จคลบ888 "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. "These gentlemen are cousins, and both of them bear the name of Passford," added the captain, as he raised his finger, pointing to Corny. "Will you give us your name in full, if you please?"
lotto poon "I don't want him to take me simply because my father desires him to do so," answered the young commander, shaking his head. CHAPTER XIII THE OPENING OF THE SECRET ORDERS "I am very glad to see you, Uncle Job," said Christy, taking the hand of the venerable colored person. "I thank you for the service rendered to my officer. Now, Mr. Pennant, you will come to my cabin and make your report. Bring Uncle Job with you." lotto poon "I do not regard his statements as lies in any proper sense of the word, Dr. Connelly," replied Christy with considerable spirit. "I have had occasion to deceive the enemy on several occasions; and nearly two years ago I looked up the morality of lying on the field of battle and its surroundings. I think my father is as good a Christian man as draws the breath of life, and I found that I simply held to his opinions." "No, captain: I have not. That is not my affair, and I don't meddle with what does not concern me." The three officers promptly obeyed the order, and laid violent hands on Captain Flanger, Mr. Flint taking the weapon from his pocket. They seized him by the collar of his coat, and the executive officer held his left arm, with the handcuffs on the wrist. The victim of the affray still held on to his nose, though Mr. Camden took possession of the arm. "Are you a sailor?" asked Christy. "Good heavens!" exclaimed the first lieutenant, as he came out from his shelter. "You are wounded again!" The commander of the Bronx left the cabin where the interview had taken place. On the 251 deck he met his uncle, who was curious to know what was to be done with him. The strange sail continued to approach; and, little by little, the first lieutenant, who had sailed in the Bellevite several years, identified her as that steamer. It was probable that she had chased some vessel, and was now returning to her station. As she came nearer, she fired a gun for the Bronx to come to; and when within hail of her, stopped her screw. easyslot 789com "I am sorry you did not explain the blank paper in your envelope, Mr. Passford," said the surgeon, as they were leaving the cabin. "Clear as a bell, and bright starlight," replied the executive officer. "Not a word, and I am not likely to hear from them. Corny Passford was exchanged, and sent back to the South a year ago or more; and I have no idea what has become of him since." "The crew all know me, and I dare say I can 201 get along without a uniform till we get back to the station, where I could get one from the store-ship; but it is not likely that I shall need one then." "Steward, light the lamp in my stateroom," 163 said Corny; and Christy was glad to find that he intended to retire for the night, for he had no duties to perform unless there was a disturbance on the quarter-deck. 29 "But where is Walsh?" inquired Christy. "Have them closely watched, or they may play us some trick when we least suspect it, and in some critical moment," said the commander. 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. Christy had hardly finished his instructions to the steward before he heard footsteps in the cabin. Dave looked into the apartment and discovered Mr. Flint, who went into the stateroom at once. "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. "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." odin slotz "You took the bull by the horns at an opportune moment, my son," said Captain Passford, Senior. "If you had not done so you would have been in a rebel prison at this moment. As it is, poor Corny has got back to Fort Lafayette, with Galvinne and our man-servant, whom I never should have suspected of being a Confederate officer." "I may yet be called upon to serve under you 253 some time in the future; and I did not wish to have any prejudice against me on account of my decision, in which my officers concurred." "We must be about forty miles off the station of the blockaders before the entrance to Mobile Bay," said Christy, after he had thought the matter over for a moment. 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. "I will put you ashore in a boat at the nearest land when the fog clears off," replied Christy. "The boats are in good condition, sir, and they will be ready in five minutes," replied Mr. Flint, who had come on deck at the call for all hands, and had hardly learned the results of the recent boat expedition. "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?" "Is that so? Then we mustn't talk here," added Warton, apparently somewhat alarmed. "Who told you so?" In a few minutes he reported that the prisoners were all fast asleep. Boxie had been relieved as guard, and another seaman was marching back and forth by their couches. It was still dark and foggy, and a hail came from the mast-head forward. "Looking at you more closely, I see that you are not my patient, and you will excuse me for giving you a headache. But you resemble my patient very closely," added the doctor. 118 "What does that mean, my man?" asked Christy of one of the men near him. "They appear to be weighing the anchor."
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lotto poon "A drift lead, sir," replied Mr. Flint. "I think we shall be in Pensacola Bay by daylight," said Mr. Galvinne; "and we have just the right kind of weather for our enterprise. It is cloudy, and it looks as though we might have a fog, for they often come up after dark when the wind is as it is now." Mr. Pennant had time now to look over the craft he had captured, and the men on board of 214 her. It was simply a large sailboat, and those on board of her wore plain clothes. They did not appear to be soldiers or sailors, though there was a number of bayonets scattered about the standing room. The seamen from the cutter had leaped on board of the sloop, with cutlasses in their belts; but there was not space enough to permit the use of the weapon, and they had seized each of the men by the collar and put a pistol to his head. 289 "Thank you, Captain Passford," replied the steward. "Station a strong lookout, Mr. Flint, and send a man aloft on the foremast and another on the mainmast," continued Christy when the other orders had been obeyed. "I suppose they have seen that the course of the ship has been changed, and I thought they might have come aft to ask some questions, 166 though the men ought to be better trained than that," added Mr. Galvinne, as he came quite near the companion-way where the second lieutenant was waiting for him, with Christy behind him, and ready to support him. "But the other Massa Passford looks just like you," added Dave. "Stand by!" added Mr. Pennant, who had been duly trained in boat service at an oar. "Give way together! No noise!" "Yes, sir; the Vixen was fully armed and manned to protect the fleet of prize vessels she convoyed." "I'm the one for your money," returned the oarsman, as he headed his boat into the slip. CHAPTER V LIEUTENANT PASSFORD AND HIS APPARENT DOUBLE "I don't think it will, Galvinne. Behave like a gentleman, and we shall have no difficulty," added Corny. สลอตroyal "You think that method would suit you better than the usual one of delivering orders verbally," said Christy, laughing as much at the coolness as at the impudence of his companion. "I thank you for the suggestion, Mr. Passford, and I must say that you seem to be entirely fair," said the commander. "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. 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. "Thank you, my man," replied Christy, beginning at once to consider how this change would affect him. "It is; the name was given to the estate by my mother," replied Christy, unable to follow Corny any farther. "We are coming up with the shore," said Mr. Flint, as Christy joined him on the bridge. 336 The day was beginning to break in the east, and he was afraid the commander of the Bronx would become uneasy in regard to him. The quarters of the soldiers were passed, though they were not in use, and the shore reached. The lieutenant thanked the guide for the service he had rendered, and told him he could go back to his cabin, and finish his night's sleep. ทางเขาjili city "Gentlemen, this seems to be a strange muddle," said the captain, who was not disposed to listen any longer to the sparring between the cousins. "At the suggestion of the lieutenant who came on board this forenoon, I have taken the earliest opportunity to settle the question as to which is the original and genuine Mr. Passford who was ordered on board of the Vernon as a passenger for the Gulf, and who, I am informed, is appointed to the command of the Bronx. I have not much time to spare, and if you do not object, I shall call in the first lieutenant and the surgeon to take part in this conference. I am perplexed, and I desire witnesses if not assistants in these proceedings." It was plain enough to Christy that the remarkable attempt of one or the other of the officers on board as passengers to personate the other had been explained to those on the quarter-deck, for he observed that they all regarded him with curiosity, and were interested in the matter. As the surgeon passed near him he spoke to him. "Well, Mr. Passford, are you all right?" asked the surgeon, as soon as he discovered Christy in the dim light of the place. "I confess that I am as much in the dark as I was in the beginning," replied the executive officer. CHAPTER VII THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DECISION The skipper took his cap off, and bowed very low to Christy when he realized that he was talking to the principal personage on board of the gunboat. He was well dressed for one in his position, and displayed no little dignity and self-possession. Perhaps, if he had not been tainted with a few drops of black blood in his veins, he might have been a person of some consequence in the Confederate service. lotto poon "Are you a Russian?" asked the commander, inclined to laugh at this singular name of one of the proscribed race. "You are not! Who are you, then?" "Make the course west north-west," said he to the first lieutenant, as he joined him on the bridge. "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." "Now, Mr. Pennant, you may remove your bag to the ward room, and the third stateroom on the starboard side, counting from the forward one, is yours for the present," continued Christy.
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lotto poon "Why so, Captain Passford?" asked Mr. Flint. 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. "Who's there?" demanded Christy Passford, sitting up in his bed, in the middle of the night, in his room on the second floor of his father's palatial mansion on the Hudson, where the young lieutenant was waiting for a passage to the Gulf. "Were you ever there, Mike?" As only one of the broadsides of the gunboat was available in the action with the fort, the starboard battery was transferred to the captured vessel. Men enough to handle them were put on board, and Mr. Camden was put in command of her. It was late in the afternoon when all this work had been done, and then the Bronx led the way through the Pass, her mission fully accomplished. racade168 view "Mr. Vapoor, chief engineer of the Bellevite," said the executive officer, presenting Christy's 295 greatest crony on earth, for he had held back in deference to his superior officer. 195 "I think some of us need a little sleep to-night," said the commander. lotto poon 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. 317 The lieutenant took his two revolvers from his hip pockets, and examined them as well as he could in the dark, and Mike did the same, for it was necessary to be prepared for whatever might happen. The village was as silent as though it were entirely deserted; but it was nearly midnight, and doubtless they were asleep in the cabins. They entered one. It was still and dark within the house. Mr. Pennant had brought with him a small lantern, which he lighted where the glare of the match could not be seen; but it revealed nothing to the inquirers. "I dare say it is, my friend," replied Mr. Pennant blandly, for he had been in the navy long enough to adopt the characteristic politeness which distinguishes its officers. "Take possession of all the muskets and other weapons you can find, Vincent, and put them in the cutter." "What do you mean by that, Corny?" asked the prisoner, disregarding the advice of his cousin. "Good again!" exclaimed the lieutenant. "I think that is about the range of those guns." "I will put you ashore in a boat at the nearest land when the fog clears off," replied Christy. ruay หวย "Stand! Who comes there?" said the sentinel. 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. "That is immaterial," added Captain Battleton, as Corny left the cabin to procure the document. "Have you a copy of your report, Lieutenant Passford?" He pointed to Christy. "Mr. Sampson directs me to report that he is ready to proceed," said a messenger from the chief engineer. 332 "A glass of water and a teaspoon," said he to the soldier-nurse; and they were promptly brought to him. The venerable colored man, who had given so much assistance and information to the third lieutenant on shore, had no desire to leave his home, and he was landed in the darkness of the evening at a considerable distance from the fort. Christy 361 had rewarded him handsomely for the service he had rendered. The men in the first and second cutters had taken all the cotton in the small steamers, and put it on board of the Sphinx before they set them on fire. The four guns in the hold had been hoisted out to make room for the bales, and the vessel had been put in condition for her voyage. "I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with my third lieutenant's mode of operations," replied Christy, laughing, though his mirth was of the graveyard order. "But Mr. Pennant is a new officer, and that was the first active duty he had been called upon to perform. Very likely he will suit you better next time." 308 "This is not a cotton-growing region, but is given up to sugar raising," added Christy. "They have to bring the cotton a long distance in order to ship it here." "Give way now, lively!" said the third lieutenant, in his ordinary tones. "I make her out, and she is a small sloop. We shall not have much of a brush." Christy went to his room and completed his toilet. The house was warm, and he was soon comfortable enough after the out-door chill. By this time Miss Florry Passford had put in an appearance in the upper hall, with Bertha Pembroke. The alarm was again briefly explained, and the invalid gentleman was assured that nothing alarming had occurred. Then the young lieutenant and his mother proceeded to ascertain what the burglar had accomplished in the house.
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lotto poon Dave did know better than to obey the order, and Christy was morally certain that he had been menaced with a pistol, or threatened in some manner if he attempted to leave the cabin. He acted as though he felt confident that a bullet would be sent through his head if he disobeyed the bold visitor. At the same time there was a certain amount of energy and earnestness visible in the expression of the steward, which assured Christy that he was ready to take part in any action that was reasonably prudent and hopeful. 140 "But you had no witnesses then. You have twenty or thirty of them now. I know you, and so do all the members of the old crew." Dave was the most assiduous of nurses, and had no little skill in attending to the wants of the sick. The young commander was made comfortable in a few hours, and Mr. Flint came below to see him at the end of an hour when he had performed his most pressing duties. He reported that Mr. Pennant's wound was slight, and did not disable him. Eight seamen in all had been wounded, and one of them was likely to die of his injury. Another half hour elapsed, and except the monotonous plaint of the screw, no sound was to be heard. A footstep came from the cabin, where Dave was at work, or appeared to be, for he had been stationed there for his part of the programme which was presently to be carried out. "Quartermaster, strike one bell," said Christy. "What is the Bellevite doing off here, so far from her station, Paul?" asked Christy. "It is evident from what we have heard, and from the documents submitted to me that one of these gentlemen is Lieutenant Christopher Passford," said Captain Battleton; "but we have no means of identifying the officer. In what vessels have you served, Mr. Passford?" "You are on board of the United States steamer Bronx, and I am the commander of her," replied Christy, desiring to encourage Michael Bornhoff to tell all he knew about the expedition in the Magnolia. "I want to see what there is over there." ruay หวย "Now will you inform me, Mr. Passford, who your officers were?" The commander pointed at Christy. "Your executive officer?" "I must object to your wearing the shoulder straps of a lieutenant on board of the Vernon," added Captain Battleton. 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. "Ay, ay; and she is coming alongside the Vernon," added another. "But can you not recall some event or circumstance which will throw some light on the mystery?" persisted Dr. Connelly. Christy struck his bell, and the steward promptly appeared at the door. Early in the evening, the two steamers were standing out into the Gulf headed to the south-east. In the middle of the afternoon of the next day, Mr. Flint reported to the flag-officer off Pensacola Bay. The wounded captain was as comfortable as a young man could be with two bullet-holes in his limbs. It was the first time he had been wounded so as to disable him; but he felt that he had faithfully done his duty to his country, and he was as cheerful as a man in his condition could be. Dr. Connelly reported that he would not be fit for service again for six or eight weeks. "Your father's name?" The Vernon continued on her course, and in another hour the pilot had been discharged. Christy had puzzled his brains over the events of the day and the night before without being able to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion. He was extremely anxious to see the officer who had taken his name and assumed his character, as he was to obtain all the information within his reach. His reflections assured him that some one had chosen the rôle of an impostor for the purpose of accomplishing some treasonable object, and he was anxious to fathom the mystery for his country's sake rather than his own. "I have not noticed any seaman whose face was familiar to me." pgสลอต1688 "I think I do, captain, and I submit to your authority as the commander of the ship," answered Christy, with a dignified bow. "Come aft, Kingston!" called the third lieutenant to the nearest man in the bow, and the one indicated crawled aft with all the haste he could make. "Take Hilton's oar!" added Mr. Pennant, as with his right arm he drew the wounded man back into the stern sheets. "I have no doubt you will work your way up in good time," added Christy, who saw that Pennant was an intelligent and reliable man, though it was possible from the appearance of his face that he had been in the habit of imbibing too much whiskey for his own good. "Then the Floridian is all ready to come out of the bay?" asked Christy, suppressing the excitement he was beginning to feel. lotto poon "You need not have. You have played your part remarkably well, Mr. Passford, and it was an excellent idea on the part of Major Pierson, who suggested this plan of putting you in the place of your cousin. He had seen you and your relative together, I believe?" "She must be a steamer of fifteen hundred tons, and perhaps more," said Mr. Flint, after he had looked at her through his night glass. The transfer of cargo, so far as the Bronx was 142 concerned, was completed. It appeared that the flag-officer was hurrying the departure of the steamer on her mission, whatever it was. He had just had a long talk with Corny, and doubtless there was danger that the object of the cruise might be defeated by delay. In a short time the Bronx was under way, headed to the eastward, in accordance with her verbal orders, for the sealed envelope was not to be opened till nine o'clock in the evening, as Christy learned from Mr. Flint. CHAPTER VI THE CONFERENCE IN THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN
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เวบสลอต 777 "Byron!" called a boatswain's mate from the forecastle. It had been a battle on a small scale, but the 217 victory had been won, and the cutter was towing her prize in the direction of the gunboat. The lieutenant's first care was to attend to Hilton, the stroke oarsman who had been wounded in the affair. He placed him in a comfortable position on the bottom of the boat, and then examined into his condition. A bullet had struck him in the right side, and the blood was flowing freely from the wound. Mr. Pennant did the best he could for his relief, and the man said he was comfortable. "There is something in the situation which I cannot explain. I will only say that it is just possible there is a conspiracy at the bottom of the whole affair; and I should think it would be well to keep a close watch upon both of these officers. Why, on the voyage of the Bronx to the Gulf, Ensign Passford, as he was then, discovered two Confederate officers in his crew, and squarely defeated their efforts to capture his ship in the action with the Scotian, I believe it was."
super slot 365 "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. "Dr. Waterton," answered Mr. Pennant, giving 331 the first name that came into his head, for the medical title was the essential thing.
pgthai "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. "I have been living on a hot gridiron for the last ten days, and in the first moments of freedom I overstepped the limits of propriety. I hope we understand each other now, for we are engaged in an important enterprise, and we cannot afford to be at variance," replied the naval officer. "Our work is yet unfinished, though it has progressed admirably so far. Have I your permission to open this sealed envelope?" 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." "The first cutter of the United States steamer Bronx! Heave to, and give an account of yourselves," hailed the officer in command. "Stand by to lay on your oars!" he added in a lower tone to his crew. "Oars!"
xo888th เขาสระบบ The Bronx had been absent from the station hardly more than thirty hours; but she had accomplished the mission with which she had been charged in her secret orders. The Vernon was still at anchor near the flag-ship. Christy hastened on board of the latter to make his report, which he had written out during the passage; in fact, he had two reports, one of the capture of the Bronx, and the other of the Floridian. The Sphinx sailed the next day for New York, and made a tolerably quick passage. Of course Christy was received with open arms by the family at Bonnydale, and with a profusion of blushes by Bertha Pembroke, who happened to be there on a visit. His father and mother looked with no little anxiety at the pale face of their son, though he was still cheerful and happy. He had lost a portion of his flesh, and his uniform hung rather loosely upon him. "You must draw your own inferences, Captain Flanger."