xd superslot "I am entirely satisfied, Mr. Galvinne; and here is my hand," added Corny, who doubtless felt that he had fully vindicated himself. "My first service was in the Bellevite, and my last in the Bronx, of which I was acting commander on her voyage from New York to the Gulf," answered Christy, to whom the question was addressed. "Nothing is the matter now on our side of the house, but I must put you with the other prisoners," replied Christy. "You may unbuckle the strap, Dave, so that he can get out of the berth." 132 "Into Pensacola!" exclaimed the steward, aghast at the remark. xd superslot "I am very glad to see you, Corny," continued 65 he who bore that name in reality. "I did not expect to find you on board of the Vernon. How are uncle Homer, aunt Lydia, and Gerty?" 300 "Captain Passford, I protest agailst this treatment of a prisoler of war," howled the privateersman. "I don't know where I am ordered, and this Flanger is capable of making mischief if I should happen to get into a tight place," added Christy. "I suppose you are returning to the station off Mobile Bay, and you can dispose of him better than I can." "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." 289 "Thank you, Captain Passford," replied the steward. dnabet com As he dressed himself he could not help thinking of the mysterious visitation, and he asked himself a great many questions in regard to the object of the intruder, since it did not appear that he had entered the house for the purpose of robbing its occupants. He could not determine whether or not the fellow had actually come into his room; but his porte-monnaie, which contained a considerable sum of money, and his gold 27 repeater, a very valuable watch, were just where he had left them the night before. "I see they are not," answered Christy blankly. 143 "This is my cabin, is it?" said Corny, as he followed the steward into the apartment. 281 Dave was not satisfied with what he had done, and as his foe went over in the chair, he sprang upon him, and tried to wrest the pistol from his hand, and a struggle on the floor was begun, the result of which could not be foreseen. Christy took in the situation at a glance, and while the steward and his victim were rolling and writhing on the floor, he darted into his stateroom, the door of which had been open all the time, and took his heavy revolvers from the drawer where he kept them, charged for immediate use. "Call all hands, Mr. Camden," said the commander in brusque tones. "I shall not regard you as an impostor, Mr. Passford, for I mean to be entirely impartial, and I shall not brand you even in thought until the evidence warrants me in doing so," replied the commander, as he called the surgeon who was just coming on deck. "How do you find your patient, Dr. Connelly?" "He did not, and perhaps I have made a mistake, though my superior officer told me at the yard that it would be safe for me to obey the verbal order," replied Captain Battleton, looking somewhat troubled. "Lay her aboard!" shouted Mr. Pennant; and Vincent led the way, leaping directly into the midst of the eight men in the standing room. "But they may have captured her," suggested Christy. At this moment the captain appeared in the gangway, and interrupted the conversation. He informed the prisoner of war, as he chose to regard him, that he had directed the carpenter to put up a temporary berth for him. Christy opened his valise, and took from it his frock, which he put on after he had disposed of his coat. Then he looked like a common sailor. He was informed that his berth was just forward of the steerage, in that part of the steamer where the men slung their hammocks. The third lieutenant was directed to show him to the place indicated. He had hardly left the cabin before the steward entered the stateroom, and reported that he had seen Ralph Pennant, and that he had told him all he knew about the loyalty and the disloyalty of the new hands in the crew. Ralph reported that he had "spotted" the four seamen whose names had been given him before the Vernon reached the station. hilo911 The surgeon went below, leaving the commander and Christy together. "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." "I have heard of it; and in quite a number of instances, Confederates have been put on board of steamers for the purpose of taking them from their officers," added the captain. "At the same time, I do not see that I can decide this question 90 on any other evidence than that of the commission and other official documents." "You have him on board, and perhaps he had better answer the question himself," replied Colonel Passford with a smile. 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. "While I acknowledge that I am somewhat prepossessed in favor of the Lieutenant Passford who came on board this morning, I do not think he has established his claim to be the true Lieutenant Christopher Passford. The other uses some peculiarly Southern phrases, as though he had been 'raised' in the South, and he is not perfect in the geography of Bonnydale. I think 88 the commission is the only evidence upon which you can properly rely," replied the first lieutenant.
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xd superslot CHAPTER XXX THE ATTACK UPON THE FORT 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. "What is the Bellevite doing off here, so far from her station, Paul?" asked Christy. "I don't think so," muttered Corny. "You treat your own flesh and blood as though blood was nothing but water with you." "One of our men is very sick, and we have no doctor. We are afraid he will die before morning, 328 and we want a doctor. Ours was ordered off a week ago." "Mr. Passford, I find myself placed in a very unpleasant position," said the commander, after he had deliberated a few minutes. "I have stated the facts to you; and the deduction I have to draw from them is, that I have two persons by the name of Lieutenant Passford on board." "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." "I should take him for a young man of twenty or twenty-one, but he says he is only eighteen. He is a very young officer to be put in charge of a steamer, for I understand that he is ordered 61 to the command of the Bronx. But then he has made a reputation as the commander of that vessel, which doubtless justifies his appointment." 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. chokdee77 "It was quite true, uncle Homer; and he has been quite as unfortunate as he was in his former expedition to the North," added Christy very quietly. "Why do you think it is not likely, Captain Passford?" asked the executive officer curiously. "Probably the odd time means something." "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. "But I can wait, Mr. Pennant," interposed Christy. illustration of quoted scene "Permit me, Captain Battleton," interposed Mr. Salisbury; and the commander nodded his acquiescence. "Is Bonnydale the name of the town or city in which your father lives, Mr. Passford?" 327 "Dar's somebody comin' from de fort! He's comin' mighty quick shore." "But where did you learn this history of Corny's operations?" asked his uncle, knitting his brow as though he did not quite believe the narrative. "I know all that, captain, like I know my name." "Jes' off de ole Fort Lafitte, whar de water's deep." The young lieutenant choked down his emotions, and tried to think of the future; his case was not different from that of hundreds of thousands of others who had gone forth to fight the battles of their country, many thousands of whom slumber in hallowed graves far away from home and friends. As the train moved on towards the great city, he obtained the command of his emotions, and felt a new inspiration of patriotic ardor. ใตเงาตะวน 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. The contraband touched his cap, for he had been rigged out in a new suit of seaman's clothes. The commander retired to his cabin, and again devoted himself to the study of the chart of the locality. His first purpose must be to obtain accurate information in regard to the strength of the fort, and the position of the steamer, if there were such a craft in the bay. He decided to approach the entrance by the East Channel, though it would not be possible for the Bronx to reach the Grand Pass from that direction, for there were hardly more than six feet of water at low tide; and the rise and fall was less than a foot and a half. Captain Battleton spoke to Christy as though he had met him before, and needed no introduction. He was glad to see that the young officer was better, which indicated that he had been sick. He was confounded by the situation, for he had not been sick an hour, and he had never seen the commander of the Vernon in his life. The petty officer had told him that he appeared to be quite sick when he came on board the night before. "I want to see what there is over there." xd superslot "That will do, Mr. Flint; stop her, and let go the anchor. Get out a spring astern and make it fast to that buoy," said the commander. 284 "You have shot off by dose, you!"—groaned Flanger. "The ball welt straight through it." This was a lead weighing twenty pounds, which is dropped on the bottom by men-of-war to determine if the anchor holds, or if the vessel is drifting. "I did not aim at his nose, but at his head in a general way," replied the commander. "I fired in a hurry, and I meant to reach his brains, if he had any. Take him away; I am disgusted." "Dave is a wise man," said the commander, after he had given a few moments to the consideration of the situation.
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xd superslot "That's so!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant, feeling of his left arm as he spoke; for he had been wounded there, though the injury had not for a moment abated his energy. "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." "Dave," said the wounded lieutenant, the next time the steward came into the room, "no more 'massa,' no more 'moggywompus,' no more 'done do it.' You know better than to use such expressions, and you are no longer a 'nigger;' you are the ship's steward of the Bronx." "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. "George Washington is regarded as one who could not tell a lie from the time the little hatchet story had birth to the end of the Revolution. We read that he strongly impressed Clinton with the belief that he intended to attack New York; and the school history says that this deception was so successfully practised, that Washington was some distance on his way to Virginia before Clinton suspected where he was leading his army. "Nothing further, captain," said the executive officer; and the stock of this particular Lieutenant Passford mounted another trifle. He rang the bell, and the sound from it reverberated through the entire mansion. It was some time before a servant came to open the door; but the man who let him in was astonished to see him partially dressed, and wondered if he had not been walking in his sleep. In the lower hall, he was satisfied that the whole house was astir, for the gong which had sounded was the "emergency 21 bell," used only when the ordinary one at the front door was not likely to be heard. The Bronx continued on her course indicated in the verbal order of the flag-officer. Christy felt that he had had a narrow escape from death, or at least a severe wound, at the hands of the desperado who had invaded his cabin. Flanger had escaped, after he had been put on board of the flag-ship, with the assistance of Galvinne; and he appeared not to have taken the trouble to render the same service to his confederate. The ships' companies of the two steamers were inclined to converse, giving and receiving the news; and doubtless the prisoner had taken advantage of the confusion to slip on board of the Bronx and secrete himself. "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." "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." As he spoke Captain Flanger toyed with the revolver in his right hand as if he intended that the weapon should produce its proper impression on the mind, and especially upon the nerves, of 275 the commander, who had continued to walk up and down in front of the table at which his dangerous associate was seated, occasionally pausing when a point was made on either side. "What good will that do?" demanded Christy. "My cousin has made out his case before the captain of the Vernon." He had aimed at the head of Flanger, and he saw that he had hit him, for his face was instantly covered with blood. He did not think it necessary 282 to fire a second shot, but he was careful not to let the opportunity pass by if it was needed to reduce the privateersman to subjection. Flanger dropped his weapon instantly, and Dave as instantly picked it up. It was clear to Christy then that the battle had been fought and won, though the defeated party had another revolver in his pocket. 789hit "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. "Captain Passford, if you please, Dr. Connelly, for I have the honor to be in command of the Bronx at the present moment. This is Mr. Passford," added Christy, pointing to his cousin. "There ain't no hole in this millstone for me," continued Dave, suddenly becoming very thoughtful. "I don't see how Massa Corny can run away with the steamer when she has her officers and crew on board." "No, you don't," interposed Mr. Blowitt. "You are commanding a little gunboat, though you are only eighteen." "It dropped from some of the men that were captured in the sloop." xd superslot "Then you have improved wonderfully since last evening," added Captain Battleton. "I think I do, captain, and I submit to your authority as the commander of the ship," answered Christy, with a dignified bow. 85 "Did you keep a copy of that report?" "He is better; in fact, he was about well when I left him," replied the practitioner. "But I have no more time to waste," added he, as he quickened his pace, moving in the direction of the shore. 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. "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?" sfc588 "But I do not quite understand the matter yet. You disappeared very suddenly; and when I wanted to present you to the commodore, you could not be found," added the captain of the Vernon. "I am very curious to know what became of you." "There comes the Bronx," said a seaman standing at the head of the ladder. "All right, Captain Flanger." "Quarter less ten!" shouted the leadsman, with even more vigor than before. By this time the executive officer had beat the crew to quarters, and every man was at his station. "Farce! Do you cod this a farce?" demanded the wounded man indignantly. "You have shot off by dose!" 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." "Jes' off de ole Fort Lafitte, whar de water's deep."
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xd superslot As Christy viewed the matter, there appeared to be no obstacle to the success of Corny's scheme for the capture of the Bronx, unless it was Mr. Flint, who might or might not discover that the new commander was an impostor. If his old associate saw the two cousins together, he would have no difficulty in determining which was his former commander; seeing Corny alone he might be deceived. With the flag-officer, who had seen Christy but once or twice, he was not likely to suspect that Corny was an impostor. 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. "Permit me, Captain Battleton," interposed Mr. Salisbury; and the commander nodded his acquiescence. "Is Bonnydale the name of the town or city in which your father lives, Mr. Passford?" The deck was in charge of the second lieutenant, who was seeing that everything was put in order. But it might have been observed that he was more familiar with the men than was his habit. For the first time since he came on board, Corny went below to take a look at his quarters, Dave bearing his valise before him. At the same time Mr. Galvinne presented himself in the ward room to take possession of the stateroom of the first lieutenant, which was the farthest forward on the starboard side. It had been Christy's room during his service in the Gulf, though he had made himself at home in the captain's cabin when he was acting commander on the voyage from New York. Mr. Pennant had the deck, and the commander walked back and forth, considering the information he had obtained from the skipper of the Magnolia, of the correctness of which he had no doubt, for Mike impressed him as a truthful man, and, like all the contrabands, his interest was all on the side of the union, which meant freedom to them. For the first time he began to feel not quite at home in his new position. He had been compelled to fight for it; but he absolutely wished that he were the first or second lieutenant rather than the commander of the vessel. He had no fault to find with the captain for his decision against him, which seemed to be natural and warrantable. He had no ill-feeling against 101 his cousin, for he was trying to serve the cause he had espoused. He was even willing to believe that he would have done the same thing himself under like circumstances. "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." sfc588 "Then you were not at Bonnydale?" demanded Christy sharply. "He has a good name for the captain of a fighting 45 ship," replied the petty officer, respectfully touching his cap to the shoulder straps of the inquirer. "The commander is Captain Battleton." "Laborers, niggers," replied the Russian. "No, sir; nothing but the voices; but I think the speakers must be in a vessel of some sort, for 205 the sound since I first heard it, and could hardly make it out, comes from farther south," replied the man. "I reported to the department that I had only a single vacant stateroom in the ward room of the Vernon, and I was ordered to receive Lieutenant Christopher Passford as a passenger, as I could not take another officer," said the captain. "It is not a serious question compared with others at issue, but the occupation of the single room, now in possession of the gentleman who came on board last evening, depends upon the result of our present inquiry." Then he listened for any sounds that might come to him from the direction of the shore; but 194 all was as still as the tomb itself. The screw stopped in obedience to the order of the executive officer, who went down to the deck to supervise the anchoring of the steamer, as he had no inferior officer to attend to this duty. "Now, Dave, you will wake your prisoner, and I will relieve you of all responsibility in regard to him. He is dressed, is he not?" continued the commander when they reached the ward room. "No, sar; I want to be free, but I'm not gwine away, I want to see de gumboat." "I will put you ashore in a boat at the nearest land when the fog clears off," replied Christy. "Yes, sar; what's dat, massa?" "I was in New York, preparing to come on board of the Vernon." g2slot168 The new executive officer sent the men forward, called out one of the old quartermasters to con the wheel, and placed a loyal seaman under his charge as helmsman. Order was almost instantly restored under his direction, and the men had enough to talk about to last them the entire night. Mr. Flint had his doubts in regard to the security of the prisoners; their bonds of straps and rope were removed, and their places supplied by iron handcuffs. "It is possible that the Russian knows something about this region," suggested Mr. Flint. 143 "This is my cabin, is it?" said Corny, as he followed the steward into the apartment. Flanger in the Captain's Cabin.—Page 281. 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. The fort was silent. It was evident now that the commander of the little garrison had not left the barbette before till he had prepared at least one of his guns for further service; but it had again been disabled, and it was not known on board of the steamer whether or not he had any other gun fit for use. It was presumed that he had not, for the Bronx was within easy cannon shot of his works. Christy used the glass, but could not discover any gun that appeared to be mounted. illustration of quoted scene "You are playing a farce now, cousin; but I cannot stay to fool with you. Take him out of the berth, Dave." xd superslot "Very well the last time I saw them, which was three weeks ago. They are busy making garments for the soldiers," answered the planter. "In what town or city is your father's estate situated?"
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สลอตmgm99win 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. 141 "But how is this desirable end to be accomplished?" inquired the second lieutenant, who seemed to be troubled with some doubts. "You made no protest to the flag-officer, but suddenly disappeared. When I went to my stateroom in the evening, your cousin was in command, and had sailed to execute the orders given him. You can judge of my astonishment when I learned 190 just now that the captain and his officers were prisoners," the surgeon explained. 32 "No one knows what is going to happen, and I may spend the next year or two in a Confederate prison. I don't think my Uncle Homer would cry his eyes out if such should be my fate, for he has lost several vessels and cargoes of cotton on my account," returned Christy.
big 666 "So far we do not disagree by the breadth of a hair. My cousin Corny was raised in the South, while I was raised in the North," continued the sick passenger. "The Floridian was coming out this morning in the fog, if Captain Flanger made the signal for her to do so. Then the captain was to go on board of her, and I was to sail the rest of the party to Appalachicola," replied Mike, still chuckling with delight at his ability to give the commander such important information. "I reckon dar's one dar if he done habn't leabe yisterday."