more the expedition left the ship, and soon disappeared in the low bank of fog that still hung over the shore. Each of the 233 cutters had been manned by twelve men besides the officer, and Mike was an extra hand with the first lieutenant. What remained of the port watch were on duty, and the rest of the men were dismissed. "And a quarter three!" cried the leadsman. "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 did not expect your return so soon, but I have your sealed orders ready. You will get under way as soon as possible," added the commodore, handing him the sealed envelope. "You will make your course south-west, and open your orders at twelve o'clock to-night." godjoker "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. "The United States steamer Bronx, under sealed orders. What steamer is that?" 179 "I will," replied the prisoner. "She is, sir; she has not been in action since her crew was reinforced," answered Christy. 300 "Captain Passford, I protest agailst this treatment of a prisoler of war," howled the privateersman. "I claim to be reasonably sensible," answered Christy. "As you have done me the honor to visit me in my cabin, Captain Flanger, it is reasonable to suppose you have some object in view, for I do not regard it as a merely friendly call." In his youth the author used to listen to the stories of several aged Revolutionary pensioners, one of whom had slept in the snows of Valley Forge, another who had been confined on board of the Jersey prison-ship, and a third who had been with Washington at the surrender of Cornwallis. Not one lives to-day who fought in the battles of the Revolution; but a multitude of those who trod the battle-fields of the war that was finished twenty-seven years ago have taken their places, and have become as interesting to the present generation as the heroes of former wars were to the fathers and grandfathers of the boys and girls of to-day. "But why are you out doors at this time of night?" Mrs. Passford insisted. "You will catch a cold that will lay you up, if you go out in that condition." siamufabet wallet "Is that you, Pink Mulgrum?" demanded Dave. "I give you the whole State of Alabama, but I thought we done rid of you long ago. Who's there?" In a few minutes he reported that the prisoners were all fast asleep. Boxie had been relieved as guard, and another seaman was marching back and forth by their couches. It was still dark and foggy, and a hail came from the mast-head forward. "A prisoner of war!" exclaimed the steward. "The commander of the ship a prisoner!" The cabin was to be occupied by Corny, though his cousin had no doubt that Mr. Galvinne was the real leader in the adventure of capturing the steamer. Both of them would be obliged to keep up appearances for the present. Christy's first thought after he had settled himself in his new quarters related to the cabin steward, who had served him very faithfully, and whom he had 127 brought off in the Teaser, the former name of the Bronx. He had no doubt he was still on board, and probably acting in his former capacity, for Mr. Flint knew that he was attached to the man for the service he had rendered, not only to him but to his country. He was absolutely sure that Dave could be trusted under any and all circumstances, and the first thing he did would be to make a connection with him. 279 "I think we shall be in Pensacola Bay by daylight," said Mr. Galvinne; "and we have just the right kind of weather for our enterprise. It is cloudy, and it looks as though we might have a fog, for they often come up after dark when the wind is as it is now." "Byron!" exclaimed Christy, recalling Walsh, and the name he had insisted was his own when he first encountered him on board of the Vernon. "He may have a rank in the Confederate navy, but he has none in that of the union. In other words, he is a Confederate officer or seaman, and he is the man who helped Corny steal my commission and orders." "I submit to your authority, Captain Battleton," replied Christy, bowing to the commander. "Time enough, sir, if you are going on board of the Vernon, and I will give you one of my oars if I don't put you on her deck," said the boatman very positively. "I hope you are nimble with your feet and hands, sir." "Now I will see where I can find a place for you to berth," said the captain as he left the cabin. "No, sir; I belong to Captain Flanger: his father is dead, and left me to his son." "He is a prisoner on board of the Bronx, with two Confederate naval officers who were his associates in the conspiracy; and we have also two seamen," replied Christy, who proceeded to give the narrative in full of the work done on board of the Bronx on the evening of the day she sailed from the station.

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godjoker "They are your confederates in the plot, Corny. Who do you suppose they are? Jeff Davis is not one of them. The most important one, not even excepting yourself, cousin, is Mr. Galvinne, late first lieutenant of the Bronx." After rendering his decision it was evident that Captain Battleton had something to say to Christy, for he waited in silence till Corny had closed the door behind him before he even looked at the officer standing before him. The lieutenant from the moment the envelopes were opened and their contents exposed to the view of all present, had fully expected the result just announced. Whatever he thought, suspected, or surmised when he saw the blank papers taken from his official envelope, he kept to himself. "I am not a naval officer, though I have given a good deal of attention to the study of nautical subjects in connection with this enterprise, and I am not a cipher," continued Corny, after he had 149 handed the sealed envelope to his companion. "I expect to be treated with reasonable consideration, even while I defer to you in all nautical matters. Let us understand each other." "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. "Sea-sick! No, sir; I believe I never was sea-sick in my life." The commander looked at the man; but he did not know him. "Dis nigger kin told you wot dar is over dar." "I am only sorry that he is fighting on the wrong side," added Christy, as he observed the 347 earnestness of the officer in the discharge of his duty. "Is he an old man?" "Laborers, niggers," replied the Russian. "Not a word, and I am not likely to hear from them. Corny Passford was exchanged, and sent back to the South a year ago or more; and I have no idea what has become of him since." siamufabet wallet "Not a night for blockade runners," added the captain. The officer led the way up the shore, and the rows of sugar-cane extended almost to the water. They could make out the little village of negro cabins which lay between them and the planter's house, and they directed their steps towards it. It was but a short walk, and they soon reached the lane that extended between the rows of huts. "I will put you ashore in a boat at the nearest land when the fog clears off," replied Christy. "But they may have captured her," suggested Christy. "Vincent, you will remain in charge of the boat and the men," said the third lieutenant, addressing the quartermaster. "I will explore the island with Mike. I have the fireworks with me, and you will keep a sharp lookout in the direction of the fort. If you see a light close to the water, make for it as fast as you can. Do you understand me?" "If I had seen you and Corny together, I should have known which was which," pleaded Mr. Flint. "Probably Captain Battleton did not think of that, taking it for granted that you were both sailors; but the other Mr. Passford is not in condition to undergo such an examination at present." The crew had been ordered to ease off, and the cutter moved very slowly. A quarter of an hour later the sounding was ten and three-quarters feet. The next report was fourteen feet, and then no bottom at twenty feet. The Bronx was approaching 341 the boat with full steam, and stopped her screw a short distance from the cutter. In a few moments more the boat was at the davits, and the commander of the expedition reported to Captain Passford. "The shoal water is the best protection for the small steamers that ply on these inside waters; and the Yankee gunboats can take all others as they come out. The entrance to the bay has not been regularly blockaded, for there has been little occasion to do so thus far." ufaplus "By taking the bull by the horns in good season, I am confident we can prevent this mischief." "Don't blame him, Captain Passford, for it was not his fault that he did not announce my presence to you. He wished to do so, but I assured him I was not disposed to disturb you, for you must be occupied with your own affairs, and I persuaded him not to go for you," added the person with perfect self-possession. "Hold water!" added the lieutenant. "Stern all!" "But I do not wish to subject you to any unnecessary restraint, and I shall be willing to accept your parole that you will engage in no hostile movement on board of the Vernon," continued the captain, in milder tones. The venerable colored man, who had given so much assistance and information to the third lieutenant on shore, had no desire to leave his home, and he was landed in the darkness of the evening at a considerable distance from the fort. Christy 361 had rewarded him handsomely for the service he had rendered. The men in the first and second cutters had taken all the cotton in the small steamers, and put it on board of the Sphinx before they set them on fire. The four guns in the hold had been hoisted out to make room for the bales, and the vessel had been put in condition for her voyage. "What is the matter now?" asked the prisoner in the ward room, after he had rubbed his eyes for a time. "I am glad to be informed of the fact, for I am not conscious of any such improvement as you describe. In fact, I am not in quite so good condition in a sanitary point of view as I was 50 last evening, for I took my cold about midnight, or a little later, last night," added Christy, his smile becoming a little more pronounced. godjoker Christy was utterly confounded at this salutation. "I hardly think so, though I should be pleased to have it so."

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euroclubvip 256 "He looks like a desperate character," added Christy, as he went below to attend to his supper, which he had so far neglected. "You and Florry are not in the habit of setting the table, mother; and the first bell rang an hour later than usual," added Christy.

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u31com เขาสระบบลงทะเบยน "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. "Thank you, Captain Passford, and I cannot well help being less polite and less frank than you are; and I shall take the liberty of introducing myself to your acquaintance and good offices as Captain Boyd Flanger, lately in command of the steamer Floridian, entirely at your service." "He is better; in fact, he was about well when I left him," replied the practitioner. "But I have no more time to waste," added he, as he quickened his pace, moving in the direction of the shore.

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www777com "He is a prisoner on board of the Bronx, with two Confederate naval officers who were his associates in the conspiracy; and we have also two seamen," replied Christy, who proceeded to give the narrative in full of the work done on board of the Bronx on the evening of the day she sailed from the station. "I reckon dar's one dar if he done habn't leabe yisterday." Before Christy could begin his report he was called to the deck by the first lieutenant, though everything had appeared to be quiet and orderly there. Ralph Pennant had been at work among the crew, and was unable to discover that any of the men were disloyal; but the commander had better information obtained by his own investigations. Ralph was in consultation with Mr. Flint when Christy went on deck. "I do not propose to submit to another investigation by you, or any one but the flag-officer; but for your information I am willing to give you the facts," said Christy with dignity, of which he had a full supply whenever it was needed. "As long as the officers in charge of the Bronx continued to obey the orders of the commodore to proceed to the eastward, I did nothing; but when they headed the steamer to the westward, which they did as soon as it was dark, I understood very well that they were disobeying their orders, and intended to run the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and deliver her to the Confederate authorities. Then I carried out my plan and captured the vessel." "I have heard of it; and in quite a number of instances, Confederates have been put on board of steamers for the purpose of taking them from their officers," added the captain. "At the same time, I do not see that I can decide this question 90 on any other evidence than that of the commission and other official documents."

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ufa7000 The screw of the Bronx was started again. Though the Russian was a pilot over the bar, his services were not needed as such. The first cutter had kept the range of the buildings on the island, and Mr. Flint had already picked it up. The steamer proceeded at less than half speed, but the tide was at its highest. By this time it was seven o'clock in the morning, for a great deal of the time 343 had been used up in moving the cutter and the steamer. Breakfast had been served to all hands, and Christy had fortified his stomach for a busy forenoon. As the Bronx proceeded on her course, the lead going all the time, making not more than two knots an hour, the report of a gun was heard from the fort.

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ufa168betnet "I don't say that I absolutely dislike it, for I mean to be happy in whatever place my duty may call me. The responsibility weighs heavy on me, and I should prefer to be in a subordinate position," replied Christy very seriously. "I can't sleep as I used to."

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