jedi 198 "The other men in the sloop, with the exception of the skipper, fired upon my boat, and wounded an officer and a seaman." "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. "Sign it, or you are a dead man!" exclaimed Flanger fiercely. "Not a word, and I am not likely to hear from them. Corny Passford was exchanged, and sent back to the South a year ago or more; and I have no idea what has become of him since."
ufa99gold "Good again!" exclaimed the lieutenant. "I think that is about the range of those guns." "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. ufa99gold "I may yet be called upon to serve under you 253 some time in the future; and I did not wish to have any prejudice against me on account of my decision, in which my officers concurred." Homer Passford, the only brother of his father, had early in life settled in Alabama, and become a planter, where he had made a respectable fortune, though he was a poor man compared with the northern brother. He had a wife, a son, and a daughter. At the beginning of the war of the Rebellion he had promptly espoused the cause of the South, and from his point of view, he was fully as patriotic as his brother on the other side. He was ready to give himself, his son, and his fortune to the independence of the South. His character was quite as noble as that of his brother, and he had done all he could in person and with his wealth to insure the success of the Southern cause. "Beat to quarters, Mr. Flint!" said Christy, trying to make out what mischief had been done by the shot; but he could only see that it had cut the wheel ropes. Again the steamer darted ahead at a speed which would soon carry her beyond the reach of the musket ball of the soldiers. Christy still remained upon the bridge, observing the fort and all that was done on the deck of the Bronx. He directed his glass frequently at the barbette of the fort; but the prudent commander of the garrison had evidently concluded to confine his efforts to the casemates. At least one-fourth of his men had been disabled. "He still complains that his head and his bones ache, so that I cannot say he is improving," replied Dr. Connelly. Dr. Connelly was so much astonished at the proceedings that he did not turn in, but completed his toilet, and came out into the ward room again. He looked troubled, for he had 188 heard nothing of the struggle on the quarter-deck, and the situation was a revelation to him. He looked and talked as though he thought that Christy and his associates who had captured the vessel were simply mutineers. The captain sent the steward for Boxie, and, giving him a pair of pistols and a cutlass, informed him that he was to stand guard over the five prisoners until he was relieved. The old man, who had been one of the seamen on board of the Bellevite when she was a yacht, took his place forward of the berth-sacks, and began his march athwartship. CHAPTER XXIX A PROFESSIONAL VISIT TO THE FORT "No, you didn't, Dave; that was Corny," replied Christy. "I know what he means," interposed the Russian. "I know that steamer, for she came in at Cedar Keys when I was there. He means the Sphinx." 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. "Dat's it, Massa Ossifer!" exclaimed Job, apparently delighted to find that he had made himself understood. taipe888 As only one of the broadsides of the gunboat was available in the action with the fort, the starboard battery was transferred to the captured vessel. Men enough to handle them were put on board, and Mr. Camden was put in command of her. It was late in the afternoon when all this work had been done, and then the Bronx led the way through the Pass, her mission fully accomplished. Under the vigorous pulling of eight stalwart men, the cutter leaped forward at a speed that would have won an ordinary boat race, and in ten minutes more, the sloop could be distinctly made out, the cutter running across her bow. She was close-hauled, with the wind from the south-west, and very little of it. On board of her were at least ten men, as the quartermaster counted them, and there might have been more in her cuddy under the hail-deck forward. "Strike two bells, Vincent!" he called to the quartermaster. "But they must have had very big guns." "Just so; and I dare say he is asleep in his stateroom at this moment." "It is; the name was given to the estate by my mother," replied Christy, unable to follow Corny any farther. "We are bound to the westward, and the course looks as though we might be ordered up the Mississippi," suggested Mr. Flint. He had seen the commission which Corny presented to the captain of the Vernon, and recognized it as his own. In spite of the statements his cousin had made, Christy saw that the handwriting of the report he submitted as a copy of the genuine document was in Corny's usual handwriting. 99 Where had he obtained the commission, and where the original report? These were not hard questions, now that the preliminaries of the plot had been fully developed. "Is the Bronx in condition for immediate service, Captain Passford?" asked the flag-officer. "I ought to be, for I am a whiter man than Captain Flanger." ufachash Christy's curiosity was excited: he thought the order would throw some further light on the plan of the pirate; and he seated himself. Captain Flanger proceeded to dictate to him an order to 278 the officer of the deck, to the effect that his sealed orders directed him to cut out a rebel privateer under the guns of Fort McRae; ordering him to head the Bronx to the north-west for this purpose, and instructing him to call him as soon as he made out the shore, Christy wrote it, and the pirate told him to sign it. 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. "I am sure he will get a commission as soon as he applies for it, captain," added the first lieutenant, pleased with the prompt decision. "Now, who is your man?" "Then we understand each other, Mr. Bornhoff," added Christy. "The commodore hurried us off, for he feared any delay might allow the steamer to escape." Captain Flanger was at the critical point in his operations, and he was too busy with the commander to give any attention to the negro, whom he regarded with the contempt begotten of his Southern education. Dave was intelligent enough to understand the situation accurately, and he realized that it was rapidly becoming critical. He knew that Christy was unarmed, and that the 280 whole attention of the pirate was concentrated upon him, so that he could do nothing to help himself. "Steamer, ahoy!" came from her in the well-known voice of Mr. Blowitt, formerly the commander 294 of the Bronx, and now executive officer of the Bellevite. The commander thought it very strange that there should be a person on board of the steamer, and especially in possession of his cabin, who was an entire stranger to him. He looked at the intruder, who was a stoutly built man of rather more than forty years of age, with his hair and full beard somewhat grizzled by age. He was 258 dressed like a seaman in blue clothes, though he was evidently not a common sailor, but might have been the master or mate of a vessel. "No matter; we have the Bronx again, and she is not yet to become a Confederate cruiser. But Corny had the sealed orders of the flag-officer, and I heard Mr. Galvinne read them. The Bronx is ordered to St. Andrew's to attend to the case of a steamer loading there to run the blockade. Shall I obey the orders, or return to the flag-ship?" "I hope it will not, my son," added his mother very earnestly. "Where, sir, if you please?" asked the sailor, with a sort of bewildered look. "I am very much obliged to you, Captain Passford, for this favor; and I know you would not give me the place if you did not think me worthy of it," replied the seaman as he went forward and called the watch to the mainmast. "Whar you gwine, Massa Ossifer?" asked Uncle Job, after they had walked a short distance from the negro village.
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ufa99gold It was evident enough to Christy that there had been some kind of a scene in the cabin before he came below, for the steward had certainly been intimidated by the powerful visitor. "That is a bad name for this child," said the octoroon, shaking his head. "Are you the son of Colonel Passford?" CHAPTER XXXI A WOUNDED COMMANDER 31 The breakfast was rather a sad gathering on account of this parting, for Christy was to leave in another hour. Bertha Pembroke and her father were quite as sad as the mother and sister, and the young officer did his best to cheer up the family and the guests. He tried to make them laugh, but he found it was up-hill work. 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. "What steamer is that?" called Mr. Blowitt. 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. "Not till you change your tone. I wish you to understand that I am in command of this ship, and I have my commission in my pocket. I intend to be treated with decency at least." 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. โปรฝาก1รบ50 "Do you surrender?" asked the lieutenant of the principal man on the forecastle as he came alongside of him. "Where did you hide, for the vessel has been searched in every part of her for you?" "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." The mystery was not solved till Christy embarked for the Gulf. Again the steamer darted ahead at a speed which would soon carry her beyond the reach of the musket ball of the soldiers. Christy still remained upon the bridge, observing the fort and all that was done on the deck of the Bronx. He directed his glass frequently at the barbette of the fort; but the prudent commander of the garrison had evidently concluded to confine his efforts to the casemates. At least one-fourth of his men had been disabled. The dishes rattled for a moment, and then the fugitive heard the step and the voice of Dave in the stateroom. "That is all I have to say about him. I studied the skipper of the sloop and watched him. I am sure he did not fire a musket, and he seemed to take no part in the affairs of the men on board. Captain Flanger is the active man of the party; but I have no idea who or what he is. If you look at the skipper, you will see that he is an octoroon, or something between a mulatto and a white man, and in my opinion he is not a cheerful worker on that side of the house. Perhaps the skipper will be willing to tell you who and what the party are. They claimed to be private citizens, and that the sloop was bound to Appalachicola; perhaps the gentleman in black can explain the mission of the party." โปร10รบ100 wallet "I suppose you were religiously inclined when you were engaged in the business of smuggling," added the commander. "We are coming up with the shore," said Mr. Flint, as Christy joined him on the bridge. "Silence, all!" cried the commander, as soon as he heard the hail from aloft. "Go forward, Mr. Pennant, silence the hands, and direct the lookout to hail in lower tones." Instead of obeying the order, the boatman hauled in his sheet, and the sloop began to fill away. Mr. Pennant could form no idea of what the party were. It was possible that they were private citizens, and non-combatants; if they were, they had only to prove they were such by submitting to a further inquiry. The Bronx had but one officer on board who had been permanently appointed to her, and at least two others must be selected to serve on board of her. It would be an easy matter for Corny to procure the appointment of Mr. Galvinne, who was doubtless competent to handle the vessel as the impostor certainly was not. 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. "I have not time now to look into that question; 220 but I can assure you that you will be treated with the greatest consideration on board of my ship," added Christy as he conducted him below, and left him with Dave in his own cabin, returning at once to the deck to inquire into the operations of the first cutter. The boat had been hoisted up to the davits, and the Magnolia was made fast astern. All hands had been called when the Bronx got under way, and the men were all at their stations. ufa99gold "What is she doing now in the bay?" "I will put you ashore in a boat at the nearest land when the fog clears off," replied Christy. 223 "You did your duty, and it was quite right for you to bring him on board. He is as devoted to the Confederate cause as my father is to the union. But go below, and have your wound dressed, Mr. Pennant." "If you will get out of the berth yourself, I will allow you to do so," added Christy. It was evident enough to Christy that there had been some kind of a scene in the cabin before he came below, for the steward had certainly been intimidated by the powerful visitor. "I am sure Mr. Flint could not have a better man."
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ufa99gold "He is a prisoner on board of the Bronx, with two Confederate naval officers who were his associates in the conspiracy; and we have also two seamen," replied Christy, who proceeded to give the narrative in full of the work done on board of the Bronx on the evening of the day she sailed from the station. "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." 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. 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. 57 "I must say that any man who will take upon himself the position and reputation of the real Lieutenant Passford is a bold man, and even, if he succeeds in taking his place, he will fail in playing the rôle." 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. "I dare say it is, my friend," replied Mr. Pennant blandly, for he had been in the navy long enough to adopt the characteristic politeness which distinguishes its officers. "Take possession of all the muskets and other weapons you can find, Vincent, and put them in the cutter." "Who is Captain Flanger?" asked Christy. The naval officer read the orders aloud for the benefit of his associate. The flag-officer had obtained information that a steamer was loading with cotton at St. Andrew's Bay, and Captain Passford was instructed to visit that locality and capture the vessel, and any others that might be found there. peoplevoiceth survey The surgeon was satisfied with this evidence. "Certainly not; for as soon as it was seen on board of the flag-ship that the commander of the Bronx was disobeying his orders, we should be chased by the two ships on the station and fired upon." ufa99gold "You will find this man, and give him this paper. The names on it are those of disloyal men. Tell him to look out for them, and find out as far as he can who are true to the union." "I see you are; but you decline to permit the surgeon to dress your wound. I have no more time to fool with you, and the men will put you on a berthsack forward. If you want the surgeon to attend to your wound, you have only to say so." "Emphatically I did not." "Without reflecting upon your decision, I must deny that I am a Confederate, and proclaim that my motto is 'Stand by the union!'" "The flag-officer has signalled for the Vernon to come alongside," interposed another seaman who had heard the question. "So am I, captain," added the lieutenant, laughing outright at the perplexity in which both of them were involved. "I have told you the simple truth in regard to my movements." hilo666 "It was not your cousin at all who attempted to take the vessel into Pensacola Bay; it was Galvinne, for Corny only acted as a figure-head, as I intend to use you. Galvinne was a prisoner by my side on board of the flag-ship, and told me all about it when he was releasing my right hand from the bracelet," replied Captain Flanger. "We are all private citizens," added the sloop's spokesman. This completed the preparation for the night. The captain consulted his repeater, and ascertained that it was twenty minutes past twelve. The Bronx was in position to learn the fact if any vessel attempted to run out of St. Andrew's Bay, provided his calculations in regard to the locality of the Bronx were correct. Christy went down to the deck, and walked aft with Mr. Flint. "I hardly think so, though I should be pleased to have it so." "Only the women and the old hands, too old to do much work." "Then I will look upon you as an able seaman until you are formally enlisted. Mr. Flint, this man is Michael Bornhoff; he is an able seaman and a pilot in these waters. I think you had better take him with you, for he is fully informed in regard to the Floridian, which you are to bring out. Let him have pistols and a cutlass," said Christy. Many of the seamen were foreigners who cared little on which side they served, and one or more of the four officers in the ward room might be at work for the Confederacy. Christy thought he 102 was in an excellent position to investigate the matter, and he decided that this should be his first duty. Among the crew there must be some who were to take part in the plot of Corny, whatever it was. "De steamer! wot's de steamer? Is't a Yankee gumboat?" demanded Uncle Job, opening his eyes with wonder and astonishment.
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ufa99gold "Is that you, Pink Mulgrum?" demanded Dave. "I give you the whole State of Alabama, but I thought we done rid of you long ago. Who's there?" "You are not sea-sick?" inquired the doctor, laughing. "The shoal water is the best protection for the small steamers that ply on these inside waters; and the Yankee gunboats can take all others as they come out. The entrance to the bay has not been regularly blockaded, for there has been little occasion to do so thus far." "Beat to quarters, Mr. Flint!" said Christy, trying to make out what mischief had been done by the shot; but he could only see that it had cut the wheel ropes. "Who are you?" demanded the soldier. "Strike three bells," added the commander; and the steamer began to back her screw. "You will find this man, and give him this paper. The names on it are those of disloyal men. Tell him to look out for them, and find out as far as he can who are true to the union." CHAPTER XXIV A CRITICAL SITUATION IN THE CABIN hilo666 "I beg your pardon, Captain Flanger, but do you really purpose to blow out the brains of your figure-head?" asked Christy, as coolly as though no such threat had been suggested to him. "Make the course south-west, Mr. Flint," said the commander, as soon as the vessel was ready, and her screw was in motion. "Will you set a nigger upon me again, Christy?" using the commander's proper name for the first time. 360 "But that was a splendid fellow who commanded there," continued Christy with admiration. "If his guns had not been taken away from him, and his force reduced to a handful of men, we should have had to wait for the Sphinx to come out of the bay; and it might have been three weeks or a month before she concluded to do so." "The Bronx is taking in provisions, stores, and ammunition. They say the captain has his orders, but I don't know about that." "Then my uncle has vessels in that bay which are to run out?" inquired Christy, deeply interested in the revelations of the skipper. "I suppose it is," answered Corny, with increasing confusion. "She is, sir; she has not been in action since her crew was reinforced," answered Christy. dafax10 slot "I know enough to understand when I am treated like a gentleman. Change your manners, or I will order you to leave my cabin. You talk to me as though I were a small boy, and had nothing to do with the enterprise in which we are engaged," returned Corny. "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." "Of course I was there; but it was a pretty day, and I went to the city to attend to some affairs of mine," replied the sick man, with the first signs of embarrassment he had exhibited. ufa99gold "I have not the slightest prejudice against you and while we stand by the union, shoulder to shoulder, we shall be friends," replied Christy, warmly pressing the hand of the captain of the Vernon. At this time the preparations for the reduction of the forts on the Mississippi were in progress, and every available vessel was called into activity. The Bronx had been built for a blockade-runner, and for a steamer of her size she was of exceptional speed. The vessels of the Eastern Gulf squadron were employed to a considerable extent in destroying salt works on the west coast of Florida; but the commodore was not disposed to order the fleet little gunboat upon such service. The three officers promptly obeyed the order, and laid violent hands on Captain Flanger, Mr. Flint taking the weapon from his pocket. They seized him by the collar of his coat, and the executive officer held his left arm, with the handcuffs on the wrist. The victim of the affray still held on to his nose, though Mr. Camden took possession of the arm. "That is my decided opinion. A noise at my chamber door woke me; I found the front door ajar, though I know I closed it when I came in last night, and I saw something moving down the avenue, which could only have been a man. Of course, I conclude that it was a burglar; but none of us have been killed or harmed."
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mabet "Barataria Bay makes a big hole in the State of Louisiana, and most of it is shoal water. At the south of it is the Isle Grande Terre, on the western end of which is a fort, which commands the entire channel," replied the captain. He had placed his valise in the gangway, and 86 he had not far to go to procure the report, his first draft of the document, which he had revised and copied at Bonnydale. "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."
โปรฝาก20รบ100 wallet ลาสด "Are you sure of this information, Mike?" The morning mail brought a letter from Captain Passford, informing the family that he was detained in Washington, and that he could not be at home to say good-by to his son, who was to leave that day in the store ship Vernon. He wrote a special letter to Christy, containing not only his adieux, but the good advice he would otherwise have given him in person. With even an ordinary revolver in his hip pocket, he would not have been helpless, and he might have saved himself without requiring this service of the steward. Opening his valise, he took from it a smaller revolver, and put it in his hip pocket, which he had never used for any other purpose; and he resolved not to be caught again in an unarmed condition, even when no danger was apparent. In action he carried a navy revolver in each of his hip pockets.
berich89 "Lieutenant Fourchon, this is the doctor; but I do not know his name," said the soldier. 120 The store-ship had been made fast to the flag-ship, and at this moment came a call for all hands to go aft. Christy could not endure the suspense any longer, and taking his valise in his hand he went on deck, just as the Bronx came alongside. Mr. Flint was on duty with a couple of young officers, and gave the orders to make her fast to the Vernon. Captain Battleton was going up the side of the flag-ship, followed by Corny.
meta2244 As he spoke, Boxie dropped in his place at the wheel, and Vincent grasped the spokes. The blood was streaming down the face of the old man, and he did not move after he fell. Two sailors bore him below; but the surgeon promptly declared that he was dead. "Don't you know?" "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."