sakimichan 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. The sea was smooth, and the commander of the Bronx was directed to bring her alongside the flag-ship. As soon as this was done, all the prisoners on board of her were transferred to the custody of the commodore. Christy introduced his uncle Homer to the flag-officer, suggesting that he was a non-combatant, and stating that he had offered to put him on shore at St. Andrew's Island. "One bell, sir," repeated the petty officer at the wheel. "Yes, sir; and since I came on deck, I heard that Phil Camden had been appointed acting second lieutenant," replied Pennant.
ufa-x88 Whatever had been said about the imprudence and even recklessness of the young lieutenant, he was really a prudent and even cautious officer. He realized that any movement on his part would draw the fire of the insolent intruder, and he saw that strategy was far preferable to open violence, since the latter was likely to end only in killing or disabling him. If he could visit his 264 stateroom and obtain his pair of navy revolvers, or even the smaller ones in one of the drawers of his desk, it would improve the chances in his favor. It was evident that he would not be permitted to do this, and he did not attempt it. ufa-x88 "Very likely; and I dare say you know all about this region." The young officer was more excited than he had 34 ever been in the face of the enemy, for the present looked like a case in which his honor was at stake. He felt that it would be his ruin if the Vernon sailed without him. There had been some mistake in his orders, or in those of the commander of the store ship, and he was likely to be the sufferer for it. He rushed to the stern end of the ferry-boat in order to obtain a better view of the steamer; and at this moment he discovered a boat, pulled by one man, headed towards the navy-yard. "A considerable number of officers and seamen must have come with you in the Vixen and the other vessels," said the captain, raising his finger to indicate that the question was addressed to Christy. "It is a strange story, and I cannot see how Corny succeeded in passing himself off as the officer he personated." "The happiest moment I have had since I saw you last!" exclaimed the engineer, as he grasped the commander of the Bronx with his right hand, while he threw his left around the neck of his friend, and would have hugged him if Christy had not gently avoided such a "gush" in presence of the watch on deck. "I wish you were back in the Bellevite, Christy." pxj เครดตฟร 188 "I have; but I have no more time to enlighten you. I can only say that with the assistance of the only loyal officer left on board, and the loyal seamen, I have recaptured the vessel, and now we are on our way to St. Andrew's to obey the orders which the flag-officer delivered to you when you were a rebel in disguise. Now Dave will help you out of the berth." illustration of quoted scene "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. 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. "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. Mr. Pennant concluded that the sail could not be far off, or it could not be seen, and it would be useless to maintain the dead silence, which was 208 painful to all in the boat. He stood up in his place, and, after looking for a couple of minutes, he made out the sail himself. So far as he could judge from what he saw, the craft was a small sloop of not more than thirty-five feet in length. 215 "Tie his hands behind him," added Mr. Pennant to the men, who fell upon Flanger the moment he lighted in the bottom of the cutter. "You did not always eat the fish you caught," suggested Christy. Christy handed him the appointment just made, and the steward danced about like a madman. He 365 had expected nothing for his meritorious service, and he found himself in a position of trust and responsibility. He expressed his gratitude in the most earnest language, and without using a single objectionable phrase, for his education was better than his habit in the use of speech. "We shall be well out of sight of the flag-ship by dark, or sooner, and then we can come about, 152 and keeping closely under the lee of the land, we shall reach the entrance of the bay before morning; and then all we have to do is to run in." 369joker wallet "He was by profession an actor in Mobile," added Corny. 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. "'Pose I don't answer 'em?" suggested the negro. Whether the escaped prisoner had gone to the captain's cabin for a special purpose, or had simply followed the most convenient way that was opened to him in his flight, it was plain enough to Christy that, at the present time, he had an object before him. He had practically taken possession of the cabin, and had already overawed the steward. The commander could not see his way to do anything to improve the situation. He had no weapon about him but his sword, and he was satisfied that the intruder was provided with one or more revolvers, as indicated by the appearance of the side pockets of his blue coat. "There are a great many hiding-places on board of any vessel, and I am very clear in my own mind as to what became of him. Of course, the flag-officer, seeing both of you together, would have been as much perplexed as the captain was, and he would have been compelled to accept the evidence of the commission and the orders in your possession." Captain Flanger was a man of stalwart proportions, and Christy realized that he was no match for him in a hand to hand encounter, even with the aid of the steward, for the ruffian would not fail to use his revolvers. "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. "They are in my pocket," replied Corny sourly. "He can't get any whiskey here unless it is served out to him; so that habit, if it is his habit, will do him no harm," argued Mr. Flint. "We shall be well out of sight of the flag-ship by dark, or sooner, and then we can come about, 152 and keeping closely under the lee of the land, we shall reach the entrance of the bay before morning; and then all we have to do is to run in."
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ufa-x88 "Were you ever there, Mike?" "Why not?" The lieutenant took out his memorandum book, and looked at the names of the men he had spotted as disloyal, Rockton and Warton, to which he had added two others, Nichols and Swayne, after he had observed that they were very intimate with the two whose names he had learned from their own mouths. Mr. Camden took off the irons, for he had a key to them, and enclosed the wrist in the new pair. Then the two men were directed to take his right arm, which they did, and drew his hand from his nose. This act roused the ire of Flanger, and he began to struggle; but powerful as he was, the two seamen were too much for him, and he was fairly handcuffed. The second lieutenant was the officer of the deck, and he was sent back to his post of duty. Flanger's face was so covered and daubed with the gore from his wound that the 287 condition of his prominent facial member could not be determined. "I did, captain; I keep copies of all my reports. I have them in my valise," answered he of the South in a matter-of-fact manner. "Dave," said Christy, after he had obtained a view of the back of the steward's head which satisfied him that he was the right man. 123cash "Ay, ay; and she is coming alongside the Vernon," added another. "You can trust Dave, Massa Christy," replied the steward, as the officer drew back into his hiding-place. "I obey my orders without question, and I should not have suspected anything was out of the way. I was rather cut up when I found that Galvinne had been appointed executive officer; and that, with the cold greeting you gave me, led me to ask in what manner I had lost your good opinion." 204 The body of the fog evidently lay near the water, and the lookout had probably seen the light over the top of the bank, as it could not be made out on the bridge. Christy expressed his belief that the sun would burn the fog off soon after it rose. No variation of the drift lead had been reported, and the Bronx was not even swinging at her anchor. For an hour longer entire silence was preserved on the deck, and the lookout made no further report. "I wish it had! You have bade a scarecrow of be for life!" he gasped. "I am glad to be informed of the fact, for I am not conscious of any such improvement as you describe. In fact, I am not in quite so good condition in a sanitary point of view as I was 50 last evening, for I took my cold about midnight, or a little later, last night," added Christy, his smile becoming a little more pronounced. "Precisely so; and you will readily see that I am not exactly in a position to act in any other manner, as I cannot go back on deck and deliver them in person, for your officers would be prejudiced against me, and might be disposed to rebel against my authority." "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. เบทฟก285 "Do you know where we are bound, Mike?" asked Christy. ufa-x88 "We are within a mile of the fort, Mr. Sampson, and I mean to run by it. We shall be exposed to the fire of musketry for about half a mile, and the quicker we make this distance, the less the danger to the men," said the commander, when the engineer presented himself. "We will not get under way till you have all the steam you need to give the steamer her best speed." Dave looked as solemn as an owl, and his ivories seemed to be sealed up in his expansive mouth. He attempted to make a sign to the captain, but it was not understood. At that moment, the stranger raised his finger and beckoned to the steward. "Did he bring you an order to this effect?" asked Christy more seriously.
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ufa-x88 "I hope you have not committed any rash act, Mr. Passford," said Dr. Connelly as the party passed through the ward room. "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." The strength of the Bronx was mainly in her heavy midship gun. The commander had ascertained the range of the twenty-four pounder barbette guns of the fort, and made his calculations accordingly. He could batter down the masonry of the works at his leisure, if he chose to waste his time and ammunition in that way; but the Confederates proposed to abandon the fort, and it would not pay to destroy it. "They were taken in arms, and therefore they are prisoners. But you lost all your commissioned officers but one in the affair on board of the Bronx, Captain Passford." "I did not believe a little vessel like the Bronx would be sent up the river," said Mr. Flint, when the commander had read the paper. "Barataria Bay—that locality is noted for something in history, isn't it, captain?" 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. "Dave," said Christy, after he had obtained a view of the back of the steward's head which satisfied him that he was the right man. He bowed submissively, and went to his berth in the men's quarters. The anchor had been cast loose, and the cable put in condition to run out. Christy had hardly reached his berth before he heard the rattle of the chain, and the voyage was ended. "I thank you, Captain Battleton, for your very kind interest in the state of my health, but with the exception of the first signs of a cold in the head, I never was better in my life," said Christy in reply to the salutation of the commander, still holding his hand. "Then I am to do duty as a figure-head, am I?" laughed Christy. "No use, Massa Ossifer; dis nigger don't hab teef enough to do dat." ufa365 เขาสระบบ This was a correct answer, and Christy saw that his cousin had fully armed himself for his daring scheme, whatever it was. "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." ufa-x88 "Florry was very well the last time I saw her, not more than two weeks ago, and she talked a great deal about you, Paul," answered her brother, partly in a whisper. 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. The carpenter and his assistants were still at work on the berth, and Christy, placing his valise near it, seated himself by it. For the first time since he came on board of the Vernon he had an opportunity to reflect upon the events of the day. Corny Passford was the present master of the situation. He had not been aware till he met him in the captain's cabin, that his cousin was even in the vicinity of New York. With an amount of assurance for which he had not given him credit, 98 Corny had undertaken to personate his nautical relative, and was now actually on his way to the Gulf to take command of the Bronx. "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?" The prisoner walked up and down the lower deck, doing his best to conceal the agitation which had taken possession of him. No one took any notice of him, for the seamen had become accustomed to the presence of the captive officer. While he was struggling to contain his emotions, he heard the rattle of the cable again, and saw the chain descending to the locker below. CHAPTER X A CHANGE OF QUARTERS IN THE CONFUSION "What is she doing now in the bay?" ยฟาดรากอน168 "Do you remember the names of the officers who served with you in the Vixen?" asked the captain. "Gentlemen, I have come to a decision in this matter," said the captain, when the two claimants had placed themselves before him in a standing position. "I cannot go behind the commission presented by the officer who came on board last evening, and I consider it my duty to regard him as the real Lieutenant Passford, recently promoted to his present rank. There is nothing more to be said." "Who were the men with muskets on board of the sloop?" "Then we had better obey the sealed orders of the flag-officer; we will come about, and head her for St. Andrew's. Fortunately I have been there myself in the Bellevite, and I have been up the harbor and bay in boats, for the yacht, as she was at the time, drew too much water to go into the bay, for it is shoal inside. Come about, Mr. Flint, and make the course due east." "Ensign Philip Bangs." "No doubt of it," replied Christy. "This is an outrage," said the man on the forecastle, who could not help seeing that the whole party were in a fair way to be annihilated if they made any further resistance. "No, sar; all de family done leave, an' was gwine to New Orleans. Arter a while I go to de fort and tell de sodgers the doctor done gone," replied Job. After he had considered the subject for a couple of hours he went back to one of his first points, relating to the fitness and capacity of Corny to accomplish the task he had undertaken. It was evident enough on the face of it that his cousin, even if he had been a veteran naval officer, could not carry out the plan alone. He must have confederates, in the double sense, on board of the Vernon. In the early stages of the war, men who had served in the navy as officers were coming home from all parts of the world to take part on one side or the other in the struggle. Those even who were disloyal could obtain commissions in the loyal navy if their consciences would let them take the oath of allegiance with a mental reservation. Christy had encountered several of this kind.
ufa-x88 "All right. You may go into the ward room and ask Mr. Galvinne to come in here," added Corny, who did not feel quite at home in the cabin, and was in mortal terror of committing some indiscretion in his unaccustomed position. "No, sir; I don't believe he is over twenty, if he is that," replied the third lieutenant. "And you were as stupid as an Alabama mule when you snapped at me for doing so in the presence of some of the sailors," replied Corny, with considerable spirit; and Christy, who heard all that was said, was glad to have him maintain the dignity of the family in his new situation. "Make the course south-west, Mr. Flint," said the commander, as soon as the vessel was ready, and her screw was in motion. The appearance of Walsh, fully dressed in the garb of a seaman, was so great a surprise to Christy Passford, that he hardly noticed any other person on the deck of the Vernon. He had given no particular attention to the man when he saw him at his father's house, though he regarded him as a very good-looking and intelligent person for one in the situation in which he found him. The absconding man-servant had certainly made good use of his time since he left Bonnydale, for he appeared to have become a full-fledged sailor in the space of ten hours. "Where does he live?" 242 "I consider the naval officers as dangerous men, and I had to treat Corny in the same manner that I did his associates. If you wish to see him, I will send for him." "We have no countersign to give." "That is what they are doing," replied the man indifferently. 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. "I cannot explain the matter at present, and 94 you must excuse me from offering merely vague suspicions and conjectures." "Dave, go to the quarters, and conduct the prisoner, Mr. Passford, to this cabin. You may take off his handcuffs; here is the key," said Christy, and steward took the key and departed. After breakfast Christy packed his valise, where he placed the new uniform in which he intended to present himself on the quarter-deck of the Bronx. The carriage was at the door to convey him to the railroad station. The parting was not less tender than it had been on former similar occasions, and Mrs. Passford preferred that it should be in the house rather than at the railroad station, in the presence of curious observers. Many tears were shed after the carriage drove off, 33 for the patriotic young man might find a grave in southern soil, or beneath southern waters. ยฟาดรากอน168 "It is the name of my father's place," answered Christy, using the same words that Corny had. Christy handed him the appointment just made, and the steward danced about like a madman. He 365 had expected nothing for his meritorious service, and he found himself in a position of trust and responsibility. He expressed his gratitude in the most earnest language, and without using a single objectionable phrase, for his education was better than his habit in the use of speech. "Oh, I am the officer whom Corny personated," replied the commander with a quiet smile. "The story is not a second-handed one, uncle Homer." 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. "That's my name—Byron, sir, at your service," said the man, as he touched his cap to the lieutenant, and rushed forward in answer to the call of his superior, evidently glad to escape from the inquisition to which he had been subjected. "On deck!" he added, as he made his way to the forecastle. "Corny on board of this steamer!" exclaimed the father. "In irons too!" ดาฟา "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. "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." ufa-x88 "Try to do so." "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?" "I thank you for the suggestion, Mr. Passford, and I must say that you seem to be entirely fair," said the commander.
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tiger88 "All right, Captain Flanger." "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." "Count them for yourself!" exclaimed Captain Flanger in brutal tones. "I have been wanting to see you, Christy," said the planter, as he approached his nephew. "I learn, with no little astonishment, that you are the commander of this steamer." Christy was still clothed in the frock and cap of a common sailor, and he realized that it was time for him to put on his uniform. He went to the quarters of the men where he had concealed his valise, and carried it back to the cabin, where he proceeded to make the change. In a short time he had put himself in proper condition to take his place on the quarter-deck in command when his presence was required. He had nothing to do at present, and he concluded to write his report of the remarkable proceedings on board since the 175 Bronx left the station. He wanted his desk, and he went to the stateroom.
คงเกม 365 This matter was fully discussed during the next two months; and at the end of that time the young lieutenant was again in condition for duty. Both Mr. Camden and Mr. Pennant obtained the appointment of ensign on the strength of his reports. Christy was as earnest as ever in his desire to Stand by the union; he was ordered to the Bellevite as second lieutenant, and, after three months' absence, went to the Gulf again, where we shall find him once more, both on sea and shore, Fighting for the Right. 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. "Then my uncle has vessels in that bay which are to run out?" inquired Christy, deeply interested in the revelations of the skipper. Colonel Passford was naturally very anxious to ascertain what had been done, and what was to be done, by the Bronx; but the steward was too discreet to answer any of his questions, and he was not aware that his son Corny was a prisoner on board as well as himself. "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."
99club It was a humiliating posture for the actual commander of the vessel, but he promptly got down upon the floor of the stateroom, and crawled under the berth. He placed the trunk and some other articles there so as to form a sort of breast-work, behind which he carefully bestowed himself. It was not an uncomfortable position, for the floor was carpeted and an old satchel filled with his cast-off garments furnished him a pillow sufficiently soft for a person on extraordinary duty. "I am entirely satisfied, Mr. Galvinne; and here is my hand," added Corny, who doubtless felt that he had fully vindicated himself.
pxj slot "If he does that, so much the better, for we shall have more time to prepare for a decided stroke," replied Christy. "I have my plan all ready, though of course it may fail, and to-night we may all be prisoners of war." "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 felt very much like a caged tiger. He had hoped that the Bellevite would be on the station when he arrived, for there were plenty of officers and seamen on board of her who could identify him beyond the possibility of a doubt. In that case he intended to make a strong appeal to Captain Battleton, for he would then have the means of arriving at a correct conclusion. Then he could explain in what manner he had been robbed of his papers with some chance of having his statement accepted. "Not a bad wound at all, Captain Passford," said Mr. Pennant. "The doctor says I am still fit for duty." "What is she doing now in the bay?"