g2g808g "He was by profession an actor in Mobile," added Corny. "We have five prisoners on board; and we can take care of them well enough," replied Christy; "but the principal difficulty is that we have no officers." 200 The men gave three hearty cheers as they were dismissed, proving to the commander that Pennant was a popular man among them, as Camden had also been proved to be when his appointment had been announced to the starboard watch. As in politics, legislation, war, and business, the masses of the people soon ascertain who are their natural leaders, the crew of the Bronx, or that portion who had come from New York in the Vernon, had been prompt in discovering the abilities of the two men now promoted. "You will be in command of a steamer, Christy, when you reach the Gulf. I hope you will not be rash, and try to do too much," said Mrs. Passford, as they rose from the table.
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riches 666 all "Don't care for de fight, sar; Job isn't 'feered o' noffin'." riches 666 all "Such an ornament must be a nuisance to you, 262 Captain Flanger, and I think we will have it removed. Dave, go and ask the second lieutenant to report to me with his keys and a file," said Christy. "I did not see them there, Captain Passford; but it was your uncle's business to look after them, as he was doing in St. Andrew's Bay." "Captain Breaker is dissatisfied with him, and 299 he will get him out of the ship, at any rate, as soon as the opportunity presents itself. I advise you to write to your father, and tell him plainly just how you feel," said Paul. "No, sir; it is not. I had the misfortune to leave it on the table at Bonnydale, and Walsh, the man-servant, supposing it to be of no value, threw it into the fire," replied Corny promptly. neko168 The late acting-commander did not leave the deck, as he would have been likely to do if he had been relieved and ordered to report on board of the flag-ship, though he might have been superseded as executive officer,—a position which he was clearly entitled to hold. A little later, the draft of seamen were ordered to file on board of the Bronx. Then the observer saw Mr. Galvinne, with a rather pompous gesture point to the men who were coming on board, and say something he 123 could not hear to Mr. Flint. He had evidently directed him to receive the seamen as they came on deck. This indicated that the late second lieutenant of the Vernon had been appointed executive officer 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. "One who can believe that would swallow Baron Munchausen without blinking. But I think we had better not talk politics, uncle Homer, for we don't get ahead at all. I shall continue to stand by the union, and the South will raise the same cry after a few years more," said Christy, as Dave opened the door, and ushered the prisoner into the cabin. He had decided upon his method of operations, and then wished again that he was not in command of the steamer; for the expedition he intended 311 to send out was one he would have been glad to command in person, instead of remaining inactive on board of the Bronx. As soon as he had arranged his plan, he went on deck. To the astonishment of the first lieutenant, he changed the course of the steamer to the north, and at noon let go the anchor in four fathoms of water. The vessel remained there till it was dark, and then proceeded to the westward, sounding all the time. "I know all that, captain, like I know my name." "You appear to be wounded, Captain Flanger?" said Christy, approaching the table. "No, sir; I don't believe he is over twenty, if he is that," replied the third lieutenant. สลอต66 Captain Battleton struck a bell on his table, and sent the steward who answered it to procure the 69 attendance of the officers indicated, and they soon presented themselves. 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. He had a wife, a daughter, and a son, and his family were as patriotic as he was himself. At sixteen Christy, the son, had gone into the navy. He had learned to be a sailor and an engineer in his repeated cruises in the Bellevite, his father's large steam yacht, now a man-of-war in the navy. In two years the young man had worked his way up 71 to the rank of lieutenant. He was very large for his age, and his nautical and mechanical education had prepared him for service to a degree which made him almost a prodigy, though his courage and skill had been fully equalled, if not surpassed, by other naval officers not older than himself. "How do you find yourself, Corny?" asked the captain, turning to the berth. "He did not, and perhaps I have made a mistake, though my superior officer told me at the yard that it would be safe for me to obey the verbal order," replied Captain Battleton, looking somewhat troubled. "My first misfortune was in being made a prisoner. My second and most annoying mishap was the capture of the Floridian," continued Captain Flanger. "It was my intention to fit her out as a privateer, with the proceeds of the sale of her cargo of cotton, for she is a good vessel, and as fast as the Bronx, as you call her." "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 do you mean by that, Corny?" asked the prisoner, disregarding the advice of his cousin. "We have damaged the enemy enough to make it pay, and the steamer and her cargo will put at least seventy-five thousand dollars into the pockets of our side in the conflict." "There are no officers here that I can give you in their places, and I am obliged to order you away immediately on another expedition. The Floridian is a valuable prize; and I must send her to New York, for I am confident the government will purchase her for the navy. Your acting lieutenants must continue to serve as such for the present." CHAPTER XI LAYING OUT A PLAN OF OPERATIONS
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riches 666 all "Whew! Then you are still the commander of the Bronx?" repeated Christy, laughing at his cousin's persistence. CHAPTER V LIEUTENANT PASSFORD AND HIS APPARENT DOUBLE "Mr. Sampson directs me to report that he is ready to proceed," said a messenger from the chief engineer. "What is the Bellevite doing off here, so far from her station, Paul?" asked Christy. "Why was it necessary to give secret orders for such an expedition as this?" asked Corny. "Oh, yes; he has told me about some of his exploits; and as he seems to forget his aches when he speaks of them, I have encouraged him to talk as much as possible." "Not at all, for, as I said, my cousin Corny was brought up in the South, at Glenfield, near Mobile," protested the ailing officer, who was careful this time not to use the word "raised." "It is within the limits of the town of Montgomery." "What steamer is that?" called Mr. Blowitt. "I ask your pardon, sir, but you called me Welch, or some such name," replied the late servant, as Christy was sure he was in spite of his denial. "Do you know the name of that steamer, Uncle Job," inquired Mr. Pennant. 162 Christy was not very hungry after his late dinner, but he ate the dainties brought to him, and found that the cook of the Bronx had lost none of his skill. He might not have an opportunity to eat again very soon, for he did not lose sight of the fact that failure was possible, and he might soon be an occupant of a Confederate prison with Flint, as he had been once before. ฝาก1รบ50 ลาสด "He can hardly spare the time to do that; his business is such that he cannot leave," replied the lieutenant, much amused at the simplicity of the negro. "Now tell me something more about this steamer in the bay. How big is she?" "Your father's name?" 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. 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. "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. "I wish I were myself," replied the commander, in a tone so low that none but the visitors could hear him. Mr. Camden took off the irons, for he had a key to them, and enclosed the wrist in the new pair. Then the two men were directed to take his right arm, which they did, and drew his hand from his nose. This act roused the ire of Flanger, and he began to struggle; but powerful as he was, the two seamen were too much for him, and he was fairly handcuffed. The second lieutenant was the officer of the deck, and he was sent back to his post of duty. Flanger's face was so covered and daubed with the gore from his wound that the 287 condition of his prominent facial member could not be determined. "I am glad to hear it. Have you informed him that we have another lieutenant on board of the Vernon?" continued the commander. "I expect they have sent all the strong ones up to work on the fortifications." 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. 15รบ100 ทา 200ถอนได100 วอ เลท "But Bonnydale is not an incorporated town. In what city or town is your father's place situated?" 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. "If I had seen you and Corny together, I should have known which was which," pleaded Mr. Flint. "De steamer! wot's de steamer? Is't a Yankee gumboat?" demanded Uncle Job, opening his eyes with wonder and astonishment. 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. 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. "Perhaps we are; but you talk too much by 144 half, Passford, and I have been dreading that you would make a slip of some kind," replied Mr. Galvinne rather crustily. "You were as stupid as a Kentucky mule when you stopped to talk with Byron in the waist." riches 666 all The commander found Dave keeping close watch over Corny Passford, though he was fast asleep in his berth. Passing through the ward room and steerage, Dave unlocked the door that led into the quarters of the crew. Next to the bulkhead, or partition, was space enough for the prisoners, and the steward was required to bring five berth sacks, which were placed on the deck. "And because, in your present enterprise as you have outlined it, you cannot get along without me," said Christy. 332 "A glass of water and a teaspoon," said he to the soldier-nurse; and they were promptly brought to him. On his arrival in New York he hastened across the ferry to the navy-yard. As he approached the opposite shore, he discovered a steamer getting under way. He had not seen the vessel on board of which he was ordered to report as a passenger, but when he asked a deck hand what the steamer was, he was informed that it was the Vernon. The ferry-boat had just gone into the slip, and Christy was terribly startled to learn that he was late. He was still two hours ahead of the time indicated in his orders, and the Vernon was actually getting under way. "I know all that, captain, like I know my name." He identified Rockton and Warton, but not the other two who had formed the group near his berth, on his first visit to the deck. On the fourth day out, he saw one of these men talking cautiously to the second lieutenant. Following up this clew he satisfied himself that Mr. Galvinne was the black sheep in the officers' quarters. Corny came on deck that day, for the sea was comparatively smooth, and took a seat on the quarter-deck.
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riches 666 all "No, sir, I did not; I heard no one call him by name. He was in the cuddy forward when we boarded the Magnolia; and when he came out of the little cabin, the first thing he said was, 'It was very unwise for you to order the men to fire upon the boat. It was a great mistake, Captain Flanger.'" "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." "Emphatically I did not." "If he can he will not, if they were engaged in an operation in the interest of the Confederates," added Christy with a smile. "That gentleman is Colonel Homer Passford." "You took splendid aim, Captain Passford," said the surgeon, smiling. "Of course you see no difficulties in the way of such an undertaking as you propose," added Christy. 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. มาวนเบท riches 666 all 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. "Are you a sailor?" asked Christy. "There ain't no hole in this millstone for me," continued Dave, suddenly becoming very thoughtful. "I don't see how Massa Corny can run away with the steamer when she has her officers and crew on board." Mr. Pennant, the third lieutenant, on account of his wound, which was not severe enough to render him unfit for ordinary duty, was appointed prize-master of the Sphinx, with orders to report 362 at New York for condemnation. A furlough was given to Christy, with a stateroom on board of the captured steamer. She was fitted out so that she could defend herself, or even capture any vessel of the enemy within her reach, and not too strong for her. She was not as fast as the Bronx, but she had logged over twelve knots on the passage from Barataria Bay, and was therefore likely to be added to the force of the navy. At this time the preparations for the reduction of the forts on the Mississippi were in progress, and every available vessel was called into activity. The Bronx had been built for a blockade-runner, and for a steamer of her size she was of exceptional speed. The vessels of the Eastern Gulf squadron were employed to a considerable extent in destroying salt works on the west coast of Florida; but the commodore was not disposed to order the fleet little gunboat upon such service. Christy felt very much like a caged tiger. He had hoped that the Bellevite would be on the station when he arrived, for there were plenty of officers and seamen on board of her who could identify him beyond the possibility of a doubt. In that case he intended to make a strong appeal to Captain Battleton, for he would then have the means of arriving at a correct conclusion. Then he could explain in what manner he had been robbed of his papers with some chance of having his statement accepted. "No, you didn't, Dave; that was Corny," replied Christy. "I must give up now, I fear," replied Christy feebly; and then he fainted. สลอตปนโปร66 63 "Can you make anything of this affair yet, Mr. Passford?" asked Captain Battleton. "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. "I have no idea of its strength; but I do not care to have the Bronx knocked to pieces by the big guns of a fort. The bar of Barataria and the shoal water of the entrance to the bay extend out about two miles into the Gulf. At low water, two miles from the fort, we should bury our keel in the mud. It looks just now as though we should have to put the Bronx under the guns of the fort, or simply blockade the entrance to the bay. That makes it look like a quiet time in these waters." "I did, sir; for we captured a privateer on the voyage," answered Corny. 222 "That shows that he at least was a non-combatant," added Christy, pleased to hear this report of his uncle. 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. "Well, Dave, how is your prisoner?" he asked, halting at the door.
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riches 666 all He had no premises on which to base an argument for or against one thing or another. All was dark to him, and he could not get hold of anything. After he had raised up a variety of suppositions, and combated vigorously with them, the darkness seemed only to become more dense, and he was compelled to abandon the subject without arriving at any reasonable explanation. Under the instruction of his father, he had cultivated "a judicial mind," which compelled him to reject all mere speculation. He was carried to his stateroom by his officers, and the doctor examined his last wound. He was 359 restored to consciousness, but he looked like death itself beneath the ruddy brown of his weather-beaten face. 170 "But it had not one chance in ten of success. Your cousin looks more like you than he did the last time I saw him." CHAPTER X A CHANGE OF QUARTERS IN THE CONFUSION "Well, Mr. Passford, are you all right?" asked the surgeon, as soon as he discovered Christy in the dim light of the place. "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. "Certainly, Mr. Salisbury. This is not a court-martial, but an informal investigation, and I shall be glad to have you and Dr. Connelly entirely free to ask any questions you please," replied the captain, who was anything but a martinet. "He is a tough sinner," added the first lieutenant of the Bellevite. "Of course I cannot take him without an order from Captain Breaker; but I will return to the ship, and put the matter before him." สลอตปนโปร66 "But, Christy, something has happened; and you must tell me about it, or I shall not sleep another wink to-night," persisted the lady, concluding that her son was trying to conceal something from her, as indeed he was, for he feared it would alarm her if he told her some one had come into the house. "How's de sick man, Massa Gumboat?" asked the old negro, chuckling as though he appreciated the stroke of strategy made by his companion. "Where, sir, if you please?" asked the sailor, with a sort of bewildered look. "If you will get out of the berth yourself, I will allow you to do so," added Christy. In spite of his claim that he was a religious man, he indulged in a volley of profane language which made the commander's blood run cold in his veins. His right hand, from which he had dropped one of his revolvers, was pressed upon his nose, as though this organ was the seat of his injury. He stood behind the table, and continued to swear like a pirate in a passion. His face and his hand were absolutely covered with blood. "You stole it, cousin, and you must give it back to me," added Christy, very decidedly. "I can; but I have not had time to consider any 97 events or circumstances, and it would not be treating Captain Battleton with proper respect to submit a string of crude conjectures to him." "I am not; but I am his nephew," replied the commander, willing to be perfectly frank with him. 666pg "I thank you for the suggestion, Mr. Passford, and I must say that you seem to be entirely fair," said the commander. "You will take the command now, Mr. Flint," said he when he saw the executive officer watching him with the most intense interest. "What do you think of it, Dr. Connelly?" he asked, turning to the surgeon. "No one thought you would hide in the captain's cabin." "What are those men doing aft, Mr. Byron?" demanded the first lieutenant, with some excitement in his manner. "They were very nearly on the quarter-deck, and they seemed to be very reluctant to go forward." "Don't do it, Dave, for I hope to save the vessel to the union, and you can render me the most important service in this matter," added Christy. Captain Flanger was at the critical point in his operations, and he was too busy with the commander to give any attention to the negro, whom he regarded with the contempt begotten of his Southern education. Dave was intelligent enough to understand the situation accurately, and he realized that it was rapidly becoming critical. He knew that Christy was unarmed, and that the 280 whole attention of the pirate was concentrated upon him, so that he could do nothing to help himself. riches 666 all "I have not time now to look into that question; 220 but I can assure you that you will be treated with the greatest consideration on board of my ship," added Christy as he conducted him below, and left him with Dave in his own cabin, returning at once to the deck to inquire into the operations of the first cutter. The boat had been hoisted up to the davits, and the Magnolia was made fast astern. All hands had been called when the Bronx got under way, and the men were all at their stations. 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. "But they must have had very big guns." "Thank you, my man," replied Christy, beginning at once to consider how this change would affect him. 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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สลอตโจกเกอรxo 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. "Farce! Do you cod this a farce?" demanded the wounded man indignantly. "You have shot off by dose!" "Ensign Frederick Jones," answered Corny, with some hesitation. 40 The lieutenant gazed earnestly into the face of the sailor, for he was willing to admit to himself the possibility of a mistake. Walsh, or whatever his name might have been, was a man of robust form, not more than an inch or two short of six feet in height. He was clean-shaved, with the exception of his upper lip, whereon he sported a rather long dark brown mustache, of which a Broadway dandy might have been vain. As a servant, he had been rather obsequious, though Christy had observed that he used very good language for one in his menial position. As the officer examined his form and features, and especially regarded the expression in general, he was satisfied that he could not be mistaken.
pgslot444 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. Captain Battleton would soon begin his investigation, and Christy was confident that the sick officer would be proved to be the impostor. He was not at all worried or even disturbed in regard 60 to the result, for he felt that "truth is mighty and must prevail." His only solicitude was to unravel the plot. Bands of Confederates had been put on board of several steamers for the purpose of capturing them; and it was possible that this plan had been adopted to obtain possession of the Vernon, for she was a good vessel, and was fitted out as a man-of-war. Father and son shook hands, but they were not so demonstrative as they might have been. Christy was not disposed to burden them with his presence, but he insisted that Dave should stay 244 there during the interview. He left them together for two hours, and then sent Mr. Pennant and a seaman to remove Corny to the quarters. Dave said they had talked only of family matters, though the son had explained to his father the plan to obtain possession of the Bronx.
เบทฟกco "I was not; not even as sick as I am at this moment," replied Christy, using his handkerchief. "I don't see how I can go behind the official documents," replied the commander as Corny presented himself at the door. "I did not believe a little vessel like the Bronx would be sent up the river," said Mr. Flint, when the commander had read the paper. "Barataria Bay—that locality is noted for something in history, isn't it, captain?" "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?"
เชคตาแหนงเบอรมอถอ ฟร "Don't strike, my men; they have surrendered," continued Mr. Pennant with a gesture to his men. The Confederate officer was evidently of French descent; at any rate, he was very polite. He expressed his obligations to the supposed physician for the service he had rendered in very earnest terms. Mr. Pennant had been able to see that there were no guns in the casemates of the fort, and this was really all he wanted to know. He peered into the gloom of the night with all his eyes, and listened with all his ears for over an hour; and then, watchful and careful officer as he was, there were five hundred chances against him to one in his favor, of finding the intruder, and he reluctantly returned to the mansion. "Of course my cousin Corny intends to hand the vessel over to the Confederate government."