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ezybet168 v2 At first, he was disposed to be amused at the answers the quartermaster had given him, for it was evident to him then that he had been mistaken for another person. It looked as though some officer had come on board, and reported under his name, for he had not yet learned anything in regard to the gentleman who had appeared to be quite sick when he reported himself. It had the elements of another mystery in it. But the petty officer could easily have made an honest mistake; and this was the solution he accepted, without bothering his bewildered brain any further about it. "Let go the anchor, Mr. Flint!" shouted Christy. ezybet168 v2 "How shall you manage it?" The petty officer did not hear his remarks, for he had been called by the second lieutenant in the waist, and, with a touch of his cap, hastened away. The lieutenant opened his eyes very wide, as he looked down at the seams in the deck, and wondered whether he were asleep or awake. He had been quite sick, and he had come on board the 46 night before! It was very strange that he was not at all aware of either of these facts. He felt reasonably confident that he had slept in his own chamber at Bonnydale the night before, and at that time he was certainly in a very robust state of health, however it might be at the present moment. Even now, he could not complain of anything more severe than an embryo cold in the head, which the medicine his mother had given him would probably reduce to a state of subjection in a day or two. "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." "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. "Up oars! Let fall!" said Mr. Pennant. "Stern, all! Give way!" ufa v8 "I should think he might be, for the night air is very chilly," replied Christy. "I should have preferred to get rid of these men before we went 182 into any enterprise, for they are dangerous persons to us." "Thank you, sir," said the rower, as he pulled with more vigor even than before, and did not say another word till the boat was alongside the Vernon. As soon as the Bronx had lost her headway, the screw was stopped, and a drift lead was dropped into the water. A sharp lookout had been kept, 313 and some flickering lights had been reported. The weather had become cloudy since noon, but there was no fog and no wind. He had placed his valise in the gangway, and 86 he had not far to go to procure the report, his first draft of the document, which he had revised and copied at Bonnydale. "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. ufacafe "Why so, Captain Passford?" asked Mr. Flint. "Do you think it advisable to do so at once?" asked Corny; and his motive seemed to be simple curiosity, for he was not competent to give advice on a naval question, though he was in nominal command of the steamer. Christy was forced to admit to himself that the 269 bold intruder had full possession of the captain's cabin of the steamer, and that he had the advantage of him in being armed; that any decided opposition on his part would result in his being killed or wounded. It was not prudent for him to do anything, and at the present stage of the proceedings he could do nothing but temporize with his resolute foe. "I expect they have sent all the strong ones up to work on the fortifications." "Mullygumps!" exclaimed Dave, as he suspended his labors on the trunk. What he had learned within the last few moments was even more perplexing than the mysterious visitation at Bonnydale. Then the appearance of Walsh on board, and his denial of his identity, were still in his mind, and he wondered whether or not all these strange circumstances had any connection. But he was standing in the presence of the commander of 49 the steamer, and he had no time to reach a conclusion of any kind, satisfactory or otherwise. "Then I will look upon you as an able seaman until you are formally enlisted. Mr. Flint, this man is Michael Bornhoff; he is an able seaman and a pilot in these waters. I think you had better take him with you, for he is fully informed in regard to the Floridian, which you are to bring out. Let him have pistols and a cutlass," said 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."

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ezybet168 v2 "Then you have reversed the decision of Captain Battleton?" So far, Corny, with the single exception of his failure to give the geography of the estate, stood quite as well as his cousin. Then the first lieutenant questioned them both, as they were seated at the table, in a very general way. In their answers, Corny used the word "raised," while Christy was "brought up." Several phrases in more common use at the South than at the North were noted in his answers, which did not appear in the diction of Christy. "Mr. Flint, drop a drift lead, and station a hand to observe it," said Christy, hailing the first lieutenant. "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. "You may retire now, if you please, Mr. Passford," added the commander. "Dat's it, Massa Ossifer!" exclaimed Job, apparently delighted to find that he had made himself understood. "Who are you?" demanded the soldier. "Jes' off de ole Fort Lafitte, whar de water's deep." "Dave, sir," replied he, evidently deeply impressed by the visitor for some reason not yet apparent to the captain. "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. "He says he is, and I have to take his word for it," replied the surgeon, with a corresponding smile. 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. ufa777 "Can you tell me what position Mr. Flint has on board?" Seated on the side of his berth he considered the situation very faithfully. The Bronx lay off St. Rosa's Island; she was on the blockade, evidently ready to trip her anchor, whenever occasion should require. In regard to her officers Christy only knew that Mr. Flint was in temporary command of her, in place of Mr. Blowitt, 115 who had become the executive officer of the Bellevite. The other officers must have been appointed for temporary service. 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. Christy struck his bell, and the steward promptly appeared at the door. "The flag-officer has signalled for the Vernon to come alongside," interposed another seaman who had heard the question. With the aid of his speaking trumpet he gave the same order to Mr. Camden on board of the Sphinx; but he had hardly uttered the command before his left leg gave way under him, and he sunk to the floor of the bridge. A ball had struck him in the thigh, and he could feel the blood flowing down his limb. He grasped the rail of the bridge, and drew himself up. There he stood like a statue, supporting himself with his well arm, till the Bronx had passed out of musket-shot range. 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. ufazeedcom "Is he really sick, doctor?" asked Christy, with a smile which meant something. 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. "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." When the commander went on deck, the fog had disappeared, and the shore was to be seen at the distance of about six miles from the steamer. At eight bells, or noon, a steamer was discovered coming out of the bay by a channel between two islands. She carried the American flag over the Confederate, and no one doubted that she was the Floridian. In half an hour she was alongside, and she looked like a fine vessel, for she had come from the other side of the ocean as a blockade-runner. The watch below were all around him. Some of them were mending their clothes, others were reading newspapers they had brought with them, but the greater part of them were in squads engaged in talking about the events of the war. 104 The nearest group to Christy were conversing about the two lieutenants who claimed to be the real officer ordered to the command of the Bronx. It seemed rather strange to the listener that they should know anything about the events which had happened in the secrecy of the captain's cabin, and this circumstance led him to believe that at least one of the officers of the ship must be a confederate of Corny. ezybet168 v2 "My cousin gave his name and rank correctly." "I thank you, Captain Battleton, for your very kind interest in the state of my health, but with the exception of the first signs of a cold in the head, I never was better in my life," said Christy in reply to the salutation of the commander, still holding his hand.

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ezybet168 v2 "No, you didn't, Dave; that was Corny," replied Christy. "I cannot explain the matter at present, and 94 you must excuse me from offering merely vague suspicions and conjectures." "A steamer, sir," answered Gorman. "You are a moral philosopher, Mr. Passford," said the surgeon, laughing at the earnestness of the speaker. 148 Mr. Galvinne had proved himself to be a very gentlemanly officer in what little Christy had seen of him on the voyage from New York; but the situation was entirely changed so far as he was concerned. It appeared from the conversation, as the listener had for some time supposed, that the second lieutenant of the Vernon was the real leader of the enterprise of which Corny was the nominal head. Probably the restraint of over a week imposed upon him had fretted his spirit, and when he found himself alone with his incompetent superior, he became conscious of the superiority his knowledge and training gave him. "We have no countersign to give." "Without reflecting upon your decision, I must deny that I am a Confederate, and proclaim that my motto is 'Stand by the union!'" The Bronx had but one officer on board who had been permanently appointed to her, and at least two others must be selected to serve on board of her. It would be an easy matter for Corny to procure the appointment of Mr. Galvinne, who was doubtless competent to handle the vessel as the impostor certainly was not. 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. ufa888goal "I am very much obliged to you, Captain Passford, for this favor; and I know you would not give me the place if you did not think me worthy of it," replied the seaman as he went forward and called the watch to the mainmast. ezybet168 v2 "The happiest moment I have had since I saw you last!" exclaimed the engineer, as he grasped the commander of the Bronx with his right hand, while he threw his left around the neck of his friend, and would have hugged him if Christy had not gently avoided such a "gush" in presence of the watch on deck. "I wish you were back in the Bellevite, Christy." "Who dar?" called Job. "I can't told you 'zackly, massa; she as big as de fort." Lieutenant Passford was on board of the Vernon, and he had no further solicitude in regard to a literal obedience to his orders. The commander of the steamer, whoever he was, did not appear to have noticed the new arrival, and no one gave any attention to Christy. He walked forward to take a better view of the crew, and the seamen touched 39 their caps to the shoulder straps of a lieutenant with which he had been careful to ornament his coat. "A considerable number of officers and seamen must have come with you in the Vixen and the other vessels," said the captain, raising his finger to indicate that the question was addressed to Christy. "Dave, sir," replied he, evidently deeply impressed by the visitor for some reason not yet apparent to the captain. "Good, Corny!" exclaimed Christy, dropping upon the divan of the cabin and laughing heartily. 54 "I have no intention to meddle with what does not concern me, captain. It appears that Lieutenant Passford has already reported to you," said Christy; and this was the astounding fact to him of the situation. สลอต i99bet "Have you anything to say in regard to it?" "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. 143 "This is my cabin, is it?" said Corny, as he followed the steward into the apartment. CHAPTER VIII THE PRISONER OF WAR "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." "Not a word, sir; only said he would be down to his breakfast in a few minutes." "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." "I have not the slightest objection to the presence of as many officers as you may choose to call in," added the invalid. "You were very unwise to order these men to fire upon the boat," said the dignified gentleman, addressing the man on the forecastle of the Magnolia; "it was a great mistake, Captain Flanger." "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." "Byron was an actor in Mobile; he had been the mate of a cotton ship, and he obtained a commission in the navy; but for the want of a steamer both of them were unemployed," the planter explained. "He bears your name," said Mr. Pennant.

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ezybet168 v2 In the grasp of such a powerful man as Ralph Pennant, Corny was powerless, and he was compelled to submit, though his opposition appeared to be merely a matter of form with him, for he could not help realizing that it was utterly useless; but he had not been in the affray on deck, and he had not learned the full lesson from experience. The irons were locked upon his wrists, and the seaman was directed to conduct him to the place assigned to all the prisoners. "I beg your pardon, Mr. Passford, but I did not intend to question the truth of your reply to my question," said the commander, fearing that he had overstated his doubts. "I am 52 simply bewildered, confused, confounded by this interview." "Twenty-eight years." illustration of quoted scene "He bears your name," said Mr. Pennant. "This will never do, Passford," said the tyrannical officer. "Well, what is there over there?" "What time shall you come about?" asked Corny, apparently from curiosity rather than any especial interest in the navigation of the steamer. "No, sir; that is not my name, and I supposed that you spoke to some other man," pleaded the late man-servant of the mansion at Bonnydale. "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." 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. สลอต i99bet "I admit the correctness of your conclusion." When Captain Battleton took from the envelope the blank papers, no one seemed to be inquisitive as to the result, for, as the commander had suggested, they all expected to find the commission and other papers regularly and properly made out and signed. Several sheets were unfolded and spread out upon the table, and Christy was hardly more surprised than the others at the table. "Any orders, Captain Passford?" asked the first lieutenant, as he saw that Christy appeared to be master of the situation. "I know enough to understand when I am treated like a gentleman. Change your manners, or I will order you to leave my cabin. You talk to me as though I were a small boy, and had nothing to do with the enterprise in which we are engaged," returned Corny. Though the young officer was prudent and discreet, he did not lose his self-possession, and he smiled as though he had been simply the host in the dining-room of the mansion at Bonnydale. There was a certain humor about the intruder which would have pleased him under other circumstances. "Can you form any idea where we are, Captain Passford?" asked the lieutenant. 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. "I do not, Paul; I think it wears upon me, though I am willing to do my duty wherever I am ordered." 344 In ten minutes more the Bronx quivered under the discharge of the great midship gun, and a cloud of smoke rose above her deck. Christy was a passenger on board of the Vernon, and he had nothing to do. The commanding officer appeared to be engaged in the details of his duty, though the steamer was in charge of a pilot. He could see from his shoulder straps that he was an ensign, and the officers in the waist and on the forecastle were of the same rank. If there were any other passengers on board of the vessel who were commissioned officers, they were not visible on the deck, though they might be in their staterooms, arranging their affairs for the voyage. His scheme, which must have been devised after he obtained admission to the cabin, was born of nothing less than madness, and could hardly have succeeded under any circumstances, though it 302 might have ended in killing or disabling the commander. Christy felt that a kind Providence had saved him, and he rendered devout thanks for the merciful interposition, as it seemed to him. สลอตufabet999 "What do you mean by that?" "I will have a talk with him," replied the commander, as he left the bridge. "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. "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." ezybet168 v2 Captain Battleton spoke to Christy as though he had met him before, and needed no introduction. He was glad to see that the young officer was better, which indicated that he had been sick. He was confounded by the situation, for he had not been sick an hour, and he had never seen the commander of the Vernon in his life. The petty officer had told him that he appeared to be quite sick when he came on board the night before. Probably it was the shock quite as much as the force of the blow that brought down the steward's victim. But it was a heavy stroke, for the wood of the feather duster was split into many pieces, and the stumps of the feathers were scattered all over the table. The onslaught could not fail to be very confusing to the ideas of the intruder, and he seemed to be tangled up in the arm-chair in which he had been seated. "Up oars! Let fall!" said Mr. Pennant. "Stern, all! Give way!"

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ufamofun "At Bonnydale!" 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.

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meta2244 Silently Mr. Pennant selected his crew for the boat, saw them armed, and had the cutter lowered into the water. In a very short space of time the boat was off. The commander did not believe that anything very serious would result from this boat expedition, for he was confident there was no vessel of any size near the Bronx. The men in the cutter pulled very quietly, and hardly splashed the water with their oars, for they had all been trained by Christy himself to pull without noise when he was executive officer. "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. Not a few of them who had served with Christy in the Gulf declared they had not believed that the person who was the nominal captain was their old first lieutenant; they knew that something 168 was wrong, they said, though they could not tell what. Perhaps they found the captain less active than formerly, and considered him somewhat changed after his visit to the north; but doubtless they were as much blinded by the resemblance as others had been.

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autobetautobet 777 "He had, for we were both prisoners of war after our unsuccessful attempt to capture the Bellevite, on the Hudson." "I think you had better let me stanch the blood," suggested Dr. Connelly.

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wwwufa9999con "They are very nice; I have just tried one of them," added Captain Flanger, as he passed the plate over to the commander. 252 "Not at all, Captain Battleton," replied Christy, taking the hand of the commander of the store-ship. "The flag-officer sustained your decision; and with my commission in the pocket of my cousin, I do not see that you could have adjusted the question in any other manner. I assure you I have not a particle of ill-feeling towards you on account of what you did in the discharge of your duty." 255 "Because the Bronx is a fast vessel compared with most of the steamers of the navy, hardly any of which are good for more than twelve knots an hour, while this ship will make sixteen when she is driven, and fourteen under ordinary circumstances when we are not trying to save coal. Of course I have no idea what duty we are to perform, and I am not anxious to know till the time comes, though midnight is a rather odd time to open the envelope."

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ufa018 "Now burn your roman candle, and let us get 337 off as soon as possible," said Mr. Pennant. "Bowman, help this man to a seat in the stern sheets;" and he assisted Uncle Job to get in himself. "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. 242 "I consider the naval officers as dangerous men, and I had to treat Corny in the same manner that I did his associates. If you wish to see him, I will send for him."

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