texas79s The mysterious visitor at the mansion, whoever or whatever he was, could not be regarded as a burglar, or, if he was, he had strangely neglected his opportunities, for he had failed to appropriate at least five hundred dollars worth of watches and money, which he could hardly have helped seeing. His object was not plunder, and there was nothing to indicate the purpose of his visit. In retiring from the house the intruder had left the front door ajar: and Christy thought it would have been the most natural thing in the world to close it, in order to conceal the way by which he had left the mansion. But he might have done this to avoid 28 the noise of shutting it, or had neglected it in his haste to escape. "Yes, sar; but dey done tote 'em all ober to de Mis'sip Riber." texas79s "I have heard about that; and I know that your cousin Christopher is no chicken." "He still complains that his head and his bones ache, so that I cannot say he is improving," replied Dr. Connelly. "All right in every respect," replied the young officer cheerfully. 273 "It could have dropped only from Mike Bornhoff, for he is the only one who knew anything about it. He is my property, and when we are fairly in Pensacola Bay I shall seize him up to the grating, and give him thirty-nine for opening his mouth when he ought to have kept it closed. Where is he now, for I did not find him among the prisoners?" "Then the report of the light on the starboard bow places it directly to the eastward of us," added Christy. "That is about where the entrance to St. Andrew's Bay ought to be, if my calculations were correct. We have been running to the eastward since we left the blockaders' station off Pensacola Bay. My ruler on the chart gave me that course, and Mr. Galvinne followed it while he was in charge. We could not have got more than half a mile off the course in coming about twice. The shoaling of the water also indicates that we are all right." "We are all private citizens," added the sloop's spokesman. "You must excuse me, Mr. Blowitt, for I am sailing under sealed orders, and the commodore hurried me off as soon as I returned with the Bronx from St. Andrew's Bay; and I do not know that my mission admits of any delay," said 297 Christy. "I have a prisoner on board, and I want to get rid of him, for he is a dangerous character;" and he briefly related the incident of the evening with Captain Flanger. "Not exactly; but she is well filled with his people," replied Mr. Pennant, laughing. "No, sar; see you frou, Massa Gumboat," replied Job. 245 "I suppose the steamer has a supply of coal on board, Mr. Flint." เบทฟก 249 "You may come with me, Ralph," added Christy, as he descended the companion-way. 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. Christy became rather impatient because the Bronx did not get under way; but he concluded from such sounds as came to his ears that she was taking in shot, shells, and powder, as well as stores and supplies. At any rate, neither Corny nor his first lieutenant came into the cabin, so far as he could ascertain. But he had not been in his hiding-place an hour before he heard a noise in the adjoining apartment. It was not the commander, for the noise was an occasional rapping; it was not an unfamiliar sound to him, for he had often heard it before when he lay in his berth. Dave was a remarkably neat person, and he was always dusting the cabin and stateroom when he had nothing else to do. He was sure that the rapping was caused by the steward's feather duster. "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." "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." 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. 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. "All your guns seem to be mounted outside," said the naval officer as he halted on the parade. betflix13 "That makes it all the more remarkable, for I was not aware that there was any officer in the navy who resembled me so closely," added Christy more bewildered than before, and beginning to scent a plot of some kind against him or his country. Without discussing this matter any farther, Christy detailed his plan to Mr. Flint, which was certainly very simple, and the second lieutenant could raise no objection to it. He was requested to select the men who were to take part in the enterprise, and all the particulars were definitely arranged. There was nothing more to be done, and Christy was left to himself to consider what he had done. The hungry officer helped himself hastily from the table which was waiting for him in the ward room, and then hastened on deck. "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. "Horatio Passford." "Where does he live?" 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. The commander read his orders through. It was believed that vessels were loading with cotton there, towed down in flatboats by small steamers, and that a steamer of four hundred tons was fitting out in the bay as a privateer. It might not be practicable for the Bronx to go into the bay; but she was to do what she could to capture the 305 cotton vessels and the steamer when they came out. In less than half an hour the two vessels were under way, and just at dark they were within hail of the flag-ship.
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texas79s "Shut the door, Mike," said the officer, in order to prevent the light from being seen. "Who dar?" inquired the negro. "I reckon I do, sir; your cousin Corny is an impostor," replied the steward promptly. At the present time his father was in Washington, and he could not have neglected to close the door. He had been to the railroad station to meet the last train, thinking it possible that his father might return, and he was confident that he had been the last to enter the house. He was very sure that he had not left the door unfastened, and this assurance made him confident that some person had entered the house. The noise at the door of his chamber was not an illusion or a dream: though it had been made by closing rather than by opening it, or he would have been likely to find the intruder in his room when he lighted his lamp. "How's de sick man, Massa Gumboat?" asked the old negro, chuckling as though he appreciated the stroke of strategy made by his companion. "We will soon stop that," added Christy. "Give them another shot from the midship gun, Mr. Flint." สลอตวอเลท "Quarter less ten!" shouted the leadsman, with even more vigor than before. Neither of the two disloyal officers of the Bronx was an infant, and each struggled like a brave man against the force that attacked them. Mr. Flint had fallen upon Mr. Galvinne from behind, and had thrown him down at the first onslaught. He fought like a tiger, but with the aid of Christy and two of the men from the 167 waist, he was subdued, and Christy had a strap ready to confine his hands behind him. Then he was drawn over to the rail and made fast to a belaying pin. "He says he is, and I have to take his word for it," replied the surgeon, with a corresponding smile. As soon as the steamer was abreast of the fort, the broadside guns poured the shrapnel into the embrasures and loopholes, though nothing could be known of the effect of the firing. The muskets were as active as before. Christy was on the bridge still, for the doctor had dressed his wound, and he had taken some refreshment. "There comes the Bronx," said a seaman standing at the head of the ladder. "Where does he live?" Colonel Passford was reclining on the divan when the commander entered the cabin; but he rose to his feet as soon as he saw his nephew. Christy thought he looked thinner and paler than when he had last seen him. He was now only forty-two years old, but he looked like a man of fifty. "We will soon stop that," added Christy. "Give them another shot from the midship gun, Mr. Flint." jingjai 1688 "All ready, Mr. Flint," reported the third lieutenant, when he had completed the repairs on the steering gear. 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. "But why are you out doors at this time of night?" Mrs. Passford insisted. "You will catch a cold that will lay you up, if you go out in that condition." "We will not give them any signal, but we will treat them to some visitors. Is the steamer armed, Mike?" "It may be delicate; I admit that it is so for you: but as my plans may depend somewhat upon a knowledge of your instructions, I really feel compelled to insist upon this point, Captain Passford," replied the intruder as blandly as ever. "But we are living just now in a state of war, and it is quite impossible to act with as much delicacy us one might desire." texas79s "I don't understand it," said Captain Battleton, shaking his head. 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. "It is Mr. Christy, ma'am; nothing is the matter," replied Walsh; but then he appeared to think that he had replied without proper consideration, and he revised his speech. "I don't know that anything's the matter, ma'am," and still he gazed at the young gentleman, as though he deemed it possible that he had suddenly gone crazy. "You must excuse me, Mr. Blowitt, for I am sailing under sealed orders, and the commodore hurried me off as soon as I returned with the Bronx from St. Andrew's Bay; and I do not know that my mission admits of any delay," said 297 Christy. "I have a prisoner on board, and I want to get rid of him, for he is a dangerous character;" and he briefly related the incident of the evening with Captain Flanger.
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texas79s "I should think so," replied the first lieutenant. "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. "Time enough, sir, if you are going on board of the Vernon, and I will give you one of my oars if I don't put you on her deck," said the boatman very positively. "I hope you are nimble with your feet and hands, sir." "But they are enclosed in an official envelope," added the captain, as he held up the cover of the papers. "In this respect they have the advantage of those presented by the other gentleman. 82 You appear to be as much surprised as any of the rest of us, Mr. Passford. Can you explain the fact that you present nothing but blank papers instead of your commission and orders?" The commander found Dave keeping close watch over Corny Passford, though he was fast asleep in his berth. Passing through the ward room and steerage, Dave unlocked the door that led into the quarters of the crew. Next to the bulkhead, or partition, was space enough for the prisoners, and the steward was required to bring five berth sacks, which were placed on the deck. "Severe, but not dangerous," answered the doctor. "The ball did not touch the bone, but it ploughed deep through the flesh. You were fortunate in having plenty of meat on your bones." "We always called it Bonnydale; and I know no other name for it." "I certainly hope you will do so, sir, if possible." 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. Christy went below, and found Dave in the stateroom, apparently unwilling to take his eyes off the prisoner who still lay in the berth. He went to the table in the cabin, and found upon it the sheet upon which the orders had been written. They were of no use to Galvinne, and he had thrown them down as soon as he had read them. He sat down at the table and read the paper; but the order was very simple, and left all the details to the discretion of the commander, for it was understood that Captain Passford was well acquainted with the coast as far as St. Mark's. pgzeed888 "He was by profession an actor in Mobile," added Corny. Christy was not stunned or overwhelmed by this impudent speech. He looked at the speaker, and promptly recognized his cousin Corny. He was astonished at the brazen assurance of the other, for he had always seemed to him to be a fairly modest young man. Corny extended his hand to Christy, and it was accepted. texas79s "I did not, captain," replied Christy quietly, though he was amused rather than disquieted by the earnestness of the commander. "I certainly hope you will do so, sir, if possible." 67 "Then you were both brought up in the North," suggested the captain. hilorich 198 "Clear as a bell, and bright starlight," replied the 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. Both Christy and Dave kept their positions, each with a revolver in his hand, ready to finish the victim if he exhibited any symptoms of further violence. This was the tableau presented in the captain's cabin when the door was suddenly opened by the first lieutenant, who rushed in, followed by the second lieutenant and Quartermaster Vincent. Mr. Flint had been on the quarter-deck, 283 and had heard the report of Christy's revolver when he fired. Calling Mr. Camden and the quartermaster, he has come to ascertain the cause of the fracas; and the sight was certainly impressive when he entered. "I tell you the truth, Dave; but things are mixed," added Christy. 289 "Thank you, Captain Passford," replied the steward. "I can only say that you will not be held as a prisoner of war; but I must leave you in the hands of the flag-officer, who will dispose of you as he thinks best. I sail in the Bronx immediately." The steamer went off till she looked very much smaller, and then changed her course to the south-west. The lieutenant in the cutter ordered the bowman to sound with the small hand lead, after he had brought the boat to a full stop. The man reported eight feet. The head of the boat was then turned to the west, and the crew ordered to give way. In a quarter of an hour more the course was checked, and the bowman directed to sound again. Sixteen feet was reported.
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texas79s "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. "That seems to me to be a correct deduction," added Christy. When the questioning was finished, the leaning of the trio of officers was in favor of Christy; but not one of them said anything in the presence of the two Passfords. The captain declared that he had already used up too much time in the inquiry, and he must close the conference very soon. 79 Then he asked if either of the gentlemen had any papers they wished to present in support of his identity. "Good-morning, Uncle Job," replied Mike, taking the hand of the aged colored person. "How is your health?" "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." "Are you a sailor?" asked Christy. Mr. Pennant put out the light in his lantern, and the party started to cross the island. CHAPTER IX A MORAL PHILOSOPHER. Walsh, the man-servant at Bonnydale, was now a seaman on board of the Vernon, under the real or assumed name of Byron. He denied his identity, as he would naturally do under the circumstances; but Christy had not a doubt that he was the man who had suddenly disappeared after the mysterious visitation of the night before. Doubtless, Corny had been the visitor at the mansion, and had procured the contents of the official envelope on this occasion. "Is there any doctor at the big house?" asked the lieutenant as soon as Job entered the house. "Are those four very large,—long as this cabin is wide?" asked the lieutenant with interest. "I came on board to pay my respects to you, Captain Passford," said Captain Battleton of the Vernon, who had been waiting for him. "Things have changed since I last saw you. I do not know whether I ought to apologize to you for my decision on board of the Vernon, or not." hilorich 198 "I did not, captain," replied Christy quietly, though he was amused rather than disquieted by the earnestness of the commander. "The scheme was successful up to a certain 240 point, and Corny obtained the command of the steamer, passing for the genuine officer before the commodore, and even on board of the vessel where the commander was well known." "If you don't, I will send for the second lieutenant 146 and a file of men to put you out of my cabin." "Very likely; and I dare say you know all about this region." "You have been under this berth since the steamer left the flag-ship!" exclaimed Corny, apparently amazed at the fact. "No doubt of it," replied Christy. "He bears your name," said Mr. Pennant. "Five dollars if you will put me on board of that steamer before she gets off!" added the officer. hiloสลอต "When I called upon you in your stateroom this morning, you told me that"— "How is your patient, Dr. Connelly?" asked Captain Battleton, joining them at this moment. "But can you not recall some event or circumstance which will throw some light on the mystery?" persisted Dr. Connelly. "What is she doing now in the bay?" "We appear to agree, gentlemen, for you have expressed my own views as well as I could state them myself," added the captain. "But when I decide that the holder of the commission, which I am satisfied is a genuine document, is the loyal officer, and entitled to be received as the future commander of the Bronx, I must declare that the other is a Confederate; and not only that, but also that he is acting as a spy; that he is on board of the Vernon with mischievous intentions. It will be my duty to regard him as a prisoner of war, at least. What do you think of it, Mr. Salisbury?" texas79s "But we have plenty of good men, and some of them will make good officers," suggested the first lieutenant. "Produce it, if you please."
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n83 com เครดตฟร "No use, Massa Ossifer; dis nigger don't hab teef enough to do dat." "I was hardly called upon to decide anything, for the matter in doubt had been settled by the commander of the Vernon before it came to my knowledge; but I agreed with him that the commission ought to settle the point. Are you not the officer presented to me by Captain Battleton, Captain Passford?" asked the commodore, gazing earnestly into the face of Christy.
789bt The big steamer, as she certainly was compared with the Bronx, started her screw again, and came within less than half a cable's length of the little gunboat, for the water was very still, with a gentle breeze from the westward. The boat was dropped into the water; and in a minute or two it was at the accommodation ladder of the Bronx, when a couple of officers mounted the side. "His name is David Davis; but he is not a relative of the president of the Southern Confederacy, for he is a mulatto. He has rendered very 364 important service on several occasions, and there is not a truer or braver man on board of the Bronx, or any other ship of the squadron," replied Christy with enthusiasm. The oaths and epithets he used need not soil our page; but the prisoner seemed to be suffering more from his wrath than from his wound. "I think you told me that you had had some experience on board of steamers, Pennant," replied Christy.
terminal 21 ม ธนาคาร อะไร บาง "How shall you manage it?" "Nothing at all; you can turn in as soon as you like and sleep through the whole, for there will be nothing at all to disturb you. As I said, 161 Flint is the only person on board who is likely to make the least trouble, and he will be asleep in his berth. If he asks hard questions when he comes on deck at eight bells for the mid-watch, our men will secure him. That is the whole of it. I must go on deck now, for I can smell the fog." "Can you tell me what position Mr. Flint has on board?" "Dr. Waterton," answered Mr. Pennant, giving 331 the first name that came into his head, for the medical title was the essential thing.
รอบหนงเซนทรลมหาชย "What are those men doing aft, Mr. Byron?" demanded the first lieutenant, with some excitement in his manner. "They were very nearly on the quarter-deck, and they seemed to be very reluctant to go forward." "You took splendid aim, Captain Passford," said the surgeon, smiling. "I shall not," replied Corny, with quite as much firmness. "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. "Put him into the boat," added Christy.