สมคร จคลบ1688 The commission and other papers were all right in every respect. Christy handed his envelope to the commander, and he broke it open. It contained nothing but a lot of blank paper. "Four bells, Mr. Flint!" added the commander when the Bronx was fairly under way. "Soldiers on the fort, sir!" shouted Vincent, when the Bronx was within less than a quarter of a mile of the works. "Nothing more, Captain Battleton."
ufa121 "I stand by the union, and those on the other side must keep out from under. When I was in a Confederate prison, my uncle Homer, your father, did not do a single thing for me. Lead on, Ralph." "The plan was not finally successful, more is the pity," added the Southern gentleman. "If there had been no setback, Corny would have gone into Pensacola Bay in a few hours more, in nominal command of the steamer, though of course Galvinne was the real commander." "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. ufa121 "I decline to give up my stateroom, or my command of the steamer," replied Corny in a sulky manner. "I should like to know how you happen to be on board of the Bronx, Corny." "That is immaterial," added Captain Battleton, as Corny left the cabin to procure the document. "Have you a copy of your report, Lieutenant Passford?" He pointed to Christy. "At Bonnydale!" "Very well, Mike; you are a free man on board of this ship." In his youth the author used to listen to the stories of several aged Revolutionary pensioners, one of whom had slept in the snows of Valley Forge, another who had been confined on board of the Jersey prison-ship, and a third who had been with Washington at the surrender of Cornwallis. Not one lives to-day who fought in the battles of the Revolution; but a multitude of those who trod the battle-fields of the war that was finished twenty-seven years ago have taken their places, and have become as interesting to the present generation as the heroes of former wars were to the fathers and grandfathers of the boys and girls of to-day. "Whew! Then you are still the commander of the Bronx?" repeated Christy, laughing at his cousin's persistence. "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. 76 "Horatio Passford," replied Christy with a smile. 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. sc168auto 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. "Nothing is the matter now on our side of the house, but I must put you with the other prisoners," replied Christy. "You may unbuckle the strap, Dave, so that he can get out of the berth." "The nearest land is an island, and there is hardly anything like a village on the entire Bay of St. Andrew's. The region is deserted now, and I might wander about there for a month, till I starved to death, before I could get to a settled region." "Of course I expected that would be your decision," replied Corny, as he took the papers 91 which the captain returned to him, including his commission and report. "We will soon stop that," added Christy. "Give them another shot from the midship gun, Mr. Flint." "I was not; not even as sick as I am at this moment," replied Christy, using his handkerchief. He could feel the envelope that contained them, and he was satisfied of the triumph which awaited him when the evidence should be required of the 56 two claimants of the name. At the same time he felt that he was moving in a cloud of mystery, which had begun to enfold him in the middle of the preceding night. In his youth the author used to listen to the stories of several aged Revolutionary pensioners, one of whom had slept in the snows of Valley Forge, another who had been confined on board of the Jersey prison-ship, and a third who had been with Washington at the surrender of Cornwallis. Not one lives to-day who fought in the battles of the Revolution; but a multitude of those who trod the battle-fields of the war that was finished twenty-seven years ago have taken their places, and have become as interesting to the present generation as the heroes of former wars were to the fathers and grandfathers of the boys and girls of to-day. The executive officer sent Mr. Camden on deck for a pair of handcuffs and a couple of men to execute the order. Flanger still retained his 286 standing position behind the table, holding on to his nose, which continued to bleed very freely. The surgeon went over to him, and endeavored to obtain a sight of the mutilated member. "I believe your late passenger in the cabin knows something about Barataria Bay and its surroundings, 304 for I think I heard the Russian say that he had done some smuggling in this quarter," said Mr. Flint. "As you are doubtless aware, by a series of lakes, bayous, and a canal which comes out near Carrollton, just above New Orleans, water communication is open to the Mississippi River for small vessels." "Dave is a wise man," said the commander, after he had given a few moments to the consideration of the situation. ufa681 Christy did not go near him, but he watched him very closely. He had not long to wait before Mr. Galvinne, who was then the officer of the deck, spoke to him, and they had quite a long conversation. He could not hear a word of it; but the fact that they were intimate enough to 112 hold what appeared to be a confidential interview was enough to satisfy the prisoner that the second lieutenant was the principle confederate of his cousin. How many of the crew were "packed" for the enterprise he could form no idea. "I was sick, and I wished to be as near the Vernon as possible. I felt better in the afternoon and attended to my affairs; but I got bad again in the afternoon, and I came on board in the evening, for I was afraid I should not be able to 68 do so in the morning," answered the invalid, becoming as lively as before. "Uncle Job," said Mike, placing his hand on the shoulder of the sleeper on the side of the bed nearest to him. "Good again!" exclaimed the lieutenant. "I think that is about the range of those guns." "Vincent, you will remain in charge of the boat and the men," said the third lieutenant, addressing the quartermaster. "I will explore the island with Mike. I have the fireworks with me, and you will keep a sharp lookout in the direction of the fort. If you see a light close to the water, make for it as fast as you can. Do you understand me?" CHAPTER XXI A NON-COMBATANT ON BOARD THE BRONX "Dis nigger kin told you wot dar is over dar." "Very well, Mike; you are a free man on board of this ship."
ufa121 "The fortules of war are agailst me, Captail Passford; 288 but if you ever fall ilto my halds, I will cut your dose off cleal to your face," howled the prisoner, boiling over with wrath. "I have plenty of it for this job. You said five dollars, I believe, sir," added the man, looking earnestly at his passenger. "I don't want him to take me simply because my father desires him to do so," answered the young commander, shaking his head. "As you please," replied the surgeon, as the second lieutenant returned attended by two stout seamen. The commander was amazed at the impudence of the intruder. "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." "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 nearest land is an island, and there is hardly anything like a village on the entire Bay of St. Andrew's. The region is deserted now, and I might wander about there for a month, till I starved to death, before I could get to a settled region." สลอต royal999 "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." 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. At the last order the men levelled their oars, feathering the blades, and remained like eight statues in their seats. Vincent listened with all his ears in the dead silence which prevailed. Dr. Connelly left him, and made his tour of inspection among the men. The steamer was still rolling heavily, and the prisoner found himself more comfortable in his berth than on the lower deck. He had not yet learned whether or not he was to remain confined in his present quarters, and when the surgeon returned from his tour, he asked him to inquire of the captain in regard to his limits. He was informed that he could go on deck for an hour in the forenoon, and an hour in the afternoon. It was nearly night and he did not avail himself of this permission. 74 "I should say there would be no difficulty in settling this question," said Mr. Salisbury. "Are you a free man?" He had not expected his cousin to make any full examination of the room to be occupied by the commander of the gunboat, for his stay on board would be short, and he could not feel any great interest in the room. His curiosity might lead him to make a closer examination of the interior of the apartment than would be agreeable to his cousin. He felt that he was in danger of being discovered in his hiding-place; but he instantly 155 made up his mind as to what he would do in the event of such an accident. He had hoped to be spared from any personal conflict with his cousin, and he had made his plan so as to avoid any such disagreeable necessity. "Quartermaster, strike one bell," said Christy. riches777 v1 CHAPTER XVI THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRISONERS "Do you expect me to obey your orders?" demanded the executive officer in a sneering tone. ufa121 "The farce came to an end when you menaced me with death if I declined to sign the order you dictated, and the steward played the first scene in the tragedy. I am sure it was a farce up to that time," replied Christy. "Mr. Flint, have the prisoner put in irons, and remove him to the quarters of the men forward. Give him a berthsack and a blanket, and place a hand to stand guard over him." The steamer went off till she looked very much smaller, and then changed her course to the south-west. The lieutenant in the cutter ordered the bowman to sound with the small hand lead, after he had brought the boat to a full stop. The man reported eight feet. The head of the boat was then turned to the west, and the crew ordered to give way. In a quarter of an hour more the course was checked, and the bowman directed to sound again. Sixteen feet was reported. "Sit down on the floor, Dave, and I will tell you all about it," continued Christy, though the difficulty of convincing the steward was not unexpected. "Dave is a wise man," said the commander, after he had given a few moments to the consideration of the situation.
ufa121 "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. "He is my uncle; my father's only brother." "I don't see how the commodore could go behind the commission which Corny carries in his pocket, with the orders of the department, any more than Captain Battleton could. I have thought of this, and I am afraid to trust myself to the chance," replied Christy very decidedly. "Besides, I desire to take the conspirators in the very act of running away with the Bronx; then I can make out a good case." "How's de sick man, Massa Gumboat?" asked the old negro, chuckling as though he appreciated the stroke of strategy made by his companion. "I think you need not be too particular about them; they have made their own nest, and now they must live in it," said the first lieutenant. "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." "I am very glad to see you, Uncle Job," said Christy, taking the hand of the venerable colored person. "I thank you for the service rendered to my officer. Now, Mr. Pennant, you will come to my cabin and make your report. Bring Uncle Job with you." "Yes; but don't frighten him," replied Mr. Pennant. "It will not only suit me better, but you cannot fail to see that it is the only practicable way for me to operate with my present very limited resources. If I had a dozen good men and true,—not such dunderheads as your officer captured in the Magnolia,—I should be able to proceed in a more orderly and regular manner. In that case, I should issue my orders in person, and not compel you to act as my intermediary." "No, sir; not a single big gun, and she has only hands enough to work her. Steam all up when we came out of the bay, sir," said Mike, laughing heartily, apparently in spite of himself. "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." ยฟา สลอต วอ เลท ออโต "And a quarter three!" cried the leadsman. "The boats are in good condition, sir, and they will be ready in five minutes," replied Mr. Flint, who had come on deck at the call for all hands, and had hardly learned the results of the recent boat expedition. "I should not have rung that bell if I had not been afraid of taking cold," added the son. "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." ufa121 232 "What am I to do, Captain Passford?" asked Mike, who was watching the proceedings on deck with the most intense interest. "I want to ship in the Yankee navy as a pilot, for I know this coast from the Mississippi to Key West." 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. Corny politely saluted Mr. Flint, the acting commander of the gunboat. Mr. Galvinne was introduced, and there was plenty of bowing and formal politeness. Corny presented his commission and orders for the inspection of the officer in command, and for the present the formalities were completed. Corny was evidently in command of the Bronx; but Christy could not determine the position of Mr. Flint, and he watched his movements with intense interest for some time. Christy laughed in spite of the importance of the investigation at the coolness and self-possession of his cousin; but he could not understand how Corny would be able to produce a copy of his report, which was in his valise with several such papers. He refused to go below, or to permit Dr. Connelly to come to him until he had attended to the poor fellows who had been wounded on deck. 25 They had given up the examination of the premises, and given up the conundrum, and Christy was leading the way up-stairs. He went into his room, followed by his mother. u31คาสโนออนไลน "What do you know about him, Christy?" asked the colonel with the deepest interest. "Yes; but you will get four or five fathoms almost up to the beaches. When I was here, the Bellevite was anchored outside, and we went gunning and fishing in St. Andrew's Bay. The bay is about thirty miles long; but it is as crooked as a ram's horn, and there is no town on it, though there are some scattered houses," added Christy. "We shot fat ducks, and caught plenty of red snappers and pompana there." But Christy gave no order to reduce the speed of the vessel, and seemed to feel so thoroughly at home that Mr. Flint began to be a little nervous. The young commander had carefully studied the chart of the coast with the practical knowledge he had of the locality. 75 "Is Bonnydale the name of the town or city in which your father lives?" "The commodore hurried us off, for he feared any delay might allow the steamer to escape." He finished the narrative, and the officers were discussing it when there was a knock at the door. "Byron!" exclaimed Christy, recalling Walsh, and the name he had insisted was his own when he first encountered him on board of the Vernon. "He may have a rank in the Confederate navy, but he has none in that of the union. In other words, he is a Confederate officer or seaman, and he is the man who helped Corny steal my commission and orders." "Who is Captain Flanger?" asked Christy. "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. "With the evidence before you, I do not see how you could have decided otherwise." "Dave," repeated Christy, in a more decided tone after he had heard the voice of the steward.
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ufa121 "Of course Corny asked for his appointment, for Mr. Galvinne was the real leader of the enterprise. I think you and some of the rest of us have narrowly escaped a Confederate prison." "Steward, light the lamp in my stateroom," 163 said Corny; and Christy was glad to find that he intended to retire for the night, for he had no duties to perform unless there was a disturbance on the quarter-deck. "I am just as glad to see you, Mr. Blowitt," replied Christy, taking the offered hand of his old friend. CHAPTER XXXI A WOUNDED COMMANDER u31คาสโนออนไลน "Who's there?" demanded Christy Passford, sitting up in his bed, in the middle of the night, in his room on the second floor of his father's palatial mansion on the Hudson, where the young lieutenant was waiting for a passage to the Gulf. "That is very odd," mused the officer, wondering whether this sudden disappearance had anything to do with the principal event of the preceding night. 67 "Then you were both brought up in the North," suggested the captain. "Hold water!" added the lieutenant. "Stern all!" "We appear to agree, gentlemen, for you have expressed my own views as well as I could state them myself," added the captain. "But when I decide that the holder of the commission, which I am satisfied is a genuine document, is the loyal officer, and entitled to be received as the future commander of the Bronx, I must declare that the other is a Confederate; and not only that, but also that he is acting as a spy; that he is on board of the Vernon with mischievous intentions. It will be my duty to regard him as a prisoner of war, at least. What do you think of it, Mr. Salisbury?" "Mind yore eye, Massa Gumboat!" exclaimed Job, in a low tone, but with great earnestness. CHAPTER X A CHANGE OF QUARTERS IN THE CONFUSION This result was followed by emphatic cheers from the forty-five men on deck. ufabest789v1 ทางเขา "Good heavens!" exclaimed the first lieutenant, as he came out from his shelter. "You are wounded again!" 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. "Byron!" exclaimed Christy, recalling Walsh, and the name he had insisted was his own when he first encountered him on board of the Vernon. "He may have a rank in the Confederate navy, but he has none in that of the union. In other words, he is a Confederate officer or seaman, and he is the man who helped Corny steal my commission and orders." "I shall be equally reasonable," said Christy. "The more witnesses there are the better it will suit me." ufa121 260 I have already learned that you have an excellent cook on board. I should judge from these potatoes that he was brought up in New Orleans." "The commodore hurried us off, for he feared any delay might allow the steamer to escape."
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ufabet96 As soon as the steward had taken him to the steerage, Mr. Pennant made his report in full, even to the number and calibre of the guns at the fort, and including the cure he had wrought upon the Confederate soldier. Christy was amused at this last part of the narrative; but he had no time to waste in conversation. "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. "Who dar?" inquired the negro.
ufaเครดตฟร100 "We must be about forty miles off the station of the blockaders before the entrance to Mobile Bay," said Christy, after he had thought the matter over for a moment. "No matter what you are; I propose to overhaul you and judge for myself what you are," answered the officer in command of the cutter. "Let go your sheet, skipper!" "That is plain enough; and we only escaped it because you took it into your head to leave the Vernon at the time you left her. I think the Bronx would have gone into Pensacola Bay without 172 the least trouble, for I have no doubt Galvinne knew just what signals to make to Fort McRae, and just as well what ones to make to Fort Pickens. The ship would have been there by midnight, and up to that time I should have been asleep in my stateroom; and they would not have taken the trouble to call the watch below at that hour."
ufa168 ทางเขา "I did, sir; and I was obliged to fill their places;" and Christy described the men he had appointed. For the next three days it blew a gale, moderating 111 at times, and then piping up again. To a sailor it was not bad weather, but Christy learned from the surgeon that his cousin was confined to his berth during all this time. The prisoner went on deck for the time permitted each forenoon and afternoon. He had his eyes wide open all the time, on the lookout for anything that would afford him further information in regard to the plot in the midst of which he was living. "If I did, you did not pick them up." "I hope it will all come out right," added Corny.
ยฟา wallet "Sit down on the floor, Dave, and I will tell you all about it," continued Christy, though the difficulty of convincing the steward was not unexpected. "I am glad to see you, Captain Passford," said Mr. Blowitt, who was properly received when he stepped down upon the deck. "I never saw Massa Corny; but I done hear enough about him when I was at Bonnydale. Show me your knife and your watch, Massa Christy."
ufabnb "I am not; but I am his nephew," replied the commander, willing to be perfectly frank with him. "Uncle Homer!" exclaimed Christy, extending his hand to him, which Colonel Passford, as he was called at home, though he was not in the Confederate army, warmly grasped; and the first smile that had been seen on his face played upon his lips. 67 "Then you were both brought up in the North," suggested the captain.