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putin888 "I done forget all about my talk, Captain Passford," replied Dave. Mr. Flint went to his stateroom, and turned in; but Christy spread his chart of the Gulf of Mexico, and using his parallel ruler, he found that the present course of the Bronx would take her to the Pass à Loutre, the most northerly entrance of the Mississippi River. He went to the bridge at once, and directed the officer of the deck to make the course south-west by south. Everything was going well on deck, and Mr. Pennant had proved that he was a competent officer. putin888 "I do not, Paul; I think it wears upon me, though I am willing to do my duty wherever I am ordered." "You took splendid aim, Captain Passford," said the surgeon, smiling. "Will you set a nigger upon me again, Christy?" using the commander's proper name for the first time. "He might have taken Florry's watch, she was so careless as to leave on the table in the sitting-room," added she. "Then I may see you again, my friend. Thank you for your information, and will you give me your name?" added Christy. "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." "Well, Captain Passford, if you fail to comprehend my purpose, it is the fault of your understanding, and not of my plain and explicit declaration, for I assuredly said that I intended to replace the Floridian with the Teaser, or the Bronx as you have named her, though she will not be called by any such nut-cracking name after I get her," replied the daring privateersman, as blandly and pleasantly as though he were planning a picnic. "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." "What are you waiting for, Mr. Flint?" asked Christy in a whisper, as he joined the second lieutenant. เบส แพตต "Of course I can't say that Sayles and Nichols are not rebels; but they have done nothing that is suspicious, and one of our men has pumped them both," answered Ralph. Like the other male occupants of the house, the lieutenant was provided with a night-key. For one who had only just developed a tolerably thriving mustache, Christy was a prudent and methodical young gentleman. As a part of his method, he had a great many small drawers in his rooms, and a dozen or more keys; but he had never lost them, for the reason that he carried them chained to his nether garment. But he had two sets of keys, one for the house, and one for the ship. He had taken the night-key from the former, and put it in his vest pocket; and when he 20 reached the front door of the mansion, the key he wanted was in his chamber, and he had been careful to shut the door when he left the house. "That was the folly of Captain Flanger; and I protested the moment I discovered what had been done," added the planter, who seemed to be anxious to relieve himself of all responsibility for the discharge of the muskets. "But there is a third lieutenant who may deserve promotion," suggested Christy. "Who is it? What is the matter?" demanded the lady of the mansion, in tones which indicated anxiety if not alarm. "No, sar; I want to be free, but I'm not gwine away, I want to see de gumboat." "I should think they would be safe with a guard," added Ralph. iautobet "Jes' so; you was born ob de debbil," replied the old negro, rising in his bed, and showing all his remaining teeth in an expansive smile. This was a correct answer, and Christy saw that his cousin had fully armed himself for his daring scheme, whatever it was. "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. "What is your opinion, Mr. Salisbury?" asked the captain, when the claimants had retired, careful not to indicate his own conclusion. 170 "But it had not one chance in ten of success. Your cousin looks more like you than he did the last time I saw him." "Dr. Waterton," answered Mr. Pennant, giving 331 the first name that came into his head, for the medical title was the essential thing. "I submit to your authority, Captain Battleton," replied Christy, bowing to the commander. 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. "I don't understand it," said Captain Battleton, shaking his head.

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putin888 "I cannot accept a parole, captain, for that would be equivalent to an admission that I am a Confederate; and I claim to be a loyal officer." 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. "You may retire now, if you please, Mr. Passford," added the commander. "I have had considerable talk with Camden, and I am satisfied that he will make a capital officer," said the executive officer, as he moved towards the companion-way. "I suppose you 198 have sent for Pennant with the intention of appointing him third lieutenant." "I came on board of the Bronx, and put myself in a place where you were least likely to look for me,—under the berth in the captain's stateroom. I was at home there, for I had occupied the room while I was the acting commander of the vessel on her voyage to the Gulf. But you must excuse me now, for I am ordered to get under way at once; and the ship's company of the Floridian have reported on board." "Where is your bag?" asked Mr. Flint, as Christy, the actual commander of the Bronx, passed him. "What are you doing with a valise?" 322 This seemed to be reasonable to the lieutenant, and in accordance with the belief of his superiors on board of the Bronx, for no union man-of-war of any size could pass through the water courses to the great river. It looked as though the big guns had been replaced with those of smaller calibre. By this time the executive officer had beat the crew to quarters, and every man was at his station. "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." 265 "Quite right, captain!" exclaimed the visitor. "I have an object in view, and both my inclination and my duty are urging me to carry it out. How your boat happened to capture the Magnolia is beyond my comprehension up to the present moment, though I think the principal reason was the lack of a sufficiently osseous vertebra on the part of your worthy uncle, Colonel Passford. Then the officer in charge of the cutter did not do what I expected him to do. Instead of falling back when he and one of his crew were wounded, as he ought to have done, and using the heavy revolvers with which his men were armed, he did not delay a moment, but smashed into the sloop, and jerked his men on board of her, cutlass in one hand and revolver in the other; and that brought me to the end of my rope. I could not do anything more." "I did not think it was so late; but that reminds me that I have eaten nothing since my breakfast was brought to me early this morning," said Christy. He identified Rockton and Warton, but not the other two who had formed the group near his berth, on his first visit to the deck. On the fourth day out, he saw one of these men talking cautiously to the second lieutenant. Following up this clew he satisfied himself that Mr. Galvinne was the black sheep in the officers' quarters. Corny came on deck that day, for the sea was comparatively smooth, and took a seat on the quarter-deck. chokdee888 "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." "Do you think if I should present myself on deck at this moment, wearing the frock and shirt of a common seaman, the men would identify me alongside Corny, who wears the uniform of an officer?" "I did not see them there, Captain Passford; but it was your uncle's business to look after them, as he was doing in St. Andrew's Bay." "I done bring you something more to eat, Massa Christy," said the steward, who appeared to have suffered some lapse in his grammar and pronunciation during the absence at the North of his instructor; and as he spoke he handed in a piece of pie and a large slice of cake. "Will it be the highest prudence to permit the conspirators to take the Bronx into a Confederate port, Pensacola, or any other?" demanded Christy with more earnestness than he had yet manifested. Christy was utterly confounded at this salutation. "No, captain: I have not. That is not my affair, and I don't meddle with what does not concern me." megaclubpro "No doubt of that, sir." "I shall be equally reasonable," said Christy. "The more witnesses there are the better it will suit me." "In what town or city is your father's estate situated?" "How are you going to get to the entrance of the bay in a fog?" inquired Corny. "Find a bag, for we shall throw that valise overboard," added Mr. Flint. "An excellent simile, Captain Passford, and I could not have invented a better myself," returned the privateersman. "I think we understand each other perfectly, and therefore it is not necessary to 272 use up any more time in explanations. You are too intelligent a person to fail to comprehend my plan. As an epitome of the whole scene, I may add that I propose to do what my friend Galvinne undertook with that cousin of yours: I intend to take the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and have her used in the service of the righteous cause in which the people of the South are engaged," continued Captain Flanger, as though he believed in all he was saying. "But he has placed you in a very awkward position, Mr. Passford." putin888 "How do you find yourself, Corny?" asked the captain, turning to the berth. "Only four!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant. "Are you telling me the truth, Uncle Job?"

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putin888 "I do not propose to submit to another investigation by you, or any one but the flag-officer; but for your information I am willing to give you the facts," said Christy with dignity, of which he had a full supply whenever it was needed. "As long as the officers in charge of the Bronx continued to obey the orders of the commodore to proceed to the eastward, I did nothing; but when they headed the steamer to the westward, which they did as soon as it was dark, I understood very well that they were disobeying their orders, and intended to run the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and deliver her to the Confederate authorities. Then I carried out my plan and captured the vessel." "Mr. Passford," continued the captain, indicating Christy with his finger, "your father's name, if you please." He had a wife, a daughter, and a son, and his family were as patriotic as he was himself. At sixteen Christy, the son, had gone into the navy. He had learned to be a sailor and an engineer in his repeated cruises in the Bellevite, his father's large steam yacht, now a man-of-war in the navy. In two years the young man had worked his way up 71 to the rank of lieutenant. He was very large for his age, and his nautical and mechanical education had prepared him for service to a degree which made him almost a prodigy, though his courage and skill had been fully equalled, if not surpassed, by other naval officers not older than himself. CHAPTER XXIX A PROFESSIONAL VISIT TO THE FORT "Is there any officer on board with whom you have served?" "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. "Try to do so." "I am afraid he is fond of whiskey, though I do not know that he is." สลอต บญชวอลเลท "What is the Bellevite doing off here, so far from her station, Paul?" asked Christy. "I don't think it will, Galvinne. Behave like a gentleman, and we shall have no difficulty," added Corny. putin888 "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. "Lieutenant Fourchon, this is the doctor; but I do not know his name," said the soldier. "I beg your pardon, Captain Passford, for countermanding your order; but Dave will do nothing of the sort," interposed the intruder, as blandly as before. "Dave knows better than to obey such an order." He leaped from his bed when no answer came to his second demand, lighted his lamp, and put on his trousers. With the light in his hand, he opened the door; but there was no one there, and not a sound of any kind could be heard. He walked about the hall in his bare feet, and listened attentively at the doors of several of the chambers, especially at that of Mr. Pembroke, the invalid gentleman whom, with his daughter, he had brought home as a passenger in the captured Vixen. "Now, captain, will you permit me ask what you do not understand, for I assure you I am profoundly ignorant of the situation which perplexes you. I was ordered to be on board of the Vernon at one o'clock, and I found her under way at eleven. I happened to find a boatman before I left the ferry-boat, who put me on board, or I should have missed my passage. That is simply all I know about the matter." allbet24th "Thank you, sir; I will take some of it, if you please," replied Christy, as he passed his plate across the table. "Of course, as you have done me the honor to take a seat at my table, I must be acquainted with you." CHAPTER XII A LESSON IN ORDINARY POLITENESS "You are one now, at any rate. Were you bound to Appalachicola?" "Very well, Mike; you are a free man on board of this ship." "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. Christy put his valise in a convenient place, and then concealed himself in the firemen's quarters under the top-gallant forecastle. He found a place beneath a bunk which would effectually conceal him unless a very thorough search should be made for him. But he only kept this place as a resort in case of emergency, for he placed himself where he could see out at the door; and it was a good location to overlook all that took place on the quarter-deck where the officers were, and the waist where the men had been assembled. "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. 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. Like the other male occupants of the house, the lieutenant was provided with a night-key. For one who had only just developed a tolerably thriving mustache, Christy was a prudent and methodical young gentleman. As a part of his method, he had a great many small drawers in his rooms, and a dozen or more keys; but he had never lost them, for the reason that he carried them chained to his nether garment. But he had two sets of keys, one for the house, and one for the ship. He had taken the night-key from the former, and put it in his vest pocket; and when he 20 reached the front door of the mansion, the key he wanted was in his chamber, and he had been careful to shut the door when he left the house. 309 "Was I ever there, captain? I lived there a year!" exclaimed the contraband. "I was in the fishing business at that time," he added with a significant smile on his face.

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putin888 "By the way, Christy, have you heard anything from him or his family lately?" asked Mrs. Passford. "I certainly hope you will do so, sir, if possible." "I wish to introduce a gentleman to you; Lieutenant Passford, let me make you acquainted with Lieutenant Passford," said the commander as he led the way into the captain's cabin. "I can come to no conclusion in regard to it, though I may be able to do so when I have seen my double," replied Christy, whose curiosity in regard to the sick officer was strongly excited. "It looks like a conspiracy of some kind, but I can go no farther in the direction of a solution." "Bonnydale!" repeated the officer, after using his handkerchief, and thus improving his utterance of the word. "I don't see how I can go behind the official documents," replied the commander as Corny presented himself at the door. "Who's there?" he repeated in a louder tone. "He is as tough as a he-bear, and can walk a hundred miles on a stretch," replied Mike. "He knows everything that is going on in these times." "Dr. Connelly!" exclaimed Christy. "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." 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." allbet24th 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. "I don't know; do you, Rockton?" replied the 105 one addressed; and it was evident to the listener that the men were at least persons of average education with but little of the common sailor in it. "I don't think so," muttered Corny. "You treat your own flesh and blood as though blood was nothing but water with you." "Thank you, Captain Battleton; I shall be very happy to make the acquaintance of Lieutenant Passford," said the occupant of the cabin, 64 rising as he spoke, and approaching Christy. "Corny Passford!" exclaimed the sick officer. "I did not expect to see you here. This gentleman is my own cousin, Captain Battleton, though I am sorry to say that he is a rebel; but for all that he is one of the finest fellows in the known world, and you will appreciate everything about him except his politics, which I do not admire myself." "You have heard the decision I have just given, Mr. Passford, for I have no doubt that is your real name," said the captain, when the cabin door was closed. laza123 "Boddyvale? I never heard of the place before in my life, sir," answered the runaway servant. "But what are we going to do, Massa Christy?" asked the steward, dazzled by the situation. "Don't hab no healf, massa," replied Job, gazing earnestly at the intruder upon his slumbers. "An excellent simile, Captain Passford, and I could not have invented a better myself," returned the privateersman. "I think we understand each other perfectly, and therefore it is not necessary to 272 use up any more time in explanations. You are too intelligent a person to fail to comprehend my plan. As an epitome of the whole scene, I may add that I propose to do what my friend Galvinne undertook with that cousin of yours: I intend to take the Bronx into Pensacola Bay, and have her used in the service of the righteous cause in which the people of the South are engaged," continued Captain Flanger, as though he believed in all he was saying. "You will let Mr. Pennant command this expedition, Mr. Flint," said Christy. "He will take the first cutter, with ten men, including Quartermaster Vincent and Bornhoff." The lieutenant had covered his lantern, for he 320 did not wish to wake the other sleepers in the cabin, after the description the Russian had given of his man. Mike spoke in a low tone to him, and it did not take him long to make his toilet, for he slept just as he was clothed during the day. No one knew how old he was, but he was still brisk in his movements. The officer led the way to one of the deserted cabins at a considerable distance from the one occupied by Uncle Job. putin888 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. "Certainly, Mr. Salisbury. This is not a court-martial, but an informal investigation, and I shall be glad to have you and Dr. Connelly entirely free to ask any questions you please," replied the captain, who was anything but a martinet. "Both of you were in command of the Vixen, I suppose," added the captain with a smile.

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lion169 Christy was still on the bridge, and he watched with intense interest the effect of the shot. In a moment he saw the carriage of the only gun that seemed to be mounted on the barbette flying in pieces in every direction. He directed the gunner to use a shell next time; but the soldiers had hastened away from the place, bearing with them two of their companions, doubtless wounded by the splinters. CHAPTER XII A LESSON IN ORDINARY POLITENESS

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mscwin "This will never do, Passford," said the tyrannical officer. "Only four!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant. "Are you telling me the truth, Uncle Job?" "Are we to understand that one of these officers is the double of the other?" asked the first lieutenant, who seemed to be disposed to take in the situation as a pleasantry of the commander. 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. "Good!" exclaimed Mr. Pennant; and this was the first time he had ever been under fire, though he had imagined it enough to feel entirely at home. "Dar's a steamer ober dar, an' I speck de Yankee 324 gumboat's gwine in dar to look arter dat steamer," said Uncle Job, chuckling as though he enjoyed the prospect of such an event. "Say, Massa Ossifer, is Massa Linkum in yore gumboat?"

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ufa79 Christy did not believe that the second lieutenant would turn in at the time indicated, though he might make a pretence of doing so, and shut himself up in his stateroom. Mr. Galvinne proceeded to say that he should have Rockton and Warton ready to make Mr. Flint a prisoner in case he became too inquisitive. Nichols and Sayles would 160 be available near the quarter-deck in case any demonstration was made by any portion of the crew.

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igo88 67 "Then you were both brought up in the North," suggested the captain. "But he did not."

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6xslotzone "Ten feet!" shouted the man at the lead. "Half a dozen of them, and a steamer to tow them to sea."

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betflixcasino When he had finished his morning meal, he proceeded to study his chart again. He had never been to the westward of the mouths of the Mississippi; but he had a chart of the entrance to Barataria Bay. He examined it with the greatest care, and made himself familiar with the bearings and distances. In about an hour after he left the deck, a messenger came to the door of the cabin to inform him that the South West Pass was in sight, bearing due north. "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. "That is the shoalest we shall get," added the officer.

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