lucy789 "Advance, friends, and give the countersign!" "I thought I should like it, but I find I do not as well as I expected," answered 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." "Just then they were peaceable enough; but they were not when Captain Flanger ordered them to fire on your men. Colonel Passford and I were the only peaceable citizens on board of the sloop, and I was no citizen at all," replied the skipper, laughing.
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pc system and networking "When I called upon you in your stateroom this morning, you told me that"— "If I had seen you and Corny together, I should have known which was which," pleaded Mr. Flint. pc system and networking "He is, Captain Passford, for he did not undress when he turned in last night," replied the steward. "That lieutenant is a brave man," said Mr. Pennant, "and I know he is a gentleman." "It is all of two months since I had any news in regard to him. He is still a soldier and has not yet been promoted. His company is still at Fort Gaines; but he has been sent away once or twice on detached duty. He is not given to writing many letters; but the last time I was in Mobile I was told that he had again been sent off on some sort of secret service with a naval officer by the name of Galvinne. I do not know whether the report was true or not." CHAPTER XVI THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS "Hold water!" added the lieutenant. "Stern all!" "Very well; I will go back and tell the sick man the doctor's coming," added the soldier. "That will give him a hope, if nothing more." "Why do you say that we have struck the right man, Mike?" asked Mr. Pennant, caring little for the former relations of the two men. He made the attempt to do so, but he would have fallen to the floor, with his hands fastened behind him, if Christy and Dave had not received him in their arms. The steward hugged him like a brother, perhaps maliciously, and carried him to a divan in the cabin. Corny had apparently abandoned his cause, and his cousin gave him a berth in the ward room for the rest of the night. 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." "If you wish to get back into the Bellevite, of course you can do so, for it is not every fellow 296 that wears shoulder-straps who has such a backing as you have. You have only to speak, and anything reasonable is yours. But how are all at home, Christy?" betflikco "No, sir; but I was named after a Russian sailor Captain Flanger picked up in Havana. I don't mean this Captain Flanger that was on board of the Magnolia, but his father," replied the stout fellow. "Let me see your face before you told me anything," persisted Dave, as he pulled out one end of the trunk, and dropped upon his knees where he could see under the berth. The surgeon was satisfied with this evidence. "De doctor! Be you a doctor, sar?" "On the contrary, I do not see how he could have done otherwise, commodore, and I have expressed to him my friendly feeling," replied Christy. "I think he is a devoted and faithful officer, sir." g2gbet168 "Ten feet!" shouted the man at the lead. 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. CHAPTER XX AN EXPEDITION TO ST. ANDREW'S BAY "Vincent, pass one half of the men on board of the cutter," said Mr. Pennant, when he had looked over the boat and the men on board of it. Captain Battleton returned the pressure as heartily as it had been given, and departed from the gunboat. The commander gave the order to the first lieutenant to get under way; and the fasts were cast off from the flag-ship. The Bronx backed away from her, came about, and was ready to proceed on her voyage to the destination as yet unknown on board of her. "I cannot say as much as that," replied Christy, still holding the gentleman's hand; "I must say I am sorry to see you under present circumstances, for you come as a prisoner in the hands of my men." The doctor took from his pocket a small bottle of chloroform he had obtained from the big house, and dropped a quantity of it into the teaspoon. Mixing it with a little water in a glass, he gave it to the patient, who swallowed it quickly in spite of its burning taste.
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pc system and networking "Half a dozen of them, and a steamer to tow them to sea." "Then there are cotton vessels at that port, are there?" asked Christy, pricking up his ears at this suggestion. A couple of men were directed to convey the wounded seaman up the steps, and he was handed over to the doctor, who had him conveyed to the sick bay. The obdurate Captain Flanger was next sent up to the deck, where Mr. Camden received him, and made him fast to the rail without note or comment; and even Christy made no remark except to give necessary orders. The other prisoners were not bound, and they were put under guard in the waist. The dignified gentleman in black was the last to come up the stairs. "You shall see it, and go on board of it if you wish; but we may have a battle with the fort." "I am all right, Corny; but I should like to 176 have you or some one tell me what has been going on in this steamer, for this black rascal will not say a word to me," replied the prisoner. "Did Mr. Flint say anything?" asked Christy. "Then I am sorry I brought him in." 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. "Well, Mr. Flint, we have been more successful than I feared we might be," said Christy, after the prisoners except Corny had been put in irons, though they consisted of only five officers and seamen. "That is a perfectly justifiable conclusion; and it rests with you to decide which is the genuine Lieutenant Passford, and which is the impostor," replied Christy frankly. "You will be perfectly justified in calling upon both for all the evidence they are able to present. I suggest that each of them must carry his commission about him, as well as his orders from the department; and it seems to me that these documents will enable you to decide without any delay;" and Christy involuntarily put his hand upon his breast pocket, where he carried these valuable papers. Christy crawled to the front of the berth, and thrust his head out into the stateroom in as natural a position as he could place it. pgwin55 "But Christy has disappeared all the same; and where do you suppose he is?" "How was the weather when you left the deck, Mr. Flint?" asked the commander. "It was a hazardous plan," suggested Colonel Passford, "and I should suppose that Corny was hardly competent to play such a rôle. I hope the scheme was successful, for, as you know very well, all my prayers and all my aspirations are for the triumph of the Confederate cause." "I dol't walt any Yalkee surgeod at work od be," protested Captain Flanger, whose speech was badly affected by the injury to his nasal organ, or by the pressure he applied to it with his hand. "I ought to be, for I am a whiter man than Captain Flanger." "They are in my pocket," replied Corny sourly. "The fortules of war are agailst me, Captail Passford; 288 but if you ever fall ilto my halds, I will cut your dose off cleal to your face," howled the prisoner, boiling over with wrath. "This is not an official envelope," said the captain, 80 as he took the package, and then fixed his gaze on the owner of the documents. "All sorts o' tings, massa; guns, and pistols, and close. Dis nigger help take de tings out ob her." Dave busied himself in clearing the cabin table, and Christy impatiently waited the time for the decided action which had been planned. About half an hour later, when he realized from the condition of the stateroom that it was quite dark, the sounds coming to him assured him that the course of the Bronx had been changed as indicated by Mr. Galvinne. No noise or confusion on deck followed it, and the naval officer's prediction seemed to be in a fair way to be realized. "That is very odd," mused the officer, wondering whether this sudden disappearance had anything to do with the principal event of the preceding night. The speakers said no more, but leaving the locality near the berth, they moved forward in a body. Christy was sorry he was not to hear any more of the conversation; but he felt that he had made some progress in his work. He had obtained the names of two of the men, and ascertained that one of the officers in the ward room was a Confederate. With this information he could the more readily obtain more. Christy did not wish to sleep, and he felt that he could not afford to spend his time in that way. He sat up in the berth, and wrote the two names he had heard in his pocket-diary, in order to make sure that he did not forget 106 them. While he was thus engaged Dr. Connelly came into the quarters of the crew. "What is it, Gorman?" asked the lieutenant, standing up in his place. "Michael Bornhoff," replied the prisoner. lottorich 28com เขาสระบบ "I must trouble you to produce it, Lieutenant Passford," added the commander. "Your father's name?" The commission and other papers were all right in every respect. Christy handed his envelope to the commander, and he broke it open. It contained nothing but a lot of blank paper. "Friends," replied the lieutenant. "On board the ferry-boat!" replied the man, resting on his oars. Colonel Passford was naturally very anxious to ascertain what had been done, and what was to be done, by the Bronx; but the steward was too discreet to answer any of his questions, and he was not aware that his son Corny was a prisoner on board as well as himself. pc system and networking The commander thought it very strange that there should be a person on board of the steamer, and especially in possession of his cabin, who was an entire stranger to him. He looked at the intruder, who was a stoutly built man of rather more than forty years of age, with his hair and full beard somewhat grizzled by age. He was 258 dressed like a seaman in blue clothes, though he was evidently not a common sailor, but might have been the master or mate of a vessel. Ralph Pennant and three seamen conducted the other prisoners to their quarters. They were supplied with blankets, in which those from the deck wrapped themselves up. Corny and Galvin began 189 to compare notes at once; but Boxie kept his ears open as he marched up and down within two feet of his charge. "That is a perfectly justifiable conclusion; and it rests with you to decide which is the genuine Lieutenant Passford, and which is the impostor," replied Christy frankly. "You will be perfectly justified in calling upon both for all the evidence they are able to present. I suggest that each of them must carry his commission about him, as well as his orders from the department; and it seems to me that these documents will enable you to decide without any delay;" and Christy involuntarily put his hand upon his breast pocket, where he carried these valuable papers. "Mr. Flint has not had his breakfast yet, and he will come below for it very soon," added Dave. "He was just coming down for it when he got the signal to come alongside the flag-ship."
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pc system and networking "Perhaps not; but I should not care to have the Bronx sunk by a columbiad in the attempt to find out the strength of the fort." "By the way, Christy, have you heard anything from him or his family lately?" asked Mrs. Passford. "Sea-sick! No, sir; I believe I never was sea-sick in my life." "That will amount to their being made ensigns when you go north again if they prove to be worthy of promotion," added the executive officer, with a chuckle. "That was what happened to Baskirk and Amden." "We have no countersign to give." "Boddyvale? I never heard of the place before in my life, sir," answered the runaway servant. "What is the Bellevite doing off here, so far from her station, Paul?" asked Christy. Dave Receives his Appointment as Steward.—Page 364. "My cousin gave his name and rank correctly." g2ggrand "What am I to do, Mr. Galvinne?" asked Corny. "I should think they would be safe with a guard," added Ralph. "I do; one of the officers told me all about it not half an hour ago," answered Rockton. "The fellow who is asleep there is the other Passford." pc system and networking "Do you know where we are bound, Mike?" asked Christy. "Dave, go to the quarters, and conduct the prisoner, Mr. Passford, to this cabin. You may take off his handcuffs; here is the key," said Christy, and steward took the key and departed. The temporary berth was finished, the bedding put into it, and Christy took possession of it. For the present he had done all the thinking he cared to do, and he felt that his present duty was in action. He was a prisoner of war, and as such he was in disgrace in a loyal ship's company; at least, he felt that he was so under present circumstances. He was not disgusted at his failure to establish his identity, nor disheartened at the prospect before him. More than ever before in the two years of his experience as a naval officer, he realized that it was his duty to "Stand by the union." Mr. Pennant had some doubts about the correctness of the important information he had obtained, but he was at a loss to know how to verify it. It was a matter of course that sentinels patrolled the vicinity of the fort, or at least the principal approach to it. He decided to postpone his inquiry into this matter till a later hour of the night or morning. "I prefer that to starving to death in this region," replied the colonel. "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." "Ten feet!" shouted the man at the lead. zincbet "But you need not expect any signal for a couple of hours, or even three. If we get into trouble, we shall retreat upon the boat direct; so keep your eyes wide open." Seating himself on the quarter-deck, he sent for Michael Bornhoff, who presently reported to him. This man had proved himself to be entirely faithful and reliable; and Christy had no doubts in regard to his loyalty, for his race guaranteed that. illustration of quoted scene "I ought to be, for I am a whiter man than Captain Flanger." "Good-morning, Uncle Job," replied Mike, taking the hand of the aged colored person. "How is your health?" The commander was disposed to carry the investigation a little farther in the same direction, and he sent Christy into the ward room, where he was instructed to remain until he was sent for. Captain Passford, senior, was well known to all the officers present by reputation, and he had assisted Dr. Connelly in procuring his appointment, so that the latter had had occasion to visit Bonnydale three times. When he realized that the scheme of his cousin, or whoever had devised it, was in a fair way to accomplish its object, Christy felt that he must do something. Though he was a prisoner and in 116 disgrace, he did not feel that he was absolved from the duty of attempting to save the Bronx to the union. He had refused to accept a parole, or anything of that kind, and his honor as an officer did not require him to submit to the discipline of his situation. He was a prisoner; but the responsibility of retaining him as such belonged to the captain of the Vernon for the present. 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. "Just giving you a pair of bracelets," replied Ralph, as he grappled again with his victim, and asked Christy to adjust the handcuffs. "Just for ornament, you know." "I am glad to hear it. Have you informed him that we have another lieutenant on board of the Vernon?" continued the commander.
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pc system and networking illustration of quoted scene "Grass! They don't raise it in the city; and there isn't as much of it in all the streets as I saw in the principal one in Mobile when I was there, on my way from the prison to the bay," replied the commander cheerfully. "I don't believe that business was ever so lively in New York and the other cities of the North as it is at this time; and I left there ten days ago." While he was still considering the subject, he heard the call for "All the port watch!" on deck, and Mr. Camden came below to wake the third lieutenant, for the routine was hardly in working order on board of the steamer. The commander went into his stateroom, and soon returned with the sealed envelope in his hand. He was deeply interested in its contents, for he hoped his vessel was ordered to take part in the Mississippi expedition, which was to attack Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and capture the city of New Orleans. Eight bells had been struck, indicating midnight, which was the hour at which he was directed to break the seal. The first lieutenant was quite as much interested in ascertaining the destination of the Bronx as the commander. Christy had invited him to his cabin. "I don't believe you will find many hands down here, Mr. Pennant," said Mike in a whisper. 53 "I beg your pardon, Captain Battleton, but I have not been in any stateroom, sick or well, on board of the Vernon, and I respectfully suggest that it was quite impossible for you to have called upon me this morning, or at any other time," Christy interposed, very pleasantly, though quite as perplexed as the commander. Mr. Flint reported that she had been captured without any resistance on the part of the crew. There was no incident worth relating in connection with the capture, though she was full of cotton, and brought over seventy thousand dollars when the vessel and cargo were sold. The two cutters were brought alongside, and hoisted up to the davits. 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. CHAPTER XXVI THE MEETING WITH THE BELLEVITE AT NIGHT "It was a great mistake," repeated the dignified gentleman, shaking his head. Christy crawled to the front of the berth, and thrust his head out into the stateroom in as natural a position as he could place it. zincbet "A steamer, sir," answered Gorman. "I am all right, Corny; but I should like to 176 have you or some one tell me what has been going on in this steamer, for this black rascal will not say a word to me," replied the prisoner. Thus prepared for any emergency, though none might come for years, he went on deck, and made 292 his way to the bridge, where he could get the best view of the approaching sail. He obtained his first sight of the vessel as soon as he reached the bridge, and saw that the sail was a steamer, much larger than the Bronx. She carried no sail, for the wind was from the west; but the commander soon realized that she was moving at great speed. "He is; he dressed himself this morning, and sits up part of the time." "Precisely so; in this cause, though I drink whiskey, chew, and smoke, and never swear except when I am excited, I am a religious man," said the intruder, laughing. "I have been wanting to see you, Christy," said the planter, as he approached his nephew. "I learn, with no little astonishment, that you are the commander of this steamer." "No, sir; I don't believe he is over twenty, if he is that," replied the third lieutenant. 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. "Do you expect me to obey your orders?" demanded the executive officer in a sneering tone. 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. By this time it was broad daylight, and apparently the fog was not as dense as it had been earlier in the morning. The boat with her tow continued on her course, now headed for the gunboat which the officer had made out. In ten minutes more the expedition was within hailing distance of the steamer, which immediately stopped her screw. "Do you surrender?" asked the lieutenant of the principal man on the forecastle as he came alongside of him. admgamer "I am willing to believe that he is doing his duty to his country, and his grand mistake is in 108 believing that the fraction of it in rebellion is his country." "Whew! Then you are still the commander of the Bronx?" repeated Christy, laughing at his cousin's persistence. "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. 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. 55 "The brilliant officer who bears this name is too well known to hide his light under a bushel. I have not the honor to be personally acquainted with him, and therefore I am unable to decide which of the gentlemen who report to me under that name is the real one." pc system and networking His son Cornelius followed the lead of his father, and was faithful to the teachings given him in his southern home. He had enlisted as a soldier; but when it was found that he could be more serviceable 72 to the Confederacy in certain irregular enterprizes, he was detached for this service. He had been engaged in an attempt to capture the Bellevite in connection with older and more skilful persons. The plan had failed, Corny had been severely wounded, and while on parole had lived at Bonnydale. From there he had been sent to a military prison, and had been exchanged. From that time, Christy knew nothing about him until he met him on board of the Vernon. At the principal entrance of the fort they were challenged by the sentinel. Mr. Pennant was somewhat afraid his northern dialect would betray him, for he was not a highly educated man, though he was exceedingly well informed in all matters pertaining to the duties of a shipmaster. "Is there any doctor at the big house?" asked the lieutenant as soon as Job entered the house.
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wwwruaycom เขาระบบ 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. "Nothing more, captain," said the first lieutenant; and the stock of the other claimant mounted a little. "But what could have been his object in coming into the house?" asked the bewildered lady. "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."
ufabet123 "I tell you the truth, Dave; but things are mixed," added Christy. "That was a sensible thing to do. You are aware that we are short of officers, I suppose," said the commander. "I won't do so any more, Captain Passford," protested the steward, showing his ivory, though he was not a very black man, and the contrast was not as great as in many instances.
ufa1919 No doubt he was greatly surprised to hear his name, pronounced as though it came up through the deck, as he had abundant reason to be. "He desires employment on more active duty than the command of a store-ship, and I am 363 instructed to give him such a position if I have one at my disposal," added the flag-officer.
mgm99hot "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."
xlot888 "Stand! Who comes there?" said the sentinel. "Over to the other side of the island," replied the lieutenant. "I won't do so any more, Captain Passford," protested the steward, showing his ivory, though he was not a very black man, and the contrast was not as great as in many instances. "This appears to be a family party," interposed Captain Battleton, who was very much amused to hear each of the young officers call the other by the same name, and both of them appeared to be Corny Passford. "Who are you?" demanded the soldier.