bakabom The commission and other papers were all right in every respect. Christy handed his envelope to the commander, and he broke it open. It contained nothing but a lot of blank paper. "Indeed!" exclaimed Christy, not a little startled at the information thus communicated, for it was plain enough that the intruder meant mischief in spite of his good manners. "I was under the impression that you had taken up your abode on board of the flag-ship with others who were captured in the Magnolia." "The flag officer has not told me yet what he is about, and I am not good at guessing, though I am a Yankee," replied the man chuckling, as though he believed he had said something funny. CHAPTER XXVII THE PLANNING OF AN EXPEDITION "In fact, you are more than half right. The sealed orders are not absolutely necessary to me just now, and I shall not insist upon the production of them for the present. Now, if you will seat yourself at the table opposite me, I will dictate an order to you, which you will oblige me by reducing to writing, and then by signing your name to it as commander," continued Flanger, still toying with the heavy revolver.
bet88th 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. 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. bet88th "Well, this is pleasant; and it will be my duty to report your conduct to my superior officer. In command of this ship! Why, you don't know enough to lay off the course of the ship, or even to box the compass." Dave Receives his Appointment as Steward.—Page 364. "I have; but I have no more time to enlighten you. I can only say that with the assistance of the only loyal officer left on board, and the loyal seamen, I have recaptured the vessel, and now we are on our way to St. Andrew's to obey the orders which the flag-officer delivered to you when you were a rebel in disguise. Now Dave will help you out of the berth." This was a correct answer, and Christy saw that his cousin had fully armed himself for his daring scheme, whatever it was. joker slot 77 "What then?" repeated the intruder. "Why, you will reduce me to the disagreeable necessity of blowing out your brains, if you have any, as I should judge that you had not, after your refusal to accede to my request in the face of the death that awaits you." "I have my commission as a lieutenant, and my orders to take passage in the Vernon, and to take command of the Bronx on my arrival at the station of the Eastern Gulf squadron," said Corny, as he pulled a huge envelope from his breast pocket; and Christy could not but notice the perfect confidence with which he spoke. "I hardly think so, though I should be pleased to have it so." 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. "Boat, ahoy!" shouted Christy, with almost frantic earnestness. ufafedfe "Do you wish to leave this place, Uncle Job?" asked the officer. 35 "Naval officer, sir?" interrogated the boatman. "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. "I am afraid he is fond of whiskey, though I do not know that he is." "I am not, sir." 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. 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 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." "That is immaterial," added Captain Battleton, as Corny left the cabin to procure the document. "Have you a copy of your report, Lieutenant Passford?" He pointed to Christy.
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bet88th "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." "Precisely so; and you will readily see that I am not exactly in a position to act in any other manner, as I cannot go back on deck and deliver them in person, for your officers would be prejudiced against me, and might be disposed to rebel against my authority." Christy was not disposed to believe that he was a brilliant officer, or to accept unchallenged the extravagant praise that had been bestowed upon 44 him. He endeavored to follow the Gospel injunction "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think." But while he tried to keep the flower of modesty in full bloom in his soul, he could not deny that he had given the enemies of his country a great deal of trouble, and subjected them to some heavy losses. Then he recalled the conspiracy on board of the Bronx while he was acting-commander of her; and though it was for the interest of the Confederacy to get rid of so active an officer, he believed it was the vessel and not himself that the conspirators desired to obtain. "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." "But I am sure he has no ill-will against you." "Don't you know?" "Yes, ma'am," replied the man who had admitted Christy, and who was still wondering what fit, freak, or fancy had beset the young officer. The surgeon was satisfied with this evidence. But Job was very obliging, and he made a hissing sound, followed by an effort to sneeze which was a failure. Then he hissed some more, though the loss of his front teeth interfered with the effort. Then he said "fing." "That makes it all the more remarkable, for I was not aware that there was any officer in the navy who resembled me so closely," added Christy more bewildered than before, and beginning to scent a plot of some kind against him or his country. "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." hey link "I hope you have not committed any rash act, Mr. Passford," said Dr. Connelly as the party passed through the ward room. "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." Dr. Connelly was so much astonished at the proceedings that he did not turn in, but completed his toilet, and came out into the ward room again. He looked troubled, for he had 188 heard nothing of the struggle on the quarter-deck, and the situation was a revelation to him. He looked and talked as though he thought that Christy and his associates who had captured the vessel were simply mutineers. The captain sent the steward for Boxie, and, giving him a pair of pistols and a cutlass, informed him that he was to stand guard over the five prisoners until he was relieved. The old man, who had been one of the seamen on board of the Bellevite when she was a yacht, took his place forward of the berth-sacks, and began his march athwartship. "What do you mean by hands?" asked the officer. "It is a strange story, and I cannot see how Corny succeeded in passing himself off as the officer he personated." "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?" "Excuse me for interrupting you, Captain Flanger; but I have eaten a hearty supper, encouraged by your friendly presence, and I was sleepy, for my rest was broken last night, and I wanted simply to stretch myself," replied Christy, yawning and stretching himself again. 335 "But the fort can protect your vessels in the bay," suggested the lieutenant of the Bronx. 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. "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. "I hope it will not, my son," added his mother very earnestly. slot4kings CHAPTER XXXI A WOUNDED COMMANDER Corny was two years older than Christy; but the latter looked even more mature than the former. The resemblance between them had hardly been noticed by the two families, though Christy had spent several months at different times at the plantation of his uncle. But the resemblance was noted and often spoken of by persons outside of the families, the members of which, being in the habit of seeing them often together, did not notice the similarity of features and expression. Both of them resembled their fathers, who were often mistaken the one for the other in their early years. 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. 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. The second lieutenant was calling over a list of names, which Christy concluded was the draft of seamen for the Bronx. Possibly Captain Passford had used some influence in this selection, 121 for all the other hands were to be put on board of the flag-ship to be assigned to such vessels as needed to be reinforced by the officers of the staff. "Who are the other prisoners?" demanded Corny, as though he had a right to know. bet88th 53 "I beg your pardon, Captain Battleton, but I have not been in any stateroom, sick or well, on board of the Vernon, and I respectfully suggest that it was quite impossible for you to have called upon me this morning, or at any other time," Christy interposed, very pleasantly, though quite as perplexed as the commander. Another shot followed the first, and dropped into the water; and if it had gone fifty feet farther, it would have struck the boat. "Certainly, captain; go on." "On board the steamer!" replied Mr. Flint from the bridge.
bet88th "If you stand up and walk like a man, the dog will not be dragged." "Bless the Lord that I am here at last!" exclaimed the skipper, as he looked furtively about him. "You are not sea-sick?" inquired the doctor, laughing. "I shall not compel you to land, and you can remain on board till I report to the flag-officer of the Eastern Gulf squadron, off Pensacola, if you desire to do so; but you will be subject to his decision and not mine then." "How high is the grass in the streets of New York, Christy?" asked the colonel, with a twinkle of the eye, and a smile. "Were you in charge of the sloop, uncle Homer?" "The crew all know me, and I dare say I can 201 get along without a uniform till we get back to the station, where I could get one from the store-ship; but it is not likely that I shall need one then." The captain asked Corny a hundred questions in regard to the estate, making memoranda of his answers. Once he suggested to the surgeon that he had better examine the pulse of his patient, for he did not wish to overtask him in the investigation. The subject of the inquiry declared that his headache had almost disappeared, and he needed no indulgence on account of his health. 6xslotzone CHAPTER XVI THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS "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." "What is your age?" "I shall not regard you as an impostor, Mr. Passford, for I mean to be entirely impartial, and I shall not brand you even in thought until the evidence warrants me in doing so," replied the commander, as he called the surgeon who was just coming on deck. "How do you find your patient, Dr. Connelly?" bet88th The hands of the impostor were now free, and he placed himself in a defensive attitude; but Ralph Pennant, who was rather above the average stature, threw his arms around him, and he was 185 pinned as tightly as though he had been put into a strait jacket. Corny was probably stiff in his arms from their confinement, and he was unable to make a very spirited defence. While the seaman held him, Christy took the envelope from his breast pocket, and transferred it to his own. But there was considerable noise made in the brief scuffle, which waked some of the sleepers. From one of the staterooms an officer rushed out, and demanded the cause of the disturbance. The person proved to be the surgeon. "Dey hab de medicine at de big house." 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. "Will you set a nigger upon me again, Christy?" using the commander's proper name for the first time. "Corny pretended to be Christy, did he? Then you must have seen him if he took your commission." "Eight of them, sir; and they have been keeping guard on Crooked, St. Andrew's, and Hurricane Islands, to let them know inside if there was any blockader coming this way. They had sky-rockets and flags to make signals with." 4x4betway Standing on the bridge with the executive officer, Christy took his leave mentally of the flag-ship, and the few other vessels that were on the 254 station; for most of them were on duty in various expeditions engaged in the destruction of salt works. A boat expedition had just captured Appalachicola, with all the vessels loading with cotton in the bay. The young commander congratulated himself that he had a fast steamer, for that caused him to be employed in more active duty than the work of destruction on shore. "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." Though it is said that the South "robbed the 6 cradle and the grave" to recruit the armies of the Confederacy, it is as true that young and old in the North went forth in their zeal to "Stand by the union," and that many and many a young soldier and sailor who had not yet seen twenty summers endured the hardships of the camp and the march, the broiling suns, and the wasting maladies of semi-tropical seas, fought bravely and nobly for the unity of the land they loved, and that thousands of them sleep their last sleep in unmarked graves on the sea and the land. The writer can remember whole companies, of which nearly half of the number could be classed as mere boys. These boys of eighteen to twenty, who survived the rain of bullets, shot, and shell, and the hardly less fatal assaults of disease, are the middle-aged men of to-day, and every one of them has a thrilling story to tell. The boys of to-day read with interest the narratives of the boys of thirty years ago, and listen with their blood deeply stirred to the recital of the veteran of forty-five years, or even 7 younger, who brought back to his home only one arm or one leg. illustration of quoted scene Corny's first movement on board of the Vernon was to take the hand of Mr. Galvinne, whom he appeared to be congratulating on a promotion or appointment. The second lieutenant promptly handed his lists to the third lieutenant, Mr. Winter, who proceeded with the calling of the names. Corny and Mr. Galvinne immediately went below, and Christy concluded that the officer he had spotted as the traitor had been appointed to the little gunboat, either as first or second 122 lieutenant, and that they were making their preparations to go on board of her. In a few minutes they appeared with the steward of the ward room carrying their baggage. "I don't think it will, Galvinne. Behave like a gentleman, and we shall have no difficulty," added Corny. "In that case, probably Mike was with him, and he may be a useful man to us as a pilot," replied Christy. "The commodore says the Western Gulf squadron had no steamer that was suitable for this service, for there is only nine feet of water on the bar of Barataria at low water. For this reason he had been requested to send the Bronx, not only on account of her light draft, but of her speed."
bet88th "I don't like to have a man stand behind me, and you will take your place in the rear of Captain Passford, who is more worthy of your attention than I am;" and though Dave was a brave fellow, he obeyed the order. "He says he is, and I have to take his word for it," replied the surgeon, with a corresponding smile. "I shall have to give it up, mother." "I hope to drink up every drop of water in the Alabama River if I did not forget all about that! Gollywomps! Dave is getting stupid," exclaimed the steward, springing to his feet. "I can't bring you a regular dinner, Massa Christy, but I will do the best I can." 329 "You, Massa Gumboat!" cried the negro. "De sodgers put de bagonet frou your crop like a knife frou a pullet's froat!" For the next three days it blew a gale, moderating 111 at times, and then piping up again. To a sailor it was not bad weather, but Christy learned from the surgeon that his cousin was confined to his berth during all this time. The prisoner went on deck for the time permitted each forenoon and afternoon. He had his eyes wide open all the time, on the lookout for anything that would afford him further information in regard to the plot in the midst of which he was living. "I protest agailst this brutal treatmelt!" stormed the prisoner, as he continued to writhe in his irons. "I am a woulded plisoler!" 4x4betway Christy rather sympathized with him in his contempt for the one who was only nominally his superior, though that could not excuse the breach of good manners of which he had been guilty, whether in the old or the new navy. He felt that Mr. Galvinne was a man of ability, and that he was the only person whom he had to fear in carrying out his plan for the recovery of the vessel. 300 "Captain Passford, I protest agailst this treatment of a prisoler of war," howled the privateersman. Lieutenant Christopher Passford, in his two years' experience in the navy, had been under the fire of the enemy too many times to be intimidated by a burglar, and he felt a certain contempt for the midnight marauder, who had entered the mansion and disturbed his restful slumbers. He returned to his bed, therefore, and slept like a marine till the call bell woke him in the morning. "I can come to no conclusion in regard to it, though I may be able to do so when I have seen my double," replied Christy, whose curiosity in regard to the sick officer was strongly excited. "It looks like a conspiracy of some kind, but I can go no farther in the direction of a solution." 346 "I understand the situation perfectly, Captain Passford, and I will report when we are ready to go ahead in the manner you desire," replied Mr. Sampson, as he saluted the captain and hastened below. 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." "I don't think it will, Galvinne. Behave like a gentleman, and we shall have no difficulty," added Corny. "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. The two boats were soon in the water, though the first lieutenant wondered that he had not been sent on this important service. The two officers hurried their crews, and the boats flew on their mission. The commander felt that it was necessary to keep an eye on the fort, for its energetic officer was not at all inclined to be idle at the present exciting time. The Bronx had hardly stopped her screw before the soldiers were to be seen on the barbette; but the shell with which the midship gun had been charged sent them all to the casemates in an instant. "Your father's name?" Christy did not go near him, but he watched him very closely. He had not long to wait before Mr. Galvinne, who was then the officer of the deck, spoke to him, and they had quite a long conversation. He could not hear a word of it; but the fact that they were intimate enough to 112 hold what appeared to be a confidential interview was enough to satisfy the prisoner that the second lieutenant was the principle confederate of his cousin. How many of the crew were "packed" for the enterprise he could form no idea. roy66 "I figured up the course a while ago, and I think we are off St. Andrew's Bay. If they had not put her about and run for an hour or more to the westward, I should be satisfied in regard to my position; as it is, I am not quite clear in regard to it," replied the commander. "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." "Is there any doctor at the big house?" asked the lieutenant as soon as Job entered the house. "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." "Not a bad wound at all, Captain Passford," said Mr. Pennant. "The doctor says I am still fit for duty." bet88th "I hope you will not make a donkey of yourself before we have finished this business," added the executive officer for the time being. "Now have you looked at your orders?" "Perfectly, Mr. Pennant." "Quarter less ten!" shouted the leadsman, with even more vigor than before. "The plan was not finally successful, more is the pity," added the Southern gentleman.
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spinslot The gunner was again fortunate in his aim, and it was seen that the solid shot cleaned off the carriage upon which the soldiers were at work. With the aid of the glass it was found that two of the men had been killed or wounded. The work on that gun was suspended, but the officer could be seen in the act of directing his force to another of the barbette pieces. "Hardly, my dear friend, for I fear that on deck you would give way to your own individual prejudices against me, and do something that would jeopard my interest in the premises. With your approbation, I should prefer to resort to a method that prevails in the army, though not to any considerable 271 extent in the navy. More clearly, I will invite you to send your orders on deck in writing, over your own signature." "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." Camden was called aft and formally appointed second lieutenant, but Ralph was in the watch below, and was in his hammock. The commander retired to his stateroom, and, letting his report wait till another day, he was soon sound asleep. "I must trouble you to produce it, Lieutenant Passford," added the commander.
neo1688 "There appear to be only three steamers in sight," said the captain, who had come into the waist to observe the fleet. "Perfectly, Mr. Pennant." Another half hour elapsed, and except the monotonous plaint of the screw, no sound was to be heard. A footstep came from the cabin, where Dave was at work, or appeared to be, for he had been stationed there for his part of the programme which was presently to be carried out. "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."
sportvipbet "We always called it Bonnydale; and I know no other name for it." "Have you anything to say in regard to it?" "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."
เวบตรงสงคโปร "We had the Magnolia over here then, and I used to go out fishing in her about every night," chuckled Mike. "Sometimes I did not catch any fish, and sometimes I caught five hundred boxes of Havana cigars. I often caught other kinds of fish." The cutter backed rapidly from the shore, and was then brought about. The lieutenant stood up in his place, and could just distinguish the Bronx, a mile and a half distant, in the gloom of the early morning. He watched her a few minutes and soon saw her swing around, and head to the south-east.
mahjong slot He had no fault to find with the captain for his decision against him, which seemed to be natural and warrantable. He had no ill-feeling against 101 his cousin, for he was trying to serve the cause he had espoused. He was even willing to believe that he would have done the same thing himself under like circumstances. "You took splendid aim, Captain Passford," said the surgeon, smiling. "I don't know." "Mark under water three!" shouted the leadsman, with an earnestness inspired by the occasion.