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page 2 "You may come with me, Ralph," added Christy, as he descended the companion-way. "Yes, sir; and since I came on deck, I heard that Phil Camden had been appointed acting second lieutenant," replied Pennant. page 2 "I must ask you to report below, Mr. Passford," said the captain rather sternly; and perhaps he did not care to be charged with over-indulgence of his prisoner. After rendering his decision it was evident that Captain Battleton had something to say to Christy, for he waited in silence till Corny had closed the door behind him before he even looked at the officer standing before him. The lieutenant from the moment the envelopes were opened and their contents exposed to the view of all present, had fully expected the result just announced. Whatever he thought, suspected, or surmised when he saw the blank papers taken from his official envelope, he kept to himself. Colonel Homer Passford Visits the Bronx.—Page 219. Ralph Pennant and three seamen conducted the other prisoners to their quarters. They were supplied with blankets, in which those from the deck wrapped themselves up. Corny and Galvin began 189 to compare notes at once; but Boxie kept his ears open as he marched up and down within two feet of his charge. "I have been under the berth in this stateroom, a hiding-place which was suggested to me by one of your people who used it as such, and was caught, as I was not." 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. "That is very true; I went on board of the flag-ship, 261 but I am somewhat fastidious in my notions, and I concluded not to remain there," replied Captain Flanger. "Without any intention of flattering you, Captain Passford, candor compels me to say that I prefer your company to that of the commodore. Can I help you to anything more on my side of the table?" "I hope so," replied Christy, who did not like the idea of fighting or trying to run away from a craft three times as strong as the Bronx. "Have the ensign set at the peak, Mr. Flint." And a quartermaster was sent aft to attend to this duty. 569 auto "What do you mean by that?" "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. "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." "Who is it? What is the matter?" demanded the lady of the mansion, in tones which indicated anxiety if not alarm. "What is the matter now?" asked the prisoner in the ward room, after he had rubbed his eyes for a time. It seemed to him to be a matter of course that the midnight visitor had come into the mansion 18 for the purpose of plundering its occupants, or of securing the valuables it contained. Putting his lamp on the table, he went out upon the veranda, and looked all about him. The grounds were very extensive, and a broad avenue led to the street. It was very dark; but as he cast his eyes in the direction of the grand entrance to the estate, he discovered some dark object in motion; but he lost sight of it in a moment. "He still complains that his head and his bones ache, so that I cannot say he is improving," replied Dr. Connelly. This was a correct answer, and Christy saw that his cousin had fully armed himself for his daring scheme, whatever it was. ufabet ตรง "It was a superfluous question, for I know all about him. He is the captain of the Floridian, though that would not make him a combatant unless he fights his ship; and that is what he did on board of the Magnolia. I regard him and his companions, except the skipper of the sloop, as prisoners of war. You proved by your words and conduct that you were not a combatant, and you are at liberty to depart when you please." "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. Neither of the two disloyal officers of the Bronx was an infant, and each struggled like a brave man against the force that attacked them. Mr. Flint had fallen upon Mr. Galvinne from behind, and had thrown him down at the first onslaught. He fought like a tiger, but with the aid of Christy and two of the men from the 167 waist, he was subdued, and Christy had a strap ready to confine his hands behind him. Then he was drawn over to the rail and made fast to a belaying pin. CHAPTER VI THE CONFERENCE IN THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN "I am only sorry that he is fighting on the wrong side," added Christy, as he observed the 347 earnestness of the officer in the discharge of his duty. "Is he an old man?" No one was stirring in the vicinity, and the silence was as profound as death itself. Not a word was said till they reached the cabin the officer had selected, and when they had entered, he closed the door behind them. The lantern was unveiled, and the lieutenant seated himself upon a block of timber, of which there were several in the room. "At present I cannot; after I have had an opportunity for reflection I may be able to do so," replied Christy, from whom a more decided demonstration than he made was expected. "You will pardon me if I add that I think one or the other of them must be an impostor," added Captain Battleton with some diffidence. 118 "What does that mean, my man?" asked Christy of one of the men near him. "They appear to be weighing the anchor." "Do you think he could go out into the cabin, doctor?" asked the captain. "I wish to see him on a matter of the utmost importance. Is he dressed?" "Stand by!" added Mr. Pennant, who had been duly trained in boat service at an oar. "Give way together! No noise!"

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page 2 "Thank you; I will have one of those lamb's tongues," replied Christy. "Very well; perhaps you had better answer the question;" and the captain pointed at Corny. "Who was your first lieutenant?" "I am sure he would," protested Paul. "This will never do, Passford," said the tyrannical officer. "I certainly hope you will do so, sir, if possible." In due time this appointment was made, and Captain Flint, on the recommendation of Christy, was entirely satisfied to receive him as his first lieutenant. "I am sure I should, for I could not have helped myself. The captain had his orders, to be opened about this time; and I should have supposed you were going into the bay to shell out Fort Barrancas." In less than another half hour, Christy heard a knock on the cabin door, which was the signal from the second lieutenant that it was time to begin operations. He crawled to the front of the space beneath the berth at the sound, and at the same moment Dave came in at the door of the stateroom, which had been left open. เลนสลอต databet88 In due time this appointment was made, and Captain Flint, on the recommendation of Christy, was entirely satisfied to receive him as his first lieutenant. "Wot you gwine to do ober dar, massa?" The traditions of the navy, and of all navies, forbade him to leave his ship to engage in any enterprise connected with his mission. He had to take all the responsibility of failure, while he could not take an active part on such occasions as the present. He had the glory of being a commander, and of whatever his ship accomplished; but it began to look like a life of inactivity to 234 him, for he was not greedy of glory, and all his devotion was for the union. "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 a plain frock in my valise which I wore when the Teaser was captured," added Christy with a smile. "I will remove my coat and wear that." CHAPTER IV THE SICK OFFICER IN THE STATEROOM Captain Horatio Passford lived at Bonnydale on the Hudson. He was rich in several millions of dollars, but he was richer in the possession of a noble character, one of the most prominent traits of which was his patriotism. He had presented his large and fast-sailing steam yacht to the government of the nation at the beginning of the struggle. His motto was, "Stand by the union," and from the first he had done everything in his power to sustain his country against the assaults of dissolution. ยฟา 4 Christy was forced to admit to himself that the 269 bold intruder had full possession of the captain's cabin of the steamer, and that he had the advantage of him in being armed; that any decided opposition on his part would result in his being killed or wounded. It was not prudent for him to do anything, and at the present stage of the proceedings he could do nothing but temporize with his resolute foe. "Is that so? Then we mustn't talk here," added Warton, apparently somewhat alarmed. "Who told you so?" The old man had no hat to touch or take off, for the mass of hair was a sufficient protection to his head; but he bowed almost to the deck, and was too timid to say a single word. "Can you tell me what position Mr. Flint has on board?" The entire party then seated themselves at the table. Neither of the two disloyal officers of the Bronx was an infant, and each struggled like a brave man against the force that attacked them. Mr. Flint had fallen upon Mr. Galvinne from behind, and had thrown him down at the first onslaught. He fought like a tiger, but with the aid of Christy and two of the men from the 167 waist, he was subdued, and Christy had a strap ready to confine his hands behind him. Then he was drawn over to the rail and made fast to a belaying pin. page 2 "In spite of your denial and your motto, I shall have to regard you as a prisoner of war, and treat you as such," said the captain, rising from his chair, the others following his example. "It does not follow that we shall have to fight 293 her or run away from her," added the first lieutenant, still gazing at the approaching steamer through his glass. "I don't believe she is a Confederate vessel. The rebels do not buy steamers as big as that one in England." "We have no time to talk sentiment now. It is necessary for you to understand the situation better than you do," interposed Christy; and he proceeded to explain in what manner his cousin Corny happened to be in command of the Bronx, while he was himself nominally a prisoner of war. When he had completed his toilet Christy looked at his watch, and was rather surprised to find that it was a full hour later than usual when the call bell had been rung. He went down-stairs, and found his mother and Florry very busy in the dining-room, setting the table. This was the man's work, and the young officer was astonished to see his mother and sister doing it.

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page 2 "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." "The United States steamer Bronx, under sealed orders. What steamer is that?" "About nine o'clock; perhaps sooner. Byron will have the deck from eight bells for the first watch; I hope and expect Flint will turn in at that time, for he will have the mid-watch. It might be a little awkward if he happens to be on deck when we change our course from east to west." "Emphatically I did not." "Of course I shall not raise an issue as to your veracity, Mr. Passford, but after the statement you have made to me, I must change the form of my phraseology," continued the commander, using a smile to cover any possible doubts or suspicions in his mind. "When I called at the stateroom of the officer who reported on board last evening as Lieutenant Christopher Passford, he told me that I was expected to get under way and proceed to my destination as soon as the officer and the seamen were on board." Christy had looked into the ward room as he passed the door, for the captain's cabin was not provided with a separate companion-way, as is usual on men-of-war, for the space could not be spared in so small a vessel. All was still there, but two men stood near the door waiting for the signal to rush to the deck. wwwufacr7scom The momentum of the cutter was checked, and the boat placed in a convenient position for a further conference with the sloop. Either by intention or carelessness the skipper of the sail-boat had permitted her to broach to, probably because he was giving too much attention to the boat and too little to the sloop. When the cutter lost its headway, it was not more than fifty feet from the sloop. "I am a non-combatant, Christy," replied Colonel Passford. "I have not served in the Confederate army or navy, or even been a member of a home guard." page 2 "I am all right, Corny; but I should like to 176 have you or some one tell me what has been going on in this steamer, for this black rascal will not say a word to me," replied the prisoner. "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 why are you out at this time of night, my son? It is nearly two o'clock in the morning," said Mrs. Passford, as she descended the stairs. "You are not half dressed, Christy." 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. "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. wwwufa24hsnet 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. "That is very odd," mused the officer, wondering whether this sudden disappearance had anything to do with the principal event of the preceding night. "I done count only four ob dem w'en I was dar last time." "I reckon I do, sir; your cousin Corny is an impostor," replied the steward promptly. 303 "Undoubtedly; headed to the south-west the ship would be off the passes of the Mississippi at eight bells in the forenoon. If we are sent to Lake Pontchartrain or Ship Island, we should be a long way off our course at that time," added Christy, as he broke the seal of the envelope. "Neither Lake Pontchartrain nor the Mississippi. We are ordered to Barataria Bay, where a steamer is loading with cotton." "Dat's it, Massa Ossifer!" exclaimed Job, apparently delighted to find that he had made himself understood. "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." "Then you can do my errand for me," added the soldier. In fact, in less than an hour he said he was entirely relieved from the severe pain. He was very grateful to the doctor, whom no one suspected of being a Yankee gunboat officer. "Stand by, my men! Give way together, lively!" shouted the lieutenant as though he intended that those on board of the sloop should hear him as well as his own crew. CHAPTER XXX THE ATTACK UPON THE FORT

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page 2 "I admit the correctness of your conclusion." "I told you that I had been the mate of a steamer," answered the seaman. "That is bad grammar," said the commander, laughing, for he was in an exceedingly pleasant humor, as may well be supposed. "You know what is right, and you must not talk like a contraband." 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. Standing on the bridge with the executive officer, Christy took his leave mentally of the flag-ship, and the few other vessels that were on the 254 station; for most of them were on duty in various expeditions engaged in the destruction of salt works. A boat expedition had just captured Appalachicola, with all the vessels loading with cotton in the bay. The young commander congratulated himself that he had a fast steamer, for that caused him to be employed in more active duty than the work of destruction on shore. He had no premises on which to base an argument for or against one thing or another. All was dark to him, and he could not get hold of anything. After he had raised up a variety of suppositions, and combated vigorously with them, the darkness seemed only to become more dense, and he was compelled to abandon the subject without arriving at any reasonable explanation. Under the instruction of his father, he had cultivated "a judicial mind," which compelled him to reject all mere speculation. "Put him into the boat," added Christy. "You believe that your papers were taken from you, and the blanks substituted for them?" "How shall you manage it?" wwwufa24hsnet "I don't believe he would attempt to run in while it is broad daylight," suggested Mr. Flint. "Captain Corny already has his sailing orders. They are sealed, but he is to proceed to the eastward. I should say that he would obey orders, and when it is time for him to break the seals this evening, he will come about, hug the shore of St. Rosa's till he comes to the entrance of the bay, when he will go in." "Sea-sick! No, sir; I believe I never was sea-sick in my life." 154 "I have no doubt he is concealed on board of the Vernon, with the intention of returning to New York, where he has plenty of influential friends to fight his battle for him. But I must go on deck, or something may go wrong in my absence." "You did not always eat the fish you caught," suggested Christy. "I have, captain; and it is in my own handwriting," replied the officer addressed. ufa365s ทางเขา Dave Identifies Christy.—Page 130. "I don't think I care to go to the Gulf again as the commander of a vessel," added Christy, who had not changed his mind on this subject. "I don't believe he would attempt to run in while it is broad daylight," suggested Mr. Flint. "Captain Corny already has his sailing orders. They are sealed, but he is to proceed to the eastward. I should say that he would obey orders, and when it is time for him to break the seals this evening, he will come about, hug the shore of St. Rosa's till he comes to the entrance of the bay, when he will go in." This order was promptly obeyed. Before it was fully carried out an elderly gentleman crawled out of the cuddy, and stood up in the standing room; he was a man of dignity, and evidently of importance. "That seems to me to be a correct deduction," added Christy. 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. 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. "Good for you, Mr. Ambleton!" exclaimed Christy, a few seconds later, when he saw the wreck of one of the twenty-four pounders on the fort. "We have damaged the enemy enough to make it pay, and the steamer and her cargo will put at least seventy-five thousand dollars into the pockets of our side in the conflict." page 2 "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." "Then my uncle has vessels in that bay which are to run out?" inquired Christy, deeply interested in the revelations of the skipper. "Bancroft says that Clinton was deceived by letters which were written to be intercepted. The books say that Washington used every art in his power to deceive Clinton. He wrote letters containing the barefaced lie that he intended to attack New York when he intended to attack Cornwallis. It was not a mere white lie, for he intended to deceive. We don't regard Washington as a liar, and he was not a liar in any proper sense of the word. All the high-toned generals 110 on both sides in the present war do not hesitate to deceive the enemy, for it is a part of their duty to do so. In my judgment, a lie that is acted is the same as a spoken lie."

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auto5 bigwin

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auto5 bigwin 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. "I don't say that I absolutely dislike it, for I mean to be happy in whatever place my duty may call me. The responsibility weighs heavy on me, and I should prefer to be in a subordinate position," replied Christy very seriously. "I can't sleep as I used to." Mr. Pennant put out the light in his lantern, and the party started to cross the island.

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ufago

ufago

ufago "Friends," replied the lieutenant. He had learned that several vessels were loading with cotton at Appalachicola, with the intention of running the blockade, if there was any blockader off Cape St. George. His uncle Homer was engaged in superintending the fitting out of these vessels, though whether on his own account or that of the Confederacy, he was not aware. Christy felt that he ought to follow up the information he had obtained with decided action; but he was hardly in condition to do so, for he had fifteen prisoners on board, and he would be obliged to send a prize crew off in the Floridian when she was brought out, as he was confident she would be. He could not settle the question at once, and he went down into his cabin, where his uncle was waiting very impatiently to see him, and had asked Dave a dozen times in regard to him. "On board the sloop!" replied Mr. Pennant, standing up in the stern sheets. "What sloop is that?" Mr. Flint reported that she had been captured without any resistance on the part of the crew. There was no incident worth relating in connection with the capture, though she was full of cotton, and brought over seventy thousand dollars when the vessel and cargo were sold. The two cutters were brought alongside, and hoisted up to the davits.

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ยฟา 69

ยฟา 69

ยฟา 69 "I am sure I do not know. I called in the coachman, and he has been to his room and looked all over the place without finding him." "Where is your bag?" asked Mr. Flint, as Christy, the actual commander of the Bronx, passed him. "What are you doing with a valise?" 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.

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