wwwufa888com 210 "Keep off, or we will fire into you!" shouted the man on the forecastle, who appeared to be the principal man of the party. "Pass the word for Ralph Pennant," said Christy, as soon as he reached the quarter-deck. "What are you about?" demanded the prisoner, attempting to shake off his captor when he felt the cold iron.
wwwhuc999com "You are more fortunate than your cousin, for he is having quite a hard time of it," added the doctor, who seemed to be very much amused that the future commander of the Bronx, who had been to sea so much, should be afflicted in this manner. wwwhuc999com "Of course I expected that would be your decision," replied Corny, as he took the papers 91 which the captain returned to him, including his commission and report. "What is your age?" CHAPTER X A CHANGE OF QUARTERS IN THE CONFUSION "There comes the Bronx," said a seaman standing at the head of the ladder. "Did Mr. Flint say anything?" asked Christy. "But what are we going to do, Massa Christy?" asked the steward, dazzled by the situation. CHAPTER XXVI THE MEETING WITH THE BELLEVITE AT NIGHT "Dave," said Christy, after he had obtained a view of the back of the steward's head which satisfied him that he was the right man. 25 They had given up the examination of the premises, and given up the conundrum, and Christy was leading the way up-stairs. He went into his room, followed by his mother. "Ensign Philip Bangs." "Yes, sar; but dey done tote 'em all ober to de Mis'sip Riber." "You are a moral philosopher, Mr. Passford," said the surgeon, laughing at the earnestness of the speaker. ufa8000 "We have no time to talk sentiment now. It is necessary for you to understand the situation better than you do," interposed Christy; and he proceeded to explain in what manner his cousin Corny happened to be in command of the Bronx, while he was himself nominally a prisoner of war. "Farce! Do you cod this a farce?" demanded the wounded man indignantly. "You have shot off by dose!" "About nine o'clock; perhaps sooner. Byron will have the deck from eight bells for the first watch; I hope and expect Flint will turn in at that time, for he will have the mid-watch. It might be a little awkward if he happens to be on deck when we change our course from east to west." "Advance, friends, and give the countersign!" The strength of the Bronx was mainly in her heavy midship gun. The commander had ascertained the range of the twenty-four pounder barbette guns of the fort, and made his calculations accordingly. He could batter down the masonry of the works at his leisure, if he chose to waste his time and ammunition in that way; but the Confederates proposed to abandon the fort, and it would not pay to destroy it. "I am afraid you did not have a very skilful doctor at that time," replied the practitioner with a smile. The surgeon went below, leaving the commander and Christy together. i8888 สลอต The third lieutenant sprang forward to obey the order, and Christy followed him at a more moderate pace, consistent with his dignity as the officer highest in rank on board. It was not so much a question of dignity, however, with him as it was the intention to preserve his self-possession. A light had been reported on the starboard bow; but Christy had no more means of knowing what it meant than any other person on deck. It suggested a blockade runner, a battery, or a house near the shore where he did not expect to find one. The cutter darted ahead; but she had not advanced half the distance before the men on board 211 of the sloop fired a volley with muskets at the approaching boat. Mr. Pennant dropped his left arm very suddenly, and the stroke oarsman went down into the bottom of the boat. "It is easy enough to say that I may depart; but how shall I do it?" added the planter with a smile. "I cannot swim ashore." "But there is a third lieutenant who may deserve promotion," suggested Christy. 93 "Nothing at all," replied Christy, bowing again, and bearing himself with the dignity of a veteran officer; and in the matter of demeanor, the Confederate Captain Carboneer had presented to him one of the best models he had seen, both in action and as a prisoner. "Mr. Flint, drop a drift lead, and station a hand to observe it," said Christy, hailing the first lieutenant. "Station a strong lookout, Mr. Flint, and send a man aloft on the foremast and another on the mainmast," continued Christy when the other orders had been obeyed. "That is my commission," replied Corny, putting his hand involuntarily on his left breast, where he had carried his papers on board of the Vernon. 32 "No one knows what is going to happen, and I may spend the next year or two in a Confederate prison. I don't think my Uncle Homer would cry his eyes out if such should be my fate, for he has lost several vessels and cargoes of cotton on my account," returned Christy. "I can make nothing of it," added the surgeon. "It looks to me as though the commission alone would have to settle this matter." "He fixed himself up to pass for me, and that helped his case very greatly. He put on a uniform like mine, such a one as you have never seen him wear." "Now, Uncle Job, I want you to answer some questions," Mr. Pennant began. "Yes; but don't frighten him," replied Mr. Pennant.
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wwwhuc999com "Precisely so; West India rum and wines." 270 "There may be difficulties; but I think they can be overcome. I purpose to act through you, my friend, as my resources are rather limited at the present moment. In other words, I propose that you shall issue certain orders which I intend to dictate," Captain Flanger proceeded, as coolly as though he had been in his own cabin instead of that of his companion. "I see her; it is the Bronx," added Mr. Pennant. 153 "He is what the Yankees call smart, and I know he is all that," added Corny. "What do you suppose has become of him? When Captain Battleton sent for him in order to let the commodore see us both together, he could not be found. As you know, all three vessels were very thoroughly searched without any success." Byron was not less energetic than his superior in his own defence, but the two stout sailors who had been selected to capture him were more than doubly a match for him, and he was carefully secured. At the same time there was a free fight between Rockton and Warton on the one side, and the sailors who had come aft, but the disloyal tars were conquered in the end. The prisoners were all bound and made fast to the rail. The entire watch had come aft while the battle was in progress, and those who had been instructed in the situation and had taken part in the recovery of the ship explained to their loyal companions the meaning of the affair which had just been brought to a conclusion. Involuntarily they gave three tremendous cheers, and then three more for the genuine commander. "We shall be too far in for her to do us any harm, for the water has not less than four fathoms anywhere along the shore of St. Rosa's Island." "I did not answer your question, Mr. Passford," interposed Captain Battleton. "In an hour we will settle the question." About this time Dave, who had taken care to keep in the front of the table as he had been ordered to do, seized upon his feather duster, and began to dust the divan on the starboard side of the cabin. Flanger was so much occupied with the commander at that moment, that he was not disposed to take his eye off him for an instant; for certainly the situation had become critical, and 277 he paid no attention to the steward. Dave was a sort of a feather-duster fiend, and he used the article a great deal of his time, apparently as much from habit as from cleanliness. ทางเขาninja 168 "All sorts o' tings, massa; guns, and pistols, and close. Dis nigger help take de tings out ob her." Christy had only time to tell very briefly the story of the adventure with Corny, and the capture of the Floridian, which he did for the purpose of introducing a matter of business in the line of his profession. The officers from the Bellevite asked him a great many questions, though he felt obliged to cut them short before they were half done with them. "If he is, he has said nothing to me about the matter." "What is she doing now in the bay?" "Captain Battleton," repeated Christy, to assure himself that he had correctly understood the name. "Just so; and I dare say he is asleep in his stateroom at this moment." The breach was closed, and Corny produced the sealed envelope. Byron was not less energetic than his superior in his own defence, but the two stout sailors who had been selected to capture him were more than doubly a match for him, and he was carefully secured. At the same time there was a free fight between Rockton and Warton on the one side, and the sailors who had come aft, but the disloyal tars were conquered in the end. The prisoners were all bound and made fast to the rail. The entire watch had come aft while the battle was in progress, and those who had been instructed in the situation and had taken part in the recovery of the ship explained to their loyal companions the meaning of the affair which had just been brought to a conclusion. Involuntarily they gave three tremendous cheers, and then three more for the genuine commander. สลอต55 "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. "I don't think I am ever rash, mother; and if I have been exceedingly fortunate, it was more because the circumstances favored me than because I ran great risks," replied Christy very seriously, for he was sensitive on the point his mother had brought up. "Father has said a great deal to me on this subject, and I have always done my best to carry out his principles. It is not my fault that I have a friend at court, and have had opportunities that have not been offered to many others. But the tide may turn against me on my next cruise." "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." "I studied history a little in relation to this subject, for I wanted to know whether any lies I might tell in serving my country were to be registered against me. I know that I would not tell a lie in the ordinary relations of life; but I am sure that I should have been a traitor to the union if I had told the enemy the simple truth on several 109 occasions. I captured a schooner loaded with cotton by pretending to be what I was not. If it is justifiable to kill a man in war, it must be justifiable to tell a lie to the enemy." wwwhuc999com "It was wise on the part of the Yankee commodore to make his orders secret; for information might have been sent by telegraph or otherwise to St. Andrew's, which would have enabled our people to get the steamer mentioned out of the way, or to prepare a successful resistance to the gunboat sent to capture it," Mr. Galvinne explained in the tone of one who enlightens an ignorant person. 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. In fact, in less than an hour he said he was entirely relieved from the severe pain. He was very grateful to the doctor, whom no one suspected of being a Yankee gunboat officer. 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. "No, sir; I belong to Captain Flanger: his father is dead, and left me to his son." "Then you can tell me better than any one else in regard to my status on board of the Bronx," added the colonel, who had won this title years before in the militia. "Am I considered a prisoner of war?"
wwwhuc999com 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. "If I had seen you and Corny together, I should have known which was which," pleaded Mr. Flint. "Precisely so." The head and hair of the old colored man were peculiar enough to enable the Russian to identify him if he had ever seen him even once before. His mouth was twisted to one side either naturally or by some injury, and his kinky hair made him look as though he carried a great bale of cotton on the top of his head. He opened his eyes when Mike shook him gently, and looked at the two men at the side of his bed with a wondering rather than an alarmed expression. "Do you remember the names of the officers who served with you in the Vixen?" asked the captain. The Vernon continued on her course, and in another hour the pilot had been discharged. Christy had puzzled his brains over the events of the day and the night before without being able to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion. He was extremely anxious to see the officer who had taken his name and assumed his character, as he was to obtain all the information within his reach. His reflections assured him that some one had chosen the rôle of an impostor for the purpose of accomplishing some treasonable object, and he was anxious to fathom the mystery for his country's sake rather than his own. "That sail appears to be headed for the station. She is a large steamer, and I judge by the way she is coming up with us that she is very fast," added Christy with some anxiety in his tones. "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. mgm99ttt "Were you in charge of the sloop, uncle Homer?" "You have been very fortunate, nephew; but it will be impossible to conquer the South. We shall be the victors in the end as sure as there is a God in heaven who watches over the affairs of men." "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 glad to see you, Captain Passford," said Mr. Blowitt, who was properly received when he stepped down upon the deck. wwwhuc999com "You will let Mr. Pennant command this expedition, Mr. Flint," said Christy. "He will take the first cutter, with ten men, including Quartermaster Vincent and Bornhoff." He complied with the request, as he saw that it was a very simple means of identification, for the steward had some skill as a mechanic, and he had frequently sharpened the knife, and knew the repeater of the lieutenant from having seen it so often, for it was a very peculiar watch. Dave's last doubt vanished when these articles were produced. 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. "She is off the shore not far from here. Now you will answer my questions. There is a fort here?" The breach was closed, and Corny produced the sealed envelope. The little gunboat had certainly done a great deal of mischief to the Confederate interests, for she had captured two valuable vessels intended for the southern navy, to say nothing of half a dozen others loaded with cotton, and ready to sail. From the Confederate point of view, it was exceedingly desirable that she should be prevented from doing any further injury to the maritime interests of the South. But it seemed almost incredible that Corny Passford should be employed to bring about her capture by stratagem. His cousin was not a sailor; at least, he had not been one the last time he had met him, and it was hardly possible that he had learned seamanship, navigation, and naval tactics in so short a time, and so far as Christy knew, with little practical experience. CHAPTER II THE ABSCONDING MAN-SERVANT สลอต999pg "Then you had better turn in, Captain Passford," said the executive officer. "We can do nothing more to-night except to keep a sharp lookout." 298 "We chased a good-sized steamer out last night, and she gave us a long run; but we picked her up, and she is now on her way to New York. She is good for eighteen knots an hour, and the Government is sure to buy her when she is condemned. Mr. Ballard, the second lieutenant, has gone in her as prize-master. He is in poor health, and will get leave of absence till he is better; but I do not believe he will ever come down here again. Were you in earnest in what you said about not liking your present position, Christy?" "I am a non-combatant, Christy," replied Colonel Passford. "I have not served in the Confederate army or navy, or even been a member of a home guard." "Gollywops! But he was in command of the Bronx, for I done seen Mr. Flint hand it over to him. Go 'way! You can't fool this colored person." 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. "Well, what is there over there?" "Are you sure of this information, Mike?" Without much difficulty Christy dropped his valise into the boat, and then dropped himself in after it. The belated passenger cast an earnest look at the Vernon, which had just begun to move, though at a snail's pace, and he hoped he should be able to get on board of her.
wwwhuc999com 248 "I am amazed, and I fear the officers in charge at Brooklyn are not as cautious as they should be. Not long ago a steamer had to return to the navy-yard there because her machinery had been tampered with; and the enemy are putting men on board of steamers for the purpose of capturing them. Where is your cousin now, Captain Passford?" "I am glad to see you, Dr. Waterton, for I have exhausted all my remedies," said Lieutenant Fourchon. "I was not born to be a doctor. The patient seems to be no better." "Stand by, my men! Give way together, lively!" shouted the lieutenant as though he intended that those on board of the sloop should hear him as well as his own crew. This order was promptly obeyed. Before it was fully carried out an elderly gentleman crawled out of the cuddy, and stood up in the standing room; he was a man of dignity, and evidently of importance. "Certainly not; for as soon as it was seen on board of the flag-ship that the commander of the Bronx was disobeying his orders, we should be chased by the two ships on the station and fired upon." 338 "South, sir," replied the quartermaster. "Shut the door, Mike," said the officer, in order to prevent the light from being seen. "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." 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. When he rushed back to the cabin, Flanger had got the better of his foe, and had risen to his feet, with his grasp upon the throat of the steward. Then he hurled him from him with a vigorous movement with his left hand, while he raised the right with the evident intention of shooting him. The commander saw the imminent peril of Dave; he took a hasty aim and fired before the intruder had time to do so. He was a good shot with the navy revolver, for he had taken lessons and practised a good deal with the weapon. "The doctor!" exclaimed the soldier. "Is there a doctor there?" สลอต999pg Christy thought this would be an excellent retreat for him, not only because it promised him the greatest security, but because it would permit 126 him to hear what passed between the pretended commander and others, especially Mr. Galvinne. He had been reasonably confident of returning to the gunboat when he went to the North as prize master, though not as her commander, and he had left his trunk on board. 303 "Undoubtedly; headed to the south-west the ship would be off the passes of the Mississippi at eight bells in the forenoon. If we are sent to Lake Pontchartrain or Ship Island, we should be a long way off our course at that time," added Christy, as he broke the seal of the envelope. "Neither Lake Pontchartrain nor the Mississippi. We are ordered to Barataria Bay, where a steamer is loading with cotton." "No, sir; I don't believe he is over twenty, if he is that," replied the third lieutenant. "We were all disturbed last night, and I did not wake till the cook knocked at my door. She told me she could not find Walsh, and breakfast had been ready half an hour. That is the reason why everything is late this morning," Mrs. Passford explained. "He might have taken Florry's watch, she was so careless as to leave on the table in the sitting-room," added she. "I go for de doctor if he's dar," said Job. "Perhaps you have never read 'Lafitte, the Pirate of the Gulf;' but this bay was his famous resort," said Christy, smiling. "It was formerly quite as noted as a resort for smugglers, and Lafitte was more a smuggler than a pirate in this region. He was six feet two inches in height, a well educated and handsome man, so that he was a first-class hero for a novel of the dime class," added Christy. 888poker ไทย "I do not stand on mere forms, Dr. Connelly; but if you continue to call me simply 'mister,' I shall understand from it that you do not recognize me as the rightful commander of the Bronx," replied Christy, as he invited the surgeon with a gesture to enter the captain's cabin. "How high is the grass in the streets of New York, Christy?" asked the colonel, with a twinkle of the eye, and a smile. "Yes, sir; the Vixen was fully armed and manned to protect the fleet of prize vessels she convoyed." 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. Before he reached the sacred limits of the quarter-deck, Christy met a quartermaster, of whom he inquired the name of the commander. "I understand you perfectly now; but as you have not, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for yourself, the dozen men at hand, I am to hold the fiddle while you play upon it, as I have seen a couple of negro minstrels do it." There was no answer to his inquiry. wwwhuc999com
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คาว789 CHAPTER X A CHANGE OF QUARTERS IN THE CONFUSION 210 "Keep off, or we will fire into you!" shouted the man on the forecastle, who appeared to be the principal man of the party. The fort had become harmless so far as the use of its guns was concerned; but the channel of the Grand Pass was hardly a quarter of a mile in width, and even twenty soldiers with muskets could pick off the men on the deck of the Bronx. Christy's orders required him to capture the steamer that was fitting out in the bay, and he intended to do it. The order to weigh the anchor and cast off the spring was given, and the commander sent for the chief engineer. The lieutenant took out his memorandum book, and looked at the names of the men he had spotted as disloyal, Rockton and Warton, to which he had added two others, Nichols and Swayne, after he had observed that they were very intimate with the two whose names he had learned from their own mouths. The commander looked at the man; but he did not know him.
เฮงเฮง88 "Very likely you did, if your hearing is good," replied Christy with a smile, for the large revolver, discharged in the small cabin, made a tremendous noise. "The gentleman behind the table, who is holding on to his nose, requires some of your professional skill. He was proceeding to capture the Bronx, and had gone to the point where you find him." "Are you a sailor?" asked Christy. "Gentlemen, this seems to be a strange muddle," said the captain, who was not disposed to listen any longer to the sparring between the cousins. "At the suggestion of the lieutenant who came on board this forenoon, I have taken the earliest opportunity to settle the question as to which is the original and genuine Mr. Passford who was ordered on board of the Vernon as a passenger for the Gulf, and who, I am informed, is appointed to the command of the Bronx. I have not much time to spare, and if you do not object, I shall call in the first lieutenant and the surgeon to take part in this conference. I am perplexed, and I desire witnesses if not assistants in these proceedings." "We must be about forty miles off the station of the blockaders before the entrance to Mobile Bay," said Christy, after he had thought the matter over for a moment.
569สลอต "No, sar; see you frou, Massa Gumboat," replied Job. Covering the lantern so that its light could not be seen, they followed the lane between the two rows of cabins for some distance farther, and then entered another. Like the first, it was deserted. They crossed to the other side of the avenue, where they saw some signs that the cabin was inhabited. Uncovering his lantern, Mr. Pennant threw the light upon the interior. It contained two beds, and each of them was occupied by two persons. In one were two silvered heads to be seen, while the other displayed two heads that appeared to belong to women. "I hear the voices again," he reported to the lieutenant in the stern sheets, in a voice just loud enough to reach him; "they are more to the southward."
77 jili slot Christy listened with interest to the conversation in the captain's cabin, though so far it had afforded him no information in regard to the present situation, and it was hardly likely to do so, for he had already been told by Mr. Flint what the next movement of the Bronx was to be. She had already been ordered to proceed to the eastward, and her sealed instructions would reveal the enterprise in which she was to engage. He slept soundly; but he had dreamed that some one opened the door of his room, or some one had actually done so. He was not a believer in dreams, and when an impression had fastened itself upon his mind, he was inclined to investigate it. It seemed to him that he had been awakened from his sleep by the opening of the door of his chamber. Some member of the family might be sick, and he might be needed to go for the doctor, or for some other service. "Nothing is the matter, mother," called Christy. "I am all right." "Does he talk at all?" "There is nothing to be frightened about, mother; and I will tell you all about it," added Christy, as he took his overcoat from the stand and put it on. "I waked an hour ago, or more, with the idea that some one had opened the door of my room," and he related the circumstances to his mother, including his search in the grounds and the road. 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.