lava789 "I know all that, captain, like I know my name." "Bless the Lord that I am here at last!" exclaimed the skipper, as he looked furtively about him. "All right: I will count you first," added Mr. Pennant, as he reached over and seized the leader of the party by the collar with his right hand. lava789 "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. "On board the ferry-boat!" replied the man, resting on his oars. "That is very odd," mused the officer, wondering whether this sudden disappearance had anything to do with the principal event of the preceding night. "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. "We may not be able to help ourselves." "I am not sure that Captain Breaker would be willing to receive me as his second lieutenant," Christy objected. "An excellent simile, Captain Passford, and I could not have invented a better myself," returned the privateersman. "I think we understand each other perfectly, and therefore it is not necessary to 272 use up any more time in explanations. You are too intelligent a person to fail to comprehend my plan. As an epitome of the whole scene, I may add that I propose to do what my friend Galvinne undertook with that cousin of yours: I intend to take the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and have her used in the service of the righteous cause in which the people of the South are engaged," continued Captain Flanger, as though he believed in all he was saying. 366 He was too feeble from the effects of his wounds, for that in the thigh had proved to be more severe than the surgeons had indicated, to tell the exciting story of the escapade of Corny Passford; but when he did relate it, three weeks later, it thrilled the listeners for three whole evenings. CHAPTER XIV THE AFFRAY ON THE QUARTER-DECK OF THE BRONX บอล โก 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. CHAPTER XV A REBELLIOUS AND PREJUDICED PRISONER "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. "But can you not recall some event or circumstance which will throw some light on the mystery?" persisted Dr. Connelly. CHAPTER XXV THE DESTRUCTION OF A PROMINENT FACIAL MEMBER Job was familiar with the interior of the fort, and he led the way; but before they had crossed the parade, the soldier who had gone for the doctor came to them, and conducted them to a casemate, where the sick soldier was still suffering terrible pains. Corny politely saluted Mr. Flint, the acting commander of the gunboat. Mr. Galvinne was introduced, and there was plenty of bowing and formal politeness. Corny presented his commission and orders for the inspection of the officer in command, and for the present the formalities were completed. Corny was evidently in command of the Bronx; but Christy could not determine the position of Mr. Flint, and he watched his movements with intense interest for some time. 184 "Is he a prisoner?" asked Corny, as he got out of the berth. It was now all as clear to Christy as though he had observed the proceedings of the conspirators, and taken notes of all they had done. The purpose of all these operations was quite as obvious as the details of the scheme. Either the Vernon or the Bronx was to be captured, perhaps both, for of course Christy could not determine in what manner the mischief was to be accomplished. Prisoner of war as he was, he never felt burdened with a greater responsibility than when he realized the actual situation. เครดตรฟรไมตองฝาก "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 it, Gorman?" asked the lieutenant, standing up in his place. "Why did you bless the Lord that you were here at last?" "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." "I must object to your wearing the shoulder straps of a lieutenant on board of the Vernon," added Captain Battleton. "I am feeling very well to-day, except that I have started a cold in the head," replied Christy, astonished at this display of interest in the state of his health. "I think I shall go on deck and see the fun, if there is any, and turn in if there is none," added Christy. "I must ask you to report below, Mr. Passford," said the captain rather sternly; and perhaps he did not care to be charged with over-indulgence of his prisoner. "Do you know the name of that steamer, Uncle Job," inquired Mr. Pennant. "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. "I suppose it is the righteousness of the cause in particular that calls forth your admiration," chuckled Christy.
lava789 "How shall you manage it?" "I am sure he will get a commission as soon as he applies for it, captain," added the first lieutenant, pleased with the prompt decision. "Now, who is your man?" 128 In a few minutes, when he had made the cabin tidy for the reception of "Massa Cap'n Passford," he transferred his labors to the stateroom. He worked in the berth and all its surroundings, including the desk, which still contained the real commander's papers, and then gave his attention to the trunk beneath. "Captain Battleton," repeated Christy, to assure himself that he had correctly understood the name. "Yes; but I have no time to spare, and you must not stop to talk," replied Christy rather sharply. "They are in my pocket," replied Corny sourly. "You are not sea-sick?" inquired the doctor, laughing. Dave arranged the trunk and other articles to the best advantage for the concealment of the lieutenant, and then left the stateroom. Christy, 134 as soon as he had become acquainted with the situation, had arranged his plan of action, and the new officers of the Bronx were likely to encounter a mutiny, either to inaugurate or end their sway. In less than half an hour, the steward returned to the stateroom with the information that he had spoken to the second lieutenant, and informed him that the real commander of the Bronx was concealed under the berth in the captain's stateroom. "I had nearly forgotten the most important evidence that can be presented in this matter," said the captain with a smile. "I dare say that each of the gentlemen will produce his commission, his orders, and his appointment to the command of the Bronx; and I don't know how we can decide between the papers. It looks as though the Bronx was likely to have two commanders." สลอต ดวงด "I don't believe he would attempt to run in while it is broad daylight," suggested Mr. Flint. "Captain Corny already has his sailing orders. They are sealed, but he is to proceed to the eastward. I should say that he would obey orders, and when it is time for him to break the seals this evening, he will come about, hug the shore of St. Rosa's till he comes to the entrance of the bay, when he will go in." 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. "So far as I have seen, there is not." 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. "If he had done so, I should not have complained. I have been a prisoner of war, and I had to take my chances. We may be in action for aught I know in a few hours, and I do not mean to have half a dozen rebels at my heels to trip me up if I can help it. The circumstances are entirely different from those on board of the Vernon." "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." "What are you about?" demanded the prisoner, attempting to shake off his captor when he felt the cold iron. กลอนถวายพระพร "I have, captain; and it is in my own handwriting," replied the officer addressed. "That is my purpose; and here he comes." 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. "This fish seems to be red snapper, captain, and it is very good. Will you allow me to help you to some of it?" continued the stranger very politely. lava789 "I wish it had! You have bade a scarecrow of be for life!" he gasped. "For sufficient reasons, I have; with the assistance of the loyal members of the ship's company, I have taken possession of the vessel, and we are 186 now on our way to carry out the orders of the flag-officer.—Conduct the prisoner to his future quarters," said Christy, in a very business-like manner. "I am a sort of peace officer," added Dr. Connelly, when the captain glanced at him, "and I will express no opinion as to the status of the officer, though it appears to be as you describe it." "He says he is, and I have to take his word for it," replied the surgeon, with a corresponding smile. "About the same the last time I saw him. He 62 ate all the toast I sent to him, and seemed to enjoy it. I don't think he is in a dangerous condition," replied the surgeon. It was a living being, or it would not move, and he was certain that he had made a discovery. Then two regrets flashed through his mind as he stepped down from the veranda; the first, that he had not put on his shoes before he left his chamber, and the second, that he had not taken his pistols, for a bullet would travel a great deal faster than a barefooted officer, even of the United States Navy. But he ran with all his speed to the street, to the great detriment of his uncovered feet. "Where did you say your father lived, Mr. Passford?" asked the executive officer.
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lava789 illustration of quoted scene "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. "My father is quite well, but he left Bonnydale last Tuesday to go to Washington, and had not returned when I left home. My mother is quite well, and so is Florry," replied the sick officer, who did not appear to be suffering from a very severe headache just then, for he was quite cheerful and animated. "We will not give them any signal, but we will treat them to some visitors. Is the steamer armed, Mike?" "Peach says he has taken his valise with him, which indicates that he has gone for good." "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. "Nothing further, captain," said the executive officer; and the stock of this particular Lieutenant Passford mounted another trifle. For the size of the steamer, she seemed to be manned by a very large crew; but the letter he had received from his father that morning informed him that the greater part of the crew of the Bronx had been transferred to other vessels upon more active service, and that a large number of seamen 38 were to be sent immediately to reinforce the squadron. This was not pleasant intelligence, for he had become acquainted with all on board of the Bronx, and he would have preferred to begin his permanent service as commander with the former ship's company of the little steamer. However, the exigencies of the service required the change, and he could not complain. คบอลวนน Christy had deposited his valise in a place where it was not likely to be seen unless a search was made for it. There was no one in the ward room to obstruct his advance to the captain's cabin. He had served as acting-commander of the vessel in a voyage from New York to the Gulf, and been the executive officer on board for a short term, and he was perfectly at home in every part of her. In the conspiracy on his last voyage in the Bronx, Pink Mulgrum had concealed himself under the berth in the captain's stateroom, where Dave, the cabin steward, had discovered him, though he might have remained there a month if his hiding-place had not been suspected. "In spite of your denial and your motto, I shall have to regard you as a prisoner of war, and treat you as such," said the captain, rising from his chair, the others following his example. "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." Mr. Pennant had learned all he wanted to know, and from the parade he could see even in the darkness that only four guns were mounted on the works. He began to feel in a hurry to carry out the remainder of the programme assigned to him. He took the hand of the Confederate officer when he reached the point where Uncle Job was waiting for him, bade him good-morning, and left the fort. "The commodore hurried us off, for he feared any delay might allow the steamer to escape." In fact, Captain Flanger seemed to be more disturbed at the accident to his proboscis, than by the failure of his quixotic scheme to capture the Bronx. He was certainly a very good-looking man, and took good care of his person, as indicated by the care bestowed upon his hair and beard. lava789 "In spite of your denial and your motto, I shall have to regard you as a prisoner of war, and treat you as such," said the captain, rising from his chair, the others following his example. "Have you anything to say in regard to it?" "Friends," replied the lieutenant. "I don't think it will, Galvinne. Behave like a gentleman, and we shall have no difficulty," added Corny. "I must object to your wearing the shoulder straps of a lieutenant on board of the Vernon," added Captain Battleton. king slotxo "I have precisely the same papers," added Christy, with as much assurance as his cousin. 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. CHAPTER XVI THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS "Mr. Flint, send Mr. Camden in the first cutter and Mr. Pennant in the second to take possession of that steamer," said Christy, holding on at the rail in front of him. "Put fifteen men well armed into each boat, and send the second engineer with 356 them. Hurry them off, or they may burn the vessel." "I have a plain frock in my valise which I wore when the Teaser was captured," added Christy with a smile. "I will remove my coat and wear that." "In what town or city is your father's estate situated?" In the breast pocket of his uniform coat he found the envelope which contained his commission as a lieutenant, received only two days before his orders, and some other papers. As a precaution against inquisitive persons, if the package should happen to be mislaid in the house, he had applied some mucilage in the library, and resealed the envelope. It had not been tampered with so far as he could discover, and he returned it to the pocket. "No doubt of it; for to-morrow morning by four bells we shall be off the passes of the Mississippi, and our mission may be up Lake Pontchartrain, or at Ship Island. But let that matter rest, for in three hours and a half we shall know all about it. I want to ask you about the man you call the Russian."
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lava789 "Only four!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant. "Are you telling me the truth, Uncle Job?" "Cigars mostly, sir, was the kind of fish we caught. Captain Flanger brought them outside the Grand Pass: I took them up to Fort Lafitte, and the captain's brother worked them into New Orleans and other places. They did a big business before the custom-house folks broke it up." Captain Horatio Passford lived at Bonnydale on the Hudson. He was rich in several millions of dollars, but he was richer in the possession of a noble character, one of the most prominent traits of which was his patriotism. He had presented his large and fast-sailing steam yacht to the government of the nation at the beginning of the struggle. His motto was, "Stand by the union," and from the first he had done everything in his power to sustain his country against the assaults of dissolution. Dr. Connelly left him, and made his tour of inspection among the men. The steamer was still rolling heavily, and the prisoner found himself more comfortable in his berth than on the lower deck. He had not yet learned whether or not he was to remain confined in his present quarters, and when the surgeon returned from his tour, he asked him to inquire of the captain in regard to his limits. He was informed that he could go on deck for an hour in the forenoon, and an hour in the afternoon. It was nearly night and he did not avail himself of this permission. "Whether the decision be just or not, I am obliged to regard you as son of the Homer Passford who supports the government of the Confederacy. You and the other Mr. Passford have recognized each other as cousins." king slotxo "Gollywompus! My old master will get me back then!" groaned Dave, who had been very happy in his new service and at Bonnydale where he had spent considerable of his time while Christy was waiting for the fitting out of the Bronx. "I think I had better get on board of the flag-ship right off." Not a particle of noise had been made in the stateroom; at least, none that could be heard on the deck above. Christy hastened from the little apartment through the cabin to the gangway, where he found Mr. Flint at the head of the stairs prepared to execute the part of the work assigned to him, which was to fall upon Mr. Galvinne; 165 but he did not appear to be in a favorable position for the attack. 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. "Just so; and I dare say he is asleep in his stateroom at this moment." "Now a piece of flannel," added the doctor. "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. "I believe your late passenger in the cabin knows something about Barataria Bay and its surroundings, 304 for I think I heard the Russian say that he had done some smuggling in this quarter," said Mr. Flint. "As you are doubtless aware, by a series of lakes, bayous, and a canal which comes out near Carrollton, just above New Orleans, water communication is open to the Mississippi River for small vessels." ด เทนนส สด ทกค "Strike three bells, Vincent," continued the commander. "Mr. Flint, open fire upon the fort with the midship gun. Have the carpenter report at once on the damage done by that shot. Strike two bells, Vincent." "Strike three bells, Vincent," continued the commander. "Mr. Flint, open fire upon the fort with the midship gun. Have the carpenter report at once on the damage done by that shot. Strike two bells, Vincent." The steamer had been so successful while in command of Captain Blowitt in breaking up the shipping of cotton in a port where a larger vessel could not operate, that Christy promptly concluded that she was to be used in a similar enterprise. The listener was amused rather than impressed by the conversation which was in progress so near him, and especially at the display of dignity and authority on the part of his cousin. In the breast pocket of his uniform coat he found the envelope which contained his commission as a lieutenant, received only two days before his orders, and some other papers. As a precaution against inquisitive persons, if the package should happen to be mislaid in the house, he had applied some mucilage in the library, and resealed the envelope. It had not been tampered with so far as he could discover, and he returned it to the pocket. "Then we had better obey the sealed orders of the flag-officer; we will come about, and head her for St. Andrew's. Fortunately I have been there myself in the Bellevite, and I have been up the harbor and bay in boats, for the yacht, as she was at the time, drew too much water to go into the bay, for it is shoal inside. Come about, Mr. Flint, and make the course due east." "I did not mean to allow the sloop to be captured by a boat load of men like that," replied Captain Flanger; "and if our men had used their bayonets we should have been all right. I told them to fix their bayonets, but they paid no attention to me." lava789 "He can't get any whiskey here unless it is served out to him; so that habit, if it is his habit, will do him no harm," argued Mr. Flint. "Emphatically I did not." "No, captain: I have not. That is not my affair, and I don't meddle with what does not concern me." "Dis nigger's 'feered de doctor done gone away."
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ะพรา 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. "Quarter less ten!" shouted the leadsman, with even more vigor than before. "Where does he live?" "What is the matter, Captain Passford?" asked the first lieutenant, as he halted on the deck. "You are as pale as a ghost." "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.
บา คา รา royal "I have been under the berth in this stateroom, a hiding-place which was suggested to me by one of your people who used it as such, and was caught, as I was not." "I am afraid you did not have a very skilful doctor at that time," replied the practitioner with a smile. After he had considered the subject for a couple of hours he went back to one of his first points, relating to the fitness and capacity of Corny to accomplish the task he had undertaken. It was evident enough on the face of it that his cousin, even if he had been a veteran naval officer, could not carry out the plan alone. He must have confederates, in the double sense, on board of the Vernon. In the early stages of the war, men who had served in the navy as officers were coming home from all parts of the world to take part on one side or the other in the struggle. Those even who were disloyal could obtain commissions in the loyal navy if their consciences would let them take the oath of allegiance with a mental reservation. Christy had encountered several of this kind.